Decor For The Holidays And Beyond

We’re entering the special time of year when thoughts of sprucing up your decor for the holidays and beyond dance in our heads.

tinsel-on-bustCountry Living Magazine

The holiday season presents the perfect time for a house to home style spruce, and by spruce I’m not talking Christmas trees, garlands, and wreaths (for the moment).

J. Hirsch Interior Design

J. Hirsch Interior Design

Besides delicious holiday fare, why not serve your guests (and more importantly yourself) a delicious visual feast by sprucing up your decor for the holidays and beyond.

gateleg-foyer-table

Carlos Garcia Interiors

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, by now you know my personal design style falls into the traditional to classic category.

Walnut Gateleg Drop Leaf Table w. Drake Carved FeetWalnut Gateleg Drop Leaf Table with Drake Carved Feet

Traditional has proven over the years to be an excellent canvas to build upon.

At certain points throughout my style journey, I’ve wondered if my consistent gravitation toward home decor accents and furnishings typical of my preferred design style places me in a design style rut.

Woody Argall Design

Woody Argall Design

Through trial and error I learned to trust my taste and eye, and in doing so gained confidence in my personal design choices.

Introducing new traditional and modern accents into the scheme keep things fresh.

Now let’s get to the sprucing up house and home for the holidays and beyond part of the show.

dining-room-chairsMixing chair styles, especially in terms of captain dining chairs, is a dynamite way of creating visual interest.

Side Wing Chair French Country FarmhouseSide Wing Chair French Country Farmhouse

As much as I love decorating, my budget limits me from purchasing new furnishings at every season and holiday occasion.

This is where “at home” shopping comes in.

decor for the holidaysYerres Wingback Chair

Assess your decor situation, pull items from one space to add to another, and see what you come up with.

Nicholas-Groves-Raines-Edinburgh-Rescue-Mission

House & Garden

If size limitations pose a problem, drop leaf and gateleg tables offer a stylish solution.

Emerald drop leaf table

Emerald Home Wallingford Drop Leaf Table

A drop leaf table works beautifully in a foyer, dining room, or even as a tabletop home for a HD LED TV.

Antique English Country Scrubbed Pine Drop Leaf Table c1890Antique English Country Scrubbed Pine Drop Leaf Table circa 1890

 

Larue Drop Leaf Solid Wood Dining TableLarue Drop Leaf Solid Wood Dining Table

By no means has the design and decorating world grown tired of the neutral color palette.

Halen Elton Home 6-light old European french country wood chandelier with droplets tasselsHalen Elton Home 6-light old European Wood Chandelier 

Neutral foundation pieces continue to beautifully perform as a decorative canvas to work with to accent and anchor a space.

Halen Elton Home vintage antique french country wood beads Chandelier PendantHalen Elton Home Antique French Country Chandelier Pendant

Less is so much more when it comes to certain accents and accessories, and the addition of a cord cover to a chandelier is one such situation.

The Gray Barn Ingleside 5-light Chandeliers with cord cover

The Gray Barn Ingleside 5-light Chandelier

I refer to a cord cover as decorative lagniappe.

Dining room and foyer chandeliers tend to be a focal point accent, making them a preferable candidate for a cord cover.

Cord covers pull function and finished double duty.

Chains and wires are out of sight while giving the fixture a finished look.

modern-farmhouse-color-palette

Illusive Green SW 9164  –  Connected Gray SW 6165

Chelsea Mauve SW 0002  –  Pinky Beige SW 0079

Perfect Greige SW 6073  –  Dustblu SW 9161

Softened Green SW 6177  –  Creamy SW 7012

With the popularity of the modern farmhouse decorating style, the neutral palette has expanded from warm taupes and creamy whites to shades of matte greige, dusty blue, and pale green.

Adelbert Credenza Adelbert Credenza

Deville Russelle SideboardDeville Russelle Sideboard

John Richard Lille Persian Blue BuffetJohn Richard Lille Persian Blue Buffet

Audrey Gray White Pine SideboardAudrey Gray White Pine Sideboard

Additions-

Pamela armchairPamela Armchair

 

Goudeau Accent MirrorGoudeau Accent Mirror

 

Roma Wall Mirror

Roma Wall Mirror

Speaking of holidays, gifting, and interiors…

Blue Chairs by David LloydBlue Chairs by David Lloyd

Interiors art prints make fantastic hostess or from me to you gifts.

decor for the holidaysHolsoe – Woman in an Interior Art Print

You may be wondering how a space primarily decorated in traditional style could possibly coexist with modern accessories and maintain its balance and scale without disturbing the visual flow.

Chandos Interiors

contrast-definition

con·trast

noun

/ˈkänˌtrast/

the state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association.

Contrast attracts the eye and creates visual interest.

jessie d miller interior design

Jessie D. Miller Interior Design

Being on team home decor and furnishings make excellent Christmas gifts, it wouldn’t take much for me to be persuaded to put this decorative fireplace surround on my Dear Santa list.

Decorative Fireplace Surround

Decorative Fireplace Surround

Apt-lafayette

Montecristo Magazine

Impressive home decor accents and furnishings is the decor for the holidays gift that keeps on giving year-round.

 Love your style!

In The Lowcountry Style Of Show and Tell

A pinning, sourcing and swooning eye spy session put inspiration to idea for this in the Lowcountry style of show and tell.

Recently I received an email from Traditional Home which piqued my interest (isn’t that the point?).

As most of us do, I followed through with a click and, Lowcountry and behold, I discovered the feature “Breezy Lowcountry Home by Amy Elbert.”

The image gallery featured fifteen images capturing the charm of the inviting spaces and places of a vacation home in South Carolina’s Lowcountry designed by architect Geoffrey Bray and interior designer Wendy Kirkland.

Even though the article appears to be from the June 2014 issue, it proves classic design and decorating choices rooted in symmetry and proportion stand the test of time and trend.

low-country-foyer

Designer Wendy Kirkland

I really like this image of the great room vignette, and thought it may be fun to emulate the look in an in the Lowcountry style of show and tell feature.

I can’t tell you how many times a client has started a consultation by showing me an image from a shelter magazine or Pinterest followed up with a request for the completed space(s) to look exactly as pictured in the aforementioned image.

Imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery, and I’ve yet to meet a decorista who hasn’t flattered the heck out of designer or decorator by borrowing from a well designed and decorated space.

Call it a creative compliment.

I don’t participate in, condone, nor suggest taking the work of another and calling it your own.

Ever.

What I have done, and continue to do, is use the initial presentation as inspiration and from there incorporate my own personal in the Lowcountry style of preferences.




Hunting_Island_lowcountry

Lowcountry refers to the geographic and cultural region along the coastal region of the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

Lowcountry style combines sophisticated coastal with Southern chic.

Lowcountry style

Sourcing furnishings and decor items in the style of consists of searching sites for antiques, vintage and new pieces that complement the primary style, and then utilizing those finds to create visual harmony, balance and beauty.

solid-mahogany-rustic-continental-server

Solid Mahogany Rustic Continental Style Server Console

Antique buffets, sideboards, and servers make excellent spot pieces.  I’ve seen them used in foyers, hallways, kitchens, dining rooms, mudrooms, bathrooms- you get the idea.

Antique furniture does not do it for everyone, but when you compare quality, price, patina and presence of an antique piece to a new piece, often there is no comparison between the two.

antique-buffet

     Early 19th Century French Server
Antique Louis XV French Country Style Buffet 

The Sir John’s Cabinet is a new piece with antique characteristics.

Turned feet.

Dentil moulded frieze accent.

Parquetry doors.

Okay, let’s move on to the accessories and accents part of the in the Lowcountry style of show and tell.

Sir John's Cabinet

Theodore Alexander Castle Bromwich Sir John’s Cabinet

When I can’t find the exact item or don’t exactly love the piece in totality, I pull from the highlights and work from there.

A large natural barnacle cluster paired with a Rosewood rectangular display stand images the look  while being more in line with my own taste.

beach-style-decorative-objects-and-figurines-baranacles

Barnacle Cluster

Why no stand under the decorative barnacle bunch?

Try, try as I may, I could not get the stand positioned correctly and adding it to the moodboard threw the entire look off.

Oriental-Style-Rectangular-Display-Stand-Base

Rosewood Rectangular Stand

The landscape painting in the image is by artist Peter Hoffer.

I am sourcing an original work of Peter Hoffer and an in the style of option.

peter-hoffer-painting

Cameo 39, 2013 by Peter Hoffer 

the-elm-tree-george-inness--canvas-print

The Elm Tree Canvas Print by George Inness

The lamp featured in the game room vignette is made from architectural salvage.

The antique reproduction stool/chair is upholstered in a Pearson fabric.

I’ve come up with several in the Lowcountry style of recommendations for your decorating consideration.

catalina-bronze-table-lamp

Catalina Lighting Oil Rubbed Bronze Two-Light Table Lamp

The wall sconce light used in the moodboard sold out before I could post, so back to the moodboard we go for a selection of substitutions.

wall-sconce-lights

Studebaker 2-Light Wall Sconce  ||  Karissa 2-Light Wall Sconce    Colesberry 2-Light Wall Sconce  ||  Williamsburg Lightfoot 2-Light Armed Sconce  ||  Underscore 2-Light Wallchieres

 

full-back-bar-stools

Lanesboro Bar Stool    ||   Unadilla Bar Stool

The all you need is a decorative throw pillow to complete the look option applies here.

throw-pillows-lowcountry

When they go cheap, we go chic.

By cheap I mean inexpensive, and by chic I mean fantastic style as it stands, but fabulous with a touch of customization.

Carolina Cottage Remick 30-Inch Barley Twist Leg Bar Stool in Espresso

Carolina Cottage Remick 30-Inch Barley Twist Leg Bar Stool in Espresso

fabric-samples-counter-stool

Inside Fabric

When the price point allows, consider upholstering a piece in a striking fabric to add yet another layer of personal style to the look.

fabric-low-country-style

Inside Fabric

Coastal design style is a summer natural, and when it is merged with in the Lowcountry style of accents and accessories the result is a serene, inviting, and charming aesthetic.

love your style

 

A Haven Within A Haven

A phone call from my son earrrrrly Friday morning led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “do you remember what streams today?”

For the Netflix loyal, you get it.

Binge watching every episode of your favorite show is a weekend marathon-not a sprint.

Popcorn makes a delicious case for the ultimate binge watching snack.

I’ll be popping up a batch of rosemary and sea salt popcorn for streaming sustenance.

rosemary-and-sea-salt-popcorn

Rosemary and Sea Salt Popcorn

Ingredients

½  cup popcorn kernels

¼  cup canola oil or grapeseed oil (or other high flashpoint oil)

1  tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon fresh minced rosemary

3  tablespoons unsalted butter

½  teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste

Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat the oil large pot over medium heat.  After the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels and the 1-tablespoon of rosemary, and then shake the pot to gently toss the kernels until they are all coated with oil.

Cover with a splatter screen or a lid that is placed slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape.  Cook until the popcorn popping frequency slows to several seconds between pops. Remove from heat, allow a minute or two for any final pops, and then pour into a large bowl.  

In a small saucepan combine the butter and remaining ½ teaspoon of rosemary.  Melt the butter over medium heat.  Drizzle over the popcorn and season with salt and pepper, tossing occasionally as you butter, salt, and pepper the popcorn.

~Food & Wine

Brilliant writing intertwined with captivating storytelling makes for the sit up and pay attention TV, and sleek set designs aim to impress.

A forged alcove serves as a small space of shelter and refuge from the hustle and the bustle of it’s all in a day’s work- a haven within a haven to vent away the foul of the day.

I am a staunch supporter of the haven within a haven concept for recharging one’s battery.

Grandin-Road- Rebecca-Swivel-ChairGrandin Road

A couple of years ago I won a Rebecca Swivel Chair after entering the Beautiful Black and White Pinterest Sweepstakes from House Beautiful.

This is my “in my own little corner, in my own little chair” chair.

It resides in a haven within a haven part of the house where downtime meets me time and helps me lose track of real time for a short period of time.

haven within a haven

A phone call laaaaate Friday night led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “have you watched it yet?”

Dave the Builder’s man cave will pull double-duty as both screening room and a haven within a haven over the next few evenings.

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like a haven within a haven to stream and decompress.

Love your style!

 

As Seen In Home Accents Today

Winter hats off to those of you who heeded the warnings and weathered #blizzard2016 at home snug as a bug in wool rug.  Winter storm Jonas it was not, but this past weekend’s weather here in Louisiana came fully equipped with frigid temps, blustery winds and sunless skies.  I assessed the state of inclement weather affairs and quickly came to the conclusion I had no alternative but to shelter in place with a cup of hot tea and a slew of shelter magazines. How’s that for weekend loafing justification? Leading the sheltering with shelters charge was the January 2016 issue of Home Accents Today.

Home Accents

The cover had me a gold foo dogs. Note to self:  include these gold beauties on the gotta have it list.  In keeping with the design and decorating show and tell concept that is Places In The Home, I think an as seen in Home Accents Today feature gallery of the home decor accents making a stylish splash at market and coming soon or already in a retail store near to you is in order.

cheval-cocktail-tableCandelabra

With a tempered (glass) balance of finish and finery, the Cheval cocktail table from Global Views reflects back to a 16th century design aesthetic as it crafts a modern day look complete with Equestrian details.

AKN01Jaipur Rugs

The Astor series of 100% wool rugs by Kate Spade New York is stunning.  With Valentine’s Day on the hearts and minds of many, I took the liberty of selecting the Rose Garden pattern in classic Anthracite to showcase.

Aidan-Gray-Leslie-Salon-ChairAidan Gray

I love the his and hers appeal of the Leslie salon chair from Aidan Gray.  Let me explain. Some home furnishings and home accents do lean toward a gender-specific style in design details.  Too one way or the other can be a decorating deal breaker, but a barnwood gray distressed finish and nail head detail never fails to unite Mars and Venus minds.

natural-stone-cheese-plateRablabs Kiva Indigo Rose Gold Cheese Plate

Home Accents Today’s retail editor Susan Dickenson  asked Dottie Mattison, CEO of Gracious Home what’s “hot” in home accents?

“Gold, gold, gold and the continued trend in organic accents like natural stone cheese plates, interesting woods, etc.”

32.5H-Riviera-Table-Lamp-CTTL3391Riviera by Couture

Blue-and-white home decor accents in one of the most timeless classic color combinations and pattern designs channel charm, elegance and sophistication. Believe it or not, the spring and Easter tablescape season will be here before you know it. 

blue-white-porcelain-table-settingCharlotte Moss Fabrics

Shape, texture, pattern and color are the pivotal points of visual interest in the world of tabletop place setting detail, and the Ming placemat from designer Kim Seybert is a classic in the style of luxury table linen marked for treasured heirloom status sure to impress on all levels.

NM-6HD8_mzKim Seybert Ming Table Linens

Dog-earing pages for this as seen in Home Accents Today blog post ended up being a bright spot in an otherwise dreary weekend.  The comforts of home and home decor magazines pair well together.

Love your style!

Rental Refresh Upgrades: The Comforts of Home

Pulling back the reins on major decorative and design improvements to a rental is a financially sound practice if you are not renting to own, making improvements to the property in return for rent credit or taking up residency for the long haul.

Dave the Builder and I completely overhauled, remodeled, refreshed and spiffed up our first home, a darling mid-century cottage lease purchase property.

first-house

I loved the bones of the house, but the decor stood still somewhere in the 1950s.

In the beginning we remodeled and refreshed for the comforts of home sake with caution, choosing to update through lighting and color.

I cannot beat the color drum enough- it really is the most bang for your buck way to infuse style into a home.

kitchen_melissa-leeLove, love, love!  Design Sponge

rental-kitchen-color-palette

In the case of our son’s rental home, the kitchen is small but workable in regards to design, function and affordable possibilities.

Presently, the walls are painted red and the cabinets are white laminate with oak trim 1980s throwbacks.

You know the ones!

Dave the Builder and I scrimped, saved and sacrificed to remodel the kitchen in our first house.

We thought this style of kitchen cabinet was the bee’s knees, and according to the kitchen design magazines and showrooms a whole lot of other people did too!

home-designHouzz

Millennials love retro, and although everything old eventually becomes a new trend again, the dated oak trim will be modified with paint and new cabinet pulls added.

Since replacing the cabinets is cost prohibitive laminate it is!

As I explained to our son the pros of laminate cabinet fronts and countertops, he came around to the practicality of keeping the original cabinets in play.

Laminate is a very forgiving surface to work with.

The upkeep is minimal, and that works in any kitchen.

No need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

The Comforts of Home

Strategic pops of color and an accessories mix of warm metals with a modern spin will complement the neutral paint palette and introduce that new kitchen look.

rental-master-bedroom-paint

Please excuse the poor quality of these images.

The combination of bad lighting and a cell phone camera gets you a color distorted photo.

The master bedroom walls are painted with Benjamin Moore’s Museum Piece.

The color in the above image is no where near the true color that is Museum Piece, so to my sources I go for an image that does capture the true color.

BM-museum-piece-framedBenjamin Moore

Great color choice!

BM-muesum-piece-wallsBenjamin Moore PSP-Museum Piece ~ Renae Keller Interior Design, Inc.

Master bedroom furnishings and accessories with a hint of Louisiana coastal chic will literally offer the comforts of home.

rental-master-bedroom

Final suggestions for decor accessories and furnishings lean toward DIY chic projects, hacks and thrifted treasures.

His fiancée scored a great coffee table and reinterpreted the style with paint and embellishments.

Our style council agreed a chic credenza with a mid-century interpretation will mix things up like a dry martini.

“By acquiring all of your furniture from different eras and places and things that are expensive and inexpensive, it will make your end product have a great spirit.”

Kelly Wearstler

A fantastic period piece in great condition that comes with the extra added bonus of a quality finish, impressive lines, scale and focal point presence to die for is out there, and a can of Johnson paste wax and a soft cloth will put the period at the end of the very stylish and on-trend sentence.

modern-barDomino

I will end this post with an observation from my earlier Rental Refresh Upgrades post.

Does it makes sense and cent$ to make updates and improvements to a rental property?

Absolutely!

Focus less on the fact your new residence is a rental and more on the fact that your new residence is where you call home.

All things house that make a home come together to make the out of your own pocket rental refresh upgrades worth it in the name of the comforts of home, convenience and personal style.

Love your style!

What Items Make Your House Your Home?

Past the design, past the paint, past the walls and windows- what items make your house your home?

Creature comforts, particular points of decorative interest, memorable mementos, and those I love my  _______________ gotta haves tend to go a long way in making the daily life lived within your home a little easier and a little prettier.

It dawned on me the other day I favor certain items over others when I clean, cook, compose, create— you get the idea.

I position certain accessories more front and center than others when company is coming.

These items run the gamut of detail.

Some perfectly nail the details of our personal tastes and others make it a beautiful, easy and convenient day in the neighborhood.

Far from mere decorative objects, everyday favorites and go-to items, these items all have one thing in common- they’re all things house that make a home.

The Big Blue Dutch Oven

The ooh la la factor is alive and well and cooking comfort food in French blue fierce style.

blue dutch oven

A great pillow

Hello.

I’m not Mike Lindell.

Seriously though, a great pillow can help to remedy the nightly flop, flop, flip, flip oh how uncomfortable this pillow is.

A rested home is a happy home.

bed pillows

A Scented Candle

Sorbet by Aromatique is my all time favorite scented candle.

It’s a summer in a jar!

Coming in a close second is the little square candle I pick up at one of my favorite antiques stores.

I must admit I like every single scent in the Texas General Square Candles line, but fried green tomato is the scent that has guests of Places In The Home asking, “what is that fantastic scent?”

fried green tomato candle

Flowers

Dried.

Fresh.

Faux.

Flowers are one of the quickest ways to bring the colors of the season to the table in any space.

foyer flowers bold colorsHouse Beautiful

Juxtaposition

Modern accessories can, and do, live well with antique, primitive and vintage pieces.

Pairing the unexpected is a trade secret worth sharing in the quest to combat boring cookie cutter decors.

Remember this caveat- accentuate the mix and match, eliminate the mish-mash.

antiques oklOne Kings Lane

Family pictures

Displaying pictures of family members frames the personality of our lives and offers a daily pictorial retrospective.

daddy-baby-picture1

Reliable Appliances that Get the Job Done Right the First Time

A cook, baker or happy homemaker is only as good as the appliances he or she uses.

Of all the appliances in my get the job done inventory, I would hate to do without my Electrolux vacuum cleaner(s).

 I have four.

Yes, four.

File this one under if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Electrolux vacuums

Two of the models are no longer in production and are used for parts.

The other models are for finish jobs on installs and for everyday chores around the home base that is Places In The Home.

Collections

Show off  individual style and house to home personality through collections.

Place, hang, vignette- pick your display preference and do your collected treasures proud.

showhouse traditional entry

Houzz

It’s show and tell time, friends!

What items make your house your home?

love your style

The Heart And Soul Of Decorating

In an ever-changing world it’s difficult to stay on top of what’s on trend.  Think electronic gadgets.  About the time you program, master and become proficient with the latest and greatest electronic gadget of choice here comes the newest version down the pike.  Does this principle apply to decorating?  Nah!  Accents and accessories with timeless and classic appeal make sure of that.

electronics

 via

The heart and soul of decorating is evident through individual decor style choices.  We put a lot of ourselves into the selections and styles we go with. Perusing the blogsophere last year I scrolled through images of a blogger’s kitchen remodel reveal.  In the comment section I was taken aback by a comment from another reader.  “The  _________________ look is so over!” I felt so bad for the blogger. There is no expiration date on what style you, the lead decorator of your domain, deem stylish, relevant and a necessary gorgeous to surround yourself with. The pride the blogger took in sharing the finished project was obvious, and to then have decorative doubt placed upon the heart and soul of decorating choices made- so uncalled for.  Comments, like great interior decorating, should be balanced with good taste and careful consideration.

comment section

 

It is my personal and professional opinion that a look, style or decor choice will at sometime in its life be in need of at the very least a  freshening up.  That’s the heart and soul of decorating.  Tastes and decor likes, loves and gotta have it choices change over time.  A tweak here and a trend there guarantees it, but it’s the individual tastes and decor choices at the core of it all that makes it a statement of quality and personal style.

the heart and soul of decorating

And that look, my fellow decoristas, is never over! Embrace, be proud of, and by all means…