Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Whites

Though summer officially begins June 21st, I’m already more relaxed, a bit lazier, and feeling that sunny vibe. The days are longer. Weekend traffic is a breeze. Spring garden chores are all completed. Time to sit back, and enjoy the abundant blooms of hydrangeas, lilies, and daisies!   

For me, summer is all about simplifying. That's why I enjoy using carefree "whites" in our home and garden. Meals, whether inside or outside, are served on unfussy whiteware dishes. I've planted long blooming white flowering annuals and perennials for the entire season. These prolific bloomers make wonderful fresh cut flowers. And, I love my summer wardrobe of white linens and cotton tee shirts, without ironing :-)
Knowing how much I love white, my designer friend, Phyllis, brought me this charming Simon Pearce bud vase. I've filled it with Veronicas, Euphorbias and Lamiums from the garden. Check out Phyllis' elegant blog: Henhurst.
I gathered up summery white corals and shells for the dining table.
A lazy Sunday!
Annabelle hydrangeas are so healthy and abundant this year.
The scent of lilies in the white border is divine (and intoxicating at times).
Euphorbia "Diamond Frost" becomes this big, frothy cloud by mid summer.
This oleander tree will bloom repeatedly.
"Cheddar Charm" peonies from a week ago.
At my shop, I've re-styled this vignette to welcome summer.
A pair of Swedish armchairs with their original chalky, white paint.
Enjoying vanilla frozen yogurt after a lazy Sunday. Yum! :-)

66 comments:

  1. Love the restyle in the shop it looks very smart and desirable.

    The flowers in that bud vase are perfect, I'm making a note to grow Lamium that leaf is gorgeous.

    Happy unofficial summer Loi.

    Paul

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  2. Hi Loi, love the way you styled the open shelving, and what a great idea to place those small framed prints there, adds so much interest!

    Well, it's nearly winter here, but I always find something to enjoy during every season!

    A beautiful post, Loi, have a great week!

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  3. Beautiful Loi! Love the lazy Sunday shot....linen and a weekend paper w/coffee = perfection in my book.

    Your shelving and white pieces are just incredible. If we can ever get the sink installed in the kitchen I can put my white things back out :)

    Your posts just get better and better!

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  4. What a beautiful post Loi - who would have though just white could be so lovely. It is both relaxing and soothing. Great styling. My lilies are not out yet, yours are superb.

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  5. Loi - again, amazing photos! Love all of them. My favorite is your white hydrangeas and your re-arranged ironstone at the store :)

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  6. This is a very welcome and beautiful summery post on this very March-like day in Boston. I love your centerpiece of shells and coral and your gardens have left me quite envious.

    I think it's really smart how you used the grid of framed herbariums to establish some order to the open shelving. Really lovely.

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  7. Too bad you can't bottle the sense of tranquility and peace that one feels after a "visit" to your home and shop. I love the strong presence of white against the dramatic green in your garden and your "tone on tone" in the shop makes me want to paint out my kitchen! Ah! This month though, I am starting the process of "tonifying";) our main living/dining/foyer by painting out a creamy white. Beautiful blog as usual Toi, thanks! B

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  8. HI Loi - I always so enjoy pictures from your garden and home! You are a bit ahead of me as my lillies and Annabelle Hydragneas have yet to bloom. Love the photos from your shop. I hope to make it there some day.

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  9. There is nothing I love more than white! And you have perfectly captured summer, my friend. xo, Phyllis

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  10. Did I say Toi?! Ugh! Most humble apologies my friend, LOI :) Just call me Barb sometime, then we will be even;)

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  11. Loi, I can't believe how beautiful your site is. I'm amazed with each new post. These pictures are so magazine worthy.
    Love the 'Lazy Sunday vignette' Genius.
    And your styling of the open shelves.......much to be copied there, my friend.
    Perfect.......right down to the frozen yogurt cone.

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  12. Loi-
    I just love you sense of design, and just love your home. The flowers are gorgeous, the lilies are just perfect, and the cheddar peonies are so beautiful.
    Now I want an ice-cream cone!
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.
    Happy Monday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  13. Hi Loi,

    Such fresh and inviting pictures; everything denotes summer! These summer white scenes of serenity and softness, both in the house and the garden are enough to quietly convert any colour devotee, like me! It's exactly like you said, once the hard work is done, you can sit back and indulge your senses, and deservedly so! Enjoy...

    Have a great week!

    Poppy

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  14. Lovely pictures, I love how you seem to get everything just right! Beautiful Annabelles, wish I could grow them here in the South! Styling on the shelves is so balanced, a lot of items but still peaceful. Enjoy summer!

    Have a nice day!

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  15. I too am drawn to white for the Summer months. I wish my flowers were as far along as yours...mine are about 10 days behind yours from the look of things!
    I love the bud vase you received as a gift! So thoughtful of Phyllis!
    The store display is splendid! I love a good display and you are quite the master!
    Have a wonderful week and I hope you find many moments to enjoy the simple things!
    Donna

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  16. It's so unusual and great to have a design blog that shows their own home where everything is just perfect! Thank you for these wonderful shots, and thanks for stopping by.
    Sharon

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  17. Great post, Loi. You've inspired me to get cracking with my summer accents. I have a summer slipcover that's still in the wrapper, my vegetable garden still has an unweeded bed, and the raspberry patch is rife with weeds. While being this behind, seeing your whites and almost smelling your lilies is the impetus I need.
    Except it's raining here, so think I'll check out Pinterest:-}
    b

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  18. lovely post my friend. It does look so carefree and summer-y. I love it. I hope to experience your garden in real time soon. It looks so refreshing with all the white. Have a c o o l week!
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  19. Loi, I LOVE LOVE LOVE every photo here! I'm in St. Louis this week where the heat & humidity are already sweltering. Your post is like a breeze of wonderfully cool air! I'll be along shortly to catch up on your posts that I've missed. The titles and photos are luring me in!

    Happy Summer!!

    Keri

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  20. I have always adored white and you do it beautifully Loi! I wear a lot of white in summer too. Love that oleander and the peonies. As I always say, we are so far behind - I have snowdrops (white) in my house this week! I think they likely bloomed in DC back in March...but I am appreciating them. Lovely photos as always! :)

    xox Terri

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  21. I love color but in the summer I add more white to my wardrobe and often feel like throwing white sheets over all of my furniture. In a perfect world I would have summer slipcovers like my granny did.
    I can't wait to visit your store, summer will be the perfect time.

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  22. White in the garden is my favorite. While I adore color, white is so elegant and crisp. All of these photos are beyond beautiful, and the yogurt looks good, too!

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  23. The frozen yogurt photo is the BEST!! Love the linen shirt hanging over the chair!! Enjoy the week, Loi!! Ciao. K

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  24. .....c'è un'atmosfera di raffina bellezza...una vera poesia!
    Anch'io adoro il bianco!
    Ciao caro Loi e serena giornata:)
    Luci@

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  25. Hi Loi,
    I could look at your photos all day! You have such a lovely way of composing a post, always inspiring!
    The shirt on the chair gave me an instant feeling of casual summer days.
    cheers,
    Cynthia

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  26. Beautiful! Wow- your garden is thick with blooms! Spectacular! What arrangements you'll enjoy. I love your shop vignette!! :) Wonderful chairs. Pretty arrangement in your new lovely vase. Thanks for this brilliant summer inspiration Loi!! Off to try the shells.
    take care,
    Robin

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    Replies
    1. I love your garden and yard and could look at them all day! Your shop reorganization is wonderful and I'm sure welcoming to your clients. I like your style and how you enjoy the moment.

      XX
      Debra~

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  28. Your so right Loi! Every season has its purpose. Summer is to relax and catch your breath before the next season. I am in love with your white chairs and how much wood is showing through. They gave me an idea for my chairs that I just painted with Annie Sloan paint. I need to sand more!

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  29. Dear Loi,
    I can't take my eyes of all of your beautiful blogposts! I am always so pleased to see you shared a new post! I can't wait to read and to see it! As this one of today! Just gorgeous! You have a great style and sense for beauty and elegance! Love your garden with the hydrangea annabelles,... Love your shop vignette, love the white shirt,....
    Thank you for another fabulous post Loi!
    xx
    Greet
    PS Oh yes I have all Walda's books! They are so inspirational isn't it! And I love to visit her home at the open days!

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  30. Loi, I couldn't agree more. I think the color white intensifies the blueness of the sky and water, and the greenness of leaves and shrubbery more than any other color. It allows us to experience summer without getting in the way.
    Hugs to you!

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  31. Loi,

    Your home are gardens are beautiful! Love the Simon Pearce vase, the vignette display, and the Swedish chairs - gorgeous! The whites indoors and out, along with summer linen are perfect for the relaxed days of summer. Now I'm craving soft serve frozen yogurt :)

    Enjoy the start to a new week!

    leslie

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  32. Oh Loi those Hydrangeas are magnificent! What are the trees in the background? Your garden is so beautiful right now. I love the way you styled the shelves as well...wonderful post as always!!

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    1. Cindy, those are pleached European Hornbeam trees. We clip them twice a year.

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  33. Your Annabelle's are gorgeous. I miss the ones I left behind in NY. I also love a white garden enhanced with beautiful antique and vintage urns and sundials such as you have done so wonderfully. White dishes, white linen and lots of ironstone always add a glow to a home; the vignette in your shop is sheer perfection.
    My favorite photo is A Lazy Sunday. Eminently framable.
    Best...Victoria

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  34. Hi Loi - Your garden is as beautiful as ever! The shells on your dining table are so pretty--you inspired me to display my shells from Florida the same way (complete with a large white coral in the middle of the platter!). Thanks for the inspiration.
    Deborah

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  35. Another gorgeous post by Loi!

    The crisp white peonies look great against the dark green foliage. Does the oleander stay out all winter? Is it potted or in ground? I could never have that here! We had it one year on the patio and I could not fit it in the house in the fall so gave it to a lady with a greenhouse. Made me so sad to do that!

    I am a linen fan too, wear it all summer, difficult to wear anything else once it gets hot. Love the image of the shirt on the kitchen stool.

    Did you cut bouquets from your lovely Annabelle hydrangea? Also the lilies and euphorbia look perfect. Love, love, love your garden!

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    1. Oh yes, we drag that oleander inside before the first frost. Can't stay outside during the DC winter. One day, it will get too big.....

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  36. Loi,
    Your white garden is lovely. Phyllis has some excellent photos of your garden in her latest post. I am getting better idea of how the garden has been laid out. It is simple and elegant, as is your house and shop.

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  37. There's nothing like white to me! Anywhere, anytime! I love it in the home and I especially love it in the garden! It's what I decided to plant in my window boxes and planters this summer! I love your vase too! I collect Simon Pearce but I've never seen a white piece! How fun! Mine are all just glass! Hope you're having a great week!
    Carolyn

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  38. Your house and your store look divine!

    I love your new Summer vignette includes some of my favorite things... ironstone and herbarium.
    I hope we can visit soon... maybe we can go out for some frozen yogurt!

    xo
    Brooke

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    Replies
    1. I hope you all come back for a visit! We'll take Leila out for cupcakes :-)

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  39. It has been a busy week. I am behind on my blogging. What joy to see such serene interiors. Equally matched in perfection by your glorious garden. The pair of Swedish armchairs are just heaven, to say nothing of the ironstone china. Perfect.

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  40. Loi, I'm relaxing just looking at your photos - they're amazing! You've just captured all that's good about Summer in your post. Lazy days in the garden enjoying the scents - bliss! Those peonies are stunning, I've never seen those before, I had 'Bowl of Beauty' a pink version with 'chedder' in the middle in my last garden which I loved. Also, love all the other whites, especially your dining room chairs and the floor - I defo have to do that to my floor. Also, taking notes on your shop displays:) They are so elegant with the ironstone and botanicals.

    Sharon
    xxxx

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  41. Hi Loi,
    As always your post features plants that send me straight to my gardening books to check them out.
    As you know, I LOVE a white garden, not always with success! Happy to admire your wonderful garden from afar.
    Hope you have a lovely week.
    Lizx

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  42. Loving the white. I'm a white linen shirt wearer too....I have one on today. Beautiful vignette!

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  43. Ahhhhhh...your images are a breath of fresh Summer air to take me away from the endless British rain! Just recovering from a long and wonderful weekend of Jubilee celebrations, so your calming white tones are a relaxing tonic from the red, white and blue regalia that have been filling my senses for the last week or so. As usual, your garden is utter perfection - as are your home and shop. I fear that if you ever visit us in England that you will encounter an endless sea of Tone on Tone clones as we all seek to capture that Loi magic in our gardens and homes - perhaps you can call us your UK Loi-bots!!!
    Much love,
    Paula xxx

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    1. Hi Paula-bot: I heard you had a house full! Hope you've recovered ;-)

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  44. Love all the fresh, crisp white. Makes me want to bring white flowers into my house. Oh, and now I also have a craving for a soft serve!

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  45. you are quite the master merchandiser...love that vignette of botanical prints & white ceramics, on to pinning this! :)

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  46. You are one of the people I would really like to meet because your blog is so inspiring

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  47. Your home and garden are gorgeous! Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words. I am so glad you did because now I can follow your beautiful blog!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Heather

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  48. Hi Loi,
    Thanks for sharing photos of your beautiful home and garden. I love white gardens. It takes so much restraint to keep a garden in one color scheme. I could never do it; I love pink too much, but I love the look of a white garden. And yours is a stunner!!!
    Jennifer

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  49. Just found your blog via An Urban Cottage. ♥ your white garden!
    Have you ever planted moonflowers?
    I have some coming up now; they are so fragrant- one of my fave annuals.
    Summer is simply the BEST season :)

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  50. A wonderful post Loi! I love your whites and the fabulous peonies!
    You have such excellent taste!

    Anita's Parisian Party
    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  51. Lou,

    As always a beautiful, serene post. I love your garden, was it planted when you moved into the house or did you design and plant it yourself. Is it a moon garden? I love it all.

    Crisp linen and ice cream...another favorite.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Elizabeth

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  52. Loi,

    Everything is summer ready...what will you do with all your free time? I know have more vanilla yogurt..lol Just love all the white it is a true joy to see how blessed one can be when we use talents and attention in the garden. Thanks for your comments on my blog and following me on Pinterest..Virtual hugs!

    Bette

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  53. Loi, so orry my iPad continually corrects your name to Lou. Have a great weekend, Elizabeth

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    1. No worries, Elizabeth. Happens to me, too. Thank you, though. Loi aka Lou :-)

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  54. Well...yes...white is always so right...anytime of the year. I know when I visit here...there will be no purple walls and my blood pressure will go down...soothing! Raining here in Atlanta and everything is looking so green. Hope Sunday treats you right!

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  55. Hope you're having another frozen yogurt on this hot DC day! Have a great relaxing Sunday. Your comments crack me up..Loi-bots in the UK! You're gaining quite a following!
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  56. Loi, happy relaxing Sunday.

    It is toasty here in Virginia, I think it is only 89 though.

    I have been thinking of soft serve ice cream since I saw your photo, so today I am making ice cream. I will let you know how it turns out.

    Have a beautiful afternoon, stay cool.

    Elizabeth

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  57. Hi Loi! I just stumbled on your blog via pinterest and it's beautiful!!! I wonder if you would mind sharing the paint color on your shelves and walls in the picture with the open shelves + ironstone + botanicals? It seems such a pretty grayish off white, I'd love to know what it is. Thanks so much! So happy to have discovered your blog!!
    Tessa

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  58. You can grow peonies in DC? I have longed for them since I left California. Apparently, I need to do more research on them for zone 6. I am dying over your garden. This is so impressive!!

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  59. You gotta love the summer. Lots of hot weather, ice cream and time in the yard. Love it.

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Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi