Old and New

Old and New

Antiques we own are treasures from the past, they remind us of how the world used to be, how our relatives lived and how the artistry of the past has been snuffed out.

Even these treasures can become tiresome, we have seen that server one too many times that we don’t even notice it anymore.  The beautiful lamp in the hallway is just in the way now.  Let’s rethink this; your grandmother’s mahogany server and the lamp from your favorite uncle have a place in your home and your heart.  It just takes a little imagination to make them feel fresh and loved again.

Moving a traditional server in front of a freshly painted wall with a modern piece of art over it, is unexpected and intriguing.  Flank the server with two bright upholstered dining chairs and you have a masterpiece!

Because it’s your home you do whatever you want, even if it’s non-conventional. When your house reflects you and your life, it feels more like home. Putting an antique lamp in your kitchen is a great idea, again an expected way to liven up your space.  It is also a great conversation piece!

Change is good and breathing new life into antiques is exceptional!

Englishman’s wishes you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.

Making Memories, Ann O’Connor

@annelizabethoco #oldandnewold-and-new-board

Go Classic

Blog photo 06-28-16

Go Classic

As a lover of all thing fashion, I can attest to one thing, classic is classic.  Everyday, my email inbox receives about 20 fashion blogs that include hair, make-up and general beauty tips.  They all have a common denominator – classic.

Pencil skirts, pearls, pumps and pony tails are always in style and have been for since the 40’s.  What has changed is the color, the fabric and how we wear them.  In the 40 and 50’s you would wear a matching jacket with a skirt, now we throw on a denim jacket and sandals and call it a day.

In the 40’s and 50’s pumps were only worn with skirts and dresses, now we wear them with ripped jeans.  Still the same skirt and shoes, just a little update.

The same rules go for our homes.  To me, the mahogany table is the unsung hero of home furnishings.  It is stoic and refined at the same time.  They have withstood the test of time and have proven their value in our homes.

The beauty of the mahogany table is how each one is individual just like us.  They have their own DNA which is evident in the grain.  Indigenous to the Americas (Cuba, Honduras, Brazil and even South Florida), this beautiful and valuable wood was at one time used to make boats and instruments.  This is not only because if it’s strength but also because of the status and bombshell appearance.

Envision your own use of this precious wood and make a statement.

Treasure the table you have, or get one.  It is easy to bring a mahogany table up to date with upholstered chairs, light paint and artwork that you love.

Making Memories, Ann


Being in Blue

This primary color has taken many twist and turns thru history.  The Chinese in the 9th century created the blue and white porcelain that we are familiar with.  The Chinese porcelain was so beautiful, the Dutch wanted to create their own blue and white porcelain in the 1700s – known as Delft Blue.

During the middle ages, cobalt blue was used as a main color in stain glass.

The European Renaissance experiments with different shades of blue for depth in their oil painting.   Colors like indigo and violet.  We are so lucky that history has developed a color with so many shades and options.

Not only is any shade of blue a fashion color, it is also widely used in home décor indoors and out.  It is used as spa colors mixed with greens and creams.

The beachy look is always a favorite with stripes of navy and white on a sofa, pillows, ottomans and rugs.  The navy and white theme can be carried through your room with art work and accessories.

Blue is also a very sophisticated color used by royals and nobles for century’s.  In fact, Queen Elizabeth’s and the Duchess of Cambridge (Catherine) share this as a favorite.

Bring blue in your house is an easy choice because there are so many shades to choose from.  Blue walls in your dining room with blue upholstered chairs is a great way to freshen up your entertaining space for the holidays.  Add a pillow or if you’re in need of a new sofa, think blue.

Blue is a perfect timeless and yet modern color for any home.

Making Memories, Ann O’Connor

@annelizabethoco  #beinginblue

Decorate your dining table this holiday season with blue & white porcelain.
Decorate your dining table with blue & white porcelain.

Something is Missing.

The holidays are close and you are missing something, it is called comfortable seating.  While you and your family are around the dining table this season, you will want everyone to linger.  This is the time to catch up, make plans and tell old stories.

You can enjoy dessert, tea and wine while conversing with your favorite people in the world, your family.  Sitting in a relaxing atmosphere and getting cozy with your loved ones is easier than you think.

Upholstered seating is not only a trend in the dining room, it also makes sense.  Dining rooms usually have a lot of wood tones which can make it feel dark and unwelcoming.  Using upholstered seating is inviting and refreshing.

There are plenty of beautiful patterns and solid colors that are sure to make you happy.  You may be inclined to use your dining room more often.  Upholstered seating doesn’t have to be chairs, it can a bench, a banquette or a combination of all of them.  All of these are wonderful and engaging options and sure to brighten your home.

Be certain to serve you family a homemade delight.  Cookies are always a favorite dessert, they are easy to make and serve.   Below is Rachel Ray’s Easy Gluten Free chocolate chip cookie recipe.


3/4 cup of softened butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 cups of gluten-free baking flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup of crushed pecans


Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Grease baking sheet.
In a medium sized bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and stir until blended.
Slowly add the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop teaspoon sized cookies onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes or unit slightly brown and not wet.
Let cookies cool for 5  minutes before taking them off the sheet.

Remember to make a toast to your loved one who can’t join you this year, it’s not the same as having them right there, but is the next best thing.

Making Memories, Ann O’Connor  @annelizabethoco

Upholstered benches, sofas, headboards and; ottomans at Englishman's
Upholstered benches, sofas, headboards and; ottomans at Englishman’s

Family Favorites

With the beginning of Autumn, the changing of the leaves and the cooler temperatures, we start to look forward to the Holiday Season. Images of Family gatherings, children playing outside, and of course the traditional Holiday meal fill or mind! I grew up in Kent, England and now live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband & his family, as well as my own extended family. When families grow thru marriage & friend, we bring our favorite special dishes to share, and thus our family traditions and favorites grew and change.

Today I made my wonderful mother-in-law a traditional English Trifle for a party she is attending. It’s not quite the holiday season, but I when I heard she was to take a dessert I offered to make one for her. I decided to make one that has been a family favorite for years. It has always been enjoyed at parties, at Christmas time & now enjoyed by my new family.

So, if this holiday season you find yourself looking for an easy, delicious & pretty dessert to share with friends & family, enjoy a Traditional English Trifle.

(Adapted from the English version but equally as enjoyable)

Angel food cake (the amount depends on preference, I tend to use about half of a round cake as I do not like too much soggy cake on the bottom)
Raspberry Jam
I bag/tub of Raspberries (I use the frozen kind and add both the raspberries & juice to the dessert)
2 Bananas sliced
2-4oz of Sherry or Madeira depending on taste
1 tin of Custard (Lucky for me my local supermarket carries tins of the English Ambrosia custard but you can always make from scratch)
I pint Heavy whipping cream, whipped

I like to use a glass dish for my trifle as it does look very pretty.

Thinly slice the Angel food cake & spread with raspberry jam. Cut into bite size pieces and place in dish.
Pour over sherry and stir allowing the cake to absorb all the liquid.
Place the raspberries & juice over the cake.
Scatter the sliced bananas over the raspberries.
Top with the custard.
Finish with the whipped cream.
Today as a treat I sprinkled mine with grated Dairy Milk Chocolate

Traditional English trifle
Traditional English trifle
Enjoy & I hope this makes you reflect on family favorite foods & time spent together.

Move over Gray

Move over Gray, your fifty shades have had their time in the spotlight.  We are ready to move on to real colors that make us happy.   The emotional value of color has been unsurpassed and is making an enchanting comeback.

With delight we look at flowers, the yellows, reds, and blues lift our spirits.  The same goes for home furnishings, when a room is comfortable and cozy, you will use it more.

There are easy ways to add color to any room.  A chest that has been painted or restored, pillows with a pattern, and lively artwork.

A little secret for all of you, saturated color in your dining room is making a big resurgence.  Traditional mahogany tables like our parents and grandparents had are all the rage and in demand.

Bringing a mahogany dining table into your home or using the one you own doesn’t mean you are cashing in your youthful chips, you are evolving.

Have fun setting your table with bright earthenware place settings and different shape accessories. Whatever makes you happy will make other people happy too.

Mahogany has memories from the past can be relived and make new memories.

Making memories, Ann

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