A reader recently asked if there was any chance I would show the inside of our home..............all you had to do was ask. But there is two things you should know before you step into my home. One, I haven't changed a thing in the 11 years since we built our Jack Arnold home so if it looks at all outdated, you would be absolutely correct. Two, I took these photos with my iphone...........so they could probably look a bit brighter and better. I do have professional photos that were used years ago for publication but I kind of preferred this more informal look.........since I am opening the door so to speak. The grainy quality hides the dust and imperfections quite well too. Nevertheless, you are welcome to come in and take a peek.
One of the features I loved about French country design is what is referred to as a Keeping Room. It is a small sitting area attached to the kitchen and makes for a cosy spot and guarantees you always have company while tending to kitchen tasks. That chair on the left is where I sit and watch TV, you can't see it but there is a matching one for whoever plunks down and wants to chat. We caved last year and took down a lovely pair of framed prints and put up a big flat screen which everyone (but me) thought would wreck the room. I think it makes it downright perfect. The rule is whoever is doing the cooking gets to pick the programming. So far, this one only plays Oprah, HBO, and sappy movies.
The other thing you might notice about my home is that I don't seem to have any good area rugs over all that limestone tile. Our adorable Shih Tzu that we had for 14 years never quite got housebroken perfectly (totally my fault) but we did accommodate his one flaw. Just in case. With another new puppy soon on it's way, I think I best leave the rug purchase to a later date (just in case). This is our "traffic" hallway which leads to the kitchen on the right, the dining room on the left, and the living room straight ahead. Our house looks like a ranch from the outside but there is a second floor to the rear where our son has his rooms and a guest room. Our bedroom is on the main floor on the other side of the living room. That is where the largest TV resides, the one with TSN and constant channel clicking.
Our dining room is probably our favourite room and I admit a bit under-used at the moment. One of my favorites pieces is our dining room table which is a platinum finish with antique mirror. It reflects the crystal and lighting so warmly that I find I rarely use table cloths. It also has two extensions which I use for holidays.
Though the scale of this room is larger than it appears, these mirrors with their ornate tops are approximately 6' tall and became one of my signature pieces for traditional interiors. Everyone wanted one. With the symmetrical pairing on each end the pair beautifully reflects the chandelier and makes for a sparkly room when the candles are lit and the wine poured.
Our chocolate brown velvet dining chairs are quite generous and high-backed. I never could understand the use of delicate chairs in a dining room, they make me all fidgety. I like something cushy so you can comfortably settle in for the evening, you know keep serving the food and pouring the wine. I really do have to start cooking and entertaining again.
Though this is our front entry, it is quite understated in size and demeanor which is typical for French Country design. We have another entry which everyone prefers so this tapestry goes unnoticed for the most part. Too bad, it was one we found in a Vermont barn many years ago and was one of those great finds you come across now and again.
I have some new plans for our Living Room this year besides finally adding a gorgeous area rug. I think I might re-upholster the sofa in a rich jade embossed velvet, something antique looking and replace that large oil painting with something more modern. I have been lusting after a large, distressed wood library table so I can can lay out all my books and reading material across from the sofa, pretend I am going to study history (I am someday). And a huge gorgeous lamp with a red fabric shade. A winter spot. Maybe plan some company menus?
If you see some gaps in furniture it is because I "borrowed" a few things for the POP UP store. Off went my leopard begere chair and a few other smaller things. So this room looks a bit overly-monochromatic and looks like the cocktail table needs a bit of re-arranging as well. My main area of design was new home building and I loved seeing a home being built, any size, any shape, any style. Our Jack Arnold French Country home is well-used and well- loved. You can't ask for much more than that.
Everyone has a special thing in their homes. For me, it is this 27-yr. old photograph of our son and his new dad. Besides the cute red hair, the sweet little rattle, the little sport team shirt (already) the photo has a most precious detail that a close-up would show you. Droplets of drool are about ready to fall off his bottom lip. Hey, and his father is looking pretty good too! Retro mustache and all. This photograph always makes me smile.
All photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life
Bottom photo by friend Charlie Morgan