Monday, November 27, 2017

French Country Christmas Courtyard

 Welcome to our Christmas Courtyard!
 Decking the halls begins with the exterior, and for me, it is the wreath on the door that says "Merry Christmas" and "Welcome" to our home.  Happily I partnered with Lynch Creek Farm,  a family business located in the Pacific Northwest that sells elegant evergreens from their farm.  Living in the New England, I have decorated our home for many years with local evergreens from big box stores and small garden nurseries.  Lynch Creek Farm topped them all with their big bountiful and beautiful wreaths.  I couldn't be happier to pass the word along, as well as give my readers a chance to win their own wreath or centerpiece in a Lynch Creek Farm giveaway!
For my french doors in our courtyard I chose the 26" Blended Bay Wreaths with moss green bows. 
 The style of this wreath felt most like something you would find in the French countryside. 
Full and lush with bay leaves, cedar and balsam greens, and pinecones, adorned with a moss green burlap wired bow. They come with or without bows, with bows in either an apple or moss green color.
 Piper and I set the stage for a Christmas courtyard, starting with the old
cast iron urns, that we filled with cut lengths of birch, followed by balsam clippings
around the edges.  It is a simple treatment for outdoor containers and it will look
good all winter long.  The natural Blended Bay wreaths will go the distance too, 
as appropriate as they are for ringing in the holidays, they will look still look great 
during the long winter months when the snow begins to fly.
 A pretty winter dressing for the courtyard is just what I had in mind.
Understated elegance, and it all looks wonderful with the rustic nature of the space.
Of course Lynch Creek Farm has a huge variety of wreaths, with everything one
can imagine~velvet bows in rich holiday red and cranberry,  magnolia leaf wreaths,
themed wreaths for wine country and whimsical styles as well.  
The Blended Bay should be renamed the French Country Wreath if you want 
my opinion.....haha!
One tip for filling outdoor containers is to stuff them while the weather has yet to
get too cold, so that the potting soil will accept the branches and logs, and then when
it freezes it will keep them in place all winter long.  You can add berry twigs or ribbons
or keep it simple, like I did.  I do plan to add some twinkling white lights to each urn
for a bit of extra sparkle and magic to our entry. 
Piper is pretty pleased with how it all turned out.
She only ran off with one birch log while I was busy hanging the wreaths.
Caught in the act!  Oh well, she is still just a big puppy.
 It couldn't look nicer, and now I wish I had one more of these wreaths to
decorate my little garden shed.  When they first arrived, I took one up to the 
shed and tried it out....and it looked so darling. 
 Guess I could use one more...
Simply gorgeous.  
These wreaths will last for months when hung outdoors
in our cold climate.  They can also be hung indoors and will last for weeks
with a regular misting of water to keep the greens fresh.
Before we know it, Christmas will be here! 
Our guests will be entering our home 
through the courtyard to celebrate the season.  
 My wreaths from Lynch Creek Farm set the tone for what lies ahead...
a bountiful and beautiful holiday home.  

Now for the Lynch Creek Farm Giveaway!

All you have to do for a chance to win a centerpiece or wreath is to visit 
Lynch Creek Farm and come back and tell me what item you would love to win.
For more chances to win, leave a comment on each of my blogging friends posts
as well!  Also, make sure you leave your email address in the comments so we 
can contact the winners.  The giveaway is limited to residents of the Continental U.S.
and Canada. The deadline is midnight, Sunday, December 3, 2017.

See their beautiful homes via the links below~
Click and visit!   Good Luck and Happy Holidays!!

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Grey velvet curtains, gilded cornices and Piper

 Velvet draperies are so luxurious.  Hard to tell from this shot, but the velvet
warms up the room, making it nice and cozy for the cold weather months.
I found these 96" lined velvet pinch pleated panels at HomeGoods, in case
you are searching for some at a reasonable price.  Their drapery department has
been pretty impressive lately, as I also found Belgian linen panels earlier this year.
I have had white smocked curtain panels from Pottery Barn hanging in this room
for years now, underneath white metal cornices that I made from vintage cornices
I found at an antique shop in New Hampshire.  They were stamped brass metal, in an
old gold color.  Hmmmm, I kind of wish they were the brass finish now.  At any rate,
I didn't like the look of the grey velvet under the white cornices so I painted them with 
Paris Grey Chalk Paint by you know who.  
 After painting them, I outlined the top with some gilding wax in gold.  Its a quick project
that I was able to do in an hour.  Getting ready for the holidays around here now, so I am envisioning a very Versailles Christmas in my mind's eye.  That means gold and gilding and velvet and of
course that wonderful blue color that Marie Antoinette loved so much.  Its much the same as my wall color in the living room, Woodlawn Blue by Benjamin Moore.  Imagine a white christmas tree with blue and gold....maybe some velvet ribbon.  Yummy!  In the latest Horchow Collection catalogue they have a Versailles Christmas ornament and ribbon collection!  I almost fell out of my french chair.  The only thing I didn't care for was that they added red to the blue and gold collection, which will never happen on my tree.  And thats the awesome thing about Christmas decorating, or any kind of get to put your own stamp of personal style and vision together.  And each year its always a bit different, and that makes it fun for me.
So forgive me if Christmas decorating starts making an early appearance on my blog, but I am more than excited this year to get my trees up!  I think Reeve will love seeing the twinkle and the sparkle and the wonder of it all.  I am hoping little Piper can keep her composure around the trees and not make a mess of it.
She's pretty curious about just about everything. 

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thanksgiving Inspiration Starts at Home

 If you love to decorate or simply take pleasure in setting a nice table for Thanksgiving,
then you are like me! This year I will be hosting again, and I always look forward to having family come to our home and celebrate Thanksgiving.  I don't run out and buy new decorations, but instead look to use what I already have in a new way.  Taking a look back at last year and the year before at what I did in my home inspires me to tweak and change the bits and pieces in my fall stash. Do you do the same thing over and over? Or do you change it up?  I think we all have our own best ideas, and by looking back in the past, its nice to remember the better ones to guide and inspire.
 Although Fall is the season I decorate least around the house,  a few pumpkins with some wintery looking pillows or throws is how I approach it.  Pillows are magic when it comes to decorating, and just by switching them out, you can change the look and feel in a room.  
The dining room is the most important room for Thanksgiving.
This table was perhaps my most favorite table of all.  
I loved how the colors all felt soft and monochromatic.  
The Cinderella blue pumpkins from Trader Joes were a big part of the table design, 
with a few white pumpkins added here and there.
 A vintage compote urn I found at Boston's Vintage SOWA market was my centerpiece.
You can visit this awesome Vintage Market every Sunday, on Harrison Ave in Boston to find your own special treasures.
 I do think a white table cloth adds a formality you can't replicate for holiday formal dining.  But last year I wanted to have a more rustic casual feeling, mixing fancier items, like sterling silver flatware with gold luster and transferware plates, but without the white cloth. I used my large French napkins under each place setting.
 And it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving at our home without my purple transfer ware dishes!
I'm taking my favorite ideas as inspiration and then seeing what I come up with
for this years Thanksgiving table.  With my new granddaughter Reeve bringing her parents along, its just going to be so much fun!  Of course she won't be eating any turkey or stuffing, but she will bring  joy to the occasion, and thats what Thanksgiving is all about.  And although I don't talk about this very often, many of my readers may remember, it was on Thanksgiving 2015 that Reeve's aunt Taylor suffered her heart failure and was hospitalized.  And then it was around the following Thanksgiving that Taylor got her new heart...
We give thanks for Taylor being healthy, and for having Reeve Taylor Power
 as the youngest member of our growing family making 2017 quite a special year.  
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