Friday, October 23, 2009

Preparing to Pull Up Roots

Even though fall leads to the dreaded winter, I do love the colors of fall in the Midwest.  I took this picture of my Japanese maple from my front window yesterday morning.  Yes, that's the garbage truck on the left - try to ignore that okay?

As pretty as it is, the maple blocks most of the window (hence most of the light), so I plan to have it moved a few feet so that I can still enjoy it without blocking the light. This assumes it doesn't cost the earth.  If it does, it shall remain until November 2010 because the arborist I called tells me you have to move it when it's dormant to keep it alive.  Wish me luck...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

From GreenHouse to Small House...Dining Room

Yesterday I showed you the cheerful little dining room in the CharityWorks GreenHouse, so today I thought I would show you my own cheery little dining space.

It's a small intimate space at just 10'8" by 11'.2", but it's plenty big enough for me and when I have a gathering, it forces everyone to chat to everyone else (no room to be a wallflower here).


This is the view into the dining room from my living room...


And the view from my kitchen.

I recently gave the dining room a makeover to give it a more casual look.  The feel before was way too formal for the way I live.  I had very formal green damask slipcovers from Ballard Designs on the parsons chairs that I replaced with these cotton twill ones (color is called butter), also from Ballard.  That table is from Ballard Designs too.

I took down the sconces on the wall and put the plates up and switched out the other artwork with some pieces I had purchased on vacations and at local art shows over the past few years.



The only piece I didn't change was this sweet portrait of a woman I bought years ago in an antique store (pretty sure it's just vintage, not antique) that has since closed.  I'm a terrible photographer and the light is shining on it, but it's actually beautiful in person.

Here is something else I didn't change...the rug.  It's a Karastan (called Kirman I think) and I love the millions of colors converging in this design.  I fell in love with this rug when I was still living in an apartment and was determined to buy it and put it in my dining room once I owned a home.  It was one of my first purchases and I still love it.

I'm still not happy with the bookshelves, but storing books here is a necessity.  In a small house, rooms often have to serve more than one purpose.  Having all this storage for my books is something I love and have always taken advantage of.  I used to store my decorating books here so that I could access them quickly when I was sitting in the living room watching TV (cause God forbid I actually focus on doing just one thing at a time).  But the decorating book collection eventually became too large and had to be moved to the home office.

So how do you like that 1940s temp control on the wall?'s bad, I know.  I'll update it one of these days.


I store my cloth napkins, napkin rings and wine ID rings in the cabinet below the built in bookcase.


No idea what the point of this little built in cubby is, but there you have it.  Someone told me once they used to put these in homes as a spot to hold the telephone (phones in 1940 were quite a bit larger), but I'm not buying it for this space.  I mean why would they put it in the dining room?  That's usually the one time when no one is willing to answer the phone right?  While dining?  If you have a clue, let me in on the secret.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Small House Loves Green House

No color, decoratively speaking, makes me as happy as green.  It's all over my house and I never get tired of it. 

My beloved green is prominently featured in the dining room of this DC area CharityWorks GreenHouse.  There are many other beautiful images of this house posted at My Notting Hill.

I love absolutely every square inch of this space.  LOVE the window treatments, both the fabric and the fun fringe trim.  That small strip of wallpaper is perfection - just a touch for interest and color, but not one big overwhelming wall.  The chandelier and rug could not be more perfect and the furniture ... sorry, I'm having a moment.  As much as I love my own dining room, I heart this cheery little space.

This is exactly the kind of mirror I searched for for my own dining room - right down to the paint job.  Taking an over the top ornate mirror and washing it with ivory paint instantly makes it fit this fun, fresh little dining space.

Even the pillows are perfection...especially that beautiful two toned green velvet number...sigh...

The china...

This carbon neutral house, the first of its kind on the East Coast, will be open through the end of October.  Wish I were there to take a tour, but if you're anywhere nearby it looks to be well worth the visit.