Located on 25 acres overlooking Pleasant Bay, the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod is an idyllic vacation spot.
With so many different shapes, materials, colors, and finishes, you have endless options with table lamps!
The finished potting shed gave my client the ideal space for spending time on his favorite hobby.
When I recently worked with a family to turn their architecturally overdone Greenwich townhouse into more natural, pared down interior, I was thrilled with the result.
Beautiful books are decorative and say something about your interests.
It seems like everyone around me is talking about Cape Cod lately. With warmer weather and the end of the school year in sight, it’s only natural for people to start thinking about summer vacations, and Cape Cod is definitely a New England favorite. All this talk of of going to the Cape got me thinking about some time I spent there several years ago. I visited Catham Bars Inn for a wedding and it is just a great place. Even though it was a bit cold and on the quiet side while I was at the Inn, I could see how it would be an ideal place to start off the summer with family and I would love to go back! Located on 25 acres overlooking Pleasant Bay, the Chatham Bars Inn really is an idyllic vacation spot. The Inn first opened in 1914 and is a famous landmark that’s maintained its original grandeur.
The Main Inn embodies a sophisticated elegance. With a grand staircase sweeping from the reception area to recently renovated guest rooms, you know as soon as you enter the Inn that your stay will be memorable. The Inn’s veranda has a cool, crisp feel and surrounds you with panoramic ocean views. I love how the Inn’s historic elements are tempered by modern amenities to create this impressive, yet soothing, atmosphere.
Like other vacation spots that appeal to me, the ambiance at Chatham Bars Inn is quiet and simple, without distractions. You’re surrounded by calming palettes and beautiful views so that you can’t help but relax. The spa rooms, in particular, are so appealing to me! This would be such a great place to unwind!
While it would be tempting to book a Spa Suite and never set foot outdoors, there are plenty of activities to entertain even the most active families. Boat charters, fishing, kids’ programs, beach combing, shopping, bird watching, and beachfront theme dinners are only a few options available to guests. Chatham, one of the oldest villages on Cape Cod is an easy stroll away and allows you to enjoy a vibrant Main Street, beautiful gardens, historic architecture, and the famous Chatham Lighthouse.
With the end of the school year quickly approaching and the warm days of summer ahead, the idea of a nice long weekend on Cape Cod is certainly appealing!
Everyone needs lamps! The placement of your table lamps should always be strategic, leaving no dark spots while creating the ideal ambiance. Table lamps not only make a statement, but can change the whole feeling of a space. With so many different shapes, materials, colors, and finishes, you have endless options with table lamps! It’s important for a table lamp to have the right scale and shape for the space, so here are some of my favorite lamps to inspire you!
1. Brush Stroke Lamp from Bunny Williams
2. Sophie Lamps from Christopher Spitzmiller, Inc.
3. Trentham Vase Lamp from Vaughan Designs
4. Hudson Table Lamp by Dragonette Ltd.
6. Clayton Home Concrete and Brass Table Lamp
7. Tessaras Table Lamp by Pamela Sunday for Studio Van Den Akker
8. David Iatesta Nantucket Lamp
9. Diego Table Lamp by Dragonette Ltd
10. Drum Lamp from Uhuru
11. Julian Chichester Capri Table Lamp
12. Stiffel Ceramic and Brass Glazed Lamps
Last summer I shared my plans for a potting shed design that was a work in progress. Looking back on those initial plans, it’s interesting to see how many of those details were incorporated into the final design. And yes, it is possible to use grow bulbs with sconces! The finished potting shed gave my client the ideal space for spending time on his favorite hobby and has now been featured by Connecticut Cottages & Gardens as a Project of Note. To see photos and read about details of this project, pick up a copy of the magazine today!
Helping my clients turn a residence into the perfect, thoughtful interior is definitely the best part of my job! When I recently worked with a family to turn their architecturally overdone Greenwich townhouse into more natural, pared down interior, I was thrilled with the result. The home is now much more suited to its inhabitants. As an added bonus, this project has been featured in the May/June issue of At Home in Fairfield County. Pick up a copy today to read more about this amazing project which was completed in a mere six weeks!
Photos by Amy Vischio
Coffee table books make great gifts! They are also a good way to fill shelves without using a lot of trinkets. Beautiful books are decorative and say something about your interests. I have tons of interior design books, which isn’t surprising, but someone else might gravitate toward books on fashion, travel, photography, art, nature, or gardening. Coffee table books come in an array of sizes and colors, making it possible to find a beautiful book on a subject you love that also fits well with your interior. To display coffee table books, you can stack them, lay them side by side, or simply leave out one book at a time. Your collection will tell an interesting story. Here are some of my favorite coffee table books to get you inspired!
1. Rothko: An amazing introduction to Rothko’s work!
2. Abstract Expressionism: A beautiful look at the abstract expressionism movement in NY following World War II.
3. Andy Warhol: Features the life and work of the iconic Andy Warhol.
4. The Art Book: A fun, accessible compilation of artists from medieval times to present day.
5. The Little Black Jacket: Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld’s reinterpretation of Chanel’s iconic little black jacket.
6. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: Gorgeous displays of natural wonders!
7. Dealer’s Choice: Lush photos of homes belonging to the world’s foremost anitquaires.
8. Big Book of Chic: A lavish book featuring Miles Redd’s unique designs.
9. Cohler on Design: Cohler’s classic interiors interspersed with amazing inspirational design images.
10. Marilyn Monroe: Text from Normal Mailer’s biography of Marilyn along with Bert Stern’s incredible photography. I am so fortunate to have an edition of this book from my mother.
11. A Photographer’s Life: Everyone should have at least one book by Annie Leibovitz!
12. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty: A look at the full breadth of McQueen’s amazing career.
13. Woman in the Mirror: Richard Avedon’s poetic portraits of women.
14. By the Light of the Sea: Always a go-to book!
15. Slim Aarons: Once Upon a Time: Influential photos of the rich and famous in their exclusive surroundings.
What kind of story do your coffee table books tell?
Celadon is a great color for spring! It’s fresh, pretty, and pairs well with a variety colors. With blue and grey, celadon looks sophisticated and soothing. When paired with more vibrant hues, it balances out energetic colors for a well-rounded look. Celadon works with so many other colors because it stems from ocean blues, hazy greys, and muted greens. It definitely has a real zen-like quality!
2. Hand painted wallpaper from Gracie Studio
3. Dining room design by Suzanne Kasler
4. Evening gown by Zac Posen
5. Sage Wisdom from Benjamin Moore
6. Chic celadon. Image via Vogue.
7. Maribel Lantern Lamp by Coleen & Company
8. Celadon Grasscloth Wallpaper by The Wallpaper Company
With the start of the gardening season, I am looking forward to one of my favorite forms of gardening: container planting. I love to plant flowers in containers, and when the seasons change I will plant containers to reflect the time of the year.
Summer is by far my favorite time to plant because there are so many different flower varieties to choose from and all are so vibrant with color. It is an art to be able to create and design with plants, and the type of containers you choose to showcase your plants is almost as important as the flowers themselves.
First, you will need to decide if your pots will be placed in a sunny location, a shady spot, or where they’ll receive a mix of sun and shade. The type of plants you use will depend on the amount of sun in each location. There have been times that I have had to replace plants that did not last the season, either due to using incorrect plants, overcrowding, or, of course, the weather.
If you do not have any knowledge of plants, you will have to depend on your local garden shop. I have been fortunate to learn from a knowledgeable person for years who has taught me a great deal about plants and the planting of containers. There has to be symmetrical balance of the plants, and the size of the pot will determine the amount of plants used.
Annuals are plants most widely used for containers. I decide on a color palette and then choose the type of plants I will use. Some of my favorite annuals to use are geraniums, calibrachoas, verbena, angelonia and bacopa.
Rose Standard Topiary Trees and Bougainvillea Topiary Trees make a great focal point. I will under plant them with an annual such as verbena or bacopa. Another favorite option of mine is putting Dwarf Hydrangeas in containers. They need a shadier area or else they will wilt. After the season is over, you can transplant them in your garden.
I also like to do containers of mixed sedums, or a container of a creeping sedum. They are quite interesting. Boxwood Topiaries make a simple statement and, come winter, the Topiary looks great alone or under planted with greens.
My containers sit amongst my perennials and herbs as well as on ledges and walkways. They are a menagerie of all shapes and sizes. A lot of planning and work is involved in planning a container garden, but there is a satisfaction you get in knowing you have created something that is beautiful to behold all season!
I hope you enjoy some of the containers I have done. I am getting ready to start a new season and cannot wait!
When beginning a design project for a client’s home, I ask myself, “Who lives here?” It’s important for the design to tell the client’s story, not my own. With that in mind, I keep myself open to what my clients bring to the table. There is beauty in collaboration, and although I am surrounded by my own favorite and trusted sources, I appreciate being introduced to great resources by my clients. It broadens my horizons and adds to what I have to offer my future clients. Here are some examples of products, artists, and other resources I’ve learned about from clients.
Stocking a library or extensive bookshelves with antique books can be expensive. You also want to collect books you would actually read. However, putting together a set of books that also looks great with the room around them can be more of a challenge. A client introduced me to Books by the Foot, where you can order books by color, in matched sets, vintage books, wrapped books, and even faux books. This makes it possible to achieve just the pulled-together look you want in any style. This is an amazing site, even offering coffee table books and sets for commercial interiors!
Art changes the dynamic of a house and makes my work speak better. It creates a visceral reaction that varies from person to person, which is why art choices sometimes have to come from the client and not from the designer. When a client introduces me to an artist I am not familiar with, it’s such a gift! The photography of Ben Ham (who I’ve written about in the past), Eric Zener’s paintings, and Vik Muniz’s eclectic modern art, were all brought to my attention by clients. Expanding my knowledge of artists and having a relationship with a local gallery such as Samuel Owen Gallery, helps me collaborate with clients to find just the right art for each project.
A client from London who bought a house here in the US sent me a link to Trainspotters website and I fell in love with their amazing lighting. They have great scale and colors — I’d use these products in my own studio! This lighting, salvaged from a huge variety of places around Europe, are authentic and interesting. We used lighting from Trainspotters in my client’s kitchen and the results were fantastic!
This book is a great resource I first learned of from a client. As a guide to color and creating a palette for a room, it’s an invaluable resource to share with clients. With actual paint swatches from a variety of manufacturers and beautiful examples of rooms, Colors for your Home makes it easier for clients to visualize an unlimited number of color schemes.
One of my favorite tools for choosing colors with a client is House Beautiful’s 500+ Paint Colors App. This handy, visually pleasing app lets you browse colors along the entire spectrum. The app also puts complementary colors together and gives you related options. This useful app stemmed from House Beautiful‘s book Colors for Your Home.
I find the value of this app comes from the ability to help clients visualize ideas and color interactions. When I can show my clients their preferred colors next to complimentary hues and examples of those colors in a room scheme, they begin to think about how colors work together and feel confident we are on the same page.
For homeowners who want to color shop on their own, the House Beautiful app encourages them to branch out from their safety zone and consider colors they may not use on their own.
The app includes several tools to help choose a color palette. Color River lets you browse paint colors and read reviews from professionals. Editor’s Picks features House Beautiful’s top color picks in ten different hues while the Color Personality Tool lets you learn your personalized color based on numerology. In My Paint Box, you can save and compare paint colors. There’s also a social aspect to the app that allows you to share your favorite colors via Facebook and Twitter.
You can download the House Beautiful 500+ Favorite Paint Colors App on iTunes!
It’s not easy for me to step away from my hectic work schedule and give myself some down time, but if I were to treat myself to an incredible vacation I know exactly where I want to go! When I’m on vacation, I want my surroundings to be the opposite of my day-to-day life: serene, calming, and free of distractions. There are three hotels that are definitely on my must-visit bucket list and what all of them have in common is an incredibly appealing atmosphere of tranquility.
Blue Palace Resort and Spa, Greece: Stunning scenery, incredible blue water, and all of the luxuries you could desire on vacation. I would love to spend a week or two being pampered and spoiled here.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay: An amazingly gorgeous Caribbean destination in the British Virgin Islands. I love being near water, and Rosewood Little Dix Bay provides more than enough beautiful ocean for even me. With thoughtfully designed accommodations, a spa, and fine dining, this is exactly the kind of destination that I am drawn to!
Mayflower Inn and Spa: Nearer to home in Washington, Connecticut, the Mayflower Inn is a truly tranquil place to escape to. With beautifully landscaped grounds, luxurious fine dining, and spa you’d never want to leave, visitors here can indulge in as much (or as little) activity as they like. I love the clean, refreshing design and traditional sophistication of the accommodations.
What hotel would you love visit?