On My Reading List

#21- Interior Design. ‘A Simpler Way Of Life: Old Farmhouses of New York & New England‘ by William Morgan. Photography by Trevor Tondro. 2013

asimplerwayoflifebooktrevortondro01-opt” The old farmhouses in New York and New England gathered in this book represent a search for authenticity in our lives. These farms, barns and landscapes tell us something about agriculture, architecture, and life in the rural American northeast throughout much of our history. In so-doing, this book offers a refreshing and optimistic antidote to the spirit-numbing superficiality of so many new houses: the tract house, the manufactured home, the McMansion. Unlike hobby farms or near perfect restorations, these farmhouses ring true. They have a purity and simplicity that nurture the soul…”

asimplerwayoflifebooktrevortondro02-optasimplerwayoflifebooktrevortondro03-opt(Photos- Trevor Tondro)

Interiors- Where Do I Start?

When decorating a room, I love starting with a fireplace mantel. It seems that if I get that right (colors, accessories) then the rest of the design decisions (furniture, lighting, etc.) fall into place. And if by chance there isn’t an existing mantel, well…I find a blank wall and put one there. :)

colorfulfireplacemantelseriesofsix-optThe images (above) are all from my series of ideas based on a single fireplace mantel.

Top row- Colorful Colonial, A Botany Lesson, Fall’s Bounty

Bottom row- A Swedish Holiday, Mister Moore, Going Dark

Others- A Novelty, Juxtaposition

(Photos & Styling- Martha Browne)

Garden Note- Forced Branches

forcedbrancheswinter01-optI’ve tried to force branches to bloom. It’s usually hit or miss. But when it does work, the results can be beautiful.

  1. Select branches to bring in. Make sure they’re at least a foot long and have enough tight buds. Remove them with clippers from tree or shrub.
  2. When indoors, cut with a sharp knife the branch ends at an angle. Then slit them lengthwise a few inches.
  3. Place the branches (the cut ends) in warm water over night.
  4. The next day put the branches in a vase with more warm water.
  5. Display out of direct sunlight.
  6. Now wait. It may take a week or more.

(Photo- Cottage Style Magazine, Winter 2017)

January/February- Person, Place & Thing

portraitofabbie1017-optPerson- The hard part of trying to learn photography, especially portrait photography, is finding a willing person to pose. Abbe has stepped in to fill the void as model. I took a few test shots of her recently and this is one of them.

ourcountrybarnenclosedside-optPlace– When we bought our farmhouse property it came with a barn. It was one of the first major projects we worked on. Scott enclosed this section (above) for storage. He installed three antique windows and crafted a wooden door around back.

marblepaperblick-optThing- Two sheets of handmade marbleized paper from Blick. What should I do with them?

(Photos- Martha Browne)

Decorating With An Anthropologie Bed #3

Here’s the third of three decorating options using this simple wood bed from Anthropologie.

#3. Tribal Mix

anthrobeddecorboho-optLiving in a different part of the world can be as close as stepping into your bedroom. Place a mosquito net over the bed and layer rugs (jute & distressed examples) on the floor. Accessories include an African primitive stool, kuba cloth pillow, string of lights and photograph by Keith Johnson.

Related Nibs posts-

Decorating With An Anthropologie Bed#1. Classic Country, #2. Mid-Century Modern