Friday, May 28, 2010

Outdoor Entertaining at Mary Ann's

Our friend Mary Ann Davis has one of the prettiest properties in Key West and it's perfect for outdoor entertaining. The house is approached down a long brick walkway that is completely hidden from the street and lined with palm trees and orchid plants.

As the house comes into view you find yourself in a lovely courtyard bordered by the main house, the guest house and the pool.

Very often this courtyard is the cocktail spot.

The house itself is very gracious and welcoming with steps going up to a wide veranda - comfortable seating to one side and a large dining table on the other.

Mary Ann loves entertaining and does it with great artistry, always setting a beautiful table with colorful coordinated linens and tableware, always different and always gorgeous.

What a treat to be dining outdoors on a sultry Key West evening with palm blade fans circulating the air. It's paradise!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Royal Orange

Royal Poinciana trees are in full bloom all over our island.

Every corner you turn, there's another magnificent, fiery orange canopy of poinciana blooms.

Legend has it that Englishmen imported the Poinciana from Asia to all their Caribbean colonies and other ports of call that were friendly to them.

This way the captains of English ships could see the blazing floral display and know they would be welcome to seek harbor there.

Guess they only came to this neighborhood in June and July or else just took their chances.

Whatever the case, we get to relish their dramatic beauty every year at this time and personally experience why they are called "Royal."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Classy Glass

We just received more of the wonderful art glass lamps that we bought at High Point Market last month. We love these columns of rippling watery glass. They are very tall and majestic in both versions pale aqua or bright turquoise.

The little square turquoise version is mini and sweet.

The large aqua gourds are deliciously frosted.

All very classy. Hope you like them as much as we do.

Monday, May 24, 2010


My good friend Anna once wrote a hilarious post mocking design journalists for their prolific use of the word "fearless" when it comes to color choices for interiors.

I want to quote her, but I can't find it... Either way it went something along the lines of putting hot pink and orange together in the living room not really warranting a badge of courage.

So every time I see a bold color palette used for otherwise traditional spaces, I have to laugh.

These rooms made me think of Anna's astute snark. The use of textiles and color is rich, gutsy, fun and FEARLESS:

Images via Hamilton Design, MMR Interiors, Ruthie Sommers and Katie Ridder

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flower Photo Op

On Sunday afternoon as I was sitting at the dining room table working on my laptop, Terry walked in from the garden to show me a beautiful hibiscus bloom. He put it on the table next to a necklace I had dropped there on top of my gorgeous table runner. A gift from my son's girlfriend, Christine, it's actually a vintage silk embroidered Japanese obi sash. I looked up and thought it made such a pretty picture I had to share it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bathroom Rehab

We have embarked on a new decorating project chez Coveny. Redoing the master bathroom is something I have been dreaming about for the entire nine years we have lived here. (Wow! Has it really been that long?) However, there were many more important things to do. Number one was to renovate the shop space and get the business up and running. Then Terry launched into creating a tropical paradise in our yard. Then, Disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Wilma and everything we had accomplished had to be redone. At last, hooray, it's time for the bathroom redo.

Here are a few views of the current mess. I cringe each time I put my toe in that tub/shower...and I cringe even more to imagine all of you readers looking at this. But to appreciate the wonderful anticipated "after" you have to see the hideous "before." So, gulp, here goes:

Ugh - it's even worse in pictures...

The one redeeming feature of the master bath though, is a great one. The door was handcrafted by someone along the line.I love it and it has provided the inspiration for the cabinetry. We will have a vanity and recessed medicine cabinet of pickled pine with hand tooled grille work panels.

And here is a board of tile samples.

It was a hard decision on the flooring. I fell totally in love with the real stone sample but after considering the difference in price and realizing I would spend a lot of time on my hands and knees scrubbing grout, I opted for the granite looking porcelain tile.

The walls will be crisp white painted bead board with pale aqua ceiling. The horrible old tub is leaving and being replaced with a room-width shower of 8x10" vertical white tile with a 6" border at the top of the little glass and marble tiles in shades of soft green and aqua. There will be no shower curtain or doors, just a glass panel about 2/3 the length of the shower. White oval sink, white commode and of course the pickled pine cabinetry. All crisp, clean and sparkling.

The demolition begins June 1, and I, like a complete coward, will sneak away to Oregon leaving the whole mess in the capable hands of my fellow designer Caroline. But just in case you're interested, we'll post updates.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Everyday Inspiration

Ever since I was a girl, I've always loved putting together little "scenes" of my favorite things. And during my very brief artistic phase in high school, my preferred subject was the still life.

So of course, I'm inevitably smitten with any image that looks like a collection or an arrangement of treasured objets.

Here are a few from my inspiration files:

I've even seen a painting of a "scene" hung above the arrangement itself (and of course, I can't find the picture anywhere...) Double heaven for me.

Images 1 & 2: Absolutely Beautiful Things, 3 & 4 Brabourne Farm, 5-8 A Creative Mint
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