Blackberry Farm

January 7, 2016


I’ve never been to Blackberry Farm but these images (all from Instagram) made the decision for me to add it to my “must visit” list. I had never even heard of this beautiful place until today, but just look at it.  I’m sure my southern friends will say “hello, where have you been…”  I’m just happy to have discovered Blackberry Farm.  The decor and care and attention to detail is clearly something they pride themselves on.  To see many more beautiful images and to learn more about Blackberry farm visit their website here.  Here’s more in their words (taken for their website)…

In 1939, Mrs. Florida Lasier of Chicago snagged her silk stockings on a wild blackberry bramble while exploring the idyllic Smoky Mountain foothills, and the name Blackberry Farm was born. Thirty-nine years later, the Beall family invested their hearts and souls in the same romantic site that has become their family home and lifelong passion. Today, one of America’s most celebrated intimate luxury hotels beckons discerning guests who aspire to escape modern-day frenzy and slip into a Blackberry state of mind. Situated on a pastoral 9,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry will show you the many reasons why it is one of the top rated properties in the world.


Whether you select the intimate charm of an Estate Room, the legendary elegance of a spacious Singing Brook, Farmstead Cottage, Holly Glade Suite or luxurious comforts of a Hill Cottage, Blackberry Farm’s accommodations offer a haven of carefree comfort. From heavenly feather beds adorned with sumptuous linens to plush robes and luxurious amenities, your accommodations reflect a meticulous attention to detail.


Winter Rates available January – March:
Roaring fires, frosty mornings and everything signature Blackberry Farm in between – plus our annual winter rates for rooms and activities. No matter what draws you, there are plenty of reasons to slip away to Blackberry this Winter and enjoy the stillness of the smokies during truly one of the loveliest times of the year.
(Winter rates available from January 1 – March 13, 2016)

Winter Romantic Escape: Spend more time together at Blackberry Farm in an exclusive offer for a complimentary fourth night when you book three weeknights during December-March. You will also receive a split of champagne on arrival, a seasonal welcome amenity, and a rose petal turndown one evening.
Call 800–557-8864 for information and details. *subject to availability

imageNo promotional enticements or fees were paid for this blog by Blackberry Farm or another person or company.  This is just me, telling you what I think is chic and what deserves to be celebrated and admired.  


For Sale (CRUSH)

March 21, 2015


Does everyone dream of living on a farm with chickens, gardens, fields and a barn for parties… or is it just me? I’m crushing on this house big time.  I love that it hasn’t been redone.  As far as I’m concerned all it needs is a little paint (not a fan of the trim color) and maybe, maybe… shiplap or clapboard.

This one is for sale in Westport MA.  It’s 1.4 asking price is prohibitive for me v(1.4 Mil)  but I love the bones of this house and the mostly original interiors – if not original then just damn old – and the well proportioned rooms.  The kitchen is something I would build into a newer home just to get the turn of the century look.

l743bca44-m0xd-w640_h480_q80I think it is safe to assume this house was once sided in shiplap or clapboard siding.  I think I’d want to restore the outside to that original aesthetic (drink).  Love a shingled house but it doesn’t suit this one.  Every time I help a client remodel an antique home I try to encourage sensitive “updating” and to work with as much existing as possible.  Updating systems always seems to screw up wallpaper, and I’m ok with that it’s usual the wallpaper that is dingy, stained or not the desired look, But his house is so sweet, as is… I wouldn’t want to change much.  I’d just go antiquing and to garage sales and estate sales all weekend, and take baths in the claw foot tub. This place has to have a claw foot tub!   Right?!?


The other bedrooms are bigger, but I pick this one.  Love the vintage ship paintings and prints.  As it turns out I have had the pleasure of going to a party at this home.  A friend rented it a few summers ago, we played croquet on the lawn and drank lemonade, it was quite swell.  Lots of artsy folk from Rhode Island School of Design, and other wild free spirits. l743bca44-m15xd-w640_h480_q80 l743bca44-m14xd-w640_h480_q80l743bca44-m10xd-w640_h480_q80 l743bca44-m9xd-w640_h480_q80 These built-ins are clearly original but it looks like the cabinets not so much.  Id take down all the upper cabinets and put in open shelves like the pantry, or nothing at all. And, that’s about all I’d do.  ok, and paint… and peek under the linoleum to see if there are wide board floors, but that’s it!  I swear it. l743bca44-m8xd-w640_h480_q80 l743bca44-m7xd-w640_h480_q80 …and paint.  That’s IT!l743bca44-m5xd-w640_h480_q80

…and take down those bad swags on the dining room windows. RdWestportMA_02790

…is the link if you have to know more!



For Sale – Still LA Dreamin

December 15, 2012

12-640435_10_0Known as the Hailey Residence, this compact mid-century modern in the hills northwest of the Hollywood Reservoir was designed by the brilliant Richard Neutra in 1959. A two-bedroom, two-bath property, per tax rolls, it features beamed ceilings, built-ins, a wood-burning fireplace, sliding glass walls, “a soft mobile wall [that] when open, allows for a generous den off the living-dining area … a small office, control temp wine cellar & laundry constructed within lower undeveloped space.” Sited on a 5,616 square foot lot, the property, which last sold in 1996 for $275,000, is now asking $895,000.

See more pics at:



December 4, 2012


Last time I was in the City of Angels visiting close friends I had to good fortune to get into this little beauty.  Completely refurbished, the interior maintained a Hollywood glamour but the open space was decidedly modern and fresh.  Now mind you, I’d rather buy an “original condition” home and I’d preserve as much if not all the authentic details, rooms (and floor plan within reason) but walking into this made it easy to see why someone might just blow the whole thing out and make a tiny bungalow go BIG!

20121001-2-1115-010Not every decision made was a decision I would have made, another reason I’d rather do it myself, but the all of it was beyond livable, it was beautiful.  The bacykard off the open kitchen felt more like a courtyard, walled and private a small pool was guarded on one side by olive trees and across the back of the property a media room, a bar accessible from the pool area, and a small apartment above.20121001-2-0588-010Here is a picture of the upstairs apartment, funny now that I look at the picture they had it staged without a bed… I guess a studio looks bigger when you don’t put a bed in it.  I loved the decor of this private space and the long narrow windows that opened in to make the room feel part of the beautiful outdoors – Southern California weather is lovely – and let the fresh air in.  20121001-2-0041-010s

For Sale

August 4, 2012

Offered by the Sunset Team in Los Angeles this West Hollywood residence is a Deco (without being too Deco) Dream.  They had me at Deco, but then the designer or owner poured chocolate all over the interiors and now I’m down right smitten.  Here are some great images from the listing

Have you ever been to the Hampton’s?  Long Island is full of swanky enclaves oozing with chic people, and chic people live in chic homes, no shortage there.  I have been and I love the high hedges and the lowness of the buildings and the geography, and the shopping is great but prepare to pay top dollar unless you hit the end of season sales.  Sag Harbor is a favorite of mine, the town is very easy-going and the folks there a bit more relaxed.  Bridgehampton is also nice, and if you’ve got 4.something laying around you could be living in this contemporary house right now.  To me this is a modern home that would live comfortably, its relaxed and easy (and most definitely chic) but the rooms don’t suggest that they aren’t for sitting down.  Great color palette, beautiful pool and nicely designed.

The ONLY thing about this house that doesn’t “work” for me is that it’s in Australia.  Wow, what a beautiful setting, house and  interiors…
I first saw this listing on fellow blogger Justine Taylor’s site  birch&lily and I am totally smitten. Here’s the link to all the great images of this pretty country house  and the description provided by the real estate agent…

The house is called Glen Athan and it is in Berry, AU ( Kangaroo Valley – how cute is that? )

Regarded as one of the South Coast’s most stylish and authentic country properties, Glen Athan is a private 105-acre retreat with a recently completed and stunning family farmhouse, a world-class resort-style swimming pool and the most spectacular of views encompassing 180-degrees of the quiet and unspoilt Wattamolla Valley.

Blending the best of Australian heritage design and contemporary luxuries, the home features rustic wide-board flooring; timber-lined walls and ceilings; South Australian slate hearths; craftsman-built windows, doors and cabinetry; recycled timbers; and 150-year-old convict-hewn sandstone.

With four superbly-sized double bedrooms and three enormous bathrooms – all with underfloor heating – the home is perfect for families or entertaining large groups at weekends and holidays.

There is a grand central living area with open fire; a stylish bespoke kitchen featuring marble bench-tops and double butler’s sink; an impressive walk-in pantry; a scullery; and a convenient tiled laundry and mud-room.

Off the generous entrance foyer is an inviting library with custom joinery and fireplace. The master bedroom also benefits from its own open fire, en-suite bathroom and room-sized private robe. Additionally, there is a large open study area; separate and quiet home-office; as well as a walk-in linen room; ample ancillary storage; and built-in robes for all bedrooms.

On the over-sized sandstone entertaining terrace there is a large barbecue and shower area adjacent to the breath-taking wet-edge pool; which is conveniently gas-heated to extend swimming times throughout the year and late into the summer evenings. To the rear of the property is a private and protected flagstone courtyard and rose terrace with a slate-roofed bread and pizza oven and a convenient and fully-irrigated kitchen herb garden. The wide wrap-around verandahs provide yet another venue for outdoor dining.

Both discreet and highly private, Glen Athan is elevated from the world below and blessed with cooling summer breezes and ever-changing views of the escarpment and valley to be enjoyed from every room in the house.