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Archive for December, 2009

Winter Blues To Make You Smile

“Some people find my colour scheme depressing, but grey helps to create a sense of tranquility and rest”.  -Monique Meij-Beekman.

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up the December issue of Elle Decor UK here’s a sampling of the gorgeous article featuring Dutch designer and boutique owner Monique Meij-Beekman.  With her understated palette, texture takes the lead and makes us sigh.  Just what we all need this time of year.MM 1

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Frugal Abundance

Holiday decorations are all about the cup running over. We ward off the spectre of lean and dark times with a celebration of abundance and light. However, we know this season Santa seams a bit slim for many so here’s some ideas to make relatively inexpensive materials affect a more luxe appearance.

holiday knocker

holiday chandelier

holiday windowThe image above inspired the installation in my own living room (following).  A great example of grouping inexpensive items to inspire abundance.

holiday ribbon

holiday cranesFound objects can even be incorporated into holiday cheer.  Simple ribbon tied to a twig inspired us to create our own grand statement in the studio using this great branch and simply folded ornaments from news paper.

holiday fountain

holiday urnFrom my own garden. No need to spend a bundle on topiary. When seasonally sensitive plants are brought inside to weather the winter, I like to use simply arranged clippings to take their place.

Making Merry Less Ordinary

We were delighted by these left of center garlands and holiday arrangements.  Enjoy!

holiday bloomsA gorgeous grouping of hellabores show holiday arrangements do not always require evergreens.

holiday naturalA small detail but inspired nonetheless.  Feathers to complete this festive vignette.

copper tubing garlandGenius innovation Billy Milner uses copper tubing as garland!

holiday sprigA simple bundle shows the beauty to be found in the more stark silhouettes of the winter scape.

Organic Inspiration

Certainly, many designers make use of plants to contrast and soften or to simply fill a space, but the key to their successful use is judicious placement and selection.  Plants work when they are integrated into the design rather than used as an afterthought.   

plants 1This dramatic arrangement acts as an architectural element anchoring the room.

 plants 2The height and scale of this fiddle leaf ficus provides a connection between low slung furnishings and the extreme height of the interior.  The gaze is drawn upward to keep the eye scanning throughout the whole space.


plants 3Another important element – the container, or lack thereof.  This simply wrapped root ball shows just how the container serves to further express the aesthetic of the surroundings.  We can’t imagine a more appropriate way to relate to the worn and textural elements of this vignette.


plants 4Via India Hicks and David Flint Wood.  

Often designers use plants to “soften”.  In contrast, these fronds serve as a highly graphic and rectilinear element with the more static furnishings expressing softer lines.  Proof that every design rule can and should be challenged.

Done Talking Turkey

We’re back from the holiday and thankful to have finished off that leftover turkey.  With the weekend coming this recipe seemed like the perfect simple dish to freshen the palette after rich holiday feasting.

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Via Donna Hay