Out With the New & In With the Old!
Yellow Roses in Silver Jug

I have a few design lessons for you today.

Lesson #1

If you decide to redo your house, go ahead and redo it.   If you feel like going in a completely different direction, go ahead and do it.  But don’t, DON’T,  DO NOT throw out everything you used to love.  DO NOT.  I’m using capitals a lot here because I need you to understand the importance of this.

If you truly love something you’ll always love it.  Sure … you might get sick of it for a while but you’ll want it again eventually.  Take asparagus soup for instance.  A few years ago I went on an aparagus soup kick.  I must have made asparagus soup three times a week for a few months.  I couldn’t get enough asparagus soup.  And then one day as I brought the steaming spoonful of asparagus soup to my lips I nearly threw up.  I did not want asparagus soup.  I was quite literally sick of it.

A few years passed and right out of the blue I got a craving.  For asparagus soup.  Luckily I hadn’t banned any groceries stores from carrying Asparagus so I could once again make asparagus soup.


Now imagine this as a design scenario.  What if you loved something, got sick of it, then threw it out!  What would you do then?  Well, you’d probably cry several years later when you wanted to look at it again, but you realized it was either in someone else’s house or at the bottom of a landfill.  Even worse, what if you gave it to a relative and they wouldn’t give it back?  The horrifying possibilities are endless.

When I redid my house several years ago, taking it from Messy Granny to Rustic Modern I was tempted to throw out every single antique I owned.  But I didn’t.  I saved a few key pieces that I loved, and a bunch of accessories I didn’t think I’d ever use again.  For some reason … though … I didn’t throw them out.  A few paintings, some pieces of silver and a lot of candlesticks.  You know … accessories.

And I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I am that I didn’t.

As the months go by I’m finding that while I love this whole Rustic Modern thing I have going on … I also like my old stuff.  And I’m sneaking it back into the repertoire.

Earlier this week I pulled out my silver water pitcher from the back of my buffet.  Just looking at it makes me smile.  I love it.  And I was *this close* to throwing it out a few years ago.  If I hadn’t had room in my buffet I probably would have.

So if you really love something but find you’re getting sick of it.  Just stash it … don’t smash it.





Lesson #2


You don’t always have to put your flowers in a vase. I’ve said this before, but I’m saying it again after being invigorated by this post.  You can stuff a plant or some flowers into just about anything.  Try out this or that and see what works.  But don’t use say … an old Kitty Litter box.  That would just be ugly.  And quite possibly  very confusing for the cat.




Lesson #3

If you have a vase of beautiful flowers put em wherever you spend the most time so you have more time to look at them!  For me it’s the kitchen.



If I have a few flowers left over I like to put them in the bedroom. I don’t see them for very long each day, but nothing starts your day nicer than waking up to a bedside table with daffodils.

Except maybe waking up to a cup of coffee and some crispy bacon.  Served to you on an antique silver tray.  The one shoved in the back of the buffet.


  1. Jenn says:

    Love love LOVE that vase!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jenn! And see??? NOT a vase! A water pitcher! I’ve only ever put flowers in it once before. I don’t know why! I certainly don’t ever pour ice water out of it! ~ karen

  2. amy walters, aDESIGNdock says:

    cute post. love yellow – perfect kitchen colour!

    • Karen says:

      Amy – Thanks! That’s another great design / fashion tip. Every once in a while, let someone ELSE pick something out for you. My boyfriend got me the yellow roses .. I would have bought white like I *always* do. I like the yellow MUCH more for spring in the kitchen. Never wouldda picked em. 🙂 ~ karen.

  3. Did you know we have the same silver pitcher? The evidence:



    You like roses, I like hydrangeas and wildflowers. Can we still be friends?


    • Karen says:

      Kate – Well … I’ll think about it. It depends. It kind of all hinges on whether you like carnations. ~ karen

  4. Lou says:

    I quite wish you would spend every waking minute doing posts… One per day is simply not enough. I check your blog more often than I check my email!

    • Karen says:

      Lou – Thanks! Here’s the funny part. I *do* spend every waking minute doing posts. And on rare occasions, parts of my sleeping moments too. 🙂 ~ karen

  5. Luke Hoy says:

    I love the yellow in the silver pitcher! A near flesh tone pink rose is my favorite. They have such a faded 1930s charm that seems like it can fit into about any setting. 🙂

  6. Anita says:

    Love the water pitcher full of flowers and I love your reflection in it as you are taking the pic ! 😉

  7. marilyn says:


  8. Hey, I have that pitcher – I think, somewhere, I hope I didn’t throw it away!

    Would you mind if I use one of your photos as a reference for a painting? I just love the light and colors. Thanks!

  9. blake says:

    I’m enjoying this…I give my clients a similar lecture about not getting rid of EVERYTHING…regret is no fun! and being surrounded by new stuff that I picked out and nothing that has their love, history, etc in it is also a bummer.

    On another note I too have that pitcher, it was my grandmothers and I have never, EVER poured ice water, tea or vodka concoctions from it…I DO stuff many different seasonal things in it…white sprayed glittery tree limbs at Easter being a favorite…with little egg shaped photos hanging from the tree limbs of my family past.

    I *like* your reflection in the pitcher!

  10. Jen A says:

    I’m a home office gal and often have the flowers right on my desk. I also have a birdfeeder set up right out my window. (The yellow roses are really pretty)

  11. charlene says:

    I totally agree with bout not getting rid of things on a whim, when you deceide to redecorate. I have done the same thing when the mood strikes. I also love to see my flowers and put them in my kitchen, beautiful.

  12. Patti says:

    What’s that thing in the top photo, on the wall behind the flowers? Is it a soap dispenser thingy? Or perhaps it’s a modernistic pez dispenser? Maybe even a tip dispenser for otoscopes?

    The possibilities are endless, and my curiousity is piqued.

    • Karen says:

      Patti – It IS a soap dispenser thingy. It’s hideous but really handy to have when you have salmonella hands. ~ karen

      • Patti says:

        I only guessed correctly because I had one, and then thought ‘this is weird, I can’t use this’ and sent it to Velue Village. But now I’m a little mad, because it actually works at your place. Another instance where people shouldn’t be so quick to throw things out all the time! hahah!

  13. Jules says:

    You made such a good point here- I cannot wait to explain this (better than I have) to my husband bc he does not understand why I have a cellar full (in a very organized way though)of random decorative “things”! I work from home full time – I look around a lot- I get SICK of stuff! I love being able to change things up and not spend a dime. I also recognize that many of the things I have can mix and match in any room- bc I buy what I like! Thanks as always……off to buy fresh flowers!

    • Sarah says:

      I do the same thing…with our full 3rd floor attic. Ive been paring down over the last year or so though. Stuff can be stifling, even when you dont have alot out at once. Im trying to pinpoint my decorating style. Its not easy, esp when I like bits and pieces of different styles yet live in an old victorian home. Ugh.

  14. Carol says:

    LOVE your silver pitcher especially with flowers in it!! Antiques and vintage pieces look best when paired with contemporary or modern so you probably will like your ‘old stuff’ now even more than before! Funny, roses are one of the few flowers I never buy in white, (too weddingy looking for me) but I LOVE them in other colours.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Your posts always make me happy. What a beautiful, cheerful, YELLOW bouquet! Looks fantastic in the silver water pitcher.

  16. Erin says:

    you make me wish I owned silver things, other than jewelry.

  17. Pam says:

    Love the idea but want to know what is on the wall to the left of the roses? Looks like one of those shower soap dispensers???? In the kitchen???? I want to hear that idea 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam – Yup it’s similar to one of those shampoo dispensers, but it *is* made for the kitchen. It dispenses soap on the left and lotion on the right! Not the most attractive thing, but very handy for in the kitchen. I find it way more useful than one of those pump dispensers. ~ karen

  18. lynn hutchins says:

    Like you, I went from “Granny’s Parlor” to a more updated look when I met (and later married) the coolest man….so, I have an attic full of pink china, pink glass, wash stands, lacey things etc. I agree..makes me feel good that it is safely tucked away for someday..LOve your blog..your are so funny!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lynn! Hold onto that stuff! Contemporary and antique work very well together. Give it a shot. Like right now! I’ll wait here while you go to the attic. ~ karen

  19. karin says:

    holy moly… i got pretty much the same pitcher a while ago from Goodwill for 3 bucks. i love it, although it’s kinda tarnished. I’m debating if i should leave it or clean it. whaddaya thank?

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