Archive for December, 2011

happy new year!

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest (1881-1959)

Boulevard des Capucines by Claude Monet, 1873

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darryl carter inspired

fresh interiors and thoughtful words of wisdom…may you be darryl carter inspired

“Design with bold strokes using a few well-chosen pieces of furniture and art. If every inch of a room is covered with wallpaper, draperies, tassels, and other furnishings, single objects lose their interest and importance. Spare environments are challenging as they are less visually forgiving and lack superfluous distractions. You must be particular and confident in your choices.” ~ DC

“When buying furniture, be thoughtful and disciplined. Choose fewer pieces of greater quality and interest. You should first go looking, not shopping. If something flirts with you, trust that you will later find something that seduces you; discover what uniformly appeals to you before making any purchases. While an object or a furniture piece may be beautiful standing alone, imagine it keeping company with other furniture pieces as you see the room evolving. You will discover that certain styles or periods appeal to you.” ~ DC

“Part of creating interesting and unique environments is juxtaposing furniture pieces and objects that have no obvious relationship to one another but that simultaneously counterbalance one another.” ~ DC

“A room is complete when you are called to it for respite. If, while still stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on your drive home from a long workday, you see relief ahead in the form of a chair in a particular room, perhaps with a good book or a glass of wine, you have finished.” ~ DC

photos from Darryl Carter, quotes from The New Traditional by Darryl Carter

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This glorious multipurpose room was designed by Boston based designer Charles Spada…the bookshelves and desk echo that of a library while the sofa, chairs, coffee and end tables provide the comfort and ease one would expect from a living room grouping…the clean lines and pristine white of the bookshelves and desk compliment one another while the natural hued fabrics and dark finishes effortlessly unite…framed art, sculpture and decorative pieces come alive in their neutral surroundings…so much beauty in one room…

photos by Craig Davis for This Old House via Charles Spada

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Much to my delight and surprise, the 2012 January/February issue of Veranda arrived just in time for the holiday weekend! What a wonderful and unexpected gift! With a hot cup of tea and my favorite candle burning, I slowly savored its contents…rich with imagery and inspiring stories, I felt transported to another world…when I turned to page 62, my eyes widened and I gasped with joy, could it really be? Yes, my eyes were not deceiving me, it is in fact Charles Spada‘s country home in Normandy! Yet another wonderful and unexpected gift! Beautiful photos by Alexandre Bailhache set the tone for this intimate story, narrated by the designer himself…the following is a small excerpt to whet your appetite…”At the head of the drive, a pair of sequoia trees flanked the gates. These giants were followed by weeping ash trees, drooping like large umbrellas. An allee of old, neglected apple trees formed knobby hedges. Just beyond stood the manor, lovelier than any picture, a majestic structure even on that overcast day. The house and grounds took my breath away.” ~ Charles Spada

To compliment your upcoming Veranda experience, I leave you with some photos from the March 2011 Architectural Digest Italia…this beautiful photo shoot highlights some of the same interiors featured on the pages of Veranda, but there are a few nice surprises as well…the first image of the living room offers a closer look at the rustic beamed ceilings and incredible paneled doors, and the fourth to last picture is of a jaw-droppingly gorgeous guest bedroom with one of the most delicious antique daybeds I have ever seen!

I hope you enjoy this journey to Normandy as much as I do…oh and when you do pick up the current issue of Veranda, don’t forget to read Dara Caponigro’s editorial on page 14!!!!! Not to be missed!

photos from Architectural Digest Italia via john about town, quote from Veranda

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merry christmas wished to all!

Minstrels by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?–till was paid
Respect to every inmate’s claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And “Merry Christmas” wished to all.

top ~ Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)

bottom ~ Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (1500-1559)

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christmas cheer

Good bread and good drink, a good fire in the hall,
Brawn, pudding, and souse, and good mustard withal.
Beef, mutton, and pork, and good pies of the best,
Pig, veal, goose, and capon, and turkey well drest,
Cheese, apples and nuts, and good carols to hear,
As then in the country is counted good cheer.

~ Thomas Tusser (1524-1580)

photos from Skona Hem

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the simple beauty of vintage grain sack, burlap, and wool stockings…hung by the fire or along the stairs, they hold a special place in the hearts of young and old…

photos from Country Living, Dreamy Whites, French & Sparrow, Etsy, Ticking & Toile

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a country christmas

humble pinecones and garlands set the stage for a beautiful country christmas…simple yet sublimely elegant

photos from Country Living

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When he’s not dancing the part of Diesel in Bernstein’s West Side Story at the Gothenburg Opera, Magnus Lundgren is living out his other passion, buying and selling antique furniture…late Baroque, Rococo and Gustavian gems from 1750 – 1810 fill his lofty Malmo home…soft neutrals heighten the beauty and texture of aged wood and old painted surfaces…soothing, peaceful, beautiful…

“Just the idea that everything is completely done by hand, 100 percent natural materials makes them beautiful” ~ Magnus Lundgren

photos and resources from Skona Hem

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Winter came down to our home one night

Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,

And we, we were children once again.

~ Bill Morgan, Jr.

photo by me

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