Friday, March 17, 2017

Master Bedroom:Dreamy Bedding and Headboard Installation

The master bedroom makeover is well on its way to being a success story.
Bedding plays a huge role in the style you want, so its a natural place to start your 
bedroom decorating. Our bedroom is small, and has slanted ceilings, and 
when we decided to go from a Queen to a King bed, I thought the bed would have to
go in front of the window.  Well, it looked terrible in front of the window,
so we turned it around, and tucked it under the slanted roof line, and it 
fit like a glove.  The bedspread/coverlet was the inspiration for the European style I wanted,
and since we were keeping all the dark wood furniture but eliminating 
the bed itself, we opted for a tufted fabric headboard. 
 The color of the headboard was the one thing I was nervous about.
The walls of the room are a pale aquamarine, and I took a chance on this deeper 
colored blue headboard.   All of the bedding and bed parts were ordered online, sight unseen.
That is pretty nerve wracking, and I had to wait for them to arrive, one by one. 
I wouldn't be able to tell if my choices would work, until it all arrived.
 Yesterday the last pieces came and hubs and I were able to set up the bed, 
with the new bedding, and we ended up being pretty thrilled with the way it turned out. 
(All sources will be listed at bottom of the post)
 When I redecorate, I don't start from scratch.  Many of my things will be
repurposed or given a new role.  Some items, like the carpet, are taken from
another room to achieve the look I am trying to create.  Of course getting a bigger
bed, meant getting all new linens, and that was the fun part!
Some items would be a splurge, some would be on sale.
The bedspread was the inspiration for the style of the room, and it came from the idea
that I thought it looked like a family relative to the painted antique table.  And that is where I 
got brave enough to order the darker blue headboard, hoping it would look nice with
the blue on the painted table.  The bed is a little bit greener, in the range of blue/green
 but I think it looks fine.  The overall palette is monochromatic aquamarine.
 Since the new foam mattress is up on a pedestal and a riser to give it
some height (18") from the floor, I searched high and low to find a bedskirt
that would work.  And what a delight it was to see it in person!  It is a cotton voile
in a pretty "sea glass" color.  I ordered two euroshams from the same line to 
coordinate the bedding, as the spread is from a different company.  While it 
may be easy to order everything you see on one website, I like to hunt down my own
vision of how the bed should look.  While the bedspread was shown with offwhite bedding,
I wanted to pull out the blue in the bedding, and that is why I looked for blue components.
If you had this spread, and you liked the color green, you could easily do the same thing,
to have your room be "your style" with your favorite color, green.
Mind you, I am still in the fun and early stages of styling the room,
which means I am hanging things up, looking for lamps, and moving
things around.  The next big part of this bedroom makeover is to 
switch out the silk draperies.  While the color is spot on, they are 12 years
old, and showing fading and wear.  I guess that is the tattered elegance that 
I favor, but I saw some unbelievably gorgeous draperies that I think will 
look amazing with this bedding.  
For those of you who are interested in where I got the bed parts, mattress, and 
the bedding, my source list is as follows.  Click on the item to go to the link.

Perhaps my last post on the King sized dust ruffle from Horchow spurred some buying, 
as now it seems the King may be out of stock. 
 It was a smokin' deal at $79, and they do have the twin size for sale at $56. 
 I love this bedskirt!  
It is a cotton voile, a bit of a crinkle texture, and it
is lined.  I didn't do a thing but open it up and put it under the mattress.  Two twins would give
you a king size if you wanted to alter them.  But the point is, keep shopping and looking and 
you will find bedding that is well priced and lovely.  I splurged on the Coverlet from Soft Surroundings, as I felt that was the one thing that would make the room, style wise. 
So spend where you must, and save where you can.
We have only spent one night on the new foam mattress, but it seems fantastic.  
The platform and the riser were both so well made, we were very pleased with everything.
This is not a sponsored post, and even if it was sponsored, these opinions are honest
and hopefully helpful to you, if you are also redoing your bedroom.

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Aquamarine bedding steals from a luxe online shop

 The master bedroom makeover from a Queen size bed to a King size bed started
with hubs and I moving the Queen bed into another bedroom.  You might recognize it as 
the room I had just turned into my home office space.  It is being turned into a guest room now,
and our old Queen bed looked quite lovely in its new setting.  Our foam mattress arrived quickly,
as we purchased it online after reading many reviews.  
They recommend setting it up and letting it get rid of the toxic fumes in a process
called "off-gassing".  Basically open the windows and turn on the fan and let the odors
from the foam dissipate for 3-7 days to avoid any reactions to the VOCs the foam emits.
When we got it, the mattress was rolled up in a vacuum sealed bag, and it was very thin. When we cut it loose, it hissed and blew up and grew to the 12" size it is now!!! Totally freaky!
Mr. Maison Decor ordered a platform and a riser that is put together and placed on top of the 
metal platform to give the bed extra height for an appealing look when covered with bed dressings.
The mattress is in front of the window, and until the headboard arrives, we will let it continue to 
off-gas until we put it together and move it into position.  But until then, I have been hunting for 
bedding for the King size bed.  Which may turn out to be more expensive than the bed and mattress!
 My first purchase was this Belgian tapestry bedspread.  I fell in love with the look of it in a Soft Surroundings catalogue, and that is usually all I need to feel confident that I am going to love something in real life. But one never knows until it when it came I ran right upstairs and opened it up and laid it out on the old bed.  Colby, never to miss a big moment, wanted all in on the decision making too.
We both loved it, and he was careful not to lay on it right away.  These pics are all from my iPhone, and so they aren't quite as true to color as real life, but it looks just like the catalogue pic.  My goal was to have the bedding look complementary to the painted table, and to work with the blue walls in my room.  Both seem to be perfect.  The rug will not be staying, as we are going with sisal.
We need a bedskirt to cover the platform and the riser, so its a necessity for a well dressed bed.
The catalogue pic above shows it with an ecru bedskirt, and I was thinking I would do white. But in person white didn't seem like it would look right.  So I searched online for bedskirts at Country Curtains, Overstock, Pottery Barn, Target....and then I thought why not check Horchow?
 Horchow is a very pricey catalogue company that has beautiful things at staggering prices.  
But one never knows what one will find, unless they look, right?
 And what to my wondering eyes should appear on the sale page, 
but this King sized Cotton Voile dust ruffle in a color called Sea glass, marked down to $78. 
And wouldn't this color look beautiful?  YES IT WOULD AMY!!
 (*Putting item in cart and processing sale)  
Now the bedding set it was shown with didn't catch my eye, but the color of the skirt did.  
That is a terrific deal on a bedskirt, and its not polyester or rayon, it is cotton, another big plus!
 As a matter of fact they had some gorgeous bedding on sale. I particularly love these bedspreads that have built in ruffle from the top of the bed's edge to the floor.  They are called skirted coverlets, and I think they are wonderful.  You wouldn't need a bedskirt, but I can see they have one on this bed.
How pretty is this set in that aquamarine blue?  Now the coverlet is kind of pricey, even on sale, but the shams are all on sale and sometimes you may want to add a few pillows to an existing set to give it a fresh new look.
 Another pretty coverlet in periwinkle...
A lovely pink ensemble with gorgeous trimmings, also on sale.  So I advise hunting around in all the shops, from Target to Horchow to see what you come up with.  Soft Surroundings also had bedskirts but I didn't see anything that spoke to me.  I also needed an 18" or 19" drop, 
and most shops will have choices, from the classic 14" drop to elevated drops of 20" or more.  All this online shopping occurred mostly because I have a cold, and was home bound this weekend.  Since all the bed parts were arriving I was desperate to get the extra things I needed to finish off the bed.  I still need to get a new down duvet and that might be it.  A HUGE snow storm is upon us for Tuesday, the day the upholstered headboard is set to arrive.  Here is to hoping it arrives on schedule!
And the good news is, that after only two days there seems to be no smell in our bedroom at all. YAY!

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Chateau style bedroom makeover plan

Our bedroom, as shown in the Spring issue of Romantic Country Magazine,
is getting a makeover.  After spending a week in Florida at a wonderful rental 
home, sleeping every night on a super comfy King size bed, hubs and I decided to
make the switch from Queen to King.  While I am excited about the new bigger mattress,
it also meant we would need a new bed, bed frame and bedding, 
which was the really exciting part!
The bedding part was easy. 
I have always loved this tapestry style bedspread from Soft Surroundings. 
 It has that Old World Frenchy Chateau look that you all know I love, and the colors
couldn't be more perfect!  We both decided to go for a bed without a footboard, to allow for more room in our smallish bedroom.  So that meant a bedspread like this could finally work.  These spreads
don't look great when sandwiched in between a headboard and footboard.  I finally could order the spread I had lusted over, ever since I laid eyes upon it.  
Imagine that spread with my painted antique table....yum zone!
The new headboard will be a fabric headboard, since it is easier to mix it in with the existing bedroom furniture.  I ordered it online, and took a roll of the dice, chance wise, in the color department, since I picked out a blue fabric headboard. I think the blue fabric will be closer to the painted table than the lighter blue of the spread.  It could be totally wrong or amazingly right.... 
I will just have to wait and see how it looks with the walls and the spread.
The only real dilemma I see, is that the bed will go in front of our window, and I have always
hated that layout option.  Its not great, putting most furniture in front of a window, lets face it.
So I am cooking up some creative ideas on what to
do with the window and the wall behind the bed, so that it looks GREAT!!!
Not ok, not kind of alright, but really wonderful.....and I have a few ideas.
Of course I could just put up wider curtains as a backdrop, but that seems very boring.
I am thinking of a hardscape back behind the tufted blue bed.  Think old doors on barn sliders
that could open and close to allow access to light and air, and provide a stunning rustic backdrop.
I have been looking at inspiration photos of beds in front of windows, and I haven't seen
anything as pretty and as rustic and as cool as what I envision in my mind.
Wish me luck!

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Our Florida trip: the tale of the Venetian Mirror and saving our dog and phone from the pool.

Getting through a New England winter is easier if you can escape to a warm and 
sunny destination.  So hubs and I planned ahead last fall, and scheduled a trip to Florida.
Since we travel with Colby, we always look for rental homes or hotels that accommodate
dogs.  We weren't too picky about the area, just that it would be nice to be near the airport
at Fort Meyers, because my parents live in Naples, and we wanted to be able to see them on our trip.
Dave drove down with the dog and met me, my mother in law and our 15 year old son at the airport as we flew.  He stayed in dog friendly hotels along the trip down the eastern seaboard. 
A main requirement on our house list was that the rental needed to have a pool inside an enclosed lanai.  Colby is very good about not going through screens.  Dillon, our last dog, would barge right through them.  I imagined that all of us would recreate around the pool and the dog would be able to have free reign, without being tethered.  And that is exactly how it played out.  We had a marvelous time in the lanai, and Colby loved looking across the lawn to the water way. 
 We picked up my mom and dad from their home in Naples and brought them back to our rental home in Coral Gables for an overnight visit.  They are officially "snowbirds", as they leave the winters behind and head to Florida every year.  In their 80s now, they haven't skipped a beat.
 The enclosed pool got a lot of use.  Colby swam with his flotation vest on a few occasions, although he was wary of getting into the pool because of his first frightening experience. The first night we arrived at the house,  Colby walked out onto the pool cover, not realizing it was a body of water and he started to sink!  The pool cover started to swallow him up.  Luckily, hubs was able to grab ahold of him by the scruff of his neck and pull him out. Phew! 
Right after that, I dropped my iPhone into the pool, and watched it sink to the bottom.  
My 15 year old jumped into the pool to get it, then hubs turned it off and shook the heck out of it, water droplets spewing. Next, we put it in the oven (which I had preheated to 170 degrees for a few minutes) to dry it out. We googled advice of what to do, but we kind of came up with our own plan.  And it worked!! After leaving it in the oven for a few hours, we put the phone inside a container full of oats (you could use rice but we didn't have any).  The oats would absorb the moisture we figured.  Then we didn't turn it on for 2 days. That is key to recovery. Let it dry out. 
 Happy to say that my iphone 6 completely recovered!  
( The iPhone 7 is waterproof, but not earlier models.) 

 For the most part, our vacation was all about family time hanging around the house and the pool. However, the thought of those awesome consignment shops scattered about Florida kept lurking in my mind.  We don't have these kind of shops up North.  And when one rainy day came along, I asked hubs to take me out to look at a couple of shops for a treasure hunt.  Not looking for anything in particular, but hoping I would find something that I couldn't resist.  As I turned a corner in the shop, I spotted it.  Oh boy, look at this old Venetian mirror!!! It was beautiful and old and had gold etching in a neoclassical motif.  Tiny glass rosettes covered the screws.  The mirror had mild foxing (the term for aging and wear on the mirror which makes it cloudy or blackish), which I happen to LOVE.  Meanwhile, hubs was quickly roaming through the rooms of the shops, and I waited in front of the mirror to beckon him for a look.
 Hahahh!  I love this shot I took of him as he approached. 
 Look at his face!!! Hahahha!!
He was likely thinking, "you have to be kidding me! Another mirror?"
 Oh Dave, look at this mirror.  Its old, and its Venetian and I love it!! I told him the price was a steal and we had to get it.  No, he told me it would most likely break on the ride home (he drove down with the dog, while our son and mother in law flew with me).  Having a car meant I could bring it home!! But he was saying it might break.  "But you are the expert packer of all things"..... he was trying to suggest I find anything else but a mirror.  But I had my heart set on it.  I asked the girl in the shop  if the price was solid or discounted?  
She looked it up in a book and then said the magic words:
 What??? "Honey, its half off, that is the second sign from the Universe 
that it is meant to come home with us!!"  
And so it came off the wall and out to the car!  I loved the back of the mirror
almost as much as the front!! Squealing with joy inside, I was a very happy girl.

The first sign from the Universe about the mirror was this:
Just that morning I was looking at my phone and saw this amazing Venetian
mirror photo posted on Fifi O'Neill's instagram account.  This set me to thinking about
how beautiful old Venetian mirrors are...and I had one reproduction mirror several years
back that I sold in my shop, Maison Decor.  Other than seeing some for big money
at the Brimfield Fair, I had not run across any antique Venetians.  How do you
explain this turn of events?  I say it is the "law of attraction" or a "sign from the Universe".
This kind of thing happens to me a lot, where I think of something and then POW, it presents itself.
Does this ever happen to you?  
Anyway it does to me and now hubs is driving home as we speak 
with Colby and the Venetian Mirror.
Our beautiful home on the Cape Coral waterway, 
with the heated enclosed pool is now a fond memory in our family scrapbook.  
And where will the new mirror go?
The dining room is where I imagined it to hang, but until it arrives I 
can't be sure.  What I am sure of, is that it is going to look great where ever
it ends up.  And that every time I look at this old mirror, I will see a memorable
family vacation, with an incredible husband, son and parents.
Oh, and before I go, I saw this yesterday at Lowes.  My home on the cover!!
If you read my blog, you know I had a photo shoot with Fifi O'Neill and she chose
my home to be the covershot for Romantic Country.  Well it is still on news stands but
not for long.  I was amazed to see it at the Lowes Home Improvement magazine section.
Just a heads up in case you might want to grab a copy before its too late. 
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My ugly backyard turned dream space lands the cover!

 Oh My!!! 
Turning our ugly outdoor space into a French courtyard was a dream 
home improvement project of mine.  Even my friend, magazine editor and creator
Matthew Mead, like it so much that he decided to shoot it for his new special issue.
Upstyled Home Outdoors 
I was blown away when I recently learned it landed the coveted cover shot!
This special issue by Country Sampler will be on news stands when Spring
arrives in New England, sometime near the end of April.
Until then, here are some of Matthew's images from this splendid outdoor issue.
 When April arrives I will be more than ready to fling open my french doors
to head outside if we get an extra warm and sunny day.
Fluffing up the day bed, and putting the umbrellas back into position will be 
first on my list of things to do.
The kitchen garden will not yet have been planted, but this 
beautiful photo of our charming garden shed and simple vegetable garden
will remind me that in just a few months time, the tomatoes will be ripening
on the vine.  The weather will be perfect for sipping cool drinks and enjoying
the courtyard and the garden terrace.
In other pages from this issue, was this great outdoor feature. 
Are you like me, always wishing you had a potting table?! 
I love the simple idea of stringing lights between bamboo stakes 
to give it extra whimsy and charm.
 Harvesting lavender will be on my list of things to do as I had
planted a border along the house in the courtyard. 
 For those of you with country roads to pedal along, 
how about planning a fairytale picnic one day?
I think this would be a special thing to do with kids or grandchildren.
 Country tables in backyards and on porches are always ready to host an outdoor party.
Spiffed up with linens and garden bouquets, this one under an arbor is especially appealing.
Light wines and farm stand fruits show off
the best a summer time gathering has to offer with easy country style.
Matthew's images show how effortless entertaining in summer should be,
and how beautiful our spaces can look with just a little attention to details.
(I love that green door in the background!!)
Our courtyard was used every single evening as a gathering place
at the end of the day.  One by one we would meet outside and take in the 
soft air and enjoy the scenery as we sipped our cocktails and club sodas.
Maybe this is the year that you dedicate the time to create a gathering 
space for you and yours....or simply just for you!  
I have seen the preview of the magazine, and its truly the best!
I will be offering some as free giveaways once we get closer to spring.
(above, my photo of an everyday kind of 5 o'clock happening)
Maybe because we live in New England that I love my outdoor living so.
I try to make the most of being at home, and this new space enhanced that ideal.
The collage below shows the basic steps we took to create the courtyard.

Decide which space you want to makeover and then 
apply some of these inspiring ideas from the pages of Matthew's latest
special issue, Upstyled Home Outdoors. 

( PS. For those of you who want to order online, there is a link to do so
from the Country Sampler site.  But mind you, it could be 6-8 week delay
from when it hits news stands.  However if you are in a rural area without access to 
magazines, then this link could be the answer for you. Click here to order.)

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A cozy reading spot and an antique jaunt full of treasures

Winter time is here. Finally.  
Today is the first day of February and the
snow finally arrived in Boston.  All of January brought little if any of the 
white stuff, and last night it snowed bringing just a few inches.
Cold weather makes you want to get cozy and that is just what we do around
the fireplace every morning.  We?
Colby and I can be found in here every morning.  The fireplace heats
up quickly and so its off and on until coffee time is over.
Magazines at the ready, a place to put my cup of joe, 
lamplight if its still dark outside, and all is well in 
my beautiful world at home with my peeps and dog.
Some days even Mr. Maison Decor has time to join us, which is a treat.
This morning I found my son Colin sitting in the French chair with his
laptop before he went to work out.  You know you have a good furniture
arrangement when you find everyone wanting to plunk down and stay.
After putting away the Christmas stuff, I moved all the furniture around, and
put the piano back in the original spot.  Moving stuff around brings a new look
to an old space and its something I have done forever.  I bet many of you  just keep 
your arrangements the same, but I just can't do that!!
I am a serial rearranger.
Colby loves the snow, and I think he may have forgotten about it 
from his first winter season.  Now with the fence in place, he has
figured out how to give a check on the neighborhood before coming back
inside by perching up on the step and leaning against the fence.
Then he runs inside and plunks down in his bed by the fire.
(Colby and I have been going to dog training classes, by the way,
in addition to our daily walks around the hood. ) 
Our living room is cozy because its on the small side.
Adding the console table next to the chair is temporary as it 
is a bit too long.  I will be looking for a piece to fit here that will 
fit the wall space, which means more antiquing in my future!
I like the idea of an unpainted piece, but I am sure once I see it, 
I will know it and just buy it....thats how I shop.
Last week I went antiquing with Matthew Mead and our friend, Ellen McHale.
The pretty brass lantern came home with me, and now holds a candlestick for 
adding a little more ambience in the evening.  I was attracted to the star cut outs on the glass
and I figure it will be nice for the courtyard, come Spring.
Its also a great reminder of a fun time with special people.
The older I get, the more I find myself dragging less things home.
Things that have meaning and are associated with good times are ideally 
what I want to use to decorate my home.
If you want to tag along with us on our recent antique jaunt, click on the video
below.  The antique cooperative was at Pulaski Mills, in Peabody, Massachusetts.
You will see me find that special lantern and also what caught Matthew's eye
and the treasure Ellen found that I secretly lusted over.
 And mom and dad:  click on the box in the right corner that has the shape of a square and that will make the video go to full screen so you can see it easier!
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