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Well, Hallelujah!

Well, hallelujah! Finally, an inspiring design magazine issue. Veranda did me proud this month. Maybe, probably, Veranda magazine read my blog and all of your comments and decided that they better up their game if they want any of us to subscribe ever again. This month’s issue is definitely worth it. I thought it would be fun if we flipped through the pages together…

There is great page dedicated to Veranda’s favorite antique dealer's Instagrams. I love this and started following every one. I hope Veranda does this Instagram round up every month!

Love this little ditty about Temple St. Clair’s jewelry line…


“A constellation of topiaries in uniform garden planters at Versailles…” begins the article…

“Against a field of green leaves or a confetti of vivid blooms, a garden planter brings an appealing sense of focus: drawing the eye, grounding a vignette, crowning a crunchy gravel path with symmetry.”

Some of these garden planters come from my favorite sources… Authentic Provence, Dennis & Leen and Formations. Can you believe that first gorgeous planter, perfectly called Brugge, is from Restoration Hardware! I would totally buy that!

Great little article about kitchen designer, Matthew Quinn, and his new book fittingly titled, Quintessential Kitchens. That custom orange La Cornue range! To die for. And if I don’t get that La Cornue Flamberge Rôtisserie, I’m going to kill myself… Not that I eat chicken.

And because I am on Season 5 of Downton Abbey, this article about Lancelot “Capability” Brown, an 18th century English landscape designer, is right up my alley…


Continuing the garden genius theme, an article about Arne Maynard and his layered approach to garden design complete with a knot garden, crab apples, oxeye daisies, rosemary and germander.

The first feature is of a house in my beloved hometown of Montecito, California. My first question is, “Why don’t I know these people?” These are the type of people that I would be friends with and to answer your question… Yes, I choose my friendships based on decor. Why do you think I’m friends with Diandra Douglas and Hollye Jacobs? :-)

Everything about this dining room works. The pastoral grisaille Zuber wallpaper with the gray moldings and the gray curtains! Be still my heart. Those French point-to-point hardwood floors with that Italian dining room table! Again, that round dining room table with those Christian Liaigare round back chairs! Are those chairs upholstered in ivory leather? Fucking fabulous. That chandelier is so perfect on so many levels. Yes, Hines family, I accept your dinner invitation.

Look at those Swedish cabinets and thank God they put that zebra at an angle. For a complete view of my opinion of zebra rugs you can read a whole blog I did about it HERE. Love that Italian bench back there covered in what looks like lime green satin.

While I am not in love with the chaise or coffee table, everything else is perfect. That silk velvet custom banquette with that Swedish rococo chair upholstered in Scalamandré Le Tigre fabric. Divine! I am so in love with that chandelier, I would marry it and never divorce it. Love the wall color… Benjamin Moore’s Dash of Pepper.

Love the bedroom. Love the curtains, the bedside table lamp, the tapestry, the chaise. While I love the bed coverlet, I don’t love the monogrammed pillows… Too hotel-ish. I am sure there was a more subtle monogramm to choose from, non?

Nothing to hate about this house. Antique oak paneling, antique Georgian eagle gilt consoles, Christopher Spitzmiller blue lamps, Regency armchair with Rose Tarlow fabric. Love how the outdoor stone obliesk draws your eye.

Octagonal dining room with Sherwin Williams Butterscotch walls! Heaven! If I am not mistaken, we had those chairs at our shop. Perfect chairs for this room and I love the floors.

I can’t even tell you how much I love these Benjamin Moore Cushing Green walls. And I love how they painted all of the trim, including the baseboards, the same color.

Oh hell yes! That 17th century tapestry that picks up the red original ceiling beams and the French chandelier! And the wood under the bench! Fabulous.

That teeny tiny antique chandelier on that long chain! Perfect. The bench with my favorite fabric company, Le Manach, in red check. Those doors! The Royal Copenhagen tea set and look at those tall skinny lamps in the windows back there! Love!

Love the enormous lantern.

So you can see, this issue of Veranda magazine is totally inspiring. The Editor in Chief, Clinton Smith, can keep his job.

By the way, some of you have asked how I read magazines. I have an app called Texture where I can read all of my magazine on my iPad or computer… Downloaded within seconds. Even archives all the back issues! Totally genius.

*Something you don’t know about me? Three of my caregivers quit this week because “too many animals, Madame.” My thoughts? They can suck it. If I can live with ALS for six years and yet three grown men cannot take care of two dogs and kitten… Don’t let the door hit you on the way out… Morons.


  1. Omg I'm going straight to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy today! Alot of fabulousity in this issue....wheeee! Too many animals? Wtf? Yes they can suck it...I wish i lived nearby, I would come and take care of you! xoxo

  2. As Donald Trump said… Pussies. Get another cat!

  3. Ohhhh how exciting. Veranda is the last one I've kept my paper subscription for. So it should be here soon.
    I'm glad you're keeping the animals and losing the caregivers. As if two dogs and a cat are that hard. at this rate, it won't be long before you have a collection of poultry strutting around. Isn't that kind of required for elegant country life?

  4. Two dogs and a cat too many animals? Pffft. I think it's the perfect amount. Love the orange La Cornue range, I have one in stainless with copper trim and it is the star of my kitchen. I've never laid eyes on an orange one though, what a beauty.
    Good thing Veranda got their act together. XOX

  5. I love Texture. Don't leave me worrying, you lose 3 caregivers...did you get new ones promptly? Also loved the new Veranda, now I have to study it again.

    1. I enjoy your passion for and expertise with decorating.

  6. I have not made my way through it as of YET...........BUT we have the same THOUGHTS!
    THAT TAPESTRY was to SWOON FOR!!!!!!!I have a THING about TAPESTRIES..............
    AS for the CAREGIVERS...............and the animals..............THEIR LOSS.YOU should tell them it's a good thing I don't have a PIG that lives INDOORS like MY FRIEND THE CONTESSA!!!!!!!!!

  7. Too many animals? You don't even have a miniature donkey yet. Good riddance, weak links. If you ever offer an internship, I'm yours.

  8. Wow, there's still hope for great décor!
    Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention.
    Haven't seen one mag with this much good stuff in so long!
    Sheila in Port Townsend

  9. WOW! Now THIS is what I'm talking about!! Maybe I'll consider subscribing again to Veranda.

  10. Oh fabulous! Mother has a subscription to Veranda and I get her copy when she is finished reading it. Have you seen Janet from the Gardener's Cottage blog's home in the Country Living magazine? It is a delightful cottage and she grows roses too.
    Sorry to hear about the care givers is hard to find good help these days. As far as the animals you really do not have too many....there is always room for more with a caring heart like you have!

    1. Loss of three caregivers and you can blow them off with a fair thee well...just
      love your spunk .... their loss only to be realized by them in retrospect... too
      late ... replaced pronto by some real angels....
      Off to get Veranda... Bless you for sharing
      Love you Ellie

  11. Too many animals? I say not enough. Good riddance

  12. Yes--love this edition of Veranda, too. As for the caregivers--silly people. Puppies and kitties make a house happy. xoxo Mary

  13. Too bad about the caregivers, I hope you got some more quickly. I have a friend with 3 dogs and 4 cats, she lost 4 cats to old age this year so do the math. That's a lotta pets, but 2 dogs and a kitten? Get a life .....

  14. friend Kristine who lives in Morocco has been telling me to follow you for quite a while. I breeze in and out, telling myself "no, not another blog! I cannot". Well, you got me. Think it was the fucking white chairs and your choosing your friends based on the décor of their spaces. Yours now, Alix in Haverford, PA

  15. I absolutely treasure the valuable interior design lessons-you have such a wonderful and discerning eye!
    Never too many animals for moi. We are down to three dogs and i CRAVE another one-call me crazy but 4 is my lucky number. You will find even better care givers now;). I believe that with every replacement of help the quality goes up. A Bientot!

  16. Veranda also mentioned the Debo auction at Sotheby's this week. I know, I started glancing through this issue last week and thought, Wow, what's going on, I may have to save this issue.
    Judith in Southern California.

  17. I think Veranda seldom misses the mark for inspiration, whereas all the other shelter magazines do seem to be falling down the rabbit hole of celebrity worship. Your WTF? post about AD and the Kartrashians summed up the problem perfectly. Yesterday I was scheduled to attend The Washington Design Center’s market day for design professionals, where to-the-trade showrooms were hosting various lectures by industry professionals and trade resources. Margaret Russell from AD was a keynote speaker. I had actually printed out your post, sealed it in a lovely envelope and was totally prepared to give it to her with an earnest plea to read it with an open mind (and hopefully more than once). Unfortunately, at the last minute I couldn’t attend, but now the envelope is burning a hole on my desk. Wonder if she reads her own mail?

    As for "too many animals, Madame"... Huh? It's two dogs and a kitten, not livestock!

  18. Leslie in OregonMarch 4, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    I learn from you with every post and will follow up on this one by studying the current issue of Veranda.

    Heather Clawson featured Montecito in her March 3 post at "Habitually Chic." She described Montecito as a "town in Santa Barbara." Isn't Santa Barbara itself a town?

    I hope that your new caregivers are learning fast how to do and enjoy their jobs...and that you and your wonderful pets are getting the best of care.

  19. I'm sorry, but the animals would be a job PERK! They lower blood pressure and stress.

  20. ha ha too many animals? They are just lazy! Great magazine! Take care
    French girl from Quebec city

    1. Isn't it amazing? A couple of dogs and cats are not that hard! And it's not like one person has to do everything or do it all at once!

  21. Yes, they do when fully trained, they're a delight. But I remember how hard it was toilet training our dogs. Particularly the male Jack Russell - when he got excited he would sometimes spray everywhere, even when he was trained it sometimes happened (on one embarrassing occasion my aunt and uncle came to dinner - she picked His Gorgeousness up to admire him and he sprayed all over her dress! - She wasn't impressed, poor thing). It was much easier toilet training our son! All done and dusted in no time. So if even one of the pets wasn't already trained, that might be one of the reasons.
    But so sorry you've lost your carers - hopefully you'll find good replacements as soon as possible. Life must be very difficult without them. Pammie

  22. After reading your post, I made SURE to head over to the magazine aisle in the market when I was doing my Saturday grocery shopping. It is (finally) raining in Santa Barbara, so it was the perfect time to snuggle up on the couch with an amazing magazine. It was fantastic - thanks for the recommendation.

    Being chronically ill is very difficult, but I am fortunate in that I can still do things for myself. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you to rely on caregivers for everything. I am so disappointed in them, as human beings, for quitting because you want to surround yourself by loving fur babies. They should be thinking of YOUR needs. I hope you find wonderful caregivers to replace them. Bon courage!
    Michelle from Santa Barbara

  23. Oh that is pretty. Yes, the caregivers can suck it indeed! I just had my pup qualified as a therapy dog because I know what pleasure she brings me. I hope your new caregivers have better attitudes than the old ones.

  24. Yolanda has posted that you are in the hospital
    Get well soon, Ellie!

  25. OMG just read on Yolanda,s instagram that Ellie is in the hospitaal in Paris!
    Stay strong Ellie!,

  26. so I have just found you, because I follow Yolanda on Instagram........I'm a girl from the South (mason dixon line!) and a designer. I have wrung my hands over the years as I have watched the dumbing down of shelter mags, and the loss of favorites along the way. You are one clever, on point writer, and I wish you well.....and , yes, your "helpers" were creeps, as all agree.

  27. I felt my blood pressure lowering just looking at these photos.

    So soothing calming and inspiring.

    These are difficult times, surrounding ourselves with lovely things has never been so crucial.

    In Australia Mr Trump makes the news most nights, surely he won't really Go All The Way?

  28. Hi Ellie, I hope someone can relay our comments to you so you know that we are all cheering for you and are desperately hoping our sweet sassy Ellie gets well and returns to beautiful Provence to tell us more stories. We all adore you and are praying you pull through this... You are in my thoughts xxx
    Big love & Hugs & fist bumps, Nykayla from Rossland, British Columbia, Canada

  29. Peace, prayers and blessings, Ellie.

  30. I was seriously on the verge of not renewing my Veranda subscription until this redemptive issue. (Haven't had a chance to read it until today). Those pieces from your hometown of Santa Barbara and my hometown of Birmingham were fantastic, and your comments were spot on!
    I hope you recover quickly in Paris so you can continue your provencal adventures. Wrestling with suffering and with God is totally understandable given the circumstances, but doesn't He have a way of putting us in our place? Just read Job 38-42. Je prie que Dieu vous guerit.

  31. Oh my gosh, I love your blog and your voice. I only wish I had found you earlier while you were thriving not winding down. May God bless the time you have left and your time with your family and friends. Hate to sound too cliche' but I know there is more on the other side and God waits for you with open arms. I know you will be awed by Heaven and the decor, your body will be strong as is your voice. I will be praying for you and your family. Jesus loves you, stay strong Ellie. XO PS 2 dogs and a cat are nothing!

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  33. Thanks for finally writing about >"Well, Hallelujah!" <Loved it!

  34. Very nice write-up. I definitely love this site.
    Keep it up!