Monday, November 21, 2011

Patina Style

A beret of gray capped the sky as I opened the shutters this morning. Monday, Monday, Monday after a weekend that disappeared with a puff. I had slept poorly, stifled by odd dreams. Not even the cinnamon-scented coffee that I clutched in my chilled hands could pull me towards a decent mood. And then the buzzer rang. "Oui, bonjour?" I croaked out groggily. "C'est la Poste, j'ai un colis pour vous." Really? Instantly, the prospects of the day brightened. 

When I saw whom the package was from, my heart did a little loopity-loop. I ran back up to the second floor, lifting it above the reaches of Ben, who was waiting for me impatiently, doing that sly tail wag that makes a Golden golden. Cardboard ripping followed by careful unraveling of tightly tied string and voila! My friend Brooke Giannetti had surprised me with a beautifully dedicated copy of the book that she has created with her husband and partner, Steve Giannetti, Patina Style. Do you know Brooke and her exceptional blog, Velvet & Linen? I am assuming that you do, as she is a well-known figure, especially in the small big world of blogging. But the journalist in me says, "never assume" so if by chance you don't, by all means click over...just as soon as you have finished this post (ah-hem).

Brooke inspires me--and we are talking about in the every day variety--not only by what she does but also by who she is. In our cynical, rough and tumble culture, we all need reminders that yes, hard work does pay, sometimes the good guy finishes first, not last and even if our best hatched plans go awry, it is not the end of the world. Despite her success, she is consistently generous with her time and efforts--including having mentioned me and this blog (despite it's being so small), which might just be the reason why some of you are here. Hurrah! She is one of the people that I consider myself lucky to know, even though we haven't met...yet.

The book that she and Steve have made truly comes from the heart and is a paean to their appreciation of the imperfect, the well-lived. The girl in me who identified heavily with the Island of Misfit Toys can't help but appreciate this but it equally appeals to my aspirations towards a simplified elegance that has nothing to do with a big budget. In a time where showplaces rule, they are more interested in creating welcoming environments where good experiences are waiting to happen, a balm to our hectic world. There is nothing pretentious in their aesthetic, nor do they dumb down to reach a wider public. If I have peaked your curiosity (and I hope that I have), the book can be found at:

After being sold out for months, it is indeed in stock. Just in time...


  1. Your delightful review certainly has me interested in Patina Style....

    I love the way you craft words Heather. It is always a pleasure to visit your blog and a privilege when you visit mine and leave your wonderful comments.
    Enjoy your week and reading the book.

  2. Sounds like a marvelous philosophy for creating environments which people actually want to be in.

    I had to go back and read your first paragraph twice because it was so deliciously written. Ah - the genius of a sentence beautifully composed! Virginia xo

  3. I hadn't heard of her, thank you. I stopped by via Red Ticking and I'm so glad I did! I hope you're having a beautiful evening.

    : )

    Julie M.

    ps I love the Land of Misfit Toys! I painted an abstract version whilst in school.

  4. Elizabeth, I love your blog! And thank you for the compliment. *blushing*

    Virginia, I think that your design philosophy is totally the same just with different vocabulary! Am I right? Thank you, thank you for your kind words--it means so much to me! How are you coming along with the ticket to the Hattats?

    Julie M, hello! Any girl that is capable of making an abstract version of the Land of the Misfit Toys is a friend of mine! :) And thank you, I did indeed have a lovely evening (a quiet dinner of salmon and spinach with goat cheese), wishing you the same...

  5. Oh Heather!
    I sound so wonderful when described by you :)
    You are the one who is inspiring. That's why I needed to send you a copy of "Patina Style". It was my small way of thanking you for what you have given me through your words and your friendship.
    Thank you for sharing "Patina Style" with your "Lost in Arles" friends. I send you hugs from California, until I can hug you in person in July.
    xo xo

  6. Brooke, I am so glad that you enjoyed this post. And trust me, I don't think for one moment that I was "gilding the lily" as they say here in France. What I love about this world of blogs is that we can meet people that we never would have otherwise--and yes,also thanks to you and others here, I have realized that whether that becomes a "face to face" connection or remains virtual doesn't mean that it isn't worthwhile. But that doesn't mean that I am not looking forward to clinking glasses with you when you visit! Keep going on your great path, Brooke!

  7. Well two of my favorite people in the blogosphere honored in this lovely post!! I agree with you - I always find it amazing when someone as busy as Brooke finds the time to send a personal note or acknowledge a loyal reader. And I agree with Brooke as well - you have such a poetic and articulate way of viewing the world - it's always a pleasure to see things through your eyes and pen!!

  8. How lovely! Brooke's blog is so, so wonderful. She has such amazing style.

    ~ Clare x

  9. I already have a copy of Patina Style and love it as I do Brooke's blog. What a sweet gesture to make by sending you your own copy, enjoy it!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you in France!

  10. Heather! What a lovely and thoughtful gift you've received to jump-start your week and banish that gray beret slumping over you! And, AFTER reading your post, I linked over to Velvet & Linen and feel like we readers who didn't know Brooke before have received a gift from you...Thanks so much for that.

  11. Thank you so much Stacey--that comment means so much coming from you! And I think of you and Brooke as two peas in a pod in terms of elegance and generosity.

    Clare, so does yours! :)

    Debra, of course you would love "Patina Style"! It is right up your alley. And thank you for the turkey day wishes--sadly, nothing on the planning and I am sooo homesick!

    Linda, I think that you will love Brooke's blog! It is one of the very best for design, I think.

  12. Thank you Heather. I had not heard of Velvet & Linen and I have happily added them to my list.

  13. That is wonderful, Judith! I have really been enjoying Talking Writing.

  14. First of all - thank you very much, Heather, for visiting my blog and being a follower, and for your lovely comments! It really does mean a lot to me.

    Of what I've seen so far - I love your blog, just overflew the recent posts, love the photos, and will go through again quietly when 'things' calming down here, just so much to do since I'm back from Germany.

    From your post I get the sense that you might have just this kind of a 'blue Monday' (Lundi-Lundi!).....???.. Most Mondays give me the 'blues' !

    But as soon it comes Tuesday - I'll try to get back to be "bright eyes and bushy teal" :) :)

    Would like to stay in touch with you, even to meet you one day. You're just 'down the road' from the Périgord!

    Hope that you feel better today, life is wonderful and - we only have one!

    A bientôt, amicalement,

  15. Love this post!! Totally agree about Brooke and their book!!!
    You wrote beautifully about them!
    I also love your blog!

  16. I thoroughly enjoyed Brooke and Steve's book and am a regular reader of Brooke's blog. It was through her blog that I found yours -- happily.
    Have a great day.

  17. I love yours too Penelope! And Victoria, I am so glad that you came to visit, then stayed. :) Wishing you an excellent day too!

  18. Karin, thank you for your thoughtful comment--although I can't quite agree that we are down the road--heehee. I only know your region through your blog but would love to visit someday. Even here in Provence, everyone knows how special the Perigord is! Yes Monday is always a bit blah--especially in the morning but all is well now. It is sunny and I just came back from the market...happiness!!


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