gardens, inspiration, interiors, Seasons

the stunning amaryllis (potting and styling ideas)

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The amaryllis is a show-stopper. But—you’ve got to get busy if you want to have the show for the holidays. You can usually find amaryllis bulbs in kits in grocery stores and in nurseries this time of year. They are pre-frozen and ready to go. And don’t worry: they look very grand—and they are—but they are simple to pot up and put around (so go ahead and let your friends think you have done something extraordinary). Continue reading “the stunning amaryllis (potting and styling ideas)”

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”

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”

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””

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”