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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

the living room: details

 Thank you so much for all of your comments on the living room!
In describing the details of the room I will attempt to answer the questions you have asked, but if I miss something let me know...

The living room paint color is Benjamin Moore's Ashwood OC-47 in Eggshell.  The trim is Benjamin Moore's White Dove in Latex Satin Impervo. 
(for reference you can find all paint colors for the farmhouse on my sidebar, under "my paint colors") 



This is the view of the living room as you first step inside the house from the front door.




 I designed the sofa, which was custom made, 19 years ago!  It was originally covered in a black and cream stripe, had a skirt and a lower back.   My (much-missed and very talented) upholsterer in Dallas re-worked it for me changing the back, the arms and the adding new legs.  So... if you have a good, well-built sofa that you love, consider seeking out someone who can modify it for you.  It's not necessarily any less expensive than a new sofa, but at least you know what you are getting and how it will sit. I think sofas are the most difficult design decision to make in a room (I am also known to have "sofa issues," but I'll discuss that in another post;)
We found the antique French iron cushion mirror at the Paris Flea Market.  The rug is a boucle sisal.  The cowhide is from Ikea, and besides loving the coloring of the hide it has my maiden initials branded on it... "JW"!




Pair of antique French chairs found at the Paris Flea Market.
I had the table skirt made over 10 years ago- it is fabric, but looks just like burlap.  Fabric on top of the table is a piece of cut-velvet.  The ottoman was made using an antique tapestry fragment.




View of the living room coming down the stairs.  Yes, the decision to not do window treatments was a conscious choice! I contemplated doing curtains for several months, but in the end loved the simplicity of the rooms without them.  The original rooms downstairs are also very small, so I didn't have much wall space to work with, and we have a lot of art and mirrors which, for me, took precedence over curtains.  I have added linen curtains in all of the bedrooms upstairs, which I love, but downstairs it almost felt like a luxury to not have to have curtains to block out neighbors... and the views aren't bad either!




Demi-John glass bottle turned into lamp using a "french wire" (the wire goes behind the object instead of through it, commonly found on French lamps.)  The silver tray is a vintage hotel silver piece from the Olympic Hotel in Seattle.  The orchid sits in an antique Russian brass jardiniere.  The blue and white dish is antique Chinese. 
 



Antique wooden santos bedecked in vintage rosaries.



I think the details on the French chairs are beautiful.  The chairs were recently recovered in a natural linen.  The pillow is mink, made from a vintage muff.



View towards the front door and the dining room.  The wall color in the entry and going up the stairs is the same Benjamin Moore Ashwood as in the living room.  The antique French wood-frame chair covered in antique tapestry was found at the Scott Show in Atlanta.





This painting is 18th century Dutch (double click the photo to enlarge the details of the painting as they are really wonderful).  The painting was recently "married" to this antique frame.  Table was found in the back of a shop at the Paris Flea Market- the dealer looked at us like we were crazy when we bypassed all his fabulous furniture and wanted to buy this simple, plain little table hidden in the back of the shop!  The antique green glazed terra-cotta baluster made into a lamp is from Singapore- removed from a building being taken down; I have a photo of the original building and the balustrade that the baluster was removed from.  As we make our way around the house you'll notice I have a penchant for old balusters made into lamps!  The marble urn was purchased from a dealer at Bunny William's country house during one of her charity Trade Secrets antique shows (here). 
Antique tortoiseshell box.




Tapestry cushions are made from 17th century Flemish verdure tapestry fragments!  And yes- Ella sits on the sofa!  These tapestries are my best antiques find ever, and after 22 years of antiquing that is saying a lot!  (story to follow)



Antique French mirror (missing a good deal of gesso) found in Fredericksburg, Texas many years ago.  The antique French coffee table was found at an antiques show outside of Paris.  A pair of 1750 vellum books with an iron bird, an earthenware ginger jar and an antique Chinese blue and white "crab" dish share the tabletop.



The framed art flanking the fireplace are actually not prints, but  Herbariums.  They are pressed plant leaves and flowers that were done by Anna E. Andrews in Scotland, South Dakota. The majority were done in 1898, but several are dated 1888. When I purchased these I was given a photograph of Anna.  I had the photograph copied and there is one on the back of each herbairum. As I am only the caretaker of these antiques I want the next person who owns them to also know what Anna looked like.
On them Anna states where she found each specimen- "by the railroad," "by the creek," "in the graveyard"... I especially love the fern that must have been brought to her by a friend, which reads- "Picked in Marion, Co, Ill. during the summer of 1888 by Mrs. E.A. Scott."



Antique iron urn to the left of the fireplace is filled with "forestwood" we gathered on our many trips to the mountains of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming- all places very near and dear to our heart. 



Pair of antique Chinese blue and white double-happiness vases and pair of antique mercury glass candlesticks share the mantel with an antique English crystal and sterling matchstrike, an old basket with leather handle (one handle is missing) holding the orchid and a "conk" found in on a walk in the forest by the house.




I was asked if this piece was a photograph, which is exactly why I adore this painting... it looks just like a photograph!  It is one of my very favorite paintings (you'll will probably hear me say that about every painting I show you;)  We found the painting as young, poor newlyweds and bought it as our birthday gift to each other that year.  It is marked:  Cat Peak and Carrie Glacier, Olympic National Park.  The antique frame was recently added.




The fireplace and mantel are original to the house, but when we found the property the two small side walls off of the fireplace had been removed for some unknown reason.  The reading room sits behind this wall, so the fireplace just "floated" between the two rooms, which was a very odd sight in an antique house.  We added the walls back!  Antique andirons found on ebay.  Pair of antique marble urns with a large iron finial sit on the soapstone hearthstone.


70 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing all the info with us. Again this room is just stunning. I come back often to look at it. Martina

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  2. Thanks for sharing all the details! Again, beautiful room. I'm loving pouring over it!

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  3. Oh my goodness you've done it again :) Everything is too beautiful, I love the cowhide on top of the rug...and the velvet on the 'burlap.' And the fireplace with the paintings and the carved mirror...oh my goodness it's just a gorgeous job you've done. I'm SO glad you put those walls back! What are people thinking always knocking them down? Sometimes it just doesn't make sense :)

    It's absolutely sensational, I don't think anyone could have brought this house back like you have!

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  4. This is like reading a love list. :) Everything has a story... beautiful. Thanks for sharing. And I agree-- no window treatments are the perfect window treatments here. xo
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

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  5. I have a match striker just like the one you have with the silver trim. We bought it in Chelsea at an antiques market in London.
    I started a collection but stopped, I think I should start looking again as there are so many antiques stores here.
    I would not be unhappy for one second if I lived in your house lol.
    I will refer back to your rooms many times in the future if we move again .. to an old house in the country ..

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  6. Really beautiful, Joan.

    And, sofa issues? I'm definitely a member of that club!

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  7. I absolutely delight in reading your descriptions of all your lovely items and hear the history of everything. I love that you put so much thought into things you have and the placement that will let each thing shine. Your things are all sooo amazing, and I find myself coming back over and over again to look at them. I try to display my treasures with care, although nothing I own is of the quality of yours. I just look at your house and sigh. It must be fabulous waking up there and know all of it is yours!
    LLinKS

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  8. Your room is stunning, and I love all of your furniture. It's wonderful to see all the individual pieces and to see how you pulled it all together. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

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  9. What a fabulous room, and it is so nice to see it again! Have you lived in France at all??? I just LOOOOVE all your antiques! Thanks for all this wonderful info. XO, Pinky

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  10. Oh wonderful! Thank you so much for the stories.

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  11. Your room is amazing. I loved reading about it, all. You can feel all the love, care and time that went into this room. I love all the personal treasures and the stores behind them -- the forest wood is sweet and beautiful in that (stunning!) urn.

    For the love of a home, is right. ...and I love your home, too! :) Can't wait to see more....and more...!

    xo Isa

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  12. ...everything is so lovely...and i do love love the fact that the tapestry chair came from our scott's in atlanta...it found its perfect place in your wonderful home...

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  13. I love your house!! and that you didn't coverup all those windows with curtains. :) Always enjoy your blog.

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  14. dear joan,

    this room is truly magnificent as is your whole house. the love and care taken when you chose each object is stunning. thank you for sharing.

    xo
    janet

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  15. I appreciate your detailed tour of the room! It is lovely.

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  16. Thanks for the detailed tour. When I saw your posting the other day about the room, I loved it. But now that you've given us so many interesting details, I'm in awe. Truly one of the most beautiful rooms I've seen in blogland. Keep the info coming. I'm so glad I stumbled across your website.

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  17. What a stunning room. Love the layers, and the soft muted color palette, the gorgeous textiles, the rich woods...it all comes together magnificently. You are quite talented and I really apprecaite your eye. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing...

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  18. I so enjoyed your sharing the details of your living room. I love the way it looks and the information of each piece makes it all the more wonderful. Thanks for sharing and providing inspiration.

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  19. I love it all even more since reading about all the details...what about the cool green lamp???

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  20. Oops...so sorry I must have accidentally missed the paragraph about the glazed baluster lamp.

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  21. Well done down to each detail. Now the only question to ask is if you clean this home yourself or hire it done. Just curious.

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  22. Pinky- no, we've never lived in France- just visited and we did a lot of antiquing!!

    Buttonchief- fun question! I am "Fifi" the maid! I've found the key for me is to have a vacuum upstairs, and one downstairs;)

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  23. Fun seeing all the smalls in your living room Joan you have a wonderful mix, love your cushion mirror. As for the two small sidewalls missing in your living room that actually wasn’t uncommon. Back when your home was built it would have only had the fireplace for heat so wherever the heat source was it stood alone like your fireplace to let the heat circulate. I'm with you, two vacuums!

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  24. I have memorized every detail of your room. I just adore it and can't find fault in anything that you do! I dearly love the Herbariums and the story that goes with them. You are truly a thoughtful collector! I am still loving the conks! Who knew fungus would have me swooning!
    Lacy

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  25. Your living room is absolutely gorgeous!!! It was so sweet of you to give all the details on everything. Your wall color is just beautiful...makes me want to repaint mine! LOL
    ~Des

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  26. Lovely home! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  27. Thank you so much for taking the time to document every move on 'for the love of a house'. You provide so much inspiration with every detail. I am totally addicted to your blog and anxiously await every post! You have a gift (more than one!), and I am so grateful that you share it with us, your faithful followers!
    Now, please take the time to sit with a glass of vino and enjoy your space. You certainly deserve it.
    Cheers!
    Carin from Pennsylvania.

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  28. Now it's time to show the dining room. Pleeease?

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  29. Carin- that is so, so sweet- thank you! And, I actually read your comment with a glass of wine in hand;)!

    Susan- dear sister, you do realize that you could actually come see it "in person" right?!!! :)

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  30. Joan- I wondered when I started reading if you'd tell about Ella and the sofa! I smiled when I read that she makes herself quite at home.

    Thanks for the details- I think my favorites are the conk, the sofa and the baluster lamp. Then again...I also love the blue and white dish from China.....and...and..and....

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  31. OMG, I love, love, love your living room. I love how you have staged your fireplace mantel, I love the cowhide rug, I love your sofa and the fact that you have kept it for so long and just reinvented it. Truly wonderful! I would love to feature your living room sometime as inspiration at vignette design. Your style is right up my alley! ~Delores

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  32. Joan, I am such a huge fan of yours and I love your style. You have such beautiful things in your home and it is nice to know so many of them have special memories for you.
    Hugs,
    Sherry

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  33. I love that the rug was branded for you. :) Again, the nature elements really stood out to me, and I love that every piece has a story and a history.

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  34. It's all so beautiful. You have a fantastic ability to put together elegance, romance, natural beauty... love this room.

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  35. I so enjoy your blog and viewing your beautiful home. Could you also share your master some day and where/brand of French doors you have in the kitchen area? Reading your blog is as much fun as reading a great novel. I am painting my kitchen cabinets white dove to copy your look. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. Beautifully decorated, and so interesting to know the provenance of everything that makes it so.

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  37. Beautiful living room.So you have found NH.

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  38. Joan, Dan, and Ella: I never tire of looking at your posts! Your rooms have such a 'calming feeling' to them. Cindy

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  39. Anon 8:48- I promise to share the master once the headboard gets finished (it's on my long list;) and I get the bedskirt and some pillows made!!
    The french doors I custom designed from inspiration photos to fit the house. I do NOT recommend the company that we used (Le Page) if you would like more information as to why please feel free to email me.
    I hope you will send me photos of your White Dove kitchen!!

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  40. STUNNING!!! I love the thought and soul and care behind each and every piece...and I love that you share it with us!

    Gold star on your forehead, girl! What a warm and beautiful room you have created!

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  41. Oooops...apparently signed in under my daughter's name...again!

    Linda@Limein the Coconut

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  42. Okay here we come!! Vince and Roxi can't wait to get on your couch in the living room!!

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  43. Just gorgeous and thank you the story behind all your much loved treasures.

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  44. What a beautiful and decorative home!
    Brenda

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  45. I love your blog! I just found it and I'm your newest follower. Your home is just beautiful. Have a wonderful day!

    Ann-Marie

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  46. I to have struggled with putting any type of window coverings up in our living room but eventually we'll have to. If we lived in the country I think they would stay bare too! It was nice to read that you think sofa's are tricky...I whole heartedly agree!
    Thank yoo for sharing so much...
    xo J~

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  47. With so many wonderful comments here Joan, there's not much I can add except to say YOU & YOUR LIVING ROOM ROCK GIRL!!!!
    Millie x

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  48. Just found your gorgeous blog and I'm in blog heaven! Thanks for sharing the paint color. It's perfect and I may end up using it myself. Your decor just speaks classic beauty. Love it! I'm your newest follower and would be delighted to have you follow me back!
    Have a great week.
    Tammy

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  49. What a beautiful room!! Absolutely love it!
    I want a cowhide rug but now sure which color yet. I would love one in my new bedroom but not sure there is a color out there that would work.

    Vikki

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  50. hi Vikki!
    I have a cowhide in our bedroom also;) It is solid black/brown and reads as a neutral in the room. Good luck with the hunt!

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  51. Thank you for your posts and kind words. Love reading your blog, your pictures are such beautiful sources of inspiration!

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  52. I'm a terrible friend! I actually was going shopping in my mind while I was looking at your gorgeous living room! I want your tapestry pillows... and your mirror over your fireplace. You have such a wonderful eye, Joan and a talent for creating a beautiful yet comfortable home.

    xo
    Brooke

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  53. Beautiful. We also have a brindle hide on our living room floor. Now I just need to get busy with the rest of the room. :) I laughed about the couch - we cannot agree at all. I like deep and soft. He likes shallow and firm. We have chairs. The dogs have the couch. :)

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  54. Every piece in your home has the most amazing story and I love that! I love when you can go through a home and it has history and the things were loved well before you or I were on this earth. You have collected such amazing pieces of history and I LOVE it!

    And yes, I did make those calls thanks to you!! Fingers crossed everythign goes well on Saturday :)

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  55. Stunning Joan. I love it when you post pictures first, then come back in and answer all of the questions. You really have a wonderful, curatorial eye. Every piece is important, and has a story and a history before you. You're a wonderful historian Joan, and an even better decorator.
    xo,
    A

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  56. To say that I am behind on blog reading would be an understatement (I am counting down the days until we close our shop so I will finally have time to visit my favorite blogs again!) However, I have just spent a good deal of time pouring over these beautiful posts of yours! I am definitely going to have to come visit when I am up in NH this summer. Your home is truly one of the most gorgeous I have ever seen!

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  57. Wow. Wow. Wow. Can I tell you how I'm coveting your double happiness vases? I have identical twin daughters who are Chinese. I bought my first antique double happiness jar when we were in China. I bought my second one at a flea market in Indiana. I love everything about them. Your vases are so lovely too, as is everything you've done to your home. You decorate like a Texan! And that's a compliment. :)

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  58. ok, what do they say? Immitation is the gratest form of compliment? there you have it. i will immitate shamelessly from y'all. thank you for the graceful, detailed and all-encompassing vista into your wonderful home. now i'm off...running to Benjamin Moore's. cheers.

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  59. You have a very lovely living room. I like the flower as your centerpiece.

    Philippine properties

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  60. Where in NH? I summered in the seacoast area to be closer to my daughter. Still looking for a place so I am always curious about locales.

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  61. Anon- we are in southern NH in the Monadnock region.

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  62. Joan,love it all!! Could I trouble you to share the color and fabric on the sofa? First I thought it was tan,but up close it kind of looks oatmeal or greyish,to me anyway.

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    1. You described it perfectly- tan/oatmeal/grayish! Unfortunately I upholstered it years ago and don't remember who made it... sorry. It is wonderful though- wears like iron and feels nice to the touch!

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  63. Simply lovely. Can I ask what kind of rug is in the living room? Where did you purchase it?
    Thanks much!
    Jen

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    1. Jen, Rug info is in the description above the second photo. You can find them at Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, HomeDecorators.com,

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  64. Joan, Absolutely beautiful! Can you tell me about your fireplace log set? Is it a gas insert? I found your information on the dining and master fireplaces, but not the living room's. Your house is gorgeous. Since I just found you, I'm reading all your past posts, enjoying your incredible journey and all you've accomplished.

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    Replies
    1. hi Kate, Welcome to the blog! Yes, the living room has gas logs. The logs are made by Monessen and are the "Duzy" series.

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  65. So beautiful. The wall color is perfection. We have an old farmhouse but the floors have been painted. Just a question, if you had to paint the floors in your living room, what color would you choose to compliment the Ashwood?

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    1. I would suggest looking at these BM colors: Cromwell Gray, Copley Gray , Crownsville Gray, Gettysburg Gray and Sandy Hook Gray. They are in the Historical Collection line, and all have read as a brown/gray with a hint of green undertone (same undertone in the Ashwood). Basically they look like a much deeper version of Ashwood and would look beautiful together! Good luck!

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    2. p.s. Sorry it took so long to respond to your question.

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