Dark Shadows

Just some dark and interesting images and a great simple recipe to put you in the spirit for tonight's festivities.

Happy Halloween!

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Belgian Perfection: Verellen at the High Point Market

The best thing about the High Point Market is that everyone that visits finds something spectacular that will inspire their design choices for years to come. That is definitely the case with my visit to the Verellen showroom. If you can even believe it, the showroom was even more beautiful in person.

Belgian born, Tom Verellen, created Verellen Home Collection in 1999 bringing together the chic simplicity of Belgian design, imported Belgian linens and other luxurious organic fabrics and American-made comfort. The collection is perfection!

Take a walk with me through the Verellen showroom...

The light coming through the windows gave the showroom an ethereal beauty. As a native North Carolian, I was so pleased visitors in town for the High Point Market could experience true Carolina blueskies weather with a week filled with bright sunshine.

I wish you could feel the linen fabrics and sit in a piece of Verellen furniture.

One of my favorite things about the High Point Market is looking at the flower arrangements. I've always loved periwinkle, lavender and blue flowers especially against the backdrop of this simply, elegant showroom designed with soft grays and bare wood.

The fabric in the foreground is to-die-for! It has wonderful texture and a beautiful 'hand'.

This barstool is neat but I took this picture because I liked the concept of the bar design for an outdoor kitchen...just simple Rebar that holds rocks topped with galvanized steel.

This chair swiveled and rocked and was oh-so-comfortable.

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The Outside Room

Today has been the most beautiful fall day and I can only dream about spending the day and into the evening on this veranda designed by BD Jeffries for the 2011 March of Dimes showhouse in Charlotte. This outdoor room has space for lounging and dining al fresco and has an amazing view of the lovely gardens and azure blue salt water pool. This room is everything I am looking for in an outdoor 'living' room - casual and hip with lots of natural textures perfect for entertaining or just spending a day outside-in!

 The sofa is facing a fireplace with a big driftwood starburst mirror over the mantle.

I absolutely adore the tablescape especially the simple centerpieces of submerged rock crystals in glass hurricanes. In person, they sparkle! This centerpiece idea is one of my most favorite 'takeaway' ideas from the showhouse.

The table features the new 'Country Estate' dinnerware from Juliska.

Outdoor curtains made from burlap and sunbrella. Throughout the showhouse were little touches of a 'modern global' aesthetic like the ethnic print on these stools.

Petrified wood adds interest to a side table.

A close up of the table gives you more perspective on the textures the designer brought together to create this interesting tablescape.

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Living Room Inspiration

My favorite thing about Circa Interiors living room for the March of Dimes showhouse in Charlotte is that you would absolutely never know this was a showhouse room. It exudes that lived-in charm and feels as if it has been assembled over a lifetime.

I love the textures - leather, linen, velvet, silk, burlap - and the interesting lighting.

This room showcases almost all of the things I noted as tastemaker details that are in now.

Simple curtains made from sheer, textural, natural fabrics. Not heavy or fussy.
Colored or smoked glass accessories - notice the votives on the mantle, I love them!
A mix of furnishings that reflect a modern global aesthetic.
Very personal accessories that reflect an owner's interests or travels.
Natural curiosities - shells, petrified wood, simple flowers from the garden

Dressmaker details were everywhere!

To learn more about the creators of this living room or to see a price list for the furnishings, visit Circa's blog.

I have several more posts lined up to share with you more of the Charlotte showhouse. I came away inspired and thought the designers did an exceptional job of creating spaces that were very unusual and personal and speak to the way we live and use our homes. For example, Circa's living room offers a lot of functionality. A TV is cleverly concealed in a linen-clad cabinet; Comfy chairs have stylish task lighting for reading; The small table and eclectic seating offers a spot for entertaining, bridge, dinner or coffee, workspace or family games.

I look forward to sharing more with you throughout the week

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Living With Collections

Are you a collector?

Most of us that would call ourselves collectors want to live with and enjoy our collections everyday. I love visiting collectors' homes and seeing and learning about their treasures. Collections displayed en masse can create those highly personal spaces we all crave that reflect our personal style and speak to who we are and where we have been.

But, let's face it, there is a fine line between collecting and hoarding. Planning for your collections and incorporating your collections into clean and organized vignettes will keep your home feeling fresh and modern instead of cluttered and overwhelming.

Today, I have selected a few of my favorite images of collections displayed en masse in everyday homes.
"If you are collector, let other people share your pride and joy. Don't sprinkle your collection out of sight in a meaningless jumble. Notice how groups of small objects, when they are well arranged, become important and effective. Remember that repetition is a form of emphasis."

Dorothy Draper

Interior designer, Dan Carithers displays a collection of mountain pottery and creates a warm and inviting family room for the Cashiers designer showhouse. Although this is a showhouse room, you would never know it. Collections give a room provenance.

(Elle Decor)

18th and 19th century glass and silver

(Interior Design Jane Moore)

Pam Pierce is the collector I most admire when it comes to living with antiques. Her home is filled with beautiful old things yet feels fresh and uncluttered.

(Interior Design: Pam Pierce)

I love this simple display of cutting boards.

Dan Carithers collection of creamware on display in his home

I love collections of beautiful old utilitarian things that have patina from years of use. Vincente Wolf creates a simple, clean display that adds warmth to a modern interior. Image from Decorate by Metropolitan Home.

I am always intrigued by what others collect and love seeing a collection en masse such was the case when I read about Ann Williams from Hill Country House and her collection of stone books recently featured by V and M: Curate Your Life.

A stone bust displays designer Dana Abbott's flea-market collection of bone and jet necklaces at her Corona del Mar, California, home via House Beautiful.

(Botanicals en masse via interior designer Pam Pierce)

I have long been an admirer of hat forms and found this lone picture to share.

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