Spotlight on art – picture lights

Hi Everyone, happy Wednesday.  I missed a week…summer doldrums.  Don’t hate me, but I’m ready for fall.  I always am this time of year.  Mother Nature turns up the furnace around here during August and into September, and I’m always ready for a cool breeze and chilly evening.  How about you?  Looking forward to turtle necks and hot cocoa?  Too soon?  :-)

I’ve been collecting prints, posters and framed art of all kinds for years.  I can be fickle and as a result of this variability, haven’t spent huge dollars on much of what I own. That hasn’t stopped me from loving what I do buy and I started some years ago finding myself looking for original paintings, vintage or otherwise.

Along the way I developed an appreciation for art lights, not because they needed to shine on my Monet or van Gogh {as if} but more because I appreciate the soft light they emit, not only on the painting, but the mellow light they transfer to a room.

Today I’d like to share with you not only my own art lights, but those on some paintings in rooms that I think are inspiring.

This painting was purchased at an antique store in San Juan Capistrano, probably 15-20 years ago.  I still like it, which surprises even me.  When we had some electrical work done to the house, the electrician installed a recessed plug to accommodate the art light.  {We use this light when we’re going out for the evening to shine as a night light when we get home}. I apologize for the washed out look of this photograph…my weakest link {photography}. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Picture lights

This little painting is a transfer painting that a friend made for me years ago.  The original painting is by Sir Henry Raeburn, titled Reverend Robert Walker.  It holds a spot in my heart because of the friend that gave it to me, and because I like the subject… the reverend gliding along the ice on his skates, in his top hat and coat!

Garden, Home and Party: Art lights

The painting above our mantle is illuminated by a light called a fish eye.  It’s mounted in the ceiling and on a dimmer.  The painting came from a shop that sold student paintings for a very affordable price.  All it needs is a British flag and it would be perfect in my eyes.

Garden, Home and Party: Art lights

So, on to some of the lovelies that I’ve saved to my files…rooms that are wonderful, and for the purpose of this post, happen to have art lights used for art or general lighting.

I absolutely adore art in kitchens. I talked about it HERE. The orange and cherries still life paintings are perfect for the kitchen and I like the art light above.

Garden, Home and Party: Art lights

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This inviting space features a nautical theme with the painting over the fireplace, as well as the ship over the sofa.

Garden, Home and Party: Art lights

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The use of art lighting over a bookcase has been of interest to me for some time.  I like the illumination it provides, just enough light.  Maybe someday.

Garden, Home and Party: art lights

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Then there’s this creative art light.  The talented Kristine of The Painted Hive came up with the conversion of a desk lamp, doing double duty as an art light.  Read how to achieve this HERE.

Garden, Home and Party: art lights

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Leslie over at Gwen Moss is currently refurbishing their new (to them) home.  She featured some inspiration featuring (which she always supplies) home office space.  I love this little charmer!

Garden, Home and Party: Art lights

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I saved this image from a post by Joni at Cote de Texas.  I didn’t save the post date, sorry.  I like the modern feel to this room, yet the vintage painting with its art lighting warms the space for me.

Garden, Home and Party: art lights

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I admire the bold  paint color {below}.  I especially love the pair of paintings flanking the fireplace.

Garden, Home and Party: art lights

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The incredibly talented Mary Ann of Classic Casual Interiors posted one of her recent jobs for a client.  This charming picture and picture light caught my eye.  Such a pretty lamp.

Garden, Home and Party: art lights

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What do you think?  Do you, or would you ever, have a light over a not so “important” piece of art?

Knock, knock, who’s there?

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Door knockers have been used to symbolize everything from hospitality to good luck to warding off bad spirits, so although intricate door knockers are popular nowadays, the origins of that knocker may be something far more regal than it simply ‘looking nice’ on the door.

When we first moved into our current house, the realtor who sold us the house gave us a personalized door knocker as a thank you for your business gift.  I enjoyed the hearty sound it made when people knocked on our door.  Some years ago we replaced our set of double doors with a single door and sidelights and made the single door a dutch door and never reinstalled the door knocker.

Garden, Home and Party: Door knockers

I miss not having a door knocker.  They were prevalent in London, and in various villages of the Cotswolds when we visited, and I love their old world charm.

So, while in search of a topic to share with you all, I discovered I have created a file titled “door knockers”. Who knew?!  Some of these are charming all by themselves, others are on incredible doors, making for great curb appeal.  Enjoy…

Who wouldn’t like this pair of beautiful doors.  I wonder if that is mirrored glass or just the light reflecting off the panes?

Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

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This beauty [below] was taken by Debra of 5th and State, during one of her trips to England.  She hosts tours of England and France.  Maybe one day…

Garden, Home and Party

{5th and State, photograph by Debra}

This seems to be a classic design for door knockers, and I love the laurel wreath and the address number—all on a wonderful black door.

Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

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This pretty door knocker is available at Amazon for unbelievably little $$$.  I love the bronzed/rusty-looking finish.

Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

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If I ever move to Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod,or any beach area, this would be high on the list of possible door knockers.

Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

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A lion head door knocker is classic.  I love this entry.  Of course the blue and white porcelain urns and ivy topiaries have something to do with my admiration. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

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the classic is back for his close up…

Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

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Just as a side note, doesn’t this door [below] seem to have a mail slot in an inconvenient location.

Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

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Garden, Home and Party:  Door  knockers

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Garden, Home and Party:  Door Knockers

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Garden, Home and Party: Door knockers

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Garden, Home and Party: Door Knockers

Do you have a door knocker on your front door?

 

Vignettes and their contribution to a room

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Garden, Home and Party: Vignettes

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Let’s face it, there are so many details that can make or break a room’s appeal.  Details that draw us in, can be (and usually are) different for each of us.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and such.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignettes

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A stunning antique piece, a window with special detailing, beams in a ceiling, and accessories are my hot buttons.  More specifically, a great vignette can pull me in like a tracktor beam on Star Trek.

Garden, Home and Party:  Vignettes

Some people are so talented at achieving this magic, that I forget to look at the rest of the room.  Here are a few examples I’ve amassed over the past few months…

Garden, Home and Party: Vignettes

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An interesting grouping of items can give a room sparkle, make you want to know more about the people that live there.  These items can be collections or simply an attractive arrangement of flowers, books and a lamp.

Any room with blue and white accents is already ahead of the pack, in my book…

I love the use of coral and shells.  Add nature of any kind to the mix and I tend to take special notice.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignettes

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Alison of The Polohouse does such a beautiful job with each tabletop and shelf in her lovely home.  Her vignettes are always of interest.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignettes

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I tend to rotate my own accessories throughout my house on a regular basis.  Seasons, and a need for change, these reasons excuses keep me restless where my tabletop vignettes are concerned. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Vignette

Garden Home and Party: Vignette

Even a chippy bathroom shelf, when decoratively adorned with essentials, can be all the charm a bathroom needs.

Jermaine, of French Kissed has a style that I attempt to emulate.  She has a way with collecting, and displaying nature’s treasures and antique pieces that has always inspired me with my own vignettes.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignette

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This particular tabletop vignette [below] is a favorite.  The porcupine quill lamp shade, the blue and white porcelain vase with blue hydrangea, and the 2 wooden boxes…simplicity is an appealing factor when accessorizing. Less is more, right?

Garden, Home and Party: Vignette

I believe I got this image from the Barbara Wesbrook Workbook, but I cannot find the exact photograph.  Visit her Workbook newsletter, you won’t regret it. Her talents are teamed with talented folks that she interviews and features.

I love this shiney and bright mercury glass display—I believe it’s a holiday season display but I think I like it for its cheery brightness.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignette

{Pinterest}

Another favorite, is the talented Heather Bullard, contributing editor for Country Living Magazine.  Her stylings are always perfect and obviously, she applies her talents to her own home.  Visit her site, you’ll love the recipes and ideas you pick up during a visit.  There seems to be a nature-theme to my favorites, doesn’t there?

Garden, Home and Party: Vignettes

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 Marian of Miss Mustard Seed can turn any homely piece of furniture into a treasure, and she’s a skilled stylist.  I love the vignettes she shares from her home and her studio.  She’s got her own line of paints and inspires many of us to convert Aunt Ingrid’s hutch into a fresh, country cupboard.  I always come away from her posts with wonderful ideas for arranging collectibles.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignette

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The next image, while really a harvest display, comes from a site that no longer posts…and George.  They operate a store that sells antiques and one of a kind furniture and decorative accessories.  You can visit the webpage and you will see what beautiful items they offer as well as the displays they create.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignette

{Christy Ford photograph}

Open shelving is tremendously popular right now, when I spot a grouping like this, I want to rip out upper cabinets and install shelves to hold a variety of lovelies.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignette

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Is the arrangement of collections something you gravitate towards?

One last thing, if you haven’t read Dear Carolina yet, there is still time left during the summer reading season.  Kristy’s book is such an uplifting, feel good story.

Garden, Home and Party: Vignettes

Life of a homeowner – laundry day

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Garden, Home and Party: Laundry Rooms

Note to self: I might be in need of a new exterior shot of our house…this is slightly dated and taken when the Lace Cascade climber (rose) was not in bloom.  Still, you get the idea of what the front of our house looks like.

We have lived in our home for 33 years.  Hard to believe that I’ve lived in this house longer than in any home I’ve ever lived in, even though I was in the same home from preschool through high school.  Hmmm, don’t do the math on this, okay?

Anyway, anyone one who has owned or rented a house understands that things age and break, or they break for no reason!  Just about the time you think everything has been upgraded and looks great, something will gasp for its last breath, and die.  A couple months ago it was our washing machine.

The good news is that the old machine lasted 12 years without a single repair call.  So we decided rather than calling for a repair man we’d simply shop for a more energy efficient model and start fresh.  The state of California is offering a rebate for energy- efficient appliances, so this helped with the sticker shock.  {If  you’re interested we bought an LG top loader and after 2 months of use, I love it}

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry Rooms

The point of this post…I want to share some dream laundry rooms with you.  Our 1968-built tract house happens to relegate the washer and dryer to the garage.  I’m sure to some of you that’s like saying we have outdoor plumbing! {I guess technically the garage could be considered “outdoor”} It’s always been okay for me since it keeps the hot air from the dryer in the garage during the warmer months, and our house is a single story so it’s not much work to haul the laundry out to the garage to wash and dry our clothing and linens. I’m always looking for the silver lining in any less-than-ideal situation. :-)

I want to start with a laundry room makeover that made me wish Mr. B. and I were more handy than either of us are!

Jenna Sue Laundry Room Reveal  —  if you love before and after stories, you’re in for a treat.

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry Rooms

Isn’t this dazzling?  If you read the list of what she and her Mister did to accomplish this, you’ll be even more impressed.  Love the barn door!

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry Rooms

If I had an actual indoor laundry room I’d be tempted to get a front loading machine and put a smooth surface across the top.  This example (below) is great and with an utility sink centered between the washer and dryer, you’d have everything you need.

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry Rooms

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The beauty of this laundry room is it does double-duty as a mud room.  I like the fresh flowers to soften the tedium that laundry day can sometimes be.

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry rooms

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I’m guessing a large family lives here…why else would you want two washers and two dryers?  Still, such a pretty room with the wall sconces and fresh plants.  I could love laundry-day in this space.

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry rooms

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From my first visit to my friend’s house on Bainbridge Island (Linda), I have loved the idea of a stacked washer and dryer.  Such a space saver and in this instance, the black and white contrast is very pretty.

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry Rooms

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If your indoor laundry room was somewhat out in the open, this would be a cool idea. Cupboard doors designed to accommodate/hide the washer and dryer.

nest egg july 2011

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This would be essential if I had the option of a utility sink in a laundry room. The sink has jets so that you can do delicates in a controlled washing arrangement. How great is that?!

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry rooms

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The last thing I wanted to share with you on laundry day is this clever way to dispense your liquid laundry soap.  If you buy your liquid laundry detergent from the big box stores, you know it’s a little like weight lifting to put detergent in your washer.  This would make things not only look pretty, but you can save weight lifting for the gym!

Garden, Home and Party: Laundry rooms

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Do you enjoy doing laundry?  What about ironing? It would take more than a pretty room to get me to the place where I could state without perjury that “I love to iron”

 

 

Gardening through a drought, Part II

For those of you who are first time visitors—we live in Southern California.  We’re in the 4th year of a drought.  It’s serious.  I posted some early research on plants that are drought tolerant.  To be honest, I haven’t plunged into planting because the garden seems dismal to me right now and I’m optimistic that El Niño will rescue us from this depressing condition!

That said, I’ve soldiered on in my quest for drought tolerant plant material that I could live with.  I’m not a fan of a desert landscape and my goal was to find plants that could almost mimic an English garden, but not require much water.  Before you laugh so hard you can’t read the rest of my post, there are a surprising number, of what I consider lush, green, blooming plants, that would lend beauty to any garden and they aren’t very thirsty.

Garden, Home and Party: Drought II

I’m going to start with two plants that Cindy of the fabulous Rough Luxe blog left with me in comments.  She followed up with a post on her drought tolerant garden, located in California, that requires very little irrigation.  The two plants she recommended are incredible and will be the first things I buy for the back yard when I order.  They are Nepeta Faassenii

This beauty requires full sun or morning sun, afternoon shade and works for zones 4-9. It blooms late spring to late summer—that works for me.  It’s considered waterwise.  Maybe it will impart some wisdom to the plants around it. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Drough II

The second plant that Cindy recommended and I like the looks of is Teucrium

Garden, Home and Party: Drought II

Teucrium chamaedrys -This evergreen or deciduous subshrub is grown for its attractive, dark green aromatic foliage and its light pink to deep purple flowers, which blossom in summer and early fall. This garden workhorse can be used in troughs, containers, low hedges, knot gardens, rock gardens, or as edging…encouraging, right?  But wait, there’s more…

This is a plant we used in our landscape jobs a lot.  It was for those who wanted pretty flowers but didn’t want to do very much work in their garden.  Mexican Sage.  The great thing about this plant is that you can trim it back if it gets too big for surrounding garden and it happily returns within a matter of a few weeks, blooming and happy. (Note: this is Southern California conditions, no frost here).

Garden, Home and Party: Drought II

You may be wondering what I’m going to do for contrast in the color palate, since I have selected pinks and purples so far.  I hope that my Iceberg shrub roses (white) can continue thriving (so far, so good).

The next plant on my list is Yarrow (achillea) which comes in a variety of colors.  Good in zones 3-9.  The appeal for this plant, besides its low water needs, is that you can divide it every few years and make more plants for other areas of your garden and it attracts butterflies.  The plant that gives back! :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Drought II

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A surprise to me as far as drought tolerant plants is the Alstroemeria.  I buy these flowers as filler from Trader Joe’s.  They come in a wide variety of color and are planted from a bulb (similar to day lily) and bloom every summer.  Zones 6-7 and 9-10.  For those with deer issues, they are deer resistant.  They require part sun/sun.

Garden, Home and Party: Drought II

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The final installment for this drought busting plant list is Belleza Gaura.  It’s easy to grow, full sun loving and drought friendly

Garden, Home and Party: Drought II

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If you’re in a drought plagued area,  you may be interested in some tips from Dave of Dave’s Garden.  I’ve been saving dishwater and using it around the garden as a result of his suggestion.  Happy gardening wherever you are.

All Vintage Garden Graphics via Fairy Graphics

 

July 1st – Happy Independence Day

Before I start on the fun of celebrating Independence Day, I’d like to thank all of you for your prayers, positive thoughts and general care and concern you expressed in response to the news of Mr. B. and his health/surgery.  I’m happy to report he’s doing very well and has only one more hurdle to cross before we can once and for all put this behind us.  I was touched and brought to tears by your thoughtful good wishes! Thank you so much for your support, you are all such dear blog friends.

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

{Martha Stewart}

As you all know, we’re on countdown to the 4th of July!  This holiday has always marked the official start date of summer for me.  Let the games begin, as they say.

Now that I have grandchildren, I’m making note once again of kid friendly holiday ideas. Our 4 year old granddaughter always decorates her wagon (with mommy and daddy’s help of course) for a neighborhood parade.

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

This year she may tackle her bicycle.  Martha Stewart has some great ideas for this annual neighborhood contest.

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Independence Day

We typically enjoy a backyard barbeque with good friends to celebrate the big day.  Everyone brings a dish to make it less work fun  for the hosting couple.  When I was growing up my mom would make onion dip, served with Ruffles potato chips for a party crowd.  It was made with a package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and a 16-oz. container of sour cream.  I came across this Sweet Onion Dip recipe from Martha Stewart that reminded me of that dip and thought it might be a fun update this favorite by using fresh ingredients.

Sweet Onion Dip – Martha Stewart Summer Appetizers

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Independence Day

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Independence Day

The recipe for Chicken Skewers and Blistered Potatoes from Pottery Barn was our Father’s Day feast.  It was delicious and seems like a dish I’d prepare for any summer barbecue, including 4th of July.  I substituted the rub in the recipe for this marinade. We used the sauce in the original recipe to baste on the chicken as it grilled.  Both marinade and BBQ sauce proved to be keepers. {Thank you, Leslie}

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Independence Day

Pottery Barn:  Star Melamine Salad Plate, Water Hyacinth Round Place Mat, Isa Ikat Yarn Dye Napkin

Who doesn’t love cupcakes…Cupcake Flag from Country Living would be the perfect dessert for Independence Day and easily made the day before , always a benefit to me when entertaining. (add the fresh berries just before setting the cupcakes out)

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

With the menu for our festivities selected, let’s have a look at a few pretty rooms that feature red, white and blue, shall we?  Homes are where the heart of any holiday begin…

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

Country Living ! Keith Scott Morton photo

Love this toile!  George Washington?

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

House Beautiful ~ Bjorn Wallander photo

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

House Beautiful ~ Victoria Pearson photo

Garden, Home and Party:  Independence Day

Country Living ~ Bjorn Wallander photo

Blue and white rooms always capture my attention.  You could throw an American Flag throw pillow on the sofa and you’d be set for the holiday! This room (below) seems like it could be in a cottage by the beach…I feel relaxed just gazing at the simple and inviting space. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

Country Living ~ Keith Scott Morton photo

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

Country Living ~ Stacey Brandford

What are your plans for the weekend?  Be safe, enjoy some relaxation and have fun, my friends!

 

 

Winner announced and news break

Hi there! Happy Wednesday.

As a testament to the wonderful reviews on the web of Dear Carolina, I had lots of comments this past week.  I promise we were fair and impartial with the drawing.  {Not to sound overly cheap, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay Rafflecopter $13 for one drawing; if I hosted giveaways with regularity I’m sure I’d feel differently}  The winner is:

Sheila, of My Kentucky Living  Congratulations!  Send me your mailing address (you can find my email at the top of the header on my blog page ‘CONTACT US’) and I’ll send you the book.

Garden, Home and Party: Must read Dear Carolina

Now on to a bit of personal business.  I’m taking a little break.  There’s been a health setback for Mr. B.  Nothing we can’t handle, it will just involve surgery and some recovery time and I want to be sure I’m focused on getting him back in the saddle, so to speak.

Garden, Home and Party: Winner and Newsbreak

Earl of Eglinton and Winton

I’m going to my happy place with positive thoughts, battling stress and worry.  I hope you won’t forget me, and that you’ll revisit in a month or so once we’re back to the new normal.

Garden, Home and Party: Winner and newsbreak

Garden, Home and Party: Winner and newsbreak

Meanwhile, I read a useful article on “40 Little Things in Daily Life that Bring Us True Happiness”.

Garden, Home and Party: winner and newsbreak

See you in a bit.  Keep my place in line, okay?  :-)

♥Karen

Reading rooms and a book giveaway

Hello my friends!  Happy Wednesday!  Today I am offering a copy of Dear Carolina, by Kristy Woodson Harvey.  As you may remember, I posted a review last week.

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and giveaway

To add to the giveaway fun, I’m going to share some pretty rooms (indoors and out) that I consider a worthy location for a good read.  In addition to sitting to read a book, I enjoy Audible, which provides me with an unabridged version of almost any book in downloadable form. For me, that means on weekends, when I have garden work or household chores, I can listen to the book while multi-tasking.  I understand most public libraries have CD copies of books as well, if multitasking is essential in your world. :-)

Let’s start with this French farmhouse…everything about it says “relax, stay awhile” to me.  I’d select the chair with the ottoman for a reading break, but that’s just me.

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and giveaway

While we’re talking ottomans, doesn’t this corner appeal to you?  Plenty of natural light, a throw and extra pillow at your disposal.  I might fall asleep before completing one chapter in this chair! {It’s been known to happen}

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms, giveaway

{John Bessler Photo}

There’s nothing like a corner library to invite one to sit and read awhile.  This one is a favorite for its display, art-lighting and books.

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and giveaway

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Is that a fire in the fireplace?  I sometimes wish I lived in a colder climate where a fireplace would be required daily…like England, maybe? :-)  This is a beautiful American Farmhouse featured some time ago by Joni over at Cote de Texas.

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and giveaway

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Now this is pure luxury.  Can you imagine the prunish skin you’d have after a relaxing bath and a good book here?  Still, such an elegant place to bathe and read!

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and a giveaway

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Since summer vacation is on the horizon, the one time when most of us can relax and catch up with one of the twenty books you’ve put on your list of “must read”.  I feel my blood pressure going down just looking at the image!

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and giveaway

{Kristen O’Brien Photo}

I can’t quite resist the allure of a room with a fire in the grate.  I see myself settling in with a cup of tea and my current book.

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and giveaways

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This time of year, once the weather entices you to be outdoors, this setting is lush and green and fun for unwinding with your book.

Garden, Home and Party: Reading rooms and giveaway

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Now for the fun part.  I have a copy of Dear Carolina to giveaway.  All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me your favorite spot to read.  Indoors, outdoors, at the beach, in a mountain cabin, whatever.  Mr. B. will be blindfolded and randomly select a winner from names in a basket.  I’ll announce the winner next week.  Good luck, Dear Carolina is a wonderful story and I think you’ll love it.  Now I can’t wait for Kristy’s second novel!

Where do you like to read?

Dear Carolina: A great read authored by a talented friend

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If you are a fellow blogger you have undoubtedly marveled at the friendships that develop across the miles.  The people one “meets” through the blog world, while seldom face to face, somehow become friends that enrich us, much like our best friends we see regularly.

This is how I feel about my friend Kristy Harvey Woodson.  She is a talented designer and now a published author.  Her book, Dear Carolina released yesterday, May 5th. I’m so happy for her success, something that until recently, she said she only dreamt of.

Garden, Home and Party: Dear Carolina-must read

I was thrilled when Kristy asked if I would read and post a review of her book. Once I started reading I was drawn not only to the storyline, but to each of the characters. The story is about two women and their journey through childbirth, family life and the love and understanding that each come to share.  Khaki, one of the two main characters, is easy for most of us who enjoy home decor to relate to.  She is a talented designer and a kind and thoughtful person.  Jodi, the second of the two main characters, is a smart woman with an unfortunate past.  Her talents are just waiting to reveal themselves with a little motivation from the right set of circumstances.  The contrast of these two women is what brings the narrative to life.

Garden, Home and Party: Must read Dear Carolina

Khaki’s story, in addition to her wishing for a second child, details her design business and the upcoming release of her much anticipated book. Kristy keeps this part of the tale as entertaining as the main story of Khaki’s juggling home life in North Carolina, a shop and thriving design business in New York, and struggles with getting pregnant.

Garden, Home and Party: Must read Dear Carolina, Kristy Woodson Harvey

Jodi’s life is much different from Khaki’s, filled with a history of trials and unfortunate personal choices.  You quickly realize she is determined and very strong and you are compelled to pray she can find her way from the very beginning. An unplanned pregnancy for Jodi becomes a blessing for both women.  Khaki and Jodi’s story is one of love, friendship and the baby that intertwines their lives will touch you and bring you to tears.

Garden, Home and Party: Must Read Dear Carolina

Kristy weaves an uplifting tale that draws you in and makes you care very much for the entire family, but especially the outcome of the two main characters.  The story is told as each woman writes to Carolina, the baby they share, journaling their thoughts and love for her. In the end the tapestry woven is complete and emotionally rewarding.

Although I have never been to North Carolina, I was drawn to the area through Kristy’s detailed and colorful descriptions of Kinston, where most of the story takes place.  The story involves the lives of a family, some by blood, some by marriage.

Garden, Home and Party: Must read Sweet Carolina

The relationship-driven story would make this a wonderful Mother’s Day present, but I believe it’s such a heartwarming story that you will want extra copies for yourself and your friends.

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodsonharvey.com. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a Master’s in English from East Carolina University. She is a regular contributor for The Salisbury Post, Domino magazine and Houzz. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three-year-old son.
You can order Kristy’s book from your favorite bookstore:
but wait, there’s more…
Garden, Home and Party: Dear Carolina
 Kristy and her mom, Beth, [Design Chic] have a shop filled with wonderful decorative treasures.  During Dear Carolina’s launch week (now) they are offering a $1,000 Shop Design Chic Shopping Spree to one lucky winner. To enter: Send proof of purchase of Dear Carolina (photos are fine!) to readdearcarolina@gmail. Every book is an extra entry!

The lucky winner will also receive a free e-copy of the Dear Carolina Companion cookbook, full of favorite Southern recipes from renowned bloggers and family members, and Dear Carolina printable quotes just for entering!

The importance of being blue

Happy Wednesday! Before I begin on my topic for this weeks post I want to share some exciting news.  I’m sure you already follow the wonderful blog, Design Chic (authored by mother and daughter talents Beth (mom) and Kristy (daughter)) which provides us with fabulous design and fashion features each week.  Kristy is publishing her first novel next week.  I was privileged to get an advanced copy, and I’ll be sharing my enthusiasm for the book on next week’s post, but I wanted to give you the advanced link to order, Dear Carolina

Dear Carolina - Kristy Woodson Harvey

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

The colors blue and white are classics where home decor is concerned. There is no shortage of this color combination featured on blog sites, in magazines and books.  I’ve talked about my love of the fusion of the the pairing at least four times on Garden, Home and Party, [1, 2, 3, 4and since repetition seems to be a curse in the blog world, I’m going for it once more.

Blue is an alluring color even when the focus isn’t on home decorating.

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

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Have any of you grown blue tulips?  Are they truly this blue?

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

alexapulitzer.com

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

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So buckle up…let’s look at a few rooms I’ve recently found online, starring the one and only blue and white.

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{Instagram: juliocesarlimaudia}

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

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This bedroom almost looks like a painting to me…its so perfectly inviting.

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

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Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{Black&SpiroInteriors.com} ↓↑

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{PrettyPetals.com}

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{SouthernLiving.com}

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{our mantle}

Oh, for this view.  It’s even relaxing for the dog—nap time?

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{TraditionalHome-Eliza Gatfield’s Oyster Bay Home}

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{KelleyInteriorDesign.com}

Garden, Home and Party: The importance of being blue

{KembleInteriors.com}

Do you have any blue and white in  your home’s decor?  

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