A Friend in Need

I received a bit of a frantic 911 email from a friend recently.  Her son and my oldest are in the same class.  They had been living in England and returned to the states when our boys were entering pre-Kindergarten.  

My antenna was up as her son's comment the first week of school, "Red is really dark pink," sent our household into turmoil as my eldest refused each and every red shirt for weeks following.  His favorite color was red.  Nearly every shirt he owned was red.

Eventually the drama died down and now it is truly comic as this particular boy is one who easily attained the Blandings' seal of approval.  "That kid is just a good egg," claims Mr. B each time he crosses the threshold be it car or home.

It is fortunate for me that his mother is bright and funny, for otherwise I would have a hard time focusing on what she is saying as she has porcelain skin and dark, thick, naturally curly hair the kind of which I have dreamed my entire life.  

But she is bright and funny so I jumped at the chance to see her new digs when she raised a red flag.

It is a lovely home.  The kind of home that is gracious enough to be regal when you want it to be, but warm and comfortable all of the time to welcome the children and family and friends that will knock about its walls.  We moved from room to room while she showed me fabric samples and paint and wonderful furniture.  

If she suffered at all it was from too many good choices.  It was nearly all there we just needed to pick the best of what she had gathered and shift a bit here and there.  

I suggested woven shades for the sun room/office off of the dining room.  She was a bit skeptical as she had an impression of screened in porches and summer cottages.  It was the one room that still needed a paint color when I left.  Wonder if I should suggest dark pink?

After mentioning an affinity for Michael S. Smith, I started there first.  Top three images, Smith's Houses with wordsmith Christine Pittel; next two images Farrow & Ball, The Art of Color; then, just to prove these bamboo shades can swing, Candace Bushnell's apartment from So Chic by Margaret Russell; that nearly perfect room, Albert Hadley from Adam Lewis's Albert Hadley: The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer; and, finally, another classic, Kevin McNamara from The New York Times Book of Interior Design and Decoration.