Monday, January 30, 2012

The Bedside Table

Since my last post about "what's on my bedside table," I thought it would be fun to actually take a look at some fun nightstands.
Lamps, books, photos and alarm clocks are just a few of the items that we have to have next to our beds. The bedside table, or nightstand is there to hold them in style.

A vintage faux bamboo table is one of my first choices for a nightstand. The one above works perfectly between the twin beds.

I prefer the look of mismatched tables, even pressing into service a chest of drawers.

I like the height of the table to be even with the mattress, but it's a matter of personal preference.

Astoria Guest Retreat eclectic bedroom

Although cute, this darling red table is just a little too low for my taste.

Another mis-matched pair of tables. I love this room for its black faux bamboo bed and blue walls. Looks like another chest of drawers on the left is doing double duty.

Love this idea too of just stacking vintage suitcases.

At first glance, this seems like the perfect setup since I like to read in bed.
But where are the lamps?

Sometimes a group of small tables will work well together.

My personal favorite bedside table is in the guest room in Asti. It is a Victorian seagrass table with lots of room on the shelf below for books.

Our master bedroom.
The table on the left is my side with all the books.
The table on the right is Mr. A's. His books are behind the doors of the cabinet that was given to us by his mom. Totally mis-matched!

My side, circa 2010. I was reading Anna Karenina at the time!

Mr. A's side, circa 2010. Trust me, it never looks like this!
He is a book and magazine stacker--sometimes a foot high!
And, the alarm clock is usually on his side...

My bedside table as it looks today. New wedding photos have been added to the collection. Oh, and the book, "The Space Between Us."

Talk to me. What kind of bedside table do you prefer and what do you currently have on it?
Better yet, if you are a bookworm, what book is on your nightstand!?

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's On My Nightstand

The R.E.A.D. book club has chosen "The Space Between Us" for the next book to read.
It looks to be a good one!

Here is what Amazon says:
"The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar's poignant novel about a wealthy woman and her downtrodden servant, offers a revealing look at class and gender roles in modern day Bombay. Alternatively told through the eyes of Sera, a Parsi widow whose pregnant daughter and son-in-law share her elegant home, and Bhima, the elderly housekeeper who must support her orphaned granddaughter, Umrigar does an admirable job of creating two sympathetic characters whose bond goes far deeper than that of employer and employee."

Sounds intriguing, right? I would love to have you join me in reading this novel.
The book club meets again on March 1st to discuss.
Send me your thoughts about the book and I'll share them at our next meeting, and visa versa with a follow-up post.
Think of it as a virtual book club!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

It's a Dog's Life

Minnesota Private Residence traditional kitchen
Recently, my friend and fellow dog mom sent me a few photos of ways to integrate the family dog into the decor.
While I'm not going to give up precious real estate in my kitchen to carve out a dog bed for Dexter and Bear, these are great ideas!

Seaside whimsy in Centerville, MA eclectic kitchen
Of course, this is the favorite photo, but not because of the feeding station.
You guessed it! Check out that gorgeous glass door Sub-zero.
But I digress!

John Bynum Custom Homes traditional

Bathroom renovation Vancouver | bathroom renovations Vancouver traditional bathroom
Having a pet shower in the laundry room would be so convenient!

If you've ever bathed a rather large dog at home, you know what I mean.

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist!
I mean, how cute is this Airstream dog house?

Beginning Monday, I'm pet sitting my daughter and her husband's dog, Bear for three and a half months while they go off on an adventure.
He is still a puppy and is super anxious when left alone. If I go to the store, he ransacks the house.
I bought a kennel yesterday, and I think he actually likes the security of the small space, so I'm experimenting leaving for short periods of time.
I welcome any suggestions....

In the meantime, Dexter is not amused by the young one!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Welsh Dresser

Antiques Atlas
What is it about the Welsh dresser that appeals to us?

Hermitage On The Web
Helen Meserve of Running Battle Antiques answers that question perfectly:
"Why do we respond so emotionally to this one item? For starters, the Welsh dresser conjures up a romantic image of a simpler life more than two hundred years ago.... "

"a farmer’s cottage in Wales with a peat fire burning in the open hearth, a baby asleep in the cradle nearby, the husband sitting on a stool by a table finishing his gruel for breakfast while the wife stands before her high oak cupboard polishing every bit of pewter until it shines like silver, then rubbing the wood with beeswax to a fine patina."

Cote de Texas
Carol Glasser's Welsh dresser (above) has inspired me for years. I'll never forget the first time I saw it in a magazine years ago. It spoke to me and I realized that it was precisely the kind of display that I wanted for my dish collection. I did not want my dishes behind glass!

I can't remember if I already had my pine Welsh dresser, or if seeing hers inspired me to find one of my own.
I have had this dresser for 20 years. It is a married piece, which contributes to the rusticness of it.

It is fun to change up the dishes on display, depending on the season or holiday.

I like to think about the history of this piece. Where did it come from?
England? Wales?
I hope Wales, where our son-in-law is from.
Secret: there is a pipe carved into the top of the hutch, signifying who the cabinet maker was.
Kind of like his trademark.

The Welsh dresser at home was a birthday gift from Mr. A.
It is a little finer that the pine one, but still quite rustic, due to the painted back.

There are carved acorns on it. I was told it came from Wales.
But maybe not. "Welsh" dresser is a misnomer as these were made in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Welsh pieces were more elaborate, while the English pieces were more simple.
Perhaps my pine dresser is English and my oak one is Welsh.

Either way, they most certainly conjure up images of a simpler, romantic time.

Wales was a poor country, so these cupboards were made to hold everything from food preparation to storage in the kitchen/diningroom/livingroom.
The top of the dresser displayed the family's prized pewter or china, while underneath, the mixing bowls and serving pieces were stored.

The Welsh dresser was made with whatever wood was available.
Pine, elm, but most were oak. No two were ever alike.

I look forward to visiting Wales someday.
Top on the list of places to visit will be the Museum of Welsh Life, just outside of Cardiff.
It's a living museum with cottages scattered amongst the gardens, each with Welsh dressers and other antiques from the 17th century.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Birdhouse Love

My Dad's hobby was making birdhouses. He used to surprise me with his little creations, like the one above. In fact, one day in the spring of 2001, he visited me and gave me his entire collection of birdhouses that he had been making in his workshop.

I think he knew he didn't have much time left and he wanted me to have them.

For twelve years, the entire birdhouse collection has been stored in the garage.

Except for one, a bird feeder that he mounted on a pole in my backyard that day.
A few weeks later, he passed away.
I haven't touched it since.

After nearly 12 years of weathering the elements, there is not much left of it.
Still, I can't take it down.

But somebody did.
Little did I know that our new son-in-law took it down and completely rebuilt it!
On Saturday, he surprised me with the same bird feeder that my Dad made, completely reconstructed and preserved for hopefully another 12 years.

I feel like my Dad is "up there" with a big grin on his face!
He would have loved our son-in-law.
I know I sure do!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

The Butler's Pantry

This post is for all you dishaholics who came out last week.
Admitting we have a problem is Step One, so this post is about the art of display and storage of our "problem."

If you don't have a butler's pantry to store your dishes, then you are probably dreaming of one.

A separate room to store it all would be my idea of heaven!

I would even be happy with a full length cabinet like the one above in my garage!

Butlers Pantry traditional kitchen
Just having a little niche or room! Many readers wrote that they were thinking of turning a spare bedroom into a storage area.

Pantry traditional kitchen
Storage is definitely a problem for us dishaholics!

Reading everyone's comments about their dish obsession and lack of storage space made me realize that I might have a solution right under my nose.
My laundry room!

A butler's pantry/laundry room!
All that needs to be done is to clear out the junk behind those cabinet doors!
Craft stuff, vases, old candles, pots, etc. and organize the cupboards with dishes.
I'm tempted to remove the doors though so that the dishes can be seen and appreciated.
That, or maybe put glass in them.

What do you think? Is it weird to have a washer and dryer in your butler's pantry?

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