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The Front Sunporch at Hawthorne

The front sunporch at Hawthorne was a major selling point when we bought the house, oh my gosh, now 6 years ago. Walking into it that first time, I felt transported. My heart rate felt like it dropped by several beats as I instantly felt more relaxed once crossing the threshold. Scott, the previous owner had completely redone the space, finding old windows to wrap around the room and engulf it in sunlight. We gave it all a fresh coat of paint and furnished it with a comfy down-filled sofa and ottoman on one end. An assortment of chairs over the last few years has filled the other end. Recently we found a green wicker set that completely fits the space to a T, or make that an H! Matching consoles on each side of the French doors that take you into the living room we made identical–with a lamp, candelabra and papier-mâché ficus tree. We love this room year round, but on a hot humid August Hudson Valley Summer day, it is one of my very favorite places to be.



 

 

A Green Door

Work on Little Hawthorne is progressing each day. Things will look quite a bit different when we arrive in August than they did when we left at the end of May. We get lots of updates from caretaker Bill each week. Our niece Aisling who is studying to get her masters degree has stepped in to help with the exterior painting–a fun summer diversion from school. It is hugely meaningful to have family help on this project while we are away. The main goal has been to try and make the house look like it ‘belongs’ to/with the other house. Not twins but brothers born 30+ years apart. That your eye will look at them both and they relate to one another. First item on the very long list was a new door. We then had it painted the same vibrant green of the door at Hawthorne. Next up was taking down the metal railings that were super dated and we had identical wood railings built to match the other house. Dark green painted steps that are at Hawthorne now mimic those. Lastly, the light fixture will go and a galvanized version like we have at Hawthorne will replace it. Bit by bit, it is all coming together. Looking forward to showing you the inside once we are back. The transformation has been so fun to watch by way of photos. We can’t wait to get back and see it with our own eyes!



 

 

A Green, Green Shop Table

Yesterday was a full day of display, along with redoing the dining table vignette at the back of the Home store. How surprising, green has been on my mind! With the official start of Spring next week as well as St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, I just decided to run with it. Oh, and those geranium places. They had quite a bit to do with it, as I have been dying to play with them since they came in. The green dotted tablecloth is actually a big roll of wrapping paper I adore. Once that was put into place everything else came together. The potted Livia Cetti geranium just had to be the centerpiece. Dinner is served!



 

 

Here’s Looking At You

Over the years we have been drawn to and collected many paintings of faces, grouping them all in our guest bedroom at The Gainsborough. Portraits have a ‘moment in time’ feel. Even though they are painted by a variety of artists, there is a similarity that makes them a collective whole. They are always on my wish list when out vintage shopping for the stores. You just never know when you might turn a corner and be looked upon by the newest member of the collection.



 

 

Blooming Hyacinth Bulbs

Flower Friday brings us a forced hyacinth bulb that sent us off with a flourish the other day from Hawthorne as we headed to Seattle. Access to flowers in the country is not the easiest, so I get creative as all get out at the grocery store. At this stage in the game, I really relish the challenge of keeping the house in blooms while we are there. Flowers are like food to me. They feed my soul, being constant inspiration while bringing tons of joy. I was over the moon when I spotted these clear bulb vases already filled with a bulb. To me seeing the roots can be equally beautiful to the blooms. So in this case, the clear container could not have been more perfect. First we had them on the dining table, then I dotted the blooms around the house. Bits of the Spring ahead on those chilly, chilly Hudson Valley days. Have a lovely January weekend everyone!



 

 

Paperwhites, Hyacinth Bulbs, Hydrangea and Carnations

Flower Friday is our flower laden supper table last night. We made our way back to Hawthorne and are determined to find joy in all the little things. While still in a haze, you all know how happy it makes me to set a fun table. While thoughts and stories about my mom are ever present, we are determined to savor the last of our Twelve Days of Christmas celebrations. So the house was filled with the scent of garlic and saffron last night. Geranium leaf placemats from the shop have been a fun addition. Then it was about layering all sorts of grocery store flower finds along with pots of paperwhites caretaker Bill picked up for us before we arrived on Christmas Day. The blooms starting to open, releasing their heavenly scent. Then lighting some taper candles and the table was set.



 

 

Carnation Love

Flower Friday brings us a big bundled bunch of gloriously green carnations. We did a big grocery shop yesterday and there they were in all their ruffly glory at the Price Chopper in Chatham. So good I just could not pass them up. I have mentioned before finding flowers in the country can be a challenge, so grocery flower departments often come to the rescue. Options can be slim, but I always look for one type of bloom that looks healthy and pick out a profusion of them. Have a lovely last week-end of the year everyone!



 

 

A Boxing Day Table For 14

Our new tradition of flying to Hawthorne on Christmas Day also includes hosting a Boxing Day supper the next day. This year it was a family affair with folks coming from Montclair, Albany and Troy. Simple potted paperwhites would be the centerpiece of the table. When we bought the metal topped dining table when we first got the house, we actually bought 2. The legs fold so we keep the spare in the basement. It is quite nifty because it saddles up ever so nicely as a pair, giving us lots of extra seating to accommodate more guests. We used 2 fern laden matching tablecloths so the tables became a cohesive whole. Then it was a smattering of glassybaby vessels along with the pair of jaunty green Dunes & Duchess candelabras and we were off and running. Citrus with thyme salmon, cauliflower and broccoli purée, along with Parmesan smashed Yukon gold potatoes was the meal. Tons of chatting, lots of laughs, deep discussions and a good deal of wine. A pretty swell evening to kick-off our stay.



 

 

Inspiration In Red and Green

This time of year I especially love red and green together. Or separately. Does not matter. But when combined they do have a jolly-ness to them. The hues in many forms are the inspiration for the post today.



 

 

Right Before Guests Arrive

I snapped a few shots right before guests arrived. An early country supper as the sun goes down and the flicker of the candlelight dances about the dining room. A full week-end of entertaining ahead. Crazy to think it has already been 5 years since we started calling this house our home. Time flies. Enjoy and savor every moment of it…