In the daily meeting with the Places In The Home creative team (me, myself and I), quiet and centered thought brings forth ideas. Sometimes it all runs together, and at other times the ideas and interest flow like the mighty Mississippi River. There’s a world of inspiration out there folks! I love the search, especially when it is right here at home. October is a great month for antiquing, fall road trips and home tours. We took October very serious a few years back and set out on a intrigue packed afternoon and evening fondly referred to as The Myrtles: Inspiration, History and Mystery.
Working for family is a trick and a treat. I set the tone for a blissful and professional working relationship right off the bat, and we’re off and decorating. My brother is once again enlisting my help in redecorating his den and foyer. He didn’t realize he also wants to freshen up his dining room decor until I gently persuaded him to do so.
His circa 1903 home is one of the few Victorian turret architecture examples in the state. Staying true to the period is an absolute must on the exterior for historical purposes however, I am allowed to blur the lines when it comes to the interior. Small changes and edits keep the bottom line affordable and in check with current styles. Changing the neutral color palette is off limits. He loves it, and it flows with the historical aspect of the home.
click on image to enlarge
New lamps for the sideboard and replacing the dining room chairs ( bad, very bad) is first on the list. He has tried his best to get his hands on the balustrade lamp Dave the Builder made for me. Dear brother, it ain’t happening. That is the reason I sourced lamps in a more sophisticated image of my lamp for his consideration. We will also be paying attention to new curtains or perhaps new trim for the existing ones, a new rug and lowering the artwork and framed photos. I have to consider the twelve foot ceilings, proportion of the space and overall balance when placing artwork.
Placing items and photographing the space for reference reminded me of the details surrounding the silver lazy susan with double turned malachite handles atop the sideboard. St. Francisville, Louisiana is a charming town rich in history and historical sites. My brother is a history buff who really appreciates the architecture of historical homes. He enthusiastically believes no trip to St. Francisville is complete without a tour of The Myrtles Plantation.
The Myrtles Plantation is not without national media attention. Referred to as one of “America’s Most Haunted Homes”, The Myrtles has been the subject of interest, articles and television documentaries from Veranda, Travel and Leisure, The New York Times and The History Channel to the one I most remember, the visit with cameras rolling from Oprah Winfrey. As visitors make their way up the winding driveway to the entrance of the circa 1796 Antebellum mansion, distinctive features such as the brick courtyard, double dormers and the lacy wrought iron wrapped front veranda captures the eye. I could sit on the veranda in the large rocking chairs staring out at the moss draped live oaks and lush grounds for hours. One Saturday afternoon and evening fifteen years ago I did just that.
Dave the Builder, our son and I went to Baton Rouge for a working vacation. My brother suggested we drive over to St. Francisville and New Roads to check out the sites and tour The Myrtles. If we did tour The Myrtles he wanted me to pay close attention to the silver lazy susan in the dining room. We bounced the idea around, decided what the heck, and off down Hwy. 61 we went. Our first order of business when we arrived was to have lunch at The Carriage House Restaurant at The Myrtles Plantation.
Our waitress inquired if this was our first time to The Myrtles. She gave us the poop scoop on the town, the shops, and the Saturday evening Myrtles Mystery Tour. The Mystery Tour is held on Friday and Saturday nights, and is touted as the opportune time for Chloe, the reported ghost known to inhabit the house and grounds of The Myrtles, to make an appearance. Our son was captivated, my curiosity was piqued, and Dave the Builder thought it would be a fun way to spend a Louisiana Saturday night. I made reservations for the three of us for the 7:00 pm tour, and we left the grounds highly anticipating our return.
In part two of Three Part Harmony: Inspiration, History and Mystery I’ll tell the tale of Chloe, recount our ferry trip to New Roads and the infamous peanut lady, antiquing, champagne punch, and the fun and fright of the Mystery Tour.
We all glean “eye”deas from home decor and home furnishings seen on blogs, websites, in stores, showrooms and shelter magazines. Isn’t that the idea? Some of the ideas work and some don’t, but try we do. Beauty and style only fail when inspiration ceases to exist.
Determination is a powerful force. What does determination have to do with a chandelier shade you may wonder? Simple math. $5.97 each X 12 shades = $71.64. That’s $71.64 I could have put toward the cost of a new chandelier and did not, so you can bet I’m gonna make these work. I’m wired like that.
With the intent of introducing a French modern decor to the dining room, it makes total sense to move the crystal chandelier to the dining room and the Williamsburg to the foyer. Let’s project!
The Williamsburg chandelier is a lovely fixture, but my thinking has been it is in need of decorative lagniappe beyond the chandelier shades. Remember my idea for converting craft finials into chandelier drops? I will still be doing that for an all wood English chandelier, but once the Williamsburg found its new home in the foyer all was, and is, decoratively well.
The shade is not crooked, the angle of the shot was just right for this unwanted effect. I do want to call your attention to the blue lining of the chandelier shades in the bottom left image in the collage above. At night when the light fixture is turned on the color is so rich and the cast from the brown exterior and blue lining combination is phe-nom-e-nal! We measured the height of the fixture pre-install for clearance assurance. There are times when unforeseen issues arise. Dave the Builder & Son informed me due to wiring safety and placement consideration the height would come in over the initial projected measurement. There goes my idea for modifying the center ring with a finial. Too many family members blessed with height guarantees an unfortunate introduction to the low hanging finial. Adapt, proceed, and project on!
Onward and upward we go with a wiring modification, a coat of fresh ceiling paint and install of the crystal chandelier in the dining room. Stay tuned.