Autumn Afternoon Al Fresco

We have this lovely screened in porch off the back of our home and even though the air has already begun to get a chill, I still can't help but want to dine Al Fresco on a sunny autumn afternoon.

For this table setting I decided to forgo a tablecloth and simply use a runner and wicker place mats to cover the wrought iron table. Then I made good use of a portion of the twenty pounds of apples my kids picked last weekend at a local apple orchard. The organic feel of the apples and wicker is contrasted with crystal stemware and candle holders along with a little bling from both the flatware and shiny silver chargers.

The Perfect Autumn Lunch Menu

Butternut Squash Bisque

Grilled Chicken with Apple, Bacon, Walnuts, Red Grapes and Crumbled Blue Cheese on a Bed of Salad Greens with a Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Sonoma County St. Francis Chardonnay



Colorful Country Vignette

This is the buffet in my kitchen (yes I do have some furniture in my home which has ecsaped the mighty can of spray paint) and as you can tell I have a little thing for chickens. I know that they are probably headed the way of the cow and the pig, but I can't help it I still love 'em!

The wonderful art piece on the shelf I bought in Brimfield last month...it is actually a barn shutter and the chickens were hand painted. This piece has also been weather treated so it is safe to put outside.

I thought the candlestick lamps needed a little something so I tied a piece of raffia onto each lamp.

Happy Autumn Everyone!!!

This post is linked to the following...


Interior Redesign and Real Estate Staging

This redesign was simply a matter of thinking a bit out of the box. The home here was on the real estate market for three months before the sellers decided to have it professionally staged. In this particular redesign or "staging", the object is to give this home a more inviting feel. So here is what two of the main living spaces looked like before the staging.

The Living Room Before...

The Family Room Before...

So what was done to give these two spaces a more charming look and feel?

Well take a look at the  After...

The sofa and love seat along with one of the area carpets from the family room were brought into the living room and placed on an angle. The purpose of placing the main seating area on the angle is to make the architectural feature of the fireplace stand out as the focal point of the room. Immediately upon entering the room the eye will go right to the beautiful stone fireplace.

The adornment on the fireplace before (above photo) was too small and lacked color. So plants were added along with some larger artwork the homeowner already owned.

Another thing to remember when placing furniture and artwork together is to make sure they are some how connected. The art on the wall in the picture below is simply too small and is too far away from the piece of furniture that is under it, so it appears to be just floating. It also lacks color and interest. This wall happens to be opposite the front door of the home, so if this is the first impression prospective buyers get as they enter it unfortunately will set a rather unexcited tone for the entire house. 

The short table was replaced by a taller table and the large colorful piece of artwork that was hanging adjacent to the far window was hung above the table! The new vignette speaks volumes about this home!

And now for the family room...the sofa from the living room was brought into this space and placed on an angle, only this time the angle is used to break up the long linear lines of the room. And the short table from the entryway was placed in front of the sofa as a coffee table. An area carpet was placed under the sofa and table in order to ground the seating arrangement.

The small table and chairs were moved to the middle of the room again to break up the long runway look this room had previously.

Now these rooms feel much more interesting and inviting. Before the redesign the homeowner was convinced that there was no other way to arrange the furniture in these two rooms. Well all it took was a little creative out of the box thinking to pull this home's main living spaces together into a sure to sell look!


Happy Halloween...Roxy the Dog Goes as Jersey Shore's "Snookie"

O.K. I am sharing this will all of you because it is so funny that I simply cannot keep it to myself!!! This is Roxy, a 3 1/2 year old Black Mouth Cur, who actually belongs to my brother-in-law's family. His wife and kids came up with the outfit to enter her in a pet costume contest at their vet's office.

I think it is pretty darn cleaver!!

All I can say is that Roxy certainly must love her family an awful lot to sit with all this garb on long enough to have her picture taken!
Good girl Roxy...good girl!

This post is linked to the following...
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


$10 Yard Sale Cabinet...Glammed Up!

This has to be one of my favorite and most dramatic transformations yet!!! This piece has a formica top which I really didn't want to mess with so I decided to work around it! The cabinet has wonderful bones but the drab yellow country finish did not show it off, so I sanded it down, painted it black and highlighted the detailing with gold leafing to really "glam" it up.

Take a look at the Before...

And now check out the After...

black painted cabinet with gold leafing

This piece fits perfectly under my $5 flea market photo of the Flat Iron building in New York City. I also found this great black and white barrel shaped lampshade ($24...a little more than I would have liked to have spent) at Lowe's which works really well with my $9 Walmart clearance lamp.

This post is linked to the following...

Boogieboard Cottage

Keeping It Simple


Somewhat Simple

shabby creek cottage

The Shabby Nest


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