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Avocado wood creates an interesting and exotic woodworking choice for furniture.

Live Edge slab hall sofa table, $499.

Grown in California

Live Edge cutting board, large, $69.



This American company has developed a unique collection of furniture and accessories handcrafted from avocado wood.


andmade furniture is a staple for farmhouse style—especially when it’s made in America. Selena Gonzalez, the brand manager of Woodwaves Furniture and wife of the owner, Alex Gonzalez, understands the importance of handmade

furniture. “It’s more meaningful,” she says. “With the time that it takes, you’re holding yourself to a higher standard. It’s really a work of art, because it could take days or weeks to create.” This investment of time and self is what makes their Live Edge collection so special. Eight years ago, Andre and his father Alex watched the pruning of an avocado tree grove in Escondido, California. They noticed that so much wood was being discarded— either sent away to a landfill or prepared as firewood. Alex, a furniture maker, had the idea to give the discarded wood another purpose, and the Live Edge collection was born. “Repurposing this wood also gives people a piece of California’s history,” Selena says. “This grove has been providing avocados to families for forty years.” Since that day, Selena says the collection has evolved from benches to coffee tables and cheese boards. “We just go to the grove and bounce ideas off each other,” she says. “At this point, the sky’s the limit.” SEE SOURCES, PAGE 128



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This autumn, take a vacation to check out the fall foliage. Here are six inns across the country where you can take a break and enjoy the American outdoors.


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NESTLED NEAR YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK in California, this quaint bed and breakfast will leave you feeling pampered and rested. Once you arrive, the cheery, welcoming décor will make you feel like you’re visiting your favorite relative’s house. The inn is only 20 minutes away from the border of the national park, so you can spend your vacation days in the pristine valley and see treasures such as El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall. The hospitality of the owners, Steve and Alex, will keep you coming back.


The softly lit porch lights, spiral stairs and white fences create a warm and inviting environment for guests. El Capitan is the centerpiece of Yosemite, standing at 3,000 feet tall.

The exterior of the inn’s honeymoon room has charming, curved wooden panels, adding to the mountain cottage aesthetic.

Open the double doors and step out onto the large patio to witness the golden hour of the California mountains.


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The neutral colors of the Briar Rose room combine with warm lighting and the stone accent wall in the bathroom to put guests at ease.

WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO With 840 miles of trails in and around the area, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and mountain biking in Yosemite. If you enjoy bird watching, one of Blackberry Inn’s most unique attractions is the hundreds of hummingbirds who visit every year. Watching the birds zip around the flowers from the comfort of the porch is the perfect way to relax after a full day in the park. Although many of the trees around Yosemite are evergreens, you can still witness the other trees change color this fall, especially during the last week of October and the first week of November.

Even if you’re not a morning person, it’s still worthwhile to enjoy a quiet breakfast on the patio. This is the golden hour, right at the beginning of fall when the trees and El Capitan are bronzed with the setting sun.

Blackberry Inn at Yosemite 7567 Hamilton Station Loop Groveland, CA 95321 blackberry-inn.com (209) 962-4663

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THOUGH MANY INNS ARE SECLUDED FROM THE CITY, Greenlake Guest House is right in the middle of Seattle, Washington. This 1920s B&B is across the street from the Green Lake and park, which is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or boat ride to see the fall foliage, and all the sights and attractions of the city are just a short walk away. Seattle is known for its coffee, and this bed and breakfast will provide you with a wide selection of coffee at its homemade breakfast before you head into the city for the day.

Greenlake Guest House

You can always tell when spring and summer roll around, because each room is decorated with sunflowers.

Greenlake Guest House 7630 E. Green Lake Dr. N. Seattle, WA 98103 greenlakeguesthouse.com (206) 729-8700

The three windows in this room act like a wall that’s constantly changing colors.


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WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO The inn is near Green Lake in Seattle, which puts you near the city and the water.

Being in the city gives you countless dining and activity options. Sample cuisine from Nell’s Restaurant and Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant, experience the busy Pike Place Market, visit the original Starbucks location and indulge your sweet tooth at Jodee’s Desserts. Catch a play in the park through the Seattle Public Theater or meet the animals at Woodland Park Zoo. And don’t forget to visit the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture. The ideal time to walk through the city and see the fall colors change is the second and third weeks of October.

This is what many mornings look like—a still, placid lake and greenery.

Rich leather chairs, a tiled fireplace and bright red decorations give the inn a perfect fall aesthetic.

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Big Cedar Lodge

Refresh yourself in this copper tub with a steamy bath and bird’s eye view of the lake.



THE OZARK MOUNTAIN RANGE IS PACKED WITH CENTURIES OF HISTORY, and Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri is right in the middle. With 260 rooms, you can choose accommodations that best suit your preference: a lofted log cabin, a cottage, a deluxe room or a premiere room. Their aesthetics range from cozy and secluded cottages to grand country estate rooms. Each space uniquely reflects the rough beauty of the craggy Ozarks with various animal decorations, flannel sheets and plenty of antlers.

The lofted Civil War Cabin is sparsely decorated, but doesn’t lack any of the comforts of a premiere hotel.


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Dine on smoked trout while sitting over a river at Canyon Grill in the nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.

The robust leather couches, rustic chests and elongated interior make the Carriage House one of the most sought-after rooms.

WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO If you want to stay close to the lodge, visit the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum or take a tour of nearby natural wonders such as the Lost Canyon Cave with underground rock formations and imposing waterfalls. The lodge is close to three of Missouri’s best golf locations, designed by legends such as Arnold Palmer and Tom Fazio. If you want to explore by car, drive over to the nearby Table Rock Lake for some waterskiing, or into the city of Branson to see one of over 100 variety, music and theater shows. If you want to see the golden yellows and bright oranges of fall, midOctober is the best time to go.

Sipping coffee during sunrise against this backdrop is the definition of sublime.

Big Cedar Lodge 190 Top of the Rock Road Ridgedale, MO 65739 bigcedar.com (800) 225-6343

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SITTING 5,000 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL, The Swag offers breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. This all-inclusive inn features a hot tub, sauna and even its own library. The Swag is home to a thriving population of elk, and one of the inn’s most popular features is the Sunset Elk Experience. This two-night trip allows guests to explore North Carolina’s Cataloochee Valley and witness male elk face off and battle with their magnificent antlers. Given that the trip is only offered twice in the fall, it’s a rare and special opportunity, unique to this time of year.

WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO The Swag is located above the business of life, so nearly everything you could want is at hand. You don’t need to worry about where to shop or eat—just which trail you’ll hike next. Throughout the season, trail guides visit and lead trips through the forests and mountains that surround the inn. If you want to stay indoors, take drawing or cooking lessons from one of the resident experts or enjoy listening to music by the hearth. Whether you’re inside or outside, early October is the ideal time to catch the lush, robust colors of autumn.

With the scent of pine and extra comfy chairs, this isn’t your local library. Climb up the ladder and find the perfect mystery thriller.

Sip wine and enjoy the warmth emanating from the stone hearth after a long day’s hike.


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Rustic features include vintage photos on the walls, fireplaces and, of course, wood accents.

The Swag 2300 Swag Road Waynesville, NC 28785 theswag.com (828) 926-0430 Even if you did have an alarm set, these thick, warm quilts would convince you to stay in bed for another couple hours.

Find a tranquil green place to rest your legs, relax and think about nothing.

These rooms were built with care and craftsmanship to charm you and help you relax.

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Vermont has plenty of farm country to explore, and Rabbit Hill Inn is right at the heart of it.

The tall pillars and front façade of Rabbit Hill Inn will immediately bring you back to the agrarian times of America’s history.




YOU CAN FIND THE RABBIT HILL INN IN NORTHEAST VERMONT—a timeless place that hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years. This 19-room inn is perfect for couples looking for a romantic time together and those seeking adventures in the autumn air. Rabbit Hill Inn provides some of the finest cuisine in the region. Each morning, guests are treated to a breakfast of freshly baked goods, homemade granola and delicious entrees. The rooms aren’t your typical, cramped hotel rooms; they’re wide and spacious with plenty of space to stretch out. Each package, from the Classic Rooms to the Luxury Rooms, has a unique personality and combines elements of Colonial and Victorian styles.

Enjoy your baked goods and swap stories by the fireside in the well-furnished common room. 110  AMERICAN FARMHOUSE STYLE

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Snooty Fox pub takes the prize as a favorite eatery and the best name in the area.



After breakfast, start your day hiking around the 15-acre property or waltzing through the quiet town. Being in Vermont means that peak fall foliage season lasts for a while— from mid-September to mid-October. While in town, spend your time gazing at antiques and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage tour. If you’d prefer a little more action, rent an ATV or speed through the trees on the zip line. Depending on the season, you can travel up the White Mountains for skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and other activities.

The gilded fireplace and slim mantelpiece make it one of the most elegant decorations of the inn.

Rabbit Hill Inn Send a postcard back home while reclining on the day bed or sitting at the chic white writing desk.

48 Lower Waterford Road Lower Waterford, VT 05848 rabbithillinn.com (802) 748-5168

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There are few places where you can see the sheer size of the world as it spreads out in front of you for thousands of acres.




MOOSEHEAD LAKE IN MAINE IS THE LARGEST MOUNTAIN LAKE IN THE EASTERN U.S. and takes its name from the wild population of moose that inhabit the woods around the bed and breakfast. Although every room is furnished differently, they all maintain the same amount of luxury and offer a scenic view of the crisp Maine countryside. No matter what room you stay in, you can enjoy plush couches, recline with a book and draw a hot bath in the luxurious tubs. Many of the rooms, as well as the breakfast dining area, boast large patios and beautiful views of the lake, so you can step out and enjoy the bracing mountain air.

Upon arriving at the inn, you’ll immediately feel welcomed by the delicate flowers and plants along the windows and charming wooden fences.

Get cozy in front of this stone hearth with your loved ones, surrounded by all the moose decorations.


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WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO Moosehead Lake is packed with sights to see and adventures to have. Guests can travel by canoe to an isolated pond where moose congregate and watch for other local wildlife such as otters, beavers and various birds. Adventure seekers can experience a two-day hunting expedition, ATV expedition or white water rafting. Enjoy a boat cruise along the lake, fish or take an easy 45-minute hike. To see the bursting, leafy colors of fall, arrange your stay in the first or second week of October.

A well-lit room, comfortable bed on a wooden frame and warms sheets are all you need when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.

Share a meal with the rest of the guests of the bed and breakfast and take in the surrounding beauty together.

The Lodge at Moosehead Lake 368 Lily Bay Road-P.O. Box 1167 Greenville, ME 04441 lodgeatmooseheadlake.com (207) 695-4400

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for the


Ever think of moving from the city to the countryside? It’s no small feat, but can certainly be a rewarding process. BY ROBERT HECKERT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALISSA HESSLER


etting out from under the gray skyscrapers to live in a quiet town is an exhilarating process. There are many factors to keep in mind, but Alissa

Hessler’s new book Ditch The City and Go Country: How to Master the Art of Rural Life From a Former City Dweller will give you detailed insight about what it takes to make this transition.

A REASON WHY First, you should understand why you want to move to the country. “Ask yourself your top reasons for wanting to leave the city,” Hessler writes. “Most people find it helps to have a bigger mission in mind to keep committed to their new rural locale when times get tough. An ancestral history in the area, a solid job, children in school or owning a home will strengthen your resolve to stay when difficulties arise.” After you’ve thought over your reasons for moving, the next step is to start looking for a home. However, finding the right house means more than having the proper square footage. “Beyond just the home itself, there are many things to factor in when it comes to home and living expenses living rurally,” Hessler writes. “Water, sewer and garbage—things maybe you never thought about in the city—are suddenly entirely your responsibility.” Have a home inspector look at the house and any outbuildings. If they come back with a laundry list of items that need repairs,

SIRI, WHERE SHOULD I LIVE? Before you make the move physically, move in virtually. You may be moving to the country to escape all the screens in the city, but before you toss your computer out the window, use it to check out your new home town. Facebook. See if the town has a Facebook page. What local events are coming up and what are people saying about the town? If you decide to move there, this page will be a helpful resource if you need an extra hand with moving in and settling down. Yelp. This is a handy website to see the quality of the local businesses. Look at what the locals and tourists are saying. It will also give you a better idea of what items will be easily available and what items might be a challenge to get. Move Advisor. This app can create a streamlined checklist of what you need to accomplish for your move, and if you need to find a rental truck, it can pull up a list of popular rental companies nearby.

maybe that’s a sign to move on. 118  AMERICAN FARMHOUSE STYLE

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In the forest, the only sounds you hear are birdsong and the comforting crackle of a fireplace.

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“It takes time to quiet that fast paced, instantly gratified city brain…I encourage you to relax and not give in to the urge to get settled immediately.”

Without a landlord or association, you’re free to paint and decorate your spacious patio however you want.


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GET COMFORTABLE Settling in to your home may be an unsettling process. “It takes time to quiet that fast paced, instantly gratified city brain,” Hessler writes. “I encourage you to relax and not give in to the urge to get settled immediately.” You may miss what you had in the city, but that’s a natural process. The key to fully making the transition is to embrace whatever your community loves. If they get excited over a sporting event or seasonal activity, participate. “See if you can volunteer to help run things,” Hessler says. You may be intimidated as you make efforts to integrate yourself into the daily lives of your community, but taking risks and getting your hands dirty is exactly what you signed up for when you decided to move to the country.

Barns are built to last, but make sure you have a professional examine it, so it doesn’t become a liability. Once you have the all clear, the barn can be a great place to host huge events.

Ditch The City and Go Country: How to Master the Art of Rural Life From a Former City Dweller by Alissa Hessler, published by Page Street Publishing, © 2017; pagestreetpublishing.com.

Taking risks and getting your hands dirty

is exactly what you signed up for when you decided to move to the country.

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extra Cottage Furniture Basics


1. Campaign folding chair, $297. Visit houzz.com. 2. Virginia leather campaign chair, $1,200. (800) 737-0168 or mooreandgiles.com. 3. Suzanne Kasler campaign chair, $299. (800) 536-7551 or ballarddesigns.com. 4. Redondo director’s chair, $1,298. Visit palecek.com.


Chairs It’s been around for ages, but its simple and modern design still makes the campaign chair perfect for any room in the house. Since the time of colonial America, campaign chairs have been adored for their compact size and simple design.


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British families used them as they traveled far distances and made a home in the New World. These pieces needed to pair rich designs with utilitarian purposes, which brought about an infinite variety of innovation that is still present today. Modern-day campaign chairs are light and easily taken apart, relying on a handful of materials. Some seats are created with only a few pieces of wood and a single piece of leather, while others use canvas or even twine. While these chairs aren’t complex, their variety is endless.

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the goods


Full Speed BY RO B E RT H E C KE RT


Nothing says summer more than the beach with its shades of blue, boats and relaxation. Invite this same feeling into your own home with these seafaring pieces and accessories.

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This table lamp, with its protective, cage base, is designed to endure whatever the harsh seas throw at it. Industrial lantern, $149.95. (877) 704-2425 or lampsplus.com. Want to give your books a sense of sea-faring adventure? These figural functional bookends will do just that. Navy whale bookends, $44.50. Visit caronsbeachhouse.com. Add this clock’s bold, weathered design to make your space feel more relaxed. Beach time wall clock, $149.99. (844) 8939961 or birchlane.com. Everything about the nautical theme can be used as a decoration. Use these charming pieces as a bookends or paperweights throughout your home. Ceramic fishing weights, $54.99. (800) 843-2446 or overstock.com.

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Give your coastal cottage a chic flair with these lovely white sand dollars and gold patina picture frame. Florida sand dollars shadowbox, $815. (866) 312-5610 or blisshomeanddesign.com. Add a stunning focal point to your beach house walls with this dramatic driftwood design. Beachhead large rectangle driftwood mirror, $840. Visit caronsbeachhouse.com.


Toss these in a picnic basket and stir up something delicious. Nautical salad servers, $55. Visit mayennemaison.com. Use this accessory to instantly transform any space into a fisherman’s cabin. Fisherman net candle lantern, $19.27. (866) 669-6536 or koehlerhomedecor.com. This piece shouts ocean with its iron frame, navy-blue stripes and decorative ropes. Like the ship it belongs on, it’s both sturdy and elegant. Nautical X bench, $380. (800) 678-5486 or uttermost.com. The distressed wood of this table looks like it’s been weathered by the salt spray and sea breeze. Its most charming and novel feature are the boat pegs along the bottom, which fasten the ropes. Astern rope console table, $254.27. (888) 8804884 or hayneedle.com.




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the goods







Chic and full of seaside charm, this objet d’art adds a sophisticated summer look. Antique bronze anchor on marble, $45. Visit tuvaluhome.com. Get back to basics with this dark-blue-and-ivory pillow. Its sumptuous texture adds a tactile feel to any space. Oversized Magnolia home pillow, $109. (817) 252-6300 or pier1.com. Beautiful simplicity: These bottles add just that to your coastal dÊcor. Sea-washed glass bottle vases, set of 3, $114.99. Visit caronsbeachhouse.com. This shiny chrome wall sconce adds a modern nautical vibe to your bathroom. Caged cylinder bath light, $120. (804) 288-5029 or shadesoflight.com. Add some nautical flare to your couch or favorite reading chair with this plush pillow that bridges the indigo-blue-dyed design from West Africa with hints of nautical vibes. Ivory Coast vintage tribal pillow, $91.39. Visit clothandmain.etsy.com.

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Delight in the details—these wall hooks add a fun touch. Whale Tale wall hooks, $61.95. Visit caronsbeachhouse.com. This marine map will surely give viewers a feeling of excitement and adventure. Nautical chart poster, $21.85. (888) 892-9953 or zazzle.com. Get summer ready the coastal way with dinner that sports a retro sailor style. Anchors- aweigh plate, $35.40. (888) 892-9953 or zazzle.com. For a subtle touch of seaside style, try this ottoman with boating-style rope. Scenario ottoman, $178. (877) 533-5736 or scenariohome.com. Toss the usual frame, and let this hang in your bathroom to add some seaside style. Keelan mirror, $219. (866) 263-8315 or wayfair.com.

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Several precious ornaments sit atop the fireplace mantel, including two ornate candleholders. The Ionic columns and floral wallpaper give the room a subtle and unique charm.




By Robert Heckert Photography by Jan Baldwin

YOU CAN RECREATE THE FRESHNESS OF A FRENCH FARMHOUSE no matter where you live. Ros Byam Shaw’s new book, Perfect French Country, gives readers a glimpse into several French houses and the ways their owners have restored their 18th-century design. These are homes with “walls the color of apricots, their clay-tiled roofs padded with moss, their doors wreathed with old-fashioned roses, and their small casement windows shadowed by shutters and hung with curtains of gathered white muslin,” Shaw writes. Here’s how you can replicate this relaxed feel in your own home.

OPENNESS If you were to stroll through these homes, you would notice that each room flows into the next one; there are few doors or walls, making it all appear as a single, expansive room. Homeowner Julia Huizenga says these spaces should remind people of a place with “no cars and no neighbors, just the sound of birdsong.” Even with this openness you don’t have to give up that intimate and cozy sensibility. Instead of doors, hang long, flowing curtains that mark off separate rooms and create a smaller space.

COLOR In French country homes, the walls and ceilings have a limited palette of three to five colors. White is the most prominent color, but the rest is left to your preference. Typically, homeowners paint with muted hues of yellow, gray and brown, which allow the natural light to shine even brighter. Break up the monochromatic tone by placing a few vibrant plants along your counters and tables around the room.



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Many features of this dining room are understated and unassuming. The table has various wooden chairs and a canvas

TEXTURE When recreating this relaxed, countryside aesthetic, try to incorporate as many textures as possible. “Use glass and mottled mirrors, antique chairs and sofas upholstered in undyed linens, and a small selection of elegant contemporary pieces,” Shaw writes. Offset the knotted, exposed wooden beams of the ceilings and the polished terracotta floor tiles by placing plush, downy cushions on the couches. Many elements of these houses were built by hand, so when it comes to these decorations, it’s fine if things look unfinished. These countryside homes have a rich history, defined by bumpy stucco walls and old wooden doors smoothed by countless years of use. Finding the right balance of antique and modern pieces may take time, but Shaw says, “it is also the result of passion and talent, of years of experience and sheer, determined, doggedly enthusiastic effort.” 118


Finding the right balance of antique and modern pieces may take time but “is also the result of passion and talent, of years of experience, and sheer, determined, doggedly enthusiastic effort,” Shaw says.

The gentle bronze of the floor, mirror and ceiling beams offset the bright white walls of this bedroom and bathroom. The blue floral pattern of the French tiles, which adorn the Belfast sink, adds even more subtle color.

tablecloth of muted gray. Neither of the cupboards stand out, but their chipped paint allows the luminous chandelier and immaculate china to shine all the more.

This kitchen incorporates several elements from the natural world—wood, light and stone—and uses them to decorate the inside. Guests can sit in the wicker chairs and keep warm by the open lintel oven. The large window invites the lushness of the French countryside inside and allows the scents of the garden to waft in.

Create an


French Fireplace THREE WAYS TO GET THE LOOK. The centerpiece of many cottage country living rooms is the fireplace. Their mantels are large, and in the winter they can produce a robust fire. Even if you are living in an urban apartment, you can alter your home entirely by tweaking the color and adding a few candlesticks and paintings. • CHIMNEYPIECES: These differ from American fireplaces with their red and brown bricks. Paint your chimneypieces with a single muted color and then place various antique trinkets along the elaborate mantelpiece. Finally, fill the negative space above the mantel with a rococo mirror or painting. • CANDLEHOLDERS: Keep the rooms well lit but with as few lamps as possible. Instead, opt for some antique candleholders. Depending on the look you’re trying to create, use simple, ceramic holders or large silver holders that will support five candles. • OIL PAINTINGS: Take your home back a few hundred years by hanging an oil painting above your mantelpiece. This is the perfect way of transporting yourself and your visitors to a quieter time.

Perfect French Country by Ros Byam Shaw, photography by Jan Baldwin, published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2017; rylandpeters.com.



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Your Walls

By Robert Heckert Photography by Liz Fourez and Emily Layne

COUNTRY DESIGNS, with their sturdy wooden beams, smoothed floors and cozy warmth, recall a simpler time when items were built to endure for generations. “I think what I love most about old farmhouses is their character and the sense of history you get from them. Farmhouses were built with practical materials, and the furnishings were simple, unpretentious and collected over time,” writes Liz Fourez, author of A Touch of Farmhouse Charm: Easy DIY Projects to Add a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room. The word “unpretentious” perfectly describes these homes; nothing is overdone or demands attention. The same is true for this gingham-painted accent wall that subtly adds to the décor without taking away from the rest of the room.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED • Two paint colors (base color and accent color)

• Painter’s tape • Level

• Sheet of paper

• Mixing glaze

• Tape measure

• Paint roller

WHAT YOU’LL DO 1. Paint the entire wall with your base-color choice and allow it to dry at least 12 hours. Meanwhile, measure the height of your wall and determine how wide you want your stripes to be. Ideally, the stripe width should divide evenly into the height of the wall. (Our wall height was 78” [198 cm], so we went with six 13” [33 cm] stripes for this room.) Draw a diagram on a sheet of paper to help decide where each stripe should go. 2. Measure and tape off your horizontal stripes for the accent paint color with painter’s tape, making sure to keep the lines level, and press the tape firmly to the wall. Paint inside the tape lines with the base color and allow the paint to dry (about four hours). This will seal the stripe edges and prevent the accent color from bleeding underneath. 3. Mix two parts mixing glaze with one part accent color paint and paint the mixture on the horizontal stripes using a paint roller. Peel the tape off as soon as you finish painting and allow the paint to dry at least 12 hours. 4. Repeat the same process for your vertical stripes. Measure and tape off stripes in the same width and paint them with the same 2:1 paint mixture used on the horizontal stripes. Peel the tape off as soon as you finish painting and allow the paint to dry completely. Because the accent color is slightly translucent from the mixing glaze, try to paint as evenly as possible to avoid a splotchy finish.

A Touch of Farmhouse Charm: Easy DIY Projects to Add a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room by Liz Fourez, published by Page Street Publishing, © 2016; pagestreetpublishing.com. 112


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Beauty in Blue and White See a classic color pairing come to life with bold and beautiful designs. BY ROBERT HECKERT PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS EVERAND

KNOWN FOR HIS IMPECCABLE DESIGNS AND CREATIVE COMBINATIONS, William Yeoward is a king of color. His long-time love affair with the rainbow has been well represented in his work, and now it’s celebrated in the book William Yeoward: Blue and White and Other Stories: A Personal Journey through Color. “A creative eye is always snapping,” writes William, who has dedicated his life to the impossible task of absorbing and remembering every shade and hue he sees. While he pays homage to the magnificent beauty of the color

Gray acts as a base to the blue-and-white palette, offering a cool neutral tone upon which to build. Even the collection of oil paintings feeds into the home’s carefully crafted palette.


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Bold patterns on the Roman shades, rug and chairs blur the line between organic and geometric, creating a lively design without utilizing more than two colors.

When we choose colors for our homes, we

must consider what feelings we want to communicate and ask ourselves how to do so through color.

palette, his book puts a special focus on the classic pairing of blue and white.

The Feel of Color More than just a collection of unique colors, the book is a journey through delicious design and a reflection on William’s color philosophy: that to study color is to study how people think. Although humans have changed over the ages, the meanings of colors have remained the same for thousands of years. As he writes, the color blue has always been “crisp and graphic, spiritual, peaceful and calming,” while yellow ochre “speaks of warmth, comfort, sunshine and an organic connection to nature.” When we choose colors for our homes, we must consider what feelings we want to communicate and ask ourselves how to do so through color. No matter what we choose, however, William reminds us that “the most successful rooms are those that evolve through the passions and interests of the owners, and develop and change along with the people who inhabit them. Think of really clever set design that so accurately reflects the kind of people the characters are that they do not have to say a word.” Make the most of the design tools you have: furniture, wallpaper, pillows, pictures, treasures and other decorations. When united through the use of color, these pieces tell your story from the moment you step into your home.

Subtle notes of French style bring an air of sophistication to this sitting room, where creamy carpeting and whitewashed wood offer a neutral base that makes the patterns pop.


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Layered with pattern, this dimensional master bedroom offers timeless style and a plethora of inspiration. The bold juxtaposition works well, thanks to the balance of fabrics with blue backgrounds and those with white backgrounds.

William Yeoward: Blue and White and Other Stories: A Personal Journey through Colour by William Yeoward, published by Ryland Peters & Small ©2017, visit rylandpetersandsmall.com.

NO MORE NAUTICAL How to use blue and white beyond the beach

Just thinking of these shades transports you to the seaside, where the unblemished white of cumulus clouds meets the blue of the water. For those who love the crisp contrast of these two hues but want a non-oceanic take, here are a few ways to mix it up. • Accessories: When you have a blue couch with white pillows, guests will most likely expect to see a lamp decorated with seashells. Instead, use unexpected accessories. Abstract art in neutral tones, dusty pink accents or global elements, such as a French armoire, will help celebrate the diversity of this dynamic duo. • Patterns: When choosing upholstery or mixing prints, opt for a blend of organic patterns, like florals and ikat, with less-than-perfect geometric designs, like a handblocked pattern or ticked stripes. • Shades: Don’t be afraid to mix a few shades together. Chambray-blue and creamier whites will add dimension and tone to a two-hue design.


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With items from the 1960s through present day, this home gives new meaning to the phrase “Winter Wonderland.” Robert Heckert Scott Mason STYLED BY Jennifer Perkins BY




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JEN’S MOTHER FOUND the branching gold lamp at a yard sale for only $5. The dark blue couch and brown coffee table were also found at flea markets. You never know what high quality items you’ll find for low prices.

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ALUMINUM TREES WERE POPULAR from 1958 to the mid ‘60s. Many claim they grew less popular after A Charlie Brown Christmas, but these modern, eye-catching, neon trees are staples of Jen’s “Kitschmas.”

When it comes to décor, it doesn’t matter what style you love, as long as you commit 100%. When

describing her Christmas decorations, blogger Jennifer Perkins often uses the word “kitschy.” “Kitschy means trashy,” she says. “But I’ve always loved shoddy and not well made.”

LOVING KITCH The appeal for décor that’s a little garish and a little rough has been with her since she was a girl. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, her mom went all-out to decorate for Christmas, and Jen has always loved to explore flea markets. Now, as a mother herself, Jen has kept this tradition of going all-out. She ramped up the intensity of her decorating about ten years ago when she first started having kids. “With kids, I thought I needed to go overkill for the holidays, although it may just be a sad excuse for me to go flea market shopping,” she says.

FLEA MARKET HUNTING Regardless of the reason, or the season, she’s always on the lookout for Christmas ornaments. “The offseason, like May or July, is when they’re the cheapest,” Jen says. “But flea markets don’t always put out their holiday items until Christmas rolls around.” For Jen, finding the right time to shop for holiday décor is less about luck and more about the exploration of Austin, Texas and the surrounding towns for the right ornaments.

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“I MIX OLD AND NEW and go for more than one decade when I’m decorating a room or getting dressed; otherwise, rooms and outfits start to look like costumes and set pieces,” Jen says. In the front living room, there’s a fun mix of styles. The upholstered chairs are ‘70s, the couch is


You should expect kitschy items to look a little worn and frayed. They may also look a little outlandish, but that shows just how authentic they really are.

from ‘60s, the bar is ‘50s and the rug is new.

When it comes to decorating, Jen doesn’t play by any rules. “My criteria is that I go with my gut,” she says. “Kitsch translates to mass-produced, funky, tongue-in-cheek. I like to juxtapose those items with the fancy items throughout my house.”

TREE SAVVY If you were to walk around Jen’s home, you would notice that neon Christmas trees are an integral part of the holiday décor. As a brand ambassador of Treetopia, she’s been through hundreds of trees in the past several years. Of course, presents are always present, and they sit alongside other decorations such as her Fisher Price toys. “I also have a collection of dream pets which have nothing to do with Christmas, but I love it,” she says. No matter where you look—on the walls, shelves, trees or floor—you’ll find an eclectic and beautiful mosaic of designs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and today.


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A RECORD WALL IS FILLED WITH MEMORIES OF THE PAST. Jen and her husband ran a small record label and interviewed bands for various magazines from high school to their 20’s. “We’ve sold many of our records through the years, but these are the ones we can’t bear to part with. The low midcentury shelving with built-in record storage would look so naked without them!”

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THE ENTIRE HOUSE IS PACKED with items and filled with memories, but never crowded. The white paint and light floors give this already open floor plan an impression of even more space.

COLLECTION CRAZY Some of Jen’s most prized possessions are the ones made by hand. “I loved handmade holiday crafts like beaded ornaments, because they’re crafty, kitschy and colorful,” she says. One of the most eye-catching items is a foam record player. “All my interior design friends rolled their eyes when I picked this up,” she says. “It has foam and glitter sequins. I don’t know why anyone chose to decorate it like that, but I’m glad they did!” Record players aren’t traditional Christmas ornaments, but it proudly sits next to the stuffed reindeer and elvesdressed to the nines in glitter and wreathes. One of Jen’s rooms, decorated in bright pink and orange, is an “ode” to her mother. Above the fireplace hangs a lithograph. “I moved that picture from the dining room to the living room,” she says. “I always tell people that art isn’t permanently attached to the wall.” If you want to jump in and add retro flare to your own home, Jen offers some encouraging insight. “Christmas has always been a consumer-based holiday with the easiest to find, least expensive items,” she says. “You can roll out this Christmas and make your dreams come true.” As you explore antique shops and flea markets, remember that diligence will pay off. Jen has been immersed in this world since she was a girl and has been curating her own collection for a decade. The process of developing your own style requires time and spontaneity. Adding a kitschy toy or handmade item on a whim is what has made this home so lively and memorable. SEE SOURCES, PAGE 128.

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A SILVER STARBURST CHANDELIER illuminates the room among the whimsical pillows, animals and other fun knick knacks.


ORIGIN. They were created by a company

called Yuletide Japan and were very popular in the 1950s and ‘60s; they can be found across eBay, Etsy and, of course, flea markets. HISTORY. Countless American families

“I loved handmade holiday crafts LIKE


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owned knee-huggers, because they were endearing decorations and fun toys for children. The myth was that the elves sat on the tree during the day, and at night, reported to Santa how the children behaved. It was the knee-huggers that inspired the modern popular toy “Elf on the Shelf.”

A CLUSTER OF COLORFUL TREES FILL A HALLWAY NOOK. “The nook…just happens to fit a few small trees perfectly, so it almost always has a tree or two inside,” Jen says. The art pieces on the wall contrast with the kitschy spirit of her home, but Jen prefers to leave them up year-round.


A cold-blooded T-rex doesn’t necessarily scream Christmas for most people, but if you have a collection of toys that bring back fond memories, by all means, bring them out.

PRICE. The average knee-hugger measure

4.5 inches tall, but it can measure 8 inches with its legs fully stretched out. A single elf is expensive at $15, but their price can soar up to $100. They’re worth even more if they still have the “Made in Japan” tag attached—a rarity, as they were often used as toys. Jen had collected a few, but hit the jackpot when she stumbled on a bag filled with them at a flea market for only $3. She wasn’t on the hunt for them, but it goes to show that shopping year-round can lead to a huge payoff.

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A STAPLE OF VINTAGE PLASTIC ANGELS is their upswept, colorful wings. You can find them in colors such as green, blue, red and pink.

is when [ornaments are] the cheapest.”



Tree skirts serve the practical

purpose of keeping floors clean from bits of evergreen that fall off the tree. Instead of using a plain towel or piece of cloth this year, create your own vintageinspired tree skirt. The process of creating one is simple; you don’t need to buy a roll of fabric or measure the base of your tree. “You can get a felt tree skirt, ready made for just a few bucks,” says Jen. Then comes the fun part: finding appliques and gluing them onto your tree skirt. There are countless ready-made designs available in stores and online. “Since you’re not going to put the skirts in the washer or anything, you can use glue instead of sewing them on,” Jen says. To make your own appliques, start with bits of felt and cut them into your desired shapes. Layer basic shapes for ornaments, or create more complicated pieces like Santa Clause or cozy children in furry hats. Then decorate the finished pieces with sequins, pom-poms and other small accents.


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Profile for Rnheckert

Engaged Media–Portfolio  

During my time as a writer for the Home & Architecture department at Engaged Media Inc., I interviewed artists, designers and collectors to...

Engaged Media–Portfolio  

During my time as a writer for the Home & Architecture department at Engaged Media Inc., I interviewed artists, designers and collectors to...

Profile for rnheckert