Spring Cleaning

Spring is a season of change.  This isn't profound, I know.  I think many of us feel this way.  I'm certainly more aware of time passing as the days get longer and the sun appears more often.  This spring also marks two years of blogging for me.  So, with the change in seasons and anniversary, I've updated the blog with a new format and lighter colors.  I hope you like the changes. 

When I started blogging, my focus was strictly interior design. Sometimes, it's been difficult to articulate exactly why I've liked a certain room or a certain style.  But the more I've seen, the more I've learned.  And what holds true is that I've never been interested in trends or fads.  Sure, it happened once in the 80s when I impulsively had my hair cut short during the Princess Diana fervor and a semester in London (somehow I'd avoided the 70s Dorothy Hamill haircut, so it was bound to happen).  Never again.  

You may notice a change in post topics. Jewelry, clothing and other things may find a place here along with interiors.   But I will stay true to my appreciation for all that is classic, well made and beautiful.  Even if it's slightly frivolous or unaffordable once in awhile.  Just for fun.  The economy may still be broken, but my search engine is going strong.


Interior Design by Charles Spada. Photography by Peter Margonelli. Image via Back Bay Shutter Company.

Yes, I'm gushing again, but it can't be helped. Charles Spada's rooms have that affect on me.  And while perfection is often unattainable, I know it when I see it.   My guess is that all of the rooms in this house are as perfect as this one.

The acrylic table surprised me.  They sometimes seem awkward to me, but not here where it floats gracefully among an antique sofa, framed intaglios and a harp.  I say harp casually, as if we all have a harp at home. To top it off, this is the only room I've seen with dark gray walls (I'd love to know the paint color name) that's not gloomy thanks to the tall windows. 

Find Of The Day: Wedgwood Creamware

I am curbing my spending for two reasons.  First of all, I'm trying not to accumulate too much stuff and secondly, my house is getting a new chimney and liner, which is a major expense.  So, I am going to restrain myself from bidding on this Wedgwood compote.  It's on eBay and the current bid is a  reasonable $29.99.  It would look great filled with fresh limes, flowers, or even shells.  The gold rams head handles are unusual and the gilding is classic.  If you're interested, you can bid here. And if you win it, please let me know. I'd be happy to learn it went to a good home (since it won't be coming to mine).

Boxwood & Lavender

This is the perfect low maintenance garden, although the boxwood requires occasional pruning to keep its shape.  The lavender provides some softness against the structured boxwood, planters, and stone.  I wish I could duplicate this look in my own yard (especially now that the snow is gone).

UPDATE:  This lovely garden was designed by Steven Kelvin Gardens.  Click here for the website.

Seashell Art

When you stop to think about it, seashells are the ultimate DIY project. They're designed, created, and decorated by tiny sea creatures working alone all hours of the day.  There is tremendous incentive for these creatures to complete their homes on time and under budget.  Otherwise, in their homeless, shell-less state, they risk being devoured by a pesky predator.  Fortunately for us, the consequences of overdue or over budget home improvement projects are [usually] less dire.

I've been intrigued by seashells ever since I learned how to put on a bathing suit by myself.  I like to display shells, but I don't want my home to look like a beach house, especially since it's not a beach house. And especially since it's 50 degrees or below outside nearly half the days of the year. 

The pieces shown here are by artist Peggy Green.  They have an old-world look reminiscent of Sailor's Valentines (above) and Victorian pincushions (below).  I'd feel under dressed in flip-flops and a T-shirt around these.      

The variety of soft colors and repetitive, carefully arranged patterns keep the frames and boxes from looking weekend-at-the-beach crafty.

I have a large framed mirror from a consignment store that could use some tasteful razzle-dazzle.  The shells are inexpensive to buy online.  The only problem is that beach season is almost here and the thought of me at home, alone with nothing but a bottle of Aleene's Tacky Glue and hundreds of shells while everyone else is outdoors is not appealing.  Although shells are synonymous with summer days and sandy beaches, this may be a better project for the cold nights of winter 2012.

All photos from Antique Shops and Designers Magazine, Volume 5. Photographer unknown.

L'Art du Bouquet

This is one of the most beautiful arrangements of roses I've seen and I felt compelled to share it.  The bouquet was created by Laura Dowling, a Parisian-trained floral designer.  Visit her website, click each photo and I guarantee you'll feel like it's your own Fourth of July fireworks display.  Just for you. Right there on your monitor. 

Photo by Katie Stoops.