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Open Your Eyes: Secret Cove Decorator Show House

12 Aug Alanna Nelson Textiles Boston, MA New England home decor

Are your eyes closed? Visiting the Old York Museums‘ 2013 decorator show house popped open my eyes. More than a dozen designers and landscape architects took over a waterfront property currently for sale.  It’s an inspiring space, open to the public through August 15 (closed Tuesdays) in Kittery Point, ME. Compliments to all who worked to make this museum fundraiser a success!

Read highlights of the house in my blog post for Giardini di Sole. A lot of creative rethinking of space went into the decoration, and entering the house from the shoreline gives an entirely different experience (so smart, those designers!).  There’s no photography allowed, so no home dec eye candy to share, just a garden view, peeking out from  the grape trellis across the feng shui saltwater pool toward the cove. Do visit Secret Cove, if you can.Garden View of Secret Cove Decorator Show House 2013

I can share my “Carpe Diem” decorating philosophy, however…

Open Your Eyes: 1,000 Simple Ways to Bring Beauty into your Home and Life Each Day” was first published by Alexandra Stoddard in 1998. Alanna Nelson Textiles Recommends Alexandra Stoddard books I hadn’t realized that my eyes had closed, but walking into my house after visiting Secret Cove sparked the annual retrieval of this favorite volume (I see it’s available in a digital format these days… hmmm!). I immediately tidied the piles of post that accumulated during our vacation and opened my eyes.

Thanks to Stoddard, there are 3 principals that I incorporate in my own home and studio.

  1. Shake up your art and home dec accessories. We tend to no longer notice your great stuff if it’s always in the same place.
  2. Decorate with objects meaningful to you. The abundance of coral fabrics, candlesticks and objects in Secret Cove was beautiful, but there’s no coral in Maine.  If I spent much time scuba diving in warmer climes, such motifs might show up in my place (Such are home decor trends, I guess).
  3. Consider proportion. How does your eye travel across the room? Slight changes can give your space a completely different vibe.

As these glorious summer days and nights keep us outside and away from home, there’s nothing like opening your eyes when you come back inside. Seize the day and make the most of your space!


To have and to hold…

13 May

Ever since I found out that June Hiatt’s The Principles of Knitting
was reprinted and available digitally, I began to actually want a a digital book reader. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to tote that tome of knitting knowledge spritely in my knitting bag?  What a tantalizing idea!

A bit of shopping around and I realized that my love of textile books meant a simple black and white reader wouldn’t support the color photography, so a fancier tablet was in my future.  And recently, my hub surprised me with a Kindle Fire.  What a darling!Alanna Nelson, Master Knitter

My dearly beloved and I are best friends, parents and share much together.  Makes sense, as it’s been nearly a quarter century of matrimony.  He sweetly let me know that with his Amazon Prime membership, we could stream movies and I could read books for free. All I had to do is register the Kindle to his Amazon Prime address.


But of course, this means that any time I download a book, he’d get the notification.  His preferences and Amazon profile would be littered with my wish list and purchases.  And more importantly, my Amazon profile would essentially wither into the ether. My Kindle library would become forever associated to his linked address unless otherwise gifted to me.


To have and to hold, in sickness and in health does not mean that we lose our identity.  Am I ready to let any sort of assumptions that Amazon could make based on more than 15 years of patronage disappear?  Worse yet, do I care?  Apparently, I do.

Asking friends, I found that some couples share not only a profile, but even a tablet… it was no big deal.  Others, who choose the presentation and display of their books carefully, as if decorating and making a personal statement, could understand my dilemma.

In the end, I decided my Kindle’s purpose was for my literary pursuits and not watching video, and that I wanted my profile to remain linked to my interest areas.

But I haven’t de registered the account…yet!

Any requests for which books to download first?