February 16, 2020

Want to get away?

Yes, it is that time again, when my British partner Sylvia and I ready our three European tours for 2020 to France, England or Scotland!

 Europe holds my heart, the varying cultures, the architecture, the music, food, histories.....so uniquely different. Isn't travel good for the soul?
These do book quickly since we take small groups, no more than 15 and for women only. These are boutique excursions with an emphasis on rubbing elbows and getting to know the locals, with access to private homes and gardens, to break bread together, all on a personal level

Paris and Provence
June 10 to June 18th, with a pre-tour opportunity, June 9th, for a tour of Monet's Giverney

I love this journey!

Highlights include........

Wine & Cheese pairing.....truffle hunt.....private gardens.....cooking lesson.....shopping.....
antique markets.....free time.....wineries.....perfumerie.....OOOOH LA LA!
(these are my photos of past trips)


September 15th to September 23rd

Our premiere journey.....and 25th year!

The countryside of England is magical, thatched cottages..... cream teas.....private homes and gardens
flower arranging course in a 15th c chapel.....antique markets.....free time.....
Prince Charles Highgrove..... and a renown UK Artists studio
(these are my photos of past trips)


October 8th to October 16th

Join us for our maiden voyage to glorious Scotland!

Based in Edinburgh be prepared to discover this magical and mystical region!

Tour Outlander filming sites.....castles & ruins.....autumn gardens.....antiquing.....whisky tour.....bagpipes & kilts.....royal yacht Britannia.....charming villages


For details email me for an itinerary, pricing, anything I can assist with. 


February 6, 2020

Simple ways to refresh your living room for Spring

What a treat awaits you today!

A very talented group of design bloggers share ideas for waking up your living room for Spring
My take is via my shop, let's take a look

Let's start with a vignette in it's current state
In a shop setting, an accent wall, especially black pops the product. This setting is current for a northern winter scene. 

Let's play as if it were your living room, where to start


To follow.....a future post about our upcoming PILLOW SLIPS, to easily change your look seasonally
Other than pillows, what else did we change here?
Changed out the large clock to an urban abstract scene, faux flowers, and the Spring-like green stool. With the pillows we just layered a lighter colored option onto the color coordinated tartan

What did we do here? Added the coral colored urn to coordinate and pop the art. Did you notice the change of the wooden bench/table versus the rug bench/ottoman? How about the moss in the urn?

In urns, nestled within a vignette and molded into a ball as an accent. Fresh moss screams 'SPRING!'

Here is another vignette.....another pillow, an outdoor ornament; a French Crane, our newly crafted drinks table
Crafted from original Hermes boxes. We enlisted our talented iron worker, ordered glass for the top, and viola!

A statue, urn......look around, instant Spring!

And of course #5 FLOWERS!  Fresh, faux, Sticks.......
Our floral designer extraordinaire, Gerrit, created these designs for this post
 Yes, all faux. A growing trend in the faux floral industry is REAL TOUCH. In this composition, the pink Tree Peonies, Purple and white Hellebore's, and the coral colored Ranunculus. Not only do they look real....when touched, they feel real, brilliant!
Look at this example of REAL TOUCH Peonies!

 REAL TOUCH Ranunculus. A simple and effective arrangement
 The sticks were gathered from outdoors,  small touches of chartreuse mood moss were added/glued, faux Muscari. See the netting to the far right? it is moss covered, flexible sheeting, and lastly a variety of fresh mosses

Look closely around your home, and play, adding Spring touches is a mood enhancer, really!

Please visit these talents for much inspiration, most of my favorites, plus they are ones to follow!

                                                        Cheers......43 days to Spring

PS......all items are available 😄
                                                             xo   Debra


annie-most lovely things

kelley-kelley and co home


EDB Designs

Classic Casual Home

Cindy Hattersley Design

December 24, 2019

My home's Christmas Decor

Welcome to Part 2 of my homes Christmas Decor, 
The Interior, as shared in an open house 

And take a look at this!
 An artist friend, Sherri Buck Baldwin, gifted me this sketch of hers, of our front door, after reading the prior blog post. I was gobsmacked and cannot stop staring at it. She fully captured my nest urns unlike a photo could. So let's step inside this 1850's cottage
Nest wallpaper, hence the nest urns greeting guests

Grapevine gathered from the property was the base on the staircase to insert Feather Eucalyptus and lights. I am really pleased with this, as it dries the Eucalyptus looks different but equally great

Upstairs, a guest room and a bath was off limits, it became the 'Where do I shove this? Upstairs!' space
To the Living Room
As a huge proponent of the 'Collected Look', there are pieces from Spain, France, ands England that are meaningful to me. 

The tree consisted of frosted ball lights and string lights. The hanging rings we carry, that typically hang on the wall with a bracket, adorn the tree with the magical effect of 'movable flame' candles.
The Living Room is open to my office, lightly separated by a Jewelers cabinet from Lyon France. This space doubles as a dining room as the table has internal leaves opening to double the size.

My desk faces a massive picture window that we filled with trees

Kitchen....The largest room in the house where Steve took down and moved walls. The original kitchen was a small , nonfunctional galley kitchen. We took it to the studs and started over.
He also built the stove surround, Stefania from the shop painted the scene from an advert at Sotheby's of an upcoming auction item. The centerpiece on the surround is a ram I found in England, a cornerstone from a pub, circa 14th c.
See that tea towel? That is a gift from friend Sherri again, the artist whom painted our entryway
Seating area facing the sink

On either side of the chairs are oversized wall hangings. Originally one unit, I separated them to use as such. What were these? An old lamp post top from New Orleans
Friends Alain and Esther Roby, the owners of the magical
 ALL CHOCOLATE KITCHEN, presented some of their creations. If nearby, they host a proper English Tea in their adjacent restaurant, truly a must along with their variety of delectables all made in house. 
Had to share.......Marcel after the walk, back in 'his chair', this dog would stare at the treats, but never touch as he could not care less. A dog who is not food motivated = challenging to train!
Also by ALL CHOCOLATE KITCHEN, Chef Roby's renown spun sugar art. A charming snowman, he also makes darling penguins, and anything you can imagine

This vintage Sherry barrel is from Spain and nicely fills an empty corner
Kitchen table filled with garland, fresh fruit, nuts, breads.........

When the holiday decor comes down, this baket comes to the shop. Just found in France, it is a Childs grape harvest basket. I have never seen this before. In this arrangement we used fresh and faux greenery, decorative mini pomegranates, and real oranges
Eucalyptus, cedar, pine

Onto the Master Bedroom.
Originally this room was a white box, added on in the 40's
We added the shelf surround, the bead board, wallpaper and the real barn beams
Loving these tiny houses and the disk sconces
Back towards the kitchen
Now we are headed down a hall towards the Family room. 
Take note of the walls....the lower portion is bead board, upper is drywall. A very talented friend Patrick Roullier, painted all of this to resemble wood!

In the family room I decorated a garden obelisk with boxwood roping and red berry garland
This is another room gutted to studs. Steve added the beams, and built all the cabinets and storage around the fireplace.

 Look closely to a rectangular ceiling 'piece' above the fireplace, surrounded on three sides by beams. Within that space is the TV, it unlatches and down comes the television. You see, I told Steve I did not want a big screen on the fireplace, you know, that big black 'hole', so he cleverly created a solution; down when home.....up when entertaining!

Painted by Stephania, original quote by Samuel Johnson
A new LEE Industries sofa
A copper pub draw from England, carried on the plane.....the 'good old days!'
Boxwood roping added to the ceiling, because....why not?
The doors lead to a terrace with fireplace and terrace as seen on previous post.

And again, Sherri Buck Baldwin, painted an urn from my last post!
And, that's a wrap folks!

Wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!


Coming next....  The announcement of our tours 2020

June... France, September.... England 
October.... Scotland. Once posted, our small group women's tours, fills very quickly! 

Photography by Nancy Villwock

Patrick Roullier

Stefania, at our consignment shop Fridays through Sundays.  630.584.7474

Stay in Touch......
SG Too Instagram.  (our select consignment shop)

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