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”

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)”

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”

fashion, inspiration, interiors

American style icon: 50 years of Ralph Lauren

 

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When I think of elegant country style, Ralph Lauren is certainly a tastemaker who comes to mind: the rich hues, the plaids, the equestrian theme, the florals, the hunting dogs, the paneled walls, the Range Rovers, the casual layering, the blue and white stripes. Effortless chic. Unstudied elegance. Rugged and refined. Continue reading “American style icon: 50 years of Ralph Lauren”

art, books, inspiration, interiors

on my bookshelf: “Quiet Patterns”

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Bird and Pomegranate (William Morris)

Two things are happening in our homes these days: we are back in love with wallpaper (It seems we were afraid of it for a while) and we are taking a holistic approach to designing our houses and decorating our rooms. That is to say, we are interested in beauty and our overall well-being. Of course I couldn’t be more pleased. But honestly it is Abigail Edward’s newly published book Quiet Patterns: Gentle Designs for Interiors that really got my mind going on this matter. In it she argues (softly) that, when incorporated properly, pattern (many of which are derived from nature and childhood images reminding us of the countryside or secret garden or enchanted forest of our youth) has the power to transform a space and to soothe our weary modern souls. Continue reading “on my bookshelf: “Quiet Patterns””

interiors

dressing a bed in-between seasons: 5 easy tips

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Here on the East Coast we are already feeling a tinge of autumn in the air and some of the leaves have even started to change. There is something invigorating (and perhaps bittersweet) about leaving summer behind and moving on to cooler days. One of the things that I love about the changing seasons is the chance to create different moods in the rooms of our homes (in elegant country style of course). But sometimes, these changes (like most changes) feel better coming gradually. Continue reading “dressing a bed in-between seasons: 5 easy tips”