Wonder-fall!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but summer is officially over.  However following on its heels is Fall with all its magnificent colour and beauty.  I thought I would share today some thoughts of what makes this season so wonder-fall. 

                  GREET.

           GATHER.

          WRAP.

          REST.

         SIMMER.

        SERVE.

       BAKE.

      GLOW.

          LAYER.

 

  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE FALL!

Images:  1, 2, 6, 8, 9 – Pottery Barn   3, 4 – Restoration Hardware   5 – Canadian House & Home,   7 – Martha Stewart,    10 – CN Algoma Central Railway

Modern McDonald’s?

Have you noticed anything new on the horizon of late?  Ok, I will narrow that down a bit.  Have you noticed the new, re-designed, contemporary-looking McDonalds’s?  The world’s largest hamburger chain that serves millions of people around the globe every day is having a makeover, a facelift.  Keeping in line with their ‘forever young’ brand, McDonald’s restaurants are losing the plastic-heavy, childlike look and presenting a more contemporary, youthful face.  Gone is the signature mansard roof, the bright red and yellow colours and the loud tell-tale golden arches.  I always associated the restaurant as a ‘jungle gym’, romper room type of playhouse; not a place to eat.  Instead the new design of the exterior presents a building with contemporary architecture that is subtle and clean lined.  The roof is now flat and partially cantilevered; the colours are grey, white and a muted red.  Materials include natural and cultured stone.  Very nice touch.  The golden arches are still present but not as big of a focus.   Even the outdoor seating is more edgy and hipper looking.  Although I have not made it inside to check out the interior re-design I am told the old plastic seating has been replaced with leather furniture, plasma televisions and fireplaces.   The ‘new’ McDonald’s is much more architecturally interesting with greater curb appeal and I confess that it now gets my attention.  But would I falter from my claim to fame of “I have never in my life eaten a McDonald’s hamburger”?  Hmmmm?  But hey, I like the ‘tasteful’ new design!

    

          The BEFORE and AFTER Photos.  What was vs. What now is!

     

      Image via Modmissy

Switch it Up

My friend has this fabulous piece of furniture in her home that I had not noticed before.  It is an orange (loving it!) console table that is just the perfect size to place between two doorways in my friend’s home.  The orange is similar to the trademark colour of Hermès orange www.hermes.com.  It is Asian-inspired in design although that is not the overall decorating theme of my friend’s home.  This piece does not take itself too ‘serious’ but rather adds a bit of fun to the space.  The hardware’s aged bronze patina and the roughhewed edges of the doors/drawers give the console an appearance of an original not the reproduction that it is.  The reason I had not noticed this piece of furniture was that it was located in another spot in the home.  In a place where it was not being admired or treasured as much.  My friend purchased the piece some time ago but since she has moved the console table she is enjoying it so much more.  It’s like having a new piece of furniture.  She says looking at the orange piece makes her happy.  So….look around your own home and see if you have an item that could be moved to another spot. To enjoy in a new way.  Switch things up!

Life of a Sofa

My MIL (mother-in-law) just bought a new sofa.  After 60 years the living room sofa has been ‘traded in’ and upgraded to a new, linen covered, contemporary, ‘condo-sized’ sofa.  Suffice to say that MIL is ecstatic about the new addition.  This got me to thinking; “could I live with the same sofa for that long, could I carry on a happy relationship with my sofa for that many years?”  Mind you MIL did have the 60-year sofa recovered a few times.  My mother’s first sofa was a red sectional or rather a 1950’s, curved, 3-piece sofa.  Very mod.  It was relegated to the ‘rec room’ after many years of good service in the living room and recovered in a durable family fabric.  That sofa many years later (still with the same durable family fabric) found its way to another family member’s home.  The sofa carried out great service there until it was thrown in a dumpster after a terrible basement flood.  So this sofa too was 60 years old.  Now my living room sofa story is very different.  I am now on my 6th living room sofa.  Two were delegated to the dumpster, 3 found new loving homes and I am happy to say that my present sofa I do love.  Although I definitely know it will not be with me for 60 years.  I guess I like change and I like to change often.  I move my furniture around a lot, change cushions, add throw blankets, remove throw blankets, reupholster and have a steady stream of alternating accessories.  They say that your sofa is always your ‘investment piece’ when it comes to decorating but I say ‘yes, buy a good quality sofa but always allow yourself an option for change’.  I will never forget the moment when my parents’ house was sold and we moved out the living room sofa.  There, looking down was the un-faded spot on the wall-to-wall carpet where the sofa had sat in the same place for so many years.  It was like the chalked outline at a murder scene.  You can bet that we made a mad dash out of there!  I think it was at that moment that I realized that ‘change’ is a good thing for in movement there is life and in change there is creativity.

Memories

My parents moved to the suburbs in 1957.  They purchased the model home of the new development; a ranch-style bungalow with a sunken living, dining room.  As it was the model home there were many ‘extra’ decorative features included.  One of those features was the paint finish on the walls in 2 of the bedrooms, the hallway and the wall above the fireplace mantle in the living room.  A special technique of ‘painted-on wallpaper’ was applied to the walls.  A ‘Master Painter and Decorator’, as they were called back in those days, applied a very detailed decorative finish using paint to give the impression of wallpaper.  I shared a bedroom with my sister that had the special paint technique; soft grey with little bouquets of white flowers in a repeating pattern. (See photo below)  My mother coordinated the bed linens in yellow and then pink.  Years later in 1973 my mother hired an ‘Interior Decorator’ to redecorate the bedroom that my sister and I still shared.  Now keeping in mind that this was the ‘70’s and the theme of the time was “mod and groovy’ our bedroom was decorated in the most amazing way!  We had wall-to-wall lime/chartreuse green shag carpet, white faux fur bedspreads and the grooviest part was the wall finishes.  On three of the walls was a vinyl wall covering of vertical wavy stripes of bright yellow, goldenrod, black, white and chartreuse green.  The paper had a gloss finish.  The remaining wall was painted in the brightest, sunshine yellow.  We had draperies made to match the ‘groovy’ theme that were white and weaved.  I remember the paperhanger man being very experienced (read mature) but very frustrated at hanging this very heavy, not pre-glued wallpaper.  Years later I was the one who sadly had to strip the wallpaper off and prime over the yellow paint.  The walls were then painted a colour that leaves no memory with me yet I can recall every detail of that bedroom from the very distant past.   As a wise person once said “Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose”.