"The Tonic of Wilderness"

Accent table in our Master Bedroom styled by my husband @grahamanguslifestyle for House & Home Magazine.  Photo Credit:  Virginia MacDonald 

Accent table in our Master Bedroom styled by my husband @grahamanguslifestyle for House & Home Magazine.  Photo Credit:  Virginia MacDonald 

My Instagram post earlier this week on "design compromise" in marriage and my husband's affinity for all things collectable, including abandoned wasps' and birds' nests, snake skins, antlers, driftwood, taxidermy (and the list goes on ....) generated a lot of comments!  Either because you're also married to a "hunter and gatherer" and have grown to love the raw, natural beauty these one-of-a-kind pieces bring into your living spaces or because you're the ones bringing home the feathers, pine cones, chestnuts, stones, birch sticks, skulls and fossils!  

I like to keep this table styled with different mementos and collectables and "all the pretty things"!  The IKEA DOCKSTA table came with the farm and was originally in the sunroom.  We brought it into our Master Bedroom and I love the modern vibe it immediately injects into the space.  My husband collected the abandoned robin's nests and my talented stepfather made us the bases to fit perfectly with the glass domes we purchased at Home Sense.  I gave the skull and antlers to my husband for our wedding anniversary last year and are from Legacy Vintage in Cobourg, Ontario (one of our favourite spots to find unique and salvaged architectural design elements to personalize the farmhouse).  The red and peacock feather is actually a headband that my Mom had made for me to wear to a fun 1920's-Great Gatsby-themed family wedding a few years ago!  The antique photo journal book belonged to my paternal Grandmother who passed away before I was born, but it connects me to that side of my family.  

I like to keep this table styled with different mementos and collectables and "all the pretty things"!  The IKEA DOCKSTA table came with the farm and was originally in the sunroom.  We brought it into our Master Bedroom and I love the modern vibe it immediately injects into the space.  My husband collected the abandoned robin's nests and my talented stepfather made us the bases to fit perfectly with the glass domes we purchased at Home Sense.  I gave the skull and antlers to my husband for our wedding anniversary last year and are from Legacy Vintage in Cobourg, Ontario (one of our favourite spots to find unique and salvaged architectural design elements to personalize the farmhouse).  The red and peacock feather is actually a headband that my Mom had made for me to wear to a fun 1920's-Great Gatsby-themed family wedding a few years ago!  The antique photo journal book belonged to my paternal Grandmother who passed away before I was born, but it connects me to that side of my family.  

The overwhelming consensus was YES to bringing nature's little gifts into our homes and only a handful of people were a bit squeamish about the skulls, antlers and taxidermy.  I'm always a little nervous about how people will react to our antlers and taxidermy, but I love the way one commenter put it:  "The antlers are a nice little treasure that nature leaves behind."  Beautifully said @anthologyhomewi. 

The view into the Master Guest Room in the Old Stone House.  This room was the original parlour, but we've turned it into a warm and cozy guest room.  We stay here sometimes too because it has the added bonus of a fireplace (something we don't have in our own bedroom!)  I'm continually switching up this vignette and it's my favourite spot in the farmhouse to update with the changing seasons!  I get a lot of comments and questions about this door.  It's the original door to this room, but we found it gathering dust and cobwebs in the barn!

The view into the Master Guest Room in the Old Stone House.  This room was the original parlour, but we've turned it into a warm and cozy guest room.  We stay here sometimes too because it has the added bonus of a fireplace (something we don't have in our own bedroom!)  I'm continually switching up this vignette and it's my favourite spot in the farmhouse to update with the changing seasons!  I get a lot of comments and questions about this door.  It's the original door to this room, but we found it gathering dust and cobwebs in the barn!

Photo Credit:  Virginia MacDonald for House & Home Magazine (November 2017)  And who doesn't love a good old oversized pine cone?!?!  I've had these ones for years (well before we "bought the farm") and I love the simplicity of pairing them with a couple of antique oil lamps.  Perfection. We have a collection of 5 or so oil lamps and I'm regularly moving them around the farmhouse to create new and different vignettes.  We also change up the colour of the oil now and then and it can make for a completely different look.

Photo Credit:  Virginia MacDonald for House & Home Magazine (November 2017)

And who doesn't love a good old oversized pine cone?!?!  I've had these ones for years (well before we "bought the farm") and I love the simplicity of pairing them with a couple of antique oil lamps.  Perfection. We have a collection of 5 or so oil lamps and I'm regularly moving them around the farmhouse to create new and different vignettes.  We also change up the colour of the oil now and then and it can make for a completely different look.

A Christmas vignette created with our oil lamps, my Great Grandmother's handpainted bowls and Ilex berries from my Mom's home in Northern Ontario.  

A Christmas vignette created with our oil lamps, my Great Grandmother's handpainted bowls and Ilex berries from my Mom's home in Northern Ontario.  

As Henry David Thoreau observed, "We need the tonic of wilderness.  We can never have enough of nature." (Walden, 1854)  His words are over 150 years old and yet we arguably need to hear them more today than ever!

Andraya Frith2 Comments