Monday, January 30, 2012

The beauty of a January rose...

Our rose tree in the front yard has this one glorious bloom on it. I snapped these pictures in the late afternoon on Saturday, as the sun was beginning to wane. A lovely way for January to end, don't you think?
Wishing all of you a beautiful week...

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Coffee table pleasures...

I love coffee tables. Or more precisely, I love what's on coffee tables. I think it's an interesting glimpse into a person. Since the holidays are over and done with and the house has returned to normal, I thought I'd share how my coffee table looks now. I got this adorable little tea set for Christmas and it seemed too pretty to put away in a cupboard, so it's on display, spreading its purple joy to everyone who walks into the room. There are also a couple of stacks of books ~ some read, some waiting to be read ~ and a couple of sets of DVDs: The Best of Europe and a Jamie Oliver food travel set, both waiting to be watched. All in all, pretty typical, and yet revealing in that you could surmise accurately I love tea, decorating books, food and traveling.
What's on your coffee table?

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Friday, January 20, 2012

Living room inspiration...

With our impending move back to the old house I own in the Carolinas, I've been doing a lot of thinking about decorating. The one room that is closest to being formulated in my mind is the living room. The living room is about 20 x 20, so it's a lovely large room. There is a lovely fireplace with a window flanking either side on one wall; opposite that is one long, uninterrupted wall. The other two walls consist of a large picture window with two smaller windows on either side and the front door tucked down at the end; on the opposite wall is a doorway leading to the hall and next to that is a set of french doors that lead into the dining room. I'm afraid I don't have any digital photos (only prints), so I'm hoping you'll be able to visualize for now.
Because I've lived in the house before and knew I would be moving back someday, I've had a chance to play off-and-on with various decorating ideas in my mind. We've decided to start from scratch on the furniture, so I have an opportunity to really redo the entire room. I've gone through various color palettes and styles, but I think I've finally hit on what I want to do, and that's basically what you see in the photograph above. My color scheme will be pink and white, with a few brighter touches here and there, and plenty of pattern. I'm planning on a comfortable couch and love seat that are relatively plain like in the photo, in a nice off-white/linen (this is one of those times the no-kids thing comes in handy). They'll provide a lovely blank canvas.

I'll use pillows to punch up the color and add a little pattern, like those in the photos above. I already have a coffee table just like the one you see in the top photo ~ it was an old kitchen table I had cut down and repainted. I used it in the room when I lived there before and because the room is so big and square, having a good-sized round table to gather around is perfect. So that's one piece of furniture off the list. I'll pick up a chair to go next to the fireplace in a pretty pattern or color and there will be some other pieces of furniture in the room as well (a writing table tucked in a corner, an armoire of some sort, etc.), but the seating will provide the structure.
I've also been collecting art over the last several years in anticipation of this move. I have been particularly drawn to Janet Hill's work, which you can see here. She has an amazing collection of feminine women portraits and I purchased a number of those prints and framed them all to match. I also picked up a couple of other pieces of woman-centric art and framed those to coordinate so they could all hang together. They are all going to hang on my long, uninterrupted wall ~ the wall of women, as I call it in my head. I'm going to wallpaper that wall in a pattern I've designed and I'll make drapes out of the same pattern, which you can see directly below:

The pattern is called Pink Medley and actually comes in a variety of colors in my shop, The Pink Home. (Just fabrics for now ~ I'm still working on the wallpaper.) I just finished the pink version, with this room in mind. The pink is feminine without being too girly, thanks to the slight peach undertone, and the intricate pattern balances out the playful flowers.
To balance that great pink wall (a.k.a. the wall of women), above the fireplace will hang a huge fine art photograph, which you can view here, with glorious pink flowers and a peachy sky. The drapes will also carry the Pink Medley pattern throughout the room. The other walls will be painted an off-white to match the white flowers in the wallpaper and the drapes, and I have a few other pieces of art that will likely be making an appearance.
I still need to settle on an area rug (the room has hardwood flooring) and I'm sure there will be a few changes once I actually get the project under way, but I know I'm headed in the right direction because every time I picture the room in my head, it brings a smile to face. A pink and white living room ~ doesn't that sound like bliss?

I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Photo credits: 1, 2; Design (third photo) by The Pink Home

Monday, January 16, 2012

Color love...

There is something about this lovely seafoam color that is calling to me lately. It's a heavenly mix of blue, green and gray that is just delightful. It also goes wonderfully with pink, my favorite color. It's good to let new inspiration take hold and indulge what you find to be beautiful, so I am going to have to find a place for this color in my home.
Are there any colors calling to you at the moment?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A little desktop beauty...

 Vera Bradley is launching its new spring colors later this month ~ Rosy Posies, Camellia, Island Blooms and Ellie Blue ~ and judging by the brief preview, they're all lovely. As a little treat, they have designed four new desktop wallpapers, which you can see here. Aren't they pretty? I love a little dash of color on the computer. You can download the wallpapers easily by going here. You can see a brief preview of the new colors and patterns there, too. I quite like all the new patterns, but I think Island Blooms is my favorite (it would be lovely to take on our honeymoon), with Ellie Blue a close second. My favorite of the wallpapers is Camellia and Rosy Posies. Which do all of you like?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Catching up...

Hello, all. 2012 is only a week old and I am happy to report I've already had my cold for the year. I always seem to get one cold a year. This one started New Year's Day and seems to pretty much be gone today, so I'm thinking that's over and done with for the year (fingers crossed). 
Feeling like rot is why I've been so absent this past week. My holidays were absolutely wonderful ~ I got engaged! ~ and now I'm looking forward to a year of big changes. Things are going swimmingly at The Pink Home, too ~ lots of plans and goodies in the works. We'll be moving back East this year (possibly sooner rather than later, depending...), and I'll be starting on redecorating my old house. Of course, that will mean lots of before and after pics for all of you ~ and I'm sure a few help-me-decide posts as well ~ so that will be fun. 
I'm so excited about everything that's going on this year, I can hardly stand it ~ it's going to be a fabulous year. Of course, there's also the added joy of the return of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece. It starts tonight and I can hardly wait. Two whole months of beautiful Edwardian soapy fabulousness ~ yet one more reason to love 2012. (If you're on Pinterest, check out my Downton Abbey Obsession board.)
I hope all of you have lots of wonderful plans and things to look forward to this year.

Top photo from PBS; bottom photo from Vanity Fair

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blooming in the cold...

It's amazing what blooms sometimes when it's cold, isn't it? Some flowers only bloom when the temperature drops, of course, but there's still something exciting about seeing a gorgeous new bloom when the rest of the world seems to be freezing.
This beautiful plant is climbing all over a trellis in our back yard, blooming its little heart out. Can anyone tell me what it is? It's clearly been here awhile, long before we moved in this past summer, but I can't say I've ever seen a plant quite like it. Whatever it may be, it's glorious.
I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. Here's to a fabulous 2012, full of beauty, celebrations and love...

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully