RSSAt Home With Marni Jameson

Marni Jameson, mom and author, writes about the latest trends in home décor and her experiences running a home of her own.

History as told by the chair

History as told by the chair
October 19, 2014 12:30 am  • 

If furniture could talk, a chair might just sit you down and say, “My great great-grandfather, a stool, once told me, 'Son, you don’t know what it’s like to have only three legs.’”

Believe me, if a chair talked to me like that, I would pull up a seat and pay attention. For that matter, if my teachers had used furniture to teach history instead of endless of pictures of men with excess facial hair, a lot more would have stuck. I might actually know my federalists from my confederates.

Just when I thought that Mayflower had sailed, I found hope for my wanting history knowledge in a new book about furniture.

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Mid-Century Modern: What was cool in '50s is now hot

Mid-Century Modern: What was cool in '50s is now hot
October 12, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Back at the turn of this century, whenever I heard the phrase “mid-century modern,” which was rare, I was puzzled. What’s modern about a style that started before I was born and that came of age alongside “Leave it to Beaver”?

But now, when I hear the term, which is almost daily because this style is hotter than a lava lamp, I wonder what all the hullaballoo is about.

I finally got to the bottom of it this week when I talked with two mid-century modern experts, Los Angeles architect Lawrence Scarpa and interior designer Pam Holladay, of Sarasota, Fla., who will both be speaking at SarasotaMOD Weekend, this weekend.

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AT HOME WITH MARNI JAMESON: How to rescue a beloved antique

AT HOME WITH MARNI JAMESON: How to rescue a beloved antique
October 05, 2014 12:00 am  • 

One stomach-sinking morning last week, I went into my garage to find my 200-year-old, hand-painted, Hungarian chest blooming with green mold. I was ill. This lovely antique was now doomed for the funeral pyre because I’d stuck it in my hot, damp garage.

When I moved into my current home-staging project in July, for reasons of style or space, the rustic chest along with several other pieces of furniture, didn’t make the cut.

For those who’ve never been, Florida in the summer is hot as wax melt and mugger than an opera singer’s armpits. Things grow here that wouldn’t grow anywhere else. I am all for plant life. I just don’t want it growing on my antiques.

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Exterior house color: public service or public nuisance

Exterior house color: public service or public nuisance
September 28, 2014 12:00 am  • 

The problem with home design is there is only one kind of mistake. One everyone sees. That’s what makes home improvement decisions so nerve-wracking. Your taste – whether enviably good or so bad you need to hand out motion-sickness bags - is on display.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the color of your house. For most, this is literally the biggest (square-foot-wise) design decision they will ever make.

I am here to plead on behalf of every neighborhood in America, please, as a public service, choose well.

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How to take your décor from country comfort to city chic

September 07, 2014 12:00 am  • 

You’ve heard the expression: You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. Well, there’s an equally true, but lesser known corollary, which I just made up: You can take the furniture out of the country, but put country furniture in a city dwelling and it sticks out like a greased pig in Bloomingdale’s.

My country pine armoire in my current urban chic home looks a little like a hay bale in a high rise. But, fortunately, we have ways of making that work.

A few years ago, when I moved to Florida from my rambling Colorado home, which was surrounded by a lot of open space and horse properties, I brought my mostly traditional and French country furniture with me. Besides the pine armoire, this French country girl hauled along a dining table and writing desk both with carved curved legs, oil paintings of landscapes, antique wooden chests, gilded mirrors, a marble-topped Bombay chest, needlepoint pillows, patterned rugs, a French tapestry, large ceramic chickens, white quilts and toile bedding.

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When life changes hit home, don’t fear

When life changes hit home, don’t fear
August 31, 2014 12:00 am  • 

I never set out to be the poster child for change. But I believe I qualify. Just since July, I have gone through more changes than a newborn: I have gotten a new house, new car, new job, and new cell phone number (as a result of new job).

I feel like I’m in the witness protection program.

This is piled on top of many more changes over the last year. Just for sick fun I’ll recap: I’ve moved three times, got divorced, sent my youngest off to college, and started dating. (Yeep!)

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Looks that move forward while looking back

Looks that move forward while looking back
August 10, 2014 12:00 am  • 

After living in three historic homes in a row, which ranged in age from 80 to 130 years old, I moved last month into a home so new I had to peel stickers off the windows and refrigerator. I am the first occupant of this very modern house, which, once again, I am staging to help sell.

After I field people’s initial reactions: Why on earth did you do this again? We get to what they really want to know. From an insider’s perspective, which is better — old house or new one?

The answer: both.

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At Home: How to have a garden party minus the whining

At Home: How to have a garden party minus the whining
July 27, 2014 4:37 pm  • 

Let’s be honest. So many occasions in life are simply not as good as we imagine they will be. Family vacations, road trips, and outdoor dining come to mind. I blame movies and magazines for jacking up our expectations.

No movie or magazine ever captures the jet lag, the monotony, the bugs or bad weather. Realities that often turn such “occasions” into events that need to be endured, like an Ironman or a bad marriage.

But that doesn’t stop me. Heck no. This summer alone, I have vacationed across time zones, taken a road trip, and, with the highest hopes, have tried to dine al fresco whenever I can—despite unbridled resistance from family members.

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At Home: Let others do the moving

At Home: Let others do the moving
July 20, 2014 4:37 pm  • 

The move was one of the stranger experiences in my life, and that’s saying something. Two weeks ago, I closed and locked the door on the place I called home, where all my worldly belongings resided, and caught a plane. A week later, I flew back and walked into a different home completely furnished with all my stuff.

While I was out, the home-staging fairies had moved me to a brand new house.

The surreal moving experience was the home staging company’s way of offering me consolation, or compensation, or both, for the fact that I had barely gotten the sheets warm in the home I last lived in and staged, before it sold. Talk about pulling the carpet out from under me.

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At Home: Decorating from a distance

At Home: Decorating from a distance
July 13, 2014 4:37 pm  • 

I walk into the condo with one eye closed.

The nerve-wracking moment is like the reveal in one of those TV home-decorating shows only in reverse. Rather than revealing the newly remodeled space to a homeowner, who had been blissfully unaware, the reveal was to me, the default designer who helped coordinate the home makeover from five states away.

A friend from Orlando, had purchased a two-bedroom, two-bath condo in Phoenix. The place was one part investment property, one part home for his 25-year-old daughter, who had gotten a job there.

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