Saturday, October 10, 2015

Inspiration | A Connecticut Country Home

Do you ever feel like there is too much home design inspiration out there?  Is that even possible?  Well, I do.  Sometimes there are just too many pretty images competing for my attention via instagram, pinterest, blogs and magazines.  Occasionally, I need to step back in order to reground my sense of style, to hone in on my own aesthetic and what I truly love and want in a home.  That's where Nora Murphy comes in...    Her online magazine featuring her own home and others in  New England is a design highlight each season that I anticipate like few others.  I devour each issue (how I wish they were in print!) and I'm reminded of the elements I most appreciate and desire in my own home.  Bookcases piled high with books, neutral and warm colors, lots of old house charm, collections with meaning, farmhouse style antiques, a home that is lived in and enjoyed, not overly styled, a place that exudes warmth and comfort above everything else.  It is difficult to put in words, so I will let pictures do the talking.  (All the images in this post are from Nora Murphy's website, used with permission)

Nora lives in a charming, antique Connecticut saltbox, that she long admired before it was hers.  Nora is an interior designer who's prior work experience was at Ralph Lauren and then as an executive at Ethan Allen.  Of course, the New England connection was what first grabbed my attention.  If you've read my blog for any length of time you know my love for classic New England living and architecture, but what keeps me coming back is the way she captures life in her home.  I'm most drawn to homes with soul, the kind that comes from years of collecting art and antiques, homes that reveal a little about the inhabitants and the memories acquired over their lives.  My favorite shots are those that show bits of her son's artwork (he's in his freshman year of college now), collections of sea shells, saved handwritten notes, and her seasonal inspiration boards.  While her home is beautiful, you can see it is lived in and enjoyed, not overly perfect or too styled.

Despite the plethora of inspiration out there, homes like this one are hard to come by these days.   Makes me anticipate each issue of her magazine even more.

^^This was the first image I ever saw of Nora's home and it sent me on a search to find out more.  She has since painted her dining room white, which feels fresh and cozy at the same time.  You can see the new images and colors in her latest issue.^^

^^Another beautiful home featured in the Autumn 2015 issue.^^

^^A friend's kitchen featured this month.^^

^^Another local home.  Colonial perfection but edited so beautifully that it still feels current.^^

The holiday issue will be out next.  Another favorite that I can't wait to see!  Get comfy and set aside a couple hours of your weekend to sink into all the back issue.  I return all the time and love them just as much as I did the first time I saw them.  Please publish a book Nora!  Thank you for letting me share your gorgeous home on my blog.  Such an inspiration and one I can't get enough of!


  1. Thank you for always proving even more inspiration! I can't wait to make a cup of tea and Google Nora Murphy!

  2. I couldn't agree with you more: "..I need to step back in order to regrouped my sense of style.." There is just so much *inspiration* out there. I'm a relatively new reader/follower of your blog/Instagram. I have really enjoyed both and this blog post is spot on. Several months ago, I mentioned your blog to Nan at CMCM; we were discussing timeless yet lived in and loved interiors. she knew right away who I was talking about! Thanks so much for this *heads up* about Nora Murphy I can't wait to check out her online magazine.

  3. How true. I love Nora Murphy's style. Now that's a home. It takes me back to the days before the hgtv days. It's a very classic style that doesn't follow trends. I also love your style.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this--although it is New England, it also reminds me of authentic Southern style, with well-loved collections, the patina of family pieces, and original art. At the end of the day, that's the look that welcomes me and my family home.

  5. Hi Tessa!!

    WOW!!! I'm blown away by your post.....did I mention that I feel like crying? (For good reasons...)
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for featuring my home and magazine, and for helping me spread the word!! I truly appreciate it!!! Thank you. Love, Nora :)

  6. Love the timeless, classic New England style. You are right in that sometimes there are just too many images out there.

  7. Oh thank you so much for the inspiration! It is so hard with our media saturated culture to be true to yourself (in so many ways) and even in your personal style... I LOVED Nora Murphy's website and magazine, I know I will really look forward to seeing it as it is published seasonally. I got the same feeling of authenticity and impeccable taste from the magazine as I get from your blog which I appreciate so much. I love the quiet confidence and not going with the trends. I was born an old soul I think, and I look forward to finding a forever house and hopefully you'll still be doing decorating consults when I do.
    Also, I just wanted to say as the mother of boys I can see that you have a lovely relationship with your sons and I'm inspired by it. I am expecting my third son and I hope to create a warm home full of traditions as my boys grow and your sugar cookie recipe (with the cardamom) has become a classic in our home. Thank you so much!

  8. I recently came across your blog and was drawn by just the elements you identify in Nora Murphy's work (thank you, by the way, for directing me to her site - love all I've seen so far). So many design bloggers adopt a transient, trendy style whereas I've always been drawn to an historical, neutral, warm, authentic, timeless feel. Your blog is being added to my list of a select few that reflect that "not overly styled" aesthetic. I also appreciate the glimpses of your life as wife and mother mixed with lover-of-design - it mirrors my own life in many ways. New Year blessings to you and yours.

    1. Thanks so much Amy! It's kind comments like yours that make me want to continue blogging!! Happy New Year!! xx