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...


Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Beautiful Bedroom: The Look for Less!

This is going to be a very long post!  I suggest getting a beverage of your choice, settle in to your chair and I hope you enjoy it!  This post I am finishing up the Beautiful Bedroom from Traditional Home.  I will be covering the mirror, the dresser, and the side chair (presumably used for the secretary).

Continuing with fitting out a less expensive facsimile of the Inspiration bedroom from The Traditional Home online photo - here it is again:

I am now showing my choices for the mirror and dresser.

The Mirror:

You can pay a TON of money for them, and they get more expensive quickly once they reach a certain size and are not just "plain" silvered plate glass.  You can see that the mirror in the Inspiration photo has some kind of either decorative finish around the edges or is in some kind of decorative frame.  It is also a very large mirror!  Cha ching!  Perhaps a creative person could go down to the local home improvement center and buy a plain plate glass mirror and then add some kind of edging or framing around it to jazz it up to get a similar look to the Inspiration photo - but I'm not that person!

Soooo, I hunted around for a suitably sized mirror at a reasonable prize.  I am guessing that the mirror in the Inspiration photo is 36 x 48.  Some of my selections are not as large.  Personally, unless it's a mirror that I'm going to use to put on my make-up, I have a thing about paying too much for a purely decorative mirror!  To me, the cheaper the better.  Obviously this bedroom's mirror is not going to be used to put on one's make-up, so I want it to be as inexpensive as possible, while still going for overall good looks:

I found the Marquee Mirror in Parma Silver at, for $217.03 (today only?), regularly priced at $274.40.  It is 30 x 42:
A  good deal, right?  But check out the Songe Mirror from Ikea!  Not available online, unfortunately, so you have to hunt for it at a store near you.  For $80 and an impressive 36 x 51 size, I'll go hunting with a friend who has a car!

The Dresser:

I knew I was going to have problems finding a dresser that was close to the Inspiration photo.  I am pretty sure it is an antique or made to order piece and very expensive.  It looks to have a distressed white or possibly white with silver finish, and has the embellishments on the drawer fronts, the beautifully cut legs and what might be a marble top; I'm not sure what kind of pulls those are.  Assuming a 36 x 48 mirror is centered over it, there appears to be perhaps 3-5 inches left over at each end, so I'm figuring that the length of the Inspiration photo dresser is about 42 to 44 inches.  It also appears to have three long drawers (not six short drawers), each drawer having two pulls.

Again, ideally, this would be the type of dresser that one would go hunting for in vintage furniture stores and thrift markets, hoping to score a deal and possibly refinish with chalk paint and distress and wax.  Switch out the pulls, add some glue-on wood embellishments to the drawer fronts and, voila!  After a lot of work, you would have your very own reasonable facsimile.  But I'm shopping for new stuff only -- just easier that way for blogging!  What I aimed for was not an exact replication but something that has the same "spirit" as the Inspiration dresser (a beautifully proportioned shape, a beautiful finish, suitably embellished drawer fronts, the right size, with three drawers and two pulls per drawer). 

So, these are the candidates I came up with.  I warn you - the prices are shocking.  Well, to me the prices are shocking!  So, I figured, go as inexpensive as possible on the bed, love seat, chair and mirror and splurge on the case goods:  secretary and dresser. 

First up is this absolutely gorgeous Pulaski dresser, Versailles (love the name), found at Wayfair:

Yes, it's black distressed finish and has curvy cabriole feet and a very feminine curved skirt across the bottom.  Isn't she beautiful!  Even though the color is the exact opposite of the Inspiration dresser, I chose Versailles because (1) it has three drawers (2) each drawer has two pulls (3) each drawer has embellishments on it and (4) I just love those curves and decorative embellishments!  I love everything about this dresser.  This dresser's list price is $1,325; at Wayfair it's available for $950 and includes free shipping. Interestingly enough, when I first emailed myself the link to this dresser, it was listed for under $900 and included free shipping.  So -- one must spring forth when opportunity arises :)   Dimensions:  36" H x 48" W x 18" D. 

Actually, I think this dresser would be a very good fit if, for instance, one chose the Ballard Designs secretary/hutch in a distressed black finish, and either love seat would work just fine with this finish because both love seats have espresso-finished wood legs and/or trim. 

Going in a somewhat different direction, but still looking for embellished drawer front accent dressers, I found this Hooker Furniture dresser at Wayfair:

Okay, okay, so this is a "pewter" finish.  Isn't she beautiful!  This is the Melange Avanti Chest in Pewter Finish and is listed at $958 with free shipping.  For the reasons I selected this dresser, see above -- all my prior comments apply.  Dimensions:  30" H x 40" W x 20" D.  Perhaps the finish is problematical; would it really go with the wood tones of the bed and the secretary (not to mention the espresso finish on the wood elements of both of the love seats I previously offered as selections).    However, either of the mirrors above would look spectacularly fabulous with this dresser!  It would be a true show-stopper storage accent piece in the room.  My feeling is that with the right colored bedding and other decorative accents, it could work in the room with my selections, particularly if one chose the charcoal chenille upholstery on the Emma love seat I offered as a selection from Home Decorators (also the least expensive seating option at $343 on sale - see prior post). 

Going in yet another direction, I offer the Lexington Twilight Bay Wayside in distressed age white crackle finish, also found at Wayside:

This is an expensive dresser, even on sale (only until October 2, 2012) at $1,279 with free shipping.  Regular list price is a whopping $1,648!  Ouch!  However, this manufacturer stressed that it is a solid hardwood construction.  While this dresser is not as embellished as the two offerings above, it does have a white distressed finish, three drawers with two pulls each, lovely-shaped legs and the little "bump out" serpentine detail in the drawer fronts and top, as well as a graceful skirt all around the front and sides.  Decidedly feminine, but understated.  The pulls are perhaps the closest in style to the Inspiration dresser.  Some wood embellishments could always be antiqued in a suitable color and glued on...just saying.  Dimensions:  36" H x 43" W x 18" D.

Last, but not least, for those who perhaps do not want to splurge on two pieces (secretary and dresser - like yours truly), I offer this much more reasonably priced dresser, also found at Wayfair:

Before you say anything, the price is -- $483 on sale (list price is $799), and includes free shipping.  As might be expected, this dresser/chest sold out and a new shipment is not expected until the beginning of November, 2012.  This is the Carolina Accents Posy Chest:
  • Antique white finish
  • Constructed of wood
  • Hand-painted pink posies and leafy green vines design

  • Love the dark stained top, it's curvy lines, the serpentine shape to the top and drawer fronts, and the nice skirt treatment on the front and sides.  Altogether, it looks like a much more expensive piece.  Okay, so it's got pink posies on it.  I can live with that!  A paint job could always be done if you want to banish the posies :)  On the other hand, there's no law that says the accent color has to be blue.  While I like blue, I'm not a fan of it in the bedroom, I find it too cold, brrrrrr!  Pink (with greenery), on the other hand, are long-time favorite colors in combination.  Dimensions:  34" H x 42" W x 19" D -- size is good! 

    The dresser appears to have two drawers at the top, but the bottom two drawers are full across.  The overall look is two pulls per drawer.  The pulls are similar in design (although do not appear as substantial) as the pulls on the Pulaski Versailles dresser (the first dresser featured, above).  Personally, I would buy this dresser and opt for an antiqued white finish on a Ballard Designs bonnet-top secretary.  I think they would contrast beautifully with a dark-finished canopy bed and coordinate beautifully with either Erin or Emma love seats and dark espresso finished wood legs/trim.  Note:  The finish in the photo does not appear to be an antique white, and some comments at Wayfair indicated that it had a greenish cast and was not antique white.  A couple other comments didn't indicate any problems with the finish.  Soooo, buyer beware, as per usual when ordering something by mail!

    What's left - THE CHAIR!

    Oh my Goddess, yes, the chair.  This chair gave me fits, let me tell you!  I was not expecting to find something easily like the antique chair in the Inspiration photo.  It appears to me to be either English Regency or French Regence, from around 1790-1830, ebony finish.  CHA CHING!!!!

    Nope - couldn't find a new retail chair anywhere near this style.  I even looked for reproductions.  Sigh.  Now that is to say I did not spend hundreds of hours looking either; just looked at the regular places that are my "go to" when shopping for "the look for less." 

    So, I rank my search for a chair an abject failure.  But one must have a chair for the secretary. So, here are few I found that I liked and thought were more or less within the "spirit" of the Inspiration Room as a whole.

    The following selections are from Home Decorators Online:

    Zoe arm chair (Home Decorators) $199 on sale and $50 standard shipping.  Upholstery options available, this is in grey velvet, a little bit of lux, with a sleek black finish on the wood (dimensions: 40" x 22"):

    If you want to add a definite animal print to the room (aside from the somewhat wimpy throw pillows in leopard or cheetah print on the love seat, see prior post), a twist on the Zoe arm chair is the Safari Siena Chair in a zebra print featured in either brown tones (with a walnut finished wood), or black and white (with ebony finished wood).  Here it is in black and white - and wouldn't this look fabulous with the Ballard Designs bonnet top secretary in distressed black finish:

    You can see a little bit more emphasis in the lines, a deeper seat, more substance in the frame, and there is a ribbed accent around the seat cushion frame.  This chair certainly makes a statement! No, this chair would definitely not go with the Carolina Accents Posy Dresser unless the posies were painted out. This chair is on sale right now for $215 plus shipping of $60.  Dimensions: 38"H x 24.5"W x 28"D -- so, it's back is more circular and a little shorter than the Zoe chair, but the seat is wider and deeper and the framing is more substantial. 

    Of interest:  As far as I can tell this identical chair is on sale right now at for less than $148 (regular prize $156.99) -- the Beauvoir Occasional Chair in Zebra

    Going in a somewhat different direction, I found this chair at Target:

    The Swoop upholstered slipper accent chair in Velvet Smoke.  Ooooohhhhh!  The price is right at $136.  So, if you wanted to stick with the blue accents in the Inspiration photo, this might be a way to do it without introducing it into the bedding.  It could go blue, or it could go grey.  Wood finish is espresso.  Dimensions:  33.5 " H x 24.0 " W x 28.0 " D.  Not exactly an arm chair, but not exactly a dinette chair, either.  Looks comfortable! 

    There is a somewhat similarly styled chair but with nailhead trim for about $30 more, and there is also a matching settee with nailhead trim.  No tufted back, but perhaps the two pieces together would make en suite and one would not have to shop around for a chair that would coordinate with a loveseat.  The chair and settee are part of the Swoop collection and come in slate (sounds rather like smoke velvet to me).  The settee is also available in black and white damask for the same price ($255) and there is also a matching chair.  Hmmm.... I am partial to black and white :)

    Going in yet a different direction again, there are tufted back occasional chairs that would tie into the tufted back love seats (Erin and Emma, see prior post).  Here is the Curves Hourglass Chair, not sure of the color -- it's not listed in the online advert!  It looks sort of a taupe, but it could be dark grey, too.  It's chenille fabric with espresso wood finish:

    It also comes in oyster and chocolate upholstery.  Price $150.  Dimensions: 33.5 " H x 25.5 " W x 29.0 " D.

    These are my choices for the look for less Inspiration Bedroom from Traditional Home.  If you are hankering for a similar look to the Inspiration photo, I hope you may have found something here that you can build upon - at a more reasonable price :) 

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