December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

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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