Holiday Cards

Every year, I love to search for the perfect Christmas cards to send to family and friends.  I'm often overwhelmed with all the choices and themes.  This year, I've made my decision early and will purchase cards featuring reproduction watercolors by Andrew Zega & Bernd H. Dams.  In addition to the  holiday card collection (a few examples shown here), there are over 250 watercolor cards from which to choose, featuring architectural monuments, garden follies and ornaments, and Chinoiserie among others.

The website includes watercolor renderings of incredible European buildings and serious architecture, but also includes whimsical subjects too (check out the "Architectural Alphabet").  It's an experience not to be missed and I think you'll be just as delighted with their watercolors as I am.

The artists also have a very informative blog, Noted, and you can find the link on my sidebar under "Inspiration".

Please let me know which are your  favorite cards after you've visited the Architectural Notecards website....

Happy Browsing!

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Bedroom Makeover

I've been working on a feminine master bedroom makeover and came up with the following fabrics and furnishings.  The only trouble is, I can't decide which lamps would be best to try in the room.  Following are four variations of the room and the only difference in each are the bedside lamps.  Everything else is the same.  Unfortunately, none of the items in the photos are to scale.

Please vote for your favorite in the poll on the side bar or leave a comment and we'll see which lamp is the winner.   


I started with the antiqued brass library lamps, but am concerned that the shades will be too wide--nearly as wide as the top of the bedside tables.  The shape of the shades have a pleasing geometry and the lamp bases don't compete with headboard fabric.  The lamps are also adjustable and 27" is the lowest height, which is plenty for a bedside lamp.

 The gilded iron lamps are more modern than the first lamps, but the finish is aged and has an antique quality.  The size (and the price) are right.  I fall hard for anything gilded.

Here we have the traditional crystal column lamps.  They're pretty, but may be more traditional and chunkier than what I'd like to see.

 I initially passed on these conical shaped crystal lamps, but I'm giving them a second look.  The bottom is faceted, like a diamond, and the gentle curve of the base is feminine, but not fancy.


Interior Design by Tara Shaw.  Photos by CocoCozy.

First of all, I apologize for the lack of posts in August and September.  These months were the busiest ever at work.  The long days and long to-do lists left me little time for much else and resulted in a neglected blog.  I would have preferred to be decorating, reading my favorite design blogs and design books, but until I can earn a living doing those things, my day job pays the bills (you know how that is). 

Work is less demanding for now, so I had time to savor the October 2011  issue of Veranda magazine featuring the "The House of Windsor".  The bedroom designed by Tara Shaw intrigued me and I was curious if Ms. Shaw had designed any other rooms at the house. A quick Google search and eureka!  I discovered these photos by CocoCozy of the bathroom designed by Ms. Shaw. I was taken by cool marble, antique mirror and cheerful  pink flowers, along with the crisp architectural details.  It's pretty, simple and inviting and now at the top of my list of designer bathrooms. 


A New Blog

Photo by briberrie and available to purchase on etsy

I've been experimenting with a new blog, which includes more than interior design and decorating.  I'm not sure it's necessary to start an additional blog, but you know how it is with blogging--I blog, therefore I am.  My goal was to create a separate site to feature more than interiors and decorating and to focus on  briefer, but more frequent posts.  If you have any additional time in your already busy day (and long blog-reading lists), I'd be grateful if you'd have a look at my new site here and let me know your thoughts (here or there).

Thank you!

A Designer's French Chateau

I hope you don't mind another Charles Spada post, but I thought you'd enjoy these photos of his Normandy, France home as much as I did.  All photos are from the Polish magazine Weranda  (photography by Andreas von Einsiedel/East News). 

The exterior of the chateau, formerly a hunting lodge.

The incredible chandelier is original to the chateau.

The walls are a warm, soft gray and the wood floors are laid in a classic herringbone pattern.

Antique framed prints, animal print fabric and touches of damask highlight the main room.

A bold leopard print fabric covers this sofa.  I think one needs a room this large (and a skilled interior designer like Charles Spada) to comfortably pull this off.  

This French baker's table and plates accent a dining room wall.

A larger collection of plates dominates another wall.  On the left, you can see the gray checked drapes at the window.


A charming kitchen with brick floor, large hearth and modern stove.


A collection of creamware (or is it ironstone?)

Here's a peek of the pretty gray and blue toile fabric of one of the bedrooms.


More antique prints and frames.

Plenty of reading material....

And here's a small WC tucked behind a paneled wall in the bedroom. 

Visit the Weranda link above in Google and you can translate the magazine article into English.  Enjoy!

The Old With The New

An old rose on a modern trellis
 I'm sorry to say that I don't remember where or when I found this image (other than it was pre-blog).  The contrast between the old rose, weathered wood, and stainless steel is interesting and appealing, I think.   

My neighborhood garden tour is on Saturday and I'm hoping to take some good photos to share with you. 

In the meantime, Happy Weekend!

Far Out

It's been raining again so we decided to take in the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.  I took these photos as we wandered the exhibit rooms, which were crowded with visitors even as the museum was about to close-- a testament to Chihuly's popularity.

This is one of six huge glass chandeliers on display.  Each arm bends and curls, capturing and reflecting light and shine.  I never realized glass could be so dramatic.  I couldn't help but wonder too, how do they dust this?   

The following photos were taken while looking up.  The ceiling is clear glass and hundreds of Chihuly pieces are set above, creating a sea of rainbow light below.  I've never been in a room before with so many arms and cameras pointing up, all of us shuffling around for the best photo, trying not to bump into each other.  It was a nice atmosphere though--a shared awe about the kaleidoscopic display over our heads.  

The exhibit closes August 7, 2011 -- click the link above for details.  I have to say, this is one of the most joyful art exhibits I've ever experienced.  Have you seen Chihuly's work before?  If so, what do you think of it?

Let's Do Lunch

Photo source: Mary Jane Vaughn. Not part of the day. I just like the flowers.

I don't know about you, but most days I brown bag my lunch and eat at my desk so I can get as much work done as possible.  It's necessary sometimes, but not much fun. Wouldn't it be a nice change to have a long lunch with interesting people and discuss art, antiques, and fine jewelry over a delicious meal?  

I had the chance to do so last week during a press lunch hosted by  auctioneers and appraisers from Skinner, Inc.  Skinner CEO Karen Keane and directors of the Fine Jewelry, American & European Paintings/Prints, and Wine departments gave us an overview of Skinner's upcoming auctions.

Not only are Karen Keane and her staff experts in their fields, but they are also approachable and fun--delighted to answer questions and share their experiences.  They are as enthusiastic as you'd expect them to be about fine antiques, but also enthusiastic about their more affordable Discovery auctions. I've posted about Skinner before, but avoided mentioning the expensive jewelry and valuable paintings because I can't afford them (hence the brown bag lunches). It would feel, well, a little odd for me to tell you about a platinum and 5.23 carat diamond solitaire ring valued at $40,000 -$50,000 coming up for auction.  Instead, I post about finds within my budget (and comfort zone) from Skinner's Discovery auctions which include estate furnishings, decorative accessories, carpets and rugs, and artwork from the 18th to 20th century. 

Skinner's Discovery auctions are held every month at their Marlborough, MA location, but if you have the budget or just want to admire beautiful jewelry, then check out Skinner's fine jewelry auction on June 14th (the ring will be there, if you're interested). 

A Boston Pied-à-Terre

If you've been following Boxwood Terrace since the early days, you know how much I admire Charles Spada's interior designs. I've done a few posts about his work because it always impresses me. The following are photos of a 600 square foot apartment he designed on the top floor of what was once a church in Boston's South End. 

The white walls of the apartment highlight the owners' collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German, Italian, and French drawings.  The dark walnut parquet floors set off the pale colored neo-classical style furniture, which was designed by Spada to maximize space.   

It was difficult to scan the photo of the entire banquette against the wall, but I wanted to show Spada's smart and attractive solution for hiding the air conditioner on the far right wall. He had a folding screen made and covered in burlap, which shields the unit from view, but doesn't inhibit air flow.  Have you ever seen such elegant use of burlap?  The painted wrought-iron garden urn in front of the screen holds white orchids.  It's my favorite thing in the room.
What surprises me most is that this apartment was designed more than a decade ago and it's still fresh and elegant.  The classical elements and antiques make it a timeless.

Everyone knows the trick of hanging mirrors opposite windows to make a small space look larger, but Spada's custom-built long shelf saves floor space and minimizes the need for tables. It's another clever idea that anyone can duplicate.

All photos and details from the book East Coast Rooms by Anna Kasabian.  Photos by Eric Roth.  Interior design by Charles Spada LLC.


Oxford University is a special place for Jon.  He attended a summer program there during his undergraduate years.   Whenever we watch Inspector Lewis on Masterpiece Mystery (a detective series set in Oxford) he'll quickly point out the Radcliffe Camera when it comes into view.  He does this  quite often, really.  Sometimes more than once an episode.  It's touching though, because I know he wants to share it with me since I've never been to Oxford.  

What fun it was to discover then, this plaster replica of the Radcliffe Camera (fashioned into bookends) and other important buildings by Timothy Richards of Bath, England.  His website features a large selection of intricately detailed models and bookends.   

 I don't want to ruin the joy of discovering Timothy Richards' art for yourself by posting photos here. If you're an architecture buff, visit his website and lose yourself in another time and place. 

The website is all the more entertaining if you have another architecture buff with you to point out the less familiar places--or even the familiar places.   

P.S. You may have noticed that I've gone back to my previous blog heading and colors after making a fuss in the spring about a new blog format.  I missed that blog heading more than thought I would and decided to bring it back.  Also, my job has been keeping me busy these days (very grateful for that), so apologies for the spotty posting. 

The Perfect Gift

If you like bright colors, patterns and ceramics then you may already know of Jill Rosenwald.  My friend Joanne introduced me to Rosenwald's ceramics many years ago during an open studios day. 

Rosenwald's business has grown since then and she has licensed her designs for dinnerware, rugs, pillows and more.  Her ceramics have been featured in House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Lonny, among other magazines. 

 The classic Hampton Links trellis is my favorite pattern in the line and it's available in a variety of vases and a kitchen utensil holder.

The bright colors are beautiful, but I'm partial to the neutral taupe color.

Rosenwald also offers monograms combined with the Hampton Links pattern.  The trays are a stylish and useful--perfect for a wedding or house warming gift.   

This stunning piece is the Newport Gate Coper Bowl in classic navy blue.  The tray above is navy blue, taupe and white. 

Rosenwald also has an Etsy shop with pieces in even more patterns and colors.  You can also buy pieces through Rosenwald's website (see first link, above) and her studio will make custom-color pieces for an additional charge.