Arranging without Flowers

WOMGood Morning Lacquered Lifers! Putting together those final touches on that Thanksgiving flower arrangement? I love this arrangement from Waiting on Martha. Sometimes what your arrangement needs are those small accent pieces that are not in fact floral at all! One of my favorite sources for branches, dried berries, and all sorts of fun floral curiosities is Terrain. Below are some of my favorites – with two day shipping they could be on your table and in your arrangement just in time! 
Terrain 2Fresh Red Winterberry BunchTerrain 3Preserved Oak BunchTerrain 4Preserved Echinops Bunch
Terrain 7Dried Cotton Stem

Beautiful Bowood

VerandaGood Morning Lacquered Lifers. Happy Friday. If you’re anything like me you have been swooning over the cover of Veranda Magazine and have been completely inspired by those velvet walls. There are definitely velvet walls in my future. However, in typical fashion, the piece that jumped out at my was the chintz. bowood chintz 2You have heard about my love of Schumacher’s Hollyhock Chintz, and I’m pretty sure I have mentioned my appreciation for Colefax & Fowler’s Bowood Chintz, but today I want to share a little more about the origin of this ever-so-chic chintz, which as you can tell from the photos above can look good in both casual and formal settings. 
bowood chintzBowood Chintz, named for the house, is a reinterpretation of a 19th century fabric that John Fowler saw at the house during the middle of the 20th century. This fabric has been in production ever since, and is considered one of Colefax & Fowler’s classic prints. Bowood_House_3Bowood Chintz was “discovered” by John Fowler inside Bowood House. Located in Wiltshire, Bowood House has been the home of the Landsdowne family since the 18th century, and is currently occupied by the 9th Marquis and Marchioness of Landsdowne. The original house was built on the site in 1725, and underwent consistent alterations throughout the remaining part of the 18th century. This is Bowood House as it looked in 1905. During World War I, the Marquess operated a Red Cross auxiliary hospital in the orangery, and during World War II the house served as a school and as a headquarters for the Royal Air Force. After the War, the “big house” (seen here on the far right) was in severe disrepair. It was demolished in 1955, and the “little house” (seen here to the left) was renovated to accommodate the Marquess.Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 10.38.39 AMThis is Bowood House as it looks today. Parts of the house and the gardens are open to the public during certain times of year. For more information on visiting Bowood’s House and gardens visit their website

Why Preservation? … Why Not?

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.16.29 AMGood morning Lacquered Lifers. If some of you ever had any questions as to why I am a passionate preservationist, or what the point of historic preservation is, these photos of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s main hospital building and surgeons quarters should answer your questions. The Brooklyn Navy Yard has occupied this site since 1801, the hospital was completed in 1838, and the surgeons quarters in 1863. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was decommissioned in the mid-1960s, whereupon the land was sold to the city of New York and these buildings have stood empty. Over the years different plans have been floated to redevelop the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and while those plans are coming closer and closer to fruition these beautiful pieces of architecture sit empty, abandoned, and neglected … despite their status as New York City Landmark properties. So why preservation? Honestly, why not? 
Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.16.31 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.16.48 AMScreen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.17.21 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.16.54 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.17.07 AMPhotos via Curbed

Entertaining? I’ll Drink to That.

betty 1Good Morning Lacquered Lifers. During my plane travels over the weekend I finally had the time to read a book. Isn’t that something? Honestly between all the shelter magazines, the NYTimes, and Vanity Fair I am rarely able to finish a book. This weekend I read I’ll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich, the grand dame of Bergdorf Goodman’s fitting room. It was a really wonderful book, both lighthearted and very honest. Chatting with my mother about the book, we both agreed that it definitely opened a window into Betty’s generation and how they lived. Betty 2Betty has lived in the same Park Avenue apartment for over 60 years, and when I found these pictures on Town & Country’s website, I knew I had to share them. These photos display a way of life with a value put on presentation and entertaining, that is almost extinct. While I am extremely guilty of leaving the house without makeup, or wearing workout clothes when I’m not headed to the gym, the house always presents itself well in public. betty 3As I am sure you all have gathered from my frequent entertaining posts, this appreciation and value for being a good hostess is something I take very seriously and something I have seen coming back into fashion. And thank god. Because honestly what is better than being able to share your home and your things with your friends. Take your wedding china and your silver out of the cabinet and eat on it … because that’s what its for. I’ll drink to that.

Photos via Town & Country

Browsing in Beacon Hill

IMG_7574Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Hope everybody had a good weekend. I was in Boston celebrating the engagement of two of my dearest friends from college, and Saturday I took the opportunity to stroll around Beacon Hill. Located between Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, and the Charles River, Beacon Hill is one of the most historic (and beautiful) neighborhoods of the city. Now a National Historic Landmark District, the development of Beacon Hill began in the early years of the nineteenth century with Federal-style town homes designed by famous American architect Charles Bulfinch. Despite the chilly weather Beacon Hill’s brick facades looked especially beautiful this weekend against the backdrop of the city’s late fall foliage in colors of yellow and orange. As Boston College alumni, we all truly enjoyed being back and reminiscing about a time when we called this city home. A big thank you and congratulations Libby and Ryan for bringing us all back together in Beantown! IMG_7588 IMG_7583 IMG_7654 IMG_7547