Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring's inspiration...

Spring finally arrived in the last couple of weeks at my home, as you can see. Our neighborhood went from dreary to blossoming in a matter of days and our azaleas weren’t far behind. The blooms have been really lovely this year, which I was happy to see.
I’m so glad spring finally arrived because I have been desperately longing for some warmer weather. This month’s blog topic is Letting Spring Blossom, and it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about, even if it hasn’t translated to written posts. It has not been the greatest month for me and so I have been trying to see what I could do differently to make things go a bit better. I realized spring doesn’t have to be something that just happens in nature ~ it can be a time for people to bloom again, too. The last week or so, I’ve tried to follow spring’s example and see which dormant areas in my life need attention to bloom again and which need to be let go of completely. Like in nature, some things in life are meant to bloom for only a season, while others, with a little TLC, come back stronger and lovelier each spring. Occasionally, we all need a little time to sort out which is which.
So stop and enjoy the beauty blossoming around you this spring, and if you need to clear your head a bit like me, perhaps spring can be your inspiration, too.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The beauty of April flowers...

Happy Sunday, all. I just thought I'd share a few photos of some flowers my fiancĂ© brought me recently. Aren't they pretty? I love all the soft colors.
I hope all of you are having a lovely spring weekend...

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The beauty of Biltmore blooms...

A couple weekends ago, we visited Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. It's one of my favorite places to visit ~ the home and gardens are simply wonderful. We were a little early to see the tulip gardens in bloom, but there were gorgeous orchids everywhere in the house. And the conservatory was full of beautiful spring blooms. I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the beauty of Biltmore.
Hope all of you are having a lovely week...

I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Monday, April 1, 2013

Choosing a new front door color...

As you can see, our front door is in need of a makeover. I inherited this dark green color when I bought the house and while it's always been on the list to do, changing it has never been a high priority because the door looks fine with the outside of house. Where it has never looked good is standing open, clashing badly with my living room walls, which are pink. (The door is wood and when it's closed, it's just a nice medium brown wood stain on the inside, which looks lovely.) The brass hardware is outdated as well and needs to be replaced.

See what I mean? That green just looks bad with our living room. It has to go.
Now that may seem like a silly reason to repaint a front door, but when your door stands open as much as ours (we have an all-glass storm door that lets in lots of gorgeous light), well, it matters.
Other than the fact that the door looks fine with the outside of the house and the step, one of the reasons I've taken so long to tackle it is I've been stumped as to what color to paint it. None of the colors I really liked with the outside (eggplant, for example) looked good with the inside. Our house is a light sage green, so I kept thinking of darker colors for the front door, which didn't really work with the interior. I was stuck.
Then one day we were watching one of those HGTV shows and they had redone the outside of the house. The house was about the same color as ours and they had painted the front door a lovely golden yellow and it looked wonderful. My fiancé turned to me and said, hey, maybe we should paint the front door yellow. I was struck by how cheery and pretty the house looked and realized I had never even considered any shade of yellow. After that, I kept turning it over in my mind and decided that idea might be a winner.
And then this yellow suzani chair came into my life and living room (you can read about that here) and after that, I knew the front door was going to be a golden yellow ~ it's just such a good compliment to the pink.

Once that was decided, we had to actually choose the shade of yellow. The front step is also in need of repainting, as you can see below. I inherited the red, but as you can see in the next photo down, it all seemed to work together fine, even if it wasn't exactly what I would have chosen.
To choose the new colors for the front door and the front step, I went and picked out a bunch of paint chips. I put them all on the front door and we looked at the colors on gray days and in the sunshine. Both of us ended up picking the same shade of yellow (Cork Top from Valspar) so I figured that was a good sign. In the very top photo, it's the one in the upper right corner. With the front door color selected, we decided on a color that is sort of a chocolate gray called English Tea Party for the front step. The new hardware for the door will be dark, with a sort of burnished finish. No more 80s brass.

Below are the new colors against the house. I think the new color scheme is going to look wonderful. We're going to either paint or replace the porch door so it's white as well and put up a new porch light. The railings (which we would someday like to replace) will get a fresh coat of paint, too, probably the same color as the steps.

Here you can see what the living room looks like with the door open. That golden yellow on the door is going to be so much more pleasing to the eye, don't you think? I'm hoping to get it all repainted this month. More pictures to come once it's done.

I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Homemaking at Hope in Every Season
Home at Rose Chintz Cottage
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully