Everything in Its Place

Mis En Place: French culinary phrase meaning put in place, as in "set up".

I have a confession to make. I'm a bit of a neat freak. My close friends and family who may be reading this will probably be asking, "A bit of a neat freak?" OK, OK...I'll admit that may be an understatement...I like to have everything in it's place. I don't function well in a disorganized or messy setting. In fact, it makes it hard for me to even think properly. While Nick and I are enjoying our new home, we're still unpacking boxes and working on finishing up the last few rooms. There are boxes in the dining room. Boxes in the guest bedroom. And don't get me started on the second guest bedroom-soon-to-be-our-media-room! Ugh! And..breathe...


Piles in our dining room. Some things will find a place in our home. Some will be sold or donated. Even though we got rid of a lot of stuff when we were packing up our house in Ottsville, there are things we brought along that we feel we don't need to keep. Now is a good time to do a final purge! Anyone need/want a Keurig Coffee Maker?


In our soon-to-be media room on the second floor: Boxes we need to go through or put in storage.


So...let's whip these rooms into shape, shall we?! I'm game! Besides helping my state of mind by getting rid of the clutter, we'll finally be able to have people over for dinner or for an overnight visit. 

I started by tackling the boxes in the dining room. This pile was an eyesore and was really in the way. It turned out to be fun to unbox our various collections that haven't seen the light of day in over a year. It feels good to have them out on display again:

Displaying single pictures on a side table or such is fine, but we like grouping them for more design impact. (It's also a conversation starter for guests!) We have a lot of pictures of Dottie and Dash. Siri's been with us for only 2 years, so we're just getting to frame some of hers. (Need to bring home a frame for the one on the right!) The pictures above are displayed on a C.1865 antique primitive cupboard from Pennsylvania.


On a trip to San Francisco back in the late 1990s we walked into an antique store and found a huge collection of porcelain letters. These particular letters were used in the film industry to create opening and closing credit sequences. Something about them intrigued us...many years later our collection is now quite large. Oh...that's Lord Nelson standing there amongst the Ns. He was a birthday gift given to me by our friends on a magical trip to New Orleans. 



There are no set-in-stone rules for arranging shelves, but here are a few tips for putting together a nice vignette of collectables on bookshelves, a mantel or a table top. This is an alcove in our powder room where we had glass shelves installed. I played around with some of our, shall I say, more esoteric pieces to create an arrangement that was pleasing to the eye. Each shelf starts with a roughly triangular arrangement. (Tall piece in the middle; small pieces left and right.) Also, I tried to balance the composition with the color and size of each item. The orange accent pieces are on different shelves, as well as, on opposite sides. The alligator head on the lower shelf, though not the same color, is in balance because of its dark color and size. It gives it a nice flow. Your eye bounces from one to the other. Oh...the top shelf...while the items aren't arranged in a triangle with the tallest piece in the middle, it still works. So in the end...rules? Not so much...


I have to say...just getting these boxes unpacked and arranging the items in the rooms has made the whole place feel more homey. Will things stay where they are? Probably not. Things change all the time. I think you notice that when you come into the store. (BTW: don't forget we offer hands-on, in-home design services.) Well the same thing happens at home! Next week? Lets get some painting done!