The Perfect Vignette

Have you ever wondered what makes a vignette pleasing?

I adore the simple composition above.

The question ...

Is it really that simple to create the perfect vignette?

 If you haven't noticed, I am just a tad obsessed with Suzanne Rheinstein's New York pied a terre. Rheinstein's entrance hall is curated like a master painting. Be sure to notice all the details especially that iridescent trim color at the ceiling and the dark gray brown around the base of the room. Although I think we are all fooled by the mastery of good photography, I would be willing to place a bet that this entrance is as pretty in person as it is in this glorious photo. I say it is all in the composition. It has all the artistic merits of a compelling piece of art ~ a beautiful color palette with a well-placed pop of color, balance, proportion, depth and perspective.  I have noticed more and more that I like a well-placed "mid-height" element in a room. The contrasting dark patina of the little antique table in the foreground with the pop of color from the magnolia blossom really does it for me.
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Antiques as Art

Sometimes the perfect piece of art is as close as the nearest flea market or antique show. I have often fallen in love with beautiful old things when perusing an antique show and wondered what new life I could invent for my obscure adoration. After all, what are you going to do with a pair of crusty ancient anchors?

That's when you look to the masterful designer, Susan Ferrier who together with House Beautiful created this inspiring show house apartment in Manhattan. Ferrier elevates the neutral palette to new heights with texture and interesting vignettes. The pop of color is insane! I love the sculptural quality of these anchors, truly unexpected, interesting, textural, graphic, whimsical...It may be a personal thing for me.

Do you like found objects as art?

Designer Ellen O'Neill uses the inside of an old parasol as the focal point over her mantle in her New York studio apartment. Her small space is full of inspirational ideas and clever juxtaposition of old and new. The monochromatic color palette unites the space and allows her eclectic mix to coincide.

Sometimes that tablescape needs that unusual, sculptural shape to add interest to straight lines and a neutral palette. Displayed above are a pair of African head or neck rests. The ancient purpose for these intriguing objects was to elevate the head or neck when sleeping so as not to damage the often elaborate and sometimes encrusted coiffures. These found objects made of beautiful old wood  have a worn and soft patina and curvaceous, statuesque shape. Surely these obsolete, intriguing objects would stimulate interesting conversations over wine.

Designer Shannon Bowers uses antique french ceiling panels as art. I love the crusty, peely paint texture of these panels arranged in a graphic, orderly composition.

Oars serve as art in Kay Douglas's beach house featured in Coastal Living. Douglas, owner of South of Market in Atlanta and Charleston, is a master at using found objects as art.

Do you share my enthusiasm for found objects as art?

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The Nook

There are some days I wish I had a special little nook that I could curl up in with a good book.

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New Heights: The Vertical Wall Garden at Capitol

{photo by Stacey Van Berkel-Haines for Garden and Gun}

I have been wanting to put together a post about the extraordinary wall garden in Laura Vinroot Poole's hip shop, Capitol, for almost a year now. Shopping in Charlotte, last Spring, my daughter and I stumbled into Capitol and almost fainted when we entered the lovely connecting atrium draped with the towering wall garden designed by french botanist Patrick Blanc. I searched and searched and could not find a good picture. Surely someone was as taken with this garden as I was and had circulated a picture. The day I came home that Spring afternoon, I got lost on the Internet for literally hours looking at the stunning work of Patrick Blanc. He is quite accomplished all over the world, and I am grateful to have one of his incredible creations so close to home.

I was so excited to see Garden and Gun this month and their feature article. Truly their photographs are lovely but to really capture the garden's essence you just must go for a visit next time you are in Charlotte.

a birds eye view of the interior wall garden at Capitol in Charlotte

Garden walls have been gaining in popularity as of late. The image above and the next few photos are the "bio texture" garden wall at Anthropologie in London.

{Anthropologie London}

{Anthropologie London}

The wall garden from Kelly Brown at the Richmond Showhouse. How charming! Patrick Blanc share his secrets to creating these vertical masterpieces in several YouTube videos. There is an art to how you place the plants in a wavelike formation. You can get the basic supplies to make one at home through Antropologie owned garden shop Terrain.

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Styling Bookshelves

{Suzanne Kasler}

Thought I would share with you a few of the stylish bookshelves I have been saving in my inspiration files. There is definitely an art to creating these eclectic vignettes. These images can teach a lot about how to compose and organize collectibles. I am sure there are a lot of written rules about display but for me I like to learn from inspirational images.

Of course, it looks like all the images I selected are set against a lovely gray paint color. This was not intentional but helps me know I am making good decisions as I select paint colors for my new living room.

{J. Crew New York bridal salon}


{Charles Faudree}

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Southern Exposure: The Monogram

As a good Southern girl, I love a pretty monogram. In today's marketplace, there are so many options for creating a personal signature that can elevate your interiors to the next level.

Have you seen this spectacular bed from Heather Chadduck featured in the January Southern Living? This charming cottage bedroom is all about the details and the monogram is "the" important finishing touch. I love the warm color palette. The fabrics are from Victoria Hagan's home collection - Four Season's in Winter and the gray accent ~ Twilight Rhythm in mist.

The bedroom above is from one of my all time favorite designers ~ Jackye Lanham of Atlanta. I love this large scale, single initial monogram. Be sure to visit her new website It just launched yesterday and promises not to disappoint.

When you think of the pretty bedroom, visions of Phoebe Howard's bedrooms immediately come into focus. I think it is all about the attention to detail. All of my favorite bedroom designs from Mrs. Howard come with a spectacular monogram.

{Phoebe Howard}

{Elizabeth Mayhew}

I have always loved a bedroom that is tucked into the eaves of a home. This bedroom from Elizabeth Mayhew is perfection! The monogram is a wonderful complement to the lovely wallpaper and completes the cottage vision.

{Suzanne Rheinstein}

This image is from Suzanne Rheinstein's new book and a view of one of the bedrooms in her New York pied a terre. In my opinion, her custom monogram in that luscious color makes this room. I love it!

{Suzanne Rheinstein}

In her bedroom back home on the west coast, she positions her monogram on the top corner, a lovely accent to this highly personal space. Suzanne was recently featured on Cote de Texas and interviewed on the Skirted Roundtable.

{Cathy Kincaid via Leontine Linens}

I wish I could see this monogram created by Leontine Linens for designer Cathy Kincaid in the bedroom featured above better. Leontine Linens is the undisputed master of the monogram creating distinctly personal monograms that can either be hand embroidered or appliqued onto their couture quality linens.

Leontine got it's start in 1996 after visionary Jane Scott Hodges found her great grandmother's trousseau as she herself was planning her own wedding. With her newly created monogram in hand, she went in search of the perfect linens in her New Orleans hometown and quickly learned that there were few if any, good sources for fine linens. In 1996, Leontine Linens began as she sought to bring to market heirloom quality linens and the heritage driven concept of the monogram.

It's hard for me to play favorites as I think the monogram in every room has been thoughtfully selected and completes the room. But, if you made me chose just one, it would be this stylish bedroom and coral, custom monogram from Miles Redd.

{Miles Redd via The New York Social Diary}

{Phoebe Howard - Cashiers}

{via Nest Egg}

A monogram does not have to be feminine or formal, take for example this boy's bedroom featured recently on the blog Nest Egg. Rachel Halvorson selected her favorite boy's bedrooms and let her readers vote on their favorites. I liked all of her selections and found it very helpful as designing boy's bedrooms is always a challenge. Think how different this bedroom would look without the monogram.

{Katie Ridder}

Here's another good example of a contemporary monogram that is used in a young boy's bedroom.

This traditional bedroom from Lisa Luby Ryan is so chic with the simple "L" monogram on the accent pillow. I love the pop of color and the modern, graphic design of the monogram.

A simple monogram towel adds a soft, personal touch to this gorgeous bath featured in Veranda Magazine.

I have saved this magazine clipping from Southern Accents in my inspiration folder for many years. The monogram is painted! I adore everything about this little slipcovered chair.

I have seen this bold pattern used a lot recently and am loving it as an accent wall. The fabric is Summer Square in the watermelon colorway from Victoria Hagan's Home Collection. This is room is from designer Melissa Rufty, New Orleans. What I like most? It is fresh and modern yet traditional with those beautiful bed linens and of course, the stylish monogram. Oh, and I am smitten the pink guitar!

French grain sacks are all the rage right now. I love this simple monogrammed pillow. The organic texture of the grain sack in that aged pinky red is a beautiful accent to the stunning bedroom. If this beautiful bedroom leaves you wanting more, visit my favorite new blog ~ Dreamy Whites.

There is nothing more elegant to me than a table set with vintage monogrammed napkins. I love digging through the old linens at my favorite antique shows in search of my initials.

Isn't this table so simple and pretty?

I have a favor to ask my fellow bloggers:

If you enjoy reading my blog, please consider adding Heirloom Philosophy to your blog roll. I am working very hard to increase my readership and would greatly appreciate your help.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Although the design of this lovely dining room by Interior Designer, Amy Morris, would be a great topic to blog about in it's own right, today's blog post is about Moss. I adore moss when used as a simple, verdant, textural, centerpiece! I just love it in this room in this rustic wooden planter..a refreshing pop of green in an otherwise monochromatic dining room.

Designer Lisa Luby Ryan uses moss as a simply elegant Christmas decor. I love the pop of green that highlights this lovely tablescape and sublime antique faux bois planter.

The wedding table by Preston Bailey uses moss to its full potential. I'm sure these wedding guests are taking notes!

Designer Susan Ferrier uses moss to punctuate her mid height element in her dining room created for the 2010 Atlanta Homes Magazine showhouse.
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