Wednesday, September 26, 2018

HOW I STYLE MY HOME WITH BOOKS

Do you have a design element that you repeat throughout your house?  For me, it's books.  Books, both vintage and new, appear in every room in my home.  They're one of the ways I style my space.  Let's take a tour.

I have a large vintage cupboard in my kitchen.  You can see how I mixed books with architectural fragments and vintage collectibles.

BOOKS IN MY KITCHEN CUPBOARD

Here's a close-up of one of the shelves.

CLOSE UP OF THE SHELF

In the foyer, I used some books as risers and topped them with another architectural fragment.  Of course this arrangement has been changed.  To see the new look, go here.


BOOKS IN MY FOYER

On a smaller scale, books appear again on this vintage french desk.

BOOKS IN VARYING STYLES AND SIZES ON THE FRENCH DESK

In the newly-styled foyer,  I placed one of my Santos atop some vintage books and a huge ledger.  Below them all is a column base.

A STACK OF BOOKS AND A LEDGER ON A COLUMN BASE

I have a pair of bookshelves in my family room.  
They're filled with books and nature-related treasures.

PAIR OF BOOKSHELVES IN MY FAMILY ROOM AND DOG PHOTO BOMB

How unusual for me!  Books actually displayed between bookends.

BOOKS IN MY LIVING ROOM

Iron spheres can be bookends too.

IRON SPHERES AS BOOKENDS IN MY LIVING ROOM

I had to add a seasonal image.  I stacked some mini leather books under a cloche and added some velvet pumpkins to my Fall mantel.

FALL MANTEL WITH BOOKS UNDER A CLOCHE

Of course books always work on coffee tables.

BOOKS ON MY XBENCH COFFEE TABLES

I cheated.  I used some Hermes scarf boxes as books.

HERMES SCARF BOXES AS BOOKS

I even have books in my pantry.  I covered the books with white paper and decoupaged images of architectural prints onto them.  To see the tutorial for this, go here.

DECOUPAGED BOOKS IN MY PANTRY

How do you style your spaces?  What design element do you repeat throughout your home?


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

MY PERENNIAL BEGONIAS

Did you know that there are perennial begonias? 
 I had no idea there were until a friend shared some begonias from her garden.  They have been a part of my cottage garden for many years.  They continue to spread and bloom.   Here's a close up of the flower.

PERENNIAL BEGONIA

They look very similar to the annual begonia.






They totally surrounded the base of my Mugo Pine tree.

BEGONIAS BELOW MY MUGO PINE AND MY FERN IN A CHIMNEY POT

They encircled my bird bath too.



BEGONIAS AND BIRD BATH

Lantana is another plant I use in my garden.  It's only an annual, but it manages to spread into a large flowering ground cover that adds color all summer and into the fall.  This Lantana is yellow but it comes in many colors.

MY YELLOW LANTANA

It can quickly spread and fill a large area.



I've written about my Climbing Cardinal Vine before.  Every year I plant it from seeds and it climbs my trellis, my arbor, and my iron fences.  If you'd like to see my post about this vine, go here.

CLIMBING CARDINAL VINE

If any of my readers live in the DC area, let me know.  I'm always happy to share my begonias.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

THE PITTSBURGH COOKIE TABLE

I grew up in a small town north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where every wedding I ever attended had a cookie table.  It took me a long time to realize that the cookie table at a wedding reception was a tradition specific to Western Pennsylvania.

Recently I attended my niece's wedding in Pittsburgh.

MY BEAUTIFUL NIECE

Of course her reception wasn't complete without a cookie table.  Her Mom and all her friends and relatives spent many days baking every cookie imaginable.

THE AMAZING COOKIE TABLE

My niece and her husband are Pittsburgh Pirates fans, so the reception was held in the lounge at PNC Park, home of the Pirates.  It was a fabulous venue.  Many photos were taken on home plate before the reception.

HOME PLATE PHOTOS COMPLETE WITH JERSEYS

The venue was perfect.  I was lucky enough to get a photo of the Pittsburgh skyline from the patio.

VIEW FROM THE PATIO

I do have to share a story that's always been told about the cookie table.  I'm not sure about the truth of it, but I do love it.  Rumor has it that the wedding attendees always lined their purses with plastic bags so that they could fill their purses with cookies at the reception and enjoy them at home too.

What I usually observe is that guests are encouraged to "make a plate" to take home with them.  I do believe that the cookie table really out shines the wedding cake.

My Mom and her sisters made sure I had a cookie table when I married here in Maryland.   All our non-Pittsburgh friends were very impressed.  I think it was the most talked about part of our reception.   Who knew??

Thursday, September 6, 2018

HOW I UPDATED MY SCREENED PORCH BY ADDING GREEN AND NAVY

My screened porch has remained pretty much the same since it was photographed for a feature on Houzz several years ago.   It's a very neutral space with soft greys and some blues.  Since green has become my new favorite color, I couldn't wait to add it and some navy to the porch.  Below is how it looked before the changes.  If you want to see the less than lovely BEFORE pics, there's a link at the end of the post.

SCREENED PORCH AS FEATURED ON HOUZZ
 I kept most of the pieces on this side of the room.  I'll never tire of the day bed, the columns, or the factory cart.   I removed the bowl with shells and sea life from the factory cart and added this wonderful chinoiserie elephant and a grouping of vintage wicker-covered demijohns.

CHINOISERIE ELEPHANT AND DEMIJOHNS ON MY FACTORY CART

I also brought the garden table and chairs from the patio to the porch.   The seat cushions add the green I wanted. I introduced the color navy with the geometric poufs.  Poufs are great.  You can rest your feet on them, use them as extra seating, or, if you add a tray, they're a coffee table.

VINTAGE GARDEN CHAIRS AND TABLE

CHINOISERIE GARDEN CHAIR

I placed a demijohn cloche onto a carved pedestal and used it as the centerpiece on the table. 

DEMIJOHN AND PEDESTAL CENTERPIECE



I also brought the chinoiserie settee from the patio to the porch.  I added navy cushions and green pillows.

CHINOISERIE SETTEE

LOOKING AT THE SETTEE THROUGH THE MATCHING SIDE CHAIR

The elephant next to the settee has a flat surface.  He's our side table.

ELEPHANT SIDE TABLE
Here's the matching chinoiserie side chair.  It's very comfortable and has become my favorite spot for reading. The doorway is the entrance to my living room.

CHINOISERIE SIDE CHAIR

I was excited to find this garden seat in the perfect green.  It's seating or a place for my cup of coffee.

GREEN GARDEN SEAT
Behind the chair is a small garden table.  I placed some metal ferns, iron candleholders, and a cloche on it.  The framed ceiling tile is my "artwork" for the space.  When I have guests, I remove the decor and use it as a serving table.

GARDEN TABLETOP

CLOCHE ON MY GARDEN TABLE
Here's what the porch looks like from outside.



This porch was an absolute mess when we bought the house.  I've written a BEFORE AND AFTER post about it.  If you'd like to read that too, click on the highlighted here.

If you'd like to see my Houzz home tour, go here.

If you'd like to see my post about my patio (that's the post before I robbed all the funiture from there and put it on the screened porch) go here.