Monday, May 30, 2022

Minimalism in a Village Home

How to Love the Home You Have

Lorri moved to The Village at Prestonwood a few months before we did in 2020, and is a nearby neighbor.  The first time I visited her, I loved her minimalist approach to decorating.  Her home is a calm and peaceful haven.  So how has she achieved this?  Let's take a closer look at all the elements Lorri has incorporated in telling her story in her lovely home.

Lorri is a highly successful career woman.  Having sold her business in 2019, she left Nebraska and moved to Plano to be near her daughter, who is now expecting a baby in July.  Wanting to maintain her condo in Nebraska, Lorri had the opportunity to start from scratch in her new home.

She bought an Abby floor plan which is just over 1,500 sq. ft.  The previous owners had already done some updates that were acceptable to Lorri; however, to make this home hers, there were a few changes yet to be made.

Her favorite is the transformation of the laundry room.

By removing the existing closet and putting in cabinetry she not only increased her usable space but made it more functional.  She also added a niche for the microwave, small appliances and a beverage station.

She replaced the bi-fold doors by adding a lovely glazed glass-paned barn door that allows plenty of light from both sides.

All of the light fixtures were replaced with contemporary designs that, as Lorri describes, give the effect of being "celestial."  Perhaps the most dramatic change though was in the kitchen.

She created a focal point with these lighted, glass-paned cabinets.

To maintain the clean, contemporary design, she relocated the switches and plugs to under the cabinets and replaced the backsplash with a textured black tile.  She also painted the peninsula black.  She topped off this room with a gas range, contemporary appliances and new accent hardware.  These changes not only make the kitchen a very pleasing place to work, but extremely functional as well.

Now, let's see how she added her personal touches to the home and made it hers.

With interior design a second passion, Lorri went to work finding sources for all things contemporary and unique in the Dallas area.  "I always start with an inspiration piece, and that piece was a set of crane artwork in black/white accent colors, already in my possession."  Everything else, fell right into place.

From here, she began with layers in her chosen color scheme to tie the entire décor of the home together.  Lorri told me that "layering is somewhat signature in my designs, so if you don't like pillows, you won't like my style."

The foundation layer is this beautiful rug of muted shades that anchors the angled seating arrangement in the living room.  From here, she brings out the touches of golds and grays in various objects and accessories.  The thing that brings continuity to the home is that she continues this theme in various ways throughout the other rooms as well.

Lorri loves finding starving artists that speak her language which is contemporary and colorful.

She commissioned several pieces and designed around them.  Mixed with the contemporary furnishings are heirloom pieces that have been jazzed up or made to look like they belong with the otherwise newer styles.  In my eye, they bring character, warmth, and interest to a space.

The sunroom is where Lorri spends most of her time, since she has continued to be involved in the transition of the sale of her business, and it is here that you will find her favorite piece of furniture.

This marble inlaid desk is from India.  She said it is not only beautiful but functional, and I would think makes working a bit more pleasant.

Now, let's visit the bedrooms.  One of the secrets for using minimalism décor successfully is in adding pops of color through accessories.  Lorri has done this well, especially in her bedrooms.

The colorful bench is one of the heirlooms Lorri has that belonged to her mother.  In this room, she continues the black/white theme but has added the colorful fabric and brought out the touch of lime as an accent.

Lorri chose a lovely shade of coral to brighten up her own room.

The primary bedroom most reflects Lorri's personality, I think.
I asked her what she loves most about this room and her answer was, "It makes me feel like the queen I am."  I think that is exactly what a lady's bedroom should do, don't you?

This solid wood Art Deco chest is a recent purchase and was handmade in France.  It is such an anchoring piece to this otherwise feminine room.  This is the only room in the house with curtains and the filmy fabric definitely adds charm and femininity.

This heirloom clock was a wedding gift of her paternal grandparents and holds a place of honor.

What more could a lady ask for than luxurious bedding, a comfortable chaise and an elegant chandelier to make her feel like a queen?

Lorri explained how this large piece of art came to be the accent of her room.  When her daughter married, Lorri hosted the rehearsal dinner outdoors.  Her dream was to have this chandelier hanging over the bridal table, and she made it happen.

Both bathrooms were part of the inherited renovations and are lovely.  Of course, Lorri added her own touch with the light fixtures and accessories that blend with the rest of the home.

Another of her heirlooms is this fascinating "family tree' that belonged to Lorri's mother.

There are so many lessons of decorating found in how Lorri has lovingly furnished her home.  She has united her décor in the repetition of color, shapes, and styles.  She loves Art Deco and uses it in every room of the house.

This is not a test, but did you notice how many ways she incorporated  the gold/bronze and curves found in her inspirational paintings, throughout her home?  You probably wouldn't have because once established, your brain expects to see it.  But I can just tell you, too many to count.

Thank you, Lorri for inviting us into your lovely home and making us feel so special for having been here.

And, should you happen to be walking down her street, feel free to join the group meeting for fellowship, drinks and a Bridge game in her garage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Cheering Grieving Hodgepodge

Welcome back to our Wednesday Hodgepodge sponsored by From This Side of the Pond

Life is full of cheering and grieving, isn't it. We cheer the living and grieve for the lost; for the Christian we do both.

1.  It's National Wine Day (May 25) you like wine?  Red or white?  Dry or sweet?  Do you have a favorite?  Have you ever been to California wine country?  Or any other wine region?  What's a dish you make that calls for wine?

I am not a wine drinker.  I have tried both red and white; dry and sweet and really do not care for any of them enough to repeat.  Hence, no favorite.  We drink no other alcoholic drinks, so I guess I should say we just aren't drinkers at all.

We have been to California but not to wine country.  Texas has some lovely wine regions that we have visited with friends, where we dined and tasted.

We like to use white cooking wine in several recipes and keep it in the pantry.

2.  What's something you've whined about lately?

Not being able to walk due to a hip flexor issue, and not being able to work out in the pool because it's still too cool. Soon though, I will be whining about the heat.

3.  Last time you were 'wined and dined'?  Tell us about it.

Several months ago we were 'wined and dined' by a couple friend whose wedding Dick had performed.  It was a lovely evening in one of North Plano's finest.

4.  Three cheers for _________________

Granddaughter Cassidy celebrated her 26th birthday on Tuesday and we had a family celebration with the most adorable little baby boy who was actually the center of attention.

5.  This will be the last Hodgepodge in the month of May.  Somehow next Wednesday the calendar rolls into June.  Before we go though, sum up your May in twelve words or less.

Wonderful family visit, travel fun, rocking Landon, cool temps, loss and grief.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

This week my husband lost a classmate to a long battle with cancer.  

Our son lost his "brother/friend" in a freakish boating accident last weekend.  John and Charles (center of picture above - Charles's brother is behind him and our Christy is far left) were born less than a year apart and grew up as brothers playing in the same play pin as babies, involved in the same church activities from birth to college, played baseball together from pee wee to college.  To our children, his parents were Daddy Ray and Aunt Sarah.  So many great memories.

Sarah and Ray Norris were our first and best friends when we moved to Bastrop, LA in 1969 and Sarah remains one of our dearest friends.  Our hearts are broken for her and Charles's family and long list of friends.

Charles was a co-founder of the wonderful organization in South Central Texas, Cowboys 4 Heros.  It has done amazing work in that part of our state in supporting first-responders, and especially helping assist combat veterans and their families during the challenging transition from active duty to civilian life. Charles will be greatly missed, but with Memorial Day just ahead, he will be especially thought about.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome back to the weekly Hodgepodge where Joyce asks the questions and people from all over the globe join together to share their answers.

1.  What's something that makes you feel stressed?  How do you cope?

Uncertainty!  Whether it relates to relationships, tasks, or life in general, feeling that I am not in control of the situation, causes a bit of stress for me.  How do I cope?  I remind myself that I am actually not in control of anything except how I deal with not being in control.  Thankfully, I have a personal relationship with the ONE who is in control and knows all things.

2.  What's a food you eat that evokes a memory?  Explain.

Fried eggs.  Growing up, we had two terms to describe how we wanted our eggs fried.  My dad and I preferred "hard" and Mother and maybe a sister wanted theirs "soft".  I still prefer my eggs cooked "hard" with no runny yolk.

3.  This week's Hodgepodge lands on National Visit Your Relatives Day.  Will you celebrate by visiting a relative?  If so is travel involved?  Geographically, who is your nearest relative (not counting those living in your own house)?

I would love to think I would see this doll baby and his mom and dad, but not sure.  If so, a 15-20 minute drive would be called for.  Living nearest us is our daughter who is about 10 minutes away.

Perhaps you could say I celebrated this special day last week with a sweet visit with my middle sister.  You can read about it HERE

4.  What's your most frequently used emoji?  Do you make more phone calls, send more emails, or mainly text to communicate with friends and family?

A deep red heart that is only on my devices and not my laptop, so I can't show it to you.

My sisters and I communicate mostly by texts; our son is faithful to call with an occasional text; my daughter-in-love is a Snapchatter, so we stay in touch with that;

5.  Tell us the story behind a favorite piece of furniture.

It would be my Secretary.  It is part of our bedroom suit but I have always used it in the living room.  Currently, it mostly serves as my "office" but also makes a lovely piece of furniture when not in use.  It holds some of my favorite collectable figurines and old books.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of figurines, this is one of my most favorite.

It is a Vintage Capodimonte, signed Bruno Merli Italy titled "Tea Time."

Our July Great Grand, Jax Marcus was celebrated again this past weekend with a lovely shower given by McKenna's large family of aunts and cousins.
Aunt Vannah and Grandmother Mimsi were there to share in the festivities as well.  We are pretty sure he will be a big boy.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Lessons Learned on a May Road Trip

Following a six hour drive on Monday morning, we met my sister, Gin and her husband, Thomas for lunch at a small restaurant near the Atchafalaya River in South Louisiana.  This was probably the emotional highlight of the whole trip.  Let me explain.

As soon as Gin walked through the door, there was a loud "Miss Gingie!" from a young African American woman standing in the middle of the restaurant.  Immediately the two were embracing and talking at the same time.  Kenny Boo soon won out and the rest of us stood by watching and listening.

She began to remind Gin of all the unfortunate things from her past - her poor, neglected upbringing, having a baby at 15, her drug addiction, having her three children taken away from her.  Then she began thanking Gin for always standing by her, encouraging and believing in her.  They continued hugging and Gin would occasionally hold her cheeks and wipe away tears on Kenny Boo's face.  Once, she held Gin's hand and said, "Don't do that, these is good tears!"

Kenny Boo then so proudly told Gin that her oldest son is now in college, her middle child is a senior in high school with a 3.5 GPA and her youngest is a sophomore with a 4 pt. average.  She went on to tell the story of how God had recently helped her pass all her tests and made it possible for her to be hired in a full-time position at the local elementary school.  The whole time she is thanking Gin for all she had done for her.  I was also in tears.

For over 25 years, Gin owned and drove a school bus in her small predominantly African American village and surrounding area.  She touched so many lives and multiple generations of families.  Kenny Boo is only one of many who have thanked her for making a difference in their lives.

The amazing thing about this meeting is that before leaving home that morning, Gin had prayed and asked God to let her see someone from her past that day.  God had answered her prayer by placing a most radiant, joyful and grateful Kenny Boo right in the middle of a small café in South Louisiana.  God had also answered other prayers by giving us all the opportunity to witness the miracle of a changed life.  I have now given her a new name - Sunny Boo.

From here, we went to Baton Rouge to spend the night with long-time friends, Vicki and Marvin.  There was a lot of catching up to do and we so enjoyed sitting out on their back porch and watching the many birds and squirrels romping in the yard.

Tuesday morning was my six-month doctor appointment and excuse for the whole trip.  Thankfully, I got another good report.  Afterward, we visited Dick's cousin, Kenneth and Lynn in Port Allen and loved recalling experiences from the past and hearing updates on all their grandchildren and greats as well.

Tuesday night was spent in Lafayette, and should you be in the area, let me suggest you eat at Bon Temps Grill on Pinhook.

We both had the Fried Catfish Mon Dieu for dinner, which is a plate of the most delicious catfish bathed in spicy crayfish etouffee served on a bed of rice.

The next day for lunch, at the same place, we met Charlene, my first friend after Dick and I married and moved to New Iberia, LA in 1965.

It was worth a repeat.  Dick and Charlene wanted another serving of the catfish but the Praline Chicken Salad appealed to me.  Our visit was too short but it is always a joy to spend time with this precious friend.

From here we drove west to Orange, TX, where we had lived from 1967 - '69.  We had not been back since leaving there when I was 7 months pregnant with our first child, John.  We wanted to see the house we had lived in and the church where we had served.

This was the sweet little house where we spent two wonderful years and conceived a baby.

And this was my massive head of teased hair back then.

One lesson learned:  Don't try to go back 55 years and expect things to be as you remember them.  By the way, the church has been long gone.

Needless to say, we didn't linger in Orange and have no reason to ever return.  We happily headed south west toward Galveston, with hopes of enjoying the Gulf Coast.

Our first glimpse of the water and waves was so refreshing and whetted our appetite for more.

The houses built on stilts reminded us that we were definitely in hurricane country.

The only access to the Island where Galveston sits, from this direction is by an 18 minute ferry ride.

After checking into our hotel, we agreed that we hadn't spent enough time in the car yet, and a drive further down the coast line was in order.

Along this stretch, there were so many beautiful homes, all built on steel pilings to ride out the storms.  Many reminded me of expensive stilettos.  The thing we noticed though was there were no cars around most of these opulent homes, so obviously these are play places for the rich Houstonites.

We saw this public access walk to the beach and decided that was exactly where we needed to go.

We were not disappointed!

The only other people there was a couple doing a bikini photoshoot.  I steered Dick as far away as I could, but decided to try my own version of a sexy pose.

Needless to say, it fell way short of anything remotely sexy.

This scene of seagulls flew right overhead, backdropped by the amazing partially cloud-covered sun.  We agreed that another lesson learned is doing something unplanned can be rewarding for many reasons.

Another unplanned experience was to eat a most delicious pizza in our car before going back to the hotel.  Lesson learned:  Gulf Coast birds are smart and feel entitled to share what you are eating.

This fellow found the whole process interesting and promising for leftovers.  It was fun watching him close-up until an ugly brown bird landed on my side mirror and attempted to share my pizza slice.  My scream ended that idea.

The final lesson learned  was to avoid driving the length of the state of Texas on any major highways and to avoid Houston and Dallas at all costs.  Of course the downfall for us is that neither could be avoided.  We made it home only by the grace of God!

This road trip has satisfied our desire for travel for the time being.  The next big one will be to Northern Indiana in late July to meet our 2nd great grandson, Jax Marcus.

We will be ready!