Friday, December 30, 2011

The top ten "scores!" of 2011

Some are posting their favorite rooms and some are posting our favorite posts but here are my top "scores" of 2011. By "score" I mean a unique and most likely inexpensive find for my home.

Number 10.
Antique chandeliers:  2 for $500.
I know five hundred bucks is a lot of cash but when you look at the boring, mass-produced stuff at Home Depot and the like, this was a bargain.

Number 9

Three vintage Vera scarves. I think they were $6 each. This pink one will be a part of my youngest daughter's room, either framed or as a pillow.
Number 8.
My vintage Henckel Harris dining room chairs at $125 per chair. That's less than Pottery Barn prices folks.
They are in pristine condition, meaning no nicks or scufsf on the legs from use.
I think they must have been in one of those houses where they never use the dining room.
Number 7
Well you saw it in the last picture too. It is this antique Oriental rug. It is about 11 feet by 13 1/2 feet and was all of $350 on eBay.
Number 6

Ok, its a little trendy, but it is my style and I won't grow tired of this garden seat that I got for around $90 from They are often much more.

Number 5
This vintage Bombe chest came from the same great antique dealer in Culpeper, Virginia. It was deal at $375.

Number 4 is a category--art
by Linda Monfort
I built an art collection this year or at least began one. Some of what I bought was expensive, some not.
Here is a peek.

Number 3

 Ballard mirror for $2 at a thrift store.
I know, right!!?

Number 2

I am not sure that this totally counts since I did not spend any money on it but I felt darn lucky and that's what this is all about.
Last August Meg from Pigtown-Design hosted a giveaway that I won. Two amazing antique fish knives and  Mark Hampton's  On Decorating.

Drum roll please...
This year's Number 1 score  a Chez Kerry is

Tons of Brunschwig and Fils fabric for a pittance.
I was initially upset at my haste in buying this fabric for $20. I thought it was a waste since it did not work where I planned for it. As I examined it further I realized that I had enough yardage to accomplish many things on my list. I also realized that the retail price was at least $325 per yard-- at best and I had more than three yards all together.
It has become many things, not the least of which is the chinoiserie addition to my rather masculine dining room.

I also scored a few yards of the ark of the covenant Le Lac for $30.

I don't have a plan for it yet. 
The anti score.....
or the most expensive, semi-functional thing I have purchased in recent memory

And wouldn't ya know the most expensive thing I buy, everyone in the house hates except me.

Have a great New Year!
I hope you "score" big in 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Santa couldn't fit down the chimney

Now before you think I'm an awful ingrate... its just a title for a post about something cool I found.
I'd do just about anything for a coffee table like this, except spend $3080.
It is from Plexi-craft HERE.
The clear goodness doesn't stop there.

The King George bench. Dying yet?

 The place mats are far more affordable.
Maybe Santa will fit them on his sleigh next year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We have a DIY in progress...

"What", you ask, "is this?" They are my ready-made JcPenney curtains getting a little plastic surgery.
It is so unlike me to buy ready-made curtains but my budget has been busted and JCP has extra long drapes at a nice low price compared to custom.
I thought about this for a looooong time. I had plenty of fringe from Brimar (trade only) in the same ivory but it was too granny, I thought.
I contemplated black grosgrain on the leading edge or in a Greek key design like these from LiveLikeYou

but I am just not that confident in my skills.
Then came this Christmas post from Sanity Fair.
Greek key ribbon at Walmart!!!?
I bought both black and white. At $2 and $3 a 9 foot roll I couldn't pass it up.
I decided that the black was a little too much contrast so white it is.

It is reminiscent of sari fabrics and has just enough sparkle for me.
My newly upholstered chairs arrived recently and the combination looks great.

One down, three to go plus a date with an iron.
Now I just need to find rods I like.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

On the menu...

This year I decided not to mix different china patterns, well not exactly. The china is both Queen's green and Princess green china that my great-grandmother got as wedding gifts in 1920.
The silver place setting is Gorham's Fairfax pattern and also a gift to my great grandparents for their wedding.
I did mix metals. I have brass candlesticks and centerpiece, gold rimmed plates, silverware, and pewter Jefferson cups. I think that incorporates most metals that are available for the table.
I left out crystal this year because I am using a tablecloth and will have a very excited two and a half year-old at the table.
The pewter Jefferson cups are fine for little ones and I doubt wine will be a big part of our dinner.
The first course will be a ginger spiced apple granita in martini glasses. Each person has a different tiny spoon to use for this course.
 I also chose a casual fold for the napkins.
The only incomplete place setting is for the little one. She gets a toy soldier spoon, a fork, and an antique spoon with her very antique sounding name engraved on the handle.

Next will will be eating a salad composee with shallot balsamic viniagrette. I am looking forward to this course. I will be using baby lettuces, tiny olives nicoise, hearts of palm. beets, and feta cheese. Yum.
After that we move on to a roast of beef tenderloin, sweet potatoes caramel, and wild rice.
Cheesecake is for dessert.
After dinner I will "do the dishes" while everyone else goes out to look for Santa. They always miss Santa and arrive home to find their presents under the tree and stockings brimming with goodies.

What are your unique Christmas traditions?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Waste not, want not

My dining table
As you can see, I am not quite finished with my Christmas table yet.
I can tell you that I was fretting a little about a centerpiece.
The footed brass compote has found a permanent home on the table and I wanted to keep it there but its size meant that it would require a lot of flowers to fill.
It is just my husband and three kids here this year and while it sounds kinda stingy, I just didn't want to spend $50 on flowers for the table.
Into the compote went an upside down cereal bowl to elevate the pineapple and a bag each of small lemons and key limes.
I added a few sprigs from the shrubs out front and, Voila!
Less than $10 and none will be wasted. 
I will juice and freeze the lemons and key limes in amounts of one tablespoon in ice trays and of course we will eat the pineapple.

Creeping Christmas

My daughter, last year in a very empty house
It amazes me every year that December seems to have a beginning and then Christmas. No middle.
What I am trying to say is that I am busy, it always creeps up on me.
I will be back shortly with a table setting post, I hope.
Have a great holiday.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Loft Living

When I was a teenager I was certain that my adulthood would be spent in a large loft space with fabulous details like the one above.

The exposed brick, hard angles and "bones" of the structure still intrigue me. Like so many of us, I took an easier and more affordable route and just bought a house but I still like to fantasize about these spaces.
If you look closely you will see two shot glasses

The kitchen is rather spare for my tastes but the shot itself cracks me up. Were they doing shots of Jack Daniels before the shoot?

This one has more angles and more white surfaces.
It appears to have a great view too.

Would you enjoy living in either of these loft apartments?
Don't forget to enter one of the giveaways. They end tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Oh how fickle I am

I am feeling a little under the weather and I have a "to do" list a mile long. I thought I might sneakily recycle a Christmas post from my old blog, GoodtasteGoodtasting but instead I found a opinion of mine that I forgot all about.
It is about 2011 Pantone color of the year, Honeysuckle Pink.
Read this and be sure to see the last photo--funny.

Are they serious?

Pantone announced their 2011 color of the year to be Honeysuckle or in lay terms... pink.

I think it is rather odd and perhaps a bit juvenile in its feel. Personally I adore pink dresses, shoes and accessories as a part of my summer attire but not my house.

Here is how Pantone describes its applications in interiors.
" Home Interiors
Honeysuckle is upbeat and dynamic when used on large areas like the entry area of a house or an apartment. It is an appetite and conversation stimulant when used on the dining room walls. In the kitchen, it adds a fun touch on the table in placemats and other linens (patterned or solid), colored glassware, candles and small appliances. Honeysuckle is a great color to cover up shabby kitchen cabinets, or, if that’s too much of a color statement for you, try repainting knobs and drawer pulls. But be warned – once you try this arresting shade, it can become addictive."

It just feels too unsophisticated to me. Maybe for outdoor furniture or something in a cabbage rose chintz.

I just think it is limited in its appeal because it is so feminine.


Ok, I am back in the present. Check out my first floor bathroom.
Its not the best photo, I know, but it illustrates my point--and with out a toilet!

I am in love with 2012's color. More about that in the future.

What do you think?

Don't forget to enter my giveaways HERE and HERE for these...
both end Tuesday December 20th.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dutch master still lifes and another GIVEAWAY!

In the 17th century, prosperous Holland experienced a "Golden Age" in painting.
There were several genres, not the least of which was the still life.
The painting were an opportunity for the artist to showcase his skill in recreating textures and realistic lighting.

They often contained everyday items and sometimes depicted lavish, if not over-styled to look casual, tablescapes.
The items were meant as a reminder of the shortness of life, a message that was more clear in early examples containing simpler items.

Later in the 1600s more ornate vessels were depicted.

These are just a sampling of the greatest of the 17th century.
I chose them as a prelude to the giveaway of this antique print from my Etsy shop.

I think it would be great over a bar, in a kitchen, or in any grouping of like prints.

The print depicts various ornate vessels that were often seen in the still life paintings of the Dutch masters.
This is an antique and not a copy.
It is matted in a dark gray 9 x 12 inch mat.
My Etsy shop sells antique prints and my original artwork.
I never sell reproduction, mass-produced art.
Please note that this print is matted in a common size for easy framing on a budget.
Custom framing is expensive and I think everyone should have wonderful pieces of art regardless of their budget.
In addition to the giveaway I am offering readers a 10 % discount in my Etsy store.
Just use the code DUMONDE1 at checkout.

To enter just:
1.become a follower of Design Du Monde 
2. then hop on over to my Etsy store or my Saatchi Gallery page and pick a favorite. Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me about your favorite.
3. Extra entries can be had by liking this post on Facebook or linking to it on your site. Just leave an extra comment for each.
Please be sure to leave an email if you do not have a Google account.

Open to US residents only.
Winner picked at random on Tuesday, December 20th at 10am EST.
 Good Luck!