Monthly Archives: July 2011

Today’s Treasure…Nautilus in Shades of Grey and White

Today’s treasure from the sea is most of a huge nautilus shell, with striations and gradations of white and grey. Together, they have always been my favorite color combination, so I have just pulled a few photos from my inspiration files to illustrate their beauty.

I am going to let the photos do all the talking…

Dark

The combo of rustic and industrial…

I love a fully stocked dish pantry – marble bust required…

The light and the perfect proportions make this dining room dreamy…

 

Same room, different view…

Soft

Sally Wheat’s famous kitchen – perhaps the most blogged about kitchen ever!

I am not usually a fan of exact symmetry, but this just works…

 

French linen and painted wood make this one of my favorite spaces…

A close-up of the ironstone jugs on the fireplace mantle…

Pale

The Scandinavians have pale grey down like no one else – both traditional…

and modern…

 

One word for this room – heavenly!

Glamorous

Windsor Smith outdoes even herself here with this combination of Bennison fabric everywhere and silver gilt Japanese screen…

In her own house, she creates the most divine skirted console…

Beat out in drama only by this one…

Just a sliver of cool on a hot summer night…

Image credits: Please excuse me a bit on this one as the credits are a mess. Many of these photos I have had in my files for years and never noted where they were from as I had no plans for them other than personal use.

1. me, 2. via Willow Decor, 3-5. unknown, 6. Sally Wheat’s kitchen via Cote de Texas, 7. Ginger Barber bedroom via Cote de Texas, 8-9. Red Chair house via Apartment Therapy, 10. via Skona Hem, 11. unknown, 12. via Grant White, 13. Windsor Smith via House Beautiful December 2010, photo credit: Victoria Pearson, 14. Windsor Smith via House Beautiful September 2009, photo credit: Victoria Pearson, 15. via A Perfect Gray

More on Paint and Pictures

So I did not win the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint giveaway on From the Right Bank, but that is OK as there is no need to paint the cabinet after all…

Now that it is here with me at home I am loving the mellow wood, but I do need to style the interior as well as change out the paper backing. I never like to use the word “pop,” but I think a little is called for to highlight my grandmother’s china. Right now I am considering everything from stripes, which I recently saw at The Upper Rust (more on that in a moment)…

to Farrow & Ball wallpaper…

or Min Hogg wallpaper.

And in the meantime, FTRB has posted a gorgeous Danish country lodge from the Italian edition of Marie Claire Maison, including the painted stairway in this entryway. After having the carpet guy over and being told all the ways I CAN’T have a sisal-type runner on my stairs, I am back to thinking about painting them. I keep returning to the idea of painted treads, just like these.

Loving the kitchen and the tightly hung artwork elsewhere in this charming house too.

On that note, the art arrangement in my elder daughter’s room is coming along nicely – I just have to get up the courage to start making holes in the wall. A mixture of Japanese paintings and prints, with some fun memorabilia thrown in for good measure.

And I picked up this vintage letter print for the guest room at The Upper Rust, which I re-discovered via Habitually Chic. This East Village antique store is a perfect compendium of the best pickings, all in one location. Imagine you combed estate sales and flea markets everyday for a year – that is a great description of the shop. For more great photos, be sure to check out Heather’s post!

If you are looking to decorate a casual place in a hurry, shopping here could save you years…
Image credits: 1-2 & 7-8. me, 3. via Farrow & Ball, 4. via Min Hogg, 5-6. Marie Claire Maison via From the Right Bank

I’m Galvanized…By Oversized Metal Buckets and Cans

It all started during a visit to a friend’s place in Lake George. In talking about rebuilding her lake house (more on that later), we looked through photos of her sister’s place on Shelter Island. Leslie Hoffman, my friend’s sister, has built an extraordinary sustainable house there and the photo below caught my particular attention. She is waiting for her deck to age to the color of an antique galvanized coal bucket. Read more about her living laboratory for sustainable principles here or follow her on Facebook.

I couldn’t shake that image of the old galvanized metal bucket – the color and texture had captivated me. Later that same visit I was reminded at Lakeview Antiques in Bolton Landing…

Returning south to New Jersey, my interest was unabated…

Culminating in the most amazing find…

The logo makes me think I have made a great discovery. I don’t know much about Pennsylvania Railroad memorabilia, but I am sure someone else out there does. I’ll report back when I know more.

In the meantime, how should I use it?

To hold shoes near the entryway?

For a huge floral arrangement à la Rebecca Cole?

If not flowers, maybe plants? Or perhaps as a giant ice bucket for cooling summer beverages?

This just in…I am thinking it might look best atop my newest find – this china cabinet. And if I win the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint giveaway over at From the Right Bank, I’ll have just what I need to paint it! Stay tuned for more on this fixer-upper…

Image credits: 1. via Gimme Shelter, 2-6 & 10. me, 7. Martha Stewart Living, 8. Rebecca Cole Designs, 9. Pottery Barn

When it Rains, it Pours…Wedgwood Jasperware Cheese Keepers

Josiah Wedgwood’s famous Jasperware – unglazed stoneware, encircled by classical bas-relief motifs – is a familiar sight to us all. I think everyone has a grandmother or an aunt with a dish or small box on display and I can’t remember a large group antique store that didn’t have a piece in stock. I even find it floating around shrine sales in Japan and I am sure there are some die-hard Japanese collectors. Colors include blues, greens, purples, browns, yellows and black, with the light blue being the most common. What is unusual this summer is my sightings of a rare form – the cheese keeper – a plate with a large covered dome, similar to a cake stand with cover, but narrower and higher, traditionally used to keep one’s Stilton fresh. They are not often seen and tend to be quite expensive, as one might expect from their rarity.

Whether it is my own selective perception or simply supply and demand, I cannot turn around these days without stumbling across one. First, there was this dark green example with dancing maidens at the tag sale I visited earlier this summer…

…then there was this tall brown one with oak leaf and horse motif at Shore Antiques Center in Allenhurst…

…followed quite quickly by this blue neoclassic version up at The Antiques Center of Red Bank.

I can’t think of an interior featuring a cheese keeper, but I think one would make a dramatic decorative statement. I did check my inspiration files and found this photo of stacked Jasperware tins from Martha Stewart.

And I spy a cheese keeper (albeit not Jasperware) atop the china cabinet in this charming blue and white room.

For the record, I would happily take the Gustavian painted sideboard and the glass door china cabinet from these two photos. They would make the perfect finishing pieces for my dining room.

It’s quite a paradox. As cheese keepers are hard to find, they are expensive. Because they are expensive, they are not often purchased. But if not bought, are they no longer rare? Hmmm…

Image credits: 1-3. me, 4-5. Martha Stewart

Addendum: September 29, 2011

I know this is well after the writing of this post, but in the last two days I have some across three great examples and photos of these unusual items. The first is a photo from the August World Of Interiors. I didn’t see it this summer because the issues come here to Japan.

The next I came across catching up on reading back columns of Michael Penney’s blog at Canadian House & Home. He has a great post on on a shop called Cynthia Findlay Antiques in Toronto that makes me want to go there! She certainly has quite a bit of jasperware…

And the very next day I saw these on a great post about white marble in the kitchen (I vote a major yes!) that Joni did over at Cote de Texas.

Absolutely dying for this kitchen. I’d take it exactly as is for the beach house!!!

Nature Lesson…Shades of White on a Fifteen Sand Dollar Day

Sand dollars are one of our magic summer talismans. The girls and I spend time combing the shoreline, sometimes for hours, and best when the tide is changing over from high to low. Our previous record had been 12 in a day, but we found fifteen of them on the 4th of July, marking it as our best haul ever. We brought them home to wash and dry in the sun and then they will go in a special glass jar. The girls have strict rules about what can be saved – we have to find them ourselves and they have to be full circles, although the centers can be broken. The sand dollars had great hues within their whites…greys, greens and beiges. As we marveled about the nuances in color and detail it got me thinking about how so many of our best color cues come from nature.

The color white has been a big subject around here lately. The Tokyo exodus has caused a lot of people to need decorating advice and one of the questions I get all the time is about the color white. The house here in Ocean Grove has a very bright white for its trim, but that was a conscious decision and not one that works everywhere.  The colors I tend to recommend are warmer softer whites, particularly Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and China White. Both have enough grey in them to not read as yellowish. Sometimes we think about white as an absence of color, but it is actually a finely shaded color unto itself. In my last post I referenced Joanna Madden’s house in Point Pleasant – check out the full article in Country Living to see the full spectrum of whites she uses.

Someone else who gets white right is Lori Guyer of White Flower Farmhouse. Out on the north shore of Long Island, I remember visiting when she had first opened the shop and haven’t been able to go back since. She does have an online store and a few blogs detailing her great vintage and refurbished pieces as well as decorating projects.  I love this photo of the store (note the Boston fern!) and believe the white on the walls is another favorite, Benjamin Moore’s Ballet White, which has a strong warm presence. A friend used it in recently in her living room and it really reads as a color on the walls, while remaining a white at the same time.

On my coffee table I have more studies in white in Beach by photographer Josie Iselin, a housewarming present from another friend.

And Josie Iselin proves it is not only whites we can get from nature…

And here is my own try at art photography after we added our loot to last summer’s finds…shot with Hipstamatic on an iPhone with Kodot XGrizzled film and a Watts lens.

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