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Thursday, February 16, 2017


I shared some good estate sale finds that I came across last month with you recently.  One thing that I didn't mention was this decorating book from Southern Living, copyright dated 1990.  I picked it up because I'm always looking for larger size books to fill my shelves, and it's a bonus if it's a decorating book!

Many of the features in this book are every bit as beautiful and in-style today as they were when it came out, and I thought you might want to take a peek at it's pages with me.

Let's start with a couple of exteriors from the book.  This front exterior is just as perfect today as it was almost 30 years ago when this book was published.  I would just add two boxwood topiaries flanking the door and ooh la la!!

Some day I WILL have a front door with a lion's head door knocker on it!  Love the brass kickplates too.  We desperately need a new front door and these two are heavily inspiring me. How I would love to work in a double door!

The ferns in the chippendale planters (I have the exact ones in black), the chippendale style furniture and the big hanging lantern would be right at home today on any chic porch or patio.

Moving on to some interiors in the book, beginning with living areas.  This mantel graces the cover of the book, and I was struck at how easily I could recreate it with things I already have.  I'm keeping this one as inspiration for this Fall.

Can you guess what caught my eye in this living room?  Lots of blue and white!  It's so light and bright, and the eclectic mix of furniture with the contrast of the wood table is nice.  Now that I look closer, I think that's natural wood planking on the wall, too!  Too bad it's not horizontal, it would be shiplap before it's time!  ;)  Not really, I guess shiplap has been around for ages, but there's definitely a resurgence in it's popularity. #thanksfixerupper

The mom and daughter are completely cracking me up, but those beautiful accent chairs and the vintage rug make this space special.  I also like the classic wing chairs, which appear to be slipcovered, flanking the fireplace.

More blue and white (and I spot gingham, too)!  I also have a soft spot for the antlers, which I have in my own home.  I've heard debate recently that antlers are out... but I think they definitely fit in the timeless category.

For some reason, the first thought that came into my head when I saw this space was that it looked like a room that Emily Henderson would decorate.  It's eclectic and funky just like her designs, and I wish it was my vacation home in the mountains.  And honestly, if I didn't know better, I think it could be in a decorating magazine on the rack in the grocery store today!

I've admitted that I'm a sucker for an ornate gold frame... always, always in style, even if you put a chalkboard in it!  And again, the wing backs flanking the fireplace... love.

Other than maybe a new fabric on the sofa and new drapes, I don't see much I would change about this gorgeous library today.  Did you spot the crystal chandelier and peacock fireplace screen?  I'm a fan.  

This dining room is SO pretty.  Wallpaper and murals are back in a big way.  The furniture is gorgeous, although I would probably relocate a piece or two to break up the matchy-matchy.

This antique display cabinet and a peek of an oriental rug?  Gorgeous.

I would not change one thing in this space, I'm mesmerized by the pink walls, white trim, and blue and white combo!

I will say that the kitchens and bathrooms in the book were pretty dated compared to today's standards, but that's not too surprising.

So, in my opinion, the design elements that are clearly timeless according to these photos are:

*Blue and White Porcelain (yay!)
*Oriental Rugs
*Crystal Chandeliers
*Antique Furniture
*Furniture with classic lines and pairs of chairs
*Brass (yay again!)
*Color (triple yay!)

If you'd like to see more, I found the exact book here if you want to add it to your collection.

And, here are several current Southern Living decorating books that I'd love to get my hands on to pore over as well.  I wonder how many of these pages will stand the test of time in 30 years!

(affiliate links used)

Vintage Peacock Fireplace Screens here

What elements do you think are timeless in design?

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love this...nice to see how timeless some pieces can be!

  2. This got me thinking... When I lived in NC ten years ago, everyone had a variation of custom box valances. I only read blogs and all I see are drapes. Are valances outdated or is that the blogs I read don't use them?

  3. I completely agree with you Jennifer...such timeless designs in that book. I even have a hard time getting rid of my Southern Living magazines! They have lots of classic ideas also. Slowly I am tearing out pages to keep for reference but wish I had room for the whole magazine.

  4. I have a couple of older decorating books that I agree are still timeless in so many ways. I think "Classic" will be timeless forever.

  5. Funny, I have this exact book that I've held on to for all the reasons you mentioned. My favorite picture though is the women doing the needlework with her daughter looking on...that is when you know you aren't looking at something from a magazine off the racks today ;-)

  6. Always fun to look back and see what is still "in". I think that is exactly it, the pieces are classic and not "trendy" so they stand the test of time.

  7. Jennifer, I have this exact same book! Can never pass up a pretty coffee table book. Need to thumb through it again. :)

  8. It's great to look back and see just how classic some styles are. These are just beautiful. I have at least two of the books you want to get your hands on; and yes, you will really enjoy their contents.

  9. Beautiful timeless decor. The French chairs by the fireplace under the ornate, gold frame steals my heart. I would update the fabric and keep them forever.

  10. I love that classics like these are always in style!!!

  11. What a great book- there are a lot of elements still in style throughout these pictures. I've stuck with traditional style decorating because it's so classic and not as prone to trends. I have a pair of wing backs that I should try cozied up by the fireplace with a table in front. Such a timeless look!


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