Saturday
Nov022013

barbara barry on beauty

photo: Mark Edward Harris for Traditional Home

I had the great good fortune to be among a small group of people to hear Barbara Barry speak about design recently at the Kravet showroom in Toronto. It is a pleasure I have had a few times before and one I will never miss if given the opportunity. Barbara is a gem. She has a voice like silk velvet. It's refined and soft and luxurious. She could read the dictionary and make it sound chic. In fact, I'd love to hear her read the dictionary. That night she was plucking from the stories compiled in her recent book Around Beauty. I had just rushed to the event after wrapping work on the high-stress all-hands-on-deck Trends issue of House & Home. So I was very amused when Barbara shared this pearl:

PEOPLE ASK ME 'BARBARA WHAT'S IN, WHAT'S OUT?' I TELL THEM I HAVE NO IDEA. BEAUTY IS ALWAYS IN. SUBTLETY IS ALWAYS IN.

Beauty is always in. Ain't it the truth! An old tree, a peeling onion, a peony, pond scum (yes!) - these are some of the things Barbara finds beautiful. The evening inspired me to look back at my photo library to see those times when I have felt compelled to document a beautiful little moment with my iPhone.

This is a pile of coiled rope on the warf at Covehead, Prince Edward Island. That aqua colour is so pretty but I also love the mezmerizing pattern of swirls the rope makes. Layers and layers and layers.

Ferns ferns ferns. Always and forwever. I am so captivated by ferns. I snapped this pic on a bike ride between Morell and St. Peter's, also in PEI.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this guy while golfing last month at the course near our place in Tweed. He was pretty big - about 6inches long! Just look at that muddy green colour of his shell and the bits of red at the edges and some pale yellow too. And that pattern. Wow.

These are some stunning candycane beets I bought last week at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Can you believe how pretty!? My only disappointment with them is that the colour gets much more subtle when you cook them. But as Barbara says "Subtlety is always in."

This is a detail of an old fishing shack at Red Head harbour warf in PEI. I could stare for hours. I know, I'm weird.

Here's a little peek at one of my favourite secret spots. This is the wooded path behind our place in Tweed. It's where we walk the dog on Sunday mornings and I love watching the seasons change here. The colours and patterns and textures are magnificent: moss on rocks and a carpet fallen leaves (oak are my favourite) and pine needles. It's so peaceful here. Beautiful. 

Friday
Oct112013

buddy, can you spare $49.5mil?

This, my excellent blog reading friends, can be yours or mine for the cool listing price of $49.5million. It is the extraordinary Water Mill, NY house of Nine West founders and gajillionaires Vince and Louise Camuto. Despite it's insane size (22,000 sq ft) I find it to be a total dream. The interiors are by Louise Camuto and Carol Egan. Nicely done. The house has heaps of grandeur yet still manages to look relaxed and inviting — that's no mean feat.

Enjoy this tour...

Super dreamy kitchen!

Just take a gander at the detail of the edge profile of the marble counters...amaze.

Blueberry waffles and mimosas anyone?

A little bit of Canada representin' in the media room as the sofas are by our very own Montauk sofa (don't be fooled by the New Yorky name, Montauk is Canuck).

The formal dining room has a decidedly Gustavian feel, perhaps because the lady of the manor is an ex-Miss Sweden. Also, masterful photo styling here by Howard Christian - hat tip to you, sir. That tree branch in the background...makes the shot.

Aaaaaaaah. Cashmere robe, a must.

oh. my. heart.

The story of the full renovation was published in the July 2013 issue of Architectural Digest, with these stunning photos by Scott Frances and styling by the aforementioned Mr. Christian.

Check out more deets on the real estate listing at Curbed Hamptons and Sotheby's 

PS, this marks my return to the blog...I hope.

Wednesday
May292013

nyc flower markets

Have you ever been to the wholesale flower markets in New York? I love going to flower markets when I travel. These photos are from late March - just the beginning of spring flower season. The shelves were TEEMING with blooms. At this place above they stack the bunches on their sides on 10-ft high metro shelving carts. 

Tulips, tulips and more tulips.

The flowers and plants spill out onto the street along 28th St. And, by the way, I'm happy to report that anyone can go into these places - you don't have to be a pro.

Ranunculus for days!!

This place was totally jaw-dropping -- an entire store lined with 9 and 10 ft high blooming branches -- mostly cherry when I was there. It was so crazy amazing. Why why why can't we have access to this stuff in Canada? This is the modern era people - put them on a truck! Sigh.

I came across this fun video interview with Carolyn Roehm taped in the Flower district. Kinda fun. One of my fave aspects is the sound -- get a load of the hustle and bustle - the place is busy and LOUD. Hey, it's NYC, whaddya expect? And three more things: 1. Could she be more chic? 2. That. Hat. 3. Peonies and garden roses. Of course. 

Peonies and roses. I share Carolyn's love of these two. I snapped these beauties at my place after doing a shoot with Virginia Macdonald. The story appears in the July 2013 issue of House & Home - on stands right about now.