Find your Decorating Drama with Neutrals.

Find your Decorating Drama with Neutrals.

Neutrals for Everyone

Some times you see a color combination and it just strikes you as perfect. This image of black, and grey caught my eye, and my imagination.  The lovely colors are so enhanced by the textures, the burlap the wool all mix together for a peaceful yet slightly moody feature.

I am always interested in what colors make up a scene, and started to look deeper into this photo. Of course I often see things in terms of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint color palette so in this photo I see, French Linen and Graphite maybe a little Paris Grey and Old White. All  colors from our lovely neutral pallet.

Then I went hunting on the inter webs for ideas of what to do with these colors.

Wow, there were some great ideas out there. using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.

Like this great armoire I found on Pinterest

French Linen and Graphite Armorie

or these lovely pots from Stone Gables Blog.

Stone Gables Urns

Or this lovely little table found on Pinterest that is two parts French Linen mixed with 1 part graphite. Now that is a combination I could get behind.

French Linen and Graphite mixed

In a time when whites are all the rage, and I do love my whites… maybe it’s time to look at graphite. It can give you a bump of drama in an otherwise neutral world.

xoxo Lydia


Color Stories – Versailles

Color Stories – Versailles


                         More than just a palace

Versailles, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Color is a  lovely neutral with green and yellow overtones is just a perfect color. One of 35 from the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint color palette. Yes, it was found in and around the famous palace but… it really is a whole lot more. We love the pairing above with a deep royal color keeping up the monarchy theme.

Versailles Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

In Annie Sloan’s own words….

Versailles Annie Sloan Chalk Paint test


Join us on our instagram adventures for more inspirations.

xoxo Lydia

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Life In A Barn

Life In A Barn

A refurbished barn

There’s something about old barns that has captured the attention and the imagination of everyone in the past few years. Is it the history of the building? The rustic charm?

There’s been a resurgence of DIY enthusiasts bent on refurbishing old barns into event halls or houses.

barn wedding

Photo credit Toadstool-Pond


refurbished barn

Photo credit Swedish and French Decorating

I mean, can we talk? Barns are perfect for hanging over the top chandeliers. The ceilings are high and vaulted making them absolutely perfect for whatever decorative lighting suits your fancy. The ones pictured above are a good combination of rustic elegance. Of course, if you’re leaning more towards luxury elegance grab some chandeliers dripping with crystals. Think of all the rainbows that would dance over the walls when the sun came through those windows!

This got us thinking about renovating barns, and then we came across these photos by Belgum architect Alexis Herbosch and they sealed the deal. Anyone know of a barn that needs redoing??


These pictures epitomize modern country style. The cool, crisp colors, the marriage of paint and wood, and the combining of natural materials make us want to move in immediately.


The use of the orignial barn structure is so unique. Why waste all those architectural details?


The color pallet so muted with whites, creams and grays, with accents of muted blues. Of course, with the neutral palette there’s so many opportunities to add lots of different pops of color. Bright oranges and reds, vibrant greens, or soft yellows come to mind.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 6.32.20 AM

Modern country barn renovation Chalk Paint color palette:

Pure White chalk paintOld Ochre chalk paintGraphite chalk paintParis Grey chalk paint

Louis Blue chalk paintDuck Egg Blue chalk paintPaloma chalk paint

Pure White, Old Ochre, Graphite, Paris Grey, Louis Blue, Duck Egg, Paloma.



Do You Hygee?

Do You Hygee?


There’s no one word to describe Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) it’s a Danish word that translates into English as “cosiness”. The Danes see life as an art form, incorporating hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension of their everyday ritual being aware of a good moments making daily rituals seem like special events. Or making special events extra special. It’s a cousin to relaxing, but in a slightly contemplative or meditative way. Taking a daily sauna  is very Hygge.

Books glamorize hygee which is the exact opposite of what it should be. You can’t buy Hygee you need to live it. It is more about adopting rituals to let you slow down be attentive to your surroundings and smell the roses or the coffee if you prefer.

You can not Hygee while checking your twitter, Instagram or Facebook account. Honest.

As we were fighting Chris’s cancer last year I realized  that life for me had just become go, go, go, I took a day off to just be. I’d planned to spend the entire day at home pottering and doing little and maybe some not so little projects. But…  I was restless. I  finally started to slow down. Focus on fewer things and run them around in my mind more. A little more purposefully.

As I was researching what is Hygee I was reminded of some of the lovely times I have spent sailing in Sweden on our old boat Clarion of Skye. Maybe that is where I get my love of Scandinavian Style.

One year I spent a lovely summer solstice in a tiny harbor near the Norwegian border. The solstice is  the day when daylight never ends. Because of their long dark winters it’s a celebration.

Being alone I though I would read a book a go to bed early – apparently I missed the 24 hours of daylight notice. That afternoon in my very peaceful and anchorage came a knock, knock, knock on the hull.

Hello, we’re having a roving all night party do you want to join? It seems that everyone in this bay was preparing a meal. Appetizers on one boat at 10PM dinner on another then salad on another, you get the idea. I opted for desert on Clarion at around 5AM. And each course was mixed with parts of an Opera. I chose Carmen.

For one glorious night I leisurely enjoyed my 12 new friends, sharing sailing stories enjoying good food and special company all night long.

Now that is Hygee!

xoxo Lydia

Barcelona Orange – A Color Story

Barcelona Orange – A Color Story

Color Stories …..

Barcelona Orange

Orange is hot…..and it’s not just for halloween.

Orange is the color of sunsets and sunrises, happy times and buds in bloom. You can mix it with whites for a pale look, or reds for a more coral coastal style.

Look at all the different cool ways you can use orange.


Like these napkins from Dot and Army in the orange color way, or this great ches. You can find more ideas in Annie Sloan Paints Everything.

They are all like a breath of fresh air.

Barcelona Orange is a color that goes well with reds and dark blue like Napolionic and Aubusson. So many choices.

In Annie’s Own Words

Shop the Look


A Home on Martha’s Vineyard – Saturday Style

A Home on Martha’s Vineyard – Saturday Style

A Home on Martha’s Vineyard

It’s Saturday Morning, a time for just relaxing a little a good cup of coffee and some style Ideas. It’s Saturday Style from Maine Country Home

This week I found this lovely home on Martha’s Vineyard highlighted in One Kind Design. So then I got to thinking, what are the top three things that I really love about this home.

1- The pass through fireplace

Pass Through Fire Place

2 – The side table especially the three graduated lanterns.

3 – The view! Sigh….

What is your favorite element in these pictures? All images from 1kinddesign.

We would love to hear your thoughts.

xoxo Lydia

Horses, Wine, and Tents

Horses, Wine, and Tents

Horses, Wine and Tents

These three things are not as different as you might think! As we get back home to Maine our recent vacation is now a memory. A month with family was totally wonderful, and we found some other great ideas spending time with our grandchildren.

For our oldest grand-daughter It all started with a pony. So for those of you who don’t know a pony is a small horse (under 14.2 hands.) In New Zealand at least it is where the younger riders, (under 17) can compete among themselves and hone their skills before graduating to “horse”.

Last year when our grand daughter rode in this event it was as a 12 year old on a horse. The outcome wasn’t so great and somewhere around this time I utter the words “why doesn’t she have a pony?” I’m certain you can all write the next part of this story so this year  Chris and I travel to Hawkes Bay Wine Country for the Horse of The Year Competition.

Watching our eldest granddaughter is a major treat and seeing her make it all the way to the Pony Grand Prix after only six months on her pony Redcliffs Bill is pretty special. She finished 8th in the entire country!

Can you tell I am a very proud grandmother?

But… you can not just watch one pony all week long and we were in one of the great wine regions of world.  Each day after watching pony work we set off to a different winery for tasting and lunch. From our week of pony trials our top two wineries are  ta da….

Black Barn

and Craggy Range

It’s not just the wine, the food is pretty special also, with each menu already paired with a wine course from each vineyard.  They are all a little different one day it might be venison tartare, a other pork with crackle or lamp. All of it farm fresh and cooked to perfection.

Our home for the week is the lovely Ormlie Lodge, an old and stately home now a small hotel. Of course I could have stayed in a tent?

Not just any tent I promise, as part of the show the horse vendors, clothing blankets saddles etc are here in force but the one vendor that caught my eye the most is this elegant tent.

Bed room, kitchen dining all in one great open floor plan tent.  This great wood and tin table seat six, and the rest of the area is filled with these wonderful sheep skin bean bags. Now that would be a great luxury.  Maybe I should bring this lovely tent home, or just find one like it at home. Now that would be a fun project!

Sigh… we’re home now and missing New Zealand already.

xoxo Lydia

Country Tables on Saturday Style

Country Tables on Saturday Style

Whew, it’s Saturday, This week on our new series, Saturday Style, we’re looking at modern country table designs.  The ones I’ve picked would be pretty easy to make. So which one do you like the best…

1. From wine country in California I love the rustic legs with pegs on this round top

2 Saw horses take on a new feel with this long dining table. How easy to make is this. Wash the top with white over a neutral grey.

3. The industrial legs on this wonderful piece of wood, finished to perfection would feel at home in any modern country dining area.

4. The old wood top on this table caught my eye. Do you think you could make it out of aged pallets?

5. Finally, this sturdy farm table, white washed works wonderfully with the modern chairs.

All photo’s from Pinterest

Again, which one do you like the best?

Want to Get The Look Now

XOXO Lydia

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