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

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Look for Less: Traditional Home Bedroom in Grey by Barbara Westbrook

Hola darlings!

Today is the NFC Championship game and I'm rooting AGAINST the 49ers.  Boo hiss boo!

Show house bedroom, Atlanta Showhouse, by Barbara Westbrook.

I felt in the mood to do a new "Look for Less!"  I visited Traditional Home online where I happened across this grey bedroom and fell in love.  What IS it with me and bedrooms???  Guess I'm just an unabashedly incurable romantic :)

Let's get to that look for less, heh heh!

The console table -- hey, I've got one in a gorgeous curvy Queen Anne style in a deep rich burnished cherry finish, bought from my sister Yvonne when they sold up their home here and moved up north.  It has three small drawers for storage, too!  Her dimensions are about 27" tall x 47" wide x 16" deep.




Is that cheating?  Well, I don't have a matching one for the other side of the bed -- but then, I have no idea what the designer has on the other side of the bed except that lamp on the right has to be sitting on something!  Just don't know what it is.   Here are some possibilities that won't break the bank and you could even buy two (budget allowing), one for either side of the bed:

From Wayfair.com, the International Caravan Carved Wood One Drawer Console Table:



Isn't she gorgeous! It might actually be a better fit in my bedroom, which isn't very large at 11' x 14'.  Hmm...  There was not an adequate description at Wayfair, so I cannot tell you what she is made out of or her dimensions, only that she is about 24 1/2" tall, and her price is - get this - $139.49 with free shipping!

If you want something a little bit longer and taller, International Caravan has options. Check this one out:



This is the International Caravan Carved Wood Vanity Console Table.  It is made out of "premium China hardwood" -- whatever that means -- and dimensions are 31" H x 37" W x 16" D."  The price is $180.14 plus free shipping. 

Another offering from Wayfair, this one without drawers, is the International Caravan Console Table



I don't know what the dimensions are, alas.  The price is $168.05 and free shipping. 

Moving on to the bed -- the designer chose what looks like a black metal four poster, so I went shopping for Full or Queen size online:

I found two beds like this at Amazon ranging from $268 to $270:



The bed above is the closest I could find in a relatively short search that I think is a good resembler (is that  a word?) to the original. 

Amazon offers even less expensive black metal canopy beds, some for under $100.  The style of the headboard and footboard is a lot different, but the essence of the bed is still there, so for a budget-conscious choice a bed like the one shown below could be an option.  This bed is a "Black Metal Sunburst Canopy Bed" by Foundry, full size, for $93.25.  It includes the headboard, footboard and canopy, but a frame must be purchased separately.  Amazon sells a full-size sturdy bed frame (to which the headboard and footboard are attached) for between $45 and $50, so total cost (plus whatever shipping would be) would be under $150. 



How about that chaise longue in the designer bedroom, woo woo!  Again, I found a budget option at Amazon.  This is a "Tufted Fainting Sofa" (love that name) by Skyline Furniture, in light grey velvet, priced at $438.99 plus free shipping:



It seems strange to me to pay more for a chaise longue than a bed.  Finding grey velvet, or even grey upholstery, was an issue. Lots of brown, tan, some black, and even a few cream colored, some in cotton, some in a linen-like fabric or microfiber; I found less expensive options at Target online and Amazon, but not in grey velvet. Cream colored could work; from experience, I would not choose a black upholstery, unless you're willing to vacuum it once a week (I'm not). 

The bullseye or convex mirrors -- Westbrook used seven mirrors in her design:  one large or possibly extra-large, one large (or perhaps a medium size, it is hard to tell from the perspective of the photo), two small, and three or possibly four medium size.  Ballard Designs offers very nice convex mirrors that are more modestly priced than other options I've seen online costing several hundred each, but to put up seven mirrors would be expensive.  An extra-large Alastair convex mirror is $199; a large is $129; medium mirrors are $69 each; and small mirrors are $49.  Alastair convex mirrors are crafted of metal with an antique bronze finish and antique gold trim:



A possible alternative might be to use the Portia convex mirror set available at Home Decorators.  The set contains twelve eight-inch diameter mirrors in an antique silver finish and would certainly make a statement on a wall above the headboard! The Portia mirror set is $214 plus $6 for standard shipping:



You could choose to go with less expensive round mirror options.  Target's Threshold collection offers a set of five - 10-1/2 inch diameter black framed mirrors (not convex mirrors) for $22.49:



You could elect to use fewer convex mirrors.  Or perhaps mix an eclectic variety of dark-framed mirrors (convex and/or not convex) in different sizes.  Or, you could go shopping at Amazon for convex security mirrors.  They're not beautifully framed and some are acrylic (less expensive than glass).  I prefer the look of glass so here are some options for glass security convex mirrors available at Amazon:

Circular Glass Convex Mirror, 5 Inch Diameter, Indoor Use: $14.21
N12 Circular Glass Indoor Convex Security Mirror (12 inch diameter): $30.43 plus shipping; from $18.50 plus shipping at other vendors
N18 160 degree Convex Security Mirror, 18 in. dia.:$32.99 plus $8 shipping

For lamps, I am offering two selections I found at Amazon.  Both lamps are sold in pairs and offer the crystal look with a drum style shade.  It's difficult to shop for lamps (unless I happen to stumble upon a low-cost nearly exact-match) because I allow much more variance in style for myself than my twelve readers might be comfortable with, and selecting lamps, as in selecting artwork, really comes down to distinct tastes, styles, and sensibilities.  There is rarely a right or a wrong when it comes to items like these. 

These are the Crystal Table Lamp Set by Design Classics, shipped from Destination Lighting Showroom.  They are 27-1/2 inches tall (including shade) in a classic stacked ball style with chrome trim/fittings.  The shade is 12" diameter on top, 15" diameter on the bottom, and is 10" length.  Price is $99.98 for a pair, plus shipping:


I also selected the Safavieh Lighting Collection Jacob Curved Glass Table Lamp, a pair for $116.99 and free shipping if you are a member of Amazon Prime.  The lamp is 25" tall, the shade is white linen, 15" diameter:



Unless one has a lot of cash saved up, a room like this one is built up over time.  Those luscious curtains, for instance.  They look like silk. Well, silk won't ever be in my budget, but the white sheers or semi-sheers underneath are, and they can be purchased inexpensively at many bricks 'n mortar and online vendors.  Grey silk look-alikes, full length, with the added bonus of being machine washable, here are some possible options:

This is the Silver Dupioni Grommet Curtain from Cost Plus World Market. The 96" length x 48" wide is $26.99 per panel, machine washable, grommet top, lined:



An alternative for curtain panels is from the Threshold line at Target, Faux Silk Window Panel, 95" x 54", $24.99 per panel, in "gray," machine washable, rod pocket top, lined:

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