Oh dear, another snow day here in Alaska North Carolina.  The up side is that it gives me time to check out the latest catalogs littering my house.  Pottery Barn is always good for a look–plenty of great staging ideas and I like a couple of their ready-made drapery panels.

The catalog that I really enjoyed this morning was Ballard Designs.  I’ve pulled out some favorites to show you on this icy day:

This is the Eldridge chandlier.  It’s 40″ x 14″.  Very handsome.  As lightbulb technology continues to change, you might get some crazy shapes to put in there (as long as they’re dimmable), furthering the ability to make it your own.
Garden district mirrors.  There are so many places these could go!  They’re sold in pairs and, of course, could be hung horizontally or vertically.  They add interest to a wall, reflect light and views and add sparkle to a space.
These are indoor/outdoor rugs that would give a great graphic punch to any area.  Today I’m loving the orange (near a green, blue or brown wall–wow!), but all the colors are excellent, and they wash off with a hose!
The Celine rug is an easy way to get an animal print into a room without much commitment.  It’s subtle (I’d choose the darker color), reasonably priced and soft.  I’d get a big one to place in front of the living room sofa, then put the big cofee table on top, so it’s just peeking out.
Here’s a picture from the catalog that’s just for a laugh–

Book bundles.  They take old paperback books, rip the covers off and tie them together with twine–then sell them to us!  Thank you, Ballard Designs, for a good laugh.  Oh!  You think they’re serious?  Oh dear.

Mr. and Mrs. pillows.  These would make me smile every day.  They’re made of trendy burlap and the letters are just stenciled on.  Yes, you can do that yourself in any number of ways.  All catalogs are filled with ideas for things that you can do yourself.  I saw some throw pillows on the HGTV site for their Dream Home (I’ll do a post of that fabulous place that I’m going to win another day) that had words like “hike” and “bike.”  Fun!

Ballard Designs is an excellent source for inexpensive, ready-made curtains.  Here are their burlap drapes.  They’re unlined (which works with burlap) and come in great lengths.  I would leave off the fringed valance, not my cup of tea. These are cheap, but look great.
Confession time; these are my all-time favorite ready-made drapes.  Small check, ribbon trim, attached valance, lined.  They come in nice long lengths and they’re VERY reasonably priced.  They even come with drapery pins!  There are several colors, but I want the black. The above picture shows the brown and it’s looking pretty darn gracious in that room.  I’m originally from New England. so the small check is in my genetic code.  I don’t think of it as a “country” style, but as a classic, warm, you-are-home style that would mix well.  I have just the window for these drapes, but the room is currently being used for trains (as in Thomas and GeoTrax), so I’m waiting. 
Lastly, I liked this piece of art.  Hey, we can do this!  While I think the artist did a great job on this, it’s also a wonderful example of  an idea that many of us could use as a jumping off point for a project of our very own.  How about making dog profiles, tree shapes or houses and framing them?  The list of possibilities is long.  See how the artist used black and white newspaper as well as yellowed paper, and also added some solid accents?  Remember those little details. 
Has the ice melted yet?  If not, I’m going to be forced to make some cookies.  I know I’m going to regret it!
Ciao,
Anne

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