Friday, 12 October 2012


This may seem trivial to you but it isn't to me: I bought coasters today!  Yup, it's a small thing but I've been looking for nice ones that are neither totally traditional, nor cheesy/flimsy for more than half a year now.  I thought I'd found some at Jayson Home and Garden a couple of months back but the color on the website didn't match what they had in stock.  I like these agate ones too, from HSN of all places, but refuse to spend $120 for a set of four, even if the rims are gold-plated:

What I bought were eight of these petrified wood ones from Anthropologie. 

Less trendy than the agate anyway.  The ones I picked up are different shapes and colors than the ones in the photo (it is a natural product after all).  They're more beige, less black.  Anyway, it is *such* a relief to know that I can offer guests a drink without worrying about condensation circles being left on antique wood surfaces.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Two furniture purchases

I think I forgot to share two recent furniture purchases with you.  I bought this coffee table for the sunroom from CB2.

The room is small, so the lucite keeps it feeling a little less cluttered than it otherwise would.  The rest of the furniture is mostly antique so this is a fun shot of something youthful.  I've also already had ample opportunity to appreciate the relative softness of the plastic, since I tend to bang into the corners when I'm watering the plants.

Speaking of mirrored, I also sprung for this screen from Restoration Hardware:

It's in the exercise room, which occasionally pinch hits as a second guest bedroom.  The mirrors are useful when exercising and the fact that it's a screen will let us wall off the weight rack and bench when someone is sleeping over.  Between the screen and the new patchwork hide rug, the exercise is feel a lot more welcoming these days.  Next up for it are custom silk curtains.  I think I found the perfect color but am waiting for a fabric swatch to examine in the room.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Mirror for the front entryway

Today there was some disappointment when the mirror I'd ordered from Restoration Hardware for the front entryway arrived but was too tall. This "Palladian Mirror" is what I'd chosen:

I like the way it's reminiscent of a window: the space doesn't have any natural light and is small so it feels closed in.  I'd thought that a mirror - and especially a mirror designed like a window into another space - would make the foyer feel more expansive.  RH makes a smaller version of the ill-fated mirror, but it's pretty narrow: about 33".  The wall is slightly more than twice that wide and I don't want something there that looks like a a little sliver.

I hunted around on the RH website and the best I came up with was this:

It's stately and the gold would look great with our gold ceiling and the brass chandelier but I'm concerned that it's too much of an ordinary picture frame-type mirror and not architectural enough.

I also found this much less expensive mirror from Ballard that is more in the "window" vein:

It's slightly smaller (an inch and a half narrower and half a foot shorter).  I'm not sure whether that will make any appreciable difference.  Also, the glass is antiqued.  I do want the mirror to be functional for last-minute wardrobe checks before heading out the front door so I'm not sure that's a good idea.  I guess I need to "reflect" on that a bit. (Sorry!)  I'm inclining towards the Ballard, though.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Recent awesomeness

I've been coming across a lot of eye candy lately.  Like this from James Van Sweden's "The Artful Garden", which I read this week:

The bronze snake is a handrail for the pool.  Insane!

This shot make me happy too.  It feels wonderfully tranquil, though I like to be barefoot in a garden and just the thought of pebbles makes my toes cringe:

I'm sure there are other ways to use the idea of contrasting these materials and deploying that smashing color palette.

This week I also devoured Robert Malett's "Envisioning the Garden", which I preferred to the van Sweden (van Sweden's tone and modernism irk).  How evocative is this shot?

Later on I was flipping through the new Anthropologie catalogue and hit this:

Bam!  Are those baseboards crazy or what?  Who'd a thunk of scalloped skirting?  Gaudi, apparently.

I've been fantasizing about adding a (very) small reflecting pool to the roof garden.  I'd had a quatrefoil shape in mind, but stumbled across this undoubtedly priceless work of ceramic art last week:

Then I saw this reasonably-priced version (24" diameter and $275 for the small) today on Burke Decor:

I'd want to sink the vessel into the ground though, so I might be able to find something even more economical (and with a wider flat lip, since that's the part you're going to see).  First time on that site though; they have some fun stuff.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fall Balcony Urns

After the Patriots game on Sunday, I finally got down to planting the balcony urns with their fall display.  They didn't end up with as many rarified types as I'd hoped, but I'm still pretty pleased with the results (so long as the lambs' ears perk back up after the very unceremonious hacking I had to do to in order to divide one big clump into a half-dozen little ones.)

The urns are anchored by Euonymous 'Silver King', then pale pink mums, leftover white verbena from the summer planters, variegated vinca, Erica x darleyensis 'N.R. Webster', and the aforementioned Stachys byzantia.  I also had some really pretty pink-tinged lettuce to put in but ran out of room so I guess it's salad now!