Do Carpets and Food Mix in Your Home?

Here’s an interesting fact about my home: While I love little rugs and carpets, I have exactly zero in my own house. It’s wood flooring all the way, with wood-look laminate in the kitchen because that is what we could afford at the time. Carpets are cute but with smooth wood or woodesque floors, I can sweep and swiff without having to drag a bulky vacuum up from the basement. We did have a number of throw rugs once upon a time, but with five cats and a mobile toddler, I was vac’ing every day. Not cool.

And exactly how long will that stay looking nice?

You can imagine, then, how squicked out carpets in kitchens and carpets in dining rooms make me. Built-ins are one thing, because there’s not much you can do about that until you’re ready to refloor, but to take a kitchen or dining room with a perfectly good wood floor and then put a throw rug precisely where food is doomed to fall… that just makes me scratch my head. You tell me: Is there some benefit to carpets in dining rooms and carpets in kitchens that I am missing? Saving food for later perhaps? Because I simply cannot wrap my brain around the practical reason for putting a what is essentially a crumb catcher under food prep and food consumption zones.

Inspiration: Buffets and Sideboards of the Modern Variety

Ever wondered what the difference between a sideboard and a buffet is? Me, too. The thing is, we needn’t have bothered ourselves about it. A sideboard and a buffet are basically the same piece of furniture serving the same purpose. Some people consider the buffet to be simply a smaller version of the sideboard, but in terms of functionality? No difference.

Others assign a name to this particular piece of furniture based on the room in which it resides – in the dining room, it’s a buffet, while in the living room, it’s a sideboard.

Sideboards and buffets have both traditionally been used as a place to store dishware and silverware (and sometimes linens) while food was displayed and then served on top. But today, a sideboard or buffet might be used for almost anything. And even back in the day, my grandparents’ beautiful buffet held not only linens and napkin rings, but also records.

Whatever you call them, sideboards are buffets can be very useful pieces of furniture, especially if you are the sort of person who has a vast collection of cloth napkins and pretty tablecloths and themed table runners for every season and holiday. Why? I’ve found that unless you have a great big linen closet, those sorts of things end up sadly tossed in a basket in pantry or tucked into a kitchen drawer without much thought to how wrinkled they’ll become.

But whatever you keep in your sideboard or buffet, here are some pictures of modern furniture buffets and sideboards that would look great in just about any room of the house. Enjoy!

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Eddie Rickenbackers Tiffany Lamp Auction

Wisteria Tiffany Lamp from Eddie Rickenbackers

Wisteria Tiffany Lamp from Eddie Rickenbackers

I apparently missed a pretty good story from earlier this year, when some of the furnishings from one of my favorite San Francisco wateringholes, Eddie Rickenbackers, were auctioned off following the death of the owner. And we’re not talking about just any old bar furnishings, but six, original Tiffany lamps with an estimated value of nearly $2,000,000!

Norman Jay Hobday, the bar’s colorful and dedicated proprietor, died in February 2011 at age 77. He’d spent much of the last 20 years of his life carefully collecting the lamps, which were manufactured around 1910.

The largest and most prized lamp in the group – “Wisteria” – stands more than 2 feet tall and has been given a presale value of $500,000 to $700,000.

Hobday, who adopted the name Henry Africa after he opened a bar in San Francisco by that name, had a good eye for the lamps and culled a valued collection over the years that appeals to dedicated Tiffany collectors, said Sarah Shepard, an account manager with Christie’s auction house in San Francisco.

“The Tiffany lamps are coming with all this history of being behind the bar,” Shepard said. “It’s a really special story. You don’t often go inside a bar and restaurant and get to look at lamps like this.”

I’ll say!

When you went in Eddie Rickenbacker’s what you noticed weren’t the million dollar lamps sitting behind the bar, but the vintage motorcycles which hung from the ceiling in the dining room. That collection of mobile art is expected to fetch more than a million dollars at a separate auction later in the year.

NtB Loves: Beeswax Candles

I used to be a huge candle fan, meaning I was one of the people who actually burn the candles instead of just letting them get all dusty, until the day I found out that cheap candles from the Chinese dollar store in nowheresville Brooklyn frequently have lead in the wicks. That gave me pause, but didn’t prompt me to toss out my tea lights.(Although I did find that I like personalized candles from Best Kept Secrets.) No, the last straw was a candle that threw off so much soot as it burned that it somehow stained a bunch of nearly invisible leftover grout that wasn’t cleaned properly off my bathroom tiles. You couldn’t actually see it until the soot started flying… when I tried to clean up, it stained the grout, which is why I have these odd stains on my bathroom tiles. Stupid candle!

beeswax candles

Nowadays I don’t burn quite so many candles, what with the baby and the cats and the extreme dislike of soot, but I do keep some around, just in case. The ones I do keep around are pure beeswax with organic cotton wicks, with no scents or fillers. I’m partial to the Timberline brand, but there are plenty of great candlemakers out there working with pure beeswax instead of petroleum-based products. If I had the time, I might even try rolling my own with a kit or maybe reading up on the topic (which is a lot less appealing than just jumping in with the kit, really).

Sit Back (Untwist) and Relax

For our second wedding anniversary — the cotton anniversary — my mother-in-law offered to buy me and The Beard a hammock. With thoughts of backyard lazing in our heads, we said yes. Naturally, our hammock’s arrival corresponded to weeks and weeks of rainy, blah weather that does not make one want to retreat to the outdoors with a mojito in one hand and a good book in the other, next to the pond (make sure its nice and clean with pond filter media from Bradshaws Direct.)

hammock

Wikipedia tells me that hammocks were created by native inhabitants of tropical regions for sleeping — presumably because they’re easy to rig up and less toasty than a proper bed — but also notes that the invention of the hammock has been attributed to the Athenian statesman Alcibiades, a student of the Greek philosopher Socrates. Sailors adopted hammocks as the go-to shipboard bed because they maximize the available space, and adventurers followed suit because hammocks are quite portable. Eventually, the hammock became a sort of emblem for a certain type of weekend summertime relaxation that is the purview of individuals with a spot of land to their names.

Hammocks, of course, come in all manner of sizes, shapes, and configurations. My mother-in-law opted to purchase for us one that does not have spreader bars on either end (American style), and instead bought a Brazilian style hammock, which requires the operator lie diagonally across it to keep it open. I’m looking forward to trying it out if the weather ever changes.

In the meantime, I’m shopping for outdoor pillows that won’t get all nasty moldy if they do accidentally get caught in one of the downpours that have so far defined the summer of 2009. Check out some of my faves by clicking on the pics!

outdoor pillowthrow pillowthrow pillow
outdoor pillowoutdoor pillowoutdoor pillow

Get your New Home Insured in Time for the Flooding Season

Protecting your new home is crucial during the colder months of the year, but this year, prolonged rainfall demands that protection starts early. It’s not only important to obtain flood insurance, it’s also important to prevent damage from floods so the repairs are lessened.
Welsh Floods, 2012
MoneySupermarket flood insurance provides a number of useful tips for guarding against the potential for floods. And, if the recent floods in Wales have taught us anything, it’s that people can never be too careful when the British weather is concerned!

Effective Cover
Flood insurance plans should include both contents insurance and buildings insurance for homeowners, as this will protect the fixtures, fittings, and furnishings within the home and garden, including any outbuildings such as a shed or garage, and the structure of the home. Tenants only need to take out contents insurance as the safety of the building is the duty of the landlord.

Plan
It doesn’t matter whether your new home is in a flood-prone area or not. Flooding in recent times has been random throughout the country. Always prepare for the worst. This includes packing a survival kit with bottled water and energy bars, and having a torch and candles to hand.

Utilities
Whenever a flood strikes, it’s important to turn off the gas, electricity, and water immediately. Make sure access to these switches is clear at all times, as electricity and water don’t mix.

Sandbags
Many of the recent floods in Wales have shown that sandbags can’t always stop floodwaters, but they do stall it for a while. There will be much more damage to a home if sandbags are forgotten when the flood waters arrive.

The Roof
If there are any gaps in the roof, then it can compound matters if a flood commences. Water within the roof cavity can completely ruin things. It can also invalidate any claim on your insurance if the roof is deemed to not be in good order.

There’s Nothing Harder Than Saying Goodbye

It’s time for me to make a difficult announcement. To indulge in a spot of cliché, I’m not sure how to say it, so I’ll just come right out with it.

I’m resigning from Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home.

During my time writing for Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home, I’ve grown personally and professionally. When The Manolo took a chance and hired me to be a member of his team, I was a small-time journalist and freelance writer who’d started a blog mainly to complain about a boyfriend who was unwilling to get married. Now I’m a published author who’s married and a mom, and my accomplishments at Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home have been the door openers to numerous interesting and lucrative opportunities.

I have loved every minute of writing for The Manolo. These blogs have been my introduction to entire worlds of design, fashion, etiquette, and more, not to mention my introduction to hundreds of awesome and amazing people. Reading your comments, receiving your emails, and answering your questions has been the very best part of bring a wedding planning blogger and then a home and lifestyle blogger.

But taking August off was eye opening for me. Between blogging, caring for a toddler, piles of contract work, the maintenance of a home, and trying to build a brand from the ground up, I was pulled in too many directions to be able to give my full attention to any one thing for any length of time, and I suddenly realized every part of my life had been suffering as a result.

When that’s happening, something has to give.

After weeks and weeks of thought, I finally made the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief of Manolo for the Brides and Manolo for the Home. As you might imagine, it wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve been writing here since October 5, 2005, so these blogs have been a huge part of not just my life, but also who I am. The choice I’ve made is a bittersweet one – I’m going to miss writing here terribly, but it’s undeniable that it’s time to lighten my load before I drown in responsibilities.

Where will I go from here? Currently, I’m working on building my editorial services business, Christa Terry’s Editorialicious. But feel free to ‘like’ me! I’m still in the process of adding and editing all the copy on the web site and it’s not finalized (read: proofread) yet – plus everything on the Facebook and Twitter pages – but if you know anyone who’s looking for newsletter copy, SEO copy, editing, PR, or other content development services, send them my way. Other than that, I’m focusing on my family and giving myself some time to evaluate what I want to do next.

I’ll be thinking about all of you and wishing you the best for your weddings and your lives, and don’t hesitate to drop me a line at christa d terry at gmail if you ever just want to chat. Seriously, I’d love to hear from you because I’m going to miss you all terribly.

All the best,
Christa aka Never the Bride

P.S. – You can always see what yours truly is up to or just stalk my private life on my blog.

christa terry

Chandeliers: How Low CAN You Go?

Can those of us with shorty ceilings still hang chandeliers?

Despite loving high ceilings, some of us are forced by circumstance or budget or whatever to reside in dwellings with low ceilings, and when those low ceilings are especially low, that can limit lighting design options. Now as I enjoy my summer vacay and finally spend some real time working on my own home, which has felt terribly neglected these past months, I’m finding that my lighting choices feel quite limited by my own low ceilings. Recessed lighting? I can’t say I dig it. Our current lighting is comprised mainly of those flush with the ceiling lights shaped like boobies, complete with nipple, and they’re not my favorites. Which is why I’ve been wondering, and thought I’d ask you, how low do you think you can go with hanging lighting in a space with low ceilings? Are chandeliers paired with low ceilings just ridiculous? What about when they’re over a table or piece of furniture that guarantees no one will bang their heads? Leave your thoughts below so I can use your help to decide what I really think about big dramatic lighting in wee unassuming spaces!

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