Decor

Duke

August 7, 2017

I keep meeting potters, women, who have come to a career in clay quite by accident, and turned a pastime into a profession. I mentioned Paula Greif the other day, a Hudson potter who found the wheel in her late 50s. Further along our Catskills trail, I came across the work of Carolyn Duke who started pinching pots as a way to relax while raising young children. “After they’d gone to bed, I used to sit at the kitchen table and play with clay,” says the Sullivan County transplant. She and her husband, a photographer, moved to the Catskills from New Jersey over a decade ago, and live in a beautiful farm house with an adjoining barn that serves as studio to both. Duke’s work is entirely hand built, and has a crude, earthy feel that I love. “You can’t take it all too seriously,” she says. “And you have to be prepared to chuck away a lot of pots.” The bowl I bought, reddish earthenware with an aqua interior, shows he signs of its maker, finger prints and other markings that give the piece more character. It’s really quite beautiful.

 

Nine lives

August 3, 2017

This is the kind of pottery I dream of one day making. I found Paula Greif‘s work on a stroll through Hudson NY this week, only the shop was closed. So instead, I stood glued up against the store window admiring her beautiful spoons, platters and bowls for a good long while. It all started with a pottery class, “with the goal of remaking everything in my kitchen,” Greif says on her website. The artist had many creative lives before turning to the wheel, including shooting music videos and designing record covers for Madonna. “Began making bottles for my friends at old field farm on the summer weekends…got a space in a group ceramics studio in red hook, brooklyn…now living and working in a 10 foot wide house in hudson, new york.” Her work is all so simple, naive and whimisical. It’s a good thing the shop was closed — I would have snapped up every piece in the window.

Salon

August 1, 2017

I can’t imagine a prettier place to spend a summer evening than right here at Le Sirenuse in Positano. This room is pure delight, with its teal floors, dainty furnishings and travelling vines. I picture guests taking refuge here when the rain comes pouring down, smoking and talking and sipping Aperol spritzes. La dolce vita, indeed.

taste of honey

July 28, 2017

Honeycomb tiles in the bathroom are always a good idea. Black ones look sleek, but a colour, like sage green is softer, and a little more unique, I think. What I really love, perhaps because they remind me of a Mediterranean farmhouse, are honeycomb tiles in terracotta. There’s nothing rustic about this kitchen, but these floors are pure Toscana.

Terrazzo!

July 12, 2017

I have a thing for terrazzo flooring –– the speckled tile you see in airports and schools. Terrazzo is making a major comeback with bolder patterns and fabulous new colours. I keep coming back to this kitchen. and I love this dizzy making powder room. In my own home, I don’t know that I’d go for terrazzo on large surfaces like floors or a staircase. But on a backsplash, I think it looks great. Everything is old is new again. And again.

 

 

 

WC

July 10, 2017

I really appreciate it when a restaurant pays special attention to its loos. After all, it’s where we contemplate matters of great importance; will it be the key lime pie or the ile flottante? At The Courage, a delightful little restaurant in Prince Edward County where we dinnered on the weekend, I discovered a Kohler sink pretty enough to stay put in the loo for. It’s part of the company’s artist’s edition series and includes a range of beautiful patterns inspired by cultures around the globe. This one looks quite English –– maybe that’s why I felt so at home in the loo.

Bridal sheets

June 22, 2017

I’ve talked before here about monogrammed linen, and how much I adore it. My Mum has sheets from Madeira, white ones with butter yellow embroidery, that were a gift from her mother when she got married. It pays to spend money on good sheets, the kind that last. These days, my Mum is the linen fairy, the one who takes newlywed couples shopping for new sheets. They choose what thread colour they want, and what font they like, and six weeks later beautiful linens are sent to their home. What a wonderful wedding gift.

garden of whimsy

June 14, 2017

We’re on the hunt for good garden furniture. I love the idea of a white wrought iron table and chairs with candy striped pink cushions and a floral parasol. These chairs here are a dream, and while we’re at it, why not add a few voluptuous goddesses to the garden, too? Now, all we need are grapes overhead and Puccini playing on the Sonos.

Brass Act

June 6, 2017

If I was choosing hardware for a bathroom or kitchen, I’d opt for brass. I love the juxtaposition of sleek marble or corian with brass taps. It’s rich and warm and unpredictable. I’m not much of a bath person, but this soaker right here, looks kind of lovely.

oh Canada

June 1, 2017

Charming tea towels are a must in my kitchen, the more whimsical the better. I’ve had the same batch of batik style ones for years. In Prince Edward County this week, I came across Kate Golding‘s quintessentially Canadian tea towels. There are sand dunes, water towers, loons, strawberries, heirloom tomatoes and sail boats, all hand drawn and hand sewn in Ontario. Take a look at Golding’s wallpaper collection, too. At local inn, Angeline’s, the rooms are covered in pine trees and lilacs.

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