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WestWard in Country Living

Out now, in the July/August issue of Country Living magazine is our beloved WestWard on Vashon Island. We call it the little house that could, as this is the 6th time our sweet week-end abode has been published. Which always takes us back and laugh a bit, as we had Mister Sive’s birthday party there right after we bought it, now close to 20 years ago. It was before we did any work and showed it some major love. The place was empty. I think our friends thought we were out of our minds! We just knew from the moment we walked down the path what magic was in store. It has all been such a fun journey. The photoshoot was a blast and the spread turned out quite lovely. It was a few beautifully sunny days right after a bunch of rainy days. We are selling copies of this issue at the shops and this publication sells at most newsstands & grocery stores. Enjoy!

*The biggest challenge anytime something is written in a publication, is you are not given the chance to read it and make any corrections before it is published. You have the interview and just hope you are quoted properly and that what you said was taken in context. Most often you read design articles and it focuses on one person, even when it is a couple who owns and lives in the house. This article is very well done, but many times it says that I made a decision or I chose a certain something. For anyone that knows us well, they know all our decisions about home are a ‘we’ and always have been. Creativity flows quite freely in our household–it is one of the greatest joys we have shared over the last 30 years as a couple.



 

 

The Peonies Keep On Going

The peonies that flew back with us from Hawthorne to Seattle still going strong. The ruffly, fluffy goodness such a gift as we pass by the vase filled with them on the dining table. Quite hard to keep our eyes off of them while we sit enjoying our meals. The moment you open the front door the scent envelops you. They just had to be our Flower Friday blooms. A lovely, lovely week-end ahead to you all.



 

 

Shadows and Light

Caretaker Bill sent us the above shot a few days after we left last week to show us all the peonies dancing. The image also caught that amazing Hudson Valley light it is so known for. The trees creating all sorts of shadows. The below I clicked on Sunday out on the island. The scented geraniums went crazy when we were away, filling up the tub. This West Coast edition of the shadows and light doing all sorts of lovely things on the shed and hazelnut shell laden courtyard.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 153

Much like getting dressed in the morning and setting your clothes out while you are getting ready, think of setting a table much in the same way. Pull things that you think work together and group them on a staging area. Add, subtract. Whatever strikes your fancy. Then set out adding all the things to your dining table.



 

 

The Case of the Traveling Peonies

They made it! The peonies I plucked right as we were leaving Hawthorne made the cross country flight and are being enjoyed on the dining table at The Gainsborough as I type. They are our Flower Friday blooms of the week. Boy were those little guys ready for a fresh cut and a big drink, but other than that, they were serious troopers. I cut them and instantly wrapped the bottoms of the stems in a wet paper towel, then wrapped them tightly in a ziplock bag so the stems stayed surrounded by the moisture. I carried them in my L.L. Bean bag on the plane and they sat perky in the middle seat for the flight. Our meals at the table a fluttery symphony of color & scent.



 

 

A Single Peony Farewell

We head back to Seattle later today and the peonies in front of the house are moments away from exploding open. I cut a bunch to fly back with us like we did last year in hopes they make the journey unscathed. The one I posted yesterday is the one above. It opened up the other morning for us. The diva of the peony show, getting all the attention and we are loving every minute of it. Merci for following along on this stay. July is our 5th year at Hawthorne. It has been such a treat having many of you readers see the house blossom over those years. A home evolves. Just like we all do. Back in August for all that sultry heat… XO, T2+B



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 152

The leaves on many flowers can be just as beautiful as the blooms. A bowl full of hydrangea leaves grouped together in a low bowl with water stand tall shining brightly next to the brilliance of the peony.



 

 

A Collection of Vintage Bottles

A collection can be really anything. My main thought with a collection is that is makes the collector happy. There is the thrill of the hunt, then there is the elation of living with your finds. Integrating them into your life. Certainly a collection can just live on a shelf and be enjoyed visually. But I like to use our collections in our day to day. This Hawthorne stay we have been loving using some of the vintage bottles we have collected over the years. Some are French, some from England and many snatched up on trips throughout the US over the years. They most always are quite thick and I am most happy when they are embossed with letters. Often they have the place where they are made, as well as the name of the maker. Our love of letters & fonts comes out in this collection. Putting them into action is the most fun part. A bloom, a stem of leaves, herbs–they all get top billing. This stay I lined them up behind the kitchen sink and used things from around the property. Little hits of color to catch the eye as you wash up dishes or cook away.



 

 

A Few Bundles of Roses

Flower Friday this week are a few bundles of grocery store roses that are doing the trick, in a pinch. We are hosting a graduation party today and wanted to spiff up the dining table. This vessel will get moved later to said table. The lilacs with all of the heat are no longer and the peonies are yet to pop. One flower you are almost always certain to count on when at the grocery store or corner bodega are roses. Hearty by nature, massed together, they make for a simple abundant arrangement that will last a good long while.



 

 

The Table Is Set

A busy week awaits with a mix of family & friends, dinners and graduation party. Getting the table set in the morning when the house is quiet always helps relax me and takes the stress away from having to do it later in the day when the task list is longer and we are scurrying around before guests arrive. This table is layered with new treats from this stay. CoCo in Portland sent the most glorious majolica plates as a ‘just because’ gift the other day that set the tone right out the gate. The faux bois planter the latest find from my Trade Secrets outing in CT last week-end, and a French green ceramic candlestick from KRB when we were in the city helps light the way. Little pots of scented geranium with the sweetest pink blooms dropped into buckets added a bit of contrasting color. Ferns, Italian parsley and mint add a bit more natural green. Then all that is needed to complete the table before the first knock on the door is to light the candles and away we go.