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!