Know what's awesome about Facebook? Getting back in touch with the people you haven't seen in years. Like... 30 years. Like, since high school.
Such a friend is Bonalyn Nelson. Bonalyn now lives in Florida, and although she only comes in a couple of times a year, she thought it worthy to have a little breakfast for old friends to get reunited. I knew from teh minute I walked up on this flower bed that I was gonna LOVE what was in this house!
Bonalyn's mama's house is as far from the style of mine as one could possibly get. But it is FAB.U.LOUS.
And the Nelsons were the ultimate hosts. There were fresh flowers in all the vases. I am a sucker for fresh flowers! The breakfast was to die for, and they even took us on a full tour of the home.
Everywhere you looked there was extravagance. This home was not huge. It was actually "just right" for a retired/semi-retired couple, who still like to throw parties and entertain!
And this is my friend, Bonalyn... just as she was in high school. Impeccable. My polar opposite. I resisted the urge to wear tennis shoes and put my hair in a bun. Bonalyn had fresh manicure, not a hair out of place and just the right number of bangles on her wrist. Funny how people so different can actually have so much in common.
This is my friend, Kim. She still lives here in West Monroe, and even told me she's bought some MoJoy jewerly from a local store. :)
So, this is the view from the dining room. Luxe.
And this might be my favorite thing in the whole house. It was a little table with some of Mrs. Nelson's favorite things. If any of you remember the tours I have given of my own house, you know I treasure little tsotzches (how in the WORLD do you spell that?!...no time for dictionary.com today!), and in particular anything with any familial significance.
This had her mother's purse as a child. A piece of jewelry made for her by her brother. A necklace she wore as a child. etc... And I vowed to go home and find even MORE of the things I love and hoard and put them out for display!
Mrs. Nelson is about as in to color as I am...note the above yellow walls, green built ins and multi color rattan furniture. Love it... but especially loved this PURPLE bench. I need that! Not sure where, but something in my house is about to be lavender!
They valued their outdoor living space, and built a home where the glass all throughout the den made the two spaces blend effortlessly. (Do I sound like I am writing for Traditional Homes Magazine?!)
Another observation was that Mrs. Nelson just had little collections of things atop her furniture. For instance, I'd probably have a picture frame and to be honest a pile of books here. And maybe a lamp. Not a lamp like this one. But a lamp.
She had some of her favorite little thingies. I assumed most were from her travels as her entire house had an eastern feel to me. But she said most were just things she picked up here and there.
Now check out this bathroom.
Oh... favorite thing number two. I loved this frame above the vanity. It had a heavy duty wood frame and was hung at an intense angle, seemingly as an awning to anyone below. I have to figure out where I can do this too! LOVED it.
Yea. Probably NOT gonna buy any crystal chandeliers though. Might seem out of place with my raw wood walls.
Mrs. Nelson's vanity was entirely different. It was very feminine. Again... not so sure this would suit me, but I really, really loved it in her home.
THey had custom stained glass windows which were patterned after a painting they'd seen in Florida. Great idea!
This is the master bedroom. See what I mean about lamps? WOW. There was crystal everywhere. And I LOVED the mountinf of THREE little shelves with I assume Chinese dudes atop them. I think of the Imperial Dynasty days or that army of statues they found buried? Anyone? anyone? I am NOT a history buff. I think I might have gotten cheated in that area. I don't know much about history of America, Europe, you name it... I'm clueless. And don't even START asking me about geography! No idea! But back to the house.... There's a bird!
There were rich fabrics everywhere. Of course I noticed. I loves me some fabric!
and this included fringe and trims, and yummmm...
I liked these dudes too. They were tall and made an impace.
Mr. Nelson then took us to HIS media room.
yeah, WOW is right! These seats all heated up, vibrated, massaged, and reclined. All while THREE tvs were available to tune in to favorite shows.
He is an engineer by training, so he loved showing us all of his gadgetry! Lots of electrical screens up and down, shades on the porch up and down, and everything tucked away into some sort of secret hiding place. He just LOVED that part!
Todd and I have an ongoing war in our house over the curtains/ shades being up and down. He's a vampire, so he needs everything blacked out at all times. I LOVE a bright happy house, so I want the views exposed and everything open! I think we've found the solution!
THere were boxes mounted outside over the windows which would elecrically drop shades down and stop at any height. Oh yeah,baby.... next Groves Family purchase!
And then, MoJoy came through with prizes!! I let each girl pick out a pair of earrings... Bonalyn went traditional. Or as traditional as one can get when your only option is turquoise. Remember, I am the earthy one! I love natural stones!
Kim went big... carved turquoise.
Mrs. Nelson chose some with wood and horn.
Mary went small and sweet. Fits her personality!
Julie went simple. She and I are the most alike in this bunch. She even texted me before the shindig and asked, "so I guess this means I should shave my armpits?!" Yep, Jules. A reunion breakfast and a halter strap shirt probably dictates such!
and this was our group photo at the end. Five buddies from high school. I can't wait to do it again.
Here's the super fun thing to me though.... after the party was over, Bonalyn and her mom came to my house to see it. I was a little nervous about this, as I take pride in my house, but knew my style was night and day from theirs. Interestingly, they both set about my house commenting on every single room,with a very genuine appreciation for my choice of family and particularly my girls and their memories around every corner. Because Mrs. Nelson had a sewing room, she really appreciated my art room. Seems we had more in common than I thought! In the end, she said, "I like your things." I LOVED that. Because, well, I liked her things too! And we ended up discussing how homes are such a reflection of our personalities. I'd never have crystal bedside chandeliers, and she'd never have raw knotty pine floors. But, we could both appreciate each other's choices, and more importantly that our homes were unique!! Not a lot of taupe and tan. Although, that too, is a personality demonstration in some cases. So, here's my encouragement to you... put out your special things. If it speaks to your soul, it should probably be in your house. Buy those things that you see that just keep making you come back to it. Be bold in your color choices. If you aren't sure.... do it! I think I am going to find more special things to put out today... from my attic, my storage cabinets, maybe even my art room. I'll be posting on my "new" discoveries soon! Have a good week!
my special collection is my cats - and if I put out very much, my other collection will knock them over and play with them lol lol
I love antiques and weird stuff. I have barn wood shutters that my mom and I made on my windows in the main part of the house with a barn wood shelf above each. that is where I put my knick knacks that the cats can't get to most of the time. I also have a nice collection of hutches and cabinets - some are covered with glass, some with wire and some not at all. this allows me to display my collections too. I love old dishes and jars and bottles and utensils. I even decorated a Christmas tree a few years in china coffee cups and antique kitchen utensils and roosters. it was a hot mess and everybody loved it. it was heavy and had to be tied to the wall - so as the cat collection grew I stopped using the fragiles lol
I think we all have things we love that just speak to us (kinda like the pier one commercials) but that doesn't mean we don't love others styles as well. I think I liked ms nelsons choice of colors and the chandeliers more than anything - but all of the "stuff" would be too much for me. I like simpler - more contained stuff.
and I know what you mean about being open and sunny - I love to have the windows wide open and I grew up with a mother vampire lol I don't care if the neighbors can see me - I need sunshine!!!
I read often, but rarely comment ( I am sorry! I will try and be better!) I have loved seeing your style, (that was evident back in the Caringbridge days too), and I LOVE how you OWN it- no excuses. The green kitchen with black and white floors- hello, love!
I am the one who asked you months ago about which John Maxwell book to begin with and you asked for some clarity, so here it is! I am an elementary teacher at a very low income school, with lots of hard home life stories and rough behavior but we are working to build up leaders.
Actually, since I last asked for help in a book direction, I not only had my second daughter (melt my heart!) but my principal has actually chosen me to be on the district and school leadership team as well as setting aside 30 minutes of every school day to work with students on leadership skills- and this time can look however I want!
That is HUGE to me to have the freedom to share my gifts, and now I am even more pushed to want to do well with it.
I welcome your advice! Also, are you planning to offer leadership seminars? I am in Minnesota- online options? Or in a year ;-) when I can travel without the baby?
PS- THANK YOU for being real with your life and especially your girls. I so appreciate and connect to it.
PPS- HOW and when did you potty train Ellie? My Ryn is 2.5 and similarly precocious and strong willed as Ellie and I am at a loss!
I love seeing the style of others' houses, especially for someone with no creativity..... also catching up with old friends rocks!!!!
I love both houses! It is so fun to see other people's homes. The most interesting ones are those that break the rules! I like a home that really shows the personality and life of the owner.
I'm afraid I'm kind of like Todd - don't always like all the window coverings open. I feel a little vulnerable when people can see in! I know, I need therapy! Haha! My husband wakes up and throws everything open which drives me nuts! "CAN YOU AT LEAST WAIT UNTIL I GET DRESSED?????"
Cowering in the dark ;D
Holly & Jake Dog
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