Bon Jour Y’all

Hello?  Hello?  Anyone Home?

hello there

My daughter (Maurya)  told me today that in the very near future, the inconstancy of bloggers will seem so constant as to become a cliche.  She is hoping to post on her own blog about it.  Sometime.  She’s not sure when.  But she’s not announcing this  publicly; she’s wise enough to  avoid the potentially ironic position of breaking a blogging promise herself.

I laughed, wryly.  Since I chronically lack the foresight and restraint that my daughter (less than half my age) so wisely practices.  With just  a little more than three hours left of this week, it looks like posting my promised house tour before week’s end is on the nether side of impossible.   What was I thinking?  I don’t even have time to ruminate before my deadline.  Or write my excuses (which is tempting, because  honestly, I documented them particularly well today,…from a perilously teetering cake  to a bow tie crisis, and beyond).

But I can at least show you the foyer.  And, while I’m at it, the living room (they are intimately connected, as Jane Austen would say… and yes,  I’m unabashedly reaching back to Jane for….uh…something.  Social proof?  Snob appeal turned on its ear?  I don’t have time to explore this.  Jane is just good company, let’s leave it at that.)

Bon Jour, Y’all

Bon Jour Y'all Foyer

Somewhere (maybe on Oprah?) once upon a time, I caught glimpses of a breathtakingly beautiful home, decorated and lived in by a lovely woman whose wondrous Southern accent fascinated me.  I think her home was in New Orleans.  Beyond the fact that it was all beautiful and  very classy, I don’t remember details anymore.  But I do remember a notion.  I remember that the woman wanted her entry hall to say (metaphorically of course), “Bon Jour, Y’all” .  I loved that.   The concept of welcome in design. And I decided I wanted my welcome to be warm, inclusive, beautiful, gracious. I wanted loveliness without pretention.  This concept was on my mind when I designed our current home… particularly the foyer.  Which is where we welcome people to our home, or where we find welcome ourselves. I feel outlandishly lucky.

As I think about designing a smaller home with a more conservative budget, I am totally comfortable with the idea of a much more diminutive entry.  I believe I can relinquish quite a bit of space without compromising the  sense of arrival and welcome.  I’m intrigued by the challenge.

Yo, Darlings.  It’s Gonna Be a Bright, Bright Sunshiny Day


round window

shoes in the foyer

Of all design elements, I think light may be the most important to me.  If I had to choose.  Which I rather wouldn’t, because really, I want it all, at least snippets of it—Light, space, form, function.  Anyway.  Light.   A light, airy  place feels both welcoming and beautiful to me.  Particularly if it’s natural light.   Which means windows.

In the foyer, I tried to make the doors as window-like as I could.   Transoms over the doors, privacy glass in the doors, and especially (the icing on the cake and one of my favorite parts of the house) the round window way up high.  The living room’s shares sunlight from tall south and east windows with the foyer. Light reflects off of white trim (inexpensive mdf,, painted by yours truly) and a solid oak floor (not trendy when we bought it; therefore, less expensive. But it has the classic vibe I wanted.  We installed it ourselves, saving even more).

It’s Got Soul, Babe

I decorate with my own art and found/rescued treasures partly because I can afford it, and partly because I crave meaningfulness. Homemade, passed down, rescued stuff has a history, a past. It offers connection, a sense of inclusion in something larger than myself.  And I love the stories (the fire bitten second hand baby grand deserves an entire post of its own). I paint things I love, often wistfully. Paintings are displayed in frames I’ve either thrifted and refurbished, or Frank has built for me. We (the girls and I) covered pots and jars in a mosaic of broken dishes (this is how I comfort myself when something pretty breaks…use bits of it in mosaics) and agates and seashells that our family collected at the Oregon coast, our favorite vacation spot. The pew is a splurge Frank bought on a whim to surprise me when the kids were little and owning it seemed as far fetched and luxurious as an exotic vacation. We rescued the old desk during those same happy, lean years, refinishing it together.  When it was set in place, we sat on the floor in front of it and just looked at it.  How pretty it was.   How the wood seemed to glow.  The sewing machine cabinet was my Grandma’s. She and I actually sewed a dress together with it; a dress I never finished, pinning it shut in the back until my mother kidnapped it and threw it away.


decorate with local art

decor: let there be light

living room decor

vintage sewing cabinet closeup

pew used in home decor, detail

Welcome home, dearly beloveds.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Deb @ LakeGirlPaints February 4, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Your Windows are beautiful. Light is my number one too.
    Loved the tour,
    Deb @ LakeGirlPaints recently posted…Super Cheap Wreath Form – Coffee Filter WreathMy Profile

  • Nancy Wilson January 27, 2014, 5:25 pm

    It looks lovely,inviting. I like light also. The bedroom on the south-east I guess gets the most. I am going to make it an office and library. I love to go in there and feel the warmth the light. Sadly we lost some of our windows when we built the garage. I wish i loved to paint. I need to do it so badly. Love your writings. Love you

    • Lynaea February 4, 2014, 8:50 am

      Maybe it is time for another painting party at your house…I love the idea of a library in that room Mom. Love you.

  • Shari January 26, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Only one thing, will you decorate my next house for me? . . . . please. (I might mention that my next home will be in Germany, so an affirmative answer would necessitate a European trip for you!)

    • Lynaea February 4, 2014, 8:49 am

      Are you serious? Are you really moving to Germany??

  • Tabetha January 26, 2014, 1:15 pm

    To the first bloggy bit, yes. This. I so agree. And to the loveliness of your home, thank you for inviting us in, it is gorgeous!!
    Tabetha recently posted…New Year’s Resolutions: Shop SmallMy Profile

    • Lynaea February 4, 2014, 8:47 am

      You are welcome…I wish visitors could be more literal than peeks at pictures on a blog. Would love to invite you in for a chat and some sort of decadent dessert.

  • Sue @ A Colourful Canvas January 26, 2014, 12:35 pm

    {Sigh} You are indeed a kindred spirit dear Lynaea.

    Your design aesthetic speaks to me…forget granite countertops and stainless steel appliances…give me light, light and more light. We are presently living in a rental…hmmm, have been for very nearly ten years, so this could be my way of life now. I’ve let my decorating take a back seat, always saying when…when we buy our next cottage, when we move. It’s not that we live in sterile setting. It really is quite lovely, but I’ve intentionally not made purchases after selling many things on craigslist. Perhaps it’s time to really look at my surroundings and assess if they are truly giving me comfort and happiness…funny, I always get some of my best decorating ideas when on holiday at Cannon Beach…a bit of heaven for us.

    Now, about your promises made…I’ve only just posted in boldness that my readers can expect grand things from me in February…and I now fear that I may have put the proverbial foot in the mouth…time will tell.
    Sue @ A Colourful Canvas recently posted…CORAL :: NAVY :: WHITE…My Profile

    • Lynaea February 4, 2014, 8:45 am

      Cannon Beach, Oregon? Love the Oregon Coast. Beaches in general, I suppose…but especially the Oregon Coast. Yes, it is a bit of heaven. We will be streamlining (minimalizing?) soon too, once this place sells and we start building the next one, much smaller. So I will have to choose amongst my favorites. In theory I’m ok with that. We shall see.

      Meanwhile, let February unfold with its grand expectations! At least you HAVE boots…(= Who knew their application could be so diverse. Made for walkin’, and for talkin’ too! (= (= And it is good that you are bold. If it’s any comfort, E.B. White’s beloved Professor Strunk taught that if you’re going to mis-speak, you might as well say it loud. (= Can’t wait to see what you’re up to now.

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