Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dining Room Centerpiece and a Magical Book

We have been really getting our house straightened out since I have been home.  Our dining room used to have tons of mail and bills on it as we never had time. Time to sort, time to file, time to organize...but now with setting up TWO home offices (one for hubs and one for me) its all working beautifully.  That means my dining room looks pretty most of the time, and that makes me pretty happy.  Our french doors for the back of the house (behind the camera angle) are on order and I imagine they will be in place within a few weeks. Super excited for that day!  In the meantime we do use our table for dining, instead of bill paying...which has been lovely.  In the center I continue to use the big metal and rope tray I got at HomeGoods as a service station of silverware and napkins.  It makes setting a table a breeze.  
 The kitchen is the next room over.  We have a coffee bar station set up along the hallway wall and that may have been one of the best things we created.  When you have small spaces, making them function is a challenge.  We were always bumping into one another in the morning, trying to get our coffee, but no longer.  I highly recommend figuring out where you can put a coffee station if you have the same issues with a small kitchen.  There is only so much space!! 
Speaking of space, I will need to move this bonnet top secretary to another location once the French doors get installed. 
 Although I have gotten fond of my silverware and napkin caddy as a centerpiece, I did pick up this enormous zinc dough trough from England at one of my favorite antique shops in New Hampshire.  I am dying to use it, and although I imagined it being repurposed into a garden sink, I wanted to try it as a centerpiece.  Filled with mums or ornamental cabbage would be amazing, don't you think?  I might try and pop two Boston ferns in it to add some life to the room until its really fall.  I don't like to jump the guns on the seasons....I will not forget that brutal never ending winter. 
Its been wonderful to enjoy meals in the dining room without having to clear off mail and papers to make space.  And speaking of making space and getting things straightened out I happened upon a fantastic and affordable book that is a NY Times bestseller.  Its a Japanese method of getting rid of clutter and getting organized.  Its called "the life changing magic of tidying up".  I read half of it yesterday and promptly went upstairs to my closets and was able to magically tidy them, resulting in five large black trash bags of "discards".  It was pretty easy when you apply the Japanese way of thinking to your "tidying" method.  Its more about what you want to KEEP than what you want to GET RID OF.   I am hopeful I will get my entire house magically tidied!! It felt amazing to just get to my closets.  
 Here is the little book that will do big things for you, if you let it.  I have been buying a lot of books and here is the rest of what I am reading this summer.
This is a tribute book to Charles Faudree, the legendary designer whose middle name is Country French. It was written by his favorite photographer who compiled this beauty of a book.  He recently passed away and the book is filled with his best designs and I found it totally gorgeous and inspiring! 
 Speaking of French, this is a new one written by Sharon Santoni.  I follow her on instagram and saw that she had written this interesting book about her stylish French girlfriends.  Its a closeup look into the lives of a bunch of French ladies, and its more about real life and a day in a life of....kind of like stepping into their shoes.  I found it a great read, as I want to see the real side of France, not a postcard.  Their homes were both in the country and the city and I found many decorating ideas just by seeing how they really live.  So if you love French decor, this one is for you too.
 For my gardening side, I couldn't resist Charlotte Moss' new tome Garden Inspirations. It is a lush publication filled with gorgeous gardens, both hers and other gardens, many historical and well known, like Versailles.  This is a filthy rich book! Great for a gift for any garden lover, or as a present to yourself.  
The latest updates around this house besides tidying up, and a french door installation coming, is that Mr. Maison Decor and I have decided to do the WHOLE 30 plan.  We were inspired by my son Justin who did this a year or so ago.  He looks amazing and feels great. We started yesterday and have 29 more days to follow. Its a regiment of getting back to the whole goodness of real food and cutting everything else out. That means no sugar, dairy, beans, wheat, alcohol etc.  But it does mean fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, chicken, fish and eggs.  Its a bit of a lifestyle change, and we are up to the challenge. I am hoping to drop weight, and hubs is hoping to get rid of his inflammation in his joints. He wouldn't mind dropping a few pounds too.  If you want to learn more, try googling WHOLE30.  
And if you want a knock your socks off delicious as it is easy HOME MADE WHOLE 30 MAYO recipe that is compliant, try this one. I did and it was simple and amazing! We use the blender stick from Kitchen Aid, which is the one I picked up from Costco before we began Whole30. We have been using it for everything since we started our diet (yesterday)!! Hubs whips us omelets with chopped veggies in a flash. Today I made the mayo. Buy this one tool, you will be glad you did. Then make home made dressings and mayonnaise that are so superior to store bought...oh, but I digress.
Lastly, I'm super excited to be heading up to Matthew Meads studio to make video for Wagner Spray Tech company.  I went up last week to practice being "live".  Its going to be interesting! We are going to be showing how to use a brand new small sprayer to be used for Home Decor!!! Its like the size of a dustbuster, and its going to be life changing (for peeps like me).
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Note: This post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation in their Pinterest Designer Board, Happy by Design.


  1. Hi Amy! I love the little book about decluttering.I have done just that this summer,and renewed this home! ( and me in the process). As for whole 30,Idid one last spring and lost 10 pounds quite easily. DON"T QUIT. Also,I didn't drink enough water and recommend you do.On instagram there is whole 30, but also whole 30 recipes which is FABULOUS and helpful!

  2. HI Monica! I am following Whole30 on instagram and it is a great resource. We are not planning on quitting. I usually have a glass of lemon water with me when I am doing things around the house. Glad to hear you did well with the Tidying method. I am excited for all the changes coming this way.

  3. Amy your home is always so beautiful. I will have to look into those books. We keep going back and fourth on the Whole 30 thing.

  4. Amy, you dining room is exquisite....I so love the beautiful transferware!....and I am reading that organizing book too!...I have made many trips to the donation centers so far!....it has truly been uplifting!...You would have thought that I would take my cue from my mom (she's Japanese) on the no clutter thing...as she truly lives that way!...

  5. Love your dining room! Hope to see it in person one day. I think I need that book! My house is filled with clutter. Have fun with Matthew! x

  6. I know you are so happy to have that lovely dining room table back as a place for dining!! Beautiful!! xo Leslie

  7. Hi from Southern California. I am also a Whole 30er and am doing great. I did perfect for the first 30 days and am now going (mostly) on 120 days. I wanted to share a site with you because (like me) you love purple and purple hued china. Suite One studio makes handmade porcelain dishes and some are purple; gold rimmed. They are GORGEOUS and I hope you check it out. Have a great day. Love your home and the tomes! Kathryn

  8. About three months ago I read The Magic of Tidying Up and my daughter and I cleaned out our houses. Love the idea of asking whether it sparks joy...this is the trick that did it for us. Hubs and I have been doing Paleo since 6/8/15 and all my inflammation is gone. We feel great, go to the gym at 6 am six days a week and are loving life. We use coconut oil for everything. cleaning our face, our teeth, as a moisturizer. We even put it in our coffee and tea and use coconut sugar for sweetener. My best advice is give or throw away all flour and sugar and processed products like crackers. If it's not in the house, you will learn to do without.


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