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.


The Right Light

Well I hope you all are feeling better the me right now.  I have been sicky for almost a week.  Pregnancy + upper respiratory infection = misery.

I’m working on a kitchen project, and I just want to share my thoughts on how important lighting can be for the overall design of a space.  Basically, you can spend thousands on decor or cabinets, but if you have cheap or dated lights, it will totally ruin the space.  Lights add character, personality, and shine.  Don’t skimp on lighting.  Look around and find the best deal, but save room in your budget for beautiful lighting.  Here are some examples of how lights add juxtaposition, character, richness, and shine in a kitchen.

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These lanterns help draw your eye to the beautiful windows.  It brings it all together.

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Again, these lights accent the dark metal in the room and bring a modern contrast to this Euro rustic dining room.

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I love the contrast of this traditional kitchen with the modern pendant.

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These mini chandeliers give this kitchen a feminine sparkle.

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I like the industrial look of these dark pendants paired with the modern square chandelier shade.

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I love the contrast of this dark chandelier with light cabinets and walls.  It’s also got a rustic look that really draws your eye up.

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These pendants give great shine.

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These pendants give this kitchen a chic glamorous look. Doesn’t it look expensive?

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This lantern reiterates the traditional aspect of this kitchen.

Cheap and Cheaper Chandelier

I’ve liked this chandelier from Pottery Barn for awhile.  It’s not too expensive for a chandelier with so many crystals at $399.

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But I found it cheaper at Overstock!  $158.39

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I put it in our new master bath.  It looks great!  Yes, there was “some assembly required”.  But you have to assemble the PB chandelier too.  Lesson learned:  Look around before you purchase something off one of the major retail sites.


Antiques de Provence in New Orleans

When we were in New Orleans in April, I stumbled across this amazing store Antiques de Provence.  This is the real deal folks.  Beautiful antique pieces from France.  It is truly amazing, and I could have spent all afternoon day dreaming.  Most pieces are way out of my budget.  A girl can dream…














Antiques de Provence

Cynthia W. Nunez


 623 Royal St French Quarter
New Orleans, LA 70130

(formerly located at 525 St. Louis)
504.529.4342 tel
504.529.4406 fax

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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Formal Dining Room–My Advice

Our dining room is complete–for now.  There are a few more details to finish, but, for the most part, it’s complete.  It is everything I wanted it to be.  It’s formal and elegant.  Lately, design trends have seems much more casual.  Houses have moved away from having formal living and dining rooms.  Call me old-fashioned, but I really like having “adult spaces”.  I mean that I like having areas in my home to entertain adults without having toys and kid-friendly fabric everywhere.  Why should I wait 25 years to have beautiful things?  I’m thankful we have a home that provides entertaining areas that I can make my own.

I think the dining room table is one piece of furniture that should be classic and not trendy.  In general, you buy one (maybe two) dining room tables in a lifetime.  Therefore, find something traditional that won’t go out of style.  I’m usually all about finding a “deal”, but, in this case, go for quality–even if that means spending more.

Dining chairs are a little different.  They don’t have to be matchy-matchy.  You can do something totally different on the wing-chairs.  In my case, I decided to keep everything the same, but I love the look of mismatched dining chairs.  Newsflash!  Dining room chairs can be expensive!  Even the cheaper one’s are pricey.  You can replace chairs, so go for what you like.  You can always have them reupholstered if the fabric goes out of style or they get dirty.  I think this is one area to go with the trend.

Dining room rugs can be tricky.  In general, an 8×10 will work in most dining rooms.  When my table has its leaf in, it will extend past the rug.  This is okay.  I don’t leave the leaf in all the time.  You want all the chair legs on the rug when they are pushed in.  I do NOT like thick, heavy rugs under dining room tables.  I don’t want to slide my chair out and be half on and half off a rug that’s an inch thick.  It doesn’t make sense to me to spend a lot of money on a rug that’s going to be under an area where people are eating.  I know rugs are outrageously expensive, but try to find one that’s on the low to moderate end of the spectrum for this room.

The curtains in our dining room are stunning.  They are probably one of my most favorite things in our new home.  They are silk-taffeta and look like an umpire-waist dress.  My husband is sweet to let me have a few feminine pieces in our home.  The top third is cream and the bottom two-thirds is gathered grey and cream silk.  Because this is a bay window, I had to have a rod custom made.  The rings are in a C-shape so I can still slide the curtains back and forth for privacy.  This was important to me, and this was the only way to accomplish this problem.  I know that the curtains are not hung directly below the crown-molding.  This is the current trend.  In general, I think this looks best.  When we put the rod under the crown, something looked wrong.  I decided to hang them right above the top of the window.  They will be open most of the time and easier to open and close.  I go back and forth about my decision, but I think I made the right one.

I still love my mirrored sideboard.  It’s a very trendy piece, but I think it adds glitz and shine to the room.  The chandelier also adds sparkle and shine.


Rug from Feizy

Table and Chairs from Restoration Hardware

Buffet from zgallerie

Curtains from The Curtain Exchange

Art from Wisteria