Ah, SPRING is finally creeping into the cold Northeast and although we had snow - big,flat slow flakes - yesterday and today... they did not stick and now the bulbs are poking up confused by the warm and then cold days. Flowers always make us feel better and as I am thinking about them- I am also thinking about how to arrange the not so many we will have now.  Numbers in arranging is always a good thing- so, if you don't have many flowers, maybe many containers is an option.

This Ritz lobby also shows the power of many containers sprinkled around although this one does have a larger centerpiece - beautiful and interesting.

A use for those votive containers... and then, a combination of small and large cotainers and single and multiple flowers.Other beauties include: 

 It would be hard to spoil the beauty of flowers - have fun with them and I hope I have provided a little seed of inspiration.


Mirror,mirror on the wall - the star mirror is the loveliest of - well, a lot.  The shape of the star mirror is a bright spot in any home. Here are three in my house.  This one is a little unusual and hangs in my office over my desk.It is a Victorian wooden star with a small,beveled mirror.

 This mirror is an Italian one in my upper hallway. It was purchased at the Paris Flea market about six years ago.

Scotts Market in Atlanta (great shopping) is where I purchased this antique mirror. It is truly a star in my dining room and something I appreciate every day.

This mirror is a modern reproduction - but who cares? It can come in gold or silver and is sure to shine in any room.

.....and they shine on with this last snap of another reproduction in a soft gilt. Sure to be a light in any spot the star mirrors are a classic and I am not sure we can always tell whether each is a new star or an old one - they all do the job.

All About the Books!

 I saw this lamp recently and knew you would love it too! Here is another! 

I don't know where these will find their homes but I imagine that there final destination might be rooms that look like these:

 I like the antique book press on the table here. It looks very library like...a big overstuffed sofa and voila.

All about the rooms...

Hickory Chair has included several shots of my design in their blog and I wanted to tell you about that and show you one. This is of the kitchen which includes one of my personal kitchen must haves if possible - a fireplace and a place to gather.

This is a gas fireplace which of course is a snap to have on or off. I find that it is a delight to ignite a fire,enjoy the coffee,meal prep,etc and then be able to cut it off and leave with no worries.Comfortable and durable furniture is another important concern and I find that leather does that well - aged doesn't hurt it in the least.

A large gathering table is also a delight if there is room. It is not only a social gathering spot,but a spot for all sorts of projects...homework, computer projects and so forth. Comfortable chairs at either end with sprung seats 
and slipcovers make another gathering spot while antique side chairs complete the table setting. The chandelier is a French antique from J. Covington. Here is a final shot of the kitchen showing the center island with stools tucked underneath,and the composition of the cooks space which is a gallery which runs storage,ovens, counter with window, stove with hood, counter with window, refrigerator and storage. The fourth, unseen wall is a bank of windows which allow much sunlight and a view of foliage.

Never Forget about Colors!

Color is always fun. Here is a rainbow of semi-antique saris I saw in Atlanta. Try to pick out just ONE. It is so hard because they are the most exciting when -as a group, they are indeterminate and undisciplined-just the burst of pattern and color.

After looking and debating I did chose two in orange-aid tones thinking that, with white china, they would be fun tablecloths in the summer -but I could have taken a dozen - as a throw on the sofa,on the screened porch and who knows what. Like a kid in a candy store.

This is a bright blue and white pillow scheme with a really fun green pillow (love that trim) in the middle....ready for the white couch.

I love these place mats with coordinating napkins and napkin rings - could you chose? Then there is a further complication - not only which color napkin but which monogram - and then which color. Overload. A final color blast here -

I think I could use a tropical blast.

Return from Atlanta!

 Back from the Atlanta Market last night where there is a bounty of ice - they are slipping and sliding for real - and a wealth of beautiful,sophisticated and yummy ( did I use enough adjectives?) design.
 I spent one day at ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) which is one of my favorite places to work. Atlanta is such a hub of creative energy and there are wonderful sources there from Scott's Antique Market which is the second week-end of every month,ADAC, and shops which are filled with many exciting and diverse treasures. I have included pictures to share my inspiration.

All of these show the Southern penchant for collections. Blue and White has never ceased to be popular and the French flags are colorful and informal in contrast to the blue and white. These snaps don't show that behind the open doors platters are hung on the walls to increase horizontal impact and to release the collection from the physical confines of the cabinet. In a room with this type of decor, another likely and attractive place to hang platters is over doorways and to even extend their use to supplement or replace pictures. Charles Faudre is a designer who loves and understands the use of china both as a collectible  and as a hanging object and has numerous pages of illustrations of this in his many books.

Collections express personality too. Here there are displays which capture antiques,textures and interests. I really like not only those differences but also that the heights are varied and all of the twined or paired objects don't necessarily stand side bu side but are repeated either at a different height or an opposing location. This can take the average person a little time and effort but it isn't difficult to do. A stack of bowls make an excellent riser as do metal,acrylic or wooden stands. Look around lamp shops and in your own home for ways to generate these looks.

Mad for Plaid

Here in New Hampshire - and not, I should mention, alone on the East Coast we are snuggled in for yet another very snowy day. I think that we probably have at least two feet of  white powder hovering on the tree branches, clustered on the screens and windows and making our fireplace seem like a very comfortable spot indeed. It is that comfortable, cozy thought that I want to return to - such a good day for it. I know that you all enjoyed the cabin scenes last week from Genessee River . Steve does such an incredible job on his beds and other cabin delights that his space is always visual candy. With that treat in mind, I was in the Ralph Lauren Boston showroom this past week and casually picked up and fell for a book about tartans...Romancing the Plaid  by Rizzoli. Here are some tartan fashion pictures:

                                          From the Vivienne Westwood Collection

                                                      St. Laurent collection.

                                          Kate Moss in Vivienne Westwood -

                                               Linda Evangelista in Westwood

                               Sara Jessica Parker and Alexander McQueen in McQueen tartan.

Of course the mad for plaid doesn't stop on the runway and is perfect for any cabin decor as evidenced here. here there are some pictures of plaids used in houses.

I don't know about you but I am into a new craze now and I guess it would be mad for plaid at the very least. I love the way it implies history, comfort and at the same time,a sense of verve. It is marvelous combined with checks, feathers and leopard. (Of course, leopard goes anywhere, anytime to me -another story.) I think that we all need to add a tiny touch of this to our lives. In the sidebar I have shown some examples of tartan ware which was a Victorian rage and is a very easy way to add a bit of the tartan into very simple household items such as books, ribbon, napkin rings - a bit of  cheer as it were. -C

Wrapping up 2010

Here in New Hampshire on the last day of 2010 and It is a very beautiful world indeed. Earlier in the week we had a blizzard which left us with about two feet of snow, trapping most of us inside and causing a slow down that caused a bit of cocooning - yea,  maybe a little cabin fever too.  That made me think of cabin decorating and some of the displays at the High Point market. 
This bed would be perfect for a cozy mountain cabin where you could go and be snowed in for - well, days anyway.  Not only is the bed divine right down to the bedding, but I think that the old ski poles are really interesting used this way.

 This is also a dreamy bed which could be in a cabin or a palace - I would feel like a princess in this.

 This last bed would probably finish my imaginary three bedroom cabin. I think that it might be in the West with all of the Indian pictures ( vintage) but maybe here in the lakes of New England. Here is a fireplace inspiration for that same cabin.

Now that we are thoroughly into our cabin, snowed in and cuddly, lets walk around and visit - as well as be inspired - by some of the other areas. In this picture of the birch bark hutch, I love the stuffed fish and then the reptition of the fish in the antique china display below.

Fish again are shown here but plates are used in a most unusual way- mounted on the old snowshoes. Also...clever is the mount mounted in an empty frame. One of the things that causes the intense richness of decorating here is not just continuation of a theme but depth of that same interest.  It would not be possible to visit here even briefly and not appreciate the time, interest and personality which has poured into each display.

Personality is the biggest factor in enriching  not only our imaginary cabin life but all of our everyday lives. Take your interest and follow them, the colors, events, hobbies and loves that make you who you are should shine through into your lives and be obviously comforting. Here are the suitcases we brought our belongings in even they can add a spark of whimsy.