365 Southern Living Home Tour

I haven’t posted any 365 photos in awhile, so here are some more, plus a few I took that didn’t make the cut.

day 31 a_final

Most of these were taken last weekend, which we spent at my father-in-law’s house. I’ve looked back over recent posts to see if I’d already shared any of these, because it feels like I have, but I can’t find anything so maybe it’s just that I’ve shared most of them  on Flickr already so that’s what feels familiar. The above photo is detail of a huge wreath that hangs over the fireplace; Doug’s mother had it custom-made at some point and as you can see, it’s pretty massive. I mean, that is NOT a small birdcage attached to it!

Everything my mother-in-law did as far as home decorating was thoroughly researched and planned to the finest detail; Doug said she was always walking from room-to-room, investigating every nook and cranny for what might be the next thing that needed sprucing up. Unfortunately, she died after Doug and I had only been married a few years, so I did not get to know her as well as I would have  liked, but that was certainly true of her in the years I knew her. In fact, right after she died, Jimmy said a huge delivery of new drapes for the living room showed up at the house to be installed, and he’d known nothing about it. And yes, she was very old-school about home decor; custom drapes hang over every available window. I don’t even think people “do” drapes anymore, do they? And nowhere in that house will you see a window blind; it’s all sheer curtains, plus drapes with tassled tie-backs, and those fancy custom overhangs across the top of the window that I don’t even know what they’re called. She was full-on Southern Living magazine, from top to bottom. And in just the few photos I had a chance to take of the house last weekend, I came to appreciate how good she was at it.

day 31_final

Every picture I took in the house looked so good, like, magazine-spread ready. The colors are so rich, and everywhere you turn are fabulous details. Like this table that sits in the entryway – Ruby (that was her name) found this huge piece of driftwood on the beach in Galveston, somehow managed to lug it home, then had it custom-treated and painted to be the base to a glass-top table. Doug says it’s had many different glass tops over the years, and has also been painted several different colors, including black and gold. And of course, the vases and figurines resting on top of it match the walls and marble floors to perfection.


That one wasn’t a 365 shot, but you can see her attention to detail in the way the silk flowers match the vase. And when I say she paid attention to details, this next picture reveals that better than any other, I think:


It’s not a great shot by any means, but note the custom silk fabric hiding the cord that hangs the chandelier from the ceiling! I mean, who does that anymore? In fact, who ever did that? Well, Ruby did, that’s who. Also note the fabric walls, which are padded and soft. Something else I’ve not seen anywhere else but her house.


The picture was painted by Doug’s sister, and of course adding the silk bow behind it is all Ruby. All the framed paintings hanging in the house have some sort of little detail added to them, a swatch of fabric draping the top, a bow hanging behind. Note the way the silk matches the walls in the living room and ties the two rooms together (this is hanging in the entryway). I honestly don’t think I’d ever appreciated all these little touches until I walked around taking photos.

But now, onto the things that represent my father-in-law:

day 31 b_final

This is an old bottle of liquor on a bookshelf in a spare room. I’ve heard of Rock and Rye before from stories about Doug’s grandfather; he loved this stuff, which is rye whiskey that had a piece of rock candy in the bottom of the bottle to make it sweet. Sounds absolutely horrid to me, but I guess this is what old Southern boys from Central Texas liked to drink back in the day.

day 31 c_final

That bookshelf was stuffed with old treasures I photographed but haven’t had time to process: an abacus Jimmy hand-made for his daughter, a boat made out of wood with a boat propeller fashioned out of a soup can lid he made for Doug, and this little gem – a handmade cigarette roller. Jimmy showed me how to use it, but it made no sense to me so I just photographed it and nodded while he talked. I took a few pics of this sitting on the bookshelf too, but in the end I liked this one because it shows Jimmy’s well-worn fingers holding it up.

day 31 d_final

This was a paperweight sitting on an end table and I snapped it really quick, but later I liked the tones in it and worked in editing to accentuate them. I don’t have much to say about it except that I like it. Now for a few quick 365s that weren’t taken at my father-in-law’s house.

day 39_finalA

OK now, this shot is messy because this was the split second that it started to rain outside. I didn’t even realize when I snapped the shot that I’d caught the rain falling down, it happened that quickly. I ran inside to prevent my SL1 from getting wet, which is why the shot ended up a little blurry. It wasn’t good enough to share for the 365 because there was one I took of leaves after the downpour that I thought was better, but I like it nonetheless for catching the very first raindrops of the storm.

day 39b_finalB

This is the one I used for Day 39. I think it stands for itself. A nice shot using my little SL1 – taken in a hurry because I had to get the shot before humidity fogged up my lens again.

So, there you go! A catch-up on my 365 shots for what turns out to be a Happy Monday for you, I hope.



7 thoughts on “365 Southern Living Home Tour

  1. This color scheme is very distinctive. I am trying to place the era — 1980s? Was Ruby a redhead? I find that women decorate their homes, instinctively, according to their natural coloring. A lot of blonds use whites and cream colors, as do some strawberry blonds. I used to be very caught up in decorating and what you describe is the kind of thing I would do, down to the last detail, when I first got married (not the style though — just the research and meticulous attention to minutiae). Now I own it all and it just goes wherever I go and gets tweaked, lol.

    That picture your SIL did is very well done, craftsmanship-wise. Upholstered walls, called “traditional”, is a very common treatment here in studios and in homes in places like Beverly Hills. It is good for acoustics and trapping hot or cold air inside.

    Interesting pictures and story.

    • Ruby died in 2003, and she had just had the living room and entryway re-modeled. But I’m not sure that indicates what era she was going for. Personally, I’ve got no idea. But she definitely had a ‘style’ that to me was very ornate and formal, if that makes sense…? Maybe the word I am looking for is traditional.

      • That makes sense. It does look traditional and very floral. I guess it could be 2000s too. I have never seen anyone use dark green and orange that way. It works, somehow, because she put a lot of white with it. She was original.

        • There was a whole Oriental pattern-thing going on in the formal dining room that utilized greens and corals, so I think that is how she tied the colors together. And now that I think of it, she probably worked with a decorator too. But yeah, a LOT of work put into that house. And if you recall my photos of my SIL’s house from last summer, she totally got that decorating bug too, She’s the one with the custom floors and countertops from old antique houses and stuff. Believe me, Doug and his dad have NONE of the decorating flair of the females in the family, LOL. Not one thing has been changed since Ruby passed away, but that’s probably as it should be anyway.

  2. I love the name Ruby. I had a great aunt named Ruby. I love her decorating style. She obviously enjoyed it. The color scheme does remind me of Southern Living Magazine, which my mother in law also subscribed to. The heavy drapes also are reflective of that magazine. Nice photographs as usual, Marey.

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