Home Sweet Home

Before Mary Randolph Carter chronicled and photographed her parent’s historic Virginia home in the classic book “American Family Style” in 1988, House and Garden magazine came for a visit in 1972. They were impressed with the large Carter family (Mary was one of nine children), and the ingenuity and creativity used to restore the once-neglected old house. Here are a few photographs from that 1972 article-

The original part of the house dates from 1680.

The property plan: 1. 1690’s house. 2. Living-dining room addition. 3. Kitchen wing. 4. Herb garden. 5. Vegetable patch. 6. Formal gardens with treehouse. 7. Brick terrace and porch. 8. Guest quarters. 9. Enclosed yard with toolhouse, smokehouse, and children’s store. 10. Wellhouse. 11. Grass autocourt. 12. Horse barn.

Brick paved terrace leads to the porch and entrance into the living and dining room.

Added to the main house was the kitchen wing pictured above.

In the oldest part of the house is the library. On the wall to the left is a tiny fireplace that takes coal or kindling.

One of several guest rooms at the Carter home.

Taking a rest in a hammock just outside the family-built log cabin.

(Photos- House and Garden 1972)

Lil’Pix #44: Fun With Dots!

With summer coming, there are lots of outdoor picnics and barbeques to plan for. I started looking through my magazines for inspiration and found this fun party from a vintage House and Garden. It’s loaded with bright orange dots on everything- paper plates, napkins and even those fabulous cardboard chairs! I’d like to take the whole setup and place it in my backyard!


(Photo- Vintage 1970’s House and Garden)

StyleFile # 38: Bride of the Silver Screen

Do you have a special movie and wish you could put a touch of it in your wedding? I came across this recent wedding layout of models wearing assorted hats and for fun I matched them to some favorite movies.

Based on a popular book, Zorro came out at least twice in movies. The poster above is from the silent film “The Mark of Zorro” with Douglas Fairbanks. Hiding her secret identity in a black mask is the bride wearing a gown by Enzoani.

Who can dance like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their movie “Top Hat?” Here the bride wears a black top hat and dress by Vera Wang in tribute to the dancing duo!

My son Curtis is discovering the joy of Charlie Chaplin in several of his silent movies including “Gold Rush.” If you haven’t yet seen one of Chaplin’s films, I encourage you to check them out at your local library. And to add a touch of Chaplin to a wedding gown by Stewart Parvin– a black bowler hat!

None of Elvis Presley‘s movies like “Blue Hawaii” are really Oscar-worthy, but if you love his campy music, it doesn’t matter! The bride wears a headband with a large tropical-inspired silk flower from Sylvia Fletcher and a dress by Lisa Gong.

We are all familiar with Charlton Heston‘s Moses in the film “Ten Commandments,” but not many have seen him in “The Greatest Show On Earth“- a story of circus performers. Jimmy Stewart plays a surprising role. A bride takes center ring in this dress from Pronovias.

Now considered one of the best western movies ever made- “The Searchers” is a gripping story of a man’s quest for revenge. When I first saw it, I was awed by John Wayne‘s portrayal. I think you will be too. An Indian head dress is a surprising addition to this bridal dress by Rosa Clara.

(Photos- Bill Ling for British Cosmo Bride. Stylist- Sally Dixon)

Garden Note #19: Karen Walker

I’m enamored by clothing inspired by a garden– (as if you didn’t know yet!) When I came across Karen Walker’s Spring/Summer collection, I fell for her floral shirts and dresses. Take a look here or there!

In the spirit of Lady Rhoda Birley comes this lovely shirt and pale blue trousers. Note the matching scarf and hat!

The black tights off set the possible “cuteness” of the dress.

Pretty dress in the palest shade of peach.

Brown leather belt cinches-in the waist of this navy blue dress.

Just Call Him Mister Nibs

I’ve been tagged by East Side Bride to tell four things about my husband – amusingly labeled “Mr. Nibs.”

1. Mr. Nibs loves to hike and often takes our son out for weekend adventures in upstate New York.

2. Mr. Nibs loves to read. His favorite authors include Dorothy L. Sayers, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Walter R. Brooks and sometimes Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

3. Mr. Nibs gutted, framed, wired, insulated, sheetrocked, and trimmed our hundred year old house. His favorite complement was “it doesn’t look like you did anything.”

4. Mr. Nibs plays acoustic rhythm guitar and sings.

( Top and third photos- Mr. Nibs, Martha B.)