Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Master Bedroom, Cape Cod

Why is it that some rooms seem to come together quickly, while others take years of finding just the right mix of furniture and accessories?  While we had purchased our on home on Cape Cod twelve years ago, I am finally making some progress in decorating the bedroom.

While living in England, I became an admirer of Jane Churchill and her clean fresh looking designs.  I purchased one of her small paint pots, had the color matched in a paint shop and painted the room the color on the left.  Have you ever painted a room and knew from the moment you finished that it wasn't quite right?  I seem to do this more often than I want to admit.  My husband, of course, claims he can never see the difference in the color and thinks I'm crazy.   After all of the years of walking in this room thinking UGH!, I finally painted the room over in Benjamin Moore's Palladium Blue (color on left).  It is a little toned down from the Jane Churchill color and I feel so much better every time I walk in the room.  Since I do not like white ceilings as shown in this photo, I added a tint of the Palladium Blue to the white paint and you can see this tinted color in the first photo or the 6th photo on this post with the ceiling fan.  The striped fabric is by Nobilis.

My first purchase for the bedroom was this fabulous McGuire Rattan Target Headboard with three panels.  It is so nice to look at a piece of furniture twelve years after it's purchase and say to yourself "I really made the right choice - I love it as much as I did when I first saw it."  Unfortunately, that is not the case with all of my purchases over the years, especially purchases of new furniture I made 25 years ago.

Above the bed is an old round winnowing basket I found on the cape.

While I admired this small bamboo style chest with bun feet, it took me three years before I finally ordered it from Milling Road.    I loved the look of this piece and it's black top and round drawer pulls which accent the black round targets on the McGuire headboard.

While living in England, I really enjoyed shopping at all the beautiful decorating shops, the designer fabric stores (where you could pick up as many swatches of fabrics you would like), and the many fabulous lamp shops.  At one of my favorites, Besselink & Jones, I purchased this lamp with three graduated handblown spheres layered between rings of antique brass and nickel.   The handblown spheres remind me of old glass fishing floats.

On the left, is an old basket which serves as a home to a Norah Wellings mascot doll.  Norah Wellings became the chief doll designer at Chad Valley in 1919.  Seven years later, Norah, along with her brother, Leonard, started her own company and produced soft toys, dolls, and teddy bears.  The company became very successful selling to many of the upmarket stores including Harrods as Norah was known for producing only fine quality products.  Norah's motto was "Quality not Quantity".   The Norah Wellings' company also became well  known for their souvenier sailor dolls which were sold on almost all the ocean liners.  The hatbands on these sailor dolls would bear the ships name making it a great keepsake.   In January 1959, Leonard died and Norah continued to run the company until September when she decided to serve all of her employees a two weeks notice.  Norah did not want to sell her designs nor did she want someone to copy them.   Therefore, she created a huge bonfire burning everything including her tools, the designs, and all the unfinished dolls.  

The large antique cream colored barrel shaped jug holding the dried hydrangeas was another purchase in England.   When I go to antique shows and flea markets, I have a hard time walking away from any antique cream pottery with a barrel design.  I have large jugs, small jugs, foot baths, bowls, and creamers. While one voice in my head says "How much of this do you need?"  the other voice that I tend to listen to says "Just one more piece!"  Do you have this problem?  A definite symptom of being an antiqueaholic.

The small vintage deco turquoise vase is by McCoy, and the shell covered sphere was a gift from one of our daughters.  The old leather book (another one of those items I continue to purchase no matter how many I have) serves as a base for a photograph of our girls.

 I refused to get ceiling fans for years as they are usually an eye sore, so I sweated it out for seven years as we do not have air conditioning either.  I finally found a fan that I could live with.   This ceiling fan has bamboo style blades and a wicker design base.  It is the Shangri-La model  #F580-VR/BB by Minka-Aire.  Not only is this fan better looking than most, it does a great job cooling a room.

A view of the room from the opposite wall.

Since we have limited closet space in this home, I spent a great deal of time searching for a large chest to fit the space, and also work well with the McGuire headboard.  Last year, along with the bamboo small chest, I ordered this Tall Chest by Milling Road  #18-016-1.   On top of this tall chest is a fabulous painted antique French basket which has survived very well for it's years.  I'm sure someone else treasured this basket as much as I do as it doesn't have one split.

While living in England and purchasing furniture for our home at the cape, I think I was in a "Let's decorate every room with bamboo phase".  This beautiful cherry wood piece was irresistible, and could be displayed almost anywhere in a home.   While attending a DMG antique fair in Shepton Mallet, I found this fabulous vintage white painted wood lamp (actually one of a pair) with such a great shape.  Believe it or not, these were displayed with very large white lace linens draped over the shade which totally distracted from the wonderful lines of the lamp.  While this photo does not show it well, on the lower shelf of this table is an old wood trencher which holds old handblown glass fishing floats.  Another item that I keep purchasing no matter how many I have is beautiful old wood bowls and trenchers.

 On the left is a doll's wicker sofa.  A small antique French doll's basket with a leather handle is set on my two favorite books "Killer Stuff and Tons of Money" and "The Private House" by Rose Tarlow.  The beautiful tall cream vase with shells and the words "La Mare" is made in France.  This vase serves as a reminder of another one of my favorite stores, General Trading Company.  This shop located in Sloane Square in London carried many fabulous decorative accents, paper goods, and had a great cafe on it's lower level.   I was so disappointed on my last trip to London when I discovered this store went out of business.  The painting was a purchase of my husband's from a street vendor in Woods Hole.  Last summer, my husband and I rode our bikes along the Shining Sea Bike Path in Falmouth that ends in this charming little town which has a small area of vendors on the week end.

Last of all, I have to admit it, I am a recycle bag junkie.  This burlap bag with it's padded Tiffany blue handles and bold F&M lettering is my favorite.  Another purchase from where else, but London.  When returning to England last year, I discovered this bag when I stopped by one of my favorite shops, Fortnum & Mason.  I use recycle bags for everything from shopping, laundry, storing towels, etc.   This F&M bag sits in my bedroom filled with several issues of Veranda, House Beautiful, sunscreen, and a towel - ready for a trip to the beach.

While I feel like I have made some progress with my bedroom this summer, I still have things to add such as a small pillow for the bed, a bench for the foot of the bed, and a new throw.  For now, I feel good when I walk in the room as it feels serene and inviting to me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


While I wished I had my zoom camera to get a better shot of this kayak with all five passengers, I had to share it with you. Last weekend, as I was sitting at the end of the boardwalk at Gray's Beach in Yarmouthport, MA, this red kayak was slowly passing by at a distance.  Now, if you look closely, you will notice that the fourth passenger is a (very happy I'm sure) golden retriever.  I have to give this dad much credit as he does not look very comfortable  paddling along with his legs hanging over the sides of the kayak.   This family, with their much loved golden retriever, brought a smile to my face as we all do crazy things to include our dogs in our activities.

Gray's Beach is a great place to visit with it's very long boardwalk extending over the marsh.  It is  peaceful, naturally beautiful, and has a variety of wildlife.  You will often find children laying across the boardwalk hanging cotton string with a chicken wing tied to the end in hopes of catching a crab.

The tide is out in this photo, and you can walk or swim across the water to Chapin Beach on the other side of the dunes in the distance.

Riley, our adorable golden retriever and queen of our home, received some bad news last week.  While taking her for a swim at the beach last week, her favorite activity, I noticed she was limping and she resisted going up the two flights of stairs.  We took a trip to the vet who diagnosed  Riley with arthritis at eight years old.   Doesn't she look depressed in this photo?  Of course, I feel horrible and she manages to bring me to the treat jar more often.  I'm sure she has probably gained a few pounds as the doctor's instructions were no visits to the beach or walks for ten days.

Looking at the photo of the golden retriever on the kayak, I wonder if Riley would enjoy this ride.  What we do to keep our pets happy.  If you have a dog with arthritis, do you have any tips other than taking the very expensive Dasuquin pills that the doctor prescribed?