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Showing posts with label masdeu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label masdeu. Show all posts

7/17/09

HOME DECOR: Some of my favorite things....

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things with you. I soon discovered I had far too many to put into one post... but here are a few and I'll share more later. I would love to discover your favorite things, too. What are the things that delight, intrigue and inspire you? Please leave me a note about your favorite things in 'comments' at the end of this article. I am so looking forward to learning what you love!
(enlarge a photo for a closer look by clicking on it)
ALL THINGS APOTHECARY
What is it about that word that is so intriguing? Lets start with Apothecary chests. All those little drawers. Such nice straight lines -
I can't think of a style that an apothecary chest cannot fit into nicely.

They go equally well with contemporary or traditional. My personal favorite would be one that was time worn, a little abused, with a patina of age upon it. Much like myself! Ha!

Turquoise furniture - you have to admit is a little magical. I don't know where I would put one, but I may just have to find a place for a little turquoise in my life. This chest has nice legs. (I used to have nice legs..... sighhhhh.) This chest (below) from Pottery Barn http://www.potterybarn.com/ is actually a clever little cupboard. The top row of working drawers is followed by cabinet doors that only look like little drawers. Put two of these side by side and you have a very nice console for a hall or entry. I love the distressed finish.
This smaller chest, from JC Penny http://www.jcpenny.com/ would look terrific as a bedside table.
This apothecary plus bookshelf unit is a reproduction of an antique. Finishes like this are great for homes with little kids and big dogs. A few more dings or scratches just add to the patina. Of course if its chipped, frayed, rusted, cracked or peeling, I am probably going to love it.
This little dove grey apothecary chest fits nicely into the role of occasional table.
And then there are the apothecary jars. So versatile. Also equally at home in traditional or contemporary settings. They look great empty or can be great opportunities to add color or texture to any room.
This bronze trimmed apothecary is from http://www.saladotex.com/ . There are a variety of places to find the glass jars, and I have found many at discount stores such as HomeGoods, Marshalls, TaiPan Trading, Shinoda, Steinmart, etc., you just have to keep your eye out for them. Pier 1 has also carried them. You can pay more for them if you want. Many higher end home and decor stores also carry them - at twice the price.
I love their versatility for seasonal decor. This one filled with vintage ornaments will add sparkle and color wherever it is placed.
This is one of my very favorite uses for apothecary jars - terrariums. Plants, moss, stones - look wonderful inside these vessels. They work, too. You do need to have one large enough for the pebbles, charcoal, soil and plants to fit into.
If you need a splash of color - faux fruit is a good filler. While we are here ... don't you just LOVE LEMONS? I love their shape, smell, color and most foods containing lemons. The smell of their blossoms ... heavenly. I actually had my ears pierced in the Samoan islands with a lemon thorn when I was a teenager. I felt very brave - I made them numb my ear with ice first, though. The thorn was pushed into and through the ear, then broken - leaving a little stick in my ear which I had to swab with coconut oil and twist several times daily as it healed. Somewhere along the way the thorn was replaced with earrings.
Now a machine pierces the ear and pops the earring in all at once.
Sooo much easier - but not as nice smelling as the coconut oil.So, back to the subject.... apothecary jars. None of those in Samoa.
This is a cute and easy idea for Halloween, using flower frogs. I am sure pebbles would work just as well to keep the cards propped up.
Keeping to the 3 letter word format, you could also use EEK.
ANYTHING PROVENCE
I know that Tuscany is the look that is all the rage right now, but my heart belongs to Provence. That french countryside/vineyard look with the stone floors, plastered walls, and earthenware pottery alongside fine antiques, polished pewter, iron chandeliers and crystals - well, it makes me swoon a little. I love the contrasts of something fine alongside something a little primitive and timeworn. I love the french sense of style along with the simplicity of provence.
This art print is a perfect example - the slightly crumbling chateau with formal style gardens.
There are so many things I like about this print by Montserrat Masdeu. The gently decaying old french chateau, the boxwood edged garden, the cyprus trees, the way it draws you into the picture, makes you want to walk up that pathway to the house and see what is inside... I could live there -- provided it was located in Southern California. You can see more art and images by Masdeu on http://www.art.com/ .
A GOOD YEAR
I can't talk about french chateaus, provence and vineyards without telling you about a lovely little film "A Good Year". It is charming, it is romantic, it is about recognizing the good things in life and best of all, it is set in Provence at a 'decaying chateau'. It is a favorite of mine. Not only is the story delightful, but the second time through I nearly wore out the pause button while I poured over the authentic rooms, furnishings, draperies, walls, pots and grounds of the estate. I could also live there - provided it was in So Cal.

VINTAGE BOOKS WITH ILLUSTRATED COVERS
Around the turn of the 19th century (1900-1925) these clothbound books with elaborate cover art and gold leaf accents were plentiful. Now they are very difficult to find. This cover is in the art nouveau style - which was very elaborate and organic - a lot of florals and women with long flowing hair... The books are beautiful and I am proud to say I have found a few of these treasures over the years and always have a eye out for others.

I want a wall like this in my bedroom. I think it would look amazing behind my mahogany 4 poster bed - the dark carved bed in front of a stone and mortar wall that looks like its been there for hundreds of years. Top it with crystal pendants hanging over the bedside tables on each side and you have me swooning! Love that turquoise door, too.
OLD ENGLISH ROSES
Or any rose with an obsene amount of petals. Some have over 100 petals on one rose, and because they haven't been over hybridized for long straight stems, they still have amazing scent.
This one smells incredible - like roses and apples. It is called 'Abraham Darby' and is a softly pink and white ruffled confection with centers of peach. One of my very very favorite. You can find it at nurseries - Laguna Hills Nursery for example - during the rose season. Or view it and more at http://www.davidaustinroses.com/
I love love LOVE Eden roses. Another favorite.
ILLUSTRATIVE ART
I love art that tells a story. Even though you may not be familiar with the fairy tale this illustration by Kay Nielsen refers to, your mind creates its own story as you are drawn into this painting - the deep dark woods, the one little whimsical tree, the maiden - alone and in sorrow... Kay Nielsen was a scandinavian artist. His work was detailed and often had a definite art deco feel to it. He is one of my favorite artist/illustrators.
Kay Nielsen is no longer with us, but James Christensen is a contemporary artist (and was also my sister's college art teacher) who has the same ability to capture the essence of the story in his art. This piece is the story of the 10 lepers, who after being miraculously healed, ran off rejoicing, celebrating and completely wrapped up in themselves - forgetting the Healer. All, that is, except for one, who hesitated and then returned to thank Him.
How many of us go about our lives and fail to see the miracles around us?
So, those are a few of my favorite things... sounds kind of like a song...
I would love to hear about the things you love... so please, click on 'comments' below and tell me what you find lovely, delightful and what makes you swoon...
As always, my best to you
Claudine