old country house blog

Only a MORON….would be such an IDIOT!!!…and DECORATING Tip #4

 Okay, so please don’t hate me,
 but I read that people (myself included)
are so silly that words
like “moron” and “idiot” 
generate the most traffic to any article on any subject!!!
I was curious to see if using those words would
bring more folks to my Blog?
Now that I got you here…
Lets go to decorating Tip #4.
…but …First, lets review the first 3.
1. When in doubt, just rearrange the room.
2. A gallon of paint is often all you will need to update your room.
3. Do not wait to decorate until you can get it Perfect.
and now 
4. A GOOD lamp can make a room,
 and a BAD lamp can break it.
To illustrate the “make a room” part
I am going to take you on a tour of a home
I stumbled upon while visiting
southernhospitalityblog.com (one of my faves)
This home, located in
Newport Beach, California
 was featured on
The owner of the home is a longtime dear friend
of the classic casual home blogger
Mary Ann
(whose home by the way is going to make you 
cry buckets and buckets it is so pretty)
and is known for her ability to make something that she
has spent pennies on – look like she spent millions.
(you know that is my goal in life, right)
sweet simple candlestick lamps on a console she refinished
the mirror flanked by the architectural drawing is oh so classy


anyway, as I flipped through each room of this home
I felt what I thought was a drop of rain hitting my lap, and realized it was
a tear…(not really – but I seriously WANTED to cry!)
right here in this shot you have the candlestick lamps on Left,
the vintage lamp on the right
and a lovely chandelier over the dining table.
None of them scream at you,
but they all fit perfectly.
Not to mention, how gorge are those chairs??
this home is soooooooooowonderful.
It is the meaning of understated and yet
it feels complete with personal touches and rooms that flow beautifully from one to the next.


And one of the KEY – invisible, and yet
very visible dimensions of her decor that MAKES IT
is her use of lighting.

There are some key components to making lighting work,
rules sort of
and though I hate decorating rules,
I do think that many of them are coming
from a place of plain old common sense:

1. Is the scale right? You do not want a dinky chandelier in a huge room,
it just looks dumb,
nor do you want a monster pendant over your kitchen sink.
make sure the scale is right.

…for a chandelier or pendant
they say measure the space ..say 14′ x 20′
and then add them together
14 + 20 = 34
…so the proper chandelier size would be 34″ diameter.
That is a pretty big chandelier, but you can still work in that direction.
oh, and Chandeliers should be 30″-32″ above the dining table.

The chandeliers that were in our dining room when we moved in
were the original lights to the house.
apparently that rule did not exist at the time these lights were installed
as the room is 18′ x 17′ and the original chandelier is 16″ across.
The old rule must have been “count backwards when you measure the size of the room”…18′, 17′, so 16” was the proper size!

but later, I won a chandelier on ebay for $114
(it was appraised at $2200)

this better suits the scale, but it is still no where near 34″ across
…but for me, the rest is instinctual.
I like how it looks.
which brings me to the next rule:
2. Do not throw too many different styles and materials together in one space.
Make sure your lighting flows and plays well with others.
Find a predominant color in your decor, or CHOOSE a color you want to dominate, and work toward having your chandelier or light fixture work with that color.
and make sure your lighting works with your choice of decor.
If you have a light airy shabby chic kind of vibe or Beach
quality to your decor
a big heavy Mediterranean piece is not going to feel right.
Conversely, a room in deep reds and golds is going to look plain old silly with a white shabby chic wooden chandelier – no matter how popular they are!
3. Do not be sucked in by a “great price”. yes, sometimes, a really beautiful
chandelier might be on sale for next to nothing, but if it clashes with your decor
who cares how cheap it was??? Seriously,  It won’t look good and
you will be paying to have someone
take it away later!!! Don’t be sucked in by the deal!
4. If you are on a budget, and who isn’t, find your inspiration in high end
magazines and websites and blogs
and then replicate in a lesser expensive model. Example…
I adore, ADORE anything by Aidan Gray. This chandelier is no exception.

but alas, it is not in my budget,

Aidan Gray at Layla Grayce

BUT This Chandelier, Also sold at Layla Grayce

is in my budget!!!! and in fact,
is IN MY HOUSE! waiting to be hung!!!
You can get the look…

This being said, if there is a piece you simply have
TO HAVE, (Like this lamp above)
then scrimp and save until you can get it.

NOW I am going to tell you a little story…
Once upon a time, I was in an off campus study program from
the University of South Florida,
and I was spending Spring quarter in New York City.
I remember the flyer on the Theatre department bulletin board read …
 “Spring Quarter in the Big Apple”.
Anyway, so I’m in NYC and
one day my friends and I saw Baryshnikov in a diner.
For you younguns, he was the most famous dancer in the world…
probably still is, and a ticket to see him was,
even then…hundreds.
We all went over to meet him, he was incredibly gracious and
very sweet and flirty with the girls,
and my friend Cameron, said to him
(Cameron could talk with anyone! later he got us 
 a day with the cast of Saturday Night Live!!! 🙂 
the Gilda Radner and Belushi years… another story),
He said, “We would love to see you perform, but we can’t afford a ticket!!!”
Baryshnikov looked at us and smiled and said in his very thick Russian Accent
three words that I will never forget.

“Don’t eat lunch.”

If I ever write a book on saving money, that will be my title.
And if there is ever something
you want badly enough,
visualize it,
be patient
“Don’t eat lunch.”

3 thoughts on “Only a MORON….would be such an IDIOT!!!…and DECORATING Tip #4

  1. Scale is my number one rule. Everything must be to scale.

    I had a neighbor in college who used to say, “Tonight we drink, tomorrow we eat, because we don’t have enough money for both”. Not the same as advice from Baryshinkov, but along the same lines….

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