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Garden Home Personal Travel

Quick Visit to Marders Nursery, Bridgehampton

September 7, 2018

We are so thrilled to be out in the Hamptons for a big wedding that we are photographing this weekend.   The client is fantastic and so kind and we are crossing our fingers for continued warm weather.   What a treat it is to be able to stay at my aunt’s home, and to be in such a beautiful place this time of year.   We drove down from Martha’s Vineyard and took four ferries, my favorite was crossing Shelter Island where we stopped for lunch at Marie Eiffel — delicious!

Marders sets the standard of elegance with its nursery and garden shop and is always one of my favorite places to stop while we are here.   There is still a wealth of options for planting this fall before the cold sets in (the roots need six weeks to settle) up here but of course we have an extended season down south.  It made me feel very excited as we are completely re-doing our back garden in Charleston and I love the combinations presented up here.   Here are some photographs from inside the garden store which is jam packed with books, candles, soaps, seeds, children’s toys, and silk flowers:

This time I picked up silk peonies and roses (seen in the first photograph) for our office.    I don’t often opt for flowers that aren’t real but these ones are exceptional and can extend the peony season which is all too short, and are of course far less maintenance for a space which we are very in and out of as we travel so often.   I do wish that I could take home some of these hydrangea trees which are so bountiful:

I am very much hoping to return over Thanksgiving weekend when they turn the barn into a party with live music, cider and cookies — apparently extremely fun for families and I am sure absolutely charming. Xx

Beauty Fitness Home Living Martha's Vineyard Personal

Fall Reboot: Beauty & Exercise Regimes

September 4, 2018

I love this time of year, and the back to school feeling.   For me, fall has always been a time of routines set and followed, a rhythmic pace of life after a summer packed with travel, lots of late nights, endless wine and other indulgences.    I also find with the onset of cooler weather and earlier sunsets, it’s a lot easier to take exercise outside, which is always my preferred format, and that I settle into the comfort of a healthier routine.   I am never on a strict diet these days, but I do tend to feel more excited about fueling the family properly to keep energy levels up (this is also our busiest time of year for wedding photography) and also taking extra time for some self-care.   Feeling great is a holistic effort, from skin care to delicious scents and luxuries to great workout gear and of course the exercise and diet itself.

Solid exercise gear which makes you feel fantastic is a must.   I find that it is always motivating to put on a clean, cute workout outfit which is both comfortable and flattering.    I tend towards leggings and fitted tops or white sweatshirts.   I also thought all of these sneakers were great for both exercise or running errands around town.   Workout gear is always an investment but tends to pay off as it should be durable and long lasting.



I find that once I am on an exercise kick (4 runs and a few yoga classes per week), I also tend towards delicious beauty products and skincare.   The whole rounded regime makes me feel stronger and because I am focusing on feeling well, I also tend to prioritize rest, etc.   This rose-scented moisturizer is a favorite right now, as is the anti-aging serum (yikes, worth it…).   I haven’t tried the Clean AF wipes but I love the name and have grabbed them for my gym bag or travel, and you know that I love a good, lovely soap and I stock them for our bathroom, the guest room and the gift cupboard.

Charleston Home Style

My Dream Bed with The New Traditionalists

August 1, 2018

First, I want to apologize for being a bit quiet.    We had friends in town, and then my mother with whom I spent several days buckled down and focused on getting the house in order.   After a busy wedding season this past spring, and then traveling for five weeks, there was a lot of outstanding house organizing that needed to be finished.   We are also finally getting around to really nesting and taking the house to the next level of decorating — from getting some of my late grandmother’s pieces out (like a large Japanese silk screen which now sits in the front hall), to finally dropping fabric for the curtains at the workroom, and things like that… exciting!    Will and I also like to take pause every once in a while to think about the bigger picture for this site, and for our businesses in general; so that is what we have been up to — nothing to scintillating but lots of housekeeping !   Now, onto the more exciting bit….

We were simultaneously thrilled and crushed to have our new bed that we designed in partnership with the New Traditionalists arrive just two days before we left for France.    I was so enamored with it and was so sad to leave it having only had two sleeps but it was one of the real highlights of coming home.

I have been on the hunt for our “adult” bed for many years but couldn’t find the perfect match.   One of the things that attracted me to The New Traditionalists is that the design is influenced by classic silhouettes, exceptional clothing, history and holds the idea that the “traditional” is still very cool (an idea that we of course hold too).   I love that as a customer, you can completely customize the piece, thereby designing something that is very “you”.   In this case, I took this design and made the following changes:   lowered the headboard, covered it in this fabric, squared off the top, made all of the posts square, and opted for a white wash which fits our breezy Charleston bedroom.   One of the coolest things is that they can also match any Benjamin Moore paint color — for a split second I thought about a more wild blue but stuck with the white as I want this bed to ours forever!

By the way, the changes took me a while to decide on, and I was guided through the process in the most lovely and helpful way.   I went to New York to work in the studio with the team in December, it is a very hands on experience and my only regret is that I didn’t go to Connecticut to see the bed being made there.

Last, we threw on some linen sheers from all four corners which makes it all the more cozy….

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity and are looking forward to showing you a bit more of what it looks like in the room as we reveal more of the house.

I love my Over The Moon Pajamas with custom monogram!!!  The whole collection is beautiful and as a converted pajama lover, these are a new favorite and an absolute “must”! xxx

Collecting Family Home

Quick Lessons from an English Countryside House

June 18, 2018

Some of you might have seen that we have popped over to England for a friend’s wedding.   We decided to make a week of it so that we could catch up with family (and better wifi!) and have been staying with my aunt in the countryside.    Her house has always been a favorite of mine, both cozy and pulled together, inviting and grown up.    Over the last twenty odd years they have made changes and additions, the latest being the expansion of the most beautiful rose garden as seen in the previous post.    I absolutely love this house, and without wishing to reveal too much of it for privacy’s sake, there are just a few “notes to self” which I have made as we continue to create our first home.

The house is filled with endless cozy layers and textures.   Rugs upon rugs, endless pillows and cashmere blankets, perfect to fight off winter cold (which can sneak into summertime here in England too).    The house is also filled with endless reading material:  books, magazines and the best coffee table books which I have been hungrily leafing through.   It really does make you want to grab a cup of tea and sink into one of the plush chairs for a good long read.

The center of a cozy English home is of course the kitchen.   This one is made particularly warm by an AGA, an oven which is always on.   It makes the floors toasty and delivers the most delicious dry heat.   The dogs curl up next to it for an afternoon nap and we have also dried clothes and other things on it.  One week living with one and Will and I are itching to get one of our own, although it is obviously not suitable for the Charleston heat!

The dogs.   How I miss having them!  We grew up with three and it has been so hard not to have one but, with all of our travel, it just isn’t fair right now.   Dogs are wonderful companions, make a house extra cozy and provide a rhythm to the day which I miss.

A place for everything.  Twenty years of living somewhere could create massive build up but my aunt has done such a phenomenal job of staying organized.   There is a place for every plate, spare lightbulb and pillow case.  It makes tidying easy and it is a pleasure to see everything stacked away in its place.

Deep bathtubs with lots of bubble bath options.   We take lots of baths in Charleston and are lucky to have pretty big tubs.  These are so beautiful and deep, our son has never enjoyed a bath so much (I think it feels more like a swim).  We’re struggling to pry him out of it at the end, even after it has run cold.

Last, an oasis outside.   English summers are short and spectacular.  The days are so long, and every bit of sunshine should be soaked up outside.

Collecting France Home

Collector’s Corner: The French Flea

June 11, 2018

We have visited the Jas des Roberts two weekends in a row now.    It’s an outdoor market in a bumpy field where vendors come with trucks full of goodies, from furniture to linens, china, crystal, silver, rugs and lots of obscure art.   It’s a hunt in the heat and a place for quick decisions (I had a stack of french yellow plates swiped from me in a moment of hesitation), and a trove for treasures like those that my grandmother collected for her French house.   I so wish that we could have gone together (my Grandmother and I) but instead I use what she has in her home as a guide and try to find similar pieces which make my heart sing.

After the Jas des Roberts, we headed to Aix-en-Provence for Vivre Coté Sud at the recommendation of Luxe Provence.   It was an open air market with lots of local purveyors but as we strolled through town on foot en route, we spied another Brocante in the center of town which was definitely a more polished version of ours near home….good to know if you’re visiting anytime soon, it’s on Sundays!

I have seen these sconces two weeks running and have been debating whether or not to grab them, I think it’s a yes!    I would love to find a way to make some of these treasures available to you at home, working on it…. xxx

Collecting France Home Personal

Collector’s Corner: Colorful Tablecloths & Napkins

May 28, 2018

I have been waiting to arrive here in France to my grandmother’s home to really roll up my sleeves and dig into this new series, Collector’s Corner.   My grandmother was the queen of collecting; she loved finding new treasures, especially china, glass and textiles.   I would love to go through her home and archive everything that is here to better understand the decisions she made in decorating this slice of heaven which still very much feels like “hers” even though she passed nearly ten years ago now (it still feels very recent).    One of my favorite memories from my childhood and our time here as a family was the breakfast table which was always set with a colorful local cloth and of course, plates and plates of croissants — we were always feeding a huge group.   As an adult, I realize the effort that goes into setting the table for a larger party for every meal, and so appreciate the standards she set.   A colorful cloth goes a long way in making the table feel special and complete, fun and not too formal.

“Gaga” (my grandmother’s nickname) had so many sets of napkins — usually 8 or 12, sometimes 24.    They are all neatly pressed in the drawer and ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice.     Many have wild patterns, and layering them is encouraged.   Who minds really about a pristine and neutral table when the joy of living here was to be surrounded by beauty and to have the most fun possible?

Although this breakfast table is a much smaller example of the ones our family sets, I couldn’t help but use the backdrop of her many potted roses which are in full bloom outside her bedroom.    I imagine her stepping out in a robe to read the paper in the sunshine with the background music of singing birds and cicadas.    I can’t wait to share more of her collections in the coming weeks… xxx !

Here are some of my favorite sites to start your collection today:

India Amory

Roberta Roller Rabbit

Pomegranate Inc


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