COTE DE TEXAS: Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes


I have mentioned before that I am obsessed with lanterns these days.  Not just any lanterns, of course – that would be too easy and cheap – but antique French lanterns like this:




This beauty came from Chateau Domingue, the wonderful architectural elements store in Houston.   But, even though I love the antique lanterns, they can be very pricey.   So imagine my delight last summer when I happened into one of my favorite shops, M. Naeve, and found not one, but two identical lanterns – albeit reproductions – at a very decent price.   Sold!   I knew exactly where they would go – my family room and the stair landing.   But, it was going to be a long, hard road to get them hung and I knew exactly why my beautiful new lanterns were going to become a major issue in the Webb household.  This is one of the issues:



Issue I:  The ceiling fan that has been hanging in my family room for 15 years.  


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Issue II:   Ol’ Mr. Slipper Socks Man himself.


Now understand, I hate to brag, but my house is my domain.   I, and I alone, am in charge of each decorating decision.  And by large, that’s a true statement.  Except for a few issues – one of which is ceiling fans.   Mr. Slipper Socks Man has to have “air moving around” to be happy – even in the winter.  And it’s not just because Houston isn’t scalding hot (which it is) but maybe, just maybe, if he would let me move the thermostat down from 78 degrees he might not need his “air moving around” 24/7 – but that’s what he claims he needs to be happy.  And I’ve humored him and let him ruin my bedroom and my family room with his ceiling fans.   But these two gorgeous lanterns were just too much to pass up – and frankly, I’m tired of humoring him.  I hate ceiling fans and I’m done with them.  But to get them hung I knew it was going to take a lot of skillful psychological maneuvering.    I was up to the challenge.

OK, it took longer than I thought.    The two lanterns sat in the garage for a year, waiting for him to change his mind about his insistence on a ceiling fan in the family room.   After waiting in vain for a year, I finally had to take the matter into my own hands.  The lanterns needed light kits installed, so a few weeks ago, I dragged them out of the garage to Alcon on Alabama who miraculously electrified them both in less than a week.    When the lanterns were finished I brought them home and placed them on the floor by the front door - a BIG hint.   The lanterns sitting by the front door seemed to say:   “Hey, Mr. Slipper Socks Man – we aren’t going away.  We’re here to stay, get used to it, bud.”    So, they sat there for a week, and we never once discussed them.  But he knew, he knew exactly what I had on my mind.  And bless him, he is so sweet – and I guess that’s why I humor him because, he is the sweetest man in the world.  He finally comes up to me one day, out of the blue, and we have this conversation:

“You can go ahead and put up the lanterns, I’ll just get a space fan.”

“Really? You don’t mind?   Because I thought I could always just put one on the landing and the other one in the guest room.”

“No, go ahead, it’s O.K.”  

See?  I told you how sweet he is.  Had I only known then what plans he had in his mind.

Sam and Randy Bennett, the best electricians in Houston,  bar none,  (these guys can install a sconce anywhere and not leave a mark) came out and installed the two lanterns the next day.  One went on the landing, the other in the family room.   To tell you the truth, I am in love.  Do you blame me?    Look:


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Like I said, I hate to brag, but does a light fixture get any prettier than this?  I’m in love, seriously in love.  Yes, I know it’s not an antique, and yes, I know an antique would look better, but hey – it’s good enough for me.    In fact, I couldn’t be any happier. 


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Full on view – wow!   To me, this lantern is worth more than a 10 carat diamond and a closet full of designer clothes. 



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The landing with the second lantern.   Love it, but I’m not as “in love” with this as the one in the family room.  This is like comparing your Chanel purse with your Cole Haan purse – you like them both – you just like one a little better.  Not that I would know, I don’t own a Chanel purse, but I’m assuming I would feel that way. 



Another view – hard to get a good shot.  


So, Mr. Slipper Socks Man had a migraine the day these were installed and left for work late.  On his way out, I told him I would get a space fan for him.  Fine, just get a good one, he warns me.    You know it!






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I thought this was a good fan.  It’s small, but really powerful.   Quiet too.   And kind of cute, in a old fashioned way.  Easy to remove before company comes over, a good compromise.     Mr. Slipper Socks Man comes home and admits (he hated to do this, I know) that he loved the lanterns.  He actually used that word “love” which is a rarity he reserves for his daughter always, and me sometimes.  The fan though, really, really bothered him.   A lot.   He moved it around a few times.  He asked me “have you lost your mind?” – it was:

1.  Too small.

2.  Not powerful enough.

3.   Too loud (it wasn’t!)

4.  A total disappointment.

5.  It was a big mistake to “let” me take down the ceiling fan and put the lantern up.


He was so miserable he went upstairs to the bedroom to watch TV before the 10:00 news.  Another rarity.   The next night, he stayed downstairs until only 8:00.    I knew he was silently fuming over the loss of his ceiling fan only to be replaced by my kind-of cute retro fan.   I figured time would take care of it.   I was wrong.    The third night he came home with a huge package from Brookstone.  I have no idea what a Brookstone is, but I can only imagine  how much I loathe that store.  


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It’s not funny.  Not funny at all.  I”m not laughing.  I am the one fuming now.   I mean, really, is HE serious?   OMG, just looking at this picture makes me want to cry.  And I’m serious about that.   I am at a loss of how to handle this.  He, though, is in heaven.  He proudly points out all the features to me:  a remote control!!!   It oscillates!!!  It’s really quiet!!!  (It’s not.)   He neglects to mention it’s most obvious adjective:  It’s Ugly!!!!



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You see it there, on the right by the TV on steriods, another one of his dreckorating ideas.    I need a valium.   Look how TALL that thing is!!!!!!  OH and I almost forgot, he also bought a mini version of this for Elisabeth’s room!!!   I might kill him tonight.




Oh wait, there’s more.    Mr. Slipper Socks Man is really dreckorating tonight.   He moved the rattan child’s size chair in front of the fan to hide it.   OOOHHHHHH – yes!!!!    That REALLY hides it!!!  I can’t see that humongous, ugly, black thermometer at all now.  Whew!  Problem solved, Mr. Slipper Socks Man to the rescue.  Another job well done.  Ok, I’m going to go cry now.  This is just not getting any better.  





Which bring me to this:   The Skirted Roundtable is discussing this very issue this week – “Designing for the Sexes” – and no, it wasn’t planned at all.  I had no idea I was going to be embroiled in my own “Designing For The Sexes”  fiasco.   We also discuss -  in the Blogging Segment – how to grow your audience.  Be sure to listen this week!!!   AND as an added bonus this week – we have a new feature:  “Saturday Short” – a sort of bloopers from the Skirted Roundtable, things that made the cutting room floor.  I haven’t even heard it yet – but judging from the picture of the “recliner” I have a good idea what it’s about!!!!!  Very funny!!!

Click HERE to hear!


Ben just read this – he has one request.  That I show him looking like a “human being.”   Here he is on his company’s web site:



Aw, he’s soooo cute!!!!   And he’s cool too!


  1. Joni - I'm so glad you posted this because I always wondered what you did with your ceiling fan clients. Now I know that you had one too, I'm not the only one. I live in Arizona which is hot, hot, hot and I have always wanted a chandelier in our bedroom but am too scared to get rid of the fan. Even though I don't like it on all of the time sometimes those hot summer nights are too much to bear even with the AC at 77. Seeing your transformation makes me want a new light even more.

    I'm in love with the lanterns!

  2. Those lanterns are absolutely gorgeous! Worth the trade-off for That Thing in the corner. I think you should look past it. Here's the thing-- it is so, so, so obviously purely functional that it is BETTER it doesn't try to look nice. (Worse than a plain old white ceiling fan is one that tries to look "fancy"-- as if you wanted it there). And personally, I feel that your cute fan was blocking your tablescape. Now, just when I was all set on that Scarecrow color, you show these pictures of your house again and now I want a nice, cheery yellow. What to do...

  3. that really was funny- love the lantern, and i feel your pain on the oscillating tower fan. oy.

    funnily enough, i just did something i NEVER thought i'd do- recommend a ceiling fan for a client's living room! it's a teeny, tiny space in a hundred year old bungalow, and there is a dreadful semi-flush ceiling fixture there now- no room for something glamorous like a lantern or chandelier, and no budget to just plaster the hole over (we are not painting, sadly), so all i can think of doing is a vintage looking fan- the client looked at me like i was crazy, but i think it's the most architecturally appropriate solution, as i'm sure one hung there for years and years...

    never in a million years did i think i'd ever want a ceiling fan in a room. ka-ray-zee.

    ps- why don't you like mr. stairwell lantern as much? he looks great!

  4. Joni, I am laughing so hard as there may be a possibility your husband and mine were separated at birth. At least his purchase is a necessity whereas who needs a set of large, tower speakers? Long story too, but in a nutshell I detest the da*n things! You have my most heartfelt sympathy. :)

    Love your new lanterns. Impeccable taste! -Brenda-

  5. Joni: Honestly, he's the cutest guy I've ever seen wear slipper-socks! And the lanterns look fantastic, too.

  6. OHMYGOD!!! I am laughing so hard I might fall out of my chair. Some things never change and I happen to remember that POUT from many years ago. Once he didn't want to go to this restaurant "just outside" of Austin (The Inn at Brushy Creek - Keith was treating us!). It was a 13 minute drive - I timed it - but he was mad the whole evening! All of that said in love, he was and is the cutest, sexiest man ever! Oh, and your lanterns are fabulous!! Great, great story!

  7. Hysterical - I mean your writing not the predicament!

    But now I'm in the dog house with my husband because I was multi-tasking and trying to "help" him think where he lost his wallet while reading your blog post. At the point I got to "I could k-ill him tonight" I burst out into laughter. My poor husband thought I was laughing at him and the 700th time he's misplaced his wallet. I guess I made it worse when I kept on sporadically laughing...Great post!!

  8. And they say women are the pouters. Puleez!!!!
    Kept me in stitches til I saw that dreadful thing. Maybe if you set fire to the childs chiat then you wouldn't notice the oscillationg monstrousiy. Must remember dreckorating, sonce I'm a play on wordage freak.
    Two words... Restoration Hardware. Their standing fan looks much like yours, comes in a bronze like finish so it will "go with" your haven & will keep Mr Slipper Socks (so my favorite hubby nom de plume on blogspot!!!!)at bay. Ours did.
    My dad's Brookstone (yup the same one!!!)purchase...kills my mother in her kitchen.

  9. Oh the lamps are divine...and I need to spellcheck when Im on a roll...

  10. Those lanterns are the crowning touch for your home! They are beautiful and your post was hilarious. Maybe you can find some type of antique french cabinet/umbrella stand on 1stdibs or the like to hide the fan? Deborah

  11. OMG! You had me at those gorgeous lanterns...THEN.... thud....or crash and burn ... what is Mr. Slipper Socks thinking?? Oh Dear! I have to say I had a giggle or two, but feel for you Joni! I think you need to start looking for a beautiful french iron friese (SP) or screen..whatcha ma call it to camoflauge that monstrosity! You'll figure it out I am sure of that!! :)

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  13. If you weren't so nice I might just hate you, The things you find for your house are lovely. How great are those lanterns. The fan is well... a fan, so just keep looking up. xo, MB

  14. It seems like the skirts on the tables in the last photo provide the answer...just dress up the moster fan with a little custom fabric!

  15. What is is with men. I love how he tried to hide it with the chair. Too funny. I also saw the pudding cup on the table. Hysterical!
    I love the lanterns, especially the one in the family room. It's amazing how the lighting can make such a huge difference in the way a room looks.

  16. I love this post. Too funny. We have the same ceiling fan war going on here.

  17. Well, I guess you are just going to have to take him out to dinner and have that little chat....Hmm?

  18. This post just cracked me up! I have had some of the worst power struggles over some of the most ridiculous ideas so when I read this I busted out laughing. My husband's most recent electronic decoration is a stupid antenna, not just any antenna - rabbit ears. Earlier in the year we bought a TINY undercounter tv/dvd/cd player with a swivel screen. The idea was to have music or a movie playing while cooking and cleaning. My husband decided we needed tv reception so he could watch the news in the morning. You can imagine my reaction when I came home and saw a black box with RABBIT EARS on the kitchen counter. Update - the rabbit ears are in a cabinet and dear husband can pull them out and hook them up if and when he ever decides to watch the news on this little 9 inch screen.

  19. This is so funny...(sorry), but hey your guy is cute and we wouldn't want him happy! You my dear deserve a crown. Wear it proudly. Those lanterns rock. Your whole room is great, well that is except for what's hiding behind the little rattan chair, lol!

  20. White Loft StudioMay 30, 2009 at 5:08 PM

    So very funny.... and I can so relate to this debacle!

    great blog btw!

  21. LOLOLOLOL! Oh, Joni, you just made my night. The only thing worse than a fan is a recliner. I have threatened divorce over that. I've also promised one but didn't deliver. ;-)

    BTW, I have a question I asked you in my blog post today if you get a chance to read it. hehehe.

    As I recall, Mario Buatta was quoted as saying that husbands and children are the great destroyers of design. I think he might have a point. He was also quoted as saying that dust is a protective coating for fine antiques which I KNOW is right! ;-)


    Sheila... who thinks the fan is an excellent excuse to invest in a fine antique screen!

  22. Ah, you poor thing! Our home is no where near as beautifully decorated as yours, but my husband picked up the same fans (in woodsy brown, though) two years ago. They work really well, but I feel your pain asthetically (spelling?).

    As for your lanterns though - marvelous!! What a great idea to bring them indoors. Love how everything comes together in your home, with or without the man-approved modern fan.

  23. Yep...Been there done that...OY those HUGE tower speakers...and techie stuff for the TV!

    Fans we need here. They go all the time. I not only appreciate them, I bow to them.

    Those lanterns are charming! Love seeing your house, as as I am trying to figure out your floor plan, what is the room behind the fan (past the staircase) The living room? I dunno...I'm weird that way..I lik eto piece together houses when I see different pics!

    Have a great weekend...and tell Mr. slippersocks that he looks adorable with sock monkeys on his feet!

  24. Joni Webb,

    You are a HOOT! I laughed out loud at this post. The lanterns are gorgeous and add so much to both your den and your stairway. I love you den, by the way and it always inspires me to disect the pictures. As always, thank you for sharing! Mr. Slipper Socks is adorable. Too funny about his fan and moving the chair to "hide it".

  25. Completely hilarious. Everyone who cares about lanterns has someone who cares about fans, or something like it. My money's on you.

  26. I laughed so hard at this post, because I can totally relate to the ceiling fan issue and the tower fan. We have fans through out our home (including over the dining table - a left-over from the previous owners), I hate, hate, hate them because they are not only fans but ugly ones. I just recently banished the air purifier as it is a tower of pure ugly to our family room, where it shall stay until it somehow magically meets its demise (bwahahaha!).


  27. I dunno Joni... I think it looks as fabulous in the stairwell as it does in the family room which is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
    OMG, tell me he didn' put that child's chair in front of that thing (had one for the back porch in Dallas to keep the skeeters away! But would immediately put it back in the garage when not in use!!) That is actually pretty cute since he either 1. knew in his man-heart that it was ugly, or 2. that he knew you HATED it and he was trying to please you?!! This is really the funniest, ever! I laughed my boo-tay off! Mr. Socks is really cute too!

  28. Oh Joni, you had me laughing. It reminds me of when my husband told me that I was "ruining this house" by painting all of the (golden 80s oak, cheapest stuff they sell)trim molding. They're in a whole other world!

  29. Good story...reminds me of the one about the hubby who couldn't let go of the ols blue recliner!
    Then the new leather chair came into his home & he forgot all about the recliner.
    Have a good weekend...

  30. SO FUNNY, Sorry I did laugh right before You told me not to! I do love lanterns- these especially. I love slipper socks- can't beat'um. I don't know what one of my married clients did when her husband said No, She just said SHE would take care of it. I shutter to think what She might have done, to him. I say be creative- this is most obviously one of your many talents! I thinking that thermometer might disappear sooner than later,I am betting Sooner. By the way, they have the retro things on a stand sorta a compromise if nothing else works. la

  31. Hi Joni! How many times we come across situations like that? I've been also fighting about the ceiling fan in my bedroom... I guess all men like this not so charming "accessories". The new latterns are just gorgeous! The look just perfect for you place! Oh! forgot to mention... I always take action too! I had this horrible red wall in my living room till yesterday... I just painted beige over it. DH was a little upset... and I often "leave" little things I need to be replaced around the corners of the house... Isn't this a great way to tell them what we really want? You have a done a great job pickeng those marvelous latterns! Enjoy them!! Hugs, Vanessa

  32. WOW! Fast comments! Glad everyone is getting a big laugh out of this one. The funniest thing is that we recorded the Skirted Roundtable on Monday and this happened Thursday night. It is so weird the timing of me acting like I can control my own house, NOT.

    Also - Alicia suggested here going to Restoration Hardware and I asked Ben and he said we could!!!!!! He said he would get another fan!!!!!!!!!!! So I may get to let him live after all! YEAH!!! I didn't want to have to kill him tonight. :) Thanks Alicia for the great suggestion about Restoration Hardware!!!!!

    OK have a great weekend and thanks as always for all the comments. I am SOOOOOOO happy!!!!!

  33. Oh, I did laugh when I read this. Poor you -- I've always envied your lovely family room and this was the first time I saw the side of it that belongs to slipper socks. So you DO have a large screen TV.
    If you think about it, the fan does match the TV. LOL.
    In addition to a LARGE flat screen TV in our home and a tower of accoutrements that go with it, we also have the Brookstone "aircleaners" in several of our rooms. I hide them as best I can and am biding my time ...think you might be stuck with that fan, though, for awhile. LOL.

  34. Joni - I love your blog and have been reading it fgor the past 1.5 yrs. This post was hilarious!! Very relateable!! I love your lanterns. Your home is beautiful and I have loved seeing Houston through your eyes.

  35. OMG Joni, you are too funny!!!!! I loved this story> My favorites are always the ones of your family and your escapades. Thank you for sharing. The lanterns are beautiful and the fan is not so bad...after a while you won't even see it! Right?

  36. Your family room is absolutely gorgeous! I really love the lanterns. I got a good chuckle about the Brookstone fan!

  37. Joni-
    1. The thermostat should be set at 72 degrees-at 78 degrees no wonder he's hot.
    2. Set the house thermostat fan to on instead of automatic and there will be air circulating all the time.
    3. Get him a personal battery operated fan to hang around his neck like they recommend for menopausal women.
    4. Those lanterns are gorgeous and your house is stunning.
    5. Tell him as long as that horrible fan stays, the master bedroom will never be "hot" again if you get my drift.

  38. Fun, fun, funny. As always, thank you.

  39. That was just toooo funny! I try to view all your blogs, but being in a rural area with a wireless card makes it difficult for me. For some reason, your photos (which must be in a high resolution)take forever to load on my system... which means that the usage meter is going over the top! Glad I could enjoy this one... thanks, Terri

  40. I laughed until I had tears running down my face, probably because I am in the same boat with my Jake! I was laughing so hard Jake had to know why! Love your lanterns! I think I'll get up and turn the switch on the ceiling fan motor so it want come on and see if he notices.

  41. That's NOT funny!!! Not at all, not one bit. "I have no idea what a Brookstone is" is heresy.

    And that girly fan? Aw, come on.

    But Slipper man made two critical mistakes. Brookstone is where we hang out when you force us to go the mall. We aren't supposed to buy anything there, ever.

    Second, he admitted liking the lanterns. Well, who doesn't?

    P.S. Message to slipper guy from another guy with man migraines, I know, I know, I know.

  42. I love your site, I'm new to blogging and I find your house an inspiration. This story is hilarious and I completely relate since my boyfriend loves having a fan in our bedroom and our living room. I haven't allowed him to get a huge plasma in the bedroom like he would like but I still have to work on getting rid of the ugly fans and replacing them with chandeliers. Thanks for the story, I have learned a thing or two.

  43. Hey Joni- I'm dying laughing right now. Men always have something in mind when they say you can do something, every time I get the "ok, go ahead" I know its like the kiss of death and something awful is about to happen.

    At least you have Restoration Hardware, maybe you can find something pretty there- good luck with the fight, if anyone can win its totally you!

  44. Oh Joni---you make me LAUGH!!!! I LOVE the lanterns and I could totally picture your hubbys reaction because my husband would be the same way! Yes that fan it ugly but it is a fair price to pay for your gorgeous lanterns!!!

    My hubby and I went to Ibiza for dinner tonight and then we drove by the octagon house.....I came home to show him the photos on your site...I want that house...not happening but I want it.

    Okay I need those electricians phone number...I had Rulon and Dempsey out a few weeks ago for some estimates and they were through the roof and were going to make my walls and ceilings into swiss cheese. PLEASE e-mail me their info

    We really should have coffee/tea soon:)


  45. Okay I had to come back to tell you that Style redux has the best suggestions and Terry's comment made me laugh out loud too. Funny funny stuff here today!

  46. THAT was classic! Your Ben and MY Ben have A LOT in common - Hate your misery, but LOVE your tale of it!

  47. Thanks for sharing your Battle of the Sexes design dilemmna... it's so relatable and once again you've entertained us all immensely!

    LOVE the lanterns and I'm so happy that you finally have them up! And I'm glad to hear that Mr. Slipper Socks Man is enjoying them too and maybe getting a new RH fan!

  48. Dear Joni,
    This is by far the best ever, most entertaining and enlightening post you've ever written! It's a masterful summary of the heated battle men and women have been quietly -- and not-so-quietly! -- waging over control of the homefront since the Dark Ages.
    Sheer genius!

  49. Dear Joni,
    This is by far the best ever, most entertaining and enlightening post you've ever written! It's a masterful summary of the heated battle men and women have been quietly -- and not-so-quietly! -- waging over control of the homefront since the Dark Ages.
    Sheer genius!

  50. Oh, I love this post! And your Mr. Slipper Socks is just too adorable!

  51. Maybe you could make it your new obsession and start a collection of those things? LOL I'm really sorry...feel your pain :(

  52. * You're a GENIUS, Joni~~~ a HILARIOUS one! Were you aware one can actually LOSE WEIGHT while "reading you"?~ YES, IT'S TRUE!UH-HUH!~ It's actually IMPOSSIBLE to eat ICE CREAM if you're laughing too hard!!! (Trust me, THIS I now KNOW!)~~~

    Am feeling your PAIN, LOVE the lanterns, have SYMPATHY for your "situation" AND adooore your "socker-man" (especially cuz my DAD was like that re trying to "help"~~~ and we'd all just rolllll our eyes, but LOVINGLY, cuz he always MEANT WELL!)~

    ANNND, your Prince really I*S a cutie-patootie!!! (Maybe Y*O*U can "FAN the flames of heat" for him, INSTEAD of those nasty "other-type fans", if you get my drift!!!)~~~

    Honestly Joni, that was SUUUUUUCH a FUNNNNNN READ~~~ I actually went back n' read it a SECOND time, and MY husband is STILL waiting for me to join him in the family room!!!!

    You go, girl!!!

    Happy "winning"(for the MOST part, anyway!)~~~ Hugs,
    Linda *

  53. P.S. As you know we live in the desert~~~ (an "alternate" spelling is "H-O-T" in the summer months!). ANYHOOOOO, I REFUSE to be UNcomfy in my own home... LUCKILY we must be well-insulated because our house is rather cool if it's on any "one side or the other"... and I LIKE it that way! (And Jim does NOT like "ME" when I am tooo warm here!)... So, thermostat is set to keep me as cool as a cucumber.... poor as a church mouse w/ the bills in the summer, but cool just the same!!! ...Hey! Can't let that ICE-CREAM melt, ya know!)~~~ XOXO

  54. Loved the post! Totally hilarious and is something that would happen in my house hahaha!!!

  55. Too funny - and Ben is a cutie. I'd look past a little fan tower in order to have gotten those lanterns up and ceiling fans out. A small price to pay, I think! But then, I prefer moving air myself and put up with table fans on hot days to get it.

  56. Just blog hopping tonight and enjoyed reading your blog...LOVE YOUR BLOG...

    I am posting on our Disney trip so hope you will stop by. Also, the June giveaway starts today...all comments left in June will be in the drawing for the "June Card Box"! You will have to go down a few posts to read about the monthly giveaway.

  57. LOL! You are so funny...ceiling fans..sometimes they are a necessary evil LOL..I love your lanterns though! Hopefully Mr. Slipper socks will find a better looking fan, good luck! :0)

  58. I'm crying too! From laughing so hard! That is hysterical. And I know this is a long shot, since you are one busy bee, but when you have a sec, check out my blog. I posted a photo earlier today of a kitchen that has very similar lanterns over the island, but I couldn't help but notice they had your same clock that is on your landing! I am not sure the resource of the photo, but I just thought it was such a coincidence! Hope you have a wonderful day!


  59. Linda/MOM - send me your email address!!!!!!!

  60. back again...just to say THANKS for stopping by my blog and for the input on the photo!! ...And I of course got another good chuckle as I was strolling down to make a comment. That Brookstone contraption is just TOO FUNNY!

  61. ok, hilarious!if i laugh any harder, i might wet my pants. not only does my father have the same slipper socks condition, my husband as the same oscillating fan addiction! i kid you not, last week he came home with 2 mini versions for the kids rooms. i don't know about you, but i'd take a ceiling fan over the 'Tower Of Cool' any day... but those lanterns... oh the lanterns. Love.

  62. You just made my day.....I have the biggest smile on my face ever....Ben is a copy of my sweet husband...anything electrified is fine by him.

    I have to show my sweetheart this post!


  63. Joni
    I, too, hate, hate, hate ceiling fans. I could never understand their popularity (the uglier the better). However I now have one, left by the previous owner, in my bedroom. I must admit that the air movement is pleasant when the temperature is cool enough to forego airconditioning. But my latest love is for a campaign bed and the ceiling fan won't work with it. Perhaps I will have to have a Brookstone (I could hide it behind a decorative screen when not in use.) Loved the post.

  64. Too funny. What is it about men and their ceiling fans? My husband is the same way. I do have to admit it can get oppressively hot upstairs, even with our air conditioner running. So I compromised in our bedroom and had the ceiling fan painted out the same color as our ceiling (and definitely no lights!).

  65. OK Joni-- I have been reading your blog for over a year with oohs and aahs but now I have to come out of the closet!! You had me crying I was laughing sooooo hysterically!! Not only is my name Joni but I have my own slipper socks man at home, equally engaged in ceiling fans and atrocious t.v.s that have to be on every breathing moment he is present. My slipper socks man is just as adorable and sweet!! YOU MADE MY DAY!! I will be waiting for the Decorating for the Sexes with bells on. LOVE YOUR BLOG!! You are the best!! I wish you could come to Dallas and help me solve my decorating dilemmas, maybe nightmare would be a better word. Thank you for being such an inspiration and help to those of us that are decorating challenged even though we know what we love.
    Joni in Dallas
    PS I love that little lamb and I thought your fan was adorable.

  66. What is it with men and their ceiling fans?! Very funny Joni and damn true!

  67. Now that I have stopped laughing , oh poor you , the lanterns are to die for , and although the price you are paying is higher than you thought , they are beautiful , chin up , I mean always up in this room, so you don't see that ugly tower of a thing .
    I think you hubby looks so cute and relaxed ont he sofa in that hat too .
    I am considering a ceiling fan ,just like the one you took down for our bedroom , as for now my husband has to have a small yet powerful and noisey but cute vintage style fan , which I hate with a passion , I hate to feel the wind on me when I sleep , my hope is that the ceiling fan will be silent or nearly and that the moving air would be enough for his "COMFORT", lets face it this is a problem many of us live with .
    Beautiful lanterns.

  68. This is hilarious, Joni! Same thing here at my house. The Venus/Mars war obviously is happening in households all over the world! One time someone asked my husband if is hard living with a designer and he said that he gets scared when I look around the house with "that look" in my eyes! By the way, tell Ben if it makes him feel any better we all think he's cute!

  69. Joni,

    Those fans have me fanning myself! LOVE those lanterns and your hot husband is a doll (and a good sport)! Great post you had me hysterical once again!


  70. Hilarious. This post deserves a Blog award.

    You will win this girlie. A little time & concentrated thinking. Can't wait for that post.

    Of course in my own battle of the sexes, about keeping my lamps ON all day, I resorted to the ultimate and it worked. His eyes got big and out of his lips came a whispered, Ok. And guess who came to me later & said, I like your lamps on????

    Did you know light bulbs burn out faster if you continually turn them on/off all day? Did you know our power bill did NOT go up with the lamps on all day?

    Back to your post. You've hit some kind of new high. And you're already way, way up there!
    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  71. LOL Love the lanterns. They are divine!

    Might want to let Ben know the slipper socks could be replaced with flip flops to keep him cooler in the hot spring and summer!!!!

  72. The lanterns are definitely worth it, Joni.
    I feel your pain, though. Steve has gotten much more opinionated through the years. Fortunately, he knows when to give up, and I have learned to give him the few things he truly loves. Apparently you know when to let your adorable Ben have his way in order to keep peace in your beautiful home.
    I'm off to listen to your discussion. They are always fun and informative.


  73. Joni,

    Great post! I had a reader send me a link to The Fargo from Wind Deco a couple of months ago:{042f06df-a448-43dc-8710-0545094d809c}&gid={4b7a3467-e315-4f97-b879-10945ab5572f}&pname=The+Fargo&Referer=&Alias=&ptct=GL2-SR&CTitle=&

    I'm not quite sure what I think about it, but if nothing else it doesn't look like a fan and it's a lot smaller than the thermometer you have at the foot of your stairs now.

  74. Oh Joni, Joni I just had to laugh! I have a lantern ready to hang and I have your exact ceiling fan. The thing is I do love the feeling of the fresh air. I cold prob live with a little retro. Leave to a guy though....they always think bigger is better!

  75. Funniest thing you've ever posted, and I was with you every inch of the way. That before and after shot of the table without, and then with,the Retro Fan was
    PS Love the lanterns.

  76. Joni,

    Love the lanterns. Love your house. The fan is not at all cute but, at least, Mr. slipper socks is.
    Where did you get that cute dog bed?

  77. Joni,

    Your lanterns are lovely.

    Fans are essential in the Deep South but that newly installed thing isn't a solution
    to the problem.

    Some old table fans are inoffensive and even atmospheric in the right environment.

    Here are some restored old fans found on a brief internet search ~

    Hudson Custom Machining 'Lake Breeze' table fan

    1930s German table fan

    Fan of unknown origin in a shop

    There might be some old French table fans out there as well that are acceptable to everyone.

    Best of luck

  78. This is side-splitting and so true--whether it is husbands or sons, men to not get it! But I love the lanterns--maybe the tower fan will become less problematic with time, it is better than a box fan.
    Thanks for the laughs and have a great week.

  79. ***** To JONI's "MR.SLIPPER SOCKS"~~~ In OUR family, when I was a child, they were called "MUCKLUKS"!!!

    *****Anyone ELSE know them by that name? (Ah, "THANKS... for the memories"!!!)~~~

  80. This situation sounds just like something that would happen at MY house!!! LOL...The lanterns are soooooo gorgeous....the crowning touch for sure! The fan on the other hand...whatcha gonna do ;o)Gotta love them guys!

  81. L.O.L. I am so glad that I am not the only one who gets involved in these battle-of-the sexes design wars. Misery loves company! (At least you can still move it before company comes over).

    p.s. your lanterns look great!
    p.p.s. The Skirted Roundtable is awesome.

  82. Like Ben, I love air moving around me, but like you I hate, really hate, ceiling fans. Another hate of mine is that tower of plastic power that Ben came home with. I think "it" would be just fine in the garage to keep the cars cool in summer and Mr. Cutie Pie if he goes out there to check on his tools. Have you thought of getting a standing fan like one from Deco Breeze?

  83. Joni,

    Your house is so gorgeous! Can I move in? I love the lanterns...they look great. I'm also in Houston and my husband won't let me get rid of our ugly ceiling fans either and it drives me crazy. He has to have them on at all times.

    Great post!


  84. I have to wipe the tears from my eyes to type this. Great post and great lanterns!
    G in CT

  85. BEN: I hate to say it, but that fan, however utilitarianly functional looks like ASS in Joni's Fronch rooms. You KNOW she is going to make your life an absolute tornado until you give it up. I think you could work in a mistress easier....

    JONI: No Cereal in the house until the Fan leaves.

    Stop being an antique snob. There is NOTHING wrong with those lanters. NOTHING.

    Joni & Ben: Switch on the FAN button on the thermostat to ON instead of AUTO. Instant moving air, no ugly fan.

  86. OK. I actually see BOTH sides to this dilemma. The lanterns are beyond fabulous but being a woman of a "certain" age, I am on most days hotter than a 2 dollar pistol so a POWERFUL fan is a necessity. Camouflage Joni. Camouflage (O:

  87. How funny!! I think it's the same in most households I know... the husband usually lets the wife have free reign until he finds that "one thing" he feels he must take a stand on. Whether a big deal or small detail, all I usually have to do is wait mine out... or call his bluff. My husband and I have been in a stand-off about panelling the ceilings in our living room and kitchen. I know it's not going to be one of the most "fun" do-it-yourself jobs that's been accomplished around here, but he's a fantastic (and almost always willing) carpenter and handyman and I know he can do it. He's insisting though that a panelled ceiling isn't "necessary" (the weakest argument ever, right?) and that he hates working over his head. But what he'll hate even more is a quote for pro installation! I'll wear him down yet... I can feel it...
    Oh, and I have an old lantern leaning against my firplace this very minute waiting to be showcased against that beautifully panelled ceiling! Yours look fantastic--I love the light they throw around the room.
    And that thing your husband calls a fan? I have no words. Good luck fixing that!!

  88. 1st time comment, but I've hit your blog a few times and find it quite the thing!
    Hot San Joaquin valley here and ceiling fans are non-negotiable. I have a penchant for antiques and every item in a room looking good/working well, yet cannot disconnect from my fans. Mine also run day and night throughout Summer and all the way into the coldest day of winter. (only the MBR fan in winter, though) I feel for your SSMan. And he came up with quite an answer to the lovely vintage-look lanterns, did he not? Touche Mr. SSMan!

  89. Joni - Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I was so honored. I loved this post. My husband and I had just been standing in our great room discussing what fixture I had chosen to install. Just out of curiosity how low does your lantern hang? The fixture I'm looking at is the bryant chandelier from circa but I'm not sure about the height. Your lanterns look fabulous.

  90. I'm sorry I usually lurk but it really is funny.I haven't read any other comments but I will just say.Forget the fan & just remember the lantern love.

  91. I L-O-V-E this post! so funny! My husband is the same way with his "fans"- we have to have this noisy and obnoxious fan blowing right on our faces in the middle of the night in our bedroom.
    I can't stand it- the huge walmart contraption- so funny!
    I remember an old friend of mine said to me once when I was decorating our bedroom- "look, the man should feel like a guest in the bedroom"- so that is what I do now too- I design for myself- and he can just deal with it.-
    BUT- he brings out the damn fan everytime I put it away.

    I look forward to the BOTS posts!

  92. LOL...I was just talking to Patricia last night about you and your Mr. Puddin Cup/Slipper Socks...concencus...we think he's adorable :)

  93. The dog bed???? i can't remember!! honestly!!! maybe from ginger barber? I've had it for ages. but hein lam made the cushion for me.

    93 comments! y'all are TOO sweet!!! and only one on mr. slipper socks man's side. hehe


  94. I am so wiped out from my carnival day with my mini's but your post had me cracking up. Mr. Slipper Socks & my Mr. Yogi-Lawyer should go bowling...Good Lord. Thanks for the laughs. ;) I wish you lived in Chicago!!

  95. I loved this post and boy can I funny! I always tell the woman of the house, "If she ask and he says, "NO", you anit going to get it...But if you go ahead and get it, and he gets mad... YOU STILL GOT IT".

  96. Where do you get the great zebra pillows? Love them.

  97. Your lanterns are gorgeous!

    I just want to encourage you a little... my man loves that type of fan and we own 3!!!!!
    Living room, bedroom and son's room.

    You only have one and such a small price to pay for the fab lanterns. Really.


  98. I love your lanterns and your story, as we may be having the same discussion here soon. I'm hoping an attic fan will be a good solution. Costco even has a solar powered one.

    I never noticed your little sheep. She looks like a sister to my "Dr. Pippin".

  99. I forgot to tell you how much I LOVE your lanterns!! But... I also have to agree with Mr. Puddin Cup/Slipper socks when it comes to air moving around...dare I? LOL I am always freakishly hot.

    Loved your tablescape outside on your porch by the way :)Stunning.

  100. Oh no, no, no.
    Go immediately over to the Restoration Hardware website and look at their floor fans. I have had this problem with clients before and these made everyone, including me, happy. They are similar to your retro puppy, but larger and will blow the slipper socks right off him. I think they have two models, one in silver and one in bronze or black, I can't remember. Just go look. Now!

    And I love the lanterns!!

  101. Well, look at it this way: you had one ugly fan before and you have one ugly fan now PLUS a beautiful lantern which is far more noticeable than the thermometer fan. I was afraid you were going to say he went to Restoration Hardware and got the big fan similar to the little one you got. I did and my Goodness! That one sounds like a jet engine and can blow you off your chair. Be glad he didn't do that!

  102. Eekk, just read that you ARE going to Restoration Hardware. Be careful!

  103. Joni,
    I hope you get this since I am at the bottom of such a long list!!!

    Do you think the blue and white porcelain goes with all color schemes? What do you consider the best resource for finding good quality blue and white? I am intersted in starting a collection and would like to know how and where to start?

    Thank you so much for your help!!!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!!!

  104. From a French man that loves beautiful rooms:

    That tower fan is so NOT in your room's colour palette...

    Spray paint it to match the walls and yes that includes that black grill part of it.

    At a minimum that fan should have the decency to be a nice colour!

  105. Love the lanterns; hate the fan. Although I must confess that I still have the identical ceiling fan out on my back porch.

    Perhaps a wicker screen? Might be easier than banishing your husband to the garage.

  106. I feel for you - really. Thats one of the holdups I think with us moving in together -he's afraid i'll put in a lot of 'fancy' stuff in his words and he won't be 'comfortable'. The 2 can co-exist!
    I love the lanterns -the cute little fan is nice, but I can see how your hubbie would want something larger. Maybe just a larger vintagey looking fan would work better - they have some on floor stands that aren't so bad at restoration hardware I believe.
    I hope that tall ugly THING from brookstone(that place is hell) went right back. OMG it's so ugly, Joni! And that can't really do much -can it? Other than look hideous I mean!

  107. Sorry to laugh at your expense, but that was one funny post! The new lanterns look FABULOUS. The new fan... well, not so much. BUT, I can see Ben's point of wanting to be comfortable in his own home. Robert similarly likes fans and is much hotter natured than I am. I found a neat vintage-looking stainless fan at Restoration Hardware a couple of years back. It's probably not as efficient as that Brookstone piece, however! Good luck!

    Love the *real* picture of Mr. Cote de Texas, by the way!

  108. * Joni, OMG!!! I ALLLLMOST forgot to "share" w/ you the SAYING my Jim & I LAUGHINGLY, and LOVINGLY, use in OUR home:~~~~~`

    "Ain't MAMA happy, ain't nobody happy. (We've ALL heard THAT, RIGHT???)... Buuuut, WE ADD:

    "Ain't PAPA happy, nobody cares!"

    "YEP!"~~~ Linda *

  109. omg - I peed my pants - you are too funny!

    p.s. don't kill him - he's too cute

  110. The funniest post of all time!
    Your lanterns are BEAUTIFUL!

  111. Lanterns: BEAUTIFUL, Fan: Not so much. Maybe the compromise should be when he is done using it - it goes into the broom closet? LOL! Great post Joni, hate to laugh knowing it causes you so much grief - but it was very funny!

  112. I have enjoyed this post so much! Not because you are not happy, but because I can relate to your situation a little. I asked my husband a few years ago to replace our ceiling fan in our family room and bedroom with a chandelier. He reluctantly did it knowing he would miss his cool fan. There was a little "scuttle-buff" about it at first, but now he has long forgotten it. Whew! Thank goodness. I just have to laugh at your dilemna though, because as women who love to decorate and have every detail beautiful, we see the ugly in anything that might be useful sometimes. It's like why can't things be useful AND beautiful at the same time. Men don't care as much as we do. I'm sure this will blow over soon enough. Maybe you can hide it behind a plant when he's not home and just bring it out at night in private. Ha! It's not that bad - really!! At least he lets you decorate the rest of the house the way you want. It's BEAUTIFUL, by the way!!!

  113. Great post! The antique French lantern is gorgeous by the way!

  114. pretty great post!

    love the wall color with the blue & white.

  115. Just wanted to say, love your hilarious story and I am sure this cool hubby of your will become a fan too....
    of those lanterns, so there will be peace and a I agree, you might find the perfect significant other I mean!!! :)))

  116. I am laughing out loud right now because we have the same "moving air" issue AND the same fan in our house. Luckily, there were no ceiling fans to spoil him when we moved in.

    At least yours is place somewhat descreetly by the stairs ... my husband likes to place it front and center by the sofa to catch the best breeze AND then move it into the bedroom at night (though I will admit that I love to sleep with it on).

    Just look up at your beautiful lantern when you think about it!! Haha.

  117. you are so funny. My husband has a need for blizzard conditions fan air, which dries out my menopausal eyeballs, so to compromise I got the plainest, all black ceiling fans I could find so I would not appear to be trying to decorate ...

    Also, what kind of camera & flash do you use? Your pics look beautiful.

  118. Okay, thank you for posting this. Once again I am reminded that I'm not crazy and that other people feel the same way I do about decorating!!

    My husband feels the same way yours does about "air moving" around him at all times. And because our house is a very modest ranch in the 'burbs, and we don't really have the money for such beautiful lanterns, we have ceiling fans. I'm okay with that. Not my ideal, but hey - there's a lot in this house that I would change given a decent budget. But imagine having a ceiling fan AND (AND!!!!) one of those ugly tower fans. Yep. Welcome to my world in the summer. It was dragged out of the garage just this weekend.

    I can't wait until we've been married for a while and my husband learns to be as sweet as yours!

    p.s. - The child's chair in front of the fan was classic! Something I can see many guys doing in an effort to "help"!!

  119. Those lanterns look like they belong there. They are perfection.
    What color is your family room painted? I have long been an admirer of that shade of creamy yellow.

  120. Love love LOVE you lantern idea. Really love it! Same issue in my house about the ceiling fan (in the bedroom) OH and the HEINOUS light that comes with it.

  121. Great post! Very's nice to know that you too have "issues" decorating around the family.

  122. well, they were spelled mukluks - sort of a take-off on an Inuit word - thanks for the wonderful story -

  123. So funny, but, oh, I am so torn here, love the lanterns, understand the value of the fan, all three of them. With DC's sticky summers, I can't bear the thoughts of a summer without all the upstair's fans going at full tilt. The retro black fan is very attractive but a remote, now that is fun. Then again, the black fan is so cute, I could just stick my face in front of it like a long eared dog!

  124. Great post, just another reason why I write this:

    Dearest Joni,

    It's official: we love you. Even though it may be blog chain mail, we fell for it, and now we're roped you in, too.

    We hearby nominate you for a Splash Award. Thanks for being so fabulous and making us smile.

  125. did you know I was laughing...your writing was spot on! Great story...soooo funny! Love your lanterns...they are gorgeous...definitely worth some compromising, fan wise. :-)

  126. Gorgeous lanterns, Joni!

    And I laughed so hard at this post, but only because I know your pain all too well, and I think most married women do as well.

    Oh...husbands...what are we going to do with them? For your husband, it's the fan. (I've actually trained mine to appreciate chandeliers and use tiny tabletop fans). For mine, it's computers. My home office is beginning to look like a computer graveyard, rather than the pretty, feminine, organized room I had planned. I guess it's time for the tough talk.

  127. How on earth do you have time to blog or do anything else with such a beautiful home!? Love your style as usual. And what a sweetie your husband is! The good ones eventually get where we want them to be because of our persuasiveness (although my husband refers to this as my nagging).

  128. The old battle of function over form. When will "they" get it? You are not supposed to be comfortable in a room, you are supposed to have it look good.

    Perhaps if I sent you a few pictures of the massive surround sound speakers in our family room you might feel better. Our current battle is the the several thousand military awards made from brass, cheap wood, and faux velevet that the man has received and keeps asking me to find a place for. Isn't under the bed a place? :)

  129. Joni, are know you are upset but at least you made us laugh. Stay cool!!!

  130. First of all, the lanterns are truly special and you have told us several times how much you love lanterns. But I have take up for Ben. My husband and I have had similar discussions. I say he evolved from a St. Bernard because he is just dreadful in summer. I gave in to ceiling fans because it makes him more comfortable. Our two-story house lacks zone cooling and heating and in the summer it gets really stuffy upstairs where we have our media room and bedroom. I get to decide almost everything we do to our home, this is one small concession. A home should be comforting for everyone and sometimes style has to take it on the chin. I got to this position through compromise. I took the thousands of dollars it would have taken to upgrade our AC and spent in on my garden!

  131. Your house looks like a well stocked store and not a home, so the fans fit right in.
    Get over it.

  132. Okay Joni, so I'm dying to know.... what's happened? What is the fan outcome?!
    Just yesterday while in the garage-mahol dear husband ran across our "tower fan" that, as I mentioned, we used to use on the patio to keep mosquitos away... I had read this post to him about a week ago.... he says "I'm gonna do some 'dreckorating' and take this up to the living room!!:)" Don't cha love it when the husband listens!!
    Don't leave us hangin' girl!!

  133. "dreckorating" - you're hilarious! You've just expanded my vocabulary!!