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Monday, April 25, 2016

spring living room with blue & white on the mantel


Spring has arrived in New England!  The grass is getting green (Dan mowed the back meadow for the first time yesterday)  and the leaves are "just" starting to come out on the antique maples that line our drive.  The light is amazing.  We have wonderful light all year long, but there is just something extra special about the spring light, not to mention the gorgeous sunsets. The weather is still cool-ish, though we did turn on the air conditioning last week due to the humidity.  But, today the heater is running and there is definitely a chill in the air.  When we lived in Dallas I would laugh at the thought of a "spring jacket,"  but now I understand the term:)





I've added antique Chinese blue and white to the room.  Always a classic in my book, and feels very spring to me right now.





A slightly different angle... I liked that the antique painting across the room is reflected in the antique French mirror on the mantel.





I've removed some of the extra brown accessories in the room.  I always have lots of brown though, it's my black.  What you can't see in this photo of the vintage brass topped table is the teeny, tiny paper price tag with purple silk string from decades ago:)  I left it (call me Minnie Pearl:) because it was just so charming and unless you're looking for it you don't see it.  Oops.... I see one of the legs needs to be moved/straightened.  Ignore!  The 23-year-old topiary!  Many of you have asked, but I don't have any tips or secrets....  I water regularly, fertilize occasionally, that's it.  

  


Photo of the room with the lights off.  The fur throw is still on the sofa for the chilly spring days and nights we are having.  There is usually a puppy, or two, on the throw;)  I changed the end sofa pillows from brown velvet to gray/blue velvet ones.




And, speaking of puppies!  Louise and Magnolia are my photog assistants:)




A puppy-bum photo bomb;)




Notice in this photo I paint just the plug outlet for the table lamp.  Makes it go away.  The brown fabric cord blends in with the floor.




I like this photo as it shows you our gravel drive that comes up to the front porch. 




I replaced one of the vintage leopard fur pillows (made from muffs) for a made-to-fit small lumbar pillow for this antique French chair in the same grey/blue velvet on the sofa pillows.
 




This is Louise's "I want to go get in Mama's bed" look.   Ella does the exact same thing.  She's torn because I'm downstairs, but she loooves the mama's bed.  I tell her "it's okay!"  and she marches up the stairs!  Silly girls:)




72 comments:

  1. This room and your entire house speaks calm and serenity to me. You have beautiful antiquities and such a good eye for putting them all together. Your home is beautiful and I love to come here and browse. I did use two of your paint colors in my home. You have created wonderful inspiration.

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    1. Calm and serenity were my hope, so that is lovely to hear Nancy, thank you. Love that you used some of the paint colors in your own home! xxoj.

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  2. Happy Spring, here in Virginia it's sunny and 80, too warm for me in April, but one more day and temps drop back to 60's...it's coming! I love the blue in your living room. We've mowed four times. And I am a happy girl!

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    1. LC- agreed 80 is too warm:) I bet it's beautiful in Virginia right now!

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  3. Everything looks lovely Joan as always. Of course I always enjoy seeing photos of the darling pups!!

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  4. Joan, absolute perfection as always! Thank you for the inspiration.
    Dawn R.

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  5. Joan,
    I love the blue and white on the mantle and I especially like the way the orchid reflects in the mirror and looks like a double. The room looks light and ready for spring/summer. It's always fun to change things up a bit with the season change.
    Love those doggies!
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. It's funny Karen I don't change much but the mantels in the living room and kitchen. I have other vignettes that haven't changed in 8 years because they still make me happy every time I look at them. I do enjoy changing up the living room mantel and also the marble table in the reading room.

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  6. Happy spring to you, Dan, and the girls! Everything looks gorgeous, as always!

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    1. Thank you Jane! And Happy Spring to you & Leo!

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  7. My husband brought home a brass tray tabletop and base just like yours decades ago from Egypt. He was there on a business trip.t I love the way it looks in your formal setting. You have inspired me to get it out of storage and use it. Your taste is impeccable.

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    1. Thank you!!! And I love that you are going to use your table. Send me a pic, okay?!!

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  8. Your home just fascinates me.....I love the way you mix "things". Enjoy your Spring up there...we here in Dallas are anticipating severe weather tomorrow. That's always unnerving!
    Love the addition of the blue.

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    1. Yes, that is unnerving. I remember well. Y'all (and Houston) have had a rough go of it this past year. No water, then too much. I love that my home fascinates you! That is really special, thank you for telling me.

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  9. Beautiful photo's today of the living room. Simply love it! Thank you for sharing. Love the girls too! :)

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  10. Beautiful! I just love how you talk about your three girls. It warms my heart.

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  11. I always love seeing your home, and I love this room.

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    1. Thank you Ron! Hope you are safe and dry with all that Houston rain.

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  12. I love this room, gorgeous. Every detail is stunning.

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  13. How gorgeous! Love your home and can't wait to stay there when I come to make ice cream. Haha :)

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    1. I am making a list of flavors and ordering a new freezer to fit all the ice cream in :):)

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  14. So love when you post! Your home and the girls are a delight! Happy spring!

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  15. How beautiful! And I'm jealous that you have a "back meadow" to mow! That just sounds so dreamy.

    How old do you think your antique maples are? We have some massive ones in front of our farmhouse that are probably nearing a century, and my husband thinks they may be near the end of their lifespan. I certainly hope not!

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    1. hi Meg, Many of our maples are over 100 years old, and some are in the 75-85 year range. They can live to 150+ years with some old growth trees living to 300- 400 years, so don't give up on them yet!!

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  16. Love your Spring vibe. Pretty and happy :) 💐

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    1. Thank you sweet Tina! Hope your family is well. xxo

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  17. I always love seeing your beautiful home and this room is very beautiful. I have emphasized all my blues for Spring and Summer too. I even added blue to the kitchen for the first time. I love seeing the girls too. Glad your temps are coming up. We had a summerlike day today and tomorrow but then back to the lOW 60's. I like this better:)

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    1. hi Pinky, Fun knowing you've added blues too! Happy Spring to you & Joe! xxo

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  18. The first thing I noticed is how light and bright the room looks. Love the simplicity of no window treatments - you are so blessed to have such beautiful views. You always combine just the right accessories. Louise's floppy ear gets to me every time - so cute!

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    1. You are right...we are indeed blessed with incredible light in the house and the views! I consider it a luxury to not have to have window treatments since neighbors are at a distance!

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  19. What a beautiful room. So elegant, yet so comfortable. A real home, with real taste.

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  20. Hello Joan, So many ideas here to glean or simply to enjoy. I have to learn to stop seeing collections only en masse, and be able to use individual pieces for general effect or to feature them. The collections can always reappear intact in the next incarnation!
    --Jim

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    1. Jim, Without realizing it I used to pair things more in mass too. I think I then would put them away and bring out a couple of pieces. Good observation, as always! Thank you!

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  21. I love the seasonal updates you do to refresh. Perfect! Question: Are your orchids real or (gasp!) imitation/silk? I'm scared to death to get real ones since I'm not sure I can keep them alive but most imitations are terrible looking. if they are imitation, source?

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    1. Megan, they are real! And don't be afraid to get real ones!! I've been buying real ones for 20 years! They are such easy keepers. I get mine at Home Depot/Lowe's/Walmart/TraderJoe's/Costco.
      Most now come with the info to water with 3-4 ice cubes per week. I've even had them in low light entries (in Dallas) and they would thrive. Try one! You can do it!!!!

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    2. Megan - your photo of your house on your google id is 'gorgeous'! You should blog!

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  22. Looks lovely. I try to keep our puppy off the bed -- he is so big neither my husband or I would fit! Happy spring!

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    1. ha! Yes, ours like to snuggle with Dan and sometimes he can't move or get out of bed!

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  23. Lovely, Joan. Waiting for spring here in Vermont, also. It's snowing today! But just lightly, and it will melt quickly. I've learned long ago not to put too much emphasis or base your happiness on the weather while living in New England. Just too unpredictable. It is what it is, and I just enjoy it as it comes.
    Bev

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    1. That is exactly our attitude Bev! We appreciate what is on our plate! Just this morning (Dan is out of town) I told him it was a "raining, gloomy, skunky, Gorgeous day!!" It's all how you perceive things:)

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  24. Your home is just so very pretty. Every detail. You are very talented and blessed. Always love seeing the dogs too!

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  25. This is probably my favorite room in your house. Although I love them all! Painting that end part of your electrical cord ... brilliant. I'm copying that today! Also, I love the mix of the more modern green lamp in this room. I would never have thought of that, but it's a great touch and prevents the room from being too stuffy. I am curious, though, is that a sisal rug? I am in need of a new rug for my living room and my floors are just a bit darker than yours, so wasn't sure what natural fiber to go with. And, as usual, a house just isn't without sweet girls in it. :)

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    1. Thank you Michelle! I've been known to paint a cord or too, also:) It is a boucle sisal rug. If you have an Ikea close they have some nice ones (good color selection) and I think are on sale through the end of this month.

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    2. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I'm nowhere near an ikea. But might be traveling out of town soon, so will try to work that in. Thanks!:)

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  26. The living room is gorgeous. And those little puppies are adorable. Have you planted anything yet or is it still too chilly? I can't wait to see pics of your terrace! You inspired me with those big pots of rosemary and ferns!!

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    1. Still too chilly Kerry! I did put the cushions back on the terrace chairs last weekend, but that was it. We're supposed to freeze tonight. It's usually about mid-May when you can plant here without worrying about freezing. I love that you liked the big pots of rosemary and ferns! Send me pics!

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  27. As always, just beautiful! You can't beat a crisp white room with glorious light streaming through the windows. I love the addition of blue and white. And I always love to see your girls!! ;) I saw on the Today Show this morning though you might be seeing some pretty chilly weather. The great thing about Spring is that it doesn't last long though! :)

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    1. Yes, chilly tonight Gina... 31 for a low. Oh, and our boiler went out today (thankfully still under warranty:) so I'm grateful we have the fireplaces! It will be a 3-dog night tonight!!!:)

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  28. I love it when you post. I could spend hours in each of your rooms just drinking up each and every item there!! Best Regards, Wenda

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  29. Your second sentence made me smile, because here in Northern California the grass is starting to turn what is euphemistically called "gold" after having been green for the winter. Your table with the topiary reminds me of one my mother-in-law brought back from her time in Saudi Arabia. And, girl dogs must be more polite than boys -- at least any I've had experience with! Great pictures of your beautiful room!

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    1. Thank you Carolyn! I assume the grass gets gold before it turns green?? I've not had boy dogs, but yes, the girls are very polite!!!

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  30. Always a joy to visit your rooms via this blog. Love your style and aesthetic :)

    Joy to you always!

    Maura

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  31. Your color palette makes your home relaxing and the puppies make it lively!

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    1. Ohhh, I love the Ying an Yang of your comnent! It's a very true statement when in the house.

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    2. Ohhh, I love the Ying an Yang of your comnent! It's a very true statement when in the house.

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  32. Always look forward to your posts and seeing your beautiful home! What kind of oil or furniture polish do you use on your wood pieces?
    Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Cathy. We (and of course by we I mean Dan ;) use Briwax.

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  33. Here in the Deep South we have had chillier than normal spring time tempos but everything is in full bloom! We have much of the garden planted and looks like the blueberries are having babies which is a good thing. We love blueberries but didn't have a bumper crop last year. This year looks like a winner! Question? What do you use on your wood floors? What is your opinion on the Shark Steam mop? I have bamboo wood flooring in cherry. It's really beautiful and I want to keep it in good condition.
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane
    Greetings from Alabama

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    1. Jane, I use the Shark Steam mop and really love it. That said it all depends on what finish is on your wood floors. In Dallas, our floors were hand waxed and you could not use water (steam ) on them.

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  34. Love your spring updates, Joan. And the girls ... always wonderful to see them in your photos. Such lucky dogs to live in such a pretty house, with such loving parents! Wishing you warm days and nights,
    Claudia

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  35. Love the spring look so much! The blue and white is great and seems so "springy!" And I'm a little jealous of a 23 year old topiary - wow! That's unbelievable! Wish I knew the secret as I have thrown out quite a few:((

    Sheila
    www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

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