at home, Decorating, Home Decor

Easy Decorating Tips

shades of fallBecause summer in Maine is a short season, I hold on to it as long as possible.  The time has come to let go, however, as the trees are turning and the leaves are already falling giving hint of the raking and cleanup that is to follow.

Maine houseSometimes I don’t change slipcovers from summer to fall because we are only in Maine until early November.  

Today I had some free time and a burst of energy and set about changing things around to celebrate the first day of fall.  Off came the light slips to be replaced by these with rich colors reflective of the newly arrived season.  And just because, I moved furniture around, too.

I’ve  sworn not to buy anything new so much of the changing look came from shopping the house.  As I looked around, I noticed turquoise accents here and there so that became the “new”.

Throw pillows from another room are added to the mix of fabrics on the sofa.   The turquoise doesn’t seem to mind being thrown in with the reds and golds.

In the cabinet where there are so many candles I forget what they are, I found ones to carry out the color scheme.

 It’s amazing what shows up when you start looking!

Moving things from one place to another gives the table top a new look and a spray of flowers from a recent visit to Trader Joe’s provides the finishing touch.

Now that wasn’t too hard and the changes give the room a totally new look, warm and textured as befits fall.  So, if you are thinking about what to do for fall, my suggestion is use what you have differently.  You might be surprised what happens.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

at home, Decorating, Home Decor

Getting It Right

Not only was I bored spending most of my time in bed for 10 weeks, but I began obsessing on things wrong in the bedroom.   The hubby knew that was going to lead to some kind of overhaul, and, indeed, it did.

bedroomSeveral years ago, some walls in the bedroom and study were done with Venetian plaster  that blended more than one color.  The color chosen for the remaining walls was never right, but since I saw them in the dim light of morning and night I let it go.  Not possible after looking at it day after day.

So, the first thing was to choose a new color that would blend a little better.  After sampling several grays, the selection was Sherwin Williams Lazy Gray.  A new color meant new carpet, darker than the one that had shown every little bit of dirt. How much airier the space seemed with those changes!

The hubby thought that was enough, but no, I wasn’t finished.  Every picture was relocated.  I don’t know where the botanicals came from, but I found them in a closet.  What made them a great choice is the frame which picked up the tones in the piece over the bed.

Art that hung over the fireplace was pleasing, but the frames were mismatched. Again I shopped the house, gathering pieces that not only had matching frames but played off the colors dominating the room.  And, note those shelves.  All the clutter is gone and what’s there looks like it belongs.

Now on a roll, I gathered a few other odds and ends as accessories, and they, too, look like they were made for the space.

Though the hubby groaned  thinking the project was unnecessary, he admitted when all was done that the changes were quite an improvement.  That made it all worthwhile, but he’s hoping I don’t have opportunity to obsess over something else in the near future!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Antiques, Decorating, Home Decor, Houston

A Trip Back in Time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYears ago I fell in love with a street in the heart of Houston that dates back to the early 1900’s and is one of the very few locations in this big city where historic homes have been preserved.  These elegant residences were designed by some of the foremost architects of the times…John Staub, Birdsall P. Briscoe, Alfred Finn to name a few…and became home to the then elite of Houston.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday, the street remains a gracious oasis, a trip back in time.    The houses, of course, have been updated to include conveniences suitable for today’s living, but the lovely architectural elements remain intact.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo exception is my friend’s home which she is generously allowing me to share.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom the front door 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAto every nook and cranny, there are traces of the past.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe incredible stair rail is Victorian dating back to the 1800’s.  The home’s original owner had it disassembled from another of his locations for installation here.  Its beauty sets the tone for the entire house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATall ceilings were characteristic of the era as is the beautiful marble fireplace surround.

Informal sunrooms were common, and this one is a cheerful and inviting space that exemplifies how tastefully color is used throughout the house.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhere neutrals keep tight areas from being too dark, there are surprising splashes of color in upholstery choices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThough the spacious kitchen has been completely updated, it retains much of its original feel thanks to the style of the appliances and the cabinets.

Touches like the corner cabinet over the sink and the glass front cabinets do their part to add charm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs in other of the houses on this street, the dining room was designed for entertaining. In this beautifully appointed room, it is easy to imagine elegantly clad men and women arriving by horse drawn carriage for an enchanting evening.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat is wonderful about the home today is that it not only provides glimpses into another time, but it totally reflects the warm character of the people who now live here.  I give total kudos to my friend who has so lovingly decorated it, making every decision as to how it should look and feel.  For all the years I have known her, she has been collecting unique pieces that are now so at home in their space.  She must have known all along where they were waiting to go.

As wonderful as the house is, my favorite space is the carriage house, but that will have to wait for another day.  Do come back.


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Simple Decorating Tips for Fall

With its warm colors, fall is a season that delights the senses and with a few simple changes its warmth can be felt in every nook and cranny.

Pumpkins and Gourds

pumpkinsPumpkins, real or not,

gourdsand gourds are favorite accessories that come in all the right colors and add interest any where they are used.


fall decor/candlesWhat could be simpler than candles?  They are a most inexpensive way of adding seasonal color and their night time glow adds a touch of romance.

Pillows and Throws

fall decorThrow pillows in fall colors easily change the look of a room

fall decorand nothing beats a cuddly throw for a chilly morning read by the fire.


fall decor/flowersCostco, Trader Joe’s and the grocery store are full of affordable fall blooms.

fall decor/flowersPut them everywhere and be energized by their beauty.

Porches and Doors

Maine house/diy/fall decorOh, last but not least, remember to announce fall at your entrance.  Nothing is more welcoming to visitors or passersby.

i so enjoy your visit and the comments you leave behind


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The Real Thing

French country has been  a popular decorating style for a number of years now.  With its understated simplicity and warmth it is easy to live with and can be interpreted in many ways.  When I think of the real thing, however, I return to this wonderful house in Provence which we called home for a month.

Provence houseFrom the minute I saw the stone house perfectly nestled into the landscape, I was in love.

Provence houseNothing could have been more perfect than the interior, not fancy, just quirky and artistic.

Provence houseEverywhere were fun touches like the old sled used as a coffee table.

Provence houseColor and texture, two of my favorite elements, were in every room.

Provence housePlaster walls washed with warm tints 

Provence houseand rustic board ceilings worked their magic.

Provence houseNo fancy bathroom but even that was part of the home’s charm and was ample enough.

Provence houseSpring in Provence is full of sunlit days, the kind that make you want to be outside enjoying their warmth with a glass of wine and entertaining company.  Yes, that is the real thing!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind 


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Changing Things Around

Houston living room

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time we got a little tired of our surroundings we could just start over?  Well, I don’t know how it is for you, but for me that’s not a likely possibility.  Over the years, however, I’ve found it very easy to create new looks by changing things around.

Houston houseChange in the living room was accidental and began with these chairs that were in the breakfast room.  They are quite comfortable, but they have been replaced by a higher backed chair that is a little better suited to reading or watching TV.  Destination for the old ones was Craig’s List, but take a look.  

Houston houseThe upholstery repeats the colors in the rug and the pattern adds a spark of interest to the solids of the other furniture.  Certainly, that means they are worth keeping and I don’t really want to get rid of them.

Houston houseThe chairs would have been change enough, but once I got started rearranging I found it impossible not to move everything around.  The Philippe Stark piano chairs from the 70’s moved across the room,

Houston house and side tables were swapped or added from another room.

Houston houseMany accessories also found new spots.

Houston houseAbout the only thing that didn’t move was the painting which is perfect just where it is.


The message here?  When you want change, shop your house.  It is surprising what a fresh look can be created by rearranging.  If I were going to add something new, however, I’d look right here.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


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French + Country

French/farmhouse decorThough she is now living the country life, my daughter’s home still reflects her love for all things French.

French/farmhouse decorShelves are lined with beautifully bound books, old and new.

French/farmhouse decorPackets of old letters are on desk tops.

French/farmhouse decorWood finishes have been transformed to better fit the decor.  Interestingly, I bought this piece in a Tennessee antique store some years ago, hauled it to Texas and here it is back in Tennessee.

French/farmhouse decorArmoires hold loved treasures as well as provide much needed storage.

French/farmhouse decorNow, however, there are new farmhouse touches that blend right in.  Chandeliers reflect a combination of style

French/farmhouse styleas does a zinc topped farm table  paired with linen covered chairs and a rustic bench.

French/farmhouse decorA fun find perfect for both styles is this rustic shelf from Target.  Amazing what can be found there!

French/farmhouse decorAlongside a basket filled with French linens are reminders that life has moved from Texas to Tennessee.

French/farmhouse decorThe same can be said for farm fresh eggs on the counter.  You wouldn’t have found those in Houston!

Linda  066While inside French meets country quite comfortably, one thing that is totally country is the muddy boots outside every door.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


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