In 1993 I vacationed in France with some friends- one of whom became my husband two years later.  Wonder if all that beautiful and romantic scenery had anything to do with it?

One of our many unforgettable destinations was the Chateau de Blois in the Loire Valley.  

"Residence of 7 kings and 10 queens of France, the Royal Chateau of Blois is a site reminiscent of the power and daily life at court in the Renaissance...."


Near there I found a listing for the pretty villa pictured at the top, which was built in 1900.
Here is the living room, with beautiful parquet floors:

This room can handle the drama of eggplant-colored lacquered walls.  
Can you picture how pretty it would be by candlelight?

{Better Homes and Gardens}

I think I clapped when I found this image- I like how well it goes with the rest of the living area.

Off the kitchen is a catchall/office space that could use a little of the candlelit drama.

I think I'd paint the walls a duskier green, and add a Persian rug in purples and reds, and it would be all set for a romantic petit déjeuner pour deux. 

Here is one of the bedrooms.  I bet that armoire is telling us about the state of the closets, or lack thereof....

{Country Living}

Fortunately, a well-styled armoire and an iron bed and quilt go a long way for making up what a room may lack.

Here is another charming bedroom:

What this room lacks in matching-ness to our room, it compensates with cozy villa authenticity.

We also have this bonus space at the top of the house:

{Jacques Grange}

How fun would it be to turn it into a wonderfully rustic bathroom under the eaves? 
This would be a great complement to the bedroom space above.

I like to end on a garden note, and this one has nice potential:

How could we pass up the chance to add a beautiful dining space along that row of trees?

This property typifies some of the beauty to be found in and around Blois.  
No wonder I'm still daydreaming about it, 21 years later!

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Admiral Kalbfus Road

Good morning! While we're traveling along the East Coast, let's stop at this dandy home in Newport, Rhode Island.  It's a brick Georgian Colonial style, built in 1930.

As for its Admiral Kalbfus address?  Admiral Edward "Old Dutch" Kalbfus was a four-star Admiral in the U.S. Navy.  He also served as President of the Naval War College in Newport.

 I thought you might like to see his house, Restmere, in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Here's how it looks today, via a Google Maps screen capture:

I'm glad to see it's still beautiful.

Let's get back to the house we're decorating today.  

Fans of gray walls might want to put on sunglasses, because I've always liked sunny interiors and want one for this hallway.

The yellow foyer will transition to this soft green living room:

This is what I'm suggesting, but...

{Better Homes and Gardens}

...if I've lost you with too much yellow, let's see if we can keep the walls that soft green, after all.

Yep, I think that works.  I like the idea of layering a smaller mirror over the large one, too.  
It breaks it up and makes it interesting.

Check out this fabulous chandelier in the dining room:

{Dan Carithers}

Again, I'll let you keep the wall color a personal preference.  I like them both, but Dan Carithers' wallpaper is certainly very classic and beautiful.

I have to say that with the grandness of the other rooms, the kitchen is a bit of a disappointment.

Let's try something like this, instead:

{photo by Roger Davies}

Hard to go wrong with a kitchen with these amenities.

Let's check out two of the bedrooms, where we'll add some of the peach tones from downstairs.

{Jan Showers}

{Josephine Fischer}

I thought this made a pretty vignette to end this post.  Can't you just imagine a bride sweeping down the foyer staircase?  I like how the curtains are almost as lovely as the wedding dress.

This house can now have a four-star ranking, too, appropriate to its address, thanks to some great design inspiration.

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Welcome back to Delaware!   
After touring that great Showhouse home on Hopeton Road, I wandered around Wilmington and found a pretty spot to stop and decorate today.

This is a semi-detached 1913 home in Wilmington with lots of original character.

The living room is so light and bright that I want to play to that and keep this house simple.

{Tricia Foley}

Well-edited, soft and pretty design will win the day in this house.

Here's the other side of the living room:
{Ginger Barber}

Oh yeah, and we'll throw some fabulous antiques into the mix, as well.

Luckily for me, these talented designers know exactly what I'm talking about.

The kitchen is already light and bright,  so we'll focus on the breakfast area. 

{At Home in Arkansas}

Hello, little table.  I think you need to come live in my house.

The bathroom's wallpaper adds personality, but the mirror doesn't really fit into our design.

A mirror and sconces like these would add some great style to the room:

Here's my little mock-up,  just in case you weren't buying it.

As for this bedroom...
...we need a design that fits our overall brief.

{Better Homes and Gardens}

Light and bright, check.
Well-edited, soft and pretty, check.
Fabulous antiques, check. 
And it's just so lovely!

Finally, let's bring a little pretty to this deck:

This is our inspiration, but since it doesn't exactly match our space, I'll do another mock-up.

I like the lighter, bleached floors and lots of white to continue our scheme, but I especially like the idea of a  beautiful trellis to screen the garage from view.  

There we have it.  Now this little house is a showhouse of its very own.

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