october I am  a wandering poet and muse. I use color, sculpture and light to woo the heart and eye. I weave a blanket of joyful sacredness into gardens, homes and rooms. We all want to be more than just frenzied, trendy consumers and competitors. We want to give expression to our SPIRIT as well.

Expression of our individual spirits brings this thought to my 1956 aluminium trailer with cramped quarters, sandy sheets, spiders and a bucket for a dishwasher. Perfect design can also be found in awkward places like this because it requires you to find the simplistic perfection in the LIVING that takes place within it. It retrains the eye into seeing that no interior space is perfect until it plays host to the uncomposed messiness of children, food, laughter, pets… not always in that order.

This first blog is written while on the road in our vintage trailer with our youngest two children. We have christened this antique “Little Cowboy” and while I admit to hanging gold, gilded cowboy paintings on the rich wood paneling and to recovering the cushions in Ralph Lauren’s decadent brown and blue velvet- and yes I confess the entry is gifted with riotous potted geraniums- the tiny, unplugged quarters grace us all with fresh eyes for the perfection in EVERYTHING including the sandy, the sticky and the gooey. So take a break from your staged living room and go submerge your feet in some wet sand, listen to the symphony of birds in the early morning, watch small children explode with laughter running in and out of the lake, drip ice cream down your shirt and read until your eyes can no longer see the print on the page. This moment, this pause, this stepping off into a different place, is better than good… it is poetic perfection.


With fall and the holidays right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to give some thought to a welcoming fire in the fireplace. And fireplaces are always one of my favorite ways to find a focal point in a room be it living room, dining room, kitchen or master bedroom.  If you have one, use this wall as your starting point for both setting the tone of the room and arranging the conversational area.

Fireplace mantels and hearths can be as stylized as the exterior of the home and can reflect a traditional, old world, rustic or contemporary style.  And today, the availability of different materials and craftsmen make  a wooden mantel kit a rather stale option.

Elegant – lots of wooden moldings and intricate details that continue to the ceiling for vertical sophistication. Either stain a richcolor to mirror wooden beams or paint and glaze.


Lakehome – mix up stone at the base for a casual touch, then switch to an elegant tumbled marble up to the ceiling and top with a rich painted or custom stained mantel. Genteel – flank the fireplace with symmetrical library units. Have the mantel shelf mirror the wood tone or paint color of the library unit and bridge the gap in depth.

French Country – exaggerated plaster face inset with tumbled marble or hand painted, imported tiles.

We may not depend upon the fireplace as our source of heat or cooking fuel anylonger but don’t let it sit idle, use it as a draw for conversation and take advantage of the visual warmth it brings. Allow it to suffuse not only the room but your spirit with an impassioned glow.