Friday, February 23, 2018

How to Blend His and Her Styles

Aren't we ladies lucky when our mates embrace our decorating styles?
Well, maybe embrace is too strong a word.
But it is a blessing when he says, "Do whatever you want sweetheart" without rolling his eyes.

My ironstone, his dominoes.

Actually, I think most men could probably care less what color throw pillows we choose. 
If it were up to Ron, he would banish all throw pillows from our home. 
Still, I bounce ideas off of him before deciding on big purchases. 
I think he trusts my style although he usually points out we don't have room for the item. 

So how can we incorporate some items into our style that makes him happy too?
Let's take a look at how some of his favorite collectibles
could be blended with mine throughout the house. 

Here his little silver dog, Mack, (a hood ornament from a Mack Truck)
 looks sculptural next to my pretty old hardback book. 

Fortunately, Ron and I have similar interests and enjoy antiquing and thrifting together. 
So he is on board when it comes to vintage decor. 
A room looks more interesting and thoughtful if all the furniture 
didn't come from the same store on the same day in the same fabric.

Vintage wooden furniture makes a room feel warm and cozy
whether it's a masculine or feminine room. 

Most men like a clean, uncluttered look with just a few well-chosen accessories. 
Everything in this photo is mine although it could easily be his. 

Something from his occupation can add interest to a room and make it more personal. 
Before retiring, Ron was a photojournalist. 
He has a nice collection of old cameras that add interest to a vignette.

His hobby can also provide unique ideas on decorating a room. 
He's an afficianado of model trains and creator of historically accurate layouts. 
This layout even includes an antique store! 
(and yes, it's in the basement!). 

His collection of old railroad lanterns fits right into our farmhouse-style sunroom.

These brightly-colored metal tool boxes look industrial yet farmhouse.
I want one!

And family heirlooms like this syrup pitcher filled with marbles 
makes a simple masculine statement.
Antler sheds always look cool in any style room. 

Probably the most important item for a man is a big comfy chair. 
This chair and ottoman I found at an estate sale is comfortable and masculine and I like it too.
Men tend to prefer big heavy furniture so a mix of light and airy 
with more masculine furniture creates a good balance. 

If Ron had his way, he'd probably choose an oversized chair in camo from Cabelas!
Hold the throw pillow. 

Another decor item of his that blends nicely with my French Country feel is this
old newspaper announcing American aviator Charles Lindbergh's landing in Paris. 
It adds an authentic touch of history to our guest room.

One thing that he would probably want that I can't budge on, let alone have space for, 
is one of those gigantic manly TVs.
I'm thankful that those enormous 1970s stereo speakers have been downsized 
and flatscreens can be hung on a wall. 

Still, I'm looking forward to the day when we can watch TV
by pressing a button to project a holographic image on the wall.
I think he'd like that too.


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Shabby Art BoutiqueBlue Willow HouseDwellingsLittle FarmsteadThe Dedicated House,
Between Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmStone GableA Stroll Thru Life,
Savvy Southern StyleDesignthusiasmHave a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson21 Rosemary Lane,
Petite HausFrench Country Cottage

Friday, February 16, 2018

Look What I Won !!!

Hi Friends, I can't wait to tell you what I won!

Something that sure brought back a lot of memories. 
Remember when we typed on manual typewriters, forcefully striking the keys, untangling them 
when two keys got stuck together, returning the carriage when the little bell dinged, 
and starting over when we made a mistake?

Computers have certainly made typing a lot easier but you just can't beat 
the old vintage typewriters for charm.

Yep, I ended up with a real beauty and here's the whole story of how I won it.

At a recent vintage market in Colorado Springs, 
I entered my name in a give-away and pretty much forgot about it. 
Then, one day a week or so later, I received a phone call saying I'd won a gift certificate 
at my favorite antique mall in the Springs. Yay!

Colorado Springs is only about an hour from Denver so Ron and I
hit the road in search of bargains. 
After a couple of days of snow, we had a perfect Rocky Mountain day 
with sunshine, blue skies and 55 degree weather.

Something at this mall had caught my eye the last time I was there -- a vintage typewriter.  
I wasn't sure where it would fit and it was a little more than I wanted to pay but, with my gift card burning a whole in my wallet, I decided to go back to the mall and see if they still had it.

The Sweet William Antique Mall lies on the edge of a historic district
called Old Colorado City on Route 24. I love this mall.
The salesperson really gets into the spirit of days gone by with an amazing period outfit
and a wavy bob. Isn't she adorable?

Plus all of the booths are fantastic with a varied selection.

I was looking for an old typewriter for my office. 
I'd seen a couple previously but, sadly, they were both gone this time around. 
So we kept looking.

Guess it was meant to be.

I found a 1920s Underwood typewriter that was perfect. Not too big, case included and those wonderful shiny keys trimmed in silver metal. The carriage bell even dinged!

I happened to meet the owner of that booth and asked her if it was her best price. 
It had already been marked down $10 and I didn't expect a discount. Still, never hurts to ask. 
She was such a sweetheart and reduced the price another $15.
That and my gift card and I said, "I'll take it!"

Before we began our return trip to Denver, we drove a few blocks to Old Colorado City
and walked around the 1800s streets, oohing and ahhing at the gorgeous architecture.
Pikes Peak, a massive 14er, dominates the sky and seems to rear up right from the sidewalk.

We found an amazing restaurant called Paravicini's Italian Bistro and enjoyed our lunch
in an old renovated building. If you go, I recommend the eggplant rollatini. Yum! 
We're already planning a return trip this summer
when we can sit on their patio and admire Pikes Peak.

We learned that Old Colorado City was founded in 1859 as a supply hub for the new gold mines.
The town boomed in 1891 when two more gold strikes in Cripple Creek and Victor
created additional demand for supplies.

Back home, I knew my vintage typewriter would fit on a shelf in my office 
but I thought it would be more visible on a retro metal stand I had.

I decided to style the stand with a few office accessories.

I love the feel of this early typewriter and the images it evokes.
I wonder about the women who used it almost one hundred years ago.

And today, it still works.
As the words on the top of the typewriter say, it's a real Champion.

So, a beautiful Colorado day, a fantastic lunch with my sweetie, antiquing and a gift certificate.
My kind of perfect day!


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Linking with:
Shabby Art BoutiqueBlue Willow HouseLittle FarmsteadDwellingsThe Dedicated House,
Between Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmStone GableA Stroll Thru Life,
Savvy Southern StyleDesignthusiasmA Delightsome LifeHave a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,
21 Rosemary LanePetite HausFrench Country Cottage

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A New Look for an Old Crate

Please note:
Last week I experienced some technical difficulties with my computer and am not sure this post was distributed to everyone. Therefore, I'm sending it again to all subscribers under a different name.
The original post was called "French Wine Crate 2.0."
My apologies if you've already seen this post. If not, please enjoy.

Have you been wondering whatever happened to that rare French wine crate 
I uncovered last summer in a dusty basement at an estate sale? 
Well, here's a little hint.

You might remember my post about that wine crate.
Here's a link if you missed it.  Wine Crate Find

The crate was perfect for containing a sparkling centerpiece on the dining room table.

But you know we can never leave well enough alone, right? 
I wanted to find another way to use this beautiful crate and I found it in the kitchen.

By turning the crate on its end I was able to make some space on my kitchen island 
and now I'm using it to hold bottles of wine and cooking utensils. 

Looking at the wine crate from the side,
you can still read the beautiful French writing on the front.

This really opened up the counter space and gave me a little more elbow room.

The display makes me think of a fancy kitchen store like Sur la Table.

This stand-alone cabinet is handy for parties, baking or unloading market baskets.

Don't overlook everyday objects like these Prosecco corks
when creating a unique accessory.

Cheers, my friends!

So, what do you do with your wooden boxes and crates? Love to hear from you.


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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Making the Most of Small Spaces

Just because you live in a small space doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful, stylish home. 
We live in an old Victorian cottage that can be a challenge when it comes to decorating. 
Small rooms, doors everywhere, and dark little nooks. 
And, for someone who loves to collect, it's even more of a challenge. 

My number one rule:  Buy something, get rid of something. Declutter!
And yes, I count paperbacks and belts!

So, how to make the most of your small space? Here are a few ideas to consider. 
Of course, everyone has a different situation and a unique style 
so feel free to adapt these tips for your needs.

That brings me to my second rule: Live with what you love. 
If you're not a minimalist, find a way to display your treasured belongings. 
Make it work but remember less is more.

Something to keep in mind when it comes to your collections -- don't over-accessorize. 
Chose a few of your favorite accessories to display on the mantel or bookshelf. 
You can always switch things out every now and then to use other pieces of your collections and 
to keep the look fresh. Keeping accessories simple on your tables and shelves opens up the room.

A general rule to make your room look bigger is to limit your color palette to neutral, light colors. This will expand the visual flow of your room and make it appear larger. 

An accent wall in a different color may break that flow and chop up the space.
I tried an accent wall once in a dark red, which I thought was chic and dramatic. 
Over time, I realized it was just too much and felt like I'd hit a dead-end road. 
I toned it down, painting the entire space (living and dining rooms and foyer) all the same light color (Benjamin Moore Khaki). It's a color I've never tired of and goes with everything.

Speaking of accessories, one of the most effective accessories to make a room feel bigger is mirrors. Placed on a wall opposite a window a mirror reflects light into the room and visually expands
the space. Besides mirrors are one of those things I love to collect 
and I have them in every room of my house, even the kitchen.

Another easy tip is to keep your window coverings light and high. 
Hang them above the top of your window and expand their width by hanging them 
on the outer side of your window. 
I like to use an airy linen panel or a sheer that lets in the light and provides a little privacy.

Moving to the kitchen, keeping your counters clear of too many items 
will help make that space appear calmer and larger. 
Use unusual containers or baskets to hold your silverware or to contain utensils. 
Don't overlook vertical space in the kitchen. I'm lucky to have high ceilings. 
I display some collectibles on top of my cabinets and my pots and pans on the wall.

Another storage option is stacking vintage suitcases. 
They look warm and inviting in any room. 
I stack mine in my bedroom; they hold family photos and keepsakes. 
I also tie luggage tags on the handles stating the contents, 
making it easier to find what I'm looking for.

Take advantage of little nooks by turning them into an office space or a pantry. 
The hallway off my kitchen was narrow and not much use until I had a pantry built
on one wall giving me a lot more storage space. 
The top has glass doors for display with solid doors on the bottom for big items.
An additional pantry space fits on the landing and holds non-perishable food. 

Upstairs, I had two closets built in a space that we never used. 
We were lucky to find the original doors in the attic.
Then I tucked a pretty desk and some shelves in between them for a perfect office. 

I've saved the biggest tip, literally, for last -- furniture. 
Don't cram too much furniture into a space and keep it in scale with your room. 
I finally traded in my big sofa for a smaller loveseat that fits the room so much better. 
I found this lovely white loveseat at an estate sale for about a hundred dollars and gave my 
oversized sofa to some college girls renting the house across the street. Everyone wins.

Another tip for furniture is to use round tables. 
They take up less space and are easier to move around. 
I have a round antique dining table and recently switched out my big rectangular coffee table 
for a small oval 1940s table that works much better. 
Another estate sale find, it was interesting
to learn that this table once belonged to a former Colorado governor. 

I have to admit I stored my big coffee table in the attic. 
Who knows when I might finally find my dream mountain cabin! 
I hope these tips help you make the most of your small spaces.
Good luck and have fun! 


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