Brought together by a common passion for plants and organic gardening, Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld established?The Land Gardeners over five years ago. Their business specializes in the design of productive gardens, particularly the restoration of walled and established English gardens but they also run a very successful cut flower business from Bridget’s home, Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire. When not designing gardens for their clients around the world, the two can be found lecturing on flowers and sustainable gardening all over London and the UK.
Henrietta and Bridget have both trained at prestigious garden design schools prior to joining forces and establishing The Land Gardeners. Bridget’s husband runs a company dedicated to land management and sustainable farming and her interest and knowledge in soil science and organic growing have been fundamental for their new venture. In 2008 the Elsworthys moved to Wardington Manor – a spectacular Jacobean house with iconic plasterwork and a stunning wood-paneled library. Set on 30 acres of ground, it is now the center of operations for The Land Gardeners. Soon after moving to Wardington, Bridget started planning the cut flowers garden which has now extended to contain the entire grounds. Below is a tour of the stunning manor as seen in House & Garden magazine, with photography by Andrew Montgomery.?
For today’s post I wanted to share with you a fantastic room that has me mesmerized. It’s small, it’s elegant and incredibly cozy, totally my kind of space.?Working with the challenges of limited space, awkward corners or strangely positioned windows has its rewards because what smaller rooms lack in space, they can more than make up for in atmosphere and charm. I’ve always loved cozy, diminutive rooms that are cleverly designed so that they don’t sacrifice beauty over function and such is the case of this sophisticated London bedroom designed by Michael S Smith that I wanted to show you today.
Decorating a home can be a daunting task. It is an organic blend of practical decisions and emotional reactions to textures, colors and furnishings. How does one make sense of it all? Well, there is no one recipe that fits all but for me, the best decorating happens when rules are forgone in favor of things cherished, collected and personally meaningful. It is the case of some of my favorite homes – Bee Cottage designed by Tom Samet and Frances Schultz, the Mill Valley home of Blythe Harris and family, decorated by Rita Konig and, it is certainly the case of this vibrant Victorian sea-captain’s cottage in Port Townsend, Washington. With magnificent vistas overlooking Admiralty Inlet, the house is one of interior designer Markham Roberts and his partner, furniture and art dealer James Sansum’s three homes. It is also one of their most personal ones, and my favorite designed by Roberts. It was included in Markham Roberts’ book Decorating: The Way I See It (published by Vendome in 2014) and, more recently, it was featured in The Seattle Times and in Cabana Magazine’s Fall/Winter 2017 issue.?
“Old, cottage-y rugs and painted Victorian furniture were all thrown together, and the result is what I call “relaxed”, in that we’re not really going all out to decorate. The bedrooms, too, are a crazy mixture of old-fashioned patterns and odd pieces of furniture, charming in an old summer cottage way.”
The house has been in Sansum’s family since the 70s and it still represents a cherished summer escape. The first thing that comes to mind when looking at these images is the feeling of freedom and ease. There’s a sense of comfort that transpires these colorful rooms. It is difficult to replicate also, which is where lies the immense talent of interior designer Markham Roberts and his ability to harmoniously marry bold hues, classic patterns and different styles. Family heirlooms and beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces collected over the years fill this home, it is pure joy to study every room and each cranny!?
When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. A few weeks ago I ordered a pair of swing arm sconces from Overstock, thinking they would look exactly like their advertised picture. Silly me. Instead of a beautiful antiqued brass finish, as advertised!!, they were oil rubbed bronze. I.e matte black with an almost unnoticeable hint of shine around the curves. Two lessons came out of that purchase. One – I’ll never share sources for my own purchases on the blog unless I’ve received my product and am happy with it (I know I should have done that anyway, but I was exited about my finds and wanted to share with others looking for similar fixtures for a bargain). Second – be more careful with discount sites like Overstock. In the end you get what you pay for.?
Fabric is my weakness. It always has been and our home is a testament to that.? Some people collect stamps, others porcelain figurines, or artwork, or postcards. I collect textiles. I have an impressive collection of scraps, bolts and yards of pretties I purchased simply because they were too gorgeous to pass and because I believe if you truly love something, one day you’ll find just the right project to use it for. I’m always afraid that a fabric I love will be discontinued so whenever the budget allows, I try to stock up on favorites. Well, as my collection is growing I’m also constantly on the lookout for new and exciting sources. Over the years I realized that the home decor fabric sector of the market is lacking fine cotton at affordable prices, suitable for creating custom bedding and coverlets,? ecologically safe yet beautiful, exotic, and chic.
Enter Palampore Fabric and Hangings, an all-American company owned by Alison Kouzmanoff operating from the Hudson Valley. Alison has worked for over 40 years in photography, graphic and textile design and her work blends inspiration from the plants growing outside her window in the Hudson Valley with the rich Indian fabric panels of the 17th and 18th century (Palampores). Her designs are distinguished by their intricate, stylized natural forms, by the contrast between the exterior borders and inner motifs, and by their versatility.?The collection is colorful and fresh, while still honoring its historic namesake.