Today I am actually going to help someone.....
Now I could pretend that the reason I write this blog is to spread sunshine and helpfulness throughout the blogisphere,
and that's SOOO RIGHT!!!!!
It's not really about all the money I make from my advertisers.....
This month I am going to make.... wait for it....over one hundred dollars!!!!!
You know how much stuff you can get at
Home Goods for 100 smackers???????
Only problem is, I have no more room in my tablecloth drawer.
No more room for glasses and plates.
Or silverware for that matter.
I could use some new outdoor pillows, so that would use up around $38.00......
you may be wondering just why the #$% I write this damn thingy anyway.
let's just suffice it to say.....
I am the youngest of 5 chillens,
There were 5 of us in 7 years
(my mother wanted us to be close in age so we would be friends when we got older.)
(now my big brother won't leave me alone, 'cuz he thinks we're friends.)
(why would I be friends with someone so old?????)
(wait.....he's only 7 years older than I am.....does that mean that I'm old toooooo?????)
where was I?????
oh yeah....youngest of 5, close together in age.
I was the youngest, but not the cherished baby, if you knows what I means,
I want me some attention, damn it!!!!!
I know you guys are out there, 'cuz I can hear you breathing
(I check my blog stats, and my readership keeps increasing!!!!!)
(Sometimes I get so many hits I can make 5 dollars in a day!!!!!)
BUT WHERE ARE THE COMMENTS????
I took off the word verification dealio, so you could leave them without any problem.
I feel like we're dating, but you never call me.
Is it my breath?????
I could tell you that I take a shower every time, before I sit down to blog.....
(but that would be an untruth...)
I did just go for my biannual hair cut and color, so I'm looking pretty spiffy!!!!!
I started out telling you I was going to help someone.....
I kind of got distracted talkin' 'bout meeeee....
lets see....helping, helping, helping.....
who was I going to help??????
now I remember!!!!!
Soooo without any further ado,
(and there's been a lot of ado so far)
let's get to today's post.
Now, just for the record.
I don't give free advice anymore!!!!!
But some of you don't seem to have gotten the memo!!!!!
So recently I was emailed some questions from one of my readers, and I felt that they were generic enough to be interesting for everyone.
So I emailed this person back and let her know that I would be answering her plea.
Next thing I know.....
she's flooded my mailbox with more pictures and words and stuff.
I warned her, she better not be thin skinned,
because if I'm giving free advice,
I better be able to have some fun with it,
IF YOU KNOWS WHAT I MEANS!!??!!
here's what she wrote me:
You are one funny girl. I remember the Aerosmith kitchen, as well as the lake bedroom you did, and purchased your book, one of them anyways, soon after. Then, as I thought it was one of the books that a cup of coffee got spilled on and ruined, I bought it again, only to discover the first one had survived the coffee debacle. Just wanted you to know. And, it is still a relevant book i think, even though everything is gray gray gray these days, and have to feel bad that I still like color but now it doesn't look right...blah blah. But let me get to the more serious point.
I am a decorator, not a designer, no degree, but somewhat steadily employed, until the last few years when I followed my team USA figure skater around the world. I currently work for a store in town as their in-house designer. It is the current rage of horse prints, and yes, they are the rage, giant black and white closeups of horse faces, and the gray trend. No color is allowed in the store except a pop of charteuse in one pillow, haha It is a beautiful store, despite my kidding, and has influenced me I think to my detriment. I have what Mary McDonald has. I do or see a beautiful home, and think, I want that, and then I start, and it doesn't work, and then I start again. sigh. So heres my problem. I will send some pictures from iphone, as I am too lame to figure out how to get them up on my computer. I am on a house tour in the fall, and want to have my home look great, and be the talk of the town (it won't), but...I always knew what I liked, and I liked color, and toile, and french. Then, all of a sudden, I joke two weeks ago, I wanted plain, no color, earthy, simple. I have tried at least 3 paint colors, and have two button tufted barrel back turned leg chairs for 4 months at the upholsterers, unable to decide on a fabric or a look. I also have a round tufted ottoman there. I just painted the walls, they don't go with my silk curtains!!! I have held on to the toile dining chairs, a 25 year old set, with the old toile. This room (rooms) are keeping me up at night. I no longer know where I am going or what I like. I have a theory. I am a new empty nester who has a minute to project who I am, and I suddenly don't know. I am a born free spirit, generally unconcerned about what others think, as I try hard and am nice. All of a sudden, its as if the blog police are going to visit me and condemn my taste. The Gong Show. So, please, pretty please, free advice. I admire you. Paint, placement, chair(missing from photo) fabric. I am stuck. Even if you do not answer, I still really like you.
I wrote her back, warning she may not like what I had to say.....
and she answered with this.
I am including this, so you can understand some of her furniture choices.
I am literally, not figuratively thin skinned. Menopause. I will grow an extra layer. So excited. I really do want your advice. I am sending more pictures, and will give this brief background. Home is 10 1/2 years old. We built it. Many choices I would not make today, but a warm home, not over the top with fancy, just pretty. Most of my stuff, which you have mentioned, working around old stuff(you called it crap!), stuff I inherited from my mother in law, whom I was close to, or gifts bought by parents, or ...you know the drill. I am always working around something I didn't choose. Sofa is vintage Kittinger from Williamsburg, antique piano of my parents, curio was my father in laws parents. Dining set a gift from my dear Mom, etc. I welcome all of your comments, as I really am bugged that I can do others homes so effortlessly, and cannot see my home as it is. Mary McDonald also said, "I am my own worst client!" That's me too. Looking forward, and look for additional pictures. I do not own a real camera, but my son does if you need better quality. Thank you thank you!!!
First, I have to share the picture of her dog.
I am a sucker for animals....
what can I say?????
let's get to the decorating, already....sheesh.
The first room shot she sent was this one.
it's not bad.
Not my style.
LET'S ADD SOME @#$!!!!!
Holly, start collecting creamware or light colored plates to hang on the wall around the mirror.
You'd be amazed at how it would warm the space up, yet still keep the clean lines.
Place a plate above and below the wall sconces, then maybe three over the top of the mirror.
Then do a collection over the little curio cabinet to bring it into scale with the room,
I've never been a fan of Queen Anne and Chippendale sofas.
They don't look cozy or inviting to me.
With everything in the room having legs, it looks like a sea of sticks.
I think, if you had a plumper skirted sofa against the wall, it would do wonders for the space.
But if money's an option (ha), how about a slipcover with a skirt instead?
When you first sent me this picture, I was thinking, if you want the draperies to match the room better, how about painting the walls pink???
Then you sent me your follow up shots, of how the walls used to look.....
Even the ceiling!!!!
I was thinking of a softer pink, with a white ceiling.
But then I looked at the brown walls again, and they're definitely growing on me.
I have a fondness for silk taffeta plaid, so the draperies are good, and I like them against the brown of the walls.
Here's a shot of Holly's room before she painted it pink.
The curio cabinet is much better in it's current position, flat against the wall.
In the shot above, I see the barrel back chairs you have waiting to be reupholstered.
Never do them the way they are in the shot above again!!!!!
Being nice, I'll give you some suggestions, so you can have them done, and get some more furniture in this room for your home tour.
They didn't look good in the green silk either, so there.
Have the upholsterer change the skirt detail to a higher pleated skirt, like this one right heah...
This is a shot I stole off the internet to show you how I think they should be done.....
But instead of those tufted buttoney things, use a simple button.
Or no buttons at all, just a nice high skirt, with a welt along the top, that runs just under the arms, like I did for my aunt.....
Here's a shot of the first chair I ever upholstered.
Don't do a gathered skirt, but a box pleated one could be good, or just a flat one with inverted pleats at the corners.
For the cushions, have the upholsterer, wrap them in dacron to add some crown to the tops.
I prefer the boxed sides, like you have, but they are too flat.
As for the fabric choice,
JUST STICK TO ONE FABRIC ON THE CHAIRS!!!!!
With the cocoa colored walls, it should have a simpler, more sophisticated vibe.
You could use the taffeta that's on the windows, or a plain white like the sofa.
My head is now spinning around, because you have two different furniture placements in your photos.
In the first picture, you have the curio cabinet with a Louis the XV chair.
Then in the second shot, you have a pair of end tables with lamps on them.....
by the way....
the lamps are too tall.
They are almost as high as the wall sconces.
Get shorter, squatter lamps, and while we're at it, get bigger end tables.
One of the problems in your room, is the stuff seems to be floating around because it's not big enough.
Having fun yet, Holly?????
Glad you wanted my help?????
I like the table with the French country chair next to it.
Now don't go getting excited, because I'm about to diss your draperies.
Is that a balloon shade valance along the top?????
Can you get rid of the valance and just have the draperies?????
Or, change the valance to just being flat.
If the valance was interlined with a thick interlining (like felt) it would have the body to poke out a little to give a luxurious feel without the dated feel of a balloon shade.
Now let's talk about the toss pillows on the sofa.
Is that a grain sack pattern fabric?
Not good with the plaid silk taffeta.
Choose a style.... any style.....
I would go back to your pink toile pillows, they pull in the dining room, and work with the plaid.
Now in the picture above, the little tables are in the dining room.....
I'm very confused.
I would put a rug in this room.
How about some natural fiber, like sisal or seagrass?????
It would work off the plain rug of the living room.
While you're collecting the cream colored plates for the wall, how about hanging one above each picture on either side of the china cabinet.
I like the chairs at the end of the dining table!!!!!
Overall, your home is very pretty.
I appreciate that your were working with furniture that has a high sentimental quotient.
I have a niece that I give all that stuff to, so I only have the furniture I like in my house.
Don't tell her I told you that, though......
On one final note.....
If it were my home....
I would paint the newel and the handrail white on the balustrade.
Now I hope all you guys reading my blog have learned something from this.
Namely, don't go asking me for advice.
On that note,