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, 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 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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