Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Steps of the Stephanotis

Hard to believe that this is the beginning of a stephanotis flower!

We were growing a stephanotis vine, enjoying its occasional blooms in the kitchen and one day we noticed this huge green hanging pod. 

Here is the inside of the pod, before the seeds have popped.

The pod has now dried and these beautiful, delicate seeds with their silk hairs have emerged.

I think I'll plant them with the hopes of producing these!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

A New Anthroplogie

Yeah! The latest Anthropologie store opened up a few weeks ago just a short distance from my home. The Westlake, Ohio store, located in Crocker Park, is just what you'd expect from Anthroplogie. Bringing to us their many creative decor ideas, along with their bohemian clothing and fun accessories, the store is also chock full of inspiration.


The store's exterior plaster... smooth as a bunny's butt! 

It's really a pretty wall and window!

Come on a tour with me...

Anthro's directive to each store, according to Chris Herrick, the Visual Team Manager, is to give a general guide and then let each store interpret how they choose, using materials with a green approach. Love the roses created with cardboard!

These felt petals were painted and "arranged" in their frame.

This window display was wonderfully textural, with its carved pattern.

Chris and his team canvased local schools when they closed for the summer months to recycle their old magazines.

Jackson Pollack must have been their inspiration for their canvas backdrop. When you're ready for a change, just take it down and do something else!

Of course, I was immediately drawn to the plum Venetian plaster wall!

And they still had cute summer clothes...

Reminds me of Leslie Oscmann's fabulous Swarm bags...  she used to be the Visual Director at Anthroplogie, where she renews reclaimed objects out of Amsterdam.

I hope that Anthropologie decides to transform this beautiful store into one of their Decorator Shops soon! Only 12 exist right now, where they have workshop-style spaces that highlight Anthropologie's curtains, furniture, hardware, etc. with sample books and in-store workshops. They will also carry the quarterly Anthology magazine.

A big Thank You to the team at the Westlake Anthroplogie: Rachel Nehamkin (store manager), Ashley Rowland (assistant home manager) and Chris Herrick (visual team manager)!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Definitely Dahlias

One of our favorite and reliable blooms in the garden is the dahlia. We plant the tubers in May and by the end of July, they are blooming away. They usually require staking as they do get tall, but they reward you with their beauty.

This dahlia is taller than I am and the blooms are 7-8 inches across. Fortunately, it is sheltered by the citrus tree. The lime green zinnias are beginning their blooms in front of it. We dig out the tubers in the fall and store them in a cool (but not freezing) space all winter, keeping them barely damp. They just get bigger and better with age.

More varieties starting to flower...

One of my favorite containers is this big urn in the back. It holds plumbago, scaeveola, lantana, as well as verbena bonaris, angelonia and sweet potato vine.

Lantanas are a way-underused annual, in my opinion. It loves heat and sunshine, making it convenient during the hot months!

The hydrangeas are also in full swing, but sure do need lots of water!

That's OK, we comply!
What is blooming in your garden these days?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Baby Blues

Baby blue: cool, breezy and clean...

A fun room by Victoria Hagan... and those tall ceilings!

Eileen Marcuvitz, of Plum Interiors, chose this beautiful color for the leather chairs.

The Farrow and Ball color, "Borrowed Light", was used on the walls of the room designed by Jack Fhillips for the Shippan Designer Showhouse in Stamford, Connecticut.

Benjamin Moore's "Palladian Blue" is on these elegant walls designed by Mimi Williams.

A perfectly patinated blue Swedish cabinet

An estate sale find hanging in my foyer


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Letting In the Light

Loving how this conservatory canopy bathes the room with a veiled light, the solution of Parisian designer, Sarah Lavoine

While I prefer lots of light indoors, with the direct sunlight during the summer months, it can be a bit too much. Creating the sheer Roman blinds and draping the entire window roof with said fabric: brilliant.

Of course, the modern decor is sleek and elegant...

Have you ever had a room with a ceiling of windows? 

[via  Photos by Gilles Trillard]

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reeds Only

With all that we have at our disposal, seeing beauty created by necessity and creativity with the most basic of ingredients amazes me.

Sunday evening I happened to catch 60 Minutes' episode of Resurrecting Eden, in which Scott Pelley visited the people living in Iraq on the section of land between the between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The ancient civilization is known as the "Marsh Arabs," also called the Ma'dan, inhabiting where many scholars believe the Garden of Eden existed.  
(The segment was covering the slaughter of the people there by Saddam Hussein, when he diverted the water from the rivers by building six canals to take the water out into the desert and the Persian Gulf, thus emptying the maze of waterways- and the civilization's way of life.)

What I found particularly striking were the huts, called mudhifs, that the people create entirely out of reeds, an ancient, primitive practice.

The reeds are collected, dried, bound together and assembled for each home.

Woven mats cover the tops and floor.

Before the swamps and waterways were wiped out after the 2001 Gulf war, they looked like this.

Fifty percent of the water has been restored to the areas, with plans for an eco-tourism camp in the marshes to open next March to bring attention to the plight of these people.

Just amazing.

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