Mixing – Classic meets Contemporary

Your home is a collection….a layered timeline of your experiences, interests, and points of view. Your life isn’t one dimensional, why should your home be? Fill your home with objects that reflect your passions.

Mixing textures, colors, styles, weights.

This Paris apartment was recently featured in one of my favorite design blogs –  Habitually Chic Blogspot.  It’s a fantastic example of mixing – the more traditional gold leaf and ornate moldings with the pop of color and clean lines injected by the contemporay art piece.  This color “pop” literally pulls your eye from the painting on the left,,,across the contemporary surfboard table with colorful ceramic vases,,,over to the turquoise clear glass on the right.  This room has fabulous movement,  color movement, textural interest, light play provided by the mirror and window.

Suzanne Kasler tablescape
A Suzanne Kasler tablescape

Here’s mixing on a smaller scale. A tablescape by Suzanne Kasler, an Atlanta based interior designer. A tablescape is a vignette, a lifestyle shot. A brief, but powerful scene that leaves you wanting more. Here she combines the modern textural metal pieces with a more traditional painting, and honestly, what’s more classic than Leonardo da Vinci?  The colors and textures play beautifully here.

Whether mixing an entire room, or just a vignette the result is well balanced, shows depth, and it a piece of art in it’s own right.

Classic meets Contemporary
Classic meets Contemporary from Veranda J/F ’16

Here’s a simple, but very impactful example. Antique chairs with the contemporary art piece above.  The linear chair backs “frame” the art above.

Included below are other wonderful examples.

Modern and Antique
Modern art with antique silver pieces
Classic meets Contemporary
My favorite Suzanne Kasler vignette

This theme can also be carried outdoors.

Fontana di Trevi in Rome is a stunning combination of the original Baroque architecture by Nicola Salvi and scupltor Peitro Bracci.  Built in 1762, the fountain was recently upgraded and restored (thanks to Fendi!), adding state-of-the-art LED lighting giving a bit of dramatic sparkle.

Rome's Fontana di Trevi
Classic meets Contemporary
A 1762 fountain gets LED lighting
Lis Bustamiante
Classic meets Contemporary outdoors!

Here, Luis Bustamante, a Madrid  interior designer added colorful contemporary art on top of a stairway framed with antique stone urns

Natural Fences & Stone Walls of New England

Wattle fencing

Wattle Fences
Wattle fences are made from branches or twigs

Woven wood fencing – SO many versions!  This is probably my favorite type of fencing.  Made from branches, thick or thin they are perfect for a garden fence or trellis.  There are so many creative versions, all blending into nature’s landscapes.

Historically, wattle fences were made in movable sections from branches, thick or thin, to contain pastures and livestock.  These sections could be transported with the herds and reinstalled.  This technique goes back to Neolithic times.

Today, there are many artistic version on this basic idea! See some of my favorites below –

wattle & wrought iron
Wattle & Wrought Iron fence allow a peek into this private Carmel CA courtyard
Wattle Fencing
Modern Wattle Fencing.
Seen in Concord MA and Damariscotta ME


I loved this combination of Wattle & Wrought Iron found in a recent trip to Carmel, CA.   This creative “barrier” allows a blissful peak into a private courtyard a block from the beach.  (OK, so it’s not New England, but amazing nonetheless!)



Stone Walls

Most of our New England rock walls were built in 1775-1825, the Revolutionary period.  After the  continued deforestation of the new America to build colonial homes and to heat them,  our New England stones eventually began to make their way to the surface.  Our rocky  soil wasn’t conducive to farming, so aided by their oxen, farmers hauled the stones to the outer edges of their pastures and dumped them.  We’ve all seen them,

“Dump walls”.   My yard is framed by them….these piles of rocks came as a result of priorities; Survival was foremost.  There was no time for niceties!

Beautification came later.   With the Post-Revolutionary War baby boom, there were many young hands to help on the farms…fueled by a swelling pride of “being American”.  Rock walls were built and improved. Still most were only thigh high due to lifting ergonomics.

Beach rock wall
Pemaquid Maine – Stone wall from beach rocks, weathered and pointed

Mortar wasn’t prevalent until after the Civil War. Mortared walls are called “wet rock walls”.   If you’re undertaking a retention wall, please ensure your contractor has drains in these walls.  The mortar holds them together, but they are prone to cracking and shifting as they don’t drain well.

There are many unique and creative versions of Rock walls.


Creative Stone wall
You can create interesting walls with combinations of wrought iron, stone, and wattle

Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron is actually an archaic term.  Wrought iron, meaning “worked by hand”  is no longer available on a large scale.  Wrought iron, has a very low carbon content and is tough, malleable and corrosion resistant.  Its cousin Cast iron, is brittle and can be broken with a hammer.  In its purest form, wrought iron has a grain to it resembling wood.  The Eiffel Tower is actually constructed from a form of wrought iron!

Fence beautiful


There are many more fencing options than a perimeter of shiny vinyl!!

Go Natural and Made in USA!!