Saturday, June 30, 2012

New York, New York meets Hydrangea blue heaven

Atlanta is in the middle of a major heat wave. It hit 104 yesterday, same today (it's 102 as I write this), and tomorrow will be a repeat performance. With no Cape Cod weather and water in sight (for today at least) and nowhere to escape but interior rooms, I am "cooled" by a pale green study, pale blue bedroom, and a view from both rooms of robust hydrangeas in both the limelight and classic blue varieties which got me thinking about the beauty of hydrangeas in New York last week.

Abingdon Square is our little "pocket park" (that's what Tim calls small, neighborhood parks) around the corner from our apartment in the West Village. This gem of a park underwent a major redesign and restoration a few years ago and has never looked better. When you live in only a few hundred square feet it is imperative to have a nearby park for escape so as to not go crazy with four walls closing in on you. When we are in New York, morning coffee (iced, of course) is picked up at the hip, yet charming, Chocolate Bar ( on our one block stroll from the apartment on Jane Street to Abingdon Square where we enjoy a peaceful and beautiful start to the day.

When we were in New York last week, Hydrangeas were really putting on a show. Here is the view of classic blue and Oakleaf hydrangea that I saw every morning in Abingdon Square Park:

With the oppressive heat forcing me to remain indoors for a few days, I started thinking about some of my favorite flower print fabrics and how they have been used in calming, cooling, relaxing environments by top designers. And how grateful I am to have a bedroom swathed in blue and white (with touches of gray and soft greens) with a sitting area with views of the hydrangea in our backyard. It is about the only thing keeping me sane right now!! I am sure I will get cabin fever at some point, but for now I am content. One thing I know for sure: I will always have a blue and white bedroom.

My vast clip file of my favorite rooms and houses and my fabric library took me on a little excursion down memory lane as I flipped through page after page and fabric after fabric to find some of my favorite designs.I hope that these rooms bring some relaxing cool your way as you head into the Holiday week...stay cool and enjoy!

The worn out page of Elle Decor featuring this room by Jeffrey Bilhuber has been in my clip file for at least four years. I could sleep very well in this room and wake up in a good mood!

"Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber chose an iconic cotton print by Dek Tillett for the canopy and bed curtains in the otherwise spare master bedroom of a Regency Revival townhouse in London"-Elle Decor
photography by Simon Upton

This bedroom in a Sea Island House by Atlanta designer Suzanne Kasler has been in my clip file for years. It is one of the first projects by Kasler that I fell in love with. The architectural details (the x-design on built-ins) in crisp white with the neutral  carpet and soft blues, creams, neutrals just says RELAX. I love it!

"In the master suite, x-patterned closet doors designed by Kasler extend from floor to ceiling. Chair and ottoman, also Kasler designs, are upholstered in Nobilis Tangara. The curtains are Duchess Taffeta in blue from the Silk Trading Co. Carpet is Linen Rib Pistache from New Franco Beige. Floor Lamp is from Baker, Knapp & Tubbs. At the Gustavian marble-top desk, an antique French side chair from Ainsworth-Noah." House Beautiful, March 2007. photos by Tria Giovan.

Sometimes pretty is exactly what is needed. In this Florida bedroom by Todd Alexander Romano (the same designer mentioned earlier as the resource for Dek Tillett fabrics), a very soothing (and pretty) bedroom is just perfection. There is so little going on here (as opposed to many bedrooms with simply too much stuff everywhere) and that is what  makes it so wonderful. Using one fabric, a custom colored print by Travers & Company, T.A.R. achieved a lovely space in blue and white. In this article, Todd Romano is quoted as saying, "I like to nod to the best of the past, but make it fresher, lighter, and more modern." Well said and well done.

"To prevent sun damage to the custom-colored Travers & Co. linen fabric, the master bedroom curtains are four layers thick. The walls are stenciled in a white palm-frond stripe." Coastal Living magazinephoto by William Waldron.
Brightening things up jus a bit but remaining in the blue and white world, this bedroom by my friends (and Southerners) Meg Braff and Lauren Phillips Blair for Meg Braff Interiors really makes me happy. It has since the day I saw it in Coastal Living Magazine a couple of years ago and every time I come across it in my clip file, I just want to be there which happens to be Round Hill, Jamaica, so who wouldn't want to be there??

The blue/white print fabric is "Kashmir-Delft" by Raoul Textiles, the Chocolate Brown Cane and Rattan headboards are from Red Egg and Meg Braff selected them "to add a graphic, tropical touch to the feminine space."
Coastal Living magazine. photo by J. Savage Gibson.


Francis Smith said...

I adore Oakleaf Hydrangea--and Hydrangea Paniculata. The blues are okay in moderation, but I await the ascendency of the first two.

Kathy said...

What a cool and beautiful respite this post is. I especially love the bedroom from Coastal Living, Jeffery. I seem to be painting nothing but blue this summer; I guess it;s one way to beat the heat here in Georgia!