Jessie Davidson Interiors

Thicket by Jessie Davidson Interiors

Archive by Year: 2014

Archive by Month: 1

Musings of a Design Maven

It Will Be a Good Year

Bonne Annee!

Directly translated “good year”… ambitious salutation….as if to say, “It will be a good year!”  And, so, I pass that thought on to you in January, 2014. 

I always look forward to the beginning of a new year because it represents an open book, ripe with fresh ideas, inspired projects; and, of course, resolutions.  Last year at this time I took up the challenge of enrolling in the Master Gardener Course at Chicago’s Botanic Garden.  Yes, I passed and I now know just how little I know and how much there is to continue learning about gardening!  The course also lead me to the Green Youth Farm in Waukegan where I spent Spring through Fall working and playing with a very inspired group of high school students.  Through that process I learned a little bit about farming and a lot about group motivation.  I stepped outside of my workaholic-book-every-minute self and cleared space for education and volunteerism.  And, yes, I plan to be back at the farm this summer!

As always, I hope you enjoy wandering through Thicket, our journal of ideas that inspire.

Just one of the thoughts that follow, Ubuntu, is explained in a spirited Ted Talk by the charming Boyd Varty.  He, like I, is a great fan of Nelson Mandela.  In fact, Boyd knew and was a friend of Mr. Mandela…!

Many thanks to you, my treasured clients, for your confidence and support over the more than two decades that I have been creating interiors for you.  And, special thanks to all the people in design showrooms and workrooms, and those on-the-job in client’s homes.  I certainly could not do what I do without your amazing and special talents.

May 2014 be overflowing with inspiration, love, great work, and abundance!  May it be a good year.

All the best,


January 09, 2014 by Jessie Davidson

Around The House

Light Animates

Have you ever noticed how happy a space becomes when the sun is streaming though the windows and the sky above is a shockingly vivid blue?  Have you noticed how warm and inviting a room becomes at night with appropriately placed, varying levels of artificial light?  Or, have you ever experienced a home or garden by candlelight alone?

Lighting, when placed properly, creates texture and animates interiors in such a wonderful way.  The days of the six inch can-light, reducing an average ceiling to rows of unsightly holes, are (thankfully) gone.  In a small living area, say 14 feet square, eight sources of light are needed to create texture, ambiance, and animation.  Table and floor lamps provide task lighting.  Wall sconces provide soft illumination in the periphery areas.  A wall-washer to two – small low voltage halogen cans - spotlight artwork.  And, a chandelier may provide general illumination.  Within this room the areas of light and low light make the space more interesting and eminently approachable. I pulled a few images from my portfolio, above and below, as a taste of these lighting concepts.

When summer arrives, try lighting your garden or terrace areas with candles alone.  I realized, after joining an evening candlelight garden walk in Charleston, that the light of candles provides the most beautiful and compelling way to experience an evening outdoors.

I can’t resist the opportunity to feature some of my favorite companies that create superb light fixtures…Enjoy!

1.) Charles Edwards – Peter Pan Lantern

2.) Charles Edwards – Montpellier Lantern

3.) Soane – Owl Lantern 

4.) Collier Webb – Scallop Light Sconce 

5.) Richard Scofield Lighting – English Box Sconce 

6.) Urban Electric Co. – Lucien Ceiling Light 

7.) Soane - Reading Wall Light with Swivel 

*Images from Jessie Davidson Interiors and the above listed lighting craftsmen.

January 09, 2014 by Jessie Davidson

In The Garden

Winter White And An Island Garden

Have we had enough snow yet!? 

Honestly though, I think in so many ways we are really, really lucky because it is absolutely beautiful!

Go for a walk at night or first thing in the morning, before any cars are out on the roads.  With a little moonlight, the whiteness of the snow reflects the light of the moon and makes everything sparkle.  And, walking on a new blanket of snow is so reverently silent, save the crunch of your steps.  I love that.

Snow accentuates the bones of a garden, be it a fence, boxwood hedge, furniture left out for the winter, even the most mundane bird-feeder.  This is when winter is at its best….when snow and the garden create a sculptural landscape, the beauty of which is impossible to ignore.

Think about this as you enjoy your garden next summer and remember not to forget the “bones” of your outdoor spaces.

And for a bit of spring and summer color to offer a contrast to all the winter white, Alcatraz Island. How can such a harsh place be so beautiful and hospitable today?  Over ten years ago the Garden Conservancy, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the National Parks Service began a collaborative effort to renew and tend the long-abandoned gardens on the island. 

I have put this on my list of places to see in 2014!  In the meantime, their site and the images above will give you a glimpse of the history of the island, the people who inhabited it, and the fabulous gardens that are there for all of us to enjoy today.

January 09, 2014 by Jessie Davidson

What We're Loving

January 2014

1.) Classic….that sums up the Louis Ghost chair by Philippe Starck .  It seems equally comfortable in the living room, dining room, or dressing room.  And what a perfect solution to seating when your visual or physical space is limited?! Find it here and here.

2.) Bobby McFerrin’s new CD, Spirit You All, is one I just keep listening to over and over again.  He has the most amazing range, in voice, lyrics, and collaborations with other artists.  According to the CD jacket, “Bobby McFerrin re-imagines Americana with beloved spirituals and original songs raising the roof with joyful grooves.”  I don’t think it gets much better than that! Enjoy listening to the magic of his music here.

3.) Boyd Varty, of Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, is a marvelous storyteller and has an important message about Ubuntu (human kindness) told through his relationship with Nelson Mandela. 

4.) A bit last minute, but there are two distinctly American exhibits to see in New York and Chicago that are closing later this month. I saw Art & Appetite:  American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine  at the Chicago Art Institute twice because it is so rich and yummy, I just couldn’t get enough!  Try to make it before its close on January 27th

5.) Equally enticing, American Modern:  Hopper to O’Keeffe at the Museum of Modern Art in New York looks wonderful.

6.) Sugata Mitra relays compelling thoughts about Designing a Future for Learning – A School in the Cloud.  His vision is all about education for every child in the world, not just the privileged, and it is fascinating. 

Enjoy listening and hearing, seeing, and pondering this month!

Photo Credits: , , 

January 09, 2014 by Jessie Davidson

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