Monday, October 31, 2011

Rooms ... for Living

I am not a minimalist by any means.  While I do appreciate the look and have worked with clients to achieve that feel, my preference is to bring color and fabric together for a warm and inviting room ... and home. I also prefer to work with my clients already existing collections or special pieces.  I am not one to head to Home Goods just to fill the space.  I want and need for everything to have some sort of meaning to me.

This is one of the main reasons Kathryn Ireland's style is so appealing to me.  Her homes and rooms feel warm and collected over time.
 Kathryn Ireland

Kathryn Ireland Bedroom, Oberto Gili Photograph, House Beautiful

After falling in love with the simplicity of this room accented with the bold colors, which is the Kathryn Ireland look that I adore, I discovered Oberto Gili ... a photographer with great design taste himself.  The flower above the bed is one of his photographs.  Simply Stunning.

Oberto Gili's bedroom in Italy ... some bedrooms make you feel ... "Yes, I can get a good night's sleep here, and then off to my busy day" with hardly a notice.  This bedroom would wrap it's arms around me and beg me not to leave quite so early and just enjoy my surroundings before heading out to reality.

Oberto Gili's kitchen? dining area?  From what I am learning about him, he likes the collected look as well.  It is messy and beautiful in the same breath.  And in the middle of the chaos, the silver pitcher with fresh flowers.  That makes me smile. This is the way I live, what I have termed controlled chaos!  Life happens in our rooms ... and that is where the memories are made!

Our family room ... the overstuffed leather sofas which I hate but the kids and my husband adore and have threatened me to make certain they don't come home one day and find them gone!  The Duralee Fabric that brings the warmth in ... the beautiful antique Chinese Tea Cannister lamps I purchased at the Wellesley Antique Fair on a rainy February afternoon.  The French Blue ladder where I stack my favorite design books. All of these things came in their own time.

A close up of the secretary I found in Atlanta and now where the kids sit to "play" on the computer!  And the basket that holds all the crayons, colored pencils, note cards, etc. that help create a school project at a moments notice!  It is collected, it was never meant to match ... just be lived in.  

Happy Monday ... 



Friday, October 28, 2011

The Cloister ... Part Two!

Here's a "day in the life" at The Cloister ... ooooh to live like this every day!!

It all started here ... the "Cloister Cocktail" ... need I say more?   Okay, I actually had this the night before the "day in the life" began ... what a great kick off!

A quiet walk on the beach for me, but things were busy with the staff ... Setting up for a dinner for 200 on the beach later that night.

Then off to the Spa for a little pampering ... 

Lunch being set up on the pool terrace ...

Afternoon tour of The Wine Cellar ... stocked with wines holding a retail value of approximately $3M ... please forgive my camera, it was quite dark and cold!  Can't you just imagine an intimate dinner for 20 at this table enjoying divine food and wine!

Headed down to the Cloister Belle at the Sea Island Yacht Club for a pre-dinner cruise ... they were setting up this dinner ...

Sycamore Balls as the napkin decorations!

View looking back toward the hotel from the Cloister Belle!

Captain Brian!

 The Boys!

After the Cruise, walking back to dinner on the docks ... enjoying the magnificent sunset.


Dinner of chicken, tenderloin, stone ground grits, okra and tomatoes, cornbread and spectacular wine ... I was in heaven! 

Dixie's Manhattan, the Cloister's answer to a standard Manhattan ... Sweeter, of course!  Perfect way to end a Perfect weekend!

Thank you Sea Island!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

2009 The Prisoner

Rarely do I have the opportunity to review a true California Cult wine. However, over the last couple of years the Prisoner has been more available to “the rest of us” so I gave it a shot, if for nothing more than bragging rights. Kim and I popped the cork last Friday and poured out two glasses. This Cabernet blend, was tar like black in color, and the nose was an eye watering blast of white pepper. First sip I am afraid was so tightly wound the only identifiable taste was the unpleasant burn of alcohol. We put it down immediately, Kim actually gave up on it but I endured and picked it up two hours later. A completely different wine this time around; the alcohol and white pepper had melted away into a spicy full bodied beauty. Layers of Chocolate, Cassis and Dark fruit with a hint of spice cake and cedar. Boy was it good, but not for the faint of heart. This is a huge wine that takes patience and time to enjoy. But it is worth it in the end. Enjoy it with the most robust of meats, Leg of lamb would be ideal. At $35 bucks it is not the deal of the century but is not a bad value.

Ruffino Riserva Ducale 2006

Sangiovese and Ruffino Riserva Ducale, Chianti Classico in particular is like a cup of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winters day to me. The wine is not in the least bit flashy, it is simple and easy to drink. Soft and supple with a mid-mouth berry flavor and medium finish with the slightest hint of spice. It’s easy to drink and easy to find, and when paired with a lasagna and a loaf of bread on a cold rainy Tuesday it’s as comforting as you can get. At about $17 bucks, it’s a great value… because you can count on it. No pretense or California Cult here, it is just a good solid Steady Eddy.

Enjoy the wine.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A little Family time!

Spending a few days with my precious Mother and Daddy in Atlanta ... this photo makes me happy ... they were at the Atlanta Bread Company with Erin in Atlanta talking to Callie and I at home in Sherborn.  The power of ichat!!  They still can't believe they were able to talk to us like this!!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If only ...

I had an unlimited budget ... here's what I would snuggle up with to watch some Auburn Football ... this may be our "re-building" season ... but while I am dreaming about a War Eagle comeback ... I am also dreaming about how I would like to be enveloped in Hermes!!

Can't you just imagine ...  a cream velvet sofa (I know, I'll never have this, I have three dogs ...) a beautiful bar set up on the console table ... with my new favorite Manhattan or Mint Julep "fixin's", a warm fire, and college football ... what a fabulous Saturday afternoon!!!

Mint Julep Recipe:

Manhattan Recipe:

Oh ... the possibilities!!  Hope y'all are having a wonderful week!!



Monday, October 24, 2011

For the love of ... Hydrangeas

Blue hydrangeas are my favorite summer flower.   I wish I had a photo to share with you ... the enormous blue hydrangea that was at the back door of my Nannie Murphy's home in Alabama.  I was little ... it seemed the size of the house.  She never did anything with it ... it just bloomed and bloomed ... and right there my romance with hydrangeas began!  I was and still am fascinated by the big blooms that get so heavy they have to lay on the ground. The big blue flowers made up of teeny flowers.

And while I love the hydrangeas of Summer ... I am even more in love with the hydrangeas of Fall!  You will find dried ones everywhere in my home ... they make me smile, they get whisked around the house by my dogs tails, I am constantly picking up little leaves ... and I don't care!

These "standard" hydrangeas you have to be careful with ... you can't go along and chop down all of their blooms every fall or you will have no new blooms next summer.  I learned this the hard way!

The Oak Leaf Hydrangea, however, can be radically taken down and perform even more beautiful the next season.  I am fortunate to have good friends with an Oak Leaf Hydrangea in their yard that is enormous!  "Mr" chops it down every fall ... and calls me to take what I want before he goes at it!!  I love that man!!  So here is to this year's crop of oakleafs.  I give them to clients, I use them in my house for fall and holiday arrangements ... I save them, just in case!!

Sometimes you just have to get in there!!

The older I get I find more and more that it's the little things in life that make me happy ...  Thank you my friends for sharing your hydrangea.



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