I ♥ New York

Central Park, New York City, June 2014
We were in New York two weeks ago to see "Macbeth" starring Kenneth Branagh at the Park Avenue Armory.  I am not a Shakespeare buff (Jon is) and it was the first time I'd seen the play, but I thought it was fantastic.  Did you see it?  I'd be curious to know your thoughts about it.
On Sunday, we visited The Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and afterward walked around Central Park.  This scene at the pond where people navigate remote-controlled sailboats was, I thought, reminiscent of a scene that Monet might have painted.
Wishing you a happy Fourth of July this weekend.

A June Wedding

Ideas for a summer wedding

The summer solstice arrived this weekend, which means more time outdoors in warm breezes surrounded by light, airy colors and long twilight afternoons.  For some reason, being a newly wed has drawn me to photos of wedding themes more than ever before.   There isn't a pretty dress, flower arrangement or cake swathed in white butter cream that gets by me these days.  I'm thinking of making a petite wedding cake just to celebrate six months of marriage, which is really just an excuse to make (and eat) a cake.  After all, "a party without a cake is just a meeting," according to Julia Child.  I'm not sure if she really said that, but I like to think so.  
One pretty image leads to the next and suddenly I'm imagining a small wedding reception in a cool leafy space by a turquoise pool.  Bridesmaids in silk satin and tulle float from table to table and a small group of guests nibble cheese straws and sip cold minted pea soup.  The main course includes poached salmon with cucumber sauce, lightly sauteed spring vegetables and jasmine rice.  Dessert includes coconut lime sorbet and wedding cake.  For a wedding favor, guests would receive small white boxes of chocolate nonpareils, tied with a pale blue ribbon.
The thoughts alone are enough to transport me from Monday morning to Saturday afternoon.  Now I just need to figure out what to do on Tuesday.

Calm, Cool and Collected

Image from House to Home UK

I have a habit of starting a post by commenting about the weather.   Am I the only one who just noticed that?  Gee, how boring can I be?   Waiting in line to buy stamps at the post office is more interesting than writing about the weather.  I'm cutting myself some slack though because this is New England, gosh darn-it, and weather is something we're known for here so why not talk about it occasionally or at least every two months?

One day it's twenty-five degrees but "feels like two degrees" (according to weather.com)  at 7:30 am and you're cursing the unrelenting wind as you try not to slip on icy sidewalks while hustling to the subway on your way to work in your sleeping-bag length hooded down coat that you've been wearing everyday for what seems like six months and a few days later (or so it seems), you're struggling to lift the air conditioner into the window, trying to remember where you stored your bathing suit (sunscreen/shorts/sandals/sunglasses) and that hair that you just spent twenty minutes blow drying reasonably straight and then flat-ironing for fifteen minutes more and then touching up again with the blow dryer for another five minutes in a never ending battle against humidity is a cloud of fuzz the minute you step outside.

But as I said to someone in the elevator at work this morning, I'm not complaining.  I love the change of seasons.

Recent Travels

Things have been busy here between our honeymoon in  Bermuda, a trip to Seattle to visit friends and work on the house.  It's been a fun spring (except for the New England weather) and we've gotten a lot accomplished at the house. We've been painting and I've been redoing the bedroom and choosing new furniture and fabrics for the living room--more about that in future posts.

Although our travels started in Bermuda, I couldn't help but lead with this photo I took of a Camellia in bloom at the Japanese Tea Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum. More about that below.

Jon and I honeymooned in Bermuda in early April and it was everything we imagined it would be.  We stayed at a tennis club on the island and I took this photo from our table on the terrace where we had lunch everyday.  It's paradise, if you ask  me. Jon and I want to visit Bermuda once a year, if possible.  It's only a one and one-half hour flight from Boston, which makes it an ideal get-away.

In mid-April we flew to Seattle, Washington to visit friends.  During our stay, our friends took us to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Tulips of all colors are grown in these vast fields and then harvested and shipped to stores throughout the country.  The Cascade Mountains are in the background.

The festival features an extensive garden planted with thousands of tulips in many varieties and colors.  Wherever I looked there was a blanket of color. This was a welcome sight after a long gray winter in Boston.

I was completely awed by the color combinations. 

Dancing flames of red, pink, and orange.  It was hard to take a bad photo in this garden.  We were surrounded by beauty.

Pretty ruffles of white petals are accented by soft-pink blooms and bright blue Muscari.

The sea of color goes on and on...

This tulip reminds me of a peony, with its broad, rounded petals and variegated pink and white color.

I couldn't get enough of the pink tulips...

...especially when paired with a hot orange variety.  Pink and orange is a spectacular combination.

Cool, quiet purple and green.

More white ruffles

How about lavender and bright yellow for a change?

A mass of traditional yellow and red tulips against a weathered fence

More tulips. Thanks for hanging in there with me--I'm almost done.

 This white tulip with unusual furled petals is "Liberstar" and it's one of my favorites.
The next day, we visited the Japanese Tea Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum.  I only have a few photos of the garden as they didn't turn out very well.  It's the most peaceful and beautiful garden I've visited.

I like the contrast of the purple Azalea against the gray-green mossy ground and trees.

I took all the photos on my iphone and for some reason, the photos of the Japanese garden all look muted.   

And lastly, our friends took this photo of Jon and me at the garden.  Very Zen, don't you think? I realize that's Chinese, not Japanese, but I think you get the idea.
Thanks for following along.  No more tourist photos next time--I promise.

House Hunting Outside Paris

Actually, I'm not house hunting anywhere right now, but if you dream of owning a home in France, The New York Times suggests looking just outside Paris in Neuilly-Sur-Seine where your dollar (or a few million of them) will go a bit farther than it will in Paris.

Lovely view. 
The article presents a feature on a apartment in the area for sale.  Unfortunately, there are only a few photos of the apartment.

This photo gives an odd perspective of the living and dining room, but they probably didn't have interior design fanatics like you and me in mind when they took the photos.  It would be nice to see more details of the room.

I was completely charmed by the kitchen and what appears to be a La Cornue range.  I've only fiddled with the knobs on the display model at Williams-Sonoma.  I wonder what it's like to actually use it.

A serene master bath with an interesting finish on the wall panels.  What a lovely place in which to start the day.

~ Happy Monday ~

Home Office Before & After

I'd posted a few weeks ago about the small room that we were making into a home office to accommodate Jon's furniture and here are the results.  We are very pleased with how it turned out.  It's a small room (only about 11' by 8') and although I was worried that it would feel like a closet, all the furniture fits in nicely and it's a warm, cozy retreat.  My hope was to give the room a cozy English library look.

 Here is the "before" photo of the above corner of the room.

 And the opposite wall "after" below.

I was concerned that the paint color would be too dark, but the blue-green hue complements the cherry furniture, which was my intent.  I don't normally use such dark paint colors, but white walls would have contrasted strongly with the furniture and done nothing to highlight the color of the wood.   
Above is the "before" photo of the wall against which we placed the desk.

Everything in the room is from Jon's former home, including the Simon Pearce lamp.  The green color of the lamp works well here too.  I chose an oatmeal colored rug, which works well with the furniture and paint color.  Special thanks to designer Frank Hodge for the carpet connection (thank you, Frank!).

The other thing I decided to do was to paint the trim the same color as the walls (in a Satin finish). Since the room is so small, I didn't think that highlighting the trim by painting it white would be a good move. I spent considerable time mulling over the ceiling color and since the ceiling slopes down and is only about six feet high at the back of the room, I toyed with the idea of painting it the same color as the walls. In the end, I went with ceiling-white paint because with only one window and a low ceiling, the room might have felt like a cave if the ceiling color was too dark.
The room is awaiting a custom Roman shade in a fabric that matches the wall color to continue with the idea of a cozy English library.  I'm also looking for a slim upholstered chair for this corner of the room. We also need the carpenter to come back (please!) and rehang the door.  Other than that, we're done and now turning our attention to other rooms in the house.  More to follow, soon and thanks for following along.