Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine Colors for your Home

It's Valentine's Day, and the supermarket was filled with men
 - most of them trying to decide between the red roses,
which he thought she said yesterday were cliche,
or the heart-shaped box of chocolates with Snoopy on the front.
I loved seeing them stand so seriously by the flower display,
rushing over to grab a card,
then streaming across the parking lot with romantic intentions during their lunch hour.  

Pink and Red balloons were all over the place,
and everyone seem a little bit happier today.
Maybe we should have Valentine's Day more often?

Color (and a box of chocolates) cheers everyone up,
so here are some fun (sugar free) ways
 to sweeten up your own home.

Main Photograph by Richard Avedon via Pinterest
Coat in Entranceway  Vintage Clock  Keep Calm Rug  Flowers Paint Red Cart Sofa Pink Lamp
Bird Plate Bathtub Front Door Egg Cup Sweater Pillow Laundry Room Bedroom

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Thank you!

Remember when I wrote about my obsession with Smeg appliances the other week? Well, I was drinking a cup of tea with a friend yesterday, and my daughter went to get the mail.

On the doorstep was a package. Despite my (still recovering) addiction to Ebay, I knew I wasn't expecting anything, so we all crowded around this box, wondering what it was.

Inside, was another box, then another, holding a brand new Smeg tea kettle. With no note saying who had sent it.
To say I didn't know what to do is an understatement.
I nearly passed out with shock at my own surprise birthday party a few years ago, and while this wasn't quite on that level, I don't like attention, and I am easily overwhelmed by the generosity and love of the people that surround me.

Refusing to open it, I didn't know whether to cry or smile, so we just kept drinking our tea, glancing over at the box every now and again, waiting for me to say or do something.

Eventually, about an hour later, my gratitude (and my friend and daughter) talked me down from the ledge, and I opened the box. Inside was the most beautiful, cream colored tea kettle I have ever seen.... We all oohed and aahed like children on Christmas morning, while we tried to guess where it had come from.

Several hours later, we decided that it truly was a thing of beauty, a gift to be accepted ....... and it made the most delicious cup of tea in the entire world...

Thank you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Closet Confessions

With the Winter, comes my slight addiction to Ebay shopping. It arrives in the form of clothes, and I can easily justify buying several tops, or a cute dress, if I am paying no more than the price of a cup of coffee and a muffin for each. Never mind that I don't usually buy a cup of coffee and a muffin, but if I wanted to, I would imagine that it would cost no more than paying for an inexpensive dress on Ebay - which means that I am actually saving money, and is completely justified for some reason that I am not quite sure of.

But, if I bought a cup of coffee and a muffin, they wouldn't need space in my closet, and, considering I only have 53 hangers in my closet, when my Ebay purchase takes me to number 54, I have a problem.

You see, we can't organize and declutter if we don't have a place to put everything. So, no matter how much I stare at number 54, a new coat hanger doesn't materialize, and I still have nowhere to put that delicious, pre-loved, silky top. I can't buy just one coat hanger at the shops, and even if I could, there is absolutely no more room in my closet.

This is the sort of thing that gets us into a pickle. Before we know it, we have too many clothes, too much mail, or too many widgets, and nowhere to put them. It's not that we don't have the space, it's just that our space is already full.

So, what do we do?
Me? Because I don't want to spend my life staring at number 54 sitting on my chair (and I am not buying any more coat hangers) I decided to go through my closet and donate at least one thing (I ended up donating seven, so that was good, which also means (if my math is right) I can buy six more things on Ebay.....).
You? Find homes for what you already have, don't use your floor as a storage unit, count your coat hangers, and try buying a cup of coffee and a muffin instead of a new widget.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What's in a Name?

If you combine my love of retro appliances with a made-up swear word from the future, you get a SMEG. Completely besotted with the word since watching Red Dwarf, I couldn't believe that the simple, curved beauty of an appliance could be permanently etched with a name that I find so amusing.

There are many retro appliances that make my heart quicken, but this is my favorite, and I am embarrassed to say it has a lot to do with the name. How can you be sad if you are looking at the word Smeg several times a day?

Most names sound utilitarian, and are associated with efficiency and practicality; I am sure that Whirlpool was created because of the shape it made when the water spun around, and that KitchenAid came naturally to someone who felt it was an aid in the kitchen. Others, like Maytag and Black & Decker, are named after the founders, while some are acronyms for something that was considered far too lengthy for the consumer to pronounce (the beloved AGA, originated in Sweden, and is short for Aktiebolaget Gas Accumulator).

Do we actually buy appliances because of their name, and does their name really mean anything at all? I think it does. We rely on certain names because of their reputation, some we buy because we are being loyal to the country that it is manufactured in, and others we lean towards just because we grew up seeing them over and over in our parents home.

Then, there are the one's that tug at our hearts; lured by their style and color, they have the ability to cheer us up on a morning, and make the most boring of tasks seem like fun. I purchased a toaster many years ago, that has the word TOAST on each side. I am sure it is not as efficient as it used to be, and it is showing a few signs of age, but I still smile when I see the word toast on my toaster (from a practical perspective, when I also show signs of age, it will be an easy reminder at breakfast time).

So, would I get something that wasn't as well made as another, just because of the name?
The logical answer would be "Of course not!", but my personal, honest answer would be "Yes!". I would gladly share my life with slightly frivolous Smeg, even if it was for a very short time, than wake up every morning to an efficient, but uninspired kitchen appliance.

p.s. The photograph is from West Elm, where you can buy the toaster (and the flamingos).

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Luxury For Less

Our January credit card bill is here. We wonder how we managed to spend $423. at the dollar store, what made us buy four identical black sweaters, and is it too soon to ask the postman if he ate that nice box of chocolates that we mailed to our friend across town.

This is typically not our favorite time of year, and while we ponder the meaning of life (and wiggle into our too-tight jeans) maybe it's time to cheer ourselves up with a little bit of inexpensive, but indulgent, decorating.
Believe it or not, it's not always money that makes a home feel rich, so if you've got a few hours to play with, and are looking to cheer yourself up (without adding dollars to your credit card bill) why not shop your home, and bring some luxury back into your rooms.    


Even if it is your least favorite color, every room needs some touches of black. It visually anchors a room, and adds interest, elegance and mystery to a space.


Simple, composed collections, and vast empty spaces are calming, which makes a home 
feel luxurious. It implies that you are quite confident in your personal style, that you have just enough of what you need, and that no explanation is necessary.


Don't laugh, but this says a lot about who you are, and most importantly, it shows that you also value things that are not necessarily valuable.


Have a favorite photograph enlarged to gigantic proportions, paint your own design, or find an affordable piece from a local artist.

Be excessive in your choice. Fill a wall.
Give it pride of place, and just let it be by itself. It doesn't have to make sense, or match your decor,
you just have to love it!


Whether you share it, or live alone, your bedroom should be the space you have always dreamed of. 
Spoil yourself. Make it enviable - a favorite place that you can't wait to go to at the end of the day, and a room that makes you feel grateful to wake up in first thing in the morning.


Use far more than you need! To add decoration, to bring in the light, to reflect something beautiful, and, of course, for looking in before you step out into the world.


Casually draped over a sofa or chair, their lush softness reminds us of a more elegant time; when travelling to far off places was a special occasion - an adventure waiting to happen, filled with leather luggage, coordinated outfits and personal tour guides.