Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Danvers Design Show Sneak Peek ...

In less than two weeks, I will be participating in a summer design show to benefit the Danvers Historical Society (above are a few pics from my design board). The event, Reflecting on Danvers History through Interior Design, is scheduled for July 11th through August 1st. General admission is just $10 per person
at the door ($8 for DHS members) with the
exception of special events that include:

Preview Party at Tapley Memorial Hall, Danvers
Saturday, July 10th from 6:30pm to 9pm
Tickets $55 members, $65 not-yet members
{click here for ticket reservation info}

There will be food, signature drinks, live music,
and dancing under the stars along with a first look
at the thirteen designer vignettes at Tapley Hall.

photo from Glen Magna website

Historical Lecture, Lunch and Garden Tour
at Glen Magna Farms, Danvers
plus view designer vignettes at Tapley Hall
Friday, July 16th at 11am
Tickets $40 members, $50 not-yet members
{click here for ticket reservation info}

Meet the Designers High Tea at Glen Magna Farms
plus view designer vignettes at Tapley Hall
Wednesday, July 21st at 4pm
Tickets $30 members, $40 not-yet members
{click here for ticket reservation info}

This will be a fun summer event so mark your calendars! There will even be a designer boutique at the Page House next door to Tapley Hall in case you are in the mood to shop. I would love to see some familiar faces at the Preview Party on the 10th
or Designer Tea on the 21st so please
let me know if you can attend : )

While traveling to Danvers to prepare for the show,
I have noticed a couple of interesting spots. If you attend the show early in the day, check out
Daily Harvest Cafe on High Street for a quick cup of coffee or a light lunch. If you attend later in the afternoon,
9 Elm American Bistro is right around the corner and serves dinner, dessert and drinks.

Check back later for more
design show updates!

Monday, June 28, 2010

“Seaside glamour” at the Belle Mer

When my friend, Brenda, and I arrived at the
Belle Mer in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday
to attend an afternoon cocktail party hosted
by her friend, Liz, this is what we saw ...

An elegant palette of black and
white dressed the grounds.

Wide walkways paved with crushed shells led to
charming places to sit and enjoy the ocean view.

This conversation area was
a real conversation starter!

Large bunches of hydrangeas graced each table.

I wish we could have stayed long enough to
enjoy a fire by the ocean. Maybe next time?

A glimpse at the tables inside.
I wonder who was coming after us?

Sheer curtains and tall grasses were swaying with the
ocean breeze as we reluctantly departed for home.

To see some beautiful event photos taken at the Belle Mer or the other super-glam boutique venues in the Longwood Events group, click here. I actually had an interview scheduled with Longwood Events a few years ago for the position of event interior designer. For a couple of reasons, the interview did not take place (timing was not right, stars were not aligned, however you want to look at it!) and after spending a champagne-filled-afternoon enjoying this particular venue, I am wondering how things might have been different if I had made it to that interview?!?

Martini Bar at the Belle Mer, photo from L:e Bride blog

If you are a bride, or bride-to-be, check out Longwood Events L:e Bride blog to view some of the latest wedding trends in design, fashion and lifestyle. Even if planning a wedding is not on your agenda, there are some great ideas for summer entertaining like a gourmet luge (now that brings back some memories ; )

Friday, June 25, 2010

Entertaining unexpected guests ...

When unexpected guests arrive, be sure to make
them feel at home. Offer refreshments and a place to rest. Get to know each other better. Wish them well and thank them for coming.

Have a great weekend!
xoxo yvonne

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An evening in the garden ...

A bold container garden by Tracy Drislane

Last week the Village Garden Club of Lynnfield held its year-end dinner event at the home of Tracy and Chris Drislane. Tracy, who is a garden club member, and Chris, who is a professional landscape designer and certified horticulturist {DesignScapes, Inc.} have a beautiful property that I have always admired for its rustic charm, great use of scale and creative touches. Here are some images taken during the
garden stroll portion of our evening ...

A variety of large leaf hosta plants fill the gravel
covered alley between the barn and the house.

A hurricane lamp decorated with hosta and coleus leaves still stands tall even after the skies opened up and rained during the early part of the evening.

S’mores were on the menu, but we had our
desserts inside. Isn’t this fireplace amazing???

I love how Tracy filled a number of wine glasses with moss and succulent blossoms and then accompanied them with candles in bell jars as table centerpieces.

Even the tomato plants looked great when
partnered with tall landscape grasses
standing like a living screen behind them.

It would not be a Village Garden Club party without a beautifully presented and equally delicious menu (courtesy of President Bootie Stevens, Tracy Drislane and other club member contributions).

Fresh rosemary is a pretty and fragrant
accent when added to a dish of hummus
or in a container garden like below.

With garden club member and friend, Laura Thomson

A lot of members commented on the gray floral pin I wore attached to a string of pearls. It is by stella & dot and is available by clicking here (type in my name as the hostess to order one for yourself, or any of the other lovely stella & dot jewelry items).

My rock garden this morning

A garden path by DesignScapes, Inc.
for Club President Bootie Stevens

This week I will be focusing on cleaning up my own gardens now that I have been completely inspired by the combined effort of the Drislane’s, plus a year of attending garden club lectures and events. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Village Garden Club of Lynnfield (and live in this area ; ) please contact me by email at

Annual dues are just $25 per person which entitles each member to discounts at local nurseries, free admission to monthly events (we meet from September to June) and lots of information-sharing from the dedicated garden enthusiasts that make up the group. We always have a lot of fun at our monthly Monday night meetings, and have done a lot of community service gardening for the town of
Lynnfield as well. To see some mentions of events from this past year, visit the following links:

Arranging dramatic centerpieces
with Bert Ford

Art in Bloom at the Lynnfield Library

Holiday party decorating: Laura Thomson

Field trip to The Stevens Estate, No. Andover

Kim Smith and autumn gardening

Thank you for opening your
home to us, Tracy and Chris!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Preparing for summer of 2010

T-shirt I designed for the graduating
4th graders at my son’s school

Today is the last day of school. Remember when the school year started and yellow was my favorite color? Today it is yellow and blue (our school colors).
Let the “Summer of Fun 2010
begin ...

Clearly Fish Pitcher
from Target

Blue Stripe Tumbler Set
from Target

Circo Sealife Hooded Towel
from Target

Outdoor Patio Umbrella
from Target

Yellow Flip Flop
from Target

Blue Isles Margarita Glass
Set of four, Turquoise
from Target

Cheers and congratulations! : )

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rugs as art + Saturday yard sale

A carpet covered trunk from Landry & Acari

During the North Shore Design Show held at the Wenham Museum in May, I was able to sit in on a number of design lectures that were scheduled over the course of the week. While in attendance, I took lots of notes (along with many snapshots) knowing that I would share what I learned with my blog readers at a later date. Today I will discuss some
really large works of art ...

A loom was brought into the museum to
demonstrate the art of carpet weaving.

Jerry Acari holds a Chinese Art Deco carpet designed
what looks like a Guardian Lion or Foo dog.

Many varieties of rugs were displayed from Landry & Acari’s oriental rug gallery. Jerry Acari, who has been in the rug business for over 40 years, is a noted expert on oriental rugs and often lectures on the who, what, when, where and how behind these functional works of art. Each piece is representative of quite likely a year or two of concentrated human effort, in which teams of weavers combine their heart, soul and spirit to create their textile masterpieces. It really is amazing how much cultural information can be found in each of these carpets, especially if you know what to look for ...

I like how this Sardis carpet from India and the
old-fashioned jar of marbles on a sill in the
lecture room shared the same colorways.

Persian Sarouk,
circa 1915

In general, carpets that are produced by hand are often more visually interesting than those produced to the exact standards and measurements of a machine. Sometimes there will be a change in thread color (the weaver ran out of the original choice), or different types of wool may be used depending on market availability at the time, and some carpet ends may even stop short pattern-wise because the rug makers were ready to call it a day! Modern carpet makers, like Karastan, often try to emulate these unplanned –
yet distinctive – pattern variations.

This Art Deco carpet from Turkey
dates back to around 1925

In the photo above, the rug in the center, with its symmetrical and curvilinear pattern, is called a “city
rug. City rugs are created in heavily populated areas that are exposed to the influence of a
variety of world markets.

tribal” rug is often asymmetrical in pattern, with a wool foundation, done in a wide variety of colors. This type of carpet, like the Karabagh from Azerbejan above, is more representative of family or tribal influences over outside markets.

This wool and silk Suzani tapestry was created by a tribe in Turkmenistan and features fine needlework and brilliant colors. Bold geometric patterns like this are a popular trend in design right now.

A bridal spread (used for a newly married couples bed) is created by village women combining pieces cut from their embroidered shawls, stitching them
together with golden threads.

Rugs often have different looks from one end to the other. On the one above, you can see how the color of the flowers in the center rectangle are lighter at the bottom, with more pinks and whites, while the top has more navy and scarlet blossoms. When you lay a carpet in your space, walk around it and take a good look from each angle before deciding upon final placement. The effect of light and dark can be dramatically different! Inquire about taking a carpet home to see how it looks in your home before purchasing ... it is the best way to know for sure if a rug will work with your design plan.

An interesting story: S
ynthetic red dye was often applied by hand and paint brush to the tips of each carpet strand of a multitude of imported rust colored Sarouk rugs over a period of twenty years that were originally ordered to be an oriental red (the rose colored strands unexpectedly changed to rust as a result of alkaline in the finishing process). Then in the 1990’s, these same rugs were often stripped back to their original rust colorings by a company that is still based in Poughkeepsie, NY. Trends come and go, but it seems a well-made oriental will last forever!

This carpet was custom-designed by Landry & Acari to coordinate with the colors and design of an oriental pattern. This is a good way to add a
modern look to a traditionally-styled room.

Today’s technology of communicating via the internet has considerably decreased the production time of carpets made over seas, not to mention it is easier to achieve the desired end result when images can be sent back and forth with the click of a mouse! It is not unusual to see a tent on-site with a computer set up so that the rug foreman can relay design and pattern information to the talented team of weavers. If you were to order a custom rug today, you are likely to receive it in 4 to 5 months instead of having to wait years for your work of art to arrive.

Think of the design possibilities!

To read more about Landry & Acari and their
commitment to their community, click here.

For information about the Good Weave campaign that works to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry and the companies that support the mission of
the Good Weave program, click here.

To donate to Barakatworld, an organization working in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Boston to support the education of children and women of carpet-weaving communities by building schools and providing free education, visit

And don’t forget, carpets
aren’t just for floors!

Kilim Footstool from Landry & Acari

For ten tips on choosing
the right carpet, click here.

If you are local and in the market for a new rug, head over to the one-day yard sale that Landry & Acari is participating in at the Beverly Depot parking lot (Saturday, June 19th only). Maybe you will find the perfect combination of pattern and color that you have been looking for? You will surely find some beautiful carpets worth a closer look. Also at the sale: Circle Furniture, Designer Bath, and Moynihan Lumber. I just might have to head over myself since our kitchen and bath are still gutted without anything to put in them! Click here for photos from last years sale.
Happy hunting!