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

ECS_tulipiere

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, inspiration, interiors

a Bunny Mellon vignette to welcome you!

If you currently live an elegant country lifestyle or if you aspire to, and if you believe (like I do) that elegant country style is not only a way of life, but also a mindset, then I welcome you to my site!

With each post I’ll be exploring what elegant country style means to me and how many have achieved it (all over the world) through architecture, interior design, gardening, and even sartorial choices.

ECS_Bunny Mellon vignette

Here, is a Bunny Mellon vignette to start us off. Who better (in my opinion) to show us one way to achieve elegant country style than the woman who said to her interior decorators (Bruce Budd, John Fowler, and Billy Baldwin no less): “Make it look like we just brought it down from the attic.” She was the queen of understated and knew how to blend the rustic with the refined.

Here is a photograph of her desk in her home called Oak Spring in Virginia. Her signature elements were her topiaries (which she grew herself), handwoven baskets, rooms in shades of white, blue, cream, and yellow, Impressionist landscape paintings, and painted hardwood floors.  Notice the antique boxes and Staffordshire porcelain tulips alongside her garden shears and a simple terra cotta pot. Quite lovely!