Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Danielle Rollins

I have always had white towels monogrammed with my initials, usually in blue. But after seeing Danielle Rollins' gorgeous coral pink towels, I am rethinking this whole white towel thing.

So, if I ever get five minutes, I am going to find coral pink towels for my new house and have them monogrammed in white. Why do I have a feeling this is going to be hard to find?

For years, I bought the Ralph Lauren towels at Horchow when they had them on sale and with free monogramming. The towels were a great price and excellent quality. But I think the quality has really gone downhill on the RL towels.

BTW, I absolutely loved reading all of your comments yesterday about using your china, silver, and cloth napkins, and especially all your wonderful china patterns.

If anyone has ideas about sourcing these towels, I would be grateful.

Below another beautiful towel example where she has used coral pink on white.

Danielle Rollins

And exciting news for me - my painters surprised me yesterday by completely finishing my closet out of sequence so I can start bring my clothes over today. I can't wait.

Monday, July 13, 2020

China Patterns

Alessandra Branca

Yesterday was spent taking three carloads of my china to the new house. I thoroughly cleaned the cabinets and organized all the china. I had already bought over silverware, candles, and pots and pans, so the kitchen is now almost set up. What a great feeling.

I love beautiful china. Interesting that my wedding china is a Chinoiserie pattern, Wedgwood Chinese Tigers. I still adore this pattern. I have service for 8.

Wedgwood Chinese Tigers

I also have a large set of Lenox Morning Blossom. When I was first married, I collected every piece known to man through a china club. Do you remember those?

Lenox Morning Blossom

I am super excited to start using all my fine china again. Using it with Golf Guy has been impossible. (Think 5 year old son with ADHD).

Fine china and silver seem to be such relics of days gone by. I even use cloth napkins at every dinner. Did you know that sales of paper napkins have been down dramatically in recent years? The reason is not the use of cloth napkins - many younger people use paper towels instead of purchasing paper napkins!

At any rate, I find it fascinating that both my china patterns acquired years ago are Chinoiserie patterns, so my love of Chinoiserie goes back to my twenties. I also bought an antique Chinese screen and started collecting antique ginger jars in my twenties. I literally just realized all this writing this post.

Do you use your "fancy" china on a regular basis? Any Chinoiserie patterns?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Wallpaper Surprises

Osborne & Little Coronata Star

Yesterday I found my stash of wallpaper - it includes vintage, discontinued, and very high end papers.  The catch? It is 2 rolls  of this, 4 rolls of that. Not enough to do rooms. So I am going to get creative and think of unexpected spots for some of this beautiful wallpaper in my new home.

I have in my arsenal 4 rolls of Osborne & Little Coronata Star wallpaper that I picked up for $20 at a favorite thrift store in Alexandria. (Look Again at 900 King Street). If any of you are in the NOVA area, it is in Old Town and benefits The Society for the Prevention of Blindness. (Secret - interior designers in Alexandria often donate there).

I am thinking of using it in the the vestibule on the ceiling. Why not?

And I have a gorgeous double roll of very vintage Louis W. Bowen Chinese Lattice (now manufactured by Quadrille/China Seas under the name Trellis Background and by Bob Collins & Sons as Chinese Lattice. It might end up in the pantry.

Louis W. Bowen Chinese Lattice

My wallpaper hanger is coming over on Wednesday morning for estimates on the guest bath and laundry room projects.

Have you used wallpaper in any unexpected places?

A closet?

A ceiling?

A pantry?

An armoire?

A bar?

Closet doors?

The backs of shelves?

I also have a stunning pair of Paul Montgomery Chinoiserie panels I have never used. And I have perfect spot for them.

Paul Montgomery Silver Leaf Panels

I would love to hear about your wallpaper projects (not on walls) for inspiration.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

This and That

My Garage/Staging Area

Yesterday I arrived at the house around 9 AM and the painters were already hard at work with classical music and opera wafting throughout the house. Not your typical painters for sure.

We decided on Benjamin Moore Aura Matte in Classic Gray for the walls. The Samplize samples were great and I highly recommend this product. Beautifully painted (with the actual paint) and packaged with quick arrival, they are easy to use - peel and stick and you can move them around from room to room.

Samplize paint samples

It's the one in the middle.

And we selected the orange for the guest bath. Benjamin Moore Tandoori - we are using it on the wainscoting, baseboards, crown molding and door. It will be a little jewel box.

Here is my Chinoiserie wallpaper with Benjamin Moore Tandoori.

Each day I take two trips to the new house with breakables and such. So much easier than packing and unpacking. I'm using my garage as a staging area while the painters are in the house.

I ordered the pink Dyson cordless stick vacuum. Why? It's pink. End of story. LOL

I usually read a hundred reviews and research for hours and not this time. It had me at pink Dyson. It has been shipped already. BTW it's the V7 Motorhead.


I texted with the owner weaver of the lobster rope doormat business. Turns out they are from Baltimore and Annapolis and now have homes in Canada and Florida. They are hand delivering my two mats this weekend to my house.

I think these reclaimed lobster rope doormats are stunning. Durable and so unique, they are woven from rope that once tethered lobster traps in the sea. To protect whales which often became snared in the rope, a heavier sink rope is now used. Tens of thousands of tons of sink rope slated for landfills is now being used by a few companies to create these historical and authentic mats. Lobster rope doormats are also woven out of new lobster rope which comes in a huge variety of colors, but I love the muted shades of the reclaimed. Someone commented to me yesterday that she has one and they are the only doormats that hold up beautifully year after year with our intense sun.

While researching these doormats to purchase one for my new home, I happened upon 30 Fathom Doormats and learned that, as I mentioned, they have a place in Canada and a place in Florida not far from me and the owner even weaves doormats from locally sourced Florida recycled rope. I was thrilled that I could source this locally.

I am getting two for my new home and will post pictures next week. One of the doormats I have chosen, the charcoal colored rope was from lobster fishing at Big Pine Key, and the pale blue was deep water off Ft. Lauderdale for golden crab. The owner was telling me they spend hours retrieving, detangling, and cleaning the rope. This is the Old Florida I love so much. This is charming.

Please check out the website. The owner is happy to work with you on custom colors and sizes.

30 Fathom Doormats

30 Fathom Doormats

30 Fathom Doormats

30 Fathom Doormats

30 Fathom Doormats