Never Forget: September 11, 2001

Today marks an anniversary in American history that forever changed our nation.  We’ve come to mark today as a day of remembrance and reflection, a day we come together in thought, moments of silence, ringing of bells and prayer.

Never Forget: September 11, 2001 

never-forget

Today marks an anniversary in American history that forever changed our nation.  We’ve come to mark today as a day of remembrance and reflection, a day we come together in thought, moments of silence, ringing of bells and prayer.  Never forget the fallen heroes, families, friends and fellow Americans whose lives were forever changed that day.  Our memories will forever be filled with the events of that horrific day in our history, and even though painful to remember we should never choose to forget.

God bless America,

Land that I love,

Stand beside her, and guide her

Through the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, My home sweet home

God bless America, My home sweet home.

 

Never forget,

Dave and Darleen

 

 

A Most Fetching Friday

fetch·ing

/ˈfeCHiNG/

adjective

adjective: fetching

attractive.

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

This week’s Fetching Friday places the accent on classic.

portraitTraditional in Gold via New England Home

‘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.

world's-longest-yard-saleDiscovered Treasures – World’s Longest Yard Sale via Authentica Classics

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.

gone-with-the-wind-scriptHeritage Auctions

Speaking of iconic, the image below is of the interior of the actual  brownstone on 64 Perry Street, New York, New York  otherwise known as Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in Sex and the City.

Ornate-crown-ceiling-moldings-make-apartment-historicPop Sugar –  Sotheby’s Realty

shipsClassic navy never looked so beautiful!  via Traditional Home

St. Louis CathedralThe classic interior beauty and architecture of the St. Louis Cathedral make it a premier historical New Orleans landmark.

I hope yours is a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

Tour de Mystery: The Myrtles Mystery Tour

Moving on to the second part of our The Myrtles: Inspiration, History and Mystery adventure, we pick up with our party of three filling the afternoon hours taking in local points of interest while counting down the time to The Myrtles Mystery Tour portion of our trip to St. Francisville, Louisiana. This story takes place fifteen years ago,  right around the time I opened Hopefully Classic Antiques and Interiors.  As you can imagine, antique shopping was high on the list of things to do, see and buy.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I love antiquing.  Dave the Builder gets into it, and being the fabulous parents we are we know how to bribe entertain our son while antiquing and attending auctions. We trekked the streets and shops of downtown St. Francisville until we could trek no more.  New Roads, here we come!

New Roads, Louisiana1, 23

In a glowing review of  highlights and attractions not to be missed was the story of Miss Emily.  Miss Emily was a local woman who worked the queue of vehicles waiting to board the ferry selling parched peanuts, homemade pralines and soft drinks from a large basket.  I love it!  Sitting in line waiting to drive onto the ferry goes better with an ice cold Coke, salty peanuts and a homemade praline. We continued our afternoon nosh aboard the ferry as we crossed the Mississippi River. This unique mode of transportation is now closed.  In the name of progress and moving on up, the ferry has been replaced by the  John James Audubon Bridge.  I’m glad we got the chance take a ride on it before it did.

John James Audubonvia

New Roads did not disappoint. I didn’t know what I was expecting in return from this small town, but it delivered lagniappe in a big way.  We found our way to the main part of town and hit up several antique shops.  The first shop (sorry, I can’t remember the name of any of the shops) specialized in clocks and vintage walking sticks.  Dave the Builder was in his height of glory.  We were welcomed into the shop by an older gentleman who was the owner and a lovely, lovely older lady whose greeting came in the form of  my kind of question, “champagne or fruit punch?”

51bc1c70dbd0cb1f59000679._w.540_s.fit_

New Trad Mimosa

Our son put in his request for the fruit punch. I guess she could tell I was a little apprehensive about their comfort level with him in the shop with a goblet full of bright red fruit punch.  I knew this kid was raised in and around the biz and the dos and don’ts in shops and showrooms,  but I also knew she was not privy to this pertinent piece of information.  This lovely and wise woman handled the situation with such grace and tact.  She invited him to follow her to the butler’s pantry to help fix the drinks and slip a cookie or two.  She realized right quick she had made a new friend.  Gosh, what a great memory!  We sipped, shopped and scored two of the most unique antique walking sticks.  I wish I had them both today, but I sold them to a client the following week.  Oh well, the memory is more valuable to me than the walking sticks could ever be.

The Myrtles Mystery TourCountry Living

We found a couple of other shops and enjoyed the local fare before heading back via ferry to St. Francisville.  The timing was just right as it was barking up on sunset and coffee time. We crossed another suggested stop off our list by visiting The Magnolia Cafe.  This place is right up our alley- an unpretentious do drop inn heavy on casual fun, food and drink.

History & Haunting of the Myrtles Plantation

History & Haunting of the Myrtles Plantation

It was about that time to head out for the Myrtles Mystery Tour.  We drove up the winding driveway of The Myrtles, and the setting and timing could not have been better to set the mood and the tone for a mystery tour. The above image says it better than I can. We claimed three of the large rocking chairs on the veranda and pondered what was to come.  While the crowd and the anticipation built, certain imaginations showed signs of running away with the night.  Miss Hester, our tour guide for the evening, casually opened the front door at precisely 7:00 pm and invited the crowd of about twenty to come right on in.  Talk about playing to an attentive and crowded room!  We all gathered together in the foyer with wide eyes and listening ears.  This is where things begin to get interesting.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional image credit: The Kitchn,  Southern Living/Robbie Caponetto

The Myrtles: Inspiration, History and Mystery

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.

antique sideboard

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.

formal dining room

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.

table lampsclick 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 Plantationvia

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.

Photos of Myrtles Plantation, Saint Francisville

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.

The Carriage House Restaurant at The Myrtles Plantationvia

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.

 

 

Holiday At Home: Louisiana Christmas Traditions

As the holiday good times roll on so do the  at home favorites. From parish to parish and festival to festival, Louisiana Christmas traditions light up a festive holiday season.

Acadian Village~ photo: Meg McKinney

Holiday at home in Louisiana themed decorations, lights, treasures, treats, and reminders find their way into my holiday thoughts and decor.

From  mid November through early January, 2013 the Natchitoches, Louisiana Landmark Historic District along the Cane River is illuminated in over 300,000 Christmas lights and 100 riverbank set pieces in celebration of the Christmas Festival of Lights. Shopping, dining, antiquing, horse drawn carriage rides, live entertainment, and legendary fireworks displays each Saturday night make this one of the most anticipated traditions of the holiday season.

Sleigh Ride by the Louisiana born, raised, and swingin’  Harry Connick, Jr.

These vintage snaps are blasts from Louisiana Christmas past of my mother and brother, uncles and cousins and yours truly with the Claus.

Dave the Builder and I took a Christmas light walking tour through our neighborhood a couple of evenings ago, and this Christmas nativity display captured the essence of the season for both of us.

The large glass pine cone and Santa ornaments cast a vintage feel, taking me straight back to the country Christmases spent at my maternal grandmother’s house.

via

New Orleans knows how to throw a  party and a holiday celebration! No trip to New Orleans, the French Quarter, and the French Market would be complete without a visit to Aunt Sally’s Creole Pralines Shop. Believe me, Christmas time is the perfect time for a box or two of New Orleans’ signature candy. Ca c’est bon, y’all!

My small but cherished collection of hand-painted Louisiana cypress Santas add a dash of Louisiana seasoning to the holiday scheme each year.

via

Do you incorporate a touch of at home in your holiday decor and celebrations?

holiday-signature-Christmas

Historic Homes And The Beauty Of Their Architectural Elements

Architectural integrity through architectural elements is the indelible mark of historic homes and landmarks.

Longwood

It is usually the only tangible proof of bygone golden eras ruled by classic styles.

Cornstock Hotel

Restoration efforts and day to day upkeep of historic homes can be financially mind boggling.  The sheer expense of replicating these styles in today’s market can create financial hurdles difficult to clear.  Aging and changing neighborhoods coupled with a natural progression away from this style of living  places most of  these homes in the private sector on an endangered species list.

historic homes of New Orleans

The craftsmanship, detail to details, and artisan skills used to envision, shape, form, and build these homes fascinate me. Over the years we have had the opportunity to tour, consult on, and donate antique pieces to several state and privately owned historic homes.

Bishops Palace

As much as I love antiques I will walk right by a period piece without so much as a glance to get to the heart of the historic matter.  Architectural elements  grab and hold my attention.

architectural elements

In our city we have a block that is known as Mansion Row.  Anchoring the far left corner of the block stands the Thompson-Hargis Mansion.  Built in 1907, this Greek Revival home with characteristic Ionic columns, porte-cochère, triangle pediment, and transom entry was once a jewel in the crown of our city history.  The exterior and grounds showed the weathered look of sun and time- nothing paint and repair could not fix.  The property was structurally sound and the architectural integrity intact.

Thompson-Hargis Mansion

The furnishings were removed years ago, the windows and doors boarded, and the grand dame beautifully sat idling until this past Sunday evening when she fell victim to a senseless demise.

historical home

Neighbors who recall the elegance of what was and admirers of what could have been mourn the total loss of of property, history, and hope.

Thompson-Hargis

It is a sad turn of events and an even sadder realization that original, historic, and one of a kind architectural elements were destroyed. Dollars do not factor into the equation, there is no replacement value for the architectural integrity of this 105 year old home. RIP Thompson-Hargis Mansion.

historical mansion

Preserving history and restoring things runs in my family. Dave the Builder and I preserve antique and architectural pieces.  My brother purchased, moved, and restored his circa 1903 Victorian home – his second property to restore.  I am currently in the process of photographing his home to feature in a future post.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

images:  Preservation in Mississippi, New Orleans Homes and Neighborhoods, Galveston History, History of a House Museum,  NOLA, Old Houses, Frenchtowner,  Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation, Perpetual Renovator, We Saw That

Natchitoches, Louisiana: A Historical Town of Steel Magnolias, Clementine Hunter, Meat Pies and Best Southern Small Town Distinction

Today’s Natchitoches, Louisiana post is an updated version in tribute to Natchitoches being chosen Best Southern Small Town by USA Today readers.  Visit Natchitoches once and you will come to know why this comes as no surprise to me. 

It’s the time of year for travel.  Vacations, staycations and day trips refresh our recreating souls, renew connections and give us ideas to implement into our home decor.

Natchitoches, Louisiana is a small town rich in history and bragging rights.  Natchitoches (NACK-uh-tush) is located about one hour south of Shreveport and five hours north of New Orleans. Natchitoches was established by the French in 1714 and is the oldest permanent settlement in the 13 state territory Louisiana Purchase.

French and Spanish forts, historical homes, national historic landmarks, bed and breakfasts, antique shops, and fantastic restaurants line the original brick Front Street.  The thirty-three block National  Historic District and plantation district along the banks of Cane River Lake is made up of 100 historic homes and buildings.

One of my favorite shops to visit on historic Front Street is Kaffie-Frederick, Inc., General Mercantile.  Kaffie-Frederick is the oldest general store in Louisiana. The front door swings open to a blast from the past decor full of charm, hardware, tools, classic toys and utensils all in I remember these splendor.

Natchitoches is the hometown of  writer, producer and film director Robert Harling.  Robert Harling is best known as the writer of the play, Steel Magnolias.  Rooted in location and hometown authenticity, Natchitoches was the star of the South for a brief period of time in 1988 when Hollywood came calling.  The excitement surrounding the filming was a statewide topic of conversation, and the memories of the stars and their time spent weaving in and out of the local landscape a souvenir program in Louisiana film history.

The Taylor-Cook home, better known as  The Steel Magnolia House, remains one of the most recognizable and popular historic homes in downtown Natchitoches.  As a surprise birthday gift to me, Dave the Builder purchased tickets to the Natchitoches Fall Pilgrimage Candlelight Tour of Homes.

Travel Channel

The evening tour of  Taylor-Cook aka The Steel Magnolia House was a candlelight and cocktails themed party not to be forgotten.  Several hundred guests strolled the grounds and toured the home filled with period antiques tastefully paired with stylish accents while sipping cocktails by moonlight, music and magnolias.  Natchitoches throws a good party.


Clockwise from top left: Taylor-Cook House, Front Street, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Melrose Plantation

Roque House

Big_House_at_Melrose_Plantation_-_east_elevationBig House at Melrose Plantation

One of my favorite artist, African-American folk artist Clementine Hunter (late December 1886 or early January 1887 – January 1, 1988), is closely associated with Natchitoches.  Miss Hunter was born near Cloutierville, Louisiana, moving to Melrose Plantation when she was fifteen years old. Clementine Hunter (pronounced Clementeen) was a self-taught artist who painted from memory.

Clementine_Hunter_(13269966095)

Clementine was encouraged to paint and locally promoted by Melrose plantation curator, François Mignon.

Clementine_Hunter_-_The_Wash_-_91.88.2_-_Minneapolis_Institute_of_ArtsThe Wash ~ Clementine Hunter

The subjects of her paintings portray plantation life as it were in the early 20th century.  Although most of her works are untitled, the subject would be verbally described by the artist herself when asked.

Clementine_Hunter_-_Picking_Cotton_-_91.88.1_-_Minneapolis_Institute_of_ArtsPicking Cotton ~ Clementine Hunter

In the early days of her painting dating to the 1940s, Clementine Hunter sold her works for a quarter.  Her paintings can now sell for thousands of dollars.  It is estimated Clementine Hunter painted between four and five thousand paintings in her lifetime.  Miss Hunter continued to live in Northwest Louisiana until her death in 1988.

I was extremely fortunate enough to have the opportunity to purchase my Clementine Hunter painting in 1986 before forgeries of her work hit the market.  The local couple I purchased “Outdoor Cooking”  from were actual friends of Clementine Hunter.  To authenticate the painting the couple took a photo of Clementine Hunter actually holding the finished painting.  They gave me photo to keep when I purchased the painting, and I cherish her photo as much as I do the painting.

natchitoches louisiana

Cane River runs through downtown Natchitoches.  There is not an empty spot to be had on the banks of Cane River on the first Saturday in December.  On the first weekend of December, Natchitoches illuminates the Southern night sky in a festive Christmas festival firework spectacular. Approximately 150,000 visitors descend on the small town to experience this annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights, a tradition of lights and holiday merriment. 

Oprah Winfrey made an unannounced and very surprising  visit to Natchitoches in 2002.  The visit was prompted by an on-air invitation from Peggy Plunkett who was in the audience at a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Oprah came, saw and declared Natchitoches the “Best Little Town in the Whole USA!”  Now that’s an endorsement!

Another wonderful festival (and there are plenty of those in Natchitoches) is the famous Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival.  The origin of the meat pie dates back to the late 1700s.  Natchitoches Meat Pies are deep-fried pastries filled with ground beef and ground pork seasoned with onions, peppers, and garlic.  The Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival is a two day festival celebrating the regional delicacy and the festival also has its very own official recipe courtesy of Mrs. L.J. Melder.

Official Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival Meat Pie Recipe
Ingredients

1 teaspoon shortening

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork meat

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 head garlic, minced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste

1 tablespoon flour

Meat pie crust:

1 quart plain flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1⁄2 cup shortening plus 1 tablespoon

1 cup milk

Instructions

Melt shortening in heavy pot. Add meat. Cook until the pink is gone.

Add vegetables and season to taste. (Season well, as meat will lose seasoning during frying.)  When the meat is completely done and the vegetables glazed, remove from heat and drain excess liquid. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour.

For the crust:

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening.  Beat egg and add to milk. Work gradually into dry ingredients until proper consistency to roll. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Break into small pieces and roll very thin. Cut into rounds using a saucer as a guide.

To assemble:

Place a large tablespoon of prepared meat along edge and halfway in the center of round dough.  Fold the other half over, making edges meet and seal with water.  Form edges with fork.  Refrigerate again for 30 minutes. Drop in deep fat and cook until golden brown.  Drain and serve hot.

Serves: 18 pies

Southern hospitality flows through the town like the Cane River and the welcome mat is always out.  Natchitoches, Louisiana is a sportsman’s paradise and home to Northwestern State University, festivals, historic homes and plantations, bed and breakfasts galore, quaint shops and excellent restaurants.

Natchitoches, Louisiana is a great destination for day tripping, a weekend getaway or a stay for a week or two visit.  USA Today readers know what they are talking about.

Love your style!

images via Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rotary Club of NatchitochesWikipedia, FlickrExplore NatchitochesCenLamar, NOLA, Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights, The Landing Restaurant/Photo by Lisa Gresham, Purzuit

Let Your Lights Shine!

Christmas lights from around the world brought to you by holiday spirit, magnificent talent, skill and style extraordinaire, and historical architectural wonders of the world as seen through the lens of talented photographers.

Fifth Avenue~ New York, New York

Mann’s Grauman Chinese Theater~ Hollywood, California

Jackson Square~ New Orleans, Louisiana

Empire State Building~ New York, New York

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele~ Milan, Italy

Shops in Seiffen, Germany

U.S. Capital~ Washington, DC

Sydney, Australia

Caesars Palace~ Las Vegas, Nevada

Auckland, New Zealand

Rockefeller Center~ New York, New York

Melksham, United Kingdom

calle de Alcala~ Madrid, Spain

Champs-Élysées~ Paris, France

Buckingham Palace~ London, England

 La Grande Place~ Brussels, Belgium

 

Photo sources:

Fifth Avenue: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Mann’s Grauman Chinese Theater: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Jackson Square: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Empire State Building: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Seiffen, Germany: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

U.S. Capital: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sydney, Australia: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Caesars Palace: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Auckland, New Zealand: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Rockefeller Center: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Melksham, UK: Matt Cordy/Getty Images

calle de Alcala: Liesa Johannssen/Getty Images

Champs-Élysée: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace: Steve Finn/Getty Images

La Grande Place: Mark Renders/Getty Images