Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Several years ago I bought a Living Social deal for tickets to Mount Vernon in an effort to check off a DC attraction from my list. Growing up in Massachusetts, my experience with historical preservation sites was limited to elementary school field trips to Plimouth Plantation which is a decidedly different experience. Early colonists definitely weren’t enjoying the comforts that the Washingtons enjoyed at Mount Vernon.

I remember leaving that first tour shocked and inspired by the vivid interiors (you can read the post I wrote after that initial visit here) and easily envisioned them translating into homes today. I’d actually be curious to know if Miles Redd has taken inspiration from the estate for some of his work. Could we call George Washington (who was highly involved in the estate’s design) the original Miles Redd? It might have the same cache as President in some design circles…

All kidding aside, I was thrilled to receive an invitation to take a candlelight tour of Mount Vernon this past weekend. The holidays are the only time you’re able to tour Mount Vernon after dark and I’m sure you can tell from the photos above what a unique and beautiful experience it is.

If your a design dork like myself, you’ll love getting a closer peek at the interiors, and if you have little ones they’ll love meeting the camel (yes, a live camel) and listening to the carolers. This weekend, December 21 and 22, are the last two nights to take a tour and I’ve got two tickets to giveaway to a local reader!

The Details: Win two tickets valid for admission to any one Mount Vernon by Candlelight tour on December 21, 2013 or December 22, 2013. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable and valid only for one redemption. The event occurs rain or shine and no outside food or beverages are allowed on the estate.

To Enter: follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below (if you’re reading in a feed or via email you’ll need to click over to enter) and I’ll be contacting the winner Thursday, December 19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photos courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association


The Pursuit of Style

The combination of a stomach bug and internet outage took me out of commission at the end of last week and start of the weekend but it was actually a welcome opportunity (and probably much needed reminder) to slooow down.

We’re barreling at break neck speed into the holidays and even though my to-do list seems to be getting longer by the minute it was kind of nice (aside from the feeling terrible part) to have an excuse to lay low for the weekend.

I caught up on reading, got re-inspired by the costumes and sets of some favorite old movies and pulled together some inspiration for a fun project you’ll be seeing more of soon! I’m loving the combination of deep turquoise and geranium red. Isn’t it fantastic in the dining room by Markham Roberts above?

On Sunday we took a candlelight tour of Mount Vernon and I fell in love with the bold colors and architectural details of the estate all over again–more on that later this week.

Anyone else still have holiday shopping to do? Eek time to get back to that to-do list!

Photo by Lindsay Souza for The Pursuit of Style


The Pursuit of Style

The Pursuit of Style

I loved your feedback on last week’s project peek and thought I’d share one more that I snapped over Thanksgiving. This built-in bookcase/media center I designed for my family’s living room was recently completed and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. So many shelves to fill with beautiful things! Can’t wait to start hunting.

Design is as much about problem solving as it is aesthetics, and the room this bookshelf lives in presented a challenge. With two walls opening to other rooms (mudroom and kitchen) a large bay window on the third wall, and a floor to ceiling brick fireplace centered on the fourth wall, it was less than ideal for watching tv–which is what my parents like to use the room for.

Making the floorplan even more funky was the fact that the brick fireplace bumped out about 2.5′ from the wall on the left side but was flush to the wall on the right. The asymmetry has always driven me crazy. I was fixating on it over the summer and started drawing floorplans and elevations (because that’s how fun I am to be around on vacation).

I realized the room would be so much more functional and balanced if we closed off the space to the left of the fireplace with a built-in bookcase which could also house a flatscreen tv. I’m a big fan of painted bookshelf backs and selected Benjamin Moore’s Yarmouth Blue for these.

Next up: curtains–that gorgeous AERIN fabric above is the top contender–and re-upholstering a wingback chair in a sassy Quadrille print. I’ll keep ya posted.


Domino Magazine, November 2008

Domino Magazine, November 2008

Domino Magazine, November 2008

Domino Magazine, November 2008

I can’t even tell you how excited I was to see this feature pop up on Domino’s website last week. I’ve had the bar photo above pinned for ages and have always wondered what jewel box of a space it came from.

In case you’re also curious, the home was featured in the November 2008 issue of Domino. I’ve already ordered a back issue from eBay, because as much as I love the easy accessibility to any image in my inspiration archives the internet provides, I still prefer the real thing.

This is the type of room I happily get lost in. Layers upon layers of beautiful things for the eye to lit upon set against walls the color of deep ocean. I could easily see this room being being in a row house here on Capitol Hill.

Maybe it/when we become home owners I’ll pull out my new (old) copy of Domino for inspiration. For now, here are a few pieces to help achieve the look:


Christmas Prelude | Kennebunkport, ME

Christmas Prelude | Kennebunkport, ME

Christmas Prelude | Kennebunkport, ME

Over the past few years we’ve made a trip to Maine one of our summer traditions. This past summer we stayed at The Inn at English Meadows and if you remember this post, you know that we fell hard for its charm and vowed to come back again soon.

I’m a New Englander at heart and nothing sounds more enticing to me than a foot of fresh powder and a spot to hunker down by the fire; so when Garrett spilled the beans a bit early that he had booked us a room for a post-Christmas getaway I was pretty over the moon.

Kennebunkport is decked out for Christmas Prelude and I think you can see from the photos above why it was voted by HGTV as the #2 Christmas town in America (my camera is definitely coming with me!)

If you’ve always wanted to visit Maine, or are in need of a last minute gift (we decided to give my parents a Gift Certificate after our stay this summer!) I have an amazing offer to share thanks to Liz and Eric, owners of The Inn at English Meadows.

Here’s the deal:
Mention PS for 20% off any reservation made for 12/10/13 – 4/30/14 OR add 20% to any Gift Certificate purchased in December.

Be sure to like The Inn at English Meadows on Facebook by Dec 11th for a chance to win a $100 Gift Certificate!

Keeping it real: This post was sponsored by The Inn at English Meadows, a business I am happy to support and look forward to visiting for years to come!

photos by Robert Dennis via Yankee Magazine