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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Look for Less: Ballard Designs' Emerson Kitchen

Ballard Design's Emerson Kitchen is beautiful, and real.  It's not so grand it would only look good in a big mansion; it's not so humble that it wouldn't look good in a standard dinette area right off a 1990's style kitchen area like mine, separated from the dining area only by a peninsula:



This is the inspiration photo.   It is designed to fit into a smaller area -- like my dinette area, which has a solid wall (with thermostat) on the east side, a large opening to the family room on the south side, the patio door on the west side, and the kitchen separated from the dining area only by a peninsula on the north side and open walkway from a short hall on the east side.  The dinette space is roughly 11 feet  wide (from nearly wall-to-wall entry into the family room on the south to peninsula and walkway into kitchen on the north) x 11 feet 9 inches deep.

My online shopping expedition in the hopes of finding this look for less, will consist of finding less expensive substitutes for:

(1)  The Paulette Server, $1,099

(2)  Arturo 6-Light Round Candelier, $349

(3)  Augusta Five-piece Dining Set (round pedestal table plus chairs), $899

Hmmm, where does the "Emerson" name come from???  Well, lo and behold, it comes from the RUG, which is no longer available.  LOL!  Size and price details are no longer available.  Here is the info available on the rug:

(4)  The deep, rich colors give it a dressy, sophisticated attitude. Weave is tightly done to bring out the fine Persian design. Hand hooked of 100% wool in dark chocolate, pewter and butterscotch. Cotton canvas backed for added durability. Use of a Rug Pad is recommended. 

I can add that it was advertised as imported from India.  I'd much prefer to buy an imported item from India rather than China. 

The description for the rug gave me my color cues because my color take after looking at the inspiration photo was that the rug was DARK GREY or BLACK.  Hmmm, am I now going color-blind ?!?

Left to guess at size and price! I will be looking at 6 or 7 x 9 and 8 x 10.  As it was made out of 100% wool, I estimate the original price would have been between $500 and $700 on the lower range for Ballard Designs. 

I have to say, though, that this room is basically SO devoid of color (all the basic and primary elements many of the acessories are light to mid-tone neutrals, although the wood floor appears to be a darker tone) that just about any saturated (deep) color of rug would not only anchor the table and chairs but also provide the necessary contrast to make the room successful as it was designed for the Ballard Designs website.  That is why the little punches of black, green (from the Christmas foilage) and the "yellowy/goldy" colors stand out so much.  I understand the lesson, but I don't think I would want this particularly decorated room in my house year around!

So, onward to shopping online! 

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