Classic Ginger decor

While I was going through one of a few binders today that I had put together long before blogging was even a thought in my world. I came across a torn out article on Ginger Barber. I guess that you could say that ignorance is bliss! I guess that you would call this her stepping stone into the world of realty. As her homes change it's what is inside that remains the same. Whether re slip covered, painted or moved around it is the basis of her dedign that remined constant over the years.

Way before I knew it was chic to love natural fibers
or neutral colors I was drawn to this article and the purely classic decorating style.

Pictured to the right is Ginger Barber, decor diva & fellow Houston homeowner & designer. The image is from a Country Home article which style guru Mary Emmerling worked on. As I look back now you can see the Emmerling influences from the denim, jewelry, and the array of crosses. Also behind Barber is a collection of found objects de art!

The shelves of this antique hutch are filled with signature Barber aged crocks, found objects, religious cross pieces and old worn woven jars.

It's funny when looking back, I can't put my finger on what i loved about this home. I think it was the overall feeling that I took away from Barbers style.
Always a fan of Emmerling, I can seen distinction between the two designers. I think that I can find common gound with both the styles thay each woman brings in her design sense.

Barber has three rules to follow when designing for your home.

1. Make things comfortable

2. Make things relaxed

3. Make it natural

I think that the most I took from the piece was Barbers take on her home and your home as well. "Your home must be a place of peace and beauty, while the world is going 100 miles per hour," she says.

A close up of objects in the antique hutch. An old leather book, found fragment & carved oval box with lid.

Another closer look at old leather bound books on the shelving on the older hutch.

A closer look at the architectural fragment in the dining room hutch that is an 1860's antique. It is the mix of textures and pieces that make a simple home interesting. The play of old leather bound books and architectural fragments makes for a warm & inviting decor. I must admit, I am a sucker for the old, worn out or dismantled piece or fragment. There is something quite soothing and calming about an inperfection, as if a guard is being let down and the true you is what you see. I like that, and it is a comforting feeling!

In the living room area, sea grass rug defines the space and gives a textural element to the room. The sofa is a study in white slip covered casual living. The plaid chairs are also slip covered in a chocolate / cream check fabric. The old worn painted coffee table is anything but ordinary. I love the fragmented Santos figures hand & a old worn turned candlestick.

A look at the left side of the room. The corner round table is a still life of blue and white ginger jar, Santos figures, crosses and a parchment topped ballasted lamp. Notice how the sea grass rug follows the lines of the room, the fireplace outline and is bound in a natural color. A touch of chocolate on the sofa & a pinch of floral fabric brings a comfy feel to the room.

The pine armoire is a play of natural beauty,contrasting the sleek lines of the fireplace. The carved relief & fragment above the fireplace is a textural Putti freeze. Note the iron cross,perched to the right of the fireplace. The pair of checked arm chairs, over sized yet comfortable and clean slipcovers. I like the contrast of the textural rattan table between the two chairs. Barber uses slipcovers to give life to older upholstered quality pieces of furniture. Barber keeps from having too much pattern in a room so the overall feeling is peaceful and pleasing to the eye.

A more focused look at the carved relief & the cut stone fireplace surround. A study in textures in the room alone! Sisal is a favorite and a Barber staple is design & decor. Notice the clean lines of the fireplace. The original living room fireplace was removed and replaced with plaster and the hearth with Italian parfeuille roof tiles.

In the entryway, a similar bamboo table topped with a tin tray in red. To the right an antique bench with natural cushions ties to the arms and filled with pillows and throw. The entryway sets the tone for color scheme and what may lie ahead as you enter the home. As you enter the lower level sea grass rugs were used for floor coverings, a low maintenance and softer than sisal alternative.

The bamboo table along with miniature pieces like the mini artist easel made from bamboo are favorites of Barber. The woven throw is laid over the arm of the bench, a kaleidoscope of colors yet, a muted palette. Notice how the subtle red is complimenting the top of the tin tray?

As you look up the stairs, a line of natural herbiers (a favorite of Barbers )lines the entry up the staircase. A runner of sea grass is also rising to the second story of the Houston home. To the left, a peek into another room with checked chocolate skirted round table and warm toned cabinet with clear leaded glass front.

An area off the outside deck, is a welcome sitting area. The woven wing back is paired with a relaxed neutral upholstered chair and striped ottoman. Ginger uses a not so perfect approach to her styling. Touches of color in a muted paisley throw & pillow bring a calm feel to this nook. The floor is layered with sea grass & antique Oushak rug. A round table between the two chairs breaks up the square configuration and is filled with wicker, a tole painted lamp & softened with hyacinth blooms.

Natural accessories bring a naturalistic feel to this room. A pulled together room that is undecorated in feel and style.

I love the overstuffed chair with brass tipped wheeled legs. The fabric shows a toile bovine and child pattern with a pulled together geometric pattern much like chicken wire.

In the kitchen, the clean plaster hood is accented with a painted wooden cross header is the perfect blue color for a carved relief.The lack of upper cabinetry is a favorite open & airy look that Barber prefers. Storage space is made up by keeping things out in the open. A collected and orderly kitchen is the result. The salvaged French wooden beams on the ceiling add warmth and help make the kitchen more inviting.

The butcher block island is a wonderful example of Barbers love of wooden items and worn re purposed pieces. The big butcher block not only served for a cutting board but also a place to store baskets & cookware. Wicker baskets and rattan carriers in the kitchen and living areas keep things organized in the home, yet they are out in the open.

On the counter top, having items out in plain sight gives more storage space. If you organize your items the items are less cluttered and interesting to the eye. Silver gives depth to collections by combining silver with natural objects, clay, stone or wicker. Simple egg prints are paired as a collection to the right of the stove top.

Items with paint, or lack of paint are interesting. Barber is a collector of cross and Santos collectibles and may dictate an entire design collection in her home. Color of the painted items is like art, when chipped, worn and faded.

In the kitchen the wooden butcher block island is the perfect spot for homework, cooking, eating, and baking. The kitchen floor and counter tops are concrete; the patina loos like "old goatskin". The bamboo antique hall tree is a place to hang a wicker basket, scarf or place your keys.

Notice the antique mirrored hall tree with woven back and picture light for a little lighting in the evenings. Also a closer view of the worn wooden stool around the island top.

The second story flooring is wall to wall sea grass for a soft feel. The bedroom is a light and airy feel with linens and headboard. A custom made linen duvet and dustcover in a double pleated fullness finished out the clean soft look of the bedding. The one side of the bed is a worn blue side table with a jardiniere lamp, wicker bust for showcasing cross jewelry & rosary beads. To the other side a flat front skirted table hold another lamp and a jar of rosy blooms. The wall-to-wall padded sea grass carpet is a nod to Barbers Florida roots.

The backyard in a collaboration of fellow designers & friends Carol Glasser & Pam Pierce. A helping hand with brainstorming left this backyard in makeover mode.Pam's minimalist approach to the backyard included simple potted box woods, topiaries, and wisteria. The stone table is complimented by worn wicker chairs. A comfy & casual setting is a Barber trademark.

The master bathroom is a clean concrete enclosed tub & surround. The tub was poured from concrete to create a sleek spa like look and feel. A simple window is keeping the sun shining into this space. To the left is a antique painted dressing table with mini bamboo chest, mint julep cup and flowers, & pine mirror for dressing. The bath is a sleek yet comfy spa like retreat. The table top is sealed, but with every use the finish creates a worn & wonderful patina that Barber is so comfortable living with.

A closer look at the long expansive table top in the dressing area. I love to see a repurposed piece used where modern materials are usually used. The result is refreshing and timeworn. The wicker stool is upholstered and a place to put your pedicure up!

I love the blue colored chest with the neutral room color. The little chest is a wonderful piece of painted furniture, just the right amount of chippy, distressed paint.It's that added color burst that makes the room! Another dressmaker form is used in the vanity to hold jewelry. to the far left is a single sink, perfect for getting ready in the morning. All the makings of a good morning or night for that matter.
Even though this was shot in 2006, my love for the simple and natural has not grown cold, it has only gotten heated with time. I love this look and the furnishings in this Houston home. An ever changing look that is easily enough added to or taken away. The basic materials make this possible. Sea grass, rattan, wicker and bamboo, slipcovers, wood, silver and painted pieces are the formula for an organic room with a dash of un decorated design.
This is the basis for Barbers rooms and homes. The basic pieces can be reinvented with other houses or new pieces but it is the basis of her design that remains true to her style. I love this look and it can be built on for years to come. As Barber has shown from move to move it is her basic loved pieces that fing their ways into new homes and blend with newer finds as well the old dear friend's of her past!

Photo credits Country Home ME


Tropical Chateau Shop-owner said...

I love old leather books and use them to decorate in several areas of my home and have several in my shop/boutique......

La Maison Fou said...

They are a warm way to decorate! These are nice with the great looking spines!
I just love books mixed in with wonderful found objects!Thanks for commenting!

Courtney said...

The leather books are beautiful, and I am always a fan of natural elements in a house!

La Maison Fou said...

Me too Coutney, It is funny how I coveted these images for years & never put it together until I pulled the article out yesterday & made the connection it was Ginger Barber!
Have a nice day,

pve design said...

A comfy place to come home to... I love all those natural elements. so soothing!

La Maison Fou said...

I completely agree Patricia,
I am sure you can agree when using so much color daily it is nice to be surrounded with a more natural color and style. At least that is the idea for me. Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you could please tell me where you found that beautiful butcher block. I absolutely love it! Would love to find a similar one for my own kitchen.