Tag Archives: flowers

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Last weekend it was 70 degrees and gorgeous. The perfect day for a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. An easy subway ride from the West Village brings you right to the entrance but once inside you are worlds away from New York City. The smell of all the blossoming flowers and tress transports you to the country side.

Lilacs, grape hyacinths, and crabapple trees greet you as you enter the garden and make your way down to cherry lane.

The cherry blossoms were almost in full bloom when we visited. This is the perfect spot to bring a picnic lunch and a book.

There are so many flowers through out the gardens and all the plants have their names proudly posted.

Once past Cherry Lane the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden awaits. It is filled with a myriad of trees, flowers, animals, and sculptures. I love the cut-out shape above on the footbridge- it would be great as a repeated pattern set into venetian plaster.

The tulip bed took my breath away. Flowers are planted by color and species and the patterns are beautiful.

If you are enable to make it there in April, May and June offer their own special blooms.

  • April: Magnolias, daffodils, forsythias, flowering cherries, crabapples, Native Flora and Japanese Hill-and-Pond Gardens.
  • May: Lilacs, tulips, bluebells, wisterias, Shakespeare Garden, Rock Garden, dogwoods, azaleas in the Osborne Garden.
  • June: Cranford Rose Garden, Perennial Borders, Annual Border, Herb Garden, irises, peonies.

Visit the website for hours, directions, and admission: http://www.bbg.org/

Follow the Brooklyn Botanical Garden on Twitter for updates: http://twitter.com/bklynbotanic



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Varying Shades of Purple

One of my favorite colors, hands down, is purple, weather it comes in eggplant, aubergine, lilac, lavender, violet, or plum I love the rich moodiness of the color. One of my client’s had me on the hunt for purple and I found a treasure trove of fabrics, wallpapers, and paint colors I would love to use in the near future. I look towards nature and the majority of my favorite flowers are purple:


African Daisies






Grape Hyacinths


And lavender…. rows and rows of lavender!

California Paint- Faded Lilac

Farrow and Ball- Bringal

The below rooms have lavenders, plums, rich aubergines, and lilacs mixed to perfection.

Madeline Weinrib:


Carolina Irving:

Kelly Wearstler for Groundworks:

Osborne and Little wallpaper:

Pierre Bonnard loved purple and paired it with all colors. I use ome of his paintings as jumping off points for clients:

Above: a favorite combination, lavender, plum, and pale yellow

Above: I would take the pale lavender, bright cantaloupe, and the sea foam for a sunny palate in Florida

The painting above with the lavender and bright red in the tablecloth has such warmth

Above: I would take the lavender, warm bright yellow, ivory, and deep forrest green



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Yellow Fever

As the sunlight changes in New York and the daffodils are some of the first flowers to pop up I have begun to crave yellow. Most of my clients have rather strong feelings towards yellow. Love or hate. As with any other color, the shade of yellow is important and while you may hate strong lemon yellows a soft buttery yellow can work as a neutral and you may be surprised to find you love it.

Soft buttery yellow walls:

This is the most pleasing to me. Suggesting happiness without forcing it. In a western facing room a soft buttery yellow will come to life in the late afternoon when the sunsets. The below shades are both warm and sophisticated.

The above shade of yellow is gorgeous and works well with the faded fabrics and warm woods in the room. The perfect country house sitting room.

Though the above room is quote formal the soft yellow walls make it warm, approachable, and relaxing.

In the above image we are treading into apricot territory but this has a very similar feel to a soft yellow/ cantaloupe wall. I love it paired with neutrals and a dash of plum.

Yellow paired with black:

Quite an arresting combination. It takes the sweet softness out of the yellow and gives it an edgy personality.

Soft yellow walls paired with citrus colors below evoke a beachy and energizing vibe.

Full on lemon yellow:

You cannot deny that both rooms have a totally different energy than the rooms above.

Above: Nancy Lancaster’s drawing room by John Fowler, painted a vivid shade of buttercup yellow had a reputation as one of the most extraordinary rooms in London.

Pops of yellow:

Just a bit of yellow lifts a room.

The above yellow and white silk zebra is one of my favorite fabrics and we just used it in a beach house.

I love the yellow leather dining chairs- unexpected, practical, and fun.



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The Colorful World of Harrison Howard

I have a serious thing for chinoiserie. I am also a great lover of color. Harrison Howard started his career as a decorative painter and worked for various well known firms all over the country. While he will still paint wonderful murals for your home he has also been putting his work down on paper, canvas, and panels.
Inspired by 18th century painter Jean Pillement, he paints whimsical and vibrantly colored chinese men painting crabs, floating through clouds in wonderful boats, and looking through telescopes. His series of flower and shell people remind me of children’s book illustrations- truly magical. His shell series are also beautiful. His pieces work anywhere- a living room, dining room, hallway, or bedroom and I would love to see his shell and flower people framed in a nursery. If you look closely in Lonny issue 3 I have two of his watercolors hanging in my dining room. They are special pieces and made by someone who is passionate about his work. I have attached some examples of his work below:


The Astronomer

The Fisherman

The Two Gardeners- I love that their garden is inside the yellow gazebo

The Two Workmen- Hanging a shell inside the pagoda while the lobster pulls another large clam shell up.

The Butterfly Keeper- I love his robes!

The Yellow Sail- Reminds me of the children’s book “The Owl and The Pussy Cat”. The peacock tail feathers as a rudder are amazing.

Arranging Drapery – I love her pet hermit crab and the large red sea urchin

The Dowery

Flower and Shell People: Their hats are fabulous! These prints are perfect for a little girls bedroom. Think how many bedtime stories you could weave from a few of these hanging on your little girl’s wall.

Parasol In The Air

The Reader

The Letter Writer – I love her wicker desk, black shawl, the blue and white ginger jar holding her hand fan and architectural plans, and most of all her broad flower petal hat. It reminds me of a fabulous hat you would wear to the Kentucky Derby.

Shells: These are screaming beach house!

Shells with Seagrass

Shells By The Sea

Red Angaria White Coral- I love the tiny painted shells with the blue background. This is a great jumping off point for a beach house room- soft aqua, pale lavender, bright pink, yellow, white, and a touch of black. It would also be fun to use this as a design running across a painted white floor.

Visit Harrison Howard’s website to see more of his work and to purchase: http://www.harrisonhoward.com/mainframe4.htm



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Won’t You Be My Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is 9 days away! Don’t be left empty handed… below are a few gift ideas to romance your honey.

Gifts for her:

Faux shagreen frame: these come in a variety of colors and you can pop in a picture of the two of you.


Givenchy: Glazed Nightengale bag: This gloss grey bag is scrumptious!


Eddie Borgo star cuff bracelet: I love the bold jem stone colors.


Davines Love shampoo and conditioner: Smells delicious


If she likes interiors this new book by Assouline is beautifully shot and has interviews with many of todays most inspiring designers:


Get her a gift certificate for a manicure/ pedicure at the beautiful and relaxing Rescue Beauty Lounge in the West Village:

rescue beauty lounge
34 Gansevoort street 2nd floor / New York NY 10014
Call 212.206.6409 to purchase a gift certificate

Don’t forget the flowers:

Mad Love: Mini Pink Calla Lillies, Red Roses, Pink Phalaenopsis Orchids and Anthurium Leaves

Banchet is an absolutely gorgeous flower shop right around the corner from my apartment. Just looking in the windows is a treat. Banchet puts her modern twist on floral arrangements and the color combinations are stunning. Every detail is accounted for in her refined creations ( including the perfect container for the bouquet)


Gifts for Him:

The perfect tie: Silk foulard necktie hand made in Naples with a cream, red and light blue print on a navy ground


Crocodile card case: Very stylish


For the sporty man: Drive an hour and a half outside of NYC and take aim at clays at Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook, NY. Once a tweedy private shooting club (the oldest in the country), Sandanona was purchased by Orvis, the outdoor sports clothier, and opened to the masses. Sip coffee and roam the wood-shingled clubhouse before being outfitted for a twenty-gauge shotgun (manageable for beginners) and taking in a gun-safety lecture. Then head out for a round on the world-class sporting-clays course.

Make a weekend out of it and stay the night in town at the Porterhouse Inn. While in Millbrook be sure to check out the Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, and the fine antique shops located in the village.

Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds: 800-548-9548; http://www.orvis.com/intro.aspx?dir_id=11716&group_id=11814&subject=3050

Porterhouse Inn: http://www.porterhousebandb.com/


There’s no drink quite like 18 year old Macallan ($124). Voted best whisky in the world by Whiskey Magazine in 2004, the 18 year vintage of The Macallan is consistently one of the most smooth drinking scotches in the world ( or so says my husband).

The art of shaving: Sandalwood shaving cream. My husband uses this and it is delicious. It has a distinct smell and makes his skin so soft. Irresistible.


For both of you:

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne: Brut Rose – A beautiful soft salmon pink color with continuous tiny bubbles. The flavors of blackberries, raspberries, red currants, and strawberries give off a feeling of lightness.

Recommended pairings: Salmon tartare, pork tenderloin, fresh goat cheese, red fruits.

Then head to Wallse for their valentine’s day pre-fix menu. Austrian food with a refined light twist. The restaurant has a decidedly romantic feel with towering branches of flowers in the windows and on the bar.


For reservations, please call 212-352-2300 or reserve online at opentable.com

Top it all off with dessert from Billy’s Bakery ( my favorite cupcakes in the city!)




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You can’t judge a book….but you can judge a house!

We have been taught not to judge a book by its cover… (“I Married Adventure” by Ola Johnson is an example to that rule) but buyers know within 8 seconds if they are interested in a house by it’s exterior. I am surrounded by beautiful town houses in the west village and I fantasize about the interiors of all of them. When I spy a particularly dashing door, large potted boxwoods, or bursting flower boxes I am sent into overdrive. If they are focusing on the details of the exterior just imagine what the interior must look like!! Let your imaginations run wild with all the beautiful images below. These are my favorite doors of the West Village.

Wooden Doors: There is something so warm and homey about these distressed wooden doors. Without a fresh coat of paint to hide their history their beautiful flaws are on display. The stain is worn where hands have pushed and pulled over the years.

Simple federal style details

Federal style details

Greek Revival style ionic columns flank the door

This is an example of the carved floral detail that is found on several doors in the west village.

The above two images are of new wooden doors with the carved floral details. Give them a hundred years and they will look just like the door above.

Painted Doors: A fresh coat of red or blue high gloss paint on the front door gives your visitor an unexpected treat.

The above lacquered red doors sing out on a cloudy day. It is a burst of happiness with shiny brass kick plates. Like a solider’s coat with brass buttons and black shoes.

Greek Revival style Ionic columns flank the door. The soft french blue door and red brick keep the overall feeling Federal.

This home exemplifies the transition between the Federal style ( windows) and the Greek Revival style (Ionic columns flank the door). The black painted door looks sharpe against the red brick.

Stylish greek revival details. I love the carved scallop detail above the door- very unique.

Styled to The Nines:

Late Grrek Revival style with disengaged Doric columns

Glossy black doors, glossy black planters, and spiral topiaries give this house a very sophisticated air.

Window Boxes:

I love the soft limestone color of this house with the black iron grills, windows, and flower boxes. The green boxwoods and ivy, and the red poinsettias really stand out. Just as sharp as the below look from Christian Dior Spring- Summer 2010

The soft wooden color of the flower boxes works well with the faded red brick. these cabbages are huge!



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