Sunday, May 30, 2010

A collection

Every so often, I accumulate a collection of items that I like very much and hope to integrate into my home. Some are out of reach (we all dream...), and some are totally do-able.

"These are pieces the eye will never get tired of looking at because they are beautifully proportioned. Both the eye and soul resonate. "

 This quote by interior designer Lynne Scalo describes my philosophy when purchasing items for my home.

I would love to have this darling cake stand sitting on a sideboard. It's too cute to stash away!

Several chairs and several light fixtures caught my eye. I would place this in my powder room.

I love both the chandelier and the carved gilt chair.

This intriguing ginkgo chair by Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand was part of an exhibit in the Parisian Pavillon Des Arts et du Design that just closed March 28th.

Elle Decoration magazine

Merete Larsen, a Danish artist specializing in turning wood, created these divine, colorful bowls. She begins with a log and, with a chainsaw and later a lathe, transforms the wood into delicate bowls with stains that still allow the grain of the wood to show through. What patience! 

Aren't these tiles fun?



Friday, May 28, 2010

An elm and a thank you!

I would like to give a HUGE thank you to Catherine at The Shiny Pebble for today's so very generous and amazing post on me and All things paint and plaster...
I am humbled! (Honestly, I've never seen such a big picture of myself!)
Catherine, you have a talent with words.  Again, thank you.

When I visit the Netherlands for family get togethers, I am always amazed at these "stumps" of trees that one observes all over the country. As explained by my significant other, quite simply, the trees need to be pruned. 

Because the Dutch love to garden, but live on small parcels of land (the Netherlands is a one of the most densely populated countries), they have become expert pruners. They never use the good old American start-your-engines wackers! They prune by hand, figuring out what they want the tree/plant to look like and pruning so that the growth goes in the preferred direction. 

Would you ever dream that our just-pruned weeping elm would even survive this major pruning, much less grow and thrive? It is now 13 years old and receives this haircut yearly.

Look at the downspout- the big hail storm did that!

Now watch it grow!

April 29th

May 4th

May 27th

This photo is not from my own tree. I have searched my computer and can't locate the photo! I'll photograph our tree again in full growth to update this post. Our elm will look like this, but more narrow, as its space to live in is only five feet wide.

Thank you to Cindy from My Romantic Home for inviting us in for Show and Tell Friday.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What's in a screen?

It all began with an estate sale. I was in a lovely, older section of town, right on the Lake Erie shore, and was excited just to be in one of the gorgeous mansions. I continued to tour the house, ending up in the fourth floor attic, when I spotted these old panels. They were part of a school play set. The panels contained all of my favorite colors, I loved the scene and I knew I was sunk when I saw them! Needless to say, they have traveled with me for the past 20 years!

Here is the entire screen of three panels. They are made of felt and are very fragile. Somehow, they've made it through 3 children and four dogs!

I usually show it like this, as only 2 panels fit at once.

I have always loved screens, not only as room dividers, but as design elements. 
Here are screens, some antique and some new, that have been embellished with gilding. Either for the background or as part of the actual design, gold and silver leaf add their own special beauty.

Photo by Gordon Beall in Country French Decorating

Photo by Gordon Beall in Traditional Home

These screens are created using wallpaper. I love this idea! Lisa, of Hamptontoes, are you listening? With your great wallpaper finds, they would be perfect!

Photo by Stephen Clement in Maisons de Campagne

Essentially French


I think that this "screen", which is actually etched pattern glass, is stunning. Of course, the whole photo is!

And if you are in a funky, Miami state of mind, here is a fun, contemporary screen:


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yummy plaster

If you want to see a Venetian plaster finish done with an excellent technique, here it is. Notice the lack of obvious trowel marks, the beautiful stencil and the tiny star repeated throughout. The plaster was applied by decorative painter Judy Mulligan, working with the talented NYC designer, Marshall Watson.

The Prussian green Venetian plaster, an Italian synthetic plaster containing ground marble dust, was hand-troweled. The small stars throughout and custom, ivory paisley stencil were inspired by the work of the German architect, Karl Freidrich Schinkel. The final coat was a tinted, natural beeswax that was burnished to a marvelous sheen. Not only does this add a protective coat, but it also adds a great depth and patina to the finish.

A slightly better view of the custom stencil.

Would you consider a Venetian plaster finish for your home?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A delicate bloom

This week, our stephanotis vine proudly burst into bloom after a cold and cloudy winter. It is definitely a survivor, as it was only watered when we gave it the leftover water from the dog bowl! 

They smell delicious!

Can you see the vine twirled up the frame and onto the curtain rod? 
There are a total of 10 clusters of blooms like you see here, most of which are behind the etagere, where they receive the full southern light.

I am adding this to My Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday.   Thanks, Cindy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Zinc again...

The charm of a zinc finish has captured me! Or, maybe Greige has channeled my focus onto the beauty of simplicity.

These wall panels with the whitewashed zinc finish- so elegant.

French Country Living

Here, both the niche and sliding doors are created out of zinc, forming a beautifully rough backdrop.

Art et Decoration

Of course, the classic French flower pots of zinc:

French Home

Photo by Francesca Giovanelli

Here are more zinc tables...

A nice garden work table~

The piece de resistance; I love this charming table!

French Home

Monday, May 17, 2010

Zinc: in and out

This is the time of year that I am especially drawn to zinc. It is a natural for the garden.
 The zinc top on wood legs- such character.


 Of  course, the garden planters are classic. Because zinc will get hot in the sun, zinc patina finishes are often used to replicate the zinc patina, as I did here.


I also like zinc finishes inside the home.

Isn't this a fun mirror? It is created with various pieces of weathered zinc.

Nice stove top hood...

You would need a special place for this bookcase!

Zinc resists corrosion and has an ultra low toxicity. Over 80% of available zinc is recycled. **

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Celebrating wisteria

As I leave to spend the morning potting up container gardens, I thought I'd share with you one of nature's most beautiful flowers (at least to me). Wisteria blooms are just happy!

My neighbor sure has the pruning of a wisteria down to perfection. No invasive vines here!

Happy weekend!