Monday, January 22, 2018

Faux Real

There was a time when I would never think of putting fake flowers in my home.
To me, no flowers at all were better than fake.
Well, let's just say I've evolved!
But so have faux flowers!

The quality of faux flowers has dramatically improved in the last few years.
During a recent trip to HomeGoods, I was surprised to find a whole aisle dedicated to faux.

Still, there are really good, lifelike flowers and really bad, obviously fake flowers.
You just have to be very discerning when selecting them for your home.

For instance, this leaf doesn't look real at all!
Actually, leaves are hard to pull off.

I ended up buying a faux peony bouquet for our master bath.  
I think that mixing it with all the bath salts and bath accoutrements helps to blend in and pull it off.

 Last year, I bought a pair of white orchids from Pottery Barn for the mantel.
I figured that from a distance they look real. 
It also helps that they share the mantel with real myrtle topiaries. 

 Real Peruvian Lilies share the living room with the faux orchids...

...along with real orchids in this urn. It helps to blend real and faux, I've found.

When it comes to real vs. faux, I think it's an individual choice.  
Maybe someone in your home is allergic to real flowers, or your kitty likes to eat them!
Not everyone wants to deal with the task of cutting and arranging real flowers either.
Although, I still enjoy picking up a bouquet at the grocery store, I've learned to appreciate a faux bouquet thoughtfully placed here and there.

Looking for quality faux flowers?
Check out HomeGoods, Pottery Barn, and One Kings Lane to name a few.

Pin It!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Pendant Lights In The Kitchen

Lighting is so personal, especially with decorative pendants and chandeliers.
They're like jewelry for your home.
In our kitchen, I knew all along that I would want to replace the three glass pendants when we bought the house.
But with what?

I like to think of our home like a tight ship, even somewhat nautical.
I envisioned something in brass, but finding a fixture that isn't too large was a challenge.

If there were only two pendants, I could go large, but with three, they had to be no more than ten inches wide. 

After weeks of searching online, I found this brass fixture called "Massena" from Hudson Valley Lighting.
It was what I had in mind all along!

Here they are newly installed.
I love how they add that nautical feel to the kitchen I was going for.

Up close you can see how there is a white porcelain element in the neck of the fixture, which casts refracted light on the ceiling at night.

These pendants hang with a down rod made of brass.
The fixture comes with many lengths, so you get to put together the length that works for you.

A little higher than the previous lights, but because they have much more presence, I think a little higher is ok. 
At nine and a half inches wide, they are perfect!

I'm loving the new look!
Isn't it funny how such a small change can make a huge difference?
Pin It!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Better Late Than Never: Two Christmas Tablescapes in Review

 Last month was the longest December ever.
We were traveling all over the place, celebrating Christmas with our oldest daughter's family in Seattle, then off again to Taos to visit our youngest daughter for a post Christmas celebration.
In between trips, we managed to host Christmas day in our new home with our two sons, grandma and brother and sister-in-law.

 I literally threw this tablescape together on Christmas Eve!

I already had the Spode "Christmas Tree Grove" plates and colored glassware, but what really pulled it all together were these red tartan plaid chargers I found at the local gourmet grocery store.

 We were shopping for Christmas dinner groceries when I spied them buried on a table.  
I could hardly contain my excitement.  Mr. A was at the checkout and I handed them to him at the last minute.  

When we moved, I got rid of three Christmas patterned dishes, but kept these wonderful Spode plates.

Years ago, I created a Christmas tablescape in our old house using these dishes.
Somehow they looked better there!

But that was then and this is now!
Christmas 2017 Tablescape!

While we were in Seattle, I created another tablescape at our daughter's home using these Target Christopher Radko plates that I had passed down to her.
They're more playful and fun for a young family, so I'm glad she will have them for years to come.

It seems weird, yet comforting to set a table in her home.
Especially, since that is my old dining table and those are my old dishes!
But I'm so glad to see them passed down and remain in the family.

My granddaughters even helped me set the table.
We found a garland at the grocery store and used it for a centerpiece.
The silver chargers were another hand-me-down and thankfully, there were fun plaid placemats in the drawer.
I love that we were able to set the table together and continue the tradition of Christmas tablescaping.

Who knows that next year will bring.
With family scattered in several states, we might not have everyone together again for Christmas day.
Clearly, the Christmas traditions are changing!

Pin It!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Hygge Ideas For Cozy Living

I don't know about you, but January is my month to get cozy, especially after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  
I just feel like curling up by the fire, appreciating the sound of the rain outside, reading a good book--you get the idea!
The Danish have a word for this:  Hygge.

Hygge (pronounced "hue-gah") is about creating a sanctuary in our homes of coziness; enjoying and appreciating the simple things in life. 
Like a warm wool throw to wrap up in while outside on a cold day...

...or to sit by the fire and appreciate the warmth.

I love sitting in my favorite chair while sipping tea on a rainy afternoon.

I also like to turn on music and eat by candlelight.
Preferably comfort food such as stew or soup!

This is the month I plant hyacinths to force and place them by the bed, in the bathroom and on the kitchen windowsill.  

Fresh flowers and a basket of fruit in the kitchen brighten up a dreary January day too.

This is what the Danish have been doing forever!
They actually love winter, which I have always struggled with. 
But since discovering the art of Hygge, I've come to enjoy, or at least not hate winter as much!

Pin It!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Living Large

At 2200 square feet, our new home lives large, thanks to an "open concept" floor plan.
There is no formal entry, however, there is kind of a sense of entry.  
Upon entering, you're in the living/dining room.

The living room side features a fireplace with tongue and groove clad wall above the mantel.

Looking toward the front door from the dining area.
The seaglass chandelier came with the house and I'm loving it.

The kitchen opens to the family room.

The family room opens to the backyard and enclosed patio.
Perfect for entertaining in the summer.

I'm struggling with the leather sofa though.
It just seems too heavy and doesn't fit the style of the house.

The patio area is just outside the kitchen and family room
The garden is beyond and the garage is to the left.

There is so much I want to do, but am taking my time.
Instead, we are enjoying our first Christmas in our new home.
Stay tuned for my to do list and our cottage decorated for the holidays.

Pin It!

Friday, December 1, 2017

One Last Tour

 When we listed our San Francisco home, our realtor hired a professional photographer for the brochure and online website.  
At the time, I intended to write a post about selling the house, but just couldn't bring myself to do it!

 Better late than never they say.  
So, here are a few of my favorite photos of the house.

I thought enough time had gone by that I could revisit these photos and the house without feeling sad.

But, I'm proud of the remodel and how everything turned out.
It was one of the best experiences working with my contractors and together creating this home.

 We turned the challenge of this oval dining room into an asset with herringbone floor and wallpaper.

Together, we shopped for the beautiful soapstone in the kitchen and designed the cabinets too.

 I love those drapes!
So much, that I excluded them from the sale.

 The kitchen is probably the room I miss the most. 
However, the kitchen in our new house is very similar in layout--minus the soapstone...

 ...and minus the refrigerator!

The master bedroom.

The master bathroom.
I miss it too!

Actually, I miss the master closet the most!  
Ironically, it turned out to be a problem when we sold because buyers wanted a fourth bedroom, which is what this closet was originally.  

 The family room which opens to the courtyard.

That grasscloth was such an obsession.
So much so that I'm considering putting it in the new house too.

 The courtyard.

 Guest room # 1

 Guest room #2

 The laundry room, conveniently located across from the master bedroom.

 The powder room.
I don't think I had any photos of this room before.  
It was fun wallpapering it in this stripe grasscloth.

 A long, wide hallway that was an awkward space to decorate became an office.

 Off the kitchen, an atrium which has a spiral staircase leading to the roof deck.

 The roof deck.  
We rarely enjoyed this space as it was usually too cold and windy.
We did however, see the Blue Angels a few days before the move from here.

We loved this house!
It had curb appeal, which is hard to find in the City.
The inside was wonderful and designed to our taste, and I certainly enjoyed the remodel process.

What we struggled with was the location.  We learned that we aren't really city people.  We're more suburban people!  
Being surrounded by a garden and trees as opposed to apartments is better for our soul.

Pin It!
Related Posts with Thumbnails