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Archive for March, 2013

On the way to a friend’s house this morning, I received an urgent text from her.

“I have a mantel that needs editing. HELP!”

She was right.

SudMantelBefore

I understand why my friend had a challenging time styling the mantel since it’s very shallow and quite long.

The fishing pole, particularly special to her angler husband, wasn’t going anywhere.

It’s hard to see, but the round vase is a total showstopper. It has these beautiful abstract horses all over it, perfect for my friend who spends a few evenings each week riding, so I knew that needed to stay. Front and center.

HorsesClose

I cleared everything off and we went hunting around her house using the vase as a launching point. When we came back and assessed the options, I found that there was nice collection of pottery and wooden objects.

AnimalsClose

Using the vase as the focal point, I created groupings that followed the line of the pole. I weighted the center, and left the right side of the asymmetrical mantel empty, letting it sort of recede visually.

SudMantelAfter

Not bad for 10 minutes and zero dollars.

SudMantelBeforeandAfter

Do you have a 10-minute, use-what-you’ve-got styling that you want to share? Send images to mudroomboston@gmail.com and you might be featured in an upcoming 10-Minute Styling post!

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Who doesn’t love blue? Not me, that’s for sure. I think I’ve had at least one blue room in every house in which I’ve lived and loved every single one. Contrary to conventional color theory, not all blues are soothing, as is the case with one of my favorite paint colors — Benjamin Moore’s Peacock Blue. I used it in a dining room, and it hardly put my dinner guests to sleep. See?

BlueDiningRoom

Right? No sleeping allowed in those funny paper hats.

You can’t go wrong with blue walls, but you can choose the wrong blue paint. The six blues below — my Ain’t-Got-No-Blues Blues — seem to work for me every time.

Ain'tGotNoBluesBlues

Do you love blue, and if so, what’s your favorite shade?

All images by Paige Lewin. Dinner guests include isabelka and A Philosopher Who Practices ArchitectureAll paint colors by Ben Moore, natch.

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Here in Boston, it seems we’re still trying to decide if it’s winter or spring. It was 30 yesterday morning and 50 by afternoon, and although we missed the Nor’easter that was supposed to hit us, nobody feels safe enough to store away the winter boots quite yet.

LeopardandRed

I’ve never been that adept at transition dressing — y’know, that winter-to-spring and fall-to-winter wardrobe conundrum — but I think I’ve finally landed on a formula.

NecklaceandNavy

Bright cotton skimmers + leather patterned flats + cozy merino sweater + fabulous statement necklace = warm enough for winter and colorful enough for spring. (The pants? Ridiculously flattering and cheap, but consider sizing up.)

TransitiontoSpring

Perfection.

TransitiontoSpringFull

All images by Paige Lewin.  

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Last week, I spent a few days with my mom at her home in North Carolina. Although I didn’t grow up there, it seemed that every time I opened a closet or cabinet, some object behind the door reminded me of my childhood. These great hobnail goblets — my grandmother’s originally — were such objects.

hobnailgoblets

I have loved these goblets for as long as I can remember, sparkly and fancy, filled with memories of my mom’s unsweetened iced tea with two lemons. In fact, if you were to say the word “goblet” to me (does anyone even say goblet anymore?), these glasses are what would spring to mind. When I became old enough to use such fancy glassware — twelve, maybe — I drank my milk out them each night at dinner. And even when I came home for breaks during college, they were the first glasses I reached for when I wanted to throw back an iced Coke with a bag of chips while watching a 90210 marathon (ah, youth).

hobnail

Lucky for me, my mom decided that she’d had enough years enjoying the glasses and sent them home with me this time. Now I’m hoping my boys love them as much as I do.

So, dear readers, is there tableware from your childhood that conjures up memories for you? And have you gotten to hold on to some pieces for your generation or the next?

All images by Paige Lewin. For similar hobnail lovelies, visit Etsy or ebay.

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