December 6, 2011

A few of my favourite things...

Christmas means many things to me from family traditions to weekends away... It's also a time when I head out and about to go window shopping. I usually make a beeline for the high end stores with their elaborate windows and insatiable pretties; it's where my inspiration for gifts come into play. This past year, I've seen so many things that I would love and today I will share just a few of them with you...

Beautiful dress for an evening at the ballet or opera

the essential Jimmy Choo's

perhaps a beautiful purse to finish off the outfit ...
(to match the shoes or the dress!!)

a few decorative essentials for home

this gorgeous hand crafted wall shed as I love to garden

a serene and beautiful place to read, design and create

and last but by no mean least, a day out at the stunning
Waddesdon Manor in the UK with friends & family...

Merry Christmas
and may 2012 realise all your dreams

Jo xx

1. Tumblr., 2 & 3. Unknown, 4. Tumblr.,
5. Tumblr., 6 & 7. Unknown
8. Tumblr., 9. Waddesdon Manor via Paper Mulberry.

August 9, 2011

Do you recycle?

As a kid, money was scarce in our household
so we recycled anything and everything. My Nan
used to save her old tea caddies and then we would use
them as planters for our pots of herbs and place them
on the window sill in the kitchen behind the sink.

Back then, I did not appreciate the merits of recycling.
Today, however, this look would sit very happily in a number
of homes decorated in the style of cottage,
modern country or shabby chic...
and I love it!

What do you think?

Your comments are always appreciated x

(Author of photograph unknown)

July 31, 2011

Back to the Limousin...

(l'Oiseau Bleu, Limousin)

I love the green rolling hills of France, the lush forests and pretty
waterways that gently meander from village to village. Welcome
to the Limousin, central France... This will, initially, be a
part-time home but in the future the aim is to reside there full time.
The l'Osieau Bleu is not far from the house and on the way to
Rochechouart, the nearest market town.

I have set my sights on an old house - actually a farm complex - in a
hamlet not far from Rochechouart. If you have been following my
design ideas, you will know the proposal is to knock
through the two houses to make one family house.

Growing up in London, I remember a breakfast room /gathering
place for family and friends to catch up over a cup of tea and a
biscuit just off the kitchen. As I have moved from home to home,
I've created a similar space and this lovely French home
will be no exception. In fact, it is perfect...

There is already a small but compact room which leads
directly to the kitchen and is absolutely ideal for what
I have in mind.

It wouldn't need much furniture, just a few beautiful but
rustic pieces. I am not overly fond of fitted furniture so would love
one of those antique Swedish bench/sofas or similar French piece
to sit up against one of the walls.

An old wooden rectangular shaped table - nothing fancy - probably
in a dark oak and a set of pretty French country chairs
placed around the open sides.

Then comes the obligatory trimmings. A chandelier, of course,
which would be perfectly centered over the table, perhaps a little
more simplistic in style for a bit of understated sparkle.

And of course, a beautifully ornate French or English antique mirror
on the wall behind the sofa/bench to give the illusion of space.

As ever, the final flourish would be down to a very pretty
arrangement of fresh flowers and, if I could have any flower
at any time, I would love a little bunch of purple and
lavender coloured sweet peas...

Thanks for stopping by

Jo xx

Your comments always make me smile

1. Via Google, 2. Uknown, 3. Tumblr., 4. Unknown,
5. Claire Richardson for French Home, 6. Novogratz,
7. Via Google, tumblr.

June 23, 2011

Restoration in the Limousin: Dining Room

The dining room for me conjures up memories of dinners and simple
suppers with family and friends and I want to create the same feel in
the house in the Limousin. It's an old Farmhouse and has a lovely
beamed ceiling throughout and oaks floors. Right now they're rather
shabby but with some restoration, polish and lots of elbow grease
they will look splendid and dare I say it... chic!

I have a large light sandy coloured sisal rug that will protect the
flooring and act as an anchor for the dining table and chairs. The
dining table, preferably old and in oak, will have that slightly
make-do and mend air to it with a set of ladderback chairs sharing
a similar rustic patina. With a love of old linens, the table would be
draped in white and ivory table runners in beautiful antique
French damask. To soften the chairs, I would place small
lumber pillows in linen.

Lighting is important throughout a house and in the dining room it
can be the 'piece de la resistance'. With this in mind, I shall place a
wonderfully over the top antique crystal chandelier above the dining
table to add some sparkle and light to the space.

I've spent weeks looking at an array of buffet's but I think I like the
open style. It offers up lots of options and storage. Another much
needed piece of furniture will be a large armoire or French country
cupboard to house all my antique and vintage china, glassware and cutlery.

Either side of the buffet, I would love a pair of crystal candelabra's
to create some soft mood lighting.

With the honey hues from all the wood, I think more light may be
a necessary factor so a beautiful antique mirror would be an excellent
addition without having to fuss with electrics; will also look
rather spectacular.

the final touch comes direct from Mother Nature -
beautiful floral displays -
hopefully from one's own garden...

Dining should never be rushed. It is a time to slow down and
enjoy the simple pleasures of life with friends and family

Bon appetit

Jo xx

PS: Your comments are always welcome

1. Chris Tubbs for Perfect English,
2. Via Google, 3. Chateau Moussac, 4. Nina Hartman
5. Unknown, 6. Polly Wreford for At Home with White,
7. Peonies via Google, tumblr.

June 15, 2011

Masquerade Reception: Time to Celebrate...

At the Londoner
it's time to celebrate

Dad playing the Harlequin; no surprises there!!!!

And then there were four... Farmers
Jonathan, Jared, Dad and Ben

Mimi, Dad and Great Aunt Cookie (who flew in from California)

Jo with Paw who is sporting a lovely Peacock blue number with feathers, tres chic...

Uncle Keith and Aunt Betsy (seems Paw borrowed Aunt Betsy's mask
for a quick photo opportunity)

Aunt Betsy with Morgan (Brooke's fiance) and Brooke

Aunt Cindy with Sarah Katherine

Just a few family members...

and a final farewell from dad before Tara heads off with her
lovely husband, Kevin, for their honeymoon in Jamaica.

It was quite a weekend but one filled with happiness and love

Jo xx

Summer Wedding in Texas

The big day was outside in the Ladies Pavilion at the Arboretum in Dallas. The venue was exquisite but with temperatures in the low 100's it was a little hot!

The pathway leads to a loving embrace located just before
the entrance to the Ladies Pavilion

Step inside and you are greeted by a little rush of water to gently
cool you down

just for a brief moment

As we ventured up towards one of the tea rooms we were welcomed
by a cool breeze coming in from White Rock Lake
which you can just see in the background

Taking a leisurely stroll to the end of the Pavilion we were captivated
by the beautiful infinity pool that appears to cascade into the Lake

Completely taken over by the vista, we hadn't noticed that
everything was in place and it was time to take our seats

Musicians played the most soft and melodic music which added
to the ambiance

Time for Father and daughter to take that long walk up the aisle.
She was breathtakingly beautiful and he was so very proud

Pastor Don - who has known the family for years -
was perfect for the ceremony. He had chosen to keep things
a little shorter than he would normally due to the high temperatures
but I'm not so sure...

The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, who all looked splendid, were
wilting just a little but it was all so magical that no one seemed to care...

You may kiss the bride...

Towards the end of the ceremony, they poured black and white
sand into a glass vase which will then be sealed with wax; I believe
representing their joining together in marriage.

Presenting Mr & Mrs Robinson

A perfect ceremony for a perfect couple.
Wishing them both a lifetime of love, happiness and prosperity

Dad & Jo xx

Time for Brunch

With gifts and packages wrapped and ready for presentation, my husband and I head off to Dallas for the wedding of his daughter Tara. First stop was Brunch for her and and her bridesmaids over at her Aunt Betsy's; a gift from her grandma, Mimi.

Aunt Betsy, Aunt Cindy, Great Aunt Cookie (who flew in from California) and I helped Mimi with preparation and display.

Around 11.00am the girls and Tara arrive so we helped ourselves to the goodies and sat around sharing experiences and stories of growing up and weddings.

After much laughing, joking and, of course, eating, the girls head out to the pool

followed by the rest of us

Dad arrives to share one last moment with his daughter

It was a wonderful opportunity to sit back and relax just for a moment before her Big Day!

Jo x