Grandeur Dining Rooms

“Dining with ones friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal.” ~ Julia Childelegance2

I have such extraordinary memories growing up as a child, my heart filled with such joy  of all the times my parents treated us to a captivating, elegant, royal tableaux and luscious meal.  On those special occasions,REL6 my mom would always decorate the dining table with radiant, candescent candles, freshly arranged red roses, soft , dim lighting, white or powder blue linen table cloths with newly starched and ironed napkins, her treasured Haviland china with its delicate design, festooned beautiful momwith petite pastel roses, her polished choice sliver and stellar Waterford crystal. (I would always be ‘right there watching her every move’)  just in case she needed my help in any way.)  🙂

Her meals were not only legendary, chimerical but heartening and comforting.  I think my top three,REL3 (and I have to choose three as I can’t possibly pick just one,) 🙂 was her homemade spaghetti, (and no, we are from an Irish, not Italian descent,) beef brisket with potatoes, carrots and onions, and from her Southern heritage, a savory and first class, dreamy lump crab casserole. She baked plenty of ambrosial breads, created, hearty delicious salads, (her homemade avocado dressing was gourmet,) and her desserts were decadent… Pecan pie a’ la mode, rich, dense chocolate cake topped with a mocha frosting,  fudge brownies with pecans and real whipped cream, and french Vanilla Ice cream, drizzled with Chambord  liqueur. (I only got a ‘taste’ at that time.) 🙂 REL1The ‘older kids’ shared in a glass of wine, while my  younger brother and I had our  beautiful goblet of ‘boring’ milk. 🙂  For some reason, it did not look nearly as delicious as their sparkling white wine in the classy and regal crystal.)

For very special occasions, I also remember my parents taking us to some really upscale eateries in California that made me feel so pampered and special…like a princess for the night.REL I especially loved The Reuben E. Lee , ( a 19th century Paddle boat docked  upon the Newport bay.)  It was called the “floating, elegant restaurant.” (My dad would always order me a ‘Shirley Temple’) and they  always served freshly made popped corn.  My other favored place to go was the Five crowns in Newport beach. Not only is their English decor absolutely exquisite, but their prime rib is to die for.REL8  Once, while living in South Carolina, they took us to a beautiful seafood eatery, nestled upon the water, in the renowned and historical city of  Charleston and ordered us all lobster tails with melted butter on the side.  To my surprise, I loved it! As a little girl,  I never enjoyed lobster when my parents bought them fresh and then had to boil them all in the Brobdingnagian  pot as those humongous critters were REL7“still kicking.” I’d run out of the kitchen and yell out to my mom, “I will just have salad, bread and extra potatoes tonight for dinner.”) 🙂



There is just something so special about dressing up a room and table with “your best” of everything…creating a felicitous meal, sitting with loved ones, laughing until your jaw aches, sharing stories of yesteryear, eating delectable cuisine until you are stuffed and watch as the last tall, lambent candle’s flame has demised. REL9 It is a gift that you can give yourself, your husband, your family, boyfriend, girlfriend or guests. Having a special occasion such as a birthday, holiday gathering, anniversary celebration or an intimate night with friends is a wonderful landmark to build your fancy dinner around…but I like to do it “just because” on some nights as a special gift to my husband and I..(And Grantham too if we have steak, chicken or salmon, as he impatiently waits for his portion, drooling like there is no tomorrow.) 🙂

I am hoping to share with you in this vignette some very  grandiose dining room ideas as well as share one of my mom’s stupendous recipes with you, to bring forth a few inspiring ideas of how to give yourself as well as loved ones a “fine and regal” dining experience.



DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

 “You never forget a beautiful thing you have made,” (Chef Bugnard  said.) “Even after you eat it, it stays with you-always.” ~ Julia Child

Bon Appetit!” ~ Julia Child

“It’s so beautifully arranged on a plate, you know someones fingers have been all over it.” ~ Julia Child

“If More of us valued food and cheer and songaudry2 above hoarded gold, It would be a merrier world.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien ~ Author of The Lord of the Rings

“Come quickly! I’m tasting stars.” ~ Dom Pierre Perignon tasting his first sip of his newly created champagne.

“I have a renewed commitment to elegance, she said, in case you think I’m just spending money for the fun of it.” ~ Brian Adreas

“Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. audry7Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.” ~ 18th century French author Charles Pierre Monselet

“Certainly one of the important requirements for learning how to cook is that you also learn how to eat. If you don’t know how an especially fine dish is supposed to taste, how can you produce it? ” ~ Julia Child
Are you ready to visit  some grandeur dining rooms? 🙂
If you are a History buff, a connoisseur of antiqued chandeliers, silver candelabra, soft white candle light and a warm, regal ambiance, this elegant dining room is the perfect place to plan a festive reunion with loved ones… Absolutely Gorgeous!
Both of these par- excellence dining rooms are fiercely grandiose and would undoubtedly make each guest feel coddled and pampered. The first photograph is one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen with it’s  amazing vaulted ceilings, arched hallways, divine, shiny wood flooring, awesome paned windows with it’s breathtaking view, the original and choice sconce lighting, and stellar hanging chandelier. It truly looks as if Royalty lives here. The second dining room is of course a classy and graceful eatery…All the work and preparation is done for you to perfection. The only thing that awaits you is ‘pure pleasure.’   I adore the floral topiary tree. (Just creating one of those and placing it amongst a white linen table cloth would be a wondrous start to your elegant setting. ) 🙂
elegance6fancy eatery
This vintage dining room is exquisite. I could see this table festooned for a ladies intimate dinner…  It’s ambiance creates the feeling of an exciting wedding celebration! 🙂  I love her white, sheer, lace window treatment, her collection of diverse candelabras and the  hanging chandelier is absolutely top-of-the-line! What makes this room beautifully rhapsodic is it’s ‘style,’ a special touch being the unique linen tablecloth with it’s picturesque, entrancing, “Shabby Chic” corners.   Any guest  having dinner in this lovely, ageless dining room would feel very refreshed and catered to.
Already blessed with an amazingly gorgeous view, this grandeur dining room is certainly a treat for any of it’s dinner guests . The soft lighting is perfect for a romantic dinner amidst the blithesome and canty flower arrangements, candescent candle light and stunning china. In our dining room, we have a hanging Chandler, (very casual in it’s presentation,) but it has a dimmer switch which allows us to make our intimate dinners cozy, enchanting, warm and sung! Its a great investment! 🙂

Don’t you feel as if you have stepped back in time as you look upon this  exhilarating and rousing dining room? I can just envision George Washington and his family dining in a room like this as he lived within his Mt. Vernon, Virginia estate… The vaulted ceilings and gorgeously paned window treatment  alone, would keep me enjoying extra cups of coffee after dessert, just to stay at  the table and ‘take in’ this  exquisite and lovely ambiance. This fireplace is stirring with it’s baronial mantle as well as intricate  architectural design. The divine hanging chandelier unabashedly announces it’s glory with it’s jeweled accents, the lively and poignant array of choice flowers amongst the delicate, regal white table settings, classic crystal and refined, polished sideboard is breathtaking! I love this patina!   army56

The repetition of ‘gold’ in this dining room is within itself elegant and grandiose. The table setting is eye-catching with it’s red and gold plates resting snugly upon a gold charger, accentuated with the golden candle sticks and silver serving piece… Did you notice how this decorator has dauntlessly mixed in some blue crystal glasses as well as natures divine greens amongst her regal and rich colors?  The soft candle light and vintage table clock are riveting .  This room is gorgeous and brings an abundance of new ideas of how to create your evening of enchantment and beauty.   army70

 Historic and eminently LOVELY. The lively topiary tree, buoyant yellow roses, vintage portrait and floral painting amidst the enveloping window treatments and alluring view is magical and inviting. I remember when one of my brothers was engaged, he was given a tablecloth much like this and I was so envious! (Very  happy for he and his fiance, but boy, did I want that table cloth.) 🙂  It’s breathtaking and exudes the very essence of  elegant dining. I adore the gregarious flower arrangement centerpiece,  latticed, two tone linen napkins, prestigious goblets, and absolutely stellar, majestic and graceful china. I bet there has been many a lovely, congenial and delightful meal shared around this table. 🙂
This delightful centerpiece with its gilded fruits, august three tried plate stand, gold candlestick holders with their appeasing candles and dainty and recherche china, catches the eye immediately! Again, this decorator has chosen to use the gorgeous color of gold as the rooms  main color palette with touches of white, reds and yellow. I have always loved adding  a baronial, winsome wing back chair to a dining table…It’s unique, inviting and comfortably complimentary.
This majestic dining room brings a tune from Burl Ives to my mind. You know, the song in our children’s  beloved and cherished, (and the little kid in all of us too,) ‘Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’s,’ “Silver and Gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold…”  (It truly is a great movie.) 🙂 I love the white, stellar built in shelves, the golden candelabras, and tall candlesticks, the elegant white linens and the abundance of silver trays, goblets and table decor. Absolutely gorgeous!
Though a table set for the glorious Christmas season, this dining room looks as if it is right out of a classic film… delightfully viewing this winning and par-excellence dining room sparks an abundance of wondrous ideas on how to bring about a stunning and grandiose dining experience for the holidays or any special occasion for that matter. The sideboards, festooned with  graceful swags of garland and fresh, enlivening  flowers, the strikingly bedecked fireplace mantle, festive red bows tied upon the chairs, and a vibrant red table runner to highlight the eloquent white linen table cloth is beautifully inspiring.  The  soft, glowing candle light  amongst the rich, dark woods is warm and graciously welcoming. I love it!
I am always in awe with ‘white table-settings!’ This tableaux is quite simple but also enchanting and regal. I am impressed with the diversity of candle holders the gilded pears amongst the greens, as well as the creative, artful and clever, floral centerpiece. Great ideas!
Another holiday gathering…The first impression, with these absolutely gorgeous and  rich wood, paned French doors is “explosively beautiful!” 🙂 I love the antiquated art work and their gold frames, the polished, cozy dining table with green and red accent tones and the cleverly done, blue trim upon the doors. Very lovely and warm!
Not a typical dining room, yet just as charming. Many a time, especially when all the kids have grown up and moved away, dinner is held in the ‘parlor,’ ( our living rooms with our table set up cozily by the fireside, or perhaps now a days, our  widescreen TV’s.)  🙂 This historic room is congenial, royal, welcoming and evokes a beautifully convivial ambiance to each guest who comes to share an elegant dining experience. 🙂
Another holiday bedecked dining room…(with a cheerful little visitor.) 🙂 Valentines day would be a perfect ‘motif’ for an elegant and grandeur evening meal with friends or family! This decorators color palette is lovely with it’s shades of red, green and white , highlighted with magical touches of gold. The green foliage upon the vintage mirror is classy and graceful. I love the red place mats upon the white linen cloth and the eminently unique and original fire engine red candelabra.  Beautiful room with a wealth of great decor ideas.  🙂
So many elegant and grandiose dining room ambiances use the never failing and magical ‘muse’ of Christmas for their amiable and spirited presentation.   This dining room is classically done…I love the jeweled, enchanting hanging chandelier, garish and exuberant Christmas tree, cobble stoned fireplace, vintage chairs, dark woods with the motley table setting in pastel rose, green and diverse shades of glorious red. The centerpiece is refreshing, inviting and the silver goblets, historically festive! Very stunning!
One of the popular and innovative, beautiful pieces of furniture for your elegant dining room ambiance is the baronial and courtly sideboard. Not only is it a lovely piece of furniture but it is also a place to festoon with beauty, using your regal and captivating  decor, as well as displaying decadent desserts, hot bread baskets, side dishes and beverages upon.
This side table is dressed in magnificent and fresh greens, kaleidoscopic china coffee cups and exquisite silver. It is a spirited as well as sanguine addition to this dining room.
This side table is absolutely euphoric. You do not see many sideboards arrayed in this kind of beauty…The vintage mirror is captivating with it’s antiquated design and elfin, floral swag… the tall, elaborate silver candelabras are classy, almost hypnotic, and  the decadent, showstopping freshly baked cake is comfortably resting on this sideboard, tempting every guest! 🙂   Absolutely romantic and junoesque.
These two sideboards are tasteful and luxurious, but are warm and inviting as well. Both displays capture your eye with their diverse and lovely floral arrangements and the opalescent glow of the tall candles with their dancing flames. Two wonderful ideas to dress up your room for that special fete.

Brilliant, magical, enchanting and filled with charm. A winning sideboard table for any dining room patina. Golden candlelight, reflected in mirrored glass is always a top-of-the-line decor addition to bring forth warmth, magic and a bit of romance. 🙂 army40

Lastly, my adored topiary tree festooned with bedazzling roses…and the cake…HEAVENLY! This sideboard’s ambiance is one of the Victorian era, alluring and full of romance. (The trees are very easy to create and yet look as if they are straight from the florist shop.)  🙂army31

I just read an article on elegant dining by the ‘Fine dining editor’ of the Examiner, George Singeltary. He stressed that what we are looking for when we ‘go out for a night on the town’ to enjoy an elegant getaway and delicious cuisine is three things… We want great service, great food and an a great ambiance to relax in. These are all wondrous gifts that our favorite eateries graciously offer us, but we, as well, can create the same, memorable and convivial experience right in our very own homes to bless our friends and family with, free of charge. I hope this vignette has inspired you with some new ideas on how to bring forth an elegant and grandeur dining room, providing a place for your  resplendent and delightsome evening with your loved ones.

I want to leave you with one of those superb dinners I was telling you about earlier in the blog…from the deep blue waters of the Atlantic ocean…luscious lump crab casserole! You can used canned lump crab, but it will not be as scrumptious! 🙂


YOU WILL NEED: one pound of lump crab meat, make sure there are no shells within your crab, 4 large eggs, (beaten) 3/4 stick of butter, 1 green pepper, (chopped finely,)  1 stalk of celery, (chopped finely,)  3 green onions, chopped finely, (using the chives as well ,) 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of half and half,  1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, dash of Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Remember, (as you LOOK at all these ingredients, it is a rich dinner and you will only be eating just a serving so, for one evening, it will be OK.  🙂 One woman who had this at my luncheon loved it so much, she called me for the recipe… after SEEING the ingredients, she asked if she could substitute with the cream and half and half. If you do, the casserole will not  taste at all like it is supposed to…They say, “everything in moderation.) 🙂    It’s worth it!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Melt your butter over low heat and saute’ your  chopped vegetables; green pepper, celery stalk, green onion and chives, just until soft. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing to cool.  Beat your four eggs together until well blended. Add the half and half and cream, continue beating or whisking your mixture until it is again, well blended. Add your dash of Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste, (I use freshly ground black pepper and Tabasco.)  Gently, fold in  your lump crab meat  and mix together. Add your freshly sauteed and cooled vegetables, as well as the melted butter they  have been cooked in,  then scoop your mixture into a buttered casserole or a 9×13-2 inch Pyrex dish or baking pan, (same size.)  Spread in pan evenly. Cover with bread crumbs, (I use the seasoned breadcrumbs from the grocer. ) Bake for 30 minutes, test the center to see if it is done as all ovens are different. It should be firm….insert a knife to see if it has cooked through. You will know! 🙂 *** I use about two stems of green onion chopped, but the chives of three.

ENJOY! This is great served with fresh steamed asparagus, sourdough bread and a baked potato with all the trimmings. 🙂

Additional Links:
Country Living magazine white dining room
Victoria Magazine
Country Living magazine
Soot Collector Illuma Lids for candles 

PHOTOGRAPHS In placing your computer mouse upon each photo or graphic, it will display where the picture originated from.


Decadent Crab Casserole


Bon Apetit! I love Julia Child’s quote about  how we must first be able to “taste fine food,” before we can actually create it. In discovering her truth, that means many a night out at superb eateries, (I love that!)  and ample efforts at home with our open gourmet cookbooks on our counter top, attired in our favorite apron, and a great willingness to create with abandon. 🙂    This is a recipe from my vignette on “Grandeur Dining Rooms.” An evening to remember… It’s an elegant gift to give yourself as well as loved ones…a Five Star dinner, your tableaux festooned with the “best of everything” bringing forth a cornerstone, (your dining table) to be a place full of laughter, sharing and triumphant bonding. This is a recipe from my mom’s southern heritage. Gosh was she a fabulous cook and treated us all, (her husband and 7 children)  to many wondrous , graceful, classy and magnificent dinners. They are meals and evenings that are etched in my heart and memories and will stay there forever! Enjoy this decadent, “out of this world,” crab casserole recipe.


YOU WILL NEED: one pound of lump crab meat, make sure there are no shells within your crab, 4 large eggs, (beaten) 3/4 stick of butter, 1 green pepper, (chopped finely,)  1 stalk of celery, (chopped finely,)  3 green onions, chopped finely, (using the chives as well ,) 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of half and half,  1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, dash of Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Remember, (as you LOOK at all these ingredients, it is a rich dinner and you will only be eating just a serving so, for one evening, it will be OK.  🙂 One woman who had this at my luncheon loved it so much, she called me for the recipe… after SEEING the ingredients, she asked if she could substitute with the cream and half and half. If you do, the casserole will not  taste at all like it is supposed to…They say, “everything in moderation.) 🙂    It’s worth it!

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Melt your butter over low heat and saute’ your  chopped vegetables; green pepper, celery stalk, green onion and chives, just until soft. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing to cool. In a large bowl, beat your four eggs together until well blended. Add the half and half and cream, continue beating or whisking your mixture until it is again, well blended. Add your dash of Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper to taste, (I use freshly ground black pepper and Tabasco.)  Gently, fold in  your lump crab meat  and mix together. Add your freshly sauteed and cooled vegetables, as well as the melted butter they  have been cooked in,  then scoop your mixture into a buttered casserole or a 9×13-2 inch Pyrex dish or baking pan, (same size.)  Spread in pan evenly. Cover with bread crumbs, (I use the seasoned breadcrumbs from the grocer. ) Bake for 30 minutes, test the center to see if it is done as all ovens are different. It should be firm….insert a knife to see if it has cooked through. You will know! 🙂 *** I use about two stems of green onion chopped, but the chives of three.

ENJOY! This is great served with fresh steamed asparagus, sourdough bread and a baked potato with all the trimmings. 🙂

Additional Links:
Country Living magazine white dining room
Victoria Magazine
Country Living magazine
Soot Collector Illuma Lids for candles 


PHOTOGRAPHS In placing your computer mouse upon each photo or graphic, it will display where the picture originated from.

LINKS: To learn more about the newly added links to Living Winsomely, please read the blog “WE NOW HAVE LINKS” in the category file. 🙂

My desk, my sanctuary!

“I get up early in the morning, 4 o’clock, and I sit at my desk and what I do is just dream. After three or four hours, that’s’ enough. In the afternoon, I run.”  ~ Best selling Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami.mens desk2

“Sweeter are the thoughts that savor content. The quiet mind is richer than a crown.” ~ Robert Greenearmy20

Being a writer, I liken my desk to my best girlfriend, who through thick and thin, laughter and tears, deep losses and jubilant gain, has been there for me for over 40 years… My desk is faithful, true, never judges me,annie1 is comfortable, hears me think out-loud, doesn’t mind when I don’t look my best, (and still awaits me every morning.) 🙂 It is my safe haven, place of repose, my special place to dream, enjoy my devotion time, journal, create dinner menus, research, read and look up new recipes. A quiet corner where I plan out my day, the week ahead, even the month, write letters to a friend, create a blog 🙂 and where I engage in many a phone call with loved ones who live far away.  To be honest with you, some of the happiest moments of my life have been at my desk…

Whether you are a writer, homemaker, architect, web designer, teacher, accountant, doctor, nurse,  store clerk or manager, retired or have your own home business, we all share one thing in common. We all need a place to write. We jot down our thoughts on our laptops in front of TV, write letters on decorative pillowed lap desks while in bed, prepare our grocery lists upon the kitchen counter, or if need be, sit at a park bench with our writing tablets and spend hours writing and organizing our thoughts…bench

OR… we purchase a desk and create a special place for ourselves to write, read, make phone calls and work. If your ‘desk’ is at your place of employment, you most likely festoon it with photographs of loved ones, your favorite coffee mug, perhaps some fresh flowers or an antique table clock. We all love to bring forth ‘a little bit of our personalities’ and make our tiny (or large) spaces our own!  One of my brothers  is a high school counselor. He is blessed to have his own office where he can create it to reflect a part of his identity through all the things he loves. My husband and I work at home and can do the same… Others do not have a desk or office in their profession, but do have their own desk at home. (A perfect place to make your own!) 🙂

In this blog, I hope to share some ideas of how to make your desk not only a place of  beauty, repose and serenity, but to be a space that ‘speaks’ your name. Yes, there will be many hours where your are busily at work and will not even be thinking about ‘what your desk looks like,’ but other times, when it is clutter free, you will  find yourself sitting peaceably amongst all your favorite things and felicitous decor.Susans-Desk-From the Dinning-Room It will be a place you can day dream, call a dear friend, sit and enjoy the view out of your windows, have a cup of coffee or glass of wine and reflect upon your day. It truly can be a place of quietness and refreshment.



The Distinguished quote corner. Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

“If your desk is not cluttered, you probably aren’t doing your job.”  ~ Harold S. Geneen

” I have my favorite cat who is my paperweight, on my desk while I am writing.” ~ Ray Bradburybeach3

” Happiness is a very small desk and a very big wastebasket.” ~ Robert Orben

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” ~ Albert Einstein

“Sanctuary, on a personal level is where we perform  the job of taking care of our soul.” ~ Christopher Forrest McDowell

“The world is quiet here.” ~ Lemony Snicket beach1

“What a blessing it is to be alone with your thoughts when so many are alone with their inability to think.” ~ Robert Brault

“In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of  fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book.beach2 I am a writer and I take up my pen to write.” ~ Pear S. Buck.

“The high-ceiling rooms, the little balconies,alcoves, nooks and angles all suggest sanctuary, escape, create comfort. The reader, the scholar, the browser, the borrower is king.”~ David McCord


Here is a diverse collection of ” sunning and inviting” desks to bring you some inspiration. 🙂

This vintage, antediluvian desk is not only unique in it’s architecture, but in it’s decor style as well. Being the topiary tree connoisseur that I am, I adore this decorators flavor… With its wealth of antique photographs, candle holders, vibrant roses and “front row seat” to a gorgeous  garden view, it would be a wonderful place of tranquility.army21

Another stellar and riveting place of stillness and quietude. There is just ‘something about a desk by a window’ that is beautifully inviting. I love the soft ivy curtains with it’s matching chair, antiquated picture frames, fresh flowers and the lovely country cottage style writing desk. Truly a perfect setting!army23

This is the same gorgeous desk above, just a different view! What a fabulous and beautifully creative idea to use and ottoman for your Table top book collection…army19

My very first bedroom set as a child was cherry wood…it’s one of my favorite colors and choices in furniture to this day. This wondrous desk is appealing with its voluminous size, non cluttered look and is handsomely regal and refined in design. This photograph looks like an office at work or an inviting study at home. Very rich and  appealing!mens desk 5

I am impressed with how this designer has used a small alcove, cozy niche to create their place of placidity and calmness. I would have never thought of placing a desk beside the staircase, (which is absolutely gorgeous.)  This desk in not only spacious but enveloping with its fresh bouquet of wild flowers and baronial lamp. Very creative!army18

Another resplendent window view! 🙂 I love the style of this writing desk with it’s unique and convenient cubbyholes to place all of your desk accessories ticked away in, which allows for more working space. The beautiful flowers, age old frames and  Victorian desk decor is comforting, welcoming and  charmingly warm. (Isn’t that petite rocking chair adorable?) What a great addition to this splendid corner.army1

This working area would be my husbands, (or any web designers)  dream come true! Not only is it spacious, owning its own fabulous view, but it would allow for a wealth of computer screens as well as photographs, phone lines, favorite cappuccino mug and esthetic desk accessories.mens desk4

A very polished and refined look… I love these regal book ends! (I never really think of a collection of fine books being used as a desks decor,)  but it really is very creative and  it brings forth a handsomely baronial ambiance.mens desk

Creative, colorful, cheerful and unique! Who wouldn’t want to come to this cozy work area everyday and enjoy it’s delightful and winsome atmosphere? 🙂  I love what this decorator has done with her wall decor, and of course, all the highlights of ‘red.’ 🙂   army25

This statuesque and personable room is not only esthetic, but very warm and welcoming! I like how the desk is placed in back of this sectional couch… It looks so cozy and  has the delightful benefits of a front row seat to the amiable fireplace as well as Wide screen TV. Very comfy! mens desk 6

This writing desk is absolutely stunning.  It is bestowed with a stellar window view, sunflower yellow walls, (very soothing,), enchanting paned, creamy white windows and romantic, alluring Victorian desk top decor. So far, my favorite! 🙂 army22

I don’t think I have ever seen a desk so ‘clean’ in my life! 🙂  (They must be on vacation!) 🙂 I love the simplicity and setting of this prestigious desk area… A riveting place of repose and calmness. With it’s lovely white paned windows, you know one thing for sure, they will be utterly  enjoying the freshly fallen snow in the winter, sudden and daunting summer thunderstorms, spring in its’ glorious array of flowers and the vibrant , kaleidoscopic colors of the welcomed autumn season. 🙂mens desk1

When Kit and I lived in Arizona in our petite, but cozy historical home, I did not  own a desk…So, I decided to make one, writer that I am. 🙂 I got tired of using the kitchen counter tops  to write on.) 🙂   My grandmother had  left to our family, a  four piece,  antiquated dining room  table and it had two extra end tables in the design. I used one of those end tables as my sanctuary , reprieve, and place to write, create, and dream. 🙂  (This was the home I was telling you about in an earlier writing that  we lived in, where I “experimented” with an abundance of ideas to make our home more colorful and lively.) I guess you could call it my “house decorating 101 days.” 🙂  I learned to paint stripes, (my dear friend Vince taught me,)  and stencil, (thank you Kit for your patience,) 🙂  so I created my own color scheme with a rich burgundy for the wooden molding, a lulled yellow and soft white for the walls, and stenciled some ivy vines in a forest green to accent it’s patina as well as make it personalized.  This corner became MINE!   I had my quiet, cozy corner, writing paper,  books, pen and later a computer… It was my place of many a felicities memory. (If you do not have a desk, and  until you do purchase  the one ‘ you have your eye on,’  be adventurousness and  CREATE ONE!)  🙂gracefun2

What a spectacular “hutch style” desk! I see this as more of a writing desk than a place for a computer screen!    Not only is the architectural design of this desk striking with all of it’s sophisticated detail within the alluring white wood, but it’s decor is summoning, elfin and filled with charm with its adornment of Victorian plates, delicate tea cup, petite lamps with dried roses and venerable picture frames. Undoubtedly a woman’s very cherished and beautiful retreat!  army17

If this was  my desk, I would set my alarm clock early every morning, (well, maybe not on the weekends,) just to have my morning  cup of coffee amongst an abundance of revelry, cheerfulness and mirth. The dazzling and incandescent colors are so alluring and calming… bringing forth an ambiance of warmth and lightheartedness. I especially love the combination of the gleeful  golds, vibrant reds and regal blacks. This is what I would call a “happy” desk! 🙂  army16

Again, a fetching ‘hutch’ style desk…I remember when I was a little girl, my parents had a desk like this, (much more traditional in it’s presentation,) and they called it “the secretary.” There are so many advantages with this style of desk…It’s decorative shelves to have your research books within hands reach, the delightsome cubbyholes to store your desk accessories which allows for more writing  and work space. A very cozy and cordial place of serenity.army3

What lady would turn down the opportunity to spend many lovely hours at this resplendent , Victorian writing desk with it’s lovely constellation of  elegant and divine decor. This desk is eminently soft, ethereal and soothing! army2

Okay! If you want to get “really creative,” you could ‘create your own desk’ alfresco style! This is ORIGINAL! 🙂 It looks inviting…you’d just need to bundle up in your wintry coat, have your thermos of hot coffee and enjoy the beauty of nature, the freshly fallen snow and the brisk, invigorating air as you do your writing, work or make your phone morning phone calls. This person even has music to enhance their adventuresome experience. I love this idea. 🙂


Lastly, a desk with a collection of romantic, entrancing and complimentary accessories . I absolutely love this style of  Victorian-vintage decor. army26Whether your peaceful place of repose is a tiny alcove in your home, a warm inviting study, an office desk at work, a snug desk behind your couch, or a breathtaking setting in front of bright and cheery, sunlit windows, take some time to make it YOU OWN and enjoy it’s gift of consolation, inspiration and comfort.

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*** If you would like to understand the purpose of the newly incorporated LINKS within Living Winsomely, please read the blog, “WE NOW HAVE LINKS.” 🙂





Your “Make Believe” SNOWDAY!

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened” ~ Rachel Cohn


It is purely the time of silence and serene heartbeats of quietness in ones self, that gives us the ‘green light’ and permit , to think and to feel. Creating a few hours, a lovely evening or the entire day, where silence can happen, even within  a busy life is a wondrous bestowal to YOURSELF. Whatever it is that brings that blissful feeling, the peace within your heart to think, feel and LIVE, that is what a “MAKE BELIEVE SNOW DAY” is created for. 🙂

Pretend that you have now  been granted a ‘SNOW DAY.” A day just like the ones you had when you were a child in  elementary school. Your up early, all dressed for the day, just about ready to take your first delicious bite of your Eggo waffle, and the phone rings…It is the school secretary… “SCHOOL HAS BEEN CANCELLED.” You sigh with relief! 🙂 Your day was already planned, but now, your day is entirely free. (And no homework!) 🙂 Make believe , for just one day, you are that child.  You are FREE from all your scheduled activities. Close your eyes and allow the hours to stretch before you…FREE. Even if there is no white fluffy ‘stuff’ outside your window, take the time for the quiet, beauty and blessed indulgence of the day…it’s your gift to yourself. 🙂

What will you do with an entire day all to yourself ? Spend it  alone,with a friend, spouse or your children?… There is nothing quite like the feeling of a freestanding day to do whatever it is that your heart desires… To some it may be going back to bed, 🙂 others, doing spring cleaning in the middle of summer, or going shopping at the outlets all day.  I have researched some great ideas for your “Snow day.” 🙂 I hope you enjoy and can use at least one or two of them. 🙂


THE DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER:Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

It is in his pleasure that a man really lives; it is from his leisure that he constructs the fabric of self.” ~ Agnes Reppllier

“The real problem of leisure time is how to keep others from using yours.” ~ Aurthur Lacey

“He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his souls estate.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“All of us , from time to time, need to plunge into freedom and novelty, after which routine and discipline will seem delightful by contrast.” ~ Andre Maurois  

“Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.” ~ Roger Von Oechanne 1

“Fun is about as good a habit as there is.” ~ Jimmy Buffet


I hope some of these “Make Believe Snow Days” ideas, inspire you…

If your “free day” happens to fall in the springtime, how about creating a stunning and inviting flower box for your front window? There is nothing like the fresh air, a cool breeze, birds singing and creating BEAUTY. inspired61

You know that new scrumptious cake recipe you have been dying to try for weeks, well today just may be the day you conquer it. Fall and wintry days are perfect for conjuring up something fantastic in the kitchen.  inspire42

If you feel like staying in your P.J.’s  and hanging around the house all day, reupholstering and painting a vintage chair or making a towel holder for your guest bathroom would be a lot of fun. You could crank up your favorite music and ENJOY creating something new for your haven.


If you live close to Wilmington Delaware, a day trip to the sensational and renowned Winterthur Gardens and mansion in the Brandy Wine valley would be a lovely get-a-way. Pack a delicious picnic basket and be prepared to see stellar and  baronial antiques, magical flower gardens and a land of beauty. inspire21

Have you ever been to a blueberry farm and picked so many blueberries, you thought your hands would turn blue? 🙂 One of my fondest memories is one summer in South Carolina, when my sister came to stay with us from California. While I was at work, she and my mom went ‘blueberry picking’ and had the time of their life.  They brought home so many barrels of their hunted treasure that we had “blueberry everything” for weeks. That night as I walked in the front door, I could smell fresh, sweet blueberry pies baking in the oven. 🙂 It was heavenly! 🙂  For weeks , we had an abundance of muffins, pancakes, fresh ice cream with the berries , cobblers, more pies and then of course, just snacking on the sweet, natural and tasty petite fruit itself, was so delicious. What a great way to spend a free day.


If you live close to Hartford Connecticut, the beaches and cliffs are absolutely breathtaking.  When we lived in Connecticut, this was a special get-a-way day for my husband and I and our precious Grantham. As you can tell, it was a chilly day, the beach was deserted, but we did find another couple who had the same idea as we did, and their two dogs had a great play date with Graham. The beach, whether on the east or west coast, is one of my favorite places to visit to  regain my soul. Its so peaceful and serene.


Talking about beaches and the mystifying ocean, how about your freestanding day being a day of “riding the waves.”  🙂 horse5

There is nothing ‘quite like the feeling’ of going shopping for a new dress for a special , upcoming occasion. And all of us women know, you can’t just buy the dress, you have got to have all the accessories that go with it. 🙂 Maybe take your best girlfriend and make it a day of shopping and stop for an enjoyable lunch at your favorite Bistro.


RIDING! Maybe its a horseback ride along the sandy shore with the  fabulous ocean breeze, or it’s your new bike that you forgot is hidden away in your garage…Take your day and enjoy the beauty of nature…

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Okay, maybe you are not an avid bike rider or big fan of horses…how about some fresh water fishing or a day of golfing? Both of these renowned sports will  get you out in the fresh air and will bring an entirely new point of view to your world, as well as a wondrous refreshment to your body and soul. (And a great dinner on the grill that night if you or ‘your man’ catches anything.) 🙂


For a more restful and pampering day, how about reading your favorite novel that you have not had time to pick up, let alone read, while  relaxing on your hammock under a canopy of trees, with the glory of nature surrounding you as well as cool breezes and the warmth of the sunshine? If your not up to burning up all the calories of ‘bicycle riding,’ take a day trip to the countryside or a near by beach on your ‘bike that pedals for you.’ 🙂


There is always the escape to your man cave guys… invite a few friends over, have a movie marathon with your favorite action filled movies and just ENJOY each others company, some great food and an ice cold beer. (Ladies, you can always sneak into his man cave while he is at work and ask your girlfriends over for your ‘Make Believe Snow Day’…) Just change the movie menu to romantic chic flicks and a  serve a nice Merlot.   horse13

If your special day happens to be in the autumn months, venture out to a pumpkin patch and pick out your pumpkins for the season…maybe buy a few scarecrows for the yard and stop off at a charming farmers market and get some freshly made apple cider, hot buttered popcorn, and candy corns…take your newly acquired treasures home and put on your favorite movie, light a fire and enjoy your fall treats. (Hot apple cider is my favorite in the cold months.) Mm!  It is so good with cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg sprinkled on top.


If your ‘dream day off”  is hanging out with your kids, take out a box of their favorite chocolate candies and just watch their faces. My mom and I used to watch our favorite TV show with Baranbus Collins, without failure, everyday, and she would  create some type of creative snack for me…(Always homemade.) (No, she did not get the chocolates out everyday.)  (For us anyway.) 🙂     Some of the best times of my life were spent with just the ‘simple pleasures’ of home, amongst my favorite people in all the world…my family! 🙂 Still are!inspired52

How about shopping for that ‘perfect’ terrycloth bathrobe you’ve been wanting for months? Treat yourself to a new, romantic, floral throw for your favorite chair or comfy bed and some new, soft, pampering and elegant bath towels. Take a long hot, bubble bath when you get home..after all, shopping is a tough undertaking. 🙂  inspire34

Okay…here is a new and creative idea for you…how about taking the day to plan out all the details for a Masquerade party? Plan out your appetizers, menu, elegant tableaux, invitations, guest list, your costume and pick a party game or two. I have always believed that planning and creating  a gala is half the fun! 🙂  You can’t forget little “Tiger’s” costume… 🙂


How about this for your ‘disguise fete?’ You would  undoubtedly be the “Bell of the ball.” 🙂


If your masquerade party is bit more formal, go all out with your tableaux , treating your guests to an elegant ambiance. Gold is always a regal choice for a ‘mysterious’  masquerade party…


Use fresh flowers, fine china, glimmering candles and your very best silver and crystal. Ideas for dinner… Fresh salmon baked in dill, butter, white wine and fresh mushrooms, served over rice.  Your appetizers can be homemade or ordered from Costco  or other specialty grocers.   Pick a theme, create your dining room, write your invitations and just revel in the preparations of this wondrous festivity. (Don’t forget your costume.) 🙂


One of my most cherished memories of the year Kit and I lived in Bethany beach, Delaware is the afternoon we decided to go see a matinee. (He knows my favorite thing in the whole world is buttered popcorn at the movie theater. ) (Who cares what  the movie is?) (Just kidding!) 🙂 Well, our movie was not at all what we thought it was going to be, so we got our money back, and decided to go over to the outlets in Rehoboth beach and buy some extraordinarily elegant sheets for our bed…We already had a new, gossamer,white down comforter so we bought a high thread, extra soft set of white sheets, went home, made up our new bed and watched a  (much better) movie on cable, as we snuggled up with our Grantham, lit all our candles and enjoyed our  big barrel of buttered popcorn we brought home from the theater.  It was a wonderful day! Sprucing up your bedroom is always a welcomed project! 🙂


It doesn’t have to be someones birthday or the wondrous Christmas season to create some homemade gifts for your friends and loved ones. If you are a connoisseur of fresh jams, jellies and relishes, stock up on mason jars, pretty ribbons and all your ingredients for homemade, gourmet condiments. Put on some soothing R&B music, a little Josh Grobin or Michael Buble, crank it up and just create and enjoy! 🙂inspire47

Speaking of afternoon projects…if you are a lover of crafting, creating some new decor for your berth would be the perfect choice for your free day… A riveting , show stopping, romantic floral wreath to go with a divinely finished birdcage. This combination is absolutely euphoric.


If your favorite season is spring or summer, then for you, perhaps creating alluring and fetching flower pots, (getting your hands all dirty) and bringing forth some garden ‘eye-candy.’ 🙂 I adore this homemade topiary tree…I have never planted or made a ‘live one’ before…That would be a great new project to learn.  Very Lovely! It would be hard to stop at just 4 pots though.  🙂


If I had a ‘Make Believe Snow Day,’ I would probably chose to rearrange my dining room, create a brand new centerpiece and festoon my table  to look like something out of a fairytale… I’d  get out my southern cook books and find a new, Kit-pleasing recipe and preapre a really nice candle lit dinner for him. This table is heavenly! Creating  something new and beautiful is my passion! 🙂inspired60

Kit and I lived in Arizona for 9 years….I kept wondering what we had done so terribly wrong to make our punishment last so long, 🙂 (I am just teasing…) No, Arizona was not my first choice to live in, but we ended up meeting some of the best friends of our lives there and every home we lived in was blessed with a lush grass lawn. 🙂  (Thank the Lord.) (Arizona really is a land filled with an abundance of beauty and is a great state to live in, I am just not a rock, cactus, “dry heat” kind of gal. ) 🙂  Our special get-a-way one day was going to the Grand canyon. If you live in Arizona, it is certainly worth the drive…it’s beauty is majestic and we did a lot of hiking and came home eminently refreshed in our minds, bodies and souls.west1

Another cherished memory and great “snow day’ is a day trip to Fox woods in the sublime state of Connecticut. Kit and I met  my brother and his spouse in  Mystic Connecticut  for dinner at our favorite eatery by the water and then drove to Fox woods. Unbeknownst to us,  they had reserved for Kit and I , the most beautiful suite inside the hotel, that I’d ever seen. The bath tub (of course it was a jacuzzi tub,) held at least 6 people…I think I took 7 bubble baths in one day it was so much fun, (except when I added to much bubble bath and the large bathroom was overflowing to its knees in white, floating, opalescent bubbles… (How do you call maid service?) 🙂  If you enjoy shopping, great food, gambling, (we did it just for fun,) and  the ‘air of felicity’, even if you live far away and it wold be more like a ‘snow week’ to really enjoy this exciting get-a-way, it is worth the trip. west7

If it is a chilly, wintry day, make yourself a savory hot lunch, light your outdoor fireplace and bring out your favorite novella or two, (depending on how fast you read.) Brisk winter days are my favorite  kind of day to be outside, all bundled up and enjoying the aroma of freshly burning firewood and the nippy wind upon my face.  inspired70

Another wintry, chilly day may be a wonderful time to so some things around your home to add some new and creative displays of beauty. My mom loved those days, (so do I.) We called them our days of “puttering” around the house, brightening up a few rooms with small , esthetic changes. This decorator has festooned her balustrades with fresh greens and ribbons…It adds a winsome flavor and lavish texture to the stairway as well as the  room…Most people “bedeck the halls” at Christmas, but you can do it for any seasonal  theme… Autumn, Valentines Day, spring, 4th of of July, etc…or “just because.” A very romantic, everyday look is fresh green garlands accompanied by poetic roses, swagged upon your mantles or stair bannisters. A perfect craft project as well as beautiful decor for the Vintage, Romantic, Shabby Chic and Cottage homes.


In your quest to “putter” and beautify…one room to start with could be your beloved bedroom. Perhaps, go shopping and buy some new throw pillows for your bed, or a romantic and blissful, white canopy to dress up your room and give it some pizzazz.  Add some new and diverse candle stick holders, adorned with taper and pillar candles in soft whites or cream yellows. (Very romantic.) I love cherub angels as they not only add class and texture to our rooms but they are marvelously  enchanting.   inspire25

How about a day at your favorite  spa, or create your own spa at home with luxurious bubble baths, warmed, fresh elegant bath towels, face masks, ambrosial body sprays and coddling lotions.  (My favorite kind of day…I just need to acquire the riveting, antiquated Claw-foot tub or now the jacuzzi tub for 6 at Fox woods  that I have put on  my wish list, to further my dream day.) 🙂


Prepare a beach bag with all you’ll need for a wondrous and relaxing day amongst the sea birds, crashing waves, sounds of fog horns, fishermen hoping to catch their next meal, and the magnificent, delightful warm sun.inspire19

Its a perfect time to throw on your jeans, sweatshirt and hat and frequent all of your favorite boutiques, shops and thrift stores to see what special “Finds” you can accumulate. How about going to an antique store for some vintage place mates, table linens, petite pillows, or bean-bag-microwaveable stress relievers? (Have you ever tried one of  those?) They are just like a non-electric heating pad and feel wonderful on tight, tense muscles.)


Stop off at a vintage boutique for some great books, antique plates or decorative items to spruce up your haven. inspire18

Don’t forget that delightful and quaint shop near the water that is abundantly  filled with choice and top notch, seasonal decor… (I would spend a fortune in this shop!) 🙂


If you have been looking for that one special painting that would look “oh so perfect” over your fireplace mantle, stop in and tour a shop that specializes in displaying the work of  local artists… I adore these  animated and life like rose paintings…inspire14

Antique stores take you back to an entirely different era…I love getting away for a day and just enjoying all the nostalgic decor items. I  allow myself to  pick out one item as a special treat. Hmm…In this Antique shop, I think I would choose the antiquated blue pitcher on the  far right hand side with the pastel,alluring decor. I already know where I’d place it. 🙂


How about taking your  “snow day” to hunt for the perfect new sideboard for your dining room.  Having a sideboard in your dining room not only gives you a wondrous place to display your decadent desserts, colorful salads, piping hot  buttered breads and beverages for the evening, but it also allows for some of your personal, signature decor style to bring forth beauty to the room. Tall candles reflecting against a vintage mirror above your sideboard would look absolutely stunning.   inpire27

If you are blessed to live by a river or lake, set up an area with a front row seat that you can read, take a nap, listen to your favorite music on your ipod, write a letter or make a phone call to an old friend or your sister in Oklahoma. 🙂 And don’t forget to ENJOY your lovely, breathtaking view. 🙂 in[ire44

If you have a Christmas store near by, its wonderful to go and shop for your new Santa ‘early.’ There are no crowds, and plenty of ample time to choose ‘just the right Santa’ for your home. We are blessed  and fortunate to have Christmas Tree Hill in Rehoboth Beach that is open year round! I am a connoisseur of Santa’s. 🙂  Its amazing how many different Santa’s  the artist have come up with…traditional, old world, nature Santa’s, surfing Santa’s, you name it and they’ve made it. 🙂 Enjoy a nice lunch at a quaint eatery as your out and about  on your ‘adventuresome  quest.’

santa claaaus

A  “Snow Day” I will never forget. My husband decided to take his first try at para-sailing…As we walked up to the line where the guys would get you all ready for your dare-devil adventure, people (who had just finished the ride of their life,) passed us with faces so white, their freckles were standing out like stars in the night sky. (Truly.)   They looked aghast, spooked and fainthearted. I kept asking; “TELL ME AGAIN KIT, WHY YOU WANT TO DO THIS ON YOUR DAY OFF???? ) 🙂 Well, he did do it and I stayed on the beach praying the entire time….he got so high up in the heavenlies that he looked like a tiny  black spec in the blue sky…finally, (my blood pressure slowing down,) I could see his body, then his face and legs once again as he came in for his landing. He said it was “out of this world.” His skin tone was rosey and he was smiling ear to ear. I just kept thanking God he was Okay. 🙂 So, for all of you adventurous, daredevils  and thrill chasers, perhaps para-sailing or paragliding would be a perfect “Make Believe Snow Day” for you. 🙂


I myself prefer a much calmer “snow day.” 🙂 A trip to Belfonte PA…it is a quaint and alluring little village with beautiful streams, mountains and picturesque streets filled with great eateries, coffee pubs and boutiques. (We have our dear friend Neill, who lives there and we visit him as often as we can.) Its not to far from Delaware. Grantham goes on every trip with us, come rain or shine! 🙂 (You can barely see him in this photo.) 🙂


If you love the outdoors, create a beautiful sitting area ‘just for you.’ Choose your favorite colors, fabric, design and bring forth your own special alcove. That would be another great ‘snow day’ project.


Lastly, unless you live in Virginia or the gorgeous state of Maine, these would have to be trips that would go under a “Make Believe Snow Week ” category. 🙂 There is nothing like a venture to Williamsburg Virginia, where you will enter into life, the way it was in the 1700’s.  You will undoubtedly enjoy being in the midst of beautiful plantations, pristine gardens and witness firsthand, over 4 centuries of history in the making. They even have historical interpreters and actors to rein-act life on the eve of the Revolutionary war. If you work up an appetite, they have fantastic Italian, Mexican, seafood and steak eateries. inspire3

Lastly, probably one of the most elfin, enchanting and sublime places you will ever visit….Maine’s Asticou Inn. It is said to be the last remaining Grande Dames of the Victorian Inns. There are  exquisite gardens, spectacular views of the harbor accompanied by the charm of a by-gone era.   While visiting, enjoy dining at the renowned Peabody’s at the Inn with decadent fresh Maine crab Benedict for breakfast, fresh lobster bisque and an exotic salad for lunch or Lobster tails, pan seared scallops or a fabulous Black Angus Fillet Mignon for dinner.


I hope that this blog has given you a few ideas that you’ve never thought of before for your “Make believe Snow day.” Whatever you chose to do, Have fun, relax and enjoy being rejuvenated and refreshed.

Additional Links:
Victoria Magazine
Country Living magazine

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the photos or graphics, it will display where the picture originated from.

LINKS: To learn about the newly added ‘links’ to Living Winsomely and their purpose, please read the blog, “WE NOW HAVE LINKS” in the category section. 🙂


A potpourri of “Cottage-style” Living Rooms!

“Living in a cottage is like living in a Fairytale.” ~ Author unknown


A Cottage style living room… out of all the words for the charming and cozy phrase ‘cottage,’ (berth, bach, (from New Zealand,) cabin, chalet, lodge, dacha, shack, summer house, bungalow, cot, hut and shanty,) I am so glad ‘the experts’ chose ‘cottage’ for this chic and snug design, as it evokes the emotions of repose and romance. 🙂 (The other words just don’t sound ‘quite right;’)  ” An English country hut or French country shack.”  🙂

In researching this fabulous decor motif, I learned there are many types of cottage styles…for some reason, I’ve always thought it was a ‘country style,’ but there is also English country, summer cottage, beach cottage and a rustic – cabin style design as well as French cottage. No matter which one you choose, (in which you will see a cornucopia of them today within this vignette, they are all absolutely relishable, blissful and gemutlich!

What exactly is the Cottage look, you may ask? It is a room filled with virtue, innate comfort, simplicity, diverse colors and a convivial ambiance. It’s the kind of atmosphere that  many movies create their plots around, berth1 where memorable and wondrous, intimate conversations take place, palatable cuisine is shared with loved ones, and the daunting sounds of the magical thunderstorms are undoubtedly more pronounced. 🙂

Surprisingly enough, it was the medieval style of the English Countryside that inspired the charming, comfy and snug cottage style home.  The tiny  berth was a modest, warm, relaxed dwelling place typically within the rural areas and the bucolic countryside. It was built for the cotter who worked the land on a substantial, large property,berth providing  a place for himself, his family and friends to live together under one roof.  (No wonder they call it “cozy.” 🙂   But now a days, in the 21st century, you can have your own “cottage  style home” in the middle of such glamorous and fascinating cities as New York, Rome or Paris.

Our home in Delaware does not look like a typical “cottage home” on the exterior, but I have had many people who have come for an afternoon Tea, ladies birthday luncheon or Christmas party, who have commented that our haven resembles a little cottage home…each room with a cozy ambiance and lots of comfort, color and “eye candy.” Because we have a mixture of diverse decor styles within our home, (vintage, Victorian, shabby chic, and country cottage,) I think their assumption just may be correct. 🙂 I just like to call it “ours” and hope it blesses others as they enter its doors. 🙂 I know it has been a true bestowal for all three of us. 🙂

Some of the renowned, classic and heartwarming movies that have been centered around a  whimsical ‘cottage home’ are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, the enchanting, ‘Into the Woods,’ The three little Pigs, Sleeping Beauty AND  Gull Cottage in ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.’ Go   A few films from our generation that have brought the cottage style back to life are, The Lord of the Rings, the Cornish berth in ‘Half light,’ Sabrina,  Julia Robert’s  ‘Sleeping with the enemy,’ the romantic the thrilling ‘Practical Magic,’ and the romantic and heartwarming classic, ‘The Holiday.’  Some of the alluring havens in these films are quite prodigious and gallant, where as the others are more modest and snug cottage homes but they all have one thing in common, they’re all magical, inviting, alluring and warm.

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THE DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER:Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

” Homecoming means coming HOME to what is in your heart.” ~ Author Unknown

Cottages are MAGICAL.” ~ Author Unknown

” I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without a desire to read.” ~ Thomas B. Macaulay

“I can envision a small cottage somewhere, with a lot of writing paper,doggy1 and a dog, and a fireplace and maybe enough money to give myself some Irish coffee now and then and entertain my two friends.” ~ Lt. Richard Van de Greer

“I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottagedoggy2 with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.

(There must be something special about a cottage, lots of writing paper, and a wealth of books!) 🙂

I am excited to show you a few of those alluring and dulcet ‘cottage living rooms.’

Both of these photos are taken inside the English cottage home used in the romantic  and whimsical movie, ‘The Holiday.’ It’s a great film if you have not seen it yet. This story is about two single ladies who ‘switch houses’ for the glorious Christmas season…One of them lives in a quaint cottage, nestled in the countryside in the UK and the other lady, a regal, Brobdingnagian estate on the west coast. I would take the English cottage any day over the large and prestigious, incredibly modern mansion! (That is just me.) 🙂

This room is definitely warm and snug decorated in a cornucopia of decor styles…kind of a hodgepodge of flavors… I love the  innate wood beamed ceilings as well as the petite, storybook-like stair case. Very charming! ccl20

I adore this photograph of the dreamy and welcoming country cottage from the movie ‘The Holiday’ as well, with it’s winning and classic cobble stone fireplace, the welcoming fire with its dancing flames in the hearth, (I just love fireplaces,)  the vintage furniture, the  galvanic area rug and the abundance of white accent color the decorator has used in this living room to brighten its ambiance.  ccl19

With red being my all time favorite color, this room is ‘Primo.’  It already is blessed with vaulted ceilings, (bringing forth the look of spaciousness and volume,) as well as an idyllic setting.  The red and white floral designs mixed with the red and white stripes is beautifully courageous and enthralling.  I adore the white walls, white paned windows and French doors along with  the vintage – country hutch. This is a charming  as well as felicific cottage style living room…one of my first choices. 🙂 ccl15

Venturous, delightsome, winsome and riveting! I love this cottage living room… The decorator has used an enlivening hue of green amongst an abundance of gorgeous,  fresh whites, highlighted with diverse tones of the serene color of blue. The light woods are breathtaking and bring about a beautifully, fortuitous ambiance. I think this living room would not only bring many a restful and calming afternoon, but also be a place of many gladsome gatherings. It’s absolutely unique and captivating.ccl17

These two ‘cottage’ living rooms share the exceedingly esthetic and magnetic combination of the colors, tan and blue. The first photograph has simple lines, is a bit formal, yet also relaxed, comfy and inviting. I love the added highlights of the soft whites. In the second photo, the tans and blues are much richer, and the room is quite a bit larger with it’s emboldened vaulted ceilings. The artist here again, has courageously mixed her fabrics, ( lovely floral designs amidst the striped and checkered patterns.) I love it!  I have never seen such a perfect match with window valances and  an area rug…absolutely gorgeous. Both rooms are picturesque, winning and heart warming. (I could easily envision our husbands or boyfriends being partial to the second living room…it’s one of those rooms that  pleases both genders.) 🙂


This  English country cottage room is “up my alley.” 🙂 I adore the vintage armoire, (the  seasoned wood and architectural design is superb,) the relaxed, bright white wicker with the opalescent, cheery red fabric, highlighted with the accent of the white sheer curtains,  delicate lamp, baronial hard wood flooring, and the hushed greens and bright reds displayed in the quilts within the armoire. The little table is perfect for this fetching ambiance, as well as the picturesque and resplendent area rug.  This style is exceedingly refreshing, filled to over flowing with ‘charm’ and is a place I would spend most of my time… (I’d just have to place my desk in a corner with my computer and an abundance of writing paper… 🙂


Color is EVERYTHING! I adore both of these cottage living rooms with their kaleidoscopic combinations of beautiful colors. The first photograph is absolutely gorgeous. This decorator has combined the rich colors of red and tan together and it is undoubtedly one of the most warm and inviting rooms I have seen.  The custom window treatments, amongst the paned windows, cobble stoned fireplace and the built in wooden shelves are stunning. It gets a Five Star rating! 🙂 The other living room is cozy, (I absolutely adore floral couches or slip covers…) with its myriad of rose, blues, greens and reds…The striped wallpaper in the background is inventively creative and makes for an eminently enticing, galvanic and winsome cottage room.


This cottage room is beautifully formal and refined, yet at the same time, inviting, snug and cozy . I love the lulled golds, creamy whites, soft blues and ‘touches’ of the  passionate color of red against the bright white walls and window treatments. (I adore how so many homes  are now using ottomans as ‘coffee tables’…They look fabulously warm and are cleverly creative. ) The dreamy vase of fresh flowers is  a wondrous added touch. Beautiful room.


This is a ‘snug cottage style’ room within a gorgeous estate…. It shows you that you can “have your cake and eat it to.” 🙂   YES, you can have both! 🙂 A very formal look with it’s vaulted ceilings, breathtaking crown molding, regal columns and par- excellence window treatments. The soft creamy wall color creates an eminently warm ambiance as well as the potpourri of colors on the couch amidst the wealth of classic and imperial artwork. The whites are refreshing and add a stellar and quintessential flavor to the room… A gorgeous and felicific room to spend many hours in, whether entertaining guests, sharing intimate evenings with family  or reading your suspenseful novel, it’s certainly a room fit for ‘luxurious living.’ 🙂


This delightsome room is most definitely ‘country cottage’ with its warm and snug ambiance. The winsome rose fabric mixed with the sky blue, checkered patterned couch, amongst the brilliant white walls, paned windows and built in shelf is amazingly eye-catching and entrancing. This room brings forth the feeling of pure comfort and yet you are surrounded with an abundance of whimsical beauty.  It’s undeniably splendid.


The first word that comes to my mind is HOME! This room exudes the meaning of what our homes mean to us… A place of beauty, safety, relaxation, cheerfulness and COMFORT! I love the mix and match fabrics, the combination of diverse shades of red amidst the subtle color of tan accompanied by the old brick. The red roses are an endearing highlight and don’t you just adore the unique and creative coffee table? Very impressive! (We replaced our coffee table with an antique hope chest for a creative and  added flavor to our living room.)


This duo of ‘cottage style’ living rooms are total opposites, but I love them both. 🙂 The first room is filled with bright, motley colors…I especially am impressed with the mixture of the yellow and rose tones. The cobblestone fireplace is enchanting and the overall patina of the room is cheerful, charismatic, love-some and sweet. Another enticing touch added to this cheery room is the striking, lambent white paneled walls, (definitely  creating a ‘cottage’ flavor for sure.)  The second living room is more formal, traditional and noble. With it’s rich, dark woods, tans, reds and hints of yellow amidst the white paned windows, it creates an entrancingly welcoming place of repose. Very cozy and snug!


What would our rooms be like without our beloved and cherished accessories? Here are a few ‘cottage’ accent pieces for your new creations… 🙂

Both of these chairs would enhance your cottage style living room, it would just depend upon your color palette and  the style of ‘cottage decor’ you have chosen. The candescent  green chair, looks alluringly vintage and more country where as the blue and rose fabric amongst the luminous white wood chair, appears more refined and formal. Both are lovely and look homemade. (A great Saturday afternoon project.) 🙂


This is endearingly sweet and winning…definitely a wonderful garden accent for a beach cottage. I love the topiary tree. 🙂


What a lovely and delicate mirror to display in a bathroom, atop your dresser or a hallway table in your foyer. I adore peaceful sleeping, cuddly love birds. 🙂


This cottage style hutch, filled with kaleidoscopic quilts and dulcet linens is definitely a showstopper. I love the architecture of this piece of furniture with its unique and distinct Victorian decor. This is a ‘true find!’ 🙂


A darling, winsome and artful pillow would look perfect in a country cottage motif created in the renowned beautiful blue and white color palette.  ccl58

How precious! I don’t think I have ever seen a tea light candle display quite like this one before. This would be a wonderful centerpiece for a cottage hutch or coffee table with it’s enchanting and riveting theme. (You already know by now that I love birds…)  🙂 The shelf and towel rack is also an alluring room accent as well as a great convenience. In a cottage styled living room, I would  display this on my wall with heartwarming pictures in classy frames atop the shelf and use the hangers for our house keys, car keys, sunglasses or drape a pretty shell or pearl necklace upon a loop, to add some charm. Both of these accent pieces are creatively amicable and warm.


This period piece chair with it’s beautifully decorated white rose and satin ribbon pillow is exquisite. Combined with this entrancing,stunning and grand wallpaper, this room exudes the romantic ambiance of an English Country cottage.


Another clever and creative shelf for the entrance of your cottage room. I think two of my most favorite color combinations are a light rose mixed with diverse shades of green.  (Like this adorable homemade heart says; its very pretty. 🙂


You can never have to many photographs…(Yes, another motto of mine ) 🙂 and, you can never go wrong with choosing a myriad of diverse styles of frames throughout your cottage living room. This display is charmingly country and has such beautiful, simple lines in it’s presentation. Very creative!


This bird cage looks as if it has never, (even once)  beheld a feathery creature within it’s pristine, four gated walls! 🙂  It looks amazingly fresh and brand new! There is a wealth of ways to decorate old, (and new) birdcages for lovely accents to any style of living room you choose to create. All you would need to begin is the birdcage of your choice, (wrought iron, wood, metal, etc…) a can of spray paint, a creative theme and a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby Craft store near by!   🙂


Okay, another thing, (in our home) that I can never have to many of is ‘teapots.’ This regal blue and white  teapot is ‘top of the line’ and would grace any cottage living room with charm, blissfulness as well as be a wondrous addition in bringing forth a felicitous ambiance.  🙂


Lastly, this dateless and august vintage chest of drawers would look alluring tucked cozily in a corner of your country-cottage living room. ( I love the wallpaper and green trim that this decorator has chosen.) Very cozy! army

I am hoping that I have been able to add a tad bit of ‘enlightenment’ to what cottage decor is all about. I feel as if I learned quite a bit myself in this vignette… However it has inspired you, enjoy your time of planning and creating! 🙂 I will leave you with one more entrancing photograph of a heavenly cottage home. It truly does look like a dream house doesn’t it? 🙂


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