Thursday, January 13, 2011

SHELF LIFE............

                                                           LIFE ON A SHELF......

Shelf life is defined as the length of time that perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption.   I would like to define SHELF LIFE as a refreshing of the "same old" look day after day, week after week and sometimes year after year!  Especially at this time of the new year, we are reorganizing or just plan getting organized!  I have been having so much fun after returning home from holiday travel, refreshing and redoing.  Many thanks for your patience.

Many of you have seen this kitchen 'shot' for the details.....

                       When I selected my cabinetry, I knew I wanted a few cabinets with
                        paned glass doors.................I also knew that it meant keeping those shelves
                        clean and interesting.   


I do love the influence of a French kitchen with open shelving. 
This area over my cooking area is the closest thing I could come to that
concept.  The rack against the wall was purchased at Marche Opus.  Its
original use was a coat rack in a restaurant in some obscure village in the
south of France according to the dealer.

This little guy use to be on a shelf in my office and has now taken up residence on top of the bar area
of our great room.  This French pigeon is actually a decoy and an antique from one of the French markets.  He was a gift from one of my dearest lifetime friends, Vernie who is also a designer.

These are actually the shelves from my antique secretary.  I find if you create an area for collectibles instead of having every table filled with the ETCETERAS of our lives, there is order  when gathered together.

I have a extensive collection of cake plates that use to be on a French bakers rack in my dining room. A few
years ago, I decided it was just too much to have all of them on display I have put some away, left some out and gathered a part of the collection on top of this armoire.  The armoire is filled with my collection of cookbooks and easily accessible to my kitchen workspace.


                                         The cookbook filled armoire.................

This corner cabinet is in our guest powder room.  I gathered all of the silver from
that small Christmas tree that was on the counter in my kitchen, cleaned all of the baby
cups, rattles, etc. until all shined and into this little cabinet they went.  I love the look
of all the silver together.  The miniature black and white plates on the lower shelf are
transferware pieces that are over 100 years old.  They are of French origin.  The hand carved
balsam angel will stay out all year.  I love her and hated to put her away.


This is the desk in my office.  I am going to be painting this room
but, I have decided to redo bookshelves and desk top in my mission
to refresh SHELF LIFE.................


I decided that I didn't want the flowers on my desk and needed something other than flowers so I chose the footed urn with the fern and love its presence on my desk which is so clean!! Just give me a day with a design
project and I promise it will change......................and FAST!

The plate on the of my favorite sayings,
"Remember... Ginger Rogers did everything
Fred Astaire did...but she did it backwards
and in high heels."  As for the little female figure,
purchased by my dad and my little girl......they went
shopping and bought this for me when our son was born.

A little reminder when things get so complicated or deadlines are due.

When our little grand daughter comes to stay, she has her own room.
The Paddington Bear bookend belongs to her mother (my daughter)......just
can't give it up!

While Victorian furniture is not my style, I love the richness that this shelf provides
in the master bathroom.

This wine hod from Burgundy hangs on the wall over the hot tub in the Master Bath.
It is made of zinc and its purpose originally was to carry the picked grapes on the harvesters
back.   Can't imagine as it is very heavy.  I found this in the Cotswold's, but it originated in France.

Stopped by my daughter's and she had just finished organizing her shelves according to color.  I
loved it!  She has an Etsy site called Livingston and Porter.  You must visit it.  She does all of the
canvas' by hand.  She has been collecting quotes for a long time.  She will even do a custom quote which
can be personalized.

Her gathering spot for purchased items she will sell on her Etsy website.  These are items
purchased at estate sales which she is also a part of. 

                           Some of her favorite things............................

More of Holly's favorite things.....................

This shelf or surface as it would be,  is a French woman's bedside table.  This was hidden in a corner
of my kitchen and I decided that it could hide no more.  It is made of Zinc and I found it on a hook in the rafters of a Renaissance building covered with moss so thick I thought the roof might cave in! A
couple of books is all I felt was needed.  Not to be over-accessorized. 

On the hearth is set my little iron cricket symbolizing GOOD LUCK.

What is on our shelves reflects who we are and what we have lived.  In this day of
less is more..............hmmmmmm.  To put all of our things away, is to put life ON HOLD.
Knowing how to display our treasures, those things important to us, helps us to relive why we
are in possession of those things dear to us in the first place.   After all, memories are
all about our past, sometimes making us smile or laugh and even sometimes making us
cry.....but, memories are who we are and a life shared within the walls of our homes
on our shelves or surfaces is so fulfilling.

 It is good to be back, the promise of another year to inspire and be inspired.  I hope the surfaces
that have been refreshed have been an inspiration to you and will inspire you to change your
SHELF LIFE...................


Gatsbys Gardens said...

I loved this post Mary Anne. Shelves are always a challenge to look decorative, you have done this. You know I like those cake plates!


Anonymous said...

I love this post, Mary Anne! Your shelves are beautifully adorned using collected objects, with special memories. Perfection!

We have a painter coming to the house next week. I will be disorganized until the painting is finished.

holly said...

I'll have to spruce up my shelves for the next time you want to do a post on "crazy artist girl with not enough storage space" hence, the disarray on my shelves :-)

That's why you call me "artsy". XOXO