Embracing the Farmhouse Kitchen

When I think of farmhouse kitchens, I think of my grandmother and also Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith Show. Remember the episode when Aunt Bee and Clara entered the pickle contest and Aunt Bee's pickles tasted like kerosene? Just like Aunt Bee's kitchen, my grandmother's was simple yet comfortable. It's where all the important conversations of the day took place. Her kitchen was truly the heart of her home, which is the same characteristic I try … [Read more...]

My Experience Being Published in an Italian Decor Magazine

Less than 2 months ago I received an email from Annarita Triarico, an Italian journalist working for Lotus Publishing. She wanted to feature my home in one of their magazines, "Gli Speciali di Casa Chic."  At first I thought it was a joke, but I looked at their publishing site and realized it was a legitimate request. Unfortunately, this magazine is not for sale in the United States, but I'll receive several hard copies of my own. As you'll see … [Read more...]

Dealing with a Quirky Living Room

Ever since we moved into our circa 1875 house sixteen years ago, I've struggled with the living room. It's somewhat long and narrow and has a lot of doorways in it. It's stuck in the center of the floor plan so you really have to think about traffic patterns in this room.The living room is joined to the family room on the left, with a door to the laundry room on the right. To get from any room to the staircase, you have to walk through the … [Read more...]

Farmhouse Christmas Dining

A little green and white pair together this year to set the scene for a farmhouse holiday dinner. Mismatched white dinnerware is flanked by vintage silver plate.Book pages provide a makeshift table runner.The white glasses are identical to ones my grandmother had. When I found them at the flea market I had to take them home with me. Vintage ornaments provide color and whimsy.No fussy table setting for our farmhouse … [Read more...]

These Old Houses

This past weekend my daughter and I ran the Fox Valley Half Marathon, which means I've been a little too tired to think about decorating and taking photos. So I poked around my folders and found a slew of old house pictures that I never posted! How did that happen? So without further adieu, here are the forgotten photos from earlier this spring, which by the way, is a great time to take photos of homes because there aren't any leafy trees to get … [Read more...]

Livin’ the Country Life

My blog is dedicated to both Town and Country living, but it dawned on me I haven't posted anything country as of late ... other than country decorating. So this post is dedicated to country scenes not too far from my house. I love my old home in the center of town, but I'd love to live on a farmette, too. Like this "little" farmette. I could easily live here with that big, front sun porch.It even has a wrap around balcony on the second … [Read more...]

The Historic Streets of Sycamore, Illinois

Savannah, Georgia has some of the most amazing residential architecture in the United States, so beautiful that General Sherman didn't have the heart to burn it down during the Civil War. Travel quite a bit north to a cozy, Yankee town just 60 miles west of the heart of Chicago, whose gracious homes remind me of many found in that historic painted lady of Savannah. Won't you join me for a walk around Sycamore ...Sycamore is the quintessential … [Read more...]

Flea Market Stools for the Kitchen

Every kitchen island needs a couple stools where friends can sit and hang out while you finish preparing morsels of tasty goodness. My kitchen island had no stools and I didn't want to buy anything new. As luck would have it, I found two matching stools on two separate occasions at the local flea market. They were painted differently so I had to give them a makeover. Here's what they look liked after redoing them ...Old Ochre from Annie Sloan … [Read more...]

Historic Homes in the Valley

If you can't tell by now, I love old homes! I grew up in a typical, suburban 1950's quad level (a twist on the tri-level) and when I grew up, I knew I wanted something different. My first house as an adult was a bungalow-type Sears catalog home built in the early 1900s. As soon as I stepped in the front door with the realtor, I knew it was "the one." Our second house was new construction and I hated it. Not that new homes aren't nice ... it just … [Read more...]

Random Touches of Spring Decor

Don't you just love all the spring decor blog posts? You can tell people are just itchin' to get outside and dirty their fingernail in the rich, warm soil. I started blogging just before Christmas and I remember thinking, "When Christmas is over, what will everyone blog about?" Well, now I'm finding out. Lots of whites and pastels to soothe the soul until summer arrives. My little yellow bench in the kitchen lends a spring feel to the … [Read more...]

Midwestern Prairie Life

Last weekend I took a little detour on the way home from seeing my daughter. Rather than turn right toward home, I turned left to venture down a dirt road that leads to Garfield Farm and Tavern. It had just snowed and I knew the historic farm on 281 acres would present me with some good photo ops. I took so many pictures I decided to split the post up. So welcome to part two of my little visit to Garfield Farm on the Illinois prairie. (You can … [Read more...]

Why Can’t My House Look Like This?

Lately I keep looking at decor photos in order to keep myself focused on the look I really want in my home. When I was first married, I loved the Asian look. Then my sis turned me on to American Country style (I know, quite a difference). This led to a more Modern Country style ... and then I met Martha Stewart. Well, I didn't actually "meet" her but you know what I mean. Now I'm leaning toward a softer Farmhouse Cottage look. Switching from one … [Read more...]

Down on the Farm: Garfield Farm

Town and Country Living is a blog about living life where the western 'burbs of Chicago give way to the farm fields of Illinois. I love both the city and the country and want to write about all of it ... urban and rural scenery, decorating with special finds from nearby boutiques, cooking veggies grown in the garden, special places to visit, and more. This past Saturday we took a little trip to Garfield Farm, which is just three miles from my … [Read more...]

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