A Closer Look at Sister Parish

Did you know that many of the eccentrically traditional rooms that you see in magazines and around showrooms today have been influenced by American interior decorator and socialite Sister Parish? The New Jersey-born design partner of Albert Hadley, was first brought in to decorate the Kennedy White House in 1962 and has become known for her homey, cluttered traditionalism, her passion for patchwork quilts, painted furniture, and red-lacquer secretaries. Her stylistic influences can still be seen at the White House today, particularly in the Family Dining Room and Yellow Oval Room.

“It is only my eye that has helped me. I am still hopeless with that thing called a scale ruler. I love color, but that comes very naturally to me. From the beginning, I never followed trends. If I was aware of them, I didn’t care, for I believed as I do now, that rooms should be timeless and very personal. And I certainly don’t have a “look”-just a mishmash of everything that somehow, by instinct, usually turns out to be a warm, imaginative, ‘living room’.


-Sister Parish

The Yellow Oval Room at the White House during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, as decorated by Sister Parish
Parish influenced room by designer Bunny Williams.

Photo Credit: Sister Parish Design-a design essential

The 13 Best Summer-Blooming Shrubs

Wondering what shrubs to add to your garden this summer that don’t require a ton of upkeep?  There are plenty to choose from! Better Homes and Gardens has put together a list of some of the best summer-blooming plants that will add color and elegance and are also pretty easy to grow. Here are a few of our favorites! Click here to see the entire article form Better Homes and Gardens.

Carolina Allspice

Bluebeard Shrub

Photo Credit: BHG

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This Just In: HM Oliver gets a New Look and a New Name!

You’ve probably noticed a few changes to this blog if you’re a regular who visits daily to read our posts. We’ve changed our name from HM Oliver to that of our sister store, Marvin Gardens, since we’ve consolidated and moved to 713 Danbury Road. We’ve also got a new Facebook and Twitter account so be sure to add us! But don’t worry, you can still count on getting the usual garden tips and decorating ideas here, and remember, if you’ve got an idea for a post or simply a topic that you’d like to learn more about that we can help you explore, send your ideas our way!

Thanks for reading,
Amabel Chan
Marvin Gardens

HM Oliver Interiors and Marvin Gardens Has Extended Their Moving and Consolidation Sale Until the End of June!

The moving and consolidation sales event will feature all regular retail at 20%-50% off and will take place at 632 Danbury Road. As part of the consolidation of HM Oliver Interiors and Marvin Gardens, we will incorporate furniture from different sources, warehouse and industrial furniture and bulk sales. All sales are final.

“If the warehouse/over stock sale works, we’ll create an urban market monthly (or biweekly) and invite other dealers to participate (Eleven Shades of Grey),” said HM Oliver Principal Amabel Chan. “It’s been done in Houston and Atlanta — maybe we can reinvent that type of retailing here on the East Coast.”

Doors will only be open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. through the end of the month. For more information, contact Amabel at (203) 856-0309

Please note that Marvin Gardens’ location at 713 Danbury Road, Wilton remains the flagship location.

Get Ready for the 5th Annual Georgetown Gallop 5K Fun Run!

Join the town of Wilton this Sunday, June 13 for the 5th Annual Georgetown Gallop 5K Fun Run. The 5K race begins at 10:30 a.m. on Old Mill Road with check-in beginning at 9:30 outside the Village Chef Deli at the corner of Rt. 57 and 107.

From the Wilton Chamber of Commerce:

The “Pony Express” Kids Fun Run will kick off after  the 5K.  Entry fee for the 5K is $12 on or before 6/8, $15 after.  Kids K is $5.  Online registration can be made at www.wiltonchamber.com, or by calling the Chamber office at 762-0567. After the road races, everyone is encouraged to attend the Georgetown Day Festival sponsored by the Georgetown Village Restoration Association, which will be held right across the street from noon until 7 PM, rain or shine.

Click here for more information.

A Castle-full of Inspirations

Thanks to our friends from HabituallyChic, we had a chance to take a glimpse into the gardens of Wijlre Castle in the Netherlands. So very inspiring and magical! Visit Marvin Gardens for more garden inspirations.

The owners are avid art collectors and I’m sure it’s no coincidence that they made their home 12 miles outside of Maastricht, the site of the leading art and antiques fair TEFAF. The gardens incorporate many modern and contemporary sculptures and the couple have also built a gallery on the property where they hold exhibitions. Sounds like a dream life to go with a dream home!

Photos  Credit: Herman Wouters for The New York Times and Conari Album on Webshots

Join HM Oliver Interiors and Marvin Gardens From June 1-6 for Their Moving and Consolidation Sale in Wilton

The week-long sales event will feature all regular retail at 20%-50% off and will take place at 632 Danbury Road. As part of the consolidation of HM Oliver Interiors and Marvin Gardens, we will incorporate furniture from different sources, warehouse and industrial furniture and bulk sales. All sales are final.

“If the warehouse/over stock sale works, we’ll create an urban market monthly (or biweekly) and invite other dealers to participate (Eleven Shades of Grey),” said HM Oliver Principal Amabel Chan. “It’s been done in Houston and Atlanta — maybe we can reinvent that type of retailing here on the East Coast.”

Doors will only be open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Amabel at
(203) 856-0309

Please note that Marvin Gardens’ location at 713 Danbury Road, Wilton remains the flagship location.

What Types of Risks Do You Take When it Comes to Your Home’s Design?

“At HM Oliver, style is created and there are forcible efforts to move away from trends,” says Principle Amabel Chan. “Our design philosophy encourages risk-taking on the homeowner’s part and the willingness to incorporate unusual and unexpected elements.”

We’d like to hear from you and find out what types of risks you take when planning out design ideas for your own home? Do you like to experiment with combining different fabrics? Perhaps you incorporate bold color schemes into your home’s overall look? However you distinguish yourself from the pack, we’d like to know!

Below are some of our favorite examples of work from homeowners around the web that have decided to incorporate some of those more unusual and unexpected elements.

Emily LaMarque Design Studio, courtesy of Berta Art
From Metropolitan Home, courtesy of Nest Egg
From Metropolitan Home, courtesty of Nest Egg