Thursday, April 23, 2015

PARIS: The World of Yves Delorme - Mother's Day Gift Ideas

*Photos from Yves Delorme and screen captured from the video The World of Yves Delorme  - Spirit

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bunny Williams: Gorgeous new release of On Garden Style

"Shiny white lacquer chairs, along with terracotta pots of agapanthus and clipped box balls, brighten this shady terrace at the home of Oscar de la Renta in Connecticut."

"As far back as my memory takes me, I have been smitten by gardens.  I grew up in the rolling countryside of Virginia, where I spent my summers tagging after my mother through beds of flowers and endless rows of tomatoes and cabbages.  Often it was my job to pick whatever was ripe, and that is the memory that stays with me now.  It's a warm summer afternoon, the light is golden, the birds are chirping, and I'm out there happily picking peas for dinner."

-Bunny Williams, On Garden Style

For Manhattan-based designer Bunny Williams, her love affair with the light, the structure, and the view of the garden and their "rooms", is given careful consideration as when she designs interior spaces.  She always keeps in mind that the scale and mass of the plantings are determined by the size of the house and garden, as gardens are the extension of the style of your home ... connecting House to Garden, and Architecture to Nature.  The results are a stylish kitchen garden... a fireside garden... a walled garden... a container garden...

First published in 1998, On Garden Style established Bunny Williams as an expert on gardens and gardening.  I carried her original book around our flat dirt-filled backyard in our (then) new home explaining to my husband the ideas of: garden "rooms", the importance of hardscape, view, and paths leading to a focal point.  It was a lovely book that was both practical and inspiring; it finally just fell apart at the seams.  This new edition, the latest volume of On Garden Style is lavish and informative, the pictures are generous and gorgeous, and her voice is as if you leaned over your neighbor's fence and was handed a cup of tea as she shared all her garden secrets to you in detail.

For me, Bunny Williams epitomizes the idea of "lifestyle" designer, who showcases how to live beautifully.  I have loved all her books:  An Affair with a House, Bunny Williams' Point of View, Bunny Williams' Scrapbook for Living, and the re-issue of On Garden Style, which really is a new book; I promise you will find yourself reading and re-reading until yours falls apart at the seams.


"A garden should make you feel you've entered a privileged space ... a place not just set apart but reverberant ... and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the garden must put some kind of a twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer to poetry."

-from Second Nature: A Gardener's Education by Michael Pollan

"A graphic checkerboard terrace made with squares of grass and cast cement pavers.  This simple design can complement almost any style of house."

"I remember a wide, low arbor ... Underfoot was a brick path edged with violets, overhead were grape-vines, and on each side, half under arbor and half outside, were peonies and irises.  No one thought of calling it a pergola.  It was merely the way to the kitchen garden."

-Frances Duncan, The Joyous Art of Gardening, 1917

"The picket fence and wood arbor form a lovely entrance for this garden."

So much depends
a red wheel 
glazed with rain
beside the white chickens

-William Carlos Williams
"Spring and All"

My sincere thanks to Jill Cohen Associates - Where Beautiful Books Begin, for sponsoring this book review.  It has truly been a privilege.

Photos: "Reproduced from Bunny Williams On Garden Style; Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2015"

Monday, April 13, 2015

BELGIAN PEARLS Greet Lefèvre: LIVING BEAUTIFULLY through my eyes

My paneled Living Room (by our company Lefèvre Interiors)

Living Beautifully to me  is being content with my life and being thankful

for good health, happiness, strong family ties ... giving love and being loved in return 

making life beautiful.

 My son Anthony & myself

Paneled Living Room

Listening  to other people while having respect  for others opinions and  

thoughts ...  helping  others without expecting anything in return ...  receiving  

lovely comments on my blog, Belgium Pearls, from my readers ...

Entry Hall


As an interior designer I can't deny I love to be surrounded by all things beautiful.  This is

"living beautifully" in the more literal sense, surrounding ourselves with beautiful things,

not to possess, but enjoying the beauty of the object. 

Dining Room with view towards the Kitchen


I am very thankful for the beautiful carved chest my late father made me, which I appreciate

more and more everyday.  Remembering that he made this beautiful chest just for me has a 

strong emotional value to me that the other items in my home do not.  His memory and his 

gift to me make my life beautiful.

HIS GIFT TO ME:  A hand carved chest by my father

Since I love every Flower I find in nature ... it is important to me that my home is never

without flowers.  As I grow older it's important to me to "live" outside which always picks me

up whenever I feel down.  Respecting one's self and one's natural environment makes one's

life beautiful.

This week's bouquet of flowers

Living beautifully is not possible, to me, without being surrounded by pets and animals.

They give us all the perfect example of how to live a beautiful life.

My horse Mango

Our Orangery with Venetian plaster technique

There are so many meanings of "living beautifully" and so many ways to "live a beautiful

life", but for me, "living beautifully" means living thankfully.  

- Greet Lefèvre

Greet Lefèvre - Belgium
Greet is an interior designer who, along with her husband, helps run a fourth-generation family-owned cabinetmaking business: Lefèvre Interiors.  All the beautiful wood paneling in the first two pictures and cabinetry in her home were designed by Lefèvre Interiors.  She also authors the blog Belgian Pearls.

Belgian Pearls

Lefèvre Interiors

Many thanks to the lovely and talented Greet for sharing with us 
LIVING BEAUTIFULLY through her eyes, and for the pictures of her gorgeous home.

Photos: Greet Lefèvre
Text: Greet Lefèvre, Edited & Arranged by Portobello Design

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