I’ll show you mine if you…

September 10, 2013 § 2 Comments

Ok fine! You’ve waited so patiently. Probably fasting or holding your breath. You’re so dedicated and I appreciate it, so here are the pics of the completed Winchester Showhouse and Gardens Master Bedroom.

I’m not one for heavy contrast, especially in a bedroom. With these rich furnishings white walls would have created too much energy for a bedroom. Pale artichoke green paint serves the purpose of closing the gap and calming things down. This is more color than I generally use but the relative tonality of the palate helps create a more homogeneous final product than might be expected when such a variety is present.

Vertical stripes, floor to ceiling drapery and absent crown molding help to elongate the walls. With low ceilings the trick is to do everything you can to draw your eye up the wall as far as possible. Had there been crown or had I chosen to install it I might have painted it the same color as the walls just in a different finish. It might seem counterintuitive to call out the chair rail, but in this case it was integrated into the deep-set window sills and I needed them to stand out as display boxes. I did choose a linen white which is much softer than true white to again minimize contrast.

The Rug is placed at an angle which serves three purposes – 1) it further highlights the fireplace as a focal point, 2) it is angled away from the door as you enter the room which visually draws you into the space, and 3) it allowed me to show off the largest amount of the rug possible.

One of the things that I love the most about the decoration of this room is the use of naturally historic elements. Turtle shells, porcupine quills, pressed leaves, a discarded glass fragment from a factory… I find this type of accessory much more interesting than something mass-produced and off the shelf and it can even be more cost-effective. I’ll admit there is a decorative vase here and there, but even those are handmade and in some cases signed by the artist. I’m interested in people living with things that matter to them and that tell a story.

A European tour of antiques and reproductions ground this Master Bedroom in authenticity and add a collected feel evoking a sense of the imaginary inhabitants personal history. But come out to the showhouse and see it in person. I shot these images with my phone and the quality is barely worth the thousand (actually 526) words I just gave you.

Turkish Kilim Rug from The Rug Company – NY, NY
Bedding from Legacy Linens – Chantilly, VA (Available through David & Daniel Design, Hume, VA)
Gilded French Étagère from Ashby House Antiques – Upperville, VA
Chinoiserie Tilt Top Table from Baileywyck Shoppes – Middleburg, VA

Gold Framed Mirror and Hand Painted Tray from The Village Green – Orlean, VA
Ceramic Lamp from Currey & Company – Available through David & Daniel Design, Hume, VA
Flemish Chest from Red Schoolhouse Antiques – Millwood, VA


Louis XV Style Settee – Available through David & Daniel Design, Hume, VA
Italian Floor Lamp from Baileywyck Shoppes – Middleburg, VA



OMG!!! Did you get that at Kirklands? (***)

August 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Master Bedroom at the Winchester Showhouse and Gardens 2013 would not have happened without the support and generosity of my favorite local (and some not so local) purveyors. Many of the items in the Master Bedroom are available for sale through the Showhouse and 30% of the proceeds are being donated to the cause. Here’s a small sampling of the over 60 items available in the Master Bedroom.

This original 14 x 11 oil on linen by Becky Parrish is titled “Whisk”. It is for sale through the Showhouse and priced at $1,400. You’ll have to come to the Showhouse to see the second piece in the room titled “Soar”.

Whisk by Becky Parrish

Whisk by Becky Parrish

This Twelve Piece, Custom, Made to Order, Queen Bed Set from Legacy Linens, Chantilly (Available through David & Daniel Design) is priced at $2,085 for the Showhouse and includes all pillow inserts and duvet. It retails for over $4,165.

12 Piece Queen Bed Set from Legacy Home

This is one of two pressed leaves in a vintage frame from Pamela Kiser Antiques, Sperryville, that is available. They are priced at $300 each.

Pressed Leaf in Vintage Frame

Pressed Leaf in Vintage Frame

This beautiful, Hand Carved, Guilded Wood, Italian Floor Lamp is from Baileywyck Shoppes in Middleburg. It has been previously repaired and is available for $1,075. (Shade not included)

Guilded Italian Floor Lamp

Guilded Italian Floor Lamp

An Antique Walnut Box with Mother of Pearl Inlay came from Foxfire Antiques in Middleburg and is available for $285.

Antique Walnut Box

Antique Walnut Box

This stunning Antique Flemish Chest of Drawers is from Red Schoolhouse Antiques in Millwood and has a price of $3,265.

Antique Flemish Bureau

Antique Flemish Bureau

This is a Virginia Metalcrafters, Solid Brass, Mistletoe Dish found at The Village Green in Orlean. Price $60

Virginia Metal Crafters Brass Dish

Virginia Metal Crafters Brass Dish

Currey and Company provided the Yellow Ceramic, Neoclassical Urn Lamp with Lucite Base. The Lamp is priced at $315 for the Showhouse and retails for $450. Currey and Company Lighting and Home Furnishings are available through David & Daniel Design.

Yellow Ceramic Urn Lamp

Yellow Ceramic Urn Lamp

*** I know you were excited and I’m so sorry for misleading you, but none of the items in the Master Bedroom are actually from Kirklands.

Showhouse Showdown!!!

August 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Just kidding, it’s not really a competition… (But kinda it is… no, not really, still kidding.)The Winchester Designer Showhouse and Gardens 2013 is eminent. We have a press event followed by a contributor appreciation party this coming Tuesday, an opening night party on Friday, September 6th and then the Grand Opening on Saturday the 7th. The show runs daily through the 29th of September.

This is a fundraiser to benefit Blue Ridge Hospice and the Little Garden Club of Winchester. Read all about it and find out how to get your hands on some tickets by checking out www.winchestershowhouse.com

At the risk of upsetting my publicist (I don’t have one) I thought you might enjoy a sneak peek…


Master Bedroom South Wall - Before

Master Bedroom South Wall – Before

Master Bedroom South Wall - During

Master Bedroom South Wall – During

Just a rendering...psych!

Just a rendering…psych!

You knew you weren’t going to see the whole room without buying a ticket.

Oh Hell. Garden week is coming.

February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yes, I’ve been MIA for some months now. Truly I’ve just been sitting in a chair in the corner of our living room doing nothing…

Except there is this pesky garden tour at the end of April.

Task list since my last post:

1) New Terrace connecting the Mudroom and Den to the Schoolhouse
2) Schoolhouse renovation including new joists, new floor, paint, lighting and furnishings
3) Den, Mudroom and Master Bedroom built-ins
4) Window renovations
5) Removal/Clean up of the 25 some odd trees we lost in the hurricane
6) New plantings in the areas that were cleared during the renovations and terrace construction

Oh, did I mention we planted 5000 bulbs in November.

Truth be told “garden tour” is a little miss leading, it’s really more of a home tour. If you follow the link ours is refered to as “the Parsonage, c.1855”. We’re on the Warrenton tour Wednesday, April 24th and Thursday, April 25th and in contrast to any whining you may have perceived we are very honored to be included. It’s a worthy cause and one we hope you will take part in. Just promise you’ll stay out of the medicine cabinets.

Here’s a little tease of the schoolhouse. Not 100%, but well on its way.

While I’m at it…

September 16, 2012 § 3 Comments

Here are some more images of completed (yeah…like that will ever happen) areas of the Rectory.

Front Door

Front Porch


Living Room from Den

Living Room

Living Room 2

Living Room 3

Kids Room

Kids Room 2

Moms Room

Moms Room 2

Master Bath

Still to come – Master Bedroom, Den, Library, Mudroom, Schoolhouse/Dining Room

Always leave ’em wanting more.

Honoring Liza

September 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Roll with the punches or find a dark corner through your tears and assume the fetal position.

Liza can be tough and is definitely not for the soft of heart. In fact – I didn’t meet the challenge myself (as difficult as that may be to believe), but if you can leave your ego at the door there is not a better resource for eccentricities. Her home was recently featured in Elle Decor (an honor long overdue) and it inspired me to pay homage myself.



Entry 2

Living Area

Living Area 2


Master Bedroom


More Kitchen Progression

September 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

So It’s been eight months…what?

Just got two of the cabinet doors back from being repaired. Slow and steady wins the race? Next time you hear me say that…shoot me.

Drapes are up though and we just need one more piece of art and it will be complete.

Rectory Kitchen One

Rectory Kitchen Two


Kitchen Progression

January 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

A few photos to satisfy your curiosity. How did I know that you lay awake at night wondering how our kitchen is coming along you ask? I have my ways.

Looking Down the Kitchen Toward the Foyer

Kitchen Stove Wall

Kitchen Stove Wall with Cabinets and Stove

The cabinets were custom-made and finished to match Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. You know how much I love grey! The stove is by Jenn-air.

Kitchen Stove Wall with Cabinets, Stove and Counters

The Soapstone for the counters was quarried right here in Virginia by Alberene Soapstone. The trim and frame of the opening/doorway and the baseboards were carefully designed to replicate the originals. Trim seems like such a small detail but the craftsmanship of the contractor and his team makes you take notice. When completed the transition between old and new should be nonexistent.

Kitchen Sink/Fridge Wall

There is a pretty awesome view out that window and now the sink is in front of it. Even better.

Kitchen Sink/Fridge Wall with Sink and Fridge

The fireclay farm sink is by Rohl. The cabinet above the fridge was a tragedy of contracting. The cost of home renovation is that there are always a few errors. Do you brush yourself off or make the rest of the project a drudgery. It’s really up to you, because having a project go off without a few mistakes is not humanly possible. If you think about it…in the grand scheme these aren’t really “problems”.

Kitchen Sink/Fridge Wall with Counters and Missing Cabinet

Ahh…there it is, and the counter too. BTW – the back splash is 3×6 honed Carrera marble tile from Mosaic.

Kitchen Sink/Fridge Wall with Dishwasher Panel.

And finally the dishwasher panel. We still have a ways to go, but things are wrapping up. Stay tuned.

Secret Obsessions…I LOVE LOUISE CRANDELL!!!

January 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

There I said it. Such a weight lifted. I do this with clients sometimes. I call it “Getting things off my chest”. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but sometimes you just need to clear the air and let that thing you’ve been sitting on out. Good or bad.

Louise is an artist that Shawn and I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last few years and after moving from New York a year ago I miss her terribly. She has one of those legendary artist lofts in Tribeca. Yes, they really exist and not just in the movies. I don’t want to divulge too much of the mystery as half the fun is just imagining the life and persona of a true new york artist, but I will say she is a real girl (however inspiring and god like) just like you and me and I do…love her.

Her pieces can be purchased through Clodagh Collection and Boltax Gallery or contact her through her website and ask for a tour of the studio. Yes, this can actually happen.

Here is a massive piece hanging in the lobby of the Caledonia building in Manhattan as seen in Interior Design magazine.

Traveling Light - series

And a few more from her portfolio including one that we own. I know…who do we think we are?

Heaven on Earth - series

Heaven on Earth - series

Eye of Gustave

Bird Brain or The Crow Knows

Traveling Light - series

Traveling Light - series

Don’t be mad…we own the next one.

Traveling Light - series

A Host of Butterflies for the Holidays

December 29, 2011 § 4 Comments

Posting once a month just isn’t acceptable, I know. Hopefully it was worth the wait.

So, once again I found myself in Miami beach close to the holidays. Yes, it is tough to be me.

This is what my vision of Christmas in Miami Beach looks like:

12' Butterfly Tree

Miami Butterfly Holiday

If you want to go for a look like this yourself here are some tips on how to do it:

1) Put the lights on first, turn them on while you do it, and don’t “wrap” the tree. Just shove them in there and make it look good. This doesn’t have to be difficult, or tedious, or take hours. If lighting the tree is all those things to you, then stop what you are doing and go buy a fake pre-lit tree. Who cares! Christmas isn’t about the tedious exercise of decorating (If you find it tedious). It’s about celebrating, and having fun…being joyful.

2) You can never have too much ribbon, and yes, ribbon is step 2. If you put your ornaments on 2nd they will be all over the floor by the time you get all your ribbon on. I love ribbon, it is like holiday making magic dust…just sprinkle (place) it everywhere and wallah! Instant holiday vibe. Make sure that if you are making bows you use “wired” ribbon. It will save your life. (Who new decorating was so dangerous?)

3) If you don’t want to spend the money on unique one of a kind collectible ornaments, and it is expensive because you need an abundance (abundance is key when holiday decorating), then go for many of one thing (or many of a few things). Here we used these butterflies that were purchased at a commercial floral supply. Google “Floral Supply” in your area. I think we paid $6.00 for 12. That is a ton of bang for the buck. We also purchased all the gold balls and ribbons from the floral supply. If you have never been run, don’t walk. It is a paradise for anyone who really wants to decorate for the holidays like a pro.

4) Another thing I like in abundance – candles! We purchased these battery operated (child friendly) pillars through Candle Impressions. You are welcome to buy them through us (at well below retail). They are about the same price as a regular candle, but last forever. A great investment in holiday cheer. Not to harp on this idea of abundance, but we used 30 in this one room.

Lastly just some friendly advice from someone who comes from a home where holiday decorating could sometimes be…stressful.

Not everything has to be perfectly placed. Relax! It’s Christmas! Let that ribbon do what it wants. Stop overworking it. You raised it well and taught it everything you could. Now if you love it set it free. Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, ribbon…here’s the thing, it has great shape and body coming right off the spool. I can’t really give you more than that because there are no rules…use your eyes. Does it look good to you? Yes? Great! No? Try again. It’s just ribbon. Take your time and enjoy. If you just can’t relax, and this whole decorating thing is driving you to drink, then I say skip it. Have another glass and save your pennies to hire me to come decorate for you next year. Not everyone is going to be good at this and that is ok. I’ll bet you know your wines better than I do and that is going to serve you all year. My Christmas decorating skills only serve me on one day. See! Now don’t you feel better? Well, maybe that’s the wine, but you at least feel better right?