February 28, 2016

Transition to Spring Decorating

Out with winter and in with spring!

The other day I went into the mama cave and gathered up the leopard pillows to put them away for the season... because I have decided that spring is on its way! Yes it is.  We have had a couple of days with sunshine and temps in the sixties...so I decided that it's spring!

blue transferware
Gold pillows provide a nice contrast to some blue and white accessories.
The soft gold fruit plays with the gold pillows and wall paint perfectly.
Repeating colors is a technique I use.

We could very likely have another snow, and some ice...but I need the mental reprieve from cold, dark, gloomy days. So, spring it is for me and my house. The weather will catch up with me at some point. 

My spring decorating goal for the mama cave  is to find blue and white pillows... but until then I decided to make do with some older gold pillows from my stash. The gold pillows repeat the wall color, and they add some needed color to the white sofa. I am using these pillows to make the transition to spring while I get a handle on my blue and white pillow project. (This will be like either a soap opera or reality tv. Not sure which at this point. But there will be fabric, sewing, and updates.) 

The gold pillows are spring looking, and like a touch of sunshine. And of course one change necessitates another one.  I brought in my bowl of yellow and gold tone faux fruit.

I added the green bottle to play with the boxwood.
I have not done that before, but I like the colors together.
Note also that the green bottle adds height to the vignette.

I should do a post on all of the places where I have used this one bowl. It is a decorating workhorse in my house.  It pops up all over the house.

Below is a look at the blue pillows I tried in the previous post. They went back to the master where they belong!

Color value is important when deciding if colors work together. 

You see, the powder blue was just not working in the parlor. I believe it comes down to color value. The deep cobalt, deep green, deep yellow walls, and dark oriental rug work together. The powder blue is too pastel.

collection of blue and white accessories
Navy Blue, Cobalt, and Indigo with white are very popular right now.
Those with blue and white accessories are in luck this season!

This little experiment shows that colors can fool you...I thought the powder blue would be fine. I thought that the powder blue would at least blend. Nope. Nada. Non. Non. Non. I love the blue in the master, so it will stay in there.

My time living in Provence instilled the love of deeper colors in me...yellows, blues, greens, lavender. I love them. I plan to look for some deeper blues for my parlor. 

Also...have you all noticed that navy and white combinations are all over the catalogs, stores, online? It should not be too hard to find something. Fingers crossed. :-)

Stay tuned for the continuing drama of "Pillows in the Parlor."

blue and white bowl with fruit

I am looking forward to Spring and more color!

How about you? Have you had enough winter?

Have you started your spring refresh? 

Do tell us what you are up to during this transition time period. 

(Inquiring minds what to know.)

Thanks for visiting.

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February 26, 2016

White Shirt Style

I absolutely love white button up shirts! They are a staple in my wardrobe almost year round. 

I have no idea how many I have...but quite a few. Some are old and comfortable and some are fresh and crisp. Some are silky and dressy and some are sporty and durable. Most of my white shirts eventually become "jeans" shirts. 

A white shirt is at the same time timely, and timeless! Turn up the collar and you are as cool and relaxed as Kathryn Hepburn. Or pair your white shirt with dress pants and jewelry and you are ready for a night on the town. 

I ran across a fashion article on Chicos.com that reminded me that it is time to locate my white shirts and organize them in my closet. It's part of my getting ready for spring. 

I wear sweaters and such over the winter...but once the sun warms things up I am ready to switch to button up cotton shirts /blouses and cardigans.

I can wear a white shirt for Saturday errands or a Saturday date with hubby. It is such and easy outfit to construct. Accessorizing with jewelry, can take your jeans + white shirt up a notch. Just lots of fun for everyone. Whether you are 21, or 40, or 65, or 80...a white shirt works. Yay!

White shirts come in many styles and price points...so shop around or dig in your closet to get some ready for spring. 

Here are a few looks, styled by Chicos.

A crisp white shirt is age appropriate for everyone. It can be worn to the office, to lunch, or to school. (Though a retired teacher, I still think in terms of dressing for an academic environment.)

I also like to look at the new catalogs and see if I can pull together an outfit like one that is show. 

Like above, I have a similar white blouse/shirt that I can pair with black jeans/slacks or slim black skirt. Add a touch of leopard, some bracelets, and earrings...and ta da, a new outfit. 

It's kind of like cooking...you use flour, butter, sugar, but then if you add in a few extra ingredients you have a whole different cake.

It would be fun if each of you could send me a pic of your "white shirt" outfit. Each of you would come up with wonderfully different styles/looks. Some of you would have a dressy look with heels, and some of you would have a "rocker" look with jeans, and some of you might create a preppy look. 

Long story short...white shirts are so versatile! I love 'em. How about you?


Sometimes I forget what I have in my closet...and when I look at pictures, it jogs my memory.  

I used to clip pics out of magazines and catalogs...thinking hey, I have pieces like that. I can create that outfit. Now I use online pics and have a folder on my computer. I like the visual reminders of outfits that I can create. 

I remember that years ago I had a page torn out of a Lands End catalog. There were five or six articles of clothing at the top of the page. And below they showed all of the ways that those pieces could be combined. It turned into several outfits! That's my kind of style. 

How about you all, are you a "white shirt" person too? And why do you like them so much? Do tell. :-) 

Here are some links to more articles on Inside Chic, Chico's blog. 

Layer bracelets...

Stylist Tip: Layer your bracelets for a bold look.


Ways to style flowers

One of my favorite cities...Charleston.

Grandma's Chocolate Cake

Oh how I love cookbooks

The Lee Brothers...

Thanks for visiting!

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February 24, 2016

Beautiful Room Designs that Caught My Eye

I hope you all are having a great day...and for those of you in in the "cold" part of the country I hope you are staying warm. We just keep getting snow every few days in south central Ky, along with frigid temps. I am so ready for spring. No matter how much I talk about the weather mother nature will not change just for me. :-)  I do have a bone to pick with Punxsutawney Phil.

J.K.Kling Designs

Moving on... I have several room design ideas for you today. And everything is gorgeous, and traditional. I love this pretty coffee table...and the room full of light.

J.K.Kling Designs

I like the way you can update a traditional room by adding in one or two new modern-ish items (yellow lamp, modern night table) to refresh the whole room design. It keeps "traditional" from looking old and dowdy.

For some photographs of gorgeous upscale homes visit J.K.Kling Designs. Oh my! Click on "Portfolio" to see the choices. Then click on the picture to open that home. http://www.jkkling.com/  Everything is gorgeous! Yes, I know I already said that. 


Have you heard? Wall paper is back! Do you think you will wallpaper any walls in your house, or are you still stripping off the old paper? 


These next pics of Trad Home rooms caught my attention for different reasons.  See what you think. 

Are they too "out there" for your traditional sensibilities or do they make you like the new updated traditional a little more? 

I am calling these rooms, traditional with sass! I mean look at how "cool" these rooms are.

I feel that I am in an old traditional house (wood trim, crown moulding, high ceilings, etc)...but that it has been jazzed up with fabrics, art, paint treatments, flooring choices, accessories, etc. 

How do you like the traditional four poster bed that is jazzed up with modern posts. 

As for me, I still think I prefer the rice carved bed posts, but I can appreciate this modern twist. 

What do you think about the over sized print on the drapery fabric? 

The mirror...yes, I would use that in my traditional home. I love mirrors!

I love this dormer nook...and especially the horse weather vane. I want one!

As you all probably know...I am crushing on powder blue right now. One of the Pantone colors of the year is "serenity" blue...that is very close to powder blue.

I was visiting the website of the new design firm Anderson Patrick in Lexington... and I found the popular blue that I love. 

Kristy Anderson, one of the partners, has helped me with fabric selections when she worked at a fabric store (in Lexington.) She wanted to do more creative designing, so she and Davida Patrick opened their own design studio on Winchester Road.  

Take a look at some of their pretty room designs.

Anderson Patrick Design Studio

One of the Pantone colors of the year is "serenity" blue...which is very close to powder blue. I am glad to know that I am "into" a stylish color, i.e. I am stylish. :-)

I really like this table vignette! 

For my friends who love blue and white chinoiserie, this ph0to may cause you to Ahhh.

Anderson Patrick Design Studio

I love this cute window treatment. Look, no rod to fuss with. I still like to dress my windows, even though many designers are leaving them bare. 
If you would like to keep up with their design ideas...they are also on Instagram.  Anderson Patrick Design Studio. It will be fun to watch this new, young design studio grow. 

I hope you enjoyed these design inspirations as much as I did. I am following all on them on Instagram, my newest fun addiction. :-) 

Thanks for Visiting!

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February 22, 2016

Trying Blue Pillows & Accessories in the Parlor

Featured on Rattlebridge Farm Blog. Thank you Michael Lee!

Here I am, tinkering with colors and accessories in the house today. No surprise for those of you who have been following me for awhile. :-) Take a look at what I tried over the weekend. I am ready for spring and I had the time to play house...so here goes. 

I took all of the leopard pillows off of the parlor sofa and started playing. This is how I figure out if a decorating idea will work. 

I pile things here and there...move accessories, etc. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. ha!

The sun was out today... which put me in the mood for spring. Are you all ready for spring too?

I am wanting to bring more blue to the front of the house...so I thought I would try my new blue pillows and throw to see if that shade of blue would work. It's a powder blue. In some of my pics the blue looks aqua...but it is a soft blue.

I laid a pillow and throw on one of the white chairs. 
The blue is pretty on the white chair.

I laid the pillows and throw on the white sofa to see how that worked.  Again...pretty with the white sofa. I really like it.

But I am not liking this light powder blue with the cool blues in my Chinoiserie pieces.

This test is a fail in my mind. It happens. Decorating is a process of trial and error...so on to another idea another day. 

I though I would show you that not all of my ideas work. Bummer! The blues just do not work for me.

The pillows and throw will go back to the green master where they work so well. I will be looking for fabric or pillow covers with indigo, cobalt, navy, etc for the parlor.

The hunt will continue. That will be fun too.

See what I mean. Just not working. 

On the other hand, I am liking the coffee table collection. 
A silver lining to my efforts. 

Thanks so much for visiting!
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February 20, 2016

Fresh, Hip, New Lamps

We have had sunshine and temps in the sixties today!  What a mood enhancer!  I am ready to think of spring and all things  fresh and lovely!

OK, Let me show you my lamps today...

     I gave you all a peek at my new lamps in another post...but it was just a glance. I took some pictures to show you more of the details that spoke to me and caused me to bring these lamps home. 

It's just such a cute lamp! (I know that is a very broad reason, but really, cute is important. :-)

The gourd base is very popular right now, as is the straight shade. (I remember my grandmother having shades like this in her fifties ranch house.) But I have seen several of those and never picked one up. 

What prompted traditional ole' me to bring home some fresh, hip, transitional lamps? Why did I take a closer look at these cream lamps. Well, it was all in the details, and quality. 

The gold base of this lamp works with my old brass accessories...that's a big plus!

The harp and neck are gold toned...another style plus. 

The finial and crossbars of the shade are gold too. 

And...the lining of the shade is gold!  Having had shades like this before, I know that at night when the light is turned on there is a beautiful golden glow. The shade is opaque...so the light reflects from the top and the bottom of the shade.

I took this pic while I was double checking my purchase.
Note the lovely cellophane on the shade. 

Opaque shade lined in gold

I needed new lamps...as almost every one of my lamps, except for a couple of tiny ones in a bedroom, are from the eighties and nineties. Most of my lamps have the bell shape shades, so popular in traditional and English styles.

Here is one of the lamps in the parlor...and it is sitting on a tea table. 
Opposite styles often work together well. 
I love playing with opposites.

Several of my lamps suffered from being moved and stored. Cracked bases. Stained lampshades, etc. 

And after 25+ years, some of my lamps were dated. But I still used them because I had not seen anything that really spoke to me. 

That's not completely true, I saw plenty of lamps but they were very, very, very expensive. North of three hundred dollars is not where I want to go!  So...I just kept looking. 

These two lamps were cheap...49.00 each. But they were not cheaply made. And that is the trick to making less expensive items look great. 

This can apply to so many home accessories. Shop for quality...and keep looking until you find a "deal." :-) Don't forget, it's also about the thrill of the hunt. We are hunters and gatherers after all. That's what I tell hubby. ha!

I got two cute Nicole Miller lamps at such a deal! (Thank you TJ Maxx!)  As I was going to the checkout I was getting approval from some fellow shoppers. I appreciated their moral support. 

I could have paid so much more from online or department store choices. I have looked in Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, and online. They were more than I wanted to spend at this time.

Another plus is that these lamps can float around my house. And, if something should happen, not a big loss. But it is nice to have some cute inexpensive lamps to freshen up the house for spring. 

And if the cute gourd shape goes out of style...I do not have a huge investment like some of my other lamps. (I have a daughter and a grand who would probably like this pair of lamps for their rooms.) 

I have some old brass lamps that I paid a pretty penny for years ago...and whether their style comes or goes...I will have them for the long haul. 

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