Darryl Carter

forgotten furniture: tall case clock

Some pieces of furniture become obsolete. And then sometimes they come back in fashion in an instant. You just don't see tall case clocks, aka grandfather clocks, very much these days. I would say their curvy Swedish cousins, Mora clocks, are a bit more familiar. However, any style of clock in a home is mostly redundant -- every appliance has a digital time display and most of us have a smart phone no more than arm's length away at all times. When's the last time you looked at a clock -- a device designed to tell the time and do nothing else -- to tell the time?

Now, I wouldn't say tall case clocks are making any kind of a massive comeback. I just think that designers with a certain eye appreciate them. Ever since I was a little girl I thought they were magical things, imbued with a sort of Chronicles of Narnia otherworldliness. But of course not every home has a spot suitable for a tall case clock. Oh to be so lucky as to have such a home...

sources: 1. Darryl Carter via 1stdibs. 2. antiquesandfineart.com. 3. swedish interior design  4. ?. 5. Victoria Hagan.

dining rooms to die for

When Thanksgiving came and went it got me thinking about dining rooms. At one point, about 10 years ago they were a dying breed. Everyone was ripping out walls left right and centre, sacrificing dining rooms to make ginormous open plan kitchen/great rooms. Hmm, I love a great kitchen, but I also love a great dining room. What a luxury to have a separate space devoted to dining -- no dirty dishes or giant TV on view. I appreciate the ceremony of it all and love dining furniture. My favourite dining design idea of all is a dining room that does double duty as a library. The other interesting thing about dining rooms is that when I go through the exercise of sorting my favourites, the complete diversity of my personal design taste is laid bare. I'm going to start with my all time favourite -- I stray to different looks, but I always come back to this one dining room and I have never ever looked at it and felt anything other than -- that is gorgeous!

It's by Gil Schafer. The colour, the chairs, the symmetry, the greek key trim, the books, the fireplace, the carpet: perfection.

So, how is it possible, if that one is my favourite, that I also love every last one of these?

The architecture, lucite table, chairs, styling. So chic by Timothy Whealon.SJP's Hampton's place by Eric Hughes. The table, mismatched chairs all painted matte black - inspired idea!

Country home of House Beautiful ed in chief Newell Turner - I imagine he must have long leisurely weekend brunches here.

Everyone I know loves this room. I am no exception. Rough meets pretty by Amy Nuensinger. Dreamy.Ina's barn. Sigh.Victoria Hagan. Table, chairs and art - love. Pendant, not loving but love other elements enough to make up for it. More handsome formality from Gil Schafer. The perfect setting for the costume drama of my dreams. Black tie Christmas dinner complete with roast goose and Anthony Hopkins serving, natch. Leslie Klotz's light, bright, easy & breezy space. A dining room to serve summer produce and pass the salads family-style -- and keep the Pimms No. 1 cup coming.

Technically a breakfast room, but Barbara Barry really got me with this one. A wood burning fire and comb back Windors warm the cockles of my heart. A dining space for stew and artisanal breads and cheeses.Darryl Carter's mastery of old + new + restraint fills me with awe.More Darryl Carter. This time his own DC place and technically a breakfast room. My affection for this place stems partly from an excellent memory of a wine-soaked evening sitting around this table. I sat right in that chair in the foreground. Delicious food and company. Promises were made about return trips to DC after that meeting, and an open invitation to visit Toronto -- but it has only been Christmas cards and e-mails since. Still, I feel sure we will cross paths again and it will be as if no time has passed.sources: 1. Gil Schafer. 2. Timothy Whealon. 3. Eric Hughes/ELLE Decor. 4. Newell Turner/House Beautiful. 5. Amy Neunsinger/House Beautiful. 6. Ina Garten/House Beautiful. 7. Victoria Hagan. 8. Gil Schafer. 9. Leslie Klotz/House Beautiful. 10. Barbara Barry/Veranda. 11 & 12. Darryl Carter/ELLE Decor. 


rustic beauties













Love this stuff! It's from hubs' shop. People always assume that since he has a shop that we must have fabulous stuff. Now, I'm not complaining, we certainly have some nice things, but more often than not, the best stuff goes to the shop. It's a living. He can appreciate without coveting. In fact, his favourite sales are not mere business transactions but are meetings of the minds. When the shopper "gets it". If you were a shopper who had heard of Axel Vervoordt or Darryl Carter you would "get" these things. And maybe you might even buy one. Find out more about Kevin's shop here.

instant ancestors

That's what cheeky antique dealers call vintage portrait art. I love portraits. They are like poetry, with so many stories to tell. I study the clothes, the furniture, the room in the portrait, the jewelry. Of course the eyes, the eyes, the eyes. 


sources: 1&2: darryl carter. 3: house beautiful. 4&5: jasper conran, his house, his line for chesney's. 6: simon upton (I think this is Charlotte Moss's home, anyone know for sure?).

And I love this story in pictures. My husband did a story on auctions for S@H and he did some shopping on the job. He is an amazing gift giver, my husband. But this, this is an exquisite work. I treasure her. Here she is at the auction preview, then him bidding and then her first home with us. photos: edward pond.














And lastly, do you remember the scene in Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth Bennet is travelling with her aunt and uncle and they stop for a tour at Pemberley? They walk along the portrait hall -- amazing scene. Then she stops at his portrait (a painting in the BBC version, a bust in the more recent version). The housekeeper asks "Is it a good likeness?" Elizabeth lingers. She is lost in thought. I think THAT is when she falls in love with him. It's the portrait, not the letter, the portrait. The idealized version of him. I love both versions of the movie but there's no denying the appeal of the Colin Firth wet shirt scene. Watch it here. You know you can't resist!