It's so hot, that I find myself wandering, looking for respite. Here at the shop, the cool lavender and blues of the back room and the shaded creek are lovely, but all I can imagine is how beautiful it will be in the snow! At home, I find myself more and more in the living room with the sisal rug and biscuit colored linen upholstery. It used to be that houses were redecorated for the seasons. When summer came, the wool carpets were rolled up and India mats went down. Slip covers of linen covered mohairs in jewel tones. Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to create such sanctuary for the harsh days of summer, when not only the flowers have faded but so have we? That tradition went the way of servants who orchestrated the transformation for those left behind in the town house as the lucky ones fled to the country.
I think of the house of my grandmother, Katherine Tate, who had such beautiful taste. She lived on a high hill and in the distance you could see the Blue Ridge. A veranda ran the whole length of the back of the house and during the summers, the french doors were open in every room, bringing in the silky fragrance of magnolia blooming in the back. The upholstery in the living room was white accented with a brilliant green and the accessories were flowers and silver. It was a calm hideaway from the summer heat for my sister Kelly and I as we laid on the floor or invented music on the grand piano. I don't think my grandmother redid the house for the seasons, but that living room stands out as such a beautiful example of refuge from the sweltering sun. The smell of magnolia, heady on a summer afternoon always makes me think of those days. Good luck in finding your hideaway!