Friday mood board 1.24.20

Sometimes we create in order to find something that we are searching for. This mood board is inspired by a color—hyacinth blue—that I have heard of but that I cannot exactly pin down. The hyacinth flower, a spring blooming bulb with a strong fragrance, comes in a range of colors and a variety of blues. The blues go from deep blue (close to purple) to light blue (close to periwinkle). I believe the color referred to as hyacinth blue is a lighter shade like the color in the Vermeer painting. In my quest for the true hyacinth blue I have gathered images of the various hues and other things that it brings to mind, like hyacinth vases and porcelain bulb bowls, Dutch interiors, and soothing patterns in this shade. If I’m not mistaken, my grandmother once had a bedroom in hyacinth blue, or something very close. Perhaps I am remembering that and the coming of spring.

Scalamandre Chi’En Dragon Hyacinth Blue


Savannah Skirted Ottoman One King’s Lane
Girl In Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
Antique Porcelain Bulb Bowl


Stroheim Biron Strie Check in Hyacinth Blue
Hyacinth vases and jars
House & Garden UK


Graham & Brown Fresco wallpaper Hyacinth Blue



Cheers and happy Friday!


New Year’s Eve: 5 rooms to make you want to stay home

Let’s face it New Year’s Eve is the most glamorous and elegant of holidays. So the thought of staying home, even for us die-hard homebodies, can feel a bit deflating. On the other hand, there is the over-hype and the noise and crowds and the hangovers that can be avoided by choosing the less adventurous option. I like an early dinner (this year at my sister’s house) and a quiet night at home. I just read that Martha Stewart feels the same way and is usually asleep before midnight (of course she does eat caviar to give the night some sense of specialness and we would expect nothing less from her).

Suppose you opt for a night at home, a bit fancy but not fussy. Now imagine some of your favorite rooms where you could pass the hours away. Rooms do come and go for the most part. Some of your favorites might be long gone in reality but very much alive in your memory. Some are real and some are imagined. But that’s the beauty of this exercise and of New Year’s Eve: looking back and looking ahead.

Here are five rooms where I’d love to spend New Year’s Eve and what I like about them.


I’d never pass up the opportunity to linger in Nicky Haslam’s fabled Folly De Grandeur. Once a Tudor hunting lodge and once occupied by the iconic designer John Fowler, its rooms have recently been auctioned off, and so this enchanting country place has been on my mind. I love the playful elegance of this sitting room. It’s the perfect place to spend the night sitting by the fire, slipping out into the garden, sipping champagne, and thinking up New Year’s resolutions.



Nothing is better, in my mind, then a night spent in bed with books and magazines and maybe and ipad. Any bedroom fashioned by Cathy Kincaid will do: her cozy, sophisticated layers of patterns paired with the plumped pillows, skirted beds and beautifully draped windows. Some eggnog or hot chocolate on the nightstand.



I’ve been to Americus, Georgia where antique dealer Furlow Gatewood has his homes, and I’d love to spend New Year’s Eve in one of his rooms. The soft palette, charming vignettes, classic lines, and interesting antiques of this sitting room make it very inviting. I imagine a night of Southern hospitality and wit and charm. And just look at those French doors!


Okay, I might not spend the whole night here, but what a pretty bathroom by British designer Penny Morrison for a long soak with plenty of candles lit. This is in her country house in Wales, and I love the old-fashioned yet chic feel of it (and all of her bathrooms!). The Colefax & Fowler fabric on the curtains and pelmet elevate the mood don’t they? As does the pretty white linen draped on the table. Can’t you just smell the lavender bath oils?



Style icon and master gardener Bunny Mellon created this room in her country estate Oak Springs (which is still in operation today). It’s soothing and elegant and welcoming. Classic Bunny. Not to mention it is filled with books. I’d spend the night by the fire looking through her garden and horticulture books!

We stay at home to please ourselves, just as most of us make rooms to please ourselves. Perhaps this night in will give us time to reflect on our surroundings. And if nothing else, these five rooms might suggest one or two things that we can do to our own rooms to make them the ones we long for.

Cheers and Happy New Year!


the joy of gift wrapping

The Enchanted Home

I’m having my hair done (we are all wearing festive shiny silver foil on our heads), and the chatter is about holiday preparations (how far we are and what we love and do not love about this week before Christmas). Two young ladies get into a spirited discussion about gift wrapping. One is all for it and finds it therapeutic (not to mention that she is already finished). The other is less enthusiastic, hasn’t even started, and says her gifts are all going into gift bags.

My gifts last year in wrapping paper from The Enchanted Home and Hallmark

I sympathize with the gift bag lady and have been there myself. But I do love a beautifully wrapped gift, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like opening one? (And I can’t be the only one who loves watching an expert gift wrapper at one of the department stores and thinking that would not be a bad job at all).

Our mother was very particular about how we wrapped gifts, folded corners were inspected, tape had to be hidden, and bows tied neatly (I can tell you I did not appreciate this as a teenage, but I do now). And one of my fondest memories is wrapping presents as an adult on Christmas Eve with my grandfather after my children had gone to bed. He’d come to spend the night with us and he’d help with the wrapping while we had a glass of eggnog.


William Morris wrapping paper set
Hadley Court
Cavallini and Co. Christmas botanical
My French Country Home
Hadley Court


Hadley Court
Gold Toile by Hallmark
Craftberry Bush
Caspari Twelve Days of Christmas
John Derian
Hadley Court
Country Living
Country Living
Sweet Caroline Design
Liberty Londons

So at the salon we all agreed it is about enjoying the process and the finished product. It’s all very rewarding if you make time for it. Or even if it’s rushed. I love finding beautiful paper and ribbon and coming up with some unexpected finishing touch (just now my sister called in a gift-wrapping panic looking for ribbon!). I don’t have a gift wrapping station like I’ve seen or a whole gift wrapping room (goals!), but I’ve gotten better about buying paper as I see it and keeping a supply of nice ribbon and tags (and yes there are bags).


In the midst of the Christmas rush, here are some ideas for inspiration and some of our favorite sources. We wish you much joy in your wrapping and giving of gifts, and a Merry little Christmas!


Holly and Brooke

what we love about November…

Falling leaves in shades of red, orange, and yellow, country walks, apple orchards, mulled wine, heirloom chrysanthemums, cornucopias, cozy sweaters, planting bulbs, Thanksgiving, pheasants, afternoon naps, sheaves of wheat, plaid everything on these “soft-dying days” as Keats called them…









We hope you are enjoying these November days…


Holly and Brooke

weekend style: the art of the scarf

Town or country, I love a scarf. When I see a woman wearing a scarf, I notice. I remember my mother in a scarf. And my grandmother and aunt. Perhaps in old photographs. Somewhere along the line I picked up the habit. My first scarf was a triangle of material (flimsy and trendy) that matched the patch of fabric on my t-shirt (also flimsy and trendy). I loved it. I wore the scarf on my head, tied behind my neck to cover my ears, which I thought were too big. My sister wore one too (a different patch of fabric).

Catharine Deneuve
J Crew Fall 2019

I suppose there is an art to the scarf, though I don’t think it has always been this way. At some point scarves got complicated and intimidating. They became a fancy accessory, when once upon a time they were practical, for protection, warmth, and keeping our hair out of our face. In a very chic way of course! Maybe we should go back to that way of thinking.

Grace Kelly
Katharine Hepburn
Jane Birkin

Here’s another way of thinking about the art of the scarf: This fall, Talbots has released six beautiful scarves designed by six female artists with twenty percent of the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The designs are bright and bold. If this is not your style, one of these scarves would make a very nice gift.

Lauren Bacall
Carolyn Murphy for J Crew and Liberty London

Whatever your mood (a timeless silk Hermes scarf mood. Or a charming cotton Liberty of London mood), I hope you will embrace the art of the scarf  (just don’t overthink it) and enjoy these scarf wearing days!

Lady Mary Crawley
Audrey Hepburn