23 September 2009

Cote de Texas Top Ten Design Elements #5

 

It’s easy to find lists of the Top Ten most overdone trends, or the Top Ten list of things that are “out” – but finding positive Top Ten lists of design elements is a little harder to do, which is exactly why I decided to post my own Top Ten list of favorites.    What are the things that I like to see in a room? What adds something essential to the decor that I admire?   What makes a room wonderful?  What are the ten things that together create a great look?  First on my list, my number one item, is linen.     A natural fabric, linen sets the mood for the kind of decorating that I like, casual, friendly, warm, cozy, and inviting.  Linen fabrics relax a room – they say sit down, put your feet up, grab a book – and don’t worry about ruining anything, you can’t hurt me.   A room full of silk, chenille or velvet doesn’t quite say that.   To me, linen’s wrinkled, rumpled appearance expresses the way I want to live – casually and comfortably.   When you take linen and sew it up into slipcovers (#2 on the list) you have perfection!  And what better surface is there to put linen slipcovered furniture on than seagrass (#3)?   These three elements - linen, slipcovers and seagrass,  go hand in hand and it’s impossible for me to separate them.  Of course, you can always layer a dressier rug or a zebra or cowhide over seagrass to add some glam or contrast, just as you can put velvet pillows on a linen sofa to dress it up a bit.   These details can make  a room overly casual or casually elegant – the choice is yours.   To further complete a room, I like to add curtains (#4) because generally, a room doesn’t feel finished without them.  There are certainly exceptions, but in most cases, curtains add an important decorative element be it softness, glamour or breeziness.  Always keep in mind that decorating a room is adding layers of elements one by one.    Each element brings something important to a room, and without each layer it becomes difficult to imagine the finished room.   The fifth element on the Top Ten list that I think should always be in a room is a light fixture.   Although my house is full of can or recessed lights – I wish I could remove them out one by one.  Sixteen years ago, when we moved in here, I thought can lights were the height of chic.  Today, they are basically useless.   The truth is, we never turn on our overhead lights, instead the house is now lit with a combination of hanging fixtures, sconces, and lamps.  These three give off  a soft glow as opposed to the blaring spotlights that come from overheads.   Even on dimmers, recessed lights can be so cold and unforgiving.   

 

 

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Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon:  A chandelier reflected in a mirror doubles the light given off.  The crystals look like icicles – and the pink silk showing through the prisms is just so beautiful!

 

Reading Rose Tarlow’s book, The Private House, years ago really reinforced my dislike of recessed lighting.   She never uses cans and thinks they make a ceiling look like Swiss cheese with all their holes everywhere (please don’t ever invite Tarlow to my house – it looks like a mouse’s banquet on my ceiling!)   But, Tarlow of course is right – is she ever not?   Except for the kitchen or bathroom, you really don’t need overhead lighting at all.  Hanging fixtures, sconces and lamps – besides adding enough light for any task, add beauty to a room.   Imagine a side table next to a sofa without lamps?  How bare would that seem?   Or imagine a dining table with a chandelier – it would seem unbalanced.   Hanging fixtures don’t have to be crystal chandeliers, in fact right now I am in love with lanterns – especially those meant for the outside.    Lamps fashioned from old urns or an aged balustrade add character – you don’t have to have lamps made only from priceless porcelain vases.    And today, there are a myriad of sconces available on the market from rustic to dressy – they fit every decor.  

As for my own house, I was slow to change.   I only started acquiring my hanging fixtures in the last ten years.  But with each fixture I have added, the difference it has made to my house has been remarkable.   Adding my last one – a lantern – to my family room made such a big impact on the room, I wonder what took me so long to change it?    The trend today is definitely leaning in the fixtures direction.  More and more design magazines feature rooms with hanging fixtures and the variety on the market now is wide and varied.   You don’t have to spend a fortune on a fixture to get a great look – Curry and Co. and Aidan Gray for instance have wonderful reproductions of the trendy Italian candlestick chandelier for a fraction that the antique stores charge.    Lanterns meant for the outside have the same look as the antiques you see everywhere, but they don’t have the same price tag.   With high cost no longer a deterring factor, more and more people are turning to hanging fixtures.   If you have been resistant to changing  from recessed lighting to chandeliers – take the plunge.  Pick one room and install a fixture, a few lamps, a sconce or two – and see if you don’t prefer the style and atmosphere they bring as opposed to the can lights.   I have all the the faith that you too will see how much lighting fixtures add to the finished look of a room.

 

 

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My family room – taking down the ceiling fan and putting up the lantern changed the look of my room, I think, for the better.  To me the difference is huge.    It makes me wonder why I waited over 15 years to hang something here.

 

 

imageENTRY HALL AND STAIRS:    In entry halls, lanterns are always wonderful  to use- especially like here, over a hall table where you can hang a larger lantern than one that is hung over an empty space.  No is going to bump their hand on this fixture.   What a gorgeous lantern!  This looks like an antique or at least an reproduction of one.  I love how the lantern and the door are black, as is the table and the shades – all contrasting with the bright white walls.  So beautiful and inviting!!

 

 

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This entry hall is stunningly beautiful – simple yet elegant.  A headless sculpture on a Plexiglas stand is the eye candy at the end of the view.  An antique chair grounds the vignette.  But, the chandelier is the jewelry here.  The French empire antique could not be more perfect – hard to imagine this entry hall with the chandelier.   Design by Renea Abbott.

 

 

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A series of lanterns go up a staircase – which is a wonderful way to light the way. 

 

 

 

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In the Octagon House, Tami Owen used an extra large Italian styled chandelier to light the stairwell.   These chandeliers are gaining in popularity and seem to be everywhere today – Aidan Gray can’t keep them in stock.

 

 

 

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An oversized lantern is another great way to light a stairwell.

 

 

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In The Holiday movie house – the hallway is lit with a series of glass bell jar lanterns.   Series of light fixtures makes great statements down hallways.

 

imageLIVING ROOMS:  white linen slipcovers and a big lantern says it all to me!  I adore this room!!

 

 

imageCharles Faudree at his personal best – a room filled with French antiques mostly covered in cotton checks and stripes which help to relax the priceless furniture.  An extra large Italian wooden chandelier hangs low over a huge living room/dining room.    The fixture is large enough that it doesn’t get lost in this sized room – proportion is always something to consider.

 

 

imageThis casual setting with its white linen slipcovered rattan sofa gets dressed up with an antique crystal chandelier.   

 

 

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A large black lantern hangs over a casual living room. 

 

 

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In an old English country house, two large lanterns hang over the living area.   The painted green lantern is a true show stopper. 

 

 

imageThis lantern looks like an antique to me – or else a good reproduction.   

 

 

imageSo far this living room has made every Top Ten post:  linen, slipcovers, seagrass, curtains and now chandeliers!  I’m curious to see if it makes it for all ten elements!   The designer chose crystal chandeliers instead of the more expected lanterns to dress up the space up a bit.  In a larger room, sometimes two fixtures are better than one.

 

 

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This beautiful beach house has it all:  a large reproduction antique lantern, a ceiling fan, and six pairs of lamps!!    I am crazy about this living room – I love the layered effect of all the accessories and furnishings – it’s so casual, warm and inviting. 

 

 

imageThe famous wine barrel chandelier by Bobo’s Intriguing Objects.  Restoration Hardware is now carrying this fixtured.   It’s a hugely popular choice these days.  

 

 

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This large brass lantern is reflected in the mirror making it appear there are two.  Another large lantern sits at the center table.  For extra light, sconces were installed on the bookcases. 

 

 

 

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In the Octagon House, Tami Owen used a pair of glass and iron lanterns – available at Brown in Houston.   I think these fixtures complete the room – especially since two were used.   In the entry, a bell jar lantern was used. 

 

 

image Phoebe Howard used a black lantern in this paneled living room. 

 

 

 

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In this Swedish inspired house, two crystal chandeliers were used along with crystal sconces.  In Swedish decor – crystal chandeliers are very popular.

 

 

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In this eclectic living room – with no overhead lighting – an assortment of lamps and sconces do the job.   I can only imagine how beautiful this room looks at night softly lit by the lamps.

 

 

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In this vignette, Gerrie Bremermann uses a combination of a crystal chandelier, sconces, and lamps to light this living room.   It’s a safe bet to say Bremermann loathes recessed lighting just as much as Rose Tarlow does.

 

 

 

imageIn this charming vignette, Lars Bolander used an amazing pair of red lanterns with a fabulous back plate.   The simple red and cream ticking keeps it all relaxed.

 

 

 imageWisteria owners Shannon and Andrew Newsom use oversized antique lanterns to accessorize their living area.   Though these are not electrified – you could have them fitted out to be – thus making them more functional.    Aren’t they gorgeous!  What a statement they make!

 

 

imageIn my favorite vignette of the year – the  Tone on Tone owners used crystal Empire styled sconces in their living room.  

 

 

 imageIn a cotton striped tented room, beautiful crystal and iron sconces wear cute red shades which help tone down their dressiness.

 

 

imageI love this vignette with the two sets of matching lamps.   This is my kind of styling!  Love love love it! 

 

 

imageThese two standing lamps light up the room – but its their custom shades that make them special.  If interested, contact Watkins Culver – they currently have these shades in stock!

 

 

imageCharming crystal sconces are a wonderful way to light a room, with or without a hanging chandelier.  Pair sconces with lamps and you should have adequate light for everything but brain surgery!

 

 

imageDINING ROOMS:  By far, the most common place to find chandeliers is in the dining room.  Here, a gorgeous gilt wood and crystal 19th century Italian chandelier hangs over a table surrounded by more contemporary chairs than one would expect, which causes the visual interest here.  This chandelier is beyond beautiful.   Today, my favorites are the ones that pair gilt wood and crystals, just like this one does.   Kerry Joyce, designer.

 

 

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Gray furniture and gray paneling is perfectly paired with a crystal and iron chandelier.

 

 

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Phoebe Howard.  This charming chandelier reminds me of Cinderella’s pumpkin coach!

 

 

imageThe master:  John Saladino at home at Villa Dilemma.   His chandelier is not electrified.    Notice too the master actually has overhead spots!  I’m shocked!  (And just a little disappointed too, but I forgive him!)    This wooden Italian chandelier is one of the prettiest ones I have ever seen – only Saladino would have it, of course!

 

 

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Babs Watkins paired a steel table and French chairs with a contemporary styled flower crystal chandelier.  Isn’t that floral arrangement in the silver dish heavenly?   No one is Houston does it better than Babs.   This picture is probably from ten years ago, yet notice how current it looks with the steel windows – she was always ahead of her time!

 

 

 

imageAn Italian wood chandelier – so beautiful!   They always bring so such beauty to a room which accounts for their current popularity.  

 

 

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An iron and crystal chandelier with matching sconces.   So French!

 

 

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Painted chairs, natural wood table, dark hardwoods and a crystal chandelier.  Who could ask for anything more?

 

 

 

imageWisteria’s Shannon and Andrew Newsom’s dining room – one of my all time favorite images!  I love everything about this space.   But it surely wouldn’t be quite as gorgeous without the lovely chandelier.   Jane Moore, designer.

 

 

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Although this ceiling looks like Swiss Cheese, according to Rose Tarlow, Peter Dunham used lanterns for both the hanging and wall fixtures.

 

 

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A gilt wood chandelier and gilded sconces are mixed in this fancy dining room with hand painted wallpaper. The slipcovers and the odd chairs bring a bit of casual playfulness to the room.

 

 

image The more than fabulous Dan Marty used a pagoda styled lantern this dining room.  The yellow is striking against the red chairs.

 

 

imageI love this room – a study in contrasts – one black wall stands out among the white ones.   The rough luxe table and chairs contrast with the very dressy empire styled antique chandelier.    The one lamp is asymmetrically balanced out.    I have no idea who the designer is, but he is fabulous, IMO!   To read all about the Rough Luxe design movement – go here.

 

 

 

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I know it’s only half shown, but I couldn’t resist showing this beautiful room with its Versailles parquet floor and enfilade of rooms.  If I was designing a house today – I would love an enfilade styled houses just like this!

 

 

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This newly designed chandelier with matching sconces is one of my favorites from the Decorative Center.   While I usually prefer antiques, these are more than beautiful – designed by David Iatesta. 

 

 

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Another example of a great juxtaposition between the rustic and the refined.  In this farmhouse in Fredericksburg, Texas – an antique crystal chandelier gives the kitchen sparkle against all the hard surfaces. 

 

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Pam Pierce used an oversized antique lantern in this Houston house.  Lit by candlelight – it’s probably not used that much as I spy a Swiss Cheese ceiling – what a shame!   Notice how wonderfully perfect Pierce designed the curtains – with the arched doors – she takes them over the arch, right up the ceiling, extending the visual line thus making the ceiling appear taller. 

 

 

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Belgian design:  painted and limed woods with crystal chandeliers.   This says it all in a nutshell.

 

 

 

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This dining room in a country house is so visually interesting.   The owners paired a fancy crystal chandelier with a simple table cloth which dresses it down.   Sconces provide extra lighting.  But it’s those lanterns, not wired, that grab all the attention – antique or copies, who cares?   They are fabulous!!  One comment from the peanut gallery, the mirror should have been hung vertically, the ceiling would look two feet higher!

 

 

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As traditional as it gets, but the lamps on the console are a more unusual choice.  Here one would expect to see a pair of sconces in a room so “decorated.”   I like the lamp choice and especially how the shades mimic the color of the chair leather.  The sisal carpet also dresses down the room a notch and makes it look younger, not granny.

 

 

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In the Provence House, Ginger Barber used a wood chandelier mixed with a wonderful rough edged table and  Os de Mouton chairs.     The scale of the chandelier is perfect – in fact Barber’s whole design is perfect here.

 

 

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One more time - the Swedish inspired dining room in Dallas, Texas!   I fell in love with this room – and wondered how beautiful it must look at night with the chandelier softly lit – it’s brightness controlled by dimmers.   The light fixture is vital to this room’s design – its sparkle plays against all the matte finishes of the woods.  

 

 

 

 

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Washington DC great, Darryl Carter’s dining room is a study in high contrast:  dark woods play against white walls and floors.  The painted barn door is the focal point to be sure, but the Baroque style chandelier in black iron is very effective too.   What a gorgeous room – hard to imagine how it would look with the light fixture!

 

 

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In the Tile House, Maria  Tracy used an Italian wood chandelier with matching sconces – their lightness and femininity is juxtaposed against the roughness of the stone and the massive wood table. 

 

 

image In a seemingly traditional dining room, the designer plays with the scale of the light fixture.  It’s sheer size becomes the focal point, even over the gorgeous hand painted silk wallpaper.  The sconces too are oversized.

 

 

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The wine barrel chandelier shows up in the beach house – perfectly scaled for the room’s size. 

 

 

imageBREAKFAST ROOMS AND KITCHENS:   What a gorgeous breakfast nook with it’s beamed ceiling, beautiful window, and antique table and chairs.  Yet, even with all the impressive architecture of the space – the lantern steals the show.  

 

 

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LA designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard used a lantern in this breakfast home in Beverly Hills.   I love the way it looks against the tall clock.

 

 

image A lantern was used in this Houston breakfast room – along with a banquette.  Aren’t those chairs gorgeous?  I love their scale.   Randy Powers – one of Houston’s best did this house for the owners of Visual Comfort aka Circa Lighting. 

 

 

imageThis stunning lantern is available at Brown located in Houston.   Definitely the scene stealer in the Provence House’s breakfast room.

 

 

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The owners of Baltimore’s Tone on Tone used these smashing green pendants for lighting in their kitchen.  The kitchen is one place in the house where a few strategically placed recessed lights may be needed. 

 

 

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I love this lantern over the white marble island.   Pretty kitchen, located in Austin, Texas.

 

 

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John Saladino’s breakfast room at Villa Dilemma – again, a crystal chandelier plays against all the rough, stone walls and the beautiful steel windows.  Notice how the steel display case mimics the window – just beautiful!  Seeing this house in person is on my bucket list.

 

 

imageFrom Things That Inspire HERE,   this wonderfully symmetrical layout is highlighted by these pendant lights over the huge island.  

 

 

imageThis French inspired kitchen has an original French antique lantern above.  Strictly for looks though, it’s not electrified, although any good lighting store can turn an old lantern like this into a usable one.

 

 

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Though this kitchen also has spotlights, the lantern has been electrified – I love the way this room looks!

 

 

image This showhouse kitchen showed up on all the blogs this year – mostly because of the two beautiful antique street lanterns.  The designer had these electrified.   Aren’t two even better than one?!!!   Notice all the recessed lights in the beautiful beadboard ceiling.  Swiss cheese is what Rose Tarlow would say and she does have it point – why ruin a it?

 

 

 

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If two are better, how about three?  The movie house in The Holiday – featured a large kitchen/living/dining area – lit up by lanterns.  As with all Nancy Meyers movies, the house had a starring role.  Her new movie due out this Christmas promises to star another wonderful house!

 

 

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The mud room off the kitchen at Tone On Tone owner’s house is lit with this black lantern.   I think it makes the room – it adds just the right touch.

 

 

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BEDROOMS:   Bedrooms usually have ceiling fans instead of light fixtures and finding images of rooms without them was hard -but I did find a few.    Here a lantern hangs over a wine tasting table, which prevents someone from bumping their head on it!  

 

 

image In this beautiful bedroom vignette, by Bobbi Smith, she used an assortment of lighting options beside overheads:  lamps and crystal sconces. 

 

 

imagePam Pierce used a beautiful antique gilt wood and crystal chandelier in this beyond dreamy bedroom.  

 

 

image In this bedroom, a simple gilt wood chandelier was used.

 

 

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In this bedroom wallpapered in a Scalamandre toile – Phillip Sides used lamps and wall sconces for lighting.

 

 

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And again, another lantern over another table – I love this bedroom and the furniture arrangement.  For large cavernous bedrooms, this is a great way to fill out the space – float a sofa, a table and  add a chair in the empty space in front of the bed. 

 

 

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BATHROOMS SUITES:   John Saladino in his powder room at Villa Dilemma used a wonderful lamp for lighting, instead of recessed cans.

 

 

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In a bathroom/closet combination in Belgium, a large crystal chandelier turns what is usually a boring space into something spectacular.   Though I do think the spots are a huge detraction!

 

 

imagePhoebe Howard used lantern sconces in this bathroom.  They go perfectly with the paneling and iron hardware.

 

 

imageIn this bathroom, a beautiful wooden Italian chandelier fits right in with the decor of the room.  Sconces are used too.  

 

 

image In this master suite, the large lamps become a statement.   I love to  use lamps in bathrooms and kitchens both.

 

 

imageGreet from Belgian Pearls showed this picture from a gorgeous Tuscan hotel – what a bathroom!  Besides the gorgeous silk curtains, the chandelier is the perfect finishing touch.

 

 

image PORCHES:   I had to add these pictures of wonderful porches with even more wonderful lighting.  This pergola has two oversized lanterns hanging over the table.   What atmosphere!

 

 

image This image is so gorgeous – a party table set with a line of pink and white peonies in blue and white vases atop a blue and white striped tablecloth.  The lanterns mimic the line of columns.   What a porch, what a tablescape!

 

 

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And last, this stone poolhouse in Houston was designed by Pam Pierce – do you understand yet how fabulous Pierce is?  This pool house was put together from a building that came from France via Chateau Domingue.   The lanterns are hung flanking the front opening.  But notice the beautiful chandelier inside – hung expertly by Pierce so that it can be seen from the outside.   The table underneath with its large bowl of hydrangeas finishes the vignette.   Pierce realized that the view from the outside was just as important as the inside view.   That’s the mark of a great designer. 

Tune in for Top Ten Design Elements #6 – coming soon to Cote de Texas!!

89 comments:

  1. I just bought a funky black chandelier for our new bathroom, and I can't wait to see it up...hubby thinks I am crazy, but who cares?

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  2. Joni,
    Where ever do you find the time?! And so many lovely photos!! I adore all the lanterns and the crystal chandeliers. Although the chandeliers are wonderful illuminated at night, I also love the way the crystals catch the light and add sparkle during the day! Great resource!
    xx-Gina

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  3. Hi Joni-

    I am relatively new to the blog, but OH SO GLAD that I stumbled upon it - I look forward to reading everyday! You always have such great photos - I especially love the symmetrical kitchen "from things that inspire"..stunning!! There is an antique market in Atlanta called Scott's Antiques - you would absolutely love it. Have you been??

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  4. I love the way you showed the use of lanterns in all kinds of different styles of house. I really need to find a place or two for lanterns in my own home (and then convince my husband the expenditure or hope he doesn't notice something new in the room - the latter is much more likely - ha!).

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  5. Hi Joni,
    Just thought I would leave a comment and say how much I enjoyed Design Element no. 5. Maybe I need brain surgery, after leaving my comment on your story women vs men clients I happened to go back to the start of the story and the questions I asked you have already answered...I think I need to go and lay down!!!!! Seriously!!!! I'll now go back over this story 'cause my computer has only down loaded half of the pictures. I hope it won't be too long before number 6. Thanks and take care

    Love Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  6. I have covered over a number of recessed lights installed by previous owners. It's just not right in a 110-y/o house! It's not very expensive either.

    I've installed chandeliers and sconces and added lots of lamps. I actually just added a couple of lights in a hallway that I found through your blog. (I don't remember who they were from but it was a lighting post you did, so thanks!).

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  7. Bravo! You continue to amaze me with wonderful posts that entertain and educate!!!

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  8. Enjoyed the 'tour of lighting' immensely Joni. Thank you!

    Recessed lighting is very popular up here in Canada, but I feel it is namely due to our very short Summers and long Winters. (The latter more often with not so sunny skies.) Like yourself though, I prefer them only in the kitchen. -Brenda-

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  9. Hi Joni,

    What a great post. Proving again that we don't need magazines w/you around! This has to be the best collection of beautiful rooms yet! I adore the second picture of the black and white entry. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into your blog. We all benefit from it.

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  10. Hi Joni,

    What a great post. Proving again that we don't need magazines w/you around! This has to be the best collection of beautiful rooms yet! I adore the second picture of the black and white entry. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into your blog. We all benefit from it.

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  11. Joni;


    how do you continue to bring such in-depth fresh topics to our attention? how do you find the time?

    again inspired, i am looking for a place in my home for a hanging lantern. cannot wait for #6!

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  12. i love them all... the crystal chandy, the wood ones and the lanterns... must.have.one
    So well written and the pictures... oh my ...thank you

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  13. OK, I'm off to get another cup of coffee...this is an amazing two cup post!!!

    Thanks again Joni,
    Michelle

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  14. Such gorgeous images Joni. I would love to change out all of my ceiling fixtures but for now I am a lamp person. I have lamps in every room of the house and most of them are set with timers. I love your taste and am learning so much from you. :-)

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  15. SPECTACULAR POST! Thanks, Joni! I thoroughly enjoyed every word and photo!

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  16. L-L-L-LOVE all those Lanterns!

    Thank you for providing such amazing inspiration. It was the perfect way to start my day!

    Layla :-)

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  17. *** Am "NO LONGER IN MOURNING" for the non-publication of certain mags *** not with YOU around, Joni-girl!!!

    T*H*I*S WAS ABSOLUTELY T*O*P NOTCH!!! Can't thank you ENOUGH for putting all this joyous beauty together for so many of us to enjoy with our nice morning cuppa!!! (More DELICIOUS than any OTHER A.M. treat could POSSIBLY be!!!)~~~

    I was having suuuuch a nice time and then suddenly, I STOPPED!!! I saw the super casuallly-elegant DR of Saladino and stopped dead in my tracks~~~~sooooo D*I*V*I*N*E, in EVERY SINGLE WAY for me!!! And those WALLS!!! Mmmmm.... And THEN there's the french-inspired kitchen area, with the pale old woods, washed walls, bucket of purple blooms and the wooden cowhead~~~ Sooooo warm & welcoming & cheery... what a place in which to enjoy that first A.M. cuppa!!!

    DUNNO H*O*W you do it, but with YOU, "failure to please" is never an option~~~ YOU REALLY MUUUUSSSSTTT publish a BOOK!!! (Then you can also get rid of the "cheese" you dislike, in favor of even MORE fab lanterns, if you so desire!!!)~~~

    Soooo, this was simply "UBER DELIGHTFUL" for ALL the SENSES this morning... (Of course, like many others, I'll be back SEVERAL times to ENJOY, and "STUDY" this, even more!!!)~

    THANKS, KIDDO!!! SOOOO DEEEELIGHTFUL!!!!!

    Linda in AZ *

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  18. So Many of my favorites! I was just looking through my cache of Veranda's. Just love this style in all its iterations. Thanks for the vast portfolio. Trish

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  19. Another fabulous and insightful post. In the short time I've been addicted to this blog, you have transformed my eye. Thank you.

    When we moved into our current home 3 years ago, we had to have some work done to our "swiss cheese" ceilings because the cans were not up to code. As a result, I had to count how many cans were in my 2000 sq. ft home. Wanna guess? 47! Now THAT is swiss cheese! No worries, though...all but one room are lit by light fixtures. And, now, I'll be working on that one room that isnt.

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  20. I have fallen in love w Lighting and Lanterns! I am ready to switch out the Master ceiling fan for a great hanging piece, a work of art really!

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  21. Swiss cheese ceilings? Perhaps I can broach the subject of a lighting change with my husband with the old challenge, "are you a man or a mouse?" Funny thing is that he had all these potlights installed on dimmers etc. but he's constantly turning them off because it costs too much to have them on. LOL.

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  22. Dear Joni: Thank you so much for such a beautiful, comprehensive and informative article. We appreciate you!

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  23. Hi Joni,
    Only me, back again!!!! It has literally taken me a few hours (I'm not kidding) to down load all the pictures. So I thought I would comment on my 3 absolute favourites!! Number 1 was the Wisteria owners Shannon & Andrew Newsom, their living area - just loved everything about it especially the oversized lanterns on the sideboard, its a really gutsy look. Second is the picture by Peter Dunham, love, love this room, everything about it, all the architectural features, furniture and colours in the room - just beautiful. Thirdly, the vignette with the two sets of lamps, very original and completely beautiful and I love all the muted colours that were used - from the picture in the background, the world globe that had all the colours relating to the picture behind it. So well put together. So after that mammoth effort, I think I will go to bed!!!!

    Goodnight

    Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  24. I just don't know where to begin??? Great list-it's as if you are in my head....Every time I read your blog I want to come to Texas and hang out with you all!!! The photo collection is out of control. Love it!!!

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  25. Great post. I LOVE lighting, and think of it as the jewels in a room. Extremely important, yet often overlooked.
    And while I totally agree about too many cans looking like swiss cheese, and feel they should only be placed in the kitchen, I do think (well-placed of course) they served an important purpose there as task lighting. And while I bow to Rose Tarlow, maybe she wasn't a cook?! I know some designers won't even use them in kitchens and prefer to use all drop fixtures, but that can quickly become too busy & gloopey, imho. Like most things that were once "the rage," cans were overused and abused leading to the demise of a useful product.
    And all lights must be on dimmers! Even bathroom lights, front porch light... I used to even have my vent-a-hood lights on dimmers in the last house!
    Such fabulous pictures Joni! I too will be back many times to study them! j.

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  26. Joni what a fabulous post. I have a thing about chandeliers hence this post is right up my street or should I say rue....

    Leeann x

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  27. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Joni!!! I'm really into these Design Elements posts. I read Bunny William's Point of View earlier in the summer and have been focusing on "layering" our remodel ever since. My first layer, or foundation layer, is basically paint, trim, flooring, window treatments, and... LIGHTING!!! :)

    I had to choose a lighting fixture for above our kitchen table last week. There is so much out there to choose from! As I was looking, I had the realization that photos from **your blog** were in my mind. I'd nix a photo that looked cheap or in poor taste - thanks, Joni! I eventually chose something that was technically a chandelier, but with a twist. Here it is, if you'd care to see it. From Friday's post:

    http://homeforthebetter.blogspot.com/2009/09/kitchen-fun-money-spent.html

    Thanks for helping me "think" through our design!!!

    XOXOXOXO,
    Jacci

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  28. Oh, and it was under $130 bucks from Overstock.com! :)

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  29. Hey Joni, Love what you do. The rustic kitchen with the long table & lantern is my favorite of them all. You give me a "new take" on everything. So refreshing!!
    Marsha in Houston

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  30. I always try to steer my clients away from can lights. They make a ceiling look rather like swiss cheese to me. You have shown clearly here why I always say that lighting is the jewelry of a room. Beautiful. In my own home, all my ceiling lights are antique, and they make such a lovely impression on each room.

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  31. Oh this post was just chock full of all of my favorites! Just gorgeous eye candy. I am currently taking an advanced lighting class and my final project is to design, build and market a light fixture. So I am currently up to my eyeballs in antique salavaged pieces in the hopes I can create two perfect sconces for my guest bedroom.

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  32. What an wonderfull post, it's because of your blog that i am working more and more on mine :-)
    The posted pictures are better than i a magazine. This is pure quality and nothing else.
    Thanks again for these wonderfull articles

    David from belgium

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  33. What an wonderfull post, it's because of your blog that i am working more and more on mine :-)
    The posted pictures are better than i a magazine. This is pure quality and nothing else.
    Thanks again for these wonderfull articles

    David from belgium

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  34. Hi Joni,
    You are a wonderful lady! Your posts are amazing! When do you have time to do that? I know there is so much work on it!!
    This post of today : gorgeous! Lighting is one of my favorite items!
    You really have showed us so much different lighting!
    I love the chandeliers and the lanterns!
    Your family room is so nice with that lantern and indeed you must have hung it there much earlier!
    For a long time one of my favorite lighting companies was and is Charles Edwards from London and now that I learned to know Ron,I have to say that Empel Collections is become also one of my favorites!

    Thank you for your amazing work!

    Greet

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  35. Joni,

    Sorry I was forgotten to thank you for mentionning me in your post!!
    Thank you a lot!

    Greet

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  36. Hi Joni,
    Remember Mommie Dearest and the infamous line, "No more wire hangers!"? I think, after reading your blog, a lot of people are going to run around shouting "No more recessed ceiling lights!!!"

    This was an amazing post! So many inspiring images and such clear, focused commentary throughout.
    First rate! Thank you.

    Bill @ Affordable Accoutrements

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  37. joni, what an astounding post! thank you for all your time and effort corraling images for this post. when we moved into our house, i insisted on changing out the ceiling lights and fixtures. so glad i did. looks like my foyer lantern is in style! now i'm going to scoop up the kitty on the rough luxe table and go live in the farmhouse in fredericksburg, texas. pam

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  38. Wonderful post - as usual!!!
    It has reinforced my love for those Empire crystal chandeliers. I will have one, one day.

    I have to tell you, though, while I am not a fan of the cottage cheese ceiling look, I did have my husband put up a can light over our kitchen sink. Because the soffit hangs so low, every pendant we tried there hung at my chin. And because the cabinet doors open there as well, it had to be really small. Nothing I could find looked right and would fit - so a recessed light came to the rescue! And I have to say that I really like it there. But I totally get your point about having them all over the ceiling.

    By the way, I'm saving several of these beautiful pictures to my computer! You always find the prettiest images to use as examples.

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  39. I love the lighting that you have shown...I think that is the biggest area my home is lacking. I hope to someday get around to it, because I agree it makes a huge impact. Now , getting to my post, you are so welcome! I don't think you need to hire anyone though...but I understand, I think it would be so much fun myself to get another point of view from someone that you truely believe in. That givexs me a ideal...I would love to know what you would put over my dining room table??? I would love to start there...8 ft ceiling, I am afraid...

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  40. Fabulous post Joni! Thank you for this. I want to recommend Period Lighting (google them) for really nice reproduction lanterns.

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  41. Joni,
    Another home run! Your blog posts are like a great big gift wrapped up in a bow for your loyal readers. We thank you for finding so many lovely photos and putting them all in one place. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, but I say that about all of them, don't I? Thanks so much.

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  42. JONI THIS IS AMAZING!!!! you need to do a book. I'll be back to this again... just so many beautiful pictures & i can't handle it!!!

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  43. I cant decide which room is my favorite...but I do know one thing...I need lanterns now! I have searched the web...came up empty...any suggestions?...(not alot of antique shops around here)...thank you for another wonderful post!~Cindy~

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  44. Yes but what do you do if your ceiling is low? We have a combo living room / dining room, so chandelier or lantern would look great over the dining table, but how to balance it on the living room side, when the ceiling is too low to have a hanging fixture?

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  45. I feel like I just finished reading a favorite design magazine - without all of the ads! You have picked all of my favorite designers and between you and the rooms - a mesmerizing story is told! Thank you for constantly amazing me...

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  46. Hi Joni,

    Just got home from work and had to take another look at these beautiful pictures. I think I counted 86 images! No wonder I love reading your blog. It really is like reading a good book. Better and more in-depth than any magazine. Thank you for all your hard work.

    Janet

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  47. Joni
    This post is eye candy! The pictures are absolutely great. Thanks for sharing as always

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  48. Joni, I soooo agree with you. A lighting fixture can just make a room. They just give so much personality to a room. I fought the battle to have a hanging light fixture in every room in our home. Unfortunately, I lost in the kitchen, where my husband and contractor were convinced I had to have a ceiling fan over the island. I still want to replace it! This was another beautiful post. So my gorgeous rooms to see. Looking forward to design element # 6. laurie

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  49. Yes to chandeliers, absolutely. I have them everywhere, an antique one in the bathroom even. I've been so inspired by crystal lately, especially in more unconventional forms— I just wired floral crystal configurations for a pair of tired old lamps I have. It's true, all the reflection definitely lights up a room. (http://www.indecoroustaste.com/ if you care to take a look)

    X Lauren

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  50. OMG Joni I thought my eyes are gonna pop out because of so much eye-candies in one post. This is such a great post. All those chandies and lanterns are all adorable and add a lot of glam and style in all those wonderful rooms.

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  51. what to do with a low living room ceiling? center it over a coffee table or game table so no one can bump their head!!!! I showed a few examples that. a lantern doesn't have to be centered in a room.

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  52. Hi - go here for inexpensive lantern ideas:

    http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2009/07/whats-in-store.html

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  53. Great points and great collection of images. I particularly loved the lanterns in the showhouse kitchen. Most of my kitchen and bath design clients don't want to give up any counter space to lamps, but I like the concept.

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  54. I feel the same way! About the Italian styled chandeliers that is, and how they have fully inundated the design world. I happen to be absolutely wild about them. They have such an ethereal sense. I love the gentle, slender curves of their long willowy arms. I am also keen on Mora clocks. I love the simplicity of their Swedish design and curvy splendor… the two pieces mesh so well together. They have such whimsical features… and hopefully one day I can purchase one of each so they can cast their enchantment within my humble little abode.

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  55. Re lanterns ... they are beautiful but think about their scale in a room ... in some of the rooms you show, more than one lantern would have been more effective, especially in rooms with vaulted ceilings (for an example, the casual living room photograph with the single black lantern—three of those lanterns would look better) ... otherwise it looks like a postage stamp hanging in the air. I love the Phoebe Howard room but the lantern seems unnecessary when all the table lamps are considered.

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  56. Joni, I am in love with lanterns. I too wish I could take out all my can lighting but it is a bit impractical as well as too expensive. Did you read Stafan's (Architect Design) post on French Pavilion? Not only is does he show one of the prettiest lanterns I have ever seen. He also uses the word enfilade, one I had never heard before and now twice in one day for me, that must be a record. MB

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  57. WHOW .... a great design post indeed. I salute you .... you could create your own books and/or magazine (I've told you that before.)

    Glad to see that you are now writing magazine articles. You have too much talent to go to waste and there is such a passion within you for interior design.

    I can't wait for the #6 design element(s).

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  58. Joni!
    OMG! This was such a fabulous post!
    I feel like I just sat and read my favorite magazines from cover to cover. Wow!
    I have been wanting to get my furniture recovered with some off white linen slipcovers. I'm just so scared about keeping them clean. My husband's chair (even though he's a clean fella) looks awful where his head rests and his hands are. How do you clean linen slipcovers and keep them looking nice? I can just imagine how icky it could get.
    Hugs,
    shell (the total neat and clean freak)

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  59. Joni,
    What a beautiful post. I'm absolutely bananas about your family room and am wondering what color paint you have on the walls? It is absolutely gorgeous and after searching a bit on your site I can't seem to find it.
    You have beautiful taste and an equally beautiful blog!

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  60. Your family room is really beautiful, all it needs now is draperies *wink*
    You have made me want to replace every light fixture in my house !

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  61. So much inspiration here! THANK YOU. You are the best! (But do you ever sleep?!) I am printing this post right now - it will be saved in my PRO file! Have a fab weekend!

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  62. A dandy chandy reference source from the fabulous clipping file of Joni!
    xo xo

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  63. I don't know how you find the time to post all those images. But I'm glad you do. I love seeing what you've pulled. I agree, lighting can make or break a room.

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  64. Joni- Once again another fabulous post. I love chandeliers, they're so romantic. I awarded you the Honest Scrap award a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure if you got last comment. Come by my page to get the details. I hope you're having a fabulous weekend.

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  65. Joni I think it has been all said by the others, amazing post and always inspiring. Lighting to me is my number one favorite element in a room. All lights must be on dimmers for beautiful ambient light. I also use the small refrigerator or appliance light bulbs for low wattage 7 watt and 11 watt bulbs. Thank you for alllllll the information, your blog is definitely like a well written magazine. Kathysue

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  66. Oh my goodness...eye candy..every one of them!!!

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  67. Beautiful, beautiful post - it took me a few days to read it properly, and I enjoyed every single picture (many are my all time favorites) as well as the commentary.

    I learned a little more about the kitchen that you kindly gave me credit for - the cabinetry was custom built by local cabinet makers, after the owners had admired a Clive Christian kitchen.

    The little dining nook with the lantern is one of my top 10 inspiration photos!

    Can't wait for #6 (and am still waiting patiently for #2 and #1 of the top 10 designers....).

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  68. I love the quote left above by one of your bloggers "Lighting is the jewellery of a room".

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  69. Jacqueline:
    I don't KNOW what color it is anymore to tell you the truth. I think I know, but I'm just not for sure. I have to ask my painter. I will when he comes next month!!!
    Joni

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  70. Joni, I LOVE this TOP 10 series you are doing. I think you should publish it in one of those "Blogger books" that Blogger says one can make from posts they have done. Then you can offer it for sale to your readers! :-) Sign me up...I'll buy a copy!
    I've NEVER been a fan of ceiling fan...don't like to feel them blowing down on me. Now I really want to remove every ceiling fan in my home! Your lantern in your family room is gorgeous!
    Susan

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  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  72. OOPS! I had said I was late in reading this because I knew it was going to be a lot of eye candy and I wanted to take my time and do it uninterrupted. But I put "interrupted". I am glad I took my time, as it was beautifully done,the assemblage of images were fabulous! They just kept getting better and better! Very inspirational and I agree with some others you should make into a book or series of books....

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  73. Joni,
    I love your lanterns everywhere!
    Especially in your family room- yes sometimes in our own space it takes time to say yes to a change. For me, it mostly has to do with time. Life takes over and...
    Great plus the zebra hide and pillow.
    Thank you for your beautiful pictures!

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  74. ps; do you have a "contact: link?

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  75. I was reading your blog that I found through a friend who is a decorator. I came across a photo of the house owned by Cameron Diaz's character in The Holiday. Since then I have been obsessed and inspired by that house but have not been able to find photos of it. Where did you find your photo that you have of it? Do you know anything about the designer for it? Thanks, Love your blog :)

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  76. I was going through some modern designs on Discount Lighting and I found amazing collections from Metroloftfurniture

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  77. "Always keep in mind that decorating a room is adding layers of elements one by one. Each element brings something important to a room, and without each layer it becomes difficult to imagine the finished room."

    that is the best decor advice anyone can ever give.. marvellous.. am currently doing a research on how to decorate large spaces and i think this quote will go in there straight..:) thanks for all the wonderfull elements

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  79. Great post. I've read it before and just had to come back to reference some of the great examples of rough luxe here. Beautiful and really inspirational pictures!

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  81. nice pictures you have,designs looks great.

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