12 February 2012

New Southern Living Book: Style

 

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One of the benefits of being a blogger is you get free design books in the mail!  Books that you didn’t even ask for or even know were published just show up on your doorstep.  But, with that – you do feel obligated to blog about the book and say buy it, but it!  I’ve tried to only review the ones that I really like, but still, even then – I would recommend you look up the reviews on Amazon first before you decide to buy a book recommended by me or any other blogger.   That said, the new Southern Living book – Style – was sent to me and it took me back to another time.  It’s more like a blog in a book than something fancy written to grace your coffee table.  It’s filled with helpful tips, and how-to’s, just like those found in the magazine.  The pictures are great, and many are old favorites from Southern Accents – and they are a rare treat.  It’s not filled with houses decorated in colors and patterns that don’t match just to be hip.  The rooms instead are cluttered with books and accessories and pleasing fabrics.  The interiors are like old friends.  They are comfortable and cozy, warm and inviting.   Some of the book’s images I hadn’t seen before, and others I hadn’t seen in ages.   Truthfully, I couldn’t put the book down. I read it through twice and still go back just to browse.  It’s like a super huge issue of Southern Living  mixed a bit with Southern Accents – all without the endless advertisements.   If you like those two magazines and Southern style in general, I can assure you, you will enjoy this. 

 

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Remember this cover of Southern Accents???

 

The first section of the book is called “Defining Southern Style” and I had to laugh.  Their list of what is Southern Style sounded a lot like my list of Top Ten Essential Decorative Elements (even though I haven’t even finished up the series with #10 yet!) 

Here is their list of their Southern Style elements:

Color and Pattern/Slipcovers/Collections/Monograms/Wicker, rattan, and bamboo/The Hearth/Painted Floors/Luxe Curtains/Portraits/Antiques

And here is my list of Top Ten Decorative Elements, but I guess I should call it Southern Style now:

Linen/Slipcovers/Seagrass/Curtains/Light Fixtures/Wall Décor/Antiques/Symmetry/Trends/tba

OK, so I didn’t name monograms, nor even mention them as something essential to a room, but some of our lists is so alike:  slipcovers, antiques, wicker, rattan and bamboo – (I’d put that under my seagrass element,) fireplace – (a typical symmetrical device,) curtains, portraits – (I named mirrors and portraits under Wall Décor.)  

Their list didn’t mention trends – I suppose southern houses are so classic, that they think trends are forbidden.  But their list and my list were more alike than not.  No wonder why I loved the book!  And it really got me thinking.  I always call it a “Houston” look, but it probably is just Southern Style.  See, your education never ends.

 

image                                                                                                                                                                                                                         This beautiful living room by Gerrie Bremermann is used to define their section on Slipcovers.  I also used this same living room to illustrate slipcovers in my Top Ten Elements #2 (here.)   Spooky, I know. 

 

                                                                                                               

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This living room by Fiona Newell Weeks is shown in the Color and Pattern section.  I would have put this in my Seagrass settings. 

 

 

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This photograph illustrates the Collections section – but really, I think of this as antiques.  Who collects anything that isn’t an antique?

 

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This corner of a living room represented the Antiques section, but it could be Collections also.  Beautiful!

 

 

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This photograph of curtains by Lars Bolander used in their Luxe Curtains section was the same one I used in my curtain chapter (Here.)  I mean of all the photographs in the world – we used the same one to illustrate gorgeous curtains?  Well, these are pretty much perfect.  You know what they say, great minds think alike!

 

 

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Some images in the book are new to me, like this one.  I must have missed the original story.  Anyone remember it?

 

 

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Who could ever forget this Southern Accents cover of a living room by Amelia Handegan?  That mural!!!  I’ve used this photograph on my blog many times before.

 

 

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Houstonian and Indulge shop owner Cynthia Davis’ house was featured several times in the book.  Here, her breakfast room first shown years ago in the old magazine “Cottage Living” was the first time I had seen the now famous Kooboo wicker chairs – and I’ve loved them since then.

 

 

 

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Davis’ headboard, a huge seller at Indulge, is also shown.

 

 

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There are lots of how-to stories, so well done by Southern Living magazine.  This one takes a wire shelf….

 

 

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And turns it into an office.   So cute!

 

Along with the book, Southern Living sent me a copy of their new magazine.   It really struck me how much it has changed in the past few years.   It’s much more sophisticated than it used to be, appealing to a wider audience, including younger women.   The images are bigger and the stories are longer now.  This month they had a section on comfort foods that had my mouth watering just looking at the pictures of home made macaroni and chicken.    Their feature of Interior Designer Fran Keenan’s house illustrates what Southern Style is all about and then some.   It does seem that the houses they show seem more of a cross between Southern Living and Southern Accents, which is a good thing. 

I’m still hoping that when the economy picks up, the magazines will come back strong.  Blogs are wonderful, but it takes a team to produce their photographs of houses that we all show, over and over again.   Bloggers continually need fresh blood and the magazines supply a lot of that.  Most design blogs couldn’t operate without magazine’s photographs.    Yet, despite bloggers needing magazines,  Southern Living does seem to be reaching out to bloggers.  In this issue, a before and after of a bedroom that famous blogger Eddie Ross did is simply amazing.  Plus, there is a column called “Ask Phoebe Howard” – which is exactly like a regular feature on the interior designer’s own blog HERE.   Despite all the changes at Southern Living, there are a few suggestions I would make if I were invited to a decision making meeting.  I think the layout and design of the fonts and pages needs a bit of an updating.  But, this throwback to another era might be intentional.   Southerners don’t do change well.  And I would also suggest they put out a huge book on the fabulous houses that now defunct Southern Accents featured over the years.  Maybe even a series of two or three books.  I think it would be a hit!

To order Southern Living Style, go HERE.

 

 

48 comments:

  1. Wonderful...I love Southern Living and miss Southern Accents. P.S. Have you considered watermarking your original photos? I see some on Pinterest without attribution...Love your blog, Joni!

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    1. I know. that's ok, but i wish pinterest would pin all the cote de texas pictures to my account, but they don't. i've asked also.

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  2. *** You got me all pumped up Joni, and even though I have "a gazillion" wonderful, design & architectural books that I have YET found T*I*M*E to actually READ, I ALREADY went to AMAZON & ordered this~~~ I'll get it Wednesday...

    You know how people jokingly say they're "drooling" over this fab pic or that??? Wellll, FYI, my exciting "splurge" purchase of LIVING WITH DOGS arrived FRIDAY~~~~ and it's EVERYTHING I'd heard about AND hoped it WOULD BE (as witnessed by a few spots where I ALREADY, ACTUALLY DID "drool" when I first looked at it Friday night!!!)... Just the cover ALONE is a turn-on!!! (And my Jim laughs about how building this wonderful new study w/ all the bookcases COST him very little, COMPARED to what I've added to MY COLLECTION of "I'm-weak-in-the-knees for" books since then!!!

    Thanks, Sweetie!!!

    Linda in AZ *
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net

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    1. The cover IS my favorite part of the book! I've replaced the book because the cover got ruined!

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  3. I have to say they have gotten better and better over time, I have been overall pretty disenchanted with the magazine industry in general (house and decorating mags) and then when Southern Accents went down, it was heart wrenching! So its encouraging to see some new life breathed into some of these publications, the book looks really good. I will have to add to my collection! Always a place for one more great design book......

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  4. ... i think it is interesting that this post follows the previous one...in thinking about the house before...i think what seemed a bit off putting to many was that it did not seem american...americans (and the english i think)...judge an interior by how "it feels"...we are generally story tellers (southerners and new englanders especially!) and we have homes that tell our stories...even as a child i was aware of how houses felt...and how different a house could feel at night without lamps turned on...compared to how it felt in the day time with sunlight pouring in...a house felt empty without books and art on the walls...floors seemd baren without some sort of rug...this post seems like home to me...i am a southerner...i want my home to embrace me with memories...and i want to share my memories with you...i want to know yours too...most of us do not have homes that are stand alone beautiful...(the one in your previous post was one of those...the beauty of the house told a story by itself)...we make our beauty through our tangible treausres...having said all this...there should always be a place in all of us to learn and try new things...to start new traditions and memories...but at the same time to always respect that others can tell their story in a way that is different than ours...

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    1. Laney . . . really appreciate this comment - well said.

      Jennifer

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  5. Joni, This morning I am sitting in a hotel room, just down the road from where J is hospitalized. It is just before 6am. Your post is just what the "doctor" ordered for me! I know I would enjoy this book. I should have another look at Southern Living.

    I miss Southern Accents and have many copies at home.

    J has been in two hospitals over the past 9 days. One away from home and this one. He passed out at lunch on our way home from the lake a week ago, this past Saturday. After a few days there and a visit to his cardiologist here and many tests, more today, he will get a pacemaker tomorrow. This is not unexpected. How appropriate that his pacemaker is being implanted on Valentine's Day. Well I got off topic, but I just wanted to tell you, this post was a gorgeous and very welcome diversion this early morning!

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  6. Loved your review. It was written with class and style. Funny, I remember the photo of the antique molds on the shelves. If I recall correctly, it was in very narrow hallway in a house in the Keys. I probably have the page somewhere in my files. I thought was a very clever way to display the collection. At first glance they almost look like seashells.

    Like many of your readers, I miss Southern Accents. Sometimes Southern Living shows rooms with too much clutter and pattern for my taste. I grew up in the south and there's just something about southern homes that captures my heart. Just my two cents.
    Sam

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    1. you are right!!!!!!!!! I remember it now!!! yes, in the keys. whoa. that's amazing how you can just remember a story you've seen once or twice 10 years ago, but now I do remember that house. 2 men owned it and they had a guest house out back, right?

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  7. I'm glad that you reviewed this book. I was wondering what it looked like inside. The cover made me think that it was full of traditional decor with lots of color and accessories etc. That is not the look that I prefer. Now, I'll have to go check out this book. Thanks for the "book tour" too!

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  8. It really sounds like a special book. I always love a design book with lots of text and features!

    Thanks for the review Joni!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  9. I haven't picked up a copy of Southern Living in years but looks like it's time to buy again. I miss Southern Accents so much why did they stop? Southern style seems to be so traditional and welcoming a style that never goes out of fashion. Looks like a wonderful book. Enjoy your week!

    XX
    Debra~

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  10. Joni, so glad you introduced us to this book! I am still in shock that I no longer have Southern Accents arriving in the mail - my favorite design magazine of all time. I came very close to cancelling my Southern Living subscription a couple of years ago for the very reasons mentioned; dated, stuck in a time warp, and etc. However, I think the new editor is doing a fabulous job breathing new life and a new look into the magazine. It's younger, less fuddy-duddy, better layouts, better photography, updated recipes that reflect how people eat now, rather than 15 years ago. I have to say, he has done a bang-up job. I agree, a ways to go yet, but he's made huge progress. I'm thrilled to know about the new book; will order this AM. Sure wish they had put a different photo on the cover through! A recently published book, "30A Style", spotlighting a popular vacation spot along the FL Panhandle, did a similar thing - published a gorgeous book, but simply picked a photograph that did not encourage people to want to buy it. So, guess what, it was republished quite quickly with a new photo, and now is selling like hotcakes. Thank you for your wondeful post!!! Keep them coming!

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  11. Morning Joni!
    I swear I just teared up looking through this post!
    I was a Southern Living gal from my pre-teens on,(thanks Mom) and I have soooo missed Southern Accents.
    I do wish SL would just stop trying to reinvent itself. Bannsh those token fashion,fitness,the food so healthy you don't want it blurbs and return to expanded views of great southern home design.
    Every picture here I can imagine viewing in 10 years and still loving the timeless design.
    Thanks for the positive look here at the comforting southern design perspective. Cant wait to view the book!
    CRK

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    1. AWWWW!That's sweet. I do like the version of the mag better because it has bigger pictures and longer stories. the food section in the january issue was great.

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  12. I haven't seen that picture of pudding molds for years! I saved it when it was putlished.

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  13. Though I was never a subscriber to Southern Accents, I did subscribe to Cottage Living mentioned in your post. It too went down with the great magazine crash a few years ago. It was one of the first magazines to really pique my interest in decorating. The reason Southern Living has really stepped it up design wise is because the editor from Cottage Living (Eleanor Griffin) was moved to Southern Living and you can tell. Since Cottage Living had a thriving readership at the time of its closing, I have a sneaking suspicion that Griffin was brought in to save Southern Living. They haven't won me over yet completely- still too much extras and not enough houses- but I think the changes Eleanor has made have been a tremendous improvement. Thanks for the review Joni! I'm going to check it out.

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    1. Eleanor Griffin lasted a blink of any eye and was replaced by Lindsay Bierman back in 2010. He is the one who has worked some magic on it.

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  14. LOVE THE DRAPES! Seems hard to find a magazine that captivates the reader these days!

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  15. I could totally see doing the shelf office for my daughter's dorm room;)))

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  16. Southern Living style is about comfort and living with and enjoying 'things'. I like neat, but some of the over-organized designs lack substance and with the Southern Living style you will have so much more than stripped down living. It always pleases me that many pieces in our home have a story and they belong in our family.

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  17. My mother-in-law, who died at 91 seven years ago, always gave me a subscription to Southern Living every year, and I have since continued it. A true magazine junkie, I also subscribed to Southern Accents, Cottage Living (my favorite), and others. I have file cabinets full of clippings that really need to be weeded out. I'm sure some of my clippings will be in this book. That's the thing about re-tread publications - if you're a follower of the magazine, most things will look familiar. Sometimes they'll put in different angles of shots in the same rooms and maybe a story they didn't have the place to publish, but for the most part, these have been seen before. Nothing wrong with that - the publishers deserve to make as much as possible from those photo shoots and editorial writing - after all, it helps keep the magazine alive, and offers a chance for others who are not regular readers of the magazine(s) to get a big dose of the best all at once. It makes me sad, though, to see a familiar article reprinted from a favorite defunct magazine. I'm sure there's a limit to its shelf life and wonder what they will fill in with in the future since so many magazines have gone away.

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  18. I miss Southern Accents so much. I still can't believe that left Southern Living on the shelf and did away with SA. Remember these rooms, so beautiful.
    I will have to look at this book. Some beautiful images.
    Happy Monday, Joni.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  19. So now I know what I am striving for, "Southern Style", I agree with the comment above, I like neat, but I like "things" with a history, because I do not have many family "historical hand me downs - "the Good Stuff" I am always on the hunt for things that have "lived or previously loved items" Southern Style, exemplifies, this Lived and Loved feeling I am striving for in my home decor....oh, and I live "North"...Go figure"D
    Thanx for Sharing another Lovely Post!
    Smiles,
    Christine

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    1. The book looks amazing so does Eddies make over. Love the colors he used. I am going to have to get this book!

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  20. Joni, this book looks gorgeous, I'll have to check it out. You mention the amazing coincidence of their using the identical photos that you chose to use to illustrate similar design points...I don't think you are giving yourself enough credit here. I think most likely the editors of the book are blog readers, and your blog stands out among design blogs. I'm certain someone either subconsciously or consciously got ideas from your blog and felt your illustrations were perfect and decided to use the same photos (since they came from their own archives and you had correctly given them credit in your posts). Good job!

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  21. That vintage pudding mold collection is amazing!! What a fantastic book! I searched for your email but no luck - would you mind emailing me at eclecticallyvintage@gmail.com. I have a submission for you. Thanks!
    Kelly

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  22. Thank you for the treats! ...cannot wait to buy a copy for myself....smiles

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  23. Please count me among those who want Joni to go back to the original comment box...this new format is difficult to manage...it skips and will not load properly...
    and please re-consider allowing anonymous remarks.....when you conceal your name, it suddenly gives you free license to say whatever you want – the internal censor disappears.

    Blocking anonymous comments isn't that big a deal these days. Pretty much everyone can have either a Google account or an OpenID.

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  24. I don't subscribe to any magazines any longer, although I did for many years. I have found that few have nicer paper, etc...I also don't like a lot of the more cheaper paper and it ruins the look of the photos.
    Also, I have more of a traditional style. I don't mind a few trendy things in decor, but sometimes the patterns and colors chosen are so off that I just don't really have to agree with them. I also think a true style is acquired over time, not bought in showhouse. I will be checking this book out. Thanks for all your insight and a great blog!

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  25. I have long been a "Southern" magazine lover. I always have bought Southern Living, Southern Accents when it was published, and my favorite which I would love,love,love to see come back, Cottage Living. I have noticed the fresher approach to Southern Living and I am enjoying it as well. I saw immediate improvement when Lindsey Bierman, who was with Cottage Living came on board as editor, I think he's now at another favorite Coastal Living.

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  26. Growing up in the South was so special! I do find magazines lacking these days + my wish books(use to cut out images)are feeling the pinch.
    Thank you for pointing out this Book, Joni. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  27. "Who collects anything that isn't an antique'?

    1. (noun) collection
    a group of similar things
    a stamp/book collection; a vast collection of modern art

    A collection does not have to be made up of only antiques.

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  28. Well, this looks wonderful. The editors probably didn't want to call "collections" as "antiques" because the young don't care for antiques as much anymore, as portrayed in the book Killer stuff and tons of money. And joni, they may have copied you a bit, with the lists. I like southern living because it's nice enough, but not so expensive looking that one cannot relate to it. And I love the patterns you show in the photos of the book. Thanks.

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  29. and about collections, some collect guns, and those are not generally antiques, but I wouldn't decorate with them.

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  30. Joni,
    I'll have to check it out. I enjoy Southern Living, although has let my subscription lapse. I miss Southern Accents and wish they would find a way to revive it. I know times are tough for magazines and I do enjoy blogs and online magazines, but there is still something magical for me to sit and ponder/study a room I love.
    Thanks for this review.
    Karen

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  31. Glad you liked the book. I had just ordered it a couple of days ago and can't wait to get it. I have a couple of other Southern Living decorating books and enjoy them a lot. Their rooms usually have just enough "extras" to make it comfy and interesting for me. So many of the, I guess you would call them "new" decorating trends are soooo streamlined (ie, no or extremelly few wall decorations such as paintings, mirrors, etc) that while the featured furniture is pretty, it just looks like they are in phase 1 of the decorating process, when in fact they are complete. To me it just leaves too much space unadorned and without feeling. I guess I just don't get it when there is absolutely nothing on the walls and only 1 or 2 decorative items in a room. No personality as far as I'm concerned.

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  32. Forgot to mention that my favorite magazines are Veranda and Southern Living. I WISH WISH WISH that Southern Accents would come back. I loved it sooooo much and really miss it. However, as a replacement they sent us Gun and Garden magazine and we love it too.

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    1. ...oh i too love love garden and gun...and if you are not familiar with this publication...it is NOT what you think...laney

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  33. Hi Joni,

    I agree that this book is a good one. However, I must respectfully disagree with your comment, "Who collect things that are not antiques"?? As a decorator for over 20 years, I have worked with clients who have amazing and varied collections of interests and hobbies that are not antiques but when grouped and displayed together are spectacular!

    K

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  34. P.S., If you get the new Phoebe Howard book mailed to you in the next few weeks, I will be very jealous!!! I cannot wait to get my hands on that one!

    K

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  35. Oh How I miss Southern Accent magazine, It was one of my favorites and luckily I have saved several of my copies!! This book looks intriguing. Kathysue

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  36. "Who collects anything that isn't an antique?"

    Um, I do! I collect seashells, coral, minerals and fossils which, incidentally, look amazing with my antiques. I'm not a snob - I'll collect anything that's beautiful. And what could be more beautiful than something made by nature!

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  37. Great publication. I love the timeless images. So much more beautiful than what we saw last week.

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  38. Um, I do! I collect seashells, coral, minerals and fossils which, incidentally, look amazing with my antiques. I'm not a snob - I'll collect anything that's beautiful. And what could be more beautiful than something made by nature tamashebi

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  39. We will be updating our dining/sitting room. It is a challenging room. It is the room where the front door is located. There is a iron spiral staircase on one side, a wood burning stove in the middle, and three other doors lead into this room. I am excited and ready for this decorating challenge.

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