Musings from Quince

The Case for Black & White
April 29, 2010, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Color | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Black, White, & Shades of Green

Black and white what?  Black and white as accent colors, but of course!  Bet you didn’t even think about how well b&w goes with everything….and to prove my point, I’m featuring Dexter, Millie, Kosmo, and a surprise model as living proof that these color combos do indeed enhance a space already full of color…take a look above…there’s already a ton of color going on, but what adds even more zip without overdosing on the green, blue, and yellow in fabrics, wall color, and pillows, is a splash of b&w…. a throw, lamp, coffee table, an object d’ art…why not? B&W makes things pop, gives definition, and is really easy on the eyes. Thank you, Dexter! (I swear he’s smiling in this picture..)

Black & Taupe with Black & White

OK, next we have……..Kosmo showcasing black & white against a busy charcoal & taupe print…yes, yes, yes!   Mixing up bed linens (featured in this photos) has been something I’ve always done – I don’t own a single matched set, and probably never will..we’re lucky enough in Cville to have 1 of only 4 outlet stores nationwide for Yves Delorme linens,  and for the past 15 years I’ve been buying mixed up sets of stuff and throwing them together – it works! I’ve actually found $300 sheets there for $30!  I swear! It can be hit-or-miss, but if they’ve just gotten a new shipment in, you’ll go crazy…..just check in with them periodically, and be willing to mix up colors and prints.

I gave up on duvet covers awhile ago and just fold a snow white comforter at the foot of the bed…always crisp and neat, & then go crazy with sheeting & shams.

Coral, Black, & White

And to the left we have Millie, showing off a coral soft suede arm chair!  See how the b&w totally works not only with the chair, but with the celery walls and black table as well.  A striped, paisley, or print b&w accent pillow would work wonderfully with a bright color in the background.    OK, are you starting to get the picture?

Black, White, & More!

To the right, Kosmo shows off the contrast between b&w and a crazy floral print.  See how all of it comes together?  A print like this could support window shades in a b&w stripe, or a striped area rug, or perhaps pillows or accent pieces throughout a room…crisp, defined, with a definite “wow” potential.

At this point you may think I’m a crazy cat woman…not at all – I admit I’m on the nutty side and admit to selecting b&w cats for my own because they go so well with my house interior, but so what?!

And to further reaffirm my enthusiasm for these crazy color combos, please take a look below at this week’s surprise models:

a Case for Black & White

Color Merging with Stripes..

How perfect is the above?  I’d love to have these 3 hanging out in my back field (maybe eating poison ivy plants), hmm, maybe I can come up with something.  That little “zonkey”  is way, way too cute for its own good.  Anyway, I’m signing off for now, but I hope you’ve gotten the urge to consider a little B&W action in your own home or favorite setting!


Terror in the Garden
April 14, 2010, 6:40 pm
Filed under: Seasonal | Tags: , , , , , ,

Almost every morning I traipse through “the grounds” at home to see what Mother Nature has seen fit to rouse after our unbelievable winter.  I usually squeak with delight as I recognize the perennials bursting forth once again….hostas on the way, peonies on the way, helleboris peaking right now, azaleas in full bloom, iris almost here, etc., etc.  That is, until this morning, when my eyes couldn’t believe what they were seeing…..the plant, vine, and bush I hate the most, the one which makes me sweat with fear just thinking about my past experiences wrestling with the leaves, the oil, the roots:  toxicodendron rydbergii…..POISON IVY!!!! 

Don't touch it!


I took these photographs, and even looking at them makes me uncomfortable! 

Rearing It's Ugly Head(s)


Pardon my naivete’, but I assumed after enduring an extremely cold winter, nature would give us a break and we’d skip a year of mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets (not the honeybee, however), and naturally poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac.  But nooo, they’re back with a vengeance and I predict a bumper crop for all the above.  I’m finding these plants popping up in places where they’ve never, ever been seen before…why is this? 

This is creeping me out!


Some of you may not be sensitive to the oil  which can make mincemeat out of your are very, very lucky.  For some of us, despite long sleeves, gloves, boots, and showing the least amount of skin possible, the oil somehow still finds a way to penetrate all layers.  If you have a few minutes to kill and are curious about what this stuff can really do, check it out on the Internet  (link above) where there are many photo galleries illustrating the worst case scenarios.  I’ve tried every gel, lotion, salve, soap,  and natural tx on the market, and there’s only one solution I’ve found which has given me relief when the itching is beyond tolerable….thank you, Doreen, if you’re reading this!  If you want to know what it is, just beg me, I mean, ask me! 

Mmmm, delicious!!


Anyone “herd of goats” taking care of the problem?  Apparently they can eat all this stuff with no ill effects….hmm, perhaps renting Billy out by the hour could make someone a fortune….any takers?  There are volumes of resources out there addressing every aspect of PI management, but if you have any special tricks up your sleeve for this Spring season, feel free to leave a comment!  In the meantime, watch out for those leaves and try to avoid terror in the garden…..

Campaign for Color
April 6, 2010, 8:29 pm
Filed under: Color | Tags: , ,
Campaign for Color

Don't be afraid!

Why do people get so wigged out about color?

This has been bothering me for quite awhile!  Color will not bite you, is not the enemy, will not mess up your life;  yet, I come into contact with souls on a fairly regular basis who want to use color in their homes, but just don’t know how to do it.  I sympathize to a point – have you looked at a paint manufacturer’s color wheel lately?  Hundreds, thousands of options – even “white” has a zillion variations!  And the names of paint colors – please!!  Who thinks these up?  It’s a mystery, really, how colors are assigned names – I can imagine a bunch of chemically altered English majors sitting around a table shouting out would-be names, and laughing hysterically as they check one after the other off a list.  Does anyone have the scoop on this process?  We’d all love to know!

Color at Home

Color at Home by Meg & Steven Roberts

Perusing beautiful books featuring color (and there are many!) as a theme is an easy way to get excited about introducing or even changing a look….I highly recommend Color At Home….easily ordered on Amazon, or pick up a copy at Quince.  This primer divides colors into chapters and is low on verbage; the pages speak volumes and it’s impossible not to drink it all in, page by page.  What I have realized is that the color which anchors a room can essentially be the “neutral” in the space – the primary color may be the wall color, fabric color, rug color, floor cover…whatever dominates the room.

Setting the mood through color can be done easily; want to create a haven?  Go with soft, watery palettes….want to go crazy with eye popping points of interest?  Consider all white fabrics against crazy or dramatic accents – walls, pillows, accessories….there may be certain tones you absolutely can’t handle – no problem, don’t use them – it’s that simple!

The Comfortable Home by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

The Comfortable Home: How to Invest in Your Nest and Live Well for Less

Another resource I really like for exploring color options is The Comfortable Home by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  This book is packed with practical information on everything from furnishing all sizes of spaces to furniture and color choices!  Not only do these guys know how to do it all, they happen to be really great guys (yes, I can speak personally).  Stop by Quince for a copy, or order by clicking on book.

In the meantime, enjoy the gazillions of trees, shrubs, and flowers in bloom at the moment; nature does her share to keep us in the loop….color loop, that is!  I can’t wait to share my next blog on color….I’ve secured live models to showcase a particular color grouping that you wouldn’t necessarily put together….stay tuned!