Around my house, I’m embracing the autumn days instead of rushing the holidays. I’m lingering on the falling leaves, the changing light, and the cool air that means sweaters and blankets and fires because this season is fleeting, unlike winter, which stays and stays. My mother decorated seasonally (it was one of her great talents and joys), and she was firm about keeping the autumn mood going strong until after Thanksgiving (her small gesture of placing a Christmas tree ornament on our Thanksgiving dinner plate was her way of easing us into the excitement to come). Continue reading “around my house: embracing autumn (and some thoughts on decorating)”
Who among us hasn’t pressed a flower between the pages of a book and been charmed at the outcome? Pressed flowers and foliage can be a lovely way to add a garden element to a room, and so I’m always on the hunt for antique herbarium pages. I recently purchased a set from the 1940s. I love the earthy, delicate, understated quality of herbarium pages: there is something so personal and enchanting about someone, somewhere taking the time to pick the flowers and foliage, label them with their correct botanical names, press them, and preserve them. Continue reading “the elegant charm of antique herbarium pages”
I’m way out of my comfort zone here. But let me explain. Not long ago I was standing in the butler’s pantry of Harvey Ladew’s manor house learning how to arrange flowers in the rooms (Harvey’s way). There was another discussion going on about Harvey’s bedroom being restored to its original décor and color, which was aubergine. I had to think for a long minute about that color (not to mention how to pronounce it). Aubergine means eggplant or the deep and bright purple of that vegetable. Not something I would ever think to use. And not in a bedroom. My aversion to any color in the purple family is why I steer clear of mauve. However, aubergine—this color, this word, and this bedroom—began to intrigue me. Continue reading “shades of aubergine: 5 fabrics to try (if you dare)”
I’m so happy that we are wearing wallpaper these days. Aren’t you?
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!
It’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)”
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”