Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wallpaper is back!

I love wallpaper. The old fashioned kind, with cabbage roses and ribbons and toile. I like the warm romantic feel of a room papered in beautiful colors and elegant designs. In every house I have lived in I have had at least one papered room. Except my current house, which is big and modern. When I was growing up, everyone had wallpaper in their homes. Slowly this fell out of favor in the late 70s, replaced by painted walls and wall paper borders in the 80s and early 90s. By the turn of the century even borders were considered outdated. The change to painted walls made sense. Paper was difficult to put up, difficult to take down and it was expensive. Paint was cheaper, easy to apply and it was easy to change the look of your room with a coat of new color. However, with almost everything in design, what is old is new again. The trends tend to cycle, and wallpaper is no exception. I am seeing wallpaper everywhere. Most designers are saying it is new and fresh and not like your Grandmother's house. Oh, c'mon, let's be honest, the "new" metallics and flossed papers were popular back in the 70s. I have proof, I have pictures of my family's houses! Apparently, the new trend is supposed to exclude my beloved cabbage roses, but I have a feeling that the look will be the new trend. Since I like the more traditional designs, that is what I am highlighting in this post.
Let's look around the design world and see what people are doing with wallpaper today.
The papers below are designed by York



   I love Ralph Lauren wallpapers!

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren


I love the delicate floral and bird design and soothing colors of this York paper:


One of my favorite companies is Thibault. They make coordinating wallpaper & fabrics:

Thibault Design

Thibault Design

Thibault Design

Thibault Designs

How about you, do you have wallpaper in your house? Do you think wallpaper will make a strong comeback?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Death by Board Game!

Finally got that mouse that has been taunting us for weeks....I first put peppermint oil on cotton balls and put them in all the kitchen hiding places. Then...he couldn't stand the smell and ran out into the living room where Robin (Grammie) & Georgia (10 month old) were sitting on the floor. The mouse ran over Robin's hand. She screamed and jumped up. The mouse, which was sitting next to Georgia, just stared up at her. Georgia turned around to pat the cute mouse. I yelled, Robin scooped up Georgia and jumped onto the sofa. I grabbed the first thing I could find...a monopoly game box... and threw it at the mouse. The mouse lay there.. I picked up the scrabble box...Katie (G's Mom) is yelling "stop, stop, not the Scrabble box..Noooo!" Josh came downstairs with his trademark annoyed expression, picked up the mouse and went out to the woods with Katie to dispose of it. Hmmm wonder how many more cute mice are hiding. I am in the process of 'pepperminting' them out of all their hiding places..stay tuned... there may be another 'Death by Board Game" story to tell!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

To catch a mouse!

Last night I went in the kitchen and turned on the light. What did I see? The cutest little mouse sitting on the counter looking at me! I yelled for my husband. He came running in. I said "Isn't it adorable?" "Now kill it!". So he gave a feeble try to capture it  and it ran between the stove and the counter  (the space is only about half an inch, how do they do that!?). So it is apparent my husband could never be a hunter. He can't harm a mouse never mind a moose! Sooo it is up to me. I went out today and bought he old fashion snap traps (the mice won't go near the sticky pads or the 'have-a-heart type traps' that are all over the house!), some steel wool to plug up all the holes around the pipes, and some peppermint oil and cotton balls. I will let you all know how this ongoing drama ends....hopefully there will be an ending soon!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mouse in the house!

If the mouse (s) in the house looked like this, then I wouldn't be asking for your advice!
Seems we have a bad case of mice! We have seen them everywhere- on all three levels of our house. It's my husband's fault. He makes holes in the walls and never covers them up. I kept warning him that if he did not cover the hole that goes into our attached garage, we would end up with mice. Guess what? We did. To make matters worse he STILL hasn't done anything about the holes. Why did he make holes, you ask. Well, he is an HVAC technician and he put in a new heating system throughout the house. Now if this were a client's house, the holes would have been professionally closed up, but since it was our house, he just left them open. He also decided to extend the heat into the garage, so he made the hole for the pipes to go through. That's the tricky part, the mice travel through the house on the pipes and can get to each level easily. It is out of control. I have no idea how many we have. My husband says its one mice that runs around the whole house. Nice try, but I don't think so.I  think there is a whole mice village that sleeps during the day and has mouse carnivals at night. One of my teenage sons now is sleeping on the couch in the living room after a mouse ran across his pillow in his room!
Anyway, I am now on a mission to rid my house of these creatures! I have 3 different types of traps filled with peanut butter and chocolate. 9 traps. 3 on each level placed in areas we have seen the mice hang out. How many mice have we caught? ZERO! So this is where you come in. Have you ever had mice in your house? How did you get rid of them? What was effective and what didn't work at all? There are many suggestions out there in cyberworld: mint oil, steel wool, plug in noise makers...so what really works?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Benjamin Moore Pale Smoke & Smoke

I have been snooping around looking at rooms painted some blue/gray colors from Benjamin Moore.
I am sharing some pictures of rooms painted these colors.

Decorpad  BM Pale Smoke

Designed by Nate Berkus ~ BM Pale Smoke  via Urban Tastemakers

Location 27     BM Pale Smoke

The Designer's Muse   BM Pale Smoke

Next : Pictures of Benjamin Moore SMOKE


A Thoughtful Place     BM Smoke

Benjamin Moore   Smoke

BM Smoke   Decorpad

BM Smoke  via Garden Web
 I STILL haven't decided on colors for my living room. Originally I wanted BM palladian blue (it was too aqua green), then SW rainwashed (looked too aqua on my walls too), SW Sea salt (too pale gray)...soooo I am searching for something neutral with a little blue/green. I think these colors- pale smoke and smoke may just be a little to cool and not enough green. Are you searching for a gray/blue/green too?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Flower Fairy Birthday Party!

Today I am doing something different and breaking away from an interior design post. I just decided that I have so much more to talk about and show you that's outside of the design world, but is within the world of art and creativity. I have read that it's best to stay within your niche and refrain from off-topic posts, but hey, it's my blog and I'll break the rules if I want to! Besides, the blogs I like to read best are the ones in which the blogger talks about herself and her life. I read mostly design blogs, and it's the ones that are more personal that really draw me in and make me want to follow. So today I am going to share with you a wonderful Flower Fairy birthday party! This year my daughter turned 14 (she said that I shouldn't tell you that because people will find out that I am not a 20-something,-newly married-decorating my first home blogger). She no longer wants the creative, fancy parties I dreamed up when she was little. In fact, her and her friends are not into parties at all. That makes me sad. So instead, I will remember all the fun of years past. Luckily, I scrapbook, so I have the pictures ready to show you.

     First, let me tell you, my daughter and I loved flower fairies. Truth be told, we still do. I remember when she was 4 and I found her out on the garden looking under rocks. I asked her what she was doing and she told me she was looking to see if there were flower fairies hiding in the garden. Every summer we constructed  fairy houses, compete with furniture made with materials from nature. And of course, we read every book and rented every movie that had flower fairies in them. So it was only natural that for her 6th birthday I hosted a Flower Fairy Party!

      I like structured parties that keep kids interested and occupied and allow them to let their creativity shine. The worst parties are those that have a large amount of kids running around with no structure or purpose and nothing of interest for the kids to do. I always kept the parties small, no more than 10 kids.
For this party, we started with outfits. I explained that we were going to dance for the fairies, but first we needed fairy costumes. I had premade skirts out of chiffon and then had the girls decorate the felt petals of the flowers for the skirts. They used sequins, sparkles, glitter and a few other dodads (is dodad even a real word?). Then we made a flower wreath to wear on their heads. Finally, they chose ribbons to make a wand. When they were finished, we headed outside. I told the girls that fairies loved it when people danced for them I said that there was a legend that if you danced for the fairies, they would leave presents among the flowers and within the forest. I then put on music from the Swan and the girls danced around the yard. It was beautiful. The parents got some great pictures! When the music stopped I told the girls to go look to see if the fairies had left them anything. We have trees and gardens surrounding the backyard and a little forest too. So the girls ran around and found all the trinkets I had hung from branches and hidden next to flowers. There were bracelets, necklaces and rings~ all colorful and sparkly! The girls then headed indoors, where they had punch that they poured  from pretty little teapots into the good china cups. Instead of making a cake, I made big cupcakes which each girl frosted and decorated herself. Finally it was time to open presents. Surprisingly, every girl gave her a fairy themed gift! It was a wonderful afternoon for the girls AND the Moms! If you are a young Mom looking for ideas for your daughter's next party, I hope you found some and if you are an older Mom whose daughter has grown, I hope this post brought back some sweet memories of birthdays past!

Scrapbook pages


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Paint-by-numbers ~ the new trend in home decor?

Country Living
    As I roam around blogland, I have noticed something that was put out with the trash in my house decades ago- old paint by number art! Of course, it is now Vintage and collectible, as most things become after the generation that created it fades out and new generation discovers its charm.  For those of us who spent many hours completing the kits we received for Christmas, it brings back many wonderful childhood memories. I remember how proud I was the first time I completing a painting (of course, I don't remember my Mom ever putting one of these on her living room wall)! It was these kits that motivated me to learn how to paint, which led to art shows and an invitation to attend classes at the Massachusetts College of Art when I was only a Junior in high school. My life took a different turn and I left my art dreams behind, but just recently I have gone back to my first love~ art & design.
    Paint-by-Number kits have an interesting history. It was developed by artist/designer Dan Robbins with the support of Max S. Klein, owner of the Palmer Paint Co., in 1951. Inspired by the reports of DaVinci numbering parts of his paintings so that his assistants could complete them, they thought that this might be something that would appeal to adults. Post WWII, people were moving to the suburbs, had more money and leisure time. It was also a time of conformity. The idea of  of conformity in art was something that apparently was welcomed by the general public, as sales soared as Craft Master and Masterpiece began to sell the kits. By the time the craze was dying out around 1957, about 24 million kits had been sold. What was once laughed at and reviled by the art community, has become today a legitimate, albeit kitschy, form of art. There is even a Paint-by-Numbers museum and exhibits have taken place at museums around the country. Lots of home decorators have been bitten by the collection bug, looking for a quirky retro  decorating fad to revive. It's fun and colorful. Some people collect the whole range of subjects, while others concentrate on one. Betsey Speert loves to collect tropical birds. She has ceramics, plates, and paint-by-numbers all with the tropical bird theme! Prices for this art has a very wide range.               I found this painting on Etsy for a whopping $80!

While this one was listed don Ebay for only 12.99!

Here are some pics of rooms decorated with paint-by-numbers:

Mint Design

Mint Design

Shannon Berrey

One of the most creative uses of the paint-by-numbers technique is this mural:

Go to The Lettered Cottage to see how this mural was created.

So what do you think, would you use vintage paint-by-numbers in your home decor? How about trying your hand at painting a mural? I am considering both...hmmmm...just another thing to add to my idea file!