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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Lodge Look

For those of you who know me, I have been forced to go redesign cold turkey because I may be moving soon. Well, pshaw to that! It is driving me nuts not to think up new projects, paint colors, play with styles, and generally dream myself a new house every few months.

I took my 80+ year old friend out for a marathon shopping expedition today as a way to say "adieu" to 2012. Since I cannot dream for myself, I started dreaming for my daughter, so this post is dedicated to her and the decorating possibilities a new year can bring.

She is sick, sick, sick, I tell you, of her tired furniture and decor. She is dreaming of a new look, which translates into, "she is speaking my language."

She mentioned she was interested in a lodge look, she loved blue and yellow toile, and "I was thinking of a cowhide rug, Mom." Hmm, I am not exactly certain what a lodge look is, but I took a stab at it today and wanted to share with her, and you, my finds. She'll have to let me know if I hit the mark on any of it or whether I need to go back to the drawing board.

First up are these twig end tables from Garden Ridge:

Flanked next to a leather couch, which is what she said she wanted, they would make a nice counterbalance to the masculinity and darkness of a leather sofa, as would this plush white rug from Garden Ridge:

Not exactly bear skin, but animal-like in a subtle way and only $99. She mentioned she wanted a cowhide rug, which I didn't find one today, but that brings up the question that plagued me all day. Where exactly is the line from southwestern and country to lodge? Subtle differences, indeed.

A perfect example of what I am talking about is this rugged looking piece I found at TJ Maxx that could just as easily fit a southwestern style. I thought it would be excellent for the flat screen television and storage for DVDs.

Although I cut this photo off with my lame cell phone shot, I thought it also had potential as a television stand. It had a lovely rugged look that didn't strike me as country or southwestern. Though this photo doesn't do it justice, this would be my pick for a lodge look.

I really like these faux hide chairs. Turquoise is my thing, but a few ornate and old chairs painted an Annie Sloan chalk-paint yellow and recovered with this fabric would look fab opposite a leather sofa. If the wall behind was painted a smart navy, these chairs paired with a white rug would really pop and go a long way toward tying in the yellow and blue toile! I also like how the chairs and the rug have a similar texture.


Though this look is way too contemporary for her, it is a great example of how a white fuzzy rug looks cozy and rustic all at the same time.

I also like this coffee table, though I don't think it is practical with a soon-to-be toddler running around.

I am thinking a tobacco-colored leather ottoman would look best. Something similar to this but a larger scale.

As I looked through accessories at Garden Ridge, I found this wire and metal moose that I kind of loved so much I started dreaming of the Northwest!

I mean really, how cute is that? I am not one to state the obvious, but I thought this metal sign would be nice propped up on a tabletop vignette:

My daughter also mentioned that she really liked antlers as accessories. In this photo from House Beautiful, this antler replica is hung in a more contemporary setting, but would look good with the white I have popping in our imaginary room, especially against a brooding navy wall. 

In fact, I think the only way to make dark lodge colors not feel closed in would be to mix them with a generous amount of white (and yellow toile).

I don't think that this bench from TJ Maxx is the style she was really going for, but I snapped a photo of it just to see what page she is on. I need a "you are here," map for the future.

I found this antler lamp at Hobby Lobby, which I think would look amazing on a sidetable with maybe the  lodge art propped up next to it with some other wildernes-ish display pieces. It's unique and would look great on the right table with the right artwork, but I wouldn't like a pair of them flanking my couch. 

I also spied this barrel at Hobby Lobby. I absolutely love this for a corner. It would look great displaying Graham's sword collection or even a fern.

An oversized rustic clock would be a great accessory. World Market had some awesome clocks BTW. Wish I had snapped a photo or two, but here is one I liked that I saved to pinterest.

My daughter likes to display her wine glasses and I just loved this piece from Garden Ridge for the dining room sideboard/buffet. I like the look of mixing something rugged with beautiful glassware.

This sideboard would look smoking hot next to a farm house table with a wrought iron chandelier. And God knows Graham likes his iron!

And to tie in the lodge feel from the dining area to the living room, maybe we could squeeze that hide rug in after all.

She could have that man of hers hang these barn doors in the hallway to hide the washer and dryer.

When it comes to the fabric she likes though, I am still a bit flummoxed about how to incorporate the yellow and navy toile. Perhaps mixing a masculine stripe with the toile in coordinating colors would do the trick? It would also give me the excuse I need to purchase that tabletop sewing machine I want and, oh yeah, help her. 

Some toile drapes such as these could be really sexed up with some horizonal navy blue stripes or even a color-block band of navy blue for the bottom half.

Something like how these country style drapes were done. Use your imagination!

There is also the option of just changing up the toile to be outright woodsy. This may be a better option simply because I wasn't able to find a yellow and navy toile online I thought she would like and that would match a lodge style, but I did find these woodsy toile fabrics:

Call me crazy, but I am really feeling these fabrics, especially the hunting hounds. Toile with a fussy decor, is just, well, fussy! Done with the right amount of rustic, in the right dose, just might make these fabrics brilliant. 

Though not toile, this fabric could also make some interesting drapes, It's a bit graphic and thus more contemporary to me. Maybe not the next Scandanavian trend from Ikea, but not your average rustic look either:

Like any look you are trying to achieve though, it is best not to overdo a theme. I would not use this fabric in conjunction with any other moose art or other moose fabrics. The old adage of less is more applies. 

Maybe drapes in the yellow hunting dog toile with some navy stripes hung high like these? 

So I leave this post with some lodge interiors I perused from the internet that confirmed my own experience today with trying to nail down this look. It's a bit like nailing Jello to the wall.  In my haste, I forgot to note where the photos came from, so please forgive my plagiarizing and take a gander for yourself at how other's interpret this highly personal style.

So from my humble lodge to yours, Happy New Year! Oh yeah, and Dana, we have a small conundrum. How are we ever going to mix your love of cupcake decor with lodge? If I was employed, you would have one each from Garden Ridge in every color right now!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Where the Heck Have I Been?

Slack, slack, slack. That's all I'm gonna say. I cannot believe I haven't posted since August but I have a very good reason. I have gone re-design cold turkey. Since losing my job in June, I have lived in limbo. I do not know where my next job is going to be or who I am going to be when I grow up.

As such, I haven't touched nary a paint brush or darkened the door of a fabric store since Charlotte Ruth Bradford was born the day after my last post.I have discovered it is great to be a grandparent but better to be employed.

I have toyed with the idea of shutting the whole thing down but the truth is, I enjoy playing with design and other creative projects and if I do move, I'll have plenty of re-design projects to blog about.

It has been very difficult to resist the urge to rush out and paint rooms and cabinets when I have so much free time, especially when pinterest is my crack. But you'll be pleased to know I have stayed strong.

So what have I been doing for the last six months to stay off the streets, you ask? I found some new hobbies.  I admit they are a bit like the boyfriend you are dating only until the one you really want asks you out, but a girl must keep busy! So here is a whirlwhind catch-up.

At the end of August my basil was going crazy in the garden so I learned how to make my own basil pesto.

It kept well in the fridge for months in a jar. I just used the last of it on my first ever homemade veggie pizza I baked this past week. Around September I finally put my toe in the water of bread baking and found that I love it the best!

I learned how to make this crusty bread in my dutch oven. It has the texture and qualities of sour dough bread. I have purchased all of the ingredients for making my own starter for sour dough, but like a lot of things in my life, I put it on hold. I didn't really want to worry about transporting my starter somewhere. 

My daughter and I visited the Charlotte Farmers Market. Let me just say I wish I could shop there every week!

The food was so colorful and fall is my favorite time of year. Football, chili, and gorgeous leaves!

My next adventure was one of saving money. I learned to make my own laundry detergent. For about $11, I made this batch of soap and it has not run out yet. Well worth the 30 minutes I spent grating the soap and mixing it. Plus, who doesn't love, love, love this jar?

Then came Thanksgiving with my favorite people in the world. My own children and my brother's children.

We are a family of cooks and I was bringing the desserts. I made a Paula Dean pumpkin cheesecake and mini pumpkin pies I found on pinterest. 

Oh, and here is a shot of the Great Pumpkin:

Cute, huh? I had to sneak Ms. Thing in here as I could just eat her with a spoon! Then it was time to decorate for Christmas. I have to admit, my heart has not been in the holiday spirit as I just want a job and to stop living in  this place of uncertainty. But by gosh darn it, we will have Christmas! I had to do everything on the cheap and get creative.

I decorated my chandelier with garland and bulbs. Some of you may recall this was my $9 chandelier I picked up at Sleepy Poet and that Graham hung for me. In the background is my chalkboard I painted this summer while my daughter and I worked on projects for Charlotte's nursery. It was hard to take a picture of  becaue of the flash.

I hung the same bulbs from the chandelier on my winter limbs. It adds to the sparkle of my gold-framed mirror. I am telling you folks, gold is going to make a comeback!

I then went outside and collected some pine cones to add to my bird cage. I wrapped them in lights and at night they make the whole table glow. I have been slowly evolving into a more shabby chic style and this just fit. It was also free!

I filled my spray-painted wine bottles with some twigs and berries I picked up at World Market for $3.

I then filled a tin tub I had with white candles, pine cones from the back yard and a bit of dollar store garland.

Last was this red vase. It was the last gift my mother ever gave me before she died. I had a lot of red in my house at the time, which I will probably be bringing back because I miss my fabulous red club chairs (I'm stealing them back soon Sean)!

I wiped a tear or two away as I filled it with more cheap grennery from the dollar tree.

My daughter and I made some homemade cinnamon ornaments I found on pinterest. They came out great even though this picture does not do them justice and they smell fantastic!

The past few weekends I have been baking, but not like I usually do. Everyone in the family is on a diet, including me, so we have mostly baked to give away as gifts. 

Yummy, huh? All of which goes to show you that you don't have to spend money to have a wonderful holiday. The time I spend with my children is the best anyway. When my daughter was concentrating on painting her sugar cookies, it took me back. Way back to Cearfoss, Maryland. I remember a Saturday of non-stop backing for Christmas with the kids. At the end of the day, the kitchen was a disaster and I was bone tired!

So that's my life in a nutshell these past six months. Please continue to pray God will open a door for me exactly where He wants me to be. My faith has sustained me but I am a person who must have goals and a direction. Then again, who doesn't need that? Happy holidays ya'll!