Author Archive

Decorating with: Mansard Mirrors

For me, one of the things that really signified the French architecture during my recent trip, were the mansard roofs and dormer windows that created the beautiful skyline.  In the U.S., this look has been translated into beautiful mirrors that lend a French feel to the interior of our homes, and I’ve always loved this style of mirror, so it was amazing to see the inspiration and origin of this look!



A mansard roof is basically a roof with two slopes, the lower slope being steeper than the upper and dotted with dormer windows.  This style of roof allows what would otherwise be considered attic space, to be liveable space, thus reducing the overall height of the roof for the amount of liveable space.  In France, mansard not only refers to a type of roof construction, but also literally translate to “attic” in French.



What’s interesting to me is that while it’s the construction of the roof that has been given the term “mansard,” it’s the distinct style of the dormer windows that help give the roof line its characteristic look.  Here’s a closeup of these amazing windows pictured above.  You’ll notice that they’ve been constructed to resemble knights!



These beautiful dormer windows that dot the Parisian skyline have been replicated and produced as mirrors.  They make beautiful and elegant statements in any room.


Restoration Hardware is well-known for carrying a mansard mirror in a variety of styles, but their inventory can be quite pricey, with the smallest starting at $275 on sale.

Restoration Hardware Mansard Collection


A significantly less expensive alternative is {affiliate} World Market’s Maddox Mansard Mirror, which is $65 for the same look and size.

World Market Maddox Mansard Mirror




These mirrors are a great way to bring architectural detail and a bit of French history into your home and can add interest to even the plainest of walls.


Would you use a mansard mirror in your home?



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London and Paris {A View Through My Eyes}

If you’ve been following me on social media, then you’ll have seen some of the pictures from my London and Paris trip that I’ve posted so far.  You might have noticed that I almost never show an unobstructed picture of anything.  Instead, I prefer to photograph things as I first see them, which usually means that they are slightly obstructed by an object or at a strange angle.  How often do you ever first see something and have a postcard perfect, unobstructed view of it?  Never!

My photos are my eyes and they show exactly how I see the city, whether it’s from the ground looking straight up, a close-up view of the details, or a glimpse through the trees.  These may not represent typical tourist photos, but they are an accurate view through my eyes.  So, as my incredible journey winds down, here’s a last look at what I’ve seen and done.


We managed to squeeze in a whirlwind trip of Paris…


{Rue Princesse in Paris}



{The Eiffel Tower on a rainy day}



{A view from Jardin des Tuileries}



{I never actually rode the Metro in Paris….I just loved the sign!}



{The grounds of Hotels des Invalides}



{In awe of Notre Dame}



{Inside Notre Dame….too pretty to resist a photo!}


On a rainy and blustery Monday, I made my way to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford!


{The queen was in residence the day I visited!!!}



{I had no idea that Stonehenge was in the middle of a beautiful green and yellow field filled with sheep!}



{I’m sure this isn’t a typical photo from Stonehenge, but I was in awe of the endless fields of rapeseed in this part of the country!}



{The architecture and history of Oxford is astounding}


Now, here’s something you might not know about me….I am an utterly obsessed fan of BBC television shows!  If it’s a murder mystery or period piece, you name it, I’ve seen it!  I love shows like Morse, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, Rosemary & Thyme, Endeavor, Vera, DCI Banks, etc.  Many of these shows are filmed in an area of England known as the Cotswolds, so of course, I *had* to visit!  The Cotswolds is an area of picturesque villages surrounded by trees and fields.  The houses are made of stone and the roof is either slate, or in some cases, thatched!


{A view out the window of my moving bus. The countryside was really this green and vibrant!}



{Slate roof tiles with wisteria growing wild in Burford}



{The beautiful town of Bibury}



{A lovely home in full bloom in Bourton-on-the-Water}


You might have noticed that I never include people in my photos, but these two friends were just too cute to pass up.  :)





I travel home this weekend and will resume my usual posting about decorating and home decor next week!


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Inspired by: London Architecture

For those of you that follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I literally packed up and headed to London Monday for a totally unexpected two-week trip – pinch me!  The stars aligned and I got a great deal on a ticket and the grandparents were able to watch the kids and with only 48 hours notice, here I am!  In beautiful London!

I won’t bombard you with details about tours and sights, but I wanted to take a minute to focus on the London architecture that is simply amazing.  Depending on where you are in larger, metropolitan London, you can see Roman influences, French influences, British design, etc. all of which combine to create a visually interesting and breathtaking city.  For me, the architecture of the city has inspired me to think about how I can add architectural details to my own home to create a unique living space.


So far, the combined buildings of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Hall and Big Ben have been my absolute favorite.  Look at the amazing amount of detail on the buildings and the craftsmanship that went into creating these landmarks!






I also found the Tower of London very interesting, but my favorite part was the door to the Beefeater’s residence {also known as a Yeomen Warder}.  What a great way to brighten up a dull entrance!  A white jam with a pop of color on the door makes all the difference!




I’ve seen quite a few beautiful gas lamps around town {now converted to electric}, but this is the first blue one that I’ve encountered.  So gorgeous and such a statement!



The London Bridge is accented with beautiful shades of blue, including this bright turquoise that really makes it pop!  Combined with the natural stone and gold embellishments, it has quite a contemporary feel for such an old structure.




I just had to include a few photos from the Changing of the Guards ceremony that showcase my favorite part – the contrast of their red wool coats against the beautiful green, tree-lined street!





And last but not least, I wanted to share a few photos that I snapped while out and about.  The intricate carvings on the buildings continue to amaze me.  Even the public benches are beautifully designed!


TIDBITS&TWINE---Park-Bench   TIDBITS&TWINE---Rooftops - Copy


And because it’s so iconic….



My hope is that these photos gave you some ideas as to how you can add embellishments to your own home, whether in the form of paneling, carvings, pediments, or even a splash of color.


Feeling inspired?


Tomorrow is supposed to rain, so I’m planning to do a bit of shopping and will hopefully, sit down to write a decorating post for you that isn’t related to Europe…no promises, though!  :)


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