Paris, Salads, and the Sweet Life

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serenaandlily.com

 

I’m loving these chairs by Serena & Lily-they were inspired by the classic 1930’s European bistro chair.  I’ve seen and sat in these pretty chairs in Paris and have to say they are VERY comfortable.  In Serena’s Spring 2016 catalog, the editors explain that the chairs are made of sustainable rattan and then are bent into shape in the French tradition.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?  What more is there to say?

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With my brother Jay, enjoying the delights in Paris.  The Bistro Chair.  Paris, France.

I love well-constructed furniture and I love good design and beautiful things which I believe give us all hope in life.  Who doesn’t love going away on vacation and finding that your hotel has crisp, white sheets, and art work above the headboard that speaks to the area your visiting.  You might not stay long in your planned destination; like myself in Paris, I was there to catch the sights for only one week!  After a long day of walking and exploring the city, I was destined to hit the sheets and start all over the next day.  I will never forget that trip or the food!

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serenaandlily.com

 

Moving onto sheets and beautiful bedding is my specialty.  I have an eye for choosing bedding that soothes and calms but almost always has flowers, my first loves.  Here the simple arrangement of floral’s brings a serenity (no pun) to this girls’ room and the pattern repeated on the walls unifies the arrangement.  I just love the light blue quilt which softens the room even more.  I would sleep peacefully with my little girl in here!

With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, I wanted to include the color green in my palette this year-which will be a bold move for me because I play it safe with neutrals.  I’ll start with pillows.  I like to update my entire house if it’s in the budget and I’ll follow according to the holiday.  I’d also like to include a healthier, greener version of a recipe that includes one of my favorite green ingredients, the precious avocado.  It’s packed with vitamins so go ahead, gush and forget about how those Brussels Sprouts tasted when you were a kid!

SPROUTS, AVOCADO & APPLE SALAD

 

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Photo BHG.com

 

In a large bowl, whisk together:

1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper until combined.  Add the leaves of 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, 1 thinly sliced avocado, 1 thinly sliced Braeburn apple,  1/2 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds, and 1 oz thinly shaved Parmesan cheese.  Toss to combine.  Makes 4 servings.

Even if your in a bad place right now or your feeling disgruntled in some way, go out, buy these ingredients and try it-try something new.  Make your mark.  The sweet life is just around the corner, I promise.


Dressing the Dream, HGTV’s Dream Home and What I Learned from my Mother’s Decorating

Here’s what I know about decorating-I know what I like when I see it and when that’s the case I BUY IT!  Usually when I see a house, I either like it or I don’t right away as well and this was the case with the HGTV home-it was a solid YES for me because it reminded me of my childhood home growing up on the Eastern Shore, much smaller in scale of course but with some of the same details that make a house a home!  That’s just what Nancy did for me when she decorated our 1950’s Cape Cod; she and my very talented Grandfather Harold gutted out cabinets, painted them white and added hand sewn upholstered sofas and my Grandfather’s wingback chair and a wall-size needlepoint piece of art and voila’ you have the makings of a dream home.

If you like anything to do with home décor, architecture, I’ll mostly be talking about that here and my family’s involvement and their loves and likes.  For example, you might find my six year old daughter Audrey rearranging a room and Sophie her twin, doing the same.  They might be twins but as forecasted they have very different interests and that’s reflected in their rooms.  A move is on the horizon for us so for all intentions and purposes I’m pulling all of my tears from my favorite home décor magazines and will begin designing our dream home (with Patrick of course!) early next year.

MY INSPIRATION FOR DECORTING HAS ALWAYS BEEN FROM MY MOTHER NANCY.  My Grandfather was a carpenter and builder and a gardener so naturally I picked up all those traits (at least I’d like to think I did!).

HIGH REZ

Love the open floor plan and BLUE accents!

Ethan Allen dressed the HGTV 2015 Dream Home and they did an awesome job!  My mother always use to say “if you can afford Ethan Allen you’re in good shape.”  Now that tide is turning and EA is becoming more affordable, having to keep up with the other high end turned affordable home décor companies.

HIGH REZ Hallway

The Light of the Ceiling and the Dark Floors add Depth

I don’t know why this particular photo of this spectacular house does it for me but I love long hallways and an open floor plan.  It’s something we didn’t have in our Cape so adding this dimension brings the family in and together and keeps the conversation flowing which is what I like.  More family and friends please!  Did I mention the exposed timber in the ceiling will be in my next house?  Can anyone say crack open the fireplace and let’s play board games!

Girls Room

A Perfect Room for my Girls!

 

I’ve been fortunate to work on photo shoots in my lifetime and what I’ve learned is that they try to make all of the elements go together and the model (me) is a bonus!  One of my favorite shoots was for the Orient Express where I modeled with a pal of mine Will Rosser in a suite at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, Maryland.  I remember how crisp everything looked in the room just like here: (if I can scan that photo I will post it on my next blog)

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All photos HGTV.com

 

The bench as seen here in the eat-in kitchen is brilliant-the fabric casual and I’m sure it’s a slipcovered piece which if you have kids like me, your going to want to throw it in the laundry.  Another great look and it’s classic is the subway tiled backsplash!  Crisp in white, it’s never out of style and plays off of the espresso colored bar stools.  There is so much more I could say about this Dream Home but won’t here for now due to lack of time.

Growing up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I lived just blocks away from a sandy beach, certainly not Martha’s Vineyard where the HGTV Dream Home was cast; my mother created the perfect little Cape Cod with all it’s finishes, including the white picket fence that bordered my favorite spruce trees.  Thanks Mom a million times over for inspiring me and making our little Cape a Beautiful Home!

 

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My Favorite Person and Favorite Decorator