Sunday, August 30, 2009

100th Post!!!

I noticed this morning that this is my hundredth post! What a wonderful ride this has been- new friends, information and ideas flowing through cyberspace. I have been blessed to make incredible personal connections both near and far, which I have come to value and treasure. I am excited to keep posting about all the things that inspire me in home decor and design both here in the US, and internationally. I hope Willow Decor continues to evolve and change as I continue to grow and learn. I know exciting things are just around the bend!
I thank you for reading and commenting, and sharing this journey with me. It has been a gift beyond my greatest imagination.
Photos: 1, 2 - Shannon Bowers/Veranda, 4- Real Gustavian

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cape Cod in Blue and White

I am having trouble downloading my pictures from my trip so until I can figure it out I wanted to share a beautiful home on Cape Cod designed by Catalano Architects (do they ever sleep?!)
Look at the entry to this home! The gate provides a perfect framing for the home. I love the brick driveway with the herringbone pattern and edging in cobblestones. Perhaps my favorite feature is the grass down the center to soften the hard lines.
Here is the back yard. Notice the shingle style feeling. Some features which stand out are the covered porches, I especially like how the round porch balances the round section of the house itself. The chimneys also have some wonderful decorative detailing.
A beautiful entryway with incredible light. Notice the moulding details on the staircase and around the windows.
The blue and white color scheme of the kitchen gives you a classic beach feeling with marble counters and white cabinets. The rounded breakfast nook is lovely with its built in seating and
interesting ceiling design.
Here is the view from the family room. It is important to notice the use of interior windows in this home. The walls entering the kitchen are thick and wide which give the home a feeling of substance and in my opinion the richness of a bygone era. The internal windows then give the spaces a more light and open feeling. Also notice the internal transom windows over the doorways in the kitchen.
The family room from the other direction. Notice the ceiling detail. Touches of blue keep the room soft with out feeling kitschy. The chandelier, anchor andirons and framed flag add a folk-art/Americana feel to this room.
The formal living room is awash in pale pinks. I imagine this room is really pretty in the evenings by lamplight. The pink chairs have interesting upholstered arms.
Perhaps my favorite room is the bedroom. The aqua silk curtains and interesting mirror, along with the white upholstery and bedding make this room very Veranda -esque.
No beach house is complete with out a bunk room! Four bunks each with their own lighting and bookshelf - I like the varnished floors and sliding ladders - it really evokes a nautical yacht like feeling.

Let me know your favorite aspect of this wonderful home on Cape Cod!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Wedding and Wengen

What a spectacular wedding my sister had last night at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl. This gourmet restaurant is located in the beautiful Frederiksberg Have of Copenhagen. The location and restaurant were as impressive as the outstanding gourmet food.Here is the entrance to the restaurant and the lovely outdoor gardens. The gardens were spectacular and we had our cocktails there when we arrived. The children enjoyed playing with the peacocks which roamed the grounds. But the gardens were the most beautiful under the stars. We were warmed by the outdoor fireplaces while we had after dinner drinks
And here is the room where we had such a wonderful time. The chairs were Gustavian and in two styles. I loved the white rubbed paint and chippy gold accenting. I think I took fifty pictures of the chairs. The ceiling was enchanting. Between the crystal chandeliers were hundreds of individual crystals hanging down catching the candlelight; and later they were illuminated by blue lights when the dancing began. Really quite stunning. It was a beautiful start to what should be a beautiful life together for her and my new brother in law.

We were up way too early this morning to head to Wengen in the Switzerland. We finally arrived and here is just one of the beautiful chalets I see while looking out at the alps. So much inspiration at every turn. Can't wait to share more when I return!

Auf Wiedersehen!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

While I'm Away - Rewind to Last Summer

While I am away here is one of my most popular posts from last summer! Enjoy!
Here is a spectacular house in Cotuit, Massachusetts on Cape Cod that is listed for sale. Cotuit is a small village in located on a peninsula on the south side of Barnstable about midway between Falmouth and Hyannis. The house was designed by the renowned designer Fritz Kreiger. For three years craftsmen worked on his vision to create this spectacular residence. He incorporated many antique elements such as doors, columns, and windows into the design. The home is being sold fully furnished with the finest collection of antiques and appointments. All photos are from Sotheby's. The main house has 12 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 6 full baths and 2 half baths with over 7,928 sq. ft. It sits on over 7 and a half acres. It also has a guest house on the property.

Notice the main house with it sweeping lawn, lovely porches and cedar shingle roof. The quintessential beach house!

The living room and dining room have many antique architectural elements incorporated in their design. Notice the columns. The chandeliers were all imported from Paris.
The kitchen features a professional eight burner Parisian stove and a two story breakfast area with a dramatic wall of whitewashed Boston brick. Notice the post and beams built in with the whitewashed brick. It is difficult to tell for sure, but it looks like a slate or soapstone counter. I love the antique mirror over the fireplace and vintage wooden doors. These rooms also include chandeliers from Paris. I love the whitewashed wooden ceiling and railings in the top photo.
The spectacular Library features unparallelled craftsmanship. Notice the work over the fireplace and again the chandelier from Paris.
The Master bedroom has an incredible arched ceiling, wood paneling and built in bed. The effect is similar to the main sleeping cabin of a luxury yacht. The wood has been slightly distressed and whitwashed. Chandeliers again from Paris. Here is a close up picture of the French doors.
The master bath is magnificent with glass etched doors reminiscent of Lalique styling. Notice the white marble floors with the dark wood. Stunning!
Architectural splendor! The circular staircase with hand forged iron railing brings you up the turret to the guest house.
The Guest House is a charming retreat. Whitewashed beams, painted furniture , iron beds and a blue and white color scheme are lovely.

No beach house is complete with out a pool area. This seems to be an area with out the same level of thought and planing. I do not care for the fence.

The final view through a small window in the upstairs of the house shows the water and the pool perched above. It is hard to believe this house is new construction. Makes me hopeful that wonderful building craftsmen still exist in America.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Calming Rooms in White

I have been running crazy trying to get ready for my my sister's wedding in Denmark and then hiking in Switzerland. Packing for the kids, finding temporary homes for the dog and the fish, well you all know how it goes - I will need a vacation after all this!

So, I thought I would share some beautiful rooms in white to calm it down a bit. This room above could be very soothing, but the artwork provides a level of tension, which I thought was appropriate for my current situation. Change out the photo series with seascapes and the room will take on a whole different feeling. Notice the grain sack upholstery and interesting rope detailing on the sofa.
Here is a wonderful space. The architecture of this room is lovely. Notice how the built in art niches mimic the lines of the doors and the windows. I also like how the interior wall creates a room with in a room.
I could relax in this simple room. The wood ceiling and walls, as well as the stone fireplace, bring in the texture. I would prefer something larger over the fireplace though.
This kitchen cozy. The wood counters warm up the space and the green acrylic stools and matching pendants give it a bit of unexpected personality.

In this kitchen the artwork is the focal point. I like how they place a painting under the table. Can any one identify the object on the top of the cabinet? It adds interest to say the least!
Here is one of my favorites - first, notice the curve in the ceiling. I love the wonderful old cupboard, french doors, linen shades, saw horse style table and slate floor. Are those chairs from Slettvoll? I could certainly relax and enjoy a latte and chocolate croissant in this dining room.
An interesting bunk room. This would calm down the most unruly children. This is a room for sleepovers and I really think they might actually sleep.

White calms the mind, and if done correctly it can soothe the soul. Enjoy your day. I'm off to do laundry!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting Creative with Jute Upholstery Webbing

Tara Dennis
With so much focus on burlap and antique grain sacks we are starting to see a trend using other utilitarian products in home decor.
Lately I have started to notice jute upholstery webbing, usually hidden inside sofas and chairs, in the most unexpected places. I was just over at Velvet and Linen admiring the new bench that Steve Giannetti had made for a client in Maine. The bench top is woven with jute upholstery webbing. It reminded me of my Father. The Long Threads
Many years ago my father found a huge box of upholstery webbing at the dump. As a child of the depression, and not one to waste, he rightly scooped it up and brought the box home. Similar to the photo above, he took chairs with broken rush seats, probably also acquired from the same dump, and wove new seats out of the webbing. We used them for years in our cottage on the Cape. Click the picture link to learn how to do it yourself.
Of course it wasn't a unique idea-Scandinavian designers have been using cloth webbing for ages. Both photos above from Retro Moderne give you the basic idea.
Better Homes and Gardens
But I am really intrigued when I see the upholstery webbing in more unexpected places. Here are some fabulous pillows -adding some webbing is a simple way to bring the burlap look into your home.
Little Byrd Vintage
This pillow above is wrapped with one length of webbing. The webbing costs about .50 cents a yard - so wrapping the pillow this way is very inexpensive. Here is a fabulous jute table runner from Tara Dennis. Click on the link to learn how to craft this yourself.
Always in the front of pack in terms of trends is Martha Stewart, with this lovely webbing hall runner. The link will also show you exactly how to make one for your home.
If you're feeling really crafty you could stitch up a few of these jute webbing napkin rings.

Learn how to make these at Vintage Indie-
ahn min
I prefer the webbing when it is woven. This is a photo of a display wall in Anthropologie. Not sure how this would translate in everyday living, but its an interesting look.
This is the back of wonderful headboard designed by Steve Giannetti. It is so pretty I think I might want to display it this way.
Here is another shot of Steve's bench. You can learn more about both projects at Velvet and Linen. The headboard here and the bench here.
This little pooch looks happy on his new upholstery webbing bed - very clever!
You can find instructions to make your own at Jezze

northeast stage
I really like the webbing detailing on this curtain - great for a play room.
Here the webbing is used as a background for art at the Shabby Nest.
Here is an interesting bag from Hoganfe, a seller on Etsy. The webbing is used around the drawstring top.

Finally we see a mix of webbing used in other ways from Sadie Olive - to the left is a memo board weaved with webbing and the lower right picture shows the webbing wrapped around a stack of antique books. Charming.

I'd love to hear about any other creative uses for this inexpensive material!

Check out Southern Hospitality for other great ideas here !!