Have you seen the summer issue of Veranda? If not, make sure to pick up your copy, it is a beautiful array of projects by design masters like Frank de Biasi and Cathy Kincaid! One of the homes in the issue is this blue and white dream house in Locust Valley – a sprawling property designed by de Biasi a few years ago. It is a c. 1917 Colonial-style home with the prettiest blue shutters and carefully manicured gardens.

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Veranda

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The work of ceramicist and lamp designer Christopher Spitzmiller has become the standard of excellence in the design world. The talented potter and business man  may spend his days in his New York City studio, but on the weekends, he drives 90 miles north to Millbrook. In the heart of Hudson Valley, Spitzmiller has carved out a little corner of rural paradise, the perfect place to unwind and forget about the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

Back in 2005 he bough a dilapidated Greek Revival house that was so run down, it was in desperate need of a loving restoration. It took about 5 years to bring the house back to a glorious state, time in which Spitzmiller’s mentor and friend, Albert Hadley contributed with ideas on how to rework the dated floor plan into a practical, modern one.

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”My house is a Greek Revival American farmhouse. Albert Hadley was a great mentor to me and I used as many of his wallpapers and designs [in the house] as I could. Albert made sketches from photos of the different rooms, and we worked out the floor plans together. The hook zebra rug in my living room is from his Parish-Hadley days and is one of my favorite possessions. Harry Heissmann, who worked for “Mr. Hadley,” helped me decorate it. Jeffrey Bilhuber has even affectionately called it “Hadleyville.””

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Let’s be honest, backyard storage is often times an eyesore! A designated dump yard for all of our gardening equipment, lawn mowers, paint brushes and potting benches, the shed can be a real pain to make pretty. But if you thought garden sheds cannot be glamorous, think again because this talented and business savvy mother-daughter duo has taken backyard storage to new heights of chic.

What started as an unfortunate event – their barn burned down a few years back and the neighboring Amish community helped rebuild it – has turned into a creative business idea. Impressed by the skilled craftsmanship of the Amish, the two soon came to realize that the market in the States is lacking in beautifully crafted, prefabricated garden sheds. With this thought, Hillsbrook Collections was born. Inspired by classical architectural styles, their garden cottages are stunning and highly customizable. You can chose your finishes and opt for charming add-ons like towerlets, finials, Dutch doors, trellis work, lanterns or armillarries. The only trouble will be in deciding between their pretty designs!

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I hope you’ve all had a peaceful holiday weekend! We had a great couple of days, enjoyed some sweet family time as well as entertaining with friends. The temperatures are now in the mid 70s, tulips and lilacs are in full bloom and our entire neighborhood smells divine. Don’t you just love Spring?

For today’s design post, I have in mind a beautiful mountain lodge set in Big Sky, Montana that is all about nature. Designed by architect Paul Bertelli and decorator Markham Roberts, the home is a sophisticated holiday retreat that is cozy and comfortable without the usual rustic clichés. Weathered wood, native stones and breathtaking vistas blend seamlessly with chic fabrics and bespoke furnishings. The result is one of the most beautiful mountain homes I’ve ever seen!

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Don’t you just love interiors that have a strong indoor/outdoor connection? Well, me too! When it comes to decorating, I have an affinity for rooms with an earthy feel that evoke the tranquility of a garden. Even better if they open onto one!

Whether you have stunning views and a patio right outside of your living room, or not, there are many different ways to bring the outdoors in. You can begin with the color scheme – an earthy palette of greens and grounding browns will work like a charm. Next, use fabrics / wall coverings that depict serene nature scenes and floral patterns. Last, finish the room by incorporating natural textures whenever possible – rattan, sisal and wicker will subtly create a garden-like feel. Now, if you’re bold enough, you can always try a garden trellis! It is by far one of the most dramatic and efficient ways of creating a garden room.

A garden trellis or a treillage (aka as fretwork or lattice) is an architectural structure made of interlacing strips of wood, bamboo or metal, that is widely used in gardens to support climbing trees and plants.

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