Sunday, February 25, 2018

French Aubusson Rugs, Diet plans and little Reeve has the flu!

A lovely example of a French rustic room with a fancy needlepoint Aubusson rug on the floor.
This is the perfect balance of high and low, or fancy and rustic in home decor.
You won't see too many Aubusson rugs used in today's homes, for whatever reason.
I can barely find examples to share of these beautiful rugs, 
unless you count the rugs found in the Palace of Versailles.
This rug was in the Queen's Nobles Room at the palace of Versailles.
 Hardly any furniture anywhere in the room, just this grand carpet
that was protected by a ring of velvet ropes.  
Of course much of the palace was looted in the revolution and over time they have been finding the original pieces or using similar antiques to replicate how Versailles once looked before the revolution.   Aubusson rugs with their intricate patterns added to the over the top level of decor that spoke to the wealth of the monarchy.  I just love these kind of rugs but imagine them in simpler rooms letting them speak for themselves instead of being drowned out by the layers of ornamentation.
 It appears they have fallen out of fashion.  
Oriental rugs, natural grass rugs and basic bound patterned rugs can be found everywhere. 
 But not needlepoint Aubussons.  
And that is just fine with me. 
You can find them online and their prices on various auction sites aren't bringing 
near what they are worth.  Which is how I scored this room size pink and grey Aubusson for a song.
 It has a shrimp and poppy pink as well as grey and ivory palette, and when it arrives it will decide where it wants to go.  On the wall, or on the floor, or used as upholstery fabric or draped over the piano, I plan to enjoy this pretty floral rug with the classic scroll and leaf flourishes.
What a great tablecloth this Aubusson makes! 
 I saved this on my Pinterest page under the category of Rustic Romantic Style. 
So many ways to use a rug that is finely woven like these needlepoints.
On the home front, my little Reeve came down with the flu and has been very sick.
  Such a cause for worry, this flu has been the scariest one I can remember in many years.  
She was quite lethargic and not herself, having coughing fits all night and day with lots of congestion and fever.  But I am happy to say that this morning she has turned the corner and we are so thankful.
She turned eight months old last week, and her daddy took this portrait of her.  Even while she was sick she managed to smile and enjoy moments here and there.  Half my week I spend caring for her, and she has become a big part of my while I manage bits of blogging and decorating here and there, real life trumps everything. And puts things in perspective.  Speaking of perspective, I was given a most wonderful birthday gift from my sixteen year old stepson.  While not mentioned often on the blog, he has been in my life since he was two years old. He gave me a handmade card which is going in my keepsake box forever!!
 You always hope, as a step mother, that you are doing a good job. 
 Loving your own children and your husband's equally.  
This card just validated all those days of being a mom for him
 and I couldn't be more proud of him.  
He is the easiest child I have (helped) to raise so far....
and he is doing everything right! 
 So to all you step parents out there, you know how good it 
feels when you get something like this.
 Reeve will be back tomorrow at Grammy's daycare. 
 She adores Piper and the feeling is mutual. 
March is upon us, and Mr. Maison Decor and I will be undergoing "March Makeover Month" together.  Essentially it means we are going on a diet plan as the pounds have crept up again over the winter months.  Our diet plan is basically restricted carbs.  No sugar or white stuff like pasta, potatoes, rice, bread etc.  In the past I used to do the Atkins diet with great success for years.  I was able to maintain my weight and clothing size.  So that is what we are going to be doing, starting off with counting carbs and allowing 20 per day.  Its a diet that will drop weight quickly, and after the first few days of cravings, you will be able to manage this diet as it allows fats and proteins that keep hunger at bay.  If you care to join us, please do, but pick a diet that works for you if you don't want to do the Atkins diet.  I hope to be posting updates on things that work for us as well as our weight loss as we move through the month of March.  When Spring arrives, we will be in shape and ready to button up our pants with ease!!

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Best Price on Copper Kitchen Aid Mixers

The iconic Kitchen Aid stand mixer. 
 I have never owned one and I do a fair amount of cooking and baking.  A hand mixer was the way I  handled mixing up batters and whipped cream and pie fillings for decades!  But once I spied the copper colored Kitchen Aid mixer I decided it was time for me to get one.  My sister has one, my son and daughter-in-law have one, and even my grandmother had one. Nana had the old Sunbeam Mixmaster,  a stand mixer that predated these more powerful mixers by Kitchen Aid.
Once I decided to get one, I found that it wasn't as simple as picking a color, I had to pick a model first,  as there are many models to choose from.  

 The engines that run the mixers get more powerful as the size goes up.  The mini Artisan has a 3 quart capacity, the Artisan Tilt Head holds 5 quarts, and the Professional model holds 6 quarts.  The capacity is what helped me make up my mind, as I might be mixing up a box cake mix, a batch of cookies or maybe even two loaves of bread, so I chose the Artisan Tilt Head model, which is the most popular choice of home chefs.  The largest size would be more difficult for everyday mixing of normal size batches of ingredients.  Next I would look for the copper color I loved. 
 Turned out there are more than one copper finish offered by Kitchen Aid. 
The prettiest shiniest copper finish is the "satin copper".  
A search on  Kitchen Aid's website shows two mixers in copper.  
 The largest was a 7 quart  Professional Limited Edition Pro Line Series.
 The price tag was a hefty with  $999.99 and was unavailable on their site, 
but I did find it at Williams Sonoma. Below you will see what Kitchen Aid 
shows when searching "copper mixer".

The same pretty "satin copper" finish is also available in the Mini Artisan,
 but this model is just too small for my needs.  

After more searching I found the 5 quart  mixer in the "satin copper" at Crate and Barrel for $599.00
However the price was also too steep.  The other range of colors were offered around $399.99, and an upcharge of $200 seemed unfair.  Amazon revealed a Copper Pearl finish in the 6 quart size for $399.99, which is a great buy, but I wanted the Artisan 5 quart model.  Still determined to find a Kitchen Aid mixer in copper at a price I was happy with, I pressed on and continued my online search.  
Everything Kitchens, an online retailer for many major brands, carried most of the Kitchen Aid models and all of the copper finishes in the 5 quart sizes.  They had it in the "satin copper", the "copper pearl" and the "antique copper" finishes.  Ultimately I decided upon the Copper Pearl finish. The price was right at $299.00!  I hoped the color would be coppery enough.....I would just have to wait and see.  From everything I researched I had read nothing comparing the copper finishes, only that the metallic series featuring the shinier "satin copper" was it was showing wear and scratch marks after repeated cleanings.  Not a good thing.  So I placed my order and waited....
The day it came, I excitedly got it out of the box and set it up on the kitchen sideboard. 
I was really happy with the color!  These mixers are usually too tall to put on the counter if you have upper cabinets, so make sure you have a place to put your beautiful mixer.  I wanted to look at it as a part of my kitchen decor, so that was important that it have a place to sit everyday.  This quick Instagram pic shows the finish, and although it is not as shiny as the real copper items you see next to it,  its pretty darn close.  
And here under the glare of kitchen lights, it gleams with the copper look I was hoping for....
Reeve loves to sit and watch me cook in the kitchen, and now with my new copper mixer, it gives us more reason to have fun in the kitchen together.  

I am very happy with the Artisan Tilt Head mixer in Copper Pearl, and was excited to find the Everything Kitchens website that offered such a great price.  ( This is not a sponsored post by the way, its just to help anyone who like me, was obsessing on the new Copper colored Kitchen Aid Mixers!)
Do you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer?   What color and how do you like it?  Was it a gift or something you decided to buy for yourself?  I would love to know!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vintage Copper in my kitchen

Copper is trending again in kitchen design, and after seeing it in some of my favorite designer's kitchens, it ignited a desire to start collecting copper cookware and accents for my kitchen.  Green accents like the French enamel canister set and buffalo check curtains and tole tray won't be going anywhere, instead I planned to mix in some warm pretty copper pieces to give it a fresh look.
Mr. Maison Decor and I took a trip to Ontario, Canada to visit some friends, and it was
there that I was able to get a bunch of old copper pieces when visiting an antique market.
The handled piece on the island holds a pot of flowers from the supermarket and I can imagine just changing this out as the blooms fade.  Maybe some pansies in spring, and then some herbs in the summer.  I made room for a shelf full of copper, hanging up the copper mules I already had from last year, with some smaller pans, a cute tiny berry colander  with brass feet and a cheese grater with brass handle.
Some copper scoops were found at an online auction in a mixed lot set of vintage copper.  
The teapot by the window was found in Canada and hails from Denmark.
This pretty teapot sits on its owning warming station, that holds coals to keep the teapot warm.  
It had a lot of lovely handmade details and was the last piece I spotted in the antique market.
Lots of molds were to be found, and I walked away with quite a few,
including the heart shaped mold that has a pair of swans.  
 Swans mate for life, and I think its a fitting design for a heart mold, 
especially appropriate today on Valentines Day.
There is a load of copper that I still have yet to hang up or figure out what to do with,  but I imagine a wall rack to go over this kitchen sideboard where I keep my new copper Kitchen Aid Mixer.  Believe it or not, I have never owned a big mixer like this, and I have to say I am loving everything about it!  I made a birthday cake and a pumpkin pie, and it was so much nicer than using a hand mixer.
It might take a little time to display it in the way that I want to, but I will be sure to share when I do.
A copper colander just like I had in the 80s and some copper measuring cups were just part of the vintage copper group I found on the EBTH website.  
See the old English copper clock in the mirror's  reflection? 
 That was found on the website Chairish, another new to me online auction site.  
Made in England, this vintage clock has a simple school house look, just perfect for a kitchen.....
a french country kitchen with copper accents.  

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Copper in the Kitchen

Copper cookware and accents used in kitchens is nothing new in design, but as trends come and go, this is one that has stuck around.  My first kitchen in my very first apartment was outfitted with copper accents.  I had a big copper pot rack and it hung above a second hand copper colored Tappan range. Copper canisters and a copper colander and a few other copper accents made my kitchen the country kitchen of my young dreams.
Fast forward through a series of house moves and over time the copper disappeared from my kitchen decor.  Maybe I just switched my attention and copper lost its fascination for me.  Well, I am here to say I have fallen in love with copper all over again!  It seems as if I am not alone, as it is appearing in kitchens of some of my favorite designers and bloggers.
Martha Stewart has led the way in setting trends and making certain antiques popular once again when she uses them in her own kitchens and on her baking show.  I spy two (!!) copper Kitchen Aid mixers and measuring spoons and copper molds on the wall.  The copper looks beautiful with the marble and the breadboards and the rustic potted herbs.  I developed a fixation on Martha's copper Kitchen Aid mixer, and the next thing I knew, I was researching the models, the color finishes, and am happy to say I found one at a very good price. My next blog post will be about my mixer and all that I discovered, as soon as I take some pictures of it in my kitchen. Until then I am sharing some amazing copper in amazing kitchens that hopefully inspire you as much as they did me.
Martha Stewart's Bedford, NY  Kitchen
In Martha's  New York kitchen she has a wealth of copper molds and pots and pans displayed on the walls in this huge industrial space.  I also did a lot of research on copper cookware, and was surprised to learn what I found might be interested in learning that good copper cookware is expensive, and the copper will discolor when used on the stove.  Reading the reviews that are posted about different manufacturers will tell a lot about a product line. Copper cookware from different manufacturers vary in quality. I love the look of copper pans hanging in a kitchen, it is very French, so that adds to the appeal for me. (More on that in my next post, as I share the cookware I did purchase and the reasoning behind my decision.)
Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill Farm, CT Kitchen
In her former Connecticut kitchen, an oversized pot rack matches the equally oversized island
and holds a shameful amount of copper pans. It is both obscene and inspiring! If you look closely you will see a stainless pot sitting on the cooktop, making one wonder if this collection is purely decorative.  Even so,  I have to say the copper looks amazing!
French Country Cottage 
This cottage kitchen belonging to Courtney Allison of the French Country Cottage blog, is
just beautiful!  The copper pots appear to be new and hang from a rod suspended inside
the range hood positioned over her blue French LaCanche range.  
Another peek at Courtney's kitchen....just a few well placed copper accents give this kitchen the French cottage charm I love.  Her kitchen also gave my obsession over copper fuel that I was on the right path.  My collection has grown after searching online antique listings, antique shops, thrift shops,  Marshalls and HomeGoods, which are all great places to find copper.  Target and Kohls carry copper accents, so if you are like me, once you start looking for it, you can be certain you will find it.
Switching over to copper has me taking out things and playing around with some of my "new" pieces, like this tin lined copper mold of a pineapple.  I brought it home from the thrift shop and hung it up above a ceramic mold and loved the shiny coppery color.  Now I have a big collection of old and new copper including mixing bowls, shovel scoops, measuring cups, colanders, pans and molds of many shapes and sizes....
and that fabulous copper Kitchen Aid mixer!
I promise I will be back soon with some photos as soon as I finish hanging things where I want them.
Having a lot of fun with my on again off again obsession...can you tell?

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