Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lighten Up And Declutter

 Do you ever feel like you have too much stuff? 
I do and have finally made a commitment to deal with it.

Last week I began the process of decluttering my house and life!
Down came the majolica plates and half of the oil paintings that I've collected over the years.

I took down the plates and the Dijon colored paint.

Tommy the Painter thinks I've flipped my lid! 
 He painted the walls Dijon over ten years ago and can't wrap his mind around my plan.  I told him to think of it as going from Dijon to Mayonnaise!

The result is a cleaner, uncluttered look.

Now I'm questioning this light fixture. 
It certainly was love at first sight but that love affair is over.
I'm looking for something less......foo foo!

 The Dijon color was at its best around the mantel as it gave a warm, cozy feel to the room.

But not so much next to the green cabinets. 

Here's the cleaned up mantel in its preliminary staging.

I like how important the black mantel looks now, much crisper and cleaner.

Lightened up and decluttered.
Stay tuned for more before and after of the kitchen as it goes from Dijon to Mayonnaise!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Blood Moon Rising

Set your clocks tonight for a rare view of the Blood Moon, also called a tetrad, a lunar eclipse when the earth passes in front of the moon and blocks the sun's light.
It's the first in a series of four lunar eclipses. 

At 12:47 a.m. PDT the moon will be in total eclipse and will be seen as copper to blood red in color.
A reddish hue comes over the moon because of the way the Earth's atmosphere bends sunlight onto its surface.

Tuesday's eclipse will last just under four hours, with the partial eclipse beginning at 10:58 p.m. Monday and ending at 2:33 a.m. Tuesday. 
 Prime viewing is between 11:30 p.m. and 1:25 a.m., and to see the moon at its bloodiest, look up at 3:07 a.m.

I'm so excited to see the Blood Moon tonight.
Now if only I can stay awake!
There's another Blood Moon October 8th, just in case you miss this one.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Personalize It

My friend found these monogrammed glasses at a garage sale for $1 each and bought them for me.
I'm thrilled to say the least because I probably wouldn't go out of my way to have glasses personalized, but finding them already with an "A" on them is like finding a treasure.

It got me thinking about monograms and why we love them.
I think monograms tell your story.  They say "this is who I am, this is my mark."

I felt that way when I had the dining room chairs monogrammed. 
 I could have centered a large "A" over the stripe but instead had our first name initials embroidered on either side.

 Monogram étiquette says that you center your last name with smaller initials on either side like above.
I imagine Richard and Ronda Moore sleep here!

 I had a traditional monogram made for my cell phone.
Don't ask what the "J" stand for!

Not all monograms have to be traditional though. 
Monogramming is so personal and you can do it any way you like these days. 
For instance, for my birthday and trip to Paris, my friend personalized a passport cover with my nickname!

Recently, a new catalogue came in the mail and guess what?  It was all about monograms!
Have you heard of Mark and Graham?  They're part of the Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, West Elm, and Rejuvenation "empire."
Now you can monogram your world--or your dog's world!

 Those wine glasses you wish had your initial on them?
Now it's easy peasy.

Just look at all the examples they offer!
Whether telling your story or just marking your territory, monograms are a tradition that is here to stay.
How do you feel about monograms, yay or nay?

(I'm currently obsessed with these personalized products from Mark and Graham!)

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Floral Vignettes Around The House

 A trip to the grocery store and a walk through the garden with clippers yielded a few early spring floral vignettes for the house.
Beginning with white hydrangeas in a green earthenware pitcher for the kitchen island.
But wouldn't it look better...

...in the living room?

Fresh lilacs from the garden initially graced the kitchen table...

...but eventually ended up in the living room on the coffee table.

Then there's this pathetic little arrangement straight from the garden of random flowers and succulents on the window sill!

 My favorite floral vignette though is this simple arrangement of multi-colored roses in a confit pot.
I love it in the family room on the pine trunk.

The only problem with fresh flowers is that they don't last long. 
The hydrangeas and lilacs wilted within 24 hours!
In the meantime, moss or preserved boxwood balls provide an everyday solution in between live plants.
I'll just replace with live ivy topiaries or a flowering plant when we entertain.

I love having fresh flowers around the house. Their beautiful color and sweet aroma brighten my day and make our home feel happy and warm!
Don't you agree?

(Posting at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays and at Savvy Southern Style for WOW!)
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Long Live Classic Decor: Leopard Prints

 Adding to my ever growing collection of design books is a wonderful book by Jennifer Boles, "In With The Old, Classic Decor from A to Z"

 It was a gift from a friend who actually had Jennifer Boles sign it!
For those unfamiliar with Jennifer Boles, she is the author of the popular design blog "The Peak Of Chic."
The book is about 100 decorating essentials inspired by legendary design, cleverly arranged from A to Z.

 For instance, L is for Leopard Prints, a chapter that I read first since I too love leopard and feel that it is classic and will never go out.  I couldn't agree with her opinion of leopard carpeting being the perfect print for dog owners as it hides a multitude of sins like muddy paw prints!

"While you can cover an entire floor in leopard print and it will look chic, covering an entire room in leopard print textiles usually doesn't work."
This is true! 

When I installed the leopard runner on the stairs, I was tempted to put it in my bedroom at the same time.  I chickened out and put wool sisal instead.  Now I wish I had done it!  I was afraid it would be too much but it would have worked.

A little leopard goes a long way when using textiles.  I used a Ralph Lauren linen leopard on two Bergere chairs in Asti.  Just enough leopard--not too much.

Lampshades provide a small does of leopard in the living room.
Jennifer Boles suggests, "Try peppering a sofa with a leopard print throw pillow or two..."
"If you wish to be daring, upholster a sofa in a traditional leopard print fabric, but make sure that your room's other furnishings look tame."

I'm loving this book!  As I peruse the chapters, I find myself agreeing with her choice of classic decor, as if I wrote it myself!
Thank you Jennifer Boles for writing such a fabulous book, and thank you to my friend for giving it to me.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Salt In The Sugar Bowl

 When I was a kid, every year I put salt in my mother's sugar bowl on April Fools Day.
And every year, she fell for it!

I feel kind of bad about it now because as an adult, I know how much that first cup of coffee means in the morning...

...Only to have it ruined!
I loved seeing my mom's face as she took that first sip of coffee. "April Fools" I would shout. 
I'm sorry Mom!

Happy April Fool's Day!

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Floral Inspiration

Style Me Pretty
Spring has sprung in California with true spring-like weather of unsettled weather.
We are finally getting some much needed rain and that means flowers!

I'm always looking for floral inspiration, especially today as I head out to the garden with clippers in hand.
Although hydrangeas aren't blooming in the yard yet, this fun arrangement of white hydrangeas mimicking cauliflower set inside leaves would be perfect for the Easter or Passover table.

Last week I visited a friend who always inspires me with the flowers in her home.
I like how she uses a dried boxwood wreath to support the simple hydrangea plant in this urn.

She used a dried boxwood wreath as well for this simple kitchen arrangement of lettuce in an antique dough bowl.
How cool that it's edible too!

Little vases of roses fill this rectangle stone pot on the coffee table.
I certainly left her home with lots of floral inspiration and determination to decorate my home for spring.
Stay tuned to see what I come up with!

(You can find me at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday, and Confessions of a Plate Addict)
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