Archive for February, 2012

This gorgeous interior was designed by Susan Ferrier and published by House Beautiful back in July of 2008…its timeless beauty feels as fresh today as it did four years ago…artful vignettes compare to that of an artist’s canvas while large gestures respect movement, contrast and cohesion…the result, a feeling of peace that would calm one’s nerves even on the most stressful day…take a deep breath and relax into this artful interior…

photos from House Beautiful, July 2008 via McAlpine Tankersley

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river bank in springtime

“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

River Bank in Springtime by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887

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In celebration of Veranda‘s March/April 2012 issue, I’m re-posting a favorite from my archives, Robert Couturier’s Connecticut home…I hope the photos and text from this post will enhance your Veranda experience, allowing you to savor the details of his exquisite gardens and interiors…

The four photos above this text are a sneak peek at his garden party from the pages of Veranda…chilled Veuve Clicquot, boiled lobsters glistening with butter and fresh flowers all in a heavenly setting…welcome spring!

above, the formal dining room, photo from Robert Couturier

Every weekend, New York designer Robert Couturier and architectural historian Jeffrey Morgan head north to their pastorale neoclassical country home in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The house is a series of pavilions, complete with an octagonal library and a new wing featuring their state of the art kitchen with GE Monogram appliances. Every detail of the new wing is in keeping with the original home ~ cedar shingle roof, limestone and black slate floors, architectural doors, windows and mouldings. The classically laid out garden features terraced boxwood parterres giving the landscape a year round architectural structure. (it must be breathtaking in the winter!) This heavenly home is a place for them to enjoy nature, family, friends and their beloved shih-tzu’s Hercules, Henriette, and Bess.

“Home is my house in the country. My dogs and my boyfriend are there. Things are of no importance, I mean I like to look at them but things come and go; people don’t. Home is a place where you can rest and I don’t think anything in New York is restful.” ~ Robert Couturier from an interview with New York Social Diary

below, the new kitchen, photo from GE Monogram

below, photos from Robert Couturier

below, photos from House and Garden

below, photos from The Magazine Antiques

below, photos from Architectural Digest French Edition

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“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~ Charles W. Eliot

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Hallberg & Wisely


J. Randall Powers

Jacques Grange

James Huniford

John Minshaw

John Saladino

Juan Pablo Molyneux

Kara Mann

Karin Blake

Lars Bolander

Lauren Gold

Luis Bustamante

Magnus Lundgren

Mary McDonald

Meichi Peng

Michael Smith

Michele Bonan

Miles Redd

Nina Griscom

Richard Shapiro

Robert Couturier

Sheila Harley

Steven Volpe

Suzanne Rheinstein

Ted Tuttle

Thomas Jayne

Thomas O’Brien

Tricia Huntley

Vicente Wolf

William Frawley

Windsor Smith

Yves Saint Laurent

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whether they’re stacked on the floor or alphabetized on ornate custom shelving, books are an essential part of our daily lives…a true reflection of our passions and professions…more tomorrow!

Karl Lagerfeld

Albert Hadley

Alexandre de Betak

Andy Newcom

Bill Blass

Brigitte & Alain Garnier

Bunny Williams

Charles Spada

Christopher Knight and Carlos Aponte

Cristina Azario

David Kleinberg

Dransfield and Ross

Garagnani and Poccianti

Gil Schafer

Greet Lefevre

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a common thread

A common thread…

The arts express our inner world in ways that enrich our lives for the better…

How can we read a masterful poem by John Keats and not be moved by his expression of beauty? How can we listen to the Adagietto from Mahler’s fifth Symphony and not feel what it is to be in love? How can we view a painting by Picasso and not see a reflection of ourselves in his eyes? Our superficial layers are stripped away to reveal life in its deep, raw state…may we open ourselves to these priceless gifts, and in doing so, allow them to teach us life’s most important lessons…

Drawing ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti, Study of a Seated Young Man and Two Studies of the Right Arm, 1511

Painting ~ Pablo Picasso, Self-portrait With a Palette, 1906

Sculpture ~ Richard Serra, Betwixt the torus and the sphere, 2001

Architecture ~ I.M. Pei, The Louvre Pyramid, 1988

Interior Design ~ Robert Couturier, his Connecticut home

Music ~ Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 5, 1901-1902

Dance ~ Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, 1935

Theatre ~ Stephen Sondheim, Donna Murphy as Fosca in Passion, 1994

Film ~ Merchant-Ivory, A Room with a View, 1985

Literature ~ E.B. White, One Man’s Meat, 1942

Poetry ~ John Keats, Bright Star, 1819

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No – yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever – or else swoon to death.

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a poetic voice

I must share with you a poem I experienced this past weekend…feeling as though I have been given a most wonderful, and unexpected gift, I want to pass this along to you…may it take you to places you have never been before

Touch me by Stanley Kunitz

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that’s late,
it is my song that’s flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
………………….and it’s done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.

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roosevelt inspired

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt, seventh annual message, December 3, 1907

Lori Satterthwaite

Jennifer Jesse

Steve Roche

Michael Medford

Romain Chassagne

Jack Dykinga

Matthew Wynyard

Roberto Bertero

Michael Nichols

Amnon Eichelberg

“And to lose the chance to see frigatebirds soaring in circles above the storm, or a file of pelicans winging their way homeward across the crimson afterglow of the sunset, or a myriad of terns flashing in the bright light of midday as they hover in a shifting maze above the beach — why, the loss is like the loss of a gallery of the masterpieces of the artists of old time.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

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I leave you this week with an intimate look at Hibiscus Hill, the private home of India Hicks and David Flint Wood…this gorgeous spread hails from Lonny Magazine, September/October 2011, with stunning photography by Patrick Cline…I remember reading this issue and falling head over heels for the pink sofa, graphic pillows and eclectic grouping of art in living room…dark floors paired with an otherwise simple palette allow the space to feel as cool and comfortable as a summer day…found objects from the beach and family photos create beautiful vignettes that are both visually pleasing yet deeply personal…sounds like paradise found…

Wishing you a sunny and happy weekend!

To follow India’s thoughtful and inspiring blog, click here

Top photo from India Hicks, Hibiscus Hill photos from Lonny Magazine

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Imagine living in paradise…tropical breezes, ocean air, miles of pink sand, crystal clear turquoise waters and the rustle of palm trees outside your window…that dream is a reality for decorator David Flint Wood, his partner India Hicks and their four children…they have chosen to live out their fantasies on a small island in the Bahamas, and along the way, they have restored four houses, a hotel, and authored two books ~ Island Life, an interiors book published in 2003 followed by Island Beauty, a lifestyle fitness/beauty book authored by India and published in 2005…

Today’s post features King’s Treat, one of their island projects that required a complete overhaul…the house, originally built in 1890, is located on King Street in the historic part of Dunmore Town with views of the harbor, the sunset and the Fisherman’s Dock…once the grand home of a Harbour Island sea captain, it boosts a large walled garden with Veranda’s that are shaded by palm trees to the west, with an outdoor staircase and galleried terraces sheltered from the sun and the street by louvered panels…decorated with pieces from England, Africa, France, India, Egypt, Italy, China, Cuba and America, the house is a melting pot of cultures yet distinctly English…I can only imagine how lovely it must be to have breakfast on the terrace with thoughts of the day ahead…sweet dreams!

photos from India Hicks

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