Tag Archives: books

Less Is More Fall Decor

Earlier this week, I shared both my current

+ my most-recent-past fall porch steps:

HA!  I must’ve had a lot more time on my hands back then.

Or maybe I’ve embraced the highly regarded

 LESS IS MORE school of seasonal décor.

Let’s have a look at some fall LESS IS MORE happiness inside our house.

Our huge sorter in the living room has had a wee bit of a makeover:

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I emptied all the cubbies + refilled them with small pumpkins + gourds.

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L O V E !

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I’m really fond of these next 2 photos; perhaps I will have one or both framed.

But back to the sorter.

The black books + the red books switched places.

I love black in the fall + wanted the black books to be more prominent.

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Speaking of good colors,

I’ve always displayed my yellow ware bowls in the fall.

This year, some of them are marching across the top of our sorter:

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I made that silhouette of my grandson

+ wanted its black + white + antique gold for my fall vignette.

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Don’t you love the crackled glaze on this vintage yellow ware crock?

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We also hung my vintage St. Louis map on the front of the sorter:

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Well, this concludes the fall décor portion of my blog,

unless I can whip up a little more enthusiasm.

Stay tuned!

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I Still Love Moody Gray

 Let’s take a break from gushing about touring 4 barn homes

in Country Living Magazine’s October issue.

Here are 2 of them, about which I recently blogged:

Kit Barn (read my post)

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Modern Barn (read my post about it)

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Instead, let’s discuss something about which I am obsessing lately.

WHITE WALLS

My current design crush, Emily Henderson (that’s her), loves white walls.

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Remember?  She won HGTV’s Design Star when that was still on

emily henderson winning design star

I’ve been following her online for years.

To see why I’m such a fan,

look at this genius before + after in her own kitchen.

Before:

emily henderson kitchen before

After:

emily henderson kitchen after

I KNOW!!  RIGHT??

Here’s yet more white awesomeness from Emily:

white room emily henderson 2

I could go on posting yummy white rooms for days,

but you get my point.

It’s cool . . .

. . . + of course, now I’m yearning to repaint all our walls WHITE!

IN-cluding our beloved power room (??)

(which is now Flagstone by Pittsburgh Paints.)

I’ve been wanting white walls all summer,

+ then I spy this, in one of my favorite blogs, just the other day:

gray house staircase

O  M  i  G  o  s  h  !

There’s gray everything, even the ceiling!

And look how great all their design choices look with all that gray!

That lantern:

gray house staircase

The sisal carpeted staircase:

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Here’s some more gray fabulousness from the same house:

gray house 2 rooms

Yet more:

gray house table with books

Hold on now.  Let’s study the genius styling in this little area,

because I have been studying it + now wish to copy it.**

**More on that soon.

Let’s break it down.

Natural wood tone table pops nicely against the dark wall

Antique mirror does the same thing:

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Stack of books on the floor (note to self: one is askew!):

gray house table with books

Wire basket with mags on the floor

Please.

I have enough magazines to have about 80 baskets full of them,

scattered all over the house.

gray house table with books

Back to the vignette!

Art piece on the floor:

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Bucket o’ logs on the floor (more wood popping with dark):

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Wood item  (what is that?) leaning against the corner

Leaning stuff = love

gray house table with books

Including multiples of natural wood is a great example

of the repeat an element (at least) 3 times rule,

which of course, we all do.  Right?

Anyway, in conclusion, I’m asking:

Is one beautifully moody gray house enough

to distract me from Emily Henderson’s white awesomeness?

What do you think?

 

 


Colorful Magazine Inspired Re-Do

This special issue of Country Home magazine is available right now,

+ you must go get a copy!  It’s that good.

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Away with less is more decorating + just say no to neutrals-only!

So, as one does after reading a really good home magazine,

I immediately engaged in a really fun re-do, starting with this:

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Please.  How much do we love that sorter of mine!!??!!

The color’s perfect, + the patina is so wonderful!

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I bought it in the early 90’s from a friend + happily used it in my old retail store:

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Sadly, there are no photos of said sorter in said store.

Please.  I take dozens of pictures every week!?

WHY DIDN’T WE TAKE ANY PHOTOS WAY BACK WHEN??!!

I guess we’ll never know, but back to the sorter.

  After I closed the store + moved across the state to be with G.O.,

it’s been languishing inside our garage for years.

Then we moved into our Dutch colonial about a year + a half ago.

I mean, come on.

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Was that blank living room calling for it, or what!?

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Yes, it was.

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So.  Speaking of being inspired,

a few weeks ago I spied a photo of this room in Diane Keaton’s house:

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Next thing you know, I’m rearranging all my books by color!

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I really love how the cubbies display some of my ‘smalls’,

including these cute milk glass chickens from Grandma:

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And in honor of Grandpa, who always carried a buckeye in his pocket for good luck:

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A commemorative beer glass of the Cardinals ’64 World Championship,

(+ check out that adorable rock baseball made by my grandson!)

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Omigosh, how sweet is my girlhood bank?:

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A sweet red (Cardinal?) pie bird from my friend:

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And this fun pair of Dachshunds:

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Our framed map of Illinois is from the 1880’s;

we bought it at a pop-up vintage market in Grand Central Station in NYC:

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But wait.  There’s more.

My beloved new Country Home magazine

has inspired me to ‘busy up’ the top of my sorter!

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My son’s name is Jonathan,

so naturally, I got a bag from Jon’s grocery store in LA + had it framed:

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A wonderful handmade basket from a fellow artisan at a show in the 1990’s

+ my heavy glass Pottery Barn vessel filled with old baseballs:

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Now then.

Never fear — there have been other revamps in + around the Dutch colonial:

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And in our canned ham:

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Stay tuned for updates!

 


A+ For Color Coordination!

What’s more fun than a day spent rearranging?

Nothing.

Here’s my inspiration, in Diane Keaton’s house:

diane-keaton-fiestaware-shelves

And for my rearrange, see this BEFORE, with my books displayed backward:

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AFTER, in color, with bowls on top:

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Yes, that’s right.  My books are now color-coordinated, + I love it!

AFTER, in color, w/o yellow ware bowls on top:

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The yellow ware bowls, while lovely, were kind of visually too much.

Meanwhile, back to my books + stuff.

During the re-do, I thought it would be fun to fill the cubbies

with all sorts of color coordinating bibelots:

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Oh, dear.  I might need to edit a bit.  We’ll see.

Now it’s time for a closer look at some of my books,

+ while doing so, please notice the wonderful, old paint on my cupboard:

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Had I mentioned where I got this wonderful piece?

Back in the 90’s, when I had my own retail store, Heart-in-Hand,

my friend, Bob told me that his grandpa had a huge sorter in his boat garage.

I think I paid $50 or something scandalous.  Yay.

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Even after closing my store, I could never bear to part with the cupboard.

For about a decade or so, I held out hope that I might open yet another store.

Dreams!

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My shop keeping dreams finally ended (more like a nightmare at this point),

but I still couldn’t sell my beloved cupboard.

It was a nice place for storing all my gardening supplies in our old garage,

but when we moved here to the Dutch colonial,

I told G.O. that I wanted to have it in our new living room.

cats-fighting

HA!  I slay myself sometimes, with those dueling cats.

I honestly can’t recall whether or not an argument ensued, but please.

After a while, he did say — without prompting, even —

that it looked better than he thought that it would.

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Well, thanks so much for viewing my latest project.

Next time, I hope to blog about something new I’ve been planning for months:

A TARTAN PLAID BED SKIRT!

Stay tuned!

 


Post-Christmas Paring Down

Funny thing.

This November found me a little down in the dumps.

To try + boost my morale a bit, I opted to decorate for Christmas earlier than usual.

Exhibit A:

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

I totally know that Dachshund Santa is tacky, but how could I resist?

He’s almost as cute as Chloe the Dachshund!

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Everything else is vintage + simple + natural, so I tell myself that things get balanced.

Exhibit B:

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I’m keeping those darling vintage pitchers + tiny bottle brush trees out for a while.

Look!  There’s Chloe’s predecessor, Susie the Dachshund,

with our very young, very adorable grandlad (who’s now 11.5!)

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But I digress.  Back to my holiday decor.

Away it all went, almost the minute Christmas was over.

How unlike me, Queen of Procrastinators!

 But isn’t it always great to see how spare the house looks after the holidays?

Take our sorter + art ledges.  Please.

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You might recall that I was inspired by this photo to turn my books around:

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I really like the way it keeps things looking a little less busy,

so my books are staying turned around, at least for now.

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I also purged about half the stuff that had been on my art ledges:

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They look great!

I hung our vintage map of Illinois on the front of the sorter:

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We bought it at a pop-up antiques market in Grand Central Station

during our first visit to NYC.

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Among all this paring down, perhaps you noticed one new item in our living room.

It’s an ottoman!

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I’ve had it about 20 years or so.

It came with a matching chair + 1/2 (a.k.a. “Grandmother’s chair”),

which I sold about 10 years ago.

Its new upholstery will be a heavy horse blanket I’ve had forever, too.

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I think it adds yet more texture + a little pattern to our room.

My plans are to attach it with some off-white twill tape + dozens of upholstery tacks.

(Sooner than later, I hope.)  I told you I was the Queen of Procrastinators!

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Stay tuned!


Real Rooms?

I love the Oscars!

I always have!

Last night’s show did not disappoint.

My favorite movie of last year, Spotlight, won best picture:

spotlight-2015-directed-by-tom-mccarthy-movie-review

Lady Gaga’s pants/dress combination looked great on the red carpet,

+ her moving performance of her song Until It Happens To You made me cry:

US-OSCARS-ARRIVALS

Singer Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney arrive on the red carpet for the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

She’s so FAB!

But enough about that.

I was kind of stopped in my tracks this morning

when I saw this photo on Remodelista’s blog:

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From The Lodge At Gallow Green in NYC

Does that library nook look inviting, or what?

Plus, it looks real.

If I do say so, I think my bookshelves look real, too:

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I re-did them this past weekend (FUN!) + will share photos soon.

But what on earth do I mean by real?

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I mean they’re books that were carefully chosen + which have meaning to me.

Yes, of course, I take care when displaying them,

+ this, to me, is very important:

A home with books is way cooler than one without them.

Even so, the way they look is secondary.

Or is it?

 Check this out:

books -- farm chicks

Remember this photo?

It’s in the Farm Chicks gal’s kitchen, all decorated for Christmas.

I remember seeing it in Country Living magazine a couple years ago.

She covered all those books herself!

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 Such a statement!

WOW, it looks great, + WOW, I could never pull that off!

Now let’s have a look-see at another, equally beautiful library.

I’m sure you recognize it from Fixer Upper’s new bed + breakfast:

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 Visually stunning!

But I hate to be such a fun hater, but here I go.

Who on earth is really going to sit there + read any of those pretty books?

Nobody.

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Oh, gosh.

This is a topic for another post but one about which I ponder

+ ponder often, frankly.

Rooms to look at or rooms to live in?

And am I the only one?

Stay tuned!


MY LADY CRUSH: Mary Emmerling

One of my favorite bloggers, Julia from Hooked On Houses, posted about this classic shingled house in the Hamptons.

My first thought was that it might be country style icon + author, Mary Emmerling’s, old house.

If that name doesn’t ring any bells . . . Mary Emmerling published this iconic book, American Country, in 1980, which started the country style decorating trend that remains very popular.

American Country, 1980

American Country, 1980

I’m a huge fan + have followed Mary’s career since this book was published. Who remembers her HGTV series, Country Style?

She was also the editor of the late, great Country Home magazine.

In ’02, my friend, Alan, + I went to her book signing (American Country Cottages) in Chicago.  She was very cool + laughed at all our jokes!

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She was kind of wowed by my bringing her 1st book with me, + imagine her surprise when I showed her some magazine articles that I’d saved!

SELF 1983, Country Living + Early American Life 1982.

SELF 1983, Country Living + Early American Life 1982.

Anyway, here are some photos of Mary’s Hamptons house — the one I thought might have been in Hooked on Houses last week.

A version of this flag gate is in the Folk Art Museum in NYC.

A version of this flag gate is in the American Folk Art Museum in NYC.

Okay, so now I realize the farmhouse in the Hooked on Houses blog is not Mary’s former home. I’ve never been to the Hamptons (soon!), but I know that there are 100’s of single-clad houses there!  See also: Ina Garten!

Look! Mary was a shopkeeper in the 80’s (so was I!) I think she + her 2 children lived above the store (as did I!)

The American Country Store in NYC.

The American Country Store in NYC.

Last week, Julia from Hooked on Houses blog + I chatted a little about Mary; we wondered what she’s doing now.

I know she’s married + lives in Arizona.  Her daughter, Samantha, writes for House Beautiful magazine.

I saw somewhere that Mary is a co-owner of a new retail store, but I can’t seem to find anything online.

Coincidentally, her latest book’s just been published.

Shall I get a copy? I’m not sure!

Mary Emmerling's Art of the Skull.

Mary Emmerling’s Art of the Skull.

Buy it here! http://www.amazon.com/Art-Skull-Mary-Emmerling/dp/1423631986/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362339077&sr=1-1&keywords=mary+emmerling%27s+book+of+the+skull


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