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Shop Vignettes

When we are away I like staying connected to the shops by way of images the WK family sends me via texts or e-mails. It is a fun way to see what new product has arrived as well as check any displays that have been refreshed. I might not be there in-person but the shops are never far from my heart. Here are some shots sent to me this Hawthorne visit.



 

 

Trade Secrets 2019

May is one of my favorite times back East. We always head back then for a few weeks at Hawthorne and a host of events I/we like to partake in. It also happens to be Mister Sive’s BIRTHday during our stay, so he always gets to be surrounded by his family on his day. It is always a special time for us to be back in our beloved Hudson Valley. It is also the time of year for Trade Secrets. A Bunny Williams and her pals idea that begun almost 20 years ago as a fundraiser for a women’s support organization in the area of Connecticut where the event is held, whose mission is that of a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education. The rare plant and garden antique sale is filled with vintage goods that make me so happy my head spins. Finds for the house as well as the shops. It is one of my favorite days of the year. Similar to gift buying shows, I am often remiss in taking many photos as I am so caught up in the moment. But here are a few I did snap.

The event draws tons of creative folks from all over the area, so I get to see & meet tons of people. Bunny is always there and is a delight. Martha Stewart has never missed a day in the 19 years of the sale. I ran into and got to catch up with Lewis Miller who has become an international floral maestro, who was a customer of mine when I had my wholesale showroom ages ago. It is filled with flower lovers from near & far. A huge treat for me this year was running into Margot Shaw, who is the founder and editor in chief of FLOWER magazine. See below image. We have had an e-mail friendship for many years so it was lovely to finally meet and give her a hug. A kindred spirit indeed. She was there doing a signing for her new book Living Floral. Look for signed copies making their way to Watson Kennedy soon! I always attend the event with my dear friend Elizabeth, who lives in Rye and drives up on Friday and spends the night at Hawthorne and we get up super early on Saturday morning and attend the breakfast that begins at 8. It has become our tradition. This year Barb from WK joined in the fun too, as she was visiting her sister Greta in CT. The 4 of us had a grand time. If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods in May, put it on your to-do list. It really is a huge treat and tons of fun.



 

 

A Single Extraordinary Tulip

Flower Friday is a single bloom. But oh what impact that single bloom can have. I was lucky to get my hands on a bundle of white Mount Tacoma tulips at the wholesale grower on Tuesday for the Airbnb shoot on Wednesday. I dotted them around the house in vintage single stem containers. Each adding so much to the space they graced. This one in the upstairs bathroom winning the prize. Hope you enjoy the simplicity of it as much as we did.

Hope your week-end is grand! I am off to Trade Secrets in CT tomorrow with my friend Elizabeth. It has become our tradition. It is the Bunny Williams event filled with sublime plants and antiques and is always such a huge treat. Then into the city on Sunday for the stationery show. Monday is my annual pilgrimage to the Kips Bay designer show house and then back up to Hawthorne. X, T



 

 

Hawthorne Airbnb Plus

Airbnb is introducing a new program called, Plus, with design a major factor. We are honored that Hawthorne has been chosen to be part of it. From their site, “Plus is a selection of only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail.” They came and shot the house yesterday. I always love a photo shoot! Our experience with the guests that have rented out the house has been hugely satisfying and meaningful to us. Only being at the house several months a year, we love the idea of others being able to enjoy the specialness of the house & property. Sharing the experience of being here is of great importance to us. Small details bring both of us great joy, and the farmhouse is layer after layer of them. From the soap you wash your hands with, to the linens you use for your meal, to the extra virgin olive oil you use to make a vinaigrette, to the blanket you throw over your legs when you curl up by the fire to read a book, to the artwork on the walls ready to inspire you–all are part of the experience of staying at Hawthorne. I snapped a few photos yesterday while the photographer was shooting away.

If you have never been to the Hudson Valley or have plans to do so, keep Hawthorne in mind. Many of our guests have been blog readers, customers of Watson Kennedy or those who follow along on Instagram. We love sharing our home with those who enjoy all the details and love we have poured into it. Click here for the link.

Happy Thursday all! I hope life is grand in your part of the world.



 

 

Living With Art

Art is such a personal thing. A piece might resonate with you yet do nothing for the next person. That is entirely ok, but I think that is what slows down or in some cases paralyzes a person from buying art. Connecting with a piece of art should be all about you. Or you and your partner/spouse. Take everyone else out of the equation. It will relieve a huge amount of the stress over purchasing a work of art. Then you open your mind to what truly stirs your soul.



 

 

Hardwood Floor Love

This Hawthorne stay has all sorts of facets to it, from R&R to vintage buying for the shops, to a quick city trip for the stationery show, to chipping away on decisions for Little Hawthorne. Top of the list this visit is figuring out what color to have the floors stained. Under super thick shag wall to wall carpeting from what we are guessing was from the 70’s were beautiful hardwood floors. We are major fans of hardwood floors. Whether stained or painted, they are what we have had in our homes since we first met. There is just something about the grains and color variation we both love. Needless to say, we were pretty over the moon when it was figured out these were under all that carpeting. Having the floors refinished will bring them back to life, creating a fine canvas for the rest of the work ahead.



 

 

Beyond Fluttery Daffodils

Flower Friday brings these amazing fluttery daffodils from the Pike Place Market. I must admit, I am not the biggest fan when it comes to cut yellow daffodils. I love seeing them in the ground, but when cut, I have never found a way to make them last or cluster them where they don’t look smooshed together. Until I found this variety. Changed my mind completely. These almost have a peony vibe going on, and that is never a bad thing. Add the variation of colors in a single bloom, well, I am now a daffodil convert. So good!

A lovely Mother’s Day week-end to you all. X, T



 

 

Mother’s Day Open House at Watson Kennedy

If you are in the Seattle area this Saturday the 11th of May, please join us at both shops from 10 to 6 for our annual Mother’s Day Open House. Gruet sparkling wine & apple cider will be served. Festive music will fill the air. Our shelves and jewelry cases are brimming with gift after gift options for all on your list. And as always, we will be happily wrapping up all those lovely gifts for you too. Such a fun day. Hope you can join us!



 

 

Red Geraniums Set The Tone

The Sunday supper table was all awash in red. Our geranium collection grows, as TPS keeps planting away. Our friend Peg gave us this cool vintage white kitchen pot for Christmas. Beyond usage for cooking, I know she knew we would give it new life. I punctured holes in the bottom for water drainage and off we went. It became the the main feature of the table, really setting the tone. Then it was pulling all sorts of red things to pull it all together. The super long cutting board adding a bit of earthy light brown, playing nicely with the bamboo handles of the silverware. Steak and scallops were on the menu. I found a new red we quite liked that I will write about tomorrow. Then it was lighting a few candles and were set.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 200

On this the 5th anniversary of the release of my book Style & Simplicity, as well as the 200th ‘Ted’s Tip’ written every Monday on my daily blog post. I love how the two lined right up, falling on the same day! My tip today is super simple. Be kind. Show empathy. Treat people as you would like to be treated. It all comes down to loving one another.

In honor of the day I would love to give away 5 of my books along with some other Watson Kennedy treats. It will be 5 parcels filled with goodness. Leave a comment on what your favorite act of kindness is that you like to share. Next Monday I will combine all the names and draw the 5 winning folks. There is no limit to how many times you can enter. I want to be overwhelmed by the sharing of your acts of kindness. Much, much love to you all, Ted