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Wednesday, May 30

Design 101: Checkerboard Floors

One of my clients has specified the desire for a checkerboard pattern in her new kitchen and mud room. This of course sent me on a pinning spree of beautiful checkerboard flooring - tile and painted hardwood. For those of you who's inner eye immediately thinks of cheesy '50s diners please change that mental slide! 
The checkerboard pattern has been in existence for thousands of years and the first evidence of its use as flooring comes from antiquity, specifically the Roman Empire. It gained popularity in the 15th century when we begin to see checkerboard floors depicted in Renaissance paintings. The use in great palaces and noble homes continued to grow well into the Neo-Classical period of the 18th century.
The motif began to be used in domestic areas of the home such as kitchens, service halls and laundries in the 1920s and '30s. And yes, in the 1950s it made its debut in diners and ice cream parlors but its history is long established as elegant and refined. 

{Images via Pinterest

Tuesday, May 29


I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Memorial Day Weekend. I certainly did, was able to catch up on some much needed sleep and even got to visit with Stephanie (guest blogger extraordinaire here at Halcyon Style) who was in Massachusetts for a wedding this weekend. Even with all my relaxing I was still able to keep up with my pinning, of course! Here are some of my recent favorite pins.
 Come on, tell me you wouldn't love to throw or attend a dinner party with the above set up? I dare you. 
Words to live by.  I think I may frame this quote and hang it by my front door as a burst of wisdom as I head out for a busy day. 
Can't go wrong with navy blue and lemon yellow. In my book anyway.
I'm not one for intense modern design but the peaceful, relaxing feeling this image exudes is hard to resist. Natural planks combined with streamlined white cabinetry would be awesome for a more contempoary beach or lake house.

{Images via Pinterest

Thursday, May 24

The Great Gatsby

Being a fan of both Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, it looks like director Baz Luhrmann has created another visual masterpiece with his adaption of F. S. Fitzgerald's the Great Gastby. Haven't seen the latest tailer yet? Watch it now! Or watch it again and start crossing out days until its release in December.

Many thanks to Stephanie for bringing this to my attention yesterday. She suggested a tie in with fashion or interiors but to tell you the truth, my brain is on overload at the moment. To illustrate, I bumped into H on our respective ways home from work and I exclaimed "thank goodness it's Friday, right!" She replied with raised eyebrow, "Allison, it's Wednesday." Well, shoot. 

Wednesday, May 23

Mr. Boddington's Studio

From the first second I clicked on to the website for Mr. Boddington's Studio I was in love. This letterpress stationer is just the right mix of traditional and quirky. I chuckled out loud to myself when I read the cheeky History of Mr. Boddington - "His first correspondence was sent from an island in the south pacific at the age of five. He requested ten boxes of 'Van Dyke' drawing pencil no. 600."
No need for invitations are the moment? Why not pick up a box of social stationery suitable for letters to long lost friends to a simple dinner party thank you. Each set comes with four different yet complementary envelope liners to add some panache to even the most mundane of correspondence. 

Tuesday, May 22

Paint Decisions

Even though I've posted numerous times about painting my apartment, sadly it still remains in a semi unfinished place. There are about twelve test shades of pale pink and gray on various walls throughout my living areas. I've narrowed it down to either Shell Pink or Classic Gray from Benjamin Moore. But that's about as far as I've made it. Mostly because I can't decide between the colors but also because I dread the actual painting process. But that's a post for a later date. 
I love the warm feeling the pink creates in this space. And let's face it, this is probably my only opportunity to every have a pink living room. But I've also been obsessed with gray walls for a while now; crisp & cool. 
The below is a fairly accurate representation of where my living room is going... I have most of the larger items sans coffee table & side chair. What color would you choose? 
Click Image to Zoom

{Images via Pinterest}

Monday, May 21


Over the weekend I came across Troubadour, the boutique women's label from Charleston based designer, Lindsey Carter. One part Southern Belle and one part Bohemian Edge, Troubadour's offerings evoke spring picnics, long summer days and dewey evenings spent along the waterside.
 A feeling of peaceful relaxation enveloped my mind when I scrolled through the Spring/Summer lookbook and I just know that feeling would translate when wearing these exquisite pieces. 

{Images via Troubadour}

Friday, May 18

Hidden City Gardens

Four years ago my mother and I started a new Mother's Day tradition, going on the annual Beacon Hill Garden Tour. One day a year the public can tour some of Beacon Hill's most beautiful hidden gardens usually visible only to homeowners or their nearest neighbors. I was able to take a few photos from yesterday's tour, keep in mind that these small spaces are often very crowded and for the most part shade gardens so you'll see more verdant greens than colorful florals and more detailed shots than entire captures.
 These lucky ducks not only have a garden but they also have an off-street parking spot. Fair warning, while these spaces are beautiful they can also cause bouts of jealousy!
 Water features are essential to city gardens to create a peaceful retreat and soothe the sounds of the daily hustle-bustle.  
Couldn't help snapping a picture of this happy little guy; I've never seen a weather vane in the shape of a peacock before.
 This sculptural wood carving's previous life was serving as a lid to the family's sandbox. So far removed from the plastic sandboxes of my youth. 
 Unexpected garden ornaments abound, much like these little chickadees.
 Hydrangeas happen to be tied with peonies as my favorite flowers but never in my life have I seen a white, green and pink variegation. There are no words for the perfection.
 Chic teak lanterns tucked in among a trellis rose. These must look fabulous when lighted for an outdoor dinner party. 
 Cheerful lupin. Anyone else thinking of the illustrated child's book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney?
 You can't forget to look up when touring these hidden gems or you'll miss some delightful architecture. For instance, take this solarium on the third floor of an adjoining building. I certainly wouldn't object if this was attached to my apartment. 

{Images Property of Allison Whittemore / Halcyon Style}