The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - MARY CAROL GAR­RITY

Some colour crushes come and go.

Oth­ers de­velop into true love that lasts for­ever. That’s how I feel about the colour blue, es­pe­cially when it’s paired with white. Blue and white is a cor­ner­stone of my per­sonal de­sign style, and you’ll find it all over my home.

Ev­ery­one falls in love for a rea­son. For me, and blue and white, there are a lot of things that make my heart ham­mer hard. It’s fresh and clean and feels new ev­ery time you use it. It’s time­less and clas­sic, never out of style. It adds so­phis­ti­ca­tion to a space. It’s easy to de­sign with: so ap­proach­able and for­giv­ing. It can add a jolt of en­ergy or whis­per calm. It pairs well with just about ev­ery other colour, from brown to green to red to pink to yel­low. Need I go on?

When I had my his­toric home in Atchi­son, Kan., we held open houses sev­eral times a year, invit­ing peo­ple to make the day trip to this quaint river town, visit our flag­ship store and tour my home, dressed for the sea­son, to get ideas and in­spi­ra­tion. All the pho­tos shown here were taken at my home dur­ing one of my spring open houses. They cap­ture the in­ven­tive ways you can use blue and white in your decor to create a mood.

It was al­ways so fun for me and the team to come up with new ways to style my home for each pass­ing sea­son: spring, fall and the hol­i­days. I wanted to show how you can add a touch of the sea­son to your year-round decor, so my home was the per­fect lab.

One of my favourite looks in my din­ing room (which was painted what colour? You guessed it: blue!) fea­tured a fresh take on blue and white. The look was launched with these amaz­ing pa­per lanterns. We loved the play­ful touch they added, so we sus­pended them from bam­boo rods, us­ing blue rib­bons, then an­chored them in two large white vases. It was a mag­i­cal af­fect.

Peo­ple still ask if we sell these lanterns and, sadly, the an­swer is no. I have not been able to find a sup­plier. But, if you are a DIY per­son, you could use white lanterns and paint on a blue de­sign.

We had a square table­cloth cus­tom made out of chip­per fab­ric, then turned it on the di­ag­o­nal at the cen­tre of the ta­ble. That’s one of my favourite ways to use table­cloths, be­cause it al­lows you to add the colour and tex­ture of tex­tiles, yet still let the beauty of the table­top shine through.

The place set­tings are su­per sim­ple: ev­ery­day white plates topped with a sweet blue and white salad plate. When I en­ter­tain, I like to put a sur­prise at each guest’s place, like this lit­tle gift, wrapped in a co-or­di­nat­ing pa­per.

I have col­lected blue and white serv­ing pieces through the years, so we added them to our ta­ble. A mix of pat­terns makes the set­ting more in­ter­est­ing. I got some of the old plat­ters for a song be­cause they had a chip or crack. I’m OK with signs of age. I think it adds to their char­ac­ter.

We car­ried the blue and white love out onto my screened porch, one of my favourite spots in my Atchi­son home. I filled this old wooden plant stand with blue and white cachep­ots filled with live plants.

Blue and white con­tain­ers come in ev­ery price point, from in­ex­pen­sive to in­vest­ment pieces, so no mat­ter what your bud­get, you’ll find pieces you’ll love.


The place set­tings are su­per sim­ple: ev­ery­day white plates topped with a sweet blue and white salad plate.


Pa­per lanterns add a play­ful touch.

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