My ‘Setting A Beautiful Thanksgiving Table’ Segment

I love setting a table. I love setting a table with beautiful collections. My table settings range in style and substance – anything found in nature mixed with the beautiful craftsmanship of Simon Pearce’s tabletop collection and Ethan Allen’s Cameron Table. Handmade, classic forms are always a pleasure to work with! Here’s my second Better…

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The Perfect Bow

A quick and easy lesson from “Slipcover Sally” Newhart demonstrates just how simple it is to tie bows that are consistent for all my freshly cloaked upholstery. To see more about the beautiful slipcovers we collaborated on for Project Refresh, visit the Nora Murphy Country House Design Issue 2016. Have fun practicing your bow-tying! Love,…

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Welcome November

Autumn leaves still clinging to their branches, offer a golden cast to the trees as the sun dips down earlier and earlier each night. The kitchen garden, after giving us her blessed all, is a work in progress in getting her cleaned up and finally put to bed. Evenings, I now crave soul-satisfying comfort foods like…

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Planting Bulbs For Home & Garden

Whether getting the gardens ready for spring or prepping for the holidays, now is the time to get planting for gorgeous blooms! I had a great time in the WFSB 3 Connecticut studio, with the hosts of Better Connecticut, Kara Sundlun and Mark Zinni. (They are just lovely!) As their new contributor for ‘Better Living’…

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A Cut Above

One of the most impactful transformations made during Project Refresh was creating fresh new cotton denim outfits for each piece of upholstery. My dear friend Sally Newhart – who I affectionately refer to as Slipcover Sally ­– and I had a great time putting our heads together on the makeover. I knew what I envisioned…

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No Trick. All Treats.

I’ve been a Sea Bags girl for many years. Handcrafted from recycled sails on the working waterfront in Portland, Maine, I just love that they once had a life on the water, and now have been re-swizzled to take on new lives as versatile, durable products for the home. When I saw their latest Halloween…

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Gray Is The New Black

While pops of black add a modern, graphic note to the freshly painted white rooms of Connecticut Country House, touches of warm gray, a wonderful neutral, add a soft sophistication and a soothing sense of calm. Elements of silvery weathered wood, and the baskets in particular, give the spaces an outdoor garden vibe that I…

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Reader’s Choice

When I designed The Coop’s library wall, I knew I wanted something simple, strong and utilitarian ­­­­­– like the shelving from a century-old general store – and something large enough to house our ever-growing book collection. Built floor to ceiling, the height of the shelves are spaced far enough apart to accommodate large-scale tomes, and…

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It’s The Cherry On Top

There’s a spot in my kitchen, on the counter right next to the stove where I always lean a favorite framed antique print. It’s an unexpected touch that adds a little elegance to my country kitchen and can be changed up each season. Happy styling! Love, Nora      

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Country House Bounty of Summer Soup

As I sat with my seed catalogs in the bitter cold of January, my thoughts were of warm late summer days and reaping the rewards of my carefully crafted orders. Now that it’s mid-September, my thoughts have a bit of a different focus. What on earth to do with all this gorgeous produce! Sometimes you…

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Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Tumbling over the stone wall in front of Connecticut Country House is one very happy Sweet Autumn Clematis. When I admire the drifts of tiny, snow-white blooms, it’s hard to imagine that a one-gallon nursery pot, (click here for baby pics and blog post) began its humble beginnings tucked inside a big old hanging basket…

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West Side Story

From early spring into late fall, we crave spending time outdoors. The patios at Connecticut Country House serve as natural extensions of the interior spaces. My approach to arranging these areas is just like how I design my rooms. I consider the scale of the space, height, windows, walls, form, function, texture and color. Sounds…

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Snip It. Snip It Good.

It was love at first sight and snip! Whether I’m giving my rosemary topiaries a haircut, just snipping a couple of fragrant branches to cook with, or adding a touch of evergreen pretty to a platter, I love my Fiskars Softgrip® Micro-Tip® Pruning Snip. Quite the impressive name for such an efficient and compactly designed…

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Country House Oven-Dried Garden Tomatoes

From ear to ear I grin. Daily. I love this time of year. Each trip to the kitchen garden reveals something ripe and ready to be picked. The tomato crop in particular, has been satisfyingly prolific. While we whole-heartedly embrace the short-lived decadence of eating these still warm from the sun, juicy gems fresh, oven…

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Style Snippets for Country Living

I’m incredibly honored that Country Living magazine featured an article based on the simple style snippets that I presented at their 2016 Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. For those who couldn’t attend this fabulous gathering of like-minded souls, you must put it on your to-do list for next year! In the meantime, check out…

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Back to School

I swear that it was just yesterday that I was welcoming August, and now, in what seems like in the blink of an eye, it has come and gone. Murph is back in the classroom, and after many loads of laundry, and more than a few trips to more than one store, Conor is ready…

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Scented Small Spaces

This all-American vintage fruit-picking bucket gets a lovely French twist with the addition of small pots of lavender. Lined with a disposable foil loaf pan and tucked in so not to see the plastic pots, I love how the soft green foliage and hue of the spires looks with the patina of the galvanized metal.…

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Life’s Little Snippets

Go ahead. Peek inside. Look around. From every angle, you’ll see something different. This new, lidded seeded glass jar is the perfect catchall for displaying special little tidbits. Old photos, labels, Conor’s childhood handiwork, dried bits and collected mementos create a kaleidoscope of memories at every turn. Happy collecting! Love, Nora

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Fanciful Forms

My decorating motto is “Keep it simple”. Marrying unusual forms can make an everyday common spot a little more interesting. I love the scale and graphic nature of this hand-lettered sign I found at the flea market. The undulating curves of the crown and base echo the natural scalloped form of an ancient, gigantic clamshell.…

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Sage Advice

This antique French hanging basket gets a makeover with every season. At the moment, Russian sage is making a big ethereal statement in the gallery. Brimming with elegant silvery green aromatic spires of lavender-blue tubular flowers – 8 one-gallon nursery pots, if you’re counting – the potted plants were too heavy for the basket. To…

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My Coat Nook Look

A small, sun filled space near the entryway and right off the Family Room, is our go-to spot for keeping what we need to head out the door. Because the space is tiny, organization is simple, but key. A clever coat rack fashioned from iron horse shoes is sturdy and keeps our raincoats, sweatshirts, straw…

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Grow Arugula

My arugula crop is a kitchen garden success! Planted in early spring, the seeds have sprouted and the dandelion-like leaves have provided a peppery bite to our sandwiches and salads for weeks. Like lettuces, the plants prefer cool temperatures. Now that it’s warm, the arugula, also know as rocket in some regions, has bolted. Tall…

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A Whale Of An Idea

Grouping items together that share a similar theme is a simple way to create an impactful display. In The Coop, our master bedroom, using a classic whale motif, I’ve paired and placed a weather-beaten wood sculpture, over an early 19th century engraving. The whale theme, combined with the muted gray color of the sculpture and…

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Garlic Roasted Garden Tomatoes

At Connecticut Country House, we welcome tomato season every year with open arms and mouths. Freshly picked tomatoes from the kitchen garden are quickly incorporated into all manner of deliciousness. Whether tossed into a crisp and refreshing garden salad, incorporated into a fabulous Caprese Salad, or a savory Oven-Roasted Tomato Spread, these garden stars always…

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Little Nautical Napkin Rings

Rope napkin rings, reminiscent of a sailor’s knot, will give any table setting an understated nod to the sea. I love the warm natural color and texture of the stray sisal fibers. I hit the jackpot and found a dozen of these in a clearance bin at Michael’s Craft Store. A classic design is always…

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