antiques, gardens, inspiration, interiors

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”

antiques, inspiration, interiors

seaside notes: 3 vignettes with coral

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You already know about my love of interior vignettes (an art form open to everyone, one that resides in our humble homes, and one that can be permanent or fleeting). So, despite my affinity for things with a countryside vibe (more land than sea, I suppose), I am taken by some of the coral sculptures that have become popular accessories over the last few years. No longer a fad, they seem to be sticking around and can look quite elegant and timeless—giving a room a summery, seaside feel, but also as interesting objects reminding us of the sea throughout the year (because isn’t remembering what our “things” are really about?). Continue reading “seaside notes: 3 vignettes with coral”

antiques, inspiration, interiors

collecting: antique oyster plates

 

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Imagine a summer day long ago, make it the Victorian era, somewhere in the countryside, of course, when there was no such thing as air conditioning, but there were sleeping porches and mosquito nets and lavish meals starting with oysters served on beautiful plates. Continue reading “collecting: antique oyster plates”

antiques, gardens, inspiration, interiors

featured designer: Tricia Foley

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Tricia Foley is a woman ahead of her time. Long before the all-white, minimalist look we see everywhere on Instagram these days, author and stylist Tricia Foley captured our imaginations with her casual, chic country look. Her trademarks–all those shades of white, natural elements, textures, layers, and artful displays of treasured objects and collections—are commonplace now. But, there is only one Tricia Foley, and she is a designer whose work I return to often for inspiration. Continue reading “featured designer: Tricia Foley”

antiques, gardens, inspiration, interiors

a garden room

 

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It can be fancy or utilitarian or a little bit of both, but you can make a garden room (or garden nook) almost anywhere that leads from indoors to outdoors. Garden rooms have been around since the days of ancient Greece, and they come in all shapes and sizes (from the spacious garden rooms of grand country homes to small decks of city apartments). They are places for starting seeds, potting plants, storing tools, arranging flowers, keeping notes or a journal, sitting a spell, and above all, finding inspiration.

Why not make a mudroom more garden roomy, or a back hallway or a small porch? Continue reading “a garden room”

antiques

the story of the tulipiere

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The story of the tulipiere starts with Tulipmania (1634-1637), when tulips were the new gold, costing a small fortune and bringing along with them high social status (Queen Mary II was a huge fan). It has been said (though there are some conflicting reports on this, but isn’t that the case with all good stories) that the potters and ceramicists of the day created the tulipieres so that the much coveted, outrageously expensive bulbs could be planted in the individual compartments of the vessel so as not to be disturbed or upstaged by any of the lesser flowers. Others say that the tulipiere was not made for growing but for displaying the freshly cut tulips in an artful and practical way (as you may know, tulip stems continue to grow even after they are cut and placed in water and begin to get a bit unruly, in which case the tulipiere keeps them in place). Whatever the case may be, the Dutch, of course, made them first out of their delftware and these are the ones we are probably most familiar with.

Meanwhile, the tulip has come down, you might say (all of us common folks can get them now in the grocery store). But the story of the tulipiere seems to be having a second act. They are back in the spotlight, having their moment in the spheres of interior decorating, antique collecting, and floral design. And modern day potters (like Frances Palmer and Matthew Solomon) are reinterpreting them in whimsical ways.

antiques, gardens, inspiration

peacocks and potted hydrangea

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This is what I would call an enchanting entrance, and it leads (so I am told) to an enchanting place. Who wouldn’t want to follow that dirt road?

Furlow Gatewood, in his late nineties now, was born and raised in Americus, Georgia and his cluster of houses, where he currently resides, are part of his families’ original property. There is a main barn, three houses, and several outbuildings and gardens. After some time in Manhattan and Savannah, Gatewood returned to Americus and began his work designing, decorating, and living here.

He is self-taught and often begins a project without planning but relies, he says, on his vision and instinct. His knowledge about architecture, design, and antiques (not to mention “the art of living”) is widely respected and sought after. Those who know him describe him as the quintessential Southern gentleman with an exquisite eye for what is beautiful and interesting to him. There is a touch of whimsy to his style that is utterly inimitable. (See one of his rooms in previous post here.)

What I admire so much about Furlow Gatewood’s philosophy is his unstudied, yet classical approach to outfitting a room, and his willingness to take small risks that seem to say: “Just don’t take it all too seriously.”