Thursday, January 10, 2013

She's a Natural...a "Traditional Natural"

My friend, Amy's, mantle. I just LOVE her excellent use of pheasant feathers, silver  and gold and yes, ANTLERS!
Not too busy, working with only a few objects.
She repainted all of the woodwork a crisp white.
I know a lot of cool Amys.  Guess it was a popular name a few years back. But I've loved every Amy I've ever met.  Maybe I'm biased (and I hope you feel the same way)!  My friend, Amy, asked me to pop over to sort of walk through her house and help her decide where some things might be better off in her house and discuss a few options for getting her to a finished look. I'd like to start by saying "thank you" to Amy for letting us come along and be house guests today!!!

We started in her entrance way.  We discussed establishing a style and presence.
She has an antique, family heirloom Secretary in another part of the house. I suggested moving it to her entrance. Along with a plate wall. These elements will establish a Traditional look and work best in the more formal areas of the home.
Entrance Way Changes Suggested:
Use family  heirloom Antique Secretary
Create Plate wall for color and pattern
Hang Silver Trays on wall vertically for reflection and statement
Amy has nice dark hardwood floors, so a nice natural fiber  mat in the entry area (keeping it similar to the one in her dining area, will keep things simple.

Then we moved into her dining room!

As you can see, this is the most beautiful shade of pale blue EVER.  A light, soft, whisper of a blue that on swatch reads a tad gray but in decent natural light reads palest blue:
 Color match of Glidden 10BG83/053 Blue Frost*
Glidden "Blue Frost"
She framed botanical prints, has natural wood table and chairs and mirror (from Restoration Hardware). And natural jute rug. She has no curtains, allowing maximum light to filter through white painted shutters.     In order to give all of this unfinished wood a bit of a balance and contrast, I made a few suggestions:
-a different lamp
-One of the following:
  stacking her antique Royal Albert plates on the buffet 
OR sitting a silver tray on the buffet 
OR setting a cake stand next to the lamp
OR a terrarium!
(**making sure to contrast surface with other choices of lamp, etc. For example, if she were to use a mercury glass lamp, she should contrast with using her stack of china or a glass or ceramic cake stand, not using a silver tray or silver cake stand. Otherwise she would have too much matchy silver, get it? She wants to mix and match to achieve this look, using different surfaces). 
-She has planned to add branches to the antique crock  
-I also suggested that she change her chandelier (Iron, clean lines, nothing fussy).

 It takes time to find just the right things to work with an existing room.  I encouraged her to leave what she has as "place holders" until she finds just the right piece for the space.  I'm not a fan of running to TJ MAXX or Hobby Lobby to just buy "something". If you love something at TJ MAXX then great!!! But don't feel pressure to buy anything just to finish a room.  Dont' be afraid to save up or take your time. I call this "don't mistake loneliness for love".  Sometimes you just want so badly to finish up a room or a grouping so you get excited at the first thing that might work. You want to believe it will work even though you know that you should hold out for something else.  Don't mistake lonliness for love. Wait until you find THE ONE! So I suggested to Amy that she leave her lamp and chandelier and wait until she finds JUST THE RIGHT THING for her budget and taste.

We discussed her design style and at the risk of sounding like I'm into astrology or something, I'm going to say she's a TRADITIONAL NATURALIST.  I'm making that term up.  But it's true.  
She loves Traditional furniture and accessories but she likes understated natural tones and textures.

Here are my suggestions for a finished room plan for her:

The Traditional Naturalist Dining Room for Amy W.

Orb Chandelier
Ballard Designs Iron Sphere Chandelier
Veranda Round Chandelier
Pottery Barn

and for a lamp on the buffet:


 ARTERIORS Home Caged Cylinder Glass / Iron Lamp



Paint her existing brass lamp with mercury glass mirror paint and use natural shade to get this look

a simple terrrium:
Terrarium beauty.
Geodesic terrarium from Restoration Hardware | House & Home
depending on chandelier choice...if she chooses the sphere chandelier, she wouldn't do this on buffet.

and branches in crock (changing to match season).

Hope you have enjoyed this little venture into Amy's Traditional Natural home!
Thank you, again, Amy for sharing your beautiful home with us and for the experience of helping you to find a path to make sure that your rooms reflect your style!


  1. Hi, Awesome dining room......

    Traditional Homes

    1. It is so awesome! thanks for commenting, Randy. The owners of this house are amazing and have great taste! It was so much fun to peek in and have them share their surroundings with us. Thanks for stopping by! Come back, soon!