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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Grand Old Flag

Well, I’m back.  First, of all, please know how grateful I am for your kind comments, notes, and calls about our sweet Marian.  I do believe she will live in my heart forever.  And I have to smile as I think that she is probably not that disappointed about missing such a hot summer.  It’s hard to say which she disliked most the heat or the indignity of her annual short haircut!
Summer is upon us with record high temperatures in the Carolinas as well as much of the rest of the country.  It’s not all bad, though.  I stopped at my first lemonade stand this week, and we have been feasting on watermelon and blueberries, too.
Tomorrow, of course, is Flag Day, here in the United States, and I hope you’ll display the colors in your neighborhood.  Patriotism and symbolism notwithstanding, the American flag is a terrific example of graphic design, so  I thought it might be fun to take a look at how some folks decorate with the flag in their interiors year round.times-union-pott-barnHere a flag painting on board serves as the inspiration for a Pottery Barn layout.bright-idea-flag-decor-paul-costelloI really like the tartan chair juxtaposed with all the red, white, and blue.  I’m curious, though, as to what the homemade arrow sign is all about.  Thoughts?from tartanscotHere Old Glory seems to be showing her age a bit in tea-washed pillows.  I really like this room, but that wrinkled dhurrie rug would drive me nuts.flag 3 The 36-star flag was only in use from 1865-1867, so if this flag is authentic it is quite old, rare, and valuable.  It looks to be in terrific shape.flag image
The thirteen-star flag was in use from 1777 until 1795.  Almost certainly the flag in this photograph is a reproduction.  What a great cabin room!tropical chic flag decorflag_bedroom_l And, of course, the American flag is oft associated with crisp nautical design.  Here the striped quilt and large gingham valance echo the flag’s graphic elements perfectly.
Middle has a 48-star flag hanging over his headboard.  I would have loved to have posted a picture of it, but my photo stylist (that would be me) simply lacked the energy to make his room photo ready.  I also have some needlepoint flag pillows that I scatter around the family room this time of year. stars and stripes
And I always pull out Deborah Harding’s book and put it on the blanket chest, which serves as our coffee table.  The book adds both color and inspiration.  It’s also a wonderful resource if you’re antiquing or looking for a piece of patriotic folk art for your house.  
Do you decorate with the Stars and Stripes?


  1. Thanks for the patriotic inspiration --- again --
    Best wishes and thoughts for your hearts


  2. I was reminded so immediately stuck my American Flag magnet on my car, the only flag we own is packed deep away in next year I will proudly wave it!

  3. PS Welcome back and stop by doing an amazing giveaway for a gogeous Kilim bench!

  4. Love the stars and stripes images - perfect for celebrating Flag Day! And, so sorry to hear about the loss of your family friend - that's very difficult, indeed.

  5. Lovely pictures - Flag Day is also my SIL's birthday. My daughter and I sent her a Happy Birthday video. ;)

  6. Great flag inspiration photos. I love the American flag and fly it proudly, but I don't often decorate with it other than displaying it. Your photos do give me great ideas for a possible change in decor. :)
    Thanks for a great post.

  7. I never thought of decorating for Flag Day. We do go CRAZY on the fourth while we are up at Kanuga. The tackier the better... But maybe I'll try a little more class this year. Your post has inspired me! xox

  8. I am a great believer in proudly displaying Old Glory at every holiday, and we fly it (and multiples of it) at Darlington House, with patriotic pride, at every opportunity. I am old-fashioned enough, though, that it upsets me when I see it used to cover pillows or as bedspreads, as I believe doing so is not respectful. While decorative, indeed, our nation's flag is far more than decoration.

  9. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Reggie. I have to say I personally feel rather unsettled at the prospect of using the flag as a bedspread or as upholstery fabric. As a young teen, I begged my mother to buy me some a skirt that looked as if it had been made from the flag. She was very patient in explaining why that was more than inappropriate but, in fact, disrespectful.


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