December 24, 2019

My home's Christmas Decor

Welcome to Part 2 of my homes Christmas Decor, 
The Interior, as shared in an open house 

And take a look at this!
 An artist friend, Sherri Buck Baldwin, gifted me this sketch of hers, of our front door, after reading the prior blog post. I was gobsmacked and cannot stop staring at it. She fully captured my nest urns unlike a photo could. So let's step inside this 1850's cottage
Nest wallpaper, hence the nest urns greeting guests

Grapevine gathered from the property was the base on the staircase to insert Feather Eucalyptus and lights. I am really pleased with this, as it dries the Eucalyptus looks different but equally great

Upstairs, a guest room and a bath was off limits, it became the 'Where do I shove this? Upstairs!' space
To the Living Room
As a huge proponent of the 'Collected Look', there are pieces from Spain, France, ands England that are meaningful to me. 

The tree consisted of frosted ball lights and string lights. The hanging rings we carry, that typically hang on the wall with a bracket, adorn the tree with the magical effect of 'movable flame' candles.
The Living Room is open to my office, lightly separated by a Jewelers cabinet from Lyon France. This space doubles as a dining room as the table has internal leaves opening to double the size.

My desk faces a massive picture window that we filled with trees

Kitchen....The largest room in the house where Steve took down and moved walls. The original kitchen was a small , nonfunctional galley kitchen. We took it to the studs and started over.
He also built the stove surround, Stefania from the shop painted the scene from an advert at Sotheby's of an upcoming auction item. The centerpiece on the surround is a ram I found in England, a cornerstone from a pub, circa 14th c.
See that tea towel? That is a gift from friend Sherri again, the artist whom painted our entryway
Seating area facing the sink

On either side of the chairs are oversized wall hangings. Originally one unit, I separated them to use as such. What were these? An old lamp post top from New Orleans
Friends Alain and Esther Roby, the owners of the magical
 ALL CHOCOLATE KITCHEN, presented some of their creations. If nearby, they host a proper English Tea in their adjacent restaurant, truly a must along with their variety of delectables all made in house. 
Had to share.......Marcel after the walk, back in 'his chair', this dog would stare at the treats, but never touch as he could not care less. A dog who is not food motivated = challenging to train!
Also by ALL CHOCOLATE KITCHEN, Chef Roby's renown spun sugar art. A charming snowman, he also makes darling penguins, and anything you can imagine

This vintage Sherry barrel is from Spain and nicely fills an empty corner
Kitchen table filled with garland, fresh fruit, nuts, breads.........

When the holiday decor comes down, this baket comes to the shop. Just found in France, it is a Childs grape harvest basket. I have never seen this before. In this arrangement we used fresh and faux greenery, decorative mini pomegranates, and real oranges
Eucalyptus, cedar, pine

Onto the Master Bedroom.
Originally this room was a white box, added on in the 40's
We added the shelf surround, the bead board, wallpaper and the real barn beams
Loving these tiny houses and the disk sconces
Back towards the kitchen
Now we are headed down a hall towards the Family room. 
Take note of the walls....the lower portion is bead board, upper is drywall. A very talented friend Patrick Roullier, painted all of this to resemble wood!

In the family room I decorated a garden obelisk with boxwood roping and red berry garland
This is another room gutted to studs. Steve added the beams, and built all the cabinets and storage around the fireplace.

 Look closely to a rectangular ceiling 'piece' above the fireplace, surrounded on three sides by beams. Within that space is the TV, it unlatches and down comes the television. You see, I told Steve I did not want a big screen on the fireplace, you know, that big black 'hole', so he cleverly created a solution; down when home.....up when entertaining!

Painted by Stephania, original quote by Samuel Johnson
A new LEE Industries sofa
A copper pub draw from England, carried on the plane.....the 'good old days!'
Boxwood roping added to the ceiling, because....why not?
The doors lead to a terrace with fireplace and terrace as seen on previous post.

And again, Sherri Buck Baldwin, painted an urn from my last post!
And, that's a wrap folks!

Wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!


Coming next....  The announcement of our tours 2020

June... France, September.... England 
October.... Scotland. Once posted, our small group women's tours, fills very quickly! 

Photography by Nancy Villwock

Patrick Roullier

Stefania, at our consignment shop Fridays through Sundays.  630.584.7474

Stay in Touch......
SG Too Instagram.  (our select consignment shop)

December 16, 2019

My homes outdoor Winter Decor

Hello Hello, anyone still there?!?

I am always thinking....."I need to blog about that!" 
Then don't....what is wrong with me....instagram, that is what is wrong with me, my latest love! 
It's Sunday night with a great wine in hand, join me as I share the exterior of my home.
Now it's Monday early morning, in a hospital waiting room while Steve has his 2nd hip replacement op, did you know this is OUTPATIENT?!!!!

This year we  opened our home, fully decorated indoors and out. Surprisingly this was Steve's idea, instantly I said not a chance, there was so much to do; rooms to update, minor renovations, a new sofa, etc. Then visions of a completed  'honey do list' danced in my head, my recovery was quick. So the last two weekends we opened the doors and welcomed guests!
This 1850's house, reveals surprises at every turn. This portion, above left, was added on in the 1940's

Look around your home for inspiration and something to decorate, a lamp post, a mailbox.....
A bench, many options. To this day a friends son was in his Mom's car, mid winter. Slow down he asked. But it's winter, there is nothing to see she claimed. This small lad understood, On no, there is a lot to see, he shouted!
Here in Chicagoland, winter is a good 5 months, we still pull into our drives and we still look out our windows

The original portion, was once a one bedroom farm cottage. On both sides of this path are vintage doves from England covered in moss and lichens. In bringing attention to them Red Twig Dogwood sticks were inserted before a freeze, adding color to the drab winter scene. Oftentimes, the dogwood will begin to sprout come Spring

This will take a bit to explain...a warning that is rarely good.
So I wanted something different, out of the box, cause people to pause, and believe this achieved that goal. Seeking large branches with an offshoot to nestle in a nest was first, then they needed to match somewhat
Within the offshoot branches a nest was created and secured, via grapevine wreaths, different eh?
This is really difficult to photograph and we had a professional!

 See the nest?????
Exiting the house is via our family room, onto a terraced courtyard also built in the 40's. 
Back in the day our Family room now, was a dress shop. Deep in a wall while renovating was a calling card; 
Abby Louise Legg, fine couture. $10.95 and up
Having once met one of her models, she said ladies came for high tea and a fashion show on this terrace

A cone shaped vessel holds green and berries, come Spring, flowers

Inviting our guests onto the patio for cookies and hot cider by the fire

Coned cedar, preserved topiaries, blue fir and faux berries. hard plastic only, never styrofoam which splits and bursts

Descending from the terrace onto the pool garden starting with the pump house. See another pot, here is a close up
Up close. Painted birch sticks, blue fir, feather eucalyptus, podded eucalyptus (note, never bring these indoors. As they dry you will think a litter box entered the room!)
Purple cabbage left over from an Autumn planting; yes they stay nice all winter
My metal fern fronds usually reside in the midst of a fern bed. For the season, enhancing a trough and blue fir
Just for grins and with seemingly time on my hands (never!) the decision was made to insert feather eucalyptus into the mesh table top because...why not?! The next day winds were 60+ miles an hour, all held tight

Notice how I love objects in containers? Here is a hitching post.
BTW, Steve built the pass through topped with a functioning antique weather vane.
And he built the double decker birdhouse in the left corner
Thank you for visiting! Next up the interior
A bit off topic is a container our brilliant team created for a client, my fav actually;
Yellow twig dogwood sticks, blue fir, weeping cedar, dried pods, and faux (hard plastic) blue berries. Isn't it gorgeous?! 
Thank you Gerrit and Kim 👏👏👏

Thank YOU for visiting!


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