Craving Cozy (and a Sneak Peek at My Bedroom in Progress)

Surely by now most of you have seen the Pantone color of the year, Greenery:


It’s a lovely color. Bright, happy and speaking to Spring and new beginnings. This is actually one of my favorite colors and many different shades of this perky color make appearances throughout our home and my wardrobe.


I will never give up my happy, appley green but as far as decor I find myself moving in a different direction. It started sometime last year: I’m craving cozy. Soft & soothing neutrals, rich textures and sumptuous tactile fabrics.  As I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions post, I’m working on a slow motion redo of our home to up the coziness factor. Bits and pieces, as well as reducing clutter and reorganizing, are slowly happening across the house; but the one room farthest along is my bedroom.

I changed phones recently and I’m having trouble finding a picture of the entire before bedroom but let me give you the gist of it. This was my previous bedding: bright, cheerful & busy! While I still like it in theory, it wasn’t working for me in practice any longer. My old bed was a wood and curly iron confection that we received as a wedding present nearly 26 years ago! And you’ll see the original wall color in the in progress pictures.


The change started with a gift from my husband. I’m a reader and I’ve long pined for an upholstered headboard to make reading in bed more comfortable. One day when I got home, this was waiting for me:


Well, actually, it looked more like this:


But within an hour we had it set up and ready to go. The lovely neutral linen-look fabric was just the jumpstart I needed to get me rolling on changing up the entire room.

Next up, this beautiful rug:


We had decided to use Orientals throughout the house because they all automatically look amazing with each other and most of them will be in the traditional red color way but I wanted something softer for my room. With the addition of the rug I was decided on a blue-gray-tan color scheme.

Next on the agenda, bedding:


I traded in my paisley comforter for a duvet and this delicious washed velvet cover & shams. Sadly, the bedding is no longer available in this gorgeous icy blue that I chose but there are other colors to consider and the velvet is so sumptuous!

Also from West Elm, a pair of these night stands:


These Penelope night stands are so amazing! The rounded shape, the ample storage, the beautiful finish, the ring pulls on the drawers and especially the stunning polished marble tops! I could go on and on about these, as several of my friends will attest, but they really do make the room.

I am an online stalker of goods. It is practically painful for me to pay full price for something. I like to pin the objects of my desire and then click through regularly to see if they are on sale or markdown. The rug, bedding & the two night stands (purchased some 9 months apart!) were all purchased this way. These lamps, however, may be my biggest triumph.


I fell in love with them on a home decor website. The were expensive, over $200 each, but I was smitten. No other lamp would do. I loved everything about them and they introduced that touch of old gold I was looking for. I plan on a gold-framed gallery wall down the line. I had dreams about these lamps! So I assumed I would have to go the route of the night stands; save my pennies and get them one at a time as I could. Then one evening I was perusing an online flash sale site when I came across another lamp I had liked from the same source for 1/3 the original price! Of course I immediately combed through their entire selection to see if MY lamps might be available but came up empty. Wah wah. On a whim I decided to Google them, I knew the manufacturer and style name after all. Long story slightly less long, I found them on an after-Christmas sale on Houzz for nearly half price!! Score! I got both for barely more than the price of one! Every day, as evening approaches, I go to my room and turn the overhead lighting off and turn one of these lamps on so that every time I go into the room before bed I’m greeted by the soft glow; and yes, it takes my breath away every. single. time.

One last post holiday bargain to finish up the status update. I wanted a throw for the end of my bed and I wanted to start bringing in more gray. Cue the after-Christmas sale genie again.

Chunky, basket-weave knit? Check! Faux fur pompoms? Check! The perfect shade of gray? Check! After Christmas markdown from $120 to $36? Sold!

There’s still so much to do: paint, storage (my closet is 4 feet wide!), gallery wall, a possible refinish of my Grandmother’s vanity, curtains (ordered, on sale of course) and some accessories; but already this room feels like what I want out of our home. Every night as I slide beneath the duvet and turn out the lamp I feel like a princess in a fairytale and drift off to sleep with a smile on my face. Who could ask for more?


Until next time!

XOXO

Crystal

Happy New Year!

I love the new year! It always feels like a fresh start. 365 blank pages just waiting for you to write your story. This will be my story but I hope if you follow along you might find some ideas that inspire you too.

Of course, the New Year always brings out the resolutions too. I don’t believe in the “don’t, won’t, never” school of resolutions, “I will completely give up sweets!” Or the “nothing to ninety” type either, “I will go to the gym everyday!” when you went 3 times in the last 6 months. I think the best resolutions are those that focus on adding good to your life instead of trying to eliminate bad and those that don’t have a fixed deadline or schedule, allowing you to pick them up were you left them without guilt.

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That said, here are my resolutions for 2017!

I will look for more opportunities to embrace creativity.

This blog is one step in that direction! I look forward to not only developing my voice and working on my nonexistent photography skills but also in searching out fun, new, exciting ways to be creative so I can share them with you. I also received this amazing book for Christmas along with all of the art supplies necessary to complete the prompts.

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If you don’t follow Jennifer on Instagram, @augustwren, you should! Her paintings-a-day are always inspiring and so pretty! And now she has put that concept into book form for us non-artists. Each month has a different theme and set of prescribed supplies and each day has a specific prompt. I’m so looking forward to beginning this journey.

I will work toward making our home a reflection of our life.

Are you familiar with the Danish word hygge? It’s a concept that doesn’t have a direct English translation but revolves around coziness and conviviality. It helps the Danes deal with their long dark winters and contributes to their enviable national happiness quotient. While hygge often involves socializing with friends over coffee or intimate dinners, I believe hygge starts at home. Since I live in Louisiana, battling fierce winters is not an issue for me but my darling husband and I are homebodies. I want our home to be a place of refuge: free from irritations, calm & serene and snug & cozy.

img_0136I’ve already begun a slow-motion redecoration of our home. I’m focusing on serene colors, cozy textures and accessories that make me happy. I am not an interior designer and this is not a show home. This is real life. There is dog hair and there is clutter. But I do want to share this ongoing project with you in it’s authentic state.

I want to read more.

I used to be a prolific, voracious reader. I was never without a book and usually had my next several in waiting. My focus has slipped. I don’t find myself easily sliding into the flow of words and drifting along with them the way I used to and I miss it. I think I can improve this and find myself once again intimate with the words on the page rather than just a casual acquaintance. img_0139

I also want to engage and exchange ideas with other readers to help rekindle that fire. Book reviews, discussions and suggestions will all be in the plan. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, please join in! The more the merrier!

I would like to have a weekly baking day.

We, mostly him,  have a sweet tooth. If my sweetie does an after work grocery run, there are bound to be a few things that jump into his cart. He also likes to bring me treats. Obviously this is not a bad thing and I am a lucky girl, but it has gotten a little out of hand over the holiday season. It’s time to take back a little control over what we’re eating.

img_0114I used to bake for a living so this is not a stretch for me. Simple cakes, chewy cookies and yummy bars are all easily in my reach. And if I’m doing the baking I can control the quality of the ingredients and feel better about what my sweetie is eating. Besides, he’s such a kind and generous soul, I can see a lot of these treats making their way to his office to be shared. There will be recipes!

I want to restart my yoga practice. 

Three years ago, as a New Year’s resolution, I went to my first yoga class. I was clueless and nervous; but once I got over my anxiety, I took to it like a duck to water! I loved feeling my body move in ways I didn’t know it could, to feel my strength and flexibility improving with each class and the calmness that settled my over-active mind. For eighteen months I went religiously 3 times a week. It was an amazing investment in my health and well-being!

img_0009Then a health issue disrupted my routine. At first it was just a missed class here or there and then my attendance became sporadic at best. I haven’t been to a class in over a year. I certainly don’t expect to just jump right back in to my old schedule but I’m going to commit to a beginners class, hopefully once a week. My instructor is incredible and knows about my limitations and I am confident that with her help I can regain my strength and flexibility, not overnight, but eventually.

I will find ways to socialize more that fit my personality.

I am a homebody and an introvert. I am not naturally comfortable at a large social event or in an overly noisy, crowded setting. I have a small circle of close friends rather than a large group of acquaintances and that’s fine with me. When I was working, a lot of socialization occurred naturally. I was good friends with several people I worked with. But now that I’m not working, it’s a little too easy for me to slip into hermit-mode. I need to fix that!

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There are plenty of opportunities that I can take advantage of: lunch with my work buddies, a catch-up dinner with a dear friend, coffee with one of my younger friends who is looking for a little mentoring or a low-key concert with my husband. Those encounters energize rather than drain me. I need to make more of an effort to make them happen.

And last but certainly not least:

I will practice mindfulness and gratitude daily.

As humans we are constantly looking forward, planning our next move. I want to focus on being in the moment. I want to recognize an appreciate all of things I have and how lucky my circumstances are rather than constantly living in the future.

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Whew! I had no idea I had so much to say! If you’ve read all the way through, thanks for sticking with me! If you’ve read something that speaks to you, let me know in the comments, I want this to be a conversation not a soliloquy. What are your resolutions or plans for 2017?

XOXO

Crystal

Pleased to meet you!

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Hello! I’m Crystal otherwise known as The Quirky Quaintrelle and this is to be my blog. I love spending time with my family & our menagerie of pets, good food & drink, pretty things, classic style with a twist, a cozy home, books, the occasional bit of craftiness and so much more!

I believe in paying a few dollars more for the attractively designed option over the strictly utilitarian. I will always stop to look at pictures of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn or Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. I adore British television and period-piece movies and almost anything featuring magic. I read everything: novels, classic literature, history, science, travel, social science, comics and describe myself as ferociously curious.

Food & wine are my love languages. Bring me chocolate, a fancy coffee, a bottle of Cabernet or a really good pizza and I will be a very happy girl. And other than my darling husband and my sweet sister, cheese is my best friend. I love to cook and I love a good restaurant meal and, yes, I’m the one taking pictures of everyone’s plates before they take a bite.

Right now I’m just practicing. Stretching my legs and finding my voice. Starting in the new year I hope to post at least 5 times a week on all of the things I mentioned above and whatever else strikes my fancy. I hope you’ll find something that interests you and you’ll follow along and strike up a conversation while I set out to make 2017 my most beautiful, magical & charming year yet!

XOXO

Crystal