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Friday, July 12, 2013

simple table tops for summer


Summer has definitely arrived- its been hot (not Texas hot though;) and really humid here.  The air conditioning units have been running non-stop.  (Thank goodness we put in central a.c., because "yes," you do need it in New Hampshire;)  Due to the heat I've had the need to simplify the table tops in the farmhouse for summer.  It almost feels like the farmhouse can breath easier with less to display;)

In the kitchen I used a Boston fern on the island and an ironstone platter on the freshly waxed table (thank you Dan!)






I love how something so simple can change the feel of the entire space.





Found the antique French ironstone "fish" platter in Paris.  I didn't want to ship it for fear it would get broken, so I carted it to the south of France and then back to Paris and then home on the plane!  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do;)





In the dining room I placed the Japanese fishing floats in an old wire basket instead of the dough bowl that usually holds them.  Lighter.  I love how you see more of the blue/green and how that color is found in both seascape paintings in the room. 





In the living room a simple copper tray from India holds court.  The turquoise patina is found in the tapestry pillows and tapestry chair in the room.


Despite the heat and humidity we've still been hard at work in the yard.  I'll show you what we've been working on next.

So, do you lighten/simplify things in your house for summer?

Happy Weekend!




67 comments:

  1. It's so true - change the vignette's with the season. White & bright with the pop of green from the fern looks so fresh.
    I always laugh when reading other descriptions {even on antique web sites} of Japanese Fishing Floats; they could take a lesson from you and refrain from calling them 'glass balls'. The horror!

    Enjoy the weekend.

    hugs
    Katherine

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    1. Okay....this may entirely lower the tone of the blog, BUT?....

      I have two large (maybe three feet high?), glazed-ceramic, vietnamese water-jugs/pots/whatever on my back patio. Each of them is filled with, of all things, water...and each has a large-ish, green, fishing-net float in it (A friend brought them back from Portugal, years ago, and gave them to me as a birthday present).

      Last year?....about twenty folks were at my house for a party on the patio, following a book-reading by a visiting author (a longtime friend). Someone had brought along this really LOUD Yankee woman (she wasn't, actually, unpleasant) who suddenly, in front of everyone, shouted (she didn't seem able to control her decibels) "Oh GAAAHHHHHD! I just LOVE your big glassy baHH-lls!"...

      That wasn't so bad, but she immedaitely added "Oh GAAAHHHHHD! Please don't take that the WRONG WAY!"

      All ofthe other guests (mostly Southern Episcopalians in their 60's or 70's, at least) were mortified, but I decided, then and there, that she wasn't (obviously) very bright, but she was, indeed, a lot of fun to have at a party.

      I'm not making a bit of this up, by the way. All sorts of weird stuff comes flying down when your invitation says "Feel free to bring a friend".

      Advisedly yours as ever,

      David Terry
      www.davidterryart.com

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    2. Ha! David, I'm a northern Episcopalian, and my friends and I would have laughed right along *with* her! That's why our invitations are open to those outside of our circles. Circles should expand to remind us not to take anything we have or do so seriously. :-)

      Angela

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    3. I think I would have preferred a party filled with 'Yankees' that had 'flown down' (as you say) rather than people who are too stuffy to have fun with an innocent comment. She was nice enough to share a compliment at your party. I think she was a lot brighter than you give her credit for!
      Fondly-Lisa (a proud LOUD yankee woman)

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  2. Just wanted to tell you I love the little stories about the items in your house. After reading a few posts, I was hooked and read your entire blog over the course of a few days. My sister and I are going to a local antique mart on Sunday. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Love that... I need to send you an "I read the whole blog" badge;) Thank you for telling me and good luck with your antique shopping!

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    2. I didn't know you would give out badges! lol Send me one too...I did the same thing a few months ago

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    3. lol...I've done it twice, the last during the long break from blogging, needed my fix. ;)

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  3. Saw your lovely home featured on Hooked on Houses. Congrats! Nice that new readers will be discovering you. Your home is always an inspiration. Can't wait to see what you've been up to in the yard!

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  4. I just love looking at the photos of your beautiful home, so tastefully decorated and I can't wait to see the garden photos. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Love the simplicity!! I do tend to lighten things somewhat in the summer. I love adding shells from our past vacations too!!

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  6. Love it all and YES I do simplify in the summer, open the doors and let the house BREATHE!!! Less is more and big is better in my book!! Love the lighter touch you gave your beautiful home. Beautiful editing or what I like to call,
    UN-Decorating!
    Kathysue

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  7. Joan,
    I agree! Your table toppers are lovely, simple and allow the room to breathe for the warmer months. I do the same, I take the opportunity to put away treasures and enjoy the "less is more" time of year. We're pretty warm and humid here in Southern California, which is a little unusual.
    Karen

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  8. Joan, Dan, and Ella: First, you are my heros for being able to work in the yard with this heat and humidity. My front garden has been taken over by weeds because it is too hot for me! I agree that less is more in all aspects during the summer months. Try to stay cool (at least today's weather is beautiful!) Cindy

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  9. I'm laughing at your comment about carting that platter all over France. I once found a small wine crate on a garbage pile on Avenue Foch in Paris, tucked it into my suitcase despite my husband's protests and it sits on the farmhouse table filled with old bottles and hydrangea blooms as I write this. A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do indeed!

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  10. Your home is absolutely ONE of my faves. I am in awe of everything you do or change. Your accessories are always so beautiful. Thanks for inviting us "in".

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  11. just gorgeous joan. love that you carted that platter with you all over france. good work!

    the table top looks beautiful too.

    i hear you about lightening things up for summer. yesterday i put white drapes back in the living room and i can't tell you how much lighter it feels in there.

    stay cool my friend.

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  12. Beautiful, as always. Now I need to stop reading and get busy simplifying for summer. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  13. I'm a 'shifter' of things, as well. Like you, I delight in the fact that small changes connect you to the current season outside.

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  14. Absolutely stunning! Makes the space look so open and inviting. Love your home. Have spent the last week reading every. single. post. from. the . beginning.!!

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    Replies
    1. LOL... it was very addicting to see what you were going to do next. I have gotten many ideas to "file away."

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  15. I love the simple look in summer but still enjoy using vintage white runners of some sort under things. I love your wire basket of fishing floats. Their colour is gorgeous! Enjoy your summer. It's been hot and humid in the Maritime Provinces too. Well, at least in New Brunswick. :)

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  16. Beautiful as always Joan, and I do the same thing as far as lightening up with my decor during the warmer months. And you should have seen the stuff I toted around France and brought home in my suitcase...next time I know to bring a bigger suitcase with me! ;)

    Stay cool, and enjoy your weekend!

    Kat

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  17. Just beautiful. Such simple changes but its like a breath of fresh air. I am trying to do the same, but with all this rain even some fresh ferns don't seem to be helping lift the mood. :-/

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  18. Your changes look great! The antique fishing floats do look striking in that wire basket! I'm always changing things- and I do like to lighten up for the summer.

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  19. I covet the floats!!!!
    Yes I have simplified big time as my life has changed so much the past year. I put away my LR coffee table and bought a big linen ottoman instead ( so much lighter ) , I replaced a dining room buffet and china cabinet with one large open hutch that has a beautiful plate rack, I painted my kitchen a grayed violet like the water in a marsh. All of this has made a tremendous difference.
    Kisses to Dan and Ella!

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  20. I always LOVE whatever you do. Yes, I change out alot of vignettes for all the seasons. Summer, I bring in lighter colors and some shells. You have fabulous pieces. Love the story about the fish platter. XO, Pinky PS, Joe has planted 63 bushes and 3 tress and today we went to one of our favorite nurseries for perrenials and filled the car and also got a cut leaf Japanese maple tree!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see what you have done!

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  21. Gorgeous Joan, but you know me, I'm a lover of "stuff" so although I probably should limb up the decor in the summer for a lighter look, everytime I start taking stuff out I feel like I'm missing out on something, then back it all comes! LOL!
    Like you though, I've been working like crazy in my yard ... preparing for my mother's visit on July 23rd. Tonight I get to work on the pergola, tying up the wisteria and scrubbing the brick before I pick up the new patio table and chairs (smaller, iron, round table - much better fit) tomorrow and hang the outdoor curtains.
    But, perhaps, when and if I ever get back INSIDE the house, I'll give paring down a try again! You certainly have inspired me! :)
    xoxoxo,
    A

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  22. DearJoan,

    Regarding your ironstone fish-platter?....

    I can't (for the life of me, just now) recall the name of the large, rambling store in Manhattan....but it carries overstock/vintage tableware from, for the most part, old restaurants and hotels. You can ("could", for all I know; I haven't been there in nine years) find everything from old-fashioned, white, ironstone platters to matching sets of china from, say "The Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad" line's dining-cars (recall when there were actual dining-cars on trains?) or varous resort-hotels in the Poconos....all vintage,and all surprisingly inexpensive.

    I bought up TWELVE of those heavy, white, plain-as-plain, ironstone platters when Ifound them there, the last day I visited. I happen to hate patterned china/servingware. Afterwards, I and Herve (my partner, who's French; we're perhaps the only couple who own a very pleasant, 1920's apartment, only five minute's walking-time from the Eiffel Tower...and who have stayed in it exactly two nights in ten years) carried those damned & HEAVY platters all over town, back to the hotel, through the airport, and back to North Carolina....on our backs.

    We kept six for ourselves (I entertain a lot) and parcelled out the remaining six, with due diligence, to a few friends who, like us, are adverse to frou-frou. In any case...I like your taste in platters. It's hard to find stuff that's well-made, simple, and good.

    Level Best as Ever,
    David Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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    1. It sounds like you are describing Fishs Eddy on Broadway, almost across the street from ABC Home & Carpet. A fantastic place!!!

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    2. I agree, sounds like Fishs Eddy. Lucky friends who you gifted them to David!

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  23. Love your eye for decor! If I send you pics of my little home, would you be able to give me feedback on how I can maximize the space I have. Furniture placing is somehow challenging for me.
    Thanks!
    jen

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  24. Just lovely! And I fully agree, if you find something you love, it is worth lugging around. Gorgeous platter. Well worth it!

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  25. I love the lighter vignettes, I also lighted up with the heat and humidity. I usually have tons of flowers in the house, but have been enjoying the green plants instead. Makes the house feel cooler!

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  26. I don't tend to change anything much with the seasons. Not really an Australian thing to do. Love what you have done. It does add a touch of lightness. But then I love your house so much!!

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    Replies
    1. It's funny Vicki, I don't usually change things either (except for the living room mantel, but something about this weather had me wanting to lighten things up visually. I've been known to like a placement grouping and leave it as-is for years!! ha!

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  27. I've been thinking you've been very quiet and wondering what you've been up to. Can't want to see what's going on outside.

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  28. I was just thinking I should clear some things out for the summer. Definitely feels lighter and fresher.

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  29. Everything looks simply beautiful! I love your dining room table...the tray in your living room. I totally agree that increased 'stuff' warms up the house... but find this difficult to implement! Jennyxx

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  30. LOVE your table top settings and agree that it is amazing that switching-out items makes the world of difference. We are hot & humid in Southern Ontario as well but not complaining as enjoy the summer so much, NB

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  31. Love your "airier" summer decor--thanks for sharing it with us! I'm trying to remember if you ever told us about Dan's waxing technique. It seems vaguely familiar to me...like you mentioned it before. I would be curious to learn his secret. That table has a beautiful sheen to it! Have a great weekend, Joan, Dan, and Ella:) My family is heading down to OBX this weekend for a (hopefully) fun sun-filled week away:)

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    1. hi Kat, this is the post where I wrote about Dan's waxing technique...

      http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/search/label/headboard

      But, since this was only a touch-up wax job he didn't use the heat.
      There were some white rings on the table (from water, etc.) so he used xxxx steel wool to apply a light coat of Dark Brown Briwax. He then buffed it with a soft towel.

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  32. These photos are so soothing to look at; simple and uncluttered. That's the epitome of summer decorating to me. Our home is already rather minimalist, so what I do to further lighten things up for summer is open all the doors and windows when the temps allow; put soft oxford cloth sheets on the bed along with a white seersucker spread; and have loads of fresh fruit on hand, which is wonderfully easy here in California.

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  33. Oh my, Joan, I do indeed simplify my house for summer! My housework doubles in the summer to include not just my interiors, but my porch and yard, too. As a Chicagoan, I appreciate our brief summer season, and so I make a point to make everything indoors as easy and efficient as possible so I can spend time in my flower beds to spoil my cutting garden. :-) Love my flowers!

    Dan did a fine job waxing the table!

    Angela

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  34. All so beautiful, Joan, as always. Did Dan use the same waxing technique on the table as on the headboard?

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    Replies
    1. Since this was only a touch-up wax job he didn't use the heat.
      There were some white rings on the table (from water, etc.) so he used xxxx steel wool to apply a light coat of Dark Brown Briwax. He then buffed it with a soft towel. So, bascially the same, he just tweaked the application for the table!

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  35. Love it Joan ! I can't wait to see your out door projects ! It's been raining for a record 20 days here it has put a damper on my outdoor projects ! Oh well it could be worse ! Have a wonderful weekend Joan

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  36. It's been so rainy and humid, save for a few days of sun last weekend, that I've been uninspired, to tell the truth! But I am living vicariously through your kitchen, because every time I see it I just sigh, I love it so!!

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  37. Joan, wondering if I could ask about your coffee table I have been trying to find one like it for some time. Looked in the details and couldn't find anything about it. Hoping you could share the dimensions type of wood and maybe style. Thanks so much, every room and every detail of your home is so inspiring. I love your blog, and would duplicate everything about your home if I could. Thank you for sharing it with us :)

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    Replies
    1. hi Tia, I did a post about it here.... http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2012/02/barn-room-coffee-table.html

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  38. I love changing thins for the season..for summer like to keep it light and fresh,heavier and darker in the fall/winter. Love all the beautiful glimpses into your gorgeous home, Joan!

    The weather has been very strange, extreme highs and crazy amounts of rain...the weather gods are confused:)

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  39. Sorry should have been more specific. I was referring to the coffee table on the living room :)

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  40. What breath of fresh air your surfaces are. You've inspired me to lighted things up.

    PS. YOu'll never believe this but the high today in Dallas is supposed to 79 and it raining! Unheard of!

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  41. I too, love a simpler touch, especially after all the color and decorations for the Fourth. Your touches are beautiful, especially the basket in the dining room. Love the color and lightness of it.

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  42. I have two little ones, so I keep things light and simple year-round! Less things get broken that way. ;)

    I love your beautiful home and the simplicity of your Summer decorating is lovely!

    Hugs,
    Gail

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  43. The weather has certainly been strange all over. That's why it's so nice to come over to your house, where it's cool and refreshing. At least that's the way your home looks to me! ;)

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  44. It's hot and humid here in England too......a rare thing so we are making the most of it! I definitely find myself lightening the interior of my home at this time of year too. What a simple and beautiful platter Joan...... Enjoy the summer!

    Sophia

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  45. Lovely post as always Joan. I am with you on this subject. Too much around the house when it is hot (AND IT IS HOT these days!!!) just weighs things down even more.
    I adore your collection of Japanese fishing floats!
    Fondly-Lisa

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  46. I do like to lighten up for the summer also. This year, we are getting the house ready to put on the market very early next spring, so we are cleaning out everywhere. The house feels so much bigger and more airy, I think we'll be keeping the clutter down from now on! By the way, your collection of fishing floats is just beautiful!

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