17 June 2009

TABLESCAPE THURSDAY: Alone with Books

 

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If it’s Thursday, it must be Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Between Naps on the Porch.  Be sure to visit (here) to enjoy all the other Tablescape Thursday tablescapes!

 

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If there was one room I could add onto my house – and I’ve said it before – it would be a dedicated library.   It would have bookcases, wrapping around the wall, high to the ceiling.   In the middle would be a huge old library table that would double as a desk or a dining table.  There would be two chairs with soft down filled cushions and ottomans for both and a fireplace that would blaze all winter and be filled with scented candles in the summer.   In the middle would hang a huge lantern, low from the ceiling,  to light the room just enough to glimpse the collections of antique globes and lacquered boxes.  If possible, the ceiling would be double height and there would a balcony around the second level to access the higher books with ease.  There would be, of course, a wonderful ladder – no library should be without one.   Alas, I don’t have  a library, just an area of bookshelves on the stair landing.   No room for an ottoman there, much less a chair or two.  The books are overflowing – they are stacked everywhere.  New ones, still unread, are in the garage – waiting their turn.  Ones recently read have found their way inside to the entry’s hall table.   The extras are now encroaching on the dining room, piled on chairs and the floor.   So, you see, I DO need a library.

If I could, I would turn my living room into the reading room and let it double as a part-time dining room – something I might still do one day.  The rarely used living room could be the perfect library – it just takes time and money – both of which are scarce these days.   So, for now, the dining room is my reading nook – a place where I can sit and thumb through design books in search of a picture to scan in for the blog, or a story to show a client.  I have some research to do today – so I think I’ll just eat a very late, leisurely lunch in the dining room while I’m working – a truly novel idea!

 

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Care to join me?  The table is all set and ready for one, but I could quickly add a plate if you stay!   It won’t match though, I only have one of those that I am using today!

 

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My dining room is small and open to the entry hall.  Instead of a proper table, I have an oval shaped one that is draped in a heavy silk plaid from J. Robert Scott – which I copied from a client!   Last year I starting turning my chairs outward for some reason and I like them that way.  They look like ladies primly sitting, patiently waiting to be asked to dance!

 

 

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The chandelier is an antique that I bought from a friend when she remodeled her house.  I told you all about it here, in case you missed it.    When we moved in our house 15 years ago – there was a short window here.   After a few months – we replaced it with French doors, much better, no?  The doors lead out to a small side garden – just 5’ wide and 40’ long – typical for the small town lots in West University, where we live. 

 

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Since I have a skirted table, whenever I have a dinner party – I first put down a waterproofed, special table cloth - cut to fit.  Then I layer a white cotton or linen cloth over it.  That way, if anyone spills red wine or coffee – the skirted tablecloth isn’t damaged.   After the meal, I toss the white tablecloth in the washing machine.    Today, since I am alone, I am just going to put down a cloth with fringe instead of lugging out the liner and the topper.  This is much easier and I’m not drinking any red wine anyway. 

 

 

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In setting the Tablescape Thursday, I tried to keep everything neutral and creamy.      The silver dome is something I have just started collecting – I’ve bought two and that is probably all I will buy:  they take up a lot of room, something I am short on!

 

 

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Do you recognize what book I am reading?  The author is a popular blogger – and that is a picture of her maison, in the south of France, in the middle of an olive grove:  My French Life, by Vicki Archer – available here.   

 

 

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The rose came from my yard, the white urn came from the famous Betty Rae.

 

 

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The drinking glass is from my favorite restaurant – Galatoires in New Orleans and the decanter was bought there too, on Magazine Street.

 

 

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The antique altar candlesticks came from Tara Shaw, of course, and the marble grapes are from Mona Dees at Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy, the same person who has sold me both my silver domes.  Thanks Mona!

 

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The reticulated creamware plates were won on Ebay from England.  They aren’t antique but they look it.   This is probably the only time they will be eaten off  - they are going to be hanging on the walls soon.   The antique fork is a style that I collect whenever I can find them.  Some of mine are monogrammed, but not with my initials. 

 

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And finally, look at this gorgeous napkin!   Imagine my utter shock and sheer joy to open up such a dear package containing 10 of these oversized French linen napkins.   They are a gift from Ruth Gay – of Chateau Domingue – whom I wrote about here and here.   I really can’t remember receiving anything so lovely before.   Can you read the monogram? 

 

Thanks for joining me at my late, leisurely lunch this afternoon.  I won’t tell you what I ate – it’s soooo disgusting.  OK, I will:   Whataburger Chicken Strips with Onion Rings instead of French Fries with a Diet Coke.  hehe.  It’s such a guilty pleasure. 

 

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And be sure to join Linda, Megan, and me on the Skirted Roundtable today with two brand new shows:  Blogging – what keeps up motivated from jumping the shark, AND Design – all about kitchens!!   

To listen, go here.

84 comments:

  1. A welcome chance to linger here, to soak in a state of mind and soul....Thank you.

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  2. Just beautiful! I'd love to be your guest...the food doesn't matter, the conversation would be great!

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  3. It's perfection, Joni!

    I can't tell you how many times I've sat in our living room, with the 18 foot ceiling and "planned" a library. Always wanted one.

    Fabulous post!

    I enjoyed The Skirted Roundtable, today!

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  4. Joanie...this is wonderful...I love the whole feel, not only the table, but the room as well. I, too, crave a library...have a perfect space for one...just can't do it right now. I love seeing a dining room table filled with books. How wonderful to dine surrounded by old friends...and new ones, patiently waiting to be uncovered. :-) Thanks for another wonderful Tablescape Thursday! Susan

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  5. Ohhhhh... this is all so beautiful- tablescapes are my favorites! I spy those lovely alabaster grapes again. I want to splurge on some so badly!!! Next time I'll bring my own plate over and cook our lunch... something from Keith McNally's Balthazar Cookbook, I think!

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  6. wow I'd love a library, my books are randomly stuffed all over

    absolutely stunning

    Sarah

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  7. Do you ever tire of hearing...PERFECTION?!!! I don't think I ever would!!! Anyway...

    PERFECTION!!!

    Enjoy your evening!!!
    XOXO
    Cathy

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  8. Hi Joni! I'm speechless! The tablescape is gorgeous! All the little details... I can really feel how much you care about your guests and how how much you care baout yourself. A wonderful tablescape should be set even for just one person, in this case you, someone special! I love the chairs no facing the table... I could even picture myself siting there just waiting for someone to take me for a dance. Love it!!

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  9. * SPLENDID Joni, simply SPLENDID! And your DR table fabric???~~~ Wellll, "my kingdom for that fabric"! (I mean, if I H*A*D one! Will a Wal-Mart, rhinestone tiara do?)~~~

    Thanks, as always, for the most delicious of feasts for the eyes!!!

    Linda (in AZ) *

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  10. Hi Joni, I listened to the SRT today whilest baking muffins!:) I love your pictures and you have great style. Happy TT!

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  11. Joni, what a beautiful warm and inviting post. Full of inspriration and beauty. You've given me the fever for a tablescape post. I enjoy the Skirted Roundtable as well.
    hugs ~lynne~

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  12. a beautiful post....love your blog.

    Love it when I have time to do blog hopping...
    I always enjoy finding new blogs!

    This month I am posting on our Disney trip.

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  13. Looks beautiful! Yum Whataburger! I miss whataburger LOL!! Your idea for a library sounds fantastic, I too dream of such a place lol..which book is it that you have opened to that gorgeous photo? The silver dome is so pretty too...love it!

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  14. nevermind lol..I thought the little book on the right was "My French Life" hee hee ..oops...I gotta go get that book now! :0)

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  15. Joni, This is such a dear post! I feel like I've had the lucky pleasure of spending time visiting with you in your beautiful dining room. Your tablescape is absolutely charming, just like you are! You were very lucky indeed to receive the gift of those gorgeous antique napkins!

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  16. Hello Joni your dining room is gorgeous I love the colour on your walls and the silk tablecloth, the french doors look perfect. Candles, fave books and dinner sounds good to me and your dream library had my heart skipping a beat, happy tablescape Thursday, Kathy

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  17. Fabulous post! I seldom visit but I'm always glad when I do! Your table is so sweet and darling with all those books around. Hope you get your library soon!

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  18. OK, if this does not put you at #1, we need to come up with a new strategy for next week!

    I love that chandelier - you have some spectacular lighting in your house!

    Apothecary jars are my new obsession. Where can I get some? I would love to have a few apothecary jars for my bathroom, and fill them with cornflower blue sea glass or bath salts.

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  19. I love the candlesticks very vintage.
    the lotus candle holders are very pretty. and the wine glass very pretty.

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  20. Joni,
    You are so darling! What a kick! I must admit- I had a delicious burger with swiss today! And feel guilty too! Any ways, that divine library you described- I scouted it for a magazine shoot- it was the perfect library allright!

    Take Care!
    xx
    Michelle
    Zuniga Interiors

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  21. I can see, you like your new toy!
    Great shots!

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  22. I've seen dining rooms turned into libraries -- complete with walls of books. So often it is a little used room! Love your temporary library and I'm off to get that book.

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  23. I would love to join you in that gorgeous dining room of yours Joni - a little wine, a little chat and a delish lunch (rather like an onion ring or two)...perfection. Thank you so much for featuring my book....xv

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  24. What an absolutely beautiful home!! And I must say, your photography is amazing!

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  25. I know you enjoyed your chicken strips in that beautiful setting! The perfect book club meeting place!BTW-I'm lovin' (ok coveting) your silver dome. It's gorgeous. Thank you Joni, for sharing your lovely home with us.

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  26. Well, If I was not out riding today, I wouls have loved to join you and have a chat! I would have taken the same order for lunch too!!
    Leslie

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  27. My preference has always been round or oval tables and the way you have dressed yours is devine!

    I sincerely hope you get your library some day as your vision of one sounds marvelous. -Brenda-

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  28. What a gorgeous setting and pink rose! I planted three antique roses, two of which succumbed to the deer. I have one pink rose remaining, I believe that it is Mdme. Isaac Perriere. When my life gets less challenging and I can get the Portugese plates up off the floor and on to the table under the Mason Koro pattern bowls for some Vichyssoise.

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  29. Joni, your DR is just as exquisite as the rest of your lovely house. I had to crack up at what you ate off that beautiful plate. ha-ha!

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  30. So beautiful Joni!! Your chandelier!!!! gorgeous!! I also can't stop coveting your seagrass!!

    Love the idea of a dining room/ reading room & am trying to do something similar in our house too.

    beautiful DR, beautiful post.
    xoxo,
    lauren

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  31. I've always wanted to have a dining room/library. I keep trying to talk my husband into it, but it's always been a no go. I'm not quite sure why he even has an opinion about it.

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  32. Looks like you're enjoying your new camera Joni. Beautiful pics and table, wish I could join you!

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  33. Very nice. I love books and I'v got soooo many, but I don't have a library, so they're all scattered around.

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  34. OH MY GOD! Kismit! I did a post today - certainly not as gorgeous as yours - about my weekly reading with the mags. LOL!

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  35. Galatoires and Magazine St. in the same sentence,, Oh I see a road trip to New Orleans for me soon. That would be one of my wish for a perfect day to have this summer.
    Love the reading area you made for yourself, nothing wrong with going all out when having Whataburger, it makes it a bit healthier.
    PS: I have the same grapes that I got in Italy 40 years ago, I loved seeing yours in this Tablescape.
    Joy

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  36. Joni, your library plans are perfect, as is this post! I love the way you write, I get so lost in it. The turned around chairs are a beautiful idea, and everything about your table and room are gorgeous. I'd love to be sitting there perusing books with you over a diet coke and whataburger! You cracked me up.
    xo Isa

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  37. Ah, Joni, such a beautiful setting! The skirted table, the chandelier, the gorgeous creamware... the books!!! Shall I tell you a little secret? Everyone in my family reads at the dinner table every night! Please don't set the Mom Police on me... my kids may not be filled with scintillating conversation, but they are certainly well read... ;)

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  38. Joni
    Lovely details.I see the new camera at work! Love the pic through the french door! Architectural Digest may be calling!

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  39. Everything looks perfect and very conducive to inspirations leading to beauty.

    Your menu made me smile. I'm certain that the lovely atmosphere made the food even tastier.

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  40. This really is my dream room. Just tuck a cot in the corner and I'd be very happy.

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  41. Joni,
    Don't drink Diet Coke it has Aspartame in it which slowly kills your immune system. ( tell that to all my friends and you are one of them :)

    That was just gorgeous, I just love love love that plaid tablecloth. And your dining room is decorated in my all time favourite colour so that's probably the other reason I love it so much!

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  42. You have painted a beautiful picture with your words. Your dream library sounds wonderful. In the meantime, your dining room looks like a wonderful place to read and dine. Beautiful!

    Christi

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  43. Sigh! I love your room and the hutch with the plate rail top. The photo looking through the panes is so cool...Love it all...

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  44. How delightful to read this post, with all those gorgeous images (beautiful photography, Joni)of refined textiles, silver, porcelain, candles and...books. I have an obsession for books, I believe it was inherited from my father (we split his library between my sister and me, a thing that should never be done, but...we are talking about thousands of books...and we don't live in a chateau). Enjoyed the post and waiting impatiently for the next one.

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  45. What a lovely post, and what a lovely table and room. It is inviting, one could linger here for hours!
    Blessings,
    Debbie

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  46. Joni, I loved whataburger when I lived in texas. I always ordered the hamburger... makes me hungry just thinking about it. Have been a bit absent from blogger world the past month due to various unexpected problems/situations. I am getting back to my serenity and routine. I will be babysitting two of my grandchildren next weekend in jackson, Mississippi which will have me totally occupied in a wonderful way! I am behind listening to the roundtable discussions.

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  47. I think I heard fast food becomes gourmet and healthy when eaten on china and a beautiful table setting! Lovely and my table often looks just like yours- have to move the books to make room for dining!

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  48. Lovely post! I, too, dream of a library.

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  49. GORGEOUS table... I LOVE the view looking in through the French doors... très FAB!!!

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  50. Joni, I could live in this wonderful room! That beautiful skirted table and those gorgeous draperies; the cane chairs, and I glimpsed a charming hutch, and the view outside - it's all perfect! And it doesn't matter what you are eating, if it's on those gorgeous plates. If there is a restroom near your dining room, I could move right in! It's wonderful. laurie

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  51. lovely way to talk about your virtual and real friends ...

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  52. What a visual journey...I am full now...Thank You, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  53. I love your photography skills. Especially the one through the window. I also would love to have a library. LOVE books. No Kindle for me!
    Brenda

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  54. I have to try Tablescape Thursday sometime! It looks like a fun, creative thing to try. I have never thought of using the color yellow in an interior and it looks so warm and inviting in your home that I may have to try it. The chandelier is a beauty! Always a treat to see photos of your home. Deborah

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  55. love the tablescape! the linens are gorgeous as are the plates. pam

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  56. Joni, I love a dinner party for one. Yours was very beautiful. thanks for sharing.

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  57. Oh...are you peeking in my window??? That's pretty much what my lunch table usually looks like! All the books, I mean! Congratulations on that gorgeous creamware. Ebay does it again.

    Oh, and you're right...that was one disgusting lunch!! :)!!

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  58. I love tablescaping. It is an art I truly appreciate. You did a fabulous job. I love all the creams mixed together. I looks like it could be a scene from a movie!! Good job, very inspiring for someone in retail, always looking for great tablescape ideas!

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  59. I have that exact tablecloth! How weird is that??

    I used to have it on a round table ~ I made it with huge self-piping around the bottom. I am a wildly talented seamstress ;-)

    Now it's in a drawer. I don't really have a place for it here but I love it so I still have it.

    Anyway, your table is beautiful. Now, let's talk about that lunch. Ha.

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  60. HU Joni, I have been here before just haven't commented but THIS deserves more than a comment....it is SOOOO beautiful. I would love a library too, I real ALOT so have tons of books and no one place to keep them. I HATE to get rid of them but do lend them out. I like the idea of turning a seldom used living room into a library! Maybe someday...... Have a ownderful weekend....oh, and I would ahve LOVED the "guilty pleasure" lunch:):):) Pinky

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  61. Another lovely post. Once again you are truly an inspiration.

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  62. Joni your blog is always a pleasure. And your lighting is spectacular!

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  63. Hi Joni! And welcome to Tablescape Thursday! I love Thursdays! You've set a very lovely spot! I'm enjoying your pictures with your new camera. Yes, I lurk on your blog sometimes! LOL
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

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  64. G'day Joni,

    From wintery Tassie Hi. I loved your rose that was in the vase on the table - the photograph beautiful and I absolutely loved the silver food cover - the engraving - gorgeous. At the moment I haven't got the speakers for my computer so I'm dying to hear the skirted round table!!!! Will have to get onto that. Sometimes the ideas you have you carry around for a while. I'd seen in a magazine (months ago)where the home owners had one wall in their dining room lined with bookshelves and it went up and around their double doorway and I thought it would look great in our dining room (and we have the same double doorway) and eventually thinking about it for a few months!!!! (these things take time) I showed the picture to my husband told him to please agree with me and he did - can you believe it!! (I couldn't!!) So I'm planning my bookcase and once I nut out the finer details I'll go and get it made...the kids are talking about where they will put their books but mine will take precidence ... interiors books and a few recipe books. Oh by the way I rushed out and bought the Mary Emmerling's beach cottages that you mentioned in one of your stories and I must say I absolutely love it!!!

    Take care

    Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  65. Oh Joni I can clearly visualize your soon-to-be-in-the-future library. And it looks so comfy and lovely. Love the idea of having a ladder in a home library because that means there would be walls and walls of books.

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  66. Lovely. So many details to comment on. The rose picture is beautiful and I would count that as success (!) with the new camera.

    Just returned from New Orleans where I had a very quick stroll down magazine street since we were visiting my son and his college age friends. I MUST take more time there on my next trip.

    I love a library in the dining room.

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  67. How pretty Joni...the loner in me wants it all to myself!! Yes, love libraries!!

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  68. You paint a wonderful picture with your words. I totally enjoyed my visit today. And your tablescape is so beautiful. I love the plates and the silver dome.

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  69. love your 'scape! Everything is absolutely lovely!
    just the other day I was ordering Vicki's book and then got sidetracked... thanks for the reminder!
    we have a very small room off of the living room who's function perplexed me forever...for a while it was the "mystery room", it has since been dubbed the reading room, and is just now turning into this amazing hug of a space! I'm so excited with how it's coming together. I'll let you know when it's complete and have photos up.
    joan

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  70. Joni, your beautiful words are seriously making me second guess myself today. The plans for the house we're building had a two story library with wrap around shelves. I nixed it, and the second floor is now a bar area in the media room. DH is already planning his poker nights! But I did add a fireplace downstairs, so maybe that's a small consolation. Can you come work your magic in Charlotte?

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  71. Here my little two cents: IT is gorgeous!
    Nothing better then show and tell from your real life! I adore it!
    Hug and kiss from Victoria!

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  72. Lovely as usual! Enjoy your weekend!

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  73. Hi Joni,
    Just stopping back by to admire this wonderful table again! Each time, I see something I missed the time before. I love hearing where you found all these beautiful pieces. This tablescape is just sooo inviting...really inspiring!
    Susan

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  74. Love your "converted" reading room.

    I too would love to have a dedicated libary space with floor to ceiling bookcases complete with a ladder to house my large and ever-expanding collection of books. I'm eyeing our small loft now, and we'll see if I can transform into what I want (albeit much smaller).

    Love the pictures of your reading table, lunch didn't read disgusting at all and your blog is always a delight to visit and browse.

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  75. Can you design a library for me, too, while you're at it over there in W.U.?!! I love that idea. And I adore books. I could just envision being there, all so cozy.
    -s

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  76. Last night until(1 am) I listened to all of The Skirted Round table discussions! How inspirational and such great points of view and talent. Linda, Megan, and Joni, you are all fabulous to do this for us! By the way Joni your tablescape is gorgeous, the pierced plates, linens , all of it goes together beautifully.

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  77. Your dining room is so gorgeous! I love the silver dome cover and now I want one...or two!!! I'm off to ebay to see if I can find some!

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  78. OMG! regarding the "B" residence in Brentwood..I could not agree more!!! O.k., the kitchen is nice, but OMG....this was just TASTELESS.
    I am glad her husband likes the design job she did, as he probably footed the bill.
    Thanks for sharing your feelings. You are not alone!

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  79. Through the wind; it is just lovely. So very creative and will return me to reading the TT blogaround.

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  80. I've long shared your library dreams! In our current two-story home, the library is a floor-to-ceiling bookcase at the top of the landing, with a craftsman chair, paisley-topped side table and linen-shaded lamp. Chances are, it will combine with a home office and guest room in my next, smaller home.

    This week, I blogged on affordable style for home libraries at:

    http://jgkitchens.blogspot.com/2009/08/style-list-5-150-max-library-edition.html.

    Design while you dream! The cashmere throws on sale are Real!

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  81. I love the votive holders in this picture. Where did you find them?

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  82. Your tablescape is gorgeous!! I love the reticulated china and the dome..maybe cause I have things like that, so I'm very happy to have run into your blog, while looking at Spaghetti china tablescapes and there you were! I wanted to follow you but couldn't find the link. Please come over, I'd love to be friends...only if you wanrt, that is!!
    FABBY

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  83. Oh, I'm usually at Tablescape Thursday, at Susan's BNOTP.

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