Friday mood board 5.3.19


With this mood board, I’m dreaming up a guest bedroom or a girl’s bedroom in need of some redecorating (for a young lady who has outgrown the child’s room look).


I started with the wallpaper from Shumacher because I like the timeless and traditional sense it brings to the room, and it feels fresh but sophisticated. I’m using it as the anchor here to set the tone.


I’ll do curtains in Wild Iris by Robert Kime, trimmed and lined in the blush check by Scalamandre. The check would also look nice on a cushion for the vintage wicker chaise. As a compliment fabric, the headboard and bedskirt would be done in this gorgeous oyster linen from Bennison.

'Great Kasumi' on oyster linen by Bennison Fabrics
‘Great Kasumi’ on oyster linen by Bennison Fabrics

I’d furnish the room with an antique secretary like this one from Tone on Tone Antiques in a light green patina finish and a vintage wicker chaise, and accessorize with vintage wicker trunks, an antique tulipiere, and crepe myrtle topiaries.

Last but certainly not least, because I believe that original art greatly enhances the atmosphere of a room and of a home in general, I’ve selected a contemporary landscape by artist Christen Yates, which I found through art dealer Liza Pruitt (who is especially fond of connecting art with people and making it fun and interesting).


Of course, feel free to use this mood board as inspiration for any project you have in mind. We’ll be posting a Friday Mood Board each week, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas (because they inspire us!).

Cheers! Holly and Brooke

b is for beautiful benches (inside and out)


Benches can solve design and decorating problems: They can occupy a narrow space, create a focal point, and be very useful.  Not to mention the fact that many of them are quite beautiful pieces of furniture.

CC5A8719-EDA4-4469-BBB9-71A4ACD91012So, I’ve gathered some images of pretty benches that might just help solve a decorating dilemma or simply add a finishing touch to a space.

CEF764C0-4095-4DF9-98EB-F935729CB370I love a good entryway bench where you can slip your shoes off and hang up your coat, or just take in the atmosphere of the house before you come or go. The bedroom bench is popular these days, usually placed at the foot of the bed (if you have room, which I do not). Benches in breezeways and loggias, those lovely transitional spaces between indoors and out, can be both useful and charming.




And garden benches just steal my heart. I cannot pass one without sitting down because really it changes our perspective of a place once we do sit on a bench. And to me, the mere fact that someone thought of placing a bench somewhere suggests an invitation to stay for a bit.




I learned some very specific things about choosing a bedroom bench in this article in Architectural Digest.







Whether plain or elaborate, antique or new, benches (inside and out) offer us a moment in our busy busy days to pause and take a deep breath.

A is for armchairs (in a house that has a soul)


A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless. ~ May Sarton


There are chairs to sit in, and then, there are chairs to sink into with a good book or a sleepy head. I’m talking here about the latter—because chairs to sink into, armchairs—overstuffed, upholstered or slipcovered chairs, with arms, not occasional chairs or accent chairs or dining room chairs or heaven forbid, slipper chairs—are essential to the country house milieu, and to all houses with a soul. There must to be an armchair or two by the fireplace, or in the drawing room, in the corner of a bedroom, in the library, or in the garden room or sunroom.

Yet one would think that there is very little to say about armchairs, for they are a common, everyday piece of furniture. We know it when we see it. It draws us in. We must sit down. What else is there to say?

Well, I’ve had armchair woes and armchair triumphs. Though at the time, I didn’t know such things existed. I didn’t know that two things matter the most when it comes to armchairs: how they are made and where they are located.

They must, of course, have arms, closed arms, not open (this is the difference between the French bergere and the French fauteuil, which has open arms). They must be low to the ground. They must have soft coverings and cushions. They must be placed near the fireplace or in a cozy corner, or in a pair opposite a sofa. The idea is that when you come home from a long day or when you visit an unknown place for the first time, the armchair is there like a dear old friend.

French bergere chairs

The English country house icon, Nancy Lancaster, learned early on about the need for a comfortable armchairs in a house: “Mrs. Burden was the first person in America to use old Portuguese table covers—old flowered-cotton table cloths—as upholstery on furniture. They didn’t match, and they were old and faded.” Right about now, I would love to have a Robert Kime club chair, and Ben Pentreath knows the art of the armchair as well.


Ben Pentreath

I can’t seem to get the armchairs right in my living room. When I finally replaced the winged-back chairs that my husband bought off a truck before I knew him, I had lovely navy linen chairs that were absurdly too big for my narrow room (scale and proportion escaped us). Now I have smart cane armchairs—low and wide with nice enough cushions on the seats, but not comfortable enough to sink into. Perhaps it’s a matter of time (how else are they to get worn?) and lots of pillows (like Nicky Haslam).

Nicky Haslam

This armchair story, on the other hand, turned out better. For my daughter’s 22nd birthday I gave her an armchair (when I tell this story, people always look at me as if I should have given this for her 21st birthday, but I disagree). It was an old, small bedroom armchair that belonged to my Great-Aunt Margie (a woman with great style) that had been sitting in my basement for years. We covered it in a large scale ikat, added pretty piping (my sister-in-law, the seamstress, has this eye for detail), removed the skirt and painted the legs. It was already worn in the best kind of way, and whenever we go to our daughter’s apartment, we all fight over the best, worn, comfy spot in the room.

In our house, the most comfortable chair and most interesting spot to sit (you can see the television and all the views from the windows and out to the porch) is a worn, leather armchair that belongs to our Yorkie. I’m not entirely sure what this says about the soul of our house.

Happy Friday!


from the scrapbook: armchairs

A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless. ~ May Sarton

ps~ “from the scrapbook” is a preview of what I’m working on this week…thanks for stopping by the blog!

daybed dreaming


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”