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Friday, February 14, 2014

My Snowy Valentine

I dashed out early Wednesday morning ahead of the snowstorm and crowds, to get ready for cupid's holiday. It felt like a sweet little victory to get everything checked off my list and spend the afternoon cooking and listening to French music.
A romantic card on a pretty cotton tablecloth.

Yesterday morning I came downstairs opened the front door and this was the scene.  Over 12" and still snowing. Those little mounds just beyond the Korean Lilac are boxwoods. By the time round two rolled through, there wasn't a bit of green to be seen. Yesterday afternoon was spent shoveling-round three comes tonight or tomorrow!

I couldn't decide on one color, so I chose three! Who says you need roses to set a romantic tone?

A little something for the foyer table too.

Who doesn't LOVE an embroidered linen hand towel? 

Wondering how long the shoveling was going to take yesterday...

so we could play!

Wooden letters and glass hearts to send hugs & kisses and wish you a

 Happy Valentines Day!
All photos courtesy of A&A

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Would Edith Wharton Say?

Dearest Edith,

I am writing to inform you that formal living rooms are no longer in fashion. Well, at least in the 21st century. Well, at least at my house. And, perhaps a few million other people.

A formal living room that Edith would certainly have enjoyed.

Please don't faint when I tell you that the living room, formally known as the parlour, has far too often become a large box devoid of all architectural detail,  fireplaces and appropriate furnishings. Well at least (no fireplace) at my house. And, perhaps a few million other people.

I have read your book, like any decorator should, cover to cover.

It's incredibly sad. And incredibly liberating! You would be quite shocked to learn that people rarely dress up and entertain in the living room except perhaps during the holiday season. I must confess I often wear pants or jeans, a silk blouse and heels while entertaining. I know you don't know what jeans are and that's just as well. If you did, you would likely gasp. Pants are like men's trousers, but for women. With the exception of hiring the occasional caterer, I do all the cooking for parties. I have no servants. People often gather in the family room (which should really be called the living room because it's where we do most of our activities), libraries and kitchens. Probably because of the lack of servants. Well at least at my house. And, perhaps a few million other people.

Classic yet modern in it's multi-purpose function of working, dining and whining. I love the idea for this space, but I would whine without at least two comfortable chairs next to a fireplace to enjoy my favorite bottle and a good book!

Even though I have a library, it has been my dream for far too long to convert our seldom used living room into a large library/office. The current library is small does not have adequate bookshelves, but it is a wonderfully cozy room with a fireplace and a large window overlooking the backyard and we use it in every season,  every day. It's probably my favorite room. I love to shut the french doors read, listen to music, enjoy my favorite elixirs and even work. A larger library would better suit our particular lifestyle. I don't know if we'll have the chance to fulfill our dream of converting the living room in this house, but it's high on the list for the next one! I think you (and hope architects of the future) understand this preference and shift and would be proud that we (decorators) will strive to include appropriate architectural details and volumes of books.  And of course only a few, well chosen biblots and most definitely keep the bric-a-brac to a minimum!

A devoted reader

PS: I do understand that not everyone would agree with me on this point. And I have seen and been a guest in some beautiful, well appointed living rooms that the occupants use for formal entertaining. And although it's not for me, as I prefer a room that serves more than one function, I still appreciate the beauty when I sit in one that is well done and love to help clients create one if it's part of their design dream and lifestyle. After all, life unfolds in the rooms we use and love the most. It's where our memories are made and the details of our stories are gathered for future generations. I know dearest Edith, you would approve of that sentiment.