Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Martha, Mary and More

Tom and I have had a bit of excitement at the house. Our home and collections were photographed for Martha Stewart Living. Yes, indeed! Hence my absence from the blog - we were busy cleaning, scrubbing, waxing, and polishing everything. Just for Martha :)

I want to thank photographer Helen Norman and Martha Stewart Home Editor Lorna Aragon for working tirelessly throughout the shoot.

With her artistic eye, Helen did a brilliant job capturing each room. I always learn a great deal from my friend Helen. She sees the best angles, and is so creative in manipulating the light. After each photo, I'd say "this is my favorite, Helen!" :)

It was my first time working with Lorna and, wow, talk about impressive! From flowers to furnishings, her thoughtful styling created many lovely vignettes, layers and moments. In addition to being talented, Lorna is quite strong. She insisted on helping move whatever needed moving.

Here we are about to have a quick lunch of yummy Danish Smorrebrod or open-faced sandwiches that Tom made. Helen is seated on the left, while Lorna is on the right. That's me in the middle...always in the middle!
Helen Norman's photos are beautiful. I'll keep you posted on the publication date. 

In the meantime, enjoy these gorgeous flower arrangements that Lorna created. I brought a couple to the shop after the shoot.     
An early spring arrangement of very fragrant hyacinths. I adore their heady, sweet scent. Iconic plantsman Christopher Lloyd once said "If hyacinth scent is cloying, I am perfectly happy to be cloyed." 
These stunning green-and-white parrot tulips take on a modern spirit arranged in this simple fish bowl. With the changing light each tulip reaches here and there, creating a bit of a dance. Don't you think the blooms look hand painted?
Many thanks to Lorna and Martha Stewart Living for the flowers!

Adding to the excitement, I finally met in person a much admired blog friend: the charismatic Mary from A Breath of Fresh Air! She and her husband Bob just enjoyed their golden anniversary. Mary was born in England, and she met the debonair Bob in Washington, DC - the happy couple came to town to celebrate. And, they made a special trip to visit moi in little Bethesda, Maryland :) I couldn't be more honored as this worldly couple has circled the globe. Mary has been to all seven continents, btw. Below is a sampling of her travel photos. 
ABOVE: The majestic Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
Did you enjoy that tour around the world? Cool photos, right? Please visit A Breath of Fresh Air for more. Many thanks to Mary and Bob! The pleasure was all mine~

With my crazy schedule, it's been difficult to post regularly on the blog. I'm going to try writing more but shorter posts - fingers crossed. You can also check out my INSTAGRAM account where I share daily snippets of...

New arrivals at Tone on Tone

Homes of clients and friends including:
This conservatory sitting room in CT.
And the living room of artist Jill Bateman.
Our gardens
Our home in DC (update soon)
Our home in Maine
Hope you'll follow along on INSTAGRAM.
Thanks so much!!


  1. Well, you have just had a whole lot of stuff going on! Congrats on the magazine. That's every exciting! Your home and gardens are gorgeous. And I was beginning to wonder where you went! Love the flowers too.

  2. amazing news, loi and tom! congratulations and it's so well deserved. donna

  3. You have been busy! I love the new arrivals in your shop and thank you for sharing the good news!!! How fun to have your work showcased in Martha Stewart Living. It is so well deserved, enjoy the spring weather we are having, Liz

  4. So, so excited for your well deserved honor! I look forward to seeing the spread when it comes out! And thank you for the introduction to Mary's blog, how inspirational to have traveled so extensively. Enjoy the gorgeous spring weather we're having!

    Xoxo Kat

  5. How exciting Loi, you have been busy busy with wonderful things

  6. WOW! congrats to you- so well deserved! and those travel photos are amazing and now i want to go somewhere!

  7. Loi this is so f*****g exciting!!!!!! Congratulations!!!! I'm mad at Martha right now but I can't wait to read this!!! SO SO exciting.
    Love the travel photos. I find long haul travel like that to be so daunting so I love seeing other people do it!

  8. That is very exciting; your house will be on Martha Stewart Living, Congratulation! Don't worry busy is good, take your time, we will be here always waiting for the next post.
    Best wishes.

  9. Loi, what an exciting announcement! Congratulations on the feature. I'll be eager to snag a copy of MSL when it comes out.
    Lucky you to meet Mary and Bob. We've only corresponded, but someday we hope to meet up. She is a jewel. Can't believe they've been married 50 years. Both look so young! Mary does take the most incredible travel photos. I'm eager to follow along on this next trip ad we canceled our trip to Budapest a few years ago.
    You know I'm a hyacinth girl, but same goes for tulips, especially parrot tulips. Parrot tulips aren't easy to find here in Austin, but I always bring them home when I do find them. The last bunch was a beautiful lilac just in time for Easter.
    Enjoy your busy schedule. As Martha would say, "That's a good thing!" I'm going to click over to Instragram and get registered.

  10. How wonderful to be featured by MSL, I love hearing the inside scoop on the shoot. Yes, give me a heady whiff of hyacinths any day, I love them. The parrot tulips so look as though they were each painted by hand, isn't mother nature wonderful? Thank you for the intro to Mary's blog, and loved the tour around the world from the comfort of my couch. Keep up the beautiful work.

    Can't wait for the issue to come out!
    The floral arrangements are gorgeous!!
    Best Wishes to Mary and Bob....their years have been filled with treasures!!!

  12. Congrats..cant wait to pick up the Martha Issue with your home in it. Your clients homes look beautiful!

  13. Loi,

    Congratulations, my friend, on the magazine feature! You and Tom are so well deserving of this honour, for all your hard work and commitment to your shop and your clients. I can't wait to see it!!

    Mary and Bob are a wonderful couple, and what gorgeous photos of their travels!

    You know how taken I am with your beautiful home in Maine, and hope to see some spring shots, soon, if you get a chance!

    All the best, and kudos, once again!


  14. Congratulations Loi, as well as Tom.
    Such a beautiful fit for your home to grace the pages of Martha S Living pages. You will stand out in what ever up coming issue you are placed in. Love how clean her magazine is, large photos, perfect culinary, and never competition with to many other home features. You my dear will be the star of her issue.

    I really cannot wait to see it in wide angle , getting every inch of the shot of your home I'm each foto. I will make sure this is one issue that won't be passed on, and I can say wow! I know Loi. :)
    The travel shots you shared are amazing, the falls are absolutely breathtaking. As for your garden. Loving the stone planter filled with spring herbs, you really inspire me to get going with my herb plantings. I cannot find a thing that I don't love about your homes, style and artistry. You really have know idea how much you are loved.
    If you ever need a house sitter I am available :)) all kidding aside why would you even need a holiday, it would be a relaxing holiday staying home and basking in all its comfortable pale beauty and grace.

    Loi, I will try to keep up with you on Instagram, don't keep us hanging to long from all the incredible beauty you share with us you would be so missed in the blog world. I would love it if you stopped by to see my latest shop sign of 100 year old salvage scraps of wood, that would work well in a fine art studio store of POTTERY, would love to see what you think of it. It's much like the love sign I did for the cover of Prairie-Style Weddings book.

    A wonderful April month of wonderful shop sales, the floral arrangements were such a beautiful compliment to your store front.


  15. Congratulations! I look forward to the issue. The last picture above is charming; I hope we'll see more of your Maine house soon. Happy Spring!

  16. If Martha Living were to come to my house is probably need to get a new house! This is soooo exciting and I can't wait to see it in print. I got tulips like those early this spring and I wish they were available year round bc they are so beautiful. Fantastic pics while soothing at the same time xx

  17. Hello Loi, Congratulations on this signal honor. With all that work and combined talent, your house will look stunning in the magazine. This was an ideal time for the photo shoot; all those spring blooms seems suffused with light, the perfect complement to the look you achieve so well.

  18. Wow that is super exciting! MARTHA! Our Leader!

    Mary needs to visit Australia- her photos are divine.

    Luff your home, so serene and chic x

  19. Martha!!! That is the most exciting thing ever! Can't wait until the mag finally wings its way over to Australia and I get to see every little bit of the beautiful home you have. Love the flowers and the travel photos, and have been finding it difficult to get screen time in the past few weeks, but have loved the snippets I've seen on Instagram when I've been able to spend a quiet 5 minutes scrolling through.

  20. Very exciting, Loi - I can't wait to see it! And the flowers are beautiful!!

  21. I had not yet received your post in my email inbox dearest Loi, but I "heard through the grapevine" that you had some exciting news, and HERE I AM....I am SO THRILLED FOR YOU!!!!!!!!

    This Sunday, Fifi O'Neil from Romantic Homes and French Country is coming to my home too to photograph it! Talk about cleaning and scrubbing! I need to start tonight!

    As always, your home is sublime. Perfection in tones and accessories, filled with light. Loi, you rock. You and Tom ROCK! I cannot wait to hear more about what issue you will be in. I am getting that issue immediately! So fun is this sharing of our home and hearth.

    YOU LOOK WONDERFUL! Happy spring dear friend! ANita

  22. Congratulations! Cannot wait to see the photos in Martha Stewart Living!!
    Kind regards,
    Kathleen Sams Flippen

  23. Loi,
    Congrats to you and Tom. I have always subscribed to MSL and have found her publishication to be one of the finest in the industry. Photography is exceptional and quality of paper a wonderful tactile feel. To see your beautiful home grace the magazines pages will be a delightful experience. I am truly excited for you.
    Me too, always in the middle!!! I guess with me because I'm a middle child ;-)
    Really enjoyed Mary's photos as she and her husband captured magical memories through their travels. I've only traveled to typical tourist countries but I have a very strong desire to visit Vietnam.
    Hyacinth are pretty as they remind me of my Mom. It was Mom's favorite Springtime flower, their scent has always been a bit strong for me.
    The Parrot Tulips indeed appear to be hand painted, but of course it is Mother Nature who is the best artist of all. Loi I find your stone planter incredible and I am in awe. Is it a custom piece made just for your garden?
    I will follow you on Instagram and either short or long posts I always look forward to your shares. Speaking of shares when you have time check out my newest post... Boy do I share....update to our kitchen and more exciting projects.

  24. Congrats -can't wait to see your lovely home in the magazine. MSL is one of my favorite magazines and I LOVE their house tours. Remember for awhile they were even focusing on historic house tours in the magazine? Miss those! The travel photographs from A breath of fresh air are stunning!

  25. Loi, this is so exciting!!!! Congratulations. I can't think of a home that is more "Martha" worthy. Can't wait to see it in print. You must be over the moon! Mary's travel photos are amazing. I definitely need to check out her blog to learn a thing or two. Wow. Thanks for the introduction.

    Congratulations again and hope you have a most lovely week! XO

  26. What a great post! That's so lovely to finally meet a blog friend. And big congratulations on having being featured by Martha - very exciting!

  27. As they had me at the "first photograph"...and then...THE NEWS!! That's really something when you are THRILLED and it resonates with ALL THE REST of us!! I'll be one of the "first in line" to get that issue!! KUDOS!! franki

  28. congratulations + MSL my my what a beautiful mag. + must trot over to see Mary

  29. I haven't kept updated on your house in Maine for many months..and, of course, it is lovely. I look forward to seeing more this summer: you will be up there more often in warmer weather, no? Parrot tulips are really some of my favorites. I've never grown them but really must: and these are just gorgeous and so perfect for vase and setting. Very special styling throughout this post Loi!

  30. Loi what a thrill! I am so excited to see the spread and to meet Mary! She is a very special blogger. Congratulations!!
    Happy Anniversary to Mary!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Dual Vision!

  31. Loi, you were so sweet to add Bob and I to your important blog post, and especially to share so many of my travel photos - I am overcome by your kind words. Because I knew about the shoot coming up and you being so busy, I really appreciated the fact that you spent time with us at the shop. . . . . . while Tom was home preparing your beautiful interiors for Martha, and "washing windows" no less. Tom I need you. . . clean windows are good, those open-faced sandwiches even better, ha ha!

    We'll all be waiting with bated breath for the magazine publication date when we can enjoy more of your DC home. I checked Helen's website and her photography is stellar!

    Loi, our visit was really fun and we'll see you again for certain. I'll be posting from the rivers soon - Danube and Rhine!
    Hugs - Mary

  32. Loi,
    Congratulations! I'll look forward to seeing the feature when it's published. I love the floral arrangements they provided, green and white parrot tulips are on my top ten favorite list of flowers.
    Mary is clearly an amazing photographer. I felt these images were National Geographic worthy. I'm heading over to visit her blog site. I'm a faithful follower of your Instagram account, and of course, your blog.
    I can tell I'm going to love the home in Maine. The room you shared has more of a relaxed look to it, something I'm always drawn to.

  33. Hello Loi,
    Congratulations to you and Tom for the Martha Stewart piece. How cool is that? I can't wait to see it and will be looking for you to let us know the publication date. Your photographs looked beautiful. How exciting to have special visitors. Mary's blog is wonderful. Thanks for sharing the link. I hope you are enjoying Spring. As always, I love following your progress and seeing your designs. You are such a special person!

  34. Loi, Congratulations to you and Tom on being included in Living Magazine, and I agree with an earlier commentor that you will be the star of whatever issue you grace. You came back from your hiatus with a big bang — what a great posting, including the new items from your shop. I know your penchant for muted tones, but I would love to see a rich color behind that incredible Art Deco architectural fragment. I could even see a series of different colored panels to switch out according to the season or the mood.

  35. Hi!! So excited for you, sweet friend! I just had a photo shoot for one of my projects and I learned. So. Much! I felt like a kid in a candy store with all of the styling and photography knowledge I was absorbing! Ok, such beautiful shots!! I may being going up to Maine in July. Will you be there? I must make the trek to see your adorable place:):). Also, those photographs of the world are ah-mazing!! I will be following!! Love to you and Tom! Xo, K

  36. Loi, you are the epitome of Style. I'm so excited for you. Let us know when your feature will come up on Martha! Too bad you didn't meet her. Tom's open faced sandwiches looks so delicious! Woe, your friends are really well travelled. Good for them.

  37. Gorgeous post as always. I look forward to seeing your beautiful home in Martha!

  38. Very exciting to hear about your soon-to-be-published spread in Martha's magazine!

  39. I'm happy to say that I am a new reader, all thanks to my Grandmother Mary sharing her visit to your stunning shop on her blog! I've also followed you on Instagram -- your photos are lovely. My husband and I are heading to DC this weekend to visit and stay with my brother and his girlfriend, attend the Cherry Blossom Parade, and a beer & wine festival! We are very excited for the *hopefully* sunny weather on Saturday. Fingers crossed! Also, as a fellow (and new!) Maine-lover, I can certainly appreciate your gorgeous photos from your home and small town up north. We are heading back up to Portland/Bar Harbor/Port Clyde for a week in October for the Maine half-marathon and some exploring. Anyways, I wanted to leave a quick comment to let you know that I look forward to reading more! xx Cassie

  40. Dear Loi

    I am absolutely thrilled on hearing your exciting news. What a tremendous honour to be featured in Martha Stewart Living. Well deserved. How exciting to be working with such pleasant women. Lunch looks delicious and Tom is also a great cook. So much talent in your households.
    Thanks for sharing and I will be looking forward to visiting Mary's blog.
    Helen xx

  41. Oh my!!!!! Congratulations!!! I am SOOOO excited for you! I couldn't help but want to reach through the screen and eat some of those sandwiches you prepared! I am sure the feature will be beautiful in Martha Stewart Living! Please let us know when it will be out, as I want to buy a copy! Your photography, and selection of furniture is always top notch! Have a glass of champagne and toast to your success!! Meranda Devan

  42. Loi,

    This looks amazing! I cannot wait to see it in print!! Hope you are having a beautiful springtime!!


  43. Hi Loi,
    I am visiting you via Mary's blog A Breath of Fresh Air. Mary and I have been blogging buddies for several years now and have met in person several times to go Antiquing and dining. Your shop is beautiful - I saw it on Mary's blog. I look forward to seeing your home in Martha's magazine! I know how exciting that must be, because next month my home is being featured in French Country Style magazine... I am looking forward to reading more about you and your shop and home.

  44. Wow, what an honor to be featured in Martha Stewart Living. Congratulations, Loi. You deserve it. Your home is utter perfection. Thank you for sharing Mary's photos, they are beautiful. I'll be stopping by her site to check out more.

  45. How so very exciting! What can be better than do be featured by the Queen of All Things Home and Garden, Martha. So glad that you had such a wonderful experience. The flowers are perfection....they are true works of art. Thanks for sharing your visit with your blog friend Mary...The photos from her travels are just breathtaking. ... and speaking of breathtaking, the rooms that you have presented are just that. I especially am loving the photo of the Maine house...I cannot imagine how spectacular it will be...Congrats to you!!...So well deserved.

  46. Hi Loi,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this post!
    I'm not surprised you are being featured in MSL. It's a perfect fit!
    Congrats, I can't wait till it comes out.
    I totally understand the challenges of blogging regularly. I'm going to take a page from your book and try more frequent shorter posts!

  47. Loi what fabulous news. Martha Stewart's magazine is so smart to do a shoot of your home, they are the lucky one's to have found you. Congratulations to you and Tom, that is so wonderful.
    xoxo Kathysue

  48. Hello Loi,

    How exciting all of this is. We cannot believe that you had to move, clean or polish a thing for the arrival of Martha as your house always looks fabulous with not a thing out of place. The flower arrangements are delightful, perfect complements to the understated elegance that, to us, always seems to be a hallmark of your interiors.

    And, how wonderful to have met up with Mary who will be cruising down the Danube and into our apartment very, very soon. Your ears will be burning, we warn you now! Meeting up with blogging chums is such a joy we find. The moment when a virtual friendship becomes a real one is so glorious!

  49. Yep! Yes, sir. You are super busy---CONGRATULATIONS, dear friend. xoxo Mary

  50. That is sooooo exciting, Loi. Thrilled that we will see you beautiful home in another magazine. We deserved, my friend!! Isn't it the best meeting blog friends in person.

  51. Wow so many exciting things happening....remember for there to be a beautiful picture, you need a beautiful subject and your home is indeed that!! I look forward to seeing/reading more more more! Congrats Loi......and those travel pictures have my travel juices dreaming of all kinds of exotic getaways. How fun to meet up with a fellow blog friend and such an interesting one at that! Thank you for sharing all the wonderful highlights of your life:)

  52. Loi, I was so excited when you posted on Instagram that you were being photographed for Martha Stewart! I must admit that I find it difficult to believe that you had to do much cleaning and prepping on your beautiful house.

    I also think these photos are going to be a lovely reminder of your house once you move. Hopefully things are going in the direction that you want as far as a sale and finding another little abode,

    The flower words! The parrot tulips take my breath away!

    Thank you for sharing your beauty Loi, it is always a pleasure to see what you are up too.

    As for Mary, I discovered her blog years ago and have enjoyed following her adventures around the word. How fabulous to have the opportunity to meet her!

  53. Perfect fit for you at Martha's she must love you style!! I love the Carlton V pillows I spied on that lovely little bench.. you have such classic taste! xo K

  54. So many amazingly beautiful photographs - it's hard to imagine life without cameras, I'm suddenly struck again with just how enriched our lives are by them! The white parrot tulips - so lush, so gorgeous!! I'm looking forward to seeing the 'Living' article. And the travel photos are marvelous. Thank you for sharing Mary's blog. I'll have to pop over there.
    Best wishes as always,

  55. Loi
    Would you share where you bought your silver extend racks in your butler's pantry.
    Thank you

  56. Loi - how absolutely wonderfully (could I find more adjectives) exciting!!! I can just imagine the cleaning and polishing that went on... gives one such a sense of pleasure! I have also loved looking at your topiaries and just last week did a whole inventory of mine - So happy to have found your blog and look so forward to becoming blog friends. Happy Sunday!! Jenny xx

  57. Congratulations Loi on the photo shoot. I love what you are doing with your Maine home. You are amazing!!

  58. oh dear loi, i sincerely hope you never become so busy we are left without your inspiration.
    congratulations my friend, this will be a stunning presentation. as a side note, i once spent a day with christopher lloyd, should write a post on that insane day.
    enjoyed the flowers, travelogue, new finds and friends/clients rooms. you always do it with such style

  59. Exciting!! I'll have to get you to autograph my magazine when it comes out! Love the images from Mary's travels.

  60. You are so talented…that must have been a fun shoot! I love following you on Instagram!

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  62. Ok, when I heard of your wonderful news, I was so excited I couldn't sleep that night! I'm so happy for you and I couldn't imagine anyone else who deserves this amazing feature! Wow!!! Your home is lovely and all your design is impeccable! I must agree with you about the flowers that they added to your shoot! Those parrot tulips are gorgeous and so organic.
    Congratulations and I can't wait to get my copy of the magazine! Ah, and good luck creating shorter blog posts! I'm still trying to accomplish that mission too! I thinking I'm failing miserably!

  63. Ok, when I heard of your wonderful news, I was so excited I couldn't sleep that night! I'm so happy for you and I couldn't imagine anyone else who deserves this amazing feature! Wow!!! Your home is lovely and all your design is impeccable! I must agree with you about the flowers that they added to your shoot! Those parrot tulips are gorgeous and so organic.
    Congratulations and I can't wait to get my copy of the magazine! Ah, and good luck creating shorter blog posts! I'm still trying to accomplish that mission too! I thinking I'm failing miserably!

  64. Hello Loi!
    Ok, when I heard of your wonderful news, I was so excited I couldn't sleep that night! I'm so happy for you and I couldn't imagine anyone else that deserves this amazing feature! Wow!!! Your home is lovely and all your design is impeccable! I must agree with you about the flowers that they added to your shoot! Those parrot tulips are gorgeous and so organic.
    Congratulations and I can't wait to get my copy of the magazine! Ah, and good luck creating shorter blog posts! I'm still trying to accomplish that mission too! I thinking I'm failing miserably!

  65. Loi,

    I have no idea if you are interested but Country Living is looking for houses for their magazine. Perhaps your house in Main might be a fit? Here is the link if you are.

    Have a great week!


  66. I am just super ecstatic about your upcoming feature in Martha!!!!! What took them so long?! I will definitely be grabbing my copy and having you sign it someday! ;-) So happy for you both and your home of course! Love all those pictures too, kinda remind me of classy postcards! Love your IG feeds Loi and I think I have gone back already from your very first ones, I hope you have a book on them, they are all beautiful! Speaking of book, when will you write one?! Any publishers out there? Your missing out BIG TIME if you don't get Loi to write soon! XO Vel ;-)

  67. That is an excellent reason to not post on the blog much. I'd have to clean for a year for Martha! I'm so excited. I can't wait to see it. Also you have the cutest little smile in every picture. I love it!

  68. Loi,
    What exciting news about the Martha Stewart shoot!!! Just fantastic!!! Thrilled for you and Tom. Your style is perfectly suited with the MSLO brand , so they are lucky to be featuring you! YAY!!!!!!!

    Wow...Mary is a world traveler and an accomplished photographer. Lucky her to get to meet you in person, which I hope will happen for me one day!

    I know you have to be as happy as I am that it's finally Spring and that we can start to enjoy our gardens again!
    Big hugs!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  69. Hi Loi, Congratulations on your appearance in Martha Stewart Living! I'll be sure to check it out. Your style is so elegant and beautiful, and I enjoy visiting your blog for inspiration. The photos your friend Mary took are incredible, I especially love the vibrant color in the one with the bicycles.

  70. Congratulations on your appearance in Martha Stewart Living! I'll definitely have to check out that issue. You did a lovely job arranging things. I agree with Sally Somervill that your style is so elegant and beautiful. Great photos! They are absolutely stunning!

  71. I'm visiting Bethesda this week from out of town and literally stumbled upon your fabulous shop yesterday. Breathtaking pieces. I searched for your website so I can follow along virtually. What fantastic news of your magazine shoot for Martha! Congratulations!

  72. Wow! Martha! How wonderful! I can't wait to see the spread! I'm sure she was plotzing herself! Mary's photos are beyond amazing! Oh so many goodies here. But I adore the vignette of your new home in Maine and look forward to seeing more! xoxo

  73. All of these photos are amazing. And congrats on MSL! You so deserve to be there!

  74. Hey Loi, Thanks for the nice post about the MSL shoot! You always make me look so good. Your and Tom's house is so perfect, it is a dream to work there. In fact it doesn't feel like work at all. The two days with you,Tom and Lorna were a photographer's dream! Can't wait to see it all in print. XO

  75. Hi Loi, what paint color is in your kitchen with the marble counter tops? Is this BM White Dove?


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