Leafing through House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, Elle Decor, and other shelter magazines is a feast for the eyes. Room after room more beautiful than the last, stunning architecture, fabulous finishes, and all furnished with gorgeous furniture, rugs, and original art. The April 2010 issue of House Beautiful features a home steeped in romance and history, the kind of place you want to escape to when in your head you’re pleading, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” Maybe it is an illusion that life was simpler back then. It’s an appealing fantasy though, but I couldn’t live without my Apples – and I don’t mean the fruit. But I wouldn’t mind fooling my brain into thinking I was living a simpler life, would you?
This is actually a new home in Texas magically transformed into a Tuscan farmhouse by designer Eleanor Cummings who used reclaimed wood, stone, and brick from Houston antiquities dealer Chateau Domingue. This home is seriously mellow. If this were my home, I’d feel like I’d gone to heaven. I was born under the astrological sign of Taurus which is an earth sign, so I consider it my birthright to love earthy, rustic interiors!
Can’t you just imagine lounging in this bath without a care in the world? The way photographer Eric Piasecki used the light really captures the ambiance of this home. Just looking at these photos relaxes me and makes me go, “ahhhh.” A virtual rustic spa experience!
This living room seems made for after dinner conversation. Normally I am drawn toward bright, sunny rooms–after all, I moved to Florida for a reason–but this room has such a relaxed mood, I just want to sit by the fire and maybe even close my eyes and daydream.
As much as I love Tuscan farmhouses, to truly indulge my design aesthetics, I’d need a handful of houses to call home. Maybe even two handsful. My sun sign may be Taurus, but my moon and rising sign are both Leo, the fire sign of glamour. So this entryway by Tobi Fairley just makes me go “ooooh!”
Such a deceptively simple vignette: large scale (Nina Campbell) patterned wallpaper, (Swank) Venetian glass lamps on a (Darnell) demilune commode by Amy Howard and the perfect mirror to add sophisticated sparkle. What a beautiful composition, all the objects are in perfect scale and balance and the juxtaposition of varying shapes is a visual feast for the eyes. And as in the living room below, I love how the warm and the cool blues play off each other. Imagine this room with only the warm blues, it would not have as much energy. And there’s just enough of the cool blue.
To me this living room says, invite some friends over for cocktails!
Tobi’s living room was featured on the March 2010 cover of House Beautiful.
I got so enamoured with both these gorgeous interiors that I almost forgot the subject of this post! Just shows how leafing through shelter magazines can be mesmerizing.
What I want to say is that you can have a home furnished with gorgeous custom furniture and draperies, exquisite antiques, Oriental rugs and custom finishes–and even after spending all that money, it still might not be beautiful. Why? Because a beautiful home is much more than the sum total of beautiful objects.
Yes, a Venetian plaster wall is more beautiful than paint. And it’s true that just about anything high end is more beautiful than its lower priced cousins. But there are a lot of lower cost alternatives that come close enough for those of us not blessed with a lush bank account. Good thing, or I’d be so sad.
Of course, 99% of the rooms in the shelter magazines are beautiful. Not everybody will like every room but to expect otherwise would be crazy.
That would be like Baskin-Robbins saying, “We’ve decided only chocolate is delicious, so we’re eliminating the 30 other flavors.”
It is always a good idea to at least consult with an interior designer (like me) and especially before buying big ticket items or having your house painted. Better to invest a little in professional guidance than waste a lot of your time and money having your living room painted three times because you got the color wrong, or wasting your furniture budget on a sofa that doesn’t leave enough room for an end table, don’t you think? Or even worse, spending your entire budget and ending up disappointed.
Writing a blog/website is not unlike having a baby. You start out with the fun part, conceiving the idea.
Then it’s down to work, creating the bones of the blog, fleshing it out with words and photos, until finally it’s ready to be born. And the process is not without its tears and gnashing of teeth!
After the birth, the pains of labor are forgotten as your idea comes alive!
In fact, writing a blog/website is a lot like designing and decorating a room. The very first thing you need to do to make a plan. To paraphrase a quote I read recently, failing to plan results in a plan for failure. That being said, the blog is not perfect but who said it has to be perfect? I will learn as I go along. Babies, of course, are perfect, but then, that’s God for ya!
You can subscribe to my blogposts by clicking this button which is the RSS feed at the bottom right of every page. This will automatically send my blogposts to your mail box or wherever you want them to go. I spell this out because when I first got into reading blogs, I had no idea how to subscribe! Clicking this button will allow you to choose whether you want to receive blogpost updates by mail, through Google Reader, etc.
No, this is not a button to click! But if you have a decorating question you want to ask me, subscribe to my email newsletter of decorating tips. Just enter your email address into the gold “Sign up for my Email Newsletter” box sprinkled through the website. Every month I’ll answer a decorating question. If you want to ask a question but don’t want your name in the newsletter, just let me know and your name shall be withheld. Email your question(s) to [email protected] and if you remember, put “decorating tip question” in the subject line.
Now remember I warned you my blog isn’t perfect? Well, my special report “The Top 3 Decorating Mistakes and How to Correct Them,” which you will receive when subscribing to my email newsletter is not quite ready. Seems I need to figure out a few technical kinks. But even if you subscribe now, I will send you the report once I get it up and running.
Welcome to my newborn blog/website, I hope that you will come back often to visit!