Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 853's pretty

I never quite got around to decorating for Halloween (not that I usually do). I did clip some leaves from a maple tree to bring indoors, and bought a couple of pumpkins. Sometimes simple is better, yes? Hope you have a safe and lovely weekend!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 852: alternative office

For now, one of our three bedrooms is a dedicated office. But when that's no longer possible, I don't mind a bit pulling a chair up to a pretty little desk.

Or a lovely secretary.

But tell me, where is all of the "stuff?"

Photos: Decor Pad, Sara Gilbane, Rayman Boozer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 851: framed doilies

My mom used to have crocheted "doilies" around her house. In high school, I remember thinking they were atrocious -- not to mention a pain to dust around. But framed in front of black (like these, in Kristen Cunningham's bedroom), they are pretty cool, and would be a great way to use a small family heirloom that might otherwise sit in a closet.

Look closely, and here they are again, this time framed between pieces of glass. Another way to appreciate their lace-like quality without bringing out their granny-like qualities (though myself, I love a little "granny" now and then).

Eddie Ross -- of course! -- has another great way to use them: dye them a color that you already have in your home.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 850's fall arrangements

This is my favorite image from the October issue of Martha Stewart Living. Nothing more than an urn filled with dead and near-dead flowers and orange rose hips, it's definitely a "good thing."

Eddie Ross was inspired to make one of his own, using Queen Anne's lace and thistle in a Gothic urn he picked up at an estate sale.

If your yard is like mine, still pretty green, a single pumpkin also makes a fitting companion for a favorite urn (photo by Kindra Clineff for Country Living).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 849's recipe

So how was your weekend? I feel like I spent all of Saturday in the kitchen -- it was delightful! Pancakes for breakfast, then a loaf of pumpkin bread, and honey corn bread muffins to have with chicken corn chowder for supper.

I'm not sure how many slices of pumpkin bread I've had since Saturday. Let's just call it several. It is my mom's recipe and I think it is the best. It's fluffy, but also nice and heavy, without any nuts or strange things to get in the way.

Mom's Pumpkin Bread
2 eggs
1/2 can pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (I use about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Mix until just blended, and pour into a floured loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 and half hours.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 846: new blog to love

I'm going to have to interrupt the regular "Friday pretty" to show you a host of pretties from a new-to-me blog, A Country Farmhouse. I stumbled upon Trina and her lovely life earlier in the week, and can no longer keep it to myself.

She and her husband bought a little farmhouse and have been working to restore it from a 1970s-style paneled mess (even the fireplace surround was paneled!) to its humble, but beautiful, origins.

Trina writes that the blog is a way to chronicle their renovations, and a place to share "musings of a few of (her) great life, antiques, old houses and healthy living."

Here is her new-but-looks-old kitchen, which I love. The wood counters are from Ikea (we've been scoping them out for our kitchen remodel) and the cabinets are made by a local craftsman and the doors modeled after Trina's antique pie safe. So authentic, that a contractor made the comment that he assumed they would be "tearing out the old kitchen anyway, right?"

Can you imagine a better place to unwind with a glass of wine at the end of the day? I personally cannot. Please click on the picture to get a load of that view!

Trina, I promise I'm not a crazy person (even though I read your entire blog yesterday and today posted a picture of your silverware drawer on mine -- who does that?), let's be friends!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 845: so tell me ...

If you were heading to New York City, what would you absolutely not miss? I'm headed up in a couple of weeks. I'll be working during the day, but Wes will be making the rounds (he's going to tag along since he's never been before). Since I'll only have post-work hours and the weekend, I want to make the most of it. There's a lot I'd like to do and it's a little overwhelming, so I'm hoping you people can help me narrow it down. So, locals and city-lovers alike, I'm all ears!

Photo here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 844: another house tour

Not to be redundant, but I have another house tour that you must see. This one is in the November issue of Southern Living and it has me positively drooling over the 1852 Georgia farmhouse. Will you just look at those floorboards and the horizontal paneling in the entry (above)? I just love too see a gracious, Southern home updated and dressed to the nines in a way that is modern and cool but still classic -- and not a bit stuffy.

The facade reminds me of this one. I've always had a thing for sort-of Colonial-looking homes.

Designer Jamie McPherson grew up next door to the house that he now calls home (here he is in the dining room he uses as his office -- I do the same thing, but it doesn't look as chic!).

He and partner Tra Raines evidently have a thing for Empire furniture, as they have several pieces (like this sideboard).

Jamie definitely has a thing for bird motifs, and repeats them throughout the house in various forms. For collecting, he suggests finding a pattern and sticking to it. Then, "it becomes a fun pastime to hunt down a specific piece, like a compote or soup tureen, that matches your other dishes," he told writer Robert Martin.

The kitchen was added in the 1940s and has whitewashed cabinets and marble counters. I love the way the light filters through the shades and picks up the pretty wood top on the island. And who doesn't love those pendants from Circa?

But the living room is my favorite, with its cozy gray-green walls and beautiful mantle. The wingback chairs are vintage (recovered, of course) and I love the smoky glass on the brass coffee table.

In the master bedroom, an Empire card table serves as a bedside table. My grandmother has one similar to this and I've always admired it.

More birds appear over the mantle. It's no wonder I'm so smitten with this house, many of the furnishings came from my favorite store, Bungalow Classic in Atlanta (these chairs are from Bobby McAlpine's collection).

The bath was added under the eaves and is outfitted with vintage-style hexagon and subway tiles. I don't know about you, but this is really filling the Cottage Living-shaped void in my heart!
Photos are by Laurey W. Glenn for Southern Living; styling by Anne Turner Carroll.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 843's house love

Remember this kitchen? Have you seen the rest of the house (published in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living)? It's on the masculine and rustic side, but I still think it might be in my top five favorite homes ever published. Just wonderful!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 842's finished project

Well, we chose neither A nor B for the architecture prints in the living room. I couldn't commit to either, so when Wes suggested we order another set (we bought them on our honeymoon in Charleston, and I didn't remember where -- but he did), I said sold! and headed to Target for two more frames.

I finally made use of some grasscloth that was leftover from a project I helped with when I was an intern (3 years ago!). I just cut it to fit, and left the mats in tact in case we ever want to use them for something else. But for now, I'm happy to have something to cross off the proverbial list. Did you do anything productive this weekend?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 839's pretty

Photo by Paul Costello

I love this arrangement of fall leaves and hydrangeas. Are the leaves changing where you live? They are just starting to think about here, and I am ready. I need some fall foilage, ASAP!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 837: loving copper cookware

When fall arrives, I start craving warm, intimate spaces and different textures. Summer begs for linen and cotton, but now I'm craving wool plaids and anything that resembles a sweater (even thought it's still 70 degrees in Birmingham). That goes for the kitchen, too. Copper seems just right for the season.

I'd die for Eddie Ross' ironstone collection, but his collection of copper pots and pans is also quite impressive. Here, he used them to give a Chateau Chic feeling to a Grange Showroom. Above, they are on display in Martha's stable kitchen in Bedford (his first decorating project at Living).

Just one or two pieces can warm things up, as seen in this kitchen by Nathan Egan Interiors.

Copper is great for fall entertaining, too. Joni spotted a few pieces at a recent party for Garden & Gun at Houston lighting showroom, Brown. I have one copper platter (see it here) that I would love to use to serve treats at a fall dinner party.

New copper cookware is on the pricey side -- especially since it's not a necessity for every-day cooking -- but vintage pieces are not hard to find. I spotted these at a local antiques shop. Each piece was in the $20 range (though I wouldn't cook with it until I had the interior re-tinned).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 836: timeless design

I love this house. It just oozes timelessness, which is probably because it is filled with furniture selected for the homeowners by Albery Hadley more than 40 years ago. With painted gray floors and pale walls, it feels current.

The entry is perfect. Makes me want to buy this from High Street Market.

Photos by Simon Upton for House Beautiful.