Allow me to interrupt your mid-week routine so we can collectively play out our British country mouse daydreams (I can’t possibly be alone on that one, right?) I discovered Wardington Manor via House & Garden and am completely enchanted by the Jacobean home and organic flower farm in Oxfordshire.
Owned by Bridget Elworthy, the manor’s 30 acres serves as home base for the cut flower business, The Land Gardeners, which Elsworthy operates with her business partner Henrietta Courtauld. The manor itself is enough to put me over the edge, but add in Victorian walled gardens, and dinner plate sized dahlias and I just can’t even.
Once a week the duo loads a van with freshly cut English flowers and sends them off to London to be delivered to clients like Soane, purveyor of some of the chicest pieces of furniture, fabric, and wallcoverings that I very much aspire to own. Too charming for words.
Sigh, in this case the grass is literally greener.
Perhaps it’s the change of seasons and the “back to business” vibe I always associate with September, but I’m feeling especially inspired this week and eager to get to work.
Part of this surge of inspiration is undoubtedly a result of pouring over the pages of Mark D. Sike’s wonderful book: Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy which arrived just as I was leaving for the airport last week. If it gives you any indication of just how excited I was to dig in, I tossed it into my purse and hauled a coffee table book as my reading material to and from Vermont. #noregrets
I’m confident that Mark will go down in the books as one of the greatest designers of our generation. With an unfaltering eye and exceptional taste his rooms are not only stunning, they’re also inviting and comfortable (a quality that extends to his equally chic clothing line).
So, let’s make this week beautiful!
P.S Mark’s book is officially available tomorrow. Grab a copy, you won’t be disappointed!
I’m en route to DC for client visits and some much needed time at the Design Center, but I stopped in Richmond last night to visit my sister and we grabbed dinner and drinks at The Quirk Hotel. The setting, meal, and drinks were completely delightful and deserving of their own post–I’m really hoping to book a weekend stay at some point this fall–but it reminded me I hadn’t shared the owners’ townhouse which was recently featured in House Beautiful.
Designed by Richmond based interior designer, Suellen Gregory, the townhouse is equal parts feminine and modern and the exact opposite of what you might expect for a home built in 1892, but it just works. The high ceilings and stately moldings set off the clean lined mid-century pieces, while antiques upholstered in punchy hues lend a playful gravitas.
If you visit The Quirk Hotel it’s easy to see the owners’ sensibilities similarly reflected. I found myself particularly obsessed with the pleated sconce shades throughout the space and while re-visiting these photos quickly honed in on a similar shade in the master bedroom.
I admire anyone who has the the courage to really go for it with their home and a pink lacquered sitting room certainly falls into that category. Suellen Gregory’s ability to pull it all together in such a refined and seamless way speaks to her immense talent.
Plus, I had our living room painted pale pink a few months ago so this is giving me some ammunition against my family who think I’m a little bit crazy. 😉
We spent the weekend in Vermont for a wedding and after getting back to Raleigh at 2:00AM yesterday morning (with a shattered laptop, ugh) I really had a case of the Mondays. The silver lining is I’m really feeling those back to school vibes with a brand new Macbook Air and my custom desk almost completed. I’m predicting productivity will be off the charts. 😉
So let’s jump start this week with a colorful kick in the pants by way of a project peek. The snap above is from one of my most unique projects to date. Believe it or not, this 600 sq foot space is an apartment off of my clients’ airplane hangar. They’re building their forever home just outside of Raleigh and plan to live in the apartment during construction.
DC gave me plenty of practice with small spaces so we pulled out all the tricks of the trade to make this space functional and fun for my world traveling clients!
Today kicks off New York Fashion Week, and though I may be out of my depth and should stick to forecasting interior trends, I’m going out on a limb here and going on record with my prediction of Gucci’s Princetown mules as the shoe of the season.
Last year’s “it” shoe was undoubtedly the Ghillie. Everyone from Aquazurra to M.Gemi to Loeffler Randall got in on the action and it looks like the style is still going strong. Turns out comfortable and chic aren’t mutually exclusive.
Which is brings us back to the item at the top of my Fall wish list: the Princetown mule. Unabashedly old school prep but with street style cred and, of course, Gucci’s trademark quality and craftsmanship.
I think it’s time I pulled the trigger…