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Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Inspirations

The room in That Old House that most inspires me -- my favorite room -- is our parlor.

It is simple, symmetrical and pure -- just exactly what classic American design should be. I am continually inspired, and humbled, by having a near-perfect example of an early Greek Revival room in my own home. For me, an old-house junkie from childhood, it is pure joy.

Completely naked, this room is beautiful.
(And how many of us can say that?)


The parlor is lightened up for summer.
Softer colors, less stuff.

Out went the wine red window swags, in came a sea grass rug
Out went the needlepoint and silk pillows, in came a sweet little embroidered chair from the yellow guest room.

On the mantel, what else? Flowers from the borders.
Today: hydrangeas in blue and cerise, and a few sprigs of myrtle.

Also on the mantel, crystal candlesticks from Big Lots, 19th century books, and the head of a bust of Shakespeare
that broke off in a flood at our last house. Summer is a time to read,
so the Bard seemed an appropriate companion in the parlor, my favorite place for solitary reading.

What is your inspiration in your home? You can share it at The Inspired Room blog, in a linky party.
Why not check out what inspires others? Links to this and other linky parties at the end of the post.

Now. . . food! Summertime lunches are more structured than my winter ritual,
which is grabbing something and eating it standing up. Usually near the sink. So I don't drip.

But in summer, lunchtime food actually makes it all the way on to a plate,
because usually there are 3 for lunch, and it gets too crowded for us all to lean over the kitchen sink.

Today, it was tuna salad on crusty olive oil & rosemary bread.
Howard had cherries with his.
I had green olives stuffed with aged provolone; I really have to stay out of the Italian deli.

Yes, those olives are amazing. I added capers and herbs and a bit of vinegar to the tuna salad to raise it above the school-lunch-box level. I would have topped it with tomatoes, but the chipmunks got there first!

And still speaking of summer inspirations . . . it's the beginning of the Fourth of July weekend.
Independence Day! By Sunday night, I will have cried several times
at patriotic songs, fireworks displays, displays of the flag, and maybe a parade.

On Thursday I did a tablescape in our sunroom, using red, white and blue,
and last night lit the candles and grabbed my camera.

Ok, slightly spooky looking, but I'm new to this shot in the dark stuff.
I am lucky the camera strap isn't visible in each shot.
I do like how the candles are reflected over and over in all the sunroom glass.

Have a marvelous weekend, and if you are celebrating your country's independence (and you know who you are!) then I wish you a joyous and blessed Fourth of July. -- Cass

Now ... you can visit The Inspired Room for more, well, inspirations! Or join in the fun yourself.

It's Show and Tell Friday at Cindy's beautiful
My Romantic Home blog.
A visit is highly recommended!

If you're hungry, or need inspiration
for your next meal, check out
Foodie Friday at Designs By Gollum.
Seriously, do so!

And if you can find beauty in what
is around you, then join Claudia at
Dipity Road for Finding Beauty Friday.
You'll be glad you did.


  1. Cass, You've visually opened up the room to make it lighter and easier on the eye. It looks great. Love the blue hydrangeas- I snip mine from the neighbor's yard! LOL
    Have a safe and Happy 4th of July.
    hugs, Sue

  2. Hi Cass...

    I absolutely agree...the parlor at That Old House is gorgeous...even naked! Hehe! I really do love your parlor and it's even more gorgeous all dressed up in its summer finery! Ohhh...I adore your hydrangaes...beautiful arrangement for your summer mantel, my friend! Your fabulous parlor not only inspires you but it also inspires me! Thank you for sharing it with us today!

    I also really enjoyed seeing your pretty red, white, and blue tablescape all lit up! Fabulous photos, Cass!

    A Happy 4th of July to you and your sweet family!

    Love ya,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  3. A wonderful post, I just ate but the tuna looks so yummy. Glad I am not the only one who stands at the kitchen sink and eats, that gave me a chuckle. Have a wonderful weekend celebrating July 4th and take care:)

  4. Hello~~~your house is unbelievable! Gorgeous!! The parlor looks wonderful all dressed for summer.
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving that nice comment.
    Happy July 4th!

  5. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  6. Your parlor has a crisp, airy look for Summer - Really like the look. Yes - I have eaten many meals over the counter - especially in the morning (not crazy about breakfast).
    Have a great weekend and Happy 4th!

  7. What a beautiful room!! I really love that blue chair by the fireplace!!

  8. Gorgeous by candlelight.
    Gorgeous by daylight.
    Happy 4th to you & yours.

  9. Nice post and I love the dark photos.
    Happy 4th of July from Canada.

  10. Have a wonderful holiday weekend and stay safe!


  11. Cass your parlor is just so beautiful. I love the character and pretty details. Cherries on tuna? Mmmm...It does sound different and really good.

    Thank you very much for your kind words on my new haircut and weight loss. You made me smile wide. You're the best sweet friend.

    Enjoy the holiday weekend!
    ~Melissa :)

  12. You are right about that room. It is beautiful with nothing in it. I love the candle light in the dark shot. Isn't it fun to be able to take pictures without a flash?

  13. You did a great job on the room and on the photography. I won't even tell you what I had for dinner. Your sandwiches look delish.

  14. The room is beautiful naked. Looks like not much is needed to decorate such a lovely space.

  15. You room is absolutely beautiful! If you enjoy old houses, I have been doing a series on old houses in different towns I have visited. Most are in AL, GA, and SC. I love old houses, too.

  16. Oh that is a beautiful room! Love that vase you have the hydrangeas in, and the pretty glass in the bottom of the vase too. Your mantle scape looks gorgeous. Love that little blue chair! Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. laurie

  17. It is such a great house with beautiful rooms and grounds. I really always wanted to live in a house like yours. Never happened, but I love looking at your's!

    The candle photos are lovely!!

  18. Cass, the parlor is just gorgeous- I'd never leave it. And Italian delis are one of the Northeast things I miss most. When I get back for a visit I always spens a FORTUNE!
    xoxo Pattie

  19. A couple of things: seeing the house across the street out your sunroom windows, I'm thinking, what pleasure they must have looking at the view of your pretty house from their windows.

    When I first started reading the post of your freshening up your parlor, I was wondering ... but was relieved to see you are still using "our" furniture. (I think I told you we have the same or nearly so). And the liberty blue plates--how perfect for this weekend. Great tablescape too! Have a happy 4th.

    dotsie (podso)

  20. I wish I lived with someone who can see the beauty in changing up the looks of a room.
    I like your nighttime tablescape shots.

  21. Cass,
    Great post. The parlor is beautiful. I love to change things around too. The night time shots are gorgeous. I have a setting for fireworks on my camera which I will try next week during Old Home Days.

    Have a great weekend.


  22. Hi Cass,
    You are right, your parlor does look wonderful naked. I like the way you lightened it up for summer. I love the tablescape shots. We have just arrived at our current destination and do not have everything out so thank you for sharing yours with me this holiday!

  23. Hi, Cass! I absolutely love the color of the walls in your parlor. And that's also my favorite type of tuna salad - I also add flat leaf parsley. :) Happy weekend to you!

  24. Those pictures are to die for! The food looks delicious, love what you did with the room, and you make me want to go candle shopping. Well done! -

  25. Okay now I have a craving for olives and tuna.. :) I absolutely love your home. It is just like a giant hug of coziness.


    PS - I've posted!

  26. Thanks for visiting! I love your parlor! It's so classic! I also love that pretty blue chair in front of the fireplace! Have a wonderful Independance Day,

  27. Oh Cass you have dressed this ole gal for pretty...I love your home and mine wants to be yours when it grows up ha ha!! I hope you had a GREAT fourth my dear friend...Thanks for coming by and praying for my granddaughter...Hugs and smiles to you my friend...Gl♥ria

  28. I adore your's so open and inviting. And those beautiful hydrangeas actually inspired my latest post!


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