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Antiques on Holiday

My Guest Cottage

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  • French Seaside Style
    French Seaside Style
    by Sebastien Siraudeau
  • French Flair: Modern Vintage Interiors
    French Flair: Modern Vintage Interiors
    by Sebastien Siraudeau
  • The New Eighteenth-Century Home
    The New Eighteenth-Century Home
    by Michele Lalande
  • An Affair with a House
    An Affair with a House
    by Bunny Williams
  • On Garden Style
    On Garden Style
    by Bunny Williams, Nancy Drew
  • French Country Style at Home
    French Country Style at Home
    by Sebastien Siraudeau
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Uncle Jimmy watched his six-year old niece carefully twist the worm onto her hook.  Although the worm was doing his best to squirm out of his predicament, Evie would have none of it.  With a focus aided by the curl of her tongue, she finished the job and looked up at her Uncle beaming with pride.  

“Aaaaahhhh! Look at that, he grinned.  Just like I taught you.  Now toss that baby into the water and let’s see what he’s made of.”  

Evie lowered the line over the edge of the skiff, almost like Uncle Jimmy taught her, and pushed up the sleeves of her blue parka.  She folded her hands around the reel and then dutifully set about her next job which was to carefully study the ebb and flow of the bobbin.  Evie knew that a gentle tug on the floating red and white ball meant that a fish below was seriously considering her worm for his supper.  

Uncle Jimmy busied himself hoisting a couple of oyster sacks he’d dangled above the sandy bottom of the water.  Late autumn was good for his oyster farming, a sideline that didn’t add much to the camp's bottom line, but created some great treats for himself and the BOYS.  And, in March and April the guests had come to expect this delicacy before they sat around the evening table to tackle the catch of the day.  The BOYS had come to expect them.  

“Uncle Jimmy, why do you like those things so much,” Evie questioned as she tried to scratch her nose by lifting her clasped hands upward, pole and all.   She watched as her Uncle took his knife and pried an oyster apart, raising the half shell to his lips.  Evie winced at the thought of the slick mass oozing down his throat.  Oyster-eating was a lesson she just as soon Uncle Jimmy not try to teach her.  

“E, you’ll come to like them.  It just takes time,” he grinned.  

As the sun began its descent and an orange sky began to emerge, a sudden chill signaled day’s end, and Evie and her Uncle prepared for the short ride home.  Evie pulled her gear into the boat, and Uncle Jimmy fired up the little outboard motor as a waft of belching smoke and oil replaced the stink of the brine below. After her Uncle pointed the bow toward home, Evie felt the green skiff sliding through the water, not too slow, not too fast, the landscape becoming darker as they headed north away from the setting sun and toward the canopy of tall pines. 

“Guide me in, E, said Uncle Jimmy, as he let go of the control and pushed off from the dock.  After tying the skiff to the piling, Uncle Jimmy lifted Evie out of the boat and onto the planks above.  Evie half skipped, half ran toward the mess hall, slowing to crunch each newly green acorn that lay in her path.  There was something so satisfying about the pop of an acorn beneath her shoes. Step on a crack...break your mother's back, step on a corn...wish you were never born.

“Put those worms in the fridge, yelled Uncle Jimmy.  We can use them tomorrow morning.  If we don’t catch something soon, we may have to fry them up for breakfast.”  Uncle Jimmy snickered to himself, not even bothering to look back to see his niece’s look of disgust.  

Evie reached for the door to the refrigerator and slid the plastic container onto the bottom shelf.  Uncle Jimmy assured her that the worms wouldn’t die in there.  “They’ll just have a nice nap, and then we’ll wake them in the morning,” he’d explained.  

Grabbing the edge of the door she tucked her little fishing friends in for the evening.  As the door closed something in the window caught her attention, something that didn’t belong.  A blue object stood out among the pale of the winter trees.  As Evie focused on it, the outline of a man took shape, a man quietly standing just inside the line of trees.  The blue was a scarf around his neck, the only bit of color to offset the gray of his beard and hat.  Evie thought he looked like the man from one of her chapter books.  Before her six year old mind could take in the sight, he was gone.  The darkness swallowed him up, scarf and all.  



What would you do with this space you see below.

It looks like an old European farmhouse with stone floors, beamed ceilings and fresh white walls. Maybe that flooring is a tile. Hard to tell. Kitchen may be at the other end of the hall. Europeans still tend to keep the kitchen as a one-room experience instead of incorporating it into the living room as an open-concept. Maybe that's because it's harder to take down a two-foot stone interior wall versus a couple of pieces of sheetrock in the States. Looks like there's a step-up to an area that serves as a small foyer (where the doors are ajar). Windows are probably casement which crank out. 


This space might have been an outbuilding many, many years ago. (Some of today's best living spaces started out as an old barn or stable.) I love watching the HGTV episodes to see how buyers end up decorating their properties. Problem is, so many of the international properties are rentals, and, therefore there's very little the renter can do to make the space his/her own.

Here's what I propose.

Two Lee Industries slipcovered sofas flanking the fireplace.



Beautiful rustic coffee table with some modern lines.



A French barrel chair or two.

About twenty of these matted beauties on the left wall as you step down into the room.


A beautiful French mirror and chandelier. Maybe not both pieces together. Might be a little too gilded.

Could you maybe add corner bookshelves to the left of the fireplace, and arrange as a small reading nook with a chaise. It depends on if there's a similar space in the house that already functions as a study. 

Belgian clock adds that little bit of French blue.




Styling, October issue

It's time for the October issue of Styling.  This month's focus is on the color 'blue'. Creamy blue Wedgewood china, the yummy blue of a taffeta evening dress, or the dusty blue patina of an 1840's French desk. 

Click the cover to read

The highlight in this month's issue is Suzie's Style, a great article about Suzie Anderson's entrepreneurial spirit, and her love of French and Belgian decor.  Learn how the Anderson family opened their historic 'weekender' home in Bowral, Australia for weddings and special events. And, read about Suzie's first attempts at retail in Paddington, Sydney, an experience that might be quite familiar to some.


In keeping with the 'blue' theme.

To view Suzie Anderson's portfolio, click.

So settle in with a cup of tea (blue cup or mug, please) and...



October in Tribeca

I love NY in October.  The Greenwich St farmers market is alive with gala apples, drying hydrangeas, sugar pumpkins for baking, and mums, along with the customary fresh breads, milk, seafood and cheeses. Some of the best sea scallops I've ever eaten were from Greenwich St.





City Hall Park.  There's less green space than I'm sure New Yorkers would like, but what they do with it is incredible.

Chasing pigeons in the park.



Mommy and daughter time.

And, a Sunday afternoon visit to Oly Atelier.

Check out the floors.  Gorgeous pattern and wood.

I love New York!


March of the Monarch

Such a beautiful time of year along the Gulf.  Calm, clear waters...
the air is soft...

and the Monarch butterflies are on the march to Mexico.

Bon voyage!

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