mid-week inspiration: late summer mood

It’s late summer here and it’s been an odd one, so perhaps that’s why half of me wants to let it linger and the other half really wants to move on.  As school starts (whatever that looks like), schedules change, summer flowers begin to fade, and the views from our windows begin to alter, our homes are already shifting their mood.  Can you feel it? (Do you remember when rugs were taken up and heavy curtains were replaced with light panels and houses really had a different air about them in summer? And all that work!)  Anyway, there’s still time for summer things like dining al fresco, taking a dip, lounging lazily on the lawn, going for ice cream, or doing whatever keeps you in the summer mood.   

Here are some of my favorite spaces with a nice summer vibe.

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how to arrange sunflowers (because they can be divas)

We are in full sunflower season here.  And while sunflowers are certainly show-stoppers and crowd-pleasers (think sunflower festivals), sometimes it’s hard to handle them.  The sunflower is easy to grow from seed and glorious in a field or tucked in the back of a garden.  But, as a cut flower she can look stunning one minute and then quite dismal the next, her large head bent over like she has overstayed her time at the party.  Depending on the variety (and there are many), stems can be thick and curved in odd ways, and heads can be heavy and large and, well, awkward.  As my sister says of the sunflower:  She wants to do what she wants to do.

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mid-week flowers

Late summer climbing roses and sweet autumn clematis (that wandered over from my neighbor’s yard) in a small blue and white bowl. Afternoon therapy. I used chicken wire scrunched in a ball and some floral tape to hold it in place. But you can use anything you have around the house. Give it a try with whatever you can find! And it’s okay if the flowers are fading (aren’t we all) and if it only lasts a short while. It’s more about the making I think.

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rediscovering our favorite design books

For me, these days of sheltering-in-place have been both confusing and clarifying. I know I’m not alone in that feeling, and I also know that many of us have had the good fortune of rediscovering many things about the place we call home. I have found comfort in revisiting well-worn, well-loved design books full of beautiful homes and gardens. And I was curious about what books others return to for comfort and inspiration.

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4 Mother’s Day tables during quarantine (using what we have)

For most of us, this Mother’s Day will be unlike any other we have ever celebrated. We won’t be doing the things that we usually do, like traveling, visiting, gathering, or entertaining. In the world of social distancing our tables are smaller and less crowded, but they can still be pretty.

So, the four of us—two sisters (Holly and Brooke), our aunt (Barbara) and our cousin (Kirsten), decided to set our tables for Mother’s Day anyway, using what we have around the house and in our yards.  Along with the photos, each of us has written a short note about our tables.

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