Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mrs. Whaley's Charleston legacy

On our first trip to beautiful Charleston, we met a docent who charmed us with wonderful stories of Emily Whaley as we stood on the sidewalk in front of her beautiful, single house. The stories are plentiful because Mrs. Whaley invested much in Charleston.

A daughter now lives in the home and opens her mother's garden for tours. An artist, Marty Whaley Adams has her own stories to share.
Property of Marty Whaley Adams' Facebook page

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Floor length mirror +

Found on Facebook
Sweet Southern Sass post

This appeared on my Facebook feed and caught my attention. What a clever, handy, and practical use of space. Who couldn't use a full-length mirror in their bathroom or closet? And to have hidden storage behind it is ingenious!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Pathway lighting

Roaming around a house during the night can result in stumped toes, even running into furniture and walls. Outlets to the rescue!

While planning our house, we asked for electrical outlets in a few strategic places that will allow us to navigate dark hallways and more.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Choosing china (and other dish) patterns

"Back in the day" when I was getting married, I remember noticing a beautiful china pattern with lovely floral design and bright colors. I also found a pottery pattern with bright yellow daisies on the plates.

After deciding on the patterns, I took my (now) husband to put his stamp of approval on the dishes. I had no doubt that he would love my choices!

By the time he got to town to visit the store, my china pattern had already been replaced and my confidence in my taste had already been questioned.  My parents had graciously explained to me how I was limiting myself with the bright colored china pattern. My linens would  to need to coordinate  with the colors in the dishes, as would any chair seat covers.

After listening to this logic, I returned to Hemphill-Wells to find a pattern that would be more versatile. At the time, Noritake had a white, silver-bordered pattern that had the ability to be used with a multitude of colored table linens, and color schemes in a home's decor.

Now soon-to-be husband arrives and appreciates the china pattern. I wasn't looking at his face when he saw the pottery, possibly because I was so enamored with those daisies.

Please understand the dishes were not as ugly as it may sound. But once again, I had chosen a pattern that would be limiting.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Too herringbone or not to herringbone

While choosing details for our home, we spent a great deal of time studying finishes in historic houses. There were subway tiles, tiny patterned tiles on floors, beautiful wood planks, and brick on porches and walkways throughout yards. There were time periods that seemed to showcase more herringbone patterned finishes than others.

The name of the herring fish is said to be the origin of the v-shaped herringbone pattern, which it resembles.

Herringbone fish skeleton - borrowed photo
There are herringbone patterned walls and roads in multiple historic sites, dating back to the Roman Empire. Jane Street Clayworks showcases beautiful examples. 

Fast forward to early American construction and we continue to find examples of the pattern. 

Borrowed photo

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year's Day table in the south

Tales are told.
Stories are shared,
and habits become traditions!

Growing up in West Texas, we never failed to have a pot of black-eyed peas on New Year's day. Please forgive me for side-tracking a bit, but it might be worth sharing that we ate this southern dish other times during the year as well.

In fact, this simple dish brings back memories of my mother telling us how her favorite peas were grown in the sandy soils of West Texas. Somehow those were just "better" than peas grown in other soils, even the soil on my dad's beloved Oklahoma childhood farm.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas tree decorating system

Intentionally working to keep Christmas decorations simple for multiple reasons, I've discovered it is just as fun to get our house ready for Christmas without decorating every square inch of space. The more simple, the easier it is to both clean up and to store throughout the year.

Over the past few years, I have developed a system to decorate our tree that works well for us.