7.08.2015

small time decorating






We just barely got our morning hike in when it started pouring rain and hasn't let up.  I sat down at the computer to start looking up the names of all the wildflowers that are in bloom here and got distracted and decided to do a post on decorating!  One of my favorite subjects.  My temporary home is a condo built 15 years ago.  It was decorated in one day at one store by a straight older gentleman. It's what I'd call a man-cave.  Think leather and oak.  He and Larry are quite happy with the decor. Its chief quality is low maintenance and I get that, I really do.  But damn it is ugly.  And here is the thing that kills me the most, it could be so pretty.  I've redecorated this joint a million times in my head.  But pretty and my father-in-law just don't go together.




But our bedroom upstairs is a different story.  I've been able to decorate a little on a very small budget.  The maidenhair fern that Country Living bought is doing so well.  I've never ever been able to keep one alive and it's thriving here.  Perfect Eastern light is key I think.




We bought the wicker chair from a yard sale for $10.  It is in excellent shape and just needed a little black paint.  This black and white pillow came from IKEA and was $10.  The green velvet pillow was $1 at the thrift store and the faux sheepskin was $6 at TJ Maxx.  I just sanded and put clear varnish on the log and use it as a candle holder.





In our bathroom I use a flat rock as our soap dish and a dried branch for a little rustique feel.





And another candle holder.

So that's some small time decor right?  Back to wildflowers...x




45 comments:

  1. Love it Janet! You are teaching us to bloom where we're planted!

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    1. Me too! I'm going to take it to heart for my own home, the apartment where I've lived for the past year but don't yet feel settled. It's time to accept what is and make the most of it. Thank you, Janet, for your inspiration.

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  2. Love it, so simple, so practical, so chic! I have downsized about a year ago, into temporary residence , and you have inspired me to make some little touches while I wait to move somewhere more permanent
    Janey

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  3. Janet, Your touch is all that is needed when surroundings are ugly! I smiled as I read your post,as many times in the past when I had to make do, a few flowers, a candle ,a pretty bar of soap helped immensely. Stay calm and decorate on!xo Annette

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  4. Go to userealbutter.com and enjoy Jen's wildflower posts. She isn't shooting them this year, but she has several years of beautiful and informative archives full of alpine wild flowers! And she recently got an adorable black lab :)
    These touches are so lovely and worth the effort. Love the rock soap dish! Decorated from one store in one day! I don't know if I'm impressed or horrified! Just keep janetifying it a little more every day...

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  5. your "straight older gentleman" description was too funny! but you know, we all get exactly what you are saying. loved this one, janet. donna

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  6. Loving these posts and as always love your style. Stephen Andrew's term "janetifying " is so perfect! D

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  7. Janet,
    You've proven you don't need a ton of stuff to make a place look inviting and cared for. I love the touches.
    Karen

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  8. Janet you are one In a million....I am reminded by necessity is the mother of invention.
    Or as Wendy pointed out Mary Englebreit's quote "bloom where you are planted!"
    I have tried growing those ferns and have had no luck and they are so very beautiful...orchids do well here though and my cats do not try to munch on them.
    I do love that you are softening the edges of the man cave.

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  9. YOU GO GIRL.............LOOKS 10 times better...........JUST DONT BURN THE HOUSE DOWN by going on a hike and forgetting to blow out the candles!!!!Then again maybe........then you could ALL go back to THE COTTAGE!!!!!

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  10. Small Time Decorating Big Style! Love the changes you made which are perfect and this reminds me of the many many weeks we spent at my in-laws ski chalet during which I would mentally re-decorate the entire chalet in my mind every night while I tried to sleep. It's kind of distracting and torturous to tell the truth. So I'm happy you were able to make some changes to your personal space which are exquisite and so you. XO

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  11. good grief. there is nothing left to say!
    it's plain that we all LOVE you!!!
    i would say one more thing...
    there are women who would be gritching and moaning and resenting and balking every step of the way.
    instead ... you are proving yourself a lady. and a loving and gracious one at that. and the fact that you cannot help but beautify...excuse me... janetify! your surroundings is what makes you so very special. a and j would be so proud of you ajj !!!
    you have the best of their qualities while still being totally YOU! XOXOXO♥ and in case you've forgotten... or for other readers... you epitomize the beauty and style and spirit of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy Onassis...
    from the first I've called you AJJ. Audrey... Jackie... Janet! but sorry! never dawning on me you might not even like it! LOLOL! ♥

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  12. I agree with Tammy J--very gracious of you to: care for Larry's dad, cook un-vegan!, bring beauty to a less than lovely space, spend such a long time away from home. I just love the home oriented way you operate--ok, I'll say it--DOMESTIC! It isn't a bad word as DaniBP reminds us. I loved her comment on her come-back post that the nature of the domestic and the everyday is a thousand things repeated over and over and that there is great satisfaction and joy to be had in it. Beautifully done Janet.

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  13. You are an angel for giving up everything you adore to take care of your father in law. He must be one very special man in your life. Does he need daily care other than meals being prepared? It sounds like you're able to get out but is anyone else there taking part of the responsibility? I so relate to your decorating.....I consistently rearrange different places and redecorate them in my mind!.....I've been through this situation before and I so admire you. I would get so homesick for my house. It's so hard and you're doing it all wonderfully.......Janie

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  14. I love that you want to make your "new" home beautiful. Sometimes with limited funds and stores you really have to use your imagination. You added a feminine touch to a sterile environment and it made all the difference! It feels homey and comforting now. Great job!

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  15. I just love your post as well as all the comments!! I think the true test of creativity is using what you have at your disposal...especially when the resources are very limited. My mother was very good at it & taught me to make the most of what I have. My property has rocks in abundance, so I now feel the need to find just the right one for a soap dish in a garden work area. I love washing my hands outside after digging in dirt.

    You really are a special person...& I have no doubt that Larry is as well.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

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  16. The maidenhair fern is doing amazingly well. I have never seen a healthier one. You and your husband are doing the right thing to take care of your father in law. The changes you made in your bedroom look very nice and hope you find more lovely things to improve your environment. Flowers? Pictures on the wall? Maddie from SoCal

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  17. Janet, You have really spruced up the place...very homey. Love the rock soap dish and the log candle holders! Reminds me of a teak trunk (aka tree stump) we bought from Viva Terra a few years ago. But yours were free! :)

    You and Larry are doing a great job.

    Linda
    xo







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  18. Charming Janet, totally has your touch. This tiny mountain how is loving everything you are pampering it with.
    All your deals are paying off beautifully, you are the thrift designer queen.

    See you soon.
    Xx
    Dore

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  19. Well, I think you've done a lot to soften things! The fern is so lush and a great spot of color amid the neutrals. It must be this sort of fine line to make something your own while you're there yet not intrude on his aesthetic, his home. If you can't make it a soothing spot for yourself, you're just gonna get itchy and restless or start getting really unhappy and want to get out of there...so, he has to be a little understanding, too.

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    1. I most ALWAYS come back again to this blog after you've posted because there are SO many interesting comments that continue to come in, including your own replies. I learn a lot here, Janet. You have good people following your blog. Found myself going back thru your last few posts (you've been on a roll and I love it; we've missed you!) and you had a lot of replies in there I'd missed. So, three things I come away with: When this Utah thing gets to you here & there, Janet, log on and do a post because we'll do everything in our power to shore you up, okay! Think of your readers as your support team! Also, you answered my worry and others' about what's happening to The Gardeners Cottage in your absence...that you've got a good caretaker for home and garden, yay. The gardens here in SoCal need such careful monitoring right now due to the severe drought; I am particularly mourning the loss of trees in my town which have been here all my life and which are dying (they obviously were alive due to no help from humans and instead relying on heaven-sent rainfall, which of course has become non-existent; but, I mean, even trees which you know must be deep-rooted are suffering terribly. Finally, yes, when you feel like it, do a food post! Love your food photos and recipes! I noticed more than one of us were asking about what you've got cookin' up there!

      I have never felt more like sending you a big 'ol hug thru cyberspace. You're so good about making the best of a situation and not complaining, but I can truly imagine how much you miss home and the rest of your family, friends or even your job...just your regular routine (your 'normal' life!). I wish you could dig around in the dirt somewhere; have a mini garden; stick a tomato plant in a pot. How about some herbs growing in the kitchen; do you have a sunny window? Can you listen to some Jack White? Are you doing yoga in the forest? Also, and I'm really curious about this, are you REALLY reading Dostoyevsky or was that a joke that flew right over my head?

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    2. vicki this comment brings tears to my eyes. you are right. the readers here are soooooo good. i love you all so much.:) thank you and everyone for the virtual hug too. i appreciate your kind words but i want you to now i'm no saint. not even close. i get angry, mad, homesick, resentful...you name it. and all that can happen in a span of 2 minutes. but the bottom line is that i know i need to be here and we both feel it's our duty. we see a big difference in my fil with his attitude and physical health. you are spot on about not changing his world too much. he's given me free reign in our room and even says he likes what i've done but i know it ends there and i'm ok with that. i really don't feel the need to garden up here b/c i feel like i'm living in the garden of Eden. it's is so spectacularly beautiful. i do have some herbs on the kitchen window sill tho. :) i do listen to jack on my solo hikes still love him. :) i do yoga in the house not in the forest b/c finding a nice flat spot is hard and i don't want to carry my mat. i really am reading crime and punishment...it is so good! God bless you vicki for caring so much about me. i feel loved. xo

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    3. I'm impressed; it's a celebrated book I could never get through; maybe I should give it another chance. You can do a book review in a future post!

      It's good you can appreciate the beauty of the location; gosh, what if you were in some ugly place (like my grandma, when we'd go to see her and help her out when I was a kid...can't/won't get started on THAT story with the desert sand and stinging red ants, NOTHING green growing, out in the middle of nowhere and desolate wind blowing).

      You're going to be just fine, Janet. You'll get thru this. It's just another chapter in the book of your life.

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    4. Janet,

      One thing that has helped me dealing with the in-law situation is trying to put myself in their position and where we will be when we are in our 80's. A couple years ago we were trying to get rid of a few things at their house because we had to get the house ready for the care givers before my MIL came home from rehab. FIL got upset, but then it made me think "would I want someone coming into MY house and taking my stuff"? Luckily it worked out while my FIL was gone most of the day visiting my MIL I would go over and bag stuff up to bring home to put in our trash. (he would look in their trash) Most of it was junk, ratty jeans and t shirts, expired food, etc. The worst of it? My MIL raised reptiles over the years, she kept a pet snake and iguana in the FREEZER! My husband asked me over the phone to dispose of them so the care givers didn't get freaked out. I don't know how I did that. Ugh.

      I feel sorry for my daughter being the only child, all the responsibility will fall on her some day but in many cases it ends up being one child doing it anyway. Sometimes I think it's just easier in the long run than having too many family members involved. Curious, (and I think maybe you mentioned it before) does Larry have any other siblings?

      Linda
      xo

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    5. thanks linda. i do that too. i can't imagine anyone going thru my belongings and saying nope, this doesn't fit my aesthetic. this is his house and he has every right to live just as he likes.

      the snake story is too funny...yikes! he has siblings but none are available like we are.

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    6. i've thought that too vicki. i thank God it is so beautiful here. i was never good at book reports! i think i'm having an easy time with it is b/c i read a few pages right before i fall asleep so it doesn't seem overwhelming to me. :)

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  20. I so wish I could meet you in person! You're very inspirational and I love when I discover I have some of the same items as you!

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  21. Lovely! You know, I lived for years in apartments in which I never really bothered to decorate, because I always considered them "temporary" and wished to be a homeowner instead. Looking back now, I realize that what I was really missing was a place that felt like my own home, purchased or not.

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  22. simple touches that bring sweetness to the soul... love it.

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  23. So lovely what you've done here Janet, I doubt it would have crossed my mind to prettify my surroundings but then I don't have your skills.

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  24. I just had that faux throw in my hand at TJ Maxx in Kentucky last weekend. It is 19.99 here :)

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    1. i'm finding that everything is a little less expensive here. except food, that seems higher, esp fresh produce.

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  25. Janet, I know what a huge sacrifice you and Larry are making and you will never regret it. I lost my father in January after six months of health issues. He just turned 88 and had been a healthy man all of his life which I am thankful for and also for having such a wonderful man in my life. Your touches to your temporary home are beautiful as usual. :) Love the Buddha head...where did you find him? You are such a positive inspiration in the lives of so many. Thank you!

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    1. Hi and thank you Bobbi. The little Buddha head came from TJ Maxx! They are $5!

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  26. Very pretty what you did Janet and thoughful too.

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  27. You make everything you touch better

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  28. You've done a wonderful job of creating a cosy yet stylish pad. Love the candle holder in the bathroom! Your taste is exquisite. xxx

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  29. You are a patient, wise soul! I lived with my mother in law for over 2 years. The furnishings were not my taste, but they were perfectly fine for a 70 something woman. In fact, I don't think anything had been updated in over 30 years. Personally, it drove me crazy living with a style that was so dowdy. but the house was clean & looked after. She would keep the blinds closed in her bedroom 24/7. It was such a sad, drab room. Today it's our bright fresh reading room with a beautiful electric fireplace, books & wine, and the curtains always stay open to bring in the light. So, to each his own. She is happily living in a small town close to other family. For me, I really need beauty in my surroundings to be content. Also, love the flat rock soap dish!! What a great idea!!

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    1. thanks anon. oh boy my FIL loves the blinds closed too. That is the hardest part for me b/c I love sunshine pouring in but he is set in his ways! I would kill to fix this place up even with some fresh pillows, plants and flowers! Mostly I just clean b/c it has been neglected for years and that helps a lot. x

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  30. Hi Janet, making a return because in my hunt for great finds a soap dish reminded me of your new one...The Rock of nature, yet this one being plastic was nothing in comparison to what beauty is at your resting reach for your bar of soap. It also soulfully connected me to the beauty you have at reach and yet I am sure missing your home in So. Ca. And we dearly miss you to being there.

    Now have you found more rocks with such shape to hold a beautiful natural bar of soap? I bet there would be buyers for them namely ME! Now planting that nature seed I am smiling inside and chuckling with that thought of you on a nature hike looking for such rocks and coming home with your trunk weighted down with what would have once been thought of to be a hippy thing to do, yet truly I invission myself in a limestone floored with stone walls French villa, and of course a rock such as yours as my soap dish :))

    See how much you inspire,mio matter where you are, no matter what sacrifices you make, living with less, and best still economizing at its best.... It truly does not get any better then you my dear inspiring us on saving a buck, using natures beauty, and paring down to a mini closet that most travelers have suite cases larger then your closet.

    Love that you are a problem solver, and with little at you access you still manage to create a calm beautiful place of rest.

    See you soon, and seriously, if you find another rock put me at the top of your list in wanting one :))

    Xoxo
    Dore

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    1. dore you are too sweet. i will find you a rock today! x

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    2. Awwwww! Really and truly! Yay! Love you girl friend :)

      Xoxo
      Your the best

      Dore

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kindness is never out of style.