Saturday, November 21, 2009

Betty Lou Phillips Shares Her Decorating Secrets: Part II


















































































Oh, how I regret the end of this mini-series. Perhaps I can think of something else to ask Betty Lou in the future. (Or then again, you could help me. Isn't that a great idea. . .?)

I haven't cleared this with BL, but just in case it's always important to be prepared.

As you will recall, last week I asked her for 10ish reasonably priced suggestions to help a home "brim with culture and charm." The part in quotes are her words. 

This is what she said:

  • An Aubusson throw pillow that started life as a carpet. Although the practice of creating period rooms dripping in brocades and gold leaf is virtually extinct, an Aubusson pillow is an instantly identifiable symbol of style and sophistication.

  • Let light create a romantic mood by layering candles, sconces, picture lights and carefully placed table and floor lamps with low-wattage bulbs. Bright lights can be jarring as well as cast unforgiving shadows on the face.

  • A collection of candlesticks and a candle snuffer. Flood rooms in candlelight.

  • A bit of leopard fabric perhaps? An accent chair, a pouf (hassock) or footstool can add a note of whimsy and chic.

  • Always add sprays of fresh flowers either straight from the garden or from the local market. Monochromatic blooms arranged en masse are the epitome of quiet elegance.

  • Let furniture float rather than stiffly hugging the perimeter of walls. Put a fire in the fireplace, a throw on a chair. . .

13 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Lovely, lovely pictures and tips.

I am coveting that chandelier in the top pic for when we re-do our kitchen.

Now, if I can bring home a leopard-print ottoman without mon mari blowing a gasket....

Maybe sometime you can ask her how one can achieve elegance when one lives in a small house with kids, dogs, and upholstery that never stays clean. I've given up for the time being.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

What a nice series!!
I always enjoy your blog.

Marsi said...

This series has been so timely for me, as we've embarked on a little rearrangement/re-purposing project here at home this past week. A small leopard ottoman would be the perfect thing for a chocolate leather chair that previously had languished in the corner, but is now going into a different room, where it WILL be used. We've moved out dining room set into a room with zero overhead lighting, and we may just leave it that way. The dream is to fill the space overhead with a Venetian chandelier, but even that wouldn't supply too much light as to break the spell. Personally, I'm envisioning a lot of dinner by candlelight.

DP has a great question.

Many thanks to Betty Lou for her guest columns.

BigLittleWolf said...

It is amazing to me how French interiors can be gracious and elegant, yet still welcoming.

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

(There must not be teens in the immediate vicinity, or offspring of any age for that matter. I'm with Deja Pseu. Clearly any such critters are kept in another part of the house that actually resembles mine, a.k.a. Le Bordel ?)

BLW surrenders to mess, for at least 2 more years...

The Daily Connoisseur said...

So opulent and luxurious but understated- I love these rooms!

Jacqueline said...

Beautiful rooms, great advice. I just got to try and get my furniture to float now !! XXXX

Lorrie said...

Lovely, calm, welcoming rooms. I love the centerpiece on the table in the top picture - the bright green is so lively.

Lorrie

metscan said...

Sharing a passion for interior decorating myself, I´m naturally interested in these pictures. I like large armchairs and divans, and I like the way the furniture is placed in the rooms. I, myself though, would choose more modern furniture. The mix of the old and new, expensive and reasonably priced, is a fun challenge.

James said...

Very enjoyable series, thank you!

Anoninoz said...

Gorgeous photographs - I'd like to move in there please and great tips too. Good, - I have a leopard print throw - tick! (see my blog post on Oct.13th!)

Bonjour Madame said...

I love this series! I'm so exciting she's sharing this information with us.

aaonce said...

Love the tip about adding old furniture (even if it is barely staying up on its own). I can see how that certainly would add a certain charm to a room. Noticed that all of the pictures you chose had neutral colored walls, (coincidence?) but that would certainly serve to anchor pieces that were inconsistent or inharmonious in style as well. Hmmm...

mkmcclary said...

I've zoomed in and drooled over every inch of these rooms. They are perfect. Thanks for having great friends like MS Phillips. Her style of comfortable-elegance is my idea of perfection. She validated my use of leopard, which made me smile. This was a wonderful post.

PS Thank you for your kind words and comment on my last blog.

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