Saturday, June 15, 2019

At home in her lovely garden with Landscape-Architect, Bunny Guinness, Cambridgeshire

We are currently in the middle of refreshing our garden.  I want it to look neat and lovely from the windows, with a small raised bed for a kitchen garden, flowers of course for vases, and a stylish space for entertaining by the pool.  I have long-admired English gardeners with their seeming ease and dexterity of plantings: gorgeously unruly flowers, and vegetables in manicured beds.  I was thrilled to find an article in House & Garden of Cambridge's landscape-architect, radio host, and columnist Bunny Guinness who frankly never disappoints, always inspiring and makes a weekend gardener announce with great confidence and sincerity to her husband:  'Of course, you know... we can espalier the apple trees next to the pottager.'   

Bunny's half acre formal garden surrounds her charming stone house, along with a kitchen garden, gravel and stone paths, espaliered apple trees with glorious riot of flowers in and out of the vegetables, and another eight acres of orchard, including twin avenues of pleached hornbeam in the pool garden, woodland, and pasture for livestock.

"I tend not to put all the similar things together, as you're supposed to do, so I 'll grow a few runner beans here, a few there, and throw everything in together.  
It seems to work."

"My husband farmed before he became an accountant, and we have always had livestock, so we have our own meat and eggs, and I grow a fair bit of what we need in the vegetable garden.  We eat what's in season."

"More than anything else, though, the garden is an antidote to the pressures of a busy working life.  I need my gardening days.  Gardening really takes your mind away from everything else, and it gives me the exercise and fresh air that I need.  And there's always something new to try.  You always think you're about to get to the stage when the garden feels finished, but it never is."

To view the entire House & Garden article written by Clare Foster and photography by Andrew Montgomery please view here.  Enjoy!

Have you seen my Instagram ? Come join the conversation.  馃尶馃尦馃尶

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sunday Chic: Australian Designer Cameron Kimber's Love of English Country-House Style

Inspired by the late American Philanthropist Bunny Melon, Australian designer Cameron Kimber built a new home in New South Wales and filled it with his love of English Country.

"I wanted a simple House that was quite cottagey, but I had some big paintings and collections, so I just stirred it all together"

It is in his "stirring" that his home and his designs frequently are featured in magazines, blogs, and Instagrams, and are worth revisiting again and again.  His pale neutral rooms are the perfect backdrop for his large-scale furnishings, he says, "I like everything to be comfortable", and changing or adding to his collections of vintage fabric, English and Chinese ceramics, antiques, layered rugs, and oil paintings allows him to do so with ease.  He also includes a snug room with rich colors for evenings:  "In all my houses, I've had a room that feels cocooning and enveloping." 

"I like the way English interiors have a handed-down look.  It doesn't matter if something doesn't quite match or isn't perfect, and it's OK to have the dog bed in the sitting room.  Things are beautiful and comfortable, and that's really all that matters."

Along with his gorgeous designs, it is this 'Intentional Living' that inspires me most.  Living with items you love and in the way your family's life and home functions best.  Our homes should be beautiful, welcoming, appointed... but they should have "us" in them, regardless of where you live.  Welcoming friends and family into our homes is a gift to them and us.   Here is some Sunday Chic for inspiration!   Enjoy!

House & Garden article:  Here

Friday, April 26, 2019


Living in the Bay Area of California as a child there was a neighborhood church who played the bells on Saturdays and Sundays.  The church was just an old building really, no charm in it or the grounds.  But the beauty it shared with us is something I treasure still to this day.  I would wake up early on Saturday mornings and climb into our treehouse so I could see more of the sunrise and listen with pure delight to the morning's song.  It was absolutely peaceful.  On Sunday evenings it would play several songs and my family would sit on the patio and just listen.  One weekend the bells didn't play.  My mom knew something was wrong and took me and my brother to this little church to find out that the old pastor was dying.  He went home to be with the Lord a few days later.  Many hundreds of people came to his funeral, the little church could not hold them all.  Most never attended his church but they loved the beauty he shared with us.  He said he wanted people to know that God loves them and He does, all of us, there are no exceptions.  

Each of us have God-given gifts to share it, give it all away.  People need your kind words, a smile, your thoughtfulness so they too can know God loves them, because He does.  

The beauty of The Old Parsonage in Little Bredy, Dorset @mccormickcharlie was featured in the May issue of @countrylivinguk and brought these sweet memories back.  #regram from @clivenichols 

馃尶馃尫It's the weekend! 
 I hope its lovely sweet friends. 馃尫馃尶

Have you followed us on Instagram @PortobelloDesign

Monday, April 8, 2019

Collections: Intentional Living - Living with what you love & Beautiful Instagram accounts to follow.


Blue and White is always timeless and it never looks better then when gathered in a collection.  This beautiful glass front cabinet of @verandahhouse showcases a lovely gathering of items.  


There are some wonderful Instagram accounts who live with what they love and mix in their collections into the everyday:  @jennyroseinnes  @m.o.endres  @stampsandstamps  @karenkeysar  @hautedownsouth


Intentional Living with items we love and collect or have been given to us, brings life to our homes, creativity to how we want to live and inspiration to those we share it with.

Happy Monday sweet friends!  
You are so loved by God!

馃尶Have you followed us on Instagram @portobellodesign 馃尶

Friday, April 5, 2019

Weekend Chic Video: At Home with Designer Isabel L贸pez-Quesada

"My main idea, and usually regardless of the project, is authenticity."
~Isabel L贸pez-Quesada

This Weekend Chic is a combination of design and a video showcasing the designer's personal home in her own voice... which is absolutely divine.    @Zarahome and @Nowness featured a video of Madrid designer Isabel L贸pez-Quesada in her own voice and design philosophy and videoed in her home.  I have viewed this video probably 20 times.  I #havethisthingwithlight and designer L贸pez-Quesada has built her home so it's filled with light.   I love that it is in Spanish with English subtitles, it brings warmth, charm, inspiration and authenticity.  

Her new book: Isabel L贸pez-Quesada AT HOME is beautiful and personal as it showcases her designs in her various homes.  I believe how you feel in your home is more important than the individual items or their pedigree.  It should feel like you, your tastes, what's important to you, and how you want to live.

This beautiful video and her book will inspire you to live beautifully your way.

Video Produced by: @maximilliagram 
Photos: @isabellopezquesada #onetofollow
馃尦Have you seen us on Instagram?  Follow us  @portobellodesign  馃尦馃尦

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Early Spring: Intentional Living - Pursuing Beauty in the Everyday

Early Spring in Ang茅lique's Lovely Greenhouse @country.chique


If you are like me and don't have a greenhouse: buy tulips, plant them in pots with green moss covering the soil, placing them on antique or vintage dessert plates, and group them on your dining room table, or an outdoor windowsill so their pretty colors peak through your shutters, placing the potted tulips in a basket with some tea and bring it to your neighbor, hairdresser or someone who is recovering from an illness.  No matter who you bring them to it will brighten their day and yours.  Of course planting them in mass is always stunning...

Intentional Living is pursuing beauty in the everyday.

Have you followed us on Instagram @portobellodesign  We look forward to connecting with you! 馃尶

Intentional Living: Weekday Mornings

A lovely table scape of green cabbage-ware and yellow lemons and daffodils...and what a beautiful view out her door by @melissa_penfold.  

Build in time for intentional living during the weekday mornings, to use a pretty plate and cup and sit near an open window if it's warm enough, even for 5 minutes while you eat your toast and listen to the birds sing or feel the breeze.  Or set a lovely table the night before and have your coffee or tea amongst this pampering setting.  Turn on some classical music or a favorite inspirational podcast, have a mini devotional time or pen in a gratitude journal.  Setting the tone and mood in the right direction for the entire day.  

It is amazing the difference it makes to add in intentional living to our busy week.  

I appreciate you, you add beauty and kindness and your God-given gifts to the world around you!

Happy Tuesday my friends...


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Song "Known" by @taurenwells and Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

I have been listening to @taurenwells song "Known" this morning, what a voice and a great talent.
The chorus begins:

"I'm fully known and loved by You
You won't let go no matter what I do
And it's not one or the other
It's hard truth and ridiculous Grace
To be know, fully known and loved by You
I'm fully known and loved by You"

You are seen, you are of great value, nothing changes that, you are fully known and loved by God.  There are no exceptions.  He is for everyone.  Two dear friends passed this week, Pastor John and our dear neighbor and friend Ms. Shari, they both went home to the Lord.  I think they would both want you to know that you can have peace in life and assurance for your future.  That there is grace enough for everyone.  That we can always start again and we can surrender to His kindness.

From my family to you and yours,   

 Merry Christmas

"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'"
Luke 2:10-11

"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He gave up His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16


Photo: Sarah Kjp 
Location: Stowe, Vermont

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Welcome to the Beautiful World of Designer Suzanne Kasler

December is wearing its lovely winter colors, the perfect backdrop for Christmas decorations, family feasts and thoughtful gift-giving.  A season where we carefully layer in some of our most favorite beautiful things, we want our homes to be just right.  We tuck in a banquette under a window for a quiet breakfast with the morning sunrise, or a raucous board game with the kids.  New fluffy white towels and fragrant soap for the guest bathroom, a basket of Paperwhites in the entry ... nothing is overlooked. Paying close attention to design, details, and how to live beautifully in a home is how I would describe the work of designer Suzanne Kasler.  I am taken with and inspired by the lifestyle she creates for her clients, the passion she has for houses, the deep desire to design a home where family memories begin, the process of creating that she learned from her beloved war hero father, "For designers the process of creating a home can be described just that simply.  We envision it in our minds.  And we stay the course."   Her new book Suzanne Kasler Sophisticated Simplicity is a personal tome from an award-winning designer sharing her approach to the art of the home, and would be a wonderful hostess gift for your next holiday dinner party, or a "Merry Christmas to me."  She has collaborated and designed home furniture and decor with Ballard Designs making "How do I find that look?" just a click away.  It's a beautiful book... I hope you order it.

"We took a more traditionally English approach in the library.  The creamy/taupe-y palette provides a wonderful stage for their red and blue Oriental carpet, horse sculpture, pheasant, and the oil painting of English spaniels over the classic, neo-Georgian mantel.  These references seemed absolutely right in this more casual, cozy room, and so appropriate to Richmond's English heritage."

"This custom-colored, hand-painted silk wall covering from deGournay repeats the blue-gray tones that echo throughout the house.  That touch of pink beaded trim on the drapery picks up the pink flowers in the wall covering."

"One of the challenges in a historic house has to do with proportions.  Your tendency is always to scale pieces down because the rooms are smaller than today's and the ceilings are usually lower.  But by building up the scale, and even sometimes going overscale, you can bring great energy to a room that would otherwise look to traditional."

"The kitchen is modern and tailored, with a sleek central island, open shelves above the counters, and gray-painted contemporary cabinets below.  It flows into the main, two-story room, and also to a fabulous pantry where we continued the open shelves.  All of the lower cabinets are stock cabinetry.  Painting them gave them a special, custom look.  We used the open shelving because of the window placement, and allowed the dishes and glassware to become part of the overall composition."

"Four sets of black-painted doors punctuate the flow on the ground level.  This pair opens onto a dining room done in champagne tones.  The deGournay wall covering at Bergdorf Goodman inspired her chinoiserie wall treatment.  The antique table was hers.  With chairs in linen velvet, corded in purple, and sisal on the floor, the room is effervescent, but in a muted, timeless way. "

"The minute you walk into this house, it's all about style.  This entry is my ideal of sophisticated simplicity.  Everything is painted high-gloss white, with the front door accentuated in a lacquered Farrow & Ball black.  The marble floor is a bold, Chanel-inspired riff on a traditional entry hall patterns.  For a note of sophisticated whimsy, we hung a Murano chandelier.  Standing proudly against one wall is a nineteenth-century Italian walnut commode."

My sincere congratulations to  
Designer Suzanne Kasler on her beautiful new book.  
 My sincere thanks to:  
Lizzy Hyland of Jill Cohen Associates for the opportunity.  
As well as Rizzoli New York.  
It has been my pleasure.  
I wish you all the best of everything.
~Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas~

x Rie

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