My name is Cynthia and I love interior design, architecture, antiques, all things vintage, all things British (a tried and true Anglophile), a love of things that are time worn and hold secrets of days gone by. I love animals and try to respect their place in our world. I enjoying talking about the most beautiful places in the world, some exotic, some in our own neck of the woods. I love family and friends, music and movies. And most importantly, I love talking about these things with a daily dose of humor because I love to laugh and we all deserve to. So come on...let's go for a stroll.

AND PLEASE CLICK ON THE ENTRY AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT - I can't talk to you if I don't know you were here, dearest dahling...


Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Beauty of Paris

If you know me or follow my blog, you know that I am a tried and true love of all things British, especially the homes and countryside of England, and the Queen of course, reach out for my soul like no other part of the world.  Second to that would be Italy..I have had the good fortune to have seen a lot of Italy, from Rome to Positano, from Venice to Naples, and I loved it all.  The Italian people make me feel alive...their appreciation for food, drink, family and life in general, is unsurpassed.  Seeing it with my own eyes was incredible.  But something that I haven't really experienced is Paris.  I adore French design, French furniture and decor, architecture, and of course the clothes.  But my only time in Paris was a missed flight back home...a connecting flight from Venice to Paris that was supposed to take my husband and I on to Atlanta.  We missed the connection by 10 minutes because the flight from Venice was late on takeoff.  I had a broken leg and was confined to a wheelchair because of the severity of the break and my dear sweet husband, God rest his soul, was trying to manage me, the wheelchair, the crutches, 6 pieces of luggage, and a very cherished antique music box I had purchased in Venice that I was guarding with my life. (The trip was booked and paid for before I took a tumble down the stairs outside our kitchen and suffered a compound fracture - with no trip insurance, we decided to make the trip anyway).  After learning that we had missed our flight, and after I proceeded to have a full blown nervous breakdown at the gate, we were given lousy instructions on how to get to the hotel where Air France would put us up for the evening, and left to our own devices.  The Chinese cab driver who took us there did not speak English, nor did he care.  We were dropped off at the top of a hill and from there everything went down that very hill, me in the wheelchair, the luggage and the crutches.  Tony managed to get his hands on the wheelchair before I slammed into the glass doors of the hotel, while I clung to the music box, as if it was my life savings LOL.  We finally got inside, checked in and got up to our room, which was about an 8x8 box with a bed, a television and an overhead light.  Keep in mind that checking in and getting me and all of our belongings up to the 4th floor in a tiny elevator was no small feat -- a good hour went by).   Of course, the only thing on our tiny television was a soccer game, which didn't matter to me but my TV addicted husband, who isn't a big soccer fan, wasn't happy.  I kindly reminded him that we were not in the US of A and that he needed to get over it.  We got over it alright.  We had to literally get over the bed to get to the bathroom, as there wasn't enough room around the end of the bed between the bed and the wall to walk to the bathroom! Once in the bathroom, we found one guest towel, no hand towel and no washcloths.  Tony turned to me and said, "We have enough Euro left to get a cab into the city, have dinner at a sidewalk cafe and pay for the cab ride back.  Do you want to try it?"  In my current state of frustration, I said "I want to come back here another time, when I can truly enjoy it and appreciate its beauty and what it has to offer, and not associate it with this room and the lack of towels." LOL.  So we stayed in, went to sleep, got up early and boarded our flight home.  This day is an example of how this trip went from the beginning to end.  A classic tale of "if anything can go wrong, it will."  I cannot tell you how many times I have been told "you should write a book about that would make the NY Times Bestseller List."  But in spite of it all, I saw Venice, I rode in a gondola at midnight through the canals, I sat in a water taxi through the Grand Canal, I saw Istanbul, and sat in my wheelchair at the top of a mountain and gazed at the Black Sea, where I was able to see one of the most beautiful views I have ever experienced... Istanbul as it spreads into Europe and Asia.  I rode through Istanbul with a cab driver named Oscar who knew its history and shared it with us.  I saw Dubrovnik, Croatia and sat in the sun in a courtyard and listened to minstrels play, watched children dance and saw couples kissing near the fountain.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Now if you asked my husband, who sadly died this past January, if he enjoyed himself, he would say "Yes I did, but I would never do a trip to Europe with her in a wheelchair again."   He loved to point out that he spent 13 days eating anything and everything he wanted and still managed to lose 3 pounds.  It certainly gave me a new appreciation for those who spend their lives in wheelchairs and manage to do all sorts of things that I found overwhelming.  More power to you amazing folks!


The Louvre Museum -- Spectacular

I thought the windows in my house were special because they were Pella...hmmm...gotta rethink that one

This same photograph hung over my daughter's bed for years

Any discussion of all things French is not complete without Versailles

Aerial view of Versailles

Paris really does have the most charming windows in all of the world

Dark splendor
The old and the new mix beautifully in Paris

A Parisian Apartment Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

The quintessential Paris Apartment

Pink prettiness 

More wonderful windows - love the railing

There are so many incredible doors to incredible buildings in  Paris -- I loved this blue one

Beautiful in all of its decay

I love the curves and lines of French buildings

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Time To Share - Welcome Guest Blogger, Design Shuffle

It is the holidays, and Cynthia is tired! Just when I thought I wouldn't get a beautiful post together for you great readers out there, the girls at Design Shuffle reached out to me in the nick of time. So without further adieu, enjoy!

Hi, my name is Joanna, and I am a guest blogger for Design Shuffle, the go-to source for all things interior design. I spend my days writing about design topics and sharing inspired decorating ideas. What’s not to love about looking at beautiful images like those below all day? Thanks to A Love of the Past for letting me share!
We’ve been having a love affair lately with all things French. From pastel-hued macaroons on the table to gorgeous inspired rooms, the French know how to create a warm and inviting space with just a hint of formality. Take a look at the lovely French-inspired spaces we found in our travels around the web. Enjoy!
French Decor
An ornately carved upholstered headboard is the center of attention in this very French bedroom.
French Decor
Roses and stripes are the order of the day in this feminine room. The big stripe on the chaise gives it a flirty look.
French Decor
A canopied bed with upholstered headboard gives this bedroom design its stately appearance. Two identical bedside cabinets flank the bed and add to the room’s formal tone.
French Decor
This lovely bath is a decadent example of over-the-top luxury. A large soaking tub beckons us to take a dip. Here, overnight guests definitely get a taste of "oh, so French" style!
French Decor
Another example of luxury, this bath promises a spa-like bathing experience. Just imagine having this space all to yourself.
French Decor
A humble French farmhouse is full of bathroom design ideas and plays host to a casual bathroom with a cast iron tub and a natural stone vessel sink.
French Decor
This French provincial kitchen is as beautiful as it is welcoming. Small stools invite family and friends to take a seat while the cook works culinary magic. This room inspires many interior design ideas.
French Decor
A very French living space is as formal as it is lovely. The sensuous curves of the ornately carved furnishings play off the formality of the rest of the room. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Would you style your home with French decor? Head on over to Design Shuffle where you'll learn more about various interior design styles and find great inspiration from Boston interior designers and more!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good Night, My Sweet

I expect Audrey Hepburn to be walking in any second now
In the past, I have blogged about some pretty fantastic rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and baths, etc.  I am unsure if I have ever featured a bedroom blog, but considering I'm laid up in mine quite a bit due to an accident, I find myself pondering about things such as night lights, sheets, and if whether my bedroom gives me the warm fuzzies, which I am happy to say that it does.  I would hate to be forced into a complete redo at this point, considering my condition, so it is a very good thing that I find my bedroom to be a happy place.  I just have to overlook the dog toys, dog beds (which are seldom used for their original intention -- they are instead carried by the canines from room to room just for the heck of it), dog chewies, and of course two dog crates ...once you get past all of this, I think it's a very pretty room.  When my husband passed in January of this year, this room held some sad memories.... he spent so much time there in his last days when he wasn't feeling well.  After his passing, I got rid of all the pill bottles, the blood pressure machine and all the other reminders of the fact that a very sick man had spent so much time there.  I felt that it needed to become "my" bedroom, since I would no longer be sharing it with this wonderful person who had crossed to the other side.  I painted the walls (haha - more like my painter Daniel painted the walls) various shades of grey, painted the ceiling tray a lovely golden brown and got rid of all the red with the exception of a few accessories that were very beautiful or sentimental.  With gray and white quilts and lace bedding over a burlap bed skirt, I was very happy with the transformation.  While I was in the midst of this redo, I found myself looking at photographs of bedrooms featuring so many different styles.  Just like everything else I find myself drawn to, the common element is romance.  Whether new or old, European or American, muted or bright, I love things with a romantic twist.  The photographs I have gathered here feature bedrooms that I have fallen in love with, that give me the warm fuzzies.  There are many different design styles, but they all make me want to crawl into the bed with a great book, a glass of wine, my dogs (when they have finally grown tired of dragging things from one end of the bedroom to the other), and some great just "be".


A crystal chandelier, a rock wall, the attic ceilings,
lavender bedding -- this is a great room
Courtesy of Little Emma English Home
This probably doesn't exactly qualify as a "bedroom" but I
had to include it -- there's what appears to be a mattress, pillows..
how incredible -- in Maldives

Rachel Ashwell, Supreme Goddess of all things Rumpled, Chipped and Beautiful, has
a new book out, "Shabby Chic Inspirations".  I wasn't crazy about her last book,
but bought it anyway because I must have them all.  I picked up this latest book recently
and I like it a lot.  I feel as though I should curtsy when I look at these pictures
she is still the Queen of what is truly "Shabby Chic" to me

I immediately thought of my daughter Sarah, when I saw this
photo from Ashwell's latest book.  Sarah's own bed looks much
like this one -- I describe it as "cloud like"

Yet another Ashwell masterpiece - again, from her new book

I've has this picture saved for ages - I just love the
simple, rusty iron bed and the utilitarian way the bed is made

It would seem that I am drawn to outdoor elements brought inside - crazy about this room

This just looks so inviting...I also sleep with 5 pillows
Courtesy of Simon Gray

This gorgeous room can be found in Scandinavia
in an old apartment - love all the brick inside

A round bed in what appears to be a very small room,
but with terrific lighting and great sheets...the size of
the room is of no importance

Gives new meaning to "A Room with a View"
A house in Madrid, Spain, Courtesy of Inspiring Interiors

This bedroom is located in a French manor house.  I was over the
top with this rock wall inside the bedroom.  So awesome.
Courtesy of Brabourne Farms

Some would call this floral pattern "frumpy or "grandmotherly"
It's from Colefax and Fowler and I think it's scrumptious. To
me, it works so beautiful because the floors are so
rustic, the walls faded and plain, the windows so tall.

Muted colors, nothing on the walls...very simple, yet so elegant
Courtesy of Christina Fluegge

This is my interpretation of a perfect lake house bedroom
Courtesy of Allison Davidson

An olive green chaise lounge, French paneling...this is gorgeous
Courtesy of Axel Vervoodt via Trouvais

I have noted  the source of each photo when able

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Love of the Past: You Are So Me

A Love of the Past: You Are So Me: One of film's sexiest couples, in one of film's sexiest films ever, "The Thomas Crown Affair" starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway ...

You Are So Me

One of film's sexiest couples, in one of film's
sexiest films ever, "The Thomas Crown Affair"
starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway

I have been thinking a lot about what I wanted to discuss, as I excitedly start writing again after a summer of little writing.  I mentioned in my last post that I had suffered a serious injury in an accident last month.  To that end, I am going to be writing more often and make every attempt to lose myself in my writing.  So, I've gotten over the tough part, which is making the decision to write.  Now, my thoughts turn to "what to write?"  After much pondering, I decided that it wasn't necessary to write about a particular topic.  In the past, I have written about everything from a family vacation in Europe to houses in England that I find enchanting.  But this time, I ask you to take a walk with me to just appreciate beauty where ever we can find people, places, homes, architecture...whatever shall be shall be.

Thank you to my followers and readers out there, for always encouraging me to get back to what I love....the old, the inspiring, the beautiful.
Please enjoy

How feminine -- love the mirror

What a wonderful spot for morning coffee...or margaritas with the girls

A desk display - so beautiful as art

Ms. Bardot certainly has "it" 

This bath in a home in the Hollywood Hills knocks me out.
Those French casement doors, the mirror sconces and of course, the tub

Simple Perfection
My own bed features this many I need the canopy...and the view

Another knockout - my personal favorite -- grand, castle-like in scale
and I love the messy bed

If you know me, then you know this is a dream of mine -- it's on my bucket list
grab one of my best girlfriends and head across the US in a
vintage camper - and hope for no tornadoes

Hard to believe this photograph isn't photo shopped but it's the real deal...
a castle in Wales -- Gothic beauty

The floors, the bench and the paneled walls -- what's not to love?

This daybed is from a home in France -- I think I could find happiness here

Eat Pray Love -- I love Julia Roberts - the movie? It was worth renting
Javier Bardem? worth every minute -- I liked this movie for the scenery if nothing else

Straight up elegance -- the clock and candelabras -- what a beautiful bath

My guess is this room belongs in a castle or English Manor home -- love the hap-bazard
cloth over the table -- the black and white floor -- the molding...Mr. Darcy has to be close by

This room only needs this bed, the beamed ceiling, and those windows -- the rest is just along for support

The ceiling -- crumbling beauty...the rounded door and the weaving stairs
makes me say "ahhhhh"

I could spend a summer a this French country home...

I have always had a weakness for these English garden stones and grass--
love the concrete ball, the head of the statue on the bench...
Richard Gere? Debra Winger? Need I say more? I admit it...
My fantasy man for years after seeing this film about 5,000 times
Just goes to show...a great bed, great linens, a great window with a beautiful
view and built in bookcases -- what more do you need in a bedroom?
Ok, yes, George Clooney would be the icing on the cake...and I almost forgot
look at the wood paneled ceiling --

From Cote de Texas, a blog that all of design bloggers bow down to,
featured this lovely gray kitchen, with built in cupboards faced with
chicken wire, the fantastic window in between, the lantern light fixtures and
the gray wicker chair.  This room is incredible.

Where, in this blog, does Led Zeppelin fit in?  They fit in where ever
I feel like putting them because they continue to rock my universe
every single day -- and they are British, after all

Maxfield Parrish -- the most romantic of all painters in my
humble, amateur opinion -- see my past blog about his work - I never grow tired of it

Tarnished silver -- why polish something so imperfectly perfect?
Outdoor dining -- probably California where flies and other pests are of no concern

This cellar in a home in Sweden was probably a functioning kitchen back in the day

Perfection in dressing...dressing room that is.
What a pleasure getting ready would be...

Thank you all for sticking with me -- I hope you enjoyed the first of many more blogs to
come after my little intermission this summer

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