It's Spring and time to begin beautifying your gardens, terraces, porches, and pool patios.  Recently for a much needed Spring break, we spent some time on 30A, the Northeastern Gulf Coast of Florida, at Rosemary Beach.

{Lagoon Beach House, Alys Beach}

{Courtyard Pool, Alys Beach}

My family and I try to go visit the 30A area, at least once a year and often stay at Rosemary Beach, where we can bike to Alys Beach and take a short drive to the tiny towns of Seaside and Watercolor.

{The Pearl Pool, Rosemary Beach}

{Caliza Pool, Alys Beach}

The architecture is divine, the weather is lovely, the seascape breathtaking and I always come home refreshed.

{Sidewalk Pool, Alys Beach}

{Waterfall Pool, Rosemary Beach}

{Frog Pool, Watercolor}

For a little inspiration I am sharing some "cool pools" I visited, dipped my toes in, or jumped into.

{Lap Pool, Rosemary Beach}

{Frog Pool, Watercolor}

{Frog Pool, Watercolor}

Perhaps you can take away some design ideas and use some of these ideas in your own private paradise.

 {Private Pool, Rosemary Beach}

 {Jacuzzi Pool, Rosemary Beach}

These original photographs are digitally enhanced using the Waterlogue application.  I thought it appropriate to use "watercolors" for this post instead of my original photographs.  To see some of the photos from this post before they were transformed, visit my Instagram feed.  {All are available for sale, either in my Etsy shop or directly from me.}

{Frog Pool, Watercolor}

Enjoy and stay cool!

Ciao amici,

The images of the Frog Pool at Watercolor are from photographs I made a few years ago when we were staying in Watercolor.  Sadly, the beautiful mosaic frogs are no longer sitting by the pool spitting out water, but have been replaced with plastic frogs.  So glad that we had the opportunity to see the original sparkling frogs a when we were there.  They were stunning works of art.

{And...Sea Island Poolside, Sea Island - where my husband spent his summers back in the day.}


A French style chair, an architecturally graphic cushion, Kate Spade NY's polka dot glass lamp, monochrome photography hanging on the wall, a good read about Mademoiselle Coco - pieces collected over time.

This careful pattern play creates an intriguing and subtly sexy corner in our master suite.

While across the room delicate snow drop blooms from our garden add a romantic scent and frame a whimsical mid-century calendar tile by Danish artist Bjorn Wiinblad.


What's in your corner?

Ciao amici,


Love is in the air this time of year and a little pink always tickles the heart strings!

Crystal sparkles in the collection of antique and contemporary mirrors layered on our wonderfully ornate marble fireplace, while creating a simple and "reflective" backdrop for some Valentine decorations.

Keeping it somewhat simple with a single porcelain cherub, some pink velvet roses, baby's breath in a petite Kate Spade hot pink vase...

...some forever lovers, the swans, candlelight... notes...

...and my favorite heart shaped box I made several years ago, adorned with vintage velvet millinery berries and flowers, pleated satin ribbons, and an aurora borealis pin.

Wishing love to all of you this season.

Ciao amici,

A Christmas Present ~ In the Garden with Father Christmas

On this twelfth day of Christmas and in celebration of this New Year's week, I wanted to share a Christmas present.

This year, I participated in the Christmas at Hay House designer showcase once again, and as chairman of the event I wanted the Hay House to be a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of its induction into The Georgia Trust.

The traditional gift for a fortieth anniversary is the ruby, which was the inspiration I gave to the designers - to decorate the rooms in the mansion in a creative way, using the color red -  transforming this "Mansion of the South" into the "Jewel of the South" for the Christmas season.

I selected the Grand Marble Hallway, with its elegant black and white marble floor, massive arched doorways, and soaring trompe l'oeil walls, as my space and created an indoor English garden for Father Christmas.

Here is my story and inspiration...

Father Christmas jumps out of his mossy covered gilded chair tossing his fur coat aside, and receives callers in the grand marble hallway in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Hay House induction to The Georgia Trust.  The guests are at once enveloped in an elegant old world British atmosphere as the mid-winter festivities begin.

Lighted garden gates with berry wreaths compliment the traditional symmetry of the twinkling cone shaped cedar trees and plump Christmas tree shaped boxwood topiary trees, which flank the arbor and doorways that lead to the more intimate spaces of the mansion.

The sparkling arbor in the center of the vestibule in which the gilded mossy chair sits, above which hangs a shimmering iron and crystal chandelier, is home to Ruby the Reindeer.

Wearing her signature ruby necklace and golden crown, Ruby gazes at a stone birdbath which holds a crimson glass globe.  A basket of gala apples is close by for her to nosh on when hungry.

Victorian bird cages are filled with crimson glass balls.

A French wrought iron plant stand filled to the brim with more than two hundred red rose blooms surround Gypsy Garden Girl, Cerise.

Red silk peony pomanders and fanciful wrought iron furniture juxtapose the formality of the English garden topiaries in a delightful way.  

Father Christmas, who in medieval times represented the spirit of benevolence and good cheer, has even engaged nutcrackers, outfitted them as British soldiers and guardsmen, and strategically placed them to protect this enchanting indoor garden assuring that everyone who enters this "Jewel of the South" will be certain of gracious hospitality and merriment.

Wishing you merriment this throughout 2018!

Ciao amici,