Archive for the 'home' Category

05
Dec
07

First Snow of the Season

House

Last week was our annual cookie bake (Booze and Cookies) and it was a weekend long blast of food, family, and friends. I’m still working on the post(s?), but I thought I would buy some time by putting up a picture I took this morning of this year’s first snow. It’s the kind of snow everyone likes—not too deep, not too cold, and very blankety.  I would love to spend this day sitting in front of Sam with a book, a pot of tea and a wool throw.   But off to work I go.

02
Nov
07

Lobster Lovin’ Lara Party

Lobster Ladies

My friend Lara (on the right above) recently left her job at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, so we had a little “growing away” party at our house with part of our old museum crew.  Lara is a creative writer, education technology designer and a great mom, so she deserved a special party. 

I made pizza, but didn’t have tons of time to do anything creative. Thankfully my friend Wendy swooped in toting a humongous basket of Lobster Party: two live lobsters, patterened aprons (that in the right room would make for some wicked fun wallpaper), matching chef hats, and her own giant pot for boiling the red ones.  Lora brought two bottles of wine that she and Scott made(!) and an awesome salad that her high school son threw together (isn’t there a lucky spouse in his future?). Jane brought the perfect almond shortbread cookies, just the right mixture of chewy and crispy. 

Celebrating the Kill

The Buddh-ish ones among us went to the other room when the live lobsters were plopped into the pot of boiling water (The squeamish did not included John, obviously, since he enjoyed playing with the deceased).  Not only did Wendy bring the lobsters, but she brought the know-how that goes into mining every bit of meat out of them. She’s no novice. Wendy actually does lobster prep demonstrations in schools all over Indianapolis. Kids in town see her at the grocery store and scream, “Lobster Lady!” (in a good way, not as an insult)
Lobster Queen
  Being a true Mainer, Wendy was so focused on prying out every piece of meat possible that she could not be bothered to look up for a photo.  I was a little worried that she would be so busy she’d forget to eat, but I do think she finally sqeezed some chow time in, too. 

Lara is much beloved. Not too many people can say they had fresh lobster prepared tableside at their goodbye party.

27
Aug
07

A Very Fun Saturday Night

Went to one of our favorite homes Saturday night for dinner.  Favorite for a lot of reasons. 

1.  We love who lives there—Duane and Todd and their kids Daniel and Mari.

Mari and Todd

Mari and Daniel

(Mari’s Minnie Mouse dress and Daniel’s Mickey hat and Disney shirt were their birthday outfits from a few weeks back.  Oh, I probably don’t have to tell you, but Mari is drinking grape juice.) 

2.  The food is always awesome. 

This time we had Thai Eggplant and Chicken curry

Duane's Thai Eggplant and Chicken Curry

with a Thai cucumber salad, which Duane has blogged about before.  He gave the recipe on his blog, and I can say I’m a big fan. 

Thai Cucumber Salad

3.  I’m crazy about their house.  I took pictures while we were there, but I forgot to shoot their house.  But don’t worry, we’ll invite ourselves back over so I can do that.   Because their place is like a country bed and breakfast, John and I talk about a having a family retreat out there one weekend where we spend the night, eat pop popcorn and watch movies.  Duane and Todd haven’t said no yet, so hopefully we can insinuate ourselves out there again as soon as possible.   

18
Jul
07

Patterns, Color and Winterthur Revisited

I’m intrigued by how good designers mix patterns. Henry F. DuPont’s, Winterthur, is a great place to see a seemingly infinite number of ways to do it.

I took John there for his birthday a few years back because I knew he would enjoy the craftsmanship of some of the finest examples of wood furniture in the U.S. As DuPont turned his estate into a survey of high quality non-native American furniture (approximately Empire and before), he also created a giant canvas on which to layer his talent for putting rooms together (and gardens, but that’s another post).

Julie and I have been exchanging comments lately about color in neutral rooms. While the elements of DuPont’s dining room are a little more reserved than Julie’s more worldly style, the basic idea of using color with a neutral background is here—the fabrics carry the color.

Dining Room

The architectural elements are allowed to shine on their own with a neutral coat of paint (more of an oyster than the pinkish color you see here), and maybe a few highlights (see the trim on the doors). The rich wood of the furniture also gets to play a major role.

I like that the drapery fabric and the chair covers are the same medium sized pattern. Sometimes I think I’m afraid to use a fabric in other parts of the same room. I don’t know why (maybe it’s an attempt to avoid the catalog look). But a few repeated fabrics, even a vibrant stripe like this one, can give a room unity of design, calming the space. If I remember correctly the stripe and the large pattern of the rug are the only two fabric patterns in the room and the differences in scale work well together.

floating staircase

The stair hall (not a great picture, sorry) is an even more refined space, with light and airy Federalist pieces, which play nicely with the floating staircase – delicate, but sturdy. Anyway, the green of the settee fabric, which in another application might be considered bank-ish or too heavy handed looks downright understated in this setting.

chinese parlor 2. jpg

There’s nothing understated about the Chinese parlor. I love it, with all of its game and tea tables everywhere (mostly, if not all, American Rococo, aka Chippendale), and that great (in every sense of the word) wallpaper that makes you feel like a character in a giant storybook. The whole room is a big, elegant play room for grown-ups, but really, wouldn’t kids be happy here, too?

chinese parlor

I’ve never worked with pattern on the scale of this wallpaper, but I like it, especially that DuPont made it work with two large rugs and the large pattern in the two different green damasks. The sturdy forms of the furniture ground things. And now that I look at it so do the drapery and sofa fabrics, which even though they are a damask pattern read as a solid when seen next to the wallpaper.

If you are a furniture/design or even a garden buff, Winterthur is well worth a trip for inspiration.