mid-week musing 10.14.20

I find myself drawn to this room for several reasons, but first and foremost it is the painted floors (because we have been discussing them around here and how they might be a solution to very old and worn out hardwoods that probably can’t take another sanding).  And there is always the appeal of all-white kitchens.  Even though some say it is a tired-out trend, I think it actually always works.  A window over the kitchen sink is a must for me (when possible), and here I love the windowpanes painted a soft blue-gray.  The room is nicely styled and pulled together with pops of blue. The yellow tea kettle and black and white photograph (slightly off-center) over the range add the unexpected elements that give a room character and charm.  I love the wild tangle of bittersweet on the island in a simple pitcher. Some food for thought…

Happy Wednesday!


from the archives: Hillwood Estate and Garden

Since we can’t visit many of the public gardens and museums that we love, especially in springtime, I have reached back into the archives to a rainy spring Saturday a few years ago. Hillwood Estate and Gardens is not in the countryside, but in Washington D.C., however while you are there you feel miles away from city life.  I hope you enjoy…

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revisiting a classic lake house on Memorial Day


It’s the middle of the long Memorial Day weekend that kicks off the unofficial start to summer, and after a cookout, sitting on the screen porch we slip naturally into one of our favorite debates: beach house or lake house? It’s gotten me thinking about a classic lake house that I revisit often in A Place to Call Home: Tradition, Style, and Memory in the New American House by Gil Schafer III. (so you might have guessed which side of the debate I am on).


The home is designed and decorated by Schafer and situated in Lake Placid, New York. It is a stunning blend of casual Adirondack camp aesthetic and formal elegance. The brown shingle siding, bright white trim, and green roof work together harmoniously to create what Schafer calls “a balance between Colonial Revival and Arts and Crafts” styles, and this balancing act happens almost effortlessly elsewhere: the formal columns along the more relaxed open porches, potted boxwoods alongside breezy hydrangea, and so on.




Inside, French doors, transom lights, and wide doorways allow natural light and lake views to become an integral (and I suspect, magical) part of the whole house experience.


Warm colors, dark wood and painted wood floors, antique pieces, checks, florals, and stripes add charm and character that evoke feelings of both an English and American country home.




And when it comes to the debate—beach house or lake house? Well, I say lake and he says beach. So for now, this revisiting (and moment of reverie) is just what I need!

Cheers and Happy Memorial Day!

Holly07666047-7C99-45FC-8401-D093DE009FC9(photos from G.P. Schafer Architects and Architectural Digest


an American country house

ECS_Ruby Boyer Miller House_Harrie Lindeberg

One would imagine that simplicity on a grand scale would be hard to pull off, and yet, this rear façade image shows us how one man did just that. The Ruby Boyer Miller House was designed by architect Harrie T. Lindeberg, and is featured in the recently published Harrie T. Lindeberg and the American Country House by Peter Pennoyer and Ann Walker, as one example of the many homes he created.

Lindeberg, inspired by the past and influenced by many traditions, including English, French, Swedish, and colonial, believed in simplicity and comfort, and in designing homes that belonged to their landscape. At the height of Lindeberg’s career, the new American country house movement (1900-1930) was in full swing. One architectural critic described his designs as, “…comfortable houses with a domestic spirit, but at the same time beautifully executed works of art.”

Indeed, for while this is clearly a refined, stately home, it manages to seem quite welcoming.