antiques, inspiration, interiors

collecting: antique oyster plates

 

7B0353D1-1970-42F3-B0DD-DB27CB38BED0

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, gardens, inspiration, interiors

featured designer: Tricia Foley

EA2B8E91-9F1A-4B67-9194-60C2AB318046

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, interiors

on my bookshelf: “Farm from Home”

5645C346-7F93-4A46-A197-14FAB55453DC

I’ve said it often: You don’t need to live in the country or on a farm to embrace the elegant country style. But it sure doesn’t hurt when you actually do, and when the farm is in England in Cotswolds, the house is a quintessential English cottage, and your story is that you spent most of your adult life in the glamour of New York City but have taken to the countryside with your family and done it with impeccable style. Continue reading “on my bookshelf: “Farm from Home””

antiques, gardens, inspiration, interiors

a garden room

 

08AE30F2-916F-435A-887C-38F9CBC56BF9

It can be fancy or utilitarian or a little bit of both, but you can make a garden room (or garden nook) almost anywhere that leads from indoors to outdoors. Garden rooms have been around since the days of ancient Greece, and they come in all shapes and sizes (from the spacious garden rooms of grand country homes to small decks of city apartments). They are places for starting seeds, potting plants, storing tools, arranging flowers, keeping notes or a journal, sitting a spell, and above all, finding inspiration.

Why not make a mudroom more garden roomy, or a back hallway or a small porch? Continue reading “a garden room”

inspiration

favorite things: peonies

2601BA51-F7E8-4BEB-8D41-894CC31B22A3

There is something about peonies: their lush, feathery petals, their intoxicating smell, their rich, dark green foliage, their old-fashioned beauty…and they don’t get as much attention as the rose, but they should. They don’t have thorns, and they are easier to grow. All you have to do is stake them when they flop or better yet, clip them and bring them inside. I’d love to have a field full of peony bushes like Martha Stewart does at her country house above, but since I don’t, here are a few of my favorite things that would add a touch of elegant country style to a home wherever it might be. Continue reading “favorite things: peonies”

gardens

the gardens at Monticello

 

7A117160-9390-4384-8D7C-B1A230E2F570

Monticello was Thomas Jefferson’s attempt at creating an American villa rustica, or gentleman’s farm. Jefferson wrote: “…cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, & they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty & interests by most lasting bonds.”

interiors

another transitional space

90B207AE-E91C-424D-BB38-C8F968AE9851

The hanging straw hats, the long bench, the large mirror (for straightening our hat), and the freshly clipped flowering branches in the white pail suggest that this space is one where we make the transition from indoors to outdoors and visa versa. Like most transitional spaces (even the much fancier butler’s pantry from last post), it is utilitarian in nature, but also quite pleasant. This one, a mudroom or back entry hall from Martha Stewart Magazine, is spare and minimal and bright and has a touch of the Swedish country style in its look, with its unadorned windows, simple rustic mirror, painted floors and exposed beams, and the elegant wooden bench with Gustavian lines.