A Most Fetching Friday: Pantry Envy

This week’s A Most Fetching Friday features kitchen or kitchen adjacent pantries of brilliant design, functionality and visual appeal worthy of pantry envy.



Architectural Digest

pantry-Hayburn & Co

Hayburn & Co.


Country Living


John Lewis of Hungerford

Pantry Envy Accessories ~


pantry envy





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A Most Fetching Friday: Staircase Designs




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

Today’s Fetching Friday features staircase designs of winding detail with design twists and turns.

staircase designs

Architectural Digest

Phenomenal foyer focal point.  Say that three times.


Longwood Farm, Texas ~ Curtis & Windham Architects


Jennifer Garner as featured in Vanity Fair 

Hudson Architects, Boardman House, NUA, Norwich University of the Arts Architectural School, Norwich, Norfolk, UK, Winter 2016 Photographer Joakim Borén,

 Norwich University of the Arts Architectural School, Norwich, Norfolk, UK, Winter 2016 ~ Photographer Joakim Borén


John Malick & Associates


Detail of intricate work in the stair rail from the first to the second floor in the Senate side of the Capitol.


Palazzo della Banca d’Italia, Fi ~ Palace of the Bank of Italy, Florence

Enjoy your Friday!

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A Most Fetching Friday: Design Details




adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

Today’s fetching Friday focuses on design details and the it’s all in the details beauty that enthralls, captivates, and delights the eye.



Stunning images such as this classic example of French Louisiana architecture from architect Ken Tate with interiors designed by Ann Holden of Holden and Dupuy Interiors affirm my love of traditional design and decor features steeped in southern charm.

lantern-in-foyerDering Hall


Jenny Wolf Interiors

Monogram_2Monograms and Antique Linens ~ Victoria Magazine

outdoor-settingVogue Living

Beauty on point captured by dancer Kyle Froman as featured in Harper’s BAZAAR.


gold-giltGold Gilt on Pinterest

Have a lovely weekend.

Love your style!

Air Conditioning: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Since the dawn of home owning and renting time, American houses have come to know the weekend project(s).  Regardless of the style of house or year of construction, at some point something will be in need of repair, replacement, renovation or remodel.  That time came once again last week here at Places In The Home.  The original air conditioning system in our fifty year old ranch style house finally bit the dust last week.  It had a good life and provided hours of cold in the summer and warm in the winter air. Dave the Builder lined up the new system and the crew to work on Saturday, I stocked up on bottled water, sports drinks and cooling towels, and we were off to the races.

P-AmericanHouses_FPOPop Chart Lab  ~  Click on image to enlarge

Sometimes you have to go through the ugly to get to the beauty of the sweet, sweet cold air on the other end of the air conditioning project.


If I had a nickel for every “we did just fine without air conditioning back in the good old days” comment my mother made during the central air install project this past weekend, I would be paying cash in all nickels for a new Nest thermostat.  The subject of the good old days was immediately dropped as the first blast of cold air circulated around the room.  My mother was the Road Runner to Dave the Builder’s Wile E. Coyote getting to the nearest vent blowing cold air, a feature of little to no presence in the main living and kitchen area of Places In The Home for the biggest part of last week.  You could hear the call to turn the thermostat to arctic and let the cooling down begin a mile away!  I don’t believe I am in the minority here when I say there is nothing good about any day past, present or future when it comes to being hot.  My thoughts and prayers honestly do go out to the men and women who work outdoors in oppressive temperatures and heat indexes best described as dangerous. Dave the Builder hits the door some evenings after a 12+ hour workday in the Louisiana summer sun and humidity drained of all energy and will. Air conditioning plays a huge role in our lives, both at work and at home.


“We’ll make that into a sitting room where we can sit and talk… and the breeze can get at us.”

That line from the movie Giant makes me wonder how people lived without air conditioning?   Dust storms, tumbleweeds and brutal heat set the story of life on a Texas ranch in the 1920s.  I would need a don’t talk to me I’m dying from this heat sitting room.  Whenever I watch Giant and other classic films and television shows that show life and homes without air conditioning,  I thank the conditioned air gods for Willis Carrier, the inventor of the first modern air-conditioning system.  Bless the heart of this brilliant, brilliant man!  Before Mr. Carrier’s invention however, the masses depended upon commercial and residential design features of the times to promote airflow and cross ventilation.

Large porches

Screened sleeping porches, winding wraparound porches and deep eaves and awnings accommodated shade seekers, porch sitters and night sleepers from the harsh direct sunlight and heat of the day and gave protection from mosquitoes at night.  Porch sitting and sippin’ in the late afternoon and after dinner (supper) was as much about letting the breeze get at you as it was an exercise in proper digestion.



A transom window proved crucial to upper air flow.  Found above doors, a transom moved the warm air hovering at ceiling level to the higher floors or large open windows.  Opening windows and doors at opposite ends of center halls allowed air to flow between areas of the house.

transom-window-above-doorBetter Homes and Gardens

My brother removed all the working transoms and hardware from above the doors throughout his house during the initial renovation and restoration of his 1903 Victorian home.  The transoms in his first house, a Victorian one story built in 1910, never worked properly and the hardware proved difficult at best to operate.  The point of this explanation and pictorial example is to illustrate the architectural measures taken in the construction of homes and the thought to comfort given to air flow routes in the days devoid of air conditioning.


The long hot summer of 2015 has quite a few days and nights yet to go before relief is in sight.  Thanks to Willis Carrier, Dave the Builder’s HVAC skills and the local power company Places In The Home won’t be without air conditioning. Remind me of this post if I dare complain about the cold of winter.

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A Good Book: My Under the Weather Reading List

Read any good books lately?  As a matter of fact, I have read several over my week of recovery.


Reading is proving to be a fundamental part of my under the weather routine and with good reason.  A good book has the power to transform thought, enlighten the soul, teach the mind, lift the heart and take the reader on an all expenses paid trip to places and spaces through inspiration and imagination no plane, train or automobile can get us to.

Susan+Greenleaf+San+Francisco+Home+upholstered+BD2ig9bAH9TlDomaine via Lonny

First up on my under the weather reading list is Paris Flea Market Style by Claudia Strasser. The ooh la la factor and how to get it, emulate it, and incorporate it into our design and decor needs no introduction.


Love of family, faith, Louisiana and balancing a politically mixed marriage-I like the yin and yang world of Mary Matalin and James Carville that noticeably makes this political power couple tick.  Their this works for us attitude is the prominent feature in Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home.


A smart, funny read with witty observations that rate hilarious on the laugh-o-meter, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
by Mindy Kaling is a gem of a good read. This book accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do by taking the reader on a most entertaining ride with hilarity riding shotgun.


Veranda A Passion for Living: Houses of Style and Inspiration is a gorgeous review of gorgeous style from cover to cover! Beautiful addition to any bookshelf or coffee table.

Dave the Builder is embracing his role as runner, and I reassured him there is a beginning, middle and end to this new duty.  I like going to the neighborhood parish library to check out the new offerings and to check out books.  There are books that pique your interest but give pause to actually purchasing it for your home library.


Toni Braxton’s autobiography, Unbreak My Heart, has been on my check it out list for awhile now.  She’s a personality that flies under my radar most of the time, but I do love her voice and think her story will make for a good read.


What book is on your must read list?

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A Most Fetching Friday





adjective: fetching


synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible


This week’s A Most Fetching Friday features the best of the best in interior design and all that that implies.

ff-Mary-McDonald-Mary McDonald via Architectural Digest

ff-Ralph-Lauren-paintRalph Lauren via Home Depot


traditional-living-room-darryl-carterDarryl Carter Inc. via Architectural Digest

ff-goldAtlanta Homes & Lifestyles



 I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

A Beautiful Distraction: Interior Design and Decorating Images

The interior design and decorating minded tend to look at objects, spaces and images in a different light.  A discerning eye will wonder toward a beautiful distraction in seconds flat.  As Dave the Builder and I were watching a movie over the weekend, I realized my love of all things placement, pattern and palette was working overtime.  Dave asked me a question about the story line, and as I fumbled to conceal the fact I didn’t have a clue he asked, “are you even watching the movie?”  Technically, I’m watching, but more and more the focus of my attention is not with the story line.  These eyes are zeroed in on the real star of the show.


To say I am completely taken in by the the houses (set recreated or actual real estate), architecture, grounds and furnishings that frame the frame is an understatement.  As soon as the final credits roll off the screen the floodgates of post film commentary open.  We Siskel and Ebert the heck out of the exteriors and interiors of the houses seen throughout the film, what design features would be considered passé by today’s standards, and how classic design elements will stand the test of taste and time.

This beautiful distraction dilemma is taking on a life of its own. The number of interior design and decorating images I view in a single week is in the territory of beautifully ridiculous. Pens and pads are strewn about my desk, a quick reach in close proximity of the keyboard for the numerous gotta have it, gotta share it, gotta remember the source jot it down moments of my blogging life.


Interior design and decorating images showcasing exceptional design and decorating work produce inspired results. Take the image below from the Waco Symphony Showhouse 2013. The interior design and decorating genius of CDA Interior Design is a showhouse showstopper. Is this not a stunning example of coastal chic on steroids?  It is amazing how fast my eyes can style spot at least eight points of interior interest in this image.  Equally amazing is how fast the featured interior design, furnishings and accessories draw me in.


I’m no code cracker, but I think that is exactly the point.

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Dining Room Chair Fabric Considerations Part II

Today’s post finds us “re”visiting the dining room chair fabric considerations. If you missed the first part or need a refresher you can find it here. Locating an image to show the look I’m going for is not as easy as you would think. Fun, but not easy.

 I was thrilled to find the above image and couldn’t wait to share it. It’s truly a decorative inspiration, and does beautiful justice to show the color for the dining chairs as I see it in my mind’s eye.

While not the color I am going for, the above image shows the general idea of how I want the paint application to look. The distressed(aged) effect will definitely come into play, but to what amount I’m not sure. Not to worry, nailheads will be revisited. After careful reconsideration, I am leaning towards replacing the original nailheads with newer, smaller and more decorative ones. I hope by the time you finish reading this post it will not be too confusing.  Hang on friends, my train of thought is not that confusing nor is the dining room chair redo project.  That’s the beautiful thing about home decor projects- our colorful world will still exist if paint and fabric mistakes are made.

Choosing paint color is a breeze for me.  Choosing fabric is not, and this is the reason I’ve been known to have a Carrie Bradshaw moment. One of my favorite lines from Sex And The City is from the episode A “Vogue” Idea.  As Carrie enters the accessories closet at Vogue she sees before her several hundred items lining up to make her Vogue dreams come true. As she tries to absorb the moment, couture sensory overload takes over.  With beating heart and fashionista eyes wide open she exclaims, “Oh, my God! It’s too good! I’m sorry, but it’s… it’s too good!  This is too much! How can this be?”  Believe me, I get it!  I’ve stared at so many lovely and wonderful fabric samples over the last week that I now find my interior design and home decor eyes  in fabulous overload.  And may I just add that it is all so very good!

These samples have laid the groundwork for the fabric selection. Of course, the final selection will be based on how the color of the chairs comes out. One never knows what one will screw up.

We are driving up to North Louisiana next month on business.  I’ve  informed Dave the Builder a side trip to Fabulous Fabrics is now on the schedule.  I’m sure he is utterly thrilled, but I’m determined to leave no stone or fabric bolt unturned.  After all, shopping is the best part of the “re” process.


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images via Providence Ltd. Design, This Ivy House, Wikia

Contests and Olioboard: A Creative Tool Of The Trade

My weekend fun has reached beyond recipes and preparing for Super Bowl XLVI. Olioboard, moodboard creator site extraordinaire, is a valuable creative tool for designers and decorators.  Creative expression and client essential interior moodboards can be beautifully created for presentations, portfolios, and for pure fun.  Olioboard allows you to create 2D and 3D interior design moodboards, share, participate in contests and interact with an extremely supportive online community.  Joining Olioboard is as easy as email address, username, password, and password confirmation gets. Contests and Olioboard are on tap this week. Speaking of on tap…

I am currently participating in the Spirit of Sports Man Cave design contest. The Places In The Home username was taken so design98 is how I’m known on Olioboard. It has been a fun week of creating, tweaking and consulting.  My nephew came by last night and was fascinated with the man cave entries from all the participants. Man Caves have mass appeal with more and more homeowners embracing the concept and design possibilities.  Click on images to enlarge.

It was fun to conduct my own survey this week asking male family members and friends between the ages 19 and 82 the following question: What would you put in your ultimate Man Cave?  Here’s the results of this totally unofficial but madly informative survey.

1. Televisions- yes, more than one

2. Beer Fridge

3.  Multiple Game Systems

4. Leather Recliners

5. Theater Quality Surround Sound System

6. Pool Table

7. Wireless Internet Connection

8. iPod Docking  Stations-again, more than one

9. Hot Dog Machine

10.  Craps, Blackjack, and Poker Tables


Outdoor kitchen, foosball table and fully stocked kitchen rounded out the requests.

Mars and Venus~


Kitchen Styles Now Being Served

The kitchen has become the place to be in most homes. I can’t tell you how many cocktail parties I have hosted for business, birthdays, holidays, and just for the pure fun of it over the years.  Some are more memorable than others, but they all have one thing in common. No matter how fantastic the rest of the house or outdoor space is, everyone gathers and remains in the kitchen. The same is true for everyday life lived in our homes. The kitchen is so much more than the space for cooking, dining, and cleaning.

Better Homes and Gardens

I’ve been participating in design chats on twitter lately, and the dream kitchen and what defines that term was the topic of an informative chat hosted by #kbtribechat.  Appliances, flooring, color scheme, cabinetry, and countertops are just a few of the design elements that factor in to complete the dream.  The industry has so many unique ideas and user friendly ways to implement them into real kitchens.

Country Living

Gone are the days of a small space with simply a stove, refrigerator, sink, and an exhausted cook going through the motions of getting the food to the table.  Whatever your personal style may be, I say express it through food and the kitchen it is prepared in.

photo cabinets

I’m am so impressed with this expression of individuality in a kitchen. The Georgia lake house of Leo and Kay Berard featured in the August issue of  Southern Living  is my idea of how to camp.  Framed family photos serve as the cabinet doors in their sophisticated camp kitchen.  The photos are backed with thin plywood and hinged. Genius!  And is that copper I see?  Speaking of copper

tyler florence kitchen of the year 2011 copper

House Beautiful‘s 2011 Kitchen of the Year is a good one!   Tyler Florence delivered on many levels and the industry is buzzing.  Can you guess what caught my attention and held it?  The copper accessories compliment the ebony fixtures and countertops beautifully.  I love the copper “vase” on the island.

tyler florence kitchen of the year 2011

A viewing of the KOTY cast inspiration magic.  I was introduced to a great site last week.  Olioboard is a free site for creating interior design moodboards.  One board, two boards, and I’m hooked!  If you have not discovered Olioboard, I highly recommend a visit. I had a ball creating my kitchen board.

The most popular kitchen design element hands down is function.  It is nothing out of the norm for fifteen different tasks, jobs, and conversations to be going on at one time in our kitchen.  Our kitchen is comfortable, multifunctional, and the space where everyone wants to be.  Today’s kitchens serve a stylish purpose.