24 December 2010

Need a little X-mas?

While we are very cozy in our new house, I do feel a bit like Charlie Brown.
Our house is under-decorated for the holidays and in general.

The bulk of my belongings and the nicest of them are in Pennsylvania trying to sell my old house.

I am employing more than a few pieces of my husband's bachelor furniture that had been jammed into the garage.
This includes an ugly lopsided table with mismatched folding chairs which will hold us and festive tableware for Christmas Eve dinner.
I will be using my Meme's California Ivy Metlox plates that she often used at Christmas despite their everyday nature.

Though they are not Christmasey, I like them for the holiday.
I did manage to pack my great-grandmother's silver in a well labeled box along with antique linen napkins.

Not a single good tablecloth in sight.
I did not even iron this one, hee hee.

I did get a very sentimental silver cup, spoon and napkin ring out for the baby and that kind of adds all I need to make this a special year.


If I didn't find it all so hilarious, I might be a bit sad.

The truth is that I am enormously grateful to be with my family in our lovely new home.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

17 December 2010

Seriously cute! in a cool way

It is bothersome to me that my Christmas budget does not allow for one of these for my littlest.
Starting at $3840 for the chair alone. I am afraid my little sugarplum is out of luck.

Knoll kids has a womb chair too, but alas it is also out of budget range.

This cutie (the chair) is closer to realistic at about $585 from Littlenest.com.

Check out the really cool mini mid-century iconic furniture HERE

16 December 2010

Eye Candy

Just a quick peek at a room from Homes and Gardens UK edition. I love the sophisticated mix of traditional and modern with clean lines and plenty of texture.
Even though there is a piece of art above the fire place in this photo, how do you feel about putting TVs above the mantel?
I personally hate TVs up there but lots of people do it, would you?

13 December 2010

opinions, please

I just moved in and the pictures are limited to finishes mostly. Who wants to see empty rooms and  a sea of boxes?

I really want opinions on paint colors to offset the existing finishes.

The hardwood floors in the entryhall and stair are rather orange and we have the dreaded builder beige wall-to-wall carpet in living and family rooms. As soon a the budget allows the flooring will change but in the meantime I want walls that are not so white.

This wall color and perhaps my gold silk drapes will make their way into the dining room.
This antique coffee grinder lamp will replace the alabaster one in the entry.

This settee will be in the formal living room that I hope to make a pale gold but it is totally up in the air.

This red and gold Duncan Phyfe settee will be in the library along with the wing chair you see in the background.

These are the fiinishes in the kitchen. The floor is an unfortunate vinyl that will be the first to go.

The kitchen and eating area adjoin this family room.

Let me know your opinions.

Pantone color of 2011, Honeysuckle is verboten.

11 December 2010

Meet me in St Louis

When my husband and I watch movies that have castles or other fabulous places to live I count the seconds until, without fail, he says, "Is that the house you want, Honey?"

Besides being my favorite Christmas movie, Meet Me in St. Louis has one of my favorite houses.

I am not so much in love with the Eastlake Victorian decor but I do love the scale of the rooms and the interesting architecture.

It is a bit over accessorized.

And lacy.

Looking very closely at the hairstyles and fashions you can see the anachronistic influence of 1940s style. I think it is also apparent in the interiors. I think my grandma or at least somebody's had a vanity mirror like that.

I wish I could find better pics of the kitchen in the movie. The copper pots, wooden cabinetry low and shelves above are my ideal and I am blessed to have an antique French canister set like the one behind Mama, played by Mary Astor.

Do you have a favorite "movie house" ?

10 December 2010

Christmas Bizarre

I'm feeling a little defensive about my pathetic holiday decorations.
They didn't all make it onto the truck.
This frightening monkey (?) is not mine but I thought I'd show you a few odd and sometimes rather rude
Christmas decorations.

Potty humor and the birth of Christ-- not a combination I normally think of.

More Christmas poop. This one is for is for your creche.

These are just weird.

Just rude.
Years ago a pal of mine had a business selling handmade novelty soap. At  Halloween the clear bars had bugs and bats, etc.
She decided it would be neat to market a pickle soap to the Heinz museum in Pittsburgh. She found a pickle mold and whipped up a batch of pickle soap. On the day of her appointment with the buyer the woman was so appalled by the phallic appearance she did not buy any and told my friend that they were gross!
I laughed really hard and think of that story every time I see that pickle ornament.

09 December 2010

Are they serious?

Pantone announced their 2001 color of the year to be Honeysuckle or in lay terms... pink.

I think it is rather odd and perhaps a bit juvenile in its feel. Personally I adore pink dresses, shoes and accessories as a part of my summer attire but not my house.

Here is how Pantone describes its applications in interiors.
" Home Interiors
Honeysuckle is upbeat and dynamic when used on large areas like the entry area of a house or an apartment. It is an appetite and conversation stimulant when used on the dining room walls. In the kitchen, it adds a fun touch on the table in placemats and other linens (patterned or solid), colored glassware, candles and small appliances. Honeysuckle is a great color to cover up shabby kitchen cabinets, or, if that’s too much of a color statement for you, try repainting knobs and drawer pulls. But be warned – once you try this arresting shade, it can become addictive."

It just feels too unsophisticated to me. Maybe for outdoor furniture or something in a cabbage rose chintz.

I just think it is limited in its appeal because it is so feminine.


02 December 2010

quick idea

I just wanted to get in a quick post during the moving frenzy.
This is an inexpensive decorating idea that anyone can manage.

Sorry for the shoddy pictures but you can see it is a framed architectural print.
I bought two antique Palladio prints on ebay for $20 with the idea that it is impersonal art to help stage my house during the sale.
I had mats custom cut for $16 and bought stock frames for $15 each.
The intention was for the to dress blank walls in my kitchen (they are photographed with my valance fabric againsta kitchen wall)  but they did not work there so they are in the sitting area of my bedroom which I would not dare show you at this point.

23 November 2010

Making things suck less

This is such an embarrassing photo of my pantry but it is the beginning of what we affectionately call "making things suck less" or getting our house ready to sell.
None of these things are showstoppers. They are the fixes that just make the house not suck.
In defense of the pantry, we have an 18 month old and must overstuff all of the high shelves to keep most of it out of her reach. In a few weeks the bulk of it will be moving with me, leaving only the best looking items in nice and neat rows.

I'll continue the humiliation with these kitchen renovation pics.
This is the early part of the $3000 update.
The plans are simple because we are not staying.
The walls originally had this wall paper (before the orange which was my biggest color mistake ever)

We've removed lots of dated wallpaper in this house. 

The cabinets went from this...

to this...

$300 for paint and hardware (and my husband's one week vacation in time invested)

$ 1700 for new solid surface counters and sink
$ 400 for new faucet and an additional cabinet to replace the peninsula in the photo above.

$40 for fabric and boards to make three custom valances.
The valances were super easy. I got 1 1/2 yards of fabric on sale and used lining I had left from other window projects.
I cut 18 inch pieces, this worked on my window width with 54 inch fabric, and sewed three sides with right sides facing each other. Turned it right side out to iron flat and then iron in the center pleat. It is then stapled to a fabric covered 1x3 board and mounted using "L" brackets.
I have done this in several rooms where I never got around to dressing the windows. I like the custom look and its cheap and easy.
We did not remove the goofy cabinet valance because it woulld expose an unsightly light fixture.

This week instead of decking the halls and stuffing the turkey my talented and patient husband is taking our kitchen floor from this crime...

to this, in progress $400 improvement.

Making things suck less has involved bunches of boring stuff like painting the underside of the gutters and  the fascia around the screened porch along with replacing 45 year-old plastic swichplates with new plastic ones.
It won't make anyone say, "Wow" but they won't say ,"Ewwww" either.

19 November 2010

Dahling I love you, but give me Saks Fifth Avenue

This was just too delicious not show you.

It is a Pagoda napkin ring.

A truly civilized accessory HERE $135 at Saks.

18 November 2010


I got my wish for a library in my new house in what was billed as a main floor bedroom. It 11 by 11 feet with one window, french doors to the foyer, a closet and door to a bath.
I have pondered its tiny decor and considered something glossy like this Miles Redd library. (above)

I adore this Chesterfeild sofa but I think I will be using my Duncan Phyfe style settee.

Built-ins are a long way in the future for us. They are cozy looking though.

This nook created by shelves would be easy to replicate with ready-made shelves.

Who wouldn't love a library ladder? The chandelier and floor are marvelous too.

All images via House Beautiful