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Saturday, March 12, 2016

the winter living room with tones of brown



Even though we are having unseasonably warm temperatures for this time of year in New Hampshire (highs in the 50's and only one night in the 10-day forecast to be below freezing- this is May weather for us:) it is still chilly outside and the trees are bare and the grass golden.
The living room with its simple mantel and the room with its many tones of brown feels calm and cozy to me; a feeling I love in these quiet winter months.


Walls are Benjamin Moore Ashwood OC-47 in eggshell.  Ceiling is Benjamin Moore White Dove in Pearl.  Trim is White Dove in Latex Satin Impervo.
(all paint and stain information can be found on my sidebar)




The living room from the entry.  
While I agree with the interior design adage that a room should always have a touch of black in it I, personally, am innately drawn to brown.  I think the naturistic quality of brown grounds a space and since all my rooms have so much "nature" in them it always works well, besides being pleasing to my eye.




The entry chest of drawers (circa 19th c.) is topped with 18th c. velum books and antique Chinese blue and white porcelains, vintage brass French Bouillotte-style lamp with a 70's brass and capiz shell lampshade (I'm obsessed with these lately:) and antique oil painting we found in Provence- "Aunt Minerva" -we name everything:) usually resides in the reading room.
The 23-year old ivy topiary shares the brass tray table with a little ceramic brown and off-white garlic-shaped holder that was a love gift (when my family gives gifts for no reason we call them love gifts!) from my sister Patti she found at Red Onion in Baton Rouge.  (If you live in the area it is a wonderful shop!)  I had just filled the room with browns when it arrived in a package a couple of months ago- perfect timing!  I love the color, texture and how it looks next to the leopard pillow.  It's the little details, yes?!   Thank you Patti...




I usually have two soft-blue velvet pillows on each back corner of the sofa, but I changed those out to brown velvet this year for the winter months.  I added another faux fur throw to this sofa, which the girls love :)




 I adore this brown silk lampshade on the antique Chinese green-glazed terracotta baluster made into a lamp.  When the light is off the shade is the color of the dark trim that you see in this photo- a dark chocolate brown.  You can see the brown velvet pillow in this photo. 




Antique:
  demi-john lamp, chinoiserie table, Santos, French gilt finial and Russian brass jardiniere.




 Leopard pillow on the left was made from a vintage muff.  The pillow on the right was originally two individual vintage hand-warmers that I found at an antique shop.  I sewed them back together and added a down-filled insert.











Old silver-plated doves/pigeons...columbidae!



















Although "Mavis" is technically in the reading room, I thought she should be included in this post since she is donning the vintage leopard collar/headband (that was purchased with the muff pillow,) wearing it as a winter wrap:)


hope you're having a wonderful weekend!  


47 comments:

  1. I love it all. I love brown and use it a lot in my home, so it's wonderful to see someone else using it too. Gorgeous details.

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  2. The brown really does warm up the room. I love all the touches of fur - they call one to sink down and get cosy.

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  3. In a world of fast fashion and fast interior design I envy the life long collection you have accumulated of things you love and expertly layer. It's just beautiful and so personal. It reminds me to take a deep breath and take my time searching for the special things for our house so that in 20+ years I can look back and see a truly timeless collection that reflects my husband and I instead of having to make it look like a magazine todayrightnow. Great to see an update of your wonderful home. Cheers!

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  4. I just love these posts. Your home is lovely and the detail teach me so much!

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  5. Your house is so beautiful, calming, and timeless. I just love it.

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  6. I have done some of that in my home with the ancient wooden chests that my husband brought back from India in the late 1960s . Our coffee table , bought in Argentina, comes from China, the wood is so old . but on the floors I have oriental rugs and the drapes are natural linen so I never get that feeling that the furniture is heavy looking or too dark.
    I too have a large collection of Chinese blue & whites :)

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  7. I just love when you post. I love reading your stories, sharing your home, your husband and dogs. I even hate deleting your posts off my gmail but then realized I could always go to your archives. You seem like a delightful person, someone I would enjoy having coffee or tea with just talking about life, decorating...whatever. Thank you for sharing...always creates sunshine for me...

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  8. So lovely! I like brown, too, and prefer it to black. It feels more organic and softer and goes with everything. It fits better with my natural rustic look. Your rooms are always an inspiration. Love Minerva and Mavis!

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  9. Joan, thank you for this post, everything is beautiful! I look forward to all your posts.
    Dawn R.

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  10. ...mavis always charms...as do you...with your sweet love for this special home...blessings...laney

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  11. What a beautifully appointed room! Your attention to detail is so amazing. I love it all. And it looks so welcoming. Just my style with lots of nature and the neutral colors make it easy to change things out such as you did with the pillows. I'm in awe!

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  12. Every single thing in this room is lovely. What talent it takes to blend them all together, which in turn, creates something simply perfect. Bravo!

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  13. GORGEOUS! I looove your floors. May I ask a question? We just found wood floors after pulling up the previous owners (yucky) carpet. We can't have them refinished because we already have furniture in the rooms. I love their scratches and character but they are in need of something to shine them up. Can you recommend a product? I've been reading about a lot of the old floor refinishers, Bona, Minwax and Old English have them. Any suggestions? THANK YOU! Debbie

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  14. One of the things I most love about your house is the acquired over time collection of decor. Sometimes I look at blogs or magazines-and while they are beautiful- I have mostly inherited pieces that I love to live with that don't work with those looks! Your home however gives me ideas and is much more similar to my homes look. Thank you for that! Also I never commented before when you wrote about pets and adoption but I have adopted three dogs-two thru humane society and one thru co-worker- two of them were previously owned by older people who passed away...I am so grateful to be able to give these dogs love in their older years and they are such wonderful well trained gentle dogs. I always tell friends to adopt older dogs from older people...although working in health care I probably see more opportunities than most people!

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  15. Happy Saturday night! It's a lovely day to work out in the yard here in Virginia, 60's today. I think Spring is going to hit us early this year. Have a great weekend!

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  16. Beautiful room. I always look forward to your posts. Thanks for this little peek into your lovely home.

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  17. Beautiful! My daughter is an interior designer (with a degree!), and she uses dark rich brown in her home as well. It's classic.

    Jane

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  18. Joan,
    Your living room is so inviting and I love the story behind all of the beautiful accessories and furniture. Thank you for sharing with us. I'm going to have to watch for a leopard something-or-other to make a pillow!
    I love this time of year!
    xo,
    Karen

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  19. Question: Have you ever had the room oriented in the other direction? Something makes me wonder how it would look with the two chair backs toward the stairs, the couch in front of the window bay, and the hide turned accordingly. Might be horrible, just wondering if it could up the cozy factor even higher. Also, what is your thinking about foregoing window treatments? It looks terrific as is, just want to know your thoughts...windows are such a tempting opportunity for so many textures and colors (browns!-I'm a "brownie" too). I admire your restraint.
    Love your posts, your beautiful house, and your precious girls. Thanks for your generosity!

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  20. Joan, Dan, and Girls: I LOVE the look of this room. I like your thoughts on browns in a room. We have a wet bar painted black and recently I have been looking at other colors to 'soften' the look. Enjoy this weather! Cindy

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  21. Lovely, as always, Joan! I love your home!! The warm touches of brown and leopard are just perfect. I hope you are enjoying these warm days. It's already spring here in Oklahoma. Everything is blooming and greening up. I hope it doesn't indicate a HOT summer. Best to you, Dan, and the girls! xox, Emily

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  22. Looks so cosy, warm and inviting.

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  23. Thanks for the post. I always enjoy seeing your home. It's so inviting and your attention to detail is very impressive. Hope you're enjoying your weekend too.

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  24. Really, really nice. What a beautiful home. Great pieces in one room! Thanks for the tour.
    Sharon

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  25. That first photo really shows the beauty of the pearl finish on the ceiling.

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  26. People always look at me with a strange face when I say my favorite color is brown. To me, it's the perfect color. Warm and cool, earthy and goes with every other color. Brown is the underdog of colors! It may be because I have brown hair and eyes... Thanks again for a look inside your life and beautiful home. Julie - Ohio (Home of the Cleveland Browns:)

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  27. Absolute perfection. We'll be right over for tea XO

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  28. Just love everything you put together - which is why I visit to your site time and again for inspiration! Your combination of textiles, natural wood furniture, and antiques looks light and fresh even with your mix of darker hues. Appeals to me so much more than the current all-white-everything-painted styles - yours will always be livable and current! Comparing your current living room photos to ones from the past, it seems that you are following the "keep it simple" plan you went with in your kitchen. Love it all! Thanks for taking time to share.

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  29. Please write a book. Your house is stunningly gorgeous. I wish I had larger photos to "study"... so elegant and shows that collected doesn't mean cluttered! Come teach me your ways....LOL
    ~Marcy

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  30. Joan,

    I love this room so much! (I also saw this on IG and had to comment on the mirror.) Though you don't talk about them here, I love the antique mirror and those botanicals. This room is truly lovely and I love how each piece is so carefully thought out and special. It IS the little things!

    Sheila
    www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

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  31. HiJoan....I love the brown also. I have it all throughout my home, and I have taken much "heat" from family/friends who always tell me to add more color. But I don't like it, especially bright color, as it is not restful to my eye. I have learned to love my neutrals and ignore all of the "off-color" advice I get. Beautiful room, Joan, and thank you for the inspiration. Yes, it's also an early spring here in Vermont...after a very easy winter. Hope Dan is feeling better. Take care. Bev

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  32. What a beautiful home!! I so enjoyed the tour!! Have a great week! Leslie Sinclair

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  33. you have such impeccable taste joan. everything is so serene and beautiful. x

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  34. Just lovely, everything! Is your topiary ivy? Can you share your secrets for keeping it alive for 23 years? Amazing!

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  35. Absolutely love the subtle touches of animal print! Everything seems to have found its perfect fit in the room too. Brava!

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  36. Simply perfection, in every way!

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  37. Oh, so beautiful. So wonderful to see your living room and details. I'm so in love with your home!!! Your previous post regarding adaption was lovely. Best Regards, Wenda

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  38. So much interesting things to see, which make a house a home. Love it all.

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  39. I love this room - especially the white walls, they are just beautiful! Thanks for your comment on my barn doors story! I love your house so much and love going through all the pictures. It was so much fun for me. Glad you didn't mind!!! Thanks again so much!!!

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  40. I love the less is more quality of your ceiling molding. Please tell us about it.

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  41. Your home is so gorgeous to me...and evidently to MANY others too! I love the leopard pillows and ALL the antiques! I also love the idea of "love gifts"!!! Perfect!

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  42. Love this! :) The brown tones really gave it a good cozy feel

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