Laurel, Mississippi – America’s New Home Town

During quarantine, the HGTV show, “Home Town” has been my favorite source of entertainment. It has uplifted my spirits and made me laugh in a dark time. I imagine a lot of the residents of Laurel feel the same way.

America’s New Home Town

Laurel MS Mercantile

In 2000 my family moved to Gulfport, MS. On several occasions I drove north through Laurel, MS on my way home to Birmingham, AL. I always thought it had such a pretty name. But, from the interstate, it was a disappointment. It looked to be in poor shape. Old buildings either condemned or needing to be.

One night after another day of bad news in the year 2020, I switch the channel to HGTV and found the sweet smile of Erin Napier as she added a swing to a front porch. What a delight to think of a time when I used to sit on a swing on my grandmother’s front porch, laughing and visiting with my cousins. A much happier time, indeed. I put the remote away and continued to watch. Soon I discovered that the swing hung on a sweet little house in Laurel, MS. The next episode started with the introduction of the Blackledge house, I think. The main thing I remember was that the house had a family name.

As most of you know, I lost my daddy this year. One of the things we loved to do together occasionally was to drive to his hometown of Ragland, Alabama. As we drove through the country, Daddy would point out houses as the “Harris house” or the “Davis or Smith” house. It was such a sweet thought to know that he knew the people who lived there. He usually had a story to tell about the family. Some good. Some not so good.

The Nash House

Ragland-Nash-Home

Then we would round a curve and his “ole homestead” would appear. A small plot of land with a garden, a house with a front porch and stories that held some good and some not so good memories. In his day, it was the Nash house. The house where Ruby grew up, Harold died and Irving loved his invalid mother. The land where Andrew, his father, planted corn and tomatoes for his family. I wish now that I’d ask Daddy to give me more details of those stories. It’s not quite enough now to just have the facts. I wish I’d ask him about how his brother Harold died. I’d love to know more of his memories of his childhood in the Nash house. That’s what caught my attention on Home Town that night. Ben and Erin knew the people who lived in Laurel, MS. It wasn’t a town they passed on the interstate.

Episode after episode showed the rebirth of a little town I’d driven past for 3 years, thinking it might not be there much longer. I’m glad I was wrong about Laurel. I’m relieved that the town has been brought back to life. And I’m glad I lived in Gulfport for those 3 years. I met some of my best lifelong friends in Mississippi. I’m also glad that each renovation ended with the house being renamed with the family name of the new homeowners.

Home Town Takeover in Wetumpka, AL

There’s a small town in Alabama now that some may have driven through thinking it had little hope of making it. Well, Erin and Ben Napier were having no part of that “stinkin thinkin!” After 1000’s of cities entered for a chance to win a “takeover”, Wetumpka AL was chosen for the shows’ 2021 season. The whole town gets a makeover after the cast and crew of Home Town move in. I can’t wait to see what they do!

Wetumpka, AL - America's Newest Home Town

Guaranteed Rainbow in an Umbrella

Rainbow in an Umbrella

A bright color palette is cheerful. A rainbow in an umbrella is also cheerful and a cute play on “words?”

I like having neutral walls and furniture so that my art can be the focal point. Here’s a look at using vibrant colors on Day 19 of 31 Days of Decorating Tabletops.

Curved Sofa
Our curved sofa was purchased at consignment shop. I loved the shape, the neutral tones and the black wood.

Oval Back Chairs
Gold fabric on these oval-shaped back chairs was irresistible. The shape of the chairs with the wide seats and curved arms mirror the curve in the sofa.

Peter Max over the Mantel
Peter Max’s “Umbrella Man” is the inspiration for this room. The color on the mantel and in the bookcases bring out the vibrancy of this painting.

TV and Bookcase

Colored bottles are the perfect accessory.

Adding Color to a Mantel

Decorative Spheres

A tray of spheres tie all the colors together. Pinks, purples, greens, yellow and blue are all part of this cheerful rainy day.

Umbrella Man

Using color can enhance our imagination, increase humor, help us relax or stimulate our creativity.

Gold and White Pillows

Gold accent pillows tie the chairs together with the couch. White is a great contrast with the burlap colored sofa.

Using a rainbow of colors in our decorating palette equals smiles and humor in our day; even if there’s rain in the forecast.

How to Decorate a Bookcase

Day 13 of 31 Days of Tabletop Decorating – How to Decorate a Bookcase

We have a classic living room. Hickory hardwood floors, ceiling fan, built-in cabinets and bookcases with a gas fireplace and gas logs. The room is open concept and I’m in the process of updating it. We found a sofa and two chairs that I love at a local consignment shop that is a bit modern, so it was time to update the bookcases. My inspiration was the “Umbrella Man” over our fireplace.

umbrella man

I cleaned off my shelves, dusted everything and began with a clean canvas.

an empty bookcase

We have a bookcase on both sides of the fireplace, so I started with both empty.

bookcase with pelican

The Mama Pelican is a recent purchase, but she is moving to the mancave.

gold and black
I added black and gold to the middle shelf. The antique corkscrews were a gift from a very dear friend. As you can see, I always accessorize in odd numbers. Each “grouping” counts as one, so I have a mirror, flower and frame, and book group.

moss ball

I added touches of purple to both sides.

left bookcase

The box is a recent project .

parrot

The parrot was an accessory in my daughter’s room when she was about eight.

artichokes

A box of artichokes.

purple box with black stripes

With the “Umbrella Man” as my inspiration, I think it all turned out very colorful. I like neutral colors in furnishings so that my art and accessories will pop.

bookcase-collage

Thanks so much for visiting. Pin this for later when you want lots of color in your bookcase.

 Linking with these fabulous parties:

Celebrate Your Story |Mommy Moments | Rustic and Refined | Coastal Charm

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How to Create Balance with Highs and Lows

Day 11 of 31 Days of Decorating Tabletops: How to Create Balance with Highs and Lows

In the beginning of the movie, Grease, Sandy is a sweet and shy girl that’s “too pure to be pink.” By the end of the movie, she struts through a funhouse in heels and leather pants, giving Danny chills that are “electrifying!”  Like millions of other fans, I love this movie and especially this scene. Every time I see it, I can’t help but wonder how many takes it took to walk through that wavering funhouse in heels. Keeping her balance while singing, walking, smoking and trying to look sexy was quite the stunt, in my opinion. Especially for a young girl who had no idea what she was doing. Creating balance in your funhouse rooms with high and low furnishings can also be quite an achievement.

Placing furniture and/or accessories so that one side of the room seems heavier than the other creates a whap-sided feel to the room. (That’s my technical term!) And it can make your family feel like you’re stumbling through a funhouse, only without the giggles. The rule here is, if one side of the room is heavy, try to balance the opposite side of the room with something similar in height or weight.

(I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. Busy day and no time to retake them.)

Balancing the adjacent wall of a large window

This is a large window and is the focal point of 007’s mancave. We placed the sailboat in the window and needed something to balance the size of the window on the opposite wall.

Balancing an Opposite Window Wall

This is the opposite wall to the window and we made the gallery of art the same width as the window and almost as tall. (New piece for bottom center is on our wish list.)

Dining Room China Cabinet

We have an open-concept living and dining room, with only two walls for furniture placement. On the end wall, we’ve placed our china cabinet and on the adjacent wall our small cocktail bar.

columns

Diagonal from the china cabinet, we placed this antique buffet that was passed down from 007’s grandmother.  A painting and sunburst mirror reaches to the same size as the china cabinet.

Cottage Style Guest Room

This is our cottage-style guest room. We have twin beds that face each other for ease of morning conversation should there be two guests sleeping here. The window, chest, chair and bed make this side of the room very heavy.

What We Love Most

So, over the other twin bed, we placed a gallery of paintings among these words: “What we love most about our HOME is who we SHARE it with.”

Horse Painting

In the guest bath we have artwork of similar heights facing each other to balance the mirror and shower curtain.

Roerich Painting

The movie Grease seemed a little whap-sided at the end. The floor rolled beneath Sandy’s heels. The leather pants, wild hair and cigarette became a sharp contrast to the “too pure to be pink” girl we met in the first scene. But the result was pleasing to the audience.  There was light and there was dark on the screen. Come back tomorrow to see how to use contrast in your decor.

If you know someone with a wobbly walk in their home, please share this on your social media.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]Need balance in your decor? CoziNest says, “Tell me about it stud!”[/tweetthis]

Linking with these utterly fabulous parties:

Celebrate Your Story |Mommy Moments | Rustic and Refined | Coastal Charm

Cooking and Crafting with J&J | The Scoop |  Inspire Me Tuesday | Tasty Tuesdays

Inspire Me Monday |  Tickle My Tastebuds | Wow Us Wednesday | Christian Bloggers Community

Full Plate Thursday | Work it Wednesday | Creative Spark |  Home Matters, Idea Box

Poofing the Pillows |  Sweet Inspiration | DIY Sunday Showcase | Get Your DIY On

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Mixing Metals in Your Home

When I was growing up, mixing metals in your jewelry was a NO-NO! If your earrings were gold and the buckle on your belt was silver, well, you must have gotten dressed in the dark! Things have changed. Thank goodness! I love bracelets and enjoy wearing silver and gold together. My wedding rings are gold, but when silver came in with a force and hasn’t shown any signs of retreating, I had to make adjustments.

Mixing jewelry metals
 

The main metal I wear now is silver. My watch is gold and silver and depending on wardrobe choices I will make one of them the dominant metal. In the fashion world, we have gold, silver, and rose gold. In the home fashion world, we have silver/chrome, gold/brass, bronze, and copper. On this 7th day of Decorating Tabletops, which happens to also be Fashion Friday, I’m going to do the same in my home as I do with my jewelry. Mix metals.

sunburst mixed metal mirror

This frame has a dominant-gold metal. I chose to soften the gold, by adding a mixed metal sunburst mirror above.

sunburst mirror
mixed metals in the bath

A bronze faucet looks terrific with a silver and bronze mirror in the bath. (Stay tuned for countertop decor in an upcoming post.)

mixed metals in tablesettings

In a recent autumn tablescape post, a gold wine glass mixed with a bronze lantern complemented each other nicely.

silver and gold cocktail mug

Here’s a sneak peak into a future tablescape. These hammered, silver cocktail mugs with gold handle keep your drink cold and your hands dry.

mixed metal picture frames

The mix in this gallery wall works because the nautical theme is more dominant than the frames.  The clock and mirror echo each other in shape and the gold accent in the clock mirrors the frame placed diagonally across from it. Yes, there is a large space at the bottom that needs to be filled. I’m waiting on just the right piece.

If, by chance, you aren’t quite ready to dive into the whole gold scene again, you might consider just dipping a toe into the midas waters. Here are a few ideas from across the web:

Leg-Dipped Chairs

 Photo from Home & Garden

 

Plywood table dipped in gold

 

Remember the plywood tables we covered with tablecloths in the 80’s? Look how fabulous this looks painted with the legs dipped in gold! Any metal combination would be great. Why did we not think of this sooner!?

And how about dressing up some really cheap battery-operated candles?

taped candles for gold leafing

A trio of silver, glittery candles that I use at Christmas. They were very inexpensive, so attempting to dress them up was a no-brainer.

gold leafed candles

Quick and easy painting.

drying candles

Voila!

chevron gold-leafed candle

Makes a dressy statement on my autumn tablescape.

gold leafed candles

ambient autumn light

The soft ambient light is a nice addition.

Adding just a touch of gold will ease us back into the gold and brass days of the 80’s. Mixing metals can make it a little less harsh.

Decorating: Master Bathroom Vanities

Day 6 of 31 Days of Decorating Tabletops: Master Bathroom Vanities

If an updated bathroom with bowl sinks and antique furnishings is not in the budget right now, welcome to my world! We’ve lived in our house 6 of its’ nine lives and in my budget-age, it’s still too soon to update. Fortunately, it’s a pretty room with nice fixtures, so periodically changing the accessories keeps me and my accountant  007 happy.

There’s plenty of storage for perfumes, facial products, cosmetics and toiletries. For functionality, we like to have most everyday products at arms’ length. Adding simple trays and pretty containers can help keep the counters from looking cluttered.

bathtub decor

an apothecary jar for bath salts

Bathtub corners
canisters in the bathroom

canisters aren’t just for the kitchen. cotton swabs, cotton balls and sponges can be stored in canisters.

bathtub tray

placing toiletries on a pretty tray or bowl, keep them from looking ordinary.

bath product storage
candlesticks with tissue cover

a simple tissue box cover with pretty candlesticks can dress up a bathroom counter.

masculine tray

using a masculine tray on his counter will make everyone happy.

ice bucket for storage

yes, that is an ice bucket in the bathroom. it’s a great option for all the loose things that clutter a counter. wine carafes complete the look to hold mouthwash.

hair product tray

coraling hair products with a nice picture frame and alarm clock keep things looking neat and tidy.

his bathroom counter

Everything we need to prepare for the day is close at hand and stored in a pretty container. Keeping things somewhat sophisticated keeps the ambience calm and soothing. Even when we are in a hurry, the atmosphere inspires us to focus on the peacefulness of the morning.

How do you store your toiletries?

Linking with these utterly fabulous parties:

Celebrate Your Story |Mommy Moments | Rustic and Refined | Coastal Charm

Cooking and Crafting with J&J | The Scoop |  Inspire Me Tuesday | Tasty Tuesdays

Inspire Me Monday |  Tickle My Tastebuds | Wow Us Wednesday | Christian Bloggers Community

Full Plate Thursday | Work it Wednesday | Creative Spark |  Home Matters, Idea Box

Poofing the Pillows |  Sweet Inspiration | DIY Sunday Showcase | Get Your DIY On

Share it One More Time | The Pin Junkie | Anything Blue