Thursday, May 26, 2011

Checking Out

A few nights ago, a friend and I were discussing how we both had mentally checked out for summer. Summer is unfortunately no longer a season marked solely by fun day in and day out. Well, at least it isn't to me. I think that unless you are 1) a parent with young children, 2) a school teacher, or 3) someone who spends the summer living in a different locale from where you usually reside, then summer is just another season, albeit a really hot one. That's not to say that I won't enjoy the quietude and downtime. I plan to spend time at the library doing research- just for fun. (Spending all of that time indoors will explain why I'm going to have to hit the bottle...the bottle of St. Tropez self-tanner, that is.) I want to read a lot, hang out with friends (how fun would it be to relax at that table in the middle of the pool, at top?), and take some time for self-reflection. And most of all, I really want to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes, a crazy schedule and a calendar full of commitments can stymie one's creativity. Or is that just me?

Tomorrow, I'm going to post about where I wish I was traveling to this summer, but today I'm simply going to show photos that evoke the carefree spirit of summertime. Who knows? Perhaps they'll get our creative juices flowing.

PS- I can't talk about Summer and not mention Atlanta's own Marcia Sherrill and her Anabelle collection perfect for Summer. I need to get one of her pineapple print totes to hold my papers between home and library. The collection has recently been mentioned in O Magazine and WWD. Looks like it's going to be a good Summer for Marcia!

This pool pavilion, located on the grounds of a Portuguese estate, was decorated by the late Valerian Rybar. The walls, you ask? What is up with those stunning walls?? Why, they're covered in blue and white Portuguese tiles that were decorated in a Jean Pillement-esque Chinoiserie pattern. Have you seen anything so beautiful?

Treillage at Duke Gardens, c. 1966.

A lanai, located on Gorce Island, FL, that was decorated by John FitzGibbons. Wicker chairs, shells, dining al fresco. Does it get any better?

What does a platter of crudites have to do with Summer? I don't really know, although I usually eat celery stalks with pimento cheese for lunch during the summer. I also like the surtout (replete with rosemary stalks) that surrounds the spread.

Jack Lowrence's pool Gazebo at his home in Woodside, CA.

Lowrance pool pavilion photo from Architectural Digest California Interiors; Rybar photo from Chateaux and Villas (The Worlds of Architectural Digest). All other photos from various House & Gardens from 1966.


  1. It is sad in so many ways that we no longer slow down for summer. I still maintain a summer reading list but I long for a few lazy days to enjoy simple summer pleasures. These pictures let me daydream a bit.

  2. Oh, Jennifer.... love them all. I think I agree, though...the tiled walls are amazing!

    I do have young children, so my life does change some in summer, however I still have consulting work, blogging and a feeble attempt to work on my novel... so my summer will not be completely filled with long lazy days. This inspires me to make some of them longer and lazier, though!!

  3. Valerian Rybar was such a creative decorator who never seemed to overlook the virtues of the dramatic interior. Since so much of his published work was so dark, it is refreshing to see this charming, whimsical example.

  4. Trellis, trellis and more trellis - the universe is telling me something. Those tiles? The most amazing thing I've seen in a long time.

  5. Thanks for making me feel better. You are so right on about a crazy schedule and a calendar full of commitments can stymie one's creativity. That's why most of our work must be done after sundown--when the world finally leaves us alone. Unfortunately that can work against us when we go to bed late and wake up late. Then we're accused of being unprofessional.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog for a couple of years now, but this is my first time to comment.

  6. Anonymous11:32 AM

    i just purchased tove jansson's "the summer book" and i just want to jump between the pages. i want to buy it for all my friends! i want to spend the summer in scandinavia! lisa

  7. now that's a platter of crudites!

  8. I'm in heaven--those Portuguese tiles!! Also, the memories of the Duke Gardens. Great Post!!

  9. That pool gazebo is insane! LOVE

  10. This is a post after my own heart.I am so in love with those Portuguese tile walls I can't tell you. As you know from visiting me, I am smitten with the beautiful blue and white of these fabulous fabrications. And the trellis? What can I say - another timeless design classic!!