Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentine's Day Inspirations Cast a Romantic Spell

I love this holiday because there is no pressure for big festivities!  Just sweet pink and red sentiments.

Dried roses are pretty, and they make fun additions inside a package!  Kind of like a rose confetti!

Instead of lining a gift box with plain tissue paper sheets, form the tissue paper into flowers
and put them in the bottom of the box to cushion your gift.

Embossing dust creates beautiful raised sentiments on a pretty envelope.

 Tuck in sweet little girlie things-  red nail polish, a pretty lipstick and
new pink make-up brushes for a special friend!

 A few macaroons in a cello bag add a little French style!

 Drop in a few of those dried rose buds too!

 Collect vintage postcards for gift tags that have a nostalgic touch.

 Dyed cheese cloth makes a pretty soft bow.

Time to pull out that pink stemware, a bottle of Rose, and a few sweet bites for your
Valentine's dinner.

And a bucket of fresh blush toned flowers doesn't hurt the Valentine's  spell either!

A recent guest in my home was enchanted by my collection of romantic prom dresses hanging in the guest rooms. A late night escapade between her and another guest resulted in this romantic picture.
I think this picture is a Valentine waiting to be sent.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Garden Design for Year Round Color

After living in our new home for almost a year, it is time to re-evaluate our landscaping plan.  When we first  moved in, our focus was on the interior. Grass, mulch, and the hard scape were put in place to prevent erosion.  Then a general plan of trees and perennials was implemented.  But after the first year of looking at the landscape, you start to realize that you have just begun!

We are in the process of evaluating our plantings- perennials versus annuals, trees versus shrubs.
What blooms during each time of the year?  Is there always color?  Were the plants planted in the right location or was there too much sun, water, etc. ? Who can help us? Voila!  I  discovered  a fantastic website to help guide us in the right direction- is a website that helps you  design your gardens.  It lists all the plants for your planting zone and will separate them by color.  After you choose you selection, it gives you a chart with the bloom color by season.  

We are working on a year round color border by the road, that will also be a cutting garden. Below are some of the plants that we are considering.  

As you can see, it gives you the zone, blooming season, height and spread.

These are some plants that we are considering adding to the mix.

After you have made your selections, a color profile is shown to you to see how all the colors and textures work together. 

Finally you get a bloom calendar that shows what is in bloom by season!  

 Gardenia also has many pictures of landscaping ideas.  I was researching borders.

After doing a little research, I found out that hellebores, heath and camellias bloom in the winter in Western North Carolina. 

 Our landscape designer planted this border down the front walk
to get color in the front of the house for the winter season.  

Hellebores and heath are perennials and will come back every year.

 I was quite surprised to see this honey bee already at work on this hellebore's stamens.
Its only the middle of February!

We brought in large camellia shrubs to bloom during the winter season. Right now they are in the pots by the front door, but will be relocated to the garden in a month or so.

This is a winter border that I found on  It adds a beautiful color during
the winter season.  We will be starting to plant this  in the next month. allows you to design one garden at no charge.  After that, it is a $25 annual fee to design additional areas.   Its well worth it for so much information.   You can design each area of your garden- ie cutting garden, borders, herb garden and get a full detail chart for each one.  

While it is dark and gray outside, it's a great time to start planning your gardens.

Monday, January 15, 2018

January North Carolina Field Trip

After taking Christmas down, it was  a perfect time to evaluate my home decor.  Is it time for an update? Is this room really functional?   Or  is it finally time to go searching for something that you have been trying to do since last year?
My friend Jill and I moved in to our houses abut 8 months apart and we both have been looking for very specific finishing touches for our homes.  So on a rainy January day last Friday, we decided to drive to Hickory, NC and check out their furniture mart.  Hickory is about 75 miles from Asheville and is home to many furniture makers.  They also have a large furniture mart that sells many lines of furniture and has a large number of furniture outlets.  These outlets get the showroom samples from the previous season and offer great bargains to the consumer.  

After shopping the entire 4 floors, we ended up back in the Maitland Smith outlet on the first floor. 
This showroom was offering 40% off the outlet price on Maitland Smith merchandise.  They also carried Hickory Chair and Henredon.  After purchasing several pieces, we loaded up the small items and headed home. Delivery was set for a large sofa that I purchased for my husband's office.

One of my hunts was for a small French chair in a grey finish for my bath. And here it was!
I wasn't crazy about the blue color, but the price was so good, I knew I could work with it.
The size  was perfect.

After getting it home, I removed the seat cushion.  It was the perfect size to show off this fabric that I have been saving for several years.  

 I carefully removed the white cording from the seat, as I wanted to use it again. 

I purchased this beautiful  silk fabric on Ebay, a couple of years ago. It looks like a watercolor
and is a large scale repeat.   It fit the chair seat beautifully.

The roses are surrounded with tones of blues and navy, that matched the blue velvet back perfectly.

The finished chair! The perfect spot to put on socks!

A vase of pink roses to add more joy.  Time to take a bath!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blush Pink

My favorite color is blush pink.  It's not a color that is gender neutral, so I try to use it judiciously.
My bath is white, so I can accent it with any color.  Blush pink is my choice of the moment!

Freeze dried hydrangeas and soft towels add the sweet pink to my side of the master bath.

Pink opaline antique dresser jars hold cotton balls and trinkets. 

Pretty pink roses sit on the shelves in the shower.

Some how, this simple touch adds magic and enjoyment  to the simple ritual of  taking a shower.

The guest room is another space that blush pink goes perfectly. 
While this room is painted in  shades of grey and gold, the pink is the perfect pop.

 A reticulated compote is filled with pink velvet pumpkins
and a rhinestone masquerade mask from Venice.
 Soft pink pillows from Bella Notte invite you to cozy up and read
on their soft satin and velvet surfaces. Bella Notte really does this color the best!
This soft pink is a favorite color of mine when mother nature chooses it.
A rainbow fern has turned a soft pink for the winter in our sunroom.
                  It seems to be the favorite  place for all the lady bug visitors that come in from the cold!

 Trumpet flowers outside our hotel room in Positano- breathtaking.

Finally, one of the last roses of the season captured with my camera  at Biltmore Estate- 
certainly worthy of framing.

Post Script

To answer a couple of reader's questions-
The color of the paint in the master bath is Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray 7016

The bath tub is made by Americh and is the Sirena model with an air tub feature.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas is Here!

One would think that retirement gives one lots of time to decorate for Christmas.  That has not been the case for me.  So for the first time in my life, I finished Christmas decorating 5 days before Christmas.  And my family arrives tonight!!!!!!

Red berries and fresh wreaths add a seasonal touch to the outside urns. 

Frosted kale and fresh wreaths by the rustic front door. 

Entering the front door, natural greens and berries sit on the console.

Another memory is placed in the foyer by the stairs. The Santa was purchased on the trip to 
Kansas City with close friends several years ago. We had such a good time.

 A woodland fantasy graces the gathering room fireplace.

Embellished angels flank the sides of the fireplace.

 Antlers, feather balls and snow balls fill a wooden bowl on the coffee table,

Unpacking all the ornaments that have been in storage for 2 years.

 A favorite ornament 

Packages are wrapped and placed under the tree.

Kitchen fireplace is ready for a fire. 

The dining table set with a natural centerpiece- amaryllis, frosted kale,
velvet pumpkins ,sparkly pomegranates

 Antique wine glasses are being used for votives.

Sparkly reindeers carry little woodland elves down the center. 

Tiny Christmas trees stand on glassware shelves over the sink.

And so does one of my favorite things, a Christmas cup and saucer given to me by a dear friend.

More little trees on the shelves in the larder-

And finally, the placing of all my old French Santas.

Merry Christmas to all!