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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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If you liked yesterday’s post and thought to yourself, “wow, I’d love to own that Venetian canopy bed or those linen wingback chairs,” then now’s your time to shop! Starting today, One Kings Lane is selling pieces from Veranda’s House of Windsor! What an opportunity! Take for example the gorgeous Belgian Canape that Windsor Smith used in her design for the entry hall…imagine owning a piece that graced the cover of Veranda!

For those of you unfamiliar with One Kings Lane, it is an online home and lifestyle shopping destination offering spectacular designer decor, furniture, accessories, antiques and vintage finds, in a curated setting, at prices up to 70% off retail…founded in 2009 by Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus, the company has grown to over 2 million registered users, with a staff of almost 200 employees…clearly, consumers are drawn to the convenience and quality their products!

So today, I thought I would feature my 5 favorite finds from the House of Windsor as photographed and described by One Kings Lane…who knows, maybe you will be the proud owner of one of these coveted pieces!

above and below ~ Windsor Smith (entry hall), Grand scale Belgian canape with bronze relief, upholstered in Kravet fabric, $17,999

“The gray tones and varied textures in the entry hall subtly awaken the senses and quietly lure you further into the house.” ~ Windsor Smith

below ~ Tara Shaw (bedroom), Pair of small 18th century Venetian mirrors with original gilding, $2,245

below ~ Tara Shaw (bedroom), queen-size Venetian canopy bed with gilded crown, upholstered headboard in Dedar Acanthus fabric, $4,725

“Anchoring the bedroom with the Venetian Canopy bed made designing around it effortless. The bed’s soaring height only accentuated the height of the room. And because the headboard is upholstered, this bed has the added bonus of also being comfortable.” ~ Tara Shaw

below ~ Windsor Smith (kitchen), Pair of Clive wingback chairs from Giannetti Home, upholstered in Mark Alexander/Thomas Lanvin Retro linen in Moonshine, $4,199

below ~ Candace Barnes (master dressing room), Niermann Weeks Primavera Statue, reproduction of an 18th century French terracotta sculpture, $4,655

photos from Veranda and One Kings Lane

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My October 2011 issue of Veranda arrived the other day and much to my delight, they featured their summer showhouse on the cover! I have been waiting patiently for more pictures of this masterful concept home and let me tell you, it was worth the wait! I would highly recommend picking up a copy as there is a wonderful article and some additional photos…for me, I still enjoy seeing the images on the pages of a magazine…somehow there is an intimacy to the printed page that I lose with the computer…my heart still beats a bit faster when I see a magazine arrive in the mail!

Aptly nicknamed The House of Windsor, it takes its name after Windsor Smith, lead designer for the 8,000 square foot project situated in Los Angeles’ Mandeville Canyon…joining her, an all star cast of fellow designers ~ Candace Barnes, Stephen Block (patios), Peter Dunham, Richard Hallberg, Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Paul Robbins (landscape design), Richard Shapiro and Tara Shaw…what makes this project unique is Windsor Smith’s vision for the home…she wanted the architecture and interior design to reflect the needs and wants of today’s family…a return to tradition and intimacy…what a wonderful collaboration and stimulating challenge for this talented group of designers…I believe the images speak for themselves…enjoy!

below ~ entry hall designed by Windsor Smith

below ~ family room designed by Windsor Smith

below ~ great room designed by Richard Shapiro

below ~ dining room designed by Richard Hallberg

below ~ kitchen designed by Windsor Smith

below ~ study designed by Peter Dunham

below ~ media room designed by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

below ~ master bedroom, bath and dressing room designed by Candace Barnes

below ~ bedroom designed by Tara Shaw

below ~ guest suite designed by Peter Dunham

below ~ the stable designed by Kathryn M. Ireland

photos from Veranda, Los Angeles Times, Coco Cozy

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above, photo from Nest, December 2010, Number 66

To begin today’s post, I thought I’d share with you an odd coincidence I experienced last night…at the time, I was struggling with the Dutch translation of three articles and thought to myself, there must be a story published in English about the Garnier’s and their extraordinary home…just as I was falling asleep, I noticed a google search mentioning the March 2011 Veranda…could it be? I thought I was hallucinating, as it was late and my eyes were weary…to my surprise and cheerful delight, it was true! What a wonderful reward after days of trying to translate Dutch! I immediately read the article in my March issue of Veranda, soaking up everything about the eleven year restoration of this Belgian home. The most bizarre coincidence comes with the title of the Veranda article, “Belgian Beauty”…I had named and re-named yesterday’s post about four times before finally deciding on “a belgian beauty”…hmmm…I guess it was out there in the universe and I channelled it into my subconscious!

If you are a Veranda subscriber and have yet to read the article, no worries, the photos in today’s post are from three different publications and will only enhance your experience. What I will share with you, from Veranda, is the story behind this passionate project! Eleven years ago, Brigitte and Alain Garnier purchased Vaucelleshop, a historic Flemish Estate located in walking distance of the Dutch border outside the medieval town of Damme. The country chateau dates back to 1275 when it became the outpost of the French Cistercian Abbaye de Vaucelles. Today, the Garnier’s look after eleven lucious acres of landscape in the lowlands near the sea, and continue to restore the seven historic buildings dating from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The kitchen, that I posted about yesterday, was actually a former pig barn! Interestingly, it is linked to the main structure with a windowed passageway! How romantic! The first building to undergo restoration was the 1876 farmhouse where grain had been stored above the living quarters. Stripped down to nothing more than four walls, Alain hired a restoration contractor and they essentially built a house in the house. Within the original brick walls they designed a new foundation, limestone walls and added a third floor. Amazing! One of their favorite creations is the sculptural cement and oak staircase Alain designed for the entrance hall (pictured above). Finished in gray brown chalk plaster, its dramatic curves echo the history of the abbey.

I love this quote from Alain eloquently describing his journey, “We had the patience and the passion to make this house…we put our lives and our souls into it”

below, photos from More than Classic, number 6, 2006

below, photos from Tijdloos (Timeless) number 12, Autumn 2009

factual resource, Veranda, March 2011

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saladino inspired

above and below, mimi posing on the channel stitch quilted slip-covered sectional

There are some interiors you never forget. I know I’ll always remember the moment I saw the cover of the October 2005 issue of Veranda magazine. Everything about that cover sparked my interest ~ the lavender fabric on the dining chairs, the frosted glass topped table and the unusual ornate wood door on the back wall. The juxtaposition of elements was unlike anything I had experienced before. The brilliant mind behind the design, John Saladino. This gorgeous issue of Veranda featured his forward thinking New York apartment, an interior that I treasure for its timeless inspiration and innovation. In fact, John Saladino has been the inspiration behind two important design elements in my home. The first, pictured above, is the channel stitch quilted slipcover for my sectional sofa. I remember hearing a lovely story about John Saladino and the genesis of his signature quilted bed roll ~ at the time, he was a budget conscious young artist living in a small loft apartment. He purchased a quilt at a department store but it didn’t fit his twin bed. His solution, roll up the ends like a cowboy’s sleeping blanket and voila, that is how the Saladino bed roll was invented! Necessity is the mother of invention! Since then, he has used quilted fabrics for his Saladino Furniture collection and for personal and professional projects around the world. A humble beginning with a couture happy ending! Having witnessed the beauty of these quilted fabrics on the pages of Veranda, I purchased a large number of white cotton quilts to be made into slipcovers. Having used a number of different fabrics for slipcovers over the years, I can say without hesitation, this quilted fabric is the most durable, washable, and comfortable fabric I have ever used. So fantastic, that I purchased more of the same quilts for a second slipcover when the time comes for it to be replaced! The other Saladino inspiration comes from his use of architectural fragments and elements. The reproduction stone planter is a piece I discovered at a garden center a few years ago. I loved the ornate details and rough texture of the stone. To my delight, it looks almost exactly like the stone planter pictured in the interior below!

Inspiration is all around us…wishing you many beautiful and creative ideas for your home and for the holidays!

below, A John Saladino sofa with channel stitch quilted throw blanket

“His innovative use of couture details, such as channel and harlequin quilting, rusching and exquisite production, continue to make Saladino Furniture highly desirable to clients and Interior Designers.” ~ from the John Saladino website

below, my stone planter

below, John Saladino interior ~ notice the stone planter beneath the console

below, photos of John Saladino’s New York apartment ~ October 2005 issue of Veranda ~ left, antique painted chair in quilted silk; black leather sofa with damask, satin and pillows; and ottomans in movers’ blanket ~ right, “Doors of Paradise” from India, 18th century and an English Regency stone table

below, Folding screen and Larsen fabric draperies separate living and dining areas

below, Three-legged coffee table with steel top designed by John Saladino and part of his Saladino Furniture collection

below, this photo was used for the cover!

below, left, William Morris chair, 35 year old Saladino lamp, table skirt in Fortuny fabric and bed from SFI. Drapery by J. Paul. ~ right, clockwise from top left, A 17th century Farnese bust overlooks Saladino’s bed. Hepplewhite chest topped with English glass vessels and mercury-glass mirror. Tortoiseshell fire screen. Han Dynasty ceramic jar lamp. Urn-shaped wall art created from old copper roof cladding.

photos and resources from John Saladino and Veranda

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This month’s Veranda features a lovely holiday home renovated and decorated by Dallas interior designer Lisa Luby Ryan. I was so impressed with the palette, furnishings and styling that I decided to post about her Dallas boutique, Vintage Living. French, Italian, and Swedish antiques mingle with found objects, accessories and custom furnishings. She describes her look as “monochromatic sophistication with a touch of chic”. I look forward to sharing her holiday interiors with you in the coming weeks. Until then, enjoy these photos from Vintage Living!

photos are from Lisa Luby Ryan, Vintage Living

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The 2010 November/December issue of Veranda is a dream come true! It features everything I love! The gorgeous interiors by Veere Grenney, John Saladino, Vicente Wolf, Miles Reed, and Carolyne Roehm more than satisfy my thirst for great design, but there’s more! The holiday shopping guide, book review, travel notes, fabric feature and season’s greenery are just as spectacular! My hat goes off to the new editor in chief of Veranda, Dara Caponigro. I can’t wait to see what she has planned for 2011. I’ll be waiting with baited breath for the January issue!!!!!

Today’s post, features one of my all time favorite interiors ~ Veere Grenney‘s London Townhouse. I believe I gasped when I saw it on the pages of this months dream issue of Veranda! The photos are from Veere Grenney’s website (just to wet your appetite) but there are many more photos of his beautiful home on the pages of Veranda! Grenney collaborated with paint and color expert David Oliver to transform the 1879 residence on the River Thames. The palette is inspired by the river and the light that refelcts off the water. “At a quick glance, it looks monochromatic but in fact, each room has it’s own unique personality.” ~ David Oliver for Veranda. What I love most about this interior is it’s subtle charm and sophistication. It has a formal ease about it. The photo below features a Jansen chandelier, antique Viennese chairs, a custom designed table and a large custom mirror. Interestingly, the two paintings in the Veranda shoot, as well as on the cover of the December 2008 issue of Australian Vogue Living, are by Alexander Calder. Personally, I prefer the Calder paintings for their scale, color (black and white!) and personality. They lift the spirit of the room and lighten the seriousness of the antiques. It’s amazing what art can do to transform a space! Enjoy!

“Everything I do is very considered but still looks casual. Supreme elegance starts with comfort-the most important thing of all.” ~ Veere Grenney for Veranda

above and below, photos of Veere Grenney‘s London Townhouse

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below, photos of a London Apartment

below, photos of an Estate in Oxfordshire

photos from Veere Grenney‘s website

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