Monday, November 23, 2015

Making The Most Of Small House Living

I was going to title this post "The Inner Sanctum," which is the way I really feel about the master bedroom. But it is also a somewhat shared space in our home, and the room is right next to our front door.

You might get a sense (above) of a sort of vestibule entry to this room, and that little space does offer a feeling of privacy. In addition, I have incorporated a substantial wood screen/ room divider. We have several in our home, and I don't know how a small house can function without them!

I have shared an occasional peek into this room before, but we recently inherited a beautiful little bedside chest that we wanted for this room, and other small changes. The tall covered bookcase went to my son's apartment, and the small dresser took its place. I also moved the mirror (barely seen on the right), to take the place of the frame and floral watercolor that was placed at the center.

The little chest always stood in my mother-in-law's' guest room when we visited her. With her recent passing, it is a nice reminder of our many lovely visits together over the years.

But finding more livable space is what is on my mind. We had a local family Thanksgiving dinner just last night (we travel to more family for the actual holiday this year), and it's not the first time I have used this room as an annex to the living room, which is just outside the door. I send kids in here to pile on the bed for TV and games when the house is full so that the adults can be comfortable in the small living room. (There is no "bonus" room!) The youngsters always think they are being offered something special. Sometimes the little ones drop off to sleep.

Last night, the oldest picked this comfy chair with the power cord nearby for his I-phone. Everybody is happy! But it is also a great personal retreat for me for reading or blogging, (or de-stressing) when the house is full.

I have recently really worked at de-junking this room. All  the odds and ends that don't fit anywhere else when guests come get stashed in here at the last minute, and then take up residence. (The framed pictures leaning against the fireplace, for instance.) And yes! Having a bedroom fireplace is wonderfully romantic and cozy on a wintry day. And I have just claimed this room as a work space, 

The large screen hides everything stowed behind it, but it even has a third panel that can be swung out if needed! And just what is hidden away behind???

The little secretary desk and file cabinet used to do business behind the checkout counter in the old Cabin & Cottage shop. Perfect for a tiny bedroom corner! The vintage curtain conceals suitcases for more storage.

Most of the junky stuff is still hidden behind the screen, and I often cover the rest of the office clutter with pretty linen. I want to minimize the business end in this restful space, since it is a bedroom after all! The covers also maintain my privacy from the occasional visitors.

This beautiful linen piece is a souvenir from a trip to Italy.

Maybe you noticed my best dolly girls are also all here! The grandgirls play with these under supervision. They are already mostly dressed for the holidays.

So now you know the rest of the story!

As you can see, little touches of Christmas are beginning to appear. Such an exciting time of year!

Happy Thanksgiving week!
Be safe!
Be happy!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit!


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Monday, November 16, 2015

Gearing Up

It's time to start polishing up a few things for the upcoming holiday, but I find that more and more I like my silver with a little tarnish.

The items put to actual use on the table will be given a soft gleam. The silver gravy dish and the flatware, for instance.

But a few others used merely for decoration will carry their muted amber and russet tones.

I love silverplated pieces with monograms the best. Such a mystery about them. But also the varied fonts can be so interesting.

I like the heft of the weightier vessels, and the intricate designs, and the romantic look of a collection of silver flickering in candlelight.

I tend to have too much of tarnished silver peeking out of boxes, drawers, and cupboards. I want to present it for sale all polished up and gleaming, I tell myself. But it is labour intensive and the last thing I ever get around to doing. 

And it is often just too big a task deciding what to part with, and what to keep! This old creamer is never used for cream anymore these days, but wouldn't it be wonderful for holding extra spoons or sauce on a Thanksgiving table?

Or for pretending to be Lady Astor for a day? (Some days call for that.)

The recent news and gloomy afternoons have put me in a funk. One dark day can energize me, but more than that makes me eat and yawn too much. This is sunny New Mexico after all! And it's time for gearing up!

Time to select and ready the linen for the table. . . . 

But my guests will like my new old shakers well enough just as they are.

Really, can one ever have too large a rugged shaker collection all lined up like so many rooks and pawns?

and hinting of some other life so much more exotic?

Musing is much more gratifying than blackening my hands with silver polish! Maybe I will go back to reading my novel for awhile, while waiting for the sun to come out again. (See what I mean?) 

Hoping for brighter days ahead!
And wishing for a good week ahead for you!


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Monday, November 9, 2015

Cupboard Secrets

Truth be told, I think the secrets are all out! My old English cupboard has little mystery left in it. It was one of the very first things I blogged about years ago, and it has taken on a few different looks over the seasons and years. But mostly subtle ones.

My relationship with this piece of my life is both delicately complex and understated. The very definition of subtle.

I don't make too many bold strokes on these shelves. The quiet colors of nature feed and soothe me. I feel most comfortable with the familiar, the tried and true, and the intimate friendliness between me and my sideboard. (I love this mix of both real and faux in these acorns.) 

A storybook cupboard is iconic to cottage life. Can you have a little cottage without one? Not only is it all about small spaces and cramped storage, but it is about the inner life of the owner. What does one hold on to? What does one let go when there is only a wee bit of room left to work with?

There is the chapter on my favorite laces.

And a page for small new narratives to tuck into the story.

Like these soft and silent forest enchantments. . . .

My wooden shelves are only a bigger version of the shoebox housed under the bed of childhood. A collection of shiny objects and found treasures. And of maybe no longer so secret desires.

If I may not take hold of a Toad Hall mansion, I can have the illusion of Mole End close to my heart! (*smile here*) And why not?

I keep tucking in twigs and ideas here and there, and fill in the little spaces with the current season.  

As my collections grow and change. . . .

The tale weaves on with every new object set next to the old.

This year I found these sweet little putz cottages to add to my fancies. (at Michael's craft store) I like how they can be put up in November and stay all through winter.

It may be all the twinkling snow that we will see here over the season!

It is the very kind of small happiness that one can sneak into an ordinary day.

Like a little whispered secret between special friends. . . .

What is your personal equivalent to the secret shoe box under the bed? It's funny how all my children are split fifty-fifty on how they are either collectors or not. Some of us just have a bigger need for fairy tales I guess! Either way, I hope it is an enchanting time of year for you!

Have a great weekend ahead!


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