Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello September

Warm and inviting interiors from The Blue House in Santa Monica

I don't know about you, but even though I am enjoying the last days of summer, I am secretly excited to say hello to fall. I welcome shorter days and cooler weather. I want to go into nesting mode with lots of cooking, baking and getting ready for the holidays. I look forward to gallery openings, theatre performances, good movies, perusing antique shops, readings at book stores, fall produce and the brisker pace of autumn. September is a month of beginnings and excitement builds for all kinds of autumnal pleasures.

I get a little jolt of happiness when I spot the first autumn scenes at our local florist shops. This is one of my favorites, The Language of Flowers in Santa Monica. 

A favorite fall activity when traveling or at home is browsing in rare book stores to discover treasures like this, a beautiful botanical book from B & L Rootenberg Rare Books in Los Angeles.

 Of course, nothing relaxes me more or makes my house a happier place to be than baking, and these pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting are one of my favorites.

I love pulling out the rich colors of fall and setting the kitchen table with my golden yellow runner and an arrangement of sunflowers.

Farmers' markets in September begin to carry delicious apples and so many other vegetables and fruits for cooking and baking seasonally.

 Traveling to New England in the fall is always fun and I love browsing through antique stores in little towns. They often carry tole trays like this one, a treasure I bought recently to add to my  collection.

I am going to England soon and a visit to Duncan Grant's studio at Charleston Farm House in Sussex will inspire me with all its bohemian and creative beauty. This is a recreation that was done in Los Angeles in the spring.

 Room designed with William Morris patterns

And speaking of beautiful English things, I just read in "Traditional Home" magazine that William
Morris & Co. is celebrating its 150- year anniversary. William Morris (1834-1896) was the single most influential designer of the nineteenth-century. His designs are still beautiful today. Tried and true Morris patterns have had a refreshing makeover and each design is based on archival patterns that still feel magical 150 years later. I have always loved the very English feel of these wallpapers and textiles.

Probably my all time favorite thing to do in cooler weather is to immerse myself in a good book. I have just started "The Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles and and I am loving it. By the way, how gorgeous and evocative is the elegant cover!


I think that for me fall is about two different things. First there are the homey pleasures --  reading, cooking, entertaining, all the comforts of home.  But there is also the excitement related to the arts season that kicks off soon. Taylor de Cordoba gallery is having its first opening of the season next Saturday --  a solo show of the Los Angeles based artist Kimberly Brooks -- and I will be there! And though we can still enjoy the waning days of summer with its golden light and warm days, I am very happy to say hello to September.


  1. Your harvest table looks beautiful and such a rich patina. So nice with autumnal shades.
    The book has me at the is elegance personified. Perhaps you'll consider a book review when you are finished reading it?

  2. I am taking lots of notes here Sunday..I trust your judgement explicitly!
    What else do you have on your list for England? I have not been to the Charleston Farmhouse yet...everyone tells me to go. I think September is the perfect month for it. We think a lot alike :)

    Happy September Sunday!

    Jeanne xxxx

  3. Charleston is just one of my favourite places - so evocative! Make sure you book a tour - I think there are several to chose from - and Autumn will be a wonderful time to visit as the house is in the middle of wonderful Sussex countryside! Hope you enjoy your visit!

  4. Just a thought - Sissinghurst Castle in Kent is also a beautiful place to visit and although mostly famous for its gardens will still be a beautiful even in Autumn - it is the home of Vita Sackville West who was also part of the famour Bloomsbury Group.

  5. Hostess, yes I will definitely review it here. That cover makes me think of a scene out of one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books

    Jeanne, I think you would love Charleston. I also want to visit Knole, childhood home of Vita Sackville-West. Lisa from A Bloomsbury Life told me about the Denis Severs house, and I plan to go to a lot of the "sights," such as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, etc. since I haven't been there for so long. Teas and dinners of course, and museums, I remember loving the Courtauld and the National Gallery. So excited.

    Gilliecoco, this will be my second trip to Charleston, I just loved it last time I was there. And yes, I also went to Sissinghurst in Kent. The gardens were amazing. Thanks so much for your great tips. I can't wait to see the Sussex countryside in Autumn.

  6. I coild not agree more! I love Fall for all of the reasons that you mentioned, I love the feeling of being in my own little cocoon/nest/house, I love baking and cooking anything that has pumpkin, I love getting ready for the holidays, the warmth of people and just the idea that live seems to take on a more leisurely pace in the Fall and Winter.

    I love your new Tole tray! Beautiful.

    If I can be nosy, and maybe because I missed it, but where will you be traveling in England? I may have some suggestions if you are going to the Cottswalds, the LAke District, York, Durham, London, etc. There are so many great places to visit and so little time. Will you meet up with Jeanne from Collage of Life?

    Thank you for visiting my blog! Have a wonderful and leisurely weekend. I hope you have time to read one of the books you suggested. I will have to put those on my list.

  7. Yes, I, too, look forward to the delights of fall!
    Came to you via Pamela's blog.
    You will be jealous of me. I met Duncan Grant many times in the early 70's and he came to our performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream when we performed it in a little village in the Sussex Downs....
    Have a super visit to England.

  8. Beautiful post! England sounds wonderful.. fall is my favourite time to travel. This fall it will be Disney World for the children.
    The pumpkin muffins look delicious! I love autumn... as you mentioned, the pleasures of home and the arts are favourites during this time of year.
    I've thought about picking up the book although I don't have much time for a book this semester. The cover reminds me of The Great Gatsby (one of my favourites) and for that reason it is irresistable.
    Wishing you a most lovely weekend! xoxo, B

  9. I love everything about fall, the cooler temperatures and lovely colors. It is such a joy to be outside. Your Pumpkin cupcakes look delicious and I love your fall colors on your dining room table.
    Hope your Labor Day weekend is great.

    The French Hutch

  10. I can't tell you how much I love your relatively new header - it was so lovely to finally be able to visit you again and see your beautiful image!! You are definitely inspiring me to look forward to fall, which I already love!! As a pale auburn haired girl, even the colors suit me!! Your cupcakes look delicious and I can't wait to read Rules of Civility - everyone seems to be raving. So pleased you noticed the cover :-)))

  11. Very beautiful tole tray, and an unusual and gorgeous design. I love them.
    This post really got me in an autumn mood - can't wait to start wearing cashmere sweaters and boots. And will be buying that book today.

  12. so excited about fall! these images are coz central.

  13. Yes to fall! I'm a June baby but my favorite season is fall. Can't wait for all those comforts too.

  14. What to check out first? Rules of Civility or pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting? Or perhaps I shall eat a cupcake while reading...