inspiration, interiors

green as accent: 5 shades to try

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It all started with a small table that I wanted to have painted green. What I like about green as an accent is how it works very differently than say red or orange as an accent. Think of how green functions in nature, and how we use it in floral arrangements: it can soften or compliment or contrast other colors but it rarely steals the show completely. There are many shades of green and there is no proper green for accent, but if you like the idea of trying it, here are five shades that have gotten my attention. Continue reading “green as accent: 5 shades to try”

fashion, inspiration, wallpaper

wallpaper Wednesday (with a twist)

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I’m so happy that we are wearing wallpaper these days. Aren’t you?

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H&M has collaborated with the British wallpaper and textile company, Morris & Co., and this fall released a clothing collection based on archived prints and new interpretations of designs by William Morris (1834-1896). So good.

Happy hump day!

featured designer, inspiration, interiors

master class: Nancy Lancaster’s 7 rules of design (and why they still matter)

8729FC26-B863-4B06-A1DF-B8D32C730FAFIt’s always worth our time to revisit a classic. And how refreshing, even now, so many years later, are Nancy’s rules. Nancy Lancaster (1897-1994) was born and raised in Virginia in a beautiful house called Mirador that she loved dearly and its Southern spirit stayed with her throughout her life. She married an Englishman (and then another one) and lived most of her life in England. Her story is one filled with large estates and meticulous, magical gardens, and yet, what she wanted most was to create places of “comfort and pleasing decay.” She thoroughly embraced the English country house and is credited (along with her business partner John Fowler) with creating the style of decorating that we think of today as English country. Continue reading “master class: Nancy Lancaster’s 7 rules of design (and why they still matter)”

fashion, inspiration, Seasons

rain hats (and why you need one)

25A51B0E-75FF-4943-A705-8277679C3C97I’ve never worn a rain hat (unless as a child my mother put one on me, which is how I used to think of rain hats, as something meant for children sloshing about in the rain, unable to and uninterested in holding onto an umbrella). Then, not long ago on a particularly gloomy Sunday in the pouring rain, I met a woman (we happened to be at the country estate of Harvey Ladew) wearing a charming, colorful rain hat. I remember thinking how useful it was for country life (she folded it and stuck it in her rain coat pocket), much more so than an umbrella. Since that day, I’ve misplaced or given away or left behind all of my umbrellas, and we have had record rainfall and what has seemed like endless days of rain and dreariness. So—the rain hat has stayed in my mind. Continue reading “rain hats (and why you need one)”

gardens, inspiration, Seasons

ornamental cabbage: unexpected and (yes) elegant

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When fall begins to arrive, we expect to see potted mums and pansies and pumpkins, but more and more we are also seeing ornamental cabbage as part of the autumnal shift in our gardens and our decorating repertoire. I don’t remember when I first became so fond of them. Never a big fan of the potted mum to ring in the season (my mother and I had a long standing debate about this), the ornamental cabbage must have caught my eye as an antidote and it has risen in status in my mind and around my house. Continue reading “ornamental cabbage: unexpected and (yes) elegant”

antiques, inspiration, interiors

daybed dreaming

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I’m at a tag sale and there is a long, narrow Victorian daybed with a simple curved shape in a cherry wood stain with a blue ticking mattress. It’s clearly old but in good condition. The price is reasonable. I circle it and circle it again. A young couple is also beginning to circle it. It’s elegant, we say and we love it.

But I can’t think what to do with it, just now. Continue reading “daybed dreaming”