Friday, October 26, 2012

Our Fall Camellias and Many Thanks!

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S. are expecting a hybrid superstorm that could bring torrential rain and extremely high winds early next week. I hope the storm passes quickly with minimal impact.
On a positive note, our Sasanqua camellias are in full bloom. More on the camellias below.

First I want to thank two very talented artists with beautiful blogs. This week I received a lovely box of handmade tea lights / candles from the Green Candle Company courtesy of a giveaway from Patricia of PVE Design. This is my very first giveaway win so I'm delighted :)
 The box arrived wrapped in a fabulous faux bois custom printed paper from PVE Design. So pretty I'm reluctant to open it. I've been admiring it all week on my desk.
In addition, many thanks to Jennifer from In the Studio for the very beautiful dried white tallow berries in our living room. Knowing how much I admired her tallow berries, Jennifer surprised me with a couple bouquets tied in a velvet ribbon.
 I placed the dried berries on an English sheffield salver in our living room.
Thank you to Jennifer and Patricia!
Now here are photos of our fall blooming Sasanquas at their peak. I fear they will look quite different come next week. Fingers crossed.
 The camellia hedge is approx. 35 feet long. As this is a southern evergreen shrub, we've sheltered it on three sides: hornbeam trees, fence and courtyard wall. Below is the hedge in full bloom now.
 A wonderful dark green backdrop for the alliums in early spring (above) and Annabelle hydrangeas in summer (below).
 A hint of autumnal color in the courtyard garden. I know most of these foliage will be gone next week.
 After these photos, we put all the pots and statuary away for protection. They won't come out until next spring.
 One last look at the white border garden where our Japanese Honorine Jobert anemones are still blooming strong. To read more about this garden, go here.
Have a great weekend and, please take care!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Musical Chairs in Our Dining Room

Recently a friend expressed interest in a piece of furniture at our house. I jokingly said: catch me during a slow month and it might just be yours :) Actually, that’s not entirely out of the question. 

I know many of you enjoy decorating, redecorating and / or are members of the design trade. You can relate here as we’ve all sold furniture out of our homes to friends and clients. But being shop keepers, this kind of stuff happens pretty regularly for us. For example, we’ve had two dining tables and four sets of chairs in the last five years. Not because we're picky….just the nature of the biz.

Some comments I've received from household members: 

~ What did you sell now? 
~ But we have guests this weekend. What are we going to sit on? Me: let's take them out :)
~ Wait, you just had those chairs reupholstered!

Come with me down memory lane . . .
 Dining room in our former home - above photo by Erik Johnson, courtesy Traditional Home.
 Sold the set of 6 Swedish Rococo style chairs.
 Goodbye Rococo chairs. Hello Gustavian chairs!
 Sold Gustavian chairs and English pedestal table. Ate in kitchen of former home on Ikea wicker chairs (comfy). The round table under the linen cloth is also from Ikea.
A different table along with 6 Swedish armchairs for the current house. Pardon the tattered upholstery. Above photo by Gordon Beall, courtesy of Washington Post.
 Tattered armchairs replaced by set of 12 chairs (back to Rococo style).
 Had a sofa in the the window but it didn't work. Brought in statue (a bit damaged and that's not's moss :) He's too heavy to move so he's staying for a while.
   Friend Lori needed painted chairs for her steel breakfast table. I don't need 12's 2 from our house. 10 left if anyone is interested---just kidding. I love our chairs and they are not for sale (at the moment).

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Swedish Palette

One reason I started this blog was to share some of the special homes I’ve been fortunate to visit. Monte and Darby Gingery’s gracious Greek Revival home, just outside of Washington, DC, has always been one of my favorites. Darby and designer Fiona Newell Weeks chose an elegant Swedish palette, and many antique painted furniture for the interiors. Though serene, the rooms are warm, sophisticated, and full of texture and patterns. In case this house seems familiar, it was published in the Nov / Dec 2008 issue of Southern Accents. 

This week I visited and photographed the house---just as lovely as I remembered. Here is how it looks currently. Many thanks to my friend, Darby!
The pedestal cabinet, side table and daybed are all Swedish antique pieces from Tone on Tone. Though the daybed dates to the Gustavian period (Ca. 1790s), it has such a modern spirit and very clean lines. 
Fiona chose Fortuny curtains and a toile paper for the ceilings in the drawing room.
In the foyer is an antique French trumeau mirror from Fiona's private collection.
A lyre crested antique giltwood barometer from the Empire period.
Farrow and Ball wallpaper in foyer and hallways. Anne Packard painting above an antique French console with velvet top.
I love how the pair of tole sconces echo the lines of the F&B paper.
Myrtle topiary on an iron demi-lune console with stone top in the sunny backhall.
When Darby saw this 18th century Swedish Gustavian settee at my shop, she knew it would be perfect on her staircase landing.
A walnut top island was chosen to warm up the blue and white kitchen. The toile upholstered stools are new additions.
A Swedish inspired hand painted mural around the dining room mantel.
In the family room is a custom coffee table designed by Darby and Fiona. I found the tall column clock in Sweden and 18th century limestone statue in the South of France.
The stately front (above) and more relaxed rear (below).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Our White Border Garden

With the garden season winding down, I thought it would be interesting to tour our white border garden throughout this unpredictable year. Spring began very early after a mild and short winter, causing much confusion for many plants. In late spring there were quite a few severe storms that wreaked havoc on garden beds, flattened hydrangeas, and snapped a few branches. Then there was the record breaking hot and dry summer. Despite it all, our white border fared well, and I am grateful for a rewarding season with a succession of many beautiful white blooms.

Let's look at the white border now, and then earlier in the year. 
 Late Sept - Oct: a profusion of Honorine Jobert Japanese anemone flowers. The tuteur is completely covered with Clematis Paniculata, which just finished blooming.
 The front of our house with white shrub roses. The white border is located on the right side, and features white flowering plants along with silvery gray foliage.
 Late August: above photo and three photos below taken when Clematis Paniculata on the tuteur was blooming. The frothy euphorbia Diamond Frost is to the right of the sundial.
 Two close up views of Clematis Paniculata.
 July: phlox David (between tuteur and hornbeam trees) did well this year despite being crushed TWICE by the tuteur from severe storms. The tuteur also damaged a couple peonies. Hope the peonies do well next spring.
 June: white daisies and butterfly bush Buddleia Davidii blooming side by side. Though sweet, the daisies are really floppy....think I'm going to move them.
 June: Asiatic white lilies.
 May: Cheddar Charm peonies and Siberian iris White Swirl.
 Lambs Ears Big Ears in front of Siberian irises.
April: clematis Duchess of Edinburgh climbing on the tuteur.

To see more of our white garden, please visit here and also here. If you would like plant names not included, let me know. Also, if you have plant suggestions please feel free to share.....thanks!