Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gift Of The Four Seasons

I just had to share with you a wonderful gift that my husband Dave gave me for Christmas this year. Knowing how much importance I place on the passage of the seasons, not only on the calendar, but also in life… he gave me this gorgeous Four Seasons Tree Of Life Pendant…

The tree roots, trunk and branches are made of beautifully hand-wound recycled silver, and the foliage of the changing seasons is exemplified by quartz gemstones for winter, peridot for spring, emerald for summer, and amber for fall.

I can’t begin to express how perfect this pendant is for me… or how much I love my husband!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Silver Solstice

Winter Solstice has arrived, and that brings us less daylight... only about 9 hours on December 22nd! Since we are the farthest away from the sun, and it's elevation is lowest in the sky, we naturally experience the longest night of the year. But just because it's dark outside, our interiors can still shine brilliantly.

Nothing brings sparkle to the darkness like the glint of silver... it can be glossy and bright, or satiny and lustrous... those qualities make it perfect to add some dazzle to your home for Winter celebrations...

Mercury glass votives lining the stairs in the foyer

invite you in from the darkness & cold

Silver, blue & turquoise ornaments adorn our blue Christmas tree

Soft candle light glows from a silver hurricane lantern

Silver poinsettias might not be found in nature...

but look great as a decoration on our stairway!

A glittery silver candle surrounded by greens & silvery pine cones

Tiny white tree decoration with silver snow on its boughs

is right at home on this table covered with blue snowflakes

Snow covered greenery in a silver urn

Sparkly sequins make this pillow ready to celebrate winter's festivities

A silvery arrangement with cobalt & turquoise ornaments

makes a bold, contemporary statement

This wreather with silver ribbons & bows, & coastal themed adornments

liven up an otherwise plain interior door

This silver swirl tree is magical against the dreamy silk drapes!

Silver "presents" & silver rimmed candle holders warm up the fireplace mantle

I hope that these images make you excited about adding a touch of silver to your winter decor!

Wishing you a cozy and warm season!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deck The Halls… & Showrooms

I spent the day at the Boston Design Center on Tuesday, December 6th and enjoyed seeing little hints of the holidays as I wandered the hallways and through the showrooms.

Thought that I would share some of the inspiration with you...

An icy, luxurious dream from The Patterson Group

A blanket of snowy delights

Stark Carpet's holiday treasures for under foot

"Gift wrapped" carpets and fabrics

A snowflake adorns a chilly blue rug and silky fabric

The holidays glitter at Studio 534

Simple and elegant silvery pinecones

Christmas trees at home on a tree trunk cross-section table

M-Geough combines land and sea in this inviting centerpiece

So, now, in spite of the 50 degree temperatures and rain that don't have me feeling Christmassy at all, I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm for delving into my own holiday decorating! I hope that you feel that way too!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Falling For Autumn Style

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Summer is officially behind us… we have enjoyed our long, hot days, weekends at the beach, barbecues and baseball games (okay, they aren't over just yet!). Now it is time to embrace the cooler temperatures, crisp air, pull on a cozy hand-knit sweater, take a brisk walk through the woods, and come home to curl up fireside to enjoy a cup of hot apple cider or chili with friends and family.

Everyone naturally gravitates to a particular season's style, whether they realize it or not. You probably have the "autumn design gene" if you revel in the nature-inspired colors, leafy patterns and layered textures found outside you windows during the Fall. And in your home you might notice that it features some of these elements...

Whether it is casual or formal, your home is no doubt a welcoming and comfortable gathering place…

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You are drawn to the earthy, natural, & warm hues of Autumn’s harvest palette…

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You love to bask in the mellow glow of light filtered through stained glass…

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You are drawn to fabrics in leafy and floral patterns, and to rich, inviting textures…

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Your walls are decorated with landscape paintings, botanical prints, or other creative and colorful interpretations of natural elements, such as in a crazy quilt…

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Your furniture is most likely not a matching set but rather a collection of pieces with beautiful and varying wood grains, painted finishes or rustic designs…

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Although you love an outdoor view as your room's focal point, when a space calls for window treatments, you choose wood blinds or bamboo shades finished with draperies in leafy or floral fabrics…

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Of course, wood is the perfect flooring option for you, but with the addition of warm, nubby area rugs to sink your toes into…

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Not one to be a minimalist, you love to collect and display objects and books that have special meaning to you...

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You love to layer your dinnerware, which is probably in creamy, warm, golden and clay tones…

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Your kitchen is truly of “green” design, and is the heart of your home…

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If you look around your rooms and notice any similarities to what you have seen here… you just might be a natural “Autumn!”

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Serene Summer Surroundings

I was recently asked by fellow design colleague & blogger Yvonne Blacker to contribute to the summer issue of the digital magazine New England Finery. The on-line publication was co-founded by Yvonne with Linda Smith, owner of New England Fine Living design studio and shop in Middleton, Massachusetts. It is always beautifully executed and highlights everything relating to the world of design… including home interiors, gardens, collectibles, fashion, photography, events, etc... approached with a decidedly New England, especially “North Shore” sensibility.

New England Finery Magazine

Yvonne had seen a feature in the May issue of House Beautiful in which designer Jeffrey Alan Marks, star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators,” sketched an “Instant Room,” in this case a boathouse, and showed the fabrics and pieces that he would put into it. Yvonne asked if I would take a similar approach for New England Finery. Of course, with Summer on its way at the time, combined with my never ending love of beachcombing along the shore, I arrived at a concept immediately… I would create a leisurely living space with a coastal feel and a serene sea glass palette.

You are invited to visit New England Finery Magazine to take in not only my article, but also all of the other wonderful features created by Yvonne, Linda and many other passionate and talented contributors.

In the meantime, without leaving Design 4 Seasons, I give you...

"Sea Glass Serenity"

The search for sea glass is a tranquil endeavor. While a beachcomber enjoys a relaxing walk along the beach they also feel sense of anticipation about what luminescent treasures will be discovered along their journey. Living with a sea glass inspired interior offers a similar feeling… a combination of tranquility and delight.

Sea glass at the water’s edge can actually be found in almost every hue, depending on the pieces’ origins… a medicine bottle from the 1800’s, a Coca Cola bottle from the 1960’s, and so on. But the hues most often affiliated with sea glass are beautiful, watery blues and greens. The beauty of sea glass lies not only in its color, but also in its softness… the glass shards that were originally shiny and bright become weathered by exposure to salty water and the tumbling of the seas which leave them gently frosted.

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The blue and green color palette combined with the soft textures, and of course, the allure of the sea, come together to create an irresistible, spa-like interior space.

I have created a relaxing, fantasy living space with a lovely ocean view inspired by the beauty of sea glass. The sectional is upholstered in a comfortable, sandy color fabric that invites you take in the seaside vista, or to curl up under the chunky cable throw and cuddle up to the seahorse and shell pillow to maybe take a nap!

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Pottery Barn Image

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Next to the chaise is a unique textured raffia side table featuring a nail head design that reminds me of kelp or seaweed (I later found one that even has storage... all the better!) In the corner is a skirted table covered in a cloth with a spa green top with a wide natural linen border, which complements the natural theme. The cocktail table with its wave design feels right at home near the beach, and since it is made of reclaimed wood, captures the feel of driftwood.

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Another feature in the space that is ‘green’ is the area rug, which is woven of recycled denim and jute, making it comfortable under foot as well as beautiful. No space with a sea glass theme would be complete without glass! The collection of bottles on the skirted table has been tumbled to resemble real specimens rescued from the sea, and the shiny floats on the cocktail would have originally assisted fishermen with their daily catch. Glass glows and shines anywhere there is light, so being by the large window is one step toward making the glass accessories stand out.

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The lighting fixtures take the look to the next level. The lamp on the raffia side table is ceramic with a glazed wave pattern and seahorse handles. The gorgeous chandelier in the corner has a soft bluish-green shade and abalone shells gently cascading from it… an eye-catcher itself, it also puts a spotlight on the bottle collection. One more element necessary to create a glimmering room is the inclusion of a mirror. The mirror here is framed in a luminescent metallic turquoise that is stunning on its own, but is a perfect complement to the lighting and glass.

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Whether you create an entire room with a coastal theme, or simply embrace the color palette or elements of sea glass, you’ll feel as tranquil as when you return from a walk at the beach!

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