Easy Decorating Tips

shades of fallBecause summer in Maine is a short season, I hold on to it as long as possible.  The time has come to let go, however, as the trees are turning and the leaves are already falling giving hint of the raking and cleanup that is to follow.

Maine houseSometimes I don’t change slipcovers from summer to fall because we are only in Maine until early November.  

Today I had some free time and a burst of energy and set about changing things around to celebrate the first day of fall.  Off came the light slips to be replaced by these with rich colors reflective of the newly arrived season.  And just because, I moved furniture around, too.

I’ve  sworn not to buy anything new so much of the changing look came from shopping the house.  As I looked around, I noticed turquoise accents here and there so that became the “new”.

Throw pillows from another room are added to the mix of fabrics on the sofa.   The turquoise doesn’t seem to mind being thrown in with the reds and golds.

In the cabinet where there are so many candles I forget what they are, I found ones to carry out the color scheme.

 It’s amazing what shows up when you start looking!

Moving things from one place to another gives the table top a new look and a spray of flowers from a recent visit to Trader Joe’s provides the finishing touch.

Now that wasn’t too hard and the changes give the room a totally new look, warm and textured as befits fall.  So, if you are thinking about what to do for fall, my suggestion is use what you have differently.  You might be surprised what happens.

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Now For the Rest

Now that you’ve seen my friend’s lovely gardens, lets take a quick look inside where we gathered for a delightful lunch after meeting the chickens.

Walking in, one immediately gets a sense of energy and good cheer.  Both are characteristics of the people who live there.

The table is ready for us to sit, but first I want to share a few favorite vignettes.

There are collections so representative of Maine treasures.

IMG_9273I’m crazy for the framed piece by Lynn Karlin who I am taking a workshop from in a couple of weeks.

Among the wonderful spaces is a screened porch with views to a garden area and Maison Poulet.

Relaxed seating makes me think of whiling away a summer afternoon with a good book.

Getting back to the table, you can bet I like these dishes since I have the same and use them frequently.  They are perfect  here as they pick up the design and colors of the table.

There’s no need for an elaborate setting, and the little sprinkler cans filled with flowers from the lush gardens are just right

as is the natural placemat.

Hmmm, I think it’s time to see what’s going on in the kitchen where a garden fresh salad is being tossed to accompany poached salmon.  You know, it just doesn’t get any better than enjoying good food and conversation with a group of interesting women.

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Getting It Right

Not only was I bored spending most of my time in bed for 10 weeks, but I began obsessing on things wrong in the bedroom.   The hubby knew that was going to lead to some kind of overhaul, and, indeed, it did.

bedroomSeveral years ago, some walls in the bedroom and study were done with Venetian plaster  that blended more than one color.  The color chosen for the remaining walls was never right, but since I saw them in the dim light of morning and night I let it go.  Not possible after looking at it day after day.

So, the first thing was to choose a new color that would blend a little better.  After sampling several grays, the selection was Sherwin Williams Lazy Gray.  A new color meant new carpet, darker than the one that had shown every little bit of dirt. How much airier the space seemed with those changes!

The hubby thought that was enough, but no, I wasn’t finished.  Every picture was relocated.  I don’t know where the botanicals came from, but I found them in a closet.  What made them a great choice is the frame which picked up the tones in the piece over the bed.

Art that hung over the fireplace was pleasing, but the frames were mismatched. Again I shopped the house, gathering pieces that not only had matching frames but played off the colors dominating the room.  And, note those shelves.  All the clutter is gone and what’s there looks like it belongs.

Now on a roll, I gathered a few other odds and ends as accessories, and they, too, look like they were made for the space.

Though the hubby groaned  thinking the project was unnecessary, he admitted when all was done that the changes were quite an improvement.  That made it all worthwhile, but he’s hoping I don’t have opportunity to obsess over something else in the near future!

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A Flurry of Energy

After years of things piling up in his study, the hubby got bit by a flurry of energy.  For two days he went through every drawer and shelf carefully sorting the necessary from the unnecessary.  Five garbage bags later he was done, and his space is so organized it’s barely recognizable!

His energy was contagious and inspired me to attack the screen porch which this time of year is pollen laden.  I gathered broom, mop and bucket and set to work sneezing my way through the cleaning process.

Some time ago, an old table and chairs was replaced with a new set.  While the black was OK with the other furniture, it struck me that it all might look better the same color, so off to Home Depot for some black spray paint.

With the porch all clean, the furniture painted and back in place, and the hubby’s study all sparkling clean it was cause for celebration!

Luckily, it was one of those Houston evenings perfect for a simple dinner on the porch.  Simple because we were worn out by our efforts!

Simple also describes the table set with hand made pottery consistent in color but with funky shapes and pattern that make each piece unique.

The glasses, too, are offbeat with indentions at just the right spots for fingers and thumb.  I always wonder if that was intentional or a happy accident.

The napkins were an unconscious choice, but when I put them on the table I had a flashback.   They and matching placemats were an early project on my first floor loom. That means they go back about 30 years and they haven’t faded one bit despite many washings.  I can’t say the same for my store bought napkins!

Surrounded by nothing but bird song, gentle breeze and the sound of water trickling from the fountain, our tired bodies enjoyed a relaxed evening on the porch patting ourselves on the back for our flurry of energy.  Now we’ll see how long we maintain such order!

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Touches Here and There

The hubby has never been very interested in helping with holiday decor, and with no kids in the house some of my enthusiasm has waned.  These days less is more and the touches here and there are ever so simple.  For sure, not everything comes out of storage which makes whatever is used seem new again.

Christmas decorSo, come on in, take a look at this year’s simple touches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’ll not find a Christmas tree loaded with ornaments, but inside

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand out there will be one or two or maybe three trees on a tabletop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASanta may play a holiday tune

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while his buddies dance to the rhythm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot all Santas are alike

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhich is what makes each one special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the season there are touches of red, some new  and some borrowed from another room.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery room has simple touches,

some adding gaiety and sparkle,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsome reminding of the meaning of Christmas.

As each piece is put in place I pause to remember its history.  Each one has a story, and it’s fun to remember the where and when.  While what you see here are this year’s favorite things, I’m sure that something different will catch my eye next time.  Or maybe some of the same things will be used differently.  You’ll have to come back next year to see!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind.

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A Peek Inside

Maine homes are as diverse as the people who live in them, and I am enthralled by each one I’m lucky to experience.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow could one not be comfortable here where casual is so inviting?

At every turn is a vignette which to my eye invites being captured on canvas.  Since I’m not adept at painting, using a camera will have to do.

The house is full of items collected here and there, and I’m betting there’s a story behind each,

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including how this guy came to find his place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe kitchen with its organized clutter is so inviting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand I can only guess at the stories that have been shared around this table about life in Maine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes, I love these peeks inside that give insight to people and suggest so many ways of living.  There’s more to come.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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The Return

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Returning to Rockport, my initial urge is to get everything perfect, so armed with cleaning stuffs I begin the process of getting all things in order.

porchCrazy as it might seem, I begin outside where winter weather takes a toll.  Tarps have to be removed from furniture and porches scrubbed clean.  

IMG_6591That done all things have to be put in their place and pots that have stayed inside all winter are reintroduced to the sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen it’s to the inside where the first thing that catches my eye is a tabletop that I can’t bear to leave bare

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand a cabinet surface in need of a little dressing up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few favorite things that make their own statement took care of that in a minute.

Maine houseMoving on to the living room, it took only a glance to suggest that it was time to change rich toned slipcovers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAto  lighter ones more suitable for the season ahead.  That is not as easy as it sounds as it requires a lot of pulling and tugging.  On a roll now, I decided to move furniture 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand accessories around for a new look.  Talk about an easy way to redecorate!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s amazing how such simple changes can give an entirely different energy to a room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith outside and inside in pretty good shape, bathing Miss Daisy was the next order of business.  She likes being clean, too!

Next up will be the yard, but that will have to wait for another day.  For now, I’m calling it a day and heading for bed!

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

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