Monday, February 23, 2015

~Dreaming of a Courtyard~

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a great weekend! We've had such crazy weather here. For the past few days, we have been in the upper 60's and 70's. This morning, everything is covered in ice, following a winter storm overnight. So, what am I doing? Dreaming of Spring! On Valentine's Day, Dear Hubby accompanied me to two of my favorite shops, Williams-Sonoma and ZGallerie. While we were out, we decided to pop into Restoration Hardware, as well. The courtyard was so serene and beautiful, that we started making plans for Spring! Dear Hubby snapped these pics with his phone as inspiration...


Isn't the courtyard lovely? The ivy covered walls, the mirror, and the water feature were so pretty. I loved the boxwoods and the potted succulents, as well. I think we'll be doing lots of these this year! With the water restrictions in place, we need things that are pretty drought tolerant. They also had several rosemary plants. The scent was awesome!


In another section of the courtyard, was this sitting area. I loved all of the lanterns scattered about.


We are determined to copy the tree decor. I love the lanterns hanging from the branches, with ropes. Can't you just imagine the white lights, on the tree, all lit up at night?


There was also another seating area that featured this amazing light fixture...


I love how beautifully it has weathered...


I'm so excited for Spring!



Have you started making plans for your outdoor areas yet?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

~An Unconventional Valentine's Tablescape~

Are you getting ready for Valentine's Day? Since it's only a few days away, I've been giving some thought to how I would like to celebrate with my hubby. I wanted something a little different from the traditional red and white. I envisioned a relaxed setting around the coffee table, in front of the fireplace.


When dressing a table, I love to start with a great tablecover. For this setting, I chose one of my faux zebra throws from ZGallerie.


I raided my stash of chargers and decided to go with the gold ones, especially since gold is so trendy right now. I've had these for years, but I see stores like Michael's and Hobby Lobby selling them for a couple of bucks each.


I layered the chargers with some retro, black onyx, octagonal plates that I have had for years. Last year, ZGallerie had a plate that was almost identical. (I did a post about it that you can read here.)
It was so interesting to see that something I've had, since the late 80's, was suddenly trendy again.


The octagonal plates were layered with a trendy black and white salad/dessert plate, that I also got at ZGallerie last year. (Can you tell that I LOVE that store?) 


To coordinate with the black plates, I also pulled out some retro black wine goblets and champagne flutes. (I think they are an old Mikasa pattern.)  I saw a similar style of Onyx stemware on the ZGallerie website. 


I also used gold flatware to coordinate with the gold chargers. The plates are layered with gold, harlequin-patterned napkins. I love to mix lots of patterns and textures.


I simply finished the setting with a cluster of red roses, for a small pop of color and a little candlelight...perfect for a cozy evening together. 


The setting doesn't scream "Valentine's Day"; so, it's perfect for a quiet evening anytime!


That's it for today! Hope you've enjoyed your visit!

Monday, January 12, 2015

~Glazing Natural Maple Cabinets~

Well, hello, everyone! Hope you had a great holiday season! For many of us, a new year always presents an opportunity to make some changes. I have always loved the look of rustic kitchen cabinets, in a Tuscan-style kitchen. There is just 'something' about the look of cabinets glazed to a warm, burnished hue, that gives the kitchen a really warm feel. I love the finish when it is left matte, without a glossy finish. 


For inspiration, I love to look at the local MLS listings to see what others are doing with their decor. The rustic glaze used on these cabinets was exactly what I had envisioned.
(source)

So, what's a girl to do? I went into my stash of glazes and went to work! Over the course of three days, I brushed and wiped glazes all over my kitchen cabinets. For anyone who has ever tackled this sort of project, you've got be all in, once you start. 
There's no turning back!

My cabinets were originally a raw, unfinished maple, that I have loved for years. But, I wanted something different. The cabinets took the first layer of glaze very easily. 

(This is a project that I took on in the fall, just before the Christmas decorations went up...hence, the fall decor still scattered around.)
(Buffet Island)

(Center Island)

(Please excuse the poor quality of the photo. It was a quick snap with my cell phone, at night...with low lighting.)

I let the excess sit in the grooves, before wiping with an old t-shirt. I used a mocha glaze for the first layer...


Then, to get the rustic depth, (and to keep the cabinets from looking 'orange'), I brushed on an oil-based glaze from Sherwin Williams in Van Dyke Brown...


Now, the kitchen feels very warm and inviting; and it has the rustic feel that I have wanted. When the girls came home for Christmas, they loved it!  I am still in the process of tweaking things; but, I wanted to share a peek at what I have been up to.

Do you have any projects planned? I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!!

Linking to:
Coastal Charm-Show and Share
Thrifty Decor Chick-January Before and After

Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Christmas Tree 2014

Happy Monday! I hope that you had a great weekend. The Christmas fluffing is basically finished around here. Today, I'm just doing a short post, sharing our Christmas tree . This year, I wanted to celebrate a classic Christmas, with lots of traditional red, green and gold, with plaid accents.


This year, the tree is filled with all of our collectible ornaments. There are many memories on this tree. I also added in a few pinecones and red berries, as well as my signature fleur de lis and poinsettia ornaments. 


The topper is a cluster of pine branches, red berries and pinecones. I finished the tree with trails of plaid ribbon. 


A gold banner hangs from the lower branches of the tree that says, "Seasons Greetings". It hangs above a vintage wicker sleigh that holds all of the greeting cards that we receive.


And that's our tree for 2014!


I'm basically finished with decorating around here. Hopefully, I'll have the kitchen and dining room photos ready to share soon. The plaid continues in the dining room; and the tablescape is being built around these plaid plates from Williams-Sonoma. Here is a sneak peek...


I hope you're enjoying the holidays!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, December 8, 2014

~Christmas Touches on the Coffee Table~

I am enjoying the process of adding a few seasonal touches to my holiday home. In my last post, I shared my holiday mantel. Over the past few days, I've been tinkering with a classic look for the coffee table...


Our coffee table is oversized and can handle a variety of accents.
I started with a silver teapot and a large, embossed silver tray...


I added a few pinecones to the tray and red roses, with a pine branch, to the teapot...


A small stack of red plaid napkins are ready for treats and snacks; and what would Christmas be without a display of antlers?


The oversized brass, glass and marble-based hurricane has been hiding out in one of the guest rooms. I thought it would be a great addition for a classic look. I simply filled it with a large pillar candle, surrounded by cranberries...


On the opposite side of the table, a stack of boxes complete the look...


And, that is my coffee table decor!
Hopefully, I will work on my tree this weekend; and have it ready to share soon. Hope you're having fun decorating your homes!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

~Christmas Mantel 2014~

Hi Everyone! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Today, I just wanted to share my Christmas mantel. I usually get inspired by some place that I've visited; and Charleston had that effect on me. This year, I wanted a simple, classic look, with traditional red and green decor, and lots of plaid ribbon!



When I think of classic style, I immediately think of my all-time favorite designer... Ralph Lauren. I love his various interpretations; and I've tweaked the look for our decor. His signature style is very equestrian; and I've incorporated a 'touch' of it in my mantel decor. 

There are horses and horseshoes...



Miniature silver trophies...


And a fox or two...


I even used my Ralph Lauren wellies on the hearth...


Along with a rustic, wood and leather trunk...



Our stockings are making another appearance this year, sporting our initials...


And the gold-leafed reindeer are sporting plaid bows and sprigs of evergreens and berries...


And that's our mantel for this year!


Normally, I am finished with my decor by now. But, I've decided to take my time this year. I always feel so rushed to get everything done, just to get my blog posts out. This year, I just want to savor the season. It goes so fast!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, October 27, 2014

~The New "Tuscan Home" Magazine Is Out Now...And We're In It!~

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a great weekend! We sure are! You may recall that Author/Editor/Stylist Extraordinaire, Fifi O'Neill, came to photograph our home, back in June. (You can read that post here.) Well, the new publication is on newsstands now!


The magazine is called, "Tuscan Home"; and it is filled with gorgeous, glossy pages full of Tuscan inspiration! I actually had no idea that it was out! My BFF, Donna, had picked it up at the grocery store, to read while getting her hair done. Imagine her surprise when she stumbled upon the spread of our home! She immediately called me; and I grabbed my keys to run out in search of a few copies...lol! It was so surreal to see our home in print! We have a 12-page spread that starts on page 116. These are just a few of my favorite images...


As you can see, not much of our decor was changed, with the exception of a few fresh flowers and fruit, for props. Fifi also gathered up some of my extra pillows and throws to add texture and additional pops of color.


You have seen many of these rooms, here, on the blog; and there are a couple of rooms that I don't think I've shared before.


I will be forever grateful to Fifi for selecting our home for her premier publication! She and photographer, Mark Lohman, were a joy to work with!

Hopefully, you will be able to pick up a copy at a store near you!

Thanks so much for sharing this experience with me!