Saturday, January 29, 2011

painting the kitchen white

I decided that the kitchen needed a fresh coat of paint, and went with classic china white...As I am so influenced by the names in the palette and all those cupboards are filled with white china, I agonized over all the choices and went with my tried and true's not too cold, not too bright, not too yellow or pink or gray, but just right for this old house with its imperfections...
photographs by marili forastieri

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter is the time for comfort...

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: It is the time for home.” Edith Sitwell

Monday, January 17, 2011


Living in an old house in the country, I'm lucky to have fireplaces throughout that I tend to plan my life around this time of year...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

winter retreat

linen sheets, down pillows, a cup of tea and a good book on this snowy day
photograph by marili forastieri

Monday, January 10, 2011

a wing chair by the fire

one of my favorite chairs pulled up to the fire, is an 18th century style reproduction from Hickory chair that I've had for years...I slipcover it in white canvas in summer, but in winter, the brown leather is just right.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

weekend in the kitchen

On this snowy weekend, it's a perfect time to put on my apron and look through cookbooks for new soup recipes. My new favorite is from the All the Best blog posted over the holidays for a spicy pumpkin soup. It is easy and delicious. Thank you, Ronda Carman!

Southwest Pumpkin Soup
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup half and half
2 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro
Avocado slices
Sour cream
Toasted pumpkin seeds

Bring vegetable stock and whipping cream to boil in heavy medium pot. Whisk in canned pumpkin, cumin, chili powder, coriander and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with cheddar cheese, cilantro, avocado slices, sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and serve.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


By this time of the season, I have pots of wobbly paperwhites all over the house which I forced for Christmas. I find that I keep tending them as I can't be gardening, and love getting another week or so from the blooms. I cut them off from the bulbs and put loose bunches in big white pitchers. When they start fading, I trim down and put little bouquets in glasses for tablesettings or on the mantel. The bulbs go out in the woods under piles of leaves and most times they sprout in the spring with the daffodils!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

10 period films

On these cold winter days, I love to pull out my favorite films to watch over and over. I always find a new architectural detail, a beautiful fireplace mantel, a window seat, the perfect paint color, period hardware, panelled doors or shutters that are inspiration for my own home, books or design projects. These are my top 10:

1. Out of Africa
2. French Lieutenants Woman
3. Bright Star
4. Becoming Jane
5. Pride and Prejudice(2005)
6. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
7. Mrs. Miniver
8. Sense and Sensibility
9. Mr.Blandings Builds his Dream House