Jessie Davidson Interiors

Thicket by Jessie Davidson Interiors

Archive by Year: 2013

Around the House

That Little House in Camden, Maine

The little house in Maine, now dubbed “Three”, is significantly done.  This is tricky business for creative types because nothing is ever really done, but just a project in perpetual motion.

Of course there are the usual things gone awry; yet, overall it looks relaxed, minimal, light filled, and very calming.  I haven’t had time to throw myself on the sofa to read a great book, but that will happen soon….with luck!

We used Farrow & Ball Pointing on the walls, Lamproom Gray on the floor, and Benjamin Moore Wickham Grey on the ceilings.  The only exception is the ceiling of my bedroom which is a whisper of dusty pink and looks like the inside of a shell.

I can’t wait for my friend, Julie, accomplished artist, curator of color and style, to add her painted design to the kitchen floor!

Garden design will be the next step in this process so I will keep you updated in the coming months.

November 18, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

The Feeling of Fall

Fall really is the most glorious season and I hear over and over again how much so many people love it.  It is time to put the garden to bed, trimming back, digging up, mulching, and planning for the emergence of Spring.  A group of us compared thoughts the other day while enjoying a crisp, sunny day in a large community garden north of Chicago.  What we love about Fall is:

The yummy smell of the leaves and trees

Cool clear nights and chilly mornings

Maples with their sparkling gold and blazing orange/red leaves

Apple cider and pumpkin pie


Pulling on a cozy sweater

Late vegetable harvest

Windy days kicking through the fallen leaves with your dog

Anticipation of coming Holidays

So drink in the season and embrace each day for its bounty!

*All images from Pinterest.

November 18, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

Hand Crafted

Providence Painted Signs

It seems there is a resurgence of all things crafted by hand from bread baking, to building furniture,  to sign painting.  We are showing our intentional appreciation by buying local and artisan-made rather than consuming vast amounts of mass produced “stuff”.  People around the country are realizing their talents, plying their trade, and building new young businesses.

Providence Painted Signs is one recent start-up whose work is gracing buildings throughout Rhode Island and other parts of New England.  Take a look at the video clip below for the Sign Painters documentary…’s pretty awesome!

SIGN PAINTERS (OFFICIAL TRAILER) from samuel j macon on Vimeo.

In Chicago,  check out La Fournette for their authentic baguettes and brioche.  Or, a bit further north in Evanston, visit Hewn on Dempster for their artisanal bread.  Both are absolutely fantastic and oh so tasty!

November 18, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

What We're Loving

November 2013

1.) If you aren’t familiar yet with the music of Chris Thile*, you need to check him out!  This young 2012 MacArthur Fellow is an insanely versatile musician, mandolin player, and singer-songwriter.  I believe he recorded his first Blue Grass CD when he was fourteen.  His new CD is “Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1” .   I had the good fortune recently to hear him perform, solo, at Northwestern University.  What fun!

2.) For those lucky enough to be in London between Nov. 19 and Dec. 6, there is an exhibition sponsored by Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler of James Wyatt – Architect to the Crown and Designer of Complete Interiors.  I think Cowtan & Tout should video tape the exhibition so that we can all see it from the comfort of our offices!

3.) For all chocolate lovers please pounce on John & Kira’s Gourmet Artisan Chocolates.  They are sinfully delicious and oh so beautiful… the form of bees and ladybugs.  I was the joyful recipient of ladybugs last Christmas and I have been smitten ever since!

4.) While I’m on a British bent, be sure to search out products by Soane Britain.  One of my all time favorites is their brass door knob in the shape of a hand holding stick of bamboo!  I have to have this somewhere, some day!

5.) I highly recommend The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.  It is a wonderfully rich book about the migration of black people from our rural South to the industrial North, in search of better wages, freedom and equality, and better lives.  This story is one that all of us need to know!

*Photo of Chris Thile by Brian Stowell. All other images from the linked websites.

November 18, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

Around The House

Maine Cottage House Tour

I went to camp in Maine when I was twelve.  I remember loving the crisp chilly mornings, clear skies, the fragrance of pine, and the ice cold lake where we sailed and took water skiing lessons.  What a treat!

Fast forward to seven years ago when I had the distinct opportunity to design a client’s home in Maine . My love of the state was immediately rekindled, and I recently bought a tiny ugly duckling of a cottage in the picturesque harbor town of Camden.  So here begins the saga of a project…..there isn’t an interior designer around that can resist one, right? Welcome!

You must know that ugly it is; and, a cottage it is not.  In Maine when one refers to their cottage it is a very grand shingle style home, preferably on the water, architect designed and built at the turn of the 20th Century.  Mine is a “wee” thing that in time will be cute, built in stages around 1920-30.  Our images show you what is being torn apart before the “new” emerges.  With luck, next month’s blog post will present the new ever-so-tiny home near the harbor, so please stay tuned!

August 26, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden


The Chicago Botanic Garden ,  in all its splendor on 385 acres of land situated in Glencoe, Illinois,  is one of the finest garden resources in the country!   One of my favorite areas is their Fruit & Vegetable Demonstration Garden, where the art of Espalier is beautifully utilized.  To espalier a woody plant or tree you tie and prune it into a specific shape so that it will grow in a flat plane.  And, while it is conventionally done with fruit trees, it can successfully be done with holly, magnolias, ivy, grapes… fact, the vines in vineyards ARE espaliered.  

Many local nurseries across the country carry espaliered plants and the one best know in the southeast is River Road Farms  where you will find a young couple that manages the growing, training, pruning and care of acres of these beautiful plants and trees.   Enjoy re-imagining your garden!

August 26, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

What We're Loving

August 2013

1.) Valerie June, a strikingly beautiful young singer songwriter, has just released her first CD entitled Pushing Against A Stone. This is a “must listen” on my list!  Be sure to Google her for interesting concert and interview highlights. Valerie June - 'Pushing Against A Stone' Video 

2.) Toni Morrison, novelist, editor, professor and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is an author everyone needs to read.  I just finished Beloved and can’t wait to get my eyes on another one of her compelling and complex books. Toni Morrison Society  

3.) Be sure to check out Project Color Corps whose mission it is to use the “Power of Color as a change agent to infuse a sense of well-being and energy into urban neighborhoods nationwide”.  This inspiring video clip says it all! 

4.) One of my favorite clients recommended Brunello Cucinelli  clothing to me recently.  His line is very handsome and tres cher, indeed.  I love his copy which reads, “This product of quality, fruit of our labour, is created in a small medieval village at the gates of Assisi where Men and Nature are still aware of the harmonious rhythm of Time.” Now that is a compelling statement! 

5.) Weck canning jars are really great looking and can be used for all sorts of storage.  I have over four sizes and shapes that I use to store flour, sugar, cookies, crackers, et al.  Order extra clips because they always get lost! 

6.) My favorite reading glasses are by LaFont.  I’m always drawn to their styles and colors…..very innovative! 

Always remember...

August 26, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

Around the House

Novels and Nosegays

We have had such an amazing spring this year in the Midwest and Northeast with lots of rainfall and cool temperatures…..creating flowers and blankets of green as far as the eye can see!  This leads my thoughts to floral creations everywhere; those made by nature and those manmade in the likeness of nature.

Nosegays - lovely little bouquets of blossoms, herbs, wildflowers, and greenery - make lovely gifts and surprising accents in your home.  The term nosegay dates back to the fifteenth century when these diminutive arrangements given as gifts were considered an ornament or gift to the nose!

Some also refer to the term tussie-mussie, a small flower arrangement commonly given in Victorian times as a gift with special meaning.  Each flower represents a human attribute, so to decode your tussie-mussie was to read the message of the giver.  A wonderful read is The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. You’ll  enjoy the novel and  learn the meaning of different flowers.

If you just can’t bear to clip stems, change water, and generally care for little floral arrangements in your home, look for Diane James Designs. As you can see from these images, her faux floral arrangements are lovely and extremely realistic.

June 17, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Spring Bulbs and The Green Youth Farm

In our first newsletter and blog entry last year we talked about fall bulb planting.  Well….here is the beautiful result from this spring!

I recently became aware of The Green Youth Farm, a program created and managed by the Chicago Botanic Garden , which provides fantastic learning experiences for lucky high school kids in Chicago and Waukegan each summer.  Students work every week from June through September in one of three gardens under the supervision of a farm manager.  They learn to grow, harvest, and sell vegetables and herbs.  They learn bee keeping.  They take part in seminars on biodiversity in farming and soil management.  They learn to cook with fresh ingredients and share their recipes.  And, they earn a salary for their work every summer.  The money earned by selling their produce at local farmer’s markets is then pumped back into the program so that it can grow every year.  How much fun is this!

June 17, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

What We're Loving

June 2013

1.) Who doesn’t love big floppy pink roses?  New Dawn is available in shrub or climbing habit and it is quite easy to grow.  I’ll never forget a magnificent New Dawn rose growing and blooming voraciously on an arbor over a terrace in the Hudson Valley.  You might want to sit under that arbor all day long! 

2.) Paddywax candles in their up-cycled glass vessels not only smell lovely, but they’ll make you feel environmentally responsible.  My favorite is their fresh citrusy Grapefruit-Coriander.  It will give you a hint of freshness without being overpowering. 

3.) Oska, a German company offering fashion forward, travel friendly, comfortable clothing for men and women, presented its first collection in 1997.  Since then they have spread throughout Europe and have recently begun opening stores in the United States.  I love their natural fibers, flexibility in pairing pieces with other lines, and design awareness.

4.) Jill McGowan designs and makes women’s clothing in Maine.  Lovely natural linen and cotton shirts and tunics….American-made in the Northeast.  Now, that is hard to beat!  I found her shop in Freeport, Maine on a recent trip and was quick to grab some linen shirts.  There is nothing more comfortable for hot summer days than linen!

5.) Pennoyer Newman replicates nearly 400 planter styles that at one time graced the great lawns and terraces of private estates. Cecily Pennoyer and Virginia Newman Yocum have artfully and imaginatively created this line from lightweight, weather resistant stone resin.  I love seeing a garden with just the right number of pots and jardinières dotted among the plants and hedges.

6.) Munder-Skiles has just moved their showroom to a fantastic location in Garrison, NY along the Hudson River, just an hour north of Manhattan.  Take note that many of their chair and bench designs pay homage to antique garden furniture the likes of which graced the lawns of estates in the latter part of the 19th Century.

Appropriately, they are just down the road from the new headquarters of The National Garden Conservancy!

June 17, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

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