Monday, October 20, 2014

Dumbarton Oaks

My daughter and I traveled to Washington, DC last weekend, partly for business but mostly for pleasure. We had beautiful weather, stopped into all my old haunts in Georgetown, saw friends, ate well and laughed a lot. It was a perfect escape. Following are a few photos from the enchanted garden at Dumbarton Oaks.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Seize The Week

Most people probably think of Spring as a time of rebirth, but personally fall has always felt like the season for beginning again and starting new projects. This morning the cold weather I've been eagerly anticipating has finally arrived and I am ready to put plans into action.

A few things have been percolating here and the first to go live is that Henhurst has recently opened an Etsy shop. Please click over and have a look.

Interestingly enough, fall is my busiest time for decorating work; most new clients reach out to me in September and October. Maybe it is the climate here that inspires that desire; after all, nature herself is redecorating as well.

Wishing everyone a productive week ahead.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Everything’s Bigger in Russia

I am finally getting around to selecting prints for a photo album of our summer travels. (Does anyone else still do this or are you strictly digital?) While I store photos online I don't ever revisit them 'in the cloud' but I frequently return to the albums I began compiling after getting married. The last 19 years have filled a collection of 13 of them (all identical, navy leather from T. Anthony in New York) and they occupy an entire shelf on our family room bookcase. Here are a few shots (culled from about 200) of our visit to St. Petersburg where the palaces, museums and cathedrals were grand on a scale unlike anything else I have ever seen.

Catherine's Palace at Tsarskoe Selo

The enormous tiled stoves appear in nearly every room.

The recreated 'Amber Room.' While the Nazis did not actually make it into the city of St. Petersburg during World War II they did occupy and largely destroy both Catherine's Palace and Peterhof Palace which lie outside the city center. Both have been extensively restored, this room at a cost of several million dollars. Here is an interesting New York Times article on the subject.

The Winter Palace and The Hermitage

The 'Malachite Room'

Church of Our Savior on Blood, built on the site where Tsar Alexander I was assassinated.

The interior is entirely decorated with mosaics.

Peterhof Palace (sadly no interior photography permitted.)

The fountains were designed to rival Versailles.

The Gulf of Finland

St. Issac's Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city.

Malachite and lapis lazuli were used extensively in the interior.

The exterior of the dome of St. Issac's is plated with pure gold; during WWII it was painted over in grey to avoid attracting attention from enemy planes. Do you see the dove suspended in the center?

I have wanted to visit St. Petersburg since reading Robert Massie's biography of Catherine the Great (an excellent book) a few years ago and am very grateful for the opportunity to have made this once-in-a-lifetime trip to be sure.