Silk Route

May 16, 2012

Annie is an expert hidden-gem detective, and on her trip last week to Lake Como, Italy, she came across the Museo Didattico della Seta (that’s the Educational Silk Museum to us Yanks). Situated on the banks of “The City of Silk,” the museum documents Como’s long history of providing Europe with 75 percent of this luxury fabric. The 10,000-square-foot museum opened on the grounds of the Setificio Silk School and University in 1990, and features an overview and videos of silk...

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The Eyelet of the Beholder

May 10, 2012

’Tis the season for lightweight fabrics and delicate details, and we’re tickled to see all the options for fashion and home that include eyelet. A quintessentially romantic technique, eyelet softens the edges of a room and adds a layer of visual interest. The origins of eyelet are a bit sketchy, but it seems to have been developed in Europe as an offshoot of traditional cutwork sometime in the 1700s. It’s made by creating a tone-on-tone pattern (historically white thread on white fabric...

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Ready . . . Set . . . Relaunch...

May 1, 2012

  We’ve been having a blast bringing you a weekly dose of Annie’s shopping and product tips, entertaining ideas, how-to’s, decorating advice, and inspiration. So we’re pleased as a spiked summer punch to announce that there’s plenty more where that came from—plus all-new features!—when our newly redesigned blog launches next Monday, May 7. Stay tuned to Fresh American for all the topics you’ve come to love and even more design-insider tidbits, including a weekly column on...

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Vanity Fair

Apr 17, 2012

Old Hollywood movies are filled with images like this, of a glamorous starlet primping for an evening out in front of a stunning vanity table. These tables have—sniff!—gone out of fashion in the past few decades, but we think it’s high time to bring them back. Sure, you don’t actually need one, not like you need a bed or refrigerator or a closet full of Stella McCartney shoes, but a vanity table suggests intimacy, romance, and vintage style, and adds an element of shine to a space. We...

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Round Top Roundup, Part 2

Apr 16, 2012

If you paid us a visit last week, you no doubt got an eyeful of the weird, the wacky, and the wonderful in Part 1 of our roundup from the Round Top antiques fair. And if you were yearning for another bunch of Annie’s unique finds, pine no more. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for extra behind-the-scenes...

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The King of Romance

Apr 16, 2012

“People say the living room or the kitchen is the heart of a house, but it’s really the bedroom,” says famed New York City designer Mario Buatta. That explains his scaled-up, the-more-layers-the-merrier approach to decorating these most intimate of spaces. Buatta’s bedrooms not only focus on beautiful patterns and textures, but also make liberal use of reflective surfaces and metallics, cushy headboards, and unabashedly feminine touches. They’re spaces that seem tailor-made for women,...

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Coveted Gardens

Apr 16, 2012

It’s the 25th birthday of Veranda, and the March/April issue takes a look back at delicious designs featured in the magazine over the past quarter-century. While we think the entire issue is a keeper for the coffee table (be prepared to wrestle it away from your guests), we couldn’t stop oohing over the archival photos of some of the world’s lushest, most thoughtfully designed, most romantic gardens. The gentle pinks, lavenders, blues, and whites contrasted with verdant greens, the...

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Cherry Picks

Mar 13, 2012

With cherry blossom season just a couple of weeks away, we’re feeling inspired by these soft, feathery, sweetly colored blooms. The texture, the colors . . . we can’t wait to get started on some new design...

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Shine On

Mar 13, 2012

Every now and again, we like to imagine ourselves on the set of some great old Hollywood movie, complete with a glamorous apartment filled with luxurious furnishings (jewels and designer wardrobes don’t hurt, either). When we think of these rooms, one of the first things that come to mind is mirrored furniture, which brings some much-needed shine and a bit of art deco fabulousness to even the plainest spaces. Here are a few picks for getting this...

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The Amazing Lace

Mar 13, 2012

It’s hard to find a textile that says “romance” the way lace does. Even in a heavier fabric, lace has a delicate, ethereal quality that makes it ideal for romantic decorating schemes, lending texture and elegance to a space. If you usually eschew frilly décor, never fear: there are plenty of not-your-grandma’s lace pieces to choose from these days. Hop over to Style Court for the artistic treatment or check out this pic of a lace-bombed tree from Annie’s Pinterest page, then take a...

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Purple Reign

Mar 13, 2012

Sigh. That’s all we want to do when we look at this amazingly serene English country home, featured in the February/March issue of Traditional Home. That and pull back the covers and snuggle up in the bed, or sprawl out on the sofa and and read a book, or sink into the tub, overflowing with bubbles . . . But we digress. What we love most about this romantic design is its simplicity—some luxe, curvaceous furniture; beautifully rich fabrics; and a gentle color palette that resembles a...

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In the Pink

Feb 10, 2012

Maybe Valentine’s Day has made us all nostalgic for our girlhood bedrooms, but we’re loving the idea of pink walls as the base for a romantic room. With the passion of red toned down by pure-as-the-driven-snow white, pink suggests gentleness, femininity, and intimacy. As designer Stephen Shubel told House Beautiful, “Pink can go cool or warm, depending on the light, but it’s always refreshing. A pink room puts me in an upbeat mood and brings a smile to my face.” Get inspired with...

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