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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Rustic Blue Box For Fall

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rustic Blue Box For Fall 

Living with the colors you love is easy when you realize your home is yours, not the real estate agent's, not your mother's, not your neighbor's, and not a professional interior designer's. While all of these people may influence your choices for your home, you get to create the home that makes you happy, not the one that makes each of them happy.  

Creating the home I love includes using a rustic blue box for fall when my neighbor uses yellow, my mother used brown, and interior designers use the latest trend in colors, like gray. 

Blue and white have been my favorite color combination for decades, almost all of my adult life. The only blue I remember in my parent's homes over the years is the dark blue, not quite navy, painted bedroom set that I picked out when I was around fourteen years old. No one else we knew had painted furniture... a trend-setter at fourteen. 

Oh, yes, Mother did have blue willow everyday dishes. 

Give my mother credit for buying a bedroom set she would not have selected for her bedroom. Brown, beige, tan, ... neutrals were the colors my mother favored because everything went with them, and they hid dirt. My three siblings all played sports... baseball, basketball, football, softball... and dirt in north Alabama is RED CLAY. Mother's sofa was a dark brown with reddish undertones. 

Not white.... too hard to keep clean with four children. 

Still, when it came time for me to select china, silver, and crystal like all engaged Southern girls did at that time, my mother, with the help of the sales lady, steered me away from the formal china I wanted that had blue in the pattern. 

Later, when the Long Tall Texan and I bought our newly-built tract home in north Texas, we were able to choose the colors for the carpet, tile, wallpaper, etc... I wanted blue carpet and tile that had blue in it. These were options offered by the builder, but the builder's real estate agent argued against choosing blue, citing that only 5% of the population choose blue. Resale of the house would be harder than if we selected neutral colors. 

For eight years I lived with browns, beiges, tans that I intensely disliked. That's when I finally realized, "Choose what you want, not what the real estate agent recommends." 

Why did I ever think a male real estate agent had a better sense of style than I did? 

I had forgotten that my first-grade report cards listed E+ in Art... and in Mathematics. I had also forgotten S's in other categories, not to mention the one N in following directions. (E for excellent; S for satisfactory; N for needs improvement.) My mother gave me some of my childhood items while cleaning her closets, and my first-grade report card was in that box. I'm sure Mother took care of why I had an N and made sure there was only one N. 

Could that be why I followed the real estate agent's directions? Haha... 

See that beige striped French chair? It was a great price at Tuesday Morning, a local discount store, but the verdict is still out on whether or not it remains beige and white striped. No interior decorator input needed. I don't want another N. 

Of course, that tract house did sell before it even showed up in the multiple listings... record time. So fast that the listing realtor placed one of those little signs under the For Sale sign that told in how many days the house sold. 

Did beige carpet do that? Don't think so, because after eight years that beige carpet was worn and had stained traffic patterns in it. 

When my neighbors decorate for Fall with reds, browns, oranges, and yellows, I enjoy seeing their yards and porches with the traditional Fall colors. 

And the glorious Fall foliage in the mountains and the northeast is breathtaking. Nothing compares to it. Red leaves in New England really are brilliant red. Not reddish brown, or orange-y red, or almost red. When mixed with clear yellows, the combination is... breathtaking... stop in your tracks breathtaking. 

All across the blogging world, interior designers and talented self-taught stylists create beautiful table settings and Fall tours that capture seasonal colors and themes, including striking black and white Halloween decorations. I am inspired by the creativity I see everyday on the internet. 

Yet, in my house, a rustic blue box filled with a pale pumpkin and white pompom chrysanthemums is my choice for a Fall arrangement. The colors blend easily with the existing blue and white checked sofa. 

Makes my eyes clap their hands... 

What are the colors you love to use in creating your home? 
Colors that make your eyes clap their hands. 

Here's what's coming soon... 

A how-to post for styling a rustic blue box... 
Step-by-step explanations with photos for how to put the contents together... 

A proper tour of my Fall living room, not just visions of the rustic blue box... 
I've had requests to see more of the house structure... beams, posts, etc... 


Please join me at these inspiring places for more joy of living. 

Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic and Refined




  1. Love your rustic blue box! Sheila

  2. I was just looking at the beautiful (but ignored) Wedgewood china (with a blue edge) that I chose for our wedding registry and thinking that I should get it out and use it. I've kicked myself for not choosing a more versatile pattern, but it IS lovely.

  3. My mother loved blue and most everything in the house had blue in it. :-) She immensely disliked my green. Lol. So, my colors are green and red. Don't get me wrong, I love blue, I just don't want to decorate with it. And you're right; we need to decorate with what we love, not what someone else thinks we should. Your home looks lovely and I can't wait to see more!

  4. I love your blue box, Judith. And The Great White Pumpkin. And the white mums, and your pine cones. No pinecones any where near San Antonio. Road trip!

  5. "Make your own kind of music, sing your own special song" Remember that Mamas and Papas tune? :-)

    Unless you intend to live in a house for a very, very short period of time, I've never understood the idea of decorating for resale. Shouldn't everyone be decorating with the colors, furniture and accessories that are attuned to their taste and life style?

    I love the blue, brown and cream of your fall décor. It's unique and very pleasing to the eye.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  6. I totally agree! I am also a lover of blue and white. I chose those colors in decorating my first home. I never ever tired of it. When we built our second home, I went with more trendy colors and regretted it the very day my new furniture was delivered! Never again! I am saving to get exactly what I would like, and no one will be able to change my mind! Lesson learned! Blue calls my name!!

  7. Bonjour Madame Bleu! Oh your box here is stunning and reminds me of a gorgeous antique dough bowl I had; I recently had to TRASH IT....I had purchased it from an antique dealer in upstate New York. It had been treated with orange oil and beeswax and sat in my great room filled with dropped antlers and white pumpkins. Recently, I noticed it had MOLD growing all over it! The only thing I can figure out is that the oil/wax combination went rancid. Nothing else in my home has that mold and now i am leary of old wood in my house!

    Your décor looks wonderful, and thank you for coming to my blog post!

  8. I love your fall rustic box filled with fall's beauty. Also enjoyed the reminiscing. ;)

  9. Hi Judith,
    Love your blue box and everything you've put into it. I love the colors of fall, but I love blue and white, too. Blue and white looks so great with other colors.

  10. Well written! I really enjoyed this post. I think we should go with our gut, not someone else's litany of "whys". They're spewing out what they learned was "the right way." And you and I both know there is no one absolute "right way." I love your blues!

  11. Your blue box is totally awesome! I am a fellow lover of blue but I choose to mix mine with yellow. However, that box full of white may just convert me.
    :) gwingal


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