Monday, February 10, 2014

Riotous color array!

A glance from our dining room into the kitchen reveals an open concept living space. Back in the 80's we removed the kitchen wall. We built a European style soffit that measures 18.5 inches down from the ceiling with the wood trim. We researched size recommendations to help keep cooking odors from taking over our first floor. We exposed a section of brick with the wall removal and built it out architecturally with a antique corbel.  There is a matching one on the other side.
Our decorating style reflects a simple uncluttered aesthetic. We prefer to surround ourselves with pieces from the past, present with a nod to the future. A neutral backdrop, I've hopefully have enhanced with my hand painted faux techniques on walls and furniture.

A photo looking into the dining room from the kitchen. One wall is papered with a handmade Japanese real leaf paper. I know with my love of moody and dramatic lighting it may be difficult to clearly see. It's been up for around 30 years. After we put it up one of my designer friends purchased the same paper but in a different color. Long story short, her leaves starting falling off one by one. Apparently the leaves were not adhered properly when the paper was made. John with his dry humor and quick response to her problem said and I quote, "of course the leaves fell off, you put up the wallpaper in October right, during the fall?" Yup, really said that and he lived!

Close up photo of the Japanese wall paper. Yes, it is a dark asian red. Although perhaps a bold color choice throughout the years we have never regretted it.  Our home doesn't remain static at all, but there have been certain design decisions we continue to appreciate and live with. The leaf wallpaper and the grass cloth in the living room are two of several.

Back in June 2013 while shopping in Whole-Foods I found myself in the flower section, OK, I always wind up there. I was instantly captivated and emotionally happy looking at the riotous color array of Gerber daisies. I suddenly found myself mentally composing a poem. In my minds eye I was transported to a location at 5th and Main. Since it is a couple days away from Valentine's day I decided to recreate a bouquet of colorful Gerber daisies that was the inspirational spark for the poem. Funny my usual choice would of been white roses from John, but this year a happy colorful energetic burst won.

Most of our country is locked in a horrid winter with below zero chill factor temps and more snow accumulating then I ever remember. Today I thought I'd leave you with poetry about love of a house, love of a newlywed couple and take you in verse to a garden party. 

I purchased the grey sea washed heart mini canvas painted by Kerrie Sanderson of Sea Cottage. To me it represents just how precious the heart is and how it can be quickly swept away in love. 

source: SHEKNOWS

In my humble opinion I truly believe, the extended kindness and devotion of lives built together, when you both truly 
surrender to love it can last forever. 

5th and Main

In our neighborhood the old stone cottage at the corner of 5th and Main
sold and has been renovated, thankfully now it doesn't remotely look the same.

Sadly in a down market it met foreclosure and sat soullessly vacant for a few years.
Falling home appraisals, break-ins and vandalism had become our biggest fears.

We have always been a historically charming enclave of home ownership pride.
Recently gossip spread from house to house as the preacher married his new bride.

A handsome bachelor delivering sermons and homilies most of his adult life,
rumors swirling around that Preacher Will purchased the cottage for his new wife.

An invite arrived for a garden party at 5th and Main and the card's design was simply divine.
I doubt with the neighborhoods excitement and curiosity anyone would dare decline!

We arrived at the antique iron garden gate as instrumental music softly welcomed each guest,
Will with his bride Shirley stood with big smiles with a "make yourself at home" request.

Shirley is a delightful beauty with Auburn natural spiral curls that fall freely and long,
looking at the two of them standing together, forever is absolutely where they belong.

They met at a pottery class, each making white clay garden pots with scalloped edges.
That are scattered about the curving tumbled brick walkway along the Boxwood hedges.

Planted in the pots are Gerber daisies, an absolute burst of psychedelic color profusion.
Grown in a riotous color array, with garden gnomes adding to the backyards magical illusion. 

Will told us that Shirley is a horticulturist at the Botanical gardens in the city
and their wedding was held within the indoor landscapes that are exquisitely pretty.

A Black and White striped tent was pitched to shelter libations and appetizer selections.
Delighting us there was even a table with homemade appealing delicious confections.

Shirley baked Chamomile and Lavender cupcakes with soft purple icing peaks.
As she generously shared recipes for flowers in cakes and her baking techniques.

At the start of dusk twinkling white fairy lights lite the trees and vitality filled the air,
it became abundantly clear that 5th and Main was once again graced with loving care.

© Vera

Happy Valentine's Day


  1. Your stories are so captivating...this one just draws me in and then leaves me wanting to read more. Maybe you need to write books that would then be made into movies. With each post it seems another layer of YOU is revealed. You are so many things, but you are most definetly a WRITER.

    My washed heart goes so perfectly with your artistic interior design and I am honored that my art has a place in your home.

    Seriously...I am wanting to read more of your story!

    Happy Valentines to you and your lovebird John. xxo

  2. Gerber daisies are so cheerful that I cannot ever pass them by. The first one I ever received was from my hubby on our very first road trip along the coast(our third date) and he bought me a peach gerber daisy at a little beach flower shop. Thank you for reminding me of that treasured memory. xxo

  3. Beautiful story it made my heart smile. Love Gerber Daisies too. They are just so hearty. I call them the daisy that smiles. Have a great week Vera.

  4. You interior is captivating, Vera. Love the story. I'm so glad 5th and Main found love again.

  5. Your home is so intriguing and chic, Vera! I love that everything that you have created, installed, and displayed has special meaning to you - and creates such an interesting place to kick back and enjoy it all! :) Those leaves look so delicate and are such a cool wall technique.

    xoxo laurie

  6. See Vera, I told you they will love your walls, as for being a poet, or story teller I have to agree with every bit of what Kerrie wrote. Kerrie really took all the words out of my mouth leaving me with nothing to to say other then you my girl have missed your calling, you so are a lady with words and you need to write a national column for all to share in the beauty behind your words.

    I love seeing Kerrie's SeaWashed heart, it's so fitting for you and your big heart.
    I can't begin to express the value you have added to my life as a friend, and everyone else who has the pleasure of getting to know you as I do will shortly come to feel the same :)

    I am waiting to see what everyone says about your bathroom as I did when you sent me photos that seems like moons ago.
    I am so glad you are taking comfort in blogging, it warms my heart to see the beauty you are sharing:)

    Heal with love.


  7. Good evening dear friend,

    I am finally here, having spent time with my husband. It's time for me to turn in since I have to get up pretty early tomorrow, but what a great way to send me into dream land.

    I see our dear Kerrie and Doré and it is such a happy moment to connect here at this hour. The quiet of the night or the silence of early mornings is my perfect time to share reflection with a dear friend, and I love your poem. Thank you for listening and watching to the important things of life and for poetically reminding us of things that we all share: living normal lives extraordinarily.

    Your harlequin pattern....I CAN SEE IT! And your fabulous kitchen - LOVE! You have inspired me to go to Whole Foods tomorrow on my way home from work and pick up a bouquet of DEEP BLUE flowers to put in my all white studio. This weather, crazy, huh? We are still in a deep freeze, but may this journey we have all taken give us a power muse for spring time!

    Well my friend, thank you for sharing. You are so special!!! Anita

  8. Hi~I'm your new follower and have enjoyed everything I've read so far.

  9. I knew before reading it, that the gray heart was by Kerrie of Sea Cottage.

    Your words are magical and I want to read more about Will and Shirley - please!

  10. Dear Vera,
    I love your faux techniques on the wall and furniture...You have a an eye for beauty, and can follow through with your talent to create beauty..
    I just adore Gerber Daisies, yours are so lovely.
    Thank you so much for taking time to come visit.. Benjamin! What a great name for him.. It warms my heart to know you are enjoying.
    I love you poem!

  11. LOVELY!!!!
    Your Japanese wall paper is gorgeous. I don't think I'd ever have the heart to take it off.
    My husband and I met in Philly and often return for visits. Maybe we've driven past your wonderful historical row home.
    Mary Alice

  12. Living in a city with echo's of the past combined with the present is very enjoyable. Our row-home built in an English Tudor style of stone and brick was built in 1934.

  13. I always thought living in a row home was so neat. Like on the Cosby's show where Bill and family lived in a row home.All the old movies showed people living in grey stone row homes.

    Happy Valentine's Day

  14. It's probably best that your friend didn't buy her wallpaper in Spring. Can you IMAGINE how much bigger it would be by now? LOL!
    I can almost smell the earth at the old stone cottage. I imagine my feet beneath me, walking the path to the yard.



  15. Vera, that wallpaper is so beautiful and unique! I adore gerber daisies and your bouquet is so cheerful! And as always, your poem touched my heart :)

  16. Stopping by to say hi and nice to meet you. I had a blog years ago and have began taking the plunge again. Love yours and will frequent it often . Im your newest follower. I

  17. Dear Vera - Just lovely!! You are a talented artist in many ways. Your Gerber daisies and poem are beautiful.