11 October 2016

Big Room, Little Room, Winter Room, Summer Room



We have all done it, moved from one humble abode to the next. There is no question that whenever you move houses you often do it with a hope and a prayer (unless you are exceedingly organized) hoping that you called it right and your furniture will transition easily into your new home.

That is the premise I always have worked with as we moved from home to home, country to country....a hope and a prayer. After 30 years, I managed to get it somewhat right...by barely a whisper at times, but I got it...until now.


So...I MIGHT have a decorating dilemma but then again I might not. Let's see what you think.

BIG ROOM

Home sweet home... Auckland, New Zealand 

The photo above was our living room in our home in Auckland, New Zealand. We purchased the couch, chairs, ottoman and bookcase to scale for 13' high ceilings. We filled the room, as we often do, to accommodate crowds of all sizes. With a family of six and then some you never can have enough places for people to lounge. 

And then we packed up and moved to England...where the bookcase made it into the new living room by nearly a whisper to accommodate the ceiling height of 8'. 



Home sweet home...Surrey, England

And then we packed up again and moved to Chateau Mango in Vietnam where we had a bit more breathing space, back to 13' ceilings.

Home sweet home Chateau Mango, Vietnam


LITTLE ROOM...WINTER ROOM 

And then...we packed up again and moved the room to Tahilla Farm....where the Little Room sits. Ok, I will be honest and admit that I knew from the get go that the bookcase would NEVER EVER fit into our 7' ceiling 'keeping room'*.  Not even a slight whisper was going to make that happen. It is currently in storage waiting for a barn renovation...(hint, hint Mr. H)

Bookcase aside, I was a bit overwhelmed when the furniture was placed in the room. It looked ENORMOUS compared to what was in there before...which was basically nothing. I felt like Goldilocks having a romp between rooms...this one is too big, this one is too little and this one...

I should mention that where that orange pillow sits slightly askew is my favorite spot to sit. Has been through all the houses and countries. Once the furniture went in I didn't know if I could ever sit in that spot again. It just didn't feel right...Goldilocks felt displaced.

But then a funny thing happened...often with coffee in hand I passed the kitchen, the family room, the reading nook...and plopped myself in that spot to ponder life. It feels cozy and warm and comforting...and that is when I decided to call it the Winter Room. What else can you call a room stuffed with furniture?


Home sweet home, Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire

The keeping room hearth

THE DECORATING QUESTION

I know that one day soon, the hearth will be roaring and lights will be glistening, feet will be up on the ottoman...and I will be thinking about....wall color and upholstery because a creative mind never rests. It's time...and Mr. H has declared that two rooms filled with beige furniture is one room too many. So...I have things to consider...or rather you have something to consider. What would you do with this room? Wall color, upholstery? solids, patterns? It's way beyond my comprehension at the moment...but I would love to know your thoughts!

Before you carry on with that thought...here is a little insight into the family room alongside the kitchen...I call it the Summer Room. ;)


SUMMER ROOM

The kitchen/family room

And there you have it...our expat world merging into one. Australia, New Zealand, England, Vietnam...all our lives settled into a new/old farmhouse in New England. I should  mention that our original intention was to allow space for the big bookcase to the left of the fireplace above. Our architect rightly pointed out that it would be a shame to miss the southern light and view from the window built into the current bookcase...and he was so right.


And lastly...most important of all, I want to send a shout out to Mr. H for today is our 30th wedding anniversary. In typical Henriques style...he is in Cambodia and I am in Vietnam...we never seem to win when it comes to momentous occasions! We have postponed the celebration for a later date but today is the day when we tied the knot all those years ago. I would still follow him to the moon and back and around the world a few times!

Happy Anniversary Mr. H! 

Mr. and Mrs. H...30 years ago today.


So...what say you? 
The winter room...leave as is or give it a refresh? 
I am all eyes, your comments, as always, 
are so very much appreciated! 
;)

Have a good one!

Jeanne xx


PS..wondering what a keeping room is? 
*The keeping room dates back to colonial times. It was often a multi-use room attached to the kitchen or part of it, compete with a fireplace or two for warmth and cooking. The historic section of our home dates back to 1790...hence the 'keeping room'.

32 comments:

  1. Dear Jeanne, Thanks for asking. Your winter room desperately needs those fabulous red chairs. As for the rest of the decisions, wall colors, where to put your books (which are needed in the room)etc., sit down with a bottle of champagne and take notes. It will all become crystal clear. Happy Anniversary. Soon, we will celebrate our 53rd wedding anniversary.

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    1. Ha! I like your thinking Gina...a bottle of champagne sounds like the way to go. I am missing the red too..thank you!

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  2. Happy Anniversary!
    Wishing you many more full of health and happiness

    The Keeping Room is beautiful as is. Changes to consider: Area rugs to expose more of the beautiful wood floor; mural or stenciled walls; and a palest blue ceiling. The stenciling can be period to the room or a mural wall of your paintings of scenes coordinating from the places where you've lived. Glue primed canvas to the wall and paint or paint and then glue. Or...a favorite I dream of is to paint a landscape on the wall panels that aren't wood, and bring the scene up into the ceiling as if the room is outdoors in the style and colors of the Hudson River School.
    I'm also a huge fan of pictorial fabric in wilderness nature prints. A big room like the summer room could also handle that. An Asian toile fabric might be nice for the Vietnam connection. You can design your own fabric and have it made into a slip cover. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it will be beautiful.

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    1. An artist speaks! Thank you Maywyn! So many wonderful ideas here. Sounds like a good one to ponder over the bottle of champagne that Gina suggested. Thank you! :)

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  3. I'm with Gina on wishing for the red chairs. And, maybe a pale, pale taupe (or one of those new neutrals) paint on the walls - warm, tho, not grayish.

    Frankly, i am very impressed at how well you have blended your "old" furniture from home to home. Give it time. You have a lot of space to work with and the answer will come. That champagne idea was a good one. happy Anniversary to you both.

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    1. Thank you Webb! Yes, I am finally ready to give this all the time that is needed. It is the first time we haven't been on a 'clock'. Time to let the house speak to us.. ;)

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  4. Happy anniversary! And I like the idea of a Winter Room and a Summer Room. Sort of celebrates the time you have spent in different hemispheres.

    Looking at the room, a few thoughts come to mind, but they are only thoughts, I am not trained in any way.

    I think the crowding comes mostly from the screen in the corner. I am not it has found its home in this room. I'd also remove the wall hanging between the windows, because it crowds the windows:), replace it with something smaller. Finally, this just may be my quirk, but I'd replace the toile lamps with a color - maybe a glossy red? I feel like their pattern crowds the windows. Then you can find a pattern or patterns that you love for the sofas, or else just amp your pillow scheme until Mr. H. feels unbeiged:).

    But I liked the oversized furniture, winter is cold, we need to be cuddled up. And I like the different fabrics of the rug and the, what do we call that, an ottoman?

    Again, there are a million ways to do this. I do think you can use bold warm colors, and I don't think the furniture is too big. xoxox. Such a nice contrast to the Summer Room.

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    1. Thank you Lisa...lots of great tips here. It is fun to see how others 'see' the space. I am missing the red and am tempted to paint the walls a tone of red but am not convinced it will sit with the wood panelling on the wall around the fireplace. It's definetly time for a 'refresh'. Now that the furniture has settled into it's final home, it can start to take shape once again...unless we decide to start with a cleans slate. Never say never...right? Love your thoughts, thank you! :)

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  5. What a beautiful collage of your homes! I love them all. I love your home now as it is! I really do. It has so much character. I certainly wouldn't cover it up with color. Happy Anniversary. I don't know your story. Were you in the military? You nust have a life time of stories!

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    1. Aww...thank you Bonnie! We do have quite a few stories! More on that at the top of this page. Click on 'About Jeanne'. Thanks so much for stopping in. :)

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  6. Yes, Happy Anniversary to both of you. Beautiful rooms, both of them, and completely different...be happy, you are blessed. xx's

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    1. Thank you Marsha! Feeling it...indeed! xx

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  7. I must say I agree with Mr. H that too much beige is not a good thing--at least for me it is. I have a thing for teal, so I would probably recover the two large facing chairs with a lovely teal or whatever the green is in your area carpet. Love the red chairs, but you might add a bit of red to the room with a couple of lamps that have a red base, maybe even a Chinese dragon to remind you of the Orient. Just my two cents worth. 😊

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    1. Thank you Judy, yes, I am with you on the red. I have a few lamps in the 'wings', waiting for rewiring to US standards. I have some that might do the trick. Love teal too...especially in velvet. ;)

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  8. Hello Jeanne,
    Wishing you and Mr H a very happy anniversary. Tahilla Farm is beautiful and looks comfortable and welcoming. I love the winter room. The Summer Room is spectacular and how genius of your architect to install that window in the bookshelf. This room is part of the kitchen is that correct? I would like to see images of the kitchen too. Are these rooms visible from the hallway, stairs?

    Fondest wishes

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    1. Thank you Helen! Yes, the 'summer room' is part of the kitchen. Pics to follow in a future post. The entrance is a separate room (more to follow on that too). The first stop is the kitchen/family room. The 'winter room' is the hidden surprise. ;)

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  9. Hello Jeanne and happy Anniversary to you and Mr. H! 30 years in a momentous occasion and I am sure that the celebration will be wonderful.

    I love the winter room it looks so cosy and comfy. I am sure that any of the above suggestions would be great! The summer room is fabulous as well and the windows look beautiful, I am sure the view is breathtaking.

    I am looking forward to seeing whatever you do. Have w wonderful week.

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  10. Hire the best interior decorator in your area or on the internet. You should bave the decor reflect the time and effort that has gone into making this house your home. I am not a decorator and never had enough money to hire one but I have seen the amazing results my friends received just by a decorator rearranging their possessions.

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  11. The only think I know is: I am coming for that ottoman! It is WONDERFUL!! The perfect yellow!!

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    1. I know Vicki...I have always loved it. Might be hard to change fabric on that one. ;)

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  12. YOU are going to think I am NUTS but most people do.......GO with DARK COLORS like a GREEN and use pattern on the furniture............maybe a LEOPARD OTTOMAN!Does that wood have to stay there.......is it historical to the building?I think it is but it makes the room SAD TO ME!
    MAKE IT MORE of a LIBRARY FEEL!
    30 years in this day and age is GRANDE!WE celebrated 30 years in JULY!Looks like WE both found GOOD men!MISTER H was VERY HANDSOME.............and I would imagine he still IS!!!!!!
    XX

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    1. I have to tell you Elizabeth...MR. H's eyes lit up when I read out LEOPARD OTTOMAN! Love the idea of green..and yes, he is still VERY HANDSOME! :) xxx

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  13. I won't give you any advice Jeanne as I have a hard enough time making decision about my own decorating dilemmas. But I will say that the room looks really cosy and I would only add more colour to it.
    Happy anniversary. I hope you get to celebrate soon.

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    1. Thank you Loree...yes, color a must. I definetly getting the color vibe from all the comments. I hear you on the decorating decisions...I was beside myself having to make decisions for the design of the house. ;)

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  14. If you're honoring the historic paneling and windows/casings and don't wish to alter them in any way, I would make sure the ceiling and wall paint is creamy and I would keep my wall pictures/accessories light against the paneled wall. I think drapery panels lined in flannel(for fullness and warmth) would "cozy things up." I agree with the comment on the large, dark screen in the corner: it overwhelms the corner. I believe now, more than ever, we are all craving such a room to cocoon ourselves from the harshness of the world.

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    1. Thank you Susan and I totally agree...such a room to cocoon ourselves from the harshness of the world is a lovely thought..if only for a bit of time. I hear you on the screen. It was my last resort...might have to sit in the basement for a rainy day. Thank you!

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  15. Congratulations on your Anniversary! It's always lovely to see people who have grown together through the years. As for decorating. Personally I'm a big lover of colour. Firstly I would then cover the ottoman in a Schmacher Fabric Chiang Mai Dragon. I would recover the chairs in a matching deep tealy coloured velvet and throw red patterned cushions on them for winter and beige for summer. Be brave - you wont regret it.

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    1. Wow! Brenda, I love the Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon. Talk about a 'POP' of color! I have been in a velvet mode lately...just returned with a charcoal grey velvet cover for the guest room bed. In winter (and cranked up AC in the tropics)...you can never have too much velvet. Thanks so much for you suggestions! I shall be brave!! ;)

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  16. NO! Don't change! I love the coziness of Winter as opposed to openess of Summer room! All beautiful...

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  17. NO! Don't change! I love the coziness of Winter as opposed to openess of Summer room! All beautiful...

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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