Thursday, June 16, 2011

something lovely…spotted at 1stdibs

We all know ceramic gar­den stools have been the rage in recent years, and def­i­nitely with good cause. They fit indoors and out, and stand up to major wear and tear. Now here's some­thing just a lit­tle dif­fer­ent: 1950's set of four Ital­ian terra cotta pump­kin stools. Aren't they lovely for the right patio? Per­fectly sized for seat­ing or add a round glass top for a smart lit­tle end table.

Italian terra cotta pumpkin stools

Ital­ian terra cotta pump­kin stools

Italian terra cotta pumpkin stools

detail of Ital­ian terra cotta pump­kin stool

Spot­ted at 1stdibs.com from dealer L'Antiquaire. Visit them in West­port CT to see more of their unique wares.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

local and lovely — farmington kitchen & garden tour

The 13th Annual Farm­ing­ton Kitchens and Gar­dens Tour hosted by the Friends of the Farm­ing­ton Library was held Sat­ur­day at six pri­vate homes and seven pub­lic gar­dens and muse­ums. The old­est home dates back to 1659 and most were in the Vil­lage, as we refer to the cen­tral, old­est part of Farm­ing­ton CT.
An incred­i­ble vari­ety of both kitchens and gar­dens, from mod­ern to stately to eclec­tic pro­vided a draw for many despite the early rain.

I can't tell you much about the event other than my lit­tle cor­ner of it. We were on the tour for the first time. Imag­ine hoards of gar­den lovers drop­ping in to see your out­door spaces, and then check­ing out your kitchen too. I'm a designer, and I was stressed out ahead of this event!  But, as always, I have a team I can rely on to make things happen!

First, the delight­ful and fun Cyn­thia Dodd from Plantscapes arrived to design and exe­cute stage 1 of "The Plan". For me, hir­ing a designer for the first time was a novel expe­ri­ence. As we dis­cussed choices, I made a con­certed effort not to ask for changes that would com­pro­mise the design — even when I could not visu­al­ize the fin­ished project. I will admit I did hem-and-haw about the foun­tain color, but we laughed through the whole thing and we even­tu­ally com­pro­mised on a color that suits us both. Hav­ing some­one else dress up my home was a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence! I can't imag­ine why every­one doesn't hire a designer!

Some peeks at the garden:

the new fountain

the new foun­tain in the foun­da­tion gar­den — this bed was com­pletely renovated

one of the planters on the front porch

one of the planters on the front porch

love this green planter!

love this green planter!

more greenery beside the front door

more green­ery beside the front door

some new gems in front of the studio

some new gems in front of the studio

the kitchen garden - I can't handle more than 3 tomato plants!

the kitchen gar­den — I can't han­dle more than 3 tomato plants!

these ligularia will spread in the shade behind the studio

these ligu­laria will spread in the shade behind the studio

more new perennials behind the house

more new peren­ni­als behind the house

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new wall planters beside the kitchen doors

new planters complement my panton chairs on the back patio

new planters com­ple­ment my pan­ton chairs on the back patio

Stage 2 of the new gar­dens will bring even more color and energy to our land­scape. And maybe in 3 or 5 years, as the newest plants mature and fill in, we'll be on the tour again.

To add some flo­ral zing to my kitchen, I called on the über-talented Robin Weir of Haworth's Florists. She is amaz­ing! I show up with a vague con­cept ("give me funky"), and a fab­ric sam­ple, she deliv­ers orig­i­nal, ener­getic and all-around fab­u­lous arrange­ments. Here are the three she designed for my kitchen:

in a corner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

in a cor­ner behind my kitchen table, I set this on a chair atop a table for height

on the island, this arrangement garnered many compliments

on the island, this arrange­ment gar­nered many compliments

detail from the arrangement on the kitchen table

detail from the arrange­ment on the kitchen table

A few details from my kitchen — I'm a lousy pho­tog­ra­pher, so can only show snippets!

new pillows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thompson chairs

new pil­lows on my thomas o'brien (swoon) thomp­son chairs

newly reupholstered side chairs

newly reuphol­stered side chairs

my crow foot table in the seating area

my crow foot table in the seat­ing area


tibetan chest from kips bay quickly accessorized from around the house!

tibetan chest from kips bay quickly albeit scant­ily acces­sorized from around the house!

I under­stand from the orga­niz­ers the Farm­ing­ton Kitchen & Gar­den Tour was a suc­cess and hope sig­nif­i­cant funds were raised for the libraries in town. Many thanks to the vol­un­teers who looked after my home!

Tags: , , , , ,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

outdoor living spaces: kips bay and elle décor modern life concept show houses

The out­door spaces at both Kips Bay Dec­o­ra­tor Show House and the Elle Décor Mod­ern Life Con­cept House were sur­pris­ingly fun despite the non-stop rain last week. At Kips Bay, the court­yard yoga area from Greener by Design was a rest­ful retreat.

kips bay courtyard from greener by design

kips bay court­yard from greener by design

The ver­ti­cal walls of let­tuce are delight­ful and delicious!

kips bay courtyard from greener by design

kips bay court­yard from greener by design

This drift­wood sculp­ture is eye-catching.

kips bay courtyard from greener by design

kips bay court­yard from greener by design

The upper ter­race at Kips Bay, by Robert Stilin and Gunn Land­scape Archi­tec­ture LLC was a haven, even in the rain. I espe­cially love the sheep — so amusing!

kips bay patio by robert stilin

kips bay patio by robert stilin

sheep are so amusing! The ter­race areas at the Elle Décor Mod­ern Life Con­cept House were packed with designs for the out­door mod­ernist. The space divider is dra­matic and def­i­nitely dis­cour­ages pigeons from land­ing on it! Design by Amy Kehoe and Todd Nickey.

Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House terrace by Nickey/Kehoe

Elle Décor Mod­ern Life Con­cept House ter­race by Nickey/Kehoe

There was a lot of buzz about the teak wing chair from Restora­tion Hard­ware. Clas­sic style, mod­ern interpretation.

teak wing chair from restoration hardware

teak wing chair from restora­tion hardware

Pops of bright color help to off­set a gloomy day:

terrace by nickey/kehoe

ter­race by nickey/kehoe

I think one mea­sure of the suc­cess of an out­door liv­ing space is how well it works in all kinds of weather. There spaces def­i­nitely deliv­ered high style and visual inter­est under cloudy skies. I imag­ine they shine even brighter in the sun!

Tags: , ,

Comments Off

Friday, March 18, 2011

fabric friday: australian botanicals outdoor collection from mokum

Here is another exam­ple of sus­tain­able design in the world of fab­rics! From Aus­tralian com­pany Mokum, the Aus­tralian Botan­i­cals Out­door col­lec­tion is con­structed entirely from post-industrial waste fibers using an envi­ron­men­tally friendly pro­duc­tion process. These fab­rics are them­selves fully recy­clable and  Cradle-to-Cradle Sil­ver Cer­ti­fied.

Just a few sam­ples shown here, but other excit­ing col­ors are avail­able. The col­lec­tion, includ­ing graphic pat­terns, stripes and coör­di­nat­ing solids, is for indoor and out­door use. What a fun chance to extend your green dec­o­rat­ing phi­los­o­phy to your out­door space!

"firewheel" outdoor fabric from mokum

"firewheel" out­door fab­ric from mokum

"acacia stripe" from mokum

"aca­cia stripe" from mokum

"mimosa" from mokum

"mimosa" from mokum

"hakea" from mokum

"hakea" from mokum

As clients become more open to embrac­ing sus­tain­able design alter­na­tives, it helps when those alter­na­tives are aes­thet­i­cally appeal­ing even with­out their green story. Bravo to Mokum for this lovely collection!

Tags: , , , ,

Comments Off