Interior Portraits

Axel Vervoordt: Portraits Of Interiors, November 2019. Belgian designer, antiquaire master of minimalism, and one of the world’s most revered tastemakers Axel Vervoordt is out with a beautiful new book showcasing how he so skillfully incorporates nature, art, and timeless interiors to create living spaces that encourage self-reflection, inspiration, and serene simplicity. For a half century, Axel Vervoordt’s vision has been defined by a continual quest for harmony, balance, and the creation of interior atmospheres that are rooted in the past, connected to the future, and imbued with Wabi Sabi beauty.

Eighteen residences ~from a New York penthouse or Moscow apartment to a waterfront estate in New England, and from a Tokyo dwelling to a Bordeaux wine château or a Wabi-Sabi farmhouse~ reveal how art complements architecture and the elements of nature in an alchemy of Vervoordt expression. Portraits of each residence ~including the Vervoordts’ own homes in Venice and Belgium~ feature sweeping vistas of the surrounding landscape and a tour through the interiors. Each detail ~from the materials used to the graceful placement of a well-chosen object~ offers deep insight into the Vervoordt design approach and abiding principles for living well.

Fall Into Beauty

It’s Autumn in New England which means crisp air and Nature’s palette at her best welcomed into daily living. Think farm fresh apple cider, your favorite cashmere sweater, and leap peeping opportunities abound. It means shifting routines, nourishing beauty rituals, adding richness, layers and texture to interiors, and colorful weekend sojourns. Here, echoes of Autumn leaves and earthy Amber hues from the natural world invite a sense of warmth and comfort to enhance your seasonal outlook. May you Fall Into Beauty love, Wonder. Wisdom. Words. style!

Set an Autumnal tone this season and give your space and wardrobe enlightened energy by embracing an elegant soft Apricot color. For the love of the garden, let’s welcome beauteous Begonias and marvelous Marigolds to inspire the season. Apricot is a peaceful and pleasant color that elevates to create an ethereal mood, and as an almost Orange and not quite Pink, finds its sweet spot along side a natural palette from Cream to Green to Brown. Infused with light, it offers all the welcoming warmth of a Fall leaf or a favorite flower. New England charm style!

Wake to candlelight each morning with a sunshine accent wall and seasonally inspired accessories that cultivate that just right Autumn ambiance. Apricot glows happy and bright alongside white in the bathroom and forecasts a lovely Autumnal hue for the day. Perfect project if you’re feeling positively painterly! Reminiscent of a Fall Sunday morning walk through the forest a Farmhouse Pottery hand poured Vermont Wood Candle with notes of Fir, Cedar and Sandalwood, offers a sophisticated plus transportable celebration of the season. A Himalayan Salt Lamp has a magical and inviting presence with its warming healing glow when lit. A really nice lightweight option for desk, bedside table or office space is one with a wooden base for a natural look, allowing it to match most decor. Carved out of Pink Himalayan salt from Pakistan, it cleans the air in your space, soothes allergies, boosts your mood, helps you sleep and more!

Diffuse your way to a fragrant Fall with a fabulous Plant Therapy Finally Fall Essential Oils Kit. Set includes: Fall Rain, Maple Leaf and Harvest Moon in a limited-edition Autumn themed box for artful gifting!

  • Fall Rain: The crisp, coniferous scent of Fall Rain reminds us of rainy days spent in the forest. One sniff of this lovely blend will instantly transport you to beautiful, coastal, wooded forests. Therapeutically, Fall Rain will help ease breathing, calm the mind and body, and encourage a restful night of sleep.
  • Maple Leaf: The perfect Fall scent to instill a sense of warmth and comfort during cold Fall days. Sweet notes of vanilla Oleoresin and German Chamomile CO2 reminiscent of warm days spent hiking in Autumn. Cedarwood grounds the blend with a subtle woodsy sweet note and Cardamom brings a hint of spice.
  • Harvest Moon: A perfect blend to bring that crisp, clean smell of Fall indoors and freshen up any room with its uplifting scent. Bergamot adds that citrusy note. Cedarwood offers that woodsy outdoor note. Fir Needle and Juniper give the blend that forest-fresh feeling. Cardamom tops it off with spiciness. Together these oils can help to ease congestion during times of seasonal illness and soothe sore muscles due to exertion.

A modern take on an American classic, each decorative white band is hand painted by master potters at Farmhouse Pottery on their Yellowware Collection which includes pitchers that are picture perfect for the Fall table. Effortlessly beautiful, functional and timeless filled with ideal seasonal blooms such as Apricot Courier Chrysanthemums ~the stalwart champions of the Autumn garden. Farmhouse Pottery pieces are household essentials that bring pleasure to everyday utility. Wares tastefully crafted in a neutral palette that appeals to Wonder. Wisdom. Words. aesthetic, so that food and flowers are the center of attention. Handmade in their studio shop which also carries Vermont’s favorite treat. Experience the authentic New England tradition of enjoying real Vermont Maple Syrup on your pancakes this season!

Ladies, to ensure your Fall style is fresh and feminine, Wonder. Wisdom. Words. has gathered together a few ideas from what’s on our radar this season for some Apricot infused inspiration. Consider an of-the-moment Plaid Longline Coat with retro vibes from Nordstrom Mural with a crisp White T-Shirt, or a Silk Pussy-Bow Blouse from Max Mara destined to bring a touch of sophistication with its sleek tailoring and pretty in Peach palette when paired with a great pair of jeans. When donning yours, keep your hair out of focus to embrace the casually chic mood. Add a Cartier Orchid Ring, in 18K Rose Gold set with 1 Diamond to demonstrate polished feminine fare with one beloved statement piece. This queen of flowers is meticulously sculpted by skilled craftsmanship, first used by the iconic jeweler in 1925, the Orchid is now a classic motif in Cartier jewelry. Fashionable forever flower power!

As the weather shifts, so do our skin’s needs and we’re navigating the change in season with Kiehl’s tried-and-true gender neutral skincare favorites. If you’re serious about acclimating your skin to the changing weather, it’s going to need a little help, morning and night, so make these two words your mantra “stay hydrated.” Three old-world apothecary since 1851 cult classics make the season’s list for good reason. Start with the Calendula Herbal Extract Toner for a gentle alcohol-free cleanser + toner packed with powerful petals to soothe and protect. Follow with the Ultra Facial Cream for 24-hour hydration, formulated with Glacial Glycoprotein and olive-derived Squalane for visibly soft and healthy-looking skin. And lastly, indulge with the elegant Creme de Corps, a rich, non-greasy body lotion with Cocoa Butter and Beta-Carotene to leave skin beautifully moisturized. Tip: pick up Kiehl’s beloved classics in large/liter size so that you and your significant other are set for this season into the next!

Fellas, welcome these sartorial suggestions for feel good style that captures the spirit of the season. Inspired by their bestselling Ludlow suit jackets, J.Crew gave this elevated Bomber Jacket the same interior Bemberg lining and sleek fit. Equipped to work well with dark denim, it’s a bomber for all occasions. Not to mention, they went to Connecticut’s storied American Woolen Co. mill (est. 1899) for its ultra-warm and stylish camel hair fabric. Worn over one of Crew’s Flannel Shirts, it’s a solid choice. Flannel shirts don’t get much more comfortable or classic than this. Made in a premium midweight cotton that’s brushed both inside and out, this shirt is supersoft, comes in a timeless plaid and is just heavyweight enough to keep you warm. Add a must-have manbag for a weekend jaunt ~we’re fond of the Carhartt Work In Progress Small Essentials Bag, so you, and all your stuff get there in rugged refined style!

‘Tis the season to find supernatural Autumn adornments from Hort & Pott ~short for horticulture & pottery, at the wondrous destination garden shop in upstate New York. A hub of vision and creativity nestled in the Catskill Mountains where two artful artisans liven up seasonal style with wild and unexpected botanicals. Offering handcrafted uncommon botanical goods as well as unique workshops and creative garden services. A seasonal palette of cultivated and foraged botanicals crafted into Autumn Wreaths & Bouquets are now available in the shop. These exceedingly long lasting wild arrangements will bring many seasons of joyfully warm color to your home. A great gift for someone special to show Autumnal sentiment shipped from New England with a sweet card. Note: Their stunning storied habitat is featured in this month’s Better Homes and Gardens. A must see and an inspiring read!

Fall-Blooming Native Plants offer food for wildlife and a feast for the eyes; no matter where in the country you live, there are good species to choose from. Let’s maintain habitat this season to this year’s bounty of beneficial beauties and critical creatures that make countless contributions to our everyday world. If you build it they will come!

  • Goldenrod is a mecca for wildlife; bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects drink nectar and take shelter, songbirds eat the seeds, and rabbits and other small mammals browse the leaves. There are many different native species found around the country.
  • IronweedJoe-Pye Weed are butterfly magnets and provide seeds to songbirds; there are several native options in the eastern two-thirds part of the country.
  • There are more than 150 native species of Asters, they attract butterflies, song birds, and native bees as well as host plants for several butterflies.
  • Other blooms to consider for your Autumn Garden: Black-Eyed Susan, Coneflower, Dahlias, Mums, Sunflowers + Marigolds ~just to name a few!

In New England, we are fortunate to have our pick of cosy inns set on sprawling tree-filled estates. The Pitcher Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property in Vermont, is about as country chic as it gets in Fall foliage season. This gem is the sister boutique property to Winvian Farm in Morris Connecticut ~a Wonder. Wisdom. Words. local favorite. The Pitcher Inn is laid back luxe in the heart of a charming Vermont village surrounded by the Green Mountains and the Mad River Valley. Set in the framing of a magical rustic barn, with classic farm-to-table cuisine and rooms decorated by 14 different designers that feature everything from vintage signs to antique skis, it’s truly enchanting!

Colors Of Fall Road Trip Guide: 25 Autumn Tours In New England By Jerry & Macy Monkman, 2nd Edition, 2018.

Come Autumn, New England is a celebration on the continuum of color as the abundance of trees change colors and their leaves blanket the ground. Naturally, this makes for a wonderful time to explore the great outdoors here, and so popular is this annual pilgrimage to see the Autumn foliage, that it has it’s very own verb ~to leaf peep!

For the perfect road trip companion, consult this guide that details 25 of the best scenic tours during Fall foliage season in New England. Trips vary from short drives on the coast to all-day excursions in the region’s mountains and forests. Detailed maps and itineraries complement trip descriptions that tell you what you’ll find along the route ~with 90 color photographs and 25 maps. In addition, sidebars suggest short walks and hikes that are great diversions. This guide will surely motivate any leaf-peeping exploration or road less traveled expedition. Experience the inimitable sights of Autumn in New England, and leave no leaf unturned!

Note: For Additional Autumnal Advice + Seasonal Sense See Previous Posts From 2018 Fall Forecast + Falling Forward. Still Relevant Reads.

Dickinson’s Garden

Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life By Marta McDowell, Forthcoming October 2019 From Timber Press. Author Meet & Greet At The Bookloft Great Barrington MA October 5th 3-5pm 2019.

Emily Dickinson was a keen observer of the natural world, but less well known is the fact that she was also an avid gardener -sending fresh bouquets to friends, including pressed flowers in her letters, and studying botany at Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke. At her family home, she tended both a small glass conservatory and a flower garden. In Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, award-winning author Marta McDowell explores Dickinson’s deep passion for plants and how it inspired and informed her writing. Tracing a year in the garden, the book reveals details few know about Dickinson and adds to our collective understanding of who she was as a person. By weaving together Dickinson’s poems, excerpts from letters, contemporary and historical photography & botanical art, McDowell offers an enchanting new perspective on one of America’s most celebrated but enigmatic literary figures.

For The Love Of Dickinson, enthusiasts can visit the Emily Dickinson Museum ~which comprises two historic houses + garden in Massachusetts with programs dedicated to amplifying Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home. Open March ~ December.

Earth Time

TIME Magazine Special Climate Issue September 23rd 2019. Cover Photo: Sand Sculpture By Japanese Artist Toshihiko Hosaka.

Bravo. The new edition of TIME focuses on the climate crisis -one of only five times the magazine has devoted an entire issue to a single topic. 2050: The Fight For Earth comes 30 years after TIME’s first climate issue, when they put “Endangered Earth” on the cover as Person of the Year in 1989. The threat to our planet posed by climate change, TIME thought back then, to be the most important story of the year. Unfortunately life on Earth is still in danger 2019.

Features Include: An essay by author Bill McKibben that flashes forward to 2050, looking back on the steps society took to adjust to or stop climate change. And reporting from every continent with viewpoints on climate change from Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Angelina Jolie and Graca Machel, founding member of The Elders. Plus the five big changes that are key for humanity to survive a warming climate and the tech innovations that would need to happen + more.

Analog Retreat

Bloom Where You Are Planted (1 Corinthians 7:20-24)

Spring Into Summer. Wonder. Wisdom. Words. is practicing a prolonged pause and escaping the blogosphere for the Summer as digital detox retreat for mind body soul solace. Digital De-Clutter Recipe For Renewal: For the love of nature as medicine explore your inner and outer landscape this season. Disconnect to reconnect. Cut the cell phone cord. Put away the iPad. Forget Facebook. Transcend Twitter. Ignore the Instagram urge. Digital Minimalism. Key to living an authentic and focused life in an increasingly noisy world.

Mother Love

All living beings have been your mother in a former life say Buddhist teachings that encourage altruism toward others. On Mother’s Day, we can practice learning to see all beings as our mother -or whoever cared for us when we were young, in order to shift toward a kinder way of being. The more we engage in this type of contemplation, using rebirth as a metaphor, the more we develop a sense of equanimity and can relate with compassion and empathy.

‘Bodhicitta’ is the aspiration to realize enlightenment for the benefit of others. “The jewel that is the seed of pure happiness in the world and the remedy for the suffering of the world.” Enlightening beings, called bodhisattvas, altruistic heroes of the mind, seek to generate the thought of awakening and then maintain the thought as they fare on the Buddha path. In Tibetan Buddhism, bodhicitta is said to have six causes: 1) Seeing All Sentient Beings As One’s Mothers, 2) Remembering Their Kindness, 3) Repaying Their Kindness, 4) Love, 5) Boundless Compassion and, 6) Altruistic Intention.

Kripalu Kitchen

The Kripalu Kitchen: Nourishing Food For Body And Soul: A Cookbook By Jeremy Rock Smith, April 2019

The Kripalu Center for Yoga + Health, nestled in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts, attracts fifty thousand plus people a year. Guests visit not only to deepen their yoga practice but also to experience the healing power of its  delicious food. Now you can bring a taste of Kripalu’s dishes to your own table.

Kripalu’s longtime executive chef, Jeremy Rock Smith, embraces a mindful approach to eating and a seasonal approach to cooking. In The Kripalu Kitchen, he offers 125 easy-to-follow recipes, dozens of variations, and countless smart eating strategies designed for a variety of dietary preferences ~from vegan + vegetarian to gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free. The 5-ingredient and 30-minute recipes ensure that even the busiest of us can enjoy this phenomenal food. We ♥ It!

Honoring the wisdom of Ayurveda healing practices, The Kripalu Kitchen also includes a quiz to determine your personal nutrition profile, or dosha, and every recipe is marked to guide you toward the optimal diet for your type. More than just a healthy cookbook, The Kripalu Kitchen will revitalize your body and nourish your soul.

Seasons Spring

 Springtime Salutations. Quote By Pioneering Twentieth Century Biologist, Conservationist & Natural History Writer Rachel Carson, who is credited with sparking the modern global environmental movement with her groundbreaking and thought-provoking book Silent Spring, and for crafting an equally timeless and timely cultural message, in the posthumously published The Sense of Wonder. Books that endure as magnificent manifestos for the vibrant curiosity with which we are all born, and which we risk losing if we imperceptibly, yet steadily, slip into apathy and resignation. Above all, she extends a reminder that the faculty for wonder is our most precious natural resource and our greatest responsibility to conserve.

Care Of The Soul

Psychotherapy As Care Of The Soul: A Training In Thomas Moore’s Soul-Based Approach At Kripalu Center April 26-28th 2019. This program is mainly for practicing counselors, therapists + healers, but students of the therapeutic arts looking to deepen their work may also be interested.

The word psychotherapy means to serve or care for the soul. In soul-based therapy, we recognize the autonomy of the soul in a person’s life as a source of guidance and healing. The soul is central to our humanity, intimate connections, spiritual vision, and pleasure. When the life of the deep soul is blocked, we suffer. Soul-based therapy requires an ability to see what is going on beneath the surface. Since the language of the soul is poetic, we must learn to attune to artistic, literary, mythic, and dream imagery. Intense immersion in therapies that zero in on underlying narratives and themes playing out in a person’s life such as Alchemy, Renaissance Magic, and other esoteric systems provide rich guidance for soul processes. Specially designed for mental-health professionals, this program with Thomas Moore explores the journey of becoming a soul-sensitive human being, able to guide others with depth. 

About: Thomas Moore is the author of Care of the Soul and 25 other books on spirituality and depth psychology. He holds a PhD in religious studies from Syracuse University. Moore is a lecturer, author, and psychotherapist working in archetypal psychology, world religions, spiritualities, and the arts. 

Kripalu Center is the largest yoga-based holistic health and education retreat center in North America. Located in the beautiful Berkshires of western MA.

Valentine Ritual

 An Ancient Ritual + Alternative To Hashtag Holiday Hype To Help You Connect With The History Of St. Valentine  

  • Think of something that you want to “grow” it could be a business, a dream, a relationship, or even your health.
  • Write down your intention on a piece of paper using the following format: “I plant this seed of _______________ which I intend to help nourish and grow into _______________. I ask the Divine to help guide me to making the necessary steps and to ensure that all is carried out with my highest good in mind.”
  • Light a candle and place it next to a small bowl of clean water. Fold the piece of paper and hold it close to your heart while you meditate or repeat your intention.
  • When you feel your intention has been infused in the paper, drop it into the water.
  • Go outside and plant the paper in the ground, cover with soil and pour the water over the top. Breathe and let it go.
  • Take a moment to give appreciation and thanks to the Universe.