Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Books in decor

"A home without books is like a body without soul." - Cicero

Although I knew I had a variety of books, they were scattered in different spaces around my old house. I did not realize the amount that I own until I kept unpacking boxes, thinking I had found them all. Then every day or two it seemed like another box of would appear. I opened a coffee table drawer last night that was filled with books. No wonder that coffee table had been so heavy when we moved it. 

I believe that using books as decor brings a house alive. Books create warmth, variety and interest. 

You can learn about a person or family from looking at their library . While it is not acceptable to go through the closets and drawers in someone's home, it is perfectly acceptable to peruse their book displays in public areas. 

"What do the members of this household like to read?"

 "What are their interests?"

"Why does this family own  twelve books about lighthouses?" (Is there an interesting story?)

Books are perfect conversation starters. 

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 restored antebellum houses are fascinating to me. While I have toured several of these stunning homes, it would have been 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 of a few homes while we were in the planning stages. Instead, we simply took guided tours, made notes and took photos when allowed. And 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.

ChairKing.com photo