Garden Note- Natural Beauty

I love this article from last year’s Veranda Magazine. Floral designer Michael Putnam creates some simple, yet stunning Christmas arrangements in a historic New York home.

christmasnaturalbeautyverandamagazine01-optSnippets of snowberries  are taped to the old windowpanes.

christmasnaturalbeautytreeveranda02-optReal candles light this pine tree for the holidays. Dried slices of oranges and apples hang from branches strewn with clusters of paperwhite narcissus.

naturalchristmascuboardwithplantsfruit-opt The theme of using paperwhites and citrus fruit continues in this corner cupboard with some slight changes. Paperwhite bulbs are placed in glasses and lemons are the chosen fruit. Here they’re combined with fresh olive and thyme clippings.

(Photos- Sang An for Veranda Magazine, 2015)

Prepping For The Holidays

hmhomeholidaytable01-optI’m already scouting ideas for decorating this holiday season. Here are some nice touches to consider- the unusual color scheme (not the traditional red & green), loosely arranged eucalyptus wreath, branches instead of a tree, oranges with cloves, giant Amaryllis bulb in a metal box, layered table clothes, brown paper gift wrap, copper colored balls, pine cone candle holders, stag dishware and mugs.

hmtableholidaydisplaydetail-opt(Photos- H&M Home)

Decorating With An Anthropologie Bed #2

The image of this bed from Anthropologie has been on my computer desktop for weeks. I love how the simple, wood design lends itself to all kinds of decorating styles. Here’s the second of three possibilities-

#2. Mid-century Modern

anthrobedmidcentmodernstyle-opt‘Decorator’s White’ by Benjamin Moore is a good paint choice for the walls. The patterned rug has visual interest without being too overpowering. Accessories include a modern wall sconce, cool leather chair and framed photograph.

Related Nibs post-

Decorating With An Anthropologie Bed

Our Farmhouse Kitchen

kitchenfireplacemantel-optAlthough our wonky, old farmhouse (c. 1800s) isn’t on the historical registry, both my husband and I feel it still deserves careful restoration work.

kitchenrestorationprojectview3-optThe kitchen was at the top of the project list this spring and summer. We had all kinds of issues with it and each one had to be addressed with respect to the finished space. Here’s what we’ve done so far.

Existing Kitchen-


  • L-Shaped room
  • Five doors
  • Single exterior window
  • Fixed plexi-glass interior window
  • Blocked sun tunnel
  • Poor task lighting
  • Counters too high (40″ instead of standard 36″)
  • Dark granite floor tile used on the counters and backsplash.
  • Work triangle suitable for one person only
  • Cabinets in strange places (wall oven, hard to reach storage in old attic and too wide a peninsula)
  • Exposed roof rafters allowed for insect and rodent problems
  • Row of soffit lights that made no sense
  • Assorted appliances
  • Outdated ceiling fan
  • ¬†Multiple ceiling heights

After Kitchen-


  • Removed large light fixture and recessed lighting to unblock sun tunnel
  • Ran new electrical
  • Cabinets and counters carefully taken out
  • Kickplate cut off to drop cabinets down
  • Create a new layout from existing cabinets
  • Repair wood flooring
  • Eliminate exposed roof
  • New planking on walls and ceiling where needed
  • Paint cabinets, walls, ceiling, woodwork and doors
  • Order butcher block for countertop
  • Keep refrigerator and dishwasher drawer
  • Purchase restaurant stove and stainless steel sink
  • Install vintage cast iron sink from my old shed
  • Replace plexi-glass with antique window
  • Repurpose old Ikea table as a work island (remove top and use as shelf, butcher block for top, paint body)***

kitchenrestorationproject001-optYet To Do-

  • Single window will be changed to a double
  • Enclose one door (still debating this)
  • Paint the floor
  • Select a different light fixture for over breakfast table
  • Add scallop wood edge to shelving above sink
  • Make window curtains and sink skirt


  • Benjamin Moore Paint
  • Big Chill- Stove
  • Restaurant supply- Sink and fixtures
  • John Boos- Butcher block
  • Northern Crescent Iron- Cabinet hardware

(Photos- Martha Browne)

*** Note- Pictures of the Ikea table and other details will be featured in a future post.

A Page From…

…House & Garden Magazine, 1989


I sure miss House & Garden. The interior design magazine folded in 2007. Oh well…at least I can comfort myself with my stash of back issues. Here’s a page showing a New York City apartment living room done by decorator William Diamond. Beautiful and timeless.

(Photo- Lizzie Himmel)

Related Nibs posts-

Dynamic Duo (William Diamond and Anthony Baratta)

A Page From…House & Garden Magazine, July 2003

A Small House

Idea- Canopy Bed

Decorating Tips From Albert Hadley