The Old Girl Gets a New Look

bright orange roses for summer

Everyone loves a good Before & After Story right?

Well, I orchestrated one this week (actually in just 36 hours)

It’s not quite finished yet and I did pilfer a couple of items that will have to be returned to their rightful places in my home eventually, but the results made me so happy I just couldn’t wait to share.

I even have music to accompany your stroll (If you love Bryan Ferry and old fashioned Big Band music you should check out his new CD “Jazz Age”

Um. Just one other thing…I forgot to take the “Before” photos, but trust me, it wasn’t exactly bad, but it’s much nicer now!


It all began with the massive antique lantern below.  Over 3ft high and heavy with detail, I bought it in London eons ago and never found a home for it.

I know it looks like rubbish here

photobut with my newly invigorated passion for bright pink coinciding with getting bolder in my dotage I said to myself ;

“Slim, that old lantern is kind of fahbulous- why not paint it bright pink, I mean bright pink, replace the glass and hang it in the conservatory for the summer?

In days gone by, we used this wonderful room right off our dining room so much, but a few years ago it began to leak (hellooo-the house was built in 1895) so we moved most of the furniture out, save an old table and chairs and slowly stopped using it.

I can safely say “Hey, let’s all go to the conservatory!” is not a sentence you hear often in a household of boys.

 Even after I had the glass roof repaired (the swearing-ist glass repair workmen ever. How unreasonable is it to ask them not to walk on the antique glass??) I never got around to putting the furniture back in.

890A8465Until this week.

Summerize your cocktail barHaving recently been so inspired by the colours and textures of Morocco, along with my love for lively Sri Lankan style,

and with Summer almost upon us…

Summer decoratingAll of a sudden I wanted the room done like yesterday.

Know that feeling?? It doesn’t just apply to hair and nails.

A summer conservatoryOne of my favourite vintage Suzanis in hot pinks & purples served as my colour wheel

The silver tray I brought home from Morocco. Seriously. I love British Airways.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy walking by and seeing it every day.

brightly coloured rosesThe roses are from my garden

Summer cocktail bar

What’s more fun than setting up a Summer bar?!

The drinks…OK, Smarty Pants.  I love these tiny tropical bananas from our local Asian grocery store.

 High/Low; Wicker lamp from Pottery Barn (in stores now) glassware from Christian Dior (couldn’t resist those sea glass colours and unusual shape)

gingersnap rosesVerging on vulgar in the garden but so great brought inside, these orange roses are for real. NO photo enhancement.

890A8536Tons of inspiration in the beautiful book “Rajasthan”


Long time readers know of my weakness for a touch of red & white stripe come summer

890A8549Striped “dhurrie” from Pottery barn, ottoman “George Smith”, vintage leather poof


890a8572Yellow throw pillow “Pottery Barn”, straw hat “Maison K” Montecito


890A8574A couple of fav. mags always beckon one into a room

summerize your bar

890a8568Now I can’t wait to get up in the morning and have my tea in the conservatory-it’s positively singing with sunlight

(the hat is a must-slightly weird with my bathrobe but what the hell. Sorry for that visual)

890A8581and the perfect place for cocktails at Day’s end (or Day’s middle-towards-end..ish)


 I know that some of you still in possession of a decent attention span might be asking

“But Slim, where’s the hot pink lantern??”

Still in the garage of course.

Stay tuned.

Let’s not get tooo crazy! 🙂



  1. Oh, Slim,
    How do you manage…with this music and the visuals…a martini, dahling. I love this room, I mean conservatory.
    Please don’t paint that pretty lantern, put it up just the way it is.

  2. OH SLIM ,,,,,,,,,,,,, FANTASTIC BLOG. !! My new FAV. FOR SURE . (wonder how many times I have written that ? , ) SERIOUSLY xo.

  3. LOVE! EVERYTHING! Wish I was already back in our summer place in NH so I could do it all yesterday! instead of in the approaching Autumn/Winter of the Southern Hemi, BUT I will run out right now and buy that Aussie Mag for more inspiration……but NOTHING in it can be as good in thought, sound, image, word and deed as our SLIM! And the ROSES…my mom’s name….always gives me a tingle.
    Thank YOU!

  4. I LOVE THE SUN ROOM: the colors, the textures, the roses (am glad that they will not be thirsty out there)..thank you so much for sharing!! (Also, I’m delighted that you didn’t paint the lantern: I have a matching pair of sconces with the same roses, iron patina, etc.) Have a wonderful week-end relaxing in the glorious sun room.

  5. This post confirms one of the many reasons I love to travel. One can see how your recent adventures over the past year inspired you to create this fabulous room. Let’s not get me started on the color of the orange roses. They are breath taking.

  6. now that is a great room, fully equipped with cocktails to boot!

    I was so looking forward to seeing that pink lantern somewhere in your post, but before i got to the end, it occurred to me who’s blog i was reading and knew it was probably unlikely:)

  7. OMG, do you have room for the hundreds of us drooling at your conservatory? We all want in. Love, love, love the colors, hell the whole thing. Bravissima!

  8. Yummy – so yummy….and, can you give us the name of the Orange of all Oranges rose ???? and the clincher… is it scented????

    • Yes, the rose is called “Ginger Snap” though the colour is anything but ginger. It doesn’t have any scent. I presume Mother Nature decided that would have been overkill.

  9. Had to quit reading your fabulous blog because I couldn’t concentrate listening to the wonderful music !! This was one of the best. I love that room.

  10. Slim, My first thought when I saw the top photo was, more Morocco! It looks amazing, You are so fortunate to have a conservatory. Isn’t it funny how you can live with how things forever and then one day want it all done? I’m so that way. Love all your choices from the lamps to glasses. You own some fabulous textiles too. The music was the the icing on the cake…I’m off to have my cocktail now and dream of how I can do the same!! Enjoy.


  11. Just beautiful! Here in Anchorage, we just enjoyed the 232nd day of the snow season, so roses and a sunny room look beautiful to me. I just bought some of those same bananas at a friend’s Asian market today. Can’t wait to see the lamp!

  12. The music ended just as I finished reading. I hate you; it’s perfect!!! Please paint it pink, it will be out of this world.

  13. Had to get rid of my orange roses, garden too small, red brick too too too ick for the orange roses.

    What a wall of windows, art on the wall. Better, it changes all day every day.

    A client had almost exact lantern, we used it in her outdoor kitchen/foyer/dining room. She’d had it for decades.

    You got me with the bar, recipes please.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    • I totally get it-they command too much visual attention, unless you have a madly tropical palette, in which case you probably wouldn’t plant roses, or just a big ‘free for all’, which come to think of it, considering I have roses and artichokes in the same bed, describes my garden!

  14. Love all the colors and completely understand the need to rework a room stat. Even if others in the household are wondering where certain may have gone to and moving things around yourself. Can’t wait to see what you do with the lantern and in the meantime, I will admire (with a friendly touch of envy) your roses, as all we have are the last vestiges of our fall bulb plantings and lilacs. xx

  15. Hello Slim, what a clever, funny tease you are! Love the conservatory and the wonderful hot colors. So what is it about workmen and antique glass? I once witnessed a plumber put his toolbox on a mirror that was lying on a bed in one of our guestrooms. On the mirror! Needless to say, I yelled at him (in the nicest possible way) to take the toolbox off the antque mirror (ca. 1830) immediately. So, Young Miss, you have us all on the edge of our seats waiting to see that hot pink lantern, the crowning touch of your marvelous conservatory! Reggie

    • Imagine placing your toolbox on a mirror. I freak out when people put luggage on a bed…the places it’s been! yikes.

      • Omg. Why, WHY do people put luggage on a bed? I cringe when that happens ~ and it’s one of the {many} reasons ALL top coverings must be folded back in every hotel room for me. {I’ve seen one too many 20/20 exposes with the dreaded ultraviolet light!}

  16. Looks beautiful…love all the vibrant colors, a sure sign summer is just about here! And that lantern..OMG, I LOVE it!!!!!! If it doenst’ work for you, I know a room in NY that would welcome it with open arms:)

  17. I love all the hot colors…evocative of Morocco and just perfect for the summer. What a lovely place to end a summer’s day.

  18. Beautiful post – feeding almost all my senses! A little later in the day, I’ll take it in again while I sniff the fuschia roses I happen to have & sip some compari & soda. Thanks for lifting my spirits & starting my day on a high note!

  19. Awe inspiring as usual. Slim you just have such a great way with pulling it all together and making it fun and exciting! Love your blog. N

  20. This was just SO FANTASTIC…you are really going to have to “go some” to top this!!!! I laughed till tears rolled and swooned and all that jazz!!! franki

    • If you mean the bar cart with cocktails, it’s so old, I have no idea where it came from. The large textile ottoman that the Moroccan tray is on is from George Smith.

  21. I agree with others……hang the lantern “as is”….it’s fabulous and will be perfect in your conservatory! Happy summer!!!

  22. Apparently my attention span is shot. You had me so engrossed in the gorgeous colours and beautiful setting, I forgot all about the pink lantern! Janet is right, that tray is drool worthy.

  23. Sooooooooooo fabulous! And if you just hang that lantern the lack of color will bother you so much you will have it painted in no time. I find that if I put things away they stay there, unfinished. But it is fun to know that ones home is always a work in progress. Keeps the inspiration juices flowing. Thanks for sharing, as always. MH

  24. Love your style in every way!! But, pleeeeease, don’t paint that gorgeous lantern!!!

  25. Slim, I totally forgot about the bright pink lantern because I was so stunned and mesmerized by the beauty of this room. Every detail is perfect.

  26. Slim I have to say I adore EVERYTHING about your new conservatory!!
    I must find a suzani like that! Maybe the next time you are traveling to parts of the world far and wide!

    Come with me on my adventure in France.
    life, possibilities, grace
    a beautiful dream…

    Art by Karena

  27. Painting that incredible lantern will bring it crying and screaming into this modern world, causing a change that will lose forever the delicate charm of yesterday.

  28. Your energy with this is so entertaining..rained all day in Atlanta, so love having this sunshine! Old roses remind me of my Mother’s garden….she knew Will Tillotson who had Roses of Yesterday and Today at Watsonville. We are North Carolinians by birth and Mr. Tillotson had a rose hybridized by Richard Thomson and named HONEY CHILE in honor of my Mother (pretty Southern girl) in his stock. Don’t know who might have that rose now.
    So thank you for your blog…love it!
    Most cheerfully,
    Lynn Ziglar

  29. I LOVE THIS ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, seriously. And the lantern is fabulous! I want to come have a drink with you! XO, Pinky

  30. The natural light {those windows!}, the fresh colors, the bright and classic furnishings, the word “conservatory”! : ) All absolutely FABULOUS. Add the jazz and another funny Slim-ism {“I can safely say “Hey, let’s all go to the conservatory!” is not a sentence you hear often in a household of boys.”}, and I was enchanted. Thanks for always sharing the fabulous!

    • I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to reapply Mary. It is difficult for me to say though, as I host the blog, I see only the ‘administrator’s page’ not the same format that you and other readers see.

  31. My mom and I were like this yesterday, inspiration is awesome, we were decorating my chalet! I love the PINK in your Conservatory – i kept looking for the magic “lantern” –I cannot wait to see the ‘next Slim Paley blog” to see what happened to the lantern. Bravo! Also, I’ve seen the blue gin in the summer bar, it is a great contrast to the PINK.

  32. You brought some of your travel inspiration home. It is my favorite part of a home. It looks perfect for a late afternoon with a prosecco and raspberry.

  33. Just saw Gatsby, so I love the F. Scott Fitzgerald reference on the white sofa. I just adore your mix of fabrics, colors and textures. This looks like a near perfect room. I am so jealous. If I were you, I would be sitting in here all day and night soaking up the sun and the moon. Congratulations and can’t wait to see the hot pink lantern.

  34. Absolutely fabulous in every way. Laughing at the comments “don’t paint the lantern!”, “can’t wait for the pink lantern!”!! Girlfriend, you do whatever the hell you feel like doing (as I’m certain you will). You’ve got “the touch” and I, for one, think that a hot pink lantern would be the perfect touch

  35. Love the conservatory. Love all the colors–I feel like I had a little visit to Morocco! Please don’t paint that lantern though! It’s magnificent! I can picture it hanging in there right now. Love your blog!

  36. Wowee Slim it’s gorgeous~bravo!! Funny, I was waiting to see that hot pink lantern as I scrolled through, please get to it and show us how she turns out.

  37. “Doesn’t just apply to hair and nails.” Well pooh, now I need to get my hair and nails done! The power of suggestion.

    Loooove the red and white stripes. Doesn’t it get warm in there though? I’ve always loved the idea of a room like this, but I worry that it would get too warm/cold with the seasons.

  38. The patterns! The color! Those flowers! Gorgeous styling. What a great feeling you created. This inspires me to get off my duff and fix up our sun room. It was one of the reasons I wanted our house, but it’s become so sad over the years. I see it becoming more colorful and happy. Less “global” than other areas of our house, more like “outsider arty” maybe. Thank you for the inspiration!

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