Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It's official!

The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.
The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.
Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father.
Following the marriage, the couple will live in north Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall is Ideal

Fall is ideal for gardening.
I can't get out of the garden and onto the computer.
I want to get the plants established before our fall turns into winter.
Are any of you designing, planting and dreaming?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are You Like Me?

American Flag
I absolutely hate confrontation. I want to surround myself with beauty, peace and love BUT, sometimes you have to reach into your heart and think about the unpleasant.

We MUST remember the evil and horror of what happened September 11, 2001.

"A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could."

"We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."

"Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America."

-President George W. Bush

It's not enough to only think of the horror that happened for one day each year on September 11th.



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Are You with Me?

Mad Men Season 4 Episode Photos
Are you in agreement with me that MAD MEN is the best show on television?

The story line is multifaceted and intriguing.

Mad Men Season 4 Episode Photos
The acting is superb.

Mad Men Season 4 Episode Photos
I can't think of better casting, costumes and set design.

Mad Men Season 4 Episode Photos
Do you have favorite scenes or characters? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sultry September

September may have arrived, but here in the American South, it's hot as blue blazes!

I don't want to rush any season, so I'm still savoring, ah hem, the sweltering weather.

For those of you who are feeling that crisp in the air, how about some green velvet?

We can always count on Bunny Williams' interiors to make us feel warm and cozy!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well Worth Watching

Regardless of your politics...

When you find some quite time, watch and see what you think. This clip last about one hour.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sometime You Need a Treat

Every now and then, you need a treat.
It can come in many different forms from simple to dramatic.

Personally, I like a good hotel getaway.
A relaxing hotel stay can be like going to the spa.

My most recent "treat" was at the St. Regis.

Isn't this a lovely way to dress a passageway?

The main lobby is a mixture of what I'd call modern French.

(photos above from the St. Regis. Thank you for the pleasant stay.)

Here are some detailed photographs that I took.
The bathroom fixtures that I noticed were Kohler and Kallista (basically the same company).

I thought this was a cleaver idea: sliding mirrored French doors.
The doors opened to connect the bedroom to the bathroom.
The construction was quite simple, operating like barn doors.
Notice how the hardware is hidden under the molding.

The lighting was a modern traditional mix- all chrome/nickel and crystal.

Two more nice touches to the bath: a hidden television behind one of the mirrors,

and an environmentally friendly dual flush toilet.

So what kind of "treats" do you like?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Loving


I am SO there! Who's going with me? (Tartanscot, no need to reply, honey, I KNOW you will be there! :) )

I'm thinking we should dress up too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Southern Accents Magazine to Return?

This just in:
A little birdie told me yesterday that Southern Accents Magazine is being "courted" by another magazine publishing company.

I would be thrilled to see it back in print.

Casual Dining
(Antoine Bootz)

I'll admit though, I would have high expectations for it's revival. I certainly understand that change is all part of growing and progress, but some things just need to stay the same. Do you agree?

Heart of the Home
(Pieter Estersohn, one of my favorites; Joe Minton design)

The "suitor" will remain nameless (I don't want to complicate anything) but,
could a corporation that is based in the north really understand The South?
Would a mixed marriage work?
One stipulation that I would have is that the editorial staff be based in The South.
(If you don't know the humidity, haven't smelled the magnolias and experienced the renowned hospitality, how can you write about it?)

Southerners know The South.
(How many times have we watched a movie and rolled our eyes at a horrible fake accent?)

Publishing company, prove me wrong. Show me that you "get it".
We want OUR Southern Accents back!

Views, Airy, Open
(Rob Brinson)

I'm excited by the possibility of Southern Accents returning, but also very concerned that it would not be produced to the same standard.

Southern Accents 2009 Riverhills Showhouse, Tudor-Style Oak Paneling
(Emily Minton Redfield)


I want to make sure that I have not stepped on our northern friend's toes by stating that they may not "get it". I relish in our differences. That is what makes our country so unique. I adore regionality--the accents, the food, the culture.

For anyone not familiar with Southern style, please read the following excerpt from a great article that was featured in our beloved Southern Accents magazine years ago:

"Gracious and eclectic with a strong architectural basis. -- John Chrestia

True "Southern style" has a subliminal sense of theater and joie de vivre, complimented by a definite bend toward elegance. -- Joseph Paul Davis

A sense of gracious invitation. Warm, personal colors. Respect and reverence of our past. Subtle intelligence. -- Barry Dixon

Decoration in the traditional or classical sense with an emphasis on comfort, hospitality, and liveableness, sometimes with a historical reference point, but not necessarily interpreting "period" interiors. Many Southern homes are renovations of once-grand architecture or even auxiliary buildings on the plantation grounds. -- Ann Dupuy

The attributes that define Southern style are a quiet assuredness...a confidence...a warmth that embodies the phenomenon of "Southern hospitality." -- Charles Gandy

Southern style, to me, is rather eccentric, embodying classic roots with a unique application. Comfort and relating to the outdoors is always a strong consideration for design in the South. Color is also very important, many times pulling in color schemes from nature. -- Cathy Kincaid

Southern style is unpretentious and extremely comfortable with an air of informality and relaxed elegance. --Josie McCarthy

Southern style means friendly, comfortable, approachable interiors. In the South, it's all about being welcome. -- Celerie Kemble

A sense of one's heritage and the importance of making a home welcome to family and friends. -- J.R. Miller

Southern style speaks of gracious living, hospitality, and restrained taste. -- Betty Lou Phillips

Our Southern roots compel us to make hospitality and good manners a priority in our daily living. There is an underlying quality of dignity in the way we decorate. -- Cindy Smith

Casual elegance. An inviting style. The mix of both formal and informal rooms that are integral parts of life in the Southern home. -- Jim Strickland

What elements do all great Southern houses have in common?

Houses of the Southern Tidewater, from Virginia to Louisiana, seem to epitomize Southern style. These unique structures were developed to cope with intense heat and humidity. While each geographic area has its own distinct architectural expression, all embody the same basic strategic elements; abundant porches for shade, high ceilings, exterior shutters, raised living levels, and careful geographic orientation to take advantage of prevailing breezes. -- Norman Askins

Our warm climate influenced our architects to build our historic mansions and modest bungalows with 12 and 14-foot ceilings and rooms with many tall windows and French doors for cross ventilation. -- Gerrie Bremermann

Easy charm; an enormous appreciation for the out of doors, which most often includes a wonderful garden; either formal or rambling. -- Dan Carithers

The environments, whether modern or steeped in history, have a thoughtfully acquired sensibility -- they are tactile and enveloping. -- Darryl Carter

Wonderful porches. -- John Chrestia

All great Southern homes have a traditional mindset of running a proper house, whether it is contemporary or traditional. -- Joseph Paul Davis

A chameleonic quality to live happily among various periods and personalities. Innate hospitality. Openness. --Barry Dixon

Traditional or contemporary--formal or informal--there is usually something inherited reflecting the Southern sense of family. -- Jimmy Graham

All great Southern houses have piazzas/porches, high ceilings, cross ventilation (a center hall) and wood floors. -- Amelia Handegan

An open door to hospitality and a sense of gracious living. -- Jackye Lanham

What piece of furniture or accessory should no Southern house be without?

Dining room furniture. Of all forms of American furniture particularly associated with the South, the majority seem to have been created for entertainment, and most especially for the dining room; hunt board or slab, sugar chest, Jackson press, and pie safe. -- Norman Askins

Something wicker is a must. Originally, wicker furnishings were chosen as a response to Southern climate, now they serve an equally important role by keeping formal rooms a bit more casual, relaxed, and enjoyable. --José Solis Betancourt

I have a fetish for chairs -- lots and lots of chairs. I love chandeliers, banquettes, daybeds and large, useful coffee tables. -- Gerrie Bremermann

A comfortable chair. -- Dan Carithers

A sumptuous wing chair strategically placed in a conversation area. This tends to be a magnet where inevitably the first guest will be seated. -- Darryl Carter

A bar, a grand piano, and a well-used dining room table. -- John Chrestia

A huge dining table where the entire family and friends can congregate and talk all day long and into the night. -- Joseph Paul Davis

A silver service, a set of fine china, sterling flatware, and table linens because we do love to entertain at home. -- Jimmy Graham

No Southern house should be without a bowl for camellias. -- Amelia Handegan

Family pictures. -- Cathy Kincaid

Vintage family silver. English 18th-century sideboards and secretary. -- Cindy Smith

Are there elements in your own work that are uniquely Southern?

Like most traditional Southern houses, I want the houses we design to be closely related to exterior spaces, celebrate morning and midday sunlight, and, at the same time, shield themselves from the cruel afternoon sun. -- Norman Askins

Our work incorporates a honed quality into even our most contemporary of projects. This ever-so-slightly worn quality suggests history and timelessness. This appreciation for aged beauty is inherent to Southern style. Southerners have long frowned upon the nouveau while showing an appreciation for their rich and proud history. -- Jose Solis Betancourt

Yes, I love old portraits for their funny faces and outfits. I also love antiques that are a bit wacky mixed with very comfortable overstuffed upholstery, which is clearly more casual. The North, until recently, was always very stiff and uncompromising; it is that whole Puritan thing. -- Joseph Paul Davis

I would like to think that like most Southerners, my work exudes quality and consistency with style and grace. -- Charles Gandy

A not-too-perfect mix of new, antique, primitive, and found objects with some traditional values to create a very personal and timeless space. Never be a slave to perfection and rules. You need a little attitude! -- J.R. Miller

Painting the porch ceilings sky blue. Using fine things in a relaxed way, say silver julep cups for water every night at supper. -- Suzanne Rheinstein

Wood floors, especially old heart pine. A "generational" feel to new design; incorporating the look and feel of grandma's back porch that was enclosed to enlarge the kitchen once electricity became available in the area or to accommodate a growing family. High ceilings. Great detail on the front door. -- Jim Strickland

For whatever reason--heredity, the water, or just plain stubbornness--when I design something, while automatically keeping in mind universal laws and objective ideals, I'm afraid that "Southern thing" seems to always emerge. Call it quirky, eccentric, charming, witty, whatever it is, it seems to always be hiding in the camellia bushes. I'm not ashamed of this but rather think it gives character and depth to my work--but I will leave that final opinion to my critics. -- Ken Tate"

Here's our chance folks, let's tell the publisher what we want to see in our Southern Accents magazine. Leave your comment below:

Chime in Y'ALL--I want to hear all about it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Edith Wharton: The Decoration of Her House


Care to ohh and ahh over Edith Wharton's house and gardens?

In the PBS show, Moment of Luxury, designer Bill Stubbs takes a trip near Lenox, MA to the author and designer's legendary house. Unfortunately, my PBS station does not carry this program. Thankfully, there's the internet!


Believe it or not, there is an Edith Wharton blog:



(bygonebooks blog)

The estate and gardens website is:


This is my kind of reality television!
Brew a fresh pot of coffee or tea and sit back and enjoy:

(Mr. Stubbs, don't you want a Southern perspective on your show? I wouldn't mind tagging along. We'd have a glorious time, I promise!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Skinny Green Giant Needed


A neighbor of ours recently cut down NINETEEN (yes, 19) trees in their yard. I am mourning the lush green canopy that was once there. The privacy the tress provided was perfect.

I have decided to make lemonade out of the lemons.
I am going to refurbish the formal garden at the back of our property. I need to select a "backdrop" hedge that will accompany an old stacked stone wall.

Here's the problem: I need an evergreen plant that will take part sun/part shade, grow to about 12' minimum height, BUT I need it to be narrow (or can be pruned as such).

A master gardener friend recommended the following:

osmanthus-or tea olive
The tea olive would be nice for it's white blooms and scent.
(Google Image)

arbrovitae-Does anyone have experience with "Nigra"? This is certainly skinny, tall and evergreen.
(MountSi Nursery)

yew-taxus media "hicksii"
Taxus x media (Yew)
(Weston Nursery)

The yew can be pruned into anything and is a typical hedge for an English garden.

Can any of you offer suggestions on these plants or others?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

No Words Needed

(someone please remind me of the photographer's name)

Isn't this an adorable image?

Monday, May 3, 2010

It is with Much JOY

***Due to the flooding of Opryland in Nashville,
THE PEARL EVENT has been canceled.***
Now, I'm just hanging on to see when and where the next event will be.
I'll keep you posted!

It is with much joy that I tell you all about
Nashville, TN
June 26th

My dear friend, Pearls and Grace, will be speaking at this ladies event and
is sure to warm the heart of everyone present.

Yesterday was Mrs. Pearls and Grace's birthday!
I hope she had the most wonderful, fun-filled day possible.

Please visit her blog and find out what has inspired The Pearl Event.
You will be so glad you did.

I'd love to know if you are going to attend The Pearl Event.
Just leave me a comment here!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Hats Required

(Brooke Slezak,

Snip some mint, adjust your chapeau and review Stephen Foster's 1853 lyrics!

Here's to a fabulous festive weekend!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Show Me Something Beautiful

Aren't these peonies absolutely beautiful?

I did not have my camera with me to capture the actual ones I saw today, but it was this same variety as shown above.

Did you know that a peony plant has a very long life?

I can hardly stay out of the garden. It has kept me away from the blog and I have missed you all!

Have you found something beautiful lately? Open your eyes. It's all around you.

If, by chance, you have your camera handy, take a picture of it and email it to me. I'd like to see it and possibly share it with everyone. Tell me all about it.

Who can deal with more beauty in their life? Where do you find it?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Blessings

51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed..."Death has been swallowed up in victory."

55"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Anyone Hungry?

Don't you just love the thoughts of sitting down to a delicious meal? I sure do.

How many people can't do that these days? More than you think. I was very surprised that at a local church food bank. There were church members taking advantage of the services. They used to be the ones stocking the shelves and the freezer.

I think the blogging world is pretty amazing. Want to see what a community of internet folks can do to feed America?

Everyday, the television is filled with dire reports about the current economic climate and many use the blogging community to take a break from the constant bad news. However, we can not ignore the fact that friends, and even some blogger friends, have lost their jobs because of the recession.


People who never had a worry in the world now have to think about where their next meal is coming from. People who never would have dreamt that they would need help are now showing up at the local food banks. There is not enough food being donated to meet the rise in demand. There is not enough money to buy the food for the food banks.

Former advertising executive, Chris Cox, the editor of Easy & Elegant Life, and fundraising professional, Meg Fairfax Fielding, editor of Pigtown*Design, teamed up to create a blogger action day on April 1, 2009, which is being called April Food Day – Bloggers Fighting Hunger.
We are going to do it again this year!

Please consider making a contribution to Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest), a national food bank with 200 member banks across the country. Every dollar contributed provides seven meals or 10 pounds of food. A gift of $25 provides 75 meals.

Don't want to do cash, but have a stocked pantry? Donate food to a local food bank of your choice. Find one near you by CLICKING HERE.

Happy April FOOD Day Everyone!