December 6, 2017:


It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Beautiful Bedroom: The Look for Less!

Hola darlings!

It's a beautiful Saturday here and I should be working out in the yard, finishing the clean-up from the storm that blew through here nearly two weeks ago now.  Naughty me, I'm lounging at my computer instead, as the sounds of the kids yelling and cheering in the soccer fields some distance across the road drifts in through the open patio door on the breeze out of the northwest.  And I'm enjoying looking up at the window on the staircase landing.  The sky is a gorgeous blue today, with pale whisps of clouds, and part of the frame is filled with golden-kissed leaves from my neighbors' tree, all fluttering in the breeze like a hundred birds.

Here is the original photo of the Inspiration Bedroom:

This photo is from the Traditional Home website.  As you can see, it's pretty high-end, filled with gorgeous antiques.  The secretary has a mirrored front and a pull-down door that is used as the desk top.  While I cannot see the bottom portion of it because it is hidden by the bed, I figure it probably has a couple of drawers and some lovely cabriole legs. 

Original postPrior post where I presented my selections for the canopy bed. 

Here are my selections for the "secretary" that is in the inspiration photo:

Arlington Computer Secretary Desk w Hutch - Traditional Elegance w Modern Functionality - Custom Wood Stain
Item #: 83775
Price: $2,054 (on back order until June 2013!)

On my budget, this is very expensive!  Realistically, this is the type of piece one would probably be able to find at a good price in a second-hand or thrift store, or perhaps on Craig's List.  For this blog, though, I limit my searches to brand new items.

I love this piece (despite it's price) for it's great classic lines, beautiful rich finish, and best of all, it's a 21st century-designed piece so it's rigged up for a computer.  The upper part is not mirrored (like the inspiration piece)  but there is lots of storage.  This vendor has several different styles and finishes for a secretary desk with hutch, all priced about the same. 

I also totally fell in love with this secretary/hutch by Hooker Furniture, that I found at Wayfair:

Hooker Furniture 7 Seas 27" W Glass Door Secretary - 500-50-545
Price:  $1,868 and with free printing at the time of this publication, but it's on back-order right now.  The finish is gorgeous and it has burl wood and a serpentine front.  There is a single door front on the upper cabinet, not two doors, and it appears to have a mirrord back panel, so echoes the look of the inspiration piece. 

At a more moderate price of $1,129 from Ballard Designs, the Medici Secretary Desk with Hutch, and it comes in several different finishes.  The photo shows a dark painted finish but I think the Antique Mahogany finish would be perfect for the "look for less:"

I love the bonnet-top styling, but there is no glass in the door, only chicken wire.  So the overall look is a little more cottage-y in a painted finish; but in the dark mahogany I think it would be gorgeous.  It is shipped from Italy and takes awhile, and yeah, it's not 100% wood (if you want 100% wood you're going to pay through the nose for new furniture, and better inspect it thoroughly in person before you buy it and know what you're looking at, too) and the comments on the quality of the piece were all over the place.  But my feeling is that it's always a craps shoot when you order anything online.  You never know how it will come through the shipping process, or what it will actually look like until it's unboxed. 

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