The Decorating Way, Way Back: Decorating With What You Love

Lost, destroyed, misplaced. These are not the words we want associated with the photos of our lives.  A couple of weeks ago I received an email from my have camera, will photograph uncle with these blast from the past photos attached. Tears rolled down my cheeks for the memories and thankfulness to have these back in my life as we know it photo file once again, grainy finish and all. I have titled this blog post the decorating way, way back.  For the hip and happening hashtag crowd, let’s go with #WaybackWednesday on this #ThrowbackThursday eve.


These photos were taken at our old house. Originally we purchased this house as an investment property, but it made financial and logistical sense (and cents) to just move into the property while we were in all out renovation mode with our present home.   On this particular afternoon in early 2000 when these photos were taken, family and close friends gathered back at our home after the funeral of my maternal grandmother.  My grandmother, a self-made woman and antiques dealer extraordinaire, taught me the world of antiques.  I see her everyday when I glance at the many items given to us by her and proudly displayed throughout our home.  Dave the Builder and I have always been big on including family mementos into our decor.  Decorating with what you love makes a house your home.

Bob-Dylan-quoteThe decorative anchors of the fireplace mantel consist of two of my most treasured treasures.


The vintage rose bowl was an anniversary gift from Dave the Builder.  I spotted it in a friend’s antiques store and commented to Dave how I wished I could find one similar to it in our treasure hunting rounds.  As soon as I opened the anniversary gift and saw the rose bowl I knew its new home would be on the fireplace mantel. Of course, this was before my graceful handling resulted in its chip and crack demise.


The Hull Magnolia ewer on the other end of the mantel was Dave the Builder’s paternal grandmother’s.  When Dave and I first started dating he was using the ewer as a doorstop.  A doorstop! Dave, this is an exquisite, mint condition piece of American pottery.  Please visit your local home improvement store for all your doorstop needs.  It is a sheer miracle the ewer did not end up like the rose bowl.

hull-magnolia-matte-ewerLive Auctioneers

The design of the house was a natural fit for our American antique pieces .


The dining room was painted in Sherwin Williams Mint Condition.




The den was painted in Sherwin Williams Fired Brick.  The photos cast an altogether different color.


This is the dining room in our present home painted in Fired Brick.  Lighting is key to true color reads.



Addresses, hair colors, waistlines and fashions have changed over the last fifteen years. Trends have ushered us toward painted furniture, neutrals as color and new traditional modern.  If I had to do the interior of this particular style home all over again, I don’t believe I would change too much of the original interior selections.  They say you can’t go back, but you can remain true to your personal interior design and decor style without apology or comparison.  It’s called decorating with what you love.

Love your style!

It’s Time For A New Dining Room Paint Color

A tedious decor project I’ve been working on collided head on with my consulting duties last week.  My schedule got crazy busy and caused a delay in my posting.  Taking a break from the monotony of term sheets and contracts, I shifted my attention to an at home project long overdue. It’s time to choose a new dining room paint color.  It’s no secret how much I love Sherwin-Williams Fired Brick, but with the lack of natural light in the dining room it is proving to be on the dark side. The lighting of a space (or lack thereof) is a crucial factor to consider in the selection of paint colors.

Sherwin Williams Fired Brick

I’m heading in the direction of a barely there classic color palette that will:

~ frame the flow of  bookend color from foyer to butler pantry

~bring the French inspired ooh la la factor to the space

~ allow a better showcase for the existing light fixtures

Valspar Mesa Sand

The color choice needs to complement the new kitchen paint color, Curio Gray. Considering the foyer wallpaper, drapes, and dark finish of the living room suite (not my fav, but it keeps the peace), I’m leaning towards the pink/red family of colors- one with a whisper, a scant hint of pink with a café au lait base. When done right, pink defies the connotation of  frill and femininity so closely associated with the color. Achieving light, tone, and shade synergy is the trick. First up is Valspar Mesa Sand.

dining room paint color

Paint color samples can fool the eye.  I highly suggest purchasing a sample container ($2.98 at Lowe’s) of the color(s) you are considering and trying it out on the wall. Paint a large enough area of the wall and let the paint completely dry in order to get a good and proper color read.

Mesa Sand sample

Well that’s a big no go on the Mesa Sand! What a paint color sample looks like on a chart or in a can is very different from what it will actually look like on the wall. Mesa Sand looks to be the perfect shade of  brownish pink in the first image, a peachy salmon with a brown base in the paint sample image, and a flat beige on the wall. On to the next choice.

Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster

Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster is working for me. The sample is en route and my fingers are crossed.

crystal chandelier

What project Dave the Builder will be tackling on his summer vacation is no longer a mystery.  I’ll show you what else I have in mind later in the week. Think light fixture.