August 31, 2015

Sitting Room Reveal

Linking with Before and After Wednesday, The Dedicated house

My little room has been a work in progress...
probably since we  moved in three years ago. 
But it took me a while to hang drapes and finish up other projects.

You all know how that goes!

I have tweaked table tops and switched 
pillows along the way to this room reveal.

I dug through boxes and tubs to locate my Chinoiserie pieces! 
(So nice to find old friends.)

The sitting room (aka the mama cave) is now ready for its big reveal! 

You have seen bits and pieces along the way. 
 And now here it is for your viewing pleasure.

First off, the wing chairs returned home last week.
The purple wing chairs have changed into white wing chairs. Woohoo! Here they are side by side just after being returned from the upholsterer.
Sorry for the shadow in the pic.

Here is the all its purple glory.

The white chairs look more elegant in the mama cave. 

The room has taken on a new atmosphere with the change of chair fabric. 

One of the reasons I wanted to go with all white furniture was so that I could change out pillows and accessories and have new looks for the different seasons. 

The purple chintz was very restrictive. 
I went with purple several years ago for a room in our previous house. 

The white chairs originally had black chintz floral fabric back in the early 1980s. ha!

I thought about doing a white slip-covered
 look on these wing chairs, 
but the dressy side of me won out.

The traditional in me reared its head!

I chose a naturally washed cotton damask that  
has a snappy "dressy/casual" look that works for me now. (cotton in a damask pattern)

My room looks so different with the white chairs. 
Now, all of the furniture is neutral.
I was afraid that the white fabric would make 
the chairs look large...but no.  

My upholsterer did another great job on this last set of chairs.

I have worked slowly, but methodically, to give this room a fresh new face. 

Since the sitting room is for me I was not 
afraid of the ivory for my chairs. 
My room is a ladies parlor. 
(Guys are not interested in hanging out there, which is fine with me.)

The upholsterer did make arm covers for the chairs to have some protection. 

What appears to be satin is actually 
a smooth cotton, with sheen. 
Kind of like a sateen. 

(chair fabric from

In the next picture you get a glimpse of my new-ish drapes.

The drapes were made for our previous house, 
but they were remade to fit my shorter windows. 
Thrilled that it worked out! 

The wall color was selected to go with this drapery fabric by an interior designer I used at the time. This is the second house in which I have used this paint color. 

The color is happy and bright, but not jarring.  

Wall Paint color...Benjamin Moore's Westminster Gold.
Woodwork and Columns...Benjamin Moore's Mayonnaise.
Fabric...Thibaut. No longer available. (boo hoo!)

(My camera sees dust that I don't. ha!)
The large oriental blue and white jar is something hubby spotted in Lexington
...back in the early summer. 

As you can see, it came home with me.

How do you like the leopard pillows on my white damask sofa? I just wanted to give them a try here
...and I love them. 
The exact colors of the leopard print are in the rug.

Back in July I gave you a look at how I was putting all of my accessories together in this room to determine which ones would work and which ones would not. 

The rug is the focal point for all of the colors in the room. I made piles of things (fabrics, pillows, accessories) on the rug to double check colors. 

Then as a wild hair I brought leopard pillows into the room. 

Every room can use a touch of leopard in my humble opinion. :-) 
It adds texture and an element of fun and surprise.
I love bits of leopard in my house and in my clothing. 

That inspired me to bring in some natural elements.
I mean...wicker balls work almost anywhere.

My colors repeat around the room.
black. white. blue. yellow/gold. beige.

And...My rug has each of these colors! 

Here is a blue and white vignette that was put together in late winter or early spring.  
I told you I have been working on this room a long time. ha! 

A collection has more impact if displayed together so I wanted to give it a try. I have to say that this has been my longest lasting vignettes. 
I still like it after several months.

There are also touches of silver and brass. 

And every room needs a little bit of green too. Preserved boxwood is the touch of green right now.

The black and white pillows were in my stash...and look dramatic on the white chairs. 
They were part of a Waverly bedding collection a few years ago. 
I love to use black in my house.

Coffee table bling.
We were told in a design class that  if you want an English look use touches of black in a room, while if you want a French look, use touches of white. 

I have black lampshades, trays, 
picture frames,  cachepots, pillows, and rugs. 

I love English and Federal styling! 
But I was a French major and French teacher! Crazy huh?  

I am very happy with my little room! 

You know...sometimes we can work and work on a room, 
and in the end all of the decisions don't jive. I hate that!

Believe me, over the last forty years I have made my share of design decisions that I later regretted and had to redo. ha!

I have finally figured out what works for me! 
At least I think I have. 
(It's kind of like with our clothing. We eventually figure out what looks good on us and what doesn't.) 

Mistakes are disappointing... and expensive! 
Try to avoid them at all costs!

Thanks for stopping by to see the new look of my room.
I have one more thing to do in the front of the house
...and then the big changes will be complete. 

It only took me three years to get to this point. ha! 
I'm sure that table vignettes and pillows will change with the seasons
...but I am satisfied with the overall look of my room now. 

Adding leopard pillows to my traditional room design 
helps the room to not take itself too seriously! I think that can be an issue with some traditional rooms. They take themselves way too seriously. I love the new fresh approach to traditional that we are seeing today. 

Thanks for visiting!

Linking with…
Rattlebridge Farm, Foodie Friday and Everything Else Friday
The Dedicated House, Anything blue Friday
In The New House Designs, Inspiration Thursday

August 28, 2015

Mixing Metals in Design

Do you mix metals in your home? 

A brass bowl from the eighties...bringing it back out!

I started out being reluctant about mixing metallic finishes in my house. And I may, or may not, still be working on that personal issue. ha!

Kind of like, can you wear silver and gold jewelry together? (Yes, I still give that a second thought! All of my good jewelry is gold, and my fun jewelry is silver. So many decisions.)

My collection of "d√©coratifs" includes silver, brass, gold leaf, oil rubbed bronze, and black wrought iron finishes. 

Being a little bit obsessive about following some kind of real or imaginary decorating rules it used to bother me about mixing finishes. 

A brass lamp from the eighties...

After coming from a large house to a smaller house I have an abundance of accessories. 

The challenge for me has been how to use various metals in one room. (And if we are "allowed" to do that. ha!) 

I admit that I have been too much of a nut about this issue of mixing metals...but maybe I am "over it." ha! 

I know. I know. Rules are made to be broken, or thrown out the window.

But I am from a generation that put away white shoes after labor day! Now we can wear white all year long according to the fashion magazines. Or has that changed?

I still don't wear white after labor day unless it is a white blouse or winter white wool...results of years of brain washing on the subject I guess. 

Another brass lamp from the eighties...
I am from a time when there were rules about table settings, linens, correct lamp heights, and eating liver once a week! 

I know that some of you are from my "time." I must be getting really old...because I tend to think things were better in my "time." ha!  

I try not to look at these youngsters who shun convention as being rebellious young homemakers. I"m kidding. 

I admire all of the young homemakers and mothers trying to navigate this very challenging time of "anything goes" out there in the world. 

I am trying to roll with some of the newer relaxed ways of homemaking and designing. 

I think that my daughter is glad to know those traditional things that I taught her about table linens, place settings, and lamp heights. :-) And, she is passing down some of these traditional things to her daughter. 

Making silver and gold work together...
I think it is good to know the rules (about anything)...even if we choose to ignore them. 

If there were no rules we would have nothing to rebel against, against which to rebel. ha!

I own a thick tome of Etiquette by Emily Post that tells how to set formal and casual table settings. It explains how to address various members of the community, from a neighbor to the local senator.
It is good to know what to do if an ambassador dines in your home, even if one never will.

Rules and etiquette are really to help people feel at ease. 

We are all more comfortable when we know what to expect....whether that is setting a proper table, or joining PTA volunteers at someone's home for a casual brunch on Saturday. 

Rules can help everyone to feel at ease. Really!

A mix of gold, brass, and bronze finishes...

I suppose that breaking decorating rules...if they really exist... is not a big deal.

I think that maybe the artistic blend of accessories and your home is more important than any rules. Balance, texture, color, size, height, etc. 

Of is in the eye of the beholder.

Originally I worried about using a gold mirror frame and silver/chrome faucets. 

I did not want brass faucets like I had in the Georgian. Been there done that...although I saw in a magazine that brass faucets may be coming back. Heaven help me! 

So...I already owned the mirror and it fit perfectly over the hall bath vanity. Silver and gold it would be then!

Would I feel better if a design guru were to pronounce far and wide that mixing metal finishes is just fine? 

Maybe...because I guess I still want to abide by some design rule. ha! I guess I am not 100% sure about mixing metals...but I am doing it anyway.

And here you see our beloved golden...Mikey in the pic with my gold pears and old brass bowl. Mikey went with everything. He was usually the highlight of any photoshoot. 

Here is a pic of our great room...when I was not mixing metals. 

Everything has a gold or brass finish...brass lamps, picture frames, brass jar, brass picture frame, gold washed planter, and touches of gold wash on the funky lamp base.

Mixing gold and silver tones
...I believe it works.

I used to segregate my gold and silver Christmas decorations. 
Now...I just throw it all in together. 

What about you all...

Do you mix metals and finishes in your home? 

Are you a design rebel with your home? 

Do you mix gold and silver in your jewelry? 

Do you have design insecurities too? ha! 

Am I asking too many questions? :-)

I invite you all to share your feelings about design rules. Won't you share with us!

Thanks for visiting.

Linking with…
Northern Nesting, Share Your Style Thursday
TaterTots and Jello, Link Party Palooza
RattleBridge Farm, Foodie Friday and Everything Else                          
In The New House Designs, Inspiration Thursday

August 26, 2015

Housekeeping Tip: Washing Windows

This will be short and sweet my dear friends. 
I have been busy this week.
Crazy busy!
No time for creative projects here!

I have been cleaning house. 
I mean really, really cleaning house. 

I'm wearing my Fitbit so I can get credit for my "activity."

(Yes...I know, if I wouldn't put off the cleaning I wouldn't have to kick it into high gear and have marathon cleaning days/weeks. ha!) 

Hazel, where are you when I need you?

I want my house to sparkle and shine for the anniversary party! 

I was out on the back porch wiping off chairs, doors , window frames, etc. today. 

I was using a wet microfiber dusting cloth. 
I knew I was going to be cleaning windows before the party
...but I just took my wet microfiber cloth and started wiping the windows
...just to knock off the heavy dust/dirt. 

I would come back later with my spray bottle of Invisible Glass. 

Just after wiping the window with the wet microfiber I immediately wiped off the glass with a clean, dry, old dish towel. (I like old tea towels because they have less fuzz.) 

I planned to go back and do a proper window cleaning
...but, there was immediate shine and sparkle. 

What? dirty, wet microfiber did this? 
I was questioning what I was seeing with my own eyes.

I felt like the glass still needed to be "washed" so I went inside and and squirted some dawn dish-washing liquid onto the dirty microfiber to clean it some before wiping the windows again. 

The cloth was still wet and sudsy I squeezed out most, but not all, 
of the moisture and suds. 

Then I went back to washing off the French door glass then towel drying. Both inside and outside glass sparkle and shine! It's amazing. 

No streaks, and cheaper than buying Invisible Glass for all of my home's windows. 

At about $5 a spray bottle
...that can get expensive. 
I can save the invisible glass for my mirrors.

I think the Dawn helped the cleaning process. 
Must be those "active" suds! Ha!!Household-Cleaners/134/Dawn-Ultra-Antibacterial-28-oz-Dishwashing-Liquid-Apple-Blossom-Scent.jsp

This is the easiest way to wash/clean windows. 
1. Drizzle Dawn on a dripping wet microfiber cloth. 
2. Rub the water and dawn together. 
3. Squeeze out most of the moisture and suds.
4. Wash/wipe glass thoroughly. 
5. Immediately wipe the glass dry with a fuzz free old tea towel. 
(Skip paper towels. Too much fuzz.)

It is possible that any dish-washing liquid will render the same results...but I usually have Dawn under the kitchen sink most of the time. 
It makes dishes squeaky clean, so why not my windows?

My son taught me how he wipes off dirt/scuffs from the inside of his car...a leather seat, a door, etc. 
He takes a damp microfiber cloth with a drop or two of Dawn and "smushes" it into the cloth. 
He then takes that cloth to wipe off dirt. 
It works in his fancy car...
so I guess it would work around the house too. 

The next time I wash windows I think my plan will be to make a small bucket of Dawn and hot water. 
That way I can dunk my microfiber into the soapy water, wring it almost dry, and go about my window washing, on and on. 

Oh think of the fun I will have! ha!

I am actually excited that I found an easier way to wash windows. 

Really I am. :-) 

I guess I have no real excuse for dirty windows now!

I hope this tip helps you to have sparkly windows too!

Thanks for visiting.

August 23, 2015

Instant Fall Door Floral

fall floral
I love easy floral arrangements, 
and this is the easiest of all.

If you like to have pretty flowers or wreaths on your exterior doors, 
I think you will like this way of displaying them.

fall floral
Begin with a door basket!
Then gather a few stems to put in it 
Ta! Da! have a new arrangement. 

This is not a wicker basket...but a metal version I guess. I have a couple of these and they make door florals the absolute easiest.

I have put pine greenery in mine for Christmas time...and winter ...Sometimes with a big red bow.

I purchased this faux copper door basket before we moved from our house on the farm. It was a Hobby Lobby quick pick one day. I have a matching one too...and it is hanging in a bathroom with other stems.  I like to use my metal baskets in the cooler months for some reason. I have a wicker door basket to use for spring and summer.
fall floral
Anyway, this little "basket" is a great shape and makes a natural arrangement by just sticking stems down into the cone. 

I have not put a ribbon on this one
...but I have used ribbon for other arrangements.

Depending on your stems may have to trim some length. 

I always have a mix of stems around the house making this arrangement was as easy as going to the basement and picking fall stems. 
Shop the house is my first go to!

I highly recommend this type of container for you if you do not have one. 

I have seen this shape in various stores you should be able to locate one if you want. 

fall floral

These are just the right shades of color for this transitional time we head into autumn.

I like the wildflower look of this mix. It is not overly arranged. 

fall floral

 I like arrangements that look like you just picked the flowers and placed them into a container. 
I used to like "arranged" flowers. 
I had them all over the Georgian house. 
I do still have one or two, but now I prefer a loose gathering of flowers. 

Here is a closeup of the detail.

I now have a few happy flowers hanging on one of the doors to the back greet those who visit.

fall floral

I hope you like this idea, and that you can use it to make your door pretty!

Thanks for visiting.

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