It’s official – summer flew by far too quickly! Although our team has been hard at work, we’ve also been carving out time to explore the world with our dearest friends and family, and we hope you’ve been doing the same.
As we set our sights on transitioning from warmer temps to the beauty of a crisp Autumn breeze, we would be remiss if we didn’t share a few of our most cherished and inspiring summer travel moments. From the Impressionist gardens of Le Jardin des Plumes in Giverny and the handsome details of a historic English country house, to majestic African wildlife and the verdant beauty found along the American coastline, we are delighted to be sharing the many places (and a few faces) that made our summer so magical!
Our summer travel began stateside with a few client trips that took us from coast to coast. First, a dear friend and client invited us to visit Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Then we found ourselves in Nantucket a few weeks later!
You know how much we love fresh flowers and foliage, and California did not disappoint:
Neither did Nantucket for that matter:
Speaking of the East Coast, one of our recently completed projects in Rhode Island is something we can’t wait to share with you! More to come on this, so stay tuned…
While Sarah was soaking up the Nantucket sunshine, Sandy had the pleasure of visiting family in England where she toured Lanhydrock, the most magnificent Victorian country house in Cornwall. The public tour takes you through the estate’s common areas, family bedrooms, nurseries, and service rooms, making it one of the longest and most impressive tours of any National Trust house. Here’s a little peek at what we experienced while there!
LA VIE EST BELLE
From there, Sandy made her way to France, visiting the villages of Giverny, Bayeaux, and Honfleur. Nestled away in the village of Giverny is the property that served as home to Claude Monet for over 40 years. The home and gardens have been beautifully preserved and give wonderful insight into many of his paintings.
Monet’s kitchen was such a treat to explore! The earthenware tiles are from Rouen and we love that the color palette was chosen to complement the yellow dining room nearby, as well as Monet’s collection of copper.
And what a treasure it was to experience the water lilies and footbridge that inspired so much of Monet’s work!
Giverny is also home to a charming Inn and gourmet Michelin-star restaurant Le Jardin des Plumes where we enjoyed the most delightful meal. Exploring the gardens and henhouse on their lovely grounds was a treat.
After Giverny, it was time to visit the medieval town of Bayeaux where cobbled streets and historic architectural styles transport you back in time. A highlight for Sandy was viewing the Bayeaux Tapestry that she and Sarah studied many years ago in design class. The Cathédral de Notre-Dame Bayeaux is a truly remarkable example of Norman Romanesque and Gothic architecture!
Our final stop in France was the historic district of Honfleur where the Seine River meets the English Channel. The harbor below is lined with townhouses built from the 1500s to the 1700s. Even on a gray day, you can see why this colorful area was commonly painted by Impressionist artists of the 20th century (including Monet).
A ROARING GOOD TIME
Time to fly on over to South Africa where Sarah had the most magical time with a group of designers, design enthusiasts, and her friends from Sourcing Africa! From safari excursions and dining with the Ardmore family to taking in the sights at Chapman’s Peak and watching the sunset with global architect Stefan Antoni in his Cape Town home, this was surely an adventure to remember.
The team at mFulaWozi Wilderness Lodge and Reserve is second to none and the Mthembu Lodge where we stayed while on safari is truly spectacular.
Early morning drives around the reserve were a favorite and we were fortunate to see the most majestic South African wildlife, including elephants, zebras, giraffes, and lions, up close and personal.
Ardmore hosted the most lovely lunch and learn at our lodge and I’m still dreaming of the exquisite African-inspired textiles and tableware. You will soon see many of the pieces used in the tablescapes of our current projects.
We visited our sister lodge and fell in love with the rich, earthy textures and color stories:
Our adventure continued with a Cape Point tour where we stopped at Chapman’s Peak. Chapman’s Peak is a mountain between Hout Bay and Cape Town, and this picture was taken near the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet!
Our trip actually started in the Winelands where we had the pleasure of staying at the Lanzerac Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch and visiting the Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West. Every bit of the design and experience brought so much joy to our crew!
A few pics from our stay at Lanzerac that show how much beauty exists around every corner:
A few more from Vergelegen Wine Estate:
One of our favorite stops was at Jambo which has rooms full of traditional and contemporary home furnishings and decor, all crafted by traditional craftsmen, women and rural workgroups. Needless to say, we were ready to leave with one of everything!
Before we bring this to a close, we absolutely must share the floral arrangements we saw in South Africa. They were nothing short of breathtaking for our floral loving hearts!
Thank you for following along! It’s clear that travel is one of our favorite ways to gather design inspiration and boost creativity. We hope these snapshots from our beautifully busy summer inspire you to carve out time for adventures of your own. On that note, if you visited a place near or far that took your breath away this summer, we would love to hear from you.
We’re always on the hunt for unforgettable new destinations and 2023 travel plans are already in motion!
“We travel because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something inside our minds has changed, and that changes everything.”
– Jonah Lehrer