I love white dishes. I love the simplicity, the cleanliness, and the versatility. When I first got married, I had a floral, patterned set of dishes but when I started getting really into cooking and went to culinary school, I found out that food looks much better on white plates (this is why almost all restaurants serve their food on white dishes). Soon after that is when I started collecting white ironstone, so it just made sense to have everyday dishes that were white as well. I coordinate the vintage collectibles with the new purchases all the time, and what’s great is, everything works together! I even love the different whites. The vintage ironstone is everything from white all the way to antique cream but the different shades add texture and interest, I think. And I’m particularly fond of white dishes and ironstone in a white kitchen.
I am still working on re-doing the fabrics in my family room, switching out the accent color of the room from red to blue (you can read about it in this post here). But since I am not done yet, and really want to be, I’m feeling such a craving for blue and white, I can hardly stand it! I’ve been seeing it everywhere, from Pottery Barn, to Pinterest, to photos on Instagram! It is such a refreshing color scheme, like a palate cleanser after a heavy meal. And it feels especially appropriate right now during the summer months. I almost feel cooler just looking at it! Almost… 😉
Antique lanterns are something I’ve been smitten with for awhile now. I first fell in love with them when this kitchen was featured in a magazine a few years ago. I didn’t even realize that they were originally French outdoor lanterns, I just knew that I loved them!
I first discovered antique cheese slabs when I saw them in a shelter magazine many years ago. For some time afterwards, I kept looking and looking in antique stores and at flea markets, but to no avail. I didn’t even know what they were called at the time. How naive I was! These antique dairy slabs are incredibly rare, and unbelievably expensive, with originals selling for literally thousands of dollars. Once I found out how rare they were, it all made sense. No wonder I never came across any! And if I had, I certainly would have been shocked to learn how valuable they were. Originally, they were used to display dairy products, “cheese” or “butter”, etc, in English groceries over a century ago. They have since grown in popularity, and of course, this has driven up the prices.
French Demijohns. I’m sure you’ve seen them. In the last couple of years, they have grown in popularity, to the point where even Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have sold them. Ballard Designs even had a reproduction version. The word “demijohn” is a corruption of the word “damejeanne”, a term used for a large, globular bottle, usually covered in wicker. It is thought that perhaps its shape suggested a stout woman in the costume of the period. Wherever the term came from, they are large, narrow necked antique or vintage bottles, usually from France, that were used to store wine. They come in clear or different shades of green, sometimes covered in wicker, sometimes not. Often times the wine name was painted on the outside, or written on small paper labels (love that!) I first saw them in the magazine Country French a few years ago, and I fell in love. They are charming. And for me, they have a special connection since my husband and I love wine so much. I especially love filling them with corks.
We have been due for new carpet for several years now (too many, actually). We should have done hardwoods in the entire house when we bought 15 years ago, but we were gutting almost everything and in order to try to save a little, we did the hardwoods in the entry way, family room and kitchen areas, while settling for carpet in both the living room and dining rooms and the upstairs. I know, wall to wall carpet is horrible. No one is more aware of this than I! But even worse, is that when we re-finished the existing hardwoods 3 years ago, we chose not to add the hardwoods to the downstairs areas (we didn’t consider the upstairs as my husband was afraid it would be too loud and not as cozy). Again, the refinishing was expensive and we were trying to save money…. Cut to now. The carpet is old and needs to be replaced. I would love to have wood in the entire house, but at this point, with so much else to do, I would settle for carpet in the upstairs and just adding the hardwoods downstairs. But of course, it’s not that easy! We would most likely need to re-finish the floors again in order to match the rest of the downstairs, and that adds even more cost to an already costly item. So… I’m thinking wall to wall seagrass! I had never heard of that until a couple of years ago when I read about it on the blog Cote de Texas. Apparently, it is very big in Texas! But here in California, I had only seen seagrass as an area rug, never wall to wall. But I have to say, it is the perfect solution. It’s way better than carpet, is very inexpensive, and honestly, I love the look. (Wish I had known about them when I was buying carpet 15 years ago!) The texture is great (love adding texture to a room), and I love the way they take down the dressiness of a living or dining area. Also, since I already have seagrass rugs in the nearby breakfast area and family room, it will tie together nicely, I think. Here are some of the rooms that have inspired me…