Coffee and the machines that prepare it for us

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I first started drinking coffee when I was in my late teens.  It was a bit of an acquired taste for me and I added half and half and sugar.  When I met/married Mr. B he had lived in Germany for 2 years and loved well brewed coffee.  I dropped the sugar once I tasted a really good cup of coffee and have never looked back, but adding half and half is still my first choice when drinking the dark pick-me-up.  Whipped cream and cinnamon is welcome on a cold day!

Garden, Home and Party: Coffee in kitchens

I  enjoy 1 1/2 – 2 cups every morning but am pretty cautious about drinking it past noon as it keeps me awake.  Through the years we’ve had a variety of different machines to prepare our coffee, including a French press—some of the best coffee was made using our French press.  So today’s post will include some very pretty kitchens and their placement of a coffee maker of some kind.

This is one of my favorite kitchen ideas…utility mixed with the right amount of art and flowers.  If I was confident I could style shelves this well, I’d definitely go for open shelving in some part of the kitchen next time.

Garden, Home and Party: coffee in kitchens

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Oh, and the inspiration for this post was an article in the New York Post talking about how coffee can help reverse liver damage from drinking alcohol.  I don’t drink that much but I do enjoy a glass of wine after work most evenings, so I thought this might be a win-win.:-)

Now here is where it’s crazy in the GHP house.  We own this beauty.  It makes espresso and steams milk…it’s very pretty, however, we own a drip maker as well.  Seriously, Mr. B!?  My kitchen counter space is limited…2 coffee machines?!

Garden, Home and Party: coffee in kitchens

Garden, Home and Party: coffee in kitchens

After whining discussing this with family, I was given this clever machine by our California kids.  It makes espresso and a regular cup of coffee, all from one machine.

Garden, Home and Party: coffee in the kitchen

But, (there’s always a but) it’s an expensive cup of either espresso or coffee, comparatively.  And environmentally safe disposal of the pods is a bit of a headache.  I love the sleek lines and I appreciate only one machine on the counter.  Am I ever satisfied? Um, maybe not.

The forethought of this kitchen design feature is pretty cool.  A coffee cupboard that has it’s own water source.  And you can close the doors when not in use.  Maybe in another house.

Garden, Home and Party: coffee in the kitchen

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The coffee maker in this kitchen has the bonus of a shelf for coffee cups…convenient.

Garden, Home and Party: coffee in the kitchen

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This lovely kitchen has what looks to be a stove top percolator…a blast from the past. Fitting for such a beautiful kitchen.

Garden, Home and Party: coffee in the kitchen

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An Ikea kitchen, isn’t it pretty?  It looks like their coffee source is an espresso maker tucked in the back corner.Garden, Home and Party: Coffee in the kitchenGarden, Home and Party: Coffee in the kitchenCoffee makers continue to change and possibly improve.

This is a Siphon Coffee maker from Williams Sonoma.

I haven’t read the reviews, but it looks pretty, doesn’t it?

Tell me, are you a coffee drinker?  Several of my friends won’t touch the stuff. If you are a coffee drinker, do you make your own or rely on Starbucks, Peets or some other fabulous coffee house?  Have a great Wednesday and a beautiful upcoming weekend!  ♥ Karen

Project Design: How To Style Your Spring Mantel — Two Ways

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Garden, Home and Party: Design Project

Let me begin by saying how honored I am to be here among the creative women of each of the sites linked below.

SPRING is right up there with autumn for me.  I love both seasons equally.  Nature provides us with so many visual inspirations this time of year.  So when it came to creating a Spring Mantle (two ways), I knew I’d have fun working on the assignment.

Full disclosure, this lovely bouquet was a gift for my late January birthday from my sweet daughter-in-law.  It positively is the picture of spring with tulips and anemones, so I had to start early on my spring mantle ideas.

My first spring mantel is fairly simple.  I’ve been attempting to declutter all around the house and this mantle reflects my version of restraint.:-)

GHP: #ProjectDesignNow

The Hare graphic came from The Graphics Fairy.  I printed it on vellum and cut it to fit a frame I had in my stash.  I framed it over a page from an old book.  The Graphics Fairy has a library of free graphics.  I can usually find something fun for any occasion.

Garden, Home and Party: ProjectDesignNow

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

I collect nests and when I find an abandoned nest on one of my walks, I always bring it home with me.  The metal rabbit stand is something I’ve had for years.  It’s meant to hold a pillar candle, but I’ve used it for candy and now nest-holding at Easter.

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

For spring and summer I turn to my glass candle holders, the candles are the best buy around, from Trader Joe’s.  They are dripless and unscented and value priced for $3.99 for a box of 8.  At my TJ’s they come in ivory and white.

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

My second spring mantle is a little different—more of a nod to the delights of Easter through a child’s eyes. Being a grandma does this to a person! :-)

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

The pink tulips from the grocery store.  They opened overnight! Tulips are one of my favorite spring flowers.  The blue vase is one of two that normally stand on either side of the mantle.  I bought them shortly after Tina of The Enchanted Home opened her online store.  The nest is the same one I used for the other mantle, but this time it’s sitting in a silver candy dish atop a few Beatrix Potter books.  I have a collection of Halcyon Day boxes and the hot air balloon egg was from Easter of 1985.  It commemorates my first trip to England, a wonderful memory.:-)

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

On the other side I have a favorite ceramic rabbit—he’s carrying real carrots and some sprigs of parsley, health food, right?  The Hare graphic is the same but the little metal birds are eating some bird seed.

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectdDesignNow

One last photograph.  I kept thinking both stylings were sparse.  My sweet daughter-in-law suggested I try the clock that normally lives on the mantle, in addition to the rest. Here it is…too crowded?  I think I like it better without, maybe I am learning to appreciate the less is more trend!  :-)

Garden, Home and Party: #ProjectDesignNow

I hope you enjoyed my two mantle vignettes.  Be sure to visit each of the talented bloggers below.  You can never have too many ideas for the prettiest season of the year…SPRING! You can also visit the Pinterest board for more ideas.

The talented designers, Cindy Hattersley [Rough Luxe Lifestyle] and Mary Ann [Classic Casual Home] host this series and I have loved every Project Design post they, and the participants, have shared.

{If you’ve missed these special posts, filled with inspiration and creative ideas you can check them out here—“Gallery Walls”, “How to Style your Coffee Table”, “Refresh your Living Room with these Inexpensive Tips” and “How to Create a Beautiful Bed”}

Be sure to visit the creative team joining this Project Design episode.

Amber B. Design Studio

ciao! newport beach

classic ⋅ casual ⋅ home

Dimples & Tangles

Katiedid

Lisa Mende Design

Lucy Williams Interiors

Rough Luxe Lifestyle

The Pink Pagoda

Garden, Home and Party: Design Project

Table settings with a touch of whimsy

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Before today’s post I want to invite you to join me, and a talented group of others, this Friday [March 11th] for the next installment of Project Design #ProjectDesignNow.  We will be sharing “How to Style Your Spring Mantle Two Ways”.  It’s sure to be fun and chock full of ideas for putting some spring touches in your home.

Garden, Home and Party: Design Project

Amber B. Design Studio

ciao! newport beach

classic casual home ⋅ home

Dimples and Tangles

Katiedid

Lisa Mende Design

Lucy Williams Interiors

Rough Luxe Lifestyle

The Pink Pagoda

Now to Table settings with a touch of whimsey…

I have enjoyed setting a table since I was a little girl.  Once I moved into my own apartment I found any and every excuse to have people over for a meal.  It was very brave of my friends to accept since I wasn’t a very accomplished cook back in the day. The joy was, and still is, the creative process of setting the table.

Garden, Home and Party: setting the table

Once a new bride, I used my china, crystal and silver for every dinner party we hosted. With time, I realized that it was just as much fun, if not more, to keep it casual. Today, I still enjoy setting a formal table for the right occasion, but I mostly use my everyday pottery / porcelain dishes, and simple glassware.  I interchange my sterling flatware with a couple of other, more casual, sets of flatware depending on the dishes I’m using.

of course I have my ruler handy when setting the table to make sure the utensils and plates are the appropriate distance from each other and the edge of the table. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

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I enjoy the fun of thinking of new ways of setting a table, and find there are lots of out of the box ideas online that inspire creating a table the reflects a season or a theme. A bit of whimsey never hurts.

Last summer my friend Wendy hosted a birthday celebration.  I love her use of Lori Mitchell figures that reflect summer fun.

Garden, Home and Party: tablesettings

Shells were on the table as well as her beautiful crystal bowl filled with water and floating candles.

Garden, Home and Party: tablesettings

{table setting by Wendy M.}

My winter birthday was celebrated at Carla’s, where she used a winter wonderland theme.  It was lovely and worked well with our cooler than usual weather at the time.

Garden, Home and Party: table settings

Garden, Home and Party: table settings

{table setting by Carla W.}

One year for St. Patrick’s Day I planted little pots of 4-leaf clover that Trader Joe’s sold and then gave each guest a chocolate leprechaun.  I enjoy using nursery plants for the table, you can plant them in the garden afterwards. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

Easter of 2014 I pulled out the Beatrix Potter figures and a few of the Beatrix Potter books I used to read to my kids (and now read to our granddaughters).  I planted a concrete planter with sweet pea and viola.  The violet china pattern was my grandmother’s, and a friend made the runner {thank you Gretchen}

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

Garden, Home and Party: Table settings

This image inspired a table setting of my own when hosting our birthday group.  The guests of honor, Tom and John, identical twins, enjoy an October birthday and I felt it called for something more masculine.

Garden, Home and Party: Table settings

This was my version… {sorry for the glare coming through the window}

Garden, Home and Party: table settings

Garden, Home and Party: Table settings

Last month I hosted a birthday dinner for Mr. B and our youngest son’s birthdays.  I wanted to keep it simple and decided this rusty urn went well with the rustic look of my Jan Barboglio candle holders.  I filled the urn with tree fern from the yard and added a bag of Granny Smith apples.  The candles could have been taller but we didn’t light them since we ate early.

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

Moss on a dining table is one of my favorite uses of the sheet moss sold at craft stores. I love the earthy feel to it.  Mixed with roses and other flowers, it’s natural and lovely and transports us to an outdoor setting, even indoors.

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

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Setting the table in an outdoor “room” is where you can enjoy mixing things up a bit. Setting the table with a moss base and using terra cotta pots as the candle holders is clever and fitting for a autumn gathering.  The twigs and berries conjure up an image that a gust of wind blew these pieces to the table top.  This same setting could be recreated indoors.

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

{via Michelle Edwards ~ Sweet Something Design}

I’ll end with a table setting compliments of Martha Stewart.  Woodland creatures, birch tree-looking candles and small pots of moss or fern complete the look.  It’s whimsy at its best.:-)

Garden, Home and Party: table setting

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I’m out of time, but I’d like to invite you to visit my friend, Kelly over at “talk of the house” for further inspiration for table setting.  This talented blogger takes table setting creativity to a new level.

How do you entertain?  Is there ever a bit of whimsey to your table settings?

43 years and counting

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Hi Friends!  Happy Wednesday!  Is anyone besides me feeling like time is flying by?  How can February have only 5 days left…thanks to Leap Year we get an extra day this month.  Hooray!

Mr. B. with Winnie, our rescue that thinks she’s a lap dog.  

Garden, Home and Party: happy anniversary

This will be a short post but I wanted to take the time to wish Mr. B. a Happy Anniversary.  This past 43 {gulp} years have been fun.  Hope we can enjoy another twenty or more.

Garden, Home and Party

One of the truths of a successful marriage is a little compromise, even when home decor is the topic. Today I want to share rooms that convey (to me) a certain masculine feel. No surprise, a few are Ralph Lauren. This is for you Mr. B. ♥

The heart of the house.  I love art and unexpected furniture in a kitchen.  This is a favorite room with the side table, lamps, ironstone tureens and equestrian paintings.  {sigh}

Amelia-Handegan-kitchen-equestrian-art

Navy wall with white trim?!  A timeless look. I’ll have to take the leap and paint a room in a dark color such as navy or black one day.

Garden, Home and Party

A touch of black, you know how I’m drawn to that!

Garden, Home and Party

Grasscloth wallpaper, black bookcase dotted with blue and white porcelain and a spectacular side chair adorned in zebra, who could ask for anything more?

Garden, Home and Party

A room that has a masculine quality yet seems inviting.

Garden, Home and Party

A room with the perfect touches of feminine (chandelier) and masculine (antlers) and old (fireplace surround, detailed ceiling trim) and new (modern art over the fireplace), a winning combination in my book.

Garden, Home and Party

…and at the end of the day, who wouldn’t sleep well in this dark, well appointed, bedroom?

Garden, Home and Party

This is me, waiting for Mr. B to get home from a busy day at the office! (yeah, right) doesn’t everyone stand around in their strapless gown?:-)

Garden, Home and Party

I imagine this room as a getaway second residence in the mountains.  Daydreaming here.

Garden, Home and Party

Thanks to my readers for indulging me in these little daydreams; and to Mr. B. for making 43 fun and happy. 

 

Organized yet?

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I’m one of those people that actually enjoy organizing closets and drawers.  Still, as we’ve lived in our house for 34 years in April. {I’d love to say I was 10 years old when we moved in, but I’d be lying}  We raised our kids here and we’ve handed off most personal belongings to our California son; Our Texas son still has items in “family storage” [read: our attic space in the garage].

As I reported early last year, the Mr. B. and I have been paring down, analyzing each box with the understanding that we’re not getting younger, and our married sons have little interest in lots of the things we’ve amassed.  We’ve made inroads but it’s amazing how you can pare down so much and still find more!

So, I’m going to share some pretty organized spaces in pictures…it’s what I do to keep me going on projects as large as this.:-)

I’d like to start with the pantry.  I think that’s an easy one for me…I check dates on foods (no, I won’t use the Jello pudding mix which has a ‘best by’ date of June 2012).  I chuck or give away foods that were gifted to us if I know we’ll never eat them.  I’d like to say I only need this much pantry space, but that wouldn’t work.  Still, I like to keep like items in close proximity to make my pantry look organized.  I use baskets for certain foods, like you see here.

Garden, Home and Party: organization

{source unknown}   

The use of this typically dead space is so clever.  It appears that it serves to store more than just pantry items.  Do you see the little etched glass letter on the door…too cute.

Garden, Home and Party: organization

{tumblr}

This is the exterior of my pantry.  When we remodeled the kitchen our designer friend recommended that we build something that looks more like a piece of furniture.  I’ve not been disappointed, but certain times of the year I could use a little more space.

Garden, Home and Party: organization

Since we’re in the kitchen anyway, take a look at the drawer organizers the talented Joan, for the love of a house uses.  This makes the kitchen drawers look pretty as well as organized.  {if you’ve never visited Joan’s site I urge you to stop by, you won’t be disappointed}.

Garden, Home and Party: Organization

Garden, Home and Party: Organization

{for the love of a house}

While we’re still in the kitchen, I think cupboards that hold glasses, plates, etc. are important, especially since Mr. B. likes to remind me of the number of sets of dishes we own!

This hutch installed in an Atlanta Home by the talented Carter Kay Interiors is a dream of mine.  It has appeal for the styling of the items, while having a lot of room for stacks of plates. My good friend, Gretchen, has a cupboard similar and I’ve always admired it for its style as well as functionality.

Garden, Home and Party: organization

{Carter Kay Interiors}

This is a nice piece as well…I could definitely organize my collection of plates in one of these.

Garden, Home and Party: organization

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So next on my list is the clothes closet.  This is an ongoing battle.  I should get rid of more of the items that I don’t wear as often as the “organizing gurus” recommend.  I often worry that if I get rid of something I’ll need it for the next outing.  Does this happen to you?

Wouldn’t you love it if your closet held just the things you wear often and love?!  Oh well, it’s a work in progress, I’ll keep trying for a capsule wardrobe.

Garden, Home and Party: organizing

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Leave it to real simple to come up with some handy tips on organizing drawers.  I loved this idea.

Garden, Home and Party: organizing

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Stores, like Pottery Barn, have components you can purchase to help with organizing your closet.  Container Store as well.  This example is nice but I don’t have a spare room to convert into a closet.  I always imagine that if you have lots of space it’s easier to stay organized…is this true?:-)

Garden, Home and Party: organizing

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The final space I have to share is something I’ve always thought would be wonderful.  A room of my own where you could craft (not that I do much of that), wrap presents, store things that you know you’ll need for that next project and a desk space to type your blog posts.:-)  How cool is this…

Garden, Home and Party: organizing

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The biggest obstacle I’ve encountered are the heavy photo albums and photo boxes of photographs.  To scan and save them will take me forever, yet I know I need to do something…any handy tips on organizing and possibly paring down this part of our lives?

A touch of red

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Garden, Home and Party: Valentines day red

             ♥  ♥  ♥

Good morning!  Since Valentine’s Day is a short 4 days away, and I’m sure you’ve all bought your valentines and planned your special meal weeks ago, I thought I’d share a few rooms that highlight a touch of red, a traditional Valentine’s Day color.  For some of us red is welcome year round, embraced even.

But I understand that not all share my enthusiasm for the color. Still, here are some lovely rooms with a touch of red that even you might like.:-)

            ♥  ♥  ♥

 

                               

                                      {via}

Red doesn’t have to fill the room to be noticed, as my friend, the talented Loi of Tone on Tone demonstrates here.  That red apple not only looks good enough to eat, but makes the perfect trilogy of lovely for this vignette.

Garden, Home and Party: valentines red

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The red in this mostly white bathroom adds a welcome brightness, subtle enough to add a needed pop of color. There is a framed picture of the Cat in the Hat to the right of the mirror, this may be a child’s bathroom.  It’s very cheery.

Garden, Home and Party: valentine red

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Love this pretty distressed chest in red.  This could be a showstopper in any home.

Garden, Home and Party: valentine's red

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I really like this hutch that has been painted a contrasting color inside.  I like the way it brings notice to the items stored inside.

Garden, Home and Party: valentine's red

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…then there’s this.  I love this library by Gil Shafer III and somehow the red seems just right!

Garden, Home and Party: valentine's red

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James Farmer and this room is an all-time favorite.  Yes, I know it’s dressed for Christmas and yes, I know you’ve seen it dozens of times, but it’s so pretty…you don’t mind, do you?:-)

Garden, Home and Party: valentines red

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The red lamps add such a wonderful touch to this outdoor table.

Garden, Home and Party: valentine's red

{James Farmer ~ photographed by Emily Elkins Photographer}

There is a regal look to red in a formal room.  Isn’t this a pretty sconce on the red wall, with a stenciled door (?) to the left?

Garden, Home and Party: valentine's red

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Layla’s [The Lettered Cottage] reading nook in their first house is so inviting and the smallest touch of red makes the space seem finished.

Garden, Home and Party: valentine's red

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Finally, a favorite use of the color!  Oh to be in London!

Garden, Home and Party: valentine's red

Have a special Valentine’s Day. Celebrate the day with those you love. 

Karen ♥

Since we’re on the subject of LOVE, I just wanted to pass along a good word on a soon to be released book.  My friend, Kristy Woodson Harvey {Design Chic and Kristy Woodson Harvey} has a new book to be released in April.  LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE.  The is as entertaining as her first book, Dear Carolina.  I’m honored to be previewing the book and will post my review in April. You can preorder here.

Garden, Home and Party

 

New ideas for the bathroom

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I may be dating myself but when I was growing up it was not uncommon for a small house to have one bathroom.  I was an only child so that worked out for my family—I believe I probably hogged the bathroom when I hit my teens but by then we had moved and I had a bathroom all to myself.

This isn’t our family bathroom, ours was white, but this is not unlike the bathroom I grew up with.

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

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Our bathroom was very utilitarian with a bathtub/shower, toilet and vanity with a medicine cabinet above the sink…bathrooms have come a long way baby.

We all decorate our bathrooms much like any room.  Wallpaper beautiful sconces and special touches, like a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

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Then there’s this…

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

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Joe & Max (aka 3D Joe & Max) are artists who have traveled the globe creating their artworks for a range of clients including Google, Disney, Reebok, Save the Children and Coca-Cola.

Isn’t this amazing?  I’m not sure I’d want it for my bathroom at home, but I could certainly see the appeal if it was on a hotel bathroom floor in Hawaii, or some other tropical destination.

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

The inspiration for this post came by way of my friend Joyce who sent me these pictures of painted floors {thank you, Joyce}.

So, back to my reality where bathroom decor is concerned…

I enjoy getting ideas for bathrooms as much as any other room in the house.  You never know when you might want to redo your bath.:-)

I love the collage of mirrors and the piece of furniture for the oversized sink.  The wall faucets are a trend (?) I really like.

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

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Even a smaller space carries big style with free floating shelves and this great vessel sink

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

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I remember the first time I saw a frameless shower door.  I thought it was so great.  This one has a frame at the top, but still, what a beautiful way to encase the shower without it looking like a giant box sitting in the room.

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

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This is one of my favorite beautifully designed bathrooms.  I’m not sure Mr. B. would want to use this bathroom, even better.  It seems to me we should all have our own bathrooms anyway!:-)

Garden, Home and Party: Bathroom

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In juxtaposition to the very feminine feel of the bathroom above, I actually love this more rustic bath.  Shown during the Trad Home Napa Valley  tour of 2014, compliments of Cindy at rough luxe style.  Follow the link for more of this beautiful house.

Garden, Home and Party: Bathrooms

Do you think you’d have someone paint a 3-D image of the ocean with a shark swimming by in your bathroom, or do you go for a more traditional look?

Birthdays

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Today is my birthday…I can’t speak of my age because the truth is, I still feel like I’m a young adult.  I’m not.  I even forget my age sometimes.  Wait, is that the first sign of something, should I be worried? :-)

In any event. I was challenged to provide a meaningful post, not just to me, but possibly something fun for you.  I came up with a touch of each of the topics mentioned in the title of my blog, Garden, Home and Party and maybe for the first time, I’m sharing all of my own images taken in my own home.  I know, how unusual.  The thing is, my photography has always paled by comparison to so many other’s.  

Garden. For those of you that have read my posts throughout the years you may (or may not) remember that I partnered in a business called Blooming Borders for 13 years  (how many sites do you visit and am I the only one that gets mixed up as to who the talent behind the site is?).  We planned, and planted cottage gardens for clients.  I loved working in the garden, and still do. That’s the reason for this part of my blog name. [Note:  The California drought has left me struggling with ideas for drought tolerant plants that can live beside some of the bones of our garden…it’s been a slow but steady process to be sure.] 

Here is our garden in it a better, more irrigated time…

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Home is such a touchstone for most of us.  I’ve been an ardent fan of home decor  for as long as I can remember, and have never lost my enthusiasm.

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthay

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Party. The third and final name in my title pertains to the joy that cooking  and setting the table for family and friends brings me.  When I read Alexandra Stoddard, “Living a Beautiful Life” I began to focus on making every day at home special, with some of the same touches you’d provide if you are hosting a party.  Is there a lapse from time to time, absolutely, but I do try to use special serving pieces or dishes for everyday meals…I used to save them for parties. 

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Bottom line, fill a home with family and friends and great memories are made, don’t you agree?

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Garden, Home and Party: happy birthday

Thanks to you all for making this blog biz so much fun. I’m so happy to have virtually met so many of you and hope to realize a face-to-face meeting some day. ♥ Karen

 

 

Neutral rooms with style

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I have, over time, become a huge fan of a neutral color palate for most rooms in our house.  It makes sense to me since it’s easier, and much more affordable, to replace pillows and accessories than to have a sofa reupholstered.

When we remodeled our kitchen it started the ball rolling on more neutrality.

Bethany House kitchen

Full confession of this design enthusiast…change is a given.  I’ve been know to tire of art and accessories over a stretch of time, not to mention the seasonal changes most of us enjoy throughout the year.  I just love the new look of a room when a few accessories are traded out, or a switch in a few small pieces of furniture that can make a room feel brand new.

Our master bedroom underwent new paint and some neutral art.  The small pillows are monogrammed with cardinal thread…those were leftovers from the previous color way.  The bed linens are soon to be replaced. Note: our Jack Russel mix always gets into the picture, in this case it’s the tip of her tail! :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Neutral rooms

I still love pattern on certain upholstered chairs, and the blue and white guest room still brings me joy each time I see it.

These are a few of my favorite rooms that are predominantly neutral…

Garden, Home and Party: Neutrals

This has been a favorite image of mine for some time.  I apologize for losing the source.

Garden, Home and Party: Neutral rooms

A room can have so much personality with the right accessories—no prominent color needed.  As in this beautiful Atchison Home bathroom.

Garden, Home and Party: Neutral rooms

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In my view, Joan and Dan [for the love of a house] are rock stars when it comes to neutral rooms.  I believe it is her home that inspired me to try harder to attain the calming effect of a neutral palate.

Garden, Home and Party: neutral rooms

Garden, Home and Party: Neutral rooms

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Joni [Cote de Texas] designed this beauty for a client.  I love the selection of neutrals punctuated by the beautiful upholstered chair in the forefront.

Garden, Home and Party: neutral rooms

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This bedspread wouldn’t work with my 2 dogs…but it such a pretty room.

Garden, Home and Party: neutral rooms

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Garden, Home and Party: neutral rooms

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A post on show stopping neutral rooms wouldn’t be complete without sharing a room designed by Loi [Tone on Tone].  His work is always proof that neutrals are remarkable.  His home is featured in this month’s Martha Stewart Living, be sure to stop by his blog for a visit and pick up an issue of MSL.

Garden, Home and Party: neutral rooms

What do you think?  Do neutrals work for you?  I know that this year, and years past, there’s been a trend toward saturated color for the home.  It’s not for me but I’ve seen some very pretty examples.  Happy Wednesday!

Will libraries become obsolete?

I wanted to thank all of you for your sweet and supportive comments to my post last week.  Your kindness and encouragement has pumped me up.  I’m ready to embrace a new year of blog posts and hopefully, I will have some new ideas to write about.  You’re the best and I appreciate each and everyone of you. :-)

Like so many of us, books have been an important part of my life.  From reading as a child to reading to my boys from infancy up to that age when they could read themselves and no longer needed my services.:-)

Garden, Home and Party: the future of books

So as the circle was repeating this Christmas, with both granddaughters opening their books from grandma and grandpa, I was wondering…will books become obsolete someday?  I don’t think so, but then I wouldn’t have thought a lot of other staples in life would have gone away thanks to the wonder of technology.  I have used a Kindle, and I love Audible Books, but there is nothing quite like the tactile benefit of holding a book while savoring the words of a story, interior design or landscape, while sipping a cup of tea.

Garden, Home and Party: will libraries become obsolete?

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For this post, my love of books has always led to the love of books displayed, beautiful public libraries and a stack of books sitting on a table, inviting me to explore the wonder within.  {It always comes back to decor and style, doesn’t it?!}

I love books displayed this way, some of the fronts showing.  Our bookcases aren’t really set up for this, but I like the look.

Garden, Home and Party: will libraries become obsolete?

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A home library with plenty of inviting places to sit, and a few bits and bobs on display, pulls me in every time.  This library reminds me of so many British television shows, especially those set in another time and era. {Miss Marple, Poirot}

Garden, Home and Party: are libraries going to become obsolete?

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This more contemporary room works for me as well.  I love the black finish on the wood and the wall sconces.  Doing double duty as a study / library is even better.

Garden, Home and Party: Are libraries going to be obsolete?

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The beauty of this light filled space is the complete package.  The architecture of the room, arched wall over the french door and the classic detailing on the bookcases, what could be more inviting?!  And they’ve even left us a snack.

Garden, Home and Party: Are libraries becoming obsolete.

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This wood paneled beauty leans more to an office than a library, but I love it and since there appears to be a chair opposite the desk, I think you could easily pull a book from the shelf and put your feet up.

Garden, Home and Party: Will libraries become obsolete?

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I love the collection of wooden boxes on top of the book case and the oil painting just seals the deal for me.  I could be very comfy here, whiling away the day with a good book.

Garden, Home and Party: Will libraries be obsolete?

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This might be a favorite.  The room seems so inviting, made more so by the indoor french doors left open.  Candles on the table, sigh.

Garden, Home and Party: Will libraries be obsolete?

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This wonderful wood paneled room by William Litchfield is a favorite of mine.

Garden, Home and Party: Will libraries become obsolete?

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What are your thoughts?  Do any of you remember the line in the original Ghostbusters when Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) says to Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) in a most serious dead pan way, “Print is dead”.  That was 1984.  Not dead yet! 

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