New Hampshire Merry,Merry

There is a route home I take just because someone who is SO creative makes very large, amazing seasonal sculptures from old branches, parts of  trees and who knows what else. For Christmas he has made a huge horse pulling a sleigh full of evergreen branches. It is amazing what he can do.

This is the horse from the front. A person is about the height of the evergreens.

This is the sleigh and the horse. What a way to say Happy Holidays!

Jane Churchill New Fabrics

Jane Churchill has brightened the winter scene with her new fabric collection. Called the Havana Collection, it is just the thing to be thinking about in December here in New England - how to cheer up wherever you happen to be going.

This bedroom is typical of the color saturation of this collection.The wall color is yellow with a lot of green in it - both bold and a neutral, it holds its own against the red background of the floral headboard and the red lamp. The wall color and red tones are repeated in the chevron fabric of the dust skirt, shams and drapes. This is actually the pattern which pulls the room together. Mardi Gras is the appropriate name for the bedcover. All of the jewel tones are picked up by the throw pillows.This room includes many patterns - too many for me to use together but I love seeing them all together as a visual.

In this photo the wall color becomes the solid fabric on the sofa and both the walls and the drapes are quietened by the calm of white. A contrast I would not do but is powerful here is the use of a contrast fabric as  back pillows for the sofa.There are six cushion patterns and another pattern for the ottoman - lots of energy in this room too.

It is hard to tell from this picture, but the wall color is again the yellow/olive tone.You can see it a bit by contrasting the majolica corn vase with the wall color. ( How nice it is to see an antique accessory.) The sofa zig-
zag fabric has been nicely tailored to become diamonds on the seat cushion. As you can see, there is no color fear here. The geometric stool fabric is aptly called carnival.None of the throw pillows are matches - nor do the drapes have a partner in this color story.

Fearless color. Notice that the chair and drapes are matching and that the chair is upholstered in two fabrics.

After a riot of color, this grouping is quieter, soothed in part by the use of blue as a uniting thread and all of the pops containing red. Somehow all of the blue tones pull together and are peaceful. The following photo not only shows the blue anchor of a solid sofa but the quiet of the passageway leading to this cheerful room and the duality of blue and red.

All photos from Jane Churchill

The Holidays are coming...

Here are a few more indoor and outdoor inspirations for the season.

Deborah Silver

Deborah Silver

Deborah Silver

A Little Rustic Holiday Decorating

When I see winter decorating using feathers, pinecones of all sorts, old snowshoes, antlers and the like, I think it would be fun to to a little holiday decor of the less formal sort. It can be simple ...

or a lot more complicated ...

Part of the appeal of  rustic style is a relaxed feel that this is a camp - games to play, a blazing fire,
family and friends away from formal constraints just having fun. This can be true of any location but I think vacation and a change of scene. Here are a few more ideas for that "camp".


Just open the door to a flower market and the smell lifts your mood before the visuals begin to sweep away all other thoughts. My mind immediately begins its scheming and before I know it, holiday decoration snaps into place. Last week, mid - November, was a bit early to begin for Christmas but not a bit too soon to preview.

I think that simple decorations work the best for most of us. I have a somewhat monochromatic home so I tend to turn towards groupings of a single color and to use an apple green as my pop of color. I was eyeing myrtle topiaries, amarlysis in clay pots, green berries and white tulips. If I can find blooming narcissis, all the better. Now I need to plan what to do with these findings.

Carolyne Roehm

unknown source

What could be more elegant than a garland of white roses casually draped over a mantle? I am sure the smell of this is marvelous!

Here is a simple, fragrant and lasting way to enjoy and prolong the holidays with window sills filled with narcissus. The red toned wreaths are pretty but so would be boxwood or fir.

All of the flowers in this room are white. I think that the contrast between the tulips and the pines cones is interesting. This is another nod in the direction of using all one color and keeping things somewhat simple.

Okay - so not so simple but not so hard to do. I would also like to see this with cranberries and just greens and roses, tulips, carnations in white. A few fir springs would also add impact and seasonal color.

Another monochromatic table top stunner. This could also be made with some of those very realistic fake pears to last longer if you are pressed for time. 

To create your own ideas, visit your local farmers markets, florists and greenhouses to develop arrangements which work for your, your budget and your family.

Mrs. Mellon; Session Five

This is the fifth session of properties which belonged to Mrs. Paul Mellon. The auction will take place on November 23, 2014 at Sotheby's in New York City.
This final auction contains contents from both Mrs. Mellon's New York apartment and her Cape Cod home. If the picture quality is poor, please blame me but, in truth, some of the shots are quite fuzzy but I include them so that you may see the overall view of the rooms.
I haven't mentioned art although there are copious amounts of it. Bunny's  appreciation was broad and there is art of many genres. I also wanted to include a few of the New York rooms to illustrate how much art there is and how it is part and parcel of her lifestyle. Furniture, china, silver - of course these must be viewed for optimal decisions but art - it speaks only directly to the heart and unless you are buying for appreciation, it must be seen and loved to be yours.

This must be a study in the New York apartment. It is very welcoming and cozy and very English in style. Notice the warm red walls and the groupings of paintings which cover them, stacked one over another. The room feels personal - the photo was taken with Mr. Mellon's desk ( The initials being his) in the foreground covered with a collection of assorted desk items - stamp boxes, calendar, paper and pens but not much room for working. The chairs and sofa are easy and the yellow upholstery and red walls are combined in the rug to make a very inviting space. I love the coffee table and wonder why, with so much on the desk, there is nothing on it.

This is the New York breakfast room and is another colorful room with blue walls, a  blue and white needlepoint rug, blue and white striped curtains and - the exclamation of citrus. It must be in a sunny location due to the topiaries and light filling the windows. Note that, from our perspective, there are no pictures on the walls. These are the only room settings shown from New York except for one hallway and an outside terrace which I will show you later. I will show items from the New York house, collections and so on, and then we will go to Cape Cod.

A late Louis XVI triple extending music stand.

A pair of Louis XVI style gilt queridons. 

A Pair of metal dog-form chenets.

More small silver objects.

A George III gilt and patinated bronze pagoda-form clock case.

A rare set of seven George III parcel-gilt black-Japanned dining chairs. These are so very beautiful.
Here is a close up:

This beautiful part dinner service is Meissen, circa 1733 - 1763. "One of the most distinguishing elements of this service is the naturalistic depiction of various plants, fruits, nuts and seeds that exhibits itself both on the three - dimensional modeling of the knobs on the covers and the handles of the tureens as well as the two dimensional painting." The marking below is on several of the pieces, should you come across any in your travels.

More porcelains, all exhibiting a floral theme:

It seems that I am partial to chairs, especially ones with bamboo turnings. Here are two more sets; one with and one without.

The following shot - again, fuzzy - is of what must be the back hall and what a back hall it is. The trellis is exceptional for is arching turns over the right angles of the walls forming a lightly domed ceiling. The floor appears to have been once painted and then heavily used. Baskets are here in all descriptions - new and old, large and small, rustic and fine...ready to accompany any event. Trellising continues to the more sparsely decorated terrace just outside. Notice the patterns of horizontal members to delineate a story and the arched niches and doorways below. It turns this into an enclosure which feels taken notice of and elegant. On to Cape Cod.

The pictures of the Cape Cod house are too fuzzy to show. The house is a white clapboard cottage and appears to be small, although there are few interior shots of it. It is a very casual home, but the items included in this section of the auction vary widely to include some casual painted furniture as well as some more formal.

As you can see, this interior shot shows an interior which is cottage - like and vacation friendly.

There is a bit more porcelain which is all organic in nature. I love the white asparagus tureens!

The last few pieces are among my favorites. Love the blue large paisley fabric.

End of sale.