Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This time of year can be really hard to get through with its harsh temperatures and difficult weather patterns. But Winter is not without its charms, not least of which is the delightful opportunity to light fires. There's nothing like a fire to warm the heart, soothe the soul, and cheer the day. Let's drink a hot cocoa toast to fireplaces and the joy they bring us!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Autumn in the West

Autumn in Virginia is the one time in the year I feel as if I'm not that far from my childhood home. Unlike the rest of the year, there is a crispness and energy in the air that used to be a constant when I was growing up in Colorado. Virginia's autumn sky deepens its hue until it is nearly as blue as the Colorado sky, and at night you can even see the Milky Way, just as one can on any clear Colorado night.

Of course, Virginia will never be as rugged as Colorado, and that's as it should be. I wouldn't love Virginia so much if it were not what it is. Virginia is one of the most beautiful states I've had the blessing to see. But Colorado is a state of spectacular scenery. It is grand and sweeping; it can be a little harsh at times, but you cannot witness its wild beauty without experiencing a sense of awe. Here it is in all its autumn glory!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Days of Glory

These are the best days. Mornings are shrouded in blankets of fog, dissipated by the warming rays of a friendly sun. The air is zesty, the skies are clear, and the trees show off their bold and beautiful colors. The birds are still busily singing, but the bugs have returned whence they came. Life is rich, full-bodied like a chocolate pudding with a hint of cinnamon sprinkled over the top. Drink it in!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More of the same

Beautiful places in Italy that I will be visiting next year! Hooray!
The sad thing is that I can't stop thinking about the place. No one could ever really identify what exactly it is, but there is something about Italy that refuses to let you go. Once smitten, you're forever possessed by the romance that is Italy. And the funny thing is that no place can be more frustrating than Italy with its lack of organization, its passionate and illogical people, and its insouciant irreverance for tradition despite the fact that it is itself a tradition. Somehow there's a magic in the madness. . .

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

An Afternoon Treat

Now this is what I like to see. A bright sunny day, where the water is smooth as glass, and you're feeling warm, golden, peaceful, and utterly content. And if you're inclined to a little hunger or thirst, you don't have to go far to taste some light hors d'oeuvres and a glass of wine or a cocktail. Now, that's the life. ;)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Is It

One of these days, I want to own this home. I've picked this one over many of the places I've posted for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that this one looks slightly more doable. It's a little less pretentious than some of the others, yet large enough to encompass all the sorts of activities I and my family would be sure to pursue, and still lovely enough to appease my thirst for beauty. The building is obviously not new construction, which lends character and an intriguing sense of history to the place. There are the shutters that I love, and elegant window-doors (not strictly French) that invite easy passage between indoors and out. The yard appears to be on the larger side, which means there is room for games of tag, games of croquet, and garden parties. The pool is a very large selling point of course, but I like the fact that it too, bears a sense of age with it. It isn't your typical plastic pool put in last year by the local pool company. I especially like the whimsy of the frog sentinels at the corners. Yes, I could definitely see myself spending the rest of my days in a place like this.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Misty Moisty Morning

Well, it's raining outside today, and in a way I'm glad, despite the fact that I'm a sun-worshipper. Every once in a while, it's good to silence the loudness of the sun, and clear the air of its buzzing heat. Besides which, when the air is full of moisture, and the green of the trees colors the atmosphere, a certain mystique settles over the world and fills your head with thoughts of fairytales and mysteries. The imagination is released and left free to wander where it will--a happy thought, indeed. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

In the cool of the day

At this time of year, if I'm not thinking of pools and ocean waves, I'm thinking of soft colors, long lines, and lack of clutter. A room like this provides that peace and refuge one needs from a sun that burns and heat that scorches. In a room like this, there is enough space for recollection, a rejuvenating stillness that energizes the spirit, and soul-satisfying order. It would be nice to have.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Room With A View

Why in America do we not utilize this particularly lovely method of window architecture? The charm of leaning out a window to enjoy the view is an experience wholly unknown to Americans, who have tended to treat windows as merely another method of keeping the world at bay. With due cause, I suppose, but there is a particular joy in being able to throw open the windows, and then reach oneself out to drink in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the day. No one need tell me of the inconveniences brought on by such a window, for I know them already. I'm just not sure that the inconveniences aren't worth it for the loveliness.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

l'Italia bella

This beautiful country has been haunting my thoughts and dreams again. What a remarkable place, filled with some of the greatest natural beauty, as well as man-made grandeur in the world, touched by the palettes of the world's most famous artists, bathed in the golden glow of history's reminiscence, a jewel, burnished, rich, wonderful. . . .

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fit for a Queen

And then there are royal staircases, the sort you can't possibly imagine in any context outside of the bounds of the aristocracy. You also can't imagine getting anywhere near such a staircase without being in full period costume from at least the 1890's, probably earlier.
I'd absolutely love to visit it; I couldn't possibly live with such a thing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Into a Fairytale

Of course, there are staircases, and then--there are outdoor staircases. This one looks like it walked right out of "The Enchanted April," which anyone who has ever seen the movie will readily agree is quite simply one of the most beautiful things ever filmed. Imagine meandering your way up and down these steps--your soft white skirts swishing over the stone and kissing the flowers as you pass by, drinking in the heady scents of the Mediterranean air.

It's sad--I'm an utterly hopeless romantic.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Everything You Could Ask For

in a staircase. Because this set of stairs is so narrow and tightly folded on itself, it looks as if it probably belongs to an upscale apartment or townhouse. Despite this, however, it has many qualities to recommend it. The style is very simple, yet the contrast of the well-polished dark wood with the white paint provides interest that would otherwise be lacking. The stairs are narrow from side to side, but their gentle curve and the sweep of the hand rail add elegance and a sense of refinement. The light paint prevents the small space from seeming too close or claustrophobic, yet that very smallness provides a bit of hobbitish coziness, enhanced once again by the gleaming hardwood floor and accents. Altogether, a very pleasant little hall and stairway, one I would be quite happy to have in my own home.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Graceful Ascent

Courtyards are a lovely exterior feature, but when it comes to the interior of a house, there is nothing so capable of setting the tone as an entryway and staircase. The typical staircase is nondescript and boring, but a curved staircase adds instant elegance and refinement. When it's a curved staircase such as this, the tone created is both romantic and regal, yet cool and light. This stairway is not oppressive; it doesn't look self-involved. Yet it does maintain an air of distinction through the use of some subtly unique characteristics. Take a look at that scrollwork!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Royal Entrance

Another view of the courtyard below. This courtyard was really made for the rich and famous--or at least for the movies. But isn't it lovely?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sitting by the fountain in the courtyard. . .

the cat lazily washed its paws in the sun.

This courtyard lacks the green carpet of the previous example, but it still provides the space, fresh air, sun, and sanctuary that come from being able to step out-of-doors without setting foot outside your own four walls. It's a lovely thought.

Friday, February 29, 2008

What About A Courtyard?

I love courtyards. This is because I love the outdoors and the sun, but I love privacy even more. Courtyards are delightful because they can be lovely, grassy, outdoorsy places to play, yet they retain that sense of coziness and security provided by the shelter of your walls. Of course it doesn't hurt that courtyards are associated with the architecture of romance and adventure found in the American southwest.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Invitation

There is something about this doorway that just begs for further exploration. With its quaint and charming setting, the odd placement on a side corner, and the mysterious inner door, you wish you could step through the picture like Mary Poppins, and discover the secrets of the other side.

All mystery aside, however, it really is a lovely doorway.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No Matter Where You Are. . .

I think February is always just one of those months that you're ready to put behind you. As a friend recently remarked, what ever happens in February? Nothing much but snow, cold weather, and short dark days. I've a hankering for spring. I want to plant seeds and bulbs, and see the shoots of flowering things push through the softened earth. I want the reawakening of life and loveliness, and that spring rush of energy to recall my appreciation of life. It's just around the corner. . . .I can feel it. . .