gardens, inspiration, Seasons

ornamental cabbage: unexpected and (yes) elegant

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When fall begins to arrive, we expect to see potted mums and pansies and pumpkins, but more and more we are also seeing ornamental cabbage as part of the autumnal shift in our gardens and our decorating repertoire. I don’t remember when I first became so fond of them. Never a big fan of the potted mum to ring in the season (my mother and I had a long standing debate about this), the ornamental cabbage must have caught my eye as an antidote and it has risen in status in my mind and around my house. Continue reading “ornamental cabbage: unexpected and (yes) elegant”

antiques, inspiration, interiors

daybed dreaming

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I’m at a tag sale and there is a long, narrow Victorian daybed with a simple curved shape in a cherry wood stain with a blue ticking mattress. It’s clearly old but in good condition. The price is reasonable. I circle it and circle it again. A young couple is also beginning to circle it. It’s elegant, we say and we love it.

But I can’t think what to do with it, just now. Continue reading “daybed dreaming”

fashion, inspiration, interiors

American style icon: 50 years of Ralph Lauren

 

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When I think of elegant country style, Ralph Lauren is certainly a tastemaker who comes to mind: the rich hues, the plaids, the equestrian theme, the florals, the hunting dogs, the paneled walls, the Range Rovers, the casual layering, the blue and white stripes. Effortless chic. Unstudied elegance. Rugged and refined. Continue reading “American style icon: 50 years of Ralph Lauren”

art, books, inspiration, interiors

on my bookshelf: “Quiet Patterns”

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Bird and Pomegranate (William Morris)

Two things are happening in our homes these days: we are back in love with wallpaper (It seems we were afraid of it for a while) and we are taking a holistic approach to designing our houses and decorating our rooms. That is to say, we are interested in beauty and our overall well-being. Of course I couldn’t be more pleased. But honestly it is Abigail Edward’s newly published book Quiet Patterns: Gentle Designs for Interiors that really got my mind going on this matter. In it she argues (softly) that, when incorporated properly, pattern (many of which are derived from nature and childhood images reminding us of the countryside or secret garden or enchanted forest of our youth) has the power to transform a space and to soothe our weary modern souls. Continue reading “on my bookshelf: “Quiet Patterns””

interiors

dressing a bed in-between seasons: 5 easy tips

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Here on the East Coast we are already feeling a tinge of autumn in the air and some of the leaves have even started to change. There is something invigorating (and perhaps bittersweet) about leaving summer behind and moving on to cooler days. One of the things that I love about the changing seasons is the chance to create different moods in the rooms of our homes (in elegant country style of course). But sometimes, these changes (like most changes) feel better coming gradually. Continue reading “dressing a bed in-between seasons: 5 easy tips”

antiques, gardens, inspiration, interiors, interview

Larger Cross: an interview with shop owner Alice Minnich

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Alice Minnich left the big city life to return to the countryside and to her roots. And it seems she has never looked back. After many creative endeavors in New York City, including culinary school, freelance food styling, and working for interior designer Alex Papachristidis, Alice started her own business and is the sole proprietor of Larger Cross, a studio and online shop based in Oldwick, New Jersey. Alice and I are virtual friends (as much as I hate that saying, it’s true), and after admiring her style from afar (she makes a hand broom look chic), and watching her skillfully balance the entrepreneurial with the creative, I reached out to see if she would be willing to chat with me and my readers. I’m so glad she did. As she put it, we are kindred spirits, and I think you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. Continue reading “Larger Cross: an interview with shop owner Alice Minnich”

gardens, inspiration

nasturtium: the unsung hero of summer flowers

 

8BB22101-E6CA-4EEA-A65E-0CEE9A29B575Not long ago, on the terrace of a restaurant near a lake, I saw nasturtiums tumbling out of urns. They were accompanied by some herbs: rosemary, thyme, lavender and so on. It reminded me of my love for nasturtium that began years ago when I had a sunny garden and grew them from seeds. It also reminded me that I had bought some packets of nasturtium seeds early this season with the intention of planting them in containers on our rooftop deck, but sadly this didn’t happen for various reasons (lots of rain and forgetfulness). Continue reading “nasturtium: the unsung hero of summer flowers”