Be our guest

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Since we relocated, we have been very fortunate to have friends and family visit us up on the hill. When preparing a room for our guests, it is important to me that things are as comfortable as I can make them. The style of this home is very casual, and not the style for everyone, but the little things added to a guest room can be used with any theme.

Here is a is a look at our space and how I make our loved ones feel like they are special.

Our main guest room has a private bath and I call it “The Waller Suite”, after our very first guests to stay with us. We have additional guest space, but this is the one used most often.

The room was white when we moved in, and needed a cozier feel. I wanted a color that was soothing to everyone, so I painted it Martha Stewart Linen.

Then I started with the bed.

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In my opinion, bedding is one of the most important components in making guests feel at home and comfortable. I love to use crisp white cotton sheets and lots of pillows to accommodate preferences. I use blankets and quilts mixed with duvets, to offer different weights of covers. Some folks like a lot of covers and some folks don’t. Some folks like fluffy pillows, some folks don’t.

For my spring/summer bedding, I couldn’t resist the light pinks that were everywhere. I am using two solid quilts, with a Cynthia Rowley duvet and additional Pottery Barn pillow shams. For the fall/winter season I use a neutral linen set from Pottery Barn that I really love.

I find that bedding doesn’t have to be super expensive to add comfort.

Layers of bedding

Layers of bedding

Crisp white cotton sheets

Crisp white cotton sheets

Next to the bed, I have a nightstand on both sides so that couples staying with us have their own space for personal items.

I use the largest of the two to keep some items on hand for our quests, such as reading materials, a dish for jewelry or small things, and a water carafe & glass.

I also like to have fresh flowers or seasonal greens by the bed. Some people really enjoy the added touch of fresh flowers and if you are able, gathering them from around the yard is a special touch.

I also have a chair for sitting and a cashmere throw for snuggling. Having a chair in the room is helpful to older guests.

Nightstand

Nightstand

Chair and cozy throw

Chair and cozy throw

A  laundry basket, a luggage rack, & a night light all help to make the room functional and cozy for our friends and family.

I keep a stack of fresh towels in the room so no one has to go searching for them, and I stock the bathroom with items I think they may need. Another small touch is that I put out a fresh bar of soap in the bathroom for every visit.

You can use fancy soap, or my personal favorite, plain old white Dove soap.

Soaps

Soaps

Laundry basket

Laundry basket

Visiting can be exhausting, with the traveling, sightseeing and general excitement.

 Having a t.v. in the room is a convenience for guests who may want to go to bed early and watch a movie, or even for those who want to get up early to watch the news without feeling like they are waking up anyone else.

Just another touch that will help them feel like they are at home.

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After making sure the quest space is comfortable, I like to leave some kind of special gift in the room to let my company know just how much we appreciate them making the trip to visit us.

I have put together gift baskets of different sizes, some with things to relax and some with local treats and sometimes just a small little something to show some love.

And that’s how I do a guest room, Up on the hill.

A little something

A little something

Gift basket

Gift basket

 

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A sunny spot

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This is is an sunny little spot between our Master bedroom & our upstairs guestroom.

Our house was built in the 50s, so we have great touches of character, like this little window that let’s in the morning sunlight.

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Kitchen on the hill

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Welcome to our kitchen! It is one of my favorite rooms up on the hill.

The kitchen is the first room I saw when I looked at this house. When I walked in, I knew it was the one.

There are two sides of the room, the dinning side and the cooking side. This side of the room, the dinning side, has a picture window with an amazing view and a working fireplace.

The paint colors were already here, yellow & gold.

The room was a tiny bit large for our old table & 4 chairs, so my husband built me this great farmhouse style table in one weekend. We got the basic plans on Pinterest to use as a guide. It has 4 chairs and a bench. I already had 3 of the chairs, I just picked up another chair for the end of the table and now we have plenty of seating for guests.

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The fun thing about a 6ft table is plenty of space for a large center piece.

This is my summer table scape. An Iron stone pitcher, pottery barn outlet finds, and a nest with eggs.

The eggs were actually bright pink from an Easter display, I spray painted them white (if y’all  don’t know how I love to use spray paint, look for that blog in the archives!) all in a tray from Home Goods.

I will change it out seasonally, and although I don’t want to rush the seasons, I am looking forward to doing one for the winter holiday!

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Here you can see one of our four fireplaces.

The lights on the wall were actually a pewter color, I painted them black with some craft paint. It is on my list of things-to-do to change them out for something more modern this winter.

The chalkboard is something sentimental I saved from our dear friends engagement party that we hosted in our last home.

The cow pillow on the chair was a gift. I adore it.

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I have had this side board for a very long time.

It has been in an apartment and 4 houses. Twice in the dinning room and twice in the entry way, now here in the kitchen.

It was originally white, I changed the color years ago. I still like it, so no plans to change it anytime soon. I think I got it for free, or maybe $10 or something.

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This picture was a Virginia Living magazine cover around 2006 or so. I thought it was so pretty, I had it custom matted and framed.

It is especially meaningful now that we are away from home.

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I bought this owl cookie jar at Anthropologie.

He adds color to the side of the room with the dark cabinets. My husband is not allowed to actually put cookies in him. 
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And now to the other half of the room.

This side is where my husband does his cooking. I mostly just use the fridge…

It was very difficult to find a house up north that has a renovated kitchen, so although this would not be my choice of cabinet color, at least they are not from the year I was born.

The counters are white Corian and green granite. You can’t see the refrigerator, but it is covered like the cabinets for a nice clean look. The ceiling is beadboard, which I love.

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The kitchen has the entrance that everyone comes through and it leads out to a brick patio that we use for grilling and entertaining as much as possible.

You can just see the patio table umbrella in the picture below.

On the longest counter, I have a large Ironstone bowl and some antique rolling pins & wooden spoons. I think this may be the start of a new obsession.

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And last but not least, this sweet little Ironstone soap dish on the window sill.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our kitchen and can see why it is one of my favorite rooms up on the hill.

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Plates & platters


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I am one of the many people that have an affection for white Ironstone pottery.

If you are not familiar with Ironstone,  it is pottery first made in the 1800s that is collectible and can be very pricey.

You can also find inexpensive pieces, if you do some hunting and don’t mind imperfections. I actually like them a little banged up, a chip does not bother me, and I love crazing. I don’t have a ” collection” , just random plates, platters, bowls & pitchers that I have found here and there.

So, when I was contemplating what to fill a bare area of a wall with, I turned my thoughts to my Ironstone.

I liked the idea of the simplicity of Ironstone because the main wall in the entry is very busy. I didn’t want that part of the house to be overwhelming.

I don’t like a cluttered feel and I don’t feel the need to fill every empty space, but it needed something. And I already had enough pieces for a small grouping, so it was a low cost solution.

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When I thought about how to hang the very heavy pieces, I wanted to hang them without the older style plate hangers that are visible.

I wanted a cleaner presentation. Looking into my options, I found adhesive hangers online, and I also found a diy way to hang them on Pinterest. I decided to try both.

The disc hangers are simple to use and come in several sizes for different weights. To apply them, just wet the back lightly until the disk has a nice paste. Place the disk on the back of the plate, let it dry over night and you are done.

Couldn’t be easier.

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I also tried out the Pinterest diy version.

This involved using an epoxy glue and a picture hanger. I had plenty of the  picture hangers on hand, so I just picked up a brand of glue that was easy to use and got started.

I found that this technique was messier and the epoxy glue smells terrible. Like a bad 80’s perm terrible. I would suggest doing it outside. But it was simple enough, just apply the glue and the hanger and let it dry over night just like the disc.

This technique does work and would be a cost saver if you are hanging a lot of plates.

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But after trying both ways to hang my pieces, I would recommend the disc hangers. They are not messy and they are oder free. I found them on Amazon and they came in about 3 days. I even got a lovely note from the vendor thanking me for my second order.

I am happy with the final look and there is enough room to add more pieces as I find them.

It’s so much more special to me to hand pick pieces, rather than just buy a generic something at the store.

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Bits of nature

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                       Today, I  thought I would share a few examples of how I like to bring the outside in

by using natural elements when decorating.

The feel of this house is very casual, but you can add nature to any style.

Simple cotton in a wood bowl, a willow wreath, handmade eggs, some boxwood from my yard, and nests & twine add a touch of nature to our home this time of year.

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Something old made beautiful

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Every so often I make a trip to the Habitat Rehome store. Sometimes dropping off, sometimes going in for a look.

On my most recent trip I did both. While in the store I saw a sad, old stool that still looked promising.

It was ugly mind you, a dark green and beat up. But it was $10. I picked it up and it was heavy. I look at the bottom and there was a makers label. I didn’t even know where I would use it, but I thought, for $10, sold! I’ll figure it out.

I googled the tag underneath, it was made by the B.L. Marble Chair Company in the 1800s- early 1900s in Ohio and was stool #151. Pretty cool.

Well, I had plans for my new diamond in the ruff.

On the way home I stopped and picked up some Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint in the color Apron Strings.

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After some fresh  paint and and a coat of wax, I had a new treasure. Since the stool was only $10 and the small paint size was $7, it was a steal!

I added some flowers from the yard to an Ironstone pitcher that I bought at Philadelphia’s Clover Market, and my new stool found a home in a bright corner of the kitchen.

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Isn’t it lovely? Not bad for about an hour of work and a few dollars!

Karen

A room with a view

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This is the view from our living room window. Although we have three of these giant picture windows on one side of the house, this view is my favorite.

When we moved in, the living room windows had custom window treatments (drilled into the wall) that didn’t work for us. They were a far more traditional style than mine, so they had to go. Leaving me to cover this 13 foot window & two side windows on a budget.

After checking every home store I could think of, I  finally settled on a neutral, canvas like cotton  panel from Ikea. I’m super happy with them, especially for the price. The rods are from Pottery Barn.

So, here is a tour of our summer living room where you can have a look-see at the window treatments, and check out the rest of the room just for fun.

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The treatments that were here, were a floral window cornice & some kind of levolor blinds with a shear curtain layer over them. I’m sure they were costly, but they made the room much darker. The new drapes really let the sun in.

I got an extra long length on the panels so they would have a nice pooling at the bottom.

I  really  like the natural color, because I didn’t want them to compete with the view, just to frame it. Also, I really like neutrals, they are so easy to decorate around from season to season, and they are just pleasing to my eye.

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This is the most accurate photo of the wall color. Yup, another neutral. In my defense, it was already that color when we bought the house.

The rug is from Costco. When you have dogs, inexpensive rugs are a good thing.

And some boxwood in Ironstone. A nice change from flowers.

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Ahhh, pillows! If you know me, you know I have a thing for pillows.

I have pillows in the attic, I have pillows in the linen closets, plural.

The two large linen pillows on the end of the couch are from Restoration Hardware. I keep them out all year.

The next are covers from ikea, I think they were $7 each. Perfect for seasonal use. The lovely bird in the middle was a Home Goods find.

And I really like the shelf above them that I found for some tea light votives.

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This is my horse that I didn’t buy when I first saw it.

I then spent the night worried someone else would. I rushed back to the store first thing in the morning, and there he was.

Just waiting.

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The bench is from Pier One. It’s the perfect height for in front of the window. I wanted to make sure it didn’t block the amazing view. I added a basket of throw blankets and books underneath for guests.

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And one of the four fireplaces that we have in the house.

The large chippy frame is from a local shop & the large willow wreath is from Terrain. We have one of the only 2 Terrain stores right here in Chadds Ford.

I keep all the items in the shelves white, so it’s not too busy.

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So, that is my summer living room.

Thanks for stopping by,  I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Karen

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