Got space? Make it a sanctuary.

Do you have a favorite place in your home where you love to kick back and relax? My favorite retreat is our screened-in porch at our home, Cypress. It just feeds my soul, and is my sanctuary space. I’ve dug up the video from the archives that gives a personal tour of this special place. Click on the link below to see this blast from the past.

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Why Downsizing Boomers Should Love Antiques

“Less is more” is certainly true when it comes to the attitudes of Boomers who are downsizing their homes. But, what do they want less of, exactly? Here lies the conundrum for so many downsizing Boomers today.

I often hear from my clients how overwhelming and difficult this whole endeavor can be, and it can leave anyone in a cold sweat. Well, I have come to realize that it is not just de-cluttering and sorting that has them in a tizzy; it’s the guilt of letting go of things that have no significant meaning to them in this life stage. Do you know what I say to that? Get over it! Seriously, if we cannot keep what we want, then when will we give ourselves permission to stop our pleaser games?

Now that we have the guilt elephant in the room out of the way, I’d like to compare downsizing to cleaning out a clothes closet. First, everything has to be emptied out in order to sort. Then, only the useful items are allowed to return. The rest is donated, sold, or given away to family and friends.

When downsizing, the same principles apply. We must evaluate all of our items and decide if they are allowed to stay. This means EVERYTHING, from furniture and accessories, to rugs and lighting fixtures. Figure out what is actually needed to complete our homes, and to give the interior the look we desire.

WHY BUY ANTIQUES?

Now, the fun starts! Boomers are in love with unique, conversation pieces that often have an interesting back story to share. We also believe that finding these special, one-of-a-kind pieces makes them even more hip than they already are!

Many do not remember or know how Boomers started the “green” movement. Remember the granola-eating, tree huggers from the 1960s? These are today’s Boomers. Another valid reason for purchasing antiques is that they are normally “green,” considering they are made from materials such as wood, wool, etc. Repurposing antiques for another use also keeps these items out of landfills.

How fun is it to find that perfect piece that only you have? Come on, admit it; we all love these wonderful antique items that become a unique part of our homes.

WHERE CAN I FIND SOME GREAT ANTIQUES?

THE HIGHBOY
Check out The HighBoy. It’s one of the fastest and most reputable curators of antiques, furniture and accessories. If unable to find an exact piece, or time constraints are an issue, let them locate the item for you! The website is user friendly, giving complete, detailed descriptions of pieces. Plus, they are the best source for locating items such as an authentic bistro table with an aged marble top. See their site and be amazed, as I always am, at the broad scope of styles and very cool pieces that defy thoughts of “old” or “stodgy.”

Even if you’re looking for mission or turn-of-the-century pieces, The HighBoy most likely has it, or will be able to find it for you.

The HighBoy campaign chairs

Campaign chairs

Swedish Morin Rococo Period Tall Case Clock

Swedish Morin Rococo Period tall case clock

Alfredo Barbini hand-blown candelabra

Alfredo Barbini hand-blown candelabra

19th Century Swedish Bergere

19th Century Swedish Bergere

TOMA CLARK HAINES: THE ANTIQUES DIVA
If you desire the experience of finding and shopping for your special antiques is what you desire, then Toma Clark Haines of the Antiques Diva & Co. is your gal. Toma takes her shopping clients to Europe, and you may end up in someone’s castle, or in a warehouse in Belgium. This dynamic lady has sources from years and years of European travel, and knows a large network of people. Shopping with Toma is an opportunity to find that perfect treasure for any space, to complete your Boomer home. Plus, you’ll have the shopping trip of a lifetime!

To downsizing Boomers: be unique, be courageous, be spontaneous, and most of all, enjoy your living spaces! Find and treasure those antiques that are just right for you at your life stage. Those that do will ultimately be winners by buying and living with what they truly love.

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Beat the Heat with These Summer Meals

Summer is in full swing, and I love exploring new meal ideas during this time of year.

I did some research, and picked some AWESOME breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas to share with you all! I’ve also included the original website link to each recipe, which you’ll find next to each recipe title.

Feel free to leave a comment on this post to let me know if you tried any of the recipes, or to include your own great summer meal suggestions!

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Delicious Dilemma: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award11

I am so surprised and humbled to have been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by esteemed bloggers Kerrie Kelly and Lesli DeVito. What a fun activity!

Kerrie Kelly

Kerrie Kelly

Lesli DeVito

Lesli DeVito

I chose my five favorite questions from each respected blogger to come up with my 10 responses. Following my responses, I’ve added my list of 10 questions for 10 new bloggers, which they’ll pass on to their readers.

1). WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
Volunteering as the interior designer for three different Ronald McDonald Houses in Wichita, Kan. Two were Ronald McDonald homes and one was a Ronald McDonald respite in a hospital family room.

Credit: Ronald McDonald House Wichita
2). WHAT IS A NEW SKILL YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN?
Photography! I’m so inspired by nature and would love the skill to snap impromptu photos to share with others.

3). WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO COMFORT FOOD?
Definitely pizza–especially Papa Murphy’s Mediterranean chicken! No one believes that I can eat half of a pizza, but just ask my family. It’s the “cheat” part of my 80/20 eating plan and pizza is definitely in the 20 percent splurge!

4). WHAT DOES YOUR PERFECT DAY LOOK LIKE?
As a morning person, enjoying the quiet of the morning, taking a long walk, having Mitzi time, having friend and family time, and also knowing that I’ve made a difference in somebody’s life that day. And, of course, having fabulous food and a glass of wonderful red wine at the end of it all!

I'd have to make my raspberry chocolate truffle pie for dessert!

I’d have to make my raspberry chocolate truffle pie for dessert!

5). WHERE DO YOU MOST WANT TO TRAVEL?
Since I’ve been fortunate enough to have been to Europe many times, my list now includes fabulous resorts in the United States such as Mackinac Island in Michigan and the Green Briar in West Virginia. I’d also like to visit New England in the fall, or a take cooking class in Napa Valley.

6). WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DRINK?
Red wine. These days I’m into red blends like Apothic and Callia.

LOVE this Callia Bella red blend

LOVE this Callia Bella red blend

7). BESIDES LIVING THINGS, WHAT YOU WOULD GRAB FROM YOUR HOME IN A FIRE?
My journals and family portraits.

Bob Bob and I with our angels.

Bob Bob and I with our angels.

8). WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
One of my favorite book series is “The Mitford Years” by Jan Karon. Very rarely do I re-read a book, but I read the whole series again this summer. Her latest book, “These High, Green Hills,” was also great. I was so sad when it ended.

9). IF YOU WERE GOING BACK TO COLLEGE AND COULD GET IN ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD YOU APPLY AND WHAT WOULD YOU STUDY?
Parsons The New School of Design in NYC to become an interior designer. To start out my career after graduating from such a prestigious school would have opened doors so many doors, where as my route took much longer!

parsons-the-new-school-for-design-logo-61dtuatu

10). WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT FAVORITE COLOR TO DECORATE WITH?
Benjamin Moore “Crystalline” as seen here in our master bedroom. It’s a color I love to incorporate because it’s so soothing.

master

Finally, here are my questions (some of which are borrowed) for my Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award Nominees.

1). How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

2). What is the perfect paint color?

3). If you could pick any designer, living or dead, to decorate your house, who would it be?

4). What location is on your travel bucket list?

5). What is your favorite restaurant?

6). Which wallpaper is your favorite?

7). When starting a design project, your first step is… (lighting, colors, furniture, etc.)

8). What is your favorite holiday and why?

9). What is your favorite type of lighting source to use?

10). What is your favorite design project you’ve ever done?

My 10 nominees are…

Mary Carol Garrity – Nell Hill’s
Arianne Bellizaire – Inspired to Style
Stacy Kunstel – Dunes and Duchess
Carla Aston – DESIGNED with Carla Aston
Gloria Graham Sollecito – Artful Kitchens
Libby Langdon – Libby Langdon
Carolyn Von Der Ahe – Von Der Ahe Interiors
Ruthie Staalsen – DecRenew Interiors
Michelle Cortizo – DECORTIZO
Amy Lambert Lee – House of Wentworth

Enjoy, ladies! I can’t wait to read all of your answers.

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Downsizing? Bookshelves Are The Answer!

If you’re in downsizing mode and have special treasures or family heirlooms you want to be able to enjoy, consider vertical bookshelves your new best friend. Not only do they contribute to purposeful design, they can also serve as a back drop to your furniture.

This video from our archives has been popular with viewers looking for smart ways to use bookshelves to keep treasures, while at the same time, still downsizing.

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