I Love ‘Beautiful Things’

– Guest blogger,Val Barbatelli, Manager, Coldwell Banker Downtown Milwaukee and North Shore offices

val-barbatelliI love beautiful things! It’s a blessing most days and occasionally, a curse. It is a gift from my mother, most notably, who had a love for art, fashion and lovely things for the home, among other things. Her reputation for stellar taste is legendary among her family and wide circle of friends; it was something she was born with much to our delight! So I give full credit to my Mom for this love of beauty and decorating a home!

Home is a place where you are the curator of your own unique collection, a daily reminder of what you love, love to look at and of course, what you might like to change. Whether it be your barcalounger, invented by an Italian by the way, your special glassware from your Grandmother, special woodworking tools from your uncle; that amazing chair from the estate sale, the list goes on and on. As curator of my eclectic collection, I am constantly seeing new things I might like to add to my home, many of which tend to be out of my reach at the time. Oh well, not to worry, there are always more beautiful things to come…

Some of the daily inspiration I receive is from a gorgeous piece of Haitian art given to me by my mother because she knew I was crazy about it! It makes me smile every day.


A very old chest from China; I love the ancient wood and hefty handles and drawer pulls. It’s stunning!


The website fab.com is one of my favorites and this red heart lamp lights up my kitchen and reminds me of those I care about…


This Fornasetti plate is at once sad and touching and I am not above things that are a bit edgy. Sometimes guests are not sure what to think of it.


I could go on and on but let’s take a walk down the decidedly unadorned hallway to the Bathroom. I moved in 7 years ago and said then; I am going to redo the bathroom! Have I? No! Why? Good question…

It’s one I could get all philosophical about but why complicate things unnecessarily? The bathroom is the ugliest room in the house, an eye-sore really. It needs work, to say the least, a gut job at the other end of the spectrum. What’s a girl to do? So it begins endless daydreams and research to help me decide what to do. I have so many ideas, it’s crazy! Do I gut the room and expand it using part of the closet from the bedroom? Take out the tub and do a great shower with sexy fixtures. (Can fixtures really be sexy? Kohler thinks so.) Do I want a double sink or should it remain single? (Does that say something about my love life?) I love glass tile and have it all picked out from Oceanside in California, talk about beautiful and expensive! Maybe just keep it classic, white subway tile and then that lighting fixture from Design Within Reach I’m nuts about. You get the picture…

Daydreaming is fun and there is no shortage of wonderful things to ponder when figuring out what to do with my bathroom. If I ever sell this house, I have to do something to it!

What will I decide, when will I decide, that remains to be seen. In the meantime, I have many items that inspire me daily; they give me sustenance keeping me happy and sated. I love coming home each and every day, in fact, I look forward to it!!!

Stayed tune for the next installment of ‘Beautiful Things’ when once again the world of possibilities for my home will be explored!!

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