Lookback on 2009

A few years ago, my dearest friend Jenna gave me a very special gift for Christmas. It was a beautiful silk covered pocket journal that was hand delivered with a very important message. This little book, of which she had an identical, would be a place for me to write down my personal goals and desires each year. Anything and everything from more time with family and friends, career aspirations, running a marathon, or buying a new handbag could go in this little book. Along with the message, a promise from Jenna, that every year she would sit with me to make sure I penned something in my book, and that throughout the year we could encourage each other to stay on track. Well, I haven't accomplished all the goals I wanted to this year. Some things were up a little higher on the priority list, and others I realized weren't important at all. But there is one thing I am very proud of, and that is launching Verdigris Vie. I hope that you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing, researching and discovering.
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Here is a look back on some of the highlights on Verdigris Vie this past year. A mix of posts that are some of my favorites, as well as some of yours. Here is to a warm farewell to 2009, and to wishing you peace, happiness and much success in 2010.

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Natural Belgian Beauty. When House Beautiful featured Ina Garten's Country Home back in November 2008, I knew it would be one of my top posts.
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Bringing Paris home This Paris Inspired California home made you weak in the knees. Designed by Betty Burgess, and featured in Veranda Magazine.
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Red, White and New I absolutely loved the use of red in this summer home designed by Marshall Watson. In addition to the amazing colour was a great story about quality furnishings purchased years earlier, that were stripped and restained, and slipcovered and reupholstered.
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Ocean Opulence This ocean front property designed by Sarah Richardson is a breath fresh air. Beautiful light, always great use of floral fabrics, and so balanced.
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Wonderful Whites You definitely are a fan of whites, and when they are perfectly presented to you by Barbara Barry you love them even more! Me too, although I am not convinced I can live in them yet.

A Fine Group One of my very first introductions to art, the always inspiring Group of Seven
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Inspiring Objects I could have titled this one circles and squares, because it was the most beautiful detail that repeated throughout this Manhattan townhouse designed by Steven Gambrel. Definitely one of my favorite posts for brilliant mix of modern and classic.

Barn Beams You guys love your barn conversions and exposed wood beams. This is a recent post that I received so much great feedback on, so I'll keep them coming in 2010.

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That is a wrap up for 2009. Would love to know what some of your personal favorites are as well. Hope you are having a wonderful New Year's Eve, and I am certainly looking forward to some great design experiences in 2010.

Home for the Holidays






A beautiful home decorated from the heart. Handcrafted newspaper ornaments and arrangements to be enjoyed by family and friends. The owners of this Connecticut home, waited 30 years for their dream home, and now enjoy every minute of it. It's a picture perfect Christmas. Full story here, via Country Living.
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Have a very Merry Christmas, and a very Special Holiday to all.

By The Fire

Thad Hayes
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Some of you have already received your first or second blast of winter reality. Here in Toronto, we just missed the storm, but it'll be here on time for the Holidays. For those of you with a wood burning fireplace, you will know the the comforts of putting a few logs in, and listening to the crackle of flames, drinking some hot Irish Coffee, and cozying up to a book or a movie. These interiors are much more formal than what I grew up with, but certainly comforting just the same.
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Barbara Barry
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Country Living
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Suzanne Kasler
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Wiseman Group
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Sadly, I am without a fireplace. I am not a fan of the gas or the electric fireplace unit. Looking at a flame just isn't the same as being surrounded with it's warmth, poking wood around to get the flame up, smelling that crisp wood burning, and listening to that wonderful crackle. So for now, we head over to my parent's house to enjoy their fireplace. We will be there for Christmas and I can hardly wait. So when we finally decide to move to another home, it's definitely a Woodburning fireplace for us, perhaps 2 or 3. A fireplace in the kitchen is a must, it's where I spend hours creating everything from elaborate dinners to glittery kids crafts . Ina Garten has a fabulous kitchen in her Hampton's home.
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Ina Garten
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Barbara Barry
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Christopher Noto
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And the ultimate luxury, a fireplace in the bedroom. How incredibly romantic and soothing to fall asleep to the sound of that warm glow, and soft crackle. The bedroom below is the ultimate in opulence. It's grandeur, floor to ceiling headboard, the Crystal chandelier and sconces, mirrored walls, creamy colour palette and of course beautiful wood fireplace.
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Candy and Candy

A Touch of Gold to stay


Candace Barnes
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I love that Gold is here to stay. For a while it was all silver, platinum, nickel, chrome. I was completely converted, and thought I would never have use for gold again, not in my home or my jewellery. I have to admit, things got a little boring, silver, platinum, stainless steel, nickel, chrome, to name a few of the variations of silver. Thankfully, gold made its comeback, and is being used more tastefully than ever, in frames and lighting and occasional seating or tables. More brilliant, is the delicate balance of mixing the two finishes to create quite the opulent look.
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Thomas Pheasant
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Phoebe Howard
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House and Home
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And then of course, the relaxed interiors. Creamy white walls, even crisp white walls, Slip- covered sofas, natural fabrics, bright sunlight, and the golden kiss; in a mirror, a sconce or picture frame. It adds incredible warmth and sophistication with the smallest detail. Below, Mariette Himes Gomez, (who is Brilliant and one of my faves) managed to make an antique breakfast nook, look modern, functional and refreshing.
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Mariette Himes Gomez
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The Calm Space: A Christmas Dinner to Remember

One of my favorite Christmas Traditions is our midnight Turkey. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. But when Christmas Day is coming to an end; when most people can barely tolerate another walnut, and are finally resting their heads, our table is being set for the first carving of a slow roast turkey.... Continue

I am over at The Calm Space today, with a littl article about one of my favorite family traditions. Hope you will stop over for a read.

Jewels for My Tree

Last night, while decorating our Christmas tree, my son ran off with one of my favorite ornaments and smashed it to smitherines. It was hand decorated by my best friend, and was given to us as a gift on our first Chritmas as a husband and wife. I was devastated. But after the tears dried up, I finished decorating and decided to take some pictures of some of the other jewels for my tree. I thought I would share just a few with you.
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One of the Garden centers near by always fills their store with gorgeous tree displays, and it's been a couple of years now that I have been finding these beautiful butterflies. I only buy a couple at a time, but I absolutely love them.. One year my tree will be filled with butterflies.
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I love frogs, when my friend spotted these, she couldn't resist buying them for me. And when we spotted her twin a couple of years later, she bought it as well so I could have a set. Isn't she pretty with her pearls, and sequins, and crown.



One year, I look forward to decorating an entirely vintage tree! The ornaments below are so interesting, the pear is metal and very heavy, and the lovely bird was handmade by my husband's cousin. I would love a few more of those birds, it's just beautiful. He also made a beautiful wooden nativity for us that is just lovely.



Hope you are enjoying your holidays!

Look Book: Classic Holiday Style

BCBG

When it comes to dressing for the Holidays I rely on a few classic looks, to pull off polished perfection. Using classic colours and cuts, and a few recent trends, dressing for the Holidays is always a pleasure, when you have the basics.

Holidays are a time to celebrate so it's no wonder we use silks and shine and bright reds to mark the occasion. The BCBG dresses above and below are two of my favorite holiday colours. Paired with some glittery jewels around the arm, like these, and you're Holiday Fabulous. Exposed Legs are a little tricky for me to pull off, since I am vertically challenged, but I could easily pull off similar tops like these, over satin pants in silver or champagne.

BCBG

BCBG

Ralph Lauren

Sometimes I just need to a quick fix. That is when I turn to black and grays, or this beautiful silver from Ralph Lauren. Always elegant, and sophisticated. I smooth out my hair, take some time on perfecting my make up, and wear my favorite jewels.

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The Burberry check is one of my favorites for the Holidays, whether it's a scarf, inside a coat, or enlarged on a skirt. The look above is warm, and perfect for a casual holiday gathering with friends. I could easily host a party in this outfit. Below, classic Black and White. This look never fails me, and it won't fail you either. But the trick is in the quality of the clothes. A Great fitting and well lined pair of pants , and sophisticated crisp white shirt that has a good weight to it.

Donna karan
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Oscar De La Renta
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Ralph Lauren

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So the truth is, I don't really like jeans. I stopped wearing them in my early 20's, but just picked them up again, after having children. I still prefer not to wear jeans, but I have to admit the comfort when I am running around with the little ones is unbeatable. The look above sums up my jean style, dark denim with a warm tan sweater. Perfect for a visit with the parents, and sitting by the fire or chasing the little ones.
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Below the classiest lounge wear I have ever seen. I embarrassingly wear yoga pants around the house, and if the door bell rings, I may avoid answering it. Especially this time of year when neighbours are popping in, I need to step up my home outfit. I love this look. It's perfect for Holiday drop ins with neighbours and good friends.
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Bruno Cuccinelli
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I hope you are all enjoying this Wonderful Season!
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All Photos from www.saksfifthavenue.com

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