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, gardens, inspiration, interiors, interview

Larger Cross: an interview with shop owner Alice Minnich

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Alice Minnich left the big city life to return to the countryside and to her roots. And it seems she has never looked back. After many creative endeavors in New York City, including culinary school, freelance food styling, and working for interior designer Alex Papachristidis, Alice started her own business and is the sole proprietor of Larger Cross, a studio and online shop based in Oldwick, New Jersey. Alice and I are virtual friends (as much as I hate that saying, it’s true), and after admiring her style from afar (she makes a hand broom look chic), and watching her skillfully balance the entrepreneurial with the creative, I reached out to see if she would be willing to chat with me and my readers. I’m so glad she did. As she put it, we are kindred spirits, and I think you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. Continue reading “Larger Cross: an interview with shop owner Alice Minnich”

gardens, inspiration

nasturtium: the unsung hero of summer flowers

 

8BB22101-E6CA-4EEA-A65E-0CEE9A29B575Not long ago, on the terrace of a restaurant near a lake, I saw nasturtiums tumbling out of urns. They were accompanied by some herbs: rosemary, thyme, lavender and so on. It reminded me of my love for nasturtium that began years ago when I had a sunny garden and grew them from seeds. It also reminded me that I had bought some packets of nasturtium seeds early this season with the intention of planting them in containers on our rooftop deck, but sadly this didn’t happen for various reasons (lots of rain and forgetfulness). Continue reading “nasturtium: the unsung hero of summer flowers”

antiques, inspiration, interiors

collecting: antique oyster plates

 

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Imagine a summer day long ago, make it the Victorian era, somewhere in the countryside, of course, when there was no such thing as air conditioning, but there were sleeping porches and mosquito nets and lavish meals starting with oysters served on beautiful plates. Continue reading “collecting: antique oyster plates”

antiques, featured designer, gardens, inspiration, interiors

featured designer: Tricia Foley

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Tricia Foley is a woman ahead of her time. Long before the all-white, minimalist look we see everywhere on Instagram these days, author and stylist Tricia Foley captured our imaginations with her casual, chic country look. Her trademarks–all those shades of white, natural elements, textures, layers, and artful displays of treasured objects and collections—are commonplace now. But, there is only one Tricia Foley, and she is a designer whose work I return to often for inspiration. Continue reading “featured designer: Tricia Foley”

inspiration

4th of July in elegant country style: 5 favorite things

Say you have never been able to do much with the 4th of July decorating schemes that are readily available, or say you didn’t grow up celebrating this particular holiday (even though your mother celebrated every little thing, this was not something she took much notice of). But say you now live in a town that is known for two things, and one of them is the 4th of July. Why not embrace it all, and find a way to make it your own?

Here are a few things that have caught my eye over the years that I thought might be worth sharing with you in case you have had similar feelings. Or perhaps one might just strike a chord of creativity and get you in the spirit. Continue reading “4th of July in elegant country style: 5 favorite things”

interiors

an elegant butler’s pantry

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Historically, a butler’s pantry was a transitional space between the main kitchen and the dining room where the last minute preparations before service of the meal took place (because those dining were not to be exposed to the messiness of the kitchen), in a house, or estate, wealthy enough to have a butler, and therefore this luxuriance.

These rooms and this concept have gone out of style. We are more likely to have open kitchens and great rooms in our homes today. But there is something lovely and romantic about this butler’s pantry above with its double arches and blue and white mural and the ceiling-high plate rack and charming collection of delft wall sconces. For those of us who favor smaller rooms and spaces with distinct boundaries and who have a fondness for old-fashioned, out-of-style notions, why not embrace the idea of a butler’s pantry, with or without the butler.