COTE DE TEXAS: INTERIOR DESIGN OBSESSION

INTERIOR DESIGN OBSESSION


This little four year old is thinking about her birthday wish.   Knowing her as well as I do, she is probably wishing for a Magic Room that you can step into and emerge with long, blonde, stick-straight, goyeshe hair!!! 

I don’t think she is dreaming about design – not quite yet.   That wouldn’t start for another two or three more years. 

Welcome to my world!

It’s been ages since I’ve written anything really personal.    I’m not sure why I don’t write about personal things much anymore, probably because my life seems so BORING these days! 

I started this story planning to write about rooms that have made me “gasped” over the years.   While I was writing the story about Carolyne Roehm’s Charleston house, I realized that I said “I gasped when I saw this room” a number of times.  And it’s true – I actually gasp when I see a room that moves me.  Next I’ll scream – "on my God!!!” 

To write the “Gasp” story,  I looked at almost every photo saved on my Blogger account, which holds tens of thousands of images – and as I was pulling the “Gasp” photos, I decided to change the story to “Interiors That Have Influenced My Aesthetic Over The Past 63 Years,”  all of which are “Gasp” designs.

Obviously if you are reading this, you are into interior and architectural design.  Were you always that way?  I know that I was - and assume I was born with a gene to obsess over interior design. 

I think my very first dip into design was my best friend’s house.  It was two stories with a lovely (I thought) staircase and endless rooms.  They were a large family and upstairs, there were two large bay windows, one of which was her bedroom – with no door. 

To that little girl with the endlessly curled hair, living in a bay window was dreamy and exotic.  Almost as exotic as their Easter egg hunts in their large, wooded backyard.  I jealously watched from the sidelines, fresh from praying on Passover about being held in slavery by the Egyptians and wandering in the desert for 40 years.  Don’t get me started on how sad and morose Jewish “holidays” are!  If only we could hunt pastel eggs left by a huge white furry bunny instead of reciting the 10 Plagues bestowed upon our people, diseased livestock and boils being my favorite plagues!!

But, I digress…

My friend’s two story house was my first obsession, then it was magazines.  Somehow, and to this day I don’t know how, my elderly cousin knew to bring me stacks and stacks of old design magazines when I was just 6 or 7.  Excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized that the magazines were decades old.

When I was eight, my parents designed and built a contemporary house and my obsession for design began in earnest.  I pored over the floor plans for the new house and was even allowed to help choose things for my room – including a lavender sink and a lavender accent wall behind the bed!!   For years, I drew floor plans in school, designing my perfect dream house.  A magazine article about a contemporary home owned by a duPont was for years my ideal.   

I knew nothing of French antiques until my father married my step mother who introduced me to that style and ever since then, I’ve been hooked.  I wrote about Betty Rae’s important influence on my aesthetic HERE.



Another early obsession, which still remains today, was the White House.   I joined the Book of the Month Club, without parental permission, when I was about 12 (what a rebel!) and as an award, you got 10 books for free.  One I chose was a large coffee table book on the President’s House, which I still own to this day. I’ll never forget when that huge box arrived with all those books!  Somehow my horrified parents convinced the Book of the Month Club to let me out of their contract. 


Of course my favorite room was the Kennedy Blue Room, an early hint of things to come.

A skirted table!!!!

 

Back then, movies often spurred an obsession:


“Gone With The Wind” started a love affair of anything southern plantation house AND green curtains!

 

Another early love was “Dr. Zhivago.”

The ice palace!    For years I swore my daughter was going to be named Antonia or Tonya for short.

 

In high school, it was this movie house that occupied my mind:

The large multi storied house in “Goodbye Columbus.”   I must have had a thing for two story houses.  This house was my dream house for a few years.

In college I always tried to make my dorm rooms cute.  My first apartment was an early Shabby Chic but I didn’t know there was a name for it.   When it came to decorate my first marital house,  I was inspired by this photograph:


It wasn’t until some years later that I learned the room was designed by Dan Carithers.  


Of course I could copy the inexpensive striped linen – but to duplicate the gorgeous architecture - that was another story!   But this photograph started a long love affair for the late Dan Carithers.

There was rarely a room a designed by Carithers that I didn’t love.


Like this house he designed, shown in Southern Accents – I loved this.



Another very early influence was Mimmi O’Connell – an important and influential designer in London.  She was a pioneer of the East/West fusion, mixing it all together.  She loves cotton stripes and metal beds, Oriental accents – the high mixed with the low.  For years I was obsessed with her look which I could only find in international magazines.  That made the hunt for her work all the more fun.

 

Mimmi’s bedroom in London – her metal canopy with long curtains, Oriental chairs, striped fabrics, and antique accents shows off her favorite elements.



Rose Tarlow’s aesthetic resembled Mimmi’s.  But, her new house was an eye opener.   I loved the architecture as much as the decor, but then – I think everyone did.  Was there anyone who didn’t love Rose’s new house with the ivy growing up the walls?


I’m not sure exactly when I started being obsessed with Rachel Ashwell. 


Shabby Chic and Rachel helped everyone to see the beauty AND practicality of white slipcovers.   I don’t think there is a Ashwell book that I don’t have. And, I don’t think I will ever live without slipcovers again.


Besides Dan Carithers, the other male southerner who was a huge influence on me was the late Charles Faudree.    Faudree was the complete Francophile and through magazine stories and his books – I tried to learn everything from him, including his dogs!


The first time I heard of Faudree was this story of his house in Traditional Home.  It was pure love at first sight!  Over the years Faudree moved a lot – and each time the magazines would feature his latest digs.  

This house had a long living room with mirror image fireplaces at each end.  At the center was a large round table.  This design became a favorite of mine.


Another Francophile was from New Orleans – Gerrie Bremermann.


Bremermann’s formula for curtains became my own.  Gorgeous!  I actually read her formula for curtains in a magazine, wrote them down and revised them to fit my own ideas.   I learned more from books and magazines than I did at college studying design.


Mario Buatta uses a mixture of French and English.  Here, a house he designed in Houston was perfection.   It’s just pretty.


The Buatta Houston bedroom.   This house was later sold and completely redone in a way that makes it unrecognizable from this.


Another one from New Orleans originally was Suzanne Rheinstein – she designed this house which remains one of my favorites of hers.   Pure French.  One client brought this photo to a meeting and said – let’s do this.  I tried.


Suzanne’s house in California was an obsession for years.   This was a favorite version of her living room – with the summer slips.


Rheinstein’s apartment in New York produced a huge gasp, thanks to the mural painted on its walls.

Suzanne has been such an inspiration – I love the way she uses beautiful antiques in all her rooms.  She has impeccable taste and  an unerring eye.


Lynn Von Kersting is a designer and the owner of the Ivy in Los Angeles.  She was an early inspiration with her love of French antiques and maximalism.


Another Southerner is Charlotte Moss.  Her earlier books were major inspirations.   She wrote books long before everyone else did.   I love her NYC townhouse.   Everything Charlotte does is inspirational to me. 


Similar to Charlotte’s townhouse is Alessandra Branca’s in Chicago. From Italy, Branca brings a European sensibility to her designs. 


Books written about just one house became my favorite and those are the ones that I poured over.

This book started the love affair with books written about one house.  I studied every photo in this book until I knew my way around a house I would never visit.  Total obsession for years.  Order HERE


Another love – Bunny’s country house.  This might be the most popular design book ever written.  Order HERE  She later wrote one about her beach house.



Charlotte’s house in Aspen was a French winter wonderland.  I never understood how she sold it!!   She started the green and blue trend years and years before it became popular.   Order HERE


Kathryn’s book on her house in Ojai was a huge obsession.  Order HERE


Betty Lou Phillips wrote a series of books featuring her designs and others.  I used to wait and wait and wait until her next book would be released.   The early books were like reading ten issues of Southern Accents at one sitting.



Houston Shops:

In Houston, there were several stores that helped shape my aesthetic and all of Houston.  Brian Stringer Antiques closed its doors, but it is  sorely missed.


Shabby Slips is still one of the best there is.  Outrageous gorgeousness.


Skelton Culver – the new shop at the former Babs Watkins Culver spot.   Babs shop was ground zero of the Houston Look.   Going there was better than going to New Orleans.


Joyce Horn – everyone would line up when a new shipment came.  A must for French furniture with great, honest prices.



Another love is Olivine.  I’ve followed Helen from Woodway to Uptown to the Rice Village. From now on Olivine will be in a Galveston location!  Stay tuned for info on her new address!


Houston Designers:

Everyone knows that I adore Houston designer Carol Glasser’s former house.  Featured in many magazines – I once wrote this was The Perfect House!   It was a major obsession and major influence.


How many  people copied Carol’s collection of blue and white transferware?  I know I did.


Her next house was so different – but every bit as pretty!


The late Babs Watkins, another Houstonian designer, influenced everyone through her shop and her magazine photoshoots.   This house was an obsession of mine for years and years.  I loved the way she cut her seagrass for this house and used it as a springboard for my own custom cut seagrass. 


In this new beach house – Babs introduced shiplap, years and years before Joanna Gaines.  Another introduction was seaglass green.  This was the first time I remember that color being used so extensively.


Ginger Barber moved a lot and each house was featured in a magazine.  Her shop was around the corner from me for a while, and I used to stop by to pick up accessories.   I love her casual style and use of fabrics.



Ginger’s style is always welcoming – here, she was a bit more dressy.  That leather tufted settee is to die for!  I love her aesthetic.  She needs to write a book!



Tara Shaw was a Houston shop owner for a few years and thank God!   I bought some important antiques from her.   She has an incredible eye for buying wonderful antiques.



Tara Shaw’s house in New Orleans – beautiful!



The Gray Door’ Donna Gray’s former town house.  Her shop moved to the old Made in France location and Donna moved upstairs.   HERE


Upstairs at The Gray Door.  Her gallery wall is one of the best I’ve ever seen.   Gorgeous!


Chateau Domingue is known for its architectural elements, mostly old, but some are new like tiles and windows (see Kathryn Ireland’s latest house.)  Ruth Gay’s house is her laboratory.   With help from the great Pam Pierce who started Milieu Magazine, she turned her house into an old Provencal manse.


One of the prettiest designs by Pam Pierce.   I don’t think I’ve even seen Pam design something that I didn’t love!   Now she concentrates on Milieu instead of taking on clients.



Shop owner Kay O’Toole had one of the best Veranda covers ever – her wonderful highrise apartment.   That rug on the table!!  Divine!!!


Kay later moved behind her shop in an enfilade designed by Murphy Mears Architects.   Oh, I would love to live there!!!


Jane Moore is another Houston legend.  She designed this house for her daughter who started Wisteria catalogue with her husband.


Jane had a charming shop nearby another great Houston shop Brown who specializes in lighting fixtures and antiques.  There are so many other shops in Houston that shaped my aesthetic and the town’s.  There is Area and M. Naeve and Boxwood and Indulge Decor and Neal & Co. and Carl Moore and Lam Bespoke and their upholstering division and there is Segreto Finishes whose wall treatments did more for beautifying Houston houses than probably anyone!   I know there are many others but my age is making me forget!!



It was a neighborhood home tour of this house one Saturday that made me change everything about my own decor.  I went from khaki and red to all white – that following Monday.


Inside, here it was decorated for Christmas.  The owners moved to another house and then another.  I still want their candelabra because I know they don’t have it anymore!!!   This house was a huge inspiration – the architect was Kurt Aichler. 

The house has a wonderful layout, with human sized rooms that make it seem like an older house rather than a new one.


Along with several local magazines like Houston House & Home and Paper City and several that are now shuttered, two other magazines were incredibly influential to me:


It was a sad, sad, sad…sad day when I heard that Southern Accents was shutting down.   WHY?!?!   I’ll never understand it.

Veranda has made great use of their photographs, putting them into numerous books, but why hasn’t Southern Accents done the same?

They should digitalize their photos and put them on the internet for everyone to enjoy.  It’s a huge waste not to do so. 


Thankfully there is still Veranda.   It’s not nearly the thrill that is once was when the new Veranda arrives.  Thanks to the internet and all the images that are now online, magazines are no longer such a necessity. 

I remember when I started blogging 10 years ago, many magazines did not even have web sites.  They looked to us to publicize their stories.  Today, all the magazines have very detailed and interesting blogs.  I can’t remember the last time an editor asked me to talk about an new issue. 

TIME marches on and things change.  I don’t really take any magazines, excepts on Zinio, the internet news stand.  In a few years I suppose we won’t have any more paper magazines or newspapers.


HOUSES THAT HAVE INFLUENCED:

Over the years, there have been houses that I’ve loved, a lot of  houses.  Looking over my blogger photos – I found a few that stuck out.


I adore all of Oscar de la Renta’s various homes, but it’s the one in the Dominica Republic that really impresses.  Bunny Williams built her own beach house nearby.   I love this photo with the center table piled with orchids, candles and books.  I used this photo as a starting off point on my own center table, but alas, it never had this same fabulousness!    Still, can’t you imagine what it was like with the doors open, the breeze coming off the ocean, and the scent of the flowers and candles.  Dinner is waiting after cocktails.  Ready?


The room was long with mirror images at both ends – just like Charles Faudree’s first one.  Those lamps!


One more!!



Another house I adored was David Easton’s.   He sold this country house long ago, but the images remain.  It’s the same version as Oscar’s and Faudree’s – with a center table and mirror images on each end.

I wasn’t the only one who loved the house.  Interior designer Penelope Bianchi used this room as inspiration in her own beautiful house in Montecito, now crawling out of the mudslide that rolled through her neighborhood and property.


Penelope Bianchi’s great room wearing white slips with fireplaces on both sides and a center table in the middle.



The bay window in the middle of Penelope’s living room.


Four houses that I’ve loved with the same basic floorplan – one long room with fireplaces on each end and a circular table in the middle. 

 

If you are a regular reader, you know this house Villa de Limma restored by the great John Saladino.   I’ve been obsessed with this house since before the book was even released.


Another view of the living room.


Click on the book to order. 

One of the best books about one house ever.

OK.  I know I keep saying that!!!  But – I love these kind of books!



Bobby McAlpine’s house was an obsession that started an obsession with his firm and all his partners, his books, and his interiors.

For years all I wanted was to live in a McAlpine house with furniture personally chosen by him.  And accessories too!


McAlpine uses lots of leggy French chairs and leggy tables.  His interiors have a light, airy quality with metal and velvet mixed with muted colors and stone.

He is a true original.  Brilliant.

We interviewed McAlpine on the Skirted Roundtable and the three of us were stunned to silence by his brilliance.  HERE.


Click on his book.



This French house is owned by an American designer and it was featured in many magazines.   I loved it SO much, if only I could have afforded it, I would have bought it – and IF only the owners would have let me!


The bedroom and a magazine cover.

The owner Ginny Magher restored her house with Bruno and Dominique Lafourcade.


A similar manse in Provence was recently completely renovated, also by the Lafourcades, and I wrote a story about it called “The Prettiest House Ever?”  

Well, it might be the prettiest decorated house ever.  It’s all French antiques with French fabrics and to me, it is heaven on earth.


One of the bedrooms in the Prettiest House Ever.

 

I know that contemporary is in.  I know that tufted velvet sofas in bright colors mixed with loud wallpapers and modern chandeliers is what is “HOT” today, but nothing moves me more than a house like the one above, or a room like this, or furniture like this.   I wonder if there will ever come a time that antique French furniture will not excite me?   At 63 years old, I suppose the answer is “I doubt it.”


$20 Million will buy you this bedroom.  Which would you rather have?  The modern or the one in the Prettiest House Ever?

Hmmm.   Let me think about that.

And that answer is one of the main reasons why I don’t take clients anymore.   I can hardly stand to look at a Sputnik, much less sell one to someone and get excited over it.  There are a few that I think are nice – but it will never be like looking at this:


I love this antique chandelier from The Gray Door!!!  I would have one in every room!!! HERE



Tory Burch’s country house is another personal love.  This living room may be one of my favorites – ever! 


The living room was recently remodeled a bit with new slips.  Love.



The Something’s Gotta Give house was the start of a love affair with Nancy Meyer’s houses, even though it actually started with Father of the Bride and The Parent Trap.

But it was THIS house that became a national obsession with slips and blue and white rugs and white kitchens.


The dining room was an inspiration for work.  The fabric, the slips, those ties, the white plates – were all used in jobs for clients.



This house was owned by the English actor Tim Curry, his design was photographed for Architectural Digest.  It’s a fabulous house in Los Feliz.  Of course I became obsessed with it when Rob Pattinson bought it for himself and his girlfriend Kristen Stewart.  I think I know more about it than its current owner, comedienne Jim Parsons.



The back yard is prettier than the interiors.  Read my opus about Curry’s house and garden HERE.


This English country house Turville Grange, owned by Princess Radziwill aka Jacqueline Kennedy’s sister, is about dreaming and wishing and hoping.  Who wouldn’t want a courtyard filled with centuries old cottages used as guest houses?\

 

The interiors were more English than English decor.  That sofa – the down cushions are HUGE and plumped up so high.  They don’t make sofas like that anymore.  I actually had one just like this, inherited from Betty Rae.  Stupid me gave it away when I was 25 because the fabric was old.  It was a gorgeous chintz – similar to this.  What an IDIOT!!!  It had only two bottom cushions, made of down, just like this one.  Today that sofa would cost a fortune.  IDIOT!

I wonder what happened to it?   Who got it?

I replaced it with a cheap cream sofa made of some fake knobby fabric that I paired with orange and navy pillows AND a skirted table.  It was cute for sure – but that sofa….WHAT AN IDIOT!!



For years, Grey Gardens captivated my imagination – living in squalor with Jaqueline Kennedy’s close cousins!   Of course, I would only want to live there when it was the center of social life in the Hamptons before the war. 


I wrote about the house a few times, HERE & HERE



Sally Quinn and her husband Ben Bradlee bought the house when it was a complete horror show.  She completely redid and only sold it last year after her husband died.  They used it every August and rented it out the rest of the year.   The new owners love the house, but they are redoing it – hoping to make it look exactly as it once did. 


Every piece of molding is being numbered to be put back in place.  New radiant floor heating is going in along with new mechanics.  The house was raised to make room for a nwq basement that includes a wine room, of course, an exercise room, double of course, and a huge recreation room.  Why would you need all this at the beach?



Sally’s interiors stayed the same all these years.  Love her chintz!  Oh, I would love to decorate this house!!!


The porch was removed and the terrace on the right is open to the elements.  Sally had redone the porch so perhaps the new owner will put it back as it was originally.


Kathryn Ireland renovated this ranch in Ojai then promptly sold it.  Reese Witherspoon bought the ranch, got married here, redid it again, then promptly sold it.


Reese’s interiors were in Elle Decor, and Kathryn wrote her book about the house.  The ranch is paradise – filled with cabins, lots of bedrooms in outbuildings, a big stable and even a forge.

OK.  This ranch is like a summer camp and I have such great memories of my camp – Echo Hill – that it would be a dream to live here and pretend like it was a summer camp for friends and family. 

I still don’t understand why Reese sold it.  It is not even a 2 hours drive from L.A.  She’s a type A personality and maybe she just couldn’t relax at the ranch.



Plus, she was married right here!!!  Now someone else is living where she and her latest swore eternal love to each other.

Only in Hollywood!



Diandra Douglas has exquisite taste.  When married all those years ago to Michael, they had a beach manse in Spain and this house in the states.  Both are sold today.  These were the real estate photos of her house and I was obsessed with it of course – white slips and zebra.  I once had zebra rugs but Elisabeth’s dog Lucy likes to nibble on them.


I am still obsessed with this room several years after first seeing it.  Shannon Bowers designed it and I love the yellow touches which just pop in the room and make it sing.   I love the delicate antiques mixed with a few contemporary touches and the round table in the middle with the two stools.  And I love the mantel.


This room by Min Hogg was in both Milieu Magazine and in its photographer’s book Haute Bohemians by Miguel Flores Vianna. 


Click on the photo.

His book was the most beautiful of the year, filled with some of the more intriguing interiors – like Min’s.   I love her use of stripes, especially the rug and the red mixed with the pink.



Carolina Irving’s NY apartment was a continuing inspiration long after she sold it, especially with her blue and white striped rug and chintz slipcovers.




I think I must really love blue and white striped rugs!  So many of my favorite houses have one in it.    Furlow Gatewood bought property in Georgia and moved a collection of houses onto it – he decorated them all, then wrote a book about it.  At 90 he was still going to India with John Rosselli.

You can NOT name your favorite house on his property – they are all perfectly imperfect, just like this one. 

Oh to be his friend, like Bunny Williams is, and to stay in one of his guest houses! 


His book is another great one about one…piece of property!!  Not just one house!!!  Click on the photo.


This large Irish mansion Ballyfin because a boarding school and then a fabulous hotel.   If you plan a trip to Ireland – you should visit for a day or two or three.  I was so obsessed with this house, I wrote not one, but two stories about it HERE and HERE.


This is just one of their bedrooms.   Who could resist this???

And this house led me to another Irish house that Martyn Bullard is now decorating.  It should be in Architectural Digest soon – but until then, read my story about it.


Martyn’s design for one of the rooms at Capard House.  Blue with green.  Oh, his decor in this house is just perfect!!!   I am so anxious for this to land in Architectural Digest!  It’s coming, I know!!  Read my story HERE.


New interiors that have caught my eye seem to all have something in common.  Blue.   James Howard.  Dreamy.



Another pretty one from Windsor Smith.  Blue.  Again.

I love the blue velvet mixed with linen.


This one is a new favorite that will last as one forever.  What’s wrong with pretty???   What?  Tell me!  Why does everyone reject pretty today?


Another beyond gorgeous room by a favorite, Cathy Kincaid.  Kincaid is another designer who loves pretty decor.   I am obsessed with this room – I see something new every time I look.

For instance – at the back of the room, instead of doing something symmetrical, Kincaid balanced the large mirror with a screen, which is just as high as the mirror.


In the end – it’s all about obsession.

If I were to design a house, I think I would copy this one by designer Serena Crawford in South Africa.  HERE

I absolutely love the layout of the first floor in her house – the kitchen/dining room open to the living room that opens to the library – each room is separated by French pocket doors that let in the light even when closed. 


 

The middle room with glass pocket doors – and the view towards the library.  I love the rough wood floors and the wood ceiling and stucco walls and all the large antique wood tables, one of which is used as a bar. 


Those sconces – looking towards the library.



The view towards the kitchen/dining room.


She’s always rearranging the furniture.  Don’t even ask about the foyer with its black and white floors, the terrace room, the pool, the upstairs, the bathroom.

I would bring a toothbrush today and never leave.



I’ve never talked about this before, but the obsession with a photo or a house is usually what drives my stories.   If I have to write about something that isn’t an obsession, it’s just not fun.   Sometimes I think I will never have another topic to write about and then I innocently watch a movie or look at a magazine or read a book and there it is, an obsession that becomes a story.    Many times, the only way to get an obsession out of my system is to write a story about it.  For a week or two, it is all I think about and I am consumed with creating a complete scenario from A to Z.   Finally, I have to say to myself ‘stop’ and then I hit “publish” and move on to the next story. 

Thank you for reading these stories, you’ll never know how much I appreciate it.

And, now I want you to leave a comment and tell us all what rooms/houses/designers/shops/books are your obsessions and what influenced your aesthetic????



AND, one last word:

With all the blue & white interiors so trendy now – understand - it’s against what is being pushed on us by people who make decisions about what color  fabrics, furniture and accessories will be and what will be shown at the next market.

The popular blue & white trend is against what we are supposed to be buying.

There was Mark Sikes book which featured blue & white interiors and whose look has helped caused the trend.  There was another new book about blue & white by William Yeoward.

                             Click on book.


A few days ago, Mrs. Howard, aka Phoebe, sent me her newest book, which is about blue and white, featuring her own designs.  The book is interesting because each chapter is about a certain shade of blue.  Besides photos there are how-to’s for pairing the color with different shades.


 

If you love Mrs. Howard, you will love this book!


The book shows all shades of blue from sea glass to indigo and in between.


OK – I LOVE that headboard!   And, I had to show another blue and white striped rug – of course!!!


To order, click on photo!


Thank you Mrs. Howard!!!

127 comments :

  1. This is such an interesting evolution. There's a strong aesthetic running through it, and your enthusiasm is infectious. When I found your blog, I read the all the archives--it took a while, but so enjoyable. Your instructions for curtains were invaluable when I had to custom-make curtains for my ridiculously high-ceilinged renovation. Thank you so much!
    The Dan Carrithers photo with the striped linen that was your early inspiration is still very stylish today. All the old photos are--what makes the shots look dated is the photography, with yellowish light rather than the very pure white light that's fashionable today. The décor itself hasn't aged at all.
    I've been in a rabbit hole in Nice, looking at a number of properties, many in former grand hotels of the Belle Epoque. Some "geniuses" have "renovated" to remove the moldings, the fireplaces, etc. to make them ultra-modern boxes. There is some modern architecture and modern décor that I like, but I wouldn't want to live there.
    As for myself, when I was little, my best friend and I played with our Barbies. We didn't have Barbie houses, so we made them, from cardboard boxes that we could nest for easy carrying to each others' houses. We decorated them by cutting out pictures from Penney's catalogs. In retrospect, it was so much more creative than receiving a ready-made plastic Barbie house.
    Another image that still is in my head: I think it was in Seventeen magazine, perhaps a story about dating. It showed the front door of a house: a Queen Anne style home, with big glass front doors. There was a similar house on the way to my grandma's, and I would look at it and dream. I can't live in a more different place--provençal stucco with shutters and a red-tile roof.

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    1. omg - you are right! I forgot about Barbie houses!!! yes!

      You are so lucky to live in France - I can't imagine how wonderful it is to be surrounded by such beauty and to be able to go to all those antique sales!!! I can't believe you read the entire archive, you poor thing!!!!! lol I"m so embarrassed!

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    2. I made Barbie houses out of cardboard boxes too! I remember being about 7 and deciding my bed placement was all wrong and somehow rearranged my room. Then I decided I didn't Ike my wallpaper and removed it! LOL.... Yes, it starts young!! HA!

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      REAL SPELL CASTER (LORD JUMA) THAT CAN HELP YOU GET YOUR LOVER BACK add him up on whatsApp @ +1 (859)-203-2241

      Hi everyone, I was going crazy when my husband breakup with me and left me for another woman!! All thanks to LORD JUMA the best love spell caster online that helped me to bring back my husband today and restore happiness in my marriage.. I'm DIANA DIVEN by name i lives in England. My husband breakup with me and left me to be with another woman, and i wanted him back. I was so frustrated and i could not know what next to do again, I love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him break up with me so that he can be able to get married to the other lady and this lady i think use witchcraft on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for, I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to get back my husband!! I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that LORD JUMA can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much, Oh My God! i was so happy, and today i am happy with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one big family and i thank the powerful spell caster LORD JUMA, he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that LORD JUMA is best spell caster online who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and your lover is turning you down, or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster LORD JUMA on his email at: mercyfullsolutionhome@yahoo.com or you can visit his Website Via> https://mercyfullsolutionhome.wordpress.com/ or his page https://mercyfullsolutionhome.blogspot.com add him up on whatsApp @ +1 (859)-203-2241

      Delete
    4. To Diana Diven
      You need to be admitted to the insane asylum.

      Delete
    5. I'm so excited my husband is back after he left me for another woman. My husband and I have been married for about 7 years now. We are happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr OGUNDU can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give it a trial. I contacted him and told him my problems and he told me what to do and i did it and he did a spell for me. 24 hours later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr OGUNDU. If you have any problem contact him and i guarantee you that he will help you. He will not disappoint you. Email him at: {drogunduspellcaster@gmail.com}
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      5. Win lottery
      6. promotion in offices
      7. help you to become pregnant,if you looking for the fruit of the womb
      8. Complete cure of any kind of sickness
      9. marriage commitment and so many more.

      Delete
  2. Joni I adore your posts and await them in between. You put so much time & effort into each & it is incredible. I live for design & since retiring from 30 yrs as a Merrill Lynch Stockbroker & all that it implies I have enjoyed pretending to be a designer!! LOVED this post~~~Have a wonderful week!

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    1. I hear you - I was a secretary for 15 years before I changed myself.

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  3. Hi Joni, I have been reading you since your early days blogging and still get excited when Cote de Texas is in my Inbox. I wait until I have the proper time to relax and devour each image and word. I love your sense of humor and your knowledge of design history. You are one of the original design bloggers and still the best.

    I have been design obsessed since childhood, lucky to grow up in a stately older home with a stylish mix of English/American antiques and 70's iconic modern pieces. I always had strong opinions of friends and families homes and gardens in my head.

    Your comments about being Jewish are so on point. The community I grew up in was primarily WASP/Jewish. Two of my best friends were Jewish, both always frustrated with the gloomy stories of the Jewish holidays and jealous of Christian holidays. I was always jealous of Mitzvahs!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! It's really funny because Christians don't understand how all of our holidays revolve around persecution, slavery, sins, atonement etc. We don't have jolly Santa or the Easter bunny and to a kid it's really jealousy inducing! Today, though so many Jewish children do celebrate the fun holidays with presents on Christmas or egg hunts. Still the grass was always greener and we did have the wonderful Bar Mitzvah parties with tons of gifts! BUT you had to study for a year and learn your torah portion in Hebrew and go to Hebrew school AFTER regular school!!!!

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  4. Wowza, Joni! Gasp-worthy, indeed!

    What a gorgeous journey through spectacular design...so much time and effort bringing your passion to others. Thank you for sharing - I am amazed at your innate talents.

    Am I incorrect to read into this that you are celebrating a birthday? Reminiscing a bit? If so, Happy Birthday. If not, Happy Birthday, whenever it is! BTW, a lot of people would love to cut from the rat-race for a day of boring. :-) Seems like the winter blahs and time to take a ride to the beach!

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    1. No birthday. Honestly, I just noticed that I keep saying I GASPED. And took off from that.

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  5. Have you ever done DNA testing...we might be related..😘 This was fairy tale...I shall read it again and again. franki

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  6. I just walked by Grey Gardens yesterday. The house is jacked up and quite a lot of repair is underway, perhaps foundation issues. The yard is completely gutted except for the walled garden and pool area. I took a few photos yesterday and tried to attach one here but it's not working. It is a special place.

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    1. seriously? they took the garden out??? why??!?!?!?!?!? could you maybe email me a few photos? cotedetexas@aol.com
      they are putting in a full sized basement. Do you live there all year long?

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  7. Joni, once again, a fabulous post. Got me thinking how I loved interior design at an early age. So many of the images/designers you posted are my favorites! I also like Barclay Butera, and of course no one does it better than Ralph! Thank you for having such an "obsession" with interior design. I check your blog daily, and if you were to post a new one everyday it would be fine by me (but exhausting for you lol!) Thank you for taking the time to inspire us!

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    1. omg - I totally forgot about Ralph and Barclay!!! I knew this was going to happen.

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  8. Well, Ms. Webb I would hazard a guess that Ms. Witherspoon sold the ranch to launch her store/brand Draper some-thing- or other. This is only speculation on my part. Ohhh, Me thinks it be Draper James. The seaglass green Babs pic. The Chair near the fireplace it is not a ghost chair but it is half a chair. I took my glasses off and cleaned them before i decided the image was off. Now the green and blue scheme The couch, the green couch, it looks as if it were related to the Yellow Sofa. Oh, I loved the post on the yellow sofa. Now, if you ever need another inspiration to research I vote for Annie Sloane or Jocaste Innis. In my mind the back story of these two designers makes me gasp. Back story on me. As a child I grew up in Miami. As a family we would vacation- Tent camping, very intents. Escaping the heat we would escape to the mountains of North Carolina. Well, one sees grandma's white clapboard farm house from the backseat window to the urbanscape of small town USA when you go to Sears to buy a new inflatable sleeping mattress (shhh don't wake it up). Bottom line Traveling makes for a broader perspective on things. We survived with a propane stove cooking meals and when I see these fantastic kitchens in these homes or fantastic fire places lovely chairs vs a folding camp chair you learn to appreciate the experience and live in the moment-- smelling the woodsmoke of the campfire it is so primal. Then when it rains and the tent starts to leak you wish one of those cabins were available. the bare necessities of life I understand that BUT these homes you have shared are an expression of the creativity of mankind.

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    1. Yes - the Babs photo was a two page spread in the magazine - when scanning, some of the image was lost. Put your glasses back on. haha. Ok, totally forgot about Jocaste!!! I didn't know about Annie until I started blogging.

      You are lucky to have North Carolina as your childhood memories!

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  9. Pretty is back in. Chintz is hot now. Colour is back in, and all-white interiors are out. Maximalism is back in. Minimalism/modernism is out, out, OUT! Hallelujuah. Taste of France is correct in saying that these interiors are still in - it's the way they are photographed these days that make them look different. I don't like the overly exposed, blanched way that interiors are shot now. It's too stark and washes out even the most colourful rooms. The old photography was a bit too yellow. There must be a happy medium, and hopefully some new photographer will figure it out.

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    1. Well, the younger generation does not like chintz and French!!! And you are right about the photography. I try to edit the photos by adding black to them - there is so much added white.

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  10. I have stacks of old Southern Accents magazines...one of my very favorites and saddened that they went out of publication too....I was truly surprised....
    Beautiful inspiration here today.

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    1. I love my old issues too. But when I want that ONE issue - I can never find it!

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  11. Joni in the 10 years I have been reading your blog this is perhaps your best post ever. I LOVED the personal aspect of it. Your aunt spuring you on with ancient magazines, a lavender sink and the IDIOT couch! Haven't we all made that mistake? Growing up in a teeny tiny farming community I never knew interior design exisited. It was not until I was living in Germany and my neighbor across the street invited me into her home. I was INSTANTLY enchanted with her furniture placement, collections (transferware) and use of color. I remember asking "What is this?" I will forever be grateful to Carole who explained to me what interior design was and is. I am thankful to you for keeping the passion alive.

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    1. I have that same experience with French furniture - exactly. Huge awakening. Thank you for your sweet words! It has been 10 years, amazing. Right now I'm watching 10 year old Trading Spaces shows. Boy...I never missed a minute of that show but the reveals are just AWFUL except for Laurie. She was the only good designer. I saw a new one with Hildi and she was just a kookie as ever but she hasn't change a bit.

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    2. Which one of those fake weirdo decorators put the straw mixed in plaster on the wall in one episode? it was a mess!
      I think it was supposed to look like a French pig-sty or something like that.

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    3. That was Hildy. She actually did that to one of my sorority sisters! Did it with liquid nails, which will not come off!

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. When i open and read your blogs i become Alice in wonderland who falls down the rabbit hole. I forget about time, and wonder through the world of imagination. when I finish your blogs i am thrust into current time, of which I lost track of. I go to craigslist to remove my post to sell my mothers french furniture that I inherited, because modern isn't really as pretty. Thank you again for taking me down that rabbit hole.

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    2. Don't sell it! Learn from my mistake!!! The sofa wasn't French, but I wish I had it today. Thanks for your sweet words!

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    3. Re-upholster your old French furniture with modern beautiful fabric that you love. It's such a great look with the juxtaposition of the old with new and modern.

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  13. I think the very first house I fell in love with was the log cabin the Cartwright family lived in on Bonanza. Then it was the Brady Bunch house. I grew up in a new, but bare bones, 1200 sf house with a flat roof. Dramatic staircases, were probably the first design feature to catch my eye. I love the pretty look also, but now, I just want to simplify everything about my life, including the decor. Thank you for another wonderful post.

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    1. Yes!!! Bonanza and the Brady Bunch. I forgot about TV. My favorite house was probably Bewitched AND Leave it to Beaver - both with prominent staircases - of course!!! What other shows?

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    2. Gilmore Girls---I loved Emily Gilmore's house, Lorali's House and Rory's Yale dorm room common area. Beverly Hillbillies== How could we not be impresses with Jed Clampett's manse or Martha Stewart's Westport house tour (it was on her show one season) now the new owner has totally renovated it. You do know Martha has a book This Old New House, a classic along with her videos, how to do stenciling and faux finishes so many love to dis this woman but she is a survivor. You got to give her credit for not Looking back.

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    3. Martha - forgot her too. I forgot so many!! I was going to do a before and after of her house last year. But since you already saw it - forget it! haha!!!

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    4. Martha Bakes is one of the very best cooking shows on t.v.

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  14. Thank you, Joni! Your beautiful posts make my day.

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    1. THIS is why I love you. This post has everything. I LOVE how passionate you are about design and gorgeous rooms and you inspire me and make me laugh at the same time. Yes, it was a mistake to get rid of your sofa but we all have regrets. I love my cream walls but in retrospect I wish I had done all white. I have to read this post a million times...this is a big keeper for future reference. All of your favorite rooms are mine too, I was always a fan of Dan Caruthers. A pretty room is a joy to live in. Thank you over and over for taking so much time on this post. I live for your blogs. You are the best blogger out there.

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    2. Thanks Christy! so much.
      honestly - I really wonder who got that sofa? I sent it to a consignment shop. someone has a down sofa. ugh.

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  15. Dear Joni, I am always very pleased to see you wrote a new blogpost!! I never can wait to read and see it! What a very nice post today!! I just loved to read and see the rooms that influenced you! I realize that we have lots in common as next to our top Belgian designers, a lot of talented American designers you showed here influenced me as well! Thank you so much for this post and for the time you have taken to create it! xo Greet

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    1. This means so much to me coming from you Greet! I am in awe of your talents - you never fail to impress me by your work.

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  16. So much gorgeous eye candy in one post! Like you, I love pretty, too! Linen, velvet, chintz, antiques, chandeliers, greens, blues, and pinks, lovely porcelains... sigh!!! It's difficult to choose just one, really difficult, but Charles Faudree is one whose books I never tire of reading. But then there's the others.... Thanks for putting this post together!

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    1. Charles might be the ONE for me too. Thanks for your kind words!!!

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  17. What a joyous read! Thank you so much! That Veranda cover with the carpeted table inspired me for years until I did one myself. I too lament the demise of Southern Accents. I wonder what beautiful photos they would print today? I agree that a book must be published so those photos live on. But at least I have this posting of yours to remind me of all my favorite rooms!

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    1. You copied that rug? I've always wanted to do that!!!!!!

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  18. Joni,
    Beautiful post! I will read it over and over. I was shocked to hear you aren’t taking clients anymore. I’m wandering what Elizabeth is up to these days? Photography?
    It seems blogging is giving way to Instagram. Makes me sad because I really enjoy reading good writing like you and Brooke Giannetti. I really miss Antique and Designers magazine also. I think of Dot often especially around Roundtop. Design may be your passion but writing is truly your gift!
    Tina

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    1. Well, when Ben got sick everything changed and I'm 63 now! I get my relief from writing about design. Honestly, I just hate the way design is going these days. I hate this cycle. Anyway, did you know that Dot's Dana died? That's what happened to the magazine. It's really too sad to even talk about. When I mentioned that white house that Kurt designed - it was for Dana and him. I think she was one of the sweetest human beings who ever walked this earth.

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    2. Is your husband getting better now?

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    3. Worse actually. He has chronic daily migraine and can't work. He's had a migraine for almost five years now. It's been awful. but - there is a miracle shot coming out in June that we are praying will put an end to this nightmare! thanks for asking.

      Delete
    4. I am sure they have tried Botox. That cured a friend of mine who was crippled with migraines. Magic for her. She could not function.
      I am praying for Ben. What a dreadful thing!
      Health is everything.
      My husband dislocated his toe in our latest "evacuation"; it is worst than the house.....honestly.
      The house is the house......being disoriented and discombobulated is the hardest of all. Hence, a dislocated toe. Stitches and walker. It is truly disheartening.
      So hopeful for June!!!

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  19. Love your piece about your own inspiration! In my 20's I became interested in design when I discovered Bauhaus, French Art Deco bronzes, the iron railings of Edgar Brandt, Lalique luminaire lights and oversized posters. For years I've loved Tara Shaw's aesthetic and last Wednesday, I spent the afternoon with her in her home, the one featured in the magazines. Much to my surprise, the Fortuny fabric on the bench in her dining room isn't blue, as it reads in the photographs, it's two shades of grey. The true color of the Swedish hutch in the same room isn't apparent either. You've inspired me to write a similar piece about how my taste has developed over the years. It's fun to look back and see how our tastes have changed and what's stayed the same. Thank you!! Brenda

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    1. I'm so jealous you were at Tara's! I'm not surprised at the color changes at all. You have a very sophisticated list, mine is much more predictable. Your blog looks great - I added it to my blog list. Going to read the Tara story right now!

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  20. Wonderful post. So many of these pictures are in my own archive of favorites. I have so many binders of magazine pages in page covers, rearranged into my very own personal style books. When I can't find a magazine on the stands that excites me, or when the price of a magazine seems to0 high compared to spending that same money on actual decor, I pull out a binder and peruse the old favorites. I love your blog for the size of the photos and the interesting commentary. I keep many pics on my computer for reference and study but sometimes you just need to sit in a cozy chair and turn the pages of a book or magazine (or a binder, wink). Southern Accents and Veranda were favorites of mine as well. I too was over the moon for the cover with the carpet as tablecover. It inspired my purchases of multiple tapestry/needlepoint rugs for use in trying to replicate the feel of the room. Smaller ones used on footstools, slightly larger used over the back of my cream colored sofa instead of a throw or an afghan. I could change out the colors for the seasons and they went so well with my vintage/collected style. I never did get to use one as a tablecover, but did eventually find a very similar rug large enough to use as one, if only my room had been large enough to accommodate it. But I still have it and hope to eventually use it in my new home, but leaning toward hanging it as a tapestry...as inspired by Saladino. Much inspiration from the top of the design world, filtering down into my much more modest and simple day to day world. Thanks for helping keep the dream and inspiration alive.

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    1. I do think that rug cover was a very well loved one. I should call Kay and tell her!!! I wonder if she sold it? I love the way Saladino hangs his - I vote for that!!!

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    2. Kay did sell the rug and the yellow pillar in the photo many years ago when she moved and changed her decor. I know because I asked about that rug in her shop one day.

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  21. This post goes in the hall of fame on your blog! Pretty is as pretty does, and these all do it so well! Thank you for compiling this and sharing how your aesthetic has evolved.

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  22. Another enjoyable in depth read. I like hearing about your process and how you follow your muse. I also just love all the pretty pictures and your analysis. I don't always love what you love or want what you want but I really like learning about it. It is interesting to read someone's opinions when they are as thoughtful and developed as yours. As for interior design, I come at it from an artist's view -- and I am deeply committed to "form follows function" when I renovate a house. From a young age I would arrange my little "precious" objects (rocks, little gifts, etc) on my shelves just so. In college I always had my wall decorated by the end of the first day in my room or apartment. I am inspired by folk traditions and how peoples all over the world throughout time have decorated their spaces. I have a hard time being in places that are badly decorated for my eye roams and roams for a restful, inspiring spot. I have a deep love of textiles and my dreams are for rooms rich in textiles -- that or to work with them on a daily basis. I really like how you talk about your dreams and how you take actions out of that. I find it inspiring. And just one more comment about missing Christian holidays . . . I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood with many Jewish friends (I liked sharing Passover with them and the Sabbath). What I think makes Christian holidays so joyous are their pagan roots -- the celebration of light during the Winter Solstice and the celebration of coming life at Spring. To me, these facts of life are open to all to celebrate! Christians don't "own" the image of nests and eggs at Spring -- they took that in from earlier traditions that pre-dated their holidays. I celebrate these holidays with this universal, historic and natural perspective and it helps me feel connected to the Earth and the cycle of life. Just food for thought. :-) Paola

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    1. It is true that our holidays come at the same time - from the same place. Purim is the same as MardiGras or Carnivale, etc. The last supper was said to be a Seder. At then it all stems from Paganism, like you said. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself!!! I love how you said - my little precious objects. If this is who I think it is - you are incredibly talented. You have a true gift.

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  23. Totally enjoyed this post. So many beautiful designs. And, thank you for providing us all with your years of research and beautiful photos,full of the wow factor. Loved them all. The only designer I missed seeing was Diane Burn an original francophile whose homes featured in AD made me a francophile and been searching ever since. Latest decorating passion is the rustic, elegant and contemporary combination which Pam Pierce captures in her own home,and featured homes in Milieu. Thank you again for your great style and great eye.

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    1. Well, I totally forgot about Diane Burn! But yes!!! I wonder why I forgot? It's probably because I didn't come across a photo of hers. I LOVED her!!!! Thanks for reminding me.

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  24. This post is everything. Thank you!

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  25. Wow! This was a great read. Seldom do I relish every picture and read every word it describes, but I did today. I have loved your blog for years and when my daughter moved to Houston I actually got to visit some of the stores you talked about. When I told the owners I was visiting from Ohio and read about them on Cote de Texas, they couldn't have been nicer. Contemporary may be what's in, but not for me. I'll take any of the domiciles you pictured above. Please keep writing about design we want to live in.

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    1. Thank you!!!!! I should update that list for sure. One day!
      So glad you had a good time and hope your daughter loves it here!

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  26. Wow. Just WOW!!!
    That is the best ever post, Joni. Absolutely the best. How honored am I to have been included! That is fascinating that the houses with one big room and two fireplaces you have loved and known four of!
    I missed the others; but I can tell you; that is a wonderful floor plan to live in. I miss our house more than I can tell you! I am hoping two more months!
    50 tons of mud is gone.

    Guest house and garage needed to be taken back to the framing. It will go faster now that the mud is gone! Whew!

    I adore all of the rooms you pictured. Those rooms are full of classic taste. Timeless. As you know,that is my philosophy and always will be! I am still decorating the way I always have. Ignoring trends!

    Thank you for such a fabulous, informational post!

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    1. So glad the mud is gone - I keep showing Ben all your photos, we just can't believe it - those boulders were the most shocking.

      OK - your house, David Easten, Oscar de la Renta's bench house AND Charles Faudree's first one. All were the same type of layout without the bay window though. All had the round center table in the middle.

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    2. The boulders are the most shocking. In person, every day......I am totally agog. Even after 3 months. Now; much of the mud is gone. the boulders remain. They will eventually go. Some are so big they have to blow them up to remove them. It is astonishing.
      I know you forgot some of your favorite decorators.....thank you for not forgetting me. It means more than I can say. Thank you!!!

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  27. PS I'll trade hair with you any day! Straight as a stick! My next life I'm getting curly!!

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    1. No you wouldn't. I promise YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! I was not making a joke about the magic room. I swear I would convince myself when I woke up I was going to have long straight blond hair - and I was in middle school! I also wanted a room where I could walk in all my body hair would disappear - my arms and legs - like a gorilla! lol. Now it is all gone. Except where I don't want it. Menopause!!!!!!

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    2. Yes I do. I had permanents for years. Yikes! Curly hair is a gift!!!
      I love it. Hair where you don't want it! My mother (who was beyond divine and taught me everything I know) said...""As you get older you become more hirsute!" (that means hairy) and my vocabulary is incredibly rich thanks to her! Chin!! EEEK!!!
      You are the BEST!!!

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    3. I did perms also in late 70's.
      Today it would be called "cultural appropriation."

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    4. Hilarious! I just love, love, love curly hair. I couldn't figure out why I didn't have it!

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  28. I will never tire of blue & white. I can't wait for Mrs. Howard's new book to arrive. I go into her Atlanta stores frequently for inspiration, as well as design therapy. Everything is so perfectly curated. Most of the rooms are so calm and serene. Love!

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  29. Joni, you were a little curley haired, cutie pie! I love your blog and always look forward to your posts.
    I grew up in the deep south in a hundred year old + farmhouse filled with family antiques, my mom made homemade bread and had a huge garden that most of our meals came from. All of the furniture had slipcovers because of our many dogs. I remember being embarrassed as a kid in the 60's that my sandwiches weren't on Wonder bread like my friends and when I went to their houses they all had new furniture in their subdivision ranch houses. In comparison, I thought all of this made us seem poor! Silly girl, today I love antiques and feel fortunate to have a few of those old family pieces, they are still slipcovered for my many dogs, too. As for homemade bread and a garden, I don't know how my mom had the time with 4 kids and working as a school teacher!
    Thanks,
    Sarah in California

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    1. Great story wonder bread. YOu were jealous of Wonder bread. Kids are really crazy. Your mom had slipcovers?????? We're the same age I think - can't imagine slipcovers!!!! Actually, now that I'm thinking about it - my aunt had these premade covers over her mid century sofa - and they were not attractive! lol. Not Shabby Chic. I'll bet your mom made her slips.

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  30. Is today your birthday? If so, I hope you have a fabulous day! And even if it's not, I hope your day is fabulous! Such a cute birthday photo!Love your post today,as always, and thank you for all the photos of beautiful rooms. I can tell you and I have very similar decorating tastes- I actually have had the Dan Carrithers room saved to my computer for a while, before I signed on to Pinterest, and many of the other photos you shared are some of my favorite rooms also. I don't know if as a child I was interested so much in home decor, but I guess I was in my early marriage since (with no experience) I reupholstered the second-hand orange vinyl sofa and chair we had in some green and white plaid Herculon... so lovely! I was in love with the house in "Home Alone" when the movie came out, but now it looks quite dated with all the red and green. Love Mario Buatta, Charles Faudree (I think I saved every Traditional Home with his rooms), Pamela Pierce and many of the others you have mentioned in this post. Let me say again that I love your blog, and always look forward to a new post, not only for the lovely photos, but also for the interesting text. And also was sad when Southern Accents was no longer published, but do get Veranda.

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    1. HERCULON!! lol - mine was a knubby heavy cotton thing, but next I got this Herculon!!! lol. UGH!!!!!!!!!!
      Faudree made Traditional Home magazine. I loved his houses, I would study them for months - but then his books came out.
      thanks for all your kind words!!!

      Delete
    2. Charles was friends with my girlfriend's parents. He would come over to their house and he taught her dad how to do needlepoint.
      Love him so much.

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  31. Still here tapping my foot hoping that one day you will write a book ... yes .... still reading each and every word and enjoying every photo and idea and posting from the first days of your blog!
    But THIS post is the very BEST. BEST EVER POST.
    I do agree with the idea that so many designs seem to be so cold and so unwelcoming.
    Each of the rooms that you posted today have wonderful seating, tables, lamps, artworks of all types and kinds
    - rooms that say "Come on in!"
    And I do love each and every design book you have mentioned too!



    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  32. There is an interesting article in The Guardian, May 17, 2014, by Jocosta Innis' son. He tells the story of how she abandoned him, his sister, and her husband, his dad. I found this when someone above had mentioned her, and it caused me to remember her from way back.
    It's an unexpected and fascinating story.

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    Replies
    1. Truly fascinating and so so sad. Left her children. Took the dog.
      I could leave the husband...but would take the kids and the dog. Cannot imagine such a creative person doing such a thing. Don't get it. OH well. Cut my heart out...kill me with a spike to my heart....leave my children (my child, actually only one) I would never. Couldn't. Not judging. Just saying. Maybe judging.

      Delete
    2. Don't get me started on the attributes of creative people, but they are some of the most scattered, messed up, self-centered (and yet least self-confident) people I have ever known. The most creative ones I've seen have little to no logic, no sense of the value of money or saving a bit when it does comes in, and a totally live-for-today mentality.
      But I'm sure they're not all like this. Maybe.

      Delete
    3. Oh dear. I hope we are not all like this. Not maybe. Interesting. Most of the creative people I have known are loving, generous, warm and supportive. Also, for the most part, confident. Eager to share their gifts, and make beauty around them. How sad for you. They have enhanced my life more than I can say! And been an integral part of my business for 48 years! And I continue my business and continue to rely on them! My business has fed my soul and made my clients and their families happy; a very fulfilling thing.

      Delete
  33. Best post ever! You are my "design inspiration"! Many thanks!!

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  34. I have read and LOVED all our stories over the years and feel as though we must be kindred spirits!! From the Saladino story to the Yolanda Foster story (You should do more of those...would Kyle Richard's homes be interesting enough?? Maybe Lisa Rinna?)
    THANK YOU for these. You have a fan for life! ~Marianne

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. Newbie here ... your blog was recommended by another energizer bunny of decor, Laurel Home. I so enjoyed reading this post - ToF is right in her astute observation that the photographic lighting in many of the photos you've shared here may be dated, but the style is classic and is standing the test of time remarkably well. Those spaces are so rich and inviting!
    Less so Sputnik et al, ugh. I call it prison chic, and not prison in a good way. :~|
    Did you see today's post in Houzz about a renovated stable block in Dorset? So very grey, bland and unimaginative, and yes, a whopping great Sputnik light fixture looming overhead!

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    Replies
    1. NO!!!! I looked but couldn't find it????

      Welcome!!!!!!!

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    2. Houzz is YUCK!!! Refused to be on it....and I am somehow. Yuck.

      Delete
  37. Joni - what an incredible post. I want to print it out and make a book! Better yet, you do it. What a beautiful collection of the spaces I've loved for years and years. Thank you for putting so much work in to this!!

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  38. Oh and I forgot to wish you a happy birthday! Wish I lived in Texas.....you would be a fast friend for sure.

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  39. Such a yummy post with so many of my own favorites! Pretty is coming back. I can feel it and predict we will see it in full force in the next few years. I've been telling people to watch and see if I'm right. Just had a conversation with a gentleman who buys antiques in Scotland, England and France and he indicated that prices are ticking back up which tells me I'm right! Nothing can replace pretty...especially sputnik! All these articles about how the younger generation doesn't want their parents and grandparents treasures just kill me! I can buy the most beautiful china, crystal and silver for next to nothing right now....but that's going to change soon so buy up now!!! Thanks again for a great post. Keep it up! Love your work. Kim M Overland Park KS

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  40. My taste was formed by mom, but also a magical day visiting my aunt, author Ardyth Kennelly, at her home Sunnycroft, an old Victorian farmhouse tucked in a small hollow in the Willamette Valle, Oregon. She had fantastic taste---a set of crowns used by jewelers for mock ups. Lettersletters from Empress Maria Theresa (complete with lock of hair). A letter written by Barnum's Tom Thumb, a Sigmund Freud's calling card (her husband's father had his clinic near Sigmund Freud's in Vienna.) A baby's gown carried across the plains. Two library rooms (one was the library and the other a living room library) and victorian furniture in eggplant velvet. The upstairs was the children's area. Psychedelic wall paper with lions and leopards and a real old doll house and all sorts of curiosities. Best of all, throughout the house the wallpaper was hot pink pink burlap (except for the living room). You guessed it, Mom was given the scraps of both wallpapers. My small room was done in hot pink and apple green and my brother's nursery got the lions. Now it is 2018. Guess what I am---a 30 year history teacher thanks to this aunt. My house is filled with history, flags from dead soldiers, daguerreotypes, confederate, french and continental dollars, lots of letters from famous people and commoners, all sorts of neat artifacts, this is hung up and down all over the walls gallery style. I sew a lot and do a lot of other "fix ups" I think it looks similar to Ben Pentreath and Louis Townsend, but I am partial to EastLake furniture. Rich or poor (and I've always been somewhat economically strained) interior design and love of great interiors (my taste or not) has been a lodestar of comfort in good times and bad. Lately, due to a family situation it has been not so great, but darn if I haven't been decorating the hell out of stuff. I call that therapy!

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  41. I began moving furniture around when my parents would go out and leave my brother and I with sitters. I adored my shopping trips holdng my Grandmother's hand as we made our way around to the neighborhood garage sales where I'd covet dishes, and old antique chairs with torn upholstery. Antique shops in small towns became my weekend destination as soon as I had a driver's license, along with touring plantation home during my summer vacations to visit family. My designer first love was Gerrie Bremermann, then Charles Faudree, Dan Carithers soon followed. I went to design school when I was in my mid 20's, sadly failed to graduate. I don't remember a time when architecture, art, furniture didn't move me.
    Olivine in Galveston really? Wow, I hadn't heard that. I knew HGTV's "Saving Galveston" is signed on for a full season. It seems Galveston is enjoying a Renaissance. Just when I'm on way out - want to buy a house?

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    1. You're on your way out?

      Delete
  42. Ah, Joni, Joni... what a perfect package you have left us today! I absolutely love reading your blog posts and drinking up the lovely pictures you always include. You brought back wonderful memories of long years of subscriptions to Southern Accents and how I would always be so excited to get a new issue. Yes, thank goodness for Veranda, however their advertising way out numbers the content..... Keep on blogging girl, we all love it and you!!

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  43. This was a great post. I have followed Ginger Barber's work for years!

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  44. People have no right to lament the demise of physical printed magazines and then admit they read mags online instead of buying a subscription. Duh.

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    1. Fuck off, you pretentious asshole.

      Delete
    2. Umm, sticking up for Anon 1:33 There was nothing pretentious about what he said; it is the truth of what is going on with the mags now.

      Delete
  45. I'm prob on the younger side of your readers, but i love pretty. edited pretty. not too many ruffles and bows. but french gilt and fringe for days. with modern art. and some mid century. i love greens and turquoises with leopard or zebra and a touch of stripe. and an italian glass light. I will always have that combo in my life.

    your blog is the best.

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  46. Joni: This post is so on point! I have had a passion for design from the time I was a child, my father was an artist and I grew up around his creative ideas in all of my parents homes. I adore all the classic designers that will never go out of style. The current trends are cold and boring!! Love your blog !
    Judi

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  47. It is always the best treat after a long day to click on your blog and see a new post! This was one of the best. Thank you for being a proponent of "pretty!" I have learned so much from your curation of design. Blue and white, white slipcovers, sea grass, art, lighting, so many great elements to pull from!
    Annie

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  48. Joni- just a small but relevant comment. You are, of course, as usual, fabulous in so many ways...

    PS- Mike Pence in my hood, closing down my country club, this Friday for a fund raiser. Ugh.

    My gosh, with Syria and all involved literally imploding, doesnt't the man have more important things to do???

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    Replies
    1. Please put your political comments on J's twitter. We don't need that here.
      Thanks.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bite me. Then trot back to your mud hut. Mommy called; your rat stew is waiting.

      Delete
  50. Thank you for sharing your passion, Joni. It validates my own. I wonder if you also understand my addiction? This is how it works. I find a project: refinish an alley-find piece of furniture, decorate and stage an event (most recent was a high tea for a sweet !6 party), remodel a room. I am obsessed for the entire project. Out of time. I have little hunger or need for sleep. Once completed, I float, basking in the joy of creation, filled with a lightness that carries over into every other aspect of my life. The length of time that feeling last typically depends on the scope and time invested into that project. Once the feeling starts to diminish, I am itching, on the hunt for my next project (fix!) Crazy, but I've learned to go with it. I too played with Barbies. We would draw designs on the concrete floors of our basements with chalk. My mother did interior design on a small scale and instilled a sense of aesthetic in me from the earliest age. I was the only kid I knew whose living room had complete changes at least 5 times during my formative years. My friends found it odd. I thought that was how families had fun. My mom instilled this into my brothers as well and even as adults we would gather on a Sunday, armed with thermoses of coffee, to head out and discover what my niece called "broken houses." We would find a new area being built up or abandoned houses on the market, and crawl through them, imaging and redesigning them together. I returned home for a visit one Christmas, after moving away. While riding through a neighborhood with young nieces (4 an 5)I listened to their astute critiques of the Christmas lights on various houses. "That's a bit gaudy and overdone, don't you think?" came from one of their mouths. I knew that Grandma had made her early impact on them as well. Once instilled, it is impossible to enter a space and not visually recreate it. It just doesn't turn off. I started my own version of Pinterest in my teens. I cut images that inspired me from magazines and placed them in sketchbooks with scribbled notes to the side. I still have every sketchbook. Occasionally images have lost the allure, but most things still hold up. Principles of design are timeless and when spaces are created employing those principles, the rooms will delight. I think I started following your blog around 2006? I was hot on the trail to find out more about Chateau Domingue and you wrote about her business more than once. Your posts have been a friend ever since. Thank you Joni!

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  51. Thank you, Joni, for crafting an exceptional post. Cote de Texas is an invaluable resource that I often use to stay grounded in the classic elements of design when I find myself being enticed by the latest trends. This post sums things up so very well. The reflections on your early exposure to design brought me back to my early influences, most particularly to one sturdy wooden dollhouse. I re-arranged it constantly,wallpapered rooms,and even installed a "wood" floor in the kitchen (crafted from stir-sticks pilfered from a local restaurant over the course of several trips-sorry mom!)

    You've been given the wonderful gifts of an exceptional eye for style, and an informative,gracious,straight-shooting and humorous writing style. Thankful for this platform that allows you to share with so many of us.

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  52. Joni,

    This is so remarkable! A great gift as always and one of my favorites. So many beautiful, beautiful images. I have saved so many of those pictures myself over the years and love your sense of beauty (not to mention your keen sense of history and eye for meticulously dissecting layouts, etc.) I recently decided to pattern a new room after Oscar de la Renta's Punta Cana long room so it was fun to see that image presented! Like so many readers who appreciate your work but also get a sense of you through your posts and feel that they'd adore you as a friend, I'm glad to have you post something personal and want to say that I send my best to you and your husband with great hopes for the new treatment! Cynthia

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  53. HI Joni,

    I am soooo excited ...my Country Life magazine just arrived and the cover of the April 4,2018 issue exclaimed "WHY THE ENGLISH LOOK IS BACK." ... when Country Life .. the foremost authority of English Life and the country says its back .....its BACK !!!!!
    Thrilled ... love English Country Interiors ... love pattern, colour , texture, Chintz, plates ...everything .... IT's BACK !!!!!!!

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  54. I think it must be a little five-year-old in the photo as there are five candles.

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  55. Joni, I have been a follower of yours for a few years and I have to admit that you are by far my favorite !!!You not only share your passions with us ,,,you show us so many beautiful things!!!You mentioned in the above article that you loved one of the round tables that was in the entrance and had book, flowers, etc. on it !!! You said that you would love to own the table !!! One of the things that I remembered it !!! I like yours much more !!! Another thing that I so admire about you and I'm sure that I'm not the only one , is how you take, literally take us to other house of great beauty and design !!! You never leave us lacking !! One house that remember so clearly is the Kennedy House !!! Long time ago wasn't it !!! I still think of that house !! Not that it was the prettiest, just that you took the time to study all about it and give us the history of it !!!Your posts are so full of everything that I love and I know that it takes lots of work and research to post it !!Please don't ever stop doing what you do so well !!! Your knowledge is unequaled !!!Thank you so much !!!

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  56. Deanna you are absolutely right! Joni is the most generous, lovely, talented blogger who is still blogging! Long may she reign!
    She is a teacher in the best way. People: pay attention....learn from her. She knows!!!! I am honored beyond to be shown in this magnificent post of classic design!!!

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  57. I'm so excited my husband is back after he left me for another woman. My husband and I have been married for about 7 years now. We are happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr OGUNDU can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give it a trial. I contacted him and told him my problems and he told me what to do and i did it and he did a spell for me. 24 hours later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr OGUNDU. If you have any problem contact him and i guarantee you that he will help you. He will not disappoint you. Email him at: {drogunduspellcaster@gmail.com}
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    ReplyDelete
  58. Thanks for sharing the content about Bespoke Flooring India. Now I have complete information about this topic.

    ReplyDelete
  59. No one shared your crapola.

    ReplyDelete
  60. OMG... I related to everything you said here. I started reading AD when I was 7 years years and fun for me was drawing floorplans.... I always "studied" the images in all the magazines. I think you should put all this in a book. We would all buy it. And make it just like this... following the thread.of your revolution with a bit of gossip here and there and then a few inserts of separate stories of one particular house and a I sort of a few past posts.... lots of pictures though ...we will buy it .we want to study it over coffee 😍

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    ReplyDelete
  62. Fantastic post!!You are really the queen of putting together such a comprehensive well thought out and extensive post, its almost like a little novel:) So well done and so many iconic homes/interiors, many that I have loved and been inspired by as well. As for modern, not my thing but it can be done well. To me, classic traditional interiors (sometimes with a little twist) will continue to stand the test of time, as so many of these fabulous rooms that you have featured prove!!

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