Friday, January 29, 2021

Start With What You Have

What you have is inspiration!

Inspiration for making your house reflect who you are is all around you -- in your furniture, a fabric, a picture, a chair, a tablecloth, even a tea towel or a favorite candy dish.

Most color selection, even at the hands of a designer, begins with a piece of "inspiration."

That can be anything that attracts your eye, that you enjoy seeing and having around you.  You have it in your home because you liked it enough to buy it, or it was given to you and you value it not only because of it's meaning but because it makes you happy.

If you don't already have an idea of what that object or item is, look around your house and select several things that catch your eye.  Put them all together and think how each one could be built on to create a color theme that pleases you.

Color themes are inspired!

Once you've done this, now pick out your favorite of the items you love and study it for a moment.  Write down the colors you see and like.  Is there a dominant color?  Do you prefer it over one of the less dominant ones?  What other colors do you like in the design or pattern?  There is your palette.  You can now build a coordinated color scheme for your whole house around that one item.

If you are starting from scratch and literally have no inspiration, then start looking for inspiration where ever you go.  Look in magazines and fabric stores. Wallpaper books are a great color combination and design source.  My daughter found this plate at an estate sale and it would be a gorgeous inspirational piece.

You may want to use the background color on your walls for instance; a dominant color in the design for your sofa, and secondary and tertiary colors for accents.

The importance of carrying colors from one room to another is because you mentally carry the color scheme of one room into another for three seconds.  Isn't that interesting.  It is important because mentally, your brain is expecting the color to flow and when it doesn't, it feels disjointed, like a collection of rooms from different houses.

Color is the grand connector!

Look for other items already in your home that compliment and can be used.  It may mean repurposing some of the items that have been in the same place for decades.  Look at your house and possessions with fresh, new eyes for possibilities.  Like we teach about wardrobe planning, shop in your own house first.

Now go forth and find that inspiration that you can use to make your house flow and make you happy every time you enter.

I would love to hear how you have found your inspiration and what changes you have made.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Making a Home Yours


NOTE:  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

When decorating our home, I use what I have and what I love and has memories and meaning to us.  I do try to follow certain "rules of decor" but also create my own.  Taste is personal so when decorating your own home, please yourself and don't try to fit what you think someone else expects.

No room is perfect, so adjust and adapt to make it livable based on personal preferences and not necessarily on current trends.

For instance:

These Martha Washington chairs belonged to an uncle who left all his belongings to my mother at his death back in the late 60's.  She then gave them to me in the 70's.  I had them reupholstered in the 80's.  I chose this flame stitch fabric because it was in style at that time, but mostly because of the colors.  I loved every single color in that fabric and still do.

Yes, I am well aware that flame stitch went out of style ages ago and not likely to ever come back.  But here is where pleasing yourself comes in.  I love my chairs.

When planning a color scheme for a room or a house, I follow this rule:

Find a pattern that you love, whether its a rug, fabric or painting and use the colors from that throughout your house.  Pick out the three or four most obvious or dominant colors.  Let that be your color cue.  It could even come from outside if you have large windows.


From my chair fabric, I selected the deep reds, teal, green with cream as my neutral.

This grouping, which can be seen when you enter our home, sets the theme for all the decor throughout the house.  I prefer using a neutral palette in the large furnishings and use accents to bring color and personality to a room.

Once you have decided on the colors, use varying shades and tones to help integrate your theme color(s) into every room of your house.

If for instance, your dominant colors are blue, pink and yellow, you would have lots of color possibilities for your pallette.

For example:  If you chose blue as your dominant color in the living room then different shades of the other colors would be used in accents.  If you chose pink for the bedroom, then blue and yellow would be used in varying tones as accents and or fabrics.  Get the idea?  This creates flow and continuity throughout your house.

Since ours is so open, yet divided in function by the furniture, the continuation is smooth.  

Following are some of the little vignettes that I have done that accomplish this.  To me, this makes a house a "HOME."  You have made it yours.

On the mantel, this vase repeats some of the colors from the fabric and painting.

In an opposite corner, the colors are again repeated in the vases and the books.

Normally, the fireplace would be the focal point in this room.  I really prefer not having the TV share that honor.  However, this house didn't allow many options for that.  So, I tried to make the composition of the TV wall and the fireplace together what one notices and not separate them.  I did this with varied heights, shapes, and continuation of color.

Notice how the deep red pillow repeats colors from the chairs, the paintings, and brings out the deep red tones in the vase.  They also provide a complimentary pattern.  The deep green of the vase is also using one my less dominant colors.

In the guest bedroom, I continued the Cranberry glassware that was introduced in the credenza in the foyer and it also pulls the red from other rooms.

Green is not a color I use a lot of; however, I do like my upholstered headboard in the guest room.  Here again, I have built on a neutral bedspread to add color and interest with pillows and accessories.

On a counter in the kitchen, the colors and accents are continued in a small dose.

I use a lot of white pottery throughout the house as well, and the fresh flowers also add to the play with color.

These wonderful estate find green Wedgewood pieces along with the plants add warmth to this room and carry that color to another room.  The framed hymn was done and gifted to me by my prayer partner, Vicki.  It is of great value to me.

I hope these simple decorating tips either confirm what you have already achieved in your home, or inspires you to look at your decor with new eyes.

Tomorrow I will give some tips for using what you have.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday, so it's time for the Hodgepodge.  Click on Joyce's link Here
to see how she and others answered the following questions.

1. Have you done more binge watching this past year than in 'normal' years? Any plans to break that habit in 2021? Tell us one or two shows you binged last year that you really liked. 

I am not much of a TV watcher and have never binged on any show.  We have started watching the series "The Last Kingdom" because Dick had read the books and our son recommended it.  We only watch one of the movies at night when we don't have anything better to do.  Like watching our granddaughter play basketball.

2. January 26th is Australia Day. Have you ever visited or lived in Australia? Have you ever tasted Vegemite, and if so what did you think?  Is a trip down under on your bucket list? We answered a question about travel three months ago (the October 21st Hodgepodge), but let's revisit now...where are you when it comes to planning or even imagining travel this year? 

I have neither visited nor lived in Australia, and we don't have any plans to go.  It really has never been on my bucket list.  Interesting you should ask about taking a trip as we be flying to Northern Indiana next Wednesday to visit our family there for a couple weeks. We have not and will not allow this "situation" to keep us from doing the things we enjoy.  We act responsibly, and have chosen to live our lives to the fullest.

3. Something that zaps your energy? Something that energizes you? 

Being around some people zaps my energy.  I know it sounds anti-social, and to some degree it is.  But certain personality types and voice pitch will drain me faster than anything.  It is so interesting in our family the ones who share this trait and those who's energy source is being with people - and the more the better.  I have two granddaughters who thrive on being with their "people."  There are others of us who take people in small doses.  Amazingly, we all get along, admire, and appreciate each other quite well.

What energizes me is being with my family, walking, Bible Study and anticipating something in the future

4. On a scale of 1-10 what are your eating habits like these days? (1=all junk food all the time and 10= juicing every green thing in the frig) Healthiest meal you've eaten in the last week or so? 

During our packing and moving, we ate very little.  We both lost over 10 lbs.  Since getting settled and in a routine, we still are only eating one or two meals a day.  We try to make these as healthy as possible by having a protein and low carbs; however, we did enjoy pizza with our granddaughter the other night.

5. What's your most often 'Back in my day....' thing to say? 

"Life was so different!"

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our church has a Pregnancy Center ministry and I have felt led to get involved.  It is such a crucial time in our country.  I feel that those who believe that life begins with conception and all are created equal in God's image, need to do everything we can to save lives.  That includes praying.  Every day, I get a notice to pray for the 19 or so women who are scheduled to come into the clinic.  This is ministry in itself and something anyone can do.  Pray that they choose life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

House Reveal 2

This is the rest of our little house.

From this vantage point, you can easily see the open living area of our home.  It is efficient and sufficient. 

We are taking advantage of this open area for Dick's office.  Notice my stained glass piece in the window arch.  I learned last week that the previous owner also had a piece of art hung there.  I loved hearing that.

Another one of my paintings in this room.  We got rid of so many books when we moved, but there are some you just don't want or need to part with.  Therefore, the shelves on this bookcase are full too.  But that's alright with us.

Our round table was meant for this spot.

Previously, this old "pie safe" that we rescued from Dick's mother's garage shortly after we married, had held books.  I could not part with this piece so decided since it won't be storing books or pies, I would display two sets of china.  The drawer has dividers for flatware, so it was perfect for this use.  And we like this spot of color on this end wall.

We also like my biggest painting propped on top.  It not only fills the high wall space for also repeats the color of the safe.

To the left is the guest suite.  I love that this area can be closed off to provide complete privacy for guests.

The two pieces of furniture are very old and both have their own history that makes them valuable to us.

I have had this dresser with Italian marble since I was a teenager and hope one of my grandgirls will cherish it one day.

The guest bath is adjacent to the bedroom and is so spacious.  I placed a large round plush rug in the middle rather than small mats, to warm the space.

This view from the front door shows off my office, the coat closet, and the entry to our bedroom.

My beautiful secretary, which is part of our bedroom furniture, made the perfect place for my laptop and all my supplies.  It's as if this niche was made for it.

When not in use, it becomes a lovely accent piece holding all of my Andrea Birds, other figurines and treasures.

The master bedroom is actually larger than our previous one.

The high ceiling and arched window adds to the feeling of spaciousness.

I have plenty of room for a sitting area and a place to watch my own TV should I so desire.  I haven't desired as of yet.

Because there is so much storage in the master closet, Dick only needed a place to empty his pockets.  This extra table was the ideal solution.

I will spare you the bathroom and closet, but they more than amply meet our needs.

This wall of cabinets in the kitchen was another of the upgrades and I am so grateful.  I don't know what we would have done without this storage.  The black granite countertop is such a convenient area and perfect for serving.  We will eventually replace the original frig, but since it works like new, we will keep it.

Later in the week, I will come back and talk about color and show you a few vignettes up close.

Thank you for visiting with me again today and I wish it could have been in person.  Come back tomorrow for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Monday, January 25, 2021

House Reveal

I have been eager to share our new home in Plano with you.

There is no doubt that God had a plan in bringing us here and providing this home for us.  We are so glad He did because our plan would have been so much less than what He provided.

The Village at Prestonwood is a coveted gated community for folks 55 and over.  It consists of independent buildings made up of four units and a combination of floor plans.  These houses are usually already committed before they ever come on the market.  It is rare for them to be on the market.  God had a plan!

Uncharacteristically, our house had been on the market for a week when we found it.  God had it waiting for us.

This design is the Canterbury which has 1737 sq ft with three bedrooms, two baths, an open floor plan and an abundance of natural light.

The lady who had this unit built did some customizing that are not in most of the homes.  One of those major changes was to eliminate one of the bedrooms and leave it open to accommodate her grand piano.


The area to the left is the piano room and the guest bedroom suite can be seen through the double doors.

Living Room and Sunroom on right



The small entry provides a nice welcome to all who enter.

The small credenza I used in the foyer of our precious house, was perfect for this limited space.  I delight in keeping fresh flowers in one of my favorite white pottery pitchers. 

We replaced our old sofa and added a new chair and table as well.  We feared our large rug would not fit or at the least overpower, but it ended up anchoring the space beautifully.

From here, I will take you into what has become our favorite room.

The morning sunshine in this room is spectacular.  Dick and I delight in spending our early mornings in this room sharing our devotional time and a cup of coffee and tea.

The sign on top is the theme of this room.

You may be surprised, if you know me, that these shelves are so full.  I am usually a minimalist when it comes to shelf composition.  Not this time.  I wanted to fill them with things I love and want to see and enjoy.  The old pitcher was my mothers and probably my grandmothers that was used when I was a child for brewing tea.  It sits on a series of books written by a former co-worker and friend.  Both of the pictures have special meaning.

The upper shelf contains an exquisite piece of counted cross-stitch done by my daughter back in 1990.  In front of it are pieces that belonged to a favorite aunt.  The bowl on top of the books is an Italian antique passed on by a dear friend many years ago.

The handmade, dated vase was purchased while in Greece in 1973.  There are family pictures and books I've made of various family events.  The lower shelf contains two of my pitchers from my collection, and an olive jar that goes with the two on the very top of the unit.

We decided this was the perfect place for one of my brighter paintings.  It reflects the morning light and colors so beautifully.  It also adds a sense of peace and calm.

From my comfy glider sofa, this is the view into the living room.

Next time, I will take you into the rest of the house.