Friday, March 27, 2009


Sometimes I come across a picture that stays on my mind all day.  Such was the case yesterday when I saw this beautiful image on Decorology:

Just looking at this scene makes me happy.  I always love a casual dining area that has windows with light streaming in (if I ever build a house, I will need to have the kitchen facing east so I get the morning light at breakfast).  However, what really inspired me about this picture was the bunch of tulips on the table; the burst of red in the middle of the fresh light room is striking (and I love how the branch of the tree in the backyard looks like it is part of the tulip arrangement).   Without a doubt, tulips are my favorite flowers.  So great is my love of tulips, that I had my bridesmaids carry a simple bouquet of white tulips, and my bouquet was comprised of white tulips and pale, pale pink roses. (Photography by the very talented Annie Schlechter)  


In this room, designed by Ginger Barber, the tulips are a nice little burst of color in a neutral setting, and pink is an unexpected color in this room.  Via Cote de Texas.


I am not a tulip expert, but I believe these are parrot tulips.  I once went to a wedding where the theme was red and yellow (it was the most fabulous, dramatic, and sophisticated wedding I have ever been to).  Parrot tulips, red roses, and red/yellow orchids were all used to great effect.  Image and interiors by Caldwell-Beebe.


I saved this picture for the beauty of the window in the background. However, I also love the contemporary tulip arrangement on the table - how many tulips did it take to make this arrangement? Quite a few! Image Slettvoll, via Willow Decor.

Ty Larkins_fr_cdt

I remember really liking the way in which designer Ty Larkins used tulips in this room - look in front of the mirror on the right, and you will see small vases with just one or two tulips in each vase. It is the small details like this that make a room so beautiful.  I recently went to a friend's house for a meeting, and she had such a memorable arrangement of tulips on her kitchen table - one or two stems in small bud vases that were of varying heights.  I wish I had taken a picture!  Image via Cote de Texas.


One of my all time favorite designers, Gerrie Bremermann, uses a lush arrangement of tulips on an antique French commode.  Via Cote de Texas.


Barbara Barry is one of my favorite designers, and I was not surprised to find tulips in a picture from her furniture line for Henredon (white, no less - perfection).  The white tulips play off the calligraphy style script etching so beautifully.


Another Bremermann designed room, with an arrangement of white tulips. This is one of my favorite rooms, and I love the art by Amanda Talley.


Either I have an affinity for pictures with white tulips, or the designers I like tend to use them more than any other color!  This is one of my favorite rooms by Kerry Joyce.  Look at the profusion of tulips on the mantle - in vases with different shapes and sizes - plus a big vase of tulips on the table. This would be a hard look to maintain day after day (not to mention expensive), but it is beautiful styling for a photo! 


Another great picture by Annie Schlechter.  There is something so right about red tulips in a blue vase.


One of my highlights of 2008 was being invited to a White House Christmas party. Huge arrangements of tulips were all over the White House that evening; this one in front of a portrait of President Reagan was my favorite.


In the spring I love to buy tulips from the grocery store, and this month I have been selecting different shades of pink.  Normally I do not gravitate to pink, mainly because it looks horrible with my coloring. However, I love how it looks against the green walls of my family room; it must be the preppy in me.  (The screened in porch in the background is getting cleaned and painted as soon as the weather improves - which is why it is empty right now!).

I personally love the life cycle of tulips when they come home from the store: the first day, they are upright and proud. Slowly but surely, over the next few days, the heads of the tulips begin to droop under their own weight, which adds a beautiful sculptural quality to the arrangement.  When I googled 'drooping tulip', I learned that tulips begin to droop because they continue to grow even after they are cut, and eventually droop because the stem can no longer support the weight of the flower.  Some suggest to put just a little water in the vase, and change it every day. Others suggest putting a pin through the stem just below the flower, when the tulip is newly opened; according to anecdotal evidence, this not only prevents the tulip from drooping, it also makes it last longer.  It might be an interesting idea to get a bunch of tulips and put a pin through the center tulips, so they stay nice and upright, and let the outer tulips droop. I may have to try that when I buy next week's tulip bouquet.

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  1. Beautiful pictures and beautiful tulips :-)

    I've been delinquent about maintaining a vase of flowers in the living room lately. I'm going to have to pick up a few bunches of tulips next time I'm at the grocery store.

    Thanks for the inspiration :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  2. Wow- how did you find so many lovely rooms with tulips in them? Great post. I love the theme of tulips but also found inspiration in the many lovely rooms. Thanks

  3. I'm a big fan of tulips too. Most likely, they are indeed my most favorite cut flower. I also enjoy them growing in nature, but we don't have many here in the south. Tulips are so beautiful and very dynamic. You see, when you put them in water, they continue to grow and that is how you get the floppy look. They are just stunning!

  4. Gorgeous! I love love love tulips and have a huge bowl of cuttings in my family room now!

  5. What a simply gorgeous post! Stunning images :)

  6. I've always heard that putting a penny in the vase helps tulips keep longer! Beautiful!

  7. I love tulips this time of year, too, and posted them on one of my blogs, The Tea Room. I love the photographs you chose for this post! ~Arleen

    P.S. Here's the link to The Tea Room: http://www.thetearoom.us

  8. I got stuck on the top picture. The red in the tulips is the only saturated color. That little bit of red goes a long way. I want your future kitchen to have east, west, and south windows at least. And a north window if you can work one in. Skylights of course.

  9. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I was inspired by tulips this morning and searched through my photos to see which ones had tulips. A surprisingly large number had them!

    Terry, I am beginning to think that I should build a home - I have such a specific list of things I want! I agree with your kitchen directional recommendations. There is one house (renovation project) that I quite like, but one of the major negatives is that the kitchen faces west.

  10. i love that first image so light and airy and dreamy.....sigh perfect!!!

  11. I want to go an get some tulips for the studio. We didn't get fresh flowers this week :(

    Thank you very much for your comment in my blog !

  12. I've got Tulip Fever now and just have to get some in my house. I'm impressed by all the tulip photos you found. I had seen some of these before but never even noticed the tulips in them until you pointed them out. Thanks for making me see the rooms in a new way.

    I somehow missed that you went to the White House last year! How exciting! Really enjoyed seeing the photos in that post, too.

  13. Simply Elegant. Love the tradition perfect mixed with the splashes of modern.

  14. Just beautiful - and we love using tulips during Christmas, so we loved the White House example!

  15. I always buy tulips too! I picked some up on the way home to replace the one's that were beyond droopy. A gray and wet weekend is forecasted and they're the perfect cheap and cheerful pick-me-up!

  16. It is gray and wet here too (not sure if you can tell that from the last picture), so my tulips are like a little bright spot in a room that is even darker because of the clouds outside.

    If I had known how bad the weather would be this week, I would have purchased yellow tulips for that extra dose of brightness!

  17. Tulips are so sexy! I just love them too. And your the images you found are stunning. Thank you.

  18. Tulips are by far my favorite flower, then calla lillies and peonies. I love when they begin to droop. My last large Holiday celebration, I had vases of white tulips all over! It would be dreamy to have them year round!

  19. They're such sculptural and elegant flowers. I can't decide if I like the white or the pops of color more!!

  20. What a Spring time post.
    I actually prefer when my tulips start to droop.
    They feel much more romantic and relaxed to me.
    I loved the arrangement in the Kerry Joyce image.
    He happens to be one of my favorite interior and furniture designers. Steve and I went on tour of one of his homes here in Los Angeles. It was so elegant, yet very comfortable.


  21. I love tulips! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics.

  22. Why am I not suprised you like tulips? me too!

    But I love when my tulip droop - that's when I think they are prettiest. And yes = those were parrot tulips - the ruffled kind, or French tulips.

    At my wedding we used white tulips mixed with white roses in the tablesettings. so pretty mixed together. I can't believe we mixed the same flowers like that!!

  23. Tulips are a favourite of mine too - I bought the most lovely pale, pale rose bunches at the market yesterday and they look wonderful. xv

  24. How wonderfully timely! My tulips are just starting to come up in my front and rear yards.

  25. Q



  26. i love tulips! that first room blew me away!! :)

  27. I adore tulips. One of my most favorite things about spring!

  28. What a beautiful round-up of pictures with tulips. One of my favourite flowers.

  29. I love tulips --- they have to be my favorite flower. Great photos!

  30. White tulips are my favorite! I noticed how many of the rooms were gray. I love gray but don't know how to select the "right" gray.

  31. I always love your style.
    I have challenged you to select one image the encompasses your design style.
    I hope you decide to play along.



  32. Lovely post! Tulips are one of my favourite flowers to use in an arrangement, and you have given the reasons perfectly. They have a mind of their own and always create original, beautiful displays.

  33. i love tulips too & here they come this season!!! they photograph beauitfully and are so simple & elegant.

  34. That red lamp is STUNNING as are all the beautiful tulips!

  35. I'm a sucker for Tulips!! I paint them all the time! Beautiful photos...

  36. Hey I really like your blog…!
    I am regular visitor of your blog..
    Sir i would request to write more about green architecture...
    architects as architecural know more about Green eco architectural designs are reusable materials, green designs etc.. ..… Create an Eco friendly Green design… Save Earth.. interior designers Bangalore as of natural materials interior designers in Bangalore with almost modern concepts architects bangalore

  37. Thanks for all your lovely photos this floral so beautiful.It's a breath of fresh air when i saw those flowers so beautiful. Keep posting! :)


  38. Love the photos - beautiful flowers to update your home with a touch of spring!


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