By |2014-07-21T12:18:11-04:00June 13, 2012|8 McDowell, Inspiration|

B O R I N G!
Boring, dark, but oh so useful piece! We had received this sideboard as a wedding present and have used it in every apartment and dining room in which we have ever lived. It holds linens, silver, flatware, paper napkins…. you name it, it has been invaluable.
But oh so out of date or boring!

Time to refresh.
And Annie Sloan paints were the perfect choice. I had bought one color, “Provence”, on my first trip out to Mebane and my dealer, The Melville Trading Company.
No, the color just was not right. This piece resides in my husband’s study: dark reds, Oriental rug, lots of books etc. and Provence was too…. what? … clean, is the best word.


Off I went, once again, with my friend Sally (this was her first, much-anticipated visit to a visual, design-lover’s mecca!).
This is the color I had decided to buy: French Linen
and a few ideas from Pinterest:



By |2016-01-03T11:55:11-05:00September 21, 2011|Blogs, Inspiration|

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.

I want to tell you what blogging has meant to me and what it has done for me.
More than anything else it is a community.  I never, ever imagined that there were so many people out there who liked the same kind of things and who were as design and color and detail oriented as I am. We really, truly speak the same language.
I work at home, alone. Many of us do.  Through blogging I have come to feel part of
a large community. I have made so many new and wonderful friends from all over the world. Occasionally I get to meet a new friend, in person, and I have yet to be disappointed. That moment of face to face meeting never fails to exceed my expectations. These are women to whom I feel a very deep connection.I know other bloggers out there who are reading this feel just the same way. We read and comment on each other’s blogs. Then we may take it a step further: we begin a dialogue through email. We become friends.

Along the way we discover we have this shared passion.

I have blogger friends who have helped me […]


By |2011-02-01T21:45:00-05:00February 1, 2011|Inspiration, Paris/French|



A few weeks ago I did a post on linen and the story of how it is produced in France.

Now, to me, this was a very special story and video. I know, not everyone is as into linen as I am! But there are a few of you out there: one of them being my friend Tammi of CoutureWindowFashions blog. We have recently become friends. Tammi introduces herself by saying:

“Having a passion for design and beautiful fabrics led me to the place where I am at today…. Taking my love of couture in clothing and transferring it to draperies has been very fun.”

  Tammi knows fabric! So, when she saw my post and the video she wrote and asked if she could use it for her own post on linen, and antique linen, and a story about her mother-in-law and her love of linen.

Naturally, I said yes. 

Little did I know what a fascinating story it would be!

Please, I urge you to go to Tammi’s blog and read on.


This tablecloth was made by Tammi’s husband’s paternal grandmother. Just amazing.



And the best part is that these linens are being used. That is, after all, why they were made. If you have linens, antique or otherwise, please, do not just […]


By |2014-06-30T20:03:34-04:00January 3, 2011|Color, Inspiration, Shopping|

Some things are so good they need to be repeated!
In July of 2009 I posted this video, “Finding Rhubarb”,  from Maine Cottage. It is one of my favorite videos of and about design and COLOR. I love it; what more can I say? Why? Well, it describes just where the color we see in the products we buy (in this case the fabric and furniture from Maine Cottage) comes from.  Designer Anita Dore says it all so well: that this is not an easy process, as some would say, but takes a lot of patience and a real focus on the “personality” of the color you’re trying to convey. She goes on to describe how she and her team arrived at the color “rhubarb”: through trial and error, through memory, and through patience.

Then, to follow up on color, they produced this video, “Patterns Are Everywhere”.
As Anita says, “It is my job to keep my eyes open”. Well said.
It’s my job also; but it’s also my passion. After all, it’s the details that count! This morning the sky was pink as i took my walk; this afternoon I photographed the peeling bark on our RiverBirch tree. Color and details: […]


By |2010-11-04T22:02:00-04:00November 4, 2010|Color, Flowers, Inspiration|

Not your ordinary florist!

It’s been a gray and rainy day here, so it seems a perfect time to post this story I’ve been working on. In this blog I try to focus on details: and here you will certainly see them a plenty! Each flower, each vase, each setting, and the entire website…all show what the attention to detail can achieve. And of course, the colors are fantastic!

Meredith Waga-Perez began with a career in fashion and segued into flowers with the opening of Belle Fleur. Her floral designs and creations reflect the refined and luxurious style that she and her partner, her mother, have been offering in New York City. Oh the collections! As they say, they are “to die for”….. For me, who doesn’t really go for “arranged” flowers, these have such a sense of style that I find them enticing…

These from their “PURE” collection:


The “PASTEL” collection:


The “JEWEL” collection:

The “CITRUS” collection:


The “SUNSET” collection:


And don’t forget her new line of scented candles!

The packaging alone is a reason to buy these: so clean and sophisticated.




You can shop on line: either for her wonderful candles and scents, or to order flowers.



By |2010-04-22T21:02:00-04:00April 22, 2010|Books, Home Design, Inspiration|

I’m beginning slightly backwards… But eventually you will see it all!

We’re working on the living room in this project. Paint the walls; reupholster one chair; what to do with the mantel?; repaint inside a bookcase. That’s it for now.

I decided to tackle the back/inside of a bookcase today. Here is what it had been:

Bookcase Blue

Blue Bookcase far

1)You’ve seen my paint chip/color story(below)

2)You have also seen my finished living room (where this bookcase rests)

Paint Chips

The bright blue wasn’t quite…. right. I have used the Farrow & Ball “Blazer” red on various walls, but thought I would try something with a little more…umph:

Red Paint 1

Go to Top