Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pondering the Persian

After my last blog post where I declared my eldest son to be my favourite because he shed a few tears in the movie "Lion", my second born felt he would like to make a play for the position of favourite. "I have been moved to tears too by something I watched on TV," he declared. My heart started to beat a little faster - maybe I have raised another son who is in touch with his emotions after all. What, I wondered, had he seen to cause his eyes to well up? Well it seems that it was when some very well known soccer player missed a crucial goal during the Euro 2016 final. The player in question cried and so did my son! "These are the moments that matter, Mom," he said. Gotta love boys!

In this post, I thought a would debate the merits of Persian and Oriental rugs in today's decorating scene. I had coffee at a friend's home recently and she had a Persian rug in her dining room that she had decided she was going to sell and replace with something a bit more contemporary. Her dining room is beautifully and simply decorated in shades of grey and I thought the deep red Persian added a beautiful touch to her room, but I can also understand why she wanted a change. I think we associate Persian's with our parents or even grandparent's homes. I certainly grew up in a home full of them.  

But do they have a place in decorating today? I think it depends on how we use them. I waded through picture upon picture on Pinterest and other sites and saved the ones that I liked and then analysed them. It seems that the common thread was that the Persian's look best when the accompanying furnishings and decor are pared down. 

Make them a centre piece and keep furnishings around them minimal and neutral. Don't crowd or clutter them because then they become what they were in granny's house. 

Also don't limit them to entrance halls and living rooms. They can look beautiful in kitchens....



...and even bathrooms!

So don't discard your Persian just yet. Rather use it in a new, more current way and fall in love with it all over again.

And if you are interested in my friends's Persian, contact me and I'll pass it on. Here is a pic.

Till next time

Sharon x

Monday, February 6, 2017

Desert Daydreaming

My household is a cultural desert! A while back, I suggested at the family dinner table that we might like to go and see a musical. Well, my suggestion was met with deathly silence accompanied by a complete lack of eye contact from anyone, my husband included! You would think that I had suggested some sort of interactive, avant-guard fringe theatre rather than a harmless musical.

 I have now learned to have less lofty cultural ambitions, but did recently suggest a family movie outing. This sounds a lot simpler than it is. With 4 teenage sons and a husband who all have slightly different movie tastes, it isn't easy to find anything with general appeal. But I pulled maternal rank and decided that we should go and see the movie Lion, partly because I'm just a little bit in love with Dev Patel and it seemed to be a good option for the whole family. The youngest relented only because we decided to go to the Labia Theatre and he never sees anyone he knows at the Labia!

What a beautiful movie. I cried bucket loads of tears. The rest of my family all said that they didn't cry, but when I declared them to be cold and heartless, my eldest confessed that he did shed a tear or two during the reunion scene. Even though he probably said it just to placate me, he is now officially my favourite!

So do yourself a favour and go and see Lion,. Nothing like a box of popcorn and a good cry.

Moving from cultural deserts to real ones.... I grew up in the Karoo which is a semi-desert area of South Africa and I still find those wide open spaces endlessly appealing.

 While trawling the web looking for Karoo scenery, I came upon this place called Klipspringer near Calitzdorp in the Little Karoo. It is set high up in a mountainous area and has panoramic views of  the surrounding landscape. The homestead is off the grid and is built with stone from the area. So all very  green and eco-friendly.

There is something decidedly peaceful about this view of...well....nothing. A good book, a nap, a dip in the pool, maybe a tall drink. Bliss!

Having dinner out here on a balmy Karoo evening followed by some stargazing would be hard to beat. 

The bedrooms have French doors to let the air flow through and their are views all around. 

Stone walls and muted colour schemes blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

And you might spot some wildlife while sipping your G & T. 

The good news is that it is available for rent through Perfect Hideaways.

So are you packing your bags yet?

Till next time

Sharon x

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Simple and Spacious

You might have gathered from my previous post that I have a yearning for simplicity. Along with that goes a need for a calm, restful environment and, for me, that means a lack of colour and lots of open space. I like colour, but in other people's homes - not so much in my own. I don't know why. I do have some bright colour in my home, but mostly in places where I don't hang out very much like the boys TV room and bedrooms. I like to surround myself with neutral, soothing tones that don't jar my senses in any way. I might be fooling myself that I could possibly have a calm restful, environment when I share it with 4 teenage boys but a girl can dream, can't she?

I came across this house while trawling the web and I was immediately drawn to it. It struck me that there was almost no colour in the house, not even art on the walls. Being an art lover and an amateur artist myself, I feel that I shouldn't like the lack of art, but I do! Shame on me!

This home is situated in McKinney, Texas, USA. It was only built in 2012, but the predominance of antique French doors and fixtures, make it feel that it has been around for a long time. The beautiful herringbone floor is made of tumbled marble.

The floor in the living room is antique, imported from Belgium. I love the fact that there is no excess furniture, which creates the sparse look that I am currently obsessed with, but the furniture that is there looks comfortable and inviting with the use of textures like velvet. So while it looks kind of bare, it doesn't look cold.

I think I might have been inclined to add some linen curtains to this music room. It could get a bit "echoey" otherwise. 

The kitchen-living area is vast and also boasts the beautiful  Belgian antique floor. The soaring beamed ceiling adds to the wonderfully spacious feeling. 

Interestingly, there is only one chair in front of the TV in the corner. Imagine the fights that would cause in my house!

The home has an office for both him and her. Dad's above, mom's below.  Love both! 

One of my favourite rooms is the laundry room/butlers pantry. I'm not sure why because I definitely don't love laundry, but I might grow to love it if it meant hanging out in here!

The main bedroom is simple and spacious with doors leading out onto the garden. 

Also a very spacious en-suite with slipper bath, lots of storage and his and hers vanity areas. Very nice.

The children's and guest bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs. All are simply furnished in neutral tones. 

A covered patio - perfect for entertaining outdoors.

The kitchen area also has a covered patio. A lovely spot to take a break inbetween cooking and laundry.

The garden is kept as simple as the interior with mostly just lawn and hedging. 

And finally, the front facade of the house. 

So there you go. I'd love to know what you think of this house with its sparse furnishings and lack of colour. 

Till next time

Sharon x 

Image source: here