May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Look for Less: Dining Room from Traditional Home, Part 3

Here is the original room (and cover) from the May, 2012 print edition of Traditional Home magazine:

I've previously offered suggestions for less expension versions of the table, chairs (post 1), the metal cranes, and the white porcelain chandelier (post 2).

Today, I'm looking for reasonably priced alternatives to the silk rug offered by and the "Malabar" pattern wallpaper in sage and pale blue by Cole and Son (no price listed - of course!)  I won't be offering alternatives for accessories, cushions, window treatments. 

Area Rug:
The minimum size I shopped for was 8' round.  Assuming at least a 60" diameter table (5 feet wide), one would need a minimum of an 8' rug underneath to allow for chairs to be pulled out for seating without scooting off the rug.

From, it's not a smooth, velvety looking rug like the one in the inspiration photo, but it looks like it has the right color-tones:
This is the Manhattan Tweed Green/ Blue Shag Rug (8' Round), priced at $249.  It is a 1.9" thick synthetic green with blue blend shag.  Hmmmm, not sure I'd want a shag textured carpet in the dining area, but the color is pretty!

The inspiration rug is solid-colored, and one always has the option of going to one's local home improvement store and discussing whether it's possible to special order an 8' or larger round area rug in a plain texture and color.  However, since I was shopping on line, I also looked at some patterned rugs.  I thought the colors in this rug would work in the space nicely:
This is not a picture of a round rug, but the pattern does come in an 8' round size.  It's from Bed, Bath & Beyond, Crochet Aqua Indoor/Outdoor 8' Round Rug, its polyacrylic and can be used outdoor and simply hosed down for cleaning!  It costs $460 plus shipping.

At Penney's, I found several different round area rugs that were close to or at least 8' diameter, but many of them were braided , and I felt that style was not "formal" enough for the style and feeling of the inspiration room.  I liked this damask patterned rug and its colors, very complementary to the colors in the inspiration photo:

This is the Covington Chesterfield Round Area Rug in Chesterfield Neutral, 7'7" diameter, it's a little smaller than that 8' diameter I was looking for, but the price - are you ready for this - $100.  This rug is polypropylene with jute/polyester backing. 10 mm pile height, vacuum to clean and spot clean, occasionally professionally dry clean.

I found at least two other patterned rugs at Penney's that I thought would be wonderful in the room, but no matter where I looked I could not find a diameter for the round rugs -- therefore, I have not included them here. 

I did not do a general internet search for rugs - there are probably dozens of other possibilities at good price points to fit your budget.

You may wonder why I'm looking at rugs with pattern when the wallpaper in the inspiration room is so dynamic - it's because the wallpapers I found that I thought might give a similar feeling/look were a lot less dynamic, generally, that the "Malabar" pattern wallpaper in sage and light blue.  Depending upon what your price point is, I expect you'd be able to find a solid color rug elsewhere on line that would look more like the rug in the inspiration photo.


This was the hardest task - to try and find a wallpaper that looked similar to that in the inspiration photo. 

I looked at several different discount wallpaper websites online, and I have to say I'm not really satisfied 100% with any of the picks I eventually made -- none had the exact two-tone colors of "Malabar".  On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the picks I made cost less (maybe a lot less) than "Malabar."

There is a nice selection of papers and patterns at Steve's Blinds & Wallpaper, but he does not list the color or pattern name or book name (only book numbers) for his offerings - bad idea, Steve.  I saw these papers that I liked but as we all know, computer screens can be notoriously unreliable when trying to determine colors!  This one looks like a pale sage green damask pattern - but - who really knows:

$54.29 at Steve's for double-roll. 

I like this one - a little more light and airy looking than the inspiration photo wallpaper - it is classified under "mint" green:

$81.97 at Steve's for double.roll. 
And also from Steve's, a slightly different look, but still in the "mint" green colorway (although it looks more blue and grey, doesn't it):

$69.85 at Steve's for double roll.
I thought this pattern and color (based on green, and what looks like a taupe color) would go well with the patterned area rugs I selected - probably selections 1 and 2 as well (but not 3):

$56.15 at Steve's for double roll. 
Moving to American Blinds:

This one caught my eye immediately as refreshingly light but still within the theme of the inspiration wallpaper:

$44.67 at American Blinds for double roll. 
This pattern is called Wind River - gorgeous!
$47.67 for double roll at American Blinds.
From Evolution pattern book, $54.40
double roll at American Blinds.
Fontaine - Celadon, $148.87 double roll
at American Blinds.  The detail of the colorway
of this paper is gorgeous!
This next sample features a darker blue-green contrasted with a light sage green (that is what the colors look like to me - the detail is very pretty):

Color by Design Blue.  $44.67 double roll
at American Blinds.

Just in case, I did a quick google search for "Malabar" knock-off and "Malabar" look-alike.  I have to tell you, darlings, I don't like the look of Malabar in other settings nearly as much as in the Traditional Home dining room, which makes me wonder if the pattern would really work in your (or my) space -- only way to really tell would be to see a room papered in the pattern in person, or pay to have samples sent to you if you cannot find them locally.

So -- sorry for not being able to put together one of those design board thingies.  There are two reasons for that: first, I have no idea how to do that and, second, it's because I can't settle on just one option and say "this is it" but try to offer at least two options and price points for what I'm looking at.  Some things cost more, some less, and I think taken all together, one could put together an absolutely beautiful room that would look very similar to the inspiration dining room from Traditional Home based on what I've found here.  But I'm sure most of you are much better shoppers and much more determined to find the very best matches for the very lowest prices than I am -- I reach a point where I say "okay, that's good enough!"  But, ultimately, one must alway put one's own spin on a design, whether it is a "copycat" or not! 

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