Sunday, October 22, 2017

Elements of Fall

Fall in Western North Carolina is heavenly.  You wake up to very nippy temperatures- turn up the heat- light some fireplaces and get a cup of coffee.  Magically the clouds over the river disappear and the sun appears by 10:30 in the morning.  By noon it is warm enough to still wear your sandals! But by night fall, you are lighting the fires again!  I love it!

Fall brings a different approach to decorating.  Cozy fires and lots of candles add a special warmth to the home. My fall decorating must haves- pumpkins, feathers, candles, bittersweet, throws, copper, horn, mums, kale and gourds.

So it's off to the Western North Carolina Farmers Market to gather bittersweet, pumpkins and mums.
What an incredible selection to choose from-
 This was one of my favorites this year- bright red orange color!

This one was very cool- a beautiful pink with "peanut shell warts"- 

 Then back home to start fall décor-

The stone fireplace gets a makeover with fall foliage .

 It's time to bring out the horn flatware and orange plates from East Fork pottery.

                             A glass cloche is filled with velvet pumpkins, feathers and more bittersweet.

 Trees off the deck are starting to turn golden. 

 The river is low, but sounds louder as the leaves fall away.

Velvet pumpkins and feathers- a perfect combination.

Rhinestone studded pumpkins dress us the foyer. 

The living room fireplace gets new bittersweet and feather arrangements.

 Time to mix in the old horn with the crystal decanters to add warmth.

Pink and gray pumpkins for the master bedroom.

Time to bring in all the ferns and plants from the decks into the conservatory for the winter. 

 Making a few fresh arrangements for the house too! Companies coming!

Mums, kale and gourds for the front of the house.
 I was going to pull the potato vine and parsley out of the planter and plant pansies and mums.
But the potato vine and parsley are still growing like crazy and I didn't have the heart.

The sun goes down quickly and the temperatures fall. 
Back inside, it is now evening and time for the lights to come on. 

The fall light comes softly through the windows and
casts a soft yellow glow- much different than the summer months here. 
 The range seems to glow with the copper pots that are handy and ready for service. 
Time to cook dinner.

And while all this fall decorating is going on, the dog does what dogs do.  
He naps on a few of my best pillows and waits patiently for the next meal.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Italian Style

We are just returning from a trip to Italy.  While in Rome, we  stayed at the Gran Melia Hotel and I was inspired by it's stunning design.

The Gran Melia Rome is a  perfect balance of modern luxury and ancient history. This former monastery and modern luxury hotel is located on the same spot that once housed the ancient Roman Villa Agrippina, the lodgings of Emperor Nero’s mother. During reconstruction, significant objects were uncovered, which are now displayed in rooms of the hotel.

The outdoor bar and eatery.

Lemon and lime trees were growing throughout the property.

 Walking into the lobby, you are greeted by a 5 foot statue of a man's face.  
 The reception area is gorgeous tones of gray and white accented with a tomato red color.

Notice the pattern of the wood floor.

 One of the prettiest cocktail lounges that I have ever seen. 

 Love the shape of the little settees.
While the rooms were not overly large, they were decorated to the nines!  Famous paintings in the form of giant wall murals decorate many rooms. 

This hotel was within walking distant to ancient Rome and the Vatican City.  The service level was impeccable and it was a joy  to stay there while in Rome. It is tucked back in a garden off the street and so you feel secluded and private. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fall Inspiration in the Asheville Air

It is morning and there is a nip in the air- 55 degrees and I see a slight tinge of yellow starting on the tree leaves.  Time to start thinking about fall- my favorite time of year.  Time to go to town and see what's happening that will inspire my fall décor.

I recently heard about a local pottery that has a store in downtown Asheville. They featured beautiful orange pottery on their website and I wanted to go check it out.

And yes- it was the perfect shade of orange for fall and will coordinate with many of my fall dishes.
It also was made in many other shades that are worthy of consideration- chartreuse, pink, gray and others.

A selection of great colors in their store.

 The pottery is made by East Fork Potters in Madison County, which is where I live.  I like to support local artists, so I purchased the 3 in the store and ordered 3 more. This color is called Ember and will be retired at the end of this month for a while.

 As I was leaving the East Fork Pottery store, I noticed a cute clothing store next door.  Vintage Moon is wonderful boutique that carries Asheville designer, Gigi Renee'.

 Look at the incredible colors in the romantic clothing line.

.  She uses plant based dyes to create designs of organic leaves and flowers on her luxury fabrics.  The sweater is cashmere and dyed with turmeric leaves on the front. What a wonderful fall color combination!
 This silk camisole is embellished with hand dyed lace and leaf designs. 
 And she packages each one in these sweet green voile gift bags.   These are perfect gifts and the start of Christmas shopping.

 A trip to Asheville for fall inspiration  is definitely worth a visit to BB Barnes on Sweeten Creek road.  They have just started carrying fresh cut dahlias and zinnias from a flower farm in Fairview.

 Since moving here, dahlias and zinnias  have become a favorite of mine. 
I couldn't resist buying two bunches to go home.

 They told me to place them in warm to hot water once I got them home to extend their life.

 Two bunches were the perfect amount to fill my antique French champagne bucket. 

 I paired the orange plates with my Blackberry Farm dinner plates and anther gold and gilded plate- fun combination!
The East Fork orange salad plates look great with brown transferware and pewter chargers.

 At home, I placed a stack of the orange plates on my dining table and
added copper, horn and linen elements. The bucket of fresh flowers added the punch.

It's always fun to unpack my velvet pumpkin collection from Hot Skwash and bring it out for fall.

 I also found these wonderful "cut-glass" bottles to hold  fall vinegars and fruit enhanced spirits.

A final stop in Hobby Lobby lead me to these dried elements.

They were the perfect element for the faux bois urn that I had purchased in Highlands, NC a couple of weeks ago.

Silk artichokes, natural reindeer moss and feathers from BB Barns and Amazon
 fill the urns on the gathering room fireplace.

 And I could not resist these red-orange zinnias from BB Barnes for the outside deck. 

It was a great shopping day in town- full of inspiration.  Temperatures are in the sixties next week!  

It has now been a week since buying these flowers.  And I even like the way they are fading away.  The trick of the warm water really extended their life, as I have normally had to throw them away in 3 to 4 days.  Time to head to town to buy some more!