Happy New Year…

Well, it has certainly been awhile since my last post…I do not have an excuse except for life has been in the way.

calendar

I am returning though as I have missed posting and thinking through details on my blog.

The above image makes me happy, every morning.  My antique desk calendar sits on my kitchen shelves, and today I enjoyed scrolling it all the way back to start a new year. It is my little bit of happiness, and this year I am going to remember to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Here’s to all the good things to come this year!

Cheers,  Missy

it’s summer…

I am shocked and elated that it is summer! I knew it was coming but forgot how sweet it is…in the first few days everyone has calmed down and enjoyed the season.  The kids are relaxed and I barely have a pulse.  As we slow down for a minute, I have started thinking about a few things around my home, in particular, things outdoors.

First up is a classic, timeless design….the Jeep Wagoneer.  Now, I drive an ordinary car SUV and don’t think too much about it until one day I spotted a Jeep Wagoneer.  How much FUN would this car be! I am hooked but my husband reminds me it would make a great second car, in other words a maintenance nightmare.

Aerin Lauder makes this one look fantastic.

Love all the tartan plaids and wicker baskets…picturesque.

The navy one would be my choice with tan leather seats…circa 1988

Besides my car, my thoughts focus on our vegetable garden or I might say tomato garden. We mainly plant tomatoes with a few peppers plants, eggplants, and herbs.

We planted six varieties of tomatoes this year ranging from heirloom to small purply cherry tomatoes.  This is our fourth year to order all our plants from here and have had great success from this small business.

Here are our remaining tomatoes from last year that we went out and picked right before the first frost in November.

 We are hoping for similar success this year.
How are the first few days of your summer?  I will be back with some photos of recent projects…I apologize for the long delay.
Cheers, Missy

antiques…

Traveling has been the name of the game around here lately.  It feels like all I have been doing is packing, unpacking and laundry.  It’s hard to believe it has been over three weeks since I went to the Nashville Antique and Garden Show.

Upon arrival to the show I went straight to Miles Redd’s talk.  His charismatic personality filled the room as he discussed his homes over the years and what influences him.  He tied together art, fashion, and design, and showed us the push and pull between all three industries.  Miles Redd focused on his desire to achieve the perfect mix of eras in his design, the balance between ancient and modern.  The result is this wonderful tension in his interiors that captures what he titled “L’Art de Vie.”

For example, he showed this image of his sister’s apartment and compared how closely the curtain panels resemble Oscar de la Renta’s gowns.

Here is another view showing the whole room.

Miles Redd has worked closely with Gil Schafer, a prominent architect, who is more of a traditionalist than Miles.  Their collaborations were my favorite images shown at the lecture.  In particular, Gil’s own living room in New York.

Gil’s living room is a long, narrow room with the entrance directly across from the fireplace.  Miles did an excellent job determining the functionality of this space.

He turned the fireplace into an accessory of the room instead of it being the focal point.  He painted it black so it would be understated.

Here is the other half of the room, which has a comfortable seating area.  Notice how the chair back is to the fireplace (the stool in the bottom right corner is the one in the previous photograph).

One last view showing the transition to the hallway.

Miles Redd was a joy to hear speak, and I look forward to following him in his career.

Cheers, Missy

a few thoughts…

This week has passed by so quickly and this morning I am taking a quick breather and taking some time to drink not one but two cups of coffee.  As I make my to do list, here are some random things that caught my attention this week…

I am LOVING Jcrew’s Spring lookbook that I received yesterday.  Their color combinations are always inspiring and feel fresh and bright.  Here are a few images that caught my eye.

Love the yellow pants…I have a yellow skirt I am quite found of and find myself wanting to wear it all the time.

Love this combination.  At first it was the bag with the dress, but the color choice for the shoes completes the look.

This week I was also thrilled to hear Domino doing a mini-series…out April 17th!

I am off to Nashville today to see my brother and his family and head to the Nashville Antique and Garden show. I am also going to go hear Miles Redd speak…do you need a reminder of his talent?  Here is one you know…

Cheers, Missy

oh my, downton abbey…

After several recommendations from friends we finally decided to watch Downton Abbey.  As expected, we are completely hooked and have already watched all of Season One. Now we are trying to catch up on Season Two by this Sunday when episode six airs at 8pm on PBS.

The show, written by Julian Fellowes, best known for his Oscar winning “Godsford Park,” is set at the beginning of the 20th century and goes through the first World War.  The setting is an estate, Downton Abbey, and the plot revolves around the drama of the family and their staff.  Specifically, lots of romance drama coupled with the challenges of running a home with a large staff for a dignified family.

The episodes are fantastic, drama on both sides, upstairs with the family and downstairs with the service.  However, the real gem of the show is Maggie Smith, the Lordship’s mother better known as Violet Crawley.  Her one liners are hysterical and very poignant.  Violet Crawley’s character reveals the culture and thoughts of English society in the early 20th century.

The estate is gargantuan; Downton Abbey is actually Highclere Castle that has been occupied by a single family, the Carnavons, since 1679.  I would love to walk around the grounds, as the setting is picturesque.  This shot of Lady Mary is beautiful and reveals the idyllic English countryside.

The interior is relevant to the times and full of rich colors and lavish furniture.  The details of the millwork and size of the rooms are unmistakably British nobility.

However, while the upstairs is extravagant, I am most intrigued by the servant’s quarters.

One of the coolest aspect’s of the staff dining area are the bells.  Sure I would rather be the one ringing the bell for service from my lush bedroom, but the actual row of bells all lined up is great looking.  If you don’t believe me…here is a close up.

Do you agree…I love them.

The kitchen is also a place that grabs my attention.  The long work table down the center of the kitchen and the lack of upper cabinets with open shelving are appealing even today.  All the beautiful copper pots and stoneware are not bad either.

The cook’s desk complete with a perpetual calendar is a perfect spot to finish up her daily tasks.  I recently bought a perpetual calendar just like the one on the desk for my kitchen.

The last spot that I enjoyed are all the rustic georgian chests in the servant’s bedroom.  You know my fascination with the Georgian chest from this post, so I do not need to restate but love all the treasures from this era in history.

Do you watch Downton Abbey?  What appeals to you?

Cheers, Missy

sidetracked…

Like everyone else, I love to get on Pinterest to think through an idea or look for inspiration.  I am always sidetracked by things I was not even searching for at that moment.  My main distractions are recipes and things on my to do list.  However, this week…this airstream stopped me in my tracks.

How fun would this be…I am now ready to drive out West to see the Grand Canyon.

An ideal situation…

Love the snippet of wallpaper…

A ghost chair is highly appropriate as it disappears in this tiny space.

If you are traveling by camper…what a way to travel!

Thank you Pinterest for the fun distraction and to Simply Seleta for posting these fabulous images.

Cheers, Missy

artfully arranged…

Vignettes in design are an artfully arranged space that enhances the room.  A great vignette is achieved through various shapes and textures all in perfect proportion to one another.  In fact, the more textures the better.  On Pinterest, I have been running into some fantastic vignettes, some new to me and some classic ones published years ago.

Here are some of my favorites:

The combination of the wicker baskets, the iron lantern, the different grains of wood, the green plants, and the glass terrariums all give this nook an interesting dimension.  It remains a casual space yet inviting.

Phebe Howard keeps this space cozy with a sophisticated flair.

The books placed on the table and underneath on the stools tie the space together.  The oversized lamps give the vignette a unique style.

The modernity of the gem lamp and extra tall stack of books artfully plays off the religious painting in the background.  The mirror unites the space, and it is a perfect choice for this spot.  A painting or set of prints would not have the same effect here.

Here is another mirror that unites a variety of objects.  I love the stools tucked under the table and the bust perfectly placed on the table.

Here is another table with a single stool tucked underneath containing a stack of books.  The teal color of the stool is a great choice to balance the bright painting.

Vignettes do not have to be complicated, this simple urn placed on a bar table adds the right height and dimension to give this space the interest needed.

Lastly, this entrance is beautifully styled.  Thanks to the photographer’s perspective the room appears as a perfect vignette.  Your eye glides across the space as all the interesting objects and textures holds your attention.

Vignettes are great fun to form as you are able to pull so many unique objects together.  Send me some links to some of your favorites….

Cheers, Missy

*All images from my Pinterest page

the rolling ladder…

Since I mentioned the library ladder in my last post, let’s expand on the topic.  When most people think of library ladders, they envision a space similar to the Trinity Library in Dublin, Ireland.  Most people think library ladders can only be in a vast space with really high or vaulted ceilings.  I am here to encourage you that ladders look great in a variety of spaces, specifically kitchens.

Library ladders add dimension to your space, and they are not only functional but also have perfect proportions.

This library ladders gives a strong vertical presence giving weight to the corner of the living room.  Bookcases are the obvious choice for the library ladder, but the high upper cabinets in the kitchen or butler’s pantry is a close contender for placement.

The ladder in this kitchen adds to the warm patina of the wood and simply gives the space more charm.  The hardware combined with the slight bend in the ladder creates a detailed yet understated space.  The vertical nature of the ladder and the french doors makes you focus on the height of the ceiling rather than the narrow galley space.  This space is a great product of form and function.

Similar to the previous photo, this kitchen has glass front cabinets and a narrow galley.  However, the ladder creates a cool silhouette as it pops against the white cabinets and walls.

The custom ladders come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  This ladder is thinner and narrows at the top which gives it a more sculptural quality.

Warmth is a word I use over and over when discussing a room.  With all the different materials used in this kitchen, the wood elements of the library ladder, the island countertop and the hardwood floors bring the warmth needed to this large kitchen.

Remember a ladder can just be a ladder, ordinary and simple in construction.  When you add a ladder to your interior it needs a purpose.  While the open shelving in this kitchen is filled with fantastic service pieces, the ladder reminds me of a step stool.  The ladder does not have the hardware attached to it which defeats the purpose.  This space reveals that details make the difference.

What do you think, add a rolling ladder to your space or just grab a step stool from the closet?

Cheers, Missy

past or present…

I have been absorbed in a book this week in my free time forgoing my blog for “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain.  The book unfolds a love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley which is set in the Jazz Age in Paris.  It captures the fast-living lifestyle and includes all the literary greats of the time…the best part though is the story’s narrator is Hadley and not Hemingway.  I highly recommend the book.

As I stayed up late reading in bed trying to carefully balance my iphone to serve as my reading light on my hardback copy of my book, I began thinking about how a digital reader might be easier.  While this statement hurts to admit out loud, I feel like I am one of the last to accept the shift in the publishing world.  While the digital devices have tried to capture the experience of turning a page or writing in the margin, is it really the same? I am tactile person and turning a page and holding the book makes a difference to me.  I can certainly change and accept new technology but why change when you have a good thing going?

My interiors folder is always full of images that includes bookcases stuffed with books.  Bookcases add depth and warmth to a room and these images remind me tonight that books are such a great thing…not that I really needed reminding.

This book case in Minnie Mortimer’s home is perfectly styled with vintage books.

The bookcase serves as the main focus and anchors this living room, and I love the extra piles of books in front on the table and stools.

This desk area is an ideal space for me to work, and the only thing missing is the library ladder.  A library ladder might be at the top of my list of things I desire…

Charlotte Moss did not forget the library ladder in her incredible office.

So many rooms in your home can serve as a spot for a bookcase.

The dining room turned library.

The hallway becoming a reading nook.

The bedroom….

And of course a classic library.

Lastly, a Bobby McAlpine home in Montgomery (same home as my first post on the kitchen) shows off a design savvy one in the den.

Tell me, digital or paper?

Cheers, Missy

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