A New Gray to Love

I recently discovered a beautiful new gray paint color - Benjamin Moore's Weimaraner. It's a velvety gray with brown undertones that changes color with the light. It looks great with white trim and pops of bright clear color. Who doesn't like the velvety rich color of a Weimaraner?

A good friend of mine recently had a tree fall through her entrance hall. Not something you want to happen but in the end no one was hurt, and she got to do a little decorating. During the holidays, Susan had us over for a little girl's night out and unveiling. The paint color in the living and dining rooms immediately grabbed my attention. It is warm and inviting and just so darn interesting especially as the sun set and candles were lit. It's one of those colors that you have a hard time deciding which family it belongs to. Susan has graciously allowed me to share a few pictures of her Weimaraner clad walls with all of you and has recently listed their house for sale click here to see more.

Here's another great example of Weimaraner clad walls with bright white trim and fun color.

Have a great weekend!

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Beautiful Art, Blog Love and an Award

I recently discovered a beautiful new blog:

The creator of Allumer Decor is Meg McCabe. She is also the artist that created this beautiful contemporary art. We seem to have an afinity for the same kind of aesthetic - clean lined, traditional interiors with a soft color palette and modern edge. She was incredibly kind to recognize Heirloom Philosophy with the versatile blogger award. I am so gratitude for her recognition and excited to have discovered a new blog to explore. Allumer is the french verb for' light up' and let's just say that is exactly what I did when I saw her beautiful paintings. I have been searching etsy and chasing down blog leads looking for the perfect modern art to grace the walls of my home.

Meg and I have had fun getting to know each other and I actually purchased the painting above for my new side entry. I think it might be one of those paintings I carry around the house and find a lot of perfect places to hang it.

Here are two of the other paintings I was considering:


I hope you will stop by her beautiful blog one day soon!

Meg has three signature series that I have really enjoyed that I think you will like, too:
 Friday Flowers, Wednesday Whites and Classic Pairings. 

Meg, thank you again for recognizing Heirloom Philosophy with the versatile blogger award. I can't wait to receive my new painting and share with you its new place in my home.

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Olive Picking Buckets

My favorite gift this Christmas was an olive picking bucket that I received from my antique picking brother. He always discovers the neatest things as he scours flea markets. He collects and shows a genre of antiques he calls 'Lodge Camp'. He stayed with us while he showed at the High Point Furniture Market and while we were in the process of building our new stone terrace and fire pit. He gave us one of these olive picking buckets from Turkey to use to store our firewood by the fire pit. That's just one more brilliant use for these great little vintage buckets I have seen a lot lately at markets and in the blog world.

Last night we let our 17 year old host a surprise birthday party out by the fire pit... I am now getting ready to call all the neighbors and ask forgiveness.

Last night we let our 17 year old host a surprise birthday party out by the fire pit... I am now getting ready to call all the neighbors and ask forgiveness.

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Details, Details: Beautiful Curtains

I would like to adopt this serene little corner and bring it home with me. I am totally smitten with every little detail but especially with the beautiful linen curtains. Linen curtains are the ultimate luxury. While browsing through Liz Williams portfolio it was hard not to notice her eye for detail and passion for beautiful curtains.

I love seeing these dressmaker details up close and know they will serve as a great reference for me.

I am so glad she shared this close-up image in her portfolio so we could see the zoo animals in the sheers.

I love cafe curtains!

The curtains in my master bedroom are made from the same fabric as pictured above {Scalamandre Aviary}. I love how Liz Williams finished the lead edge. This is a beautiful little detail photo but I am curious to see how the rest of the room is decorated.

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The Love List

{coeur de neufchatel}

What would a Valentine's Day be without hearts, flowers, chocolate and love letters. To celebrate this day of love, I have created Allison's love list, all things valentine's day-ish that I am loving right now.

 I'll start with Coeur de Neufchatel cheese. Yes! Cheese...

Coeur de Neufchatel has been made in the Normandy region of France in the shape of a heart since the 6th century and is said to have originally been made my love struck farm girls in the shape of a heart to win the attention of British soldiers during the 100 Year War. It is a soft yet crumbly cheese similar to Camembert with an aroma and taste of mushrooms. Yum!

I have been searching for an on-line resource in the USA to purchase French Neufchatel with no luck and was hoping to run by Whole Foods and the Fresh Market to see if they stock  it especially this time of year. The American version is actually not similar at all but more like cream cheese. It is also referred to as 'Coeur de Bray' (heart of Bray) after the market town of the "Pays de Bray" in upper Normandy where it was originally made.

I love peonies! Their big dramatic, ruffly, fragrant blooms drive me crazy. I have invested some time and resources this year in building a garden and hope to grow some peonies of my own this year. I understand that peonies have a little bit of a reputation for being hard to grow but it sounds like the key is planting them in the Fall with "proper placement and site preparation" {whatever that means} and with that, they will be happy for life. Peonies live for up to 70 years. Wow!

I love the photography by Christy Ford that graces the magical blog And George and especially like their regular feature 'friday flowers.' I love to have fresh flowers in my home all year long and like the casual elegance of their styled arrangements. I also love purple and blue flowers and grape hyacinths.

I love lavender as it reminds me of all things earthy and beautiful. I discovered the most beautiful place in the world through the blog Dreamy Whites as they followed a wedding set against the backdrop of the Sonoma Lavender farm. I now have a visit to the Sonoma Lavender farm during the June lavender harvest on my design bucket list.

These gorgeous photos are from photographer KT Merry and the blog Dreamy Whites from the wedding held at Sonoma Lavender. I also love the simplistic beauty of these placecards.

Speaking of bucket lists...Did you know that many of the world's oldest and finest fragrance companies are located in the quaint french town of Grasse, France and if you travel there they offer special tours where you can create your own fragrance? 

The rose harvest in Grasse, France

I have read a lot about the process of making your own fragrance from the essential oils of fragrant flowers and now I am just dying to return to France and tour the perfume factories of Grasse, France. I really love the idea of having something that is all mine. The process takes about two hours at a course offered by Molinard.

Here's what I have learned. You start with a tour of the museum and factory and then learn about the basics of the fragrance families and how they interact and are layered to make fragrance. Then you choose your base, middle and top notes out of about 80 ingredients for creating your own scent. A fragrance expert called 'the Nose' shares their knowledge with you and guides you as you layer your three notes into a unique fragrance blend. I liked Katherine's blog entry here about her personal experience at Molinard and thought I might have made some of the same 'note' choices as she did.

Peony Cupcake Placecards from Everyday Occasions

I love to entertain and thought these cupcakes were so clever and beautiful and would be the perfect centerpieces for a Valentine's Day celebration.

Of course, if you are going to have a party or send a love letter, you've just gotta' have the perfect letterpress. I love these confetti cards from duet letterpress...

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love hearing from you, my readers, so please leave a comment!

Thanks for reading.

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Recipe: Lavender Hot Chocolate

I wanted to share with you a recipe that I am absolutely dying to try ~ Lavender Hot Chocolate. I also discovered a beautiful new food blog:

These photos have been seducing me all morning. I feel like I can taste them just by looking at them. I mean, I love chocolate and I love lavender... the idea of combining the two on this frigid Winter day intrigues me.

Let me know if you give it a try! 

It would make a wonderful treat for Valentine's Day especially since we are expecting a few snow flurries here on Tuesday!

I discovered this lovely recipe here.

lavender hot chocolate

Since lavender is quite fragrant, adjust amount according to preference. For a creamier hot chocolate, a 1 to 1 ratio of dark to milk chocolate can be used. Makes 2 servings.

hot chocolate:
2 cups whole milk
3 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao)
1 ounce milk chocolate
1/4 teaspoon lavender buds

whipped cream:
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds from 1/4 of a whole vanilla bean pod
1/2 tablespoon granulated white sugar

For whipped cream, place cold cream, vanilla, and sugar into a cold mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with a whisk or mixer until stiff peaks form. keep refrigerated until ready for use.

For hot chocolate, heat milk and lavender over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let lavender steep for 5 minutes. Strain lavender and return milk to saucepan. Over medium heat, add chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted and incorporated. Whisk milk mixture for 10-20 seconds until frothy. Pour into mugs or bowls and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

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