Friday, November 26, 2010

a warm my home

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 One, I haven't changed a thing in the 11 years since we built our Jack Arnold home so if it looks at all outdated, you would be absolutely correct.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 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


  1. Thank you welcoming us into your home. I almost feel as if i were back home, in France.Your home is so inviting, elegant, warm, the furniture a perfect compliment to the architecture.

  2. A beautiful warm and welcoming home ! Just like you ... thank you for inviting us in .

  3. your home is GORGEOUS! and i adore that picture of your boy and his daddy. thanks for the tour!

  4. Sande, somehow it looks just as I imagined it would - so tastefully decorated and elegant - just like you.
    Thanks for opening your home to us.
    Have a beautiful weekend~~

  5. Stunning. Warm, welcoming, cozy and perfect, thank you so much for inviting us in, xo

  6. Dearest Sande,

    Why state that your home might look 'all outdated'? There is a difference in timeless elegance and 'trying' to have an updated look! Your nest reveals clearly your marks as a professional interior designer, as you came across numerous items that you loved instantly and wanted to 'adopt' for yourself.
    For me the most warm and cozy photos are number three and the last one! Of course the final one is from the same spot where photo # three comes from. That is the most pure 'Sande-style', aside from interior design.
    Great home design you used.
    Our home of 20 years is just designed by my husband and the interior reflects us as we both have had a chance to look all over the world and find our treasures. Will show the interior later.
    Too busy right now...

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Mariette's Back to Basics

  7. God bless you, Sande.

    Fun to peek about and see your home.
    d from home haven

  8. You have a very beautiful home Sande, warm and inviting. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. Love the red walls in your dining room.



  9. Your home is exquisite and elegant like you but what I love best is that photograph of your Son and his Dad♥

  10. I have been following your blog for a while, and really enjoy it. Your home looks gracious and elegant...I love the secretary in one of the photos.

  11. Sande,
    Your home is lovely and homey! There is an inviting sense and I like that.

  12. Sande , thank you for inviting us inside your home. Beautifully done, it is classic and elegant, definitely not dated. We are currently renovating ... and hubby has the idea of doing limstone throughout .. how do you find it works? and is there anything you would suggest, if you were doing the floors again? xo HHL

  13. What an absolutely inviting and "do come and chat for a while" home you have created. Dated? Nuh - that kind of style is never in or out of fashion, it certainly doesn't look like it is frozen in a time warp. (Well, apart from that fabulous moustache, that is. Will they come back into fashion, do you think???) I did not know about a "keeping room" but will buzz off now to research them - what a fabulous idea for keeping guests a bit more comfortable than perched on kitchen stools.

  14. Sande, warm and inviting as you are. Dated, you should see my kitchen, original to the house! We are in the midst of the renovation. By the time we are done it will probably look dated :) ha ha,
    Be well and love that photo of your son and moustache'd man.

  15. Your home has such warmth and ambience, Sande! What a perfect backdrop for celebrating the holidays. Hope you are well! xo

  16. Oh Sande, your home is just beautiful!

    It has such an elegant, careful touch, yet is completely inviting—every single space. I feel like I'm walking through, and believe me, it is a lovely tour. You have such great taste in all you do, it is not surprising that your home is just as lovely... and Jack is one of my favorite architects! We have some of his portfolios and I love to look through them :)

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend, xoxo

  17. Dear Sande~
    How classy & rich, warm & inviting!! May I please send my friend Jacqueline over to photo for the magazine? Your home looks just like you! So Stunning.
    Hugs always~

  18. Sande,
    Thank you for the tour. I think you home is lovely and more timeless then dated as you describe. I especially like the dining table.

  19. Sande your home is as warm, elegant and lovely as you are my dear. It is not out dated because you have timeless elegance design, that will never be out!!! Thank you so much for inviting us inside your beautiful home,kathysue

  20. Love your home...not dated at all, in fact it's so lovely and really warm!

  21. Sande,
    A home is a reflection of the owner and yours conveys beauty and a timeless quality of elegance. It is anything but dated - it reflects a love of family. You have painted a portrait of yourself with these photos and they reveal that you are beautiful inside and out!

  22. Sande,
    thank you so much for allowing me to walk through your home and admire the beauty that you surrounded yourself with.
    God bless you and yours.

  23. Sande- Your home is so so lovely - it looks just as I woul dhave imagined it - it seems to suit the YOU that I have imagined! Stunning~~

    The photo of your little boy is absolutely priceless!


  24. Thanks so much for letting us in! Your home is both beautiful and also warm!

  25. What a lovely surprise to come over for a visit and being invited inside your beautiful home!
    It's gorgeous, just like you. It reminds me a lot of my brother's home... similar in style.
    I love how you took the photos with your iphone, instead of showing us the professional ones. Just like you, elegant yet approachable and ever so lovely!!
    I'm so glad someone asked you to show us your abode because now we can all picture you there doing your thing :)
    When do we get to see your newly renovated gift wrapping room?
    Much love to you this holiday season!!!

  26. Sande, I would much rather be there in person!! One day....
    But this was the next best thing....xv

  27. How absolutely gorgeous. For me, you have managed to do something I rarely see outside of France, you have pulled off the cozy, perfection of "imperfection" in the sense one could imagine living in your home. It is beautiful and welcoming, not stated and icy. (It's the same way chic Frenchwomen dress -- comfortably chic, enviable.)

    Gorgeous picture of you btw.


  28. Your home is gorgeous. Really. I have always admired Jack Arnold homes. And yours is so warm and inviting.

  29. Your home is so lovely, very warm and welcoming but not one bit dated as good taste never is! I love your blog.
    If you have time maybe you could pop over and see my post, it is of my red lacquered office with a lot of French detail I think you may like it.
    Have a nice evening.

  30. LOVE the wall colour in your dining room. Yum!

  31. Sande you are so special and so is your home. I could plunk down in your keeping room for hours on end and enjoy every minute just being with you. Inviting you over for a casual dinner at a table that my Taylor set this weekend.
    Hope you have your feet up and are enjoying a warm & cozy evening.
    Lot's of xoxo

  32. Oh Sande you know what stood out to is just so warm, friendly and stylish like you. I just adore your taste and everything really. What a beautiful home...and I just melted at the last wonder that makes you smile.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  33. Gorgeous and straight out of a magazine, just as expected. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Your home is gorgeous and that photo makes my heart go pitter pat - what a sweet little baby and captured memory.

  35. Sande your home is so lovely and inviting that it reflects you as I always had imagined. Thank you for sharing all with us.....oh, and thank you for the {in treatment} it's good.

  36. A lovely warm home you love - what more can there be in the place that draws you in? A beautiful thing is a treasure when it means something to you, and it is evident your home is the place you love the most. Thank you for the tour; it is as it should be and I am glad you shared it.

  37. Thank you, for the invite! Great design is timeless and always envogue! Given the option, I can not imagine what you would change. Nothing could be more charming, enlightened nor enhancing, than your current decor. It is quite an achievement to balance interior design and architecture, especially in a manner that appears so effortless! Your home exemplifies that balance.


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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