29 September 2010

Seasonal decorating?

image via Country Living

Are you a seasonal decorator? Do you have a different wreath for each month?

image via Pottery Barn

What about Summer? The only thing I manage then, is filling the screened porch.

image via Country Living

In the Spring, I throw together a few tablescapes for entertaining.

 I have to say that, apart from Christmas and Halloween, I hardly ever decorate seasonally. No special candles, wreaths, or anything.

image via Country Living

I am not knocking it. I love autumnal vignettes and plenty of seasonal decor as long as it is not full of fake stuff and over done.

image via Country Living

I really adore Christmas decorations. I have however grown to dread the putting away of everything in the dreary winter days that follow the holiday.

 Christmas is so warm and lovely to me that I find the chore quite depressing.

My cure for that is to simplify my holiday decorating. I put out less and rotate my items on display from year to year.

 What about you? Do you have a plan for every season?

27 September 2010

What I think is wrong with RH

Many bloggers have taken their swipes at Restoration Hardware's new look and for the most part I think they are right. The look is nearly past and and its contirived.

Small retailers who source the "real thing" are angry that RH is mass producing this look. It's annoying, however, I think the market of discerning buyers will prove that RH made a bad bet. Sure, Suzie-suburban-homeowner will open the catolog and recreate a room using her hubby's credit card. 
The real problem that I see is their price point. The prices are affordable for people in urban and large metro areas where the cost of living is much higher than in smaller cities and towns. The fact is that most of America lives in those small cities, rural areas, and tiny towns.

For much of America $3000 is too much to pay for a dining table.

I hate most of it.

Especially this floor lamp.

I have a resale account with RH and would not dare use most of their products in a project.
I say most because there is one notable exception-- lighting, well some of it.

This is one area that the prices aren't way out of line and much of it looks good.

I would happily use this sconce knowing that it is interesting and a decent price.

I will say that I adore the Chesterfield sofa...
but I've seen the real thing in antique stores for less.

Does anyone else feel the same? Or do you think I am totally wrong?

24 September 2010

The one that got away

This househunting business is frustrating. Falling in like with a house and being outbid, too slow to bid or trusting internet pictures that turn out badly is getting old. I have posted a few houses that I was interested in before.
Here is how a few turned out.

We were outbid on this one. Very depressing but not surprising.

This one was taken off the market. It was lovely but the bedrooms were really small.

This house was is a lake community. We were so excited. It had huge rooms and lots of them. It was a gigantic let down to see. Shoddy workmanship and a obvious water/mold problem knocked it right off our list.

This one went under contract before we had a chance to see it.

So did this one and it broke my heart. We were able to see it and I absolutely loved it.

We have offers on two other houses that are relatively boring. New construction does not excite me, although one was the model for the neighborhood and has many premiums. I would prefer something older.

Like this one in Leesburg, Virginia, that is not for sale.

17 September 2010

miles of red and Redd

Miles Redd

My last post got me thinking not only about Miles Redd but about red rooms and how I love them.

My own living room is Ralph Lauren riding coat red. And not as dusty as this picture looks!

Red rooms lend themselves to dim, golden light especially if the red has yellow/orange undertones.

This dining room appears to have a red that has blue/purple undertones and is not as pretty in my opinion.

This room in the palace at Versailles is proof that it is not a humble color.

The red room at the White House agrees.
In this Christmastime photo of the White House red room, it reads the orangey red I prefer.
It also seems really Christmas-y.

Syon House

I am in love with this living room and the lambrequins on the window.
The red works so nicely with blue and white and not a bit Christmas-y.

14 September 2010

Fantasy Decorator

Now that football season has begun, I hear a great deal about folks' fantasy football team.
I am just not interested enough to play,  make it "fantasy decorator" and I am in!

Who would you choose among the well know designers to create a space for you?

Barbara Barry?

Celerie Kemble?

Suzanne Kasler?

Suzanne Rheinstein?

Tobi Fairley?

Charlotte Moss?

Kelly Wearstler?

Or Miles Redd?

I have left so many out.
The only designer represented twice is my choice.
Can you guess who it is?
Who is your fantasy pick, here or not?

11 September 2010

hotels and househunting

While it is not a boutique hotel by any means, our longtime favorite for househunting trips is rather nice and affordable.

 The in-room decor is perhaps a bit trite but always super clean.
The staff perfectly professional and the cookies warm and delicious.

My only complaint is the bathroom countertops are the sort of granite that hides water in such a manner and position...

 that it tends to assault the midsection of the user in direct propotion to the rush that one is in.

We still don't have a house either.

Disclaimer: I totally stole/borrowed many images from the Hilton website out of admiration for their property and will gladly remove them upon request.

07 September 2010

Perfectly round, perfect cookies

I have not posted anything yummy in awhile. Usually the first week of school I make a special treat or two
for my family. Last week I was going to lazily bake boxed brownies, when to my shock we were out of them.
Instead I made my sorta famous sugar cookies and I know, I know hydrogenated fats blah, blah, its delicious.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup butter flavor Crisco ( don't use generic, trust me)
 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter flavor Crisco, granulated sugar,  and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Scoop with a very small scoop onto ungreased baking sheets. Level the scoop with a knife or spatula for precise cookies that are evenly crisp and perfectly round.

BAKE for 11 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes or best on marble board.

The four of us finished the batch in an
embarrassingly short time.

04 September 2010

Beloved oddities

Do you have any slightly bizarre possessions that would pain you--
 greatly-- to part with?
I do.
Lots of them, like the antique coffee grinder lamp (above) that belonged to my grandparents.
Its totally weird and it works as a grinder and lamp.

This Tibetan prayer wheel

"Sam" the Chinese Foo dog (he is made of coal).
They are part of my living room decor.
This quirky clutter makes it my own.

I change things around once in awhile
desperately need to edit much of it. (Somebody slap me)
I still like the fact that my curious collection provides an identity to my home that can't be copied from a catalogue.

What peculiar things do you own or admire in other people's houses?