entertaining, inspiration, interiors, Seasons

around my house: embracing autumn (and some thoughts on decorating)

F38A41D3-C5C4-4C58-AB17-021B51CD73C9Around 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)”

antiques, art, gardens, inspiration, interiors

the elegant charm of antique herbarium pages

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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”

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)”

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””