Things I am loving Thursdays and house updates!!

Good morning,  hope everyone is well this Thursday morning. First things first, I am excited to announce the lucky winner of the signed coffee table book, American Houses from my interview with Fairfax and Sammons yesterday. I used random.org and the lucky winner is…….
Drawing
#6,677
PRIVATE
10th drawing held by The Enchanted Home
Completed on Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 10:36:38 UTC
86 entrants, 1 winner

Winner (1)
 1st: sizzleandzoom

 Please contact me via email and let me know how you would like the book signed and it will be on its way to you shortly!
So…….hope everyone is well. I am feeling great and rejuvenated having  been at the beach for a few days, its been fantastic with the blessing of gorgeous weather, an endless seafood fest at every meal, plenty of alone time on the beach totally engulfed in my book and just getting away from a very frantic pace. I start as I always do with my house updates which are a little light compared to previous posts, since I haven’t been home for the past few days but these were taken at the start of the week. Wishing you a wonderful day.
HOUSE UPDATES. It was so nice to go to the house to see a battalion of trucks and cars, then to walk inside and see so many men working they looked like carpenter ants milling about. Now THAT’S what I am talking about. It made me see an end to this very long process and realize despite that there is indeed a lot to still get done, we have made real progress and the end is semi near. The family room and breakfast room are near completion and then we get to begin the staining. Beams for kitchen are getting installed on Friday. Trim work continues, plaster moldings have started getting installed in living and dining rooms. Finally the limestone arrived for the covered porch and that has begun as well. So as you can see…..lots going on! I am sure by next week I will have even more to share……
Sample for living and dining of the Parquet Versailles ( a dusty sample)

Finished limestone floor for side door entry
Working on finished ceiling for inside of the porte cochere
Limestone has begun on covered porch
Wet limestone floor in the laundry room
Plaster molding has started in the dining room
Kitchen beams just about ready
.
TIME OFF AT THE BEACH. Have been at the beach for a few days of rest and relaxation. And I must say I am my calmest, most at peace and happiest when by the shore. Something about the pace, the fresh air, the gorgeous ocean as a backdrop just lights my fire. I could happily live by the beach year round and very much accustom myself to a slower and calmer pace. Here are a few highlights……

Here is my path that I walked to, to get to the beach….heaven!

Love the beach at sunset…my favorite time

My view…..not too bad!
VOLUSPA CANDLES AND PRODUCTS. Always liked their products and being the candleaholic that I am, have had my share but two of their newer fragrances, I am really loving and not only do they have the candles but room sprays (which I collect as well) and soaps…plus the packaging is so pretty its practically irresistible! Click here to see more.

FIRESIDE ANTIQUES. A favorite hobby is to look at Firesides website. This eponymous store based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana attracts visitors from all over the globe and just celebrated their 30th year!! Having family in Louisiana, they are familiar with this store and its one I hope to make a visit to myself. Their website is brimming with so many fabulous mostly European antiques…..here are a few recent beauties. Click here to visit Fireside Antiques, one of the countries largest dealers in 18th and 19th century European antiques. (and just in case you are worried, they ship EVERYWHERE)
Love these doors!!!!!! Oh how I would love to use them somewhere

Gorgeous french armoire

They also get in a lot of antique statuary

This hutch would be neat in a country feeling kitchen
A GREAT GETAWAY THAT IS “DOABLE’. Yes, I love posting about all the exotic and far away locales that we all love to swoon over. But today its all about a place that’s not too far and every bit as luxurious as what I normally post about. While it may lack the ability to help you rack up the major frequent flyer miles that the other locations could, it more than compensates for in luxury. The Cloister at Sea Island in coastal Georgia has anything and everything one could ask for, from a incredible golf center, tennis pavilion, numerous pools, award winning spa, a shooting gallery,private beach, boating, horseback riding, to nature tours and cooking classes. Whew!! I am tired after saying all that. Then you throw in  five star AAA five diamond rating luxury and you have yourself one posh resort. This world class resort truly has something for everyone, have you been? Click here to find out more.

Well that’s what I am loving this Thursday! How about you.…..anything here that appeals to you or something you want to share? Do tell and hope you have an enchanted day!!

Things I am loving Thursdays and house updates!!

Good morning, ?hope everyone is well this Thursday morning. First things first, I am excited to announce the lucky winner of the signed coffee table book, American Houses from my interview with Fairfax and Sammons yesterday. I used random.org and the lucky winner is…….
Drawing
#6,677
PRIVATE
10th drawing held by The Enchanted Home
Completed on Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 10:36:38 UTC
86 entrants, 1 winner

Winner (1)
?1st: sizzleandzoom

?Please contact me via email and let me know how you would like the book signed and it will be on its way to you shortly!
So…….hope everyone is well. I am feeling great and rejuvenated having ?been at the beach for a few days, its been fantastic with the blessing of gorgeous weather, an endless seafood fest at every meal, plenty of alone time on the beach totally engulfed in my book and just getting away from a very frantic pace. I start as I always do with my house updates which are a little light compared to previous posts, since I haven’t been home for the past few days but these were taken at the start of the week. Wishing you a wonderful day.
HOUSE UPDATES. It was so nice to go to the house to see a battalion of trucks and cars, then to walk inside and see so many men working they looked like carpenter ants milling about. Now THAT’S what I am talking about. It made me see an end to this very long process and realize despite that there is indeed a lot to still get done, we have made real progress and the end is semi near. The family room and breakfast room are near completion and then we get to begin the staining. Beams for kitchen are getting installed on Friday. Trim work continues, plaster moldings have started getting installed in living and dining rooms. Finally the limestone arrived for the covered porch and that has begun as well. So as you can see…..lots going on! I am sure by next week I will have even more to share……
Sample for living and dining of the Parquet Versailles ( a dusty sample)

Finished limestone floor for side door entry
Working on finished ceiling for inside of the porte cochere
Limestone has begun on covered porch
Wet limestone floor in the laundry room
Plaster molding has started in the dining room
Kitchen beams just about ready
.
TIME OFF AT THE BEACH. Have been at the beach for a few days of rest and relaxation. And I must say I am my calmest, most at peace and happiest when by the shore. Something about the pace, the fresh air, the gorgeous ocean as a backdrop just lights my fire. I could happily live by the beach year round and very much accustom myself to a slower and calmer pace. Here are a few highlights……

Here is my path that I walked to, to get to the beach….heaven!

Love the beach at sunset…my favorite time

My view…..not too bad!
VOLUSPA CANDLES AND PRODUCTS. Always liked their products and being the candleaholic that I am, have had my share but two of their newer fragrances, I am really loving and not only do they have the candles but room sprays (which I collect as well) and soaps…plus the packaging is so pretty its practically irresistible! Click here to see more.

FIRESIDE ANTIQUES. A favorite hobby is to look at Firesides website. This eponymous store based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana attracts visitors from all over the globe and just celebrated their 30th year!! Having family in Louisiana, they are familiar with this store and its one I hope to make a visit to myself. Their website is brimming with so many fabulous mostly European antiques…..here are a few recent beauties. Click here to visit Fireside Antiques, one of the countries largest dealers in 18th and 19th century European antiques. (and just in case you are worried, they ship EVERYWHERE)
Love these doors!!!!!! Oh how I would love to use them somewhere

Gorgeous french armoire

They also get in a lot of antique statuary

This hutch would be neat in a country feeling kitchen
A GREAT GETAWAY THAT IS “DOABLE’. Yes, I love posting about all the exotic and far away locales that we all love to swoon over. But today its all about a place that’s not too far and every bit as luxurious as what I normally post about. While it may lack the ability to help you rack up the major frequent flyer miles that the other locations could, it more than compensates for in luxury. The Cloister at Sea Island in coastal Georgia has anything and everything one could ask for, from a incredible golf center, tennis pavilion, numerous pools, award winning spa, a shooting gallery,private beach, boating, horseback riding, to nature tours and cooking classes. Whew!! I am tired after saying all that. Then you throw in ?five star AAA five diamond rating luxury and you have yourself one posh resort. This world class resort truly has something for everyone, have you been? Click here to find out more.

Well that’s what I am loving this Thursday! How about you.…..anything here that appeals to you or something you want to share? Do tell and hope you have an enchanted day!!

INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: FAIRFAX AND SAMMONS, ARCHITECTS EXTRAORDINAIRE


Good morning and a warning- you are in for a serious treat and design overload. Think your senses can handle it? I first found out about this award winning duo, quite by chance,  looking thorough a house magazine and fell in love on paper with a house that Fairfax and Sammons designed. I marveled at the exquisite architecture which to my untrained eye was so spot on and architecturally correct. The house looked like it had been there forever, the way it was perched so perfectly on that hill surrounded by an elegant and mature landscape. I had to read to confirm that it was in fact new construction…I was very impressed. This had me intrigued as we too had just started building and it was our goal to create a home that would make you ponder whether it was new or had been there awhile. I looked them up and in fact fell in love with their entire body of work. Traditional for the most part and just brilliant. Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons head the namesake firm along with thirty employees which opened its doors in 1992.  Incidentally Anne and Richard are married which I think is so neat!

I would choose this boutique firm in a heartbeat as their style appeals to me a great deal and represents fine and classical architecture for today’s living. They have offices in both New York and Palm Beach but their work has taken them all over the globe. Their work has been published, as you can imagine in just about every important design magazine and publication. You can see from this post that their impressive body of work runs the gamut from English arts and crafts, Revival and Palladian to a British colonial seaside residence. They are well versed in so many fabulous styles, which is just one reason I think their firm truly sets them apart. They are full service meaning they are there from the first moment pen is set to paper to create your dream/vision all the way to the crowning touches in the interior design.

I was very fortunate to have been able to interview this uber talented duo and it was such an immense pleasure! I am inspired even more by their philosophy regarding design and now that I have gotten to know them a bit, know they are very deserving of the many awards that they have been bestowed upon them.  On top of getting this wonderful interview they have also graciously donated a signed copy of their incredibly popular design book, American Houses!  If you don’t already own this book you are in for a serious treat and a feast for the eyes! So without further ado here is the interview…..

To be eligible to win the book, all you have to do is leave a comment here stating what your favorite home or interior space is from this post. That’s it! I will announce the winner on Thursdays post! Enjoy…



Thank you Anne and Richard for this wonderful interview and fantastic giveaway!

What is the earliest inspiration that each of you can remember that sparked your interest in architecture? Anne: I went to high school in Honolulu in a David Adler designed villa based on one of Florence called La Pietra. It profoundly affected me to be exposed to great architecture at an early age. Richard: going to undergraduate school in Granville, Ohio exposed me to Greek Revival architecture- its charm and simplicity, achieved with very modest materials, really struck a chord with me.

 Did your upbringings, family homes, or environments have any influence on your ideas and in shaping your thoughts regarding architecture?
Anne: We moved around quite a bit when I was young, and lived in many different sorts of houses – Colonial Revival, Mid-Century Modern, etc. and ended up in Honolulu where the lines between inside and outside are decidedly blurred.
Richard: I worked as a stage carpenter in college, building sets for plays. We would build a perfect 18th century house set in a few weeks time and it opened my eyes to the magic you can create through design. I also discovered architectural proportioning systems in architecture school, which is the key to everything.
 In what part of the country do you do most of your work and how are the architectural wish lists different between, let?s say, the north and the south?
Most of our work is in the Northeast, with Florida running a close second but we’ve designed houses from California to Hong Kong, there is really no limit. Each owner and locale is unique, so it?s hard to say what the differences are.
 How would you best describe your firm?s design philosophy and does your firm have a “signature style”?
If I were to say, what sets us apart is the passion and excellence that Richard and I bring to the design process as well as being sure that our clients know that they come first. For instance, we have an owner who is generally only available on weekends and major holidays and we always accommodate meeting with him, whether it?s Thanksgiving or whatever. We’ve never taken our success, or our clients, for granted.
 What are three basic principles of architecture that are non-negotiable in your eyes?
Well, there are those Vitruvian principles of firmness, commodity and delight… which still hold true today. Firmness defines sturdiness and construction integrity, commodity ensures that the structure fits the needs of the owner and delight provides for pride of ownership, whether it?s for the present owner or the next.
 Do each of you have a personal favorite style?
Who would be a dream client? A dream style home to design? And finally, a dream location on which to build this dream home?
Anne: I’m a tropical climate lover, so my personal favorite would be a client who wants to build a house with natural ventilation and has an intimate relationship with the natural environment. I also love to use water in design, so a pool or a series of pools that are integrated with the design of the house is also desirous.
 What has significantly changed in architecture in the last 20 years? As an example, it seems kitchens have become serious focal points as have master baths. You hear about the increasing popularity of his and her baths; have you seen this or other significant trends in your own firm?
Stylistically, I think there is more of an acceptance and expectation that residential design will be based on traditional models. When we were in architecture school in the 1980’s, our professors told us we would never be able to have a career in traditional house design…… and that has proven false. Houses have, of course, gotten bigger, and we don’t necessarily think this is a good trend.
What is one major trend you are seeing in residential architecture today?
Owners are more sophisticated about what they are asking for when they come to us. Increased travel and exposure to architecture and design has educated all of us in the past 20 years.
 Is Frank Lloyd Wright overrated?
Anne: Hah, that’s funny. FLW was essentially an architect who owed a lot to the arts and crafts movement but gained a reputation for the Prairie Style. The American post- war suburb has been blighted with this style as it trickled down to the developer level. In contrast, the housing stock of the Colonial Revival era is much more aesthetically pleasing, at least to my eye.
 How has the current economy affected or impacted the architectural world, particularly the higher end of the industry?
Anne: We’ve seen pricing come down in the construction industry, both in construction
and the subcontract sectors such as millwork. Many builders are just barely hanging on, and are working at very low margins, which is neither healthy nor sustainable over time. The market for high-end design services has not abated as those with the means to do so, will continue to want uncompromising design.
 Have you ever traveled out of the country specifically to visit a specific architectural wonder because you were so inspired by it?
Anne: Richard and I were blessed with a sound architectural history component to our education, and we share a passion for historic architecture. We spent our youth visiting old colonial houses in Virginia while we were in school at the University there, and we continue to make architecture a focus of our leisure travel. For instance, we went to Rajasthan and saw the Taj Mahal – it reminds you of the power of design that can speak through the time.
 Anne, this is for you – Why do you think there are so few women architects?
Anne: My architecture class was made up of 50% women, so it is a bit of a mystery to me why there are so few women in the field. My thought is that women are not as visible in the industry because they are not heading up their own firms right now, however I do see a trend in many firms, such as Robert Stern’s office, in promoting younger women to partner level. I think it?s an excellent career choice for women, you have to be super organized and it helps if you can multitask easily, which I think comes easily to women. Women are natural team players and aren’t necessarily looking to ?own? a project but instead take pleasure in being a good team member. It?s inevitable that there will be a steady trend of more women in the profession in the future, but it will take time.
What is the average-sized home that your firm designs? Does your firm also do renovations or just new construction?
Anne: We like all sorts of projects in the office, and all sorts of sizes. We design both new residences as well as renovations and additions. We are also very good urban designers, which a lot of people don’t know about. We designed a crescent in Poundbury, Prince Charles’s new town in Dorset,, England for instance.
 What project management services does your firm provide? Is it full service? Anne: We are a full-service firm, taking the project from the initial schematic design to
final punchlist and post-construction completion. 
 How long is the process from start to finish on average for a residential
job?
Anne: That’s a bit hard to generalize, but it is best thought of as a year to a multi-year
endeavor. There are ways to speed it up, but keeping in mind the three variables – time, quality and cost – if you compress the process, you will be compromising at least one. If you want to substantially speed it up, you can keep the time and quality, but it will cost more.
 Is your firm getting involved with green or sustainable design? If so, do you foresee this becoming the big trend that some are saying it is destined to become?
Not to blow our own horn too much, but the greatest approach an owner and architect can take to the art of building is to build with good, durable materials, in a time-honored way.
 How important is finding the property and studying that land prior to designing the home on which it will be built?
The saddest thing for us is to visit a site, after an owner has purchased it, and discover that it has some fatal flaws. This has happened on numerous occasions, such as a site that’s sited towards the north in the northeast, or if there is a large mountain that shades the site starting in the early afternoon, being too close to a noisy highway, or near train tracks; there is only so much one can do to mitigate the negative impact of these factors on a site. 
What are one or two of the biggest mistakes you see in today’s residential architectural practices? How much time do you have? All kidding aside, and setting aside the issues we have with the developer-driven housing market, the key issue we have with other architects? work is the lack of literacy in standard traditional design, and that extends into the simple detailing of materials. For example, one architect, whose work we respect, set stone columns directly onto a stone terrace without taking into consideration how that stone would interact with water on the terrace. Less than a year after completion, water was wicking up the column, and creating deterioration in the stone. The traditional method is to create a stone stooling out of a more durable stone, such as Istrian stone, that resists water absorption. If you have a passion for classical architecture, it?s not always about the sheer aesthetics; that passion must extend into the details. Unfortunately the education of an architect today does not cover these issues, and it?s left up to the individual to continuously observe and learn throughout one’s lifetime.
 Do you have a favorite material that you like to see in construction, say…brick, stone, clapboard or another material?
We prefer the time-tested materials, used in ways that enhance their beauty and durability.
 What country in your opinion has the most magnificent and inspirational
architecture?
We haven’t been to them all, but Italy has to be up there in the major Pantheon of best countries for architecture. It?s all there.
 Will we ever see periods of architectural splendor as we did during the Renaissance, Beaux-Arts, Gothic, and Baroque periods, or does the prohibitive costs of materials, labor and scarcity of land make this impossible to recreate ever again on that same grand scale?
That’s a good question… and one that’s difficult to speculate upon. It takes a perfect combination of an educated and sophisticated client to create the demand, coupled with a sizable budget as well as the right talent to create and execute; I wouldn’t rule it out. Certainly, in the Dark Ages the Renaissance couldn’t have been predicted!
 What is in your opinion, the single most treasured architectural wonder of the world?
Great questions! The Taj Mahal comes rather close.


And now the icing on the cake…..may I present the fabulous work of Fairfax and Sammons!

This fabulous British Colonial is positively regal!
Love this hallway and that floor!!
Stunning!
Love the colors and tones in this fabulous library
Love banquette seating, don’t you? The red gives it such a lively pop.
Fabulous and decadent dining
Stunning in its soft tones…love the floor
Creamy splendor!
Gorgeous country kitchen, picture perfect
How beautiful is this dining room?
This is a bedroom after my own heart……
Fabulous high in the sky two story library
Love and appreciate the details here on the moldings and paneling
Stunning transitional space
Beautiful brick wall detailing
This is a Gothic Revival restoration….fabulous
Beautiful family room/great room…gorgeous detailing
Stately Federal house style home
A room with a view indeed! Love the way that window is cased
Palladian style home built in Hong Kong
Georgian style residence
Its all in the details…..
Magnificent poolhouse….
What a vision!
English Arts and Crafts
Indoor pool…..
Love this space!
A gorgeous Georgian Revival addition
The old is made to look new again….beautiful!
What a gracious entry….love the door and the chinoiserie!
This is what I would refer to as a breathtaking room
Elegance abounds
Absolutely sumptuous master suite
Fit for a king…..decadent master bathroom
Spectacular new Jeffersonian residence, so stately!
Arts and Crafts stone cottage
The materials used give this room such integrity, don’t you agree?
Such a refined residence, an elegant Georgian Arts and Crafts home
Love this fabulous and elegant kitchen
This is such a rich looking dining room, love the dark green paneling
Fabulous pool house
Charming shingle style renovation
Such a grand but welcoming foyer
What perfection…..a vision in white
Love these windows and the volume of this beautiful space
What a picture perfect setting
The grandeur of this room is spellbinding!
Talk about knowing how to situate a home!
This is classic architecture at its finest
Splendid
This is one magnificent loggia
This space is absolutely dreamy!!!! I am in love with everything about this room
How grand is this!
All I can say is “wow”
Love the electric mix of styles here
Always loved the character a washed brick interior wall gives a home
That is a mighty impressive body of work! Many thanks again Anne and Richard. Your work is truly awe inspiring. To be eligible to win the signed book giveaway, just leave a comment here stating your favorite image above. I will announce the winner on Thurs.morning. Have a wonderful day!

Photobucket

INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: FAIRFAX AND SAMMONS, ARCHITECTS EXTRAORDINAIRE



Good morning and a warning- you are in for a serious treat and design overload. Think your senses can handle it? I first found out about this award winning duo, quite by chance, ?looking thorough a house magazine and fell in love on paper with a house that Fairfax and Sammons designed. I marveled at the exquisite architecture which to my untrained eye was so spot on and architecturally correct. The house looked like it had been there forever, the way it was perched so perfectly on that hill surrounded by an elegant and mature landscape. I had to read to confirm that it was in fact new construction…I was very impressed. This had me intrigued as we too had just started building and it was our goal to create a home that would make you ponder whether it was new or had been there awhile. I looked them up and in fact fell in love with their entire body of work. Traditional for the most part and just brilliant. Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons head the namesake firm along with thirty employees which opened its doors in 1992. ?Incidentally Anne and Richard are married which I think is so neat!



I would choose this boutique firm in a heartbeat as their style appeals to me a great deal and represents fine and classical architecture for today’s living. They have offices in both New York and Palm Beach but their work has taken them all over the globe. Their work has been published, as you can imagine in just about every important design magazine and publication. You can see from this post that their impressive body of work runs the gamut from English arts and crafts, Revival and Palladian to a British colonial seaside residence. They are well versed in so many fabulous styles, which is just one reason I think their firm truly sets them apart. They are full service meaning they are there from the first moment pen is set to paper to create your dream/vision all the way to the crowning touches in the interior design.



I was very fortunate to have been able to interview this uber talented duo and it was such an immense pleasure! I am inspired even more by their philosophy regarding design and now that I have gotten to know them a bit, know they are very deserving of the many awards that they have been bestowed upon them. ?On top of getting this wonderful interview they have also graciously donated a signed copy of their incredibly popular design book, American Houses! ?If you don’t already own this book you are in for a serious treat and a feast for the eyes! So without further ado?here is the interview…..

To be eligible to win the book, all you have to do is leave a comment here stating what your favorite home or interior space is from this post.?That’s it! I will announce the winner on Thursdays post! Enjoy…







Thank you Anne and Richard for this wonderful interview and fantastic giveaway!



What is the earliest inspiration that each of you can remember that sparked your interest in architecture??Anne: I went to high school in Honolulu in a David Adler designed villa based on one of Florence called La Pietra. It profoundly affected me to be exposed to great architecture at an early age. Richard: going to undergraduate school in Granville, Ohio exposed me to Greek Revival architecture- its charm and simplicity, achieved with very modest materials, really struck a chord with me.

?Did your upbringings, family homes, or environments have any influence on your ideas and in shaping your thoughts regarding architecture?
Anne: We moved around quite a bit when I was young, and lived in many different sorts of houses – Colonial Revival, Mid-Century Modern, etc. and ended up in Honolulu where the lines between inside and outside are decidedly blurred.
Richard: I worked as a stage carpenter in college, building sets for plays. We would build a perfect 18th?century house set in a few weeks time and it opened my eyes to the magic you can create through design. I also discovered architectural proportioning systems in architecture school, which is the key to everything.
?In what part of the country do you do most of your work and how are the architectural wish lists different between, let?s say, the north and the south?
Most of our work is in the Northeast, with Florida running a close second but we’ve designed houses from California to Hong Kong, there is really no limit. Each owner and locale is unique, so it?s hard to say what the differences are.
?How would you best describe your firm?s design philosophy and does your firm have a “signature style”?
If I were to say, what sets us apart is the passion and excellence that Richard and I bring to the design process as well as being sure that our clients know that they come first. For instance, we have an owner who is generally only available on weekends and major holidays and we always accommodate meeting with him, whether it?s Thanksgiving or whatever. We’ve never taken our success, or our clients, for granted.
?What are three basic principles of architecture that are non-negotiable in your eyes?
Well, there are those Vitruvian principles of firmness, commodity and delight… which still hold true today. Firmness defines sturdiness and construction integrity, commodity ensures that the structure fits the needs of the owner and delight provides for pride of ownership, whether it?s for the present owner or the next.
?Do each of you have a personal favorite style?
Who would be a dream client? A dream style home to design? And finally, a dream location on which to build this dream home?
Anne: I’m a tropical climate lover, so my personal favorite would be a client who wants to build a house with natural ventilation and has an intimate relationship with the natural environment. I also love to use water in design, so a pool or a series of pools that are integrated with the design of the house is also desirous.
?What has significantly changed in architecture in the last 20 years? As an example, it seems kitchens have become serious focal points as have master baths. You hear about the increasing popularity of his and her baths; have you seen this or other significant trends in your own firm?
Stylistically, I think there is more of an acceptance and expectation that residential design will be based on traditional models. When we were in architecture school in the 1980’s, our professors told us we would never be able to have a career in traditional house design…… and that has proven false. Houses have, of course, gotten bigger, and we don’t necessarily think this is a good trend.
What is one major trend you are seeing in residential architecture today?
Owners are more sophisticated about what they are asking for when they come to us. Increased travel and exposure to architecture and design has educated all of us in the past 20 years.
?Is Frank Lloyd Wright overrated?
Anne: Hah, that’s funny. FLW was essentially an architect who owed a lot to the arts and crafts movement but gained a reputation for the Prairie Style. The American post- war suburb has been blighted with this style as it trickled down to the developer level. In contrast, the housing stock of the Colonial Revival era is much more aesthetically pleasing, at least to my eye.
?How has the current economy affected or impacted the architectural world, particularly the higher end of the industry?
Anne: We’ve seen pricing come down in the construction industry, both in construction
and the subcontract sectors such as millwork. Many builders are just barely hanging on, and are working at very low margins, which is neither healthy nor sustainable over time. The market for high-end design services has not abated as those with the means to do so, will continue to want uncompromising design.
?Have you ever traveled out of the country specifically to visit a specific architectural wonder because you were so inspired by it?
Anne: Richard and I were blessed with a sound architectural history component to our education, and we share a passion for historic architecture. We spent our youth visiting old colonial houses in Virginia while we were in school at the University there, and we continue to make architecture a focus of our leisure travel. For instance, we went to Rajasthan and saw the Taj Mahal – it reminds you of the power of design that can speak through the time.
?Anne, this is for you – Why do you think there are so few women architects?
Anne: My architecture class was made up of 50% women, so it is a bit of a mystery to me why there are so few women in the field. My thought is that women are not as visible in the industry because they are not heading up their own firms right now, however I do see a trend in many firms, such as Robert Stern’s office, in promoting younger women to partner level. I think it?s an excellent career choice for women, you have to be super organized and it helps if you can multitask easily, which I think comes easily to women. Women are natural team players and aren’t necessarily looking to ?own? a project but instead take pleasure in being a good team member. It?s inevitable that there will be a steady trend of more women in the profession in the future, but it will take time.
What is the average-sized home that your firm designs? Does your firm also do renovations or just new construction?
Anne: We like all sorts of projects in the office, and all sorts of sizes. We design both new residences as well as renovations and additions. We are also very good urban designers, which a lot of people don’t know about. We designed a crescent in Poundbury, Prince Charles’s new town in Dorset,, England for instance.
?What project management services does your firm provide? Is it full service??Anne: We are a full-service firm, taking the project from the initial schematic design to
final punchlist and post-construction completion.?
?How long is the process from start to finish on average for a residential
job?
Anne: That’s a bit hard to generalize, but it is best thought of as a year to a multi-year
endeavor. There are ways to speed it up, but keeping in mind the three variables – time, quality and cost – if you compress the process, you will be compromising at least one. If you want to substantially speed it up, you can keep the time and quality, but it will cost more.
?Is your firm getting involved with green or sustainable design? If so, do you foresee this becoming the big trend that some are saying it is destined to become?
Not to blow our own horn too much, but the greatest approach an owner and architect can take to the art of building is to build with good, durable materials, in a time-honored way.
?How important is finding the property and studying that land prior to designing the home on which it will be built?
The saddest thing for us is to visit a site, after an owner has purchased it, and discover that it has some fatal flaws. This has happened on numerous occasions, such as a site that’s sited towards the north in the northeast, or if there is a large mountain that shades the site starting in the early afternoon, being too close to a noisy highway, or near train tracks; there is only so much one can do to mitigate the negative impact of these factors on a site.?
.?What are one or two of the biggest mistakes you see in today’s residential architectural practices??How much time do you have??All kidding aside, and setting aside the issues we have with the developer-driven housing market, the key issue we have with other architects? work is the lack of literacy in standard traditional design, and that extends into the simple detailing of materials. For example, one architect, whose work we respect, set stone columns directly onto a stone terrace without taking into consideration how that stone would interact with water on the terrace. Less than a year after completion, water was wicking up the column, and creating deterioration in the stone. The traditional method is to create a stone stooling out of a more durable stone, such as Istrian stone, that resists water absorption. If you have a passion for classical architecture, it?s not always about the sheer aesthetics; that passion must extend into the details. Unfortunately the education of an architect today does not cover these issues, and it?s left up to the individual to continuously observe and learn throughout one’s lifetime.
?Do you have a favorite material that you like to see in construction, say…brick, stone, clapboard or another material?
We prefer the time-tested materials, used in ways that enhance their beauty and durability.
?What country in your opinion has the most magnificent and inspirational
architecture?
We haven’t been to them all, but Italy has to be up there in the major Pantheon of best countries for architecture. It?s all there.
?Will we ever see periods of architectural splendor as we did during the Renaissance, Beaux-Arts, Gothic, and Baroque periods, or does the prohibitive costs of materials, labor and scarcity of land make this impossible to recreate ever again on that same grand scale?
That’s a good question… and one that’s difficult to speculate upon. It takes a perfect combination of an educated and sophisticated client to create the demand, coupled with a sizable budget as well as the right talent to create and execute; I wouldn’t rule it out. Certainly, in the Dark Ages the Renaissance couldn’t have been predicted!
?What is in your opinion, the single most treasured architectural wonder of the world?
Great questions! The Taj Mahal comes rather close.




And now the icing on the cake…..may I present the fabulous work of Fairfax and Sammons!


This fabulous British Colonial is positively regal!
Love this hallway and that floor!!
Stunning!
Love the colors and tones in this fabulous library
Love banquette seating, don’t you? The red gives it such a lively pop.
Fabulous and decadent dining
Stunning in its soft tones…love the floor
Creamy splendor!
Gorgeous country kitchen, picture perfect
How beautiful is this dining room?
This is a bedroom after my own heart……
Fabulous high in the sky two story library
Love and appreciate the details here on the moldings and paneling
Stunning transitional space
Beautiful brick wall detailing
This is a Gothic Revival restoration….fabulous
Beautiful family room/great room…gorgeous detailing
Stately Federal house style home
A room with a view indeed! Love the way that window is cased
Palladian style home built in Hong Kong
Georgian style residence
Its all in the details…..
Magnificent poolhouse….
What a vision!
English Arts and Crafts
Indoor pool…..
Love this space!
A gorgeous Georgian Revival addition
The old is made to look new again….beautiful!
What a gracious entry….love the door and the chinoiserie!
This is what I would refer to as a breathtaking room
Elegance abounds
Absolutely sumptuous master suite
Fit for a king…..decadent master bathroom
Spectacular new Jeffersonian residence, so stately!
Arts and Crafts stone cottage
The materials used give this room such integrity, don’t you agree?
Such a refined residence, an elegant Georgian Arts and Crafts home
Love this fabulous and elegant kitchen
This is such a rich looking dining room, love the dark green paneling
Fabulous pool house
Charming?shingle style renovation
Such a grand but welcoming foyer
What perfection…..a vision in white
Love these windows and the volume of this beautiful space
What a picture perfect setting
The grandeur of this room is spellbinding!
Talk about knowing how to situate a home!
This is classic architecture at its finest
Splendid
This is one magnificent loggia
This space is absolutely dreamy!!!! I am in love with everything about this room
How grand is this!
All I can say is “wow”
Love the electric mix of styles here
Always loved the character a washed brick interior wall gives a home
That is a mighty impressive body of work! Many thanks again Anne and Richard. Your work is truly awe inspiring. To be eligible to win the signed book giveaway, just leave a comment here stating your favorite image above. I will announce the winner on Thurs.morning. Have a wonderful day!

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Its spa time!

Good morning! Hope everyone had a wonderful and restful weekend. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am craving a vacation, not just a quick weekend jaunt either but a full blown minimum week somewhere wonderful! With the stress level being high as of late, a spa vacation sounds like its in order. Whats the next best thing to going to a fabulous over the top pampering spa? Well, nothing. But if I can’t go then the next best thing is admiring and fantasizing over them online! I love going to spas and don’t get to go nearly as often as I like. 

Sorry but for me day spas just don’t cut it, it has to be a long drawn out experience, minimum 3 days to really decompress, totally unwind and take in the whole experience. I cannot relax during the day knowing I will be sitting in traffic at 5pm heading home to make dinner, become the homework police and worry about getting to my sons practice on time. So today is dedicated to those spas that you go away to, really get away to….a destination spa. Have you been to any that you love? Is a spa vacation even something you really would want to go on? Take a look, does one or another appeal to you? Love to know!

RITZ CARLTON LAGUNA NIGEL, CALIFORNIA Perched high on a gorgeous bluff in tony Laguna Nigel, this is a hotel I can vouch for. We have been there four times and with a massive renovation just completed and a world class spa added, needless to say this is sure to please even them most discerning traveler. It is also situated conveniently about five minutes from the bustling and very hip downtown brimming with cool restaurants and art galleries. Love it here!

The way it is situated is truly majestic

The rooms have spectacular views
At sunset, it is quite breathtaking

SHANGRI LA, VILLINGLI RESORT IN THE MALDIVES. This place is truly like a heaven on earth. Some of these pictures seem too good to be real!! Why does it have to be so far? This place has my name all over it. The architecture which appears to have risen out of the ocean is just out of this world. The scary thing is IF I did get to go….I seriously might not ever want to go back to reality!! This is incredible!
Seriously?
It would be hard to leave my room!

I will have my breakfast, lunch and dinner right here, thank you very much!

Love the chaises IN the pool! 

Breathtaking is an understatement
FOUR SEASONS RESORT AND SPA IN PROVENCE AT TERRE BLANCHE. What is not to love about gorgeous, inspirational and laid back countryside of Provence? Not only is this part of France breathtaking in all its natural splendor, it boasts having a Four Seasons with a renowned spa. What a combination! This is a place I have definitely put on my bucket list and I wish I had known about it last year when we were lucky enough to visit gorgeous Provence……I feel calmer just looking at the pictures, don’t you?
Magical!
I would love to have my morning coffee here and look at that view!
Part of the spa complex

This is magic, I can almost smell the lavender
TUCKERS POINT, BERMUDA. Here is a place that is doable in that its relatively close! Tuckers Point, Bermuda’s newest resort and spa is out of this world!! We were there when it was under construction and are trying to go this summer, fingers crossed. It combines beautiful old world decor with pampering luxury all with the gorgeous ocean as a backdrop. It is Bermuda’s newest hotel/resort/spa and boasts a large community of luxurious private homes as well.  This is one spa getaway I am craving right now!
Breaktaking and set on over 200 acres
Entrance to the spa with the ocean as a backdrop….ahh what could be more perfect!
Gorgeous spa waiting room

The elegant restaurant with its formal Bermudian flair
Inside the spa
So are your bags packed? I would love to be boarding a plane right now to head over to any one of these glorious spots! Do you enjoy going to spas? Do you have a favorite? Wishing you a wonderful start to the week.

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Its spa time!

Good morning! Hope everyone had a wonderful and restful weekend. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am craving a vacation, not just a quick weekend jaunt either but a full blown minimum week somewhere wonderful! With the stress level being high as of late, a spa vacation sounds like its in order. Whats the next best thing to going to a fabulous over the top pampering spa? Well, nothing. But if I can’t go then the next best thing is admiring and fantasizing over them online! I love going to spas and don’t get to go nearly as often as I like.?



Sorry but for me day spas just don’t cut it, it has to be a long drawn out experience, minimum 3 days to really decompress, totally unwind and take in the whole experience. I cannot relax during the day knowing I will be sitting in traffic at 5pm heading home to make dinner, become the homework police and worry about getting to my sons practice on time. So today is dedicated to those spas that you go away to, really get away to….a destination spa. Have you been to any that you love? Is a spa vacation even something you really would want to go on? Take a look, does one or another appeal to you? Love to know!



RITZ CARLTON LAGUNA NIGEL, CALIFORNIA Perched high on a gorgeous bluff in tony Laguna Nigel, this is a hotel I can vouch for. We have been there four times and with a massive renovation just completed and a world class spa added, needless to say this is sure to please even them most discerning traveler. It is also situated conveniently about five minutes from the bustling and very hip downtown brimming with cool restaurants and art galleries. Love it here!

The way it is situated is truly majestic

The rooms have spectacular views
At sunset, it is quite breathtaking

SHANGRI LA, VILLINGLI RESORT IN THE MALDIVES. This place is truly like a heaven on earth. Some of these pictures seem too good to be real!! Why does it have to be so far? This place has my name all over it. The architecture which appears to have risen out of the ocean is just out of this world. The scary thing is IF I did get to go….I seriously might not ever want to go back to reality!! This is incredible!
Seriously?
It would be hard to leave my room!

I will have my breakfast, lunch and dinner right here, thank you very much!

Love the chaises IN the pool!?

Breathtaking is an understatement
FOUR SEASONS RESORT AND SPA IN PROVENCE AT TERRE BLANCHE. What is not to love about gorgeous, inspirational and laid back countryside of Provence? Not only is this part of France breathtaking in all its natural splendor, it boasts having a Four Seasons with?a renowned spa. What a combination! This is a place I have definitely put on my bucket list and I wish I had known about it last year when we were lucky enough to visit gorgeous Provence……I feel calmer just looking at the pictures, don’t you?
Magical!
I would love to have my morning coffee here and look at that view!
Part of the spa complex

This is magic, I can almost smell the lavender
TUCKERS POINT, BERMUDA. Here is a place that is doable in that its relatively close! Tuckers Point, Bermuda’s newest resort and spa is out of this world!! We were there when it was under construction and are trying to go this summer, fingers crossed. It combines beautiful old world decor with pampering luxury all with the gorgeous ocean as a backdrop. It is Bermuda’s newest hotel/resort/spa and boasts a large community of luxurious private homes as well. ?This is one spa getaway I am craving right now!
Breaktaking and set on over 200 acres
Entrance to the spa with the ocean as a backdrop….ahh what could be more perfect!
Gorgeous spa waiting room

The elegant restaurant with its formal Bermudian flair
Inside the spa
So are your bags packed? I would love to be boarding a plane right now to head over to any one of these glorious spots! Do you enjoy going to spas? Do you have a favorite? Wishing you a wonderful start to the week.

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Sunday Showhouse, you’re invited!!

Happy Sunday to you! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Finally the sun is out, after many days of rain, humidity and gloom. We have had a relaxing weekend, dinner with a group of friends last night with many laughs. It felt good, and I think laughter and friendship are akin to bread and butter for the soul. You gotta have them and they make you feel fulfilled and satisfied. We are blessed to have a very special group of friends.
 Even though I don’t have my own garden YET, I do have a new selection of just now blooming flowers from the yard of the house we are currently in, this time some very colorful hydrangeas. I took out my little trusty blue and white vases (perfect size for a dining table or coffee table) and voila….instant arrangement! Though I am not a huge fuchsia or purple fan in general I think these actually look really pretty in the blue and white. 
 You are in for a real treat today…….we start off at a beautiful family compound in Sun Valley, jet over to the island of Kona, Hawaii and end our little tour in luxurious Bal Harbour, Florida. Three very different homes, but all magnificent and so amazingly well done. I always love to know which is the favorite, so please let me know! Enjoy the tour and hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Sunday.

Now here we go to our Sunday showhouse………


SUN VALLEY, IDAHO. This is a treat and a treat with an interesting story behind how it got to be what it is. This sprawling compound actually consists of five barns that were transported from New Hampshire to Idaho! “The Barn People” the company that takes old barns, restores them and moves them were instrumental in their decision to go that route as opposed to building a new compound for themselves and their four grown children. Five barns were ultimately restored and used to create one large home. A eclectic mix of French provincial and a more contemporary feel were used which worked beautifully against the rustic nature and exposed beams found throughout the home. Love the huge spaces, and this is indeed a home where you can see why the grown children come back often!

Almost too pretty to be real…….the scenery and landscape are breathtaking
Main hallway…..loving those beams! (All original)

Love all the wood…it creates such warmth

How great is this game room? All the kids bedrooms are off of this central room!
One of the bedrooms
OK this right here is my dream…my own private artists studio/home office! How amazing is this!!!! I swear if I had this, I might never want to leave. Pinch me.


MAUI, HAWAII. Anne Howerton designed this fabulous Hawaiian style ‘cottage” with Balinese influences. With a large central living pavilion that opens onto a large courtyard this home brings the outside in beautifully. It is above all else, comfortable, casual and laced with pops of color. This is a family home and I think they have succeeded in allowing it to feel like one. The views are just unreal and they were wise to keep the windows free from any heavy ornamentation or heavy draperies as to allow for maximum light and enjoyment of the vistas! Step right in…….and feel that tropical breeze. 

I can feel the breeze now…….
Don’t you love how the walls of glass spill onto the center pavillion?
OK seriously….its not fair that they have not one but TWO amazing water views! 
Love the huge wall of glass in the dining room overlooking the Pacific…
The kitchen is done in monkeywood!
I would curl up in one of those cozy daybeds with a great book and be happy as a clam!

With views like that, you would find me permanently attached to this chaise lounge!


BAL HARBOUR, FLORIDA  Welcome to our last stop. This beautiful newly renovated Mediterranean home is sprawling, large but very warm. The interiors were done by Marjorie Shusan and I think reflect the owners wishes to have this feel like a family home since they have two young sons.  Bits of Indonesian decor were infused throughout the interiors, which are both dramatic but so inviting. Love the tall ceilings, the beams and of course the lush outdoors is beyond words. Come on in and see what you think!

Lush foliage welcomes you

I love the beams and mahogany cased french doors

Love the tranquil feeling master bedroom
This outdoor setting is fabulous and what a great entertaining space!
So…what do you think? Have a clear cut favorite? I am  a little torn, love the vistas and spectacular scenery of the first place, the tropical tranquility of Hawaii and the warmth of the last house. Something in each to love!! Love to know your favorite! Have a wonderful day.

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Sunday Showhouse, you’re invited!!

Happy Sunday to you! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Finally the sun is out, after many days of rain, humidity and gloom. We have had a relaxing weekend, dinner with?a group of friends last night with many laughs. It felt good, and I think laughter and friendship are akin to bread and butter for the soul. You gotta have them and they make you feel fulfilled and satisfied. We are blessed to have a very special group of friends.

?Even though I don’t have my own garden YET, I do have a new selection of just now blooming flowers from the yard of the house we are currently in, this time some very colorful hydrangeas. I took out my little trusty blue and white vases (perfect size for a dining table or coffee table) and voila….instant arrangement! Though I am not a huge fuchsia or purple fan in general I think these actually look really pretty in the blue and white.?

?You are in for a real treat today…….we start off at a beautiful family compound in Sun Valley, jet over to the island of Kona, Hawaii and end our little tour in luxurious Bal Harbour, Florida. Three very different homes, but all magnificent and so amazingly?well done. I always love to know which is the favorite, so please let me know! Enjoy the tour and hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Sunday.

Now here we go to our Sunday showhouse………



SUN VALLEY, IDAHO. This is a treat and a treat with an interesting story behind how it got to be what it is. This sprawling compound actually consists of five barns that were transported from New Hampshire to Idaho! “The Barn People” the company that takes old barns, restores them and moves them were instrumental in their decision to go that route as opposed to building a new compound for themselves and their four grown children. Five barns were ultimately restored and used to create one large home. A eclectic mix of French provincial and a more contemporary feel were used which worked beautifully against the rustic nature and exposed beams found throughout the home. Love the huge spaces, and this is indeed a home where you can see why the grown children come back often!

Almost too pretty to be real…….the scenery and landscape are breathtaking
Main hallway…..loving those beams! (All original)

Love all the wood…it creates such warmth

How great is this game room? All the kids bedrooms are off of this central room!
One of the bedrooms
OK this right here is my dream…my own private artists studio/home office! How amazing is this!!!! I swear if I had this, I might never want to leave. Pinch me.



MAUI, HAWAII. Anne Howerton designed this fabulous Hawaiian style ‘cottage” with Balinese influences. With a large central living pavilion that opens onto a large courtyard this home brings the outside in beautifully. It is above all else, comfortable, casual and laced with pops of color. This is a family home and I think they have succeeded in allowing it to feel like one. The views are just unreal and they were wise to keep the windows free from any heavy ornamentation or heavy draperies as to allow for maximum light and enjoyment of the vistas!?Step right in…….and feel that tropical breeze.?

I can feel the breeze now…….
Don’t you love how the walls of glass spill onto the center pavillion?
OK seriously….its not fair that they have not one but TWO amazing water views!?
Love the huge wall of glass in the dining room overlooking the Pacific…
The kitchen is done in monkeywood!
I would curl up in one of those cozy daybeds with a great book and be happy as a clam!

With views like that, you would find me permanently attached to this chaise lounge!



BAL HARBOUR, FLORIDA ?Welcome to our last stop. This beautiful newly renovated Mediterranean home is sprawling, large but very warm. The interiors were done by Marjorie Shusan and I think reflect the owners wishes to have this feel like a family home since they have two young sons. ?Bits of Indonesian decor were infused throughout the interiors, which are both dramatic but so inviting. Love the tall ceilings, the beams and of course?the lush outdoors is beyond words. Come on in and see what you think!

Lush foliage welcomes you

I love the beams and mahogany cased french doors

Love the tranquil feeling master bedroom
This outdoor setting is fabulous and what a great entertaining space!
So…what do you think? Have a clear cut favorite? I am ?a little torn, love the vistas and spectacular scenery of the first place, the tropical tranquility of Hawaii and the warmth of the last house. Something in each to love!! Love to know your favorite! Have a wonderful day.

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Chapter 1- Paint and wallpaper diaries

You will likely be hearing a lot from me about paint and wallpaper over the coming months (possibly stretching into years) so consider this a forewarning! We are just beginning and its a long, tricky and treacherous road but when you get it just right, its unbelievably rewarding too! So there will likely be many many “chapters” in my paint and wallpaper diaries to come. 

I will NEVER forget our first apartment, after just getting married  and how I wanted it to have a country french feel (this was at the height of the shabby chic craze)  and I was adamant about going for a soft blushy pink. Instead what I got was the perspective of living inside a  bottle of Pepto Bismol, and having to stare at that hideous shade of pink all day long. I had gone to work leaving the gallons of newly bought paint for the painter to use and came home to a monstrosity of pink overload. You are probably right now thinking, “well didn’t you think to do a test patch”? The honest answer to that is no, I thought at my ripe old age of 22, I knew it all…yes thought I possessed that sixth sense that can choose a paint color with the flick of a finger. Clearly I was wrong. Way wrong. Words cannot describe my reaction when I excitedly returned home from work…I was aghast, nearly fainted at the shocking almost neon pink that greeted me. Needless to say I had the painters back first thing the next morning to do “damage control”. Though I did spend the previous night in a fitful restless sleep trying to convince myself it had a certain charm, it was “a look”. Yea, as much charm as a bottle of Pepto Bismol. No thank you!

 Thankfully I have come a long long way since then. Learning that in fact colored walls are not really my thing (Perhaps that experience traumatized me for life). I am much more of a neutral kind of gal and softly colored walls in earthy tones is much more my speed. I have had a lot of people email me about paint colors and several wanting to know the wallpaper name and manufacturers I posted on my Thursday house updates post. So first I will give you that information and then moving onto what I have learned and am in fact still learning about paint and some “sure thing” colors.

    REAR POWDER ROOM PAPER- Scalamandre’s Parapluie color Ivory, pewter on pearl gold. It looks like its a brighter yellow than it is,its actually quite soft which makes it so pretty.

MASTER BEDROOM WALLPAPER  Stark’s Tracy Andrew, Grand Siecle in buff
(I photographed it upside down- just realized this)

Moving onto paint…………
BENJAMIN MOORE CLOUD WHITE A soft creamy white which is a favorite amongst many decorators, magazines, HGTV and countless other design gurus.

FARROW AND BALL POINTING (For the record this is their best selling color) Very warm and creamy.

NAVAJO WHITE BY BENJAMIN MOORE. Another all time best selling white, but for good reason.  I have used this many times and its a great color, very neutral and really considerd to be a “safe white” when in doubt!

FARROW AND BALL ELEPHANTS BREATH This is a neat color, I would say it has a putty like effect to it. I saw it first at a designers showcase and took note because it was really pretty.

FARROW AND BALL These are four colors I love, soft earthy putty tones. From clockwise on the left, they are  String, Stony ground, Chemise and Satin slipper.
A GRAY GREEN. If I get the nerve up to go with a little color, perhaps in a guest room or bathroom, and I want to go the green route..these two gray greens are really pretty, they are quite and subdued but give a hint of color. The top is Narragansett Green and the bottom is Stonington Gray.
A SOFT BLUE GRAY. Love this color, Farrow and Ball Parma Gray

A MOSSY GREEN. If I was to get bold and go green I would want a beautiful muted mossy green. Something old world looking. This Benjamin Moore color, Aganthus (even the name is old world) is gorgeous…check it out in the room below.
A TUSCAN SUNSET.I have always loved rooms that look like they are part of a sunset, those that take on a gorgeous warm apricot colored glow. Its bold and brazen and I am not sure I would do it but if I were to take the plunge, one color that’s a proven winner is Benjamin Moore’s Soft marigold. Proof is this splendid bathroom right out of Tuscany!
WHITES AND OFF WHITES. We all need them, have them and want them. Who doesn’t love the perfect creamy white wall..not too stark but not too yellow. Benjamin Moore seems to have that covered with a few best selling “whites”. You think all whites are the same until you start looking, then you never look at white the same way ever again! Some of the tried and true favorites are the best selling colors below. They are practically fool proof!
1.Ivory white. 2. White Dove 3. Decorators white 4.Atrium white 5. Acadia white 6. Elephant tusk
I think Benjamin Moore’s best selling white of all time is one we all know well…Linen white
Another very popular BM white is White Dove
Only when you see all these whites together do you realize how many variations and undertones there are in this color. So its wise to pick up a pint, do a “test patch” and see how it plays out in your room with your light. It can look like a totally different animal from one room to another!
So lets now overwhelm our senses..enough paint talk for today. What are your tips on choosing paint color? Do you have a favorite? Any disaster stories of your own? I would imagine we have all had one or two! Hope you have an enchanted Friday…..

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Chapter 1- Paint and wallpaper diaries

You will likely be hearing a lot from me about paint and wallpaper over the coming months (possibly stretching into years) so consider this a forewarning! We are just beginning and its a long, tricky and treacherous road but when you get it just right, its unbelievably rewarding too! So there will likely be many many “chapters” in my paint and wallpaper diaries to come.?



I will NEVER forget our first apartment, after just getting married ?and how I wanted it to have a country french feel (this was at the height of the shabby chic craze) ?and I was adamant about going for a soft blushy pink. Instead what I got was the perspective of living inside a ?bottle of Pepto Bismol, and?having to stare at that hideous shade of pink all day long. I had gone to work leaving the gallons of newly bought paint for the painter to use and came home to a monstrosity of pink overload. You are probably right now thinking, “well didn’t you think to do a test patch”? The honest answer to that is no, I thought at my ripe old age of?22, I knew it all…yes thought I possessed that sixth sense that can choose a paint color with the flick of a finger. Clearly I was wrong. Way wrong. Words cannot describe my reaction when I excitedly returned home from work…I was aghast, nearly fainted at the shocking almost neon pink that greeted me. Needless to say I had the painters back first thing the next morning to do “damage control”. Though I did spend the previous night in a fitful restless sleep trying to convince myself it had a certain charm, it was “a look”. Yea, as much charm as a bottle of Pepto Bismol. No thank you!



?Thankfully I have come a long long way since then. Learning that in fact colored walls are not really my thing (Perhaps that experience?traumatized me for life). I am much more of a neutral kind of gal and softly colored walls in earthy tones is much more my speed. I have had a lot of people email me about paint colors and several wanting to know the wallpaper name and manufacturers I posted on my Thursday house updates post.?So first I will give you that information and then moving onto what I have learned and am in fact still learning about paint and some “sure thing” colors.



?? ?REAR POWDER ROOM PAPER- Scalamandre’s Parapluie color Ivory, pewter on pearl gold.?It looks like its a brighter yellow than it is,its actually quite soft which makes it so pretty.

MASTER BEDROOM WALLPAPER ?Stark’s Tracy Andrew, Grand?Siecle in buff
(I photographed it upside down- just realized this)

Moving onto paint…………
BENJAMIN MOORE CLOUD WHITE A soft creamy white which is a favorite amongst many decorators, magazines, HGTV and countless other design gurus.

FARROW AND BALL POINTING (For the record this is their best selling color) Very warm and creamy.

NAVAJO WHITE BY BENJAMIN MOORE. Another all time best selling white, but for good reason. ?I have used this many times and its a great color, very neutral and really considerd to be a “safe white” when in doubt!

FARROW AND BALL ELEPHANTS BREATH This is a neat color, I would say it has a putty like effect to it. I saw it first at a designers showcase and took note because it was really pretty.

FARROW AND BALL These are four colors I love, soft earthy putty tones. From clockwise on the left, they are ?String, Stony ground, Chemise and Satin slipper.
A GRAY GREEN. If I get the nerve up to go with a little color, perhaps in a guest room or bathroom, and I want to go the green route..these two gray greens are really pretty, they are quite and subdued but give a hint of color. The top is Narragansett Green and the bottom is Stonington Gray.
A SOFT BLUE GRAY. Love this color, Farrow and Ball Parma Gray

A MOSSY GREEN. If I was to get bold and go green I would want a beautiful muted mossy green. Something old world looking. This Benjamin Moore color, Aganthus (even the name is old world) is gorgeous…check it out in the room below.
A TUSCAN SUNSET.I have always loved rooms that look like they are part of a sunset, those that take on a gorgeous warm apricot colored glow. Its bold and brazen and I am not sure I would do it but if I were to take the plunge, one color that’s a proven winner is Benjamin Moore’s Soft marigold. Proof is this splendid bathroom right out of Tuscany!
WHITES AND OFF WHITES. We all need them, have them and want them. Who doesn’t love the perfect creamy white wall..not too stark but not too yellow. Benjamin Moore seems to have that covered with a few best selling “whites”. You think all whites are the same until you start looking, then you never look at white the same way ever again! Some of the tried and true favorites are the best selling colors below. They are practically fool proof!
1.Ivory white. 2. White Dove 3. Decorators white 4.Atrium white 5. Acadia white 6. Elephant tusk
I think Benjamin Moore’s best selling white of all time is one we all know well…Linen white
Another very popular BM white is White Dove
Only when you see all these whites together do you realize how many variations and undertones there are in this color. So its wise to pick up a pint, do a “test patch” and see how it plays out in your room with your light. It can look like a totally different animal from one room to another!
So lets now overwhelm our senses..enough paint talk for today. What are your tips on choosing paint color? Do you have a favorite? Any disaster stories of your own? I would imagine we have all had one or two! Hope you have an enchanted Friday…..

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