I spent a summer, when I was 18, as an au-pair for a family on Marlborough Street in Boston. This was no ordinary family. Their brownstone, a million dollar townhouse with a view of the John Hancock tower, was absolutely splendid. They had a home on the coast of Maine with another in London. The wife, the Charles Edward Wilson Professor at the Harvard Business School and book author and the husband, the then CEO of Laura Ashley.
Their little girl had an amazing bedroom, decked out in more Laura Ashley than one could ever imagine. Her closet, filled with tag-on clothes, most of which were Laura Ashley. Everyday was a treat, I was handed cash to take their daughter “lunching” on Newbury Street. She was only 3 years old, but she had her favorite stops – like Rebecca’s cafe for chicken salad sandwiches with plump grapes and almonds. We’d play in the park all afternoon with the other children who had no clue what being born into a life of such status would someday mean for them. It was a life that I’d never live, but for that summer, I had a chance to experience it and, quite frankly, I loved my very special summer with Jim (Dr. James Maxmim – whom I’d only met once, he was in London almost the entire summer), Shoshana Zuboff and their daughter, Chloe. By now, Chloe must be well into her teens… I often think about them and wonder what became of the little girl with everything, which brought me to the Laura Ashley website today.
Lace-like patterns are a real trend lately, and this delicious two-tier Mallow Lace Pendant with fluttering butterflies looks so delicate and feminine. I love this commanding Sabrina Ceiling Shade, too. Perhaps it clips onto a lightbulb, or? So elegant! I find the Renfrew Striped Shade quite pretty as well. You could purchase a plain drum shade from Target and, using muted pastel fabric paints, create your own (the Pavilion is pretty, too.) I’m really big on floral prints, but they need to be simple and bold, and this Erin Tapered Drum Shade in duck egg is just perfect. If you love this print, but aren’t looking for shades, try a few Erin Eau De Nil pillows. (They have coordinating Erin wallpaper to match.)
Speaking of wallpaper, Laura Ashley is known for their fabulous selection of that, too. The Fenton pattern in blue, the duck egg Kimono (with coordinating pleated panels – drool!) and Oriental Garden in charcoal are three of my favorites.
Looking for romantic accessories? This Etched Mirror Jewelry Box is as enchanting as it is stunning. Looking for something less glam, but big on country charm? You may like the sweet Rosie Dot 1/2 Liter Jug for milk or fresh flowers. Other pretty vessels include the Mallow ceramic or glass vase with butterflies in pink, blue and green.
Of course, don’t forget what Laura Ashley does best: Fabric!
Link here for Laura Ashley in the USA, Japan, Middle East, and Spain. It’s so interesting to see how they present themselves in different parts of the globe. I love thier clothing on the Japan site, I’m sure you’ll agree…
(images from laura ashley)