StyleFile #34: Cloth-Covered Cord Pendant

At the turn of the century many homes were celebrating the invention of the light bulb. Lots of metal fixtures were designed to showcase the bare bulb. One of these was a cloth-covered cord which held the socket for the bulb. People loved it! The fixture’s simplicity still makes them fun to use whether in the home or as props for fashion photographs.

This classic light fixture is still available here.

An ornate bedroom has the surprise of the single bulb fixture.

A single bulb pendant dangles over the sofa of this funky living room.

Such a fun dining room! The owners have replaced the plain light bulb with a bright pink one.

Two plain bulb pendants hang in this urban-rustic bathroom.

Black and white photography heightens the contrast created by the light bulb. The model is wearing a dress by Alexander McQueen. Hat from J. Smith.

Isn’t the lighting in this photograph fantastic?! Fashion at Mui Mui.

(Photos- Rejuvenation, World of Interiors, Living Etc., Italian Vogue)


StyleFile #33: The Kitchen Sink

They took everything but the kitchen sink.

I have to laugh at this adage. When we moved– we took a kitchen sink with us! We rescued a large cast iron sink off the curb and kept it in our basement for three years until we moved into our present home. I love these old sinks, and have collected quite a few pictures of them. This proved helpful when it came time to design our kitchen. Take a look-

This apron sink is flanked by custom cabinets. A modern stove pulls this kitchen into the 21st century.

Here the sink adds to all the other fun elements in the kitchen. Check out the cut-out above the sink that lets you see into the pantry.

Another interior window above the sink looks into the living room. Note the solution the owner came up for sink legs that were too short!

Urban and Country meet in here with the use of stainless steel cabinets and antique wood furniture.

The owners of this kitchen spent a considerable amount of time restoring all the cabinets and, or course, keeping the authentic sink.

A sink skirt does wonders for hiding all kinds of extras- recycling stuff, bags of dog food or bottled water. I love the touches of green- skirt fabric, painted stool and glass light fixtures!

A large butler’s pantry in an historical home had this cast iron sink.

These sinks aren’t just for kitchens or pantries. Here a designer put one in a bathroom!

I couldn’t resist showing you our kitchen sink!

Note: You can find a cast iron sink here.

(Photos- House Beautiful, Old House Journal, Cottage Living, Country Living, Martha Stewart Living, American Homestyle and Gardening)

StyleFile #32: Blocking The View

It’s one of those decorating dilemmas we all ask- Can I put a piece of furniture in front of a window or a door? The answer is Yes. Check out some of these creative solutions.


Here an antique writing desk is set against a bank of windows. Notice the framed picture attached to the curtain rod.


The unused set of French doors allows space for a large table or desk.


A bay of windows creates the perfect niche for a bed.


How does an art collector deal with minimal wall space? Use windows as a back drop for pictures. Isn’t that great?!

Look carefully at the kitchen sink! A large sheet of window glass is behind it!


Here’s another example of a sink designed to go in front of a window. This time it’s a modern bathroom.


For those of us living in older homes, sometimes we have to block the view to make furniture fit. This bedroom doesn’t lose any of its charm by doing so.

(Photos- Southern Accents, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, House Beautiful)

StyleFile #31: A Beach Wedding

Beaches are popular places to have weddings. But how can you make your beach wedding different? Try some of these ideas from the current issue of British Weddings Magazine.


A casual beach house creates the perfect backdrop for a lighthearted wedding with just family and friends. The color scheme is inspired by its location- cool blue and crisp white. Even the house gets into the act with white siding and blue shutters! The bride has on a white tulle dress with lace and ribbon- from Suzanne Ermann.


Adding a whimsical touch is this bike set against the side of the house. In its basket is a beach pail with flowers.


Have the photographer take candid shots of the bridal party sitting around instead of large formal group portraits. The groom wears a white linen suit from Marc Wallace and floral shirt by Favourbrook. On the young pageboy are blue jacket, blue shirt and white shorts all from Hackett.

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Table settings continue the blue and white color scheme. Here shells are arranged in bowls and the names of guests are attached to beach bottles. Silver lanterns held by ribbon hang over the tables. The flower girl’s blue tulle dress is at Nicki MacFarlane.


A quiet moment alone. The groom wears a simple white suit from Marc Wallace. The bride is in an ivory and pale blue tulle dress with bead detail designed by Je T’aime.


Flowers crafted into spheres are hung from branches found on the beach.


I love this boutonniere- just a stem of Queen Anne’s Lace. Groom’s striped shirt by Hackett.


A beautiful ivory tulle dress with blue velvet sash by Candy Anthony is perfect for a beach wedding.


A delightful wedding cake rests on a weathered blue table. Note the icing shaped into sea shells! The flower girl is wearing an ivory dress by Pearce II Fionda and the pageboy has on shirt, shorts and cummerbund all from Nicki Macfarlane.

StyleFile #30: Maps, Maps And More Maps

Historians suggest that maps, not books, are the oldest form of written communication. We still use them today to help us with locations and travel whether it’s on paper or the internet! It’s not surprising to see our love of maps showing up on the walls of our homes.


Here an older home has maps simply applied to the walls through the use of thumb tacks. Note some fun things- an empty frame over the fireplace highlights a part of a map and more maps are taped to the closet door!


This European seaside cottage fills its halls with nautical maps.


Maps create the background for this mudroom.


Children’s rooms are great places for them- and educational!


This bedroom is made special by the addition of maps! Look for fun bed linens with maps- here the small pillow has a map design. (photo via Kathryn)


Don’t forget to hang them in playrooms too.


Companies like Rand McNally Maps make special map wallpaper.


Old school maps are wonderful to collect and display.


They look terrific in work spaces like this one in a room used for crafts. (photo via angel at my table)


Or try hanging one in your dining room.


Several maps can be used as an alternative to window shades.


A large framed map with another fun collection- metal globes!

(Photos- World of Interiors, Elle Decor, Pottery Barn, Inside Out, Land of Nod, Country Living, O at Home)

StyleFile #29: Perfect Kitchen Recipe- A Dash Of Red

I love the color red in kitchens. When I took a Color design course, the instructor spent time discussing the affects of color on people. I found out that red demands attention. No wonder we use it on traffic lights! But it is also warm, bright, fun, and stimulating. That sounds like a perfect recipe for a kitchen!


A kitchen doesn’t need a lot of red-sometimes just a touch of it- like the bright red pot on the stove or…


…the framed red “EAT” sign.


Red with the combination of black and white checker board floor is timeless!


Here ‘s another red kitchen with a black and white checkered floor. This one belongs to actress Sarah Jessica Parker. Check out that giant red apple painting!


Red can be overpowering, so it’s important to leave space for the eye to rest. In this country kitchen red paint is on the cabinets and one window frame. The other window above the sink is left white.


Lots of red accents can be so much fun! Check out the red in the rugs, red leather stools, red painted piano in the back ground, and the red polka dot apron.

A loft kitchen has stainless steel cabinets and a large restaurant supply stove. Chairs are in fun red and white slipcovers to add a punch of color!


The bottom cabinets in this European kitchen are painted high-gloss red. No upper cabinets here. Instead there are white shelves which blend in with the walls.


Red and the honey-colored wood cabinets warm up this kitchen in Maine. Notice the holes instead of handles on the cabinet doors.

(Photos- Country Living, Kitchen and Bath Planner Magazine, House and Garden, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Living, Living Etc.)

StyleFile #28: Easy Easter Decorating

As a busy mom, I’m all for the words- fast and easy decorating. But it’s also nice to add colorful, fun and great looking. In the recent issue of Family Circle, I was pleasantly surprised by their article on Easter decorating. I was able to check off every word on my list!


Instead of pastels, Family Circle chose a more vibrant color scheme- fuschia, blue, lime green, yellow and lots of white. They did a white table cloth with doubled two-inch wide ribbons, white bowls with colored eggs, and bright pink plates.


I love this idea- yellow daffodils, white narcissus and pink tulips cut short and placed in white Japanese teacups.


An alternative to the paper chain-here it’s ribbon cut into strips and secured with double sided tape. Hang from a fireplace mantle, window, or door opening. The rabbit is from Smith and Hawken.


White card stock, colored paper and the pattern (available in the magazine) are all you need to create these fun eggs!