Thursday, August 10, 2017

Choosing paint for our new home

When designing a room, we are advised to find an inspiration piece to work with. Maybe this piece will be sofa fabric, a rug, a piece of art, drapery fabric, or even a throw pillow. Paint comes last!   So how do you choose a paint for a new build?

In our case, the designer and I went about choosing paint with the future in mind. I did not want to move in and have to immediately repaint. I wanted paint colors I would use in my final design.

I had to create a vision of what I wanted our new home to look like. I would be using most of the furniture pieces from our current home. However, the upholstered pieces did need to be recovered, so we were not "stuck" with a color pallet from these pieces.

We decided to use the walls as "backdrops" for our rooms. We wanted to create a calm atmosphere using cool colors, with nothing "busy" or "fussy" in the background of our living spaces.

I had become intrigued with grays for the last few years, simply because I was tired of the browns that were so popular in this area. My former house was painted with brown tones, but although it was pretty, I never felt like it was my style.

We started searching through gray paint chips, and comparing them to some fabric I had chosen for the automated window shades that cover the back windows. We had a limited selection of shade fabric because of some wide windows where the fabric had to be railroaded. When we decided on the shade fabric, the paint choice came easily.

Our builder uses Sherwin-Williams paint, so we grabbed a paint deck and set to work. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Antebellum inspiration

Kentucky designer, Lisa Farmer, writes on her wonderful blog,

Who hasn't fallen under the spell of the Southern Antebellum home? This elegant style is actually named for a time period, not a design. The word "Antebellum" comes from the Latin "before war" and this architecture is named for the 30 to 40 years before the American civil war from 1820 to 1860. 
Styles of architecture and interiors were varied.

Wikipedia has a similar description for the word:

You might describe a plantation, an antique dress, or other artifacts of that historical period as antebellum. Officially, the word antebellum can describe the time just before any war, but it's usually used in reference to the Civil war. It comes from the Latin phrase ante bellum, literally "before the war." 
 The details in these houses are fascinating to me. While I have toured several of these stunning homes, it would be a delight to have a private visit to study all the details of the trim, the fabrics, lighting, flooring, wall treatments, window treatments, hardware, door and window styles and furnishings. Instead, we studied scores of photos to pick and choose favorite elements to use in our home.

(Borrowed photo)

Patio cushion storage

When my husband mentioned a co-worker who stores her patio cushions while they are not being used, my mind immediately thought, "that's a lot of unnecessary work."

HOWEVER, I am writing this in the heat of a Texas Gulf Coast summer when mosquitoes are at their worst, it is the hottest time of the year, and ceiling fans do not make a dent in the patio temperature.

What does THAT have to do with storing cushions?

  • Our backyard touches a lake
  • Heat brings mosquitos
  • We have a covered patio with mosquito misters
  • In this heat, these misters spray at least 5-6 times per day
  • Misters spray a wet mist which lands on any surface below
    I must realize that mist dropping onto patio cushions, followed by dirt from the air being captured in the wet substance
After moving it, it didn't take long to notice the "film" of dirt on our patio floor. A water hose and gentle spray washes the dirt film away. However, I do not want to constantly clean patio cushions, and the only way to keep them clean is to store them.

We looked at two large storage trucks at the store where we purchased our furniture. photo

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mixing lamps in a room

Once again, shopping at home (in the attic) came to the rescue!

In searching for lamps for our great room, I found a pair we have used before that are darkened brass and have lovely silk, pleated shades.

Still needing a third lamp, I began checking stores.

A single lamp caught my attention as I was walking through Marshall's/Homegoods. I had a feeling it would be perfect in the space, so brought it home to verify.

Everything was great, except the shade  did not look great in the same room with the silk, pleated shades that were already on the other two lamps.

MySouthernHome2014 photo

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Updating - a story of before and after

Regular readers might remember the post about purchasing furniture with the future in mind. November 15, 2016

Our original table served us well. After over 30 years, I still love the the back of these chairs. The uniqueness of the design fascinates me!  (The photo was taken after new paint and flooring. No art has been hung yet.) 

MySouthernHome2014 photo

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Antiques, "new"-tiques, "dear"-tiques

When walking through the Charleston private homes that graciously allowed visitors to peak inside during the annual Festival of Homes and Gardens, my eyes gravitated to something I already loved. Isn't that the way we are?  We are drawn to the familiar.

For example, when we're interested in a specific car, we see all the others just like it as we drive through town.

Before visiting any of the homes, we had to make a stop at the Shops of Historic Charleston Foundation to secure our tickets. This small shop was filled with beautiful Charleston memorabilia; classic pieces of Canton ware, pineapple decor, and more. The beautiful shop is as far from the typical souvenir store as you might get. These were beautiful items that would actually be used in home decor, instead of the typical trinkets and t-shirts.

MySouthernHome2014 photo

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A work in progress...

After scavenging resale shops, antique stores, off price stores, Hobby Lobby, and other local haunts, I finally gathered a collection of blue and white transferware that reminds me of the pieces in some of the stunning china cabinets in Charleston, SC homes.

I still have art to hang; plus tweaking will always be a pass-time as I decide to move things around. But at least the dining room finally looks like someone has tried to use design principles to create a room with a plan.

Since our goal was to create a room that has the character of a home in the early days of Charleston or New Orleans, we used furniture that was created to remind people of that time period.

MySouthernHome2014 photo