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Friday
Jan232015

because winter life in NH is made up of..............

simple pleasures and small rituals~

....embrace it!

  below zero wind chills, yes, icy sidewalks, yes, snow drifts, yes, dagger-sized icicles, yes, power outages, yes,.........

new hampshire winter gives us all an excuse to slow down, stay put, and enjoy the hibernation period in our warm & cozy homes,...

~5 cozy elements to add to your winter interiors~

#1-- pillows: my winter requirement (we are not talking bed pillows here, ok?) comfy, touchable (like you have to touch it) and attractive...

love  a few warm, furry mongolian pillows, these from west elm

...or these knitted pillows just like grandma's-- similar here

...kilim pillows are strong and soft-to-the touch from PB~

...moroccan wedding blanket pillows (here)~

...sumptuous velvet also does the trick from Pier1

pillow tips: where to find: shop the above stores, yet your local homegoods has an amazing selection of affordable, down-filled preferably for the squish-factor, larger than 18 sq'' for lying on, warm touchable material, stash in a basket and/or stack them nearby for quick access,...

#2-- throw blankets: pile them on, drape them casually over a sofa arm,.......

...you get the idea-- same pillow rituals also apply to throws~ 

...do you change out pillows & throws seasonally?

 #3-- sheepskin rugs draped over chairs, stools, benches, poufs, invite..........

...these from horchow, yet can also find them at: PB, IKEA, HG...

 

..a fun romantic dinner in front of the fire, why not switch-up the routine?

...a sheepskin throw is also an ingenious way the ramp-up an inexpensive & not-so-comfy chair~

...black & white simple elegance~


...they do come in assorted colors (no neon please!)~

.. .already upholstered x-stools~

...a beanbag, any one (note: knitted stool for xtra coziness)?

...linking several skins together creates a semblance of one luxe large carpet!(btw: love the unique gnarled, coffee table base, don't you?)~

~i do pack them up for the humid summer months-- just for winter use, here~

#4-- wood & books, a perfect pairing, always speak warm to me.............

 

...more sheepskin throws, pillows, tiled-cowhide rug~

...books stacked neatly~

...tone-on-tone wood color~

...how creative is this nook?

...without the focal wood-paneled wall, this bath--although beautiful--would feel cold, add books, please~

 

...OR you could just haul in the tree from the backyard!!!

#5-- fire light, if you are so fortunate to have.........

...abigail ahern a british designer, love her aesthetic~

...a handled basket is handy~

...wood, wood, wood; books, books, books, clean minimal fireplace~

...candles everywhere (just be mindful,...)~

...lanterns, all the time~

...string lites mounted casually for romantic ambient light~

...drape & cascade them to highlight a beautiful architectural piece~

...contain them under a cloche~

~don't pack up  those christmas lites, just yet-- i use them all year 'round~

 

#bonus-- warm the soul........

 

...with hot cocoa in your favorite mug~

...with your cuddly warm furry best friend (note: herringbone!)~

 

...with your besties~

.....polar vortex-- bring it on!

Friday
Jan092015

out with the old and............

in with the new,... happy 2015!

well, new-ish.......

my first post of 2015, i love a chance at a clean-slate. throughout the year i've brought you design trends, updates,...

my top five for 2015 and longer.............

#1-- bullion fringe.......

 

i love my trims, tapes, braids...! they add so much ooomph to soft treatments, it's that one-of-a-kind, no-one-else-has-this, touch (details designers love). bullion fringe is making a come-back! i like this trim in a more natural & less shiny fiber AND mostly on furniture,...

not-so-much on draperies.........

...just NOT seeing this type of heavy window treatment~

~in lieu of a skirted sofa or chair~

...insta-elegance & just grazing the floor~

...very french-chic, super long~

...love a natural fiber bullion~

...pretty much perfection in all aspects~

...a plush finishing touch on a pleated table skirt~

...well, as soon as a stylish family is shown all cozy & happy, then it becomes "real" *(note: ginormous art canvas behind sofa-- see below)~

...no doubt about it, when the beautiful liv tyler is lounging upon, it's definitely an "IN"~

#2-- wall art, as in a monster-BIG size,.........

 

what a major impact this super-sized canvas makes!

...AND, more bullion & fluffy shag carpeting (still going strong)~

...unframed canvas keeps it less fussy not to mention, less costly~

...another "leaner" this time a photo (yes, a gorge one at that from here), also note that flooring~

no need to worry about navigating placement as in a gallery wall, right? in that respect it is super easy, although a large canvas can cost (if you are a creative, paint your own!).

#3-- herringbone and more herringbone,......

on the floor, on the walls~

...the classic pattern in a stair runner, black & ivory, in a natural sisal fibre (extremely durable)~

..the contrast of a darker-stained wood floor against white walls is pure drama~

...glazed brick indoors is a yes~

...look up as well: great bones~~~

...in a narrow hallway a herrigbone pattern breaks it up diminishing the bowling alley feel~

...floor & wall tile in this bath, beautiful, practical & draws your eye to the focal point~

...colored: stella mccartney's london store~

...herringbone lineage, & sooo so clean~

herringbone pattern (aka parquet, chevron, basket weave, fish-tail,...) is a bit more pricey due to the labor-intensive installation, yet it adds architectural & old-world panache!

#4-- barn doors: yee haaa,............

not!

..a fresh take on the old barn door in a lacquered orange (note: herringbone runner!)~

...a more rustic feel in natural wood, yet the area rug gives the space some color~ 

 

...in seeded glass,... provides natural light to shine thru yet also privacy~

...not as much wall space? a single door also does the trick,... love how they recycled this old office door & left the signange~

...another single door-- get a load of the hardware, simply jaw-dropping!

#5-- wallpaper in all its glory,...........

 

...a colorful, stylized schumacher classic~

 

in the powder room: open the door and ahhh a special little gem of what otherwise could be a very utilitarian room-- guests will love~

 

...one of my faves-- a farrow&ball lotus pattern~

...for an exotic feel~

...sophisticated in a carrara marble paper~

in the entry/foyer: for the initial welcoming impact (sets the tone for your home)~

...neutral quiet elegance~

...a bold, red-white-and-blue yet it doesnt feel 4thof july a smashing impact in a smaller entry~

...this trellis pattern feels smart (geometric) & country-ish (mossy green), it also cleverly plays off the diamond-paned windows~

wallpaper in a bedroom, my other fave room, for a cozy, enveloping feel~

...a touch of black in the background, yet doesn't feel stark nor cold~

...wrapping the ceiling with it, ramps up the cozy-factor (another fave, classic from schumacher)~

...the books add to the warmth (& a boho feel) of this light-filled bedroom~

...a neutral, naturalistic print is soothing & peaceful (a breath-taking chandelier!)~

...and you never can go wrong with a classic chinoiserie toille (tip: use the same print in a fabric on the windows)~ 

as you can see, wallpaper is ab-so-lute-ly a game changer: transform a room one wall at a time!

it is here to stay!

 

my cardinal rule of design-- you have to love it, trending or not-- if it (wallpaper, bullion, chevron, a door or two, art...) puts a smile on your face, then it's "in", regardless,................

~follow your heart when it comes to your home,...

whether it's "out" or "in"

~happy 2015~

 

Thursday
Dec252014

home.....................

for the holidays~

 

...enjoy this special time with those you love~ 

Thursday
Dec182014

bring IT......................

 

to the table!

(martha stewart living)

i am fi-nal-ly done christmas decorating (yes, a case of the cobbler's kids have no shoes,...) ! now, that 527 is trimmed-up, it's-time-to-entertain! doing it casual here. i have had this image since for--ever; this is the type of shin-dig i love to do. simple, satisfying, attractive, & liberating for the hostess (moi),.............

~this year's IT noshing = the charcuterie cheeseboard~

 

~an aside: one thing i'm always conscious of --whether designing a room or planning a party-- is tapping into all the senses,.........

"all the arts are based on the senses,......" henry moore~

what does warm, comfortable, inviting, relaxing, and fun smell, taste, look, sound, & feel like?

 ...a cozy wood fire crackling, the scent of a fresh pine xmas tree, tiny white lights sparkling about, earthy candles glowing, a classic xmas soundtrack streaming, and friendly chattering, hearty laughter,.....

 #1-- the ingredients, whatever is to your liking, these are mine:

  • cheese varieties:-- soft (brie), aged (sharp cheddar), blue (stilton),... *take cheese out 1hr before 
  • cured meats-- salami, chorizo, prosciutto,...
  • starch-- assorted artisan breads, bread sticks, crackers,... 
  • fruit & veg-- red grapes, fresh halved figs, cornichon pickles, artichoke hearts, dried cranberries,...
  • small crunchy garnishes-- walnuts, sunflower seeds,...
  • spreads-- grainy mustard, tangy chutney, herbed mayo, evoo,.....

...oh and the wine, of course (whites, reds, & bubbly)

... add on fresh herbs like rosemary sprigs & sage~

#2-- the foundation:

  • gather all your cutting boards-- the more rustic & patinaed the better.................

...etsy is a good source as well as local homegoods, pier1 & target

#3-- layer and stack:

  • this adds interest but function as well-- guests can see all that is offered (as opposed to one flat plane-- there is no where for the eye to rest)...........

...set out a separate knife for each cheese~

...drippingly fresh honeycomb slices, omg!

#4-- gotta have a linen component

  • as an under layer, think unbleached, raw linen, muslin, burlap, vintage hemstitched cotton, even a tartan throw will do (think rustic, unfussy, natural)... AND it's always a nice touch to provide fabric cocktail napkins...........

..no need to spread your tablecloth out, swirl it & swath it~

...perfect red & winter white vintage tablecloth (i am lucky to have some of these from my grandmother :(

...i did say, "rustic"~

...tartan speaks winter, seasonal, festive-- and on trend~

 

#5-- and if at all possible real, stem ware, goblets, tumblers, app plates, & utensils:

  • touch is so important........

...love this festive tableaux~

...the burlap tones down the cute-factor~

..this pict is much the way we do IT-- we have a large walnut butcher block island; i lay it all out there

 

Soooooooooooooooo,

 

and bon apetite!

ps. don't forget the mistletoe................................................

 (all images)

Monday
Dec152014

in lieu of,..........

this friday's fab five, i bring you a much over-due musings (click on to be directed to this page) that exemplfies the meaning of this...

"They say that some people come in our life as blessings and others as lessons, but to be specific and precise only simple and humble people with the utmost simplicity in their lives only come as blessings in a person's life." ― (Anuj Somany)