sweet adieu

TOB 01 

I've had a subscription to Country Home since I was in high school.  It was one of my favorites.  I say "was" because (as you may already know) last week they folded too.  So this past weekend I dug for my all time favorite issue… May 2004, where they featured Thomas O'Brien's weekend house on Long Island.  An architecturally classic structure with that Thomas O'Brien modern twist.  I scanned it for my own good… you know in case my house burns down, at least I'll have a digital back up copy here at the office.

TOB 02 

I have mixed emotions about mostly white interiors.  Sometimes they lean too romantic, too-shabby chic… which is better to me than too contemporary, "sterile white", but ultimately I think they are just too safe.  Yeah, I think that's my qualm with white… the safety-factor.  Or is it that it's easy to create?  Or that life is just too short for all white?  Okay, so I'm obviously not really sure.  However… I do know that Thomas O here (who is definitely in my top 5) does an edgy white, one that feels good… a mostly white interior that you aren't afraid to have a glass of wine in.  One that actually feels lived in.  Is it the black accents?  The mix of finishes (brass and nickel and different species of woods)?  The sculptural lines of the fixtures and furnishings?  I think it boils down to the mix of all of it. 

TOB 03 

I think the white is off-set by the found objects, the antiques, the interesting little thing-a-ma-bobbers here and there.  They aren't "accessories"… they are items that you know he has found at flea markets and in travels that simply spoke to him.  That little bench tucked in under the coffee table… delightful.

TOB 04 

And the garden… oh the garden and that patio. 

TOB 05 

The kitchen and the master bathroom were my favorite.  Sometimes I have flashbacks of these spaces.  How can someone master "perfectly imperfect"… so perfectly?  Totally chic, yet totally livable.  Little pops of black.

TOB 06 

TOB 07 

Ahhh the bathroom… looks like a nice place to take a bath.

TOB 08 

TOB 09 

If you click on the photos to enlarge them you should be able to read the tips on how to "bring it home".


  1. Rebecca Bibb says:

    Hey Erika,
    I am a friend of Jeanie Marie’s in Decatur, AL. I absolutely love this house plan. I thought I would check ebay and see if they had a copy of the issue – can you believe it – they did! I just bought it for $1.99! I love to collect house plans for when I win the lottery!!
    Just thought I would let you know.
    I love your blog!
    Rebecca Bibb

  2. I have a ton of back issues of CH, too. That is a lovely feature. I’ve never been a huge fan of white, but it’s started to grow on me. I think the trick is to play with contrast, as well as texture. Great post!

  3. Hey Brookie! How are you? Too bad this mag is going under as well! That stinks. I’m definately not a white fan, but this looks good. Can you imagine an all white house in Chicago…it would blend with the outside. How is daddy boy enjoying this weather up here? I can’t believe your mom isn’t here, I know how much she loves this time of year. When’s your next trip to see your dad and fav cousin? Soon, I hope! Love and miss you;0

  4. Totally agree with you my brilliant friend. I love my white walls, but the green trim and cabinets are the best part. And of course the little slashes of red! (You should take a picture of my cute house some time :) This makes me want some black barn doors!

  5. I know, it is sad. But I just know that when one door closes another opens, so something even better will come from all involved. They have really inspired us all, haven’t they?

  6. your blog is just absolutely delightful!

  7. I just bought the last issue today at B&N. I did not subscibe to this one but bought it regularly. So sad… I agree with you about all white and TOB!

  8. I was never a reader but I heard great thing..

  9. Hello Sister, Of course I may be biased because we shared a womb but… let’s pretend like I’m not your sister… maybe that will give me greater rapport. . . I think you are a genius. You always have explanations for what you like and what you don’t like. For example, I have no qualms with white… until I read what your thoughts are and then I think… she’s so right? Then I read Cousin’s comment about an all white house in Chicago {or anywhere north of the mason dixon line} and think… wow, she’s so right… definitely not a good match. In Dec I posted on facebook that life is too short for white christmas lights and perhaps now I will change my status to say life is too short for white houses! I think white is beautiful and lovely but perhaps missing a little something… maybe :: color and coziness? I think you should write a book… I’ll buy one. Happy Thursday, kitty kitty!

  10. i had no idea they folded too, wow. well, i love this home. that bath is just beautiful.

  11. Hello! Love your blog. :-)
    I started out thinking that I wanted all the walls in my house to be white. After all, it’s what I’m drawn to most when flipping through the pages of my favorite shelter mags. Well, after living with the white walls for several months, I have broken out the brush again, and begun re-painting with subtle tones of sand and sea in every room. Wait, the Guest Bedroom will remain “Fencepost” white…but that’s because the walls are horizontal planks of old wood, and for some reason the white looks appropriate there.
    Thanks for giving me some peace of mind about my decision to use more color…I needed it! :-)
    War Eagle!
    The Lettered Cottage

  12. awwww man Erica First Cottage Living and now Country Home- I was just getting over the first loss ;) – I guess its just a sign of the times- like you said thank goodness for back issues I’ve stashed-
    Thought of you the other day with a post I did on color-

  13. I love the black glossy doors and the stainless in the kitchen.

  14. My absolute favorite magazine and issue as well. I was so bummed when I heard of the news. I have been a subscriber for over 18 years I believe and have every issue arranged by year in banker boxes which drives my husband insane. I will never part with them. I, too, LOVE Thomas O’Brien’s weekend house on Long Island. Love the kitchen. Also love, love, love his laundry room in the basement. What a fabulous house!!!

  15. So sad that all these mags are folding. :(

  16. Are you serious, I won’t have any magazine subscriptions left. Let’s see…Blueprint, Cottage Living, Budget Living, Organic Style, now Country Home. I bet Country Living and Coastal Living are up next… sheesh!

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