Decorating the Mantel

I forgot what its like to survive the holiday season with a puppy. Maybe a better description of wee Angus, would be a furry wrecking ball. The challenge of decorating has definitely moved up a notch.  It’s as if I’m caught up in a “Mission: Impossible” dream. Should I choose to accept the mission, no telling what will self destruct within 5 seconds.

Plaid bunting inspired from 58 Water Street

Plaid bunting inspired from 58 Water Street

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Fall Tour

Last weekend, I scattered snippets of orange shades around the house pretending that fall had arrived. Fall decorating is actually a cinch in our house, with the warm colors of the mahogany wood floors and the cherry cabinets.  Even our walls complement the earth tones with Town Hall Tan by Sherwin-Williams.  The color starts in the entry, and wraps around the corner to the kitchen and breakfast areas, ending at the patio door.


Cut glass and pinecones


It’s as if the house was intended for fall decorating, with the addition of a few accessories and pumpkins, it becomes tour worthy.  We begin the tour in the entry, with a large deep orange arrangement  of rose hips. Under the table, I nestled a few baby pumpkins in a basket. I just love the character of real pumpkins.


Fall Tour




In one of my favorite chairs sits a Pottery Barn pillow, I picked up during the summer.  The light background blends in perfectly in the living room, but I like it in the family room. The orange geometric stitching adds a layer of interest to the solid cream wing-back chair.


Cream wing back chair with Pottery Barn pillow


A comfy striped throw was draped across the wood armchair.  I found it at Williams-Sonoma last year in the clearance basket. It’s actually a tablecloth, but I had a better purpose in mind. The soft fall shades and heavy feel of the fabric seemed better suited as a throw, than a tablecloth.


Inviting fall shades and one of my favorite chairs


Soft fall shades from Williams-Sonoma



Pumpkins on the mantle


The mantel has a simple row of orange pumpkins lined up for inspection.


Twig pumpkin mixed in with vase filler

Nesting on top of the orange vase filler is a little twig pumpkin.


View of the kitchen


Flea market find with candles


Turning to view the opposite side of the room, is the kitchen. The best accent colors in the kitchen are cream, navy and yellow, which are also the shades found in the granite counter top. I found the vintage wooden box at the Canton Flea Market a few years ago. It’s a versatile container and perfect for storing candles.


White pumpkin

Balancing out the orange and brown tones is a large creamy pumpkin on the bar. It’s simple and perfectly shaped.


White pumpkin


When I shop for pumpkins, I look for those with a good stem and when I’m lucky, I find one with a curly vine still attached.   So delicate, yet strong, nature never ceases to fascinate me! Sometimes it takes a while to find the perfect one or two or ten, so take your time and enjoy.

Thank you for taking the fall tour!



What’s Old is New Again

We love to hear stories of the cute and innocent things we did as children.  I remember my mom telling me, when I was five, my Sunday school teacher Charlotte asked me where I got my beautiful dress.  I told her matter-of-factly, my mother made it from one of her old suits that was out of style.  Evidently, Charlotte was very impressed with the sophisticated rich colors of the woven tweed and beautiful buttons made into a smart-looking jumper. After church she made a point of complimenting my mother on her resourcefulness.  My mother said she was a little embarrassed over the whole thing, especially when her friend kept going on and on about it! She wasn’t upset with me of course, for telling the truth.  After all, we were at church!

My mom did have an amazing talent for stretching a small budget. My “what’s old is new again” is almost as clever and I didn’t spend a dime.

After combing through a couple of fabric stores, looking for fabric to recover the cushion on the newly painted wicker chair, I came back empty-handed.  Determined to find the right material, I started going through the linen closet and discovered a euro sham I saved from Pottery Barn.

The sham hardly looked used, so I saved it after the last master bedroom update.  Now it has a new purpose.

Fitting sham to cushion

Fitting sham to cushion

I decided to approach this project just like the slip cover I made for the love seat.

The sham was turned inside out and the cushion was inserted. After centering the cushion inside and pinning the opening closed across the center, I proceeded to pin all around the edge.

After stitching around the edge the extra fabric is trimmed away.

After stitching around the edge the extra fabric is trimmed away.


Then I carefully removed the cushion and sewed where the pins marked the outline of the cushion.

Next, I carefully cut away the extra fabric.

In order to make the corners look fitted I made a little triangle, pinned it in place, then ran a seam across each corner.

Sandy under the guest bed watching

Sandy under the guest bed watching me taking photos.

Cushion finished

Cushion finished

The cushion with its coordinating fabric is reversible but I favor the small stripes. Velcro (my trade secret) was used to hold the opening in place and navy buttons finished the project.

Wicker chair after paint update and a slip covered cushion.

Wicker chair after new paint and a slip covered cushion.

The slip covered cushion completes the chair. One step closer to finishing the guest room!

Check out the before picture of the wicker chair in the post Color Refined.


Gray Area

Gray area guest room

Gray area guest room

Two weeks ago, I decided to move the guest room upstairs. When I shared my plan with the husband he looked at me like I had asked him to raise the roof for a third floor addition.  Men!

Moving the bed upstairs was the first step.  I won’t go into the details but these are the things that can test a relationship!  Luckily, no one broke a leg or anything exciting like that!

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