Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 793: pretty photos and a winner

Congratulations to our Diptyque candle giveaway winner, Vanessa! Who I see -- after a quick peek at her blog -- is a fellow Auburn grad, fitting since Auburn football begins this week (and will take over our lives, as it does every fall).

War Eagle, and congratulations Vanessa. And a big, big thank you to everyone who entered.

Aren't these photos (from Town and Country magazine) delightful? I can't stop staring, and find something new each time I look.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 790's pretty

It's official, I've entered that confusing time when I'm kind of over one season and ready for the next. And despite the cool (wonderful!) weather we've had and that is forcasted, I've lived in the deep South long enough to know that summer is in no way over, despite my desire to wear a sweater and buy a pair of leather boots. So, I'll try to do something summer-y this weekend. After all, football season will officially take over our household very soon.

Happy Weekend!

PS, I'm obsessed with this picture!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 789's advice for burning candles

When my friend Rodney, owner of Revival, sent the information on the wonderful Diptyque candle for the giveaway, he also including some advice for burning candles. Since many of you have commented that you like to burn candles in your home, I thought I'd share:

"REVIVAL learned from DIPTYQUE that a each candle burn should allow the wax top to liquefy completely to the glass -- thus "training" the candle to burn completely with no wasted essential oil-laden wax clinging to the walls.

Also, trimming the wick every time the candles is lit really is very important; a short wick makes for a shorter flame, thus allowing a slower burn, a more-smokeless flame and the longest life! This works for ALL candles, but DIPTYQUE is especially adamant about maximizing performance for the investment.

DIPTYQUE candles "throw" (the parlance of the business) their fragrances very well -- so the candle need only burn to the outer edge, then be extinguished. It is wasteful if the candle burns non-stop once the fragrance is "thrown" into the air already."

I am a stickler for wick-trimming, but will definitely burn a candle for hours at a time. Might have to try that last one out on some of my "good" candles and see how it works.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 788's giveaway!

This giveaway has closed, thank you for your interest!

We're very excited to announce a giveaway with Revival Uncommon Goods, a wonderful shop in Chattanooga we first visited in April.

Maybe you have seen a Diptyque candle on the pages of your favorite magazine? Or read about a certain discerning celebrity who insists that her dressing rooms be outfitted exclusively with Diptyque? Or that Parisian designer John Galliano chose Diptyque as the company to create his signature scent "marrying marrying myrrhe and firewood scents."

One hundred percent natural essential oils are mixed with wax and hand-poured to create the lush candles with braided-cotton wicks. Diptyque is Revival's most sought-after fragrance collection -- they even spray all of their gifts and packages with Diptyque's parfum d’ambiance -- and today they are offering a special-edition green-fig scented candle to one of you, our lovely readers.

To enter, leave a comment on this post (if you do not have a blog, please leave an e-mail address) by 9pm Eastern time on Friday, August 28, 2009.

Good luck, and a big thank you to Rodney at Revival for a lovely giveaway!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 787's random thought

Did your mom ever ask you if you were raised in barn?

If it were one of these barns, would that be such a bad thing?

I think I could be very happy in a barn. A pretty one, of course.

The next best thing would be a set of barn doors someplace unexpected. Like an office (like Erika's, above).

I might not even insist that they be old. This one (from Sunset), is new and is quite good-looking.

Speaking of barns, my dad has some lumber from a barn* that was torn down on a farm near his. I can tell he's saving it for the perfect project, but I'm trying to convince him that I need just one log to make a table like this one (spotted on the Pieces blog). I think I've mentioned this before.

*This barn was supposedly the last place Jesse James was seen in Tennessee. According to the tale, he bought the owner's two best horses. Is it just me, or would it be cool to sort of eat dinner with a legendary outlaw?! Or maybe I've just seen a few too many cowboy movies ...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 786's lovely room

Loving this West Village apartment in Carrier and Company's portfolio, and rumored to have had a place in Domino magazine before the fold.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 783's pretty

Country Living

Yesterday's post had me going through my pictures of kitchens for the first time in a little while, and finding pretty things I didn't remember having. Like this -- I love everything about it: the open shelves to the ceiling, the lovely white dishes, the simple chairs, the black cloth on the table, and that big bowl full of what looks like baby's breath. Simple, and perfect.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 782's question

House Beautiful

How do you feel about rugs in the kitchen? We had one, but it recently bit the dust and I'm contemplating it's replacement. Looking through my inspiration files, most of the kitchens are sans a rug, but I'd really like to soften my kitchen a little -- and cover some of the awful laminate tiles that are supposed to look like parquet wood floors.

Country Living

Something striped and colorful would be nice. I love the Dash & Albert cotton rug that's in our bathroom, even though it attracts dirt (it's brown and white), I toss it in the wash and it's good as new (I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to dry clean it, but washing works for me).

Plain English

A natural fiber like seagrass seems like a good option. It's versatile, low-maintenance, and doesn't show dirt.

Daryl Carter

Jenny of Little Green Notebook posted this image this morning, which got my wheels spinning. Not that I'm going to run out and buy an antique rug any time soon, but I like the idea of trying something less kitchen-y. Not so sure this would stand up to my kitchen, which is also essentially a mudroom.

What say you, dear blog friends? Rugs in the kitchen, or no? What have you tried?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big-time crush on this new console at Wisteria with a zinc-like top. Not a bad price at all, either. If only I had a place to put it ...

Day 781: my own 'dark' room

I've been enjoying "darker" rooms so much lately (here, here, and here), I'd thought I make one of my own. This beautiful black-painted Swedish secretary* sets the tone, with Farrow & Ball's Vert a Terre on the walls (okay, so I couldn't go too dark!). That sofa is on the floor in local shop and I have to visit it now and then -- it's so pretty! It is closer to charcoal than it appears here. I think it's this one by Lee Industries. Maybe I'm feeling fall coming on, but I think it'd look delightful with a pair of soft leather chairs. A fun little accent chair in a printed linen would round out the seating. This cocktail table makes my heart pitter-patter, and is just the right touch of glam. Simple color-bound seagrass over hardwood floors is just the right amount of texture. A pair of carved urn lamps would flank the sofa. And speaking of lighting, I think my new old lantern would be just lovely.

*Did I mention this is a fantasy room? That secretary probably costs more than my entire living room.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 780: right amount of black

My summer love affair with black (here and here) continues, though this time, I think I could actually live with it. This is a guest apartment at Martha Stewart's former home, Turkey Hill. She used black paint to unify and simplify the small space. Furniture was an assortment of pieces of different style and pedigree, and most of it had been painted white at some point. "It was the popular thing to do -- dressing up shabby furniture with a coat of paint," says Martha." And I thought, if it works with white, why not try it with black?"

In the kitchen, black soapstone countertops replaced white Corian, and black glass drawer pulls replaced wood.

A wire rack from a flea market got a new coat of paint.

The living room is an interesting marriage of black textures and fabrics. This room is my least favorite. I like most of the individual elements, but wouldn't have put them all together.

I do love this little spot in the hallway, which features Martha's collection of Aesthetic Movement hardware. There is a drawer pull on the bottom of the window shade -- how clever is that?

In the dining room, black painted chairs sit around a galvanized-steel tabletop. Dark paint inside the cabinet makes clear glassware stand out.

A black-painted writing desk is accessorized with a black lamp and shade.

In the bath, the carved wooden mirror got a coat of dark gray-black.

Above a dresser in the bedroom, "an inexpensive mirror, framed in whimsical fretwork, became a glamorous accent for the bedroom when its old varnish was replaced with a deep, charcoal-gray paint." A collection of Wedgwood basalt pieces -- my favorite! -- sits on the shelf.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 779: big difference

Our dining room with the original brass Colonial-style chandelier -- which really didn't offend me as much as my mom thought it would. If it had been shiny, it would have been a different story. It was fine, but it didn't add much to the room, you know?

But this is what I'm talkin' about! It's just the perfect size, so I'm glad we didn't splurge on the gas one which would have looked over-size and probably a little silly. I like over-size, but I don't think it would work in our little house.

I also hung some white platters on either side of the mirror. They were each under $5. I've found hanging plates to be a very effective tool for not much money. What "big bang for the buck" tricks do you rely on in your house?

*Sorry these are so crooked! I snapped them quickly this morning while still wearing my glasses ...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 776's pretty

How lovely is this porch designed by Ginger Barber, featured in House Beautiful, and spotted on this fun new blog? Looks like a dreamy place to spend a Saturday morning, to me.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 774's exciting aquisition

Wes and I were running some errands about two weeks ago, and were on our way home when he -- totally unprompted! -- asked if I wanted to stop in a local antiques shop. Well, he knew what the answer would be. What he didn't know, was that we'd be coming out with a fabulous antique lantern to hang in the dining room (yes, like I've been wanting!).

It's a bit smaller than the one I spotted in Fayetteville (and didn't cost as much, either), is brass and has possibly been painted. Whatever, the finish, I love it.

We had some wiring work done at a local lamp shop (Palmer's) and I'm just patiently waiting for Wes to get back from his business trip this weekend so we can hang it. Probably should have waited to show it until then, but I knew I could count on you people to share in my excitement.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 773: guest bedroom reveal

I suppose it's finally time to show you the guest bedroom. I deviated a bit from the original plan, but I'm happy with it, and it'll be easy to update and change in the future. Wes built the headboard according to my measurements while I wasn't at home, and it somehow became extremely tall -- that's what happens when the writer in the family does the measuring, and then the engineer follows her specs exactly! We were planning to chop the legs off a few inches, but now it doesn't seem as big as it did. Moving on.

Most of the money I made at the yard sale went to not-so-fun items for the room such as a mattress pad, sheets, pillow forms, and a bed skirt. All of that, including the white quilt, came from either HomeGoods or TJ Maxx. I got the navy ikat pillow cover on sale (and with a gift card) at Pottery Barn, and the pillow form came from the clearance rack at HomeGoods -- this was a budget project, remember?

Most everything else you see here (mirror, chair, book, trunk, glass bottles) came either out of a closet or another room in our house. We found the green lamp at a yard sale for $3, and the shade is from Target. Of course, everything in my house is in flux, and I've since given this lamp to my cousin - ha!

The paint color is Blue Shamrock by Olympic, and the antique dresser came from my dad. I got the blue and white plates at TJ Maxx (surprise!) several months ago and have been waiting on the perfect spot for them. The rug was half-off at Pier 1, and I made the fixed flat-fold roman shade by loosely following these directions. The gray fabric is the same as the headboard, and I paid $1.50/yard for it at Wal-Mart.

Here's the view from the door. The piece of furniture on the right is a hand-me-down from Wes' parents that got a coat (or three) of white paint early in it's life with us. I stash random decorating items inside it and affectionately refer to it as my "prop closet."

Think the headboard is too tall? I can't decide.

There you have it! I still have a couple of small things to do, and, as with the rest of my house, it's constantly changing as I get the urge to move things around a bit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 772: back to business

Apologies for falling off the face of the earth last week. I was a little under the weather, and when I got this news, I just couldn't quite bring myself to say anything at all. Maybe you know this, but I got my little start at Southern Accents, and am just heartbroken at the loss of it, for myself, yes, but more for the lovely ladies there who were so kind to me.

But that's all I have to say about that. One bright spot in the week was this interview with one of my favorites, Steven Gambrel.

When I need inspiration, he is my go-to.

Where do you go for a good dose of "pretty?"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 767: lovely photos

Really loving this Shropshire, England home, featured in Vogue Living: Houses Garden People (but spotted here). Guess I can still appreciate dark, moody spaces, despite recent efforts to lighten up my own. Go figure.