Monday, December 29, 2014

Freshening up when the glow is gone...

Now it begins!  The taking down of Christmas and the reality of what lies underneath the glow.  Most of us end up thinking of updating, changing and rearranging.  I have often forgotten what goes back where something of Christmas has lived now for six week.   I've picked out and revised one of my most visited posts from the past that might be helpful.  

How about a slipcover for that aging sofa or chair?  Slipcovers can be difficult and most workshops charge about as much to make one as to reupholster a piece.  My comfy sofa is slipcovered year round.  I have a little twelve pound tornado whose favorite location, when out of her crate, is the sofa and that includes freshly in from a walk outside.  

This is a nice one:


It comes from Ballard Designs.  This was on a website called D├ęcor Pad.  Very neat for a slipcover. 

My mama used slipcovers and she made them.  She was an expert seamstress and upholsterer.  Things at our house were always changing.  My daddy would say he looked before he sat to make sure the chair was still there.  This is the same woman who painted our living room chartreuse in the fifties.  I wasn't there when her garden club, the ladies of pink and blue interiors attended but I'd bet not one ventured a negative "ahem".  BTW, the complementary draperies to that scheme were bark cloth. 

I read something today about warming up the home for winter with more weighty fabrics.  That's what started this whole conversation.  Of course the first suggestion was to add a down comforter to the bed.  I can't add one without overdoing it.  My down blanket stays on year round.  If I'm dressing the room for show, I fold it at the bottom of the bed.  The bedspread is an antique linen sheet with a heavy lace border.  A lofty comforter certainly gives an aura of warmth.  The article also suggested using weightier sheets.  I never noticed that higher thread count sheets are heavier.  Did you?  I have some darker sheets that make the bed feel cozier.  A good friend will have nothing but flannel in winter and fancies LL Bean. 

Another suggestion was to use more colorful towels to add warmth.  I've been totally white forever.  I might consider that change.  Only one problem.  What color? 

Which of these is warmer? 


The red, right?  I'm not sure I could go warmer.  Maybe heftier.  I am a white towel purist but I'm considering a trip to Home Goods.  Love that place!  The suggestions in the article were aubergine and burnt orange.  Having looked at that photo quite seriously, I think I know why I have white towels.  I can't choose a color!!


~Sami 










Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Where's Your Christmas?

I feel like some of my older posts are worthy of revisiting.  Seems like a good time for this one.

It's here!  The time of the year when the urging, begging, annoying, nagging and other forms of persuasion begin in most households relative to moving in the Christmas decorations.  Boxes either have to be retrieved from an attic, basement, garage or the storage building across town.

Did you ever consider there might be a better option than putting it all in a box and hauling it to some dark corner?  I did and here is my solution.



This is a drawer in a large English chest that sits right in the living room where my tree gets decorated.  The drawer has several layers of tissue on the bottom and I've used divisions to separate ornaments by color, theme or size. 


This section is for some big ornaments. 



A section of the same drawerl.  


  

Another drawer.  This one holds holly candle rings, my collection of bottle brush trees, Christmas CD's, rolled ribbons, some neat Dept. 56 ribbon candle rings, a cup and saucer from my childhood teaset, old wood blocks with significant letters.  It is a tradition that I use the same ribbons year after year.  They show up tied on cup handles, candlesticks, bunches of holly.  Sometimes to accent a special ornament on the tree or to anchor one in a precarious spot.  I even have some satin ones from a Christmas wreath that hung on my Mom's door in the fifties.  As you can see by the top of the chest I was in the process of storing things when the photos were done. 



An idea of what goes in one side of the drawer.  In the back is a very old ornament box that I always use to display some treasures.  There is the ornament that commemorates my little bug.   I have a small collection of wooden tops most of which stay out year-round in a pretty bowl.  The one in the drawer joins the others at Christmas.  Most of my stuff is sentimental and traditional.




The two smaller drawers at the top of the chest hold my creche figures on one side and the other drawer holds small fragile ornaments . There are some small Radkos, some old family ornaments from my parents - one blue one is showing in the back.  In front is my collection of little grape bunches.  I cherish them.  



The bottom drawer really holds a lot of stuff.  There are several stuffed Santas - two from Toy Works that I wrote about a while ago, lots of stockings - decorative and personal, some small pretty boxes, books, a old flocked reindeer who visits under the tree every year, a couple of pillows and a Dept. 56 Santa with his hot air balloon.  I also have a collection of those little advertising hat boxes like you see in the upper right corner.  

My tree, swags and some other large things are in storage but my wonderful big chest holds all the stuff that used to go into boxes.  The best part is that throughout the year I can open a drawer and get a touch of Christmas. 

Happy Holidays!!

~Sami



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Doing The Mantel?


Two suggestions for mantel decor that use materials that might already be collected or on hand.  



  Bottle brush trees = nostalgia.




Not extravagant but definitely impressive.  

Hope I'm not pushing the season but I know you're thinking.

~Sami