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— Essentials —

Heritage Auction and longtime Antique's Roadshow's appraiser, Nick Dawes, is perhaps the world's foremost authority on Lalique. Rene Lalique 'Oiseau de Feu' Luminaire.
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Some years ago I had a most interesting and provocative dinner conversation at the Philadelphia Antiques show with table mate luminaries that included two museum curators, two collectors, two dealers and the editor of The Magazine Antiques. What a delight when everyone at the table is stimulating and joins in. A good eight can manage this in a quiet setting… Ten is too many.

“I just want to buy something every day!”

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— Essentials —

Love the little bronze decorative liners for my shower.
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I’ve discovered why people don’t live in their house while it’s being remodeled. As soon as the tarps are down and the plastic sheets cover the furniture, construction grit makes its way into places you didn’t know you had. My bedroom looks like ground zero of a war zone and contains enough tools to rebuild a small city. I fear the black velvet suit in my closet—the door to which has been taped shut—is now a ghostly grey. There is some good news to all of this: In an attempt to keep the contents grit free, I have yet to unpack the boxes marked “kitchen.”

Now for the bad news: I seem to have lost all standards of cleanliness, and while I should find that alarming, I don’t.

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— Essentials —

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I just read there are four times more storage units in the United States than there are Starbucks. Since 1987, Starbucks has added an average of two stores daily and now has almost 7,600 company owned stores and 4,000 licensed stores. Multiply that by four, and you have close to the 58,000 listed storage units in America. Frankly, there are days when it seems my tiny state, alone, has 58,000 Starbucks – except when I really need a cup of coffee…

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— Relationships —

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In preparation for the move back into our newly renovated house, I’ve been coordinating the reduction of boxes and furniture that have resided in storage for far too many moons. It’s a cumbersome task, particularly for someone who ascribes too much significance to inanimate objects. It’s taken me years to convince myself that giving away mother’s dining room chairs was not an act of emotional treason, but a pragmatic decision that helped a family in need, while making space in my own home. Continue Reading

— Essentials —

New Orleans' designer Tara Shaw's home
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I love the interiors of New Orleans’ designer Tara Shaw. Tara has an effortless way of blending Old World pieces and classical furnishings along with the right amount of edginess. She ties them all together with a neutral palette that’s the definition of modern chic. It’s the look I’d like for my new home, but alas, I don’t have a Tara Shaw budget to buy all new pieces.

Since my biggest fear is winding up in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere, I will use the furnishings I already have.

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— Essentials —

Sam's checking everything out. Poor baby. He's not comfortable here yet. So different from the ranch.
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. No one’s more aware of this than those who’ve already been diagnosed with breast cancer or know someone who has. It’s been 12 years since my diagnoses and treatment, but a sore place on my left breast made me think about recurrence.

Since I’m not one to look the other way and do nothing, I had my oncologist schedule a mammogram and an ultrasound of both breasts.

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— Essentials —

Source: subzero-wolf.com
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When the Mr. and I were looking for a house to accommodate our blending families, I wanted there to be a gas stove. My last house had an electric one and I said, never again.

Of course when one is looking for a home in a leafy suburb that will accommodate five kids and three pets within a certain budget in a housing boom, one doesn’t always get everything one’s heart desires. So we ended up with a staircase to rival Alexis Carrington’s, a dated dark wood kitchen with Baltic brown counters, and an electric stove. Continue Reading

— Essentials —

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I’m frustrated. It’s a wonder I’m not on the floor in the corner of a room somewhere, babbling to myself. You’d think I was looking for definitive proof as to the origins of the universe instead of the perfect neutral white paint color for the interior of my house. Cool neutrals, warm neutrals, those with a hint of brown, a touch grey or green, or a smattering of red or peach… How about a neutral color that looks good with travertine marble and doesn’t add 10 years to my face when I’m standing under a light fixture? Please… Tell me the truth… Am I asking too much?

I’ve about decided it would be easier to start each day with a martini. That way any paint color I choose would look wonderful.

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— Essentials —

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Who would have thought you can use your grandmother’s silver in the bathroom? Yes, the bathroom.

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— Essentials —

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Yes, you read the headline right. Wallpaper is not only back, but back in a big way. I recently toured my local Parade of Homes and saw first-hand how wallpaper’s made a comeback.

The one thing I like about wallpaper is it gives a big pop of design! I always like to include something a little unpredictable in my decorating. A little WOW factor.

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