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HEART & SOUL…Bring life, beauty, a sense of joie de vivre and a touch of romance to your home and garden.

 

Straight from the heart…an enchanting cottage, a charming family bungalow, a magical Santa Fe colonial, a beach-shack house…all have an elemental sense of style that makes it easy to create a romantic atmosphere for living and enjoying life. A place to love and enjoy the good things in life with family and friends.

Create Romance…bring touches of charm and whimsy to your home. Certain elements in a home create intimacy…a window seat with lots of pillows, a filmy canopy bed, a generous fireplace, a big claw foot tub, a dressing table, a cashmere throw on a chaise, a big snuggly, cushly sofa…any or all make a home where you can feel comfortable with a flock of friends and where you can also enjoy just being alone. In our tech-ruled world and social media times, a romantic relaxing refuge is even more important than ever!

I’m not one of those lacy, frilly, ruffles everywhere, chintz types…but I love roses from the garden in a tiny vase on the bedside table, lavender bundles, fragrant candles burning in the evening, a wood-fire crackling in the fireplace…simple touches that create a romantic atmosphere for me. Holly, well she just likes a new Himalayan Yak milk bone to chew on…she just sighs comfortably and  sprawls on her comfy bed, bone between both paws!

“IT TAKES HANDS TO BUILD A HOUSE, BUT ONLY HEARTS CAN BUILD A HOME!” FullSizeRender(31)

Romantic inspiration can be something in a book you read, a film memory, a visit to a special landscape, a sunrise washing color over the beach, winter mist hovering in the woods, once in a a blue moon, a look, a smile…

SPECIAL film memories…the hair washing scene in OUT OF AFRICA…the sultry moments on a moving train between Gary Cooper and Eva Marie Saint in NORTH BY NORTHWEST…THE WAY WE WERE, DIRTY DANCING, CHOCOLAT…oh my, got lost in a tangle of film flash, I have so many! I take and took inspiration from so many beautiful movie kitchens over the years…some of the best, the kitchens in PRACTICAL MAGIC and UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN,  and the kitchen, pastry shop and garden in IT’S COMPLICATED, ah, my romantic old heart flutters every time I watch her baking croissants, picking tomatoes, making Croque Monsieur and putting a chocolate cake on a pedestal! And, watching the voluptuous Juliette Binoche make and serve chocolates in her French shop, the ultimate!

“Isn’t it Romantic…?” Remember that what is romantic is very personal…for some it’s their collections, or the spectacle of our flag waving, or an all white room or garden, or a cashmere shawl, or a bouquet of flowers from your garden, or riding in an old convertible, a bubble bath, the charm and mystery of another era…For great, heartfelt inspiration…surround yourself with sensory pleasures and visual reminders. Creating romance in a room is really as simple as…anything that has meaning to you, that “tugs at your heartstrings” every time you see it or feel it. For me, it’s pearls, peonies, roses, old B&W photos, daisies, best chocolate, fragrant lavender candles, rosemary and lavender trimmings burning in the fireplace, champagne tickling my nose from the collection of antique French flutes…I begin to think of all I have done, do and would like to still do and achieve. What is yours? Go ahead, think about it for a moment…

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Sights to Stir the Soul…there is something about all things French that makes them stylish and inherently ROMANTIC…I could sit here for hours with good wine, fresh baguette and warm goat cheese.

IT’S ALL IN THE LITTLE DETAILS…many elements can be used to create a sense of romance in your garden. Fragrant creeping thyme planted around natural stepping stones, all-white plants in a Moon Garden, a trickling fountain, a gravel path through an allee of fragrant roses, water elements such as a pond or dry creek bed, a scented garden enclosed by a stone wall, a lovely stone whimsy… IMG_2114

 

 

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A Home and Garden in harmony…give them love and care!

 

 

 

 

“Where we love is home, HOME that our feet may leave, but not our HEARTS…”

 

Unconventional wisdom...Happiness isn’t simply being cheerful all the time; IT’S BEING INTERESTED IN THINGS…finding out more about something, learning how to appreciate something better, incorporating SOMETHING NEW that fits with what you already have…

Crafty Companionship…your flock of women friends, united by their shared passion for vintage fabrics and china pieces, regularly gather together in each other’s homes to share ideas, inspiration and home-baked treats. This weekly or monthly ritual of afternoon tea while indulging their latest ideas and swapping treasured fabric bits, lace, buttons and china pieces inspire more than just their artistic endeavors…it’s a shared love of creating and home baking that stitches them together in life no matter what happens…think STEEL MAGNOLIAS meets HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT, two favorite movies with this theme!

FullSizeRender(12) Inner circle…The red raggy ring [wreath] shown here is a perfect colorful element for your front door during February…use a willow or grapevine form, then “stuff” or wire or sew with vintage fabrics to cover fully…a relaxed mix of patterns is best.

FullSizeRender(10)  A mosaic mirror made from pieces of broken china…a great way to save and remember those special pieces you love.

A few ideas for now…more later.

 

 

 

 

 

Something I enjoy doing on a chilly winter evening…glass of wine, favorite music, fire blazing, sitting at my table…Holly by my feet…I put pieces cut from old magazines into my dairy of THINGS I LOVE!

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Love in Bloom...my favorite, most romantic fragrant flowers, growing in my yard…roses, peonies, Casablanca lilies, lilacs, hydrangeas, and gardenias…what are yours?

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Wishing you warm hearts and thoughts of LOVE for February…

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