One of my favorite creatives to follow on Instagram is Atlanta-based tastemaker Danielle Rollins. She is a constant source of inspiration with everything she does – she’s an interior designer, lifestyle expert and, as of last year, she has her own fashion label. She’s talented, she’s beautiful, but most of all, she’s a survivor.?
I remember pouring over pages of her previous home, perfectly decorated by Miles Redd, and thinking how much I admired her tented breakfast room with its soft blue and white striped walls. Well, after a very public and trying divorce, Danielle found herself in search of new beginnings.?
“I had just gone through a divorce and lost just about everything”, says Rollins. When my book Soirée came out a few years ago, I was being asked to give talks on stylish entertaining, even though, at the time, I had moved out of my home and barely even had any paper plates! So,?I bought truly the ugliest house, but it was on a great street for a price I could afford,” she says. “I resolved to turn it into a showcase for everything I wanted to do.”
For that, she enlisted architect extraordinaire Bill Ingram and together they renovated the pedestrian Georgian home built in the 1970s, turning it into a dream home for Danielle, her parents and her three children.?
Though not officially springtime yet, the weather is softening and the first flowers braved through the cold rain. We are blessed to walk to school every morning and notice the subtle changes of the seasons… no peonies yet, just snowdrops, but while we wait we can enjoy these beautiful watercolor flower studies by Dutch painter Jan van Huysum (1682-1749). I love most botanical illustrations but the 18th century ones really have my heart. It’s the yellowing of the pages, the calligraphy, the thought that someone three centuries ago found beauty in the same things we love and cherish today…
It is with great pleasure and joy that I write today’s post. A few summers back I discovered Private Newport – the elegant lifestyle blog written by Bettie Bearden Pardee and I fell in love with Bettie’s world, home, friends and gardens. One piece in particular caught my attention as one of the most unusual garden accessories I had ever seen. It was the Parterre Bench – a bespoke piece of garden furniture that is not only beautiful but comes with a rich story that spans over three decades. The fact that we can now admire and even purchase the Parterre Bench is the realization of a dream for its creator. I will let Bettie Bearden Pardee describe the bench and its story herself:
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This never-ending winter begs for images of warmth, sunshine and blossoming gardens. So for all of you garden lovers out there, here’s a selection of pictures I know you’re going to like.?Topiary is the horticultural practice of clipping shrubs and trees into different ornamental shapes and has been around for millennia. Pliny’s Natural History credits Gaius Matius Calvinus for creating one of the first topiary gardens for Julius Ceasar and, in the many centuries since, topiary has gained popularity worldwide.
Not a day goes by that I don’t miss California but the colder season makes me even more nostalgic than usual. So I’ve been pinning gardens and blooms, flowers and potted topiaries and lots of flowering shrubs lately as a way of coping with the cold weather outside. Hydrangeas and roses always make me smile, I hope they will make you smile too. Happy Tuesday!