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Brian Edward Millett

Where all things beautiful collide

Last year I wrote a post entitled Easter’s Best 2011.  This year I planned on a follow-up for 2012, but in the course of doing so, I got overly inspired by spring in general.  That being said, here are just a few (actually far too many) things inspiring me for Easter and the season.  Hope you get inspired as well!!

Ranunculus and muscari from the pages of Martha Stewart Living

A table set for spring in a dining room by Jeffrey Bilhuber, near a check-covered sitting room.

‘Modernist’ bowls, like Bilhuber used above, from West Elm.  www.westelm.com

Toile-covered walls, and other bright fabrics in a room by Jeffrey Bilhuber.

Candles made by pouring wax in real egg shells, and appropriately placed in egg cups, from MSL.  www.marthastewart.com

More vintage egg cups filled with fresh cuts of the season.

A welcoming guest room at designer Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Long Island home, complete with dogwood blossoms.

A large dining room in Bilhuber’s historic home allows for a sitting room.  Paneled wood walls are a nice contrast to pretty floral chintz fabrics, a multi-color striped rug, vintage wicker, and a formal mop fringe-trimmed sofa.  Potted plants and a bowl of fruit add nice spring pops of color.

Hydrangeas (in the form of a Quadrille fabric) crawl up the walls in Bilhuber’s hallway.  I’m obsessed with yellow, so the cushion (with contrast trim) on this settee is a treat!

Wax used to write out a name before being cast into dye is a great way to add a personal touch to Easter.  An arrangement of quince blossoms in a simple vase with the names of each guest would be a great idea for an Easter table.

Another version of the flowering branch and egg ornament idea, with cameo-like images.  This table is quite lovely in its entirety.

Botanical and bird prints have been patiently cut out and decoupaged onto eggs (real or faux would work), and mixed in with small arrangements of real blooms.

The egg candle idea previously mentioned from Martha Stewart Living is seen here again, minus the wax, and with the addition of fresh Lily of the Valley, pansies, etc.

A Ostich egg makes for a chic spring vase, here with tree peonies and muscari.

Spring is about growth and the awakening of nature.  Spring also involves a lot of rain, and still some chilly temperatures.  Stay warm inside while enjoying the offerings of nature.  Topiaries and other potted plants should fill your home in abundance!

More plants (and a friendly creature) fill a fresh space by Jeffrey Bilhuber, as seen in his new book The Way Home: Reflections on American Beauty.

Fresh white trim is always appropriate year-round.  the red ceiling is a nice surprise, and I never get sick of blue and white porcelain and pottery.

Jeffrey Bilhuber’s entry is a treat in color.  Pale blues and greens meet jewel tones like red at the windows, lemon yellow, and an amethyst-hued tufted sofa.  The room is kept humble with a seagrass rug, and slipcovered chair.  The potted plants come into play again, with a fern as the star.

Scenic tile from Norway (as seen around the fireplace above), has been an obsession of mine for awhile now.  I’ve decided I want a custom-made (or DIY) Parson’s table covered in this type of tile for a breakfast room, and surrounded by blonde ‘Wishbone’ chairs by Hans Wegner.

Bilhuber’s fresh kitchen includes pale aqua and black cabinets set on a deep green Thomas Jefferson-inspired floor.  The ceiling is treated in a scratch coat of plaster, with great vintage hanging lights.  I love a wood counter top so much, mixed with the ever-enduring farmhouse sink.

Papier mache baskets from West Elm are made by artisans in Haiti, with proceeds going to that countries continued need of relief.  I would eliminate the bunnies (a little too cute for my taste), but keep the moss and ferns.

A wood vase, of sorts, has been filled with a small glass vessel of muscari blooms, and then covered with moss.

Two favorite flower varieties of late winter  and early spring, fritillaria and hellebores.  The photo (above) of the latter was taken by me via Instagram here in Seattle.

A stunning arrangement of different types of flowering branches, including dogwood and cherry in a rustic basket.

The perfect Easter basket filled with chocolate, and accents of my favorite violet shade.  A pansy bloom adds the final spring touch.

Jeffrey Bilhuber creates some of the most exuberant rooms!  The Quadrille-covered sofa is ridiculously pretty, and makes a great match to other prints, art, and potted plants, including African violets.

A new kind of art (well, actually it’s old) I want to collect is tinsel art, a beautiful medium of the Victorian era.  I would mix it happily with more modern art.

Another colorful room by Jeffrey Bilhuber, with an kumquat colored sofa, purple chair and throw, painted floor, and plenty of fresh plants and flowers.  He loves large myrtle topiaries inside, as do I.  The crisp white covering the walls and window shutters keep the color in check and make this room so fresh.

Tulips and muscari arranged by Martha Stewart in a pretty bowl screams spring’s arrival!

What to wear to a spring event or Easter specifically?  For men, a gingham shirt, loose tie, lightweight cardigan, and slim khakis is perfect!  All from J. Crew.  www.jcrew.com

A matching floral peplum top and pants is the prettiest of looks for spring.  Separate them too, the top with dark denim, and the pants with a great yellow oxford shirt, or tee.

Mix patterns without fear!  Stripes and paisley?  Yes, please!

I love all the looks from J. Crew for spring 2012.  A denim shirt is ALWAYS appropriate with a dressier skirt!

My Easter table checklist for 2012:

__  Gingham or large check tablecloth in a pretty spring hue and white

__  Block prints in the form of chair cushions or napkins; solid hemstitched napkins are always great too (colorful ones)

__  Painted wicker chairs; find mismatched ones at flea markets and consignment stores and paint all in a one great shade

__  Mismatched floral dinnerware, also from thrift shops, etc.  Feel free to mix in some solid white dinnerware to keep all the pattern and color grounded

__  Potted plants like violets, Easter lilies, herb and flowering topiaries, in terracotta pots, and placed on blue and white plates, or other patterned dinnerware

__  Simple colored glassware

__  Egg cups with flowers at each place setting

__  Relaxed farm-to-table feel

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