Timeless Tangent Thursday – Collections

Talking about making accessories personal got me thinking about all the many things people collect, and how special these collections can be to us.  I was most certainly a collector when I was younger… stamps, candles, horse figurines, little animal statues, you name it and I probably had more than one.  The only thing I really collect anymore are books, but I’d like to think I’m starting an art collection.  I think collections are important, because generally, they’re cultivated over time with a good deal of care and attention.  And even if you inherited a collection, someone else spent time on it.  They show our personalities and our values and our unique sense of beauty and wonder.

Sometimes, though, I think it can be hard to figure out how to display a collection.  I grew up admiring the displayed collections in the home of both sets of grandparents.  My grandmother (dad’s side) collects antiques of all kinds, but I’ve always loved her collection of old baskets hanging from the barn beams in her family room.  And my grandfather (mom’s side) was a dedicated collector of Native American artifacts, displaying them prominently in carefully planned shadow boxes.  An entire wall in their dining room held his most treasured hobby of retirement: the birds he lovingly carved and painted, each one perfectly to scale and coloration of the real thing.

So today I went looking for interesting collection displays.  I’ve always felt that the best way to display a collection is by keeping the items all together.  That way, there is a sense of presence and importance given to them.  And that can certainly make for a stunning visual presentation.  Here are some of my finds!

What do you collect?  How do you display them?

Want to see more collections?  Check out this fabulous project:

A Collection a Day, 2010

(all images from Pinterest)


(un)Wordless Wednesday – I Remember

The events of September 11, 2001, have been on the minds and hearts of us all this week.  I was only 16 that day, but I remember exactly where I was; I will never forget.  But after watching “Rising: The Rebuilding of Ground Zero” on the Discovery Channel, I am struck with the knowledge that there is so much hope alive in NYC, and a great deal of it centers on the rebuilding effort.

I look forward to the day I can visit the memorial in person.  Watching the fountains come alive on the TV show was almost magical.

  This is a view from this morning, September 14, 2011.

image 1     image 2

Timeless Trait Tuesday – Welcome (Again!)

I think our discussion about inviting and welcoming homes requires a little more introspection. I know I talked about this a little bit during my first week of blogging, but making your home welcoming and inviting is about more than just hospitality, don’t you think?

Making your home inviting from the outside could mean a clear path to a well-lit front door, a brightly colored porch swing, or large numbers on your mailbox.

Making your home welcoming on the inside includes not only your hospitality, but the colors in your home, the comfort of the furniture, the furniture arrangement, the smells, the quality of light, the personality of the artwork, and the care you take in making a house a home.

What can we do inside to make our homes more welcoming?

Furniture. Sure, you want it to look good, but it should feel good too!  It should make someone want to sit down and stay awhile!  It should be arranged to to facilitate conversation, allow movement through a room and complement the architecture in terms of both style and scale.

Lighting.  Light makes a big difference in spaces small and large.  Too little, too much, too glaring, too blue; when lighting is off, so is everything else.  Make sure there is more than one light source, so you get combinations of ambient, accent and task lighting appropriate to each space.  Remember that the fixture over your dining table should hang 32″-36″ above the tabletop.  And when it comes to table and floor lamps, make sure they fit the size and scale of the room and the furniture, and err on the larger side.

Materials.  When your rooms have layers of textures and a variety of materials, there is visual interest.  Do something like use linens and velvets together in varying shades of the same tone to add depth, or use different patterns in the same colors\ combinations.  Don’t use the same tone of wood or paint for all your furniture; then it looks like you bought everything on the same day from the same place.  Warmth created by varying wood tones and species makes a space look collected and personal.

Accessories.  Cut down on the clutter!  It’s ok to leave tables small and large completely empty; every room needs moments of visual rest.  In my opinion, your accessories should be meaningful to you to add meaning to the space.  Use the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Stupid!  When it comes to accessories, less really is more.

What suggestions do you have?

How have you tried to make your home inviting and welcoming?

(all images via Pinterest)

Must-Read Monday: “Home: From Concept to Reality” by Kelly Hoppen

Hello all!  I’m finally back on the blogging wagon… Life has been “interruptive” as of late! But now I have another must-read for you this week.

This book is about British designer Kelly Hoppen’s own journey to define home.  As a result of her experience, she deftly explains the design process, working from whole to part, and focusing as much on architectural detailing as furnishings.  Stunning photographs, neutral palettes, and a strong sense of balance and proportion make this home a wonderful study in timelessness.


(cover image from Amazon, other images via)

Timeless Trait Tuesday + (un)Wordless Wednesday = Continuance of Invitation

Hello again… If you’re one of my regular readers you can probably tell a few posts have been missing over the past week.  Life has been busy!  Well actually, more like work has been busy and I have been exhausted.  But happy 🙂

If you read Monday’s post, you know I’ve decided to extend last week’s theme of “Inviting & Welcoming” to this week!  Too much to discuss!  (I should have divided it up better, but I’m still working on learning this blogging thing…)

Last Wednesday was all about front entrances that invite you to enter, and you guys definitely had a favorite image!  (overwhelmingly so)  Almost everyone commented about loving porches!

Then there was a great comment from Jami @ Freckled Laundry last Tuesday.  She lives in a mid-century ranch in need of some curb appeal.  I can imagine that many of you out there have or will find yourselves in the same predicament.  So these can serve as inspiration for all of us to make our homes more welcoming, but Jami, these are most of all for you!

Hope you enjoyed the pretties!

Must-Read Monday: “Patterns of Home” by Jacobson, Silverstein & Winslow

Last week’s topic was “Inviting and Welcoming” as being essential to timeless design, and it’s a topic big enough to warrant another week of discussion!  Mahady’s book was one inspiration, this book was another.  “Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design” was actually the textbook for one of my first design classes.  Though it was used as a textbook, it is not written for students alone.  I found its photographs, illustrations and language to make each point very accessible.

These are the ten essentials the authors outline:

  1. Inhabiting the Site
  2. Creating Rooms, Outside & In
  3. Sheltering Roof
  4. Capturing Light
  5. Parts in Proportion
  6. The Flow Through Rooms
  7. Private Edges, Common Core
  8. Refuge and Outlook
  9. Places in Between
  10. Composing with Materials

You’ll see a lot more here this week about inviting design, so come back and join us!