Monday, February 28, 2011


Everyone has a budget. We all need to be aware of what we really can afford when it comes time to create our home. Spending a lot of money, will not necessarily give you the look you want. I actually have fun looking for great deals. I have passed things up because I thought the price was too high, only to regret this later. But most of the time if I am waiting for something to go on sale and it's gone before I can purchase it, I feel it wasn't meant to be (usually!!?) This is why I love to find great places with hidden treasures. Places you can spend all day shopping and find dozens of things that cost very little.

When we first moved into this home, I felt like it was so big and empty. It took some time before it started to feel like "our" home. I am lucky enough to have items from family. My inlaws supplied us with many great pieces of furniture (I still can't find deals like they can), my grandmother passed away a few years ago and I have pieces from her home that I will always cherish, and my mother loves to go shopping with me and always knows what to help me find. (she also gives me the best gifts for my home!).

Some of the things I consider great deals:

Tole Trays (a few were gifts, I inherited a couple and I have never paid more than $35 for a tray)

Plates ( some are gifts, many are from our travels)

Furniture (these pieces are from a local used furniture store-cost about $200 a piece)

Kitchen Chairs (I watched these chairs go on sale from Pottery Barn)

Hoosier Cabinet (from my inlaws, they needed to add a couple of doors and some hardware, but this piece makes the kitchen)

Dining Chairs ( The black ones $20 each and the aqua $40 each-just needed a little paint and some new fabric)

and the list goes on...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Everything old is new again

As I have mentioned before, I like vintage items. I like that I have items in my home that have been around many years and graced many homes. Vintage items are often one of a kind pieces, you know you probably will not see it in a friends home.

Sometimes I have to stop collecting an item because the prices have gone above my comfort zone. The price of old quilts in great condition have skyrocketed. I love the ones I have, but doubt I'll be adding to the collection.

I also have quite a few new quilts, thanks to my mother in law, that we use every night in the cold months. 

Now I have started to notice a new kind of quilt. I love it when an item from the past makes a comeback in a new and exciting way.

Contemporary Quilts

These new designs would look equally well in a contemporary home or a vintage farmhouse.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


When we moved to Maine from Nevada we needed to lighten the load as much as possible. This was a great opportunity to leave behind the things that we no longer needed and update some things we have had for years. Our everyday dishes for instance. I had been collecting pieces of Yorktown Pfaltzgraff since our wedding. They still looked great, but I was no longer in love with the blue & white designs.


My sister had been collecting Fiestaware, in all the colors. I love the form of the pieces and the colors look so great stacked in her cabinets. Fiestaware has been around since 1936. The original pieces are highly collectible and often very pricey. Fortunately new pieces are reasonably priced. New colors are always being introduced and other colors discontinued.

I chose sea mist (now discontinued) and turquoise to start. I have since added chartreuse (discontinued color-found mine on eBay), peacock blue and shamrock.

These are my plates. I like the monochromatic look. Maybe in the future I'll add another color.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Charm & Character

Remember a few post's ago when I said a client would buy the entire vignette off the floor and eventually tire of it and not understand why?

The room would lack character or personality. Nothing in the room would relate to them personally. Yes, the room looks good, but if you are not represented in some way the place begins to feel cold.

Luckily this is the simplest thing to fix. I love to go to antique stores, thrift stores, and flea markets just to find those one-of-a-kind things that only my home will have. No need to spend much money, these things can be quirky, whimsical, funky or down right odd. Items your children have made for you would also work. All that matters is that it catches your eye and makes you smile.

Some of my items that have "Charm" or "Character"

Hay Rake (came from my grandmother's garage-love the simplicity of the design)

Ash Tray (we do not smoke-but it came from my grandmother's home and it's AQUA! my favorite color)

Sofa Piece? (this is what's left of a vintage love seat I purchased years ago-dry rot had ruined most of it, but we salvaged the parts we could)

Apple Peeler (I don't use it to peal apples, but it looks great on my Hoosier)

My Children's paintings (I love these!!)

Old Shutters (these came from my inlaws neighbor-love the color and patina)

Items from our travels

Inexpensive items from flea markets and junk stores.

These are the items that make the difference and give our homes personality. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Model A Chair

In 1927 France the trademark "Tolix" was born, specializing in metal chairs and stools.
The Model A chair was created in 1934- stackable, lightweight, durable and comfortable. The design has remained essentially the same and has become an icon of industrial aesthetics.

I purchased my kitchen chairs a couple of years ago from Pottery Barn. I bought them on line on sale and at first I was looking at the turquoise color. That color sold out before I had a chance to order, so I settled on the white. I am so glad because I love how they look with my enamelware pitchers. Eventually I may add a padded seat cushion (metal can be a little cold in the morning) but I really love how they add a touch of "french" design to the room.
Pottery Barn Image

Tolix furniture is still manufactured in the town of Autun in Burgundy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Favorite Designers

When I was working as a furniture showroom designer, I needed to be able to accomplish many different looks-Contemporary, Traditional, Country, Southwestern...

Of course I had my own look (that's what this blog is all about) and as I spend more and more time looking at design magazines, books, and blogs I find I can recognize the work of some of my favorite designers.

Lynn Von Kersting
One of my favorites, she owns Indigo Seas a home furniture store specializing in a romantic, world-traveled look. Vintage florals, french antiques, and Moroccan lanterns fill her interiors. Lynn boldly uses lots of red and turquoise (see why I like her?).

Tracy Porter
Tracy actually has a website and blog. I love her whimsical, eclectic style. Chandeliers everywhere (multiple ones in a single room!), with vintage fabrics, animal prints and rich layers of details painted on almost every surface.

What I like most about these designers is their ability to always be true to their own style.

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