gardens, inspiration, interiors, Seasons

the stunning amaryllis (potting and styling ideas)

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The amaryllis is a show-stopper. But—you’ve got to get busy if you want to have the show for the holidays. You can usually find amaryllis bulbs in kits in grocery stores and in nurseries this time of year. They are pre-frozen and ready to go. And don’t worry: they look very grand—and they are—but they are simple to pot up and put around (so go ahead and let your friends think you have done something extraordinary). Continue reading “the stunning amaryllis (potting and styling ideas)”

entertaining, inspiration, interiors, Seasons

around my house: embracing autumn (and some thoughts on decorating)

F38A41D3-C5C4-4C58-AB17-021B51CD73C9Around my house, I’m embracing the autumn days instead of rushing the holidays. I’m lingering on the falling leaves, the changing light, and the cool air that means sweaters and blankets and fires because this season is fleeting, unlike winter, which stays and stays. My mother decorated seasonally (it was one of her great talents and joys), and she was firm about keeping the autumn mood going strong until after Thanksgiving (her small gesture of placing a Christmas tree ornament on our Thanksgiving dinner plate was her way of easing us into the excitement to come). Continue reading “around my house: embracing autumn (and some thoughts on decorating)”

antiques, art, gardens, inspiration, interiors

the elegant charm of antique herbarium pages

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Who among us hasn’t pressed a flower between the pages of a book and been charmed at the outcome? Pressed flowers and foliage can be a lovely way to add a garden element to a room, and so I’m always on the hunt for antique herbarium pages. I recently purchased a set from the 1940s. I love the earthy, delicate, understated quality of herbarium pages: there is something so personal and enchanting about someone, somewhere taking the time to pick the flowers and foliage, label them with their correct botanical names, press them, and preserve them. Continue reading “the elegant charm of antique herbarium pages”

fabric, inspiration, interiors, Seasons

shades of aubergine: 5 fabrics to try (if you dare)

 

I’m way out of my comfort zone here. But let me explain. Not long ago I was standing in the butler’s pantry of Harvey Ladew’s manor house learning how to arrange flowers in the rooms (Harvey’s way). There was another discussion going on about Harvey’s bedroom being restored to its original décor and color, which was aubergine. I had to think for a long minute about that color (not to mention how to pronounce it). Aubergine means eggplant or the deep and bright purple of that vegetable. Not something I would ever think to use. And not in a bedroom. My aversion to any color in the purple family is why I steer clear of mauve. However, aubergine—this color, this word, and this bedroom—began to intrigue me. Continue reading “shades of aubergine: 5 fabrics to try (if you dare)”

fashion, inspiration, interiors, Seasons

how to add plaid this fall (and make it chic)

93AFC296-6D1F-470C-ACEB-95B34C20050APlaid is having another moment this fall. Despite its ancient status (I won’t go into it now, but a brief history of it can be found on Smithsonian.com), or maybe because of it, plaid has had its ups and downs. Some years it’s wildly popular and other years it’s pushed aside as being too frumpy and that type of thing. But I’ve always been fond of plaid. Somewhere there is an old photograph of me wearing plaid hip hugger, bell bottom pants (which I adored). And there are several photographs of my brothers in plaid shorts. My mother did a kitchen in black and white windowpane plaid wallpaper. It’s in my blood, and right now plaid is everywhere I look: on the pages of fashion magazines, in shop windows, on tablescapes, and in our homes. Continue reading “how to add plaid this fall (and make it chic)”