A House Romance That Did Not Endure

Within the last seven years, I have changed houses three times. The first move was out of necessity. My home of eighteen years, a large pseudo barn/house and even larger grounds had become unmanageable and I knew it was time to move on. After much consideration, I decided upon a townhouse in a nearby popular neighborhood that had a restaurant and stores within walking distance. For the first few years, I was busy putting my own stamp on the place and redoing the kitchen and master bath. The townhouse was actually quite large and well designed, but I grew restless and found myself on the move again within a few years (hint: do not attempt this if you want to grow any equity whatsoever in your home) to my present home. The bloom was off the rose for me and in all honesty, I think I just tired of the house as soon as I "finished" decorating it. Not a very practical reason for moving but certainly a very expensive one. 

The townhouse did serve as a learning ground for the beginning of my love affair with French design. While living there I came under the "tutelage" of  the marvelous Cote de Texas blog which as I mentioned in a previous post, completely shaped my evolving design aesthetic. I only wish Joni had begun blogging while I was in my first home; the bones and potential were tremendous and what I could have done, if only I had known! Maybe, I would never have moved. But, that is another story.

Here you will see my fledging attempts at mimicking the French aesthetic. Some things I got right; beginning to understand symmetry (thank you, Joni), slipcovers (again, Joni), the use of texture and sconces (again, well...you get the picture).

My early attempts at recreating a French feel. While I like the overall space, there is way too many accessories for my taste today. In addition, I had kind of a Mediterranean vibe going on simultaneously with the wrought iron sconces and lighting.  Not a good mix.

We lived on a busy street but had a marvelous front veranda where I spent many a lazy afternoon.

Today, the only things I still have in this picture are the bergere, the lamp, the pillow and the crystal candlestick. I sold the table and the planter (resin) kind of imploded on itself and had to be tossed. I would not buy resin again. It's not that I don't appreciate its practicality and affordability. I would just rather have quality such as cast iron or stone even if it means waiting until I can afford it.  A lesson learned.

After a year or so I changed things a bit. My husband made a top for the table out of aged barn siding adding some badly needed texture. I changed out the panels over the sofa for an antique mirror and switched out the wrought iron sconces for antique French ones. Out with the wrought iron chandelier and in with the crystal. Buying the chandelier was a real lesson learned.  I bought a new one from a furniture store and came to realize very quickly that I could have for the same price bought an antique one with much greater character. Ouch!

Here I tried using a slip on just one of the pair of bergeres. Hmm, not sure I like that so much in retrospect. The large French urn under the console table is extremely heavy.  But, there is the quality I mentioned before.

I do love both fresh and dried hydrangeas but I think it's time for a new look. I had many hydrangea shrubs at one time and dried bunches of them. You can't tell in the photo but some of them dried a soft bluish purple.

The linen covered chaise is a new addition to the room. Notice the beginning implosion of the plant urn as it leans slightly to the left.

It didn't take these two long to figure out the most comfortable seat in the room. Sam is the ginger and Bebe the black-haired, both from the same litter.  Bebe passed a few years ago and Sam is now the lone ruler.

Just some of my enormous collection of design books. This console served as both a physical and visual divider between spaces.

The family room adjoining the living room. My, that sofa looks grungy (it really wasn't, I swear). I loved the built-ins and really miss them in our current home.

Our tiny back terrace. Frank, my husband, put in the brick sidewalk. He is a jack of all trades and master of most!  I loved the blue and yellow toile cafe set.

We accidentally left behind our cherub when we moved. I often drive by the house and see him out there in the tiny garden next to the terrace and think about jumping out of the car and grabbing him!  The people that bought our house aren't the type you ask. In the end, common sense prevails. But, still...

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