Thursday, September 27, 2012

Black Is The New Pine

 The pine bookcase has a whole new look!
When Ian, the Master Painter and crew brought it back yesterday, I was amazed at the transformation.

Here is the original pine finish.  Ethan Allen's idea of an antique pine piece, which over the years seemed to get more and more orange!

My solution:  paint it black and give it another chance in the living room with its newly clad grasscloth walls.

 I thought about painting it all black, or all white, but settled on the back tongue and groove boards being a crackled linen and the body distressed black.

After the painters left, I immediately started putting all the books and nicknacks back.

 It took forever.
I can't believe how much stuff was on the shelves before.
I ended up packing most of the dog collection away and just kept out my favorites.

I mean, after all, they were taking over the shelves before!

This morning, I couldn't wait to see the new bookcase in the morning light.

I love how the black looks with the new paisley chairs and wallpaper.

"When in doubt, paint it black," I always say!

The living room is finally coming together.
Next week, the new draperies will be installed, which is the last element, and the one that should pull it all together.
Stay tuned for a complete, full-on, "ready for the holidays" living room reveal!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Day In The Life Of A Window

I have no words today...
So I let the windows do the talking!
What did they say to you?

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Friday, September 21, 2012

An Autumn Centerpiece

We officially say goodbye to summer tomorrow and hello to fall.  
This oakleaf hydrangea bouquet from summer has now transitioned to fall with its new colors.
I picked them especially for you!
Wishing you all a wonderful autumnal season!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Little Helpers

 A few months ago, I found this paisley duvet cover on sale at Pottery Barn.

 It has been sitting on a shelf ever since.  
I knew I wanted to change up the bedding in the guest house, but was reluctant to go from soothing all-white to bright and colorful.

 Fall seems like the perfect season to make the change, so I announced to my granddaughters that grandma was going to the guest house to make her bed!

 "Can we help you grandma?"

But of course!  
So we made making grandma's bed into a project.
While my daughter and I worked inside, the girls were very helpful gathering acorns and putting rocks in the lantern.

They were perfectly happy looking for special rocks just outside the door.

And I was perfectly happy to stuff my new duvet cover without too much "help!"

 We were all very busy!

 With the late afternoon sun as my muse, I grabbed my good camera to capture this moment in time.

 Outside, the oaks that are our view from the bedroom.

 Inside, the still life on the dresser.

But the most wonderful subjects were my granddaughters, glowing with the joy of playing...

 ...illuminated by the amber afternoon, fall light.

The same amber fall light that makes everything glow.  
This is mother nature's change of season outside, and my cue to start decorating for fall inside.
Thanks to my "girls," I began with the bed!
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harmonious Autumn

"There is a harmony in autumn...

 ...and a luster in its sky,

 Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be,
as if it had not been." 
 ~Percy Bysshe Shelly

After spending a few days in the country, it is especially clear that autumn is in the air.
This is when nature is at its peak and everything that began in spring is now in perfect harmony.

The few vegetables we planted in spring are ready to be harvested.
Armenian cucumbers!

Heirloom tomatoes and basil!

And figs.  Glorious figs!

A harmonious harvest with more on the way.

Next week, the grapes will be ready.
They are late this year.

At the very end of autumn, the olives will be ready for harvest, giving us sweet olive oil!
I can hardly wait.
It's going to be an abundant, glorious fall!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Bovine Love

Last week, I made the trek across the Bay to Berkeley to spend the day lunching and antiquing with my friend Lisa.  It's always a pleasure to visit Lisa!  She knows all the fabulous little stores and shops, plus she has a great eye and exquisite taste.  

Case in point:  She pointed out this little cow painting, knowing how much I love cows.  
It is hard to find good cow paintings that aren't too cartoonish or cutsey, so this one came home with me!

This milk bottle also came home with me.  Lisa found it too, of course.  I was only going to buy just the one bottle with the cow on it, until I realized there were more, and they were all in a carrier.

"Wouldn't it make a great centerpiece with flowers in each bottle?" asked Tom, the shop owner?
Well, that did it!  I could just envision wildflowers or roses in each bottle...
 As soon as I got home, I ran them through the dishwasher and they came out sparkling!
 Aren't they beautiful?

 These finds join the other bovines I've collected, like this cow over the stove.

 And this painting in the dining room.

And this landscape in the family room.

Yet another bucolic landscape in the family room...

Sometimes I think my Mom might have been right when she asked me if I was "born in a barn" because that would explain my love for cows, as well as chickens.  And sheep.  And bees....
This list goes on and on!

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