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””

interiors

dressing a bed in-between seasons: 5 easy tips

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Here on the East Coast we are already feeling a tinge of autumn in the air and some of the leaves have even started to change. There is something invigorating (and perhaps bittersweet) about leaving summer behind and moving on to cooler days. One of the things that I love about the changing seasons is the chance to create different moods in the rooms of our homes (in elegant country style of course). But sometimes, these changes (like most changes) feel better coming gradually. Continue reading “dressing a bed in-between seasons: 5 easy tips”

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”

antiques, featured designer, inspiration, interiors

featured designer: Liliane Hart on Martha’s Vineyard

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A casual entrance hall with botanical prints, wallpaper above wainscoting, and an antique French country bench.

I thought I’d continue the coastal theme that I started last week, and show you some rooms decorated by designer Liliane Hart in homes on Martha’s Vineyard. One of them was just featured in the July/August issue of House Beautiful and I was immediately drawn to the home-spun, yet elegant simplicity of Hart’s approach. She is a new favorite here at ECS. Continue reading “featured designer: Liliane Hart on Martha’s Vineyard”

antiques, inspiration, interiors

seaside notes: 3 vignettes with coral

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You already know about my love of interior vignettes (an art form open to everyone, one that resides in our humble homes, and one that can be permanent or fleeting). So, despite my affinity for things with a countryside vibe (more land than sea, I suppose), I am taken by some of the coral sculptures that have become popular accessories over the last few years. No longer a fad, they seem to be sticking around and can look quite elegant and timeless—giving a room a summery, seaside feel, but also as interesting objects reminding us of the sea throughout the year (because isn’t remembering what our “things” are really about?). Continue reading “seaside notes: 3 vignettes with coral”

art, gardens, inspiration, interiors

view into the garden

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“View into the Garden” (1926) Vanessa Bell

This painting captures a quiet moment—a book has been left on the chair and the door left ajar, someone has arranged flowers in a vase (just clipped) and placed a chair at the edge of the garden (for whom?). When I look at it, I imagine a million stories, but most of all it invites me into a summer day that was long ago, and yet still bristles with life, that blue door, the slant of light, the hollyhocks, the rooks will alight any minute, and I feel like I’m there, a welcome guest. Stay as long as you like. Put your feet up. Tea will be along in a moment. Continue reading “view into the garden”

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”