Color And Design Inspiration in Unexpected Places

Last week my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on the Island of St. John.  It was a 30 year in the making honeymoon “redo” that you can read about here.   I must admit, St. John was not what I had expected. I pictured it as a flat island but it is actually the top of  a mountain sticking out of the sea. Three quarters of the Island is protected national park land so the Island is incredibly beautiful and unspoiled.

St. John USVI   Linda Holt Photo

St. John USVI... Linda Holt Photo

The houses, or villas as they call them, are built going up the side of the mountain. Some of them are perched on such steep ledges that it is amazing they don’t slide right off into the sea. This house below is where we stayed for the week. It is the only house WAY  out on a point…talk about privacy! There was even an electronic gate to get on to and off of the property. I felt like we were drug king pins or some famous couple seeking out privacy from the paparazzi.

Coral Bay house

Coral Bay St.John... Linda Holt Photo

We stayed in the Coral Bay area which is on the other side of the Island from where the Hotels and Resorts are located. Coral Bay is more rural and has a large population of wild donkeys, goats and sheep.

wild goats on St. John

wild goats on St. John

We would always stop the car until everyone was safely across (notice the little Egret on the right tagging along). The locals however have little patience and barely slow down; somehow though animals and cars seem to coexist just fine.

The beaches really do look exactly like I imagined; turquoise waters surrounded by white powdery sand.

Maho Bay St. John..Linda Holt Photo

Maho Bay St. John

St John has quite a few Ruins from Colonial times when the Island was inhabited by the Dane’s who used slaves to run the sugar plantations. Look at this pattern of painted tiles we came across while hiking. Doesn’t this look so current even though it is from the 1700’s? Can’t you just imagine this fabulous pattern painted on a floor or made into fabric?

The biggest surprise and the best part of our trip however was the snorkeling. St. John is surrounded by easily accessible Coral Reefs. You can walk right into the water and swim just a very short distance and see the most incredible colorful tropical fish and coral.  I had no idea I would be so inspired by color and design by spending several hours everyday floating above a coral reef and looking down.

I must be really twisted or maybe the sun and heat had gotten to me but everything I saw I imagined as some type of home decor. I was as excited and inspired as if I was at an art opening for some hot new artist.

Here are some of the things that most inspired me with both color and design. ( I do not have underwater camera so all photos are from Google Images but they look exactly as I saw them).

Look at the yellow pattern on these French Grunts. Wouldn’t these look great as a fabric design? Maybe drapes in a beach house?

French Grunts

French Grunts

This beautiful Queen Angel Fish really rocks the yellow and blue combo…humm..maybe yellow walls blue sofa?

queen angel

queen angel Fish

Just like in this photo below, we came upon a whole school of 50-75 Blue Tang. They are a beautiful shade of deep blue/purple. A color inspiration maybe for pillows on a turquoise sofa?

blue tang

blue tang

These giant sea turtles are plentiful off  St John. We saw about 8 of them. Look at that brown and white pattern…maybe inspiration for a stenciled wall or an embossed leather?

Sea Turtle

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

This little Trunk Fish also has a great pattern of black and white dots that turn into a honeycomb pattern in the middle. Maybe a throw pillow or carpet pattern?

smooth trunkfish

smooth trunkfish

My all time favorite fish though has to be the Stop Light Parrot Fish. These beauties are about 15 inches long and are brilliant Turquoise, Pink and Orange with Yellow polka dots no less!  I looked at these fish for hours.


Parrot Fish

The funny thing is, while at the airport waiting for our connecting flight home I opened up the new issue of  Elle Decor Magazine and this is the first thing I saw… coincidence or not?

turquoise dot tray by Waylande Gregory Studios

turquoise dot tray by Waylande Gregory Studios

Maybe the designer had recently been doing a little reef snorkeling themselves.

How about you?  Have you ever been inspired with Color or Design in an unexpected place?


If You would like help with choosing the perfect color or with decorating give me a call at 617-965-3342.

Friday’s Photo 2.0 and temporarily signing off

On June 5th my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  Sometimes it seems like just yesterday and then at other times it seems like a LONG 30 years.

Thirty years ago we spent our honeymoon in a less than romantic situation. We drove from Boston to Point Clear, Alabama (long story) in a car with no air conditioning and arrived during a record breaking heat wave. The beautiful resort hotel we had booked lost their air conditioning on the day of our arrival due to electrical grid overload.  An entire week of 107 degree days that “cooled” to 101 degree nights does not make for the most romantic memories. Having never been to the South I had never experienced heat like that. I remember thinking I was going to die the first half of the week and then wishing I would die the second half of the week.

Ever since that hot week we said we would go on a second honeymoon…kind of like a redo. Well 10, 20, 25 years came and went and work, kids, and finances all got in the way and we never did. So next week, 30 years later, we are finally having our honeymoon re-do. We have rented a small villa (air conditioned) on the Island of St. John. This is the beach we will be visiting; voted one of the 10 most beautiful in the world.


Trunk Bay St. John

I am so excited!! I can’t wait to get into that water. We fly out early tomorrow morning and I promised my husband no blogging, facebooking, tweeting, or emailing. So I am signing off now for the next 10 days or so.

Oh, and that wedding photo above was also a redo. It was taken about a month after our wedding in front of the Wellesley Town Hall. I am holding sad plastic flowers from the photographer’s studio and my husband re-rented the tux for 2 hours. On the day we actually married we had a huge rain storm. It rained so hard (plus thunder, lightening and flooding) that we didn’t get a nice wedding portrait of the two of us.

SO…off we go…Wish us luck that we don’t have any reason (weather related or otherwise) for needing a redo of our redo!

Friday’s Photo

This has got to be the perfect solution for those of us who love an old fashion picnic but don’t love sitting on the ground and brushing away ants.

It’s kind of like a picnic picnic table. Happy Friday everyone!



My favorite Summer Color Combo: Pink and Orange

When I was a kid I took “fashion class” in middle school and the teacher told us to never pair Orange with Pink. She told us they were clashing colors and I have a clear memory of her making us write in all capital letters; “NEVER WEAR ORANGE AND PINK TOGETHER”. Over the past few years orange and pink have been a very hot color trend. It’s taken me awhile to embrace the combo but I have finally put my childhood programming behind me and have grown to love the pairing.

An Orange and Pink room may not be in your future but a Summer table setting  is the perfect time to have some fun with this juicy and refreshing color combo. Here are a few of my favorites.

Pink and orange table setting


Orange and pink fabric runners with coordinating fruit and flowers would cheer up even the plainest of back yard picnic tables.

orange and pink table setting

via Belle Maison

This table setting is so simple yet inviting with orange and pink roses and coordinating napkins and drinks.

Cynthia Martyn Events

Cynthia Martyn Events

I love the above table styling by Cynthia Martyn Events. Wouldn’t this make the perfect Summer luncheon for a few girl friends?

Pink and orange home made table cloth


Here is a cute idea for a DIY orange and pink crate paper table cloth. Maybe a little time consuming but think of it as a giant lattice pie crust. 

pink and orange

image by Amorology

This hot pink tablecloth with orange napkins and pink ribbon table favors is so happy and fun.

pink and orange candy bar

via project nursery

And who wouldn’t love to visit this orange and pink candy bar at a baby shower or Birthday party.

Now to my 7th grade fashion class teacher…I have just one thing to say…YOU WERE WRONG!


OB-orange and pink fashion boardred

What do you think of Orange and Pink? Did you ever hear never put them together or was I the only one?

If you would like choosing the perfect color or with Summer decorating, give me a call at 617-965-3342.


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