Friday, November 25, 2011

"Book Now" Guest Room

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel holiday of the year.  If you went away this weekend, where did you stay?  What made your stay more comfortable? In a hotel room, I appreciate a luggage rack

Porta Baggage Rack as shown on
and a tray with carafe and water glasses. 
However, when I am looking at lodging on-line, the decor is what makes or breaks my guest booking.  

Marcus and Anna have made the guest room in their stone cottage so inviting.  They converted a plain, awkwardly-arranged room into a room you'd want to book. When the house was on the market, stagers set a serving tray on the bed to welcome visitors.  Unfortunately, plain walls and awkwardly placed furniture were not all that inviting.  
Ideally, a bed should be placed opposite the entry to the room.  This allows the largest piece of furniture to be the room's focal point. In Marcus and Anna's stone cottage, a diminutive door shrank the face-wall until it couldn't accommodate a bed.

The solution to the dilemma is a tall headboard. By covering the tiny door, Anna was able to place her guest bed properly on the far wall.
Now, when guests see the gray wool headboard, matching duvet cover, and puffy pillows, they want to stay. The bedside tables and lamps add to the ambiance.

Across the room, a tall bookcase counter-balances the bed and stores some night-time reading.
An antique French colonial desk supplies a visitor with pen and paper.
The painting which set the room's color scheme is by Goxwa.  
Other niceties for welcoming guests are suggested by Carolyne Roehm, the taste-maker who writes a column for Veranda magazine.  She adds: tissues, an alarm clock, and a hot water bottle!  To check yourself against her list go to:

The stone cottage guest room checks almost all of the boxes for a room I'd book.  How about you?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Master Bedroom's Yin and Yang

A master bedroom is shared by a wife and a husband, the yin and the yang. Designing a room with a feminine and a masculine appeal is a challenge. However, rather than conflict, the two aesthetics can counterbalance leading to a more interesting interior.

Marcus and Anna's master bedroom is a prime example of how combining old and new, rounded and angular, dark and light, soft and hard results in a captivating retreat for both genders.
Anna's knack for combining opposites is obvious in their bedroom.  The two largest pieces of furniture--a contemporary a light-colored, fabric-backed square headboard on an angular bed-frame juxtaposes a mellow antique, dark-wood corner cupboard.
The cupboard holds pocketbooks and shoes.
The bed wall reveals several other contrasts.  Dark plays off light. Two black-lacquered, antique Asian bedside tables stand next to the bed which is dressed in a soft, down-filled white duvet and coverlet. Bed pillows repeat the contrast. Moreover, angular geometric pictures framed in dull industrial-metal contrast with curvy, shiny lamp bases.
Across the room, a contemporary chevron-patterned, bone mirror-frame leans against the wall above an antique dresser. Further, a vintage fan is balanced by modern bottles.
On the dresser, Anna layers a piece of dark slate beneath a shiny white-lacquered tray.  Atop the tray sits a smooth, white porcelain leaf next to a gray, knobby snail designed by Jonathan Adler.  What a fascinating vignette.

Finally, a dormer nook reveals gray linen Roman shades with a shiny metallic brocade motif and an antique chair topped with a contemporary pillow.
In a room as in marriage, the differences between women and men can create a dynamic whole.  Rather than conflict, the balanced opposites compliment each other.

Scripture sums it up, "Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him...So the Lord...made a woman and brought her to the man...Therefore, a man shall...hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:18, 22, 24).

Wouldn't you agree that Anna and Marcus' master bedroom illustrates the greater whole created by complimentary opposites?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Healthy Baby Dispels Clouds

This fall has been a blur without many posts.  First, came the house flood.  Then, came the birth of a new grandson which dispelled the rain clouds!  Who cares if your "stuff" is displaced, when a new healthy life breaks on the scene?  Truly, children are a gift from the Lord received with joy!
The day of his arrival, one great grandmother and both grandmothers entertained Will in the family waiting area.

The short couple of hours seems like an eternity, until we got the much anticipated text:  "Baby arrived.  All is well!"

Tears of joy filled our eyes. (If you remember, Rachel's first sonogram revealed a cystic hygroma on Nathan's head, neck, and back.  This finding can be highly indicative of chromosomal defects. Even though the cyst was never seen on subsequent sonograms, unspoken caution lurked in the background ( of springtime.html). Thankfully, relief and praise replaced our submerged fear.
The perfect little guy brings smiles to Rachel and Gigi's faces!
Nathan was loved from the start. His daddy and mama prepared for his coming by personalizing what had been Will's nursery.  They added a gunmetal chandelier and his name above the crib.

However, Rachel's biggest job was redecorating a big-boy room for Will John.  Since Curt played baseball all his life, Rachel chose this as the theme.  Besides, this motif can grow with the two-year-old.

After painting the room Benjamin Moore "Museum Piece" (50%), she purchased a large canvas from Michael's, covering it with white linen and attaching Curt's jersey, catcher's mask, and mitt.

Then she surrounded the display with a bat and balls, using holders from Restoration Hardware's children's division.  The lamp was ordered from Ballard Design, while the reading chair was purchased at TJ Max.  The gunmetal cafe chair at the desk came from Tolix, the book crate from Etsy, and the metal letters from Restoration Hardware.

On an adjacent wall, Rachel hung Curt's prize collection of George Brett metal newspaper galleys.

Finally, Will graduated to his "big-boy" bed, a daybed that Rachel slept on as a girl. (Bill and I purchased the French colonial antique on a Port-au-Prince street in the 1980's.)
To get into his bed, Will uses steps Rachel ordered unfinished from Etsy.  We stained them mahogany to match the bed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art posters above the bed are of famous baseball cards and were framed for Curt by his parents.

Can you see why the great grandpa, grandpas, and dad voted this their favorite room in the house?

Finally, Nathan's home-coming day arrived.  That morning the high risk obstetrician came for a final discharge visit.  She looked Nathan over, commenting, "The cyst must have been very tiny."

"No," Rachel replied; "actually, it was quite large from his head down his spine."

"Then we must be looking at a miracle," she responded!

How thankful we are for Nathan's good health!

From my perspective, life on earth doesn't get any better than this!  Nathan Curtis' healthy arrival certainly put our dislodgment in perspective.  A flooded home pales in comparison to Nathan's nine Apgar score! Won't you praise God with us?