Imitation, Flattery and the Ooh La La Elements of French Kitchen Design

F is for3is for finally ready to post.  I started writing and sourcing this post last year, wanting to go live with the post on Bastille Day.  Last year’s horrible terrorist attack in Nice, France on the Promenade des Anglais on Bastille Day naturally became the entire focus of our thoughts. Posting a blog post about French kitchen design was the last thing of interest or on my mind at the time; thus, a bump over to the draft file was in order.  In celebration of Bastille Day, here is the out of the draft file and dusted off post.


French kitchen design speaks fluent style to legions of Francophile obsessed decoristas.  Does French kitchen design speak your language? Oscar Wilde tells us imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Imitating the distinctive European elegance vis-à-vis design and decor pays a compliment to the classic French kitchen.  Classic French design marries formality with rustic finesse juxtaposed against a weathered patina. Rustic refinement coupled with old-world charm personifies the characteristics of the country French kitchen.

country-french-kitchen-copper Traditional Style of the Country French Kitchen 

Some say country French while others say French country.  A tomayto, tomahto point perhaps, but Country French is the term used most often in the antiques world so country French it is.

Inspiration is everywhere, and listening to French music is an excellent source of inspiration- my definition of French immersion.  Shall we take a listen?

French inspired flooring

  French Pattern Ivory Swirl ® Tumbled Travertine Tiles  || French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tile    ||  Allure Chateau Parquet  ||  Cabot Slate Autumn French

flooring-French-Kitchen-style

It is said that kitchen design starts from the ground up.  Flooring serves as a principal foundation piece in terms of the overall balance of kitchen design.

country-French-kitchen-blue-whiteCountry French Refined

The above image from Traditional Home is a marvelous example of country French refined.   The very right of the white kitchen is in the complementing presence of provincial color, texture and pattern design greatness.

French-cabinet-doors1

Antique French Pine Cabinet Doors

Subtle drama, a decorating oxymoron if there ever was one, engages my eye past the toile on steroids of the traditional country French kitchen to the accents in the not trying so hard to exemplify the look category.

tole-light-fixtueTole Gilt and Paint Light Fixture

Ralph-Lauren-gold-Windsor-pendantRalph Lauren Windsor Hanging Shade

Cabinet hardware as a focal point?

Absolutely!

French style cabinet hardware

Never underestimate the small details and the ability they have to make a visually grand statement.

French-style-kitchen-tile-ideas

Accenting with as opposed to a total immersion in is the key to alleviating the risk of a dated look.

country French traditional kitchen

Lubbock WTBHA 2015 Parade of Homes

Sourcing home decor items is routine, but never mundane.

Margaree+Side+ChairMargaree Side Chair

Charlotte_Wingback_Chair

This Caned Black Wingback Chair by GuildMaster instantly introduces elegance into the decorating equation.  Grand style is present and accounted for in this excellent option for captain’s chairs.

French kitchen design

I believe my love of the well appointed French kitchen began when I was in junior high.  My best friend’s mother had impeccable taste in home furnishing and home decor accessories, and their home was and continues to be one of the premier homes in our area.   The entire home was gracefully designed and decorated, but the traditional kitchen, appointed with classic French flair, was indeed the design pièce de résistance.

French-blue-paint-colors

A delicate mix of French blues with cream white accents served as both color palette and focal point.  Less is more echoed throughout the design and decor, and the style statement being made was more ethereal than overt.

pic-frenchTraditional Home

Accents in ç’est vraiment magnifique detail translates to it’s really beautiful- the quintessential design element of the curated French kitchen.

French+Country+Double+Handle+Widespread+Kitchen+Faucet

The French Country kitchen faucet by Kingston Brass represents the detail of vintage French country design, bringing elegance of old to the contemporary kitchen.

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Antique Stone Sink

Wonderful option for a prep sink.

French-Apothecary-Stone-Sink

Antique 18th Century French Apothecary Stone Sink 

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet

bi·be·lot
ˈbib(ə)ˌlō
noun

a small, decorative ornament or trinket.

French-blue-vintage-soup-tureen

 Antique French Blue Transferware Bowl 1878 Earthenware

country-French-cupboard

 Country French Cupboard

French-white-blue-kitchen-cabinetOoh La La Love this Belgian Kitchen Cabinet  

Distinctive European elegance is the standard of style and signature component of French kitchen design.

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By Sea and Style: Coastal Home Decor

Taking inventory of older blog posts results in the need to occasionally update and refresh the ones that overtime have grown stale.  The core information remains relevant, but home decor and accessories offerings do not.  Summer’s official debut is as good a time as any to inject a breath of fresh sea air into a post featuring suggestions for your coastal home decor consideration.

River Dunes Captain's House

River Dunes Captain’s House

Spending quality times on the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast beaches makes for many memorable experiences.  Regardless of what body of water or sandy beach I’m at, the vibe is all coastal to me. If you love a season, place, or activity so much, isn’t it a natural wish to want to add a touch of it to your home decor?  Let’s bring it home with these stylish coastal home decor suggestions selected with casual coastal elegance in mind. 

coastal home decor

 Biscayne Barrel Chair

The Biscayne Barrel Wicker Chair pairs a classic look with casual form and function- the hallmarks of coastal decorating style.  To quote a Places In The Home favorite, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Burnham-Home-Designs-Hasting-Accent-ChairBurnham Home Designs Hasting Collection Distressed Oak Arm Chair

Colors in the coastal landscape, skies and waters inspire the coastal color palette.

gray coastal paint colorsBetter Homes & Gardens

At first I thought what drew my eye to the Nate Berkus for Target skirted slipper chair was the word savvy shoppers love- clearance.  After carefully studying the form, fabric and function I decided this super chic affordable chair is a coastal home decor must have.

Nate Berkus skirted chair

Skirted Slipper Chair by Nate Berkus for Target

Dining chairs?

Foyer accent chair?

Bedroom spot chair?

Did I mention it is on clearance?

Monarch Collection Geoffery Console from Century Furniture

Monarch Collection Geoffery Console from Century Furniture

The Geoffrey Console from Century Furniture is an elegant investment piece for coastal living in high tide style.

serpentine-3-drawer-chest

Serpentine 3 Drawer  Chest

coastal area rugs

LR Resources Sonora Prague Indoor Area Rug  ||  Safavieh Braided Area Rug  ||   Tradewinds in Seafoam

Under the sea underfoot area rugs in serene shades of coastal colors gorgeously work the room.

rattan 3 tier stand

Safavieh Ajani Grey 3 Tier Rack

The seaside cocktail hour is set to coastal style for the it’s five o’clock somewhere crowd.

coastal-themed-bar-accessories

decorative fish vase

Silver Octopus Sculpture ||  Admiral Shaker  ||  Turtle Cocktail Napkins  || 4 piece Canape Plates  ||   S/12 Silver Shell Cocktail Picks  ||  Canoe Paddle Swizzle Sticks ||  Jumping Fish Vase

coastal-old-fashion-glasses

Kokopo Ultramarine Shade Antique White Outdoor Table Lamp

Kokopo Ultramarine Shade Antique White Outdoor Table Lamp

Stunning lamp shade of blue.

nautical shell table lampNautical Shell Table Lamp

Natural Bench CoastalShore Bench from Serena & Lily 


coastal light fixtures

Bay Court Hanging Lantern  ||  Marlowe Galvanized Cage Ceiling Light  || Crystorama Coco Collection Antique Silver Mini Chandelier  ||  Solar System Chandelier  ||  Broche 8-Light Shaded Chandelier  ||  White Twig Chandelier

woven hanging light

John McCall Interiors ~ Alexander James Photographer 

Daisy-hanging-light-Soane-Britain

Daisy Hanging Light from Soane Britain

11.5" Polystone Porthole Mirror w/ Verdi Green Finish

Porthole Mirror w/ Verdi Green Finish

decorative silver bamboo mirror

Bamboo Silver Mirror

beach-dunes-black-white-canvas-art

Beach Dunes Canvas Art Print

Originally I sourced a canvas print in coastal blues and greens accented in strokes of gold, but this black and white print of beach dunes and deepening clouds seemed an excellent choice for focal point drama.  I’m careful to avoid suggesting home decor items that run the risk of being too on the nose or worse, too typical.  Beach dunes typify coastal areas, but the striking black and white effect not only draws the eye but steps away from the expected.

Coastal style transcends a decorating trend.  Coastal is not just a decorating style or home decor accessory choice, it’s a state of mind. Warm breezes, cool drinks, and crystal clear waters feed the soul and inspire the decorating mind.

Southern Hospitality: Please Join Us For A Bridal Shower

Happy midweek all!  Today, because I am a proud mama and weddings are all around, I thought I would bring you into The Places In The Home fold by sharing with you this photo gallery from the please join us for a bridal shower we hosted for our son and his lovely fiancée when they were home for our nephew’s wedding in May.  Seeing that the happy couple live in Canada, it is difficult to be live and in person for the showers and luncheons celebrating the couple.  Skype and FaceTime amaze me, but pales in comparison to actually being in attendance in the moment.  It didn’t take long for me to come up with the idea of throwing the couple a surprise bridal shower.

bridal shower

The future Mrs. is not only taken with our son, but with Fixer Upper, Waco, Chip and Joanna Gaines and Magnolia Market.  What better way to surprise a Southern farmhouse chic girl at heart than with an afternoon Southern farmhouse chic-Southern charm-Southern hospitality eat, drink and we’re getting married bridal shower.

Magnolia Market

Clear glass jars brimming with fragrant magnolias captured the farmhouse feel and lent a simple yet elegant touch.  When entertaining, I find it helpful to know your audience and to play to their taste.  The thought is in the decorating and entertaining details, and it’s that attention to detail that brings about a rave review.

southern magnolia flower

Faux flowers have their place, and in the bridal/wedding weekend celebration that place was inside an antique porcelain pitcher placed in the center of the dining room table.   I’ve been known to pre plan the s*%! out of a soiree or celebration.  Pre planning affords me the opportunity to find theme appropriate decor pieces and impressive dinner and drinkware at a price point that makes me very happy.

I always like that theme!

It also gives me time to shop sales and order items with plenty of shipping time to spare.  A case in point is the tulip bundles found on eBay.  You must allow at least three weeks for arrival when ordering from China, but the price savings makes it an appealing option.  The quality is apple to apple when comparing the faux tulip bunches to the ones I see in my retail rounds.

pink tulips

The bride-to-be admired the tulips several times over the course of their visit which pleased me to no end.  It was obvious the tulip bundles captured the essence of her preferred decorating style, and that signaled decorating success.

antique porcelain pitcher

Crochet doilies and lace napkins dressed the table in vintage style.

vintage crochet

Tulle is my gift wrap ribbon and bow material of choice.

blue tulle

Tying the knot in white wedding and something blue tones is simple in theory, beautiful in delivery.

bridal shower gift

wedding gifts

Gifts for a newlywed kitchen filled with love.

vintage ladies handkerchiefBride

Vintage handkerchiefs make lovely wedding and bridal gifts, and my almost daily Etsy search for just the right one for each recipient became second nature.  I purchased vintage monogrammed handkerchiefs for the bride and groom-to-be, her mother, and each member of the bridal party- a to/from gift from me and Dave the Builder.  I also purchased vintage monogrammed handkerchiefs for my nephew, his bride, his brother who was his best man, and for my brother- the father of the groom.  Did I forget anyone?

mens handkerchiefGroom

We began the bridal shower nibble and nosh with a cheese board featuring several cheeses, fresh Louisiana strawberries, blueberries, fruit dip, mixed nuts, dried cranberries, dates and figs.  The future groom loves my chicken salad so chicken salad it is.  I served the chicken salad with a tropical fruit salad garnished with avocado slices, Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.  We also dined on a true Southern favorite, buttermilk biscuits and honey ham sandwiches.  I made a mayonnaise and Dijon mustard dressing to go with the sandwiches.  The beverage station featured water with lemon slices, raspberry tea, almond peach tea, Riesling and Merlot wine.

white wedding cake

For dessert, we decided to surprise the couple with a cake in true bridal shower fashion.  The cake decorator and I got together and came up with an abbreviated version of the above wedding cake.  The icing color was a soft shade of ivory and the cake decorator suggested a “bouquet” of roses to top it off.  Dave the Builder thought the silver wedding bands added a nice touch, and the monogrammed cake topper was an on trend accent.

cutting cake

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to give each bride and groom in the Places In The Home family a heirloom silver sugar spoon as a wedding gift.  To this we added a silver-plated wedding cake server set and the monogram wedding cake topper to complete the gift package.

wedding cake server set

The bridal shower was a big surprise and a big hit.  Our son finally figured out why I kept insisting he bring an extra suitcase with him. The extra baggage fee charge is a bargain compared to what it cost to ship items from the US to Canada.  I was informed the Kate Spade cutting boards were used the night they arrived back to Canada.

That’s all the thank you needed.

love your style

Practicing Design Instinct and Inspiration

Photography is a lot like interior decorating in regards to working or not working with color.  Design instinct and inspiration guide the creative process. Light, forms, tone and balance optimize not only the shot but the space. Forgive my simplistic explanation, but plainly put, some photos only work in color and others only work in black and white.

simon&garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel 

Since finding a renewed popularity complements of a current political campaign, the Simon & Garfunkel 1968 single “America” is once again on my playlist.  The impact of a great hook paired with powerful lyrics mirrors the impact of classic design coupled with an impressive decorating style.

Red-River-Candy-Co-watermarked-initials

While discovering “America” I rediscovered another Simon & Garfunkel favorite, “My Little Town.”  You may be wondering what possible connection there could be between a couple of Simon & Garfunkel songs and design and decorating.  Design instinct and inspiration, my friends. One never knows where one will find it.  I hit the streets of my little town photographing local landmarks.  Although photographed in color, a monochromatic color scheme captured aspects of the images that color failed to.

WSH-watermarked-initials

Photo editing, enhancements and touch-ups generate a refined result. It’s the same with decorating.  Editing, enhancements and touch-ups help to achieve a polished look.  Making pretty is an exercise in trial and error, correction and confidence.  Gorgeous isn’t always achieved right out of the gate.

design instinct

Going with your first design instinct, or at the very least a tweaked variation of it, proves visually successful more times than not.  I failed to practice what I preach with this chandelier.  I was convinced a pop of designer color over my first choice of painting the fixture white would put to rest any doubt my decorating choices were in a rut or unimaginative. Fan deck after fan deck, I could not get a peace about any other color choice other than white.  The lyrics from “My Little Town” kept running through my mind.

And after it rains
There’s a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
It’s not that the colors aren’t there
It’s just imagination they lack

The pieces of the color palette puzzle finally fit when I decided to go with my first instinct.  I remembered one of my standard decorating solutions- the color white never fails to make a classic statement. The color is there, and imagination is not lacking.  I showed decorating doubt the door and practiced my own brand of design instinct and inspiration.

Love your style!

House of Cards Inspired: 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, May 30th is the highly anticipated day House of Cards season 5 hits Netflix.  I haven’t decided if I will be staying in for a weekend marathon or settling in on a weeknight for some must stream TV, but a House of Cards haven within a haven is in the cards.

house-of-cards

The opening credits featuring Washington, D.C. landmarks and the House of Cards main title theme music by Jeff Beal hits a haunting note that lingers in your mind and thoughts.  Captivating, to say the least.

House of Cards Main Title Sequence from Drew Geraci (District 7 Media) on Vimeo

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

No streaming spoilers here, but as it plays out in the House of Cards game, Frank Underwood & Co. prove the more things change the more they stay the same.  Never in a million years did I believe I would be enthralled by a fictional series.  Let’s face it- House of Cards mirrors the nonfictional turbulent political times we currently find ourselves living in.

See what I mean?

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Cunning characters with a penchant for political advancement veiled in brilliant plot twists play to the camera and today’s political climate with art imitating life inside the Beltway mastery.  Art imitates life, and makes an excellent storyline.  I’m the type of viewer who doesn’t immediately realize how much of an impression fictional and nonfictional scenes and characters are making on me.  It’s the same with inspiring and impressive interior design and decorating.  There are spaces that grab the eye at first glance and others with a wash over you presence that slowly and surely draw you in.

Claire-Underwood

The brilliant writing, captivating storylines and foreboding theme song make me sit up and pay attention, but it’s the sleek set designs of House of Cards that impress.  Somewhere between an obligatory nod to traditional Washington, D.C. townhouse decor style and an overly emphasized attempt to marry modern to minimalist is a space found in many a home sweet home- a haven within a haven.

main.original.640x0c (1)

For those of you who are familiar with the show I don’t need to explain. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, a quick synopsis to put you in the loop…

The married Washington, D.C. insider powerhouse couple, Francis and Claire Underwood, come together at the smoking window (as I referred to it all weekend long). Cutting deals and stabbing backs on a daily basis is not for the faint at heart. When the proverbial house of cards begins to fall, and the weight of the Washington, D.C. world becomes heavier than usual, the cooler heads and blacker hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Underwood divide and conquer the day over a shared cigarette.  Harm to the body is trumped in favor of this downtime ritual set with Frank and Claire seated atop a radiator and a shutter framed window or in the kitchen of the White House Residence.  An otherwise forgettable and basically unimpressive space suddenly becomes a design focal point.

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The forged alcove serves as a small space of shelter and refuge from circadian shenanigans- an in house haven to vent away the foul of the day.  I am in no means advocating smoking, but I do suggest if you do not already have a haven within a haven space you may want to entertain the thought of getting one.  I am an advocate 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?”   To quote Frank Underwood, “I’m only getting started.”  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!

 

Icons of Individuality

Did you know Elvis and David Bowie share the same birthday?  I find this information strangely fascinating in light of recent events.  On more than one occasion David Bowie’s musical masterpiece “Changes” has played over and over in my mind as I make ch-ch-changes to a design and decor space oddity.  Shocked and saddened by the news of David Bowie’s untimely passing, I began a session of connect the dots to the similarities and commonalities between these two icons of individuality.  There is no mistaking the contribution these larger than pop life figures made to the world of music, fashion and design.  The art of reinvention is the cornerstone of relevance, and Elvis Presley and David Bowie mastered the art form in a style all their own.

Icons of Individuality

The King’s kitsch jumpsuited his flamboyant taste to a tee, while David Bowie’s penchant for brilliantly navigating the waters of fearless originality placed his persona in a time capsule of out of this world self expression.  Individual style and taste is often influenced by the nouns of notion- the people, places and things we come into contact with that make a thunderbolt impression upon us.  Sensory experiences inspire the brushes we use to paint the canvas of our life.

David-Bowie

Elvis and David Bowie prove moxie mixed with just the right amount of nonconformity produces heroes and icons of individuality for so much more than just one day.

little boxes crush culdesac tumblr_lz5sa98fJr1qkmrfvo1_500

Look to the “stars” for inspiration as you master the art of individual design and decorating style.

Love your style!

New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016

A new year inspires fresh beginnings and clean slates. The Places In The Home New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016 is complete and ready to inspire.  You will spot several carry over trends from last year’s list, perhaps question the prediction of renewed interest in decor trends of decades past, and hopefully agree with and look forward to implementing one or more of the new introductions making a big style splash into your decor.

home decor trends 2016

Decade Design

Interior design and decorating loves a good comeback story.  In the world of trends, a revival of styles in an everything old is new again manner is inevitable.   Early home decor forecasts show decade design on trend for 2016. Dynamic colors, textures and patterns of the glam 1970s and the large floral prints reminiscent of the 1980s are inspiring home decor accents and home furnishings lines.  Gold drenched metals, geometric patterns, bold floral pattern- all present and accounted for.

and now for the granddaddy of decade design …

Mid-Century Modern

Didn’t you just cover Decade Design?  Yes, but Mid-Century Modern design is a design marvel unto itself.  When it comes to mid-century modern home furnishings, Eames and Nelson set the standard and Herman Miller brings it all home and office.  Vintage period pieces and pieces in the style of  from the decade of clean lines, nontraditional materials and modern utility complement most of today’s decorating styles.  It’s a Mad Men mixed material modern world we design and decorate in.

Retro-classic-White-Accent-Chairs-Set-of-2-1c682c44-64ec-4379-8b5e-90465194bf03

Tile Pattern at Play

Play with your pattern.  You’ll be amazed at the statement it can make.

trend-alert-penny-round-tiles-1602368-1450449001.640x0cMy Domaine

Mirrors

Discovering or rediscovering a classic home decor accent that brilliantly reflects decorating fabulousness is always on trend.  A mirror is the ultimate home decor accent master of illusion.  Spaces devoid of size, light or depth become prime candidates for the presence of a mirror or mirrors.  Mirrors cast the illusion of depth which contributes to opening up the space.  Placement is key when using a mirror to bring more light into the space.  Place, hang or prop a mirror perpendicular to windows in order for the light to saturate the space.

083578e93a648b4ac8aae1a2b1c2b405Rue

Mirror, Mirror on the Kitchen Wall or Backsplash

No smoke but definitely decorating with mirrors in the kitchen is gaining trend traction.  In the pursuit of openness and light, a strategically placed mirror in a kitchen solves the issue.  Now for the part I love about using a mirror(s) in the kitchen- decorative oomph.  

mirror-backsplashPinterest

All traditional, transitional, modern, contemporary, urban, farmhouse, eclectic, coastal, antiques or vintage runs the risk of the decor style of the Jack or Jill decorista being categorized as unimaginative, dated and boring. Throw the eye a curve ball and the space a pop of personality by mixing styles.

greekmodern_3Apartment Therapy

The success of a trend is often measured by the acceptance of the designing and decorating public, ease of functionality and implementation into established decors and the decorative ability to show staying power.  A passing fad, epic fail, emerging classic or blast from the past must try- what’s your opinion of the New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016?

Love your style!

Our Home For The Holidays

Happy Holidays friends!  We are T-3 to Christmas 2015, and the joy of the season is electric by way of white Christmas lights and treasured traditions.   Welcome to our Home for the Holidays where the theme of comfort and simplicity is well represented.

grape-vine-tree

Our tour is of the dining room and the part of the foyer decked for the holidays. The dining room, a forever work in progress, has seen several design and decor changes in 2015, and will continue to see more in 2016.  The walls are devoid of artwork (the piece you see in this photo is part of the kitchen gallery wall) and the style jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision on accent rug vs. hardwood floors.  The dining room isn’t the only space getting a makeover.  My Mother’s Day gift from our son was paying for the new wallpaper I fell in love with at first sight but took several months to decide if I really had to have it. Turns out I did. Dave the Builder began the project, but real life obligations and unexpected circumstances stepped in and halted the foyer beautification project.  Patience is not only a virtue it is a necessary tool of the trade in design and decorating.

our-home-for-the-holidays

On the Monday before Christmas, my true love gave to me.  A single Santa leopard-ing

Santa-dinner

and a Christmas goose in the foyer displayed in front of the new zebra wallpaper sitting pretty (pronounce it prit-tee and it rhymes with tree.  Get it?  Partridge. Pear Tree).

Christmas-Goose-in-foyer

A  holiday table centerpiece of magnolia leaves and holly is indeed so Southern, so holiday, so easy and so beautiful.

magnolias-berries

angel

Bob’s Sweet Stripes as swizzle sticks and crystal finial ornaments as wine charms? You bet!

home-bar

I purchased these vintage mini framed Madonna prints for my kitchen gallery wall.

place-setting

Inspiration is everywhere.

ring

The subject matter is holiday appropriate, and the petite size of the framed prints sealed the DIY deal.  Napkin rings it is!

frame-napkin-ring

mother-and-child

I have collected Victorian inspired Santa Claus figurines for years.  Due to the epic move aka the gift that keeps on giving, combining two households into one and the renovation of my childhood home into our new to us home, most of my Santa collection now resides in climate controlled storage.  These inexpensive stand-in Santas have no great provenance or famous artist signature assigned to them, but I do love the colors and facial features of these old world replicas.

Santas

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this perfectly imperfect image serves as a visual reminder of my personal design and decorating philosophy.  Perfection, style and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The life lived within a home comes alive through personal style and taste, and there is nothing more gorgeous than a home that beautifully illustrates personal style lives here.  Design and decorate it with a sense of you!

dining-room-table

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Love your style!

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark Interiors

Dark interiors make a dramatic, commanding and intimate statement. Dark interiors are coming out of the shadows and into the trend spotlight.

Halloween-DraculaTurner Classic Movies

Although black is not the only dark color choice associated with dark interiors, it does seem to be the basis for dramatic back in black magic. Black is the new black- a perennial color classic and decorating color essential. What oomph the perfect little black dress lends to a fashionista’s wardrobe, a space dressed from floor-to-ceiling in the color black speaks to a decorista’s personal interior design and decorating style.

dark interiorsAtlanta Homes & Lifestyles 

Visual allure produces a theatrical statement.

Practical-Magic1stdibs

donna-mondi-interior-design-portfolio-interiors-stylesDonna Mondi Interior Design

Dark interiors keep beautiful company with deep accent colors rich in palette intensity, and therein lies the secret to the perfect design and decorating marriage.

Neu.BohemeNeu.Boheme

My initial thought when sourcing the Vertigo pendant by designer Constance Guisset for Petite Friture?  Haute witches hat.

vertigo-chandelierPetite Friture

Dark interiors introduce a sophisticated warmth to the space.

d95b066e3c1683ef09a375d783092110Elle Decor

ver040115ferrierdeskVeranda

Dark interiors.  What say you?

Love your style!

Curling Up With Good Interior Decorating, Home Decor and Architecture Books

Curling up with good interior decorating, home decor and architecture books in the name of all things house that make a home is always in style. Today I am sharing a short list of a few interior decorating, home decor and architecture books I am looking forward to reading cover to cover.

Mrs.-Howard-Room-by-RoomMrs. Howard, Room by Room  by  Phoebe Howard

I love a gorgeous read with an equally attractive jacket for bookshelf, coffee table and bedside table accessorizing.  I believe that’s what they call an interior decorating win-win.

Carrier-and-CompanyCarrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller with Foreword by Anna Wintour 

apartment-therapy-complete-and-happy-homeApartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home Hardcover by Maxwell Ryan and Janel Laban with photographs by Melanie Acevedo 

This eclectic and dynamic fall reading list promises to deliver impressive interior decorating eye candy and inspire interior and exterior creativity.

design-booksHome by Ellen Degeneres

 French Accents: Farmhouse French Style for Today’s Home by Anita Joyce

Eclectic Country by Mary Emmerling with Photographs by Reed Davis

Life|Style: Elegant Simplicity at Home by Tricia Foley with Foreword by Isabella Rossellini

It’s never too early to think about the holidays!

Country-Living-Christmas-JoysCountry Living Christmas Joys: Decorating * Crafts * Recipes  by Country Living – 

enjoy-hydrangea