Up, Up, Up

Sometimes the staircase in a home is overlooked, but I think that’s a mistake.  It’s a huge architectural feature in your home, and it can really make a statement.  Here are a few I really like.

source unkown

I LOVE this railing.  It’s dainty and strong at the same time.  It’s modern and a little French (which I always love).  So sophisticated.

James Hunniford-designer.  Another iron staircase.  These metal staircases are my obsession right now.  I love the thin lines they create.  And the gold railing on this one, makes it so rich.

Liz Hands Wood- designer. This look is definitely sophisticated but the grass runner gives it a great California casual feel.
Fairfax & Sammons Architecture.  The spindles on this staircase are very straight and thin, almost streamline.  This house is so traditional and like this simpleness with everything else going on.
Kathryn Scott Design.  The stairs are marble.  This is very formal but really makes it French.
This one is so different.  It’s a tudor style house.  The baluster is very traditional in design, but they whole thing feels up to date with the are and white paint.
Peter Dunham Design.  This is your standard traditional railing.  Dunham has updated this look with the great pattern.  And the white paneling looks great.
Loi Thai Design.  They kept the original balusters and painted everything white.  Looks so beautiful with the light floors.
Mary McDonald Design.  This is a wonderful combination of so many great design techniques.  Again, a traditional staircase, but she’s added a beautiful tile pattern, gorgeous wallpaper, grass runner to soften things up, and a brass lantern for more shine.
This look is so beachy and soft.  The balusters have lovely rounded tops.  So cute!
VT Interiors.  Beautiful custom details on this railing.  It’s specifically designed for this home, giving it a modern, casual feel.  Love it with the traditional paneling.
This staircase totally gives character to this space.  It reminds me of an updated chalet!
Black railing.  I almost did this to our current house. I’m so glad I didn’t!  I still like it, but it wouldn’t have worked in our home.
So many to choose from!  Do you have a favorite?

To Faux or not to Faux?

T0 Faux or not to Faux?  That is the question.  At least around these parts.  I would say for the last 10 years the Old World style has been very popular in Oklahoma.  Things are changing a bit lately.  Things are becoming a bit brighter and cleaner.

I have a philosophy when it comes to this style.  I really like it if it’s done right.  Some people tend to go way over the top (as in anything in life, right?).  The key to successfully decorating in this style is moderation.  Too much fringe.  Too much gold.  Too much velvet.  Too many faux painted walls.  This has such a heavy feeling to me.  However, I think Old World can be done with out going to the extreme!

My Old World Rules:

Rule #1- Never faux finish or crackle paint an entire kitchen or bathroom.  Instead, do just one piece of furniture.  I think this makes it look more authentic.  People wonder: Is that really old?  But if the entire kitchen is done that way, it’s pretty obvious it’s not really antique.

Here are some examples of this I really like.

Now this Swedish armoire is probably really old, but you get the idea.  The patina of the piece also goes with the rest of the rustic furniture.
This living room is bright and beautiful.  The antiqued mirror adds character to the room.
Design by Lisa Luby Ryan.  Notice the chest, mirror and settee all have a patina.  These few pieces add that Old World charm without being over the top!
Rule #2- Never faux finish the walls of an entire room.  Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.  If you have a professional that knows how to create a beautiful patina to woodwork, it can be extremely beautiful!  I’m really talking about what they used to do here in Oklahoma about 5 to 10 years ago.  They would paint the walls then take a rag and rub a stain or another paint over the top.  I think the goal was to create a cool finish.  Some did look okay, but a lot of the finishes just made the walls look dirty.  I think you can still achieve the old look without this effect.
Another design by Lisa Luby Ryan.  This room still has an old French/Belgian feel because of the furniture, art and lighting.  Nothing needs to be done to the walls to give this effect.
This home is by Loren Interiors in Houston.  It has a distinctly European feel because of the rock, wide plank floors, furniture and lighting.
Decor de Provence.  Notice old-looking floors, old fireplace, art and beams.
I think this room is so homey and beautiful.  The beams add richness and I love the painted bookcases.  They might even have a patina finish on them that would be a great little touch.  The smooth cream walls keep it so soft.
This has a more rich look without being over the top.  It’s still livable.
Rule #3- Keep fabric and trims to a minimum.  I would say the majority of us do not live in a palace like Versailles, so why do we try so hard to make our homes look like a castle?  Everyone has their own taste.  I understand that.  For me, I like to keep the opulent finishes to a minimum.  I love a very formal look, but I’m talking about embellishments.
Reece Witherspoons ranch in California.  It is very Old World Spanish without fringe and red velvet.
The iron staircase and luxurious rug add the richness to this space.
Room by Patricia Healing and Daniel Barsanti.  It’s Old World in architecture, but the furniture is simple with luxurious upholstery.
These homes are really Mediterranean in origin.  And who doesn’t love the Mediterranean? It’s glamorous and rich looking. I think that’s why people around here want to try to copy that European look.  In moderation with a few great pieces, it can be extremely lovely and luxurious.


Fall Decor, New Front Doors, and a Little Pumpkin

I’m excited to show you our new front doors!

BEFORE PIC (last fall):




You can somewhat see the new trim paint on the house in this picture.  I’m very happy with the way everything turned out.  I love the new doors.  I ended up going with fiberglass doors because, as you can see, there is not overhang over the doors.  These Oklahoma storms just pound these doors.  The previous door was completely rotten, so I knew I couldn’t go back with wood doors.  The new one’s are painted black.  I’m still looking for new outdoor sconces.

We had a wonderful fall weekend with family and friends.

Happy Halloween from my little pumpkin and me!




Designers Guild

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never been a huge fan of wallpaper. Once you tried to peel wallpaper off of a wall, you say to yourself, “I will never put up wallpaper again!”  Well, I guess I’m far enough removed from my last horrible wallpaper experience because I ordered four rolls for my powder bathroom.  Even my husband (the wallpaper hater) loves what I’ve chosen!  I chose this wall covering from Designers Guild:

It is a light purpley-pink.  The marble on the floor is purple, grey and lilac.  I decided not to hide from the crazy marble.  I’m just going to play it up.  It’s going to look fun and elegant at the same time.  I’m excited to have some color in my home!

Designers Guild is a fabulous company out of London.  It is owned and run by Tricia Guild and her brother.  If you love color and pattern, you will love all Designers Guild products.  The patterns and colors speak for themselves, so I’m just going to post a lot of pictures for you!  They carry everything from linens and pillows to designer fabric and wall coverings.  AND they’re having a big SALE right now, so find something beautiful for yourself!

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Are you in love yet?  I know I am!  I know that it’s kind of wild, but the colors and patterns are just exquisite.


Rue Magazine Issue Three

Please, please, please check this out.  You will not be disappointed.  There are so many things I’m inspired by in this issue.  It’s seriously going to take me a month to sort through every little detail.  Well done team Rue!

Rue Magazine Issue Three January/February.

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