Hello + a Christmas gift

Hi Everyone! I’m back after a holiday visit to Houston. Miss me?

Joe and I returned home Tuesday evening after a bit of a travel delay; the crazy east coast weather had lots of flights running late. I’m just glad we sprang for the non-stop flight when we booked and didn’t have to connect anywhere. Travel stresses me out enough, and missing a flight is so not fun.

Anyway, we had a lovely holiday and spent time with both of our families, which was a treat, as it’s the first time we’ve ever been able to do so.

I received lots of wonderful, thoughtful gifts, including Dorie Greenspan’s new Around My French Table, which I’d had my eye on for a while. Funnily enough, Joe’s sister gifted me with the new Mary McDonald: Interiors book, which you may remember me mentioning from this post. It was literally the perfect gift, in that it’s something I loved receiving but would’ve never bought for myself!

Can I just add my two cents here and repeat what the rest of the blog world already said? This book is AMAZING. From the first page, it’s chock full of inspiration. I knew a little of Mary McDonald’s work, but this book has pretty much made me a devoted fan. Girlfriend is a genius and has wonderful style. I really admire her ability to mix different eras and colors in her designs, but everything still looks so chic and sophisticated.

There is no universe in which Joe would allow us to have this dining room. But seriously. Isn't it amazing?
Note to self: will some day have a guest room like this in my house. Pure luxury.
The painted floor of this bathroom slays me. I was tempted to come home and do something similar in my office. Then I remembered I rent.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a CLOSET. I'd be late to work everyday if I had to get dressed in here.
Mary's office. I know. No words.

Because of this book, I:

1.) spent the afternoon yesterday moving furniture around in my office. I got home, and after seeing all the homes in the book, the space just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I’m now on a mission to create a new framed gallery wall in the office, too.

2.) am now obsessed with Chinese garden stools, or as Mary refers to them, “Ming Bling.” I stopped in at Past Perfect today and they had several…I might be back there soon! But I wasn’t sure (and does anyone reading know?) — what is an appropriate price for a 19th century garden stool?

3.) am completely validated in wanting to  collect things. Mary is a born collector, and it was awesome seeing how her various collections get used in rooms. For example, at one point, she gathered together scores of crystal flower vases on a large coffee table in the seating area of her bedroom. On their own, these types of vases are totally the type of things you see at a garage sale, but together, they made such an interesting art piece. I can hardly wait to go to the flea market again and decide on my first “collection.”

One of Mary's many collections: blanc de Chine and Quan Yan figurines.

What about you guys? Any special and surprising gifts this holiday?

{Image Credits: Knight Moves, Style Carrot, Elements of Style}

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  1. 12.30.10
    Jessie said:

    No clue what an appropriate price would be, but those Chinese garden stools are great! My favorite gift was also a book – about Vera Neumann (and an accompanying scarf)!

  2. 12.31.10
    Betsy said:

    If you don’t mind “faux” Chinese, I got mine at Homegoods for $50.