Tuesday, May 24, 2011


ALWAYS ELEGANT ~ THE THEME FOR THIS YEARS HOUSEWALK ~ 2011  The preparation was more than I had ever imagined.  It was like doing a showcase home of which I had done about 15.  The difference was about 1000 people would be going through OUR  home, upstairs and downstairs with every room being decorated to the best of my ability.  Here is my story. . .      

It was just a little over a year ago that I was asked to be on the housewalk for the Western Springs Historical Society.  I was honored to be asked and accepted the invitation soon after being asked.  I felt much had to be done to 'update' our home and so began my thinking on what I would do. . . . I had fallen in love with all that was gray and begun studying the many gray tones that would soon be a part of our 'new look'.  I must say the beginning was easy as I picked out the warm grays that seem to complement our already existing furniture and draperies.  What followed and the end result, even suprised me. 

The WALK brought many of my former clientele from the surrounding communities which was another reason I must make sure they felt I STILL HAD IT!!  I knew it was important to first please myself (my husband almost always loves what I do) and then to make sure that I could execute some of the inspirations I had gained from many of those new friends in the blogging community that I have come to so respect!

As people arrived, this is how they were greeted:

As Tablescape Chair, the florist assigned to me or who I had assigned to myself ,is
more like it, was STEMS AND TWIGS, of Western Springs.  We have done many
events together and they know my likes and dislikes.  When I have an idea, they listen
 to my heart and never disappoint.  Thank you once again Angela for hearing my
heart speak! 

I had an old garden green wall basket that I wanted  to be heavily mossed. It would reflect
in flower colors what they would be seeing inside. . . . . the accent color would be pink
in the home ~

To see more of their work, go to Stems and Twigs.com.


My French console behind the open door. . . A Shefield, sterling silver footed
 container done with pastel pink roses, hydrangeas, snowballs, white stock
and perconium.

The famous patisserie table from a buying trip to France. . . . anyone who
has ever seen it, never seems to forget it.  Originally, it began its life in a
patisserie (French pastry shop).  It's latest home before me, was a French butcher shop.
It truly is one of my favorite things. . . .

My new dining room. . . . the old French country chairs updated and sassy with
their new gray tones.  Indoor/outdoor white linen ~

Evening serenity showing a new woven jute area carpet~

Daylight serenity. . . I called Caryn Aikens who had done my chairs, to see
if she had any free time to do a stencil on the ceiling.  Once  again Caryn caught my
heart and soul on the ceiling, no less!  Caryn's website: Caryns Decorative Painting.com

The little service table in front of the sofa that faces the fireplace arrived
on Saturday morning.  It was one of those last minute decisions that falls
into the category of cutting it close!  I needed something there that was not of
great proportions . . . . found this in the eves of my garage while on a cleaning binge.

Since I had no plans for a centerpiece, I decided to give each guest a pink
rose that I put into small mini vases that used to hold wax/dinner lites.
I had saved these in hopes that someday I would find a use for them and
I did!

Since I lean toward French influence in our home, I asked a dear friend
who had also done events with me, to do the Eiffel Tower cookies that she had
done for me once before.  As we enter the Great Room, she also had done the
macaroons, made so populare by Laduree.  Toni's Sweets of Hinsdale, Illinois
is a fabulous French bakery.  Her new Chicago bakery to open soon.  Her website,
Toni's Sweets.com,   Toni is always ready to add to and to make whatever I do more
special.  Her talent, ability and love of her art form will never dissappoint.  Many
thanks Toni for always being so gracious and so giving.

The vintage urn dressed for the party~

About 5 or 6 weeks ago I picked up Brooke, from Velvet and Linen
who was in town with her family and off we went to SHOP THE SHED.
This wonderful event is put on once a year by Joy Waltmire of the blogspot
http://savvycityfarmer.blogspot.com/      While shopping the shed, I found this vintage urn and knew exactly where it would be going for the house walk.

Here it is laying on its side upon my arrival home.

In my kitchen as the tour progresses, was a vignette of freshly
baked breads and some herbs.

Freshly baked chocolate croissants from Toni's Sweets

There was a vignette with macaroons (very French style!), real flower
cupcakes from Stem's and Twigs, a silver plated Champagne bucket and my very
own arrangement of Asian lilies and pink roses~

First level guest room accented with pastel pink sheets!

A missed vignette in the living room ~

An antique pine armoire from the Cotswold's~
that houses my collection of cookbooks.

Reflections on tumbled marble~

Little gold bird on windowsill ~

A mantel vignette~

A toile loft guest room . . . .

Looking down from the loft bedroom ~

Another peak from the loft bedroom~

Ready for rest. . . . .

Another kitchen vignette~


My new Ikat fabric on an old chair~Place?
My design studio

Given to me upon the closing of the store. . . hanging in my studio
above a door ~

A special wine dinner at Socca, our sons other
restaurant in the city of Chicago, with Salvadore Faregamo,
the grandson of the well know shoe designer.  He was in Chicago
presenting his new wines from his vineyard in Italy.

The sketch below was given to me by the Western Springs Historical
Society as a thank you for opening our home.

Another little visitor . . . .

My out of comfort zone color.  I used the equivalent Panetone color of
the year ~ honeysuckle ~ This was a big step for me. . . I had to 
that yummy chaise, from Summerhill, with the soft aqua mattlasse fabric that
was nearly new.  Great complement to the honeysuckle.

Under the eves. . . . . and quite cozy for our grand daughter.  She loved
it, but what little girl doesn't like pink!  We just hope our guests do too!!!

A cozy place to read........

A Manuel Canovas duvet cover with quilted plaid
Euro pillows ~ 

Booties under foot, and out the door . . . . .



Anonymous said...

Oh, I so wanted to come to the house walk. Thank you. Your luscious pictures and commentary are the next best thing. Your colors, the vignettes, the flowers and upholstery and everything are so very elegant and homey at the same time.

Toni's did the "onesie" cookie favors for our daughter's baby shower - they were a hit, Stems and Twigs is wonderful, and, oh, I may weep for all the beauty here.

cityfarmer said...

I am SURE each guest wanted to curl up and stay for the day!
I know I want to move right in ... into that loft guest hideaway.

Beautiful urn ... with memories of you shopping the shed.
Your zeal and zest is contagious my dear new friend!

carry on

Anonymous said...

my mother........one of the most loving talented and inspiring souls on earth
you touch so many

our home looks beautiful
full of love and vibrance

way to take a leap on bright room

you did it again!


podso said...

I certainly enjoyed touring your beautiful home (came via Back Porch Musings)...and even more so when I realized you live in the town I grew up in! Amazing! I lived just a few blocks from the Historical Society! (I believe it's in the old water tower).

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I came to see you via Pat...she said it was lovely and indeed she is so right. What a beautiful home, so elegantly and charmingly furnished and decorated. Everyone must have completely enjoyed their tour. Congratulations. Simply fantastic!

Beverly said...

Mary Anne, your home is gorgeous. I can see we love many of the same things.

This is my first visit to your blog, and I came here via Pat of Back Porch Musings.

I invite you to share all of your pinks with us on Pink Saturday. This weekend we will be celebrating the 3rd birthday of this special event. I know everyone would love seeing all of your pinks.

Barbara F. said...

Mary Anne, I am visiting from Pat's blog, Back Porch Musings, my very first visit. You have a beautiful home, I love all the colors. I would be happy staying in any of those guest rooms! xo,

Richard Cottrell said...

Me too, Via Pat. Looks like your tour was a success. The flowers and food were wonderful. Love the cookies. I always think that adds and makes people feel like home. Thanks for sharing. Richard at My Old Historic House

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Mary Anne,

Just thought I would try again as many bloggers are having trouble making comments.


Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I found your blog through my friend Joy. I'm so glad I did. Your posts are beautiful. I'm following. Stop by and visit me sometime.