Jessie Davidson Interiors

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Archive by Year: 2013

Around the House

Adelaide Vaughan Furniture

Isn’t it intriguing how we tuck little visual and auditory memories into our brains and they pop out again from time to time without us really being startled by them?  My grandmother’s home was a visual treasure trove to me as a child, although I wasn’t really aware of it at the time. 

So, when I set out to design upholstered seating that was comfortable, well-scaled, and suited to more traditional homes, I dove into those visual memories for inspiration.  I also had clients who needed seating that was more adaptable to assorted spaces than the oversized chairs and sofas that have dominated the market for decades.  The first piece that emerged was the scallop-skirted small club chair named Adelaide after my grandmother Adelaide B. Davidson. 

Since its inception the Adelaide Vaughan  line has grown to six chairs, one chaise, and several ottomans. Everything is custom made, so design details can easily be tweaked and sizes shifted slightly to suit the needs of the customer.  The inspiration for each piece has been something historical….a chair purchased at an antique fair in France or an image of a great chair from the late nineteenth century.  My pieces integrate well in many settings from living rooms to bedrooms.

Enjoy perusing the furniture section of our website for ideas and details.  Or pick up a copy of the March/April issue of Victoria Magazine where you will find a feature article on Adelaide Vaughan Furniture. I am delighted to share these pieces with you! 

April 10, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Orchids & Cachepots

If you are in the New York area, be further inspired with orchids at the famed Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden through April 22nd, 2013. 

April 10, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

What We're Loving

April 2013

One: Have a listen to this amazing Brazilian born young cellist, singer and songwriter, Dominique Pinto, known professionally as Dom La Nena.  She began studying the piano at age five, then moved to the cello several years later.  She released her debut album, Ela, in January of this year.  You can preview her beautiful music on YouTube, below! 
Listen on Youtube 

Two: The Quercus line by Penhaligon’s in London has the yummiest fragrance.  They characterize it as sweet, spiced and with citrus notes. In case you aren’t familiar with it, Quercus is oak - or rather oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus. My hands and feet cannot live without Penhaligon’s Quercus hand and body cream!

Three: Could it be that easy to purify your water?  Just put a stick of charcoal in it like the Japanese have been doing for centuries!  Black & Blum has just introduced Eau Good, a water bottle designed specifically to hold Binchotan, a carbon made from tree branches that softens water and absorbs impurities.  You’ll be the talk of the Fitness Center when you show up with one of these!

Four: Michael Kors is loving (we are too) the top handle clutch for Spring.  This one is surely to stand out in gilded, embossed leather.  Such a classic, timeless design!  You can carry it by the handle or just slip your wrist through the handle to carry it like a clutch.

Five: Alexis Bittar jewelry is truly unique, sometimes a bit of bling and always wildly creative.  If you are looking for something fantastic for a special event or just want to update your everyday collection, this designer is one to keep in mind.

Six: Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunk, Maine is the most amazing amalgam of plants for connoisseurs, the broadest selection of topiaries imaginable, aged pots, greenhouses and extensive gardens.  If you are traveling up the coast of Maine anytime soon, plan an extra hour or two to be nurtured in this lovely space.  And, bringing a friend the gift of something growing instills such lasting memories!

April 10, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

Around The House

Alpaca Dreaming

When the earth is covered in a blanket of snow and the thermometer doesn’t raise its little head above fifteen degrees, my thoughts go to yummy-soft and cozy fabrics. What better comfort than to wrap up in something soft and warm to spend a few hours reading, cup of tea in hand?

Alpaca is a clear favorite for its extreme softness and warmth. The best socks I have ever been given are made of alpaca!

We visited Alicia Adams at the New York Gift Show last month. She raises alpacas on her farm in upstate New York and makes some of the most sumptuous throws, shawls, cowls and sweaters. Check out the beautiful images of her farm, family, and products at her site:

Alta Pampa offers their Baby Alpaca fabric to the trade (in Chicago through Holland & Sherry) and it is so insanely soft I can think only of pillows and throws!

Sandra Jordan, who operates from Healdsburg, California in the Russian River Valley (for those of you who are wine lovers), offers an exquisite line of highly colorful alpaca/wool blends. I had a coat made from her fabric for which I continue to enjoy lots of compliments.

We’ve included gorgeous images from each of these companies but be sure to peruse their websites to get a feel for more of their wonderful products - you’ll be warm in no time!

February 13, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Winter Gardens

A wonderful uplifting treat in the middle of winter is a stroll through a greenhouse or conservatory. Inhaling the fragrance of moist soil and warm air is rejuvenating during this season of dormancy. I recently visited the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, thoroughly enjoying the happy plants, related sculptures, and families who were fully ‘in the moment’. In early March they will release butterflies into the Conservatory’s Pacific Island Water Garden! Check it out: The charming bird topiary is from one of the greenhouses at the Chicago Botanic Garden - he was too cute not to include this picture!

Garden designers often refer to the bones of a garden and nothing could me more apparent than a parterre dusted with snow! This is my diminutive garden that I look out over from my Lake Bluff, Illinois office daily. It may actually be lovelier now complimented by our recent days of snow than when the Japanese beetles are feasting on the roses during the summer! We’ve included a few images of the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden as well - another lovely example of the understated beauty of a winter garden.

February 13, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

What We're Loving

February 2013

1.) Broadway & Thresher:  This newly minted digital magazine was spawned by two writers who wanted to explore the influence urban migration is having on rural America.  Broadway and Thresher is a crossroads in the village of Granville, Ohio…..just a hop down the road from where I grew up!  B&T is well worth the read.

2.) Garden & Gun Magazine:  My day brightens and my heart flips a few times when Garden & Gun arrives in our mailbox.  This is the best cover to cover read going! I also love that it is published in Charleston, SC….a hub of all things wonderful. 

3.) Uchino Towels:  We found these refined, luxurious towels at the gift show last month.  They are absolutely fabulous……designed and constructed meticulously to suit the varied needs of discerning people.  ABC Carpet & Home carries them in New York.

4.) Miranda Thomas Pottery:  Miranda came here from Australia, by way of London, to create pottery for Simon Pearce.  Not long afterward she began her own business turning out some of the most unique pieces we’ve ever seen.  She and husband, Charlie Shackleton (well know furniture craftsman) display and sell their work in Bridgewater, Vermont.

5.) Swans Island:  These beautiful hand woven blankets and throws are made in mid-coast Maine of locally produced wool.  The business grew from one couple’s desire to create lovely one of a kind woven pieces from the wool of sheep grazing on Swans Island, where they had relocated from Boston.

Lastly, if you can get to New York by February 18th, make time to see the George Bellows exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As you can see by the varied examples we’ve included here, I am constantly amazed at the diversity of Mr. Bellows’ work over (sadly) a relatively short lifetime. We love this quote, attributed to George Bellows in 1920.

February 13, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

Around The House

An Homage to Linen

Quite some time ago, I learned that linen is the most beautiful and varied fiber. One of my first memories of it was on Christmas as a child, watching my grandmother, Adelaide Davidson, opening presents from friends that invariably were monogrammed hankies and tea towels. I think it was their gift of choice to each other, and what a lovely one at that! I am now the lucky recipient of many of those beautiful old monogrammed linens and enjoy having them a part of my daily life. If you take care of linen, it lasts a very long time!

Fast forward a few years and I discovered that linen sheets are one of the best kept secrets that unfortunately so few people know about! They are yummy soft and keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Honest. Just think of the linen suits that men used to sport in the summer - and still do in the South. 

Many of the better bed linen suppliers offer linen sheets but don’t promote them to the American market. What a shame! I have long held that everyone should treat themselves at least once in their lifetime to a set of monogrammed linen sheets - they last forever and add an elegance and beauty to your every day living. Beware - once you have spoiled yourself there may be no going back to what you have previously known! 

Julia B, who specializes in particularly beautiful custom monogrammed bed and table linens, has a high quality linen that she uses for sheets, duvet covers and pillow shams. I have included a few pictures of the treasured pieces I have purchased from her as well as the link to her lovely new website - . I am happy to answer any questions you may have about sheeting and I hope you consider linen the next time you make a purchase for your bed. Sweet dreams!

January 06, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Fall Bulb Planting

There is nothing more spectacular in Spring than a magnificent stand of tulips. 

A woodland drift of jonquils/daffodils - like those shown in the White Flower Farm catalog - are equally beautiful and a tad less formal. For me, large Floradales or showy white Parrot tulips, contained by a tidy boxwood hedge, are downright stately! I love how they herald the warmer, sunnier, longer days of Spring.

This year in early to mid November, we planted 400 Ivory Floradale tulips in front of the house here in Lake Bluff. Another 400 White Parrot Tulips were planted surrounding a low broad-branching Tina Crab beneath an old oak tree. Interspersed with the Parrots are one hundred Allium Caeruleum - charming little blue flower balls on a 20” stem. 

Come March, when I have had enough of our Chicago winter, I will just imagine what soil warmed by the May sun will produce. Ah, anticipation! I look forward to sharing pictures of the blooming bulbs with you in a few months!

January 06, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

What We're Loving

January 2013

  1. La Colombe coffee for coffee aficionados- now available at Williams Sonoma and truly delicious! 
  2. Creative and colorful eyewear from Eye Spy Optical on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. 
  3. A touch of BLING loafers from Stuart Weitzman.....very comfy! 
  4. Less is more porcelain dishes by Mud Australia.....their recently opened new store in SoHo is an inspiration. 
  5. Stunning monograms and yummy linens from Julia B. 
  6. While I was in London for a wedding, I loved perusing Nancy Lancaster's lovely yellow living room, recreated at Colfax & Fowler. I highly recommend a visit! 
  7. Colorful handbags and satchels custom created by YOU at Lill Studio in Chicago. 

January 06, 2013 by Jessie Davidson

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