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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Je’ne sais quoi

I don’t know what.

The end of January brings about the realization that this is the year I will become an empty nester.  It will happen all too soon.  Ah, but such is life.  Time for a new chapter and new doors to pass through.  There were no New Year’s resolutions for me this year….. only making  plans for a new beginning that is inevitable for every parent. 

Today has brought about thoughts of an artist’s box with all its paint colors and tools  just waiting to be turned into something beautiful.  Isn’t our lives a lot like that?  We have many facets that can be combined into something wonderful.  We are never too old to re-create ourselves.  Time has not passed me by.


An artist’s box and palette can also be an analogy of decor:

Rooms are art…. 
 Interior art.  

Just like art, they evoke many moods and feelings:  vibrant or subdued and energetic or relaxing, etc.


And, just like an artist’s blank canvas, rooms are our canvases until they become living collages.  Our rooms are a myriad of the objects and ingredients of our lives that make up the total space.  It’s how we choose to put the components together that dictate our end results.


Many great French artists have colored our world with inspiration.  Inspirations that we can draw upon as we create new things.


I will be traveling to France this fall and will be making plans for some exciting career moves.  What else could be in store?  Maybe an Etsy shop or maybe re-entering the realm  of antique mall selling. We’ll see.


The bible says there is a season for everything.

Where are the winds of change taking me?   All I know is, my passion has always been interior design.  I love everything to do with houses:  architecture, historical interiors, furniture, antiques, space planning, colors, fabrics, accessories, and did I mention furniture? LOL   I may have veered off the original path out of necessity  (educator, administrator, and professional consultant),  but I’m ready to embrace this new chapter.

In the short time I have been blogging, I have met and been influenced by so many incredible people (YOU) and can certainly see many paths that lead to a fulfilling future.  And, I’m so thankful to those of you who have taken the time to read about the musings on my own humble blog.
Make every season of your life count.  Here’s to hopes, dreams, and plans for an exciting future.

It’s time to take wings and soar…

Linking up to the Newbie Party at Debbie Doo's Blogging & Blabbing

Thursday, January 26, 2012

French Sunburst Mirrors

I’m piggybacking on Debra’s post over at Common Ground today!

It’s chock full of photos and historical information about these awesome decorating accessories.  Please check it out here.  I enjoyed it so much, it inspired me to share my mirror.

Here are a couple photos of the sunburst mirror that I have. It hangs on a small wall in my dining room. I purchased it at Crown and Colony Antiques in Alabama, when I was on a French antique buying excursion a couple years ago.  It’s not very large at about 24” diameter.  I would love to find another one for my daughter’s room. 


Lots of decorating stores and catalogs have reproductions i.e. Wisteria, Ballard Designs, Ethan Allen and several others.

You can see them in so many designer rooms and I found a few photos of my favorites:

 (source: Country Living)

(source: House Beautiful)

(source: Eclectic Revisited)

(previous 3 photos source: Décor Pad)

These are quintessential French and so iconic of the French look.   They certainly are back in vogue and have made a comeback from their ultra-modern resurgence in the 60’s & 70’s.
 (Groovy, Man!)

Thanks, Debra, for the sunburst inspiration!  You inspired me on Vintage Inspiration Friday!


Linking up to:
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Definition of “Treasure”

How do you define “treasure”?

How often do you find a real treasure in your own home?

Well, if you’re a furniture-ista like me, you will understand when I say my found treasure is of the wood kind! lol

Now, mind you, I’ve always been somewhat of a sleuth.  All antiquers (is this a word?) are for that matter and in addition I read every one of the Nancy Drew mysteries when I was in middle school. I guess this should make me somewhat of an expert detective.  Just kidding. Sleuthing and antiquing are a natural fit.

I found this round vintage table at an antique mall in Louisville during the building of our house and knew it would be perfect for the breakfast nook.  Below is a view from the kitchen.


Notice Murphy’s very trendy animal print (no pun intended) dog pillow in the foreground of the picture below!


As I was looking under the tabletop of the table,  I noticed something I hadn’t seen before…(yes, I was laying on my back looking up at the underneath of the table…weird, I know, but I was cleaning the elegantly carved center pedestal).  There was a little metal tag…and it said:


That’s right. Made in Italy, Hand Made.
Woo Hoo!  You’d have thought I just struck gold!  Well, furniture gold, that is!
To a furnitureista, this is major!


I bought it for several of it’s outstanding features without even knowing it was Italian.
It has solid mahogany construction with a gorgeous banded outer inlay (sorry for the little bit of glare, it’s the glass on top).


It also has very detailed carving on the pedestal with brass bound feet.  I know it is very Sheraton in style, and doesn’t quite go with a French Country look, but I like the unexpected in design to keep you on your toes and add a little visual tension.  The color of the mahogany is also a little too dark for my current taste, but sometimes a piece is just too special to change. The French Provençal rush seat chairs aren’t antique, but came from Pierre Deux. I was so sad to see Pierre Deux go out of business as they were one of my favorite places to shop.


Anyway, all joking aside, I really was surprised to find this tag.  I have bought and sold antiques for about 15 years now, and I always look pieces over very carefully to see if there are any markings.  I can’t believe I let this fine piece get by me without actually  knowing what I purchased.

ITALY?  Are you kidding me? You usually don’t find marked Italian pieces as often.  Why do things always seem to be better or more valuable  if they’re made in France or Italy?  Maybe just a romantic notion, I guess,  but  the craftsmanship on this piece is superb.  It’s not antique, just vintage, probably made in the 50’s or 60’s, or maybe as late as the 70’s.


 It may not be gold or silver, but it’s a real treasure to me.  Remember, I love wood and I’m a furniture-ista, which by my own definition is someone who loves furniture more than clothes!  This piece isn’t going anywhere, it’s staying with me.

Gotta run. Gotta go check underneath all my furniture now. lol  Maybe there’s more surprises in store.
Happy Treasure Hunting, or as the French would say, Trésors!


Joining these great bloggers for the following linky parties:
Tuesday’s Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
WOW Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
{Primp} Your Stuff Wednesday at Michele Raven Designs
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show and Tell Friday at Romantic Home
Potpourri Friday at 2805

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Calling All Furniture-istas!

I’m still on this “furnitureista” topic. I blogged about it in my last post. You can read about it here.

What kind of furnitureisata are you?



Are you a transformation furnitureista?


Or are you a historical furnitureista?


Does the following make your heart race? Do you see the potential?



Or this? Left alone to appreciate its patina, originality and significance?



Maybe you are a little bit of both?


I’m historical with a little bit of transformation thrown in.

So, which one are you?  There’s room for all us furniture lovers out there!

Have a marvelous “furnitureista” kind of day! (I’m lovin’ this new word!!! lol)



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Furniture What-a?

There are fashionistas…
then there are furniture – istas?

Come again?

I’m a self-proclaimed furnitureista.  My husband can attest to this fact.  Some women buy tons of clothes, but me, I buy furniture. (I’m also a Francophile, but that’s another story).


When I was in interior design school ages ago, my favorite courses were the History of Interiors I and II. I loved pouring over design books and learning all about furniture styles and their origins. I spent hours doing line drawings of every piece of furniture known to man, including legs styles, carvings, etc.


Although, I love to alter and rescue furniture  on occasion (furniture refinishing was also a course in college),  my real love comes in STUDYING furniture styles. I truly appreciate a quality piece of furniture. It is art in it’s own right.


Take the French commode, for example. When we hear the word commode, we tend to think of a toilet. But in France, it is a loosely defined type of chest or cabinet, not usually found in the loo!  It is usually low, used against a wall, and may have doors or drawers.

(How’s that for a quick furniture primer? Interesting stuff, right?)


This is the typical style we associate with the commode – the bombé.
Bombé means a swelling or convex surface with bulging fronts and sides, as found in furniture of the Louis XV period.

But, below is an example of an Empire period commode.


Both rooms below contain commodes flanked by chairs. The commode was a very important and 
functional piece of furniture used in French interiors and their decoration was plain to very elaborate.


The following photos are of the two commodes that I own.  They are both bombé and have burled and inlaid wood.  The first one below is in my dining room.



I absolutely love studying types of woods and the patina it develops over time.


I appreciate original marble and all the character marks and cracks it contains.


This petite bombé commode is in my sunroom.  It has the most gorgeous ormolu mounts, gray marble, and inlay.



I think at heart, I’ve always been a furnitureista. I guess if there can be fashionistas in the world, there can be furnitureistas, too.

So who’s with me?  Any other furnitureistas out there?
We should start a club…maybe I just did!  lol


I’m joining my lovely blog friends over at the following parties:
Wow Us! Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
{Primp} Your Stuff Wednesday at Michele Raven Designs
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Voila! French Inspiration Thursday at French Cupboard
Show and Tell Friday at Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Potpourri Friday at 2805
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life is Good

That’s my motto for this year. In fact, it’s my whole family’s motto for the year.

Have you heard about Jake and
the Life is Good Company?

It’s a great story that goes something like this:

Two brothers sold T-shirts out of the back of their van and ate PB & J sandwiches in the early 1990’s until they created optimistic Jake, who rose to popularity and the rest is history.

Their motto:

Life is Good

Spreading the Power of Optimism

I love this.     Sooooo,
everyone in my family received a Life is Good shirt for Christmas along with the declared family theme of “Life is Good in 2012”.  Yes, everyone.  Kids, in-laws, grandparents, and grandbaby.  They have clothes and accessories for everybody. 

Even Murphy, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had a Life is Good collar and leash in his stocking!

You can visit their website, Life is Good here and read about their story here.
Everything is so positive and uplifting.

This yearly family theme idea began when I gave all the family vintage McCoy happy face mugs for Christmas in 2010 and they were all told to be happy in 2011. I probably gave away 15 as gifts that year.

Thus, our last year’s theme:

Be Happy in 2011


Some of them being “hams” for the camera!


I’m already wondering what the theme for 2013 should be.

I’m thinking maybe:

Give Back in 2013

I could use Toms shoes as gifts for this  Christmas since they donate a pair of shoes to someone in need every time you buy a pair. “One for One” is their motto.  I’m sure most of you are familiar with this brand. We already own some Toms, but I could still get everyone a new pair.


What do you think? Do you have any ideas? What theme could your family have for next year?

Something to think about.

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