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Gently green conversations with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

My Ode to New England

After touring Florida and the Carolinas a lot in the last few years, and trying to decide where to live ~ and our tax advisor letting the tax tail wag the dog, so to speak (as many of you know I was born in South Carolina and have family there) ~ we finally realized how much we love New England! It’s home.

Snow and ice welcome us home!

We love the change of seasons, and snow is a celebration of nature for us. So no one is complaining here! We’ve made our choice. We love all the changes and the beauty. One day when it was sunny with brilliantly clear, blue skies, and 63 degrees, I picked a snowdrop flower and brought it inside for my 93 year old dad. What a smile!

First snowdrops of the season!

For us, there is nothing like curling up next to the fireplace with a great book and watching the snow outside with our three little pooches. All cozy and protected.

Here I am with Frank, G.G., Tuffy, and Ellie

Our “green” home in East Norwalk was renovated by us with all non-toxic building materials and finishes ~ it took two years. The property hasn’t had a chemical or pesticide on it for over 22 years. That’s hard to replicate.

My Connecticut Home in Winter

Talk about stimulation! We’re only a one hour drive to Manhattan with all the culture, plays, some of the finest medical care in the country (we also like Cleveland Clinic), and incredible museums, not to mention the cuisine. Frank loves Arthur Avenue!

A New York City bakery!

This all feeds my soul, but we can retreat to Connecticut for peace and quiet and cleaner air.

My Connecticut Home in Summer

A winter vacation to a warm climate is always a treat, but we usually end up staying close to home with so much design work to do before getting our clients ready for their summer homes on Nantucket.

A window seat I created for a client to frame her view

Spring will be our next magical treat. The daffodils and croci are already pushing their way through the earth. God’s work. Renewal. I know it’s not for everyone, but New England is home for us. We’re grateful for all the beauty and excitement of nature–all 12 months of it.

A single crocus

Soon we’ll be back on Nantucket for the summer. Cooler temperatures and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We are only a block away from Madaket Harbor where Frank keeps his boat for fishing, clamming, and just plain being lazy.

Island evening

Plus, we have the Nantucket Whaling Museum (rated one of the top ten museums in the country), and all of the history of the island. I work on a committee for the Nantucket Historical Association and help with their fundraisers and often do design displays for them.

 

It’s a full life for a transplant from South Carolina. Did I ever tell you how one Fourth of July, I had to be medi-vacced off the island in a helicopter to Mass General for a gastric hemorrhage? Now that was a trip! All was fine in the end but I was there for two weeks. That’s part of the reason I don’t want to live on Nantucket full time, although we have so many wonderful friends there. Plus, I would miss Connecticut and New York City. Right now it seems as though we have the best of both worlds ~ for us, anyway.

Nantucket Harbor

Stay cool or warm, whichever you need right now. God bless you all!

My porch in Madaket on Nantucket

The Winter Antiques Show

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It’s no secret that I love antiques. Old furniture and objets d’art hold the secrets of our past, as well as reverence for our future: they are the ultimate in green! By reusing and respecting heirloom furniture, china, jewelry, paintings and ephemera, we help to preserve antiquity and the earth.

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That’s why one of my favorite destinations is an antiques show, where the number of exhibitors and antique experts gathered together under one roof offers a fabulous opportunity to browse, learn and buy. I love collections. A group of similar items, whether antique scrimshaw or Chinese Export porcelain can add a conversational sizzle to any room. I often begin a collection for my clients when I select something special to accessorize a space; they often delight me (and themselves) by falling in love with the fun pursuit of other examples of their treasure.

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From now through February 1st, you can enjoy some of the world’s finest antiques and meet some of the most respected antique experts and dealers in New York City at the Winter Antiques Show. Held at the Park Avenue Armory, at 67th Street and Park Avenue, a $25 admission fee brings you face to face with 73 exceptional exhibitors. One third of them are specialists in Americana; the rest feature English, European and Asian fine and decorative arts.

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It’s for a good cause, too: the show is a fundraiser for East Side House Settlement, a community resource in the South Bronx, offering education and technology as gateways out of poverty. Friday, January 30th from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. is Expert Eye Evening, when exhibitors will share tips on collecting works from antiquity to Midcentury modern while you enjoy wine tastings and discussion.

Peter Pap

If you go, please be sure to visit with Peter Pap, of Peter Pap Oriental Rugs. Peter has been dealing in oriental rugs for more than 35 years, and is recognized internationally as a foremost authority on antique oriental rugs, carpets, and tribal weavings. His website offers a section called Learn, which offers information on the history of rugs, how to choose a rug, and more. There’s nothing like learning from an expert!

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