“Yesterday”

This guest feature was sent to me yesterday by a girl from yesteryear, someone with whom I once spent an amazing summer at performing arts camp. We sang and performed a showcase of Beatles songs and became BFFS (sworn in a contract by the all holy milky pen). This girl is beautiful and vivacious and ever creative and I am so glad that she is sharing some of her gorgeous Florida home with me; or as she said, a little Palm Beach 2768 meets the Main Line:

Another great minds think alike. I’ve had the leaves (feathers) for years. The gold one is my newest obsession from MY homie home goods and my husband has banned me from there since my latest three shopping trips there this month. I cry.

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Two left pillows from Home Goods. Gray on the right from TJ Maxx.

And here is a sneak peak of my dining room- inspired by our solos of yesterday. (Editor’s note: I am obsessed.)

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The back is black and white chevron.
More to come…

 

Turquoise: A Love Story

I’ve said before that I am particular about color, and if I were pressed to come up with my very favorite hue of my very favorite color it would have to be turquoise blue. Sometimes I call it teal. Sometimes I call it aqua. To be honest, I don’t know the exact difference, but I know that I am drawn to it viscerally and intensely.

I hadn’t realized before just how much I have used turquoise in the decor of my downstairs. Come. See for yourself.

In the piece from our old front porch (Home Goods);

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In the regal lion that guards over our mantel (TJ Maxx);

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In the wall hanging that adorns our Dining Room Wall with varying shades of my favorite color (TJ Maxx);

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And the piece next to it, with a turquoise line down the center that ties it all together (inherited from my father’s old office);

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In our sunroom throw (Deconstructed Living);

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And in the frame and elephant on our shelf (Ikea and TJ Maxx, respectively);

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In more shelf decor and books;

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In the faux fur throw on our Living Room sofa (Home Goods);

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And in the hand knit afgan on our white Barcelona Chair, accenting the Kilim rug behind it;

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But my favorite part is that from the sunroom, the turquoise accents are all tied together and you can get one, great aqua-laced view from room to room to room.

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So a love affair with turquoise, eh? I guess it could be worse!

This is where we live.

For some, a living room is a formal space, reserved for guests or antiques or furniture meant to look at and not to sit on. My husband’s living room growing up was a space like that; so much so, that he used to have anxiety when he’d throw parties that someone would enter the museum-like space and move a pillow or knock over a knick-knack.

Even my own parents have a more formal living room, where many of their good furniture and art pieces are displayed. While it’s not as pristine and untouchable, it isn’t a place where we would choose to hang.

But not my living room. My living room is where I like to literally live.  It is the room in which we can spend an entire weekend day in our pajamas; it is the host for most of our dance parties; it is where our friends gather with glasses of wine and board games; it is where my husband and I light fires and talk. There is nothing precious about it. But it is precious to me.

Here is a before shot from the previous owners:

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This mirror that took up the entire wall was deemed hazardous during our 7 hour inspection. That’s always good. LR

And here is our after:photo 1_2

The first order of business for this room was painting. The room features incredible molding, which we wanted to feature in a subtle but elegant way. We had the walls painted in Benjamin Moore Mascarpone with the trim in Decorators White. I adore the result; the walls are so rich and creamy that my parents are currently in the process of removing their entry way wallpaper and replacing it with Mascarpone.

Our room features my comfort zone colors (gray, black and white) with pops of other favorites, like fuschia, cobalt and teal. It also has two separate seating areas, making it a great place to entertain. However, we often find ourselves sprawled out on the floor with friends picnicking on charcuterie. Or engaging in physical fitness challenges. See what I mean? We live in this room. photo 2_2

We had our couch custom made at Thomasville and it is comfortable and attractive (it has nailhead details down the arms and bottom that are hard to see from the picture). The pillows are West Elm and Cynthia Rowley and the silver velvet ottoman was a former life steal at American Signature Furniture. I am pretty sure I got it on clearance for $99.00 and I will never let it leave me.
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A focal point in our room is the first piece that we bought once our offer was accepted on this house; The giant 70’s pop poster we found on ebay is from the International Music Festival in Barcelona. Music and Barca? It had to be mine. photo 4_3

Our ottoman tray is another great West Elm find and picks up the exact emerald green in the poster above. My coffee table books are both gifts from dear friends: O’KEEFFE, from one of my English Major compatriots who is a talented and beautiful designer; Neruda: Intimacies, Poems of love from my dear love and daughter’s Godmother.
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This, I made. My husband had brought home purple roses and weeks ago and I loved the look of the flowers on the ottoman. But I was looking for something more permanent, so I dried them and arranged them in this square vase with woven balls from a set from home goods.photo 4_4

This seating area is a temporary solution that works relatively well until we find the perfect love seat; two white leather chairs that we have put together from, once again, home goods, coordinated together with this awesome west elm linen pillow and fuschia throw from Crate and Barrel that used to be in our old bedroom. The painted wooden chest brought some much needed earthiness to the room, when I was feeling like we were getting into a decorating territory that was too stark and maybe even formal. I found it at Nadeau and topped it with other natural elements to achieve a blend of elegance and earth. photo 1_3

Now we travel to the far corner of our room with a bunch of home goods finds, and the new home for my husbands birthday present, an XBox1. That’s all I need to say about that.

The framed artwork is how I decided to decorate the rest of the walls in this room; Because I am not in a position, now, to purchase real art, I wanted to fill our walls with things that were both meaningful and nice looking. So I went through our camera rolls from past travel, printed our photos and framed them. I am very happy with the result as they mean something. They reflect how we’ve lived. The frames above are both from favorite trips: above, a photo from the graffiti wall by the Romeo and Juliet memorial in Verona, Italy where we traveled with my family in 2007 and below, a picture of a small, beautiful alley way in Makawao, an old rodeo town in Hawaii, where my husband and I travelled in ’09. photo 2

I love these purple flowers. They tie everything together. photo 2_3

This gold piece my most recent home goods purchase, one I bought with my credit, and filled it with faux roses from a very old flower arrangement I took apart (more on that to come) and placed in a square vase that came with a beautiful bouquet from my special Mama friends when I needed a pick-me-up. photo 5

Here is our fireplace. It is a definite perk of our home, as our old house did not have one and I had always longed to be able to curl up by a fire. And now I can. And I do.

I wanted to top the fireplace, the most prominent feature of the room, and I found it with this beautiful Antique Tiled Wall Mirror from West Elm.photo 3_2

I replaced the old brass sconces with these mirrored ones, but I have a secret to tell you; they don’t work. They are simply decorative. But they work, right? The lion is my favorite color and from TJMaxxphoto 4_2

As are these silver vases. The horn is HG. photo 1_5

This silver sculptural piece is from Material Culture and the antique wheelbarrow that holds our firewood is from my paternal grandfather. It was in my dad’s childhood home and is very special to me. photo 2_4 This is that open wall again, between the Living Room and Sunroom. It is awesome for parents of young children to keep an eye on, and also for the flow of entertaining. photo 1_4

This is the aforementioned antique coffee table from a Co-Op in Lambertville. It’s legs were a light, peachy wood, so I had our painters transform them with our same Benjamin Moore black bannister paint. And I love it. But there is a story behind it; The reason that I was in Lambertville that day was for the Rago Discovery Auction, which just so happens to be today. I had my eyes on a pair of mirrored coffee tables that were a late lot, and while I was killing time antiquing, I saw this coffee table.  The auctioned pair ended up going for four times the price of the one I bought, and mine works perfectly in the space.

The white, leather Barcelona chairs were my one big win from the Rago auction. They were one of the first lots and we got them at a price lower than they had been estimated for. And I love them. photo 2_5

The beautiful bowl in the center of the table is from Home Grown that was a wedding gift. It is crystal, sitting in woven gold, with glass flowers and butterflies. It is very special. photo 3_4

Once again, we found our perfect pillows at West Elm (as they pick up the pinks and reds in our painting), and our faux fur throw was a great One Kings Lane find at a great discount.
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I’ve mentioned before that our house is sideways facing. That means that our living room window looks out at our driveway. That windowsill has two large obelisks from Material Culture that make a bold statement from both inside the room and from outside, when approaching our house. photo 4 photo 3_3 photo 5_2Finally, a framed photo of a flower we captured during our trip to Maui and these cool little elephants resting on a horn that, of course, I found at HG.

Oh. Wait. Spoke too soon. I should not have said “Finally”. So prematurely. Because I missed what my husband thinks is a most crucial piece of our room; the newest “decoration”. This was a husband thing, his one stamp on our room. My daughter doesn’t seem to mind it either.

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As much as it isn’t art, it reflects our lifestyle and allows us to use our living room even more than before. It is a room to live. And in it we really, truly do.

The One(s) That Got Away: A Story of Irony

Situational Irony

noun

irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended , so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected.

By now it’s been established that I have a thing for Home Goods. Oh, and did I mention that I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter in TJ Maxx? I should really be their company mascott, and wear clothes made out of luxurious throw blankets and fake orchids in my hair.

Anyway…

The first piece of irony in today’s tale was that I went to Home Goods in order to receive money. Did you catch that? Not to spend? Not to die over a furry pillow. But to get a credit. And for the not-so-exciting items as suction cup towel holders that didn’t stick to my tile. And while I did end up buying one thing (which I will show you when I show you my living room, but it’s prettttty awesome), I still walked out of the store with a Home Goods merchandise credit card in my hand. That, friends, is the definition of an outcome that is contrary to what was expected.

But the greater irony was that my other objective in my trip to Home Goods was to feature some items that I thought were amazing but could or would not buy for one reason or another.

For example, I thought this lamp would make an incredible statement. It looks very high end, came with a mate and I think is an example of a Home Goods “hit”. However, the only room in my house where it would fit is my (not yet pictured) living room and we really don’t need a table lamp. Even though my decorating heart hurts a little looking at this picture and knowing that it isn’t mine.

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I thought these guys were super cool, as well. And I can think of a million places to put them in my house, but zero reasons to justify the purchase. So I had to move on. unnamed-2

This dog. I have been coveting this for weeks. I have been coveting so long that I knew him when he had a mate. Now he’s alone and doesn’t have a furrever home and I want to adopt him but he is $69.99 and that cannot be justified at this time. Still. He is the man. Or dog. Whatever.

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And as I continued to peruse the aisles, thinking, truly, of the post I would write about “the ones that got away”, I saw a few more really cool animal things and went to grab my phone to snap a hasty pic when….

my phone was nowhere to be found. It was not in my jacket pocket. It was not buried in the bunting of my son’s car seat. It was just gone. I was more freaked out at the notion that I would lose all of these pictures than the idea that perhaps I’d been pick pocketed, but I stayed calm as I had my mom (my ever faithful HG shopping compadre) dial my phone incessantly. Until someone answered. She had heard it ringing and found it on a shelf.

My bad.

So my phone was quite literally the one that got away.  Irony. A situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended.

But, as they say, all’s well that ends well. I don’t have my tall golden dog, but I have my phone. And they say that irony makes for a good story.

So I’ll cut my losses and stick with that. That and a $9.76 credit to my favorite store.