The bedroom is one of the most romantic rooms in the house. There's no TV to distract us from being present with each other. We usually have our heart to heart talks in here. It's very much a place that we live and I wanted to include the coziness of Christmas romance in here too. Lace is an important part of this year's theme but I've learned to use it sparingly. If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram you'll see the first version of this room which was just a tad over the top with lace. This is a more restrained, elegant arrangement that highlights the lace without letting it over power the room.
Paper lace doilies are cheap but add romantic texture. I found these in the bottom draw with the casserole and serving dishes. The ring box with a bow is the one that Sam gave me when he proposed.
The little clock belonged to my mother. There are memories of her in each room of the house because I need to feel her presence at Christmas time. The little leaf dishes belonged to Sam's mum. I want him to feel her close by at Christmas also.
The en-suite has been prettied up with festive trinkets. The gold tone lantern had been outside and was very dirty but it cleaned up like new with dish-soap and warm water. I placed it on a cake stand and sat that on the gold tray which lives in the en-suite year round.
I made a lace bow and attached some ornaments. Inside the lantern is a battery candle, some more of the gold swirls from a broken decoration and a necklace of pink quartz beads. On the tray below is a faux pearl necklace some pink things, washi tape in silver and a crystal. It feels romantically glamorous to me.
The perfume was a gift I gave Mum so it came back to me. I bought the trinket box when I toured Windsor Castle. That's a bit glamorous too.
Fluffy towels speak luxury to me. I chose my very best to display. Mum gave me the embroidered hand towel for Christmas about seven years ago. The grey with white polka dot towel is cute but Christmassy because it reminds me of falling snow. I scrounged a fat quarter from my quilt stash to add pink and gold tones.
This room took on a romantic glam theme as I began to decorate with what I had left after doing the rest of the house. I confess to spending $4.50 on ribbon to help this room have some softness and romance and $10 on this lantern from spotlight on sale.
Thanks to Arlynn's Country Craft Corner, I learned to make a funky bow. It takes a lot of ribbon but the effect is charming. This is nothing compared to what Arlynn creates but I'm grateful to her for all the inspiration her YouTube channel provides. She's such a sweet warm hearted person too.
Oh dear, the reindeer fell over. Didn't notice it when I took this shot. But never mind, I'll stand him up again. Being hopeful at Christmas is always a good idea.
Christmas at my desk includes little gift cards I gave my mother when I was at primary school. One hangs from the candle and the other, with the mini perfume bottle still attached, sits on some note pads.
When decorating my home for Christmas, I'm using my heart. I want to create a cozy retreat full of warm memories and a lovely space to create new ones. I'm thinking ,how does this make me feel?, when I finish and look at what I've put together. If I don't feel what I want to it gets changed. Several attempts are required for every vignette before I feel warm and want to smile but I know it's worth all the effort.
At a time when I'm thinking about spending time with my family and friends I'm also feeling the loss of those who won't be here this year. Decorating helps me cope with painful emotions. Doing what gives me joy helps to create a scale that is balanced. There's sadness and happiness. That's how life can be but it's okay.
I'm hosting Christmas lunch this year for Sam's and my families. I'm really looking forward to that and am currently planning the menu. Next week I'll be blogging about how I prepare for a traditional Christmas lunch for thirteen. I'll be including the menu, the shopping, baking and preparation schedules and my Christmas tablescape.
I hope you'll join me next week.
This last week I've been working on creating a romantic Christmas theme for the family room and kitchen. I told my girlfriend that I'd done a pink color scheme and she said, 'Oh so you've been out and bought a whole new lot of Christmas decorations.' I told her I didn't. The catch was I mustn't buy anything new. I had to make do with what I already have from previous years and make new decoration from my craft stash. I found a way to do it even though it was quite a time commitment. She's coming over next week to see it in person.
This is the corner below the TV. I painted the roses on the remote control box about fifteen years ago, but they still look fresh. I added my favorite Father Christmas. The nutcracker used to have a green coat and black boots but he was given a touch of romance and brought into line with this year's pink palette with folk art paint. I also painted the picture frame I found in the garage and put a piece of lace from an old curtain inside. That lace curtain certainly came in handy.
I dug around in my linen press to find some pink pillow covers. I also discovered a pretty rose patterned throw which I put over the back of the couch.
I made the wreath using baubles that I painted using folk art paint. I mixed shades of red and burgundy with a pearl white to get varying shades of pink. I made lace ribbon by cutting strips from the before mentioned, the old lace curtain which I also discovered when exploring the linen press. I used hot glue to stick all the ornaments and lace in place.
The gold scrolls came from a broken Christmas tree that was made up of them. I broke them all apart and wove them in. I like the lux effect they add.
Last year I spent ages hot gluing wooden pegs together to make stars. This year I painted them and made mini lace rosettes from the curtain strips, scrap ribbon and glued faux jewels in the middle. I tied the stars onto a strip of bias binding from my quilting supplies to make a garland for the wall behind the couch.
That curtain came in handy when I looked around for a lace cloth for the coffee table. I folded it into a triangle and then halved it and cut it to size making a round piece of fabric, much like cutting paper for the bottom of a round cake pan.
Santa in his sleigh was given a makeover too. I used the same paint as for the baubles to lighten his coat and make him a pink Santa.
Fiddler Santa was given a pink coat also. I sat him next to framed card from last year and a hunk of pink quartz which is meant to give off love energy. Well, it is romantic Christmas after all. The lace cloth is one of my mother's special handkerchiefs.
The kitchen only has a few decorations as there isn't a huge amount of bench space. I added poinsettia picks to the pots of faux sage that sit next to the stove and hung pink check and pink and red striped tea towels over the oven handle.
On the window sill above the kettle, I placed a reindeer that I dressed up with a bow and painted bauble. On the other side is a sign with some ribbons, lace and a pink holly pick to make it more romantic.
I always have roses next to the sink. For Christmas I used a bunch in shades of pink and added some berries and a Noel sign. I teamed it with a Christmas dome and bowl with a pink candle. The water bottles are mine and Sams. I thought they looked cute standing there so I didn't put them away.
The lights over the island bench got some festive attention this year. I added picks that I found at Savers a couple of years ago. I added white paint to give them a frosted look and painted the deep red berries and fruit a lighter shade of blush pink.
I'm hosting Sam's and my family for lunch this year. I wonder what they'll think of our romantic pink Christmas theme? The good news is the decorating is done for this part of the house and I haven't spent any money. That's right, zero dollars. I'm feeling proud of that. I only need to think about making a plum pudding and buying a huge turkey.
Next week will be the last in the Romantic Christmas series when I show you the master bedroom, en-suite and my study/guest bedroom. Again, without spending any money so there will be more home made decorations being used.
Thanks for dropping by to see what I've been doing to get ready for Christmas.
In past years I've enjoyed a traditional red and gold themed tree but this year I'm newly engaged and so a romantic tree fits my mood.
I sprayed the tree with a can of white primer that I had on hand. It didn't turn the tree white but created that frosting of snow effect which I'm happy with.
The white rosettes are DIY. After watching a YouTube video from Olivia's Romantic Home I made these romantic decorations from old lace and scrim curtains, tulle and blingy bits from my scrap-booking supplies. If you'd like to make them too, here's a link to her YouTube video .
I went through my ornaments collection from years past and selected the pinky reds and every shade of pink I could find. I cobbled together some ornaments from broken things but I don't think you'd know it I didn't tell you.
I shopped my home for romantic elements to use as tree ornaments. I found stems of pink silk roses that once belonged to my mother, I also found the peony roses from Kmart used in a previous post. From my jewelry box I chose long strands of pearls (which are my go to necklaces) and around the house I selected picture frames with Sam and one of my kids when they were little. In the craft cupboard I found a length of lace which I draped like a streamer down the sides of the tree.
Lastly I added an old pink blanket as a tree skirt and put some pink gift boxes on it with a pink Santa and rose gold reindeer. The green box in the middle I painted and decoupaged years ago, to be used as a Christmas card box. I love the romantic Victorian feel this tree, created with timeless elements of roses, lace and pearls.
I didn't spend any money to get this look. Well not much, beside the candy canes which need to be fresh, I just used what I had. I have to say it makes me happy to have this girly, pink and ruffly tree where I spend so much time. I can see it whether I'm cooking dinner or relaxing later on with a Netflix Christmas movie.
Next week the Romantic Christmas series will continue with decorating the kitchen and family room.
We saved money in the bathroom while still updating it in the modern farmhouse style. My design plan for choosing floor tiles, wall paint and new fixtures consisted of the farmhouse basics, contrasting whites and grays combined with natural elements.
Originally I wanted to gut this room and put a freestanding bathtub under the window and bring the vanity around to where the bath is. But our budget didn't allow for the expense of redoing all the tiling and plumbing that would be required to alter the layout.
I loved the existing grey and white marble look tiles so it wasn't necessary to paint them or re-tile. The timber vanity doors provide a natural element and a contrasting warmth to the cool palette.
The bath and shower were in good condition so we kept them but updated the floor tiles with a more modern large grey tile. The vanity unit is very low. Originally it had a set in sink making the problem worse, so we had a new quartz bench top installed over the old counter top and sat a new basin on top, bringing it up to a functional height. New taps all round made a huge difference.
I swapped out the curtains for shutters and painted the timber frame white to match. The walls were painted in the same soft grey called Windswept Beach that we used in the rest of the house.
A new ceiling light in my beloved chandelier style gives this room a a touch of the romantic. I have to squeeze some romance in there somewhere.
The original long mirror spanning the length of this wall was replaced with a very budget friendly Kmart mirror that suits the modern farmhouse style.
Replacing the shower screen's opaque, wire mesh, ripple glass with clear glass opened up the space and made the bathroom feel larger than before. You can also see the pretty tiles including the woodland feature tiles scattered through the bathroom.
I can live with the old fashioned soap dish even though I would love a wall niche for the shampoo bottles and soap. Sam and I shower in the en-suite so this is really a guest bathroom and the shower is rarely used.
Even though I wasn't able to do a full makeover I feel the bathroom now suits the rest of our modern farmhouse/romantic home. I'm very pleased at being able to achieve a lovely space while staying within our budget.
If you'd like to know more about this renovation, leave a comment and I'll answer you as best I can. Oh also, there's one small change I made that I didn't point out. Can you pick what it was?
Thanks for stopping by the blog.
When I sold my house at auction, I was thrilled when the hammer fell on a price at the top end of my hoped for range.
In the first year after buying the house, I did some updates.
I painted throughout and put down new carpet. I had a kitchen face-lift and laid laminate wood look floor boards over the pink and white kitchen tiles. I also cleaned out the garden beds of dead and overgrown shrubs but kept some things that might come back with a good prune.
I had a massive tree in the front yard that was undermining the footings, so that had to go also. Two years later and it was time for me to move on. Sam and I were buying a house together so my dear little house went on the market. But first, I needed to make sure it would appeal to buyers. As much as I loved how it worked for me, I needed to look at it through other peoples eyes.
The first thing I did was get moving on making the garden look nice. A cottage needs a cottage garden and that doesn't happen in two weeks. I started planning the sale in autumn so that when spring arrived the garden would be looking it's best. I planted standard roses and a Silverbirch tree in the front lawn to give a timeless appeal. A garden arch leading to the side way is planted with a yellow climbing rose. Not in full flower yet but some blooms had opened. I planted lavender when I moved in so they'd had a couple of years to get established. in the four weeks leading up to auction, I only needed to add a few plants to fill bare spots.
I put an iron bench on the front porch, flanked with identical standard Lillypillys in black urns, to give a welcoming but traditional, formal feeling.
You walk directly into the lounge room from the front door, so I needed it to act as a reception room. The furniture is placed away from the walkway but again creates an inviting space. I took down the framed family photos and kept styling on the crystal cabinet and piano similar. Note the lamps are of similar style. I removed one side of the sectional sofa and borrowed a wing back chair to give the room some character. I'd decided on using the French Provincial Style as inspiration for the theme of my home, a combination of old and new.
The coffee table is also simple, following the rule of three. A candle adds ambiance and being scented it created a lovely smell when people walked in the door. You'll notice I had every light turned on. I carried this out in all the rooms. It makes a huge difference. Most importantly, I followed advice from the real estate agent, to make sure there was enough open floor space for a small crowd of potential buyers to walk around during the scheduled open for inspections.
Kitchens sell homes, is what I've heard, so a face lift for my tired pink melamine kitchen was something I'd done knowing if I ever sold the investment would be worth it. While it was done at the time for me and not resale, I think it's worth sharing what I did because it did help me realize a good profit on the house.
The cupboards were in great shape and didn't need replacing, also I loved the splash back and wanted to keep those tiles. All I replaced was the bench tops and cabinet doors. I had new appliances installed and had laminated wood flooring laid straight over the old cracked pink and white tiles. I added a couple of black stools for a hint of farmhouse.
When sale time came, the agent suggested fresh lilies on the bench top. It was a little expensive to replace them each week but they added a touch of elegance and made the house smell beautiful. In the month leading up to auction, I enjoyed those flowers so much .
The clock on the wall in the dining area came from good ol' Kmart. It could have been bigger but I had a focal point on the table.
I kept the colors neutral and restful, in the master bedroom, creating interest with texture instead. The tufted bed head, embroidered pillows, fluffy rug and center pillow contrasted with a basket in the corner.
The shades on the ceiling light fixtures were broken in all the bedrooms, so I replaced them cheaply with batten fix light shades from Bunnings, hardware. I just threw away the fittings and kept the shade, at $9 each it was by far the cheapest option.
The second and third bedrooms were decorated simply with a picture of Paris above the bed in the double room and a birdcage filled with flowers and a battery powered candle sit's on the desk in the single room/study. The real estate agent suggested white doona covers and I think he got it right.
The bathroom needed a little spruce up. I replaced the taps and put in a clear shower screen door. The wire unit on the wall holds decor to add interest to a plain wall. An orchid next to the vanity gives a touch of class and a fluffy white towel hanging behind the door invites.
The last area to get a makeover for sale was the courtyard. It also was the most effort. I had to paint the fences, it was quite a job but, I got there by painting a section or two each day.
The garden beds were a bit bare but I had potted up ferns that had grown under the fence from my neighbors, so I sat those in the garden beds. I planted the birds nest fern on the right and put up some hanging baskets. I also added the succulent tower to the bed which gave it some architectural interest. The tree ferns were existing as was the Mondo grass. The back corner was empty and I planted several shrubs to fill it in. The statue was there also.
I put two outdoor chairs and small table in the back corner to invite people out into the space.
Some time ago my girlfriend gave me some fairy lights which we strung up under the eaves. I left them in place for sale so that they'd provide a nice ambiance to this area during the evening viewings. They made this space looked magical with the lights on. So nice that I couldn't bear to take them down and disappoint the new owner , so I left them behind as a gift.
Aside from opening up spaces and clearing out clutter, I made the most of what was existing. I did any maintenance jobs that were required, cleaned and updated worn out things. I created space for the buyers to imagine where they might put their furniture and personal items while keeping the charm of the cottage.
I saved money where ever I could which meant I had funds to spend where I knew I'd get a good return on my investment, like making over the kitchen. I didn't go for stone bench tops because I felt it wouldn't be money I got back. I chose instead a stone look laminate which worked really well.
Keeping the color scheme neutral helps buyers to visualize the colors they like layered in. I tried to keep similar color and style in each room of the house so that it felt cohesive and made the home feel more spacious. I also added interest with pretty decor items that didn't take over the room, more like earrings rather than a crown. Understated decorating again enabled buyers to visualize their own things.
It sold at auction after a couple of keen buyers drove the price up. Most of all I feel really happy that I've passed on a home to someone that is ready for them to just move in and enjoy. In getting it ready for the next owners, I feel I was also able to begin the process of letting it go.
Since selling my house, Sam and I have bought a house together and renovated it. It's a little more modern than the cottage but I have decorated it in a similar style. My furniture looks very nice in our new home. I've already posted pictures on my blog (in the decorating category) and on Instagram and or Facebook if you're interested to look at those.
As a romance author, I love all things romantic in my home and lifestyle. You can also discover more about my love of romance through my writing. Find my contemporary romance novels and short stories on my amazon author page or visit my Books page on this website.
Thanks for stopping by, until next week,
Our romantic formal lounge and entrance give me pleasure every day. Even though it's not quite finished, I decided to do a reveal post on this room because we've been living here for over 12 months now.
The chandelier in the lounge room is the draw card. It gets the most comments from visitors, over the way it complements the beautiful cathedral ceiling. It's not a large room but that ceiling gives an uplifting sense of space. When we bought the house the wood clad ceiling was stained brown giving the room had a dark cave atmosphere. Painting it white transformed it completely. The walls are painted a light grey called Windswept Beach. It throws pink tones which blends in with Sam's signature color of burgundy red.
The rug has some subtle grey but is mainly cream and burgundy so I needed to find a way of linking those colors into the rest of the room.
We didn't buy new furniture when we moved in together but combined what we had. Sam already had the sofas in this room, but they didn't pop against the wall color. The rug he chose looked great, so I went looking for cushions to tie the room together. I already had the round one which I bought from Cottage Industry in Fitzroy. The cranberry velvet came from Freedom Furniture and the striped cushion came from Spotlight. The lumbar cushion was purchased some years ago from Target. The two floral cushions I recovered from my patchwork fat quarter stash. None of the cushions are still being sold, but I wanted to show how they were collected from various places.
I used the principals of varying size, patterns, shape and texture to create visual interest . I mixed velvet with linen and embroidered fabrics. I arranged the cushions to have balance on each side in respect to these qualities.
This is a view of the other sofa in the room. Again I used cushions and throws to bring in the cream colours and used fabric from my fat quarter stash to recover some cushions.
This close up of the center piece on the coffee table shows my love of mixing traditional with modern. I love this mix of ceramic formed to look like cut glass. It was a house warming gift from a friend who obviously knows me very well.
Finally I'm including a before and after shot so you can see the how much the room has transformed. We took up the carpet and polished the floors and replaced the curtains. The furniture in the before photos belongs to the previous occupants. This is what it looked like when we viewed the house prior to purchasing it.
The lounge has evolved to have a boho meets shabby chic, romantic style with enough depth of color to make it a comfortable masculine space.
This room was always nice, but now I find it a more restful place that's pleasing to our eyes. That's really what it's all about. Sam chose the rug and color scheme for this room to go with his furniture, because it's the lounge he uses most to watch his sport. He was with me when we shopped for cushions and choosing the fabric from my fat quarter stash. We decided to bring in the floral patterns to tie in with the rug. As luck would have it the medallion pattern on the lumbar cushions that I already had, by sheer accident ties in with the border pattern on the rug.
There is still some decorating to do on that bare back wall. I have been looking but still haven't found that perfect print. Perhaps it's because we are now thinking that we might take inspiration from the previous occupiers and put a cabinet behind the couch. Sam has an impressive toy cowboy and Indian figurine collection that could be housed there. I'm thinking a glass door set of dark red Billy bookcases from IKEA might do the trick. Let me know what you think. Picture or cabinets?
I hope you've enjoyed my lounge room reveal and room tour. Leave any questions you have in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them. Have a great week.
Contemporary Romance Author. See Dora's books here.
Healing Love, Passionate Romance.
Romance is deeply connected with nature. Country drives, walks in parks and picnics are great ways to connect. But for every day sense of romance, faux greenery that looks good all year round, provides the ambiance I want.
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen a faux Fiddle Leaf fig that I purchased recently. It's about 1.2 meters high and makes an empty corner come alive. After I photographed it, I walked around my house and took photos of all the faux plants flowers and foliage that I use and was surprised at how much it was. So I thought a blog on this might be interesting to some of you.
You don't need to have a green thumb to have a home filled with lovely looking plants. The faux kind do need some maintenance but they don't die if you leave it for a while. Like regular house plants they need dusting but that's it. There's no watering and risking floor or furniture damage, and you don't have to fertilize or repot them. You don't have to worry about plant's light requirements, finding a window with the correct aspect means you might have a plant where it's not convenient or even looks nice with the furniture plan. Faux plants are happy in any situation.
My tour starts with the entry way. On the console table, sits two arrangements of magnolia stems and a posy of mixed greens. A delight every time I come home. I like using the three different textured vases that are linked though their grey/silver color.
The formal lounge doesn't have a lot as it opens directly off the entryway. On a side table I've placed a a small flowering plant, sorry don't know what it's supposed to be, but I liked the white flowers and a cute little box in a basket.
The dining room opens from the lounge and here I have an arrangement of flowers on the buffet. I did a little trick with the orchid in the vase, and put lights inside so that it looks like it has glowing roots. A vase of eucalyptus leaves, look like the real thing, and a posy of something with tiny white flowers creates visual interest because of the contrast in the size of the flowers. On the dining table is a faux box and an arrangement of roses and foliage.
In the kitchen, there's little pots of faux Sage either side of the stove. Next to the sink is a watering can full of faux stems and roses. I really love having flowers next to where I'm working. It makes it feel for like a restaurant or something like that. I like the farmhouse style for the informal areas and the watering can brings it.
Family room, and my sitting room has the faux Fiddle Leaf fig in the corner. Next to the TV is a vase of faux tulips and on the coffee table another orchid. Above the TV is a Magnolia wreath from Joanna Gainse's shop Magnolia. On the crystal cabinet I have stacked two plants into a white pot.
You'll notice by now that nearly all the flowers in the living areas are white. I find they make the overall effect in the house restful and cohesive. In the bedroom and bathrooms I have smaller plants but they make a big impact on the way each room feels.
If you like to live in a place that has houseplants but like me want them to look good all the time without any fuss, keep your eyes open for bargains and end of season sales. I paid a lot for one of mine and got a real bargain on the biggest plant in my collection. I didn't get them all at once but over time have collected a surprising ( to me ) amount. It wasn't until I did this photo journal that I noticed how many.
I hope you've enjoyed this faux plant tour and that you've picked up a couple of ideas along the way to fire you're imagination. Thanks for dropping by.
Collecting tea sets has given me so much pleasure. For years I have always ventured into antique shops while traveling through country towns in search of a bargain or a vintage set that I find so beautiful, it can’t be left behind. I enjoy the energy of antique shops which are laden with history and beauty. It lets me time-travel to an era where beauty married with function to create gorgeous furniture, fabrics, and china.
This photo contains my entire collection. You’d think I have more for my twenty years of collecting, but I really have been careful, budget wise, to not buy every pretty little set that draws my eye. It must be around $30 or less so that rules out a lot. Also I restrict myself to one matched set per holiday. That means there's a lot more looking than buying, but that is where much of the enjoyment lies.
I have also found lots of pretty teacups and saucers in thrift shops, but they aren’t always matching. What I do, is pair them up with a complimentary plate. I will even buy mismatched cups and saucers too. If the pattern is pretty and it’s only a couple of dollars, then why not. You’ll notice that I have set up quite a few mismatched china sets among the few that do match.
I don't care very much about brand names. Of course it's lovely having a Royal Doulton set in my collection but what is most important to me is the pattern and shape of the cups. It's the visual pleasure they give that I value most highly.
I’m inspired to blog about my love of pretty old china because I recently bought a dinner set that I found at the Salvation Army thrift shop. The country scene etching in brown and blue called to be taken home with me. It’s not a full set, only plates, and cups without saucers, so I got it very cheaply. The scene is as pretty as can be. It’s called Castle On A Lake Brown Multicolor and is made by Johnson Co in England. I ask you, can a romance writer pass that up?
I have at times got the cups out and used them. This resulted in a few casualties, so I’ve put the best ones away for safe keeping. I will get them out for occasions though. A ladies afternoon tea is a perfect occasion. A lace tablecloth and strawberry sponge. Can you see it? But for every day I love using some beautiful new cups and saucers given to me by friends and family for birthday and Christmas. I love drinking my afternoon tea out of those.
At the moment, I have my collection tucked away in a kitchen cupboard, but I’d like to display them somewhere. I have a crystal cabinet that I have a lot of crystal and glass in at the moment, perhaps I’ll designate a shelf for the collection. I think some shelves in that corner could be very nice also. I’ll give it some thought.
This post has links for your information only. It’s not sponsored or partnered commercially. However, I am a romance writer and do have links to my books for sale at Amazon. While I write contemporary romance I do love a heroine who treasures family heirlooms and antiques. The elegance of yesteryear is so easily brought into modern day with tea served in an antique cup and saucer set.
Getting absorbed in a good book is one of my great joys in life, but I haven’t been reading. It’s bugging me that I seem to put it off for some reason. Once I get into a book I absolutely love it but I just don’t seem to be able to make a start. I’ve thought on this for a bit and have realized that I don’t have a place in my new home designated for reading.
Sure, I can read in bed, but I’m so tired at night that I don’t. The family room is where I watch TV. Sam and I jokingly call it the Downtown Abby room because I’ve watched the series so often. It’s too easy to turn on the TV when I’m in there. Something about lights and movement is addictive to me. I really need to put my phone in another room too. Social media is an ever-present pull. Being a visual person, Instagram is a constantly available source of delight.
As I prefer to read laying down, I’ve decided the guest bed in my office is the place to designate as my reading space. Already a fairly pretty space with the things that live on my desk, I only need to make over the bedside table decor in a shabby chic style, to make it a place I’ll enjoy reading.
I can recline on the bed and make a start on my very large TBR pile. If it wasn’t mostly on my kindle but actual print books I think It would be a meter high at the moment. And there are so many more that I want to buy but can’t let myself until I get through some of my stack at least.
Lately I’ve been indulging in a secret love. Shabby Chic. A very romantic style featuring flowers lace and pre-loved furniture that bring character to a room. One of my favorite bloggers and YouTuber decorates and gardens in this style. www.daintydressdiaries.com is a gorgeous website, with links to all her platforms, is full of pictures of her shabby chic home and garden. She has lots of little vignettes and it’s these that have inspired me to create something that inspires getting engrossed in a romance novel.
While I can’t commit to a whole house in pastel shades, it’s perfect for my office/personal retreat. The bedside table I decorated came from a dear friend. It was the first piece of furniture she and her husband bought when they got married. When she asked if I’d like it, I was thrilled. You can’t get more pre-loved or romantic than that.
To begin, I cleared everything off to create a clean slate, leaving only the necessary lamp for reading. I like the texture of the linen look, ivory shade. Below it is a bunch of faux pink peonies that, I’m amazed, only cost five dollars from Kmart. I folded up the stems so that they’d fit in a green mug. I have a pink three dollar Kmart candle burning and a blush pink rose, pulled off the stem and sat directly on the table top. In the middle off the arrangement is a fairy I’ve had for years, She’s lived in a lot of places with me.
I love the way she’s sitting, happy and relaxed, just chilling out. Her clothes are divine. Lacing, leaves and flowers adorn her sparkly ivory dress. The wreath of white flowers in her hair and her gossamer white wings, makes her look bridal. She looks at me with an expression that says whatever you are or whatever to do, it’s okay.
The addition of the shabby chic decor and a pink cushion on the bed make this part of the room more inviting. I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like because I haven’t felt like I had a place to read. Now, this pretty little shabby chic corner within easy reach of the bookcase will remind me to indulge in something I love, reading romance.
I've created a feeling of romance in the corner of my kitchen with soft contrasts, flowers, fruit and layering. This charming vintage watering can, is past being useful life because it leaks but re purposed as a decor item to display a silk flower arrangement it creates perfect contrast of old and new. The grey metal contrasts nicely with the marble tray and white tiles and bench top. Fruit and flowers will always be romantic. The lemons at the base also provide a fresh element. I have layered the whole lot on a marble chopping or serving platter. Layers add a sense of cozy and intimate which, to me, equals romantic.
This blog isn't sponsored but I'm including where I sourced some of my things in case you'd like to know. The marble tray came from Kmart Au. but it's not available on line. The watering can is a vintage family piece but new ones can be aged to look old using toilet cleaner. The flowers came from a home decor shop and the green eucalyptus stems came from Kmart Au.
Textures and patterns give an overall sense of the exotic and create a romantic feeling in my TV corner. A chandelier will always add a touch of romance. Wedding venues have them for a reason. I purchased mine on line from Temple and Webster and. The wreath speaks romance to me, something about the circle always makes me think of the wheel of life. This gorgeous one is from Joanna Gaines', Magnolia, also purchased on line. I wanted a coffee table that would let me see the pretty rug underneath so this one is serviceable and doesn't close in the space. I've layered a faux orchid on top of an anthology of romance book and also layered the candle on a tray. I've stayed with the blue theme using varying shades to create harmony with interest. I aimed for a style called transitional. It has modern and classic elements combined to keep it fresh and interesting. The little cutouts on the white platter give it a lacy feeling without using a doily which can feel a bit like granny's house. The pretty sea foam blue container was a gift from Sam's niece, a sweet young woman who has excellent taste. I love not only the color but the interest the texture of it brings to the coffee table area.
As I was posting this picture I noticed a blooper I created when dusting. I wonder if you spotted it too.
In the bedroom, I've also used contrast, texture, layering and faux greenery to create a romantic mood. The bedhead is the star of the room. It really invites me into its softness. The texture of the buttoning contrasts against the grey feature wall. I've then piled on cushions in layers of complementing blues. The doona cover and pillowcase set were from Kmart, but I don't think they're in stock anymore. The point is that the color ties in with the bedhead. The front butterfly cushion was purchased at a Laura Ashley clearance store. The mohair blanket and blue and white rectangle pillow came from Provincial Home Living as did the place mats on the bedside tables. They were meant for the dining room when I bought them but looked so good here that I changed my mind. The bedside table lamps were a find at the Salvation Army store. I added black lamp shades to create a touch of drama. I think white would look very nice too. What do you think, white or black?
So that's my approach to styling a romantic home. It gives me joy every day and I think that's the whole idea. It's not about having the prettiest house, but having a home you love to be in.
In my soon to be released novel 'The Australian Billionaire's Secret Proposal' about a fashion designer, and a fashion house billionaire, the decorated style of each others homes plays a role in how comfortable or 'at home' each of them feels.
For me to feel 'at home' that's a romantic place to write and live. I hope you've enjoyed seeing how I create my romantic spaces and that it may have inspired you for styling the romantic decor in your home.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, recusing roses and planting new ones.