A modern twist on a timeless countryside motif, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it, especially in this color combination, in a den or a library. But it definitely would have to be in a room that doesn’t take itself too seriously…what charm!
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”
I’m way out of my comfort zone here. But let me explain. Not long ago I was standing in the butler’s pantry of Harvey Ladew’s manor house learning how to arrange flowers in the rooms (Harvey’s way). There was another discussion going on about Harvey’s bedroom being restored to its original décor and color, which was aubergine. I had to think for a long minute about that color (not to mention how to pronounce it). Aubergine means eggplant or the deep and bright purple of that vegetable. Not something I would ever think to use. And not in a bedroom. My aversion to any color in the purple family is why I steer clear of mauve. However, aubergine—this color, this word, and this bedroom—began to intrigue me. Continue reading “shades of aubergine: 5 fabrics to try (if you dare)”
Plaid is having another moment this fall. Despite its ancient status (I won’t go into it now, but a brief history of it can be found on Smithsonian.com), or maybe because of it, plaid has had its ups and downs. Some years it’s wildly popular and other years it’s pushed aside as being too frumpy and that type of thing. But I’ve always been fond of plaid. Somewhere there is an old photograph of me wearing plaid hip hugger, bell bottom pants (which I adored). And there are several photographs of my brothers in plaid shorts. My mother did a kitchen in black and white windowpane plaid wallpaper. It’s in my blood, and right now plaid is everywhere I look: on the pages of fashion magazines, in shop windows, on tablescapes, and in our homes. Continue reading “how to add plaid this fall (and make it chic)”
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”
It’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)”