Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Black Forest Prints In The Winter Dining Room

The Black Forest prints I bought in New Orleans arrived last week.
I had no idea where they would end up.

After trying several locations, the dining room seemed like the best idea because the wallpaper really made them stand out.

I've never seen anything quite like these frames.
The carvings are the size of a quarter, yet look at the detail.

Detail of one of the prints.
I believe it's a river in France.

I ended up separating the pair, the river scene on the right...

The deer sketchings on the left, over the cabinet.

For now, they are at home in the dining room which is in its winter phase with the mini Fraser Fir tree, pine cones, bird's nest...

...and pine cone candles.

And the new slipcovers!

"The Winter Dining Room"
Do you think it looks like Christmas still?
Uh oh, I'm feeling a tablescape coming on!
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Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 Design Trend: Brass

I have a new design crush:  brass!
Which makes absolutely no sense at all.
If you've lived as long as I have, you've seen trends come and go, and brass is one of them.
There was a time when I couldn't rid myself of brass fast enough!

Restoration Hardware
But the new resurgence of brass is much different than the 80's and 90's when brass was all shiny and new, not allowed to patina, and considered cheap as years went by.
It was replaced by chrome, pewter and satin nickel.

Shades of Light
The brass I'm crushing on is warm and glows with a wonderful mellow patina.

Like this brass coffee table I fell in love with in the lobby of The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.
Yet, there was a time I wouldn't look twice at this!

Restoration Hardware
Now I'm crushing on antiqued brass like this bar cart from Restoration Hardware.
I can just see it all decked out with martini shakers and crystal decanters.

When we bought our home in the late 90's, we inherited a "house of brass."
The previous owners had remodeled it in '93 and every faucet, towel bar, switch plate, door knob, cabinet hardware, hinge and light fixture was brass. 
Although I de-brassed the house then, I can now appreciate my beautiful brass door hardware throughout the house that I left alone.

Although I wasn't opposed the the golden finish itself, it was the shiny-ness of it then.
I replaced the cabinet hardware with antiqued, aged brass...

...and brought in gold accents with light fixtures,

curtain rods,

and gessoed frames.

 Although I still love the elegance of polished chrome for plumbing fixtures, lately I've been noticing brass used more and more in kitchens and baths.

For instance, all the faucets are aged brass in my friend Lisa's home.
No chrome for her!
Which brings me to the bottom line.
Yes, brass is back in a big way.
And, it's ok to mix metals.

What's your take on brass?
Can you love it?

 Or leave it?

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Let There Be Light

Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I tend to rely on lamps for lighting my rooms, instead of overhead lighting.
The amethyst lamp above, found on sale at Pottery Barn captured my heart.
I knew it would be perfect in the wine country with the light shining through.  It reminds me of the color of grapes!

I love lamps and tend to fall in love too often with one of a kind or unusual lamps.
Like the hand made shell lamp that we found in Carmel last year. 
It was love at first sight!

 It replaced this little lamp that I thought I loved in the sunroom.
Don't worry, it found another spot in the family room.

Sometimes, it's just the lamp base that speaks to me, like the pair of red lamps in the family room.
I can dress them up or change the look with different shades.
I think they are on their third lampshade right now, a wicker shade from Pottery Barn.

Although I've featured this vintage transferware lamp before, I couldn't do a lamp post without including it.  It exemplifies my love for one of a kind lamps that will always find a way in to my heart!

 Sometimes though, it's just the shade that I fall in love with.

These two tall lamps with ruffled linen shades from One Kings Lane are a nice update in the living room, replacing the stuffy barley twist lamps that have been living here for over ten years. 
They go with the new updated living room much better than the old ones did.

 Although I love the base of this lamp, also from One Kings Lane, it really was the shade that got me.
I love how it's trimmed and lined in olive green.

 I fell in love with this lampshade from Target.
Since we each have mis-matched alabaster lamps on our nightstands, the pair of grain sack style shades gave them a more youthful appearance...

 ...and unified the lamps.
I also love how they compliment the green velvet upholstery and matting on the botanical print.

I'm always on the hunt for lampshades, as they can update an old or existing lamp easily.
Target tends to have great shades.  For instance, the shade above also came with a yellow stripe, which I bought.  They even had a shade that mimics a cable knit sweater.  Yes, I bought it too!
And of course, Pottery Barn also has lovely lampshades.

Do you love lampshades as much as I do?
Read my post, "If The Lampshade Fits."

Want to see my alabaster lamp collection?

I'm joining Courtney for Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Dining Room Slipcovered Chairs Reveal

 The dining room Parsons chairs got new slipcovers.
Although that doesn't seem like a big deal, believe me it was.
It was like a "three act play" to get these slipcovers fabricated!

It all started when I met Ludwiga at an antique show.
Her business, Ludwiga's Linens specializes in European linens and textiles.
I purchased seven yards from her for each chair.  This fabric is only twenty inches wide and is from Hungary.  It is at least 80 to 100 years old!

 I brought the yardage and chairs to Maggie's Slipcovers for fabrication.
She cut the pieces and custom fit them to the chairs, just like a dressmaker would.
Maggie is from Hungary, so she was very excited to take on this project!
After she cut the pieces to fit, I sent the front piece back to Ludwiga to be monogramed.
"D" for Delores

"G" for Gary.
After Ludwiga monogramed them, they went back to Maggie to be completed.
It took 4 months between the two vendors!
A "three act play!"

I love the new, clean look of the chairs. 
They are one of a kind, personalized and unique.

It was totally worth the wait!

I'm linking to Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday.
I'm also joining Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

St. Louis Cathedral
The heart of New Orleans.

Walking back to our hotel last Saturday night, we were all stopped in our tracks by this sight.
The back side of St. Louis Cathedral with the shadow of Christ cast on the wall.
Truly amazing....

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Making A Statement With Napkin Rings

I don't always use napkin rings with my tablescapes, but when I do, I like to make a statement.
The napkin rings above are from Lucullus...

...and were my inspiration for a tablescape I did last year, using both "Monsieur" and "Madame" napkin rings found on One Kings Lane.

Silver napkin rings are highly collectible and I think they look great when mixed and matched.

Paris Hotel Boutique
Like these from Paris Hotel Boutique, which definitely make a statement.

Napkin rings don't have to be sterling silver to make a statement.
Here, I used hand made wooden rings found on Etsy for a rustic tablescape.

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren's table setting used an equestrian style leather napkin ring.

For a tablescape I did last year for Tartan Week, I took a plain pewter napkin ring and glued a tartan ribbon, hoping to replicate a tartanware napkin ring.

Like these! 
 They are on my collectible list, but unfortunately are way to expensive for me.
Still, I keep looking for a deal.

It's all in the presentation.  
A simple wicker napkin ring can be embellished with a red rose...

...or even a fishing fly!

Don't have a napkin ring?  Tie the napkin with twine!
For a tablesetting I did for our book club, I used twine around the written word.

Joss & Main
Last, but not least, my newest napkin rings.
Simple, clean, but still making a statement.
And that's the point!

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