Introducing Rosemary Milner!

If you’re not already familiar with the deeply imaginative work of Rosemary Milner, then pay attention. Marvin Gardens has absolutely fallen in love with the screen-printed wallpaper, books and fabrics from this English artist. Her patterns are whimsical and she loves traditional approaches to printing and production and has perfected the art of hand stitching, hand etching, silk-screen printing and lino illustration. We came across some of her swatches on decor8 and we’re simply enamored with her current collections. They are inspired by flora and fauna with historical narratives including woodland animals, British birds and botany, alongside her own fresh take on them. Take a look below at some of the sweet and charming patterns that possess a fairy-tale like quality. From the soft butterflies to the fleeting foxes and everything in between, her patterns are perfect for a powder room or perhaps and children’s room reading nook.

Rosemary’s designs have a traditional, rural and bespoke quality; hand stitched motifs, stitched-into papers and fabrics and embellished vintage found items are quintessentially Rosemary’s style. The range also extends into mass-printable linens and furnishings for the home, evoking a subtle, composed feel for interiors.

Visit Rosemary Milner’s website to learn more about her creative designs!

Photo Credit: Rosemary Milner

Summer Croquet in New England

Aaaah, summertime. There’s nothing quite like it—and definitely nothing like a New England summer. While those Florida folks have their palm trees, water parks and flop flops, oh my, those of us here in good old Wilton have our sun dresses, Sperry’s boat shoes and light evening jackets. And when it comes to Connecticut pastimes, there’s got to be croquet on the lawn. The age-old game has been around since the early 1800s and involves hitting plastic or wooden balls with a mallet through hoops embedded into the grass playing court.

Marvin Gardens recently came across some fun photos on Habitually Chic chronicling the game being played by pop culture greats throughout history on a variety of breathtaking lawns. Take a look at a few of our favorites! What’s your favorite summer pastime?

George Harrison and John Lennon
Betty Grable playing croquet
Fairfield Croquet by Slim Aarons 1991
Olivia de Havilland
Louis Jourdan and friends by Slim Aarons
Croquet Lawn
Darryl Zanuck at Howard Hawks house by Slim Aarons 1955
The croquet lawn at Winston Churchill's old home.
Princess Diana

Photo Credit: Habitually Chic

A Home Inspired by French Châteaus

While enduring this extremely hot summer and longing for an escape to the French countryside, we came across a beautiful home inspired by Paris in Veranda Magazine. When the owner of the home wanted to add a Parisian feel to her beach side home, she went to interior designer Betty Burgess, who is known on the West Coast for her classic European style. The California residence features a soft palette of blues, greys and creams with black and chocolate accents gives the home the rustic charm of an old French château while still complementing the home’s West Coast location. We loved that Burgess used many of the homeowner’s antiques and art work to complete the look with a personal touch.

Take a look at some more images from Veranda that we also found inspiring.

We’d love to hear from you, what did you think about the Paris-inspired home?

Photos: Veranda | Photography by Roger Davies

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Great Expectations

As a gardener, we learn to set very low expectations especially after improperly planting out the garden (according to the tag, ahem, not the gardener’s fault). This year I resurrected the vegetable patch. Five years prior it was lush and full of bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, zucchinis and the like. I went away for a week’s vacation only to find that I had provided a gourmet buffet for the groundhogs, chipmunks, and very charming but voracious rabbits. The vegetable patch remained barren for years thereafter, weeds accumulating and looking like a Dr. Suess meeting with  the Lord of the Flies jungle. At one point I stole all of the beautiful rich composted soil from the patch and used it elsewhere in the garden – I didn’t know I could move that much earth in one summer!
Since then, the vegetable patch became the bunny run, during a crazy period when a gazillion rabbits roamed on my property (yes, I had something to do with it). We would place them in the 20×40 fenced in patch and they would roam freely for a couple of hours a day. Of course, my little girls would play with them for half an hour or so. We didn’t watch them for the entirerty of their free run, boys and girls romping in the grass, mind you. Soooo, not too many weeks later, more bunnies arrived. Sweet, charming and so adorable. Well, the great expectation of something so cute and adorable remaining at four ( yes, just four bunnies to begin) at one point became FIFTY cute and adorable bunnies. Each one seemed to want to have 7-9 babies at a time and then a couple of adults were donated to the “cause” and then the explosion happened. Yes, it was hilarious and overwhelming and eventually they all had to go. Two years of expectations greater than desired – ha!
Now, going back to the garden “issue”, my second harvest being noteworthy (by my accounts only, of course): 5 radishes (at 40 days instead of the 22 on the seed packet), a big handful of jalepeno peppers (guess I’ll make jalapeno jelly since nobody likes spicy food but me), one meyer lemon (hooray!), a couple of handfuls of baby mesclun and 4 cukes. I guess you know why I didn’t mention the first harvest. Granted I did plant out late and start some things from seed instead of the prestarted grower’s packs. But still, July 20th and only a handful of yummies?! What has gardening come to?!?!
There is a great overabundance of cilantro (already going to seed), extremely aromatic basil to fill plenty of plates of fresh mozzy and plump tomatoes (from the grocer or someone else’s garden). Pesto is great but the pasta seems to get in the way of enjoying it purely while staying away from those “danger, danger” carbs. We’ll puree the excess and freeze little cubes for great butter, garlic and olive oil blend over a nice light, white fish or a juicy chicken breast. I’ll take butter over carbs any day! Weeks to come will bring sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, green onions, white and red radishes, fennell (mmmm, licorice!), sweet and hot peppers and spinach that still hasn’t made it above the soil surface. The once abundant blueberry bushes were a delight for the birds and chipmunks. At planting they were complete engulfed in berries and I thoroughly netted them. Those rascals!!! I guess I should pay more attentions to their sneaky ways of getting under the netting. The girls and I would watch from a distance and remark how odd it was that individual branches were moving quite rapidly yet there was no wind or large animal lurking around. Mr. McGregor, what did you do beside carry around your shotgun?
As I mentioned earlier, I learned to keep my expectations low – not because I don’t think I’m good at gardening but because of  what time and energy I was able to put into it this year as well as what Mother Nature is obviously asking me to contribute to my fellow friends out there. I am happy to oblige. Through it all, I’m actually quite thrilled at my tiny harvest. Each spicy radish gets its own memory, the jalapenos will make a beutiful batch of mildly spicy jelly to share with many and the 4 cukes will make a lovely salad for dinner tonight. The hundreds of tiny heirloom cherry tomatoes will be for another glorious summer evening.
Standards and expectations are part of what makes life interesting. What one believes another should have or want or how perfect a garden should be is really completely in the mind of the beholder. Other’s admiring from a distance really have no idea how ‘perfect’ the garden should be to the gardener – they are merely watching and learning and enjoying the process. The innocence of a young child and her admiration of mistakes is the joy I have in my life. I’ve set many “standards” of living for myself and my children, set really high expectations of them and have pushed them hard to strive for the best. Lately I have come to learn that just by my example, I need not say any more to them. Their smile is more than enough to please me and that is the greatest of all expectations.


Classic Elements in Aerin Lauder’s Living Room

Elle Décor always has beautiful photos of beautiful interiors, but many of them are a bit modern for our taste. Of course, this doesn’t stop us from flipping through pages of the magazine or browsing Elle Décor’s website from time to time, and we felt we struck gold when we spotted the traditional elements in Aerin Lauder’s living room, which was featured on the site amongst 12 other celebrity spaces.

Although many of the larger furniture pieces have modern lines, other objects in the room nod toward a more classic style. We’re sure you didn’t miss the display of Chinese porcelain pieces from Estée Lauder’s collection, but also note the traditional armchair and pedestal side tables, which help balance the two periods blended in this space.

If you’re looking for similar traditional accessories, antiques or lighting for your clients, visit Marvin Gardens in Wilton CT today!

Photo by Simon Upton for Elle Décor

A New Twist on Traditional Plate Groupings

We’ve talked before about transferware—one of our favorite things—and hanging plate groupings the easy way, but we just came across an interesting development that may make it even easier: this Studio Ditte wallpaper pattern, which pictures porcelain blue-and-white dinner plates.

Like decor8 points out, part of the charm lies in the variety of plate patterns and multiple shades of blue, which work together and complement each other beautifully. And that’s not to mention the current popularity of indigo and softer shades of blue in all design accessories these days, including transfer-ware.

This wallpaper pattern is a new take on a design classic. We think it might work well on an accent wall or even as a bookshelf backing. What do you think of the look? Is it overwhelming, or just the right amount of a good thing?

Images via decor8

3 Reasons to Plant Mountain Laurels in Your Garden this Summer

If you want your garden to look amazing, why not incorporate the Mountain Laurel?  Not only is it a good addition to the garden, but they are also abundant in Connecticut. Here are 3 reasons why Marvin Gardens recommends planting Mountain Laurels in your garden this summer.

Pink flowers
Adding pink and white blossoms can be a great addition to any summer garden.

1. Its beauty- The Mountain Laurel is the most beautiful of Native American shrubs. It has white and pink blossoms. This can create a great contrast  if you have planted darker plants. This shrub will catch the attention of anyone who walks past your garden.

2. Its fragrance- Not only is this plant pleasant to look at, but it is also pleasant to smell. These plants give off an amazing fragrance that  help your garden appeal to the senses. Most gardens are only appreciated for their beauty. However, with a few of these in your garden, it will be appreciated for its warm and welcoming fragrance.

3. Its the state flower- There’s a reason that the Mountain Laurel is the state flower. They are amazing shrubs that bring life to your garden. Also, it shows that you take pride in your state and appreciate the beauty that grows there.

Why not  plant some of these wonderful shrubs today?

A Closer Look at a Quaint Townhouse

When it comes to sophisticated traditional design, Marvin Gardens just can’t get enough. We recently took a look at some photos from an installment in the latest edition of Architectural Digest of a townhouse renovation and we absolutely fell in love. According to AD, the residence is Thomas Jayne’s 19th-century home in Philadelphia. Take a look of a few of our favorites below form the spread!

The drawing room is furnished with a custom-made sofa and chairs upholstered in silk and a camelback sofa covered in a Clarence House damask. Rembrandt Peale’s portrait The Odalisque hangs over the mantel. The curtains are made of a silk faille from Claremont.
A custom-made runner stripes the staircase.
An Italian rococo secretary from Foster-Gwin stands in the drawing room.
Fluted columns separate the drawing and dining rooms; the chandelier is Italian Empire.

If you’re n the Wilton, CT area and interested in creating a cozy transformation like this in your own home, contact Marvin Gardens today!

Photo Credit: Pieter Estersohn via Architectural Digest

Bring a Touch of the Outdoors Inside with Beautiful Living MOSStiles

Talk about a fresh idea! Marvin Gardens recently came across this innovative and sustainable wall décor known as MOSStiles from by Benetti Stone Philosophy that basically allows you to decorate any area of your home from the walls to lampshades to tabletops and everything in between. The tiles come in a variety of colors and are almost completely maintenance free. What a neat way to liven up the interior with little to no effort at all!

From Inhabitat:

These modular living tiles come in 12 different shades and are virtually maintenance free needing no watering, fertilizer or even direct sunlight, maintaining their lush appearance relying only ambient humidity alone. Like a living wallpaper or even art, MOSStiles will brighten up your space with living plants.

Would you decorate your interior with these lush little tiles or are the out of the question for your digs? We want to hear your thoughts! Check back with Marvin Gardens regularly for all things gardens and design-related form around the web!