Independence Day Holiday

Taking the weekend off to celebrate the 4th of July.

With best wishes to all for freedom and independence around the world. And with thanks to California-made Fireclay Tile for providing a great Independence Day collage that celebrates the red, white and blue of the American flag.… Continue Reading

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French Bistro Shelves

French Bistro shelves are making cameo appearances on kitchen islands and counters.

Like most shelving in the kitchen, these traditional French bistro shelves have a specific character which can make them a great accessory. Long used in restaurants  for displaying food, wines or collectibles they also were partial screens to block certain lines of sight while at the same time revving up appetites.

In home kitchens — particularly on an island — bistro shelves may be focal points if not conversation pieces. The glass shelving is transparent, so what goes on the shelves is showcased by the metal support posts. The bottoms can be separate metal disks like the lightly scaled set in a Florida estate kitchen decorated by Yawn Design [top].… Continue Reading

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Colorful Mudrooms

Colorful mudrooms — even when the color is neutral — offer a hint of personality in the entryway of a house.

For a long time most mudrooms I saw were white, just like kitchens. As places to house boots, hats, umbrellas, jackets, dog leashes and assorted other outdoor gear the use of white made them a bit fussy for me. In addition to color, a mudroom (or boot room) by definition serves a function. In a way it’s a glorified closet but a public one. Elaborate woodwork is not always required. Even a small space can benefit from a shelf rack with pegs and a storage bench like the ones from a U.K.… Continue Reading

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Marie Antoinette Armchair

On Thursday, July 9, an armchair belonging to the last queen of France— Marie-Antoinette — will be sold at public auction by Christie’s in London.

Marie Antoinette’s exquisite armchair, a bergère, features an arched back and padded scrolling arms. It is said to be the only surviving armchair (fauteuil en bergère) from the most expensive suite of furniture that belonged to the French queen. The entire set of 16 chairs (8 armchairs and 8 side chairs) cost 20,000 livres when they were ordered in 1780. (The livre was the French currency from medieval times until 1795, when it was replaced with the Franc).… Continue Reading

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Million Dollar Decorator Bedrooms

Bedrooms by famous decorators, like these by Martin Lawrence Bullard, are tailored to each client — at least on the surface.

That’s certainly true of four bedrooms by Million Dollar Decorator star Martin Lawrence Bullard whose work I first saw on the Bravo TV show. The series I caught showed Mr. Bullard decorating the New York home of Jimmy Choo shoe queen Tamara Mellon. One highlight was the episode where a massive piece of stone for the top of the dining room table was hoisted into her townhouse by a crane set up in the street. Last year, Ms. Mellon filed a lawsuit against the decorator, as reported by TMZ.Continue Reading

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7 Outdoor Home Décor Ideas

Summer’s here — prime time for outdoor home décor projects to do yourself or hire out.

This year my outdoor home décor projects have been very modest because two long cold winters created so much work in the flowerbeds. But the rotting doors on our shed were replaced. Plus I found an hour to refresh my antique iron porch chair and umbrella stand with spray paint. But I’ve been busy looking around to see what else might be feasible. Apart from the bbq, our patio is bare.

#1 Swinging Porch Bed. My front porch is, unfortunately, not deep enough for a swinging porch bed like the whitewashed one [top] installed in the Southern Living Idea House.… Continue Reading

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