I've not done much in the way of re-decorating this past year - traveling has taken up a lot of my time and energy so the cottage has become a bit set in its ways. No matter, I like how most of the rooms look, and I love what I have collected from favorite places such as SuzAnna's Antiques right here in town, and of course my French and English bits and pieces gathered when traveling home to Europe.
To cover the gaping black hole of the fireplace, once the fire screen has been sent to the attic for Summer, I use a beautiful framed print. Purchased at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., many, many years ago, I framed it when working in an art and advertising studio......I did most of my own framing then which saved a bundle!
Other than a quick dust around after cleaning the hearth, the main Spring clean is now put on hold until after the pollen season. The past week has seen a yellowish-green dust settle over everything, outside and indoors. It's the price we pay for the beauty of bursting buds and blooming flowers.............along with constant sneezing and runny noses.
Sofa and chair slipcovers are calling out for a trip to the laundromat - I do the large bits there in the commercial machine - the smaller cushion covers I can do here at home. The dried roses should be replaced with fresh flowers or lighter twigs now. My 'memories of Africa' pillows, discovered at Pottery Barn, should be relegated to storage also. I have so loved them through the Winter - I need to hunt for the perfect simple florals......will do that soon.
My collection of ironstone tureens, bowls, jugs, plates and platters here, and more in the dining room, will all require hand washing after the pollen dissipates. Funnily enough I love doing that job! I take a half a day at the kitchen sink, enjoying the view into the garden, while gently washing and drying. The china then glows and sparkles. I like to daydream about where the really old pieces have lived in their former lives, knowing they were well-cared for having survived this long in some other home.
These two plates from the late 1800's are favorites - back stamp shows they are semi-porcelain, by Johnson Brothers, England, and the pattern in brown is Petunia.......however the flowers depicted also include, fuchsia, carnation, and others, perhaps forget-me-nots.
So, while the pollen creeps in, mellowing the surfaces and adding patina, doesn't that sound more romantic than dust............