Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

A few years ago I saw a photo of ice skates hanging on a stair railing in a magazine.  I finally have a house with stairs!

In the photo below, you can see my version it it. After we bought this house in August, I went on EBAY and found some vintage ice skates. The garland is from the Christmas Tree farm we visited last week.

Here is a close up of the skates.

I put some red fuzzy socks inside the skates and then added some fresh greens and berry picks I got from a craft store.  I changed the old laces out to red ribbons.

Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here.

I can see these skates hanging in the center of a wreath on the front door as well!  Another vintage item I am keeping my eyes out for is a vintage sled.  I have wanted one forever, to place on the front porch and hang a wreath on it. 

I have also seen smaller sleds placed on a dining table as part of a center piece.  Wouldn't that look great!

This post was originally written by Penny Carlson and she blogs at The Comforts of Home.blogspot.  She can also be found on Facebook at penny.carlson.10.
Welcome Home,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lighting Up My Life

Remember the post here, where I showed you our new dining room chandelier? We had purchased a whole grouping of lighting for our first floor. Normally, I don't buy things in "sets", but I did this time because every room on the first floor flows into the other and you can see each room from the next. So I wanted a little continuity.

Here is the old living room ceiling fixture. It was a verdigris finish. Nice, but not the look I was going for.

Here is the new living room light. It hangs from the ceiling about 7 inches. The glass has a old golden cast to it. The iron is finished in a old brass patina look.

Standing in my dining room you can see a part of the new dining chandelier, the foyer light (which is an exact copy of the living room light) and the living room light.

On the the kitchen. These are the old pendant lights that hung over the counter. They were silver with white glass shades.

Here are the new lights. They have the same vintage brass iron look, with old golden glass shades. I love the way they blend with the tile back splash.

Across from the kitchen is the eat in kitchen area. Below is the old chandelier. It was silver with white glass shades also. (Ignore the mess on the table - this was about a month ago when I was still unpacking).

I mentioned one of my sons is here visiting and he and Mr. Comforts of home installed the new chandelier over the kitchen table.

It is a smaller version of the one over our dining room table. This one only has 6 lights instead of nine.

This weekend I am going to do a little Christmas decorating. What are your plans?
Welcome Home,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Announcing The Winner and A Trip To a Tree Farm

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did here at The Comforts of Home. One of our 4 sons is visiting and on Wednesday afternoon, we took a drive out into the countryside to visit a "cut your own" tree farm to get our Christmas tree. The weather was wonderful. About 50 degrees and sunny.

Here are some pictures of the Christmas tree farm. It is called Sandy Hollar Farms and has been in business for 30 years.

The gift shop was deck out in wonderful fresh cut Cypress and Frasier fir garlands and wreaths. I bought a couple of the garlands and a wreath and will show you soon, how I am using them.

Isn't this just beautiful?

Without further adieu, the winner of the burlap/ french postcard print pillow cover giveaway was drawn by There were 83 comments and the winner was number 15.

The winner is Stacey of Poofing the Pillows (how appropriate is that?). Congrats Stacey! Please email me your mailing address and I will send your pillow out to you right away! And thank you all for your sweet comments on this post.
Welcome Home,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Birthday Giveaway!

Guess what? Today is MY birthday! So in honor of my birthday I would love to have a giveaway!

I would love to give someone a French burlap pillow cover. This pillow cover is made by ME. It is burlap, with a vintage tea stained French post card applique.

I have this and other burlap pillow covers for sale on my website at Lavender Hill Studio. To enter my birthday giveaway, just leave a comment on this post. I will pick a winner via a random drawing on Thanksgiving Day.
Welcome Home,

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Mr. Comforts of Home is installing this today.....

Tonight I will be able to wash my face in the master bathroom.
Welcome Home,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Master Bath Shower

The master bath shower enclosure was installed yesterday! Here is a picture of it this morning before Mr. Comforts of Home installed the shower head and handle. He had already installed the movable shower wand.

Here is a night shot of the shower after Mr. Comforts of Home installed the rain shower head and handle. I have marked this Done on my side bar.

We are getting so close to finishing the master bath! I ordered something today for the master bath, but it is on back order until Dec 3rd. Once we received it I will do a before and after post on the master bath.
Welcome Home,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things I Need To Do List

I decided to create a "Things I Need To Do List" and add it to my sidebar on my blog. When I complete something, I will mark Done.

Take, for instance, this built-in magazine rack in the master bath. As remodeling tends to go, this was installed BEFORE I had a chance to paint it. So now I need to paint it and I have added it to my "to do" list.

I will also be adding other projects to the list as they come along. It helps me to feel a little more organized and in control when I have a list. Plus I really get a sense of accomplishment when I complete a task and can mark it Done.

Do you make lists?
Welcome Home,

Participating in a Kitchen Reveal

My friend, Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen is hosting a Kitchen Reveal post today, November 18th. Thank you Penny for hosting this event!

I was waiting to finish a couple of more things in my kitchen before doing a "before and after" post, but this was a great opportunity that I didn't want to pass up.

The first THREE pictures are my kitchen in it's BEFORE. I took them the day we closed on the house a couple of months ago.

The walls were red, there was no back spash. The wall under the bar had floor tiles on it as well as very skinny corbels. The white appliances were old and rusty.

Here is how my kitchen looks TODAY. I am decorating my house in my version of Country French style. I have painted the walls a golden yellow called Belgian Waffle. We have new stainless appliances.

We removed the tile that was on the wall under the bar and replaced it with drywall. We removed the skinny corbels and added thick, chunky ones (they still need to be painted). We are planning on getting three bar chairs to sit there. And we have our new kitchen pendent lights, but have not installed them yet.

A vintage pig shaped wooden cutting board...

We added a tumbled tile back splash in a harlequin pattern.

The glass corner cabinet has this cute rabbit knob. All of the other cabinet doors and drawers have platinum round pulls.

A lazy susan in the corner made from a vintage French wine barrel lid.

I have copper pots that I use as containers and planters. I have more copper pieces to hang on the wall, but have not had a chance yet. I love the way copper warms up a kitchen.

And I just bought this fun rooster rug below. I love it!

So, there you have my before and after kitchen. When we change out the old pendent lights for the new ones, I will do a post on it.

So if you are anything like me, you love peeping into others homes....especially the kitchen, which is the heart of the home. To see other bloggers kitchens, please go visit Penny at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and see all of the other participants in the Kitchen Reveal.
Welcome Home,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Master Bedroom Bit by Bit

Remember, here, when I did a post on some of my Dream Master Bedrooms? Well, I am not anywhere near achieving my dream bedroom YET...but bit by bit I am working on it.

I now have a full gathered bed skirt (Pottery Barn), in white. A fluffy down alternative comforter (Bed Bath and Beyond) and my toile quilt (Pottery Barn).

Still no head board, curtains, lampshades or proper nightstands.

HOWEVER, I do have this marvelous old carved mirror....remember in some of my inspiration photos on this post, the mirrors used as headboards? I don't think I can do that, but I can get a similar feel with this mirror. More later...

Welcome Home,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keeping It Real - Lighting

Here is a post about keeping it real....when you are remodeling a home your house is NEVER clean. NEVER orderly and NEVER ready for family or visitors.

So, since I think of you all as family I am going to let you come on in and see a teeny bit of the mess that I have lived through for the last 2 months.

Here is Mr. Comforts of Home installing a new chandelier in our dining room. When we purchased this foreclosure, the previous owners took the chandelier with them.

The chandelier came in a box, filled with boxes, filled with chandelier parts. Thank goodness I am married to Mr Comforts of Home. He knew where every part went and how to install it.

Along with the chandelier for the dining room, we also received the lighting for the powder room, master bathroom.....

...and the lighting for the foyer and living room ceiling....and the chandelier for the eat in kitchen as well as the lighting that hangs over the kitchen counter. So we will be living with boxes and boxes of electrical parts, plastic wrap, Styrofoam and wiring for the next week or so while Mr Comforts of Home installs the lighting in between his day job of engineering.

Here is a quick, unedited (keeping it real, here) picture of the dining chandelier now that it is up and working. On the dining table are the parts for the foyer lighting.

Thanks Mr. Comforts of Home....I love you!
Welcome Home,

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's Starting to Look Like A Master Bathroom!

Even though it is a cloudy day outside and my pictures are dark, I couldn't wait to show you what's going on in my master bath!

The tub was installed today!! Doesn't it look great? I want to take a bath in it tonight, but I am forcing myself to wait until the entire bathroom is finished, so I can really enjoy it. Besides, I still have the window covering issue to deal with.

And I know that seeing a toilet, might not be very exciting to you, but for the last month and a half we have been sleeping in a guest room UPSTAIRS, because that is where the only working bathrooms were.

Our master bath toilet was also installed today, so we are moving down to the master bedroom.

A little bit of progress every day...
Welcome Home,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A North Carolina Blog Luncheon

I had a wonderful day today! About a month ago, Rhondi from Rose Colored Glasses invited all North Carolina bloggers to come to a lunch at her house. Rhondi and I have been blog friends for a couple of years and last year Rhondi drove from Charlotte, NC to my house (about a 2-1/2 hour drive) to spend the day with me. I was so excited to be able to drive over to her house to see her again!

Two other North Carolina bloggers also attended Rhondi's luncheon. Mary from Across The Pond (who lives in the Raleigh area and I just met two weeks ago when she was visiting Asheville) and Donna from Dobco, who I had not met until today were there.

From left to right, Rhondi, Donna, Mary and Me....on Rhondi's front porch.

Here is a picture of Donna, Rhondi and Mary standing just inside Rhondi's dining room before lunch. You can see Rhondi's living room behind everyone and her beautiful crystal chandelier over her dining table in the left fore ground.

Of course, you know you can tell a BLOGGER when you see someone with a camera taking a picture of food!

Rhondi's lunch was delicious! She served homemade butternut squash soup as the first course, followed by a broccoli quiche and a wonderful spinach salad with raspberries and mandarin oranges.

For dessert Rhondi served us tea from her vintage tea cart and gorgeous Dainty Blue china tea service.

The dessert was Mango sorbet with Rhondi's homemade oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies.

We spend the entire lunch talking about everything from blogging to trips to France and Thailand, quilting, photography, other outstanding blogs and more! I felt like I had know these wonderful women for years.

Mary brought this wonderful French style laundry bag and a English Lavender room scent as a gift for me. I love them both!

And Donna hand made this lovely Christmas bag and filled it will a cookie cutter, recipe cards and a mini loaf of yummy bread!

It was a lovely day. As I drove home I thought about how I would love to recreate this wonderful idea that Rhondi had. Maybe a luncheon next spring or early summer....
Welcome Home,