a bunch of stuff

decorating this office is hard.  it's a real working office that larry uses everyday.
he sits at that desk and in that uncomfortable chair and talks to/at his computer all day long.
he takes naps on that sofa.

i love the dark, moody walls but i think sitting in this room all day may be making him crazy.:)

i really need to change things in there.  

pretty basic/boring.
but that's me.

the last 2 afternoons we've had monsoon like conditions sweep through here.  the garden has finally gotten a good deep watering.  yay!


the meditation garden didn't fare so well.

see that 150 year old pepper tree that is pretty much the showpiece in this garden?

this is what happened this morning...


that's pretty much it.

hope you all have a long and beautiful weekend.



  1. Hello Janet:
    Well, we rather like Larry's office. The walls are wonderfully dark and moody and there is still plenty of space for more pictures/mirrors on the walls. We think that it has a 'gentleman's club' feeling to it ...... just a drinks' table seems to be missing!But, with that addition, it may just mean that Larry would never come out!!!

  2. I love the chunky crown moldings. Were those there or did you add them?

    So sorry about the tree! What a bummer. Did you lose the whole thing? The rain looks lifegiving though.

    Happy long weekend!

  3. Hi Janet,
    I'm enjoying your blog. I like the office, and I actually love the color. I like seeing all your different outfits. The one you're wearing is very classic and very pretty. We've been getting tons of rain too, so sorry about your tree.


  4. The room, furniture and accessories are all wonderful. Have you looked at any books on Feng Shui? I had someone come out to my old house. She just rearranging things a bit,a well placed mirror and a few minor changes that made a huge difference.

    I'm so sorry about your beautiful old tree. They are like an old friends and sad to lose.

  5. Janet, my husband recently retired from one job and will be starting his own company and we are setting up a home office. I think he needs a comfy chair! The room my Barry is in is a Ralph Lauren navy blue, so I don't mind the colour, but I must say, I was a bit taken aback by the colour in your house - I am so used to the creamy tones!

    I am feeling so sad about your pepper tree - I love trees and that is such a loss! that must be worth a funeral of some kind!

  6. Hey Janet, So sorry about the pepper tree what a loss!! Drop by Hf,K so I can brag.
    Oh by the way, you have great knees!

  7. I like the room too. The only thing I would change would be the drapes. It would give a more modern feel and more light. I love the dark walls.

    I'm very sorry about the your tree. Losing such old living things is just sad.

  8. Is there any way to get the desk nearer to the window so that maybe he could look out once in awhile? Maybe a different desk that would fit in the corner where the book cabinet is....I love the colors in the office, however. What happened to the pepper tree? Did it get waterlogged or something? Love your outfit, I wore similar colors yesterday--black top and cream colored straight skirt and flip flops. I was very comfortable :-)

  9. sorry! I lost a 75 year old oak form a tornado this year....are those paintings from the thrift store too?

  10. Janet, I hope the tree just lost a branch and not it's life. So many people do not understand the importance of these big old trees to our own health and well being. Lot's of studies have proven what we tree huggin' nature lovers felt to be true.
    As for your outfit - Boring??? I think not! "classic elegance". You would wow folks on the Riviera in your lovely outfit. Larry's office looks very soothing to me.
    Enjoy your much needed rain. Send some my way, please.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    SF Bay Area

  11. So sorry about your tree Janet. We have some old oaks like that and every time they make it thru a storm I'm surprised (and happy!)

  12. I think Mr. Lane would love a nice dark office. he has to share one with me though so no way. I did let him paint the downstairs bath I never use a chocolate brown with white trim; it does look good. Question would be-- is Larry actually going crazy? If not, would do more minor things, like redistribute the art etc. You will do a great job, this we know!

  13. Janet - I'm sorry about your tree. I like the map in the office - I was wanting to get my husband an antique map, but couldn't figure out where we would put it.... Over the desk would be perfect.
    Your outfit is lovely.

  14. What did it smell like, the pepper tree?

    When trees first crash their fragrance is a sweetness of life like no other. Then, decay.

    I have a memory bank for that first smell of sweetness in death for many trees. A strange talent/gift.

    Many trees fell in Atlanta about 3 weeks ago with winds/lite rain.

    Sorry for the loss you've had.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  15. I love the room, but I can see that the "cozy" could start to become "somber" after awhile. I agree about removing the drapes...too heavy in a small room. Try just doing that and see how much more light comes in. Grasscloth walls would be manly but lighter...expensive though I think :( Sorry too for your tree, it had such character! Lurve the outfit!


  17. Forgot to say, I love Larry's office.

  18. Poor Larry:(:( Give the boy some light :) That is a shame about your tree. I sometimes feel like crying when trees are lost. We are in for a bunch of rain this weekend. Enjoy your holiday. Smiles, Susie

  19. What a loss for your pepper tree! I grew up playing beneath these trees. Your's is a prize winner. I'm sure it will continue on without one of it's arms!

  20. So sorry for the loss of your tree. We lost our pepper 15 years ago - it was very sad. We kept the trunk. I still have it against the back fence.

  21. That office is nice. I bet he loves it but the darkness would make me go insane. I am so sorry about your pepper tree. It was quite a specimen. So sad.

  22. I agree about the Feng Shui. Maybe do a little research and see what is good for health and wealth.
    I just lost a HUGE limb off my Weeping Willow when it finally rained last Sunday. In fact the only thing holding it up is the corner of my house. :(
    They are suppoed to come out and remove it tomorrow, hopefully. But it's supposed to rain again.
    It's all been very upsetting, especially the money part of having it cut completely down and removed.

  23. I'm back, just to give a male's point of view regarding Larry office (man cave). Keep out!

  24. I am sorry to hear about your tree. That is so sad. I think the office is lovely. The chair does look uncomfortable. My husband loves his office chairs to have high backs and cushioned. Our son even takes one to college to use at his desk. Maybe not as stylish as some, but very functional.

  25. Where did that rain come from? It has been crazy hot here this last week.
    I wouldn't mind a little rain as my garden could use a good soak.

    How wonderful that your husband can work from home.
    I would love to not have to commute every day.

    Have a great holiday weekend.

  26. Sorry about your Pepper tree :(

    We lost a weeping birch last year; the guy who chainsawed it out for us made us a bowl with some of the wood-maybe you could do something like that as well? A tree memento.

    The office is too dark for me, but it's not my office, LOL.
    Maybe just remove the curtains...and what about putting the couch along the back wall( where the paintings are) and then turning the desk so that it bisects the room? Then your hubby could look into the room instead of staring at the wall ...but then again it may looked stuffed to the gills that way. Hmmmm...so much fun to virtually move other people's furniture around!

    Thanks for letting us do that :)

    PS-Basic is NEVER boring-not in my book. As a NYer, I know the rules of dressing-if it's not black, well, then it should be!

    Have a great weekend :)

  27. Hello my lovely. Not the pepper tree, I love those bad boys. I was so excited to see streets full of the when I was in Santa Monica.

    Hope part can be salvaged. should I send GG?

    xo Jane

  28. Yes, thank you for letting us look into your home yet again. I can pretend I live there for a few moments. My home belonged to my husband for 18 years before I moved in nearly 2 years ago, and we are staging it to sell. I'd LOVE a cottage like yours (I grew up in an older home--they're in my blood), but in my town is prices are way too high for us. A condo, I think it will be. I'll look to your lovely home for inspiration.

    So sad about your tree. What a beauty. We've lost limbs this year from the drought, but none so large as yours.

    You look fantastic as usual. Stylish and classic.

    Have a nice long weekend.

  29. Janet,

    I think the office looks great! Very Ralph Lauren like...we had brown walls in our office for awhile but the room is dark with not much sun so we changed it to a pumpkin color. A lot cheerier especially in the winter. I love those blue and white vases/pots on top of the bookshelf.

    So sad about your tree! We have a huge 50 year old tree in our front yard which is the focal point. I hope nothing ever happens to it.

    Your outfit is not boring...and you look cool and comfortable!


  30. I find it heartbreaking when an old tree gets destroyed by gales, we lost about 15 in our area last winter, all over 200 years old, I still wince when I pass their stumps.

  31. As long as you're planning to change things, I would re-work the picture arrangement on the far wall of the office. For one thing, they seem to be hanging on the high side.

    That said, I wish my own spouse's office were that neat!

  32. Since our house is surrounded quite closely by very large, very old trees that is my worst fear. Except in my fear, they crash on my house. My husband wants to rip them all out and leave our property treeless but I would rather take our chances and not let him.

    As for the office, I think it is really beautiful! Has a very "den" like quality to it...but I can see what you mean. I'm sure whatever you decide to do will be lovely!


  33. Poor pepper tree, it was a beauty too. I'm with Tabs I'm always sad to see trees go.
    Larry's office is so dark, it's very different from the rest of the house! Of course I like that look but I can understand that a change is sometimes needed. I can't wait to see what you do with it, you are a very talented decorator!
    I hope your weekend is excellent. No more storms!

  34. The room is rather cave or womb-like. Maybe your husband likes it that way? But if you're concerned that it's having a negative effect on him, perhaps you could lighten it up a little. If he likes the basic colour, have you thought of lightening it by having a feature wall in the main colour - but several shades lighter - and then painting the rest of the walls the same colour as your skirting boards? Agree that the pictures on the end wall are lovely but would be better hung a little lower. For me a room so dark would be unutterably depressing and sub-consciously it may be doing a little of that to him, especially if he spends most of every day in there. Our spirits need the light, at least for part of the day, so hopefully he gets out into daylight, for a short time at least, in the morning and the afternoon and refreshes.

    Sorry to hear about your tree. It's so sad to lose a tree as one loves them so. We lost a beautiful silver birch in the heat of the summer during our long drought. Condolences and best wishes, Pamela

  35. That room is gorgeous! I'm so sorry about your tree though. Lots of firewood!

    p.s. I'm off to Paris on Tuesday!

  36. I agree with one of the other commenters that I think your art is a bit high - perhaps a rearranging with a lower top line or paint a lighter background "frame" for it, or even some lighter, more reflective art/mirrors would lighten the mood a little. Or painting the top third of the wall a lighter colour? Do you have a mirror that reflects the window light? Lighter curtains or a simple blind might also give a fresher feel to the (lovely) dark colour...

    Your outfit is not boring, it's classic and looks really smart!

  37. So sorry about your tree! I remember pepper trees fondly from when I lived in San Diego.

    Maybe the office needs a lighter color of paint?


  38. Love your classic look. Boring? NO WAY.

  39. kevin of hollywood forever made me laugh. my husband would want things to stay the same. i on the other hand get bored after a year or two and want to change it up. we have lived in our current home for 11 yrs and it is always "evolving". :-)

  40. I like the look you have going in the office from a decor point of view. I have to say if I worked all day in there I think I would be come very depressed.
    Your outfit is just classic--nothing boring about that.
    And I'm sad for you about the tree. Luckily it didn't land on the house though.

    I once had my entire front yard dug up (old house) to replace a water pipe that had burst. The shortest and most direct path would have meant destroying a mature dogwood.

  41. Janet,
    I keep forgetting you have this room...ha, I act like I come over all the time. This is the room that has the cool aerial shot of your property that you found at a tag sale...is that right? Annnnyway... love this room and wouldn't change a thing. Are you thinking it's too dark? Maybe that's what I love about it. Light and bright can be overrated especially when it comes to getting work done. I think this space looks conducive to being very productive. Sorry about your tree and Janet you look stunning as always and not a bit boring!

  42. Actually I like the office. Living in a rental, I miss being able to control my environment. Everything is painted off white. I'm glad you mentioned Larry's desk chair was uncomfortable because I'd been toying with buying one like it. My $5 garage sale Louis XVI repro armchair with lovely rainbow striped seat finally fell apart :( Also, boring, no. Classic, yes! Poor tree, I hate loosing ancient beauties like these.

  43. Ugh- don't even get me started on losing big beautiful trees- it tears my heart out!

    Re Larry's space (Hi Larry!), Would it be possible to put his desk against the wall opposite the door that you walk in, but pulled out enough so that he is facing the door with his back to that wall, and put the sofa against the wall where his desk is now? That way, he could see out the window AND see you sashaying past the doorway now and again.

  44. I like larry's office. the only thing it needs is a more comfortable chair - more important than looks. but it looks more "put together" than my office. sorry about your tree and yard....but water is good!!!

    xo terri

  45. Larry's office looks fabulous.

    I am happy about the rain and sad for the tree.

    It's Father's Day here xxx

  46. Oh dear, the loss of that huge piece of tree must have been hard on you. Well, on the bright side, no one was hurt or house damaged and you can grow something else there now. I love the office and love your skirt/belt look.

  47. OHHHH NOOOOO... I am so sorry about your pepper tree. Such a loss. I first looked at this post on my phone and could really enlarge the photo of the tree at the point where it split, and I must say it was absolutlely beautiful- the colors, the textures- it almost looked like veins in a body. There was just something very poetic about it.
    Basic and boring?? I don't think so, that is pure "classic" in my book. You look fabulous, but when do you not?!
    I do love the wall color in Larry's office, but can see where he might like a change after spending so much time in there. Or maybe first try doing a white (off white) slip on the sofa and taking down the curtains. You could try the window bare (with the bamboo) or add Ikea plain linen panels which let light through. A white (off white) shag-type run would lighten things up too. Then if it were still too dark you could always paint a lighter wall color. I would lower the paintings, or perhaps you are adding to the wall as you find things? Oh, and I would paint those wall outlets:):):):)xxj.

  48. so sorry about your tree, janet. we lost a tree-sized limb in our back not too long ago. it was so large, it actually took out a HUGE magnolia in the FRONT yard. hard to see beloved trees go, isn't it...? donna

  49. Oh no your poor tree... always sad.... And your look is lovely - very chic as ever and classic .... I like Larry's study - kind of cosy but maybe update his chair if it is uncomfortable? And Janet, guess what? I am back in ENGLAND!! :-) Take care, Sarah XX

  50. Although dark, it looks like a lovely and warm room to me Janet! I rather like it! Sorry to read about your tree...

    Great outfit once again. You always look good :-)!

    Madelief x

  51. I agree with some above comments. The room is cozy and dark masculine and beautiful to look at but the darkness In a small space can overwhelm. I would take down the curtains first and leave just the shade. Then see what happens. Then I would de-clutter the walls. Take down the art on the back wall and group just three of them at the center. Bring in more light and more airiness into the room, I did this for my husband who claimed he liked clutter and dark spaces. When I changed the room, he felt better.

  52. losing a grand old tree.. or any tree for that matter.. is like the death of a friend to me.
    you are not never were could ever be boring. just fun, elegant and very classy. (though i hate that word. sometimes it's the one that fits).
    as to the room... since you asked. or did you??? ... that'll teach you! lol.
    cozy minimalist diehard that i am... there is much to love about it but you named it. stuff.
    i would keep the paint. and the furniture (except the uncomfortable chair) but that's about all...
    remove all of the pictures and mirror... remove the clutter from the tops of things.
    have only blinds or a white sheer for light... lovely shadows could be art work!
    clear the desk of all that is not totally necessary.
    place a modern pewter silver lamp on the desk with a light shade.
    find him a comfortable chair. if it has to have a picture... just one larger one. that he loves.
    and replace the throw on the sofa with a tartan in reds, deep blues and green.
    it would still look masculine, but clean in line and feeling and open and fresh.
    i do love the english cozy cluttered look in theory... but to live with... not so much!
    love and hugs,
    tammy j

  53. You are never boring! I have an older pepper tree in the front and it's always so worrisome to me when it's stormy! It's lost a few branches over the years and I try to keep it trimmed but sometimes the years seem to run together and I learn the hard way it has been toooo long since I had it cut back. Thanks for the reminder - I need to get major tree trimming organized soon. Be safe cleaning it up!

  54. Oh, such a pretty blog I will subscribe and come back to visit. Found you on Slim's comments section. I love the dark office but dark can get depressing when it's all day. I like your style.

  55. Janet,
    Dear you are by far from boring. I love how you share your most basic stuff, and how life happens along the way and we all look for change and moments of zen.
    sorry about your tree. walls can be painted, trees can be planted and we can always find some fun to add to our boring an most basic....right!

  56. What a shame about such a gorgeous old tree...hope you get it cleaned up without any problems. And good luck with the decorating...sounds like you got some good suggestions. Mine is: have fun with it!

  57. Awww...so sad to see that limb down, Janet. I always thought that limb was amazing and couldn't have grown more perfectly to create a covering for your meditation room. It reminds me of a secret garden and I can imagine Stella enjoying that area immensely. I hope the rest survived and perhaps another will grow in that direction (in due time)? Listen to me--I obviously know nothing about trees:/

    I love Larry's office and the color is a great departure for you but I can see spending a lot of time in there, could get dreary. I think Slim's comment was spot-on. Get the desk to face the door. I don't like my desk to face a wall. Also, get as much light from the window in there and remove some artwork (unless you really just want to showcase it somewhere in order to make use of it. It's all beautiful:) In that case--lower it on the wall. Can't wait to see what you decide!

  58. What a shame about such a gorgeous old tree...I completely agree. Great article Kelp4less.com


kindness is never out of style.

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