Living room details


I snagged a couple more touches for our living room last week, yahoo! Per usual, they popped up when I wasn’t specifically looking. I had anticipated all we needed to “complete” the room was a rug and some new throw pillows, but of course I happened upon these ikat lamp shades before the perfect kilims or rugs ~ 

New lamp shadesI love the deep blue of the shades with the muted, earthy tones of our cave painting reproductions ~ 

Cave paintings

(Those, however, are not new. They’re my grandparents’.)  I also grabbed this yummy candle. At first sniff, I was worried it would be too sweet, but actually Reserve Moonsparkle emits just the right amount of sweet and fresh perfume. 

Reserve moonsparkle candleThey offer a lot of other options, as well. A good hold over till I can stock up on Diptyque candles next summer in France 🙂 

Mirror mirror on the wall


I’ve had this mirror I snatched up from the antique mall for some time now. It has comfortably rested propped against the wall in our guest room for two years, but I feel like we’ve found its rightful home in the living room …
MirrorI like the extra light it invites in when the front door is open, but I especially love the reflection of our ever-expanding gallery wall …
Gallery wall reflectionIt’s amazing how much a mirror will open up a space. Just a rug and the perfect pillows and I shall declare this space done! (For now 😉 )

Nature prints


I have to say, there’s nothing quite like stumbling across something “just so” that you’ve been musing upon for ages. This list of mine is random (bright yellow and royal blue kilim pillows, the perfect “tutu” skirt, an antique globe) and generally kept mentally rather than written. Topping it include some natural history-like prints, similar to those pictured here ~

Guest room with nature print

{via}

I had about given up finding any that weren’t seriously pricey (not an option), when I happened upon this steal in Barnes & Noble ~

Natural history book & plates

Feast your eyes on all these possible combinations and options (not to mention pretty gifts – there are 40 so I won’t be able to use them all) ~
Nature plate optionsI love that I won’t have to stick with any one theme (so many choices!), but I’m thinking I’ll start with the black and whites as they’ll go well with the lavender/black/grey motifs dominating our guest room at the moment. Before and after pics coming in the next couple weeks!

Bonne année !


Bonne année à tous et à toutes !

It’s hard to believe I last artsdevivre’d almost two months ago. Eep. Things happen. Like life. Since I made that lovely coq au vin, we’ve been busy in our little corner of the world … D re-did our kitchen while I was in Michigan visiting my niece, nephew, brother and sister-in law for Thaksgiving.

La nouvelle cuisine

It was so sweet and thoughtful of him to take on such an aggressive project, and actually finish it (well!) in only five days. It’s so fun having the open cabinets I’ve been admiring for months on Pinterest. And the chalkboard paint is a super-fun bonus, too! 

I took on a few projects of my own (not nearly as expansive as re-doing the kitchen). I gave our front door a makeover, transforming from typical grey ~

Grey door

 ~ opting for a cheerful green ~

Green paint

I felt pretty nervous at how bright it was, but was ecstatic with the result ~

Green door

I love the contrast of the green door and black shutters. It was even more festive with this simple DYI wreath I hot glue-gunned together ~

Wreath

It was a bit perkier the first week in December than it is now (pesky gravity), but I’ll supplement it with additional ornaments next year.

We of course did the usual holiday rigamorale, spending time with friends and family (in person and on face time), sending and receiving holidays cards and well-wishes. 

Cards

I’m pretty militant about online privacy, which is why this one is blurred out. You get the idea though 🙂

I tried out new recipes ~

Christmas roast

~ learning how to improve ones like this simple roast via my personal favorite, the Barefoot Contessa (you really should cut a roast this thick in half to optimize a medium-rare temperature). I was fine with the end pieces, but the middle was really too rare for my family’s liking. I shockingly succeeding at intricate ones like an authentic French Bearnaise sauce. The key is to continue stirring for quite some time. (I think Maman and I together put in about 35 minutes.)

We celebrated NYE Charm City style, and were so ecstatic to happen on a small-time ball drop in Hampden, ‘hun. So fun and festive, I couldn’t believe we haven’t been attending annually.

I’d lost my motivation for artsdevivre the past couple months. I’m an habitual comparer of myself to others and was feeling frustrated with my utter lack of knowledge of photography and graphic design. I can’t give the time to this blog that I’d like, what with my job that actually pays me. But I started to really miss this whole process, from brainstorming, to documenting, to writing and publishing. So me re-voilà les amis. I don’t promise perfectly taken photographs (I’ll still be sticking with my trusty iphone, instagram and diptic for now), or super funky layouts but I do promise (most importantly to  myself) to continue documenting all the little daydreams and real-life experiences that add up to create the artsdevivre in our lives. 

Festive table setting


I love this table setting from my cousin’s wedding last weekend ~

I usually tend toward a more antique aesthetic, probably because I love nothing more than my Gramma Rose’s china I use every day ~

 

… so that when everything is all put together (and I actually have table linens, etc), I’m thinking of a setting like these …

Retro table setting

{via}

fresh

{via}

textures/colors

{via}

Some of those are a bit springy, but it’s got me thinking about setting the perfect Thanksgiving table, which I’ll be handling this year. I’m on the lookout for more inspiration. What is your favorite kind of table? Simple, antique, elegant, rustic, eclectic?

Gold accents


I fell in love with this pin today …

 

… and it got me thinking about gold in general around the home…

 

{via}

I especially love those canisters top right. They are vintage and French! What more could I ask for?

{via}

I also love these festive gold table settings. So fun for Christmas, especially, I think.

And, well, I know I’ll never have this gold headboard …

{via}

… but I love it popping against the bright wall and crisp blue pillows!

What about you? Do you like gold or do you prefer silver accents?

Slipcover accomplished


Last week, I told you about my master plan for our front room. We had chosen the slip cover option as a band-aid for our couch necessity for now, but after my Pottery Barn experience, I was really nervous for slip cover 2.0 to arrive in the mail. Let me tell you, I have never been more pleasantly surprised with an outcome. We have now gone from this ~

to this ~

Aside from tracking down a steamer to de-wrinkle the slip cover around the bottom, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The mini-instagram of 1.0 is really kind to the green and “cream” (too many afternoons with Riley on it have died it more of a shade reminiscent of dish water) stripes. So I’m happy with the clean slate grey. I had been convinced I’d stick with mustardy hues to accent with, but I’m thinking the grey on grey is pushing me more in the direction of some serious yellow and maybe even purple color pops. I was ecstatic to find that most of my nosing around blogs and such produced purples paired with lots of grey. So there you have it!

I love the look of these jewel-toned chairs and would love to have something similar to them juxtaposed against a rustic dining table one day. For now, I can settle for pops of yellow laced with purple through couch cushions, vases, etc.

I hadn’t really thought about adding a pop to the floor, but this provides some inspiration to do so. I’ve been spying some spectacular (and affordable!) rugs on Joss & Main recently so that’s an option, as well.

The first thing I did when I moved here was paint the spare room lavender. These pictures reminded me why. It’s so calming!

What are your thoughts on purples? Do you lean more towards muted colors or pops of colors? Or striking a balance?

All images (except the first two which were clearly taken with my cell phone) via one of my favorite Francoholic sites, located here.