Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I know I'm one of many who has the vestiges of furniture past.  As in the monster traditional cherry bedroom set.  Every new bride in the 1980's had to have it.  How we ever thought we were going to fit a queen bed, nightstand, dresser, armoire and vanity into our teeny little home...well, we did.  I've had moments where I've longed for old painted furniture and an iron headboard, a well worn quilt and sheer curtains blowing in the breeze.  But then I think fondly of this furniture.  I cuddled my babies in this bed, in fact, I was lying in this very same bed pregnant with Abigail when my water broke!  Ha!  TMI?  So there are memories here as well as an investment.  This bedroom set will never go away quietly.

So what to do when you want to bring a new and fresh feeling to something you feel is old and maybe outdated?  I asked myself these questions over and over again when we decided to paint our master bedroom this past fall.  For years it had been a bland beige color (sounds familiar?).  I had tried to keep it interesting and current with various duvets, throws, pillows, curtains and rugs.  And then I fell in love with gray, ever shade of it.  And I know that it is said that paint is just paint, but it's NOT cheap, nor is Charlie The Painter. So...when I looked at samples of gray, the same thought and question kept coming to mind.  How will such a cool color (in tone) go with the warmth of cherry wood?  I stress over ridiculous things like this.  Finally I just said, "Jane, get over it!!"

I showed you bits and pieces of the room as it came together before the holidays.  But I finally found the quilt I wanted and that's it above.  Believe it or not, it's from The Land of Nod.  You would be amazed at what you can find there that's not just for children.  It's a nice medium weight and I have it layered over two more blankets. 

And I did a small gallery wall over my vanity with prints of my own photography except for the one in the forefront of the Asheville mountains, I borrowed that from my dear friend, Mary, of A Breath Of Fresh Air.

So I think you can see that you can breathe new life into a room without changing around some of the major players.  Gray and cherry?  Why not?

Back to the changes in the living room.  We placed the order for the country French cabinet, side table and coffee table (you can see them by scrolling down to my last post).  It will take about 30 days to get here.  In the meantime, I searched for curtains.  I think that is going to make the most impact when it comes to adding color.  As you can see by my sample picture above, I'm really loving gray all around.  These panels are from Home Decorators Collection,  and I think they're going to go very well with the creamy furniture pieces.  I'm going to replace the bamboo blinds I now have with white wood blinds and I'm going to keep my eyes open for an area rug with some soft colors.  All of this sounds very elegant and pretty but I'm planning to throw in a lot of texture and interest with some rustic and natural pieces here and there.  I really want to "stir the pot" in that regard.  I am so excited!!  Thanks so much for your help and support.  I hope I haven't bored you silly!

One thing I have been doing is cooking a lot.  I know most of you have been with me for many of the years that I've been blogging and usually right around January I come up with some new and improved eating/exercise plan.  Well, I haven't this year, so there!!  I have been cooking and eating very healthy for the past 8 months after reading a book and some articles about the dangers of chemicals and preservatives in our packaged foods.  I can honestly say that I've adhered to the principles of eating fresh whole foods since then, with the exception of the tempting, tasty treats that The Husband brings home from the bakery.  A girl has to live!

Soups and stews are our mainstay in the winter months, as much as grilling gets us through he summer.   I just love playing with ingredients to my heart's content.  The other night I pulled this puppy out to give it a test drive.  I bought it last January during the white sales and forgot I had it!

Saute 2 cloves of minced garlic in 2 T olive oil until golden.  Add 1 medium chopped onion and toss and stir until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots and about 2 cups of peeled, cubed potatoes (I used Idaho).  Let that cook up and sweat about 5 minutes.  Add 1 32 oz. box of chicken broth and 2 cups of water.  Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium and let simmer until potatoes are just becoming tender, about 8 minutes.  Add 1 medium head of cauliflower, broken into pieces and one can of Great Northern beans.  Season with 1 T of marjoram, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer 10 more minutes.

Who said those blenders are just for smoothies?!

We're off to the lakehouse this weekend.  It's been a really, really long time.  We are meeting with a carpenter who is going to put a bid in on finishing up so many jobs that were started by Resident Carpenter a few years ago.  The staircase, hardwood floors in the guest rooms, some of my kitchen cabinets and a lot of painting.  It will be so nice to have that completed.  I'm looking forward to decorating those guest rooms on a budget, and I have some really exciting ideas for some new garden beds.  Getting a head start on all of it now will free us up in the spring to concentrate on getting everything ready for what I know is going to be a wonderful summer!  Wow!  I just love even typing that!

See all of you soon! :)



Sarah said...

Jane, love the look of your master. Soft grays have long been a favorite for us. We still have the living room painted in a feather gray. Great neutral!
Soups and stews a mainstay here too. Perfect for cold evenings and easy meals. Enjoy the weekend at the lake. ;-)

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I don't think your four poster bed is outdated. I think it is classic and very pretty! I love the new gray bedding and those curtains are gorgeous!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Love your pillows on the bed! I've always liked a gray bedroom. I adore the curtains you've picked out too. I think you'll be happy with the wood blinds. We have some and love them. Now you've got me wanting to make a big ol' pot of soup. :) Stay warm and have fun this weekend!

Unknown said...

Love the drapes! I think you'll like those. They'll look great with the new tables! Love what you've done in the bedroom too! Great job!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

I love, love your bedroom Jane!
The colors are very soft, and the bed is classic!
Oh and that wall with the plates, I love it!
We have a few above our bed, and I am looking for more.
Now those drapes are going to be very gorgeous, you have made some great choices.
I am a slug too friend. This cold just makes me want to hibernate. We got 9 inches of snow today. Dan was out shoveling and plowing for 3 hours after school.
Oh I am getting sick of winter.
I am going to AZ. for a few days the end of the month and I can't wait!
Hugs friend,

Stacey said...

That soup looks so good!

I too am a bride of the 80s and I too have the same furniture. :) Truthfully if it were up to me, we'd get something new. My husband says that furniture is part of the story of us. So how could we part with it?

You are doing a great job with your projects. Keep us posted.

Betsy Brock said...

We have the exact same bed! I dont have the whole suite...just the bed. I still love it but the mr. is ready for it to go. haha. The slats have broken a few times and there are many screw and nails holding it together underneath. Next time it breaks, I'm sure that will be the end. I think I love it because it is old and traditional when everyone is going new, lighter and contemporary. ha.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Love the new quilt, Jane! I had good intentions of going for a walk with the dog today but the wind picked up a bit here by the afternoon and I decided not to. Instead we walked down to the mailbox and back! That was my exercise today {except for food shopping!}.

Kathy@ Gone North said...

Oh...love it Jane... I am about to re-do our bedroom & as I was reading, I thought, "That's it, I am going to go grey" : ) & your curtains look lovely... I will have to read your last post, as I missed it. The soup looks divine, & pretty fast to make.. will try it.
Have fun @ the cottage, we go to ours almost every weekend in the winter... quiet & beautiful there when no one else is around. : )

Wanda said...

Very pretty bedroom. We have my Mother-in-Law's Cherry bedroom set. It doesn't have the four poster bed, but the end tables, dresser and chest are cherry wood. I like the combination of the wood and the grey. Nice quilt, and the living room drapes really nice.

Sue said...

Your bedroom looks wonderful, I love the gray and the bedding is perfect.

I am really having trouble getting back in the swing. We were gone, we got home, I got sick, we had a blizzard, I'm still sort of sick. Blah. I have done some paperwork, but have barely been out of my house and sort of don't care! Bad attitude.

I am thinking wedding a lot. It is almost here...EEEEK!

Sonia said...

Oh I love the soft gray and the bed linens! Gorgeous and so restful....you have got the touch girl!
So pretty!
Miss Bloomers

Beth said...

I like your poster bed!!

The soup looks so delicious I can almost smell it!

Anonymous said...

so much change going on, so much to plan, so exciting, I love the greys and if i was to make a change thats the way I would go too! Have a wonderful time at the lake house,

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Land of Nodhas some neat pieces! Love your quilt and where you took your room. Looks great. I, too, love grey.

And Ican't wait to see what you have planned for your living room and the lake house!

Stay warm, my friend!



Something Nice and Pretty said...

I love those curtain panels Jane...love the gray too, it's going to look fab!
The soup recipe look so good, I know my guy would love it!

Shirley said...

Jane I love the decorating you are doing. I am glad the holidays are over, but I still moving a little slow. I stay up later and I don't get up that early. The weekend spoiled us because it warmed up so much on Sunday. I am ready for spring. I will be looking forward to seeing the makeover at the lake. Have a wonderful day. Stay safe and warm. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Friend.

koralee said...

Why is it in January I always want to redecorate...your bedroom is so lovely. I also want to make and enjoy soup in January...I think we have at least 3 days a week when we have homemade soup...hugs to you ...sending you oodles of blessings.

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh Jane, loving your gray, it's terrific! Your drapes look just awesome. I have to say, I'm so excited to see what you do now at the lake house! Enjoy your weekend!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I have enjoyed seeing your bedroom changes over time ( as well as the laughs when your son gets to critiquing your pillows and such ) and it will be fun to see the same in the living room :)

I would not part with that good cherry set either!

The soup looks wonderful..I made some chicken-broth-based soup last week / I have my ham bone from Christmas in the freezer..going to pull that baby out soon for some ham and bean and veggie soup :)

Theresa said...

Oh a weekend at the lake sounds wonderful! I know you will be happy to be there:) LOVE the look in your bedroom and those curtains make me want them! Enjoy your day dear friend, HUGS!

Kathleen Grace said...

I think the cherry furniture looks great with the grey, nice contrast! I have never looked at Land of Nod, thinking it was just kid stuff, now I need to give it a look. LOVE the drapes you have chosen. Even though I'm a girl who loves bright colors, I have also fallen in love with grey, so I love the firection your living room plansare going and can't wait to see what you come up with. Have fun a the lake housde, a change of scenery will do you good.

Primitive Stars said...

Love the bed Jane....nice decorating with the cherry furniture and the grey, think it is all fine.....yummy soap, would like a bowl :) , Blessings Francine.

thistlewoodfarm said...

LOL! Your comment made me smile this morning! Thanks so much for being so generally wonderful! I love the gray direction you are taking the room...and Land of Nod? Who knew. :)

Happy day to you friend!

Melanie said...

I love your bedroom - the gray goes perfectly fine with cherry wood furniture. And I love how you used plates and the collage of photos for decor - very cozy and charming. Love the drapes you have picked out for the living room - those along with white wood blinds (note: don't custom order them - have them cut to size at Menards for free! Ask me how I know this, lol) will make the living room so much lighter and fresher. I kick myself over getting dark brown wooden blinds several years ago for our living room. But they were *ahem* custom-ordered, so cost a fortune. I'm not replacing them anytime soon. ;-)

Stan and Jody Gabara said...

Jane, I love all your changes, so pretty! I'm in love with the bedspread and your soup looks delicious. I have to make some.Thanks for stopping by, loved hearing from you. I wanted to let you know if you type out Images for French Bread Recipes, a ton of wonderful recipes pop up. The Crusty Rustic Bread (It's No Knead) from Cooking Classy is a good one. Also Rustic Crusty Bread (A Simple How-To) from Mel's Kitchen Cafe is another. Have fun baking bread!!

Lulu said...

Grays are easy to live with and so many colors/textures can be mixed in to add interest. It looks like you are off to a good start with your updates. Like you, I'm a little slow getting into the swing of things.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

I love cherry furniture, and your poster bed is gorgeous! I believe it looks good with any color. Can't wait to see more...enjoy your soup, it looks YUMMY!

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane, your bedroom looks so pretty!... I am so glad you did not paint that beautiful cherry wood white!... I love the natural woods and wonder how these ladies who paint everything white will ever get back their original wood finishes if they change their mind... which I think one day they all will... love your gallery of your own photos, how fun... and the photos of Layla and Milo in your previous post are adorable!... hope you have a beautiful week!... xoxo Julie Marie

Julie Marie said...

Oh... and you just described my bedroom... my old white iron bed, an old quilt on it... and my lacy curtains blowing in the breeze... you know I love everything old fashioned and our bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in our house... xoxo

Vel Criste said...

You've been very busy Jane! I missed that living room post, but by reading this one, I think you've got it mapped out already!Love the grey curtains you chose for it!

Your bedroom looks really pretty! Love the gallery wall and the plates you hung and of course the pillow cases!Your bed is definite keeper!

I recently tried making my firs chicken and dumplings and tried Paula Dean's version and it was a hit! Also tried the potato soup but made a mistake somewhere, not as great.

Good luck with the work on your lakehouse, it must be fun to have 2 houses to tweak!!!!

April said...

I happen to be a big fan of four poster beds and yours is certainly no exception! Chris and I have GOT to paint the rest of our house, but it's going to be quite the undertaking, I'm afraid.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Your bedroom looks wonderful Jane and I love all of your ideas for the living room.

I could use that soup today here! It is in the low 30's and we have snow flurries.

Beth said...

Hi Jane, Your bedroom looks great! I am loving those draperies you selected for your living room. I think Emily must have inherited the decorating gene from you! Your soup looks so delicious, Jane. We're trying to eat healthier too (although I refuse to give up sweets). We had tuna steaks, salad, and watermelon for dinner tonight. Chili tomorrow - I am a soup lover too. It's so nice making it in the crockpot because you get to smell it cooking all day long. I look forward to seeing your projects both at home and at the lakehouse, Jane. You have so many great ideas! And beautiful homes to show for it!
Hugs, Beth

bj said...

Hi, Blondie girl...lovin your new comforter and curtains. Gray is such a soft color. Daughter did her library room in grays and it's so pretty. She chose an awesome rug from Pottery Barn in gray...gray drapes and I bought her a new faux fur throw in gray from West Elm. It all looks so pretty together.
I am totally IN LOVE with your new furniture...and I want some of it. :)
I am making a veggie soup today. :)
xoxo bj

Laurel@ChippingwithCharm said...

Your bedroom looks wonderful. I know what you mean about the "memories"...so very special :)

Leslie said...

Hi Jane! Love the gray and Land of Nod is a wonderful spot for shopping and inspiration. With the kids gone now.. we are trying to declutter and will soon be building in an attempt to downsize and start a-new. I guess we keep some of the sentimental pieces;) and add in some new. You are right .. it's fun to mix it up and love all of your changes!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Things are coming together so beautifully! Love those gorgeous curtains, the pattern is fantastic!

Lori said...

Your master bedroom turned out really nice and adore the curtains you picked out for the living room. I am looking for a new soup to try out this weekend and this may be the one ~ stay tuned. Have fun at the lake house! XO

At Home in English Valley said...

Hi Jane, Since I was married in the 70's, I never had a bedroom set, just a wicker headboard and chair from Pier One, Very groovy back in the day. You are very ambitious, All the changes you are making look great. I love keeping some old with the new, truly making your home unique. I may get started on some projects of my own this year, inspired by you girls who jump into the new year ready to go! Love, Penny

Val said...

Decorating (and the never-ending redecorating) are such fun. I like the colors in the top picture, very serene-looking.

Traci said...

I think your BR looks great! The soup looks really good. It's currently 25 degrees here. That's crazy cold for us!