“Do Not Disturb”

“I didn’t have very much to do this evening, so I thought I would touch up a few things.”

“Do you have to paint everything in sight?”

“I didn’t paint everything in sight.  I painted a breadbox, an end table & that chair you’re sitting on.”

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“I’ve just got to get that house in order.  Are there any other antique dealers that we might visit today?”

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via Getty Images

Anyone that knows Audley and me could totally imagine that these are conversations between us as we are working to put our new house in order.

{All four of our kids will attest to this.}

In fact I am positive we’ve actually had these conversations before… on more than one occasion.

In reality, these are lines from the extremely cheesy and comical 1965 Doris Day movie “Do Not Disturb”.

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The subplot of the movie is Doris Day’s character trying to decorate the new home she and her husband have moved in after transferring with his new job.

{Sounds familiar, right?}

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You would think after fourteen moves I would have the art of decorating and organizing a home nailed.

My reality is quite the opposite.

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I’ve always managed to have two or three main living spaces mostly put together in our home, but the remainder of the house stays partially complete.  For example, we didn’t have curtains in our living room of the house we just moved from until this past December (just before a large Christmas party we hosted); we found out we were moving early January.  Our master bedroom wasn’t complete until we lived in the house for three years (and I was having major surgery that would have me confined to the bed for quite a while).  I redecorated the kitchen three different times because I couldn’t find something that spoke to me without a massive overhaul that just wasn’t possible because we were leasing.

You get the picture.

I’m really bad at putting it all together without doubt in my mind, and extremely bad in finding a way to pull my eclectic style together.

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Our antique dining room suite

I’m constantly saying, “I’ve just got to get that house in order” and then heading off to do something else.

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I do have a paint project in the works… and I can’t unpack certain boxes until it’s completed.

Mainly because I don’t know what I want or doubt how to make it happen.

When we closed on our house several weeks back and moved in two and a half weeks ago, Audley suggested that I not waste any time and put our house in order; to do what I needed to do to make our new house a home without doubt or fear or procrastination.

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Our new sofa from Ikea

So that’s what I’ve done.  Staying within a budget we set, box by box, room by room, and shopping expedition by shopping expedition I’ve been slowly turning our new house into our new home.  We are so close to the empty nest, things that I’ve not done because I didn’t think it was kid/family friendly, or didn’t want the kiddos to mess it up are no longer valid excuses.

accessorizing

Pillows… Plants… Color…

Colors for the walls were done the week before we moved in, we have curtains hanging in every room, big pieces of furniture arranged, and I think that I have a grasp on how to make my eclectic style work with our not quite empty nest.

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Working on the mantle… Mixing it up with antique books

We shall see and hopefully in the coming weeks I will share a little of what Audley and I have pulled together.  Until then I hope you enjoyed a few glimpses of what we’ve started on and will stop back by as we finish!

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For now, “Do Not Disturb.”

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Decorating Lessons from the Biltmore Estate

One of the highlights of the holiday season each year for me is a trip to the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  Every year the mansion is completely decked out from basement to attic with festive trees (there are over 70 of them!), garlands, lights, and other delightful frivolities.  It’s truly a magical experience for everyone in the family.

After so many holiday visits to this lovely home, you can’t help but pick up a few things that you might want to add in your own home.  It’s only natural!

So, today I am sharing ten Christmas decorating lessons I’ve learned from the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  I apologize for the quality of photos; they have just now allowed visitors to take pictures in the house and I had the rely on my phone as my camera had the wrong lens on it for great shots.

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1. Deck it all.  Seriously, go all out!

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The beautiful view looking up the grand spiral staircase; trimmed out with live garlands and ribbon.

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2. Mantle decor doesn’t have to be symmetrical.

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3. Use a lot of natural elements.  biltmore-christmas-8-ohfiddledeedee-com

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Could you imagine over 1,000 scattered throughout your home?

4. Add bling and a lot of twinkle lights…  Everywhere!

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5. Multiple trees are highly recommended; maybe even throughout one room!

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The beautiful tapestry room had four trees all decked out, one representing each season!

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The “winter” tree in the tapestry room

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6. Dress-up everyday ordinary items or use unexpected items to decorate with.

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These books looked so lovely tired up in colorful ribbon

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Feathers and roses help make this a stunning tree indeed!

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7. Deck the bedrooms. After all, the children shouldn’t be the only ones nestled in their cozy beds.

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Mrs. Vanderbilt’a beautiful bedroom with not one, but two gorgeous trees!

8. Take your time.

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Decorating just one room in the estate can take up to ten hours!  We may not have a design team in our own homes, but there are no rules that say it all has to be decorated in one day!

9. Use your imagination

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The “naughty & nice” list running down the tree is such a cute idea for your children or grandchildren

10. Make decorating a BIG deal and a celebration itself within your family

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The grand banquet hall tree arriving at the Biltmore Estate

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of the Biltmore Estate at Christmas and found a little inspiration for your own home.  If you ever want a fabulous holiday get-away I highly recommend that you  slip away to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.  We are all decked out here in the Jones home and are ready to kick off the month of celebrations with a Christmas caroling party this weekend!  I’ll be sharing our decor over the next few days and hope that you will stop back by.

Have a blessed day!

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A Blue Willow Autumn Tablescape

Happy Fall Y’all!  Are you all decorated and ready to kick off the flurry of holidays?  I think we are all set in our home, so next comes the fun of opening our home to friends and planning company dinners.

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I’ve always loved to set a pretty and often over-the-top table for our family at random times, so when company is coming it’s just natural to do a little more!  Setting a pretty table is my way of creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  Our guests are very special to us, and I try to show that feeling by the little things that can make dinner intimate and unique.

Nature and traditional color associated with autumn was my inspiration for the table.  For this particular setting I decided that a little nontraditional blue was the perfect combination for those traditional and vivid fall colors.

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I love to use real pumpkins in my decorating because they fit any fall theme, but I can also cook with some of them as needed for Pumpkin pies and the like, so they are useful as well!

This centerpiece was so easy to put together!  Using a variety of pumpkins, I arranged them on top of the table around an old tobacco jar that was picked up at Scott’s Antique market in Atlanta filled with $5 grocery store flowers and cut greenery from the yard.

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The Dutch blue and white candle sticks were from a local thrift store.  Final touches of a leafy garland and deer antlers add more layers of natural elements to pull it all together.

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When I put together a large centerpiece on the table as I did here, it is generally because I am also setting up a buffet to serve from.  It allows the table to be pretty, and people can spend more time enjoying their meal instead of constantly passing food around!

The Blue Willow china was handed down from my mom, while the blue transfer-ware plates are from a local antique/thrift store.

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The crystal has been our favorite for many a dinner party for 21 years now. We didn’t want folks spending a lot of money on something that could be considered frivolous when we married, so Audley and I picked out this Longchamp Crystal that is beautiful and definitely affordable!

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I love using thrift store finds in my decorating as it goes to show that you do have to have expensive dinnerware to create a warm and inviting table.

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Well, our first autumn themed table of the season is set and ready!

How are you decorating your table this year?

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College Girl’s 1st Apartment

I can’t think of anything more exciting as a young woman than to move into her first apartment.  This is her time to shine and finally get to express her own decorating personality without much of momma’s influence.

MacKenzie has thoroughly enjoyed her experience this year as she moved into an apartment with three other girls off of South Carolina’s campus this year.  I loved the already furnished set-up:  four bedrooms each with their own full bath and oversized closet, a common living room, laundry closet, kitchen and breakfast nook.  This kind of set-up allows each of the girls to decorate their own space to fit their personalities!

How cool is that?!

While working forty hours a week all summer, MacKenzie planned and saved to make her space entirely hers or at least as much as the rules for an apartment rental will allow.  I love her choices and thought I would give you a peak at my college girl’s budget friendly decorating skills.

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On move-in day, MacKenzie put her Dad and I to work immediately with rearranging furniture.  She had a vision already in mind as she took notes while on her tour before signing the lease back in the spring.  Each bedroom contained a bed, nightstand, desk and 2 dressers that could be stacked if desired.  She wanted her dressers side-by-side in the closet for the duel purpose of clothing storage and a shoe rack.  The addition of wire shelving worked perfectly for storing jeans, blankets and towels.

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Bedding was her largest purchased.  As an avid on-line shopper, MacKenzie scoured website after website and settled on this feminine set from JC Penney.  Gone are the neon colors of high school and onto something a little more mature, like pink and grey paisley.

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Grey curtains were chosen as to coordinate with the spread and were purchased at Target.

For decorating, MacKenzie went with a lot of personal touches like framed pictures, including a college she put together on Shutterfly.com of those closest to her.

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The rustic touches were found at Target.  She chose a motivational sign to go over her bed with coordinating storage to hang beside her desk to help keep her organized.

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“Do What Makes You Oh-So Happy”

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The cute little print beside the desk came from Steve McKenzie’s Lifestyle Store in Atlanta.

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“I Love You a Bushel and a Peck and a Hug Around the Neck”

{You HAVE to visit sometime!  Steve McKenzie’s carries the most wonderful everything for your home!  And most of the items are from local/southern artists!}

Audley took care of hanging curtain rods and pictures, adding anchors where needed so keep heavy things from falling. We left her a picture hanging kit and a few necessary tools like screwdrivers and a hammer for when she is ready to add to her walls.

Getting all dressed up is an essential part of a young woman’s routine, so MacKenzie created her a little nook for getting ready each day.  Lights around a full-length mirror (propped up on a crate that’s been painted with chalk paint and waxed) add the perfect touch of whimsy.

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Her cute little cart was her first ever flea market purchase after a visit to Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta. Displaying her cosmetics and jewelry, this little cart was such a handy addition to the space.

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We used decorative glass vases from Hobby Lobby to hold cosmetic essentials such as brushes, liners and mascaras, and plenty of lipstick.  Another painted crate (smaller than the one holding her mirror) holds her eye shadows, foundations and blushes, then slides inside the larger crate to keep an organized space.

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When you have an artsy sister, decor for the bath and living room came easy.  Madeline painted a gorgeous Lily Pulitzer inspired canvas to brighten MacKenzie’s bath, which was also decorated in pink (towels & accessories) and grey (shower curtain & rugs).

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Madeline then painted a monogram piece for each of the roomies to hang in the living room.

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I loved watching MacKenzie reveal her own decorating style in her space.

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These sisters really do love each other!

If she can organize and pull together a small space so nicely I can’t wait to see what she can do with a larger space!

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