Today all is right with the calendar! September 23, 2014 marks the official start of fall, and in the infamous words of Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch, can you feel it? Wow, did I just date myself or what? Summer heat and humidity has finally relented and it’s time to break out the fall at home decorating favorites. Dave the Builder’s mancave looks like the distribution center for Hobby Lobby. Don’t you love that look?
Several “hello, do you have any gourds (cause I’ve got friends in low country places), ornamental cabbage (it’s the deep South lady, wait a few more weeks), cotton stalks (score!) and the ever great, ever regionally challenged do you have white pumpkins phone calls have been made over the last few days.
Decorating for this year’s Places In The Home at fall home tour focuses on a natural theme with a family overtone to it.
My brother has the cotton connection, 46+ acres of it to be exact. His home is located out in the country surrounded by cotton fields ready for fall harvest.
My parent’s recent trip to East Tennessee resulted in my Ball Mason jar collection growing by one. My paternal grandmother was known for her famous pinto beans, and this somehow seemed naturally appropriate.
Can’t forget the traditional pop of pumpkin color.
Additions, changes, adjustments…
Dark tones, warm colors and the lack of natural lighting worked to my fall photo shoot advantage.
Nature continues to amaze and reward me with an abundance of accents.
Heirloom pieces, vintage favorites and simple accents and accessories place the emphasis on less is more.
Fall home tours are so much fun to share with others.
This week’s Fetching Friday features signature design and decor interpretation, fashionable words, a perfect blend of antiques and modern, a summer settee, a full on fall preview, and a question for you all.
As illustrated in the Domino magazine feature “High Style Made Easy”, Interior designer Mary McDonald captures decorating lightening in a bottle in this office kitchen with her signature bold design choices. Decorating in a straightforward fashion strictly based on the function and purpose of the space does not always a statement make. Doesn’t this office/workspace with its playing it not so safe accents and accessories pop a bit more than a conventional just get the job done look?
‘Tis the weekend of the 127 Yard Sale aka The World’s Largest Yard Sale. The Places In The Home Gang hit the sale in Gadsden, Alabama many moons ago on our way back home from our annual trek to the hills and mountains of East Tennessee. The already overloaded Excursion and U-Haul ( it was very normal for us to pick, hunt and buy enough treasures, trinkets and trash to warrant renting a u-Haul). Have any of you ever been to The World’s Largest Yard Sale? Please share! I love this pic from Authentica Classics. More where that come from here.
Gone with the Wind is as famous for its lines as it is for the movie itself. If I had a nickle for every time “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” has been quoted well, you know. Good Housekeeping recently informed its readers the infamous ending almost wasn’t the famous ending as we know it. An alternate ending has been revealed through the recent findings of a script. Take a look at what words Scarlett may have spoken over at Good Housekeeping.
Attention grabbing titles stump me at times. The backspace on this keyboard should start up its own CrossFit class because this baby gets in an impressive and exhaustive daily workout erasing first drafts, not so PG-13 wording and the like. Title considerations for this post ranged from Not Another Boring How To Style a Coffee Table Post, Putting Stuff on the Coffee Table and Why It Matters and the winner, Styling The Table Between Two Sofas. Anyway you title it, how to style a coffee table is a hot topic of decorating interest.
I like to incorporate individual style and objects that capture the soul of the life lived within your home. The only hard-and-fast rule I follow in regards to how to style a coffee table is no sight obstruction. I don’t know about you, but I hate to sit down to gab, read or watch television only to get right back up to move a decorative accent out of my sight line. High, medium and low is a working concept with considerations to factor in. When I’m styling a coffee table I sit down on sofa, chair, etc… and choose the primary sight line. X marks the center spot- the prime location for a medium or low height object placement. The “outer” areas balance the method with graduated heights to continue the flow, theme and visual engagement.
The rule of you effectively applies to decorating and should be beautifully evident throughout your home. Styling a coffee table with a sense of individual style is easy. A treasured keepsake, great read, conversation piece, a decorative box to house remotes (a necessary evil), framed picture of something, somewhere or someone that when you look at it a smile instantly touches your heart- the essentials! Here’s the background on the pieces presently calling the top of my coffee table home.
The shells were found on the beach in Corpus Christi, Texas by my mother when she was eight years old.
My great-grandparents owned tourist courts in the beach area, and on one of the many trips to Corpus my mother picked up these shells. Treasures of time and travel for sure.
The rose bowl was an anniversary gift from Dave the Builder. A fellow antiques dealer brought it into the shop, and my heart skipped a beat. Dave surprised me with it, I bawled like a baby, and up this keepsake went. Fast forward to moving day and Miss Grace Kelly here dropped it, shattering it into several pieces. The water works began, but I sucked it up and let it go. No use crying over chipped and cracked porcelain- the thought behind the gift was still in one piece. I picked up the pieces as best I could, placed them in a box, and set it out in the garage.
Dave saw the box when he came in and asked me what had happened. I filled him in, letting him know I had made peace with the pieces. Dave wouldn’t hear of it. He grabbed the glue and went to work. When he finished gluing the pieces back in place he offered up a rather profound explanation. He told me to look at it in a new light. Things that are perfect one minute may not be so perfect the next. That doesn’t mean you throw it away- you dig in with determination and fix it. The rose bowl is more beautiful to me now than it ever was in its pristine state.
The farmhouse style of decorating seed has been planted on the farm, so to speak. A friend phoned this morning to ask if I had any vintage dough bowls in inventory. Are you kidding? I can’t keep vintage dough bowls in inventory.
People absolutely love dough bowls and use them for so many things! Antique and vintage dough bowls remain a very sought after items, and admittedly, are becoming harder and harder to find. The fall decorating loyal recognize the dough bowl as the necessary decorative accessory essential to the fall themed tablescapes and vignettes we love to adorn and display.
Recently a friend dropped by the house to pick up the one dough bowl I own that I can actually put my hands on. Locating things is a treasure hunt all its own at times. As I spiffed up the dough bowl, a quintessential accessory in the farmhouse home, I got to thinking about all things farmhouse style.
I’ve trespassed walked through scads of authentic, old, abandoned and historic farmhouses over my lifetime. Walking through these properties gives me goosebumps not of the I’ve seen a ghost kind, but of the I’ve gleaned a host of farmhouse style ideas kind. If you’ve ever wandered in wonder through the real McCoy, you know what I’m talking about.
It was nothing for my mother and her mother do decide on a whim to load up the Lincoln, point the hood emblem west to Texas, and scout out an adventure on the way to my great-grandparents house. Over the Louisiana bayous and down the Texas farm-to-market roads, to great-grandmother’s house we went with not a seat belt fastened or a care in the world.
My grandmother could scope out a farmhouse and an antiques shop like nobody’s business. I learned at an early age to never question the motives of a native Texan whose eyes have seen the glory of a Texas farmhouse, hole in the wall junk shop or Bluebonnet field. To the kid in me at the time, these monuments to Texas served as one big Texas sized diversion on the road to great-grandmother’s house.
Now Bryan! Now Cameron! Now Heidenheimer and Temple! On, Belton! On, Killeen! On, Hewitt and Waco! We were farmhouse when farmhouse wasn’t cool. Fast forwarding to my present day tastes, I realize my love of antiques and personal style interpretation of today’s modern farmhouse design is deeply rooted in the farmhouses, buildings and fields of Bluebonnet dreams waltzed across Texas all those years ago.
I especially remember stopping in Heidenheimer, Texas at a shop filled with nothing but vintage glass bottles and insulators. My grandmother, the Lucille in Lucille’s Treasures, Trinkets and Trash, thought this shack of a building standing somewhere between erect and dilapidated square in the middle of a dirt lot was the be-all and end-all treasure trove. The dank scent of musty corners and deals filled the air. Blue bottles and Bluebonnets-a theme lays the groundwork for creative decorating.
Buttermilk biscuits baked in a cast iron skillet and served with room temperature butter, comb honey or Steen’s pure cane syrup rings the yum, yum dinner bell in the farmhouse kitchen.
½ cup cold butter
2 ¼ cups self-rising soft-wheat flour
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
Self-rising soft-wheat flour
2 Tablespoons melted butter
Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).
Press or pat dough to ½-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan. (Dough rounds should touch.)
4. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.
Crystal chandelier. Animal prints in farmhouse fashion juxtaposed with gold gilt frames.
Personal interpretation of interior styles is often subject to life influences. Decorating outside the norm of a traditional design style is an excellent way to further emphasize your personal style and taste preferences.
“The home should be the treasure chest of living.”
Home furnishings and home decor bring function and beauty to a space, but is that always the point? Sometimes in the decorative discovery phase of design and decorating we stumble upon a particular piece that catches the eye, and perhaps for a brief moment takes our breath away. Thoughts of practicality and function never enter into the picture. It’s love at first sight, and all that is left to do is find the perfect place in the perfect space. These gotta have it pieces serve the most important purpose of this thing we call decor- to make our homes a beautiful place to be.
I know I am not above putting decorative value first and function second in certain situations. The design, lines and form of beauty often trump the ace of function.
As my favorite composer wrote and my all time favorite singer sang, “A chair is still a chair even when there’s no one sitting there.” The intrinsic value of a chair is function, but some chairs simply do not exist by function alone. There are many antique, vintage, designer and unique accent chairs that qualify as absolute works of art.
Even with my background and experience in the world of antiques, there are times when I have to consult with Dave the Builder or another source to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of period and provenance. Between the excitement of auction and the flame and ribbon of mahogany, you can easily get your barley twisted.
One Kings Lane created this resource to inspire, aid and educate home decor enthusiasts when purchasing and reupholstering the perfect statement chair. It is a one stop guide to put you in the loop of all things accent chairs. The easy to navigate guide identifies styles and periods of chairs from pre-1600 to present and offers maker information as well.
Do yourself a favor and bookmark the One Kings Lane Home Decor Resource, an essential tool in the pursuit and identification of all things accent chairs.