Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Jewel Box Home: Cottage Style Dos and Don'ts

"Barbie is calling, she wants her dream house furniture back."

We've talked about creating a Jewel Box Home and capturing the Jewel Box Look, so now its time to cover Jewel Box Dos and Don'ts. Today, let's look at cottage style decorating.

The cottage style is very difficult to pull off in any size room, let alone a small space. Why? Charm, the defining trait of cottage style, is almost always expressed as an abundance of cutesy frou-frou pieces that are over-accessorized with shades of pink, yellow or blue, or some combination of all three. Generally speaking, no man - straight or gay - would ever willingly choose to live in a house that looks like this, unless forced to. Of course, if you are trying to break-up with your honey, this is a good way to drive him out. Let's look at some examples of cottage style gone wrong.

So what are the don'ts for these two rooms? Let's make a list:
  • Never mix florals, plaids and checks in the same room. I don't care if they are from the same color palette and you love the look. You must restrain yourself. It will always feel like there is too much going on.
  • Never use ruffles or flounces, unless you are decorating a room for a young girl who is between the ages of 5 and 12. Remember, cutesy is not a style.
  • No more than 2-3 pillows on a sofa and 1-2 pillows for each chair. You must leave room for people to sit down!
  • Baby blue and pale pink should be used as a color scheme only when decorating a baby's room. But if you absolutely must use these colors, then please limit them to accent pieces.
So is it possible to do cottage style well? Absolutely! Just take a look a the beautiful room below.

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Jewel Box Christmas Party

Hospitality is one form of worship.
-The Talmud

I just walked in from a wonderful Christmas party thrown by my neighbor and friend Kelly. She has a beautiful little Jewel Box home and at this time of the year her place sparkles! Here are some scenes from her lovely home.


"...[A]nd it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!"

- A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bye Bye Big House Envy - More Press For The Jewel Box Home

If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.
- Charles-Louis de Secondat, 17th/18th century political philosopher

I always imagined people with big houses were happier than people who lived in smaller homes. A larger house was a symbol of success and status. It was tangible evidence that you had arrived! When my husband refused to 'move-up' I had to readjust my thinking and after shedding many tears, give up my dream of becoming a lifestyle diva with an Architectural Digest home. For a long time I moped around feeling sorry for myself; all the while hoping my husband would change his mind. But to my surprise, after letting go of conventional thinking that bigger is better, I found myself loving the ease and comfort of small home living. Call me crazy, but I'm much happier now that I've stopped trying to figure out how to afford a bigger house and keep up with the Joneses!

To see a video of The Jewel Box Home along with tips for creating your own Jewel Box Home go to the