May 31, 2014

Decorating challenge...The Hall

working on my Kentucky home

Working on My Kentucky Home

I am sure everyone has a decorating challenge or two in their home. I have one that has been making my brain and creativity work overtime. 

I have an angled space in a hallway that I have never seemed to get just right. 

I have tried various vignettes on the top of the sofa table...but I just look at it and think this is not working. 

One day last week I was determined to get a "look" that I could live with for awhile. So, I removed everything...and started playing house. I did not purchase a single I have too much anyway. Often we can redecorate by just shopping our own home/boxes.

Before pic. 

I have had many different things here...but I never have been satisfied with the look. Also...this can be a catchall spot.

I wanted to keep the slim table where it is due to space. Ok...let us begin moving things around. I have plenty of options and objects around the house, but I have not found the combination that works for me. 

Let's try again!

I took everything off of the table and brought in blue plates and silver.

It looks nice...but maybe this would be a better look for the parlor and dining room. This hallway is off of the great room, that has a more masculine and rugged look. I thought that maybe the blue plates  and silver were too dressy. 

I am just not sure. 

dressing up a table

View from the other direction.


Here is a closeup.

table vignette with blue and white plates

Not being sure about the blue and white plates...
I changed it up again.

I tried using some platters and ivy. 
Ok...I am liking this better.

table vignette with trays

serving trays

I think I finally have a vignette that I like. Wow, this is work! But this little hall space is the entry to the bedroom wing of the house. It just needed something. I'm sure you understand this process. It's just that sometimes it is harder than other times. 
decorating a hall

iron basket

filler for iron basket

Thanks for helping me. I think I can live with this look....until I get the feeling it needs to be changed again. :-)

The problem with moving a few things that it snowballs and then you have to make changes in other areas of the house. But that's ok. Just shop your house for "freebies" to update a room, a corner, or just a tabletop.

The pewter platters used to be on chests in the great room. Now I have to redo those vignettes. 
It never ends!

Here is what I moved onto one of the chests. Since this room has a collection of military items I though I would bring hubby's army flag into the room. 

military memorabilia

And here is the other chest. But...I am just not sure I like the way it looks. I will begin the process again one day soon no doubt.

Moving and rearranging...the life of a house!

Thanks for visiting. 
And, please come again.

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May 29, 2014

Traditional Bedroom Design

Working on My Kentucky Home 

For those of you who have been following my story, you know that we moved into a downsized home and I am in the process of making it as pretty and cozy as our previous, much larger home on several acres. 

Today I am sharing the master bedroom. This room is very hard to photograph. I am not a professional photographer so I do not have all of the lights and equipment that a magazine photographer might have. So, please excuse the lighting issues in my pictures. 

The color of this bedroom is Sherwin Williams hearts of palm. If you think that you might like this color...please look at the real thing. This is the second time I have used this color for a bedroom and I love it.  My interior designer matched this color to my drapery fabric for the first bedroom. Since I brought my window treatments with me...I naturally went with the same color of green. This is a very restful bedroom color!

When we bought this house...the room was very different. It had taupe wall color, a ceiling fan, and beige carpet. We repainted with my green. I found a lovely ceiling light. And, along with the rest of the house, we had Kentucky oak floors installed. I love these wood the oak was milled in Kentucky and finished in Kentucky. Yeah! 

The rose damask covered Chippendale sofa is something I bought in the late seventies. I know...I can't let go. But you see, this was an expensive sofa and it is solid and very well made. The original fabric was a lemon yellow color damask. It was gorgeous...but time and a change of interior colors called for a change. This rose fabric may have limited days, if I can find a new fabric that speaks to me. All of the other furniture in the room has been collected over time. The four poster bed is the most recent purchase...which was about ten or twelve years ago. Time flies and I loose track. 

The cherry secretary in the corner is an Ethan Allen purchase from the eighties. 

I still love it!

Here is a better look at the sofa. I love shades of pink and green. 

I can sit here and look out the back windows to a woodsy view. We live in the country...but it is a small subdivision of about fifteen houses. All exteriors are very traditionally styled designs.

(so sorry for the shadows from overhead light)

Here is my antique pitcher...that moves around the house.

Close up details of the rice carved posters.

I choose to use a white matlessé bedspread. I like to be able to wash bed linens. And, I like having the white background for pillows etc. But mostly I like the washable factor. I have had custom bedspreads before, and they are difficult when it comes to eliminating dust and allergens. 

And now the window treatments...
I love old.
While this fabric is not looks like old toile. 
I cannot remember the fabric manufacturer.

I chose to have very traditional window treatments made since they would be going into a master suite with a four poster rice carved bed, and other very traditional cherry furniture. I like the "old south" look too.

Here is a close up of the fabric. The color is also pretty correct in this view

Our new bedroom is a very restful because of the green paint, and because of the beautiful lawn and woods behind the house.

Another really good point for this woman of a certain that I do not have to climb the stairs a dozen times a day to deliver laundry, etc.

If you are too young to understand this right now, you will in a few years. I spent about twenty seven years living in a two story house with children...and all bedrooms upstairs. ugh!

This bedroom is much smaller than our previous one...but it is cozy and pretty.

I will try to share the master bath at some point if I can figure out a better way to photograph it. I also have a couple of things I want to do before I share it with you.

Thanks for visiting.

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May 28, 2014

Wedding Season

June brides are probably in a dither right now working on last minute details. 
The excitement, the joy, the tears! 

Last year we had a May bride, with our daughter marrying in Lexington. Hubby and I hosted a small affair for family and friends at the Bodley Bullock House in the old part of Lexington. The bride chose a Sunday afternoon garden party ceremony and reception.  She wanted a relaxed, easy afternoon with family and friends. It was lovely. She was lovely. The day was lovely.

We had flowers to gather up after the reception...and upon returning home I lined them up on the dining table to enjoy them for a while. They were cut stems in water and were not arranged in such a way that they could be taken to share with hospital patients, etc. So, we enjoyed them at home for the few short days that they had.

I thought I would share the pics with you so you could enjoy the roses and peonies. The bride's color/s were pinks... From hot to pastel shades. She did something different with her bridal bouquet...and it was a cute surprise. I will reveal it below. 

Here is the practice bouquet...made from ribbons off of bridal shower gifts.

The real bridal bouquet...peonies and roses.

 The bride's hot pink match her bouquet! Things sure have changed since I was a just out of college bride. There were rules about things then! ha!

Buffet table flowers, were in a crystal bowls. 
The bride choose the flower mixture that she wanted.

Flowers on each guest table were in wrought iron stands...
(with clear glass vases to hold the flowers) to repeat the theme of 
scrolled iron on the gates in the garden. 

The arrangements are lined up like cancan dancers on my dining room table. 
My house had a wonderful fragrance for a few days.

I have a couple of more pictures to show you...
The bride chose a very simply designed cake from a baker in Lexington. 
The cake was raspberry, with an oh so sweet icing. 

The bride and groom on the top of the cake were 63 years old last year...They are the bride and groom that were on the wedding cake of the bride's grandparents (my parents.) They may have a chip or two...but sixty-two years of marriage and moving from house to house would earn anyone a chip or two. The bride and groom included many family touches in their wedding. The bride's rings belonged to her other grandmother who is no longer with us.  I am sure she is smiling about it.

Many of the bride and groom's friends were at the wedding...and were already married. So, instead of throwing the bouquet, the bride quizzed those married ladies in attendance as to who had been married the longest...(knowing that it would be her grandmother.)  The bridal bouquet was given to the grandmother, my mother. There was applause for the bride who had been married sixty-three years. She seemed pleased. 

If you are in the midst of wedding arrangements...
may your time be sweet, and filled with many special memories. 
And may you have the prettiest of flowers.

Thanks for visiting.

May 27, 2014

Home Cooked Pasta Bake

Farfalle Pasta Bake 

Now that our children have flown the nest, I do not cook much! 
I do my cooking in spurts now. 
I planned ahead on my last grocery shopping trip to make a pasta bake of some sort. I say of some sort of pasta bake because I am bad about following recipes. My pasta creations are like my soup creations….I use everything but the kitchen sink.
I just know that if I have the right mix of ingredients I can make a pasta bake. Today I used farfalle bow tie shaped pasta, but any shape would work.
I decided to use my small sized All Clad roaster which turned out to be a great idea and a good investment piece.  Sometimes when I make a large pasta bake I will divide the mix into a couple of casserole dishes, and freeze one.
My pasta bake can vary depending on the items I have in the house. Today, I had the following:
A drizzle of olive oil for my skillet
Two cups of sliced portobello mushrooms
One onion, chopped
One package of pre cooked bacon, cut into abt. One inch pieces
One box of Barailla farfalle pasta
One large jar of a three cheese Alfredo sauce
Half a jar of a red pasta sauce, any brand
Two tablespoons sugar, to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce.
One full package of finely shredded Mexican cheese mix. I used Sargento cheese. Feel free to use your choice. You just want a mix that will melt.
The process of creating today’s pasta bake: 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour a drizzle of olive oil into a nonstick skillet. Bring the temp up, then put the chopped onion pieces in to sauté.
Add bacon pieces and cook along with the onion. Stir and turn as everything cooks.
Add the mushrooms last. Stir and sauté all until the onions are nicely cooked and tender.
Pour the sauces into the skillet. Mix and stir.
Stir in the sugar.
Fold in the whole package of cheese.
Grated Parmesan cheese for the top is optional.
Boil the pasta in a large pot. Cook to almost al dente. You want the pasta to be undercooked. (Do not over cook in the pasta pot because it will continue to cook in the oven.)
Drain the pasta and pour into a large casserole, pan, Pyrex, etc. (I spray the pan with pam so that the food is easy to remove.)
Pour the mix of sauce, cheese, onion, and bacon over the pasta. Stir the sauce mix into the pasta. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the top if you wish.
Place the pasta and dish into a preheated 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Watch yours as ovens can vary. Just do not burn your creation!
Today’s Pasta Bake….as you can see, I tasted before sharing. Hubby endorsed today's version of my pasta bake. (Side bar, now I am sleepy after munching so much pasta. I shall take an afternoon nap to recover from my kitchen adventure!)
I hope you are having a nice afternoon…

May 25, 2014

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen finished! 

It took much longer than planned…but the updates worked out well.
To recap what we did in the kitchen...
We kept the original Mouser solid hickory cabinets. They are good cabinets! We put black iron pulls on the cabinets to go with the black pearl granite. 
Notice that we installed a full granite back-splash. I think that a matching back-splash gives a sleek look to the kitchen. Most people comment on the kitchen when they see all of the black granite. By not replacing the cabinets...I was able to go with a better grade of granite. 
 From there we installed all new stainless steel appliances. I love them!
Getting a granite installation in a kitchen that is in a house you are living in requires patience. The old countertops must come off for accurate measurements. Then it takes a little while for the stone to be cut for installation. I think our job stretched out for three weeks because of an issue with the stove.  Our guys wanted the range we were going to use to be in place before measuring. The first range had a dent. We tried to just reorder a part. (bla bla bla.) Long story short I had to get a different range for a quick install, so that the granite guys could come in and do their part. Any remodel has unforseen hitches to the time be sure you can go with the flow before starting.
I bought a new deep farmhouse stainless steel sink to be installed with the granite. My granite guys put it in and it is great. To top it off I had my plumber install a new tall faucet. My small kitchen is looking pretty good with these changes! 
I am thinking of having the cabinets painted and glazed too...but that would mean another decision. I think I will wait a little longer to make that decision.

The drapes are up now and the pictures too. 

I like my new kitchen. It is smaller, but so is our family. The children have gone and it is just us now. The downsizing is working for us.

Have a great day! Thanks for visiting.

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Between naps on the porch

Tuesdays at our House


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