The Highlight of My Week

We went to Ina Garten's book signing at Williams Sonoma yesterday for How Easy is That?, her latest cookbook.  We cheerfully waited in line for two hours to see Ina and let me tell you, I've never waited two hours in line for anything.  Ina Garten was just as I imagined. She was genuine and gracious, even after signing about 900 books with another 400 to go.

 I was a little star struck so all I could say was thank you as she signed my book, smiled warmly, thanked me for waiting and said she hoped I'd enjoy the book.  I couldn't muster the courage to say that her mushroom lasagna is one of my favorites and that her show is the best.  If you gave the nice people at Williams Sonoma your camera, they would snap a photo while you stood at the table and Ina signed your book. Unfortunately, the photo on my Blackberry didn't do Ina or me justice, so I've posted her book cover instead. 

If you're an Ina fan, visit her website  for details about the book tour.  It was a fun (and easy!) experience. 

How Easy is That? published by Clarkson Potter.  Photo by Quentin Bacon.

A Perfect Match

When it comes to interiors, there is nothing better than thoughtful design highlighting beautiful art and the Museums of Old York Show House this summer provided a fine example.  The living room below by Boston interior designer Frank Hodge features an ethereal landscape painting by Seattle-area artist Victoria Adams. You may remember my posts about the work of both Frank Hodge and Victoria Adams (click for links to post).  


I discovered Victoria's art in Veranda magazine.  John Saladino had included one of her paintings in a show house room he designed at Soho Mews.  A few google searches later and I got up my nerve to email Victoria and ask her about the painting.  An email later, I connected with Frank who also admired Victoria's paintings.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Or a living room.  Victoria created the painting above the fireplace especially for Frank's room and I was delighted to see both this summer at the show house in York, Maine, thanks to Frank's very kind invitation. 


The afternoon would have passed quite nicely for me, sitting on the sofa and lingering over the details in the room, but you know show house rules.  No sitting on the furniture and best to keep moving so all visitors can admire the space.

The room was so stunning, I walked through it three times. Frank included more art and details like flowers and unique accessories, but nothing was cluttered or overdone. The room perfectly enhanced the painting and the painting perfectly enhanced the room.  Traditional Home Magazine will include the room in an upcoming issue, about a year from now.  Fortunately, we don't have to wait that long to see some photos. 

Visit Frank Hodge's website (F.D. Hodge Interiors) here and the website of Victoria Adams here.

All photos courtesy of F.D. Hodge Interiors

White Hydrangea and Silver

I've been changing up my living room lately and took some photos of these white hydrangea and silver boxes.  During the spring, I deliberated over whether or not to paint the interior of the house white and even did a post about not painting and leaving the walls the same taupe/buff color I'd had for almost ten year. 

 In the end, white won me over.  I took a few days off from work this summer and painted with gusto, finishing the downstairs in about three days.  And I'm glad I did.  As you might expect, the soft white really brightened the rooms. Although you can't see the entire mirror here, it's a consignment store find that was an ugly orangey-pine color that I gold leafed and finished with an antique glaze.  The only problem was that I had to restrain myself from gold leafing five other things in the house.  A gold leaf little goes a long way.


Elegant Simplicity

The October 2010 issue of Traditional Home Magazine arrived in my mailbox this week and I eagerly flipped through it to see what was in store.  I was immediately impressed by the feature on  Washington D.C. designer Paul Corrie.  His living room, shown below, strikes the perfect balance of combining contemporary furnishings with antiques--something I am drawn to more and more these days.  No trends here, no clutter, no particular look; just elegant simplicity.   You can barely see it in this photo, but the flat screen television is neatly mounted on the wall above an antique Swedish cabinet.

Paul Corrie Interiors, LLC, Traditional Home Magazine, October 2010, Photo by Gordon Beall

And by the way, this room makes me want to ditch the ho-hum matching lamps and end tables on either side of my sofa (are they even referred to as "end tables" anymore?).

I won't spoil the fun by posting the additional photos from the magazine. You can see them for yourself by visiting Traditional Home Magazine  here and also at Paul Corrie's website here.  Michele of My Notting Hill also did two posts about Paul Corrie's interiors, which you can find here.