In 2001, Blue and White in Your Home was published.  It is a compilation of many of the most popular rooms from the magazine.  I came across my copy while looking for another book and just had to revisit.  Here is the cover:

The white slipcovered sofa is current for even today.  Notice the Victorian plant stand/table that has been painted and is tucked back into the corner. The lap boards on the walls are wonderful.  Notice that the blue in the room is only in accents…curtains, pillows, a throw, a painted piece.  If you want a blue and white family room, don’t buy a blue sofa.  Put the color in accessories so that if you change your mood with the season or after years, you can change the look without having to buy a new sofa.

The kitchen looks like it came from the same house.  Notice the cottage look of the slip covered dining chairs and the charming table cover which features a scalloped edge made from what I think are kitchen towels in cobalt blue and white.

Now that I think about it, I know that my blue and white state of mind arrived last week while watching HGTV.  They ran back to back Sarah Richardson episodes.  She was designing her lake house.  I think that this blue and white sun porch/family room is just spectacular.  She explained that since you see the water outside of the windows, she wanted the inside to be water inspired so that the eye had a restful and cohesive movement from inside to outside.  The same thing would happen in a mountain home if you used greens and browns.  Here is Sarah’s lovely room:

See the different patterns of blue and white in the fabric. There is a large floral (ottoman) small print (pillow) and a stripe (large pillow).  This is a good rule of thumb when you want to mix fabrics.  It would not be good to use all large floral or all stripe.

The chairs are neutral and the color is in the pillows.  The paneling was white washed to give an airy feel.  A bamboo table in the corner is more beachy…airy and light.

Can you imagine lying on this chaise for the afternoon with a good book?

When I moved to our last house, I had a dish barrel of blue and white Chinese export porcelain.  It was not expensive…I had picked it up in Pier One and one was even from the Dollar Store.  I decided that I really did not have a place for it and I donated it to the Salvation Army.  Well, I think that was my mistake.  I miss it.  I missed it especially after seeing this photo from  “Architectural Digest.”  Some days, “more is more!”
Now, this is my idea of a library.  Then, I admired this mahogany table with blue and white porcelain on the sideboard.  This is a much more formal look than the casual blue and white from Sarah Richardson’s lake house.  If you have a mahogany or a cherry wood table, put some Chinese export porcelain in blue and white on it.  Instant magic!
Kathleen Burke Design traditional dining room

 Kathleen Burke Design
For those of you who are minimalists, cover your eyes.  This next picture might upset you too much.  If you have a collection of blue and white porcelain, try displaying it in the same place. Also, note that blue and white with touches of yellow are really nice.  Notice the jar on the top right of the table.  It is a Chinese wedding jar.
Foyer Entry traditional entry

 As luck would have it, I found just such a jar at my local thrift shop a few months ago.  I couldn’t resist it…$6.00!   So, as I was putting this post together, I decided to put my remaining blue and white pieces in the same place…on my grandmother’s dry sink.  Here is how it looks now:
This seems to have satisfied my blue and white craving without sending me to the store for paint and/or material.  I wonder how long this will last?
Create and be happy!