Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some more decorating details!!!

To continue with my obsession with details, I will share some more with you guys! I like to group items of similar subjects, whether they be table top accessories or paintings and prints (or plates). So, in my family room I hung a series of paintings of horses and carts. I collected these from when I was in my early 20's, and didn't notice a theme until I had bought a whole bunch. My main impetuous was cheap art that appealed to me. I was too dense to notice a common thread until years later when I wanted to cover the walls of my living room in Watertown with paintings and assembled my various stuff that was stored around by house. Stuff in the attic, stuff in the basement..... you get my drift? I had stuff everywhere.

I put the cart before the horse!! (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist that.)
Although these paintings are by different artists from different times and places, in my little warped universe, I have imagined that the horse and cart in the bottom two paintings are being used in the top painting.
The world of my inner mind is a wondrous and bizarre place.

O.K., now, in these two paintings, ya see, this woman is driving her donkey and cart to market, when she comes upon her friend, and stops for a good dose of gossip. (I know, I know, I need to get a life.)

Now, this painting isn't as pretty as the other ones, and I hung it up high in the peak of my family room ceiling. My friend Kris thinks this is one of the ugliest things she's ever seen, but it fits in with my narrative. It was my Mother who pointed out to me that the donkey has turned its head around to face his mistress. He's actually standing facing the wall, with his head turned. Before she pointed this out to me, I thought the artist had gotten the anatomy wrong! My Mom is so smart. (or I am so dumb). O.K., now for my story....See, the donkey was hurt on the way back from the market, and the woman is very worried about his foot, and he loves her, which is why he's turned around to look at her, 'cuz he knows she will fix him right up.

Alright, now to redeem myself with some helpful design tips!

I wanted to create a country farm house feel to the architectural detailing on the fireplace wall in the family room, so I had the wall clad in V-groove paneling. I used wrought iron hinges and clasps for the hardware


When I created the mantle detail, I decided I wanted an extremely simple shelf over the fire box.

I grew up in an old farm house style house in Westchester NY, and the fireplace surround had been matt black slate. I recreated that look here.
To hide the fact that it was a metal firebox and not a massonry fire box, I used an antique fender that I lucked out in finding that fit the size EXACTLY!

This is the way it looks without the fender......

Just like make up, sometimes you need to add a little help to enhance the look of a homes features.
Now, if only I could get a fender to stick to my face....
Believe it or not, this now concludes my pontificating about my family room and kitchen.


Amy Chalmers said...

Wow the fender adds so much to the firebox. I had an old one for one of my houses and one day while moving to another house and needing to get rid of my stuff, I donated the solid brass fender to the winchester swap shop (aka dump)! I was in a purging mood....I liked you artwork. Now do you decorate your house seasonally at all? Like anything special for fall and thanksgiving season? Just curious...

Twice Nice said...

I nominated you for a Blog Award, check it out at http://twicenice.blogspot.com
And I totally understand if you think of it as a "Chain letter" kind of thing and don't want to "play". Hopefully you'll see some new faces visiting you though! Deb

Anonymous said...

Betsy, you are one funny lady!
Besides being a talented decorator, and providing wonderful ideas to people like me ( I'm not imaginative or artistic in the least) you make me LAUGH OUT LOUD! You are about as real as it gets, and I always look forward to your blog.
Keep it up girl...I love the Florida cottage. It is to die for. I'm sorry to say the 'Before' picture would have had me running in the opposite direction ( I told you..no imagination) but what you made of it is exquisite. You captured Old Florida charm to a TEE...... :)

Sandra Perry said...

Hi Betsy, I love your decorating style. I am an anglophile and I would love to live in a sleepy English village and have my cottage dressed as you have done. I am trying in my way to emulate the style but on a very strict budget. I embrace the reuse, recycle adage. I love plaid, Scotland is the homeland of some of my husband's ancestors and we embrace that part of his history. I stumbled upon your blog from Pinterest and am going to bookmark it. I live in Boston Ma and also embrace the English history of the place. I hope to learn and enjoy your entries from now on.

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