August 30, 2015


Anyone still there?  Hellooooo?

Life interfered.....some good, some bad, like all of us really. Let's catch up.....

On the personal front, I have been helping a dear friend diagnosed with cancer, doesn't it seem like cancer is everywhere?

Then my beloved Cooper's health declined, rapidly, in all directions, he now has a dermatologist, optometrist, neurologist, and an oncologist
Yeah, this guy. Fourteen more chemo treatments and all will be well.
To entertain myself at the weekly visit to the vet/specialist/ money pit, I marvel at how many owners look like their dogs, then I looked down, color coordinated! (my right foot is permanently swollen from ankle surgery, ugggh)

On the business front......slammed! Supposed to be good, right? Well, it is a blessing, but YIKES! When landscapes collide with interiors, there is not an iota of time for mischief

Always great fun/hard work is my semi-annual jaunt to Atlanta for market and antiquing
 My favorite market find were these vinyl floor cloths, gasp! The manufacturers scoured old European patterns of tile and linoleum floors then replicated them, wear and all.
 Printed with plastic ink (who knew?) they will not wear from areas of heavy foot traffic, indoors or out. Nor will they slide with their foam backing. Clever!

My inner lighting freak, loved the design and craftsmanship in this baby. The high design elements in the lighting arena remain astounding, like art installments

The reflective glow from the hammered gold backing is mesmerizing.
Blessing beads, available in a multitude of colors, these make a great gift for newlyweds, new homeowners, grads, a friend in need.....For one of my interior clients, the manufacturer is creating a bead curtain to separate a room, ala 1960's

Mmmmm, everywhere was a relaxed European style of bed dressing in velvet, pure cotton, and linens. I found many sheets in linen, have you ever enjoyed such a sleep? This hard wearing organic fabric improves with repeated washings becoming smoother and more luxurious in texture
Then there is always that piece, actually more than that, way more until your eyes begin to bleed. Look at the size of this vase/statue/WHAT!?

Nothing beats the antiquing down south, here are just a few finds that came back to the shop
This Louisphile had heart tremors, "please do not be sold, PLEASE", I said to myself. A custom side table from the estate of one of the Gimbel descendants, and her Louis trunk below

 Another vintage oil from a dealer friend that sources original art in Provence. And these beautiful clock faces

 Once again my favorite dealer and good friend Lisa finds the most interesting pieces on her European jaunts. If you have followed this blog her genius comes up again and again. But here we are a bit stumped, (theatre periodicals?!) but the look is oh so goooood!
 I bought all 40+ wooden books. Country of origin, Spain.
 Copper clad boxes/tables
 It goes without saying......I just had to have this duplicated!
 Landscaping........Here is a before, this back yard fronting a garage, has weeds 5' tall, this space will reemerge with stone walls, descending steps (yes there are huge grade changes in there), patio and plantings. Stay tuned.......
 And thoughts of Christmas are not far behind, yes Christmas! Here is a glimpse of the home we are decorating this year for the Geneva, Christmas house walk. A pre-civil war gem. This nook, oh to have such a nook; stone floors, stunning fireplace, vintage harvest table, COZY......The homeowner said many a winter dinners and conversations take place here

The predominant theme in holiday decor? Christmas at Tiffany's; garlands  of pearl, faux gems, rhinestones........I succumbed, so so beautiful

Amy Howard, of the Amy Howard Paint and Decorative Finish line, has a new book out. Targeted to the  creatives among us that dream of developing a business. Trust me it is doable and she maps out guidelines for success.

How about your summer? All you hoped for with some fun sprinkled in?
And yes, off to work one day with my client. Pinch, pinch!

Wishing you good health, and endless inspiration, 

June 7, 2015

Favorite "PINS" this week

If I can stick to it......I thought it would be fun to start a series (I have not stuck to one yet) on favorite Pinsterest Pins of the week.
This is a slam dunk for me as I am an addict, pinning away if I have an idle moment or need to reduce stress. Looking at beautiful images takes me away and stokes the fires of inspiration.
So let's go!
Amber Interiors - Client Freakin Fabulous - Neustadt 2
This is great, but to get the story behind this interior take a visit at Amber Interiors blog showing the transformative before and after, from an 'Early American' style to this lovelyness. One of the best I've seen!
Hanson residence, Charlotte, NC. Pursley Dixon Architecture. Mrs. Howard and Max and Co. interiors. Emily Jenkins Followill photo in Traditional Home.
Being an older home person, this could change my mind

Fond of silhouettes in the garden
| P | The Paris Journal is a digital book. Each volume covers one neighborhood over the course of one day, from morning to night. | La Beℓℓe ℳystère                 
Today I made my flight reservations for the tour I am guiding to Paris and Normandy. When I found this digital book, I was intrigued. Each chapter covers a neighborhood in Paris in one day, from morning to night
We have 2 spaces left....hint, hint
Curb Appeal black horizontal slat fencing ; Gardenista
Privacy. Of late that is a repeated theme from clients, for solitude or to hide a next door nightmare. Interestingly simple, massively effective.
Cool Metal Garden Art.  Would like several of these for the sides of the house.  Vines grow but won't damage the walls.
We have tried this before; the client had a kitchen window that faces onto her neighbors trash, boat, toys...and this is about as much space as we had. With strategically placed cross boards and a lovely vine, it solved a problem
Yardistry Garden Corner Climber
Mismatched woven chairs and a teak table set the scene for meals in the outdoor entertaining area of this California cottage.   -
Intriguing way to bring color to your outdoor space
                                                     How fresh is this? Maybe white and tartan for winter?
           Just a bit of trim creates a real custom look, notice they repeated the design on the lamp shade
How to incorporate a TV Into Any Interior – 25 Cool Ideas | Shelterness - Great article!
Artwork folding screen to conceal a TV, clever
A Great Day for Gray - Design Chic                                                 






With three bathrooms to re-do I am collecting ideas. Love everything here, now to find that sink...
Shakespeare. Wise words.
Of all 30,143 of my pins, this has been the most popular. It is true isn't it?
Found this today, it really resonated with me and reminded me of my path

Enjoy your week!

Any France inquiries, contact me direct

May 31, 2015

How to add IMPACT to your Gardens

Whew, this time of year is sheer madness, garden designs and installs, interior designs and installs, equals one tired gal! Thankfully the shop is in the best of hands with the best of staff.

One bit I am focusing on constantly when adding plantings into the designs is my clear focus on foliage shape and color, the two most important elements to an interesting landscape, with impact. It is how to extend a colorful garden
Gorgeous? YES!
 But.....what happens when those flowers are gone? Sure there may be some flowers to follow however it could have season long impact. In this case all green, smallish leaves = b-o-r-i-n-g
Same here. It is easy to create a lovely garden in mid-summer, it is the remainder of the year that is important too
Uniquely attractive, in a subtle way. Today however it is all about impact created with diverse foliage

Virtually few perennials, massive interest with diversity of colored foliage and varying leaf shapes


Lamium 'White Nancy', sparkles in the evening
Ajuga 'Bronze Beauty' with the added bonus of blue flowering spikes in Spring
Lysimachia 'Aurea'

Miscanthus 'Zebra Grass'
Festuca 'Elijah Blue;
Miscanthus 'Purpurascens '
For shade, 'Hakonechloa 'All Gold'

Purple Sage
Purple Basil
Variegated Thyme 'Lemon'

Caladium 'Ansel Adams' die for!
Caladium 'Gingerland'
Coleus 'Watermelon'

Helichrysium 'Icicles'
Ornamental Cabbage

Japanese Painted fern

Hadspen Blue
'Coast to Coast'
'Fire and Ice'

Heuchera's......In every imaginable color, well, almost
Geranium 'Espresso'  Brownish foliage with delicate pink flowers that blooms from late April to late September. I like to underplant it with the ground cover Lysimachia 'Aurea', shown above. This is a real POP, as this beauty can fade into the mulch. You do mulch don't you?
Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'
Brunnera 'Jack Frost'
Actea 'Black Negligee'. Tall with architectural foliage blooms in late Autumn with bottle brush spikes laced with the scent of vanilla
Stachys 'Big Ears'

Hello Gorgeous! Clematis 'Stolwijk'
Hardy Kiwi Vine Only the MALE has this coloration
Climbing Hydrangea 'Firefly'

Physocarpus 'Amber Jubilee'  This is year round, not just Autumn!
Pittosporum 'Irene Paterson'
Sambucus 'Plumosa Aurea'
Fothergilla 'Blue Mist'

Again, not a flower in sight
False Cypress 'Gold dwarf'
Abies 'Silberlocke'

Pyrus 'Silver Frost'
Cercis 'Forest Pansy'  Yes, a burgundy leafed Redbud!
White Birch
Cornus 'Golden Shadows'

And........that is just for starters! Now, how to combine these plants in your borders. This is where the leaf shape takes center stage.
The best neighbors are opposites; thick leaf next to thin leaves
More of the above
Thick and thin

Something else to note......if you have a bed that appears to be messy, the cause is often too many small leaves. Large leaves lend order. Imagine if the above tropical was not there, there would be no focal point and the Verbena would appear medowish

Let's take a look at great examples of this conversation

Hope  you found some inspiration, I love this topic!
Thank you for reading......

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