A Living Room Corner, Updated

One of the biggest take-a-ways I gathered from the book, Absolutely Beautiful Things, was the affirmation of the round side table. I've always loved the look, how it breaks up all the straight lines and the added height to the room -  and now I'm happy to know I'm not alone. 

Our off-white drop-leaf table was an eBay score back in Chicago and has been sitting pretty in this corner since we moved into the Charlotte house. But, for some reason, I always had one leaf down. Not for any reason in particular, it just was what it was. Until I read her book, got right up mid-chapter and pulled up that second leaf. It seems like a little change, but sometimes that's all it takes to transform a space. With so much extra surface space, it's time to get vignette-makin'.

Switching gears for just a moment, I have to tell you that I grew up in a beautiful home full of blue and white everything. Everywhere. And for that reason, I never wanted blue and white in any of my homes. Guess what? I was wrong. Blue and white isn't stuffy, boring, or too traditional. If the book doesn't show you that, I have no idea what would! Truth is, I've been coming around for awhile now, but after reading her book I am officially onboard. 

And so my little blue and white collection was born. Well, truthfully, it started when my world travelin' husband brought back the Korean, hand painted, blue and white bowl. Details, details :)

To keep my collection from looking too traditional, I've opted to mix and match a variety of patterns, shapes and sizes. Seeing this little trio is making me excited to grow our collection...

To offset the traditional lamp and classic blue and white, I added something with a bit of quirk - the horse head. I like how the color brings in a touch of rosy glow and plays well with the lamp and couch. Having the colors link from the tabletop to the upholstery and fabrics helps to achieve a cohesive look.

Speaking of fabrics, I took another cue from the book by mixing patterns and ensuring they link to other elements in the room. The big change here is the blue animal print pillow, that I love and really offsets the orange and yellow in the ikat pillow. And who doesn't love a little faux fur pompom on their throw? No one.

Amazing how a couple of small changes all spurned on by one book has transformed the feel of one corner of our living room. 

until next time,
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In My Library: Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro

Happy Monday! I can't let this past weekend come to close without taking a moment to thank the amazing Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality blog for sharing a tour of our home on Friday and in turn introducing us to tons of new followers - so, hello to everyone!!! And a special thanks to Rhoda. 
Now, on to my regular ramblings.

This past Christmas some of my absolute favorite gifts were new additions to our library. Of course, I love to drool over and gather inspiration from the images within, but I also love to decorate with books, making books the perfect gift that keeps on giving! 

Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro was a big splurge and I was simply stunned to find it waiting under the tree for me. If you're not familiar with Anna Spiro and her work through Black & Spiro let me be the first to enlighten you: she hails from Australia and has the most fascinating sense of style, her unique take on mixing colors and patterns has truly set her apart from other designers. 

Although her style may not be everyones cup of tea nor do I think it could or should ever be exactly replicated, there is a lot of inspiration to gather from her book. After all, it is one of a very short stack of decor books that I actually read cover to cover. Now that's saying something. 

Here are a couple of take-a-ways I gathered:
1. A round sidetable  -  thrilled to see I'm not the only one that loves a good round table in rooms other than the kitchen! There's nothing better to break up all the hard, straight lines of multiple sofas or a sectional than a round table.

2. Blue and white - She shows that blue and white, although obviously very classic, doesn't have to be stuffy or boring. Especially paired with pink (more on that later). 

3. Shelves - I love that her shelves aren't perfectly styled and look as though someone has actually been using them (the shock and horror of it all). And to add insult to injury her "books" aren't all antique leather bound first editions. Gotta love that.

4. Pink - She loves color, no doubt about that, but she especially loves her pink. Pink can be used in so many ways other than just in a little girl's room. 

5. Mixing Patterns - she loves to play with color, pattern and texture. My favorite quote from the book, "It's all about the mix not the match". So true.

I'll be back a little later in the week to share how I've incorporated some of these ideas into our own living room. Have a good one!

until next time, 
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Inspiration File: Kitchen

The other day I was sifting through my emails, as one does, briefly skimming the less important ones, sometimes just glancing through the images. We all do it. 
Then, I saw this image and my mouth fell right open. To the floor.

What can I say about this kitchen other than this: I love it.

Let me just count the ways...
1. The built in, glass fronted hutch in place of upper cabinets.
2. The open storage filled with cookbooks and ceramics.
3. All the windows and natural light.
4. The built-in appliances (dishwasher) - how I miss this, daily.

5. Um, that sink (which was salvaged, incidentally).
6. The backsplash.
7. The towel bar under the sink.
8. The lived in, homey, vintage feel.

I'm sure my list could go on and on, but I'll stop there. It's been awhile since an image of a kitchen has stopped me in my tracks and it'll be awhile before this one stops haunting my thoughts. 

until next time,
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