You are currently browsing the Ted Kennedy Watson blog archives for January, 2015

Dining at Hawthorne

20150131-044034.jpg It has been quite cold and a good bit snowy, just what we were hoping for on this stay. I head into the city this morning for the show. Mister Sive and Bailey are entertaining 2 friends that arrived last evening. They are old college friends of his from Hamilton. They asked me at dinner last night if I always know what I am going to write about when I wake up. I responded with a sometimes yes, and a sometimes no answer. This is what keeps me energized and having fun with the daily posts–the variety of not always having it planned out. One of the things I get the most response from readers from chats at the shops is when I post images of our home in New York. I think that is in part because so many of you have been reading along since we bought Hawthorne coming up on 2 years ago in July. You have been with us as part of the journey. I love that! I had thought I would do a large post at the end of our stay on how the rooms are progressing. Homes evolve over time. We are learning how we live in each room. How things flow. Today I woke up and thought I would write about our dining room. So instead of doing one long post later, I will parcel them out a bit. A dose of Ghent green here and there. The above image taken the other day when the house was still heating up and the windows looking out into the valley were still somewhat frosted over. We purchased 2 identical galvanized metal top long dining tables. We really liked the flexibility they provide us. One lives in the dining room, the other lives out on the back porch that has the fireplace, so we can have a meal out there, as well. We can place the tables side by side in the dining room and seat a huge group. We can place them end to end on the porch and also seat up to 14 fairly comfortably. We can also lug them up into the field and have a dinner party alfresco. We can use a tablecloth, or not. The metal legs fold so they are easy to transport.

20150131-050223.jpg For dining chairs, we decided we wanted variety. All the chairs we have purchased work together, but they also work apart. They work as dining chairs, but they also work in the living room for extra seating, on either the front or back porch in a pinch, as well as outside when the weather is nice. Again, flexibility was key. We love mixed sets of chairs at dining tables. It is something we do in Seattle and at WestWard too. Tablecloths add visual interest, so we are working on finding ones we like so we have a mix to draw from. This linen beauty above, was a gift from Pam at Watson Kennedy this Christmas. It is from a newer line we carry. It launders beautifully, and ironing is an option but not necessary. We like the non-pressed casual look for the country. It is heirloom quality, from a several generations old family run company. We had initially bought just the napkins, so it is such a treat to have one of the tablecloths.


20150131-051251.jpg We chose a vibrant shade of green for the dining room. The assorted green glassybaby and Little Shirley vases an homage to Seattle while we are here. As is the piece in the gray frame on the wall that used to live in our living room at The Gainsborough, which is of a ferry with cars being driven on for the next crossing. The dining room opens into the kitchen. It is fun to cook and have guests sit and chat while we cook away. We use the counter in between as a sort of buffet for serving when we have a large group. When I return back from the city next week, I will shoot some images of the kitchen. You get a glimpse of it in the below image. It is not large by any means, but is incredibly efficient. It is a space we have both taken to since day one, and love cooking in it. There you have it. Bon appetit!




Mastering the Art of French Eating

20150130-074400.jpg Yes, that title says ‘eating’ not ‘cooking’ which puts a whole different spin on this book. Mastering the Art of French Eating is an homage to the French and their love of the meal. Written by Ann Mah, who writes about her experience living in Paris and traveling around the country, after her diplomat husband is called away from their new post in Paris for a yearlong assignment in Iraq. The experience of the meal, the ritual, the love of the ingredients–all are beautifully captured. Each chapter ends with a recipe best known from the region. Part cookbook, part memoir of her time in France. Just a delightful read.



Ted’s Tip No. 28

20150129-083348.jpg A dollop of honey can transform a simple piece of toast or an English muffin, as well as a cup of tea on these chilly Wintery days.



A Sunny Drink on a Chilly Day

20150128-075155.jpg I like the idea of drinking a Summery drink on a cold day, as long as that chilly drink is consumed by a fire or wrapped up in a blanket reading a good book. This was just the ticket yesterday, as the temperature dipped, so this sunny drink it would be.

A Style & Simplicity originated at my Seattle book signing party last May, and has been thoroughly enjoyed since. You may certainly use Veuve, but Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco, works perfectly and is much more budget friendly. The secret is using Meyer lemon simple syrup. We sell it at the First Avenue shop, but I know it is now available at many grocery shops. Simply fill your favorite tumbler with ice, add a slice of Meyer lemon, then add a spoonful of the simple syrup, then pour in the bubbly. Give all a nice stir. Will take you right back to a sunny day.




Waking Up a House

20150127-090730.jpg Waking up a house is sort of like waking up a person. Slow is best, giving it time to get the energy flowing, and get the heat moving to the bones. So it was last evening, as our full day of snowy travel ended with us waking up Hawthorne after being away for the Holiday season. Slowly the house starts to come to life. Switch by switch was turned on, the heat was turned up, and a fire was made. Treats were unpacked that have been gathered since our last stay. Candles lit and a little extra cedar room spray was spritzed to freshen things up a bit. New books were added to the bookcase. Food & clothes unpacked and put away. The house fully awake, it once again greeted us with open arms.




A Monday Quote




How ‘Bout Them Apples



20150125-091821.jpg A little Sunday beauty for you. Yesterday morning at the Market, a vendor had just the most picturesque bushels of apples. The light was hitting them perfectly, bringing out the amazing variations of color. Nature’s magic.

We fly out early tomorrow to snowy & quite cold New York. Super excited for a Winter respite at Hawthorne.
A restful Sunday to you all,



A Little Pink, A Little Red

20150124-072458.jpg And make that a little green too. It was all about refreshing the windows yesterday. On these chilly, rainy days they just beg to be spruced up. While Valentine’s Day is still a bit away, the pink, the red, and the green just add a bit of good energy & pop to the windows. That is the thing about a hit of color–it can make a display/room/outfit just sing.




Random Acts of Creative Kindness

20150123-073111.jpg You might recognize this image from earlier in the week, when I posted it on Monday for my Ted’s Tip. Local Seattle artist, Jeanne McKay Hartmann, took the image and created a watercolor of it. I was so touched that the image resonated with her, putting her creativity & talent to work creating a likeness of the tableau. It got me thinking about kindness, talents and sharing those talents. We all have them. Even though I know lots of people don’t give themselves credit for having them. Baking a cake is a talent, as is knitting a scarf. Both things I have never attempted. To me, it takes a special skill and care to do both. I guess where I am headed with this is we all have things we do that are special but we take for granted that we know how to do them, and at times discount that skill. Jeanne shared her skill and talent of painting with me and it made my day. If you can bake a cake, make one and give it to a friend out of the blue. By doing that, you are sharing your talent. If you can knit, make a scarf for a friend and give it to them, just because, for no other reason than to show them you love them. If you have a way with words, write them in a letter to a friend. If you have a love of shoveling snow or mowing grass, surprise an elderly neighbor by taking care of that task for them. We all have things we like to make/create/do, by sharing them, we create random acts of creative kindness.



One Kings Lane Photo Shoot

20150122-063542.jpg Yesterday was a full day of shooting the goods I have assembled for our upcoming One Kings Lane sale in March. It is so fun to see it all come together. The word ‘curated’ is so overused at this stage, but it really is the word that best describes the grouping of things that will be offered. My idea was to gather 125 objects that tell the story of Watson Kennedy. Think a Limoges bowl filled with Santa Maria Novella potpourri or a pair of vintage French ivory candlesticks filled with our hand-rolled beeswax taper candles. The date range is sometime in March, but I will let you all know as soon as an exact date is finalized. Photography by Renata Steiner