julianne moore's garden

It's always helpful when you come across a space in a magazine that is not unlike your own. Maybe they're not exactly the same but there enough similar characteristics that you could imagine with a bit of work (or a lot of work and money!) that your own place could look comparable. When it comes to outdoor gardens, I'm usually at a total loss. I love everything from formal French gardens with neatly edged boxwood hedges to simple, clean contemporary spaces planted en masse with flowing grasses and sculptural trees. I don't even mind a rambling English country garden. However, I think I have finally found what is to me the perfect combination of all of the above styles and it just happens to be Julianne Moore's New York city garden planted on a lot not unlike my own.

Moore worked with designer Brian Sawyer to create her backyard oasis. She passed him a couple of books by renowned landscape architect Jacques Wirtz and asked him to create something copacetic.

The starting point for the project was the reclaimed bluestone pavers. As Moore recalls, "Horribly expensive, but I am so glad Brian talked me into it, because the whole space now feels totally grounded." The black basketball net almost disappears amongst the plantings.

Not long before meeting Moore, Sawyer had spent time in Ireland where we came across a lot of moist, hidden gardens. A lack of sun and drainage issues are common problems when it comes to urban gardens. Here a mixture of boxwoods and succulents in natural stone containers look completely at home.

The majority of the plants are green, green, green which contrast nicely with the red brickwork and black trim of the townhouse.

Rough hewn troughs from Original Stone Troughs contain both plants and water features and add texture and interest to the garden.

Perhaps, my favorite feature of the garden is the random planting of Staghorn ferns against the brick facade of the house.

The kids tree (or branch) fort designed by artist Roderick Wolgamott Romero is perfectly disguised at the rear of the garden.

For more on Julianne Moore's garden check out the complete story here.

Image credits:
Christopher Baker for Architectural Digest.

cast your vote: blog or magazine?

Is it just me or is there a shift happening? There was a time when I looked only at magazines for inspiration but lately I’ve found myself being more and more influenced by the personal homes I see on blogs. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good magazine but they are becoming harder and harder to find. For that reason, I’m switching up my “cast your vote” section this week and asking, “blog or magazine” which would you rather read? When I first started looking at decorating magazines, years and years ago they mainly showcased homes that had been professionally designed by an interior decorator or designer. While it was interesting to flip through Architectural Digest and peer into the lives of the very rich and very famous, the lavish rooms and ornate decorating styles were completely out of my reach. Furthermore, these home were so well styled and photographed it looked like no one lived in them. There was never an object out of place.

Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest

In recent years, design publications have opened their doors to a more eclectic and personal style. Oftentimes, these homes have either been decorated by the owners who live in them or by a designer working closely with the homeowners. Some of this shift can probably be attributed to blogs like Apartment Therapy and Design*Sponge that started showcasing individual's homes back in 2003/2004. Domino and BluePrint magazine (both no longer in print) were definitely influenced by the more do-it-yourself, individualized style that blogs were beginning to show. However, the shoots for these magazines were heavily designed and took the work of many stylists, photographers, and art directors to pull together.

Domino Magazine

Blueprint Magazine

Domino Magazine

Then there is the design blog. For the first time, blogs have invited us into the homes of everyday people and allowed us to see how they live. These homes are very much lived in with dishes on the table, toys on the ground, notes on the desktop, and clothes on the bed. These homes have not been touched by a stylist and are often photographed by the homeowners, themselves.

Design*Sponge

Apartment Therapy

Bloesem

So where do you find yourself going for inspiration? Blog or magazine?

Do you have a favorite site or magazine that you always check out and never miss?