Nature by Design: What Fall Means To Me

Nature by design is the consummate example of simple yet elegant beauty. Seasonal decorating need not be an exercise in expense or exhaustion.

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Rather your seasonal and soon to be holiday decorating involves pulling out all the stops or spot accents here and there, the idea is to invite the season into your home through a visual essay that expresses what fall means to me.

what fall means to me

Still moving at a slowed post surgical procedure pace means I’m mostly guiding the what fall means to me decorating tour of late.  Dave the Builder and my mother are happy to handle the fetch and feather duties.

fall-reading

Thank goodness I like to sit and study a space beyond tape measures and fan decks.  Looking at the world through design and decorating colored glasses promotes a gorgeous result.

“An empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you are the author.” Unknown

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Readers of Places In The Home know music beats in the heart and soul of this house.  Music keeps me company in the creative process, and a verse or chorus strikes a note of I’ll groove to that inspiration.  The chorus of singer, pianist, composer, producer and engineer  Carol Duboc’s latest tune, Open the Curtains, mirrors my personal decorating style philosophy.

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A punch of personality is as influential to the collective look as the pop of color and the decorative oomph.

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What fall means to me is obvious in the gorgeous bouquet of white hydrangeas from my mother and the fall is in the house display Dave the Builder picked up at Kroger.

fall-squash

“Nature is not a place to visit.  It is home.”

– Gary Snyder

buffet

sunflowers

mum

Cabbage resting in a mixing bowl staged along side a pie pumpkin gives a simple and fresh nod to fall.

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Nature-inspired simple elegance.   I know exactly what fall means to me.

Love your style!

 

 

Simple. Elegant. Fall. Seasonal Updating With Fall Decorating Favorites

I am ready to get the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites ball rolling.  Postings of home decor and fall decorating ideas from several hundred of my blogging and social media friends confirm fall fever is going around.

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Let the brisk mornings-cinnamon flavored-pumpkin decorating-colors on parade-sitting on the front porch-spice tea sipping-football tailgating afternoons-sweater wearing-sock feet snuggling with the one you love-crisp evenings spent in front of a fire pit season commence.  While we’re on the subject, let me ask you this.  Fall or Autumn.  What say you?

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Now to the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites portion of our show…

I’ve been looking “foyer” to this seasonal update for quite some time. The wallpaper I selected for my Mother’s Day gift (Mother’s Day 2015) is finally up where it belongs.  Getting this wallpaper project to completion and fall coming to Louisiana have something in common. It seems to take forever.  I learned a long time ago that patience is a virtue in the pretty on a penny process.  Count the looking “foyer” to fall wallpaper project and estate sale chandelier makeover as the first seasonal updates of the fall 2016 season.

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We are ginkgo a gogo for fall decorating.  Inexpensive is good, but free is better.  Using natural elements in your seasonal decorating plan gifts the eye with the beauty of the season.  Simple. Elegant. Fall.

Cotton_boll_nearly_ready_for_harvestCotton Boll

Seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites is _________.

A.  Fun.

B.  Easy.

C.  Affordable when you use natural elements found in nature’s arts and crafts store and decorate with items that you already have, collect, love, and reflect your personal style.

D.  All of the above.

Multiple choices factor into the decorating scheme of things.

shells-on-buffet

Cotton bolls placed in and around collected sea shells is a match made in memories from my childhood heaven.  Cotton fields remain an integral part of the fall harvest scenery in our area.  A farmer friend with acres and acres of cotton fields generously supplies me with several bundles of cotton stalks for my fall decorating needs.  Another good friend supplies me with the dried hydrangeas and eucalyptus bunches perfect for fall arrangements in another fall decor essential, the dough bowl.  Good friends bearing gifts are rewarded with the house special, a fresh apple nut cake.

Fall Decorating

An accidental placement of this antique chair in the foyer and the light of a late afternoon produce an effect worth keeping.

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Maybe it’s the lighting, the off-center placement, the new wallpaper or the combination of all three, but I love how it all works together. Ambience plays a significant role in interior design and decorating, and light is at the control.

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I’ve noticed the change in the color of the afternoon sun.  It is white bright, full of nuance as it streams through the window panes and French doors to shadow dance with colors, patterns and textures.

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Simple. Elegant. Fall.

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.

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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.

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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!

Home Decor Inspired By The Oscars

Motion picture award season comes to a glorious golden crescendo Sunday, February 26, 2017 with the broadcast of the 89th Academy Awards, better known to most film aficionados as The Oscars.

Oscar-StatuetteTechno Buffalo

Oscar buzz, fashion, highly anticipated red carpet arrivals, Jimmy Kimmel as host, and social media parties to join in the celebration is in full swing. One way or another, The Oscars 2017 pomp and circumstance is generating more excitement and statue speculation.

Oscars 2017 best picture nominees

Any favorites?  With a nod to television tradition and celebrity curiosity as the driving force, I will be tuned in on the last Sunday in February to watch The Oscars, the red carpet arrivals, and the red carpet fashions and colors that inspire as only Hollywood glitz and glamour does for home decor inspired by the Oscars.

Jimmy Kimmel Oscars 2017

La La Land leads the field with 14 nominations.  In a style reminiscent of the glory days of the Hollywood musical, La La Land creates musical magic on the big screen and excitement throughout the motion picture community.

12017-1237410784-vintage-italian-theater-seat-bench20150313-32641-36h976The High Boy

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The Dove, Norma Talmadge Print

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“Dance and Photography” by William Ewing

For those dancing under the stars moments~

via GIPHY

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From the most memorable movie sets to the most stunning fashions, Hollywood glitz and glamour never ceases to impress designers and inspire designers to translate Hollywood to home decor inspired by the Oscars.

ebanista gold crystalEbanista

Bright and early in the light of post Oscars Monday morning it is off to the nearest brick and mortar and online retailers in search of Oscars most unforgettable and glamorous best.  Who can forget Angelina Jolie’s must have drop dead gorgeous emerald earrings from the 81st Academy Awards?

emerald-earringsKenneth Jay Lane™

Inspiration is everywhere, especially in Hollywood.  The shades of emerald green craze hit the fashion and design world with a vengeance post the Angelina Jolie red carpet reveal.

leafprint1 Dering Hall

Hollywood excels in the art of color, its influence emulated in design and decorating through a technicolor infused palette divine.

dramatic closetTraditional Home

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Domino

AHL, Holiday House Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Hollywood regency faux malachite box

Hollywood Regency Faux Malachite Box

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Traditional Home

Strike a stunning balance of Hollywood golden days with modern glamour through tone, texture, pattern and crystal Stars of Hollywood sconces.

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Jamie Herzlinger 

french art deco stars sconce

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A glitz and glamour aesthetic fills the decor bill in a powder room, and gilded wall sconces lend the presence of old Hollywood design and decor element to the space.

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Jessica Lagrange Interiors

The shine of Oscar gold, the sparkle and color of exquisite gems and the shimmer of the Dolby Theatre interiors connect the decorating dots to Hollywood elegance.  In the style of old Hollywood, interiors command a regal presence through glam wallpapers, textures and crystal chandeliers.

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Color, pattern and texture makes a lasting impression at the movies and on the stars of film and Oscar winning royalty.

Halle Berry (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

Harper’s Bazaar ~  Halle Berry ~  (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

Glossed and glammed ebonized walnut walls reflect the light of the center chandelier by Thomas Grant, while the ottoman by Bobbitt takes the award for best zebra-upholstered accessory.

Ebonized wallsPaper City

Inspiration is everywhere, and in Hollywood it is found on the red carpet.

gallery-1456426623-gettyimages-140071094Harpers Bazaar

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Colacion Studio

The golden era of opulent theater interiors lives on through marquee chandeliers, ceiling medallions and gold leaf ceilings.

gold leaf ceilingGold Leaf by Zuber Inc via Traditional Home 

A statement making ceiling medallion becomes a chandeliers best accessory.

And the Oscar goes to…

Making Things Pretty

Over this past weekend, Dave the Builder and I were arguing chatting about all things house that make a home. Over the past 30+ years of togetherness in everything from friendship, marriage, child rearing and business, we have been known to have our cuss it and discuss it moments. Making things pretty can get ugly sometimes- it’s part of the process.  The quickest way to diffuse a contentious all things house that make a home moment is to start a new conversation about starting a new project!  The allure of design and decorating possibilities has a very strong appeal.  It works for us, and it worked again this past weekend.

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Constructing a fall entryway display wasn’t exactly on my fall decorating weekend to-do list, but neither was a building brouhaha.  I adopted the I’m a decorator not a fighter attitude, and from there decorating inspiration and let’s project something harmony began to“fall” into place.

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Our don’t overthink it display evolved from items amassed for decorating times like this- an antique spindle bed post, a wooden garden basket, clippings from our cotton stalk stash, mums, a collection of faux gourds, a piece of wood from the bayou, a planted boxwood, concrete pineapple statue and one lone white pumpkin.

making things pretty

I phoned the Canadian snowbird aka our son several weeks ago with my request for pics of true fall foliage.  Louisiana will eventually see fall colors, but I was looking forward to seeing images of true fall crimson reds, deep purples and tawny maple golds.

JJ-dogsJ, J, Ollie and Caramel the Wonder Rescue Dog

It seems a Canadian cold front/rain event did away with the crimson red and deep purples leaving behind only the tawny maple golds and sweater weather. Although not my first choice, faux flowers and seasonal decorating accouterments fill in the blanks nature can’t.

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Sharing in the hand me that and it needs something responsibilities, we spent the afternoon making things pretty for the fall of it all.  As I put the finishing touches on the fall entryway display, a gust of crisp fall air blew across the porch to the delight of Dave the Builder, the kitty cat and this decorista.  Perfect timing!

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A pot of strong Louisiana coffee brewed for two made the afternoon near perfect.

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Photo editing is a wonderful concept.  I am becoming more and more enamored with this part of the making pretty process.  When you can take something slightly imperfect and invest time, effort and vision to produce a work rich in substance and beauty, the result is visually amazing.  Photo editing, decorating, marriage- you get the picture.

fall-theme

Love your style!

What Works For You Is What Works In Decorating

The what works for you is what works in decorating principle is a inspiring tidbit of information.  There is no hard and fast formula for what, when, how or who will light the fire.  There are times when the cart does come in front of the horse, and this is one of them.  Scrolling through an image gallery on the Traditional Home website placed inspiration in my blog post thoughts.  The kitchen in the image below has a whole lot going for it in the design and decorating department.  Great choice of flooring, natural light, exposed beams, workable layout and a pair of antique tables that serve up style with a side of function as kitchen islands. Repurposing, replacing parts and the repainting of vintage and antique pieces has taken root.  I must admit I often cringe at the sight of antique pieces in the direct line of a can of chalk paint.  I have seen gorgeous (and I do mean gorgeous) reworkings and re-paintings of antiques, paling only in comparison to the highest end of high end furniture manufactures.   I’ve also seen plenty that left the one word impression on me of why?  I prefer to keep the overall integrity in place and in its original state, but as the taste of the buying public changes so does the need for and use of pieces.  Repurposing an antique farm or harvest table, armoire or buffet to be used as a kitchen island, desk, entertainment center or home bar is what’s in at the moment.  Dave the Builder and I stand ready and willing to accommodate the needs of our clients by replacing the original wood top or shelves with marble, granite or a durable wood for practical use purposes.  The result is another what works for you is what works in decorating piece ready for stylish duty in its new home.

antique-tables-as-kitchen-islandsTraditional Home

At first glance I did give pause to the placement of these sconces, especially the sconce on the far right and its close proximity to the wall. Paired balance is present, but unless the cabinet door is rarely used the constant swing issue of door meets sconce could be a design deal breaker for some.  Moral of the story?  What works for you is what works.

kitchen-gray-wallsTraditional Home

Let’s all gather ’round the grand piano~

Lalanne-sheep-Waldo-FernandezArchitectural Digest

Don’t be sheepishly shy with home decor choices.  The Places In The Home rule book clearly states the design and decorating principle that guides our simple philosophy- your house, your rules.  If you hear something I’m sure it is interior design icons, professors and the by-the-book believers crying out in a collective round of that’s not how it’s done. To that I say oh pooh!   The unexpected always kicks the look up a noticeable notch or two.  Conformity can be awfully boring.

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing...”

~ Thomas Jefferson

mix-match-dining-chairsHouse Beautiful

I advise making a mismatched statement in at least one space. Mismatched dining chairs instantly add the pop of personality factor to the don’t be like the rest of them, darling equation.

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Talk about going for the brilliant and the bold with determination and palette penchant.  This beauty takes a giant step away from ho hum, jumping style first into entry envy territory in a very what works for you is what works way.

HBX030115_072 Benjamin Moore’s Twilight 

What works for you is what works in decorating.  Always.

Love your style!

Patience In Design and Decorating

Want, need, seasonal availability and patience in design and decorating lined up over the weekend.  It was hard to contain my excitement when Dave the Builder emailed me the picture below of this display live and in person from our local Lowe’s garden center.

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One white pumpkin, one greenish blue pumpkin, one ornamental cabbage and one vintage dough bowl later…  well this isn’t exactly the look I had in mind. The build up to perceived pumpkin perfection may have been better than the actual great white pumpkin purchase.  As it sometimes goes in the world of design and decorating, what we initially envision doesn’t necessarily translate well to space, palette, placement or in this case, pumpkin.

patience in decorating

If at first you don’t succeed, design and decorate again, and again, and again.  I think it is safe to assume all great, beautiful and stylish design and decorating does not come straight out of the box that way.  I’ve lost count of the projects I have started over at the beginning, in the middle of, and heavily tweaked at the end.  If it doesn’t feel right how can it look right? I know, the client knows, and the client knows I know.  You know?  Adding to, taking away from, switching up or a simple re-positioning is often the missing piece of the puzzle that brings forth the “that’s it!” look you were going for in the first place.  Tenacity, coupled with patience in design and decorating, is the power tool of the trade.

fall-flowers

You’ve got to roll with the punches when it comes to the creative process. It’s a work in progress, an exercise in patience and pumpkin. What presently doesn’t work will eventually come together for the next phase of the extravaganza aka Thanksgiving decorating.  I am gingerly practicing pumpkin caution with these fall decorating beauties of the moment. Here’s hoping they will at least look presentable for an upcoming Thanksgiving staging session. It’s not looking too good for the one in the above image, but hope is on the table.  I always take out a decorating insurance policy in the form of classic core pieces, accents and accessories.

ff-go-greenPumpkin Centerpiece How-to Guide from POPSUGAR

That’s what I love about working with a good foundation and why I preach classic pieces.  Strong lines, good bones, great pieces and patience in design and decorating are the tried and true hallmarks of great and lasting design and decorating.

 

Love your style!

Christmas Tree Wow and Wonder

Creative, unique, designer, traditional, non-traditional and color me impressed Christmas tree wow and wonder highlight the season of inspiration. The color palette is poised for magical artistry and inspired interpretation all year long, but the Holidays provide the opportunity to let our little Christmas tree light shine through Christmas tree wow and wonder!  I look forward to the annual reveal of the Claridge’s Hotel Christmas tree. Always a favorite and never disappointing, The Claridge’s Christmas tree, designed by Dolce & Gabana, is an Italian themed marvel.

Claridge's Christmas Tree

London calls again!  The ‘Red Velvet Tree of Love’  at the Victoria and Albert Museum greets guests in holiday color, texture and pageantry. The Christmas Tree wow and wonder for the Grand Entrance of the Museum is by artists Helen and Colin David.

V &A Christmas Treevia

Elegant simplicity is well represented in this ooh la la factor Parisian-inspired Christmas tree bathed in winter wonderland white, silver baubles, champagne ribbon and a straw hat topper.

Parisian Christmas treeStyle at Home

Fashionably fabulous at the Holidays!

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Traditional by nature, stunning by design.

traditional Christmas treeTraditional Home

Branches in urns with fresh greens and bright whites- oh my!

winter white Christmas decorvia

Non-traditional Christmas colors capture the eye and the heart of holiday decorating through self-expression.

pink Christmas treeBetter Homes and Gardens

‘Tis the season of tinsel trees and Tiffany colors so gorgeously stated in Christmas chic by Valorie Hart.

Visual Vamp Breakfast at Tiffanys Christmas treevia

The more Christmas tree wow and wonder splendor there is to see, the more I am lead to create, decorate and spectate.  Inspiration of the holiday and stylish kind is everywhere!

holiday style