Monday, May 19, 2014

Words To Decorate By

"The objects we surround ourselves with form our private language. When we put these into play with personal memories, mythologies, and points of view, we express a rich personal world." - Susan Ferrier in Art of the House.

I have long been a fan of Susan Ferrier's interiors and Bobby McAlpine's architecture, and eagerly anticipated their collaboration in the recently published Art of the House. I was not disappointed. I spent the weekend pouring over this inspiring book. Exquisitely bound, the book is a work of art in itself, and is loaded with rich images and meaningful text; it was time well spent.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Dining Room Update

Back in February when I wrote about the restyled living room at Church Street I mentioned that I would follow up with the consecutive revamping of the dining room. It's hard to believe it has taken me two months but after a hectic winter life has at last settled down here and I was finally able to put this post together.

The main event was the purchase of this fabulous chest from friend and fellow blogger Loi Thai whose Bethesda, Maryland shop, Tone on Tone, is nirvana for those of us who love antique Swedish furniture. Its arrival is what sparked the repainting and redecorating of the room.

I painted eight different samples on the wall and in the end settled on Benjamin Moore's 'Classic Grey', no doubt influenced by my visit to Loi's beautiful home two years ago (read about it here.) The curtain hardware is painted the same color as the wall but in a semi-gloss finish.

Accessories at Church Street rotate according to whim and the seasons; right now these marble finials from a favorite shop in Rhode Island, Cottage & Garden, and a match striker picked up on our mid-winter trip to Charlottesville at a serendipitous find, Roxy Daisy, are on display.

As I mentioned in the living room post, I salvaged the Scalamdre trim when I had that room's curtains redone. It is a favorite, in a sadly discontinued color-way, and I reused on the dining room's new curtains. (And Mr. H still failing to see how thrifty I am!?!) The silver linen, Stone Harbor, is from Kravet.

The dining room chairs were reupholstered with a new treatment that I am loving right now - humble upholstery tacks as the trim detail. The flax fabric, Middleton Linen, is from F. Schumacher.

These paintings, by Vermont artist Glenn Suokko, have moved around the house once or twice but are perfect here in feeling and tone, and the frames satisfy my penchant for having a little gilt in every room.

By now you know that I favor neutral interiors and accessorize with color in small doses, often in the form of flowers, and this room is the perfect palette for that. I have found I can introduce any color into it and it looks fabulous. Right now I am taking advantage of the varied selection of gorgeous tulips that are readily available.

I can't get over how beautiful these are and am a little obsessed with this shade of pinkish purple right now - in a nubby linen or cotton velvet I can see it as some pillows for the living room or in a raw silk upholstering a pair of petite gilt side chairs that I have in storage. We just need to keep that between ourselves because I am supposed to be 'good' now.

I believe staying busy is the key to staying out of trouble so I have signed up for two classes at our local arts center. One night a week I am learning how to use a condensed version of Photoshop, 'Photoshop Elements' and on weekends I'm studying digital photography so I can finally take advantage of all the great features on my 'big' camera. I'll let you know how that works out for me.