Monday, February 28, 2011

Blue Fix

Getting my blue fix for the week. I find it a happy and energizing color that makes me smile!

And now, periwinkle:

What is your favorite color?


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vervoordt's New Book

Axel Vervoordt's much anticipated new book, Wabi Inspirations, is just out. While it is not the garden variety design book (as if anything by Mr. Vervoordt could be), it is a fascinating peek into the essence of Axel Vervoordt and how he has evolved as a person and an artist.

Wabi was borrowed from a Japanese expression that denotes finding beauty in the most humble of objects.

Mr. Vervoordt explains the influence of his love for the beauty found in nature and its little treasure: pebbles, pieces of wood, objets trouves. His belief "that all beauty is imperfect, incomplete, and impermanent" has carried through his evolution in design.

He has been most influenced by the Asian aesthetic ideals. His friendship and later collaboration with Japanese architect, Tatsuro Miki, has helped him to refine his approach to work and architecture- called Wabi.

His home and designs reflect an unconventional beauty.

Every aspect is deliberately imperfect. Natural materials are used throughout: boards that are bare or with peeling paint, walls mixed with plaster and earth.

Furniture with an emphasis on patina, natural fabrics, diffused light- all reflect the beauty of the understated.

I would be interested in hearing your observations of Wabi Inspirations.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

What a Wall!

Sharing with you one of the coolest walls I have ever seen. It was done by a decorative artist In England named Emily, but I have not been able to locate her most recent contact information.
The artist's name is Emily Swift-Jones. You can view her work at her website here or at her new blog here. (Thank you, Cait!)

She began with a normal, painted wall, smoothed it out with joint compound, primed with shellac and then went to town. The steps included Dutch metal gold leaf, patinating the gold leaf, glazing with oil colours and varnishing for the top coat. At the end, she embedded tiny glitter flakes into the tacky varnish.

Isn't it fabulous?


Friday, February 25, 2011


It's been a crazy, busy week 
and I am looking forward to relaxing a bit tonight!

I wouldn't mind plopping into this chair, 
pulling over a stool and catching up on my reading.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dramatically Simple

Especially in a small room, I enjoy the impact of a large, simple print. Wallpaper, a painted mural and even sketches can make the room special.

New York Home magazine (now defunct)

Taking an old French wallpaper remnant and framing its distressed beauty- wonderfully dramatic.

New York Home magazine (now defunct)

What are your favorite ways to decorate a small room?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Latest

Bittersweet berries left on the vine.

Here are a few photos of the beauty of our latest winter storm. It was actually scary to listen to the many tree limbs that were blown down during the night of freezing rain, followed by snow and temperatures falling to 18 degrees.

It was beautiful the next day, though.

Bittersweet branches climbing up and around the pole.

Frozen hydrangea

A rose branch, caught.

Red twigs in ice.

The member of our family who loves winter the most, Bella.

Thank you to Cindy at My Romantic Home!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marbling Magic

In the Welsh town of Presteigne, Christopher Rowlatt creates magic. With acrylic paint, a vat of water, a knitting needle and lots of imagination, he transforms a plain sheet of paper into patterns of swirls with intense colors. As Christopher explains, it actually took him six years of experimenting to produce his first good paper.

The Japanese were the first to introduce decorative paper made with floating colors. This example was created in the ninth century.

 Christopher and his wife moved to the Welsh town more than twenty years ago to pursue their passions full time. They transformed an old dairy barn and milking parlor on the property into the working studio, where Christopher can produce twelve to fourteen sheets of paper in an hour.

A vat of size (water and carrageen moss seaweed) is literally cooked up, cooled, sieved, strained through muslin and left for two days to mature. When Christopher is in the frame of mind to create, he spatters acrylic colours, one colour at a time, onto the water. He loads the surface and swirls the colours until he is happy with the pattern. A sheet of paper is then floated on the top of the water size, quickly lifted off and dried.

He began creating the marbled effect in the traditional manner, using powder pigments and gouache with the size, but discovered that by using acrylic paints, the colours floated perfectly. He uses an old knitting needle of his mother's to draw the colours into the swirls and curls to make the desired designs. The fun of marbling is that it is unpredictable and not always precise. The challenge of marbling is that it is unpredictable and not always precise.

Besides the marbling for his company, Christopher Designs, he also restores and rebinds old books. Christopher teaches classes in his studio on both marbling and bookbinding.

Visit Christopher Rowlatt's website here for further information and inspiration.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Iron Accents

Having the talent and knowledge to heat metal and create items of beauty amazes me. It must be a hot and dirty process.

But these results are amazing!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Should I?

We are in the process of looking for a rug for the living room.

I just noticed this work of art from ABC Carpet and Home and it would fit the bill perfectly. Our room is fairly neutral in the cream tones with soft amethyst and aqua accent colors.

It would certainly add extra punch to the room! I think it is gorgeous!

Have you ever decorated with a vocal rug?



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gorgeous Vases

I am a gardener. 
With the temperatures teasing us the last few days in the fifties and sixties, the garden has suddenly become visible for the first time in a couple of months. 
And I am ready!

Just a few of our vases... ready to go.

 I just spotted the new Donna Karan vases in the March issue of AD. Guess what I'll be hinting for on Mother's Day!

Any of these vases will do!
The vases will be available at Neiman Marcus in March.



Friday, February 18, 2011

Lucky Blue Find

Every once in a while, you get lucky. 

At a recent estate sale, I managed to make it over on the third and last day of the sale. Normally that means not much is left. I cannot fathom why, but this mirror was proudly hanging on the wall when I walked in. My heartbeat quickened when I saw it, but I figured it was just waiting for its new owner to pick it up. I spotted another gorgeous mirror, also hanging there quietly.

After perusing the three floors of the home, creating a small pile of items to purchase, I decided to investigate those mirrors. I could not believe my ears when I was told they were still for sale.


Needless to say, I claimed them quickly and thanked my lucky stars. I don't know any of its history. I do know that I love the cherub faces and the mirror's blue color and shape.

Now I am working on the appropriate wall finish for my tiny foyer, where the mirror will reside. I'll show you the finished space as soon as I get it done! (Don't hold your breath...)

Might anyone be able to tell me more of its origin?

Thank you to Cindy at My Romantic Home!



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