Good Monday morning! Notice anything new and exciting here? Yep, a brand new look for The Enchanted Home. I went through Debby of Inspired Design, yes that talented sweetheart whose middle name should be “patience”….she was patient with me like you cannot imagine. I had a vision in my head and did my best to translate it to her…and after a lot of back and forth exchanges, sure enough it came to fruition! SO first a big thank you to Debby for helping me realize this vision. I just love it and am a big believer in changing things up every now and then. If you have been contemplating a new look or need help just to give a little facelift to your own blog or site, you should absolutey contact Debby, she is fabulous with a capital F, super talented, beyond nice and just a gem in every way. Hoping everyone had a wonderful weekend. Here, it was picture perfect weather wise…gorgeous about 60 and sunny! My little party was so wonderful, and even with more people than I planned it was still fabulous……and plenty of leftovers (best part, right)? Well, I am down to my last two guests posts for my Bloggers beautiful abodes series. What fun its been getting to see inside all of these magnificent homes, everything from farms to idyllic homes in France to more formal abodes…haven’t’ they each been a fabulous treat? Then to getting to hear from these talented ladies and their words of wisdom, has been the icing on the cake. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one, and today’s is no exception. Please say hello to…… Anita from Cedar Hill Ranch Anita is a newer blogging friend, but her warmth and vivaciousness shine through in a big way. I have decided I could live on her front porch alone. It is just so beautiful, the vistas, the way she has decorated it…is a total dream. Then you step inside and see the talent just overflows. What a treat to see inside her beautiful home and get to know a bit about the process and how she thinks when it comes to decorating, clearly all she is doing is right on the money, she truly has such a fabulous eye. I will be guest posting over at her blog in a few weeks so stay tuned for that! Enough of me, lets hear from Anita……. Hello, this is Anita from Cedar Hill Ranch, where we do Texas Living with a French Accent. I’m so thrilled and honored to be here talking to Tina today. Tina has such an amazing home and has such incredible taste. Things here are a little more casual, but I’m getting ahead of myself… 1. How long have you been in your present home? Is this it for the long haul? Anything you would care to change if you could? The question is a simple one, but my answer is a complicated one. We divide our time between our city house and our 30 acre Round Top ranch. We have been in our present city home for 23 years. It is a fairly typical suburban brick house built in 1978, that has served our family well over the years, but no, it’s not my dream house. There are a lot of things I would like to change about the house, which is why we are building a new one right now. So what would I change translates into what am I changing and here’s some of the things we doing in the new house that are not in the old city house; Back of our new craftsman style city house during construction wood sash windowspedestal and claw foot tubsfarmhouse sink48 inch pro gas rangebuilt-in stainless refrigerator unit and freezer unitreclaimed hardwoods butlers pantryvessel sink in guest bathbuilt-in cabinets to hide large flat panel TVopen concept living room/kitchen7 foot kitchen islandhanging barn doors to study Then there’s the Round Top ranch. The house at the ranch is fairly new. We had it built in 2009. We love it so much, that yes we plan to keep it for as long as we are on this earth. 2. If you could only live in two rooms of your house, which two would they be? Oh Tina, that would have to be my living room and my bedroom. These are the rooms I worked the hardest on to transform from deep reds to a calming neutral palette. 3. How would you describe your decorating style? It’s what I call Farmhouse French. That’s a mix of fine French elements like curvey French chairs, vintage silver, dishes, and other pretties, along with with rustic country elements like unfinished wood, and lots of baskets and rusty things. 4. Do you have a favorite color scheme? What is it? My family thought they would NEVER hear me say this, but I have to admit, it’s white. I LOVE color and have always had lots of it in my home, but I have to admit the calm, soothing effect of white is unbeatable. And now I see what I didn’t before. Colors and patterns come and go. If you decorate with patterns, you’ll need to change them out constantly to keep from looking dated. White linen slipcovers are like the black dress of decorating – always in style and they go with everything. I’ve made my own linen slipcovers and bedding to go with my new look. 5. Favorite room of your house and why? My favorite room in the house is also my favorite place to be on earth… seriously. If you read my blog, you probably already know the answer… my back porch at the ranch. With a daybed I covered in linen, vintage grain sack pillows and lots of rockers, it is a comfortable place to take in the cool breezes. I bought an antique pine table for our outdoor dining room, that can seat 10 in a pinch. Then there’s our breakfast room table at the other end of the porch. Here I’ve set a table with bluebells from our fields. The chairs are vintage folding chairs from France. Did I mention I hauled an inherited china cabinet from the city back here? Notice the chandy? My friend Peggy was about to give that to the Savlation army because it didn’t work. I converted it to a candle burning chandy and hung it back here. But the best part about the back porch is that we have these amazing views. 6. Best two tips you can give to anyone looking to tackle the decorating of their own home? If you need help, ask for it. Post your question on Hometalk, Facebook or ask a blogger for advice. I get the best advice from readers and other bloggers. Secondly, just do it. Most changes are reversible, so it’s not the end of the world if you mess up. The wrong purchase can often be returned, sold, or moved to another room. Paint mishaps can be painted over. I’ve made mistakes, but almost always I am able to inexpensively correct them, and I learn in the process. Best two things to NOT do? 1. If it’s remodeling – like moving a wall or new flooring, I recommend getting a professional, unless you really know what you are doing. Badly done home remodeling can really hurt your home value.2. Don’t buy it unless you LOVE it. I have gotten rid of so many things, and do you know what they all had in common? They were “bargains.” A bargain is something marked down for sale that you wouldn’t normally buy, that no one else wants either. These are the things you bring home because they are the right price, but you’re not crazy about them. Unless you can make them over, don’t buy them. It’s not a bargain to buy something you don’t like that you will likely give away soon. 7. What do you think are the most important features for a kitchen? I would say this has to do with personal taste. For me, the two things I was looking for in my new kitchen were that it be open to the living room, and that it have a big island. These are two features I don’t have now. 8. How do you like to dress up a cocktail table and console in a living room? This is a funny question, because I don’t have either in my living room. We have an ottoman rather than a coffee table. I do have a large console in my dining room, so I’ll address that one. I love changing things out for the seasons here, but my favorite way to dress it up is with fresh flowers. You just can’t go wrong with fresh flowers. 9. Any advice on the subject of lighting? Well, having owned a portrait photography business for many years, I can tell you that lighting is critical to a good photograph, so I probably look at lighting more closely than most. I would avoid any fluorescent lighting, including CFL’s. It has a greenish cast that you may not notice until you take a photograph without a flash. The other advice I have would be to use lots of lamps. They add more ambiance to a room than overhead lights. During the day, I prefer natural lighting, so I open all of the shades, and soak up the sunlight, but at night I use lamplight mostly. 10. Do you have a favorite paint color? Do tell! I’m loving Sherwin Williams Collonade Gray. I haven’t used it yet, so I don’t have any photos of it, but that is my top choice to use on our new house. I used Sherwin Williams Windsor Greige exclusively at the ranch for all of the interior rooms. 11. What are a couple of really simple inexpensive things you can do in your home to make it feel “homey” and inviting? Vintage items and antiques add a charm and warmth to a room that is difficult to achieve otherwise. To add warmth, I also love to add old worn baskets and antique chairs. 12. Fill in the blank- If money was no object, the very first thing I would buy for my home would be…………. That’s easy, a Louis XVI wedding armoire. I have it on my list, so I’m hoping to get one after we move. Thank you Tina for inviting me over for the interview. You had so many great questions. If you want to see more of Cedar Hill Ranch, come over any time. If I don’t answer the door, I’m on the back porch! Anita every one of those pictures could be gracing a magazine cover! Just gorgeous….it is all the while beautiful, welcoming and so so warm! So agree about the abundant use of lamps, using wicker baskets and old chairs to fill and warm up a room and never going wrong with the use of fresh flowers….right on! Wonderful tips and tidbits, and what a wonderful treat it was to get to have a peek into your beautiful home. Here is my little bragging session on Anita’s behalf, if you aren’t already in heaven…take a look a these Is this the most amazing treehouse you have ever seen? A grown ups version….I would live there! Put it on the record, I am officially jealous………I have never EVER seen such a beautiful “tree house” I want to attend one of her countryside soirees…as pretty as a postcard! Like a Monet painting…its so pretty! Amazing, don’t you think? These bloggers just have me awed by their talent…and what fun because they each represent a totally different style yet each is so incredible beautiful. I think I have enjoyed this series more than any other and I cannot thank Anita enough for her kindness, generosity in opening up her home and for her extraordinary talents. Anita, you truly live a charmed and beautiful life! Thank you for this and thank you to all the readers for stopping in. Want more Anita? Please visit her over at her blog to say hello and tell her how much you enjoyed this. If you don’t follow her already, you should…its like a daily dose of beauty. Click here to visit. Thank you for coming by and wishing everyone a wonderful day and great start to the week!!