Sunday, December 16, 2007

That's it!

Well, I have had just about enough about me! I do want to share with you the above photo of an old sign I bought once at the Heart of Country Antique Show in Nashville. I think it must have come from an old furniture store. I love what it says FIRST FURNISH YOUR HOME......IT TELLS WHAT YOU ARE Isn't that great! Just one of my quirky finds that I HAD to buy and then figure out what to do with.......

I was reading from "Dwellings" by Stephen Sills and James Huniford this morning and I quote "We all have a broad array of objects,periods, styles, and colors that we like and respond to, but selecting those we really want to live with on a daily basis, and to spend time and money on, is a difficult process."

I'll say!! This may well be my greatest decorating issue - I like way too many things and although, I do believe that our homes should reflect WHO we are - and that some rooms that are strictly put together by designers look exactly that way - the whole process of focus and editing is very hard for me. My love of country and folk art, in a great, clean space, draws me to Karin Blake, and my tendency towards warm, cozy and fabulous (and dogs!)makes me want to visit Bunny Williams. Did I mention Cindy Smith in Charlotte or Charlotte Moss in NYC? Do you think I have a problem? Oh! and I love the work of Mariette Himes Gomez and Susan Zises Green........and I would move right into Kathryn Ireland's California-Spanish house!

So, my design and decorating journey continues............I hope to share something totally new and interesting from the hill country with you later this week while I continue to learn from all of you talented bloggers who have welcomed me so warmly! Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Step Outside - A view from the balcony

I think this view from the upstairs balcony is especially pretty. It opens from two of the three bedrooms upstairs, over the kitchen and family room.
This shot give a great view of the house design discussed earlier- the "main" portion of the house seen across the red standing seam roof and the other part appearing to have been built to join later.
..........and this one is the best to show the actual design of the house. To the right is the master bedroom "wing" shown previously.Over to the far left, you can see the two story section of the house and the balcony. The upstairs has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. I love this view. While it is definitely a hill country house, I sometimes think from back here it looks like an old Southern home in any number of different places!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Getting Personal..........Master Bedroom

Walking back through the kitchen , dining room and great room,at the far other end of the house, we come to our master bedroom. It is a wonderful, light filled space that has French doors opening to the backyard. It may be my favorite room of the house. I so enjoyed reading about master bedrooms from Patricia Gray ( and wish I were more of an "intentional decorator", with one of those seriously pulled together bedrooms.

However, I am an emotional shopper and decorator. I buy what I love and then just throw it all together. Some days I am confident that this style of decorating is right for me, and other times I feel like I am so random it is scary! Some examples are: the rug is from an auction in Maine a few summers ago, the lamps are from Toby West in Highlands,North Carolina (love NC!!) , the cottage , "folky" chest is from a shop in Comfort, Texas where I was in a group shop once upon a time and fell in love with it before the dealer could even get it into her space, the tramp art frames are part of a collection accumulated over many years, and the red leather chairs are from Pottery Barn.........etc etc etc.......the list goes on! Oh well............I keep trying to be more focused in my decorating, but I am not sure it is "me"!

The master bath is a mix of travertine tile and a yummy, apricot color marble that I love. Of course I have to "funk it up" a bit with leopard towels from Pottery Barn, and my collection of shells from many much loved beach trips to Port Aransas and South Padre Island!!

TV/family Room

This is a cozy room opposite the breakfast room, down a short hallway from the kitchen. We gather in here to watch the news and movies. Sometimes I go into the great room and sit by the fire if I want to get away from the television! The cabinetry is the same long leaf pine seen throughout the house, and the ceiling is old reclaimed bead board. This room opens to a screened in porch where we have dinner in the spring and summer. If I were to build a house I would find a happy medium between this room and the great room. While the larger room is a nice space when we have company, I prefer the smaller more intimate feeling of this room - if only it had the fireplace!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Come in to the Breakfast Room

If you were to step outside from the dining room, you could enter another part of the house from the porch that wraps around the front of the house.
The open door leads to the wrap around porch that was so common to the old German houses. The porch you see runs along the outside of the dining room and the door at the end opens to the living room.
We were not the original owners of this house. The people who built it wanted an old fashioned breakfast room. The window looks out onto the front yard and catches beautiful morning sunlight. I have some of my collection of old Mexican pottery on the plate shelf on the far wall. I found most of the pieces in the U.S. at estate sales and auctions. It is not as easy to find anymore as it has become more popular to collect. Many people used to buy the pottery on their vacations to Mexico and bring it home as souvenirs. There are many patterns specific to different regions of Mexico. On the wall above the window I have more of the Gorky Gonzalez pottery collection.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Looking towards the dining room and.................
coming in from the dining room......... you see more of the same rock work as in the dining room.Also, notice the use of the long leaf pine in here. I collect old Mexican pottery as well as that of contemporary potter, Gorky Gonzalez. I have been picking up Gorky pieces since the early 70s. I bought my first plates in Nuevo Laredo, but since then have been to his studio in Guanajuato, Mexico, near San Miguel de Allende, several times. It is always fun to go to the original source for things we collect. Gorky has numerous artisans working for him now, but I still love his pottery!

Moving along........the dining room

This picture makes the room look longer than it actually is, but I like that you can see that both sides of the room are wonderful windows and French doors. Of course, I had to add some color - I just can't help myself. Local artist, Tom Proch, painted the bead board ceiling a sort of aged tobacco and toned down my wild Mexican blue doors and windows with the same smoky, "old" glaze.
If you look closely you can see that the rock work is laid in a different pattern here. The rocks are cut and laid in a more uniform manner. The rock work in the "first" part of the house is much more random.This room leads into the kitchen, where the stone walls continue in the same pattern. I love interior stone!

Come on in!

This is the entry hall of our home. The mirror frames are from an old church in La Grange, Texas. The piano was my grandmother's, and the painted cottage chest from new England has a wonderful marble top.
All of the doors and cabinetry in the house are constructed of old long leaf pine, a very popular building material in hill country homes.

This is the view from the entry into the living room. Notice the rock work pattern in this main part of the house. When you see the dining room you will notice how the pattern is different. This was done to look like the houses that the Germans might have built in the past - as if my dining room was a later addition.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Our Hill Country Home

There we go! Finally, I got one photo loaded correctly! I inherited my daughter's computer and have been sifting through high school party shots trying to organize my pictures and separate them from hers!

This is the front of our home. It was designed by local architect Randy Stehling and built in 2001 by Dartez Brothers Construction of Fredericksburg, Texas. It was designed to look like the old German homes built in and around the hill country. The Germans would build a main house and then as their needs changed or their families grew, they would add on to the original structure.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Loading Photos 101

Today is my first day - I am having trouble with loading photos to my new blog. I have some great ones of my hill country house already on my computer, but when I load them to my blog, they look fuzzy - any help out there?


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