Category Archives: Home Sweet Home

Layers and Layers

My obsession with creating a beautifully inviting bed began when I stayed at a little boutique hotel, it was quite by accident that we checked into this particular hotel. You know they say that the difference between something good and something great is the attention to detail. The attention to the linens and bedding choices changed the way I thought about my own bed.

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Not long after that I discovered Nate Berkus‘ blog.  I loved so many of the images he posted of incredibly inviting bedding ensembles fueled my desire for that kind of bed.

I also admire the way the department stores make up the bedding displays…layers and layers of luxurious fabrics and inviting colors and contrasting yet complimentary textures and pillows…oh so many pillows.  I began taking note of all of the elements that made up the beds that I found most inviting…

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However, all those elements that make up a luxuriously inviting bed can be very expensive.  And it’s not just the look that matters, the texture of the fabrics should have the feel of luxury…Bedding can be expensive. and I have made a few regrettable spur of the moment purchases that ended up costing me more than just money…I recommend that you take your time and only buy it if you love it.

This time around I took my time and made my selections carefully…and now I have the bed of my dreams…well almost.  I would like to add one or two more elements   but half the fun is the search and I am enjoying this project so much I am not ready for it to be finished…

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My bedding ensemble is made up of 100% Egyptian cotton sheets; one deep pocket fitted sheet and two flat sheets.  The next layer is a beautiful quilt with my favorite color pallet.  The next layer is a warm and cozy chocolate faux fur king size blanket. The final layer is a beautifully textured duvet in a soft cream and latte color palette. Last but not least are the pillows; there are thirteen pillows on my bed.  It sounds a little over the top but it is a king size bed…there are 3 king size and 4 queen size pillows and 6 decorative pillows piled up…

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The side effect of this little project is now I make my bed, layer by layer…almost everyday!

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“Playing” Interior Decorator…

Today I wrapped a word a day photo challenge  and my desire to freshen up our bookshelves into a neat little package.  Today’s word challenge was “playing“.  When I first saw today’s challenge I immediately thought about children on a playground or kids playing baseball or football.

I don’t usually encounter kids in my day so that idea went out the window almost immediately.  Then I thought about our little dogs and trying to catch them playing but mostly they sleep.  So, how was I suppose to capture the concept of playing?  So here you go…I “played interior decorator today.

I sat down with a hot cup of coffee and I googled decorating tips for bookshelves, read a couple of blogs and viewed numerous images.  I found a few ideas that I liked and the next thing you know…Everything was removed from the shelves and spread across the dining room table.  I whipped out the furniture polish and gave the wood a quick wipe.  The dust jackets on my coffee table books were tossed and the books were used as backdrops for the center shelves.  The larger items were placed on the tallest of the shelves and the layering began.

Before..

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After…

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Then I took a step back and looked at the pictures and remembered the words of one of my favorite designers, Coco Chanel.  I read that she said that after you are finished getting dressed, take a look in the mirror and then take off at least one accessory.  So I decided that I would take that advice and apply it to my bookshelves…

Shelves Finished

My goal was to create a visual story…I hope I accomplished my goal.

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Time to Winterize…

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It’s January and most of the country is settling in for a long winter.  Have you thought about winterizing your home?  No I don’t mean wrapping the pipes and putting away the lawn furniture.  Although those are very good ideas I am not talking about the outside of your home.

Wouldn’t it be nice to come in from the cold and walk into a home filled with warmth.  Warmth that doesn’t come form the thermostat but from little touches that you have added to your home.DSC00408

In the winter we dress in layers. Layers help us stay warm.  Try dressing your home in layers.  Blankets, throws, quilts and lots of throw pillows will add a whole new layer of comfort to your home. I have throws on the back of the kitchen chairs, quilts stacked up next to the fire-place.   I have blankets on every bed and on the sofa.  I have even left a quilt out on the patio for those days when the thermometer is near freezing but the sun is shining…and I want to sit outside for a bit.  Having blankets handy for you and your family to snuggle up in will actually save you money…you will be less tempted to turn up the heat when a blanket is within reach.

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You can add a layer of warmth to your home by adding a little whimsy to your decorating style.  Adding a pop of color to your bookcases is as simple as using scrapbook paper, a vintage album cover or coffee table book as the background on your shelf.  Restyle  your bookcases by moving things around and mixing it up.  Add dimension and texture by adding  pictures, mirrors, $store silver trays and collectibles in with the books. Remember your bookshelves should show off your personality…you don’t live in a library. Do you?

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Speaking of books, I love a good book.  I have books in every room of our home.  Yes, even the bathroom. TMI?   There is no better time of year to catch up on your reading than when the temperature outside is hovering around freezing.  I suggest taking a trip to your local used book seller.  Pick up a latte on the way and spend the next several hours scouring the shelves for a few good reads.  When you get home stack your new to you books next to your favorite chair.  Make sure they are within easy reach…so you can enjoy them whenever you have a few minutes to leaf through or read a page or two.  I especially love “picture books” or “coffee table” books for leafing through when I only have time for tea…

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Spring is a long way off for most of us, but the retailers are already pushing the new spring and summer colors, patterns and fabrics.  The clearance racks will be full of quilts, chenille blankets and faux fur throws.  Look for down filled pillows covered in soft fabrics.  Don’t be afraid to go with a bright color a whimsical print.  You might even pickup a cozy pair of slippers and a new coffee mug from the clearance racks…keep your eyes open, you never know what you might find.  Have you been to HomeGoods Store?  It’s my new favorite home decor store…

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One of the easiest ways to warm up your home is to add fragrance.  Find a candle fragrance that smells like your favorite dessert is baking in the oven.  I love Circle E candles.  They are multi wick, burn evenly and smell delicious.  My favorite for this time of year is “Fresh Cake”.  If you are uncomfortable with having lit candles in your home, you can pick up a candle warmer.  It will slowly melt the candle releasing the wonderful aroma without a flame.

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There you have it…a warm cozy welcoming space to greet you when you come in from the cold… and all we did was winterize our home.  Now snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of hot tea and a something sweet.

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Home is…

Recently I made an unexpected trip home…to see my parents.  The reason for my visit was a somber occasion.  One of my Dad’s sisters passed away after a lengthy battle with lung cancer.

 It’s a funny thing…the place we call Home.  For some people their idea of home or going home is associated with the place where they grew up.  For some it is the actual house they grew up in…a place filled with childhood memories.  For others Home is associated with the city or town where they grew up.  They have detailed memories of days gone by…waiting for them around every corner. 

I do not associate home with either the town where I grew up or the house I grew up in …This is most likely due to the fact that my family moved around a lot…There are three distinct houses from my childhood each in a different city and I have wonderful memories from all of them…however, when I think of home none of these places come to mind.  They are just places where I lived when I was growing up. 

I once remarked to a friend that I was going home for the weekend…and I was surprised by her response…she said you mean you are going to see your parents.  I said yes…I am going home.  She shared with me that she no longer considered her parents house or the place she grew up as her home…Home to her was where she currently lived.  Her comment gave me pause and I began to ponder why is it that I still refer to going to see my parents as going home when they no longer live in the house I grew up in…

Even though I have never lived in my parents current home, when I think of visiting them…I always associate it with going home.  They have lived in their home for almost 20 years… but I have no childhood memories of this place.  No memories of late nights giggling with girlfriends or of prom pictures taken in front of the fireplace.  No memories of family movie nights or well deserved time outs or month-long loss of privileges or boys coming by to pick me for a date.   However, it still feels like going home…

It’s because…You see…I associate home with people…for me Home is a feeling!  It is warm and cozy…it is safe and secure…it is my favorite foods in the fridge…it is easy conversations…it is familiar…it is afternoon naps on the sofa, LSU football games on the TV…it is my Dad asking me to get him a glass of tea…it is my Mom whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, it is one of my sisters telling us a crazy story and the rest of us laughing until our cheeks hurt, it is the sounds of my son playing his video games or my husband laying out the plans for his next project…it is the sounds of my family living life together wherever we are…for me, this is Home!

Sometimes you hear people refer to someones death as a home-coming…The bible tells us that God has prepared a place for us…a heavenly home…a home like none we have ever known…the bible also promises that for those who put their faith in Jesus that they will have eternal life…that they will be reunited with those who have gone before them…When I think of my loved ones who have passed from this life to the next…and have been called Home…I never think of the house they will dwell in…I think of all of the family and friends that have already gone home and the wonderful family reunion that they are experiencing…

Home is…where the heart is and for me my heart is always with my family!

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Filed under Faith, family, Home Sweet Home, Life..such as it is

Sunday!!!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful.  The air has been clear and cool.  The sky has been a sea of endless blue.  It has been the perfect weather for relaxing in a hammock.  I couldn’t think of a better way to spend this past Sun…day afternoon!  How did you spend your Sun…day?

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This post is part of two weekly challenges…The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge…Sun as well as the Blogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge.

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Trendy Tuesday: Mood Enhancer…Tangerine Tango

Trendy Tuesday...Tangerine Tango

I have been thinking about an article I recently read about the new spring color trends.   Pantone the worlds renowned authority on color has announced the color trends for Spring 2012.  Tangerine Tango is being called the color of the year, a spirited reddish-orange, that provides the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward in the coming year. 

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute  was quoted as saying “Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day.”

Nanette Lapore says, “We love the mix of hot neon colors with soft pastels, reminiscent of nature at its extremes: a powerful sunset, the ocean sparkling at dusk with flashes of lightning in the distance.”

Tangerine Tango makes me think of a fiery daylily that grows in my garden.  It also brings to mind the citrus smell of oranges as well as the creamy coolness of orange sherbet. 

The latest issue of Better Homes and Garden Magazine has Tangerine Tango splashed across the pages…all you need is a little splash of this color to brighten up a room and your mood. 

I have enjoyed this color for a couple of years. I have a Jones of New York jacket, purchased on the clearance rack at a local discount store. I have an oversized Michael Kors Bag that I purchased on sale three Christmas’ ago. I also have a throw pillow on the living room chair that is just to the softer side of this vibrant color.

I didn’t realize I was such a trend setter when I purchased my little splashes of Tangerine Tango…all those years ago. 

Here’s hoping your day is filled with splashes of color that give you the energy boost you need to recharge your battery and help you move forward with optimism in the coming year!

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Repurposed Pumpkins…Snowmen Welcome You to our Home this Christmas!!!

How cute are these little guys…Pumpkin Snowmen Welcome You to our Home this Christmas!!!

Back in early October I ventured into Houston to the open air produce market to purchase my heirloom pumpkins as well as my seemingly ordinary pumpkins.  I really love mixing the different types and shapes of pumpkins to create an interesting look for Fall.  They really welcome the season the changing season without having to go all out.  However, I like the pumpkins so much I always have a difficult time disposing of them when its time to put the Christmas decorations up.  This year I stumbled on a crafty blogger who had a stellar idea on extending the life of her pumpkins.

Coco Chanel once stated that “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” so I hope Stephanie over at Under the Table and Dreaming will be flattered should she happen to see that I borrowed her wonderful idea.

Christmas Entry...Repurposed Pumpkins

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, DIY, Home Sweet Home, postaweek2011

2011 Christmas Home Tour…Welcome to our Home

Welcome to our Home!

It’s time for the 2011 Christmas Home Tour and I am as ready as I am going to be.  Come on in…make yourself at home.  This is our Texas Hill Country home located much closer to the Texas Gulf Coast than it is to the hill country.  I am a NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) girl at heart but I got to Texas as quick as I could…

This is my first year to join the Christmas Home Tour…and I am already blown away by everyone’s Christmas decorations.  Thanks for sharing your beautiful home and thanks for stopping by our home.

The hubs and I really love everything about the Christmas season.  We love decorating our home inside and out.  We enjoy shopping for gifts for our family.  We split up the list and my husband buys the gifts for the guys and I take care of the girls.  We both take care of our own wrapping.  My husband is always the first one to put gifts under the tree.

We have been married for over 20 years and it wasn’t until this past year that we had a place big enough to host our family Christmas Eve gathering.  We are hosting again this year and we are looking forward to the whole family being together in our home for all of the Christmas Festivities!

This is where all of the fun will happen…everyone buys for the kids and the adults participate in a Dirty Santa gift exchange.  It gets loud and competitive with alliances being forged all for the sake of a AMEX gift card or a spotters scope.  It is the most fun I have ever had a Family Christmas party.

We have a fireplace but no mantle…its a long story which I will save for another day.  I like the clean contemporary look of our fireplace sans mantle…well that is until Christmas rolls around.  This is our second Christmas in our new home and I am still looking for the perfect architectural piece to hang over the fireplace.  Therefore, in place of decorating a mantle I focused on our dining room sideboard.

This little space will be one of our dessert tables during our holiday parties…The baking begins tomorrow.

In the short amount of time we have lived in our home we have hosted about a dozen gatherings.  We are finally getting a feel for how things flow best…we typically will set up a variety of food and drink areas throughout the kitchen space.  We want our friends and family to leave their worries at the door and relax while they are hanging out in the country.

Our Christmas tree is a forever tree…we have had it for over 10 years and it looks great in our new home. I don’t know what it is about photographing a Christmas tree that is so difficult.  Flash…no flash…it just never seems to look as pretty in pictures as it does in person.  So after trying numerous settings on my camera I decided the best pictures were the ones without the flash and up close…

One of my absolute favorite features in our new home are the custom-built-ins.  I am a collector of things…I do not collect one particular thing but lots of different things.  Our built ins make it easy to highlight my small collections in little vignettes.  The shelves hold a mixture of crocks, frankoma pottery, glass jars, antique locks and vintage spools of thread mixed in and amongst our family photos and my sons artwork not to mention a collection of books that have pink covers.

In years past our home has been an explosion of Christmas decorations…this year I tried to reign myself in a bit.  Just a little bit of Christmas in each room of the house.  Well at least that was the original plan.  My sons room has been deemed off-limits to Christmas decor…but no one had any objections to me sprucing up the guest room.

There are so many things I still plan to do..I still have to finish up our bedroom as well as the front and back porch area.  I will also be painting our fall pumpkins to look like snowmen, I will be dipping the bottoms of our everyday wine glasses in chalkboard paint and I have a yard sale table begging for a fresh coat of paint.  Today I purchased all of the ingredients for my baking needs.  I will be making peanut butter clusters, white chocolate dipped oatmeal cranberry cookies, almond toffee and pretzels rolled in white chocolate and crushed peppermint.  I hope you will check back over the next couple of weeks and see how things have progressed.

Here’s wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas from our Texas home and a nola girl at heart!!!

I am linking up with 2011 Chrismtas Home Tour at The Inspired Room

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, family, Home Sweet Home, postaweek2011

My Christmas Sideboard

This year my husband I decided we would decorate with our existing decorations.  We have boxes and boxes of decorations that we have collected over the years. We also have a wonderful variety of everyday objects we have collected that can easily be incorporated into our holiday decor.  I decided to take a little bit of this and a little bit of that to decorate my Christmas sideboard.

A little greenery!  I purchased this pre-lit winter garland several years ago.  For a couple of years it graced our fireplace mantel.  Then for a couple of years it welcomed friends and family as it hung over our front door.  Now the garland has landed on our dining room sideboard.  I am so thankful the lights are still working!

A little bit of glass! A couple of vintage birds have landed on the Christmas Sideboard along with a sugar bowl and a couple of vintage dessert cups.

A little sparkle!  Glittery pinecones, crystal snowflakes, a large mercury glass ornament that has lost its hanger and a yard find birdcage.

The decor was missing something until I saw the crystal cake stand in the panty and the glittery butterflies landed on the birdcage.  Then Voila a beautiful Christmas sideboard was laid out without purchasing so much as a pine cone.

I am linking up with Hooked on Holiday House Tours over at Hooked on Houses….

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Wordless Wednesday…”Owl” backyard baby

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life in Texas, postaweek2011, Snapshots of Life, Weekly Photo Challenge