brown and white



It has been so cold here that we've been doing everything possible to try and keep this swiss cheese of a house warm. At 126 years old she does a pretty good job but lately she has been put to the test.  I put up the lined drapes.  These are sold out at Pottery Barn but I love the color and trellis pattern of these.  Larry has put up new weatherstripping around the doors and we've booked an appointment to see about insulating the attic and basement.




I'm loving the soft browns and white though.  Even though we don't have a fireplace it still feels cozy by candlelight day or night.





My dear friend J dropped by unexpectedly yesterday and dropped off this white mum.  Thank you J.
Do you love the detail on this lamp?  I do.  Are any of you still doing the vegan challenge?  How do you feel?  Lighter?  I hope so.  Clear skin, clear eyes, clear conscious.   x


46 comments

  1. Yes my dear still sinking with it, I had been considering a challenge like this for myself for some time, and even discussed doing it with my daughter, she agreed let's give it a whirl and see if we can stick with it, have to say we had a slight hiccup and now back on track. Also so interested in The Taco Cleanse, and I am going to look into it deeper today.

    Now as for Brown, never was a big fan, but becoming so more and more, I spotted a cream and brown patterned area rug at Target, loved it and was so tempted to give it a chance in my pale home of creamy natural whites, and raw woods, you convinced me here today as to why not? It looks fabulous in your mix and cozy at the same time.
    I don't have a fire place either, wish I did, but we make due with candles as well, almost equal to a fire burning. Smaller homes can get away without a fireplace and lots of candles, well some candles in a grouping burning.

    Love the lamp, love your gathered and collected homes designs, it's a cottage to love.
    You reminded me to weather strip my front door been meaning to do this, the draft will be felt here for months to come.

    See you and your 124 year old cottage gatehouse soon and all it inspires.

    Xx
    Dore
    Watching for you in country living, I will be down for you to autograph my copy :)

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  2. Ooop's 126 year old cottage.
    Xx
    Dore

    Thank you for your beautiful visit my dear neighbor blogging friend.

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  3. Your home looks cozy and I love that lamp detail. Insulation will help you keep warmer. We have not done our entire bungalow but the rooms we have are much warmer. The single paned windows are the worst offenders...but being mindful of heritage we keep them. Storm sashes are expensive so we dress in layers! Good luck with your quote and if all else fails wear cashmere sweaters and socks!

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    1. i'm excited to see what the energy guys say. they come later today so hopefully good news!

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  4. I pretty much only like brown and white when in your hands. Looks so warm and casual but still sophisticated.
    I made a vegan soup last night and it was so good and so pretty. It was basically a roasted parsnip and turnip puree with coconut milk. But I was worried it would be an unattractive color, so I added puréed roasted beets. It was vivid fuchsia and so pretty. I served it in jadeite. I'm not on your vegan challenge, but figured I could make this soup vegan easily. Good luck keeping warm. Maybe I'll send you all my sweaters since Ohio is now a subtropical land.

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    1. oh really, that's so sweet. i love the sound of the soup both taste wise and visually. you must post pics and the recipe! x

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  5. Your 126 year old cottage looks inviting and warm with the flickering of candlelight. Our 90 year old city row-home doesn't have a fireplace either, candles also for us add the charm. Brown, whites and cream are stunning and you have decorated your home to inspire. I just commented last night to John I felt a draft coming in and figured we need to apply new weather stripping to our door, even with a French vestibule door those invasive drafts find there way indoors.

    I only eat things that swim and fly on weekends and holidays the rest of the time it's veggies and beans for me. I gave up red meat and all processed foods, white flour and white sugars back in 1984. Fast food to me is fast death so I have a scratch kitchen.
    xo,
    Vera

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    1. I laughed to myself when I read your post, because I misread it and was thinking: so there are fish and poultry that only travel on weekends. :)

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    2. Your reply made me laugh out loud into my Sunday morning coffee. Bwahahahaha. So funny....

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  6. PS the detailing on your lamp is stunning.

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  7. Your home is so calming and elegant and the lamp is a nice addition to the room. Is there a back story to it? An estate sale? You always seem to find the loveliest pieces.

    Melodee

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    1. the backstory to the lamp is this. it was B's (alex's wife) for many many years. they stored it in my basement a few years ago and when country living came, they went exploring down there. i suggested maybe we could use it for the living room and they agreed. they bought the shade at target and then i put the black ribbon trim on. i'm no on the lookout for some sort of semi-matching one...thank you for the lovely compliment!

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    2. Please box that lamp up and mail to me ASAP!!! I love it! Of course, I love your entire house.

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  8. Such an inviting room and I love the rug

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  9. Love your living room and all the details and the brown and white color scheme. I use those colors in my home as well. And that pic with the candle is so pretty, as are the others as well. I am curious, how cold is it? We are having a low of 18 and high of 28 tomorrow.

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    1. well for california it has been cold. in the 30's at night but the real problem is that the house has zero insulation and the original windows. we call it the ice-box. :)

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  10. very restful looking room and I love the lamp. I am vegetarian all the time, but trying to be more vegan most of the time, so I am with you this week. Have you heard of or used the Instant Pot? Is is an electric pressure cooker, that also has manual saute feature as well as slow cooker. I am LOVING it! I cooked a head of cauliflower in it several days ago, took 4 minutes to cook once it got to pressure. Kale also cooked in 4 minutes, so no excuse why I can't have fresh health veggies every day. Beans can cook either soaked or unsealed, amazing!!

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    1. make that unsoaked, darn auto correct !

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    2. I LOVE my Insta Pot!!! I use it for making my soy yogurt, brown rice, cooking dry beans, potatoes, soups etc...

      Susan

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    3. i am going to google insta pot right now!

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  11. I know what you mean about drafts in old houses, I have trouble with that too. You must have a "California" basement like I do...just big enough for the heater, water heater and a little extra storage. Mine flooded twice last week in the torrential rain, it was quite a mess. In all of the years I have lived here this is a first...and hopefully now that the problem is fixed, a last.

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    1. yep that's about the size of it. it didn't flood this year yet but a few years back, omgosh it was so bad. ruined so many things. x

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  12. My oldest daughter is doing the vegan challenge and doing great, as I am already a vegan, it is a piece of cake, lol. I am trying to eat cleaner though! I love the white and brown of you living room! My husband and I recently went out and bought a fireplace entertainment center. Our tiny cottage gets very cold in January and February, it is helping and the kitties love it.
    Our home in almost 100 years old, and we will be insulating the attic and crawl space this year. xo

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    1. so happy to hear she's doing the vegan challenge. i'm sure it'll be easy for her esp if you are cooking. :) x

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  13. I had to chuckle: Swiss Cheese of a house. Oh, wow, do I know what that is. My much-beloved cottage of a few years ago was younger at about 90 years to your 126 but if I sat by the window at night at the computer, I could feel that cold come through the old glass til if felt like ice water had seeped into my veins. Of course, because we insisted on keeping the termite-chewed, fabulous old carved-wood front door, we could see light underneath it, which meant we'd also feel cold air swirling at our ankles. The dogs hated it and would always jump up, onto anything, to get off that floor! We couldn't afford to do both, but we put mega insulation in the attic; it helped. Basement-cellar remained a cold pit. Great idea you've had, of course, to put in the lined drapes. In the old castles of the Middle Ages, didn't I read that it's why they'd hang tapestries as a hedge against the cold stone walls? We SoCalifornians are so thin-skinned...and, of course, you, Miss Janet, are so enviably slender, I'm sure you're dressing in a lot of layers!

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    1. haha, it does feel like having ice water in the veins! i think you are right ab out the tapestries. i've heard that some people will even just tack up blankets on really cold walls! we both dress in lots of layers here, have to!

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  14. I saw your small peak of this photo on IG and thought it WAS your work. So pretty. All of it. I am a neutral fan, and this is my idea of calm. I am sitting here on a Sunday morning with coffee, contemplating pulling the trigger on a 2 bed/1 bath 2-story dollhouse (making an offer tomorrow - or not), selling my current 1600 sq ft ranch that has all kinds of character and fireplaces and unique cubbies and rooms with a huge yard and deck, moving from a larger city to a smaller one. The dollhouse is about 75 years old, and I am sure is Swiss cheese too, all original hardwood floors and stone foundation and big front sitting porch. What to do. What to do. I would love any advice from anyone. (HELP!) Love your blog, J. I selfishly wish it was your FT job.

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    1. Lor, can you see yourself in the new place 5 years from now? Would stairs be a problem? Would a renovation be a financial or emotional issue? We're in the beginning stages a downsizing and we're really considering those things before we let ourselves fall in love with any place. Good luck and best wishes, no matter what you choose.

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    2. that is a tough call lor. it may have been insulated? please let me know what your decision is! of course i think you'll love it but you'll have to decide! x

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    3. good points wendy. something i never really thought about before down-sizing was that in a small house you hear every pin drop. there is really a lot less privacy that way. you had better really like who you are living with!

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    4. Thanks girls! This one has stairs and a big yard....the two downfalls for me. Otherwise, I think I CAN see myself there. I have been downsizing for a few years, went from the huge house to the smaller 2400 sq ft, to the 1600 sq ft I'm currently in, and now the dollhouse is less than 1000 sq ft, but I live alone. Still can't decide for sure. Sort of waiting for a sign. I like your input though...really makes me think. Hadn't thought about 5 years from now or pins dropping. Can you guys hear the hamster running on the wheel? LOL Thank you so much!

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  15. Love the brown and white, and I never tire of your home Janet. Hope your readers are sticking with the vegan challenge. Here's a fast easy cream of vegetable soup. Sauté chopped onion, and carrot. Add in zucchini, squash, broccoli, one can of white beans, salt and pepper, and Italian seasonings. Simmer it all in veggie broth, and blend. Rich and creamy, and fortified with protein from the beans!
    P.S. we installed new insulation in our attic when we moved into our older home a year ago. WOW it really makes a difference!

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    1. Emily thank you I'll be cooking that up for lunch tomorrow, what a terrific recipe.

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    2. oh me too! that sounds so delicious emily. i have everything to make that tonight! x

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  16. Adore the brown and white in your cottage, it looks so fresh and warm at the same time. You are a very talented decorator.
    We have all of the tools here to keep out the cold but not the case in California. Sweaters and throws and a simmering pot of lemons of cinnamon on the stove to add a bit of warmth and humidity? Of course that's my trick because our furnace dries the air so badly we need the humidity (in part to maintain the health of my old piano, it's true!), but of course you don't have a furnace. Do you have single room heaters?
    Stay warm and cuddle up XOX

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    1. thanks dani. we don't have room heaters but we do have electric blanket throws for the sofa and for the bed. they help so much!

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  17. Here's a useful but not pretty tip from Connecticut. Cut a sheet of bubble wrap to fit over your windows tightly. You can either tape or use push pins in the (wood) corners to keep it in place. If you can stand the look during the day, it does help keep the heat in a room and since bubble wrap is clear, light will come through. Or you can just put it up at night when the chill really comes in and close your drapes to hide the bubbles.

    Otherwise, I recommend lots of hot tea, soup, toasty socks (SmartWool brand is wonderful) and baking often as when you leave the oven door cracked open afterward to cool, the warmth seeps into the kitchen. Plus, all those baked goods to enjoy ... Stay cozy!

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    1. thank you wendy. i hope that the guy doing the inspection has some good low cost ideas for warming this place up. interesting that the bubble wrap works so well, who'd have guessed? larry does love it when i bake, mostly for the eating part but the warm oven does feel good in the kitchen.:)x

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  18. LOVE BROWN and WHITE in ANY FORM........or Brown and BLACK!Brown and PINK.........swooning!
    NO vegan challenge for me...............YET!
    There is HOPE!
    I had my AURA READ........do pop over and tell me what you think!
    XX

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  19. You can also buy plastic wrap that is made to seal windows from drafts. It comes in sheets that you apply to the window frame by using a blow dryer on it. This can be found at a hardware or home improvement center.

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  20. I'm up in LA in a 140 year old home; having the doors weather-proofed this week! The wind through the doors - cold! We insulated the attic last summer, which made a difference with the heat. Would love to have the basement insulated next. Your house is gorgeous in every season.

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  21. I love the brown and white. Very soothing. I was vegan for a while and felt so strong and healthy. My family would riot if I did it for everyone, however.

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kindness is never out of style.

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