Friday, September 22, 2017

Tag Along on a Historic Home Tour

Fall is the perfect time for home tours. 
One of our favorite activities, home tours offer an opportunity to peek inside beautiful houses
while strolling through some lovely neighborhoods. 

A home tour in the Historic Baker District in Denver gave us a chance to visit six eclectic homes 
including Queen Annes, Victorians, Classic Cottages, Bungalows, Denver Squares
and even a Hobo Craftsman. 


Baker was first developed in the 1870s and currently has about 5,000 residents. 
We enjoyed walking from home to home on old sandstone sidewalks
in this quirky neighborhood of red brick and frame houses.


It was easy to imagine the carriage houses behind the main house stabling horses while 
streetcars clanged up and down nearby Broadway, a main avenue leading to downtown Denver. 


The houses are all a little different and are well maintained and creatively painted.


Buildings here are tightly packed,
some having only a few inches between them.


Most of the houses were built in the 1890s and early 1900s.


While many of these houses have been renovated, we enjoyed seeing original features 
such as this transom window with metal hardware,


this beautiful blue tile fireplace with a distinctive sculpted frieze,


and even an original doorbell knob that turned manually.
And it still works!


Our tour ended with a Hobo Craftsman built in 1928 for $100.
Constructed with recycled materials, the eclectic home is filled with art and unusual collections.
There are several cobblestone out buildings on the large lot, 
some used by transients during the Depression.


This home tour on a crisp fall day gave us a new appreciation
for this unique Denver neighborhood
and a better feel for the history of its people. 
My kind of perfect day. 

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Friday, September 15, 2017

French Country: A Quiet Transition into Fall

Fall arrives next week and I find I'm looking around the house, wondering how I will transition
my decor into the new season. I want to keep it simple and dramatic all at the same time.


Fall decor takes it cue from nature: hillsides covered in gold, 
bugling elk in the mountain meadows, leaves crunching underfoot, 
fruit pies warm from the oven, and cool, fresh air.

Definitely one of my favorite times of year.


I thought I'd try a fall look on my chippy red farm table.
All the paint colors, chips and scars tell a story of a well-loved piece
so sometimes I leave it bare.


Here's the current look -- summery, fresh, ready for a picnic.


But with fall just around the corner, it's time for a mini-makeover.

It's always fun to look back for inspiration.
This earthy basket filled with apples was from last year's dining room table. 


The southwestern look always makes me think of fall trips to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


White pumpkins, antlers and nuts on a white platter is simple fall perfection. 


OK, so I'm inspired. Let's get busy.

First thing I do is remove everything from the table and start from scratch.
I love vintage tablecloths so I pull a couple of my favorites out of my storage cupboard 
to see what might bring a fall flavor to the table.
This little table is the perfect size for old tablecloths.


I also consider a burlap runner.


But finally decide on this squash-colored tablecloth, a gift from my dear friend, Rusty. 
I love its simple, warm beauty, perfect for fall.

Oh, and I just have to tell you about this little chair I found at Goodwill for $12. 
The wood was dull and extremely dried out; the legs and seat were clogged with dirt and cobwebs. But it was sturdy and I could see its hidden beauty so I took it home and cleaned it up.
A furniture expert told me it's probably English and from the 1800s. 
It's actually quite comfortable and now I'm always watching Goodwill for its mate!


Back to decorating for fall. What kind of centerpiece should I use?
We often think of brilliant red leaves and bright orange pumpkins for fall color
but neutrals can be just as seasonal and as lovely.
Gathering several objects, I'll try different arrangements and see what works.

Maybe some ironstone and an old breadboard.
Love how it looks but it may be too much for such a small table.
The small basket with the forks in it graced our supper table every night when I was growing up.
It was always filled with sliced white Wonder bread.


I like to use a tray or platter as a base. 
It anchors the centerpiece and makes it easy to move when we want to use the table.


Aren't these little metal chicks adorable?


Baskets have a nice natural feel that quietly complement the season.


I'm liking this neutral palette indoors this fall so I'll enjoy the bright colors outside.


Happy Fall Everyone!

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A Delightsome LifeHave a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson21 Rosemary LaneKatherine's Corner,
My Thrift Store AddictionFrench Country Cottage

Friday, September 8, 2017

French Country Garden: Endless Summer

Just when I thought summer was over, 
a new flush of late-blooming flowers burst upon the scene in my French Country garden.


Is it the slightly cooler weather and a bit more rain that gave my garden a second wind?
After an afternoon shower, everything is fresh, dust bathed away and stale air cleansed.


Pools of watery crystal beads lie on a rose bush leaf like a broken string of pearls.


Whatever the reason, gorgeous flowers are sprinkled throughout the garden
that I thought had run out of gas. 


They're even sprouting in the cracks in the sidewalk.


I'd just finished cutting some perennials down to their fresh basal growth 
when I noticed this unexpected flush of flowers.

(The tall pink flower is agastache, my favorite perennial.)


These yellow flowers have popped up everywhere.
Good thing I like them!

(Rudbeckia are easy to grow and reseed themselves.)


I have big trees in my yard so my garden is quite shady.
I don't get masses of flowers
which may be why I appreciate each singular flower more.

(White flowers are garlic chives in bloom.)


The potted plants have taken off too.


These urns have never looked so lush and full.


Can you spot my little garden assistant, never too far away?


Hopefully, my late-bloomers will last through September 
when golden hues paint the aspen trees 
and asters add a soft shade of purple to the garden.


I have learned many life lessons from Mother Nature and I think this time
she is telling me when you feel like you've run out of gas and are ready to quit,
think about these late-bloomers and don't give up. Your season isn't over yet.
Draw on your inner strength and you may get another chance to bloom again.

(Japanese anemone buds ready to bloom).


I'm grateful for this endless summer in the garden. 
Truly a blessing.

Thinking of our friends in Texas, Florida and the Northwest. 

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French Country Cottage

Monday, September 4, 2017

Did You Miss These? August Posts Recap

Hi Friends! 
Hope you had a wonderful August and are looking forward to cooler weather in September.
If you missed any of my posts in August, here's a recap of what I shared. 
Just click on the links if you missed any of these. 

August 4


August 11


August 18


August 25
A Touch of Fall


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Friday, September 1, 2017

Get the European Look


Looking for European inspiration for your home?
Well, check out these three Colorado stores that are
"Bringing French Country Home" 
with their unique vintage goodies and European-style gifts. 

Inspired by a Simpler Time of Life

At Farmhouse & Co. in south Denver you'll find a brand new shop filled with
wonderful treasures for the home like this French apron. 
You know me, if it's got a chicken or rooster on it, I'm in love.


These white pie plates are so pretty and even have a crimped edge. 
Lots of hand-poured candles in cool jars to choose from too.


This small space is decorated so creatively, you won't want to leave.
This little piggy sure caught my eye.


There's even an organic herbal apothecary.


Check out Chelsea's web site at www.farmhousedenver.com for more information.



New Owner New Look

The Tended Thicket on Old Gaylord Street in Denver has been around for years
but recently had a major makeover under new management.
With an exciting new look, you'll find lots of European items
such as French hand cremes, English garden pots and fresh flowers.


The first thing you see is this beautiful room that makes you feel like you're in France.


The decor is elegant and tempts you to slow down and notice all the special little touches.


The back room has been transformed into a flowering patio complete with a fountain
and fresh bouquets that remind me of an outdoor French flower market.


For more information, check out www.thetendedthicket.com.


Antiques and Special Shoppes in The Barn

Take a thirty-minute drive south of Denver to a small town called Castle Rock
and you'll find a unique store called The Barn.
Inside it's filled to the rafters with specialty items for the home.


More than 100 years old, this huge building was once home to horse and buggy rigs
and now houses more than twenty amazing shops.

This beautiful bedroom is sure to inspire you.


Feeling like you're in Europe?
Love that basket.


You thought I was kidding about the rafters!
Every inch in this old horse barn is overflowing with goodies.


Step outside and enjoy a yard full of metal arches, gates and garden ornaments
while another old barn across the way sets the tone.


So, are you ready to go shopping with me yet?

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If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you'll follow me by email.
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Shabby Art BoutiqueBlue Willow HouseLittle FarmsteadRustic & RefinedDwellings,
Between Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmStone GableA Stroll Thru Life,
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21 Rosemary LaneKatherine's CornerMy Thrift Store AddictionFrench Country Cottage