Fall Decor

Falling Into Fall

Is it fall already?  It’s a little hard to tell in sunny Florida, unless you consider the leaves that are among the tons of debris left by Hurricane Irma!  I am also blaming Irma on my procrastination.  I am not usually so late to decorate for my favorite time of year.

My Parents’ Street

This year I needed to buy some new accessories, because I didn’t move all of my decorations with me. If you have been following along, you know that I don’t have an abundance of storage in my new home, so I have to be smart about what I buy. Maybe this is why I decided to keep it simple this year.

Fall Entry

Let’s start at the entrance.  Welcome!  I had the lantern and vine pumpkins, and from that decided how to complete the entry.  I bought the planter at Lowe’s, outdoor candle from Pottery Barn, straw and bow from Jo-Ann Fabrics,vine from Michael’s and the real pumpkins from the grocery store. Due to the fact that my doors open to the outside, I could only decorate one side.

Fall Entry

In the foyer I continued my theme of simplicity.  My favorite fall decoration is my gourd lantern from Pottery Barn, which has a battery operated candle inside. I have had this for a few years, but you can find similar gourds and pumpkins at about any decorating store.

Fall Decorating

The plate and acorn are new.  I bought the plate at Pier1, and the acorn at Kirkland’s.

Speaking of acorns, I bought some cute gold, vase filler acorns at Pottery Barn.  You will see them sprinkled throughout my home. Anyone for a dirty martini?

Fall Decorating

How do you decorate your dining room/ kitchen table?  Well, I have a beautiful, fall platter from Williams Sonoma, and wanted to use it.  I had it on a plate stand, but I couldn’t get it to look right with the other items I wanted to use.  The solution was to use it as a tray.  I like it much better this way.  I had everything in this vignette, except for the wheat which I bought at Michael’s. You can still buy the leaf ornament with acorn at Crate & Barrel. They have three styles to choose from.

Fall Decorating

You can see the platter better in the following picture.

Fall Decorating

I always like something seasonal on my coffee table.  Again, I have mixed the old with the new.  I had the lantern, the pitcher, and books.  All I added was the pretty hydrangea bundle, and pumpkin, which were both from Pottery Barn.

Fall Decorating
Those acorns made another appearance!

Have you noticed a theme running through my vignettes, besides the acorns😉  I have used a lot of things I already owned with a few new items, I shopped at a variety of stores, and used some things like books, pitchers, etc. that are not fall specific. I believe that this “recipe” makes your decor uniquely yours.  That is the fun of decorating!

One last thing. Don’t forget to design for the senses.  I love battery operated candles, but I have to have the smell of fall in my home.  My favorite candle, hand and dish soap this fall are Pumpkin Spice from Sur la Table.  Even my Florida home smells like fall.

Decorating for the Senses

I’d love to see some examples of how you have decorated for fall.

I welcome your comments and questions.

May your Nest be Blessed, and filled with a lot of acorns!

Angela

 

 

 

Aging Wood
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French Bread Boards

What was once considered a utilitarian tool in the kitchen has now become a much sought after decor item. Why do people love them so much?  The patina and character of each individual French bread board adds warmth and beauty to the kitchen.  Not only that, they can still be used.

You probably see them a lot in magazines, on Pinterest, or on your favorite HGTV shows.

French Farmhouse Style Bread Boards
French Country Cottage has a beautiful selection of French bread boards on the mantel.

Antique French Bread Boards

Most antique French bread boards were handmade by someone in the house, or in a bakery.  Not as many were manufactured.

They were made in a variety of shapes and sizes according to how they were used.  The smaller rectangular boards were generally used for a single baguette, while the larger round boards were used to transport one or more loaves of bread in and out of the oven.

Some of the typical types of woods used in making antique bread boards were pine and beech.  Today bamboo, walnut, and mahogany are commonly used to make them.

I found a beautiful round French bread board on ebay from theirishpedlar.  Don’t you just love that name?  You may not love the price!  It can be yours for a mere $215!

Antique French Bread Board
Antique French Bread Board

Cleaning Antique French Bread Boards

If you are fortunate enough to have one of these beauties, then you need to know the best way to clean it before you use it.  Sprinkle kosher salt on the board, and scrub it with half of a lemon.  Let the salt and lemon mixture sit about 5 minutes, then rinse and wipe with a soft cloth.  Let dry.  You may want to do this several times, before applying wood oil.

After the initial cleaning and use, you can clean it with hot, soapy water.  Remember to never let your board soak in water. Oil your board as needed.

Save Some Dough

There are a few options to antique bread boards that will save you some money.

Make Your Own Bread Board

HGTV has an article on how to make bread boards rather quickly and cheaply if you have some old wood.

Make Your Own Bread Board
Make Your Own Bread Board 

New Homemade Bread Boards

Etsy has shops that sell homemade bread boards.  The following sell anywhere from $23.38 to $84.92.

Buy Handmade Bread Boards
New French Bread Boards Sold By 50arches

My Bread Board

This all leads to what I found at my local Sur la table.  Do you see them?

Sur la table bread boards

Now,  I know these are not antiques, handmade, or have the beautiful warm, toasty finish.  However, I thought I could make one work in my kitchen, because it was on clearance for $19.99.  The original price was $50.

French Farmhouse Style Bread Board
Thru the French Door

Who knows ~ I might try giving it a weathered finish.  There are many tutorials on Pinterest that explain just how to do that. See an example below.

Aging Wood
Age Wood With Vinegar and Steel Wool by Honey N Hydrangea

For now I will just enjoy the warmth it brings to my kitchen, and maybe tell Santa I would like an antique French bread board for Christmas🎁

May Your Nest be Blessed!

Angela

Kitchen
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Island Pendant Lights

The kitchen pendant lights have just been installed, and they are adding some charm to the most used room in the house. They remind me of the perfect earrings that complete the dress.

I chose pendants that would work good with the breakfast room chandelier, and that were airy.  I didn’t want the range hood and glass cabinets to be greatly obstructed.  That is also the reason why I chose two pendants instead of three.

PENDANT SIZE

Size is important!  You don’t want two tiny pendants over a big island, because it would look off, and it wouldn’t give you the right amount of light.  Also, you don’t want too much light or it will blind you. Keep in mind that the fewer lights, the bigger they will need to be.

Don’t forget the size of the chain.  My ceiling is 12′ high, so I had to make sure the chain was long enough to hang the lights in the right position.

I did some research and discovered my pendants needed to be medium to large due to the size of my island, and the fact that I was only using two.

PENDANT PLACEMENT

Once I chose pendants that met the previous criteria, I had to figure out the placement. That was a little nerve-wracking, because it entailed having to remove can lights, and install junction boxes in just the right locations.  Also, each pendant’s chain and rope had to be cut to length.  Measure twice, and cut once!

The following diagram from Circa Lighting helped me determine the locations of the pendants.  The only thing I changed was the height of the pendants.  I made them 37″ from the island surface, because Mr. V is  6′ 2″, and he is the tallest in our family.  Now he won’t have a light in his way when he is watching t.v. while he cooks.  Wish I could say that was an every night occurrence:)

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Here is a diagram for locating the position of three pendants.

Kitchen Island Pendant Placement
The following is another good visual for placement of two or three pendants from Architect Design Lighting Blog.  If you have two lights, divide the island into two, find the center in each square.  If you have three lights, divide the island in three, and find the center in each of the three squares.

Island Pendant Light Placement

One thing the diagrams don’t mention is how far in from the edges the lights should be placed.  They should be a minimum of 12″ in from all the edges of the island.  This way tall people won’t hit their heads on the lights as they walk around the island.

THE WINNER IS

Brasher 1-LIght Pendant by Joss & Main

Brasher 1-Light Pendant

By reading the reviews I knew the wood and rope on this pendant would be much lighter. Reviews are a great way to make sure you are getting what you want.

THE REVEAL

After much ado, here is the kitchen all dressed up.

Pendant Lighting

One thing that worried me was the island was not centered with the range. Being a little OCD, I thought pendants wouldn’t look right, because they would yell “Your kitchen isn’t symmetrical!” After looking at kitchens online, I noticed a lot of kitchens were designed the same way, and they had island pendants. If a fancy designer thinks it is ok, then I do too.

Kitchen Island Pendant Lighting

Next you can see the rope wrapped chain, which is a feature I love!  Also, the pendants work with the breakfast chandelier without being too matchy matchy.

Kitchen & Breakfast Room Lighting

Well, another project done, and another one to do. Don’t tell Mr. V, but I think these lights need a dimmer!

May Your Nest Be Blessed!

Angela

Chandelier Lighting
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Lighting

Lighting is so expensive, and every time I have built a house, the lighting allowance has been ridiculously low.   Therefor, Mr. V and I decided to put the island pendants on hold, and install recessed lighting instead.  A year later, it is time to add some jewelry to the kitchen.  How fun!

First I want to share with you the buying process, and some of my favorite lighting fixtures in my home.

Buying Lighting

Local Lighting Store

The majority of my lighting was bought at Galleria, a local lighting store in Illinois.  If you are building a home, or updating many fixtures, don’t forget to ask for a discount.  You can save quite a bit of money.

The lighting expert, Joan, was fantastic.  I took my blueprints to her, and she was able to determine what size light fixture and wattage I needed in each room.  The service was free.  Take advantage of expert help when you can, especially, when it is FREE!

The only drawback had been that all of my fixtures had to be shipped to the store in Illinois, and then shipped on a pallet to my home that was being built in Florida. That cost quite a bit of money. However, I was still living in Illinois, so I could make as many lighting appointments I wanted to.  If I shopped in Florida, I would have been rushed.  In the end, I don’t know how much I ended up saving, but feel I made the right choice.

Buying Online

Not everything was bought from Galleria.  I searched the internet for more options, and I ended up buying from Ballard Designs, Horchow, Joss & Main, Neiman Marcus , and Pottery Barn.  I was surprised to find my powder bathroom fixture at Neiman Marcus.  Who knew they sold lighting?  I didn’t pay full price, or shipping for any of these lights.

Favorite Lights

Exterior Lights

I fell in love with the following lights for the exterior, maybe because they are called French Quarter:) However, I was really worried that the HOA wouldn’t allow them.  The HOA documents were not clear.  After having limited choices on the colors and style of my home, I was determined to have something that was ME! Thank goodness these were approved.

Troy Lighting – French Quarter

Foyer

I really wanted a “Wow” for my foyer, but I couldn’t find anything that was the right size and style that blew me away.  This fixture is the right size, and it has a cool light blue finish on the inside.  It may not be the “Wow” I was looking for, but I like it.  Lamps USA has a good buyer’s guide to help you choose the right size and wattage for your foyer.

Ballard Designs – No Longer Available

Mr. V’s Office Lighting

This was an easy one for me.  I had long admired this pendant.  It is stylish, and can be masculine or feminine.  Mr. V, being a little frugal, told me to wait on purchasing a light for his “executive office”, but how would he be able to work those long hours?  Ha!  I am sure he is glad I made this “executive” decision.

Ballard Designs – Hudson 4-Light Pendant
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Powder Bathroom

I searched for something special for the powder bath.  I think of my powder bathroom as a little jewel box.  This was just the right size and statement that I was after.

Neiman Marcus – Cristabel 4-Light Crystal Chandelier

Piano Room

This was a tricky room.  When you have a piano that is over 100 years old, how do you choose lighting for it?  Mixing the old with the new gives a room character, so I knew I could add just about anything.  To give a nod to my location, I knew I wanted something with Capiz shells.  Also, I wanted the room to feel a little glamorous.  My many options were narrowed down based on these criteria.

Again, the most important thing to do was to figure out the right size.  Too little or too big, and the room would look awkward.  I treated the piano room like a dining room, and the piano like a table.  Lamps USA has a measurement guide for a dining room that worked for this application.

Horchow – Kathryn 3-Light Pendant – No Longer Available

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Breakfast Room

I was trying to get the following fixture to work in my foyer.  It was too big for the foyer, but it was the right size and look for the breakfast room.  This chandelier is one of my favorites.

Kichler Hayman Bay 5-Light Chandelier

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Great Room Fan/ Light

I love this fan!  When it is hot here in Florida, you would never know it under this fan.  It moves a lot of air, and cools the room down fast.  We never have it set more than the first setting, or it might start to snow!

Minka Aire F905 Artemis XL5 62″

Great Room Sconces

These  sconces did not have to be hardwired, so Mr. V was very happy.  I have two that light new artwork, and they do a great job.  The cords are hidden behind the art and chairs that are underneath.  I am disappointed that they are not sold anymore, but there are many options online that might work for you.

Pottery Barn – Falco LED Brass Sconces – No Longer Available

Island Pendants

Now time for the kitchen pendants.  I know you should decorate in odd numbers, but I didn’t want to block a lot of the range hood or glass cabinets in the kitchen. Therefor, I chose two glass pendants.  Actually, a lot of designers are now doing the same.

I originally bought these pendants from Wayfair through Pinterest.  Later, Pinterest showed me some items I might like based on my purchase.  The same pendants were listed at Joss & Main for less, but the name was different.  Obviously, I cancelled my first order.

The lesson is, don’t always search for the best price by the name of the product.  I did a search for glass and wood island pendants, and that is when I found Birch Lane also sold the same lights.  Now you may find knockoffs, so check all of the specs, and reviews.

I did some research on these pendants, and found that Wayfair, Joss & Main, and Birch Lane all had the same light listed under different names, and different prices.  All of these companies are associated with one another.  Very interesting!

Joss & Main – Brasher 1-Light Pendant

Final Thoughts

When I was deciding on all of the light fixtures, I had photos of them together in a personal “Ideabook” on Houzz.  This was such a helpful site, because I could see everything at once, and make sure there was continuity between the fixtures.  I think they all belong in a French Coastal Farmhouse, don’t you?  (That is what I am calling my style.  Maybe I just can’t commit:)

I have another resource from Circa Lighting to help with sizing island pendants and more.  It was a huge help to me.

Let your Light Shine, and May your Nest be Blessed!

Angela

 

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A Ripped Bathing Suit and More at Florida’s Ichetucknee Springs State Park

We had a busy summer, but we wanted to squeeze one more trip in before school started for our ninth grader and college freshman. We wanted a short drive, and a destination that didn’t cost a lot.  Also, we wanted a destination that my parents would enjoy, so we decided on Ichetucknee Springs State Park.

Fort White is the nearest city to the park.  It is about a five-hour drive from Naples, where we live, and isn’t too far from the Florida/ Georgia line.  The springs are in the middle of the state, so there is no quick drive to the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico beaches.

Ichetucknee Springs is a 2,241 acre Florida State Park and National Natural Landmark. The six-mile stretch of the Ichetucknee River is fed by seven natural springs which rise to the surface from the aquifer.  What does this mean?  Well, the water is crystal clear, and very cold.  The river’s year round temperature is 72 degrees.


The entrance fees to the park are $6 per vehicle, 2-8 people, $4 single occupant vehicle, $4 motorcycle fee, 1-2 people, and $2 for pedestrians and bicyclist. The tram service is $5 per person.

First Things First

We moved to Florida from the Chicagoland area one year ago.  The one thing almost all transplanted Chicagoans miss is Portillo’s, an American restaurant chain serving hot dogs, Italian Beef, sausage, etc.  It is so good that my sweet in-laws mailed Italian beef from Portillo’s to us for Christmas.  How sweet!

We knew Portillo’s recently built a restaurant in Tampa, so we had to make it one or our stops.

My mom is wondering why I am taking so long:)

Yum😋

Lodging

We stayed at the Home2 Suites by Hilton, in Lake City.  We chose this hotel based on its ratings, so it wasn’t the closest hotel.  Actually, it was about 30 minutes away from the springs.  We were glad we stayed there because it was well-appointed with a separate t.v. area, kitchenette, and desk.  The beds were very comfortable.  Also, there were plenty of amenities close by, such as a variety of restaurants, and STARBUCKS!  It isn’t civilization without Starbucks.  Is it?

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

When we arrived at the park I was surprised how much the area reminded me of northern Wisconsin. The area is rural with a lot of pine and oak trees. I kept saying “Where are the palm trees?”  There were slight hills, and streets named CR105.

We tried to go tubing when we arrived at the park, but they stopped renting tubes at 5:00, however, the park is open 8am until sundown. Our next option was the Blue Hole Spring and Head Spring located at the North park entrance.  Both can be accessed from the same parking lot.

Blue Hole Spring

About 1/2 mile from the parking lot, through a trail in the woods, you will find the Blue Hole Spring.  The spring forms a round pool that is crystal clear and shines blue in the sunlight. The hole is about forty feet deep, and there is roughly 500 feet of cave at the bottom. It’s a great spot to snorkel, or to scuba, if you are licensed.

found this image on Pinterest, but there are a lot more amazing pictures to see online.

This was our first experience in the 72 degree water.  Let’s just say we did not jump in, but took one step at a time.  Brrr!

This is my daughter, Kaitlyn. She wasn’t too sure about getting in:)

I thought this picture captured the feeling of the cold water🤣 Look closely and you can see my foot.

From the deck, the water looks dark, but that is due to the grasses on the bottom. After we got somewhat acclimated to the water temperature, we did notice how clear the water was.

We had to fight a slight current as we swam to the Blue Hole. It was pretty awesome, but once I saw it, I swam quickly back to the steps. There is just something about being above a forty-foot hole with a current:)

Mr. V and our daughter Natalie (their heads are above water) are just below the blue hole. Doesn’t the water look mysterious?

Head Spring

The next stop was at the Head Spring, which was just a short walk from the parking lot. This was my favorite spot.  It didn’t have a lot of grasses, so you could see to the bottom. However, it did have a lot of rocks, so you had to be careful.  It was fun watching everyone tip toe in, or being encouraged to get in.  I just love the pictures from this spring. Amazing!

Mr. V and Natalie

Natalie

Tubing the Ichetucknee River

The next day we had rain.  No blue sky to be seen.  We prayed that the Lord would stop the rain, so our last day wasn’t a bust.  The Lord was faithful!  By the time we went tubing, the skies cleared, and we had beautiful weather.  In fact, we had beautiful weather the rest of the day.

We went to the South main entrance to rent our tubes. My parents decided this was something they could do. Something about not having to get in the water? We rented our tubes at the general store, and took the tram to the north part of the river. We took the 1 3/4 hour float tour.

The park has a variety of tubes, inflatable boats, kayaks, and canoes to rent at the South park entrance.  You can also choose a1 3/4 hour tour, like we did, or a 45 minute float time. If you want to save some money, bring your own vessel.

You can launch at the North end with your own tubes.  You will need to follow instructions on-line for this option.  The float time is about 3 1/2 hours.

We chose two tubes with headrests, and two 3 passenger boats. Realistically, it was a two person boat with room for some gear, like snorkels, snacks, towels, etc.

Mr. V did some research, so he was prepared with rope to tie our tubes together, and a dry bag for towels, snacks, cameras, phones, etc.  We bought the dry bags at Walmart.

Our Journey Down the River

The river runs trough woods dappled with Spanish moss, turtles, birds, and more. It was so beautiful!  I do have to mention that alligators have been seen there😳. Yes, even in that cold water!


My family decided to get in the water, because it was getting hot. Some snorkeled, while others held on to the floats, and floated down the river.

We all thought the water in the river was warmer than in the springs. However, it was still cold.

I must caution that the river moves at a good pace. There were rocks and logs that you can’t see unless you were snorkeling. I came home with a few bruises, and a ripped swim skirt. One rock was determined to take it off me😳

My Dad was enjoying the ride!

The girls getting situated.

We did go back to the Head Spring for a little snorkeling, and then headed home. Guess where we stopped on the way back?  You guessed it, Portillo’s. This time we left with their famous chocolate cake!



Does anyone else eat their cake like this?  My dad says it’s a southern thing, but my mom says “no way!”

Conclusion

Tell me what you think.  Is this a getaway you would like to take, or maybe you have been there before.  Let me know.  I always enjoy hearing from you!

Where will the next Florida adventure be?  We are thinking about taking a trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park or the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo.

Until next time, May your Nest be Blessed!

Angela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Something is Shady: A Window Treatment for the Piano Room

My shade for the piano room came in, but first let me tell you about my inspiration. I saw the following Veranda cover, and I knew it was the look I wanted.

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I wanted to block some of the ultra violet rays, but not all of the light or view. Also, I wasn’t too concerned with the privacy from this window, because it is located on the side of the house. That is why this treatment caught my eye.

You will see that my neighbor is quite close. I have a Magnolia tree that should block some of their house, when it gets bigger. When the tree is bigger, I want to see it!  Therefore, this shade fits the bill.


The shade I chose is from the Hunter Douglas Provenance collection. It is called Maritime Oyster Shell. It is considered a semi-sheer woven wood blind.


Here it is!

To give you an idea of what shade looks like closed..

Sorry these pictures are so dark, but they show the view outside.

These shades don’t offer the most in energy efficiency, but they are better than nothing.  If I ever decide I want more energy efficiency or privacy, I can add a liner to it.

It isn’t finished, yet. I will be adding stationary drapery panels to each side. As always, I will keep you posted!

May your Nest be Blessed!

Angela

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Inspiration: Magazines

Where do you look for decorating inspiration?  I have a few go-tos, but today I will be sharing about magazines.

Why Magazines?

I am somewhat addicted to decorating magazines. Which means I spend too much money on them.  (Don’t tell Mr. V:). Some of my favorites are House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Magnolia and Veranda. You will notice some magazines cost almost as much as a book. Well, often times they are like a book. They are chockfull of beautiful pictures, and very little adds.  An example of this would be The Cottage Home for $12.99.

Check Costco for decorating magazines. They are usually up to 30% off.

Now you may be wondering why you need to buy a magazine while there is so much to see online.  There is something to be said for having the image in your hand.  Is that like someone who prefers a newspaper to internet?  Does that make me sound old?  Anyway, it is just one of the many ways I get inspired.

For me, I have decided anything over one year to a year and a half, needs to be donated or thrown away.  So much changes in that time. You can always file individual pages that “speak to you” for reference.

Inspiration

I was recently enamored with the cover of Veranda.  What caught my eye was the window, which will be my inspiration for the window in my piano room.  I can’t wait to show you the result, and to read what you think.  Be on the lookout!

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Here is a picture of my piano room.

The Magazine in My Cart

Today, I picked up Country French.   It’s one of those “books” I was telling you about.  Here is a sneak peek:

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Be careful that you check these magazines for “Back by Popular Demand.”  Take it from me, you may have bought it last year😳

Tell me what your favorite magazines are, and why. You may encourage me to add a new one to my list:)

May your Nest be Blessed!

Angela

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Update: Oops!

Mistakes happen to all of us, but wouldn’t it be nice to learn from someone else’s mistakes than our own?  You don’t often hear about failures in decorating, who wants to share those, but I hope by sharing some of my “Oops!”,  I will help you make wiser decisions that will save you time and money.

When you move into a new home, I believe that you should take your time to get a feel for your new surroundings. Take time to know how you will use each room, and decide what you need to buy, donate, or throw away.

Don’t be so quick to buy something, especially, if it can’t be returned. Case in point: I had a large coir doormat, personalized with my last initial, at the entrance of my last home.  I loved it, but it wasn’t in good enough shape to move to my new home.  At my new home I measured my front door area for size, customized the rug with a “V”, and waited patiently for it to arrive.

What could have been the problem?  Well, the entrance doors open to the outside instead of the inside.  This is the opposite of how my doors operated at my last home.  This means the rug has to be lower than the door when it swings open.  It wouldn’t be a problem if you stepped up into the house, but no, this is not how my entrance was designed.  There is a step to the covered entry, and that is all.

This wasn’t the most costly mistake, but who wants to waste money?  If I had waited a little longer to get familiar with my home, I would have noticed that the rug would never work in that location.  This is true for buying a reclining chair that can’t be reclined because it hits the wall, or buying a piece of furniture that is just too small for the storage you need, etc.  It is alright to take your time.

So what did I do with the rug?  It is on the lanai, and I kind of like that it takes the sand off of your feet that can be picked up from the pavers around the pool.  It isn’t ideal, but at least it is being used.

I have been using this rug from Costco. (You can buy it on sale through August 27th) I also have one in the garage, and one on the lanai.

After one year, I decided to add a more decorative rug.  I found the following rug on sale at Frontgate, and it is 3/8 inch thick. I think it blends nicely with the pavers, and adds a pop of color.

Door Mats

What do you think?

I hope I have given you some helpful advice.  Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or you just want to share a mistake that you had to correct.

May your Nest be Blessed!

Angela

 

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Let the Sun Shine In: Shutters

One of the things that was important in my new home was that it had to be filled with natural light.  It had to have a lot of windows. Now I have to find window treatments.  Oh, my!  What I loved about my home is going to bankrupt me! From paper shades to shutters, I will share with you what I have learned.

Phase 1: Temporary Paper Shades

I decided to tackle this job in phases.  Phase 1 was temporary paper shades for the bedrooms and master bathroom, as seen in the following picture.  They are very inexpensive, and easy to install. You can buy these at your local hardware store.  You just cut them to the size of your windows, and attach with the tape strip.  Easy Peasy!

Temporary paper shade in master bathroom.

This is a good time to point out that when you move into a new home, use the paper shades until you have a good idea of how you will be decorating and using each room.  You will need to determine if you want black out, privacy, semi-private, sheer, or no coverage at all.

Not wanting to live with temporary paper shades forever, like the one I had in my former master bathroom for 15 years!, I decided it was time for something more permanent.  Now I would like to tell you it was an agonizing decision, but it wasn’t.  Mr. V really wanted plantation shutters, and I liked them too.  For continuity sake, I decided to use the shutters in all of the bedrooms and master bathroom.

Phase 2: Plantation Shutters

After the initial price shock, I decided to implement the three quote rule.  I received three price quotes, and checked the warranties.  The winner was the company that offered the same price for wood as a composite.  Usually, wood costs much more.

I chose Naples Shutter. They use poplar wood, and have a 5 step paint and finish process. I liked that the shutters were locally made.

Plantation Shutter Details

There were a couple of considerations when choosing the shutters.  The louvers come in different sizes. A more traditional louver is about 2 1/2″, but they are now being made as big as 5 1/2 inches.  I don’t think the size is just a personal choice.  The smaller size would be good in homes with average height ceilings, or for someone who wants a very traditional look.  The ceilings in my bedrooms and bathroom range from 10 to 12 feet, so the rooms could accommodate larger louvers.  I decided on the 4 1/2″ size.  What I liked most about this size was that when the shutters were open, the view was less restricted.  When your view is of palm trees, who wants to block it?  Also, it gives a very clean look.

Plantation Shutter Louver Size
What to do about those transoms in the master bedroom?  I decided to put the mid rail, the divider that separates the louver sections, at the bottom of the transom so that I could operate it separately from the rest of the shutter.  This way I could leave the top open, and close the rest. I could have had a second mid rail on each window, but the louvre size prevented it from being placed in the middle of each window. The horizontal black rail wouldn’t be covered.

Plantation Shutter

Plantation Shutters

In the girls’ rooms, the mid rails are in the middle of the windows, covering the horizontal black rail.

How many doors per window?  Depending on window size, you may need two or more doors. I wanted as few doors as possible to have a less obstructed view, but the largest window in the master bedroom needed two because of the width. One door on that window would have caused the louvers to sag. The pole on the left is used to operate the top louvers.  I am tall, but not tall enough:)

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Another new feature of shutters today is that you can hide the tilt rod. The tilt rod used to always be on the front in the middle, but now can be hidden behind the shutters on a side. Once again, this added to the clean look, and less obstruction to the view. All I have to do to open my shutters is to tilt a louver.

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The hidden tilt rod.

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The door got a shutter treatment too.  I could have had a section trimmed out for the handle, but I didn’t care for the look. Thankfully, the handle did not have to be replaced. Sophie decided to say “Hi!”

The following is an example of the cutouts that can be added for handles.  What do you think?

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Now the depressing part. For a cohesive look, I wanted the shutters to match the color of the trim. For some reason, I thought I knew what the color was, and gave the color to the salesman. Big mistake!  Once installed, I could tell that the whites didn’t match.  I have learned my lesson. When you are 49, don’t rely on your memory:)

Phases 3 & 4

Well, I am thinking about Phase 3.  When my budget allows, I will tackle Mr. V’s office, front doors, powder bath, and the girls’ office space.  Phase 4 will include all of the pretty, stationary draperies.  Fun!

I did order something different for the large window in my piano room, but it will be covered at another time.  Be on the look out for my post on woven wood shades:)

May your nest be blessed, and your shutters match your trim!:)

Angela