Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cottage Blues

My homage to the many blues of cottage style decorating....  

Most of us have heard that there, allegedly, are 50 shades of grey, 
but there is also an abundance of blue hues. 

I am drawn to the soft, the ethereal, the quiet ones.  Any colors that scream leave me feeling somewhat agitated and antsy.  Yet shades that evoke memories of the summer sea or of wildflowers blooming en masse in a dense woodland or of shrubbery framing a July garden 
whisper of peacefulness and well-being.   I have used the phrase before, but rooms that whisper, rather than shout, are the ones, for me, where a soulfulness pervades.  

Color, along with light, has a profound effect on mood.  In my home I strive to create a mood that is airy, soothing, and comfortable.  It is important for me to feel a connection to both the earth and the sky. With their origins in the natural world and celestial hues, these blues provide an element of both. 

While blue is not often thought of as a neutral, there are shades of blue that certainly bring out the best in other colors, such as a pale aqua with any shade of tan or grey.  And one might argue that navy can be a neutral, and is often used in place of black.  My passion for decorating with neutrals remains pure, despite a current love of blue.  

Until next time...


Friday, July 13, 2012

A fitting, new home for my campaign bed

As an unapologetic romantic, I have always had a fascination with bedrooms.  

Bedrooms are places that permit us to indulge our fantasies, decorating or otherwise.  

They are rooms where we do not have to censor ourselves, where we can let our tastes and preferences reign, where comfort and ease are priority.  These spaces are deliberately separated from the noise and activity of the rest of the house and the larger world, 
rooms dedicated solely to love-making, sleeping,
 and thus, to dreaming.  

The master bedroom at my new home is the kind of bedroom I have long dreamed of.  
My campaign bed sits proudly in the center of the three-sided bay, its sculptural fra% stretching toward the 10' ceiling.  The bed itself sits high off the floor, and I feel like princess when climbing in and out of it each day.

With a bed this grand, the rest of the room is intentionally kept simple.  Ivory walls and velvet curtains provide a peaceful backdrop that lets the bed stand out.  The pendant light, with its Edison-style bulb,  adds a bit of retro cool.  

The front porch is visible through the windows, establishing a connection to the outdoors.

The Victorian glider, a chair we picked up at an antiques strore in Franklin, Tennessee, is small but incredibly comfortable.  It is another piece that has great lines, so it seemed fitting to put it near the bed.

Bedding is also kept simple in color, form, and fabric.  Whites, creams, and greys create a restful atmosphere that is easy on the eyes when waking with the morning sun.

An antique mirror hangs across from the bed.  Its aged glass has a patina that compliments the muted furnishings and color palette.

The bedroom is romantic without being overly feminine, which allows my honey to be comfortable here. This room just might be my favorite place in the house.  As you have seen in the photos, my cats sure seem to like it also!

Until next time...


Monday, July 9, 2012

Settling In and Listening

It has been said so many times now in decorating circles that it has become a cliche:  Listen to your house to see what it is telling you about how it wants to be decorated.  

Some cliches, despite overuse, ring true.

When working on this cottage, I took some hints from what was already there, such as the tall windows, original doors, simple baseboards, and paneled walls.  Other clues came from the things that lay hidden behind a false facade (like the crown molding hidden beneath the drop ceiling and the trim boards discovered in the basement).  

The house gets great light, and all decisions were made to accentuate that fact.  Pale walls and natural elements were what the house was asking for.

The paneled walls lend a casual air to the rooms, so worn furnishings seem to fit right in.

The sea grass rugs and woven roman shades add loads of texture.  My painted furniture blends well with the neutral backdrop.  Velvet chairs and silk pillows add richness.

Plants scattered around the room and out on the porch bring the outdoors in.  

Mirrors, mercury glass, and polished metal add sparkle and glamor.

The pale blues make me smile.  They are hues I have always gravitated toward and they look lovely with shades of cream, sand, and stormy grey.

Natural accents, such as the raw wood tray and found antlers speak of the forest surrounding my town.

House plants and nature-themed accents reveal my other love-- gardening.

Greenery, visible through the front window, makes me feel more at home in town, after having been a country girl for so many years.

A corner of the dining room shows a mixture of natural materials-- antlers, crystal, bronze, and a variety of wood finishes. 

Bits of black peppered throughout the rooms add contrast and keep spaces from being too delicate.

Moving has been more work than I thought it would be.  We are still settling in.  There is still much unpacking left to be done, but things are coming into focus.  I will continue to listen to this old house, letting it dictate what needs to be done to help it achieve its fullest potential.  After so many years of neglect, I think it is happy to finally be loved and understood once again.  

Until next time...



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