Sunday, June 25, 2017

Boxwood - Friend or Faux

Boxwoods are a classic staple around my house and I have always the look of hundred year old boxwoods in front of a vintage home.  Boxwoods are easy to maintain, can handle the cold very well and you don't have to do much to them.  They grow slowly though, so it can take a really long time to get big ones.

But I am still on the fence when it comes to the fake stuff, faux boxwood......

Cleaver idea to put this on a wall but in five or ten years, will it become the "70's decor" of the millenium?


These faux boxwood shapes are an easy way to add greenery to your home, inside, when a real plant won't do.  These can be found in many home decor shops or on the internet.  The quality does seem to vary quite a bit.  It seems you get what you pay for.




The quality in these "preserved" boxwood topiaries is good. They don't have that "plastic" look that some of the others have.


I can't decide if these are too plastic looking or not.  I have seen these in a better quality, but much more expensive years ago at the Caspari Store in Charlottesville.  I think in the right decor, these would be fun.  But still not sure.....




You never tire of boxwood!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fringe Benefits

Fringe and pom-poms are all the rage this season.  Please tell me though, how in the world do you wash a shirt with pom-poms?  Very carefully I suspect.  But the fringe I do love, like this dress below from Kate Spade.


Milly is another brand that offers some awe inspiring dresses.  I love this striped dress with fringe.

(Milly Dress)

Or this Tory Burch tunic with fringe trim on the cuffs and around the front.


Or this Matthew Williamson dress (pom poms, no fringe) but isn't it cute?

How about a fringed tote?


Another cute dress!


There's a tiny bit of fringe on the cuffs of this cute tunic....


Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tory Burch Sale

Tory Burch is having a 30 percent off sale prices starting today.  This is the ideal time to buy a really classic handbag at a good price.  A few years ago I went wild and bought several handbags during this sale, a purchase I have never regretted.  I prefer to spend a little more and buy these classic pieces that will last forever.  Here's what I am loving on sale right now.....

I'd like to have these in every color, blue, green and red.  These driving mocs are classics that will not go out of style in the next decade. See them here.


This uber preppy handbag reminds me of something you'd see in Talbots years ago.


Here are some other things I am loving......and once the word gets out, her stuff flies off the shelves.  The more you shop, the more you save.  Right?








SaddleBox

SaddleBox is a cleaver idea that makes the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life who has everything.  Every month, SaddleBox sends you a box filled with items for you and your horse.  And to make the idea even better, part of their profits go to help abused and abandoned horses.  You can see their website here. My box arrived last week and the theme was a "spa day" for the horse (and for me too).


The box came with a cute sticker on the front of it.


This was on the inside lid of the box - very personalized!


This idea will make a great gift for a trainer or a special person in your life who loves and owns horses.  And isn't it fun to receive a gift every month!



These horse treats are going in the July boxes. The boxes are $35 a month and you can cancel at any time.  What a great idea! So out of the box!  (No pun intended).


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Country House Decor - How to Creat That Ambiance

There are "touches" that make a country house special - some large investments, like pieces of furniture or rugs, and others, smaller items - that will add interest and ambiance to your home.  It takes a long time to create a house or a home, but here are some ideas that you can use to make your "country house" special and unique.

1) Antique Accessories
My house is filled with odds and ends I have picked up over the years, mostly in the US, some in the UK, from antique stores, mostly "horsey" or "fox hunt."  You have to keep an eye out for an old tray, a figurine, even an old photo that will add to the ambiance of a country house. You can find stuff on Ebay, on 1stDibbs and better yet, Etsy if you peruse the sites regularly. Like this old wooden tray from a hunt club or this lamp from 1stdibbs.


2) New Accessories
It's not difficult to find new odds and ends that can add a lot to your home.  This cache pot I happen to own and it's in my kitchen.  Great sources are Horse & Hound on the Internet and Horse Country in Warrenton, Virginia.  The mirror below, I have in my master bathroom, one over each sink. I have the towel bars too.



3) Art
I have learned to appreciate art as I have gotten older and some of my very best purchases (the things I enjoy the most in my home) are original paintings I have bought, mostly in Canada.  But you can add art easily to your home, picking up pieces at yard sales, antique malls and antique shows.  Keep an eye out for inexpensive nice wooden frames and reframe a nice picture so it looks better. An easy fix that does not cost much. 


4) Books
I know books are dying a slow death. It's one of the saddest parts of our culture - that no one reads anymore and no one appreciates books.  I love books and I keep them, reread them, and treasure them.  Books add interest to your house, whether they are old books or newer books. Go to someone's house and the books they have (or don't have) will tell you a lot!  But books add a lot to the house.




4) Rugs
Hardwood floors are a must in the country as are rugs that won't show dirt.  Coming in and out of the yard and barn and into the house makes for dirty floors all of the time. You have to be able to hide that or you'll be cleaning 24 x 7.  I am not a fan of oriental rugs although they are very practical.  You can pay whatever you feel like for these rugs too so you can go cheap or very expensive.  I also like cotton rugs that I can throw in the washing machine. I won't buy a rug that I can't clean.


5) Antiques
Antiques have come down in price so much over the past ten years. You can buy some amazing furniture these days for a fraction of what you once paid.  While I realize that the younger generation has no interest in fine furniture, some of us still do. You cannot replicate a good piece of furniture today at Ikea or Pottery Barn.  No comparison!

Mix and match old and new, brown and painted to make a "lived in" look.  What I can't stand is matched furniture or a setting that looks like you pulled it out of a furniture showroom. A country house should look lived in.



6) Needlepoint
Add a needlepoint pillow (or two, or three) or better yet, a rug. You can buy old needlepoint at antique stores or you can stitch your own.  I love this new pattern. It looks like it's old but it's not!


Happy decorating!

Friday, June 16, 2017

It's Finally Friday

It's been a busy week - storms every day, and evening, much more barn work and planning for my dinner party and then my real job.  So what else is on my mind this weekend.......

1) Love the Nautical Look
I saw this article about Kate Middleton wearing navy J Crew Sailor Pants and I love this timeless look.  Her photo could just as easily be taken in 1967 as 2017.  Love her look and how she blends high end fashion with affordable clothes.  See the article here.  The pants she is wearing are similar to these which you can still purchase at J Crew.


2) Coffee Table Books
You can never have too many books and I am loving these coffee table books right now.  When you don't have the energy to read, this is the next best alternative. 

3) Horses
It's an "off" weekend for the horse shows, but I'll ride for sure.  Alfie needs to be clipped (always a fun job) again and he'll thank me for it with the weather getting into the upper 80's.  He brought home a second tri-color last weekend (two weekends in a row) so we're on a roll.  


4) Garth Newel
We made plans to visit Garth Newel later this summer. If you live in Virginia, then you must make a trip.  The venue is in Bath County just down the road from the Homestead Resort.  On the weekends, some months, you can attend a concert in an old barn - strings, piano, classical music.  You can stay for a seated dinner in the barn afterwards if you like.  This venue is unlike any I have seen anywhere and oozes sophistication in a shabby chic kind of way.  



5) Richard Ginori China
I am in love with this china pattern.




What's in store in your world?
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