30 March 2011


This is my solution to kid-proof decor.
It is in response to seeing the wooden spheres at Restoration Hardware (see yesterday's post).
The antique bowl weighs a ton so it can't be taken anywhere by little hands.
The whole combo was a mere $35 thanks to and antique store and World Market.
The main drwback is that my husband hates it and the older kids think its stupid.
Please humor me and tell me how cool it is.

The other decor related news is that my old house (the one where all my stuff is) is under contract.

That means in a few short weeks I'll have my things here.

No more mattresses on the floor.

No more ugly, lopsided table with mismatched folding chairs.

My quirky, beloved stuff.
I can't wait.

29 March 2011

Balance: Kid stuff ~ Anything not plastic

I struggle with creating a relaxing, indestructable, and attactive family room.
Last week, my almost two year-old saw a bowl like the one above, filled with wooden balls, like above, in Restoration Hardware. Before I could stop her, she heaved the largestone  into the air and upon its hitting the floor kicked it like Pele shouting, "Yay, I did it!"
Luckily, the staff thought it was adorable.

My TV room is not a formal entertaining space and won't be setup as such but
I despise throw away furniture and kid plastic.

In an effort to be interesting and practical, I "refinished" this old coffee table.
I say "refinished" because I distressed an already distressed from abuse table. Call it controlled distressing.
I stained it black then removed much of the black stain and added a gunstock over it leaving every gouge, crack and scratch intact.
The result looks like a reclaimed wood floor or shop counter and there are no fights about it because I don't care what happens to it, its already messed up.

I never want this in my house but a kid's got to play, right?

This shelf was a toy hiding solution at our old house and I am planning on a similar one here.

In an effort to save my coffee table from Mattel I should probably get a few of these...

28 March 2011

Change of plans and a fruitless search

Spent all weekend looking for one of these that is not as deep as a twin bed.
 No luck so far so I must drive to Northern Virginia to continue the search.

I have abandoned the idea of a slipcovered sofa for my family room, for the moment.

My thinking is that a leather Chesterfield will be virtually indestructable, a good thing in this house.
It also is not a trendy look that I might get sick of.
This is equally important because my husband is of the belief that a sofa should
outlast the pyramids.
I like the clean look of white slipcovers but I fear they would not look
very clean for long and I would constantly need to spot treat or launder them.

Its not that we are especially dirty. In fact, people have always asked me how my kids are so clean.
My oldest could play in the mud and somehow manage to keep his clothes spotless.
Sticky fingerprints still happen sometimes.
I think my husband is the culprit.

24 March 2011

Scored, want, like

This is a bit of everything.


One of my favorite distractions is "junking".
 I went to a thrift store nearby and scored this sunburst mirror for..

My daughter swears it is from Ballard, who sells it for $99.

the April issue of Veranda.
Its everywhere.

 Gary Spain...

Not too trendy, but likeable, urban, fun.
Okay, so there's a ton of trendy on his site but plenty of cool layering.
Thanks to Gary for his permission to use these photos!

22 March 2011

Picking battles

My new house has a lot of light fixtures, including these boob lights.
One switch turns on four of them in the upstairs hall.
I'm not crazy about them
but it could be worse.

This dining room chandelier needs help and truth be told I'm just not over the moon
about brushed nickel finishes but
it could be worse.

This entry hall lantern will require an investment in a very tall ladder
to straighten its guts, change light bulbs, or bat it around like the ugly pinata that it is.
No one is allowed to turn it on.
It could be worse.
My husband has always been the "lightbulb police".
As a solution to the massive number of lights always on
he did this...

It makes my eyes bleed.

21 March 2011

Blue and white

I love blue and white together. Especially vignettes with a mix of ginger jars, vases, and bowls.

The owner of this dinining room has the ultimate collection.
I love the tiny tureen on the table.

It is such a refreshing color combination without being pushy.

Target even has a new collection of blue and white home accessories.

I have indulged in a few Target items for my guest bath but I prefer antiques.

With the exception of a soup tureen (not pictured) I have inherited all of my great-grandmother's blue and white plates.
They are lovely but don't acheive the effect that peices in the round do when on display.

I am paricularly fond of the way that the combination of blue and white pairs so well with other colors.
Even if its not on a flag it looks wonderful with red. I am also a fan of mixing it with yellow or orange
creating a Provencal look, even though its not exactly in vogue at the moment.

It is wonderful all by itself too.

15 March 2011

Comfort or Style?

Comfort? No, I'm not going to talk about shoes...

but sofas.
The Carlisle sofa from Pottery Barn was a favorite of mine until I sat in it.
It may be great for lying down, although I didn't try that, it
was way too deep and squishy.
I'm short so its rather difficult to find seating that everyone in our house likes.
Its is nearing the time for us to go out and find something for our family room.
It won't be a high-end custom sofa. Somewhere in the mid-range, $1000-$2000.

I like the idea of slipcovers, like on this Ikea Extorp sofa and the price is great.
I have one and my husband has been trying to put it out with the garbage since we got it.
The seat cushions are rock hard and it sits too high up.
I also think that white slipcovers are going to be too high maitainance for me. I have a toddler, think sticky fingers and crayons, and two teens, think food and possibly shoes soiling the furniture in our
family room.
Washable is great but white might be an everyday chore.

That being said, this sofa from Ethan Allen is too fussy.
This looks comfy.

I prefer the sleek lines of something like this, but it remains to be seen if it is
Comfort is most important to my husband.
Style and practicality are big on my list.

This will never happen at my house.
What are your priorties in seating?
Hardwearing and comfortable? Stylish?
Contemporary or traditional?

05 March 2011

I think I have Spring fever

I'm not really sure where this is going.
I've had ugly computer problems and gorgeous weather.
I spent a lovely afternoon at Dixie's in Frederickburg...

having my hair done. Just like in a movie, in was a gaggle of sweet ladies with Southern accents.
I have little to complain about.
I had the first dinner out, alone with my husband in two years.
We had after dinner drinks at Sammy T's in Old Town Fred.
Its not some cookie cutter place as the name might suggest.

The name certainly does not fit the the historic charm of this watering hole and its popularity
has been steady since we first visited less than a year ago.
I still pinch myself a bit when I remember that I live here.
It may seem like small potatoes to some, living here that is, but it has been a long time wish of mine to be in a place I really love,once again.

Fab  Fred antique stores coming soon.