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I am only in the wee early days of my house hunting adventures, and already I am excited to be putting together a cut-file of fresh design ideas for both inside and out. I am a huge fan of blue and white, and everyone who has visited my previous homes is familiar with my ever growing and ever changing collection of blue and white, which contains many pieces of antique Delft in addition to more modern Chinese pieces. I will absolutely figure on incorporating some of it, but I've got this idea about moving in a different direction, subtly.
Recently, I had the opportunity to revisit some old design ideas from before my first house in New Jersey, where I was once upon a time, largely inspired by a lady known as Bernardsville's grande dame of decorators, none other than Sister Parish. Little did I know of her at the time, that she was grande dame to what would be considered decades after her death, classic American interior design at its very core. What I did know of her was our introduction at my Aunt Caroline's home on Picklebrook Road in Bernardsville. Introduced as a 'dear friend,' I stood as a thirteen year old girl in front of a tall, robust woman whose very presence screamed to me that she was somebody. I also had occasion to meet one of Aunt Caroline's neighbors that same day, a Mrs. Pearlman. I am unsure I ever learned her first name. Mrs. Pearlman painted. It appeared that my Uncle Warren had purchased one of Mrs. Pearlman's works as an anniversary gift for my Aunt, and that Sister was there to both oversee its installation as well as to admire the piece that she exclaimed "she'd allowed Warren first choice due to the nature of its occasion." I have, and because of her saying it, always held onto the notion that this poetic abstract by Mrs. Pearlman would have belonged to Sister had it not been for Uncle Warren convincing her it was the ONLY gift he wanted for my Aunt. At present, I am its owner, left to me by my Aunt and Uncle both upon my Aunt's passing. It is among my most coveted possessions.
But more about my cut-file. What is a cut-file? Do you know all of those pages from magazines and pins to Pinterest that we spend hours looking at, wishing and planning to implement in our own homes and gardens? Well, when I was in school for design and landed my first role as a design assistant to a group in Short Hills, New Jersey, I was in charge (this is waaaaay before Pinterest!) of organizing the mass rows of file cabinets filled with individual folders or cut-files, design ideas for the designers to pull inspiration from for new clients. Pinterest serves the purpose these days, but I am old, and apparently old habits die hard!
In my quest to satisfy this not yet used avenue in my design scope, I am finding more than I expected in terms of fabric choices and accent pieces, leading me to believe this bold color choice did not die in the early 1980s. Just look at what I have found. Frog green, grass green, verdant green; I am re-inspired by my past and once again, by Sister. I am channeling a lost and lumpy but never underappreciated green velvet sofa out of a 1960s edition of Architectural Digest. Chili green accent lamps of behemoth proportion exaggerate a space. In my mind, I am bringing in green to a barely warm palette of tones of putty and accent tones of pink, maybe even in the ceilings to offer depth and heighten the walls. More on my inspired room later, as I am definitely putting the cart before the horse and need to find the right house first!