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)