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…
I’m not sure when my love affair with white ironstone started, but I do know that when I remodeled my kitchen four years ago, I had already started collecting and putting it aside for the new room. For those of you not familiar with ironstone, it is antique pottery originally made in the United Kingdom. It was developed in the 19th century by potters in Staffordshire, England as a cheaper, mass-produced alternative to porcelain. Originally made in transferware patterns, beginning in the 1840s, British potteries created white ironstone for the American market where undecorated tableware was popular.
I have a confession to make. I have never liked blue in decorating. Oh, I wear blue, and it’s cute in my little boy’s room, but whenever I saw blue in a living space, I just didn’t love it. Perhaps it’s because my parent’s house was blue for many years (every room, mind you!) but for whatever reason, it was just not something that spoke to me. My family room/kitchen area is neutrals and cream with pops of red, and it has been like that for quite awhile now. Red toile curtains, red toile chairs, red checked roman shade and a few red striped and/or floral pillows on the cream couches. And I have always loved it. It is fresh and cheerful, and it looks great at Christmas. That is, I loved it until recently. I don’t know what happened, but I sort of woke up one day and thought, “I cannot look at this red for one more day!” I know blue is a huge trend in decorating. And of course, I’ve been seeing a ton of it; in blogs, in catalogs, on websites and on Pinterest. But I’ve certainly seen trends I didn’t follow before. And I’ve certainly seen blue photos that never spoke to me before. But now…..