home about me our home

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Method For Displaying White Ironstone


White Ironstone Pitchers
Are you a lover of white ironstone, but have a hard time displaying it in your home? I do, and I am about to tell you why, and how even I could have a nice display in my home.

White ironstone is a favorite of mine. I have always had solid white dishes. Somehow even as a young bride I knew that all white dishes were the way to go.

In this very house I had originally planned on adding a plate rail around my eating area displaying different sizes of white ironstone pitchers. 

A nice display of varied styles and different shades of whites like my friend Jennifer from Town and Country blog has displayed in her charming kitchen, in the above image.

white ironstone pitchers
 dressed in all white and clear glass 004That never happened but I still have all white dishes, and they are displayed inside my cupboards.

Once in awhile I run across an image that makes me want to have shelves of ironstone displayed.

white ironstone

I am a bit of a neat-nik so I truly can’t live with a lot of stuff in view. That is why I have never done a plate rail in my home to display pitchers.

However, there is a way to have a neat, and orderly display, and I have a few images that show what I might be able to live with.

white ironstone pitcher in old wooden box
I realize how much is enough is always going to be subjective. 

Today I am talking about how to display things in an easy flowing manner that makes sense, and does not look cluttered, or busy. 

An arrangement where your eye will flow easily from shelf to shelf.

Varied shapes, textures and shades of white will keep it interesting.

ironstone in open shelves
The varied color of whites keeps this arrangement interesting. My eye flows easily from one piece to the next. The shelf looks interesting and orderly.

ironstone and baskets O so D
This is one of my favorite displays. I love the mix of the baskets adding texture to the whole display. 

My eye easily moves from one shelf to the next. Never stopping, or jolting from one piece to the next. I actually think I could live with this display.

Sometimes I think we can make a mistake of thinking just because it is all white we can just keep adding, and adding to the shelves.

Even when using all the same color, or type of element you should remain mindful of editing.

Below is an image that  is a bit cluttered and it appears to have no rhyme, or reason to how it was displayed. 

I would imagine the homeowner was trying to achieve a collected over time look, but a little editing would have been welcomed here, IMHO……….

white ironstone
(way to much going on in this display)

When viewing the above image my eye has to stop to try and comprehend exactly what is on the shelves and then it brings forth a question of…… What am I looking at and why did they put it on this shelf. 

These are questions that one should never have to ask when viewing any display in our home.

cottage kitchen storage. The Old Painted Cottage
Here is a very small shelf and the ironstone is displayed in a manner that the eye flows easily from one shelf to the other.

White Ironstone
Notice how your eye just wanders easily from shelf to shelf. That Is what I call visually flowing.

Tips to Remember:

  • The eye should flow easily over the entire display.
  • Vary the shades of white in your ironstone to keep it interesting.
  • There should be highs and lows from one item to the next.
  • Don’t crowd the pieces
  • Start the display by placing the largest items first.
  • Place smaller items to add dimension  and depth to the display.
I hope this helps you look at displaying ironstone a little differently.

Even if you are a more is more person, you still need to keep in mind there always needs to be a flow to your display.

For those of you who are like me, big is better less is more, we still can have a nice display as long as we keep it very well edited.

There is always a way and a method for everyone in design, just remember to ……

“Enjoy the Process!”


Monday, July 29, 2013

How Big Do You Like Your Pillows?


Chance are if you love to decorate you L-O-V-E decorative pillows!

I do love my pillows!

Good Life of Design: PILLOW ADDICTION
Changing out pillows is one of the easiest ways to change out a room and trust me I do.
Today I would like to talk about one style of pillow in particular.

The Lumbar Pillow

I am not talking about the average sized lumbar, Oh no today is go B-I-G, or go home day!!

Today we are going to talk about the extra-long lumbar pillow.

You might be wondering, “Why so large?”
Honestly it is something I like to use when I want to keep it simple, yet still make a statement in a room. Using an over-sized lumbar will do that for you.

Cote de Texas  blog Good Life of Design: Long Pillows

I think a nice long lumbar pillow looks great in the mix when using multiple pillows, especially on a bed.

Just try to imagine this bed without the long lumbar pillow. It would still look nice, but the size of the lumbar gives an importance to the entire bed.

.Extra long lumbar pillow
This ticking lumbar is actually the width of the entire bed. Love the statement it makes in this neutral bedroom. 

In fact I can see myself having bedding like this in one of the bedrooms in my very own home. (note to self, remember this next time I feel like switching things up a bit in my bedroom.)

Good Life of Design: Long Pillows
On a sofa I actually prefer an oversized lumbar to stand alone. 

As much as I love the colors in the above image, I would like the lumbar pillow to stand alone. Notice there is NO room for someone to plop down on the sofa, not very inviting.

Good Life of Design: Long Pillows

On this sofa they chose to use only one lumbar pillow and I like this look the most.  However I think the pillow could be about 2inches higher.

Keeping proportions on an extra long lumbar is important. Always keep in mind that the longer it is, the skinnier it will look so you might have to add a bit more to the height.

There is no formula that I am aware of, so you really have to use your own judgment.

This is How I figure out proportions when I am designing a long lumbar pillow...

I  get a white towel, and fold it the size I think I want,  then place it on the sofa, or bed where it will be used.

I then can play with the proportions before I actually have the pillow made. Not very technical, or complicated, but it works. I am a very visual person and it is also helpful for clients to see how it will look.
One More thing to think about........
It is also important to remember you don’t want the entire sofa back covered up so keep it low enough so you can still have a  nice framework of the sofa surrounding your pillow.

Too Small to Stand Alone

Notice in this image the front pillow just looks a bit out of proportion to stand alone. In this configuration I feel there needs to be a square pillow on each end of sofa to balance the look here.

Stay tuned……. you just might be seeing a new pillow in my home very soon!!

If you would like to see a few more long lumbar pillows go  to my lumbar pillow pinboard, HERE.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Pictures That Did Not Make The Cut For My Home Tour

I must say I had a very fun week participating in the Summer tour of homes. I met a lot of, new to me bloggers, and also new readers.

When I was compiling my pictures for the post there were several I did not include. I did not want to put you all on overload.

I thought I would share them today. These are mostly little vignettes you would find around my home during the summer season.

summer color
I always try to have some fresh flowers and produce in my home. There is nothing like farm stand fresh tomatoes.

blue collage

I use a lot of blue and white in my home in the summer time. It adds a cool, crisp look to any room.

I am a big fan of using trays on a daily basis. I  always try to have a tray of goodies out on the counters when I have over night guest. 

When it is just us, you will always have dried cranberries and walnuts and almonds to snack on.

vignette kitchen
Speaking of guest I like to have a tray right by the coffee pot for all the amenities they might need for their morning coffee.

I love the offerings at the grocery stores now, fresh flowers, plants and produce. Nothing prettier!!

This is a fairy garden that sat right outside my patio door for the longest time. It has since  become over grown, and is now a very large plant. Time to make another one.

This is one of the two letter, “P’s” in my backyard.

They are both vintage neon signs. The other P is black with white trim, soon to be hung in the backyard. 

A special gift form  a dear friend visiting here this past May. Barb, from The Everyday Home blog. Both came from the Alameda Antique Flea Market here in California.

vignette berries
Speaking of Barb, here is one of three baskets I purchased from her shop Farmhouse D├ęcor. You can go here to find them. I use these all the time!!

Cwonder 006 (600x800)
So there you have it, these were pictures from my home that did not make the cut for the home tour.

If you missed the home tour you can go to any of the links below and visit the 26 homes that were on the tour…..

Monday 7/22 Atta Girl Says ~ The Happier Homemaker ~ Rain on a Tin Roof ~ Better With Age ~ Top This Top That

Tuesday 7/23 Mom 4 Real ~ Cedar Hill Ranch ~ Practically Functional ~ While Wearing Heels ~ French Country Cottage

Wednesday 7/24 The Lily Pad Cottage ~ Marty’s Musings ~ Confessions of a Plate Addict ~ Town and Country LivingAdventures in Decorating

Thursday 7/25 Good Life of Design ~ A Stroll Thru Life ~ Worthing Court ~ Back Porch Musings ~ The Rustic Pig

Friday 7/26 Our Southern Home ~ Stone Gable ~ The Everyday Home ~ Recreate and Decorate ~ Sophia’s ~ Vignette Design


Thursday, July 25, 2013



Welcome to my sweet 1978 Ranch house. My home is located in a suburb about 40 miles northeast of San Francisco.

We have enjoyed living here for the past 35 years.
We live in every square foot of our home starting with the front porch………


Many a morning has been spent sitting in the chair on the far right, the curtain panel helps shade me from the morning sun.

This will be your first introduction to my love of the color scheme of black and white, and striped patterns. There are more to come!

Let’s go inside!


Speaking of black and white, I used it here on my floor by using black granite and Carrara marble. I waited 25 years for these floors and they were well worth the wait.

To the left of the entry is a step-down living room………
We have added architectural interest over the years to our home to give it our own personal touch.

 Molding is one of my BFF’s as far as design elements are concerned. 

2 living room

My home is shaped like an, “L”!
                Living Areas

We have a decision to make! Shall we go to the left to the bedrooms, or to the right to the kitchen and familyroom area?


Let’s go to the left off of the entry, to the bedrooms!
Our first stop is the guest bathroom!

Black and white are alive and well in here. I have two antique pieces in this room. The fretwork over the tub is off of an old Victorian porch from
 San Francisco…….


bathroom pedestal 015 (800x600)

The small Chinese pedestal is a vintage find. I am not really sure how old it is, but I love the bright pop of green with the black and white in this room.

Guest bathroom 005
The vanity is an all oak piece with a Carrara marble top and China basin, dating from the late 1890’s

bathroom colage

Next we are going to go down my very long hallway
to the bedrooms.


Yes, I have all the bedroom doors numbered!

time to play

At the end of this very long hallway is the master bedroom…….

Numbers on doors 003

We purchased a new king size bed this year so I still have some additions to make in this room. Be sure to come back for another visit in the near future to see what I do.
master bedroom collage

Connected to the master bedroom is our bathroom/shower area……..

master bath colage 2

Now let’s head back down the hallway and go see the living areas of our home……..
As you enter the kitchen eating area you will see the kitchen to the left……..

The dining area is straight across from the kitchen……..
summer dining 2 (800x600)_thumb[3]

This is such an easy room to change out for the different seasons, and trust me, it has had many different looks and colors added to the mix over the years.
dining room

The kitchen area has a breakfast bar that looks into our family room.

The family room is where we do most of our day to day living………
apothecary lamp 004
family room, blue jay and flowers 009 (800x600)
family room collage
Blue end table 017 (800x600)
Now we are going to step outside to my backyard.


You are going to notice the color of the back of my home is different than the front of my house.
We have very hot summers so I wanted a cooler color pallet so the back is a soft sage green with accents of cobalt, and black and white stripes.
It makes for a nice transition from the family room’s color scheme……

summer hydrangeas

This concludes the Summer tour of my home, but I am always making changes so I hope you will come back for another visit soon!

As I always say.........

Don't forget to check out the other homes on the Summer Showcase of Homes. Today's schedule is on my sidebar.

 If you missed any of the other days on the tour just click on the names below.....

Monday 7/22 Atta Girl Says ~ The Happier Homemaker ~ Rain on a Tin Roof ~ Better With Age ~ Top This Top That

Tuesday 7/23 Mom 4 Real ~ Cedar Hill Ranch ~ Practically Functional ~ While Wearing Heels ~ French Country Cottage

Wednesday 7/24 The Lily Pad Cottage ~ Marty’s Musings ~ Confessions of a Plate Addict ~ Town and Country LivingAdventures in Decorating

Thursday 7/25 Good Life of Design ~ A Stroll Thru Life ~ Worthing Court ~ Back Porch Musings ~ The Rustic Pig