New Year’s Eve: 5 rooms to make you want to stay home

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Let’s face it New Year’s Eve is the most glamorous and elegant of holidays. So the thought of staying home, even for us die-hard homebodies, can feel a bit deflating. On the other hand, there is the over-hype and the noise and crowds and the hangovers that can be avoided by choosing the less adventurous option. I like an early dinner (this year at my sister’s house) and a quiet night at home. I just read that Martha Stewart feels the same way and is usually asleep before midnight (of course she does eat caviar to give the night some sense of specialness and we would expect nothing less from her).

Suppose you opt for a night at home, a bit fancy but not fussy. Now imagine some of your favorite rooms where you could pass the hours away. Rooms do come and go for the most part. Some of your favorites might be long gone in reality but very much alive in your memory. Some are real and some are imagined. But that’s the beauty of this exercise and of New Year’s Eve: looking back and looking ahead.

Here are five rooms where I’d love to spend New Year’s Eve and what I like about them.

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I’d never pass up the opportunity to linger in Nicky Haslam’s fabled Folly De Grandeur. Once a Tudor hunting lodge and once occupied by the iconic designer John Fowler, its rooms have recently been auctioned off, and so this enchanting country place has been on my mind. I love the playful elegance of this sitting room. It’s the perfect place to spend the night sitting by the fire, slipping out into the garden, sipping champagne, and thinking up New Year’s resolutions.

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Nothing is better, in my mind, then a night spent in bed with books and magazines and maybe and ipad. Any bedroom fashioned by Cathy Kincaid will do: her cozy, sophisticated layers of patterns paired with the plumped pillows, skirted beds and beautifully draped windows. Some eggnog or hot chocolate on the nightstand.

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I’ve been to Americus, Georgia where antique dealer Furlow Gatewood has his homes, and I’d love to spend New Year’s Eve in one of his rooms. The soft palette, charming vignettes, classic lines, and interesting antiques of this sitting room make it very inviting. I imagine a night of Southern hospitality and wit and charm. And just look at those French doors!

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Okay, I might not spend the whole night here, but what a pretty bathroom by British designer Penny Morrison for a long soak with plenty of candles lit. This is in her country house in Wales, and I love the old-fashioned yet chic feel of it (and all of her bathrooms!). The Colefax & Fowler fabric on the curtains and pelmet elevate the mood don’t they? As does the pretty white linen draped on the table. Can’t you just smell the lavender bath oils?

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Style icon and master gardener Bunny Mellon created this room in her country estate Oak Springs (which is still in operation today). It’s soothing and elegant and welcoming. Classic Bunny. Not to mention it is filled with books. I’d spend the night by the fire looking through her garden and horticulture books!

We stay at home to please ourselves, just as most of us make rooms to please ourselves. Perhaps this night in will give us time to reflect on our surroundings. And if nothing else, these five rooms might suggest one or two things that we can do to our own rooms to make them the ones we long for.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Holly

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