January 31, 2018:


Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...


Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Look for Less: Sophisticated Living Room Vignette Part 2

Good morning!  I was up at the crack of dawn and it is beautiful outside today!  There is a cool breeze that kicked in sometime during the night off of Lake Michigan.  I hurred outside to move the sprinkler around out front.  Yep, I broke down.  I couldn't stand looking at the dried straw out there anymore or lugging gallons of water every evening out to the two trees in the front yard, so I let loose with the sprinkler.  I ran it for hours last night and am trying to get all the "corners" this morning -- you know how hard it is to get those with a sprinkler -- especially the edges and corners along the curb and driveway!  The weatherman came through!  The humidity and dew point are MUCH lower today, so even though it's over 80 now, it feels wonderful!  Best of all, despite turning off the central AC and running around like a maniac most of the morning, I'm not sweating!  Not a drop!  No wet eyebrows! 

I'm shopping this morning to finish up the lovely Trad Home inspiration for this version of the "look for less:"

Last night I offered my selections for a facsimile sofa, side table, coffee table and four-panel screen.  Today the hard part: throw pillows and the candlesticks!  While trying to stay true to the inspiration photo, I am also keeping in mind my budget-conscious selections in the prior post and thinking about what might work with them. 

Throw Pillows

Shopping for throw pillows is difficult because there are soooo many different patterns and kinds available now, so selection comes down to price and personal preferences, unless I'm lucky enough to find a pillow that looks nearly identical to the inspiration pillows.  I looked for an animal print, a pale chartreuse or celedon in a silky material, and a watery pastel floral or abstract print.  I found this pillow at Target online:

Home® Decorative Pleated Silk Toss Pillow - Green (20x20")

  • Includes: Decorative Pillow, Toss Pillow
  • Features: Removable Insert, Zipper Closure, Knife Edge
  • Decorative Accents: Pleating
  • Textile Material: Polyester ( 100 %)
  • Fill Material: Feather ( 100 %)
  • Care and Cleaning: Spot Clean Only
  • Dimensions: 20.0 " L x 20.0 " W

Priced at $22.39.  This pillow lacks the luxurious fringe of the inspiration pillow (the one on the left of the inspiration sofa) but fringe could be added, if desired.  I think this pillow has just the right lux look and silky smoothness at a good price.

I visited Bed, Bath & Beyond online and found this faux bur cheetah print pillow at a large 26" square for just $19.99.  I couldn't pass it up!

Faux Fur Cheetah 26" Square Toss Pillow

The most difficult pillow to try to match was the watery floral or abstract print.  It looks kind of pale yellow or cream with a pale blue pattern, but I'm not really sure of the color.  What I'm showing on my computer screen is somewhat different than the picture I printed out for easy reference while I was shopping. 

I finally settled on the Roman pillows from Overstock.com. There is a pair for $35.99, 18" square, and I thought the Federal Blue would look good with my other "look for less" selections:

The taupe would also be a neutral choice, perhaps blending better with the green Target and cheetah print Bed Bath and Beyond pillows I selected.


The candlesticks were a real challenge!  They are vintage/antique, probably made of cast bronze or brass, footed, and while I'm not sure of the material that comprises the layered square base (marble? and two layers), it is definitely ebony-colored.  In addition, the candlesticks are very tall and are human figures!  Cha ching

I hunted around for awhile, doing various searches, but I couldn't find anything remotely similar to the inspiration candlesticks for a reasonable price.  Time to go in a different direction.

I looked at metal candlesticks; I looked at glass and crystal candlesticks; I looked at composite candlesticks.  Epic fail!  I admit ignominious defeat!  I did not find anything close to the originals for a reasonable price.  Sigh. 

That being said, I absolutely fell in love with these Fifth Avenue Zermat Set of 2 Candleholders -- notice the black crystal accent, and thought they would look superb on the glass/acrylic coffee table, while picking up the glitter and shine of the glass and the black in the lamp (which is not featured) and the color of the smoked glass in the side table (not mentioned in the article, but I do believe it is smoked glass and not clear glass):

They are priced according to height.  I found these at Bon-Ton (Boston Store in Wisconsin) online:

6" - $80
8" - $90
10" - $100
12" - $120

I found the same candlesticks at Wayfair for about $20 less for the 12" size.  Expensive!  I love them, but cannot afford them. 

Looking for something with some marble, I stumbled across these Kathy Ireland candle pillars (they won't hold a conventional taper) on sale at Lamps Plus for $29.95:

Set of 2 Kathy Ireland Amor Marble Pillar Candle Holders

Style # U9147

Set of 2.
  • Antique bronze finish.
  • Decorative marble accents.              
  • Small is 14" high and 4 1/2" wide.
  • Large is 16" high and 4 1/2" wide.

  • Now that's a bargain!  I would buy these, not only because of the price but because I think they would go very well with the "look" -- excellent height and color, and the metal accents would compliment the metal frame of the side table.  Actually, these would go with many "looks," hmmm...

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