Hanging With Ben Pentreath + Need Your Help Again!

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

I’m just warning you. I haven’t even started to write this post, but it might end up being my favorite one ever. Or at least in the top 5.

How do I know? Well, I’ve fleshed it out in my mind…

Giggling like a school girl, all the while.

We’ll see.

 

***Note: It is about 38 hours after publishing. And while 99% of you are phenomenally kind and get the joke and love the post, a few have sent me scathing notes (either as a comment, unpublished or email) and some have gone so far as to publicly shame me on social media. (that has been removed)

One woman sent me a threatening message.

I am sorry if something I’ve posted is offensive to you, but please understand that your inflammatory attacks towards *me* are not appropriate. I’ve spent too much time crying when I should be feeling nothing but joy about my upcoming trip.

This is a good time to remind a few of you.

This is a blog written by me, Laurel Bern; it is free of charge and elective reading. But, it is not a public forum where anything goes and you can spout off whatever is floating around in your mind no matter how hurtful. I only have love in my heart for pretty much everyone, but not when I’m attacked.

Perhaps, first think how you would feel if someone sent such words to you.

If you don’t like the content, that is absolutely fine, but then please stop reading it and leave– QUIETLY, like you came. We only want readers who are enjoying the posts.

Thank you.

(back to the post)

 

This trip to England is a dream beyond my wildest imaginings.

 

We are going to be taken to places that nobody else ever (or very rarely) gets to see.

 

And one of them, is where God lives!

 

Please rest assured. I am not making a sarcastic joke. Not about God. Never. But, it’s personal.

But the fact that I have this opportunity to see God’s House is just beyond the beyond.

 

Will God be there, Laurel?

 

Well, duhhh… of course, he’ll be there. There’s no point in ever leaving paradise!

But, I’d like to give you a little preview, because I have seen God’s house (and gardens) many times before, but only in photos. The photos make me swoon. Have to say that I am a little worried about what will happen when I’m there for real. But we’ll get to that in a sec.

As it happens, God has assigned two mortals to be the care-takers of his house and gardens and they love to show it off on instagram. (you will get links later.)

 

But in my eyes, these two are not anything close to being mere mortals.

 

They are the keepers of the kingdom.

 

Laurel will you just shut the f up and get to the point???

 

Ahhh… patience, my darlings…  All will be revealed— when the time is right.

But, one of the reasons for the long preamble is because some of this is difficult writing for me.

And it’s because you’re about to learn a side of me that perhaps has been inferred but has never  been fully expressed.

Please forgive me. I promise that you’re going to have a fun ride.

 

Yes, yes, Laurel… Whatever… Where does God live already? Can we go there one day too? Is it in England???

 

Oh dear, that’s more questions than my brain can handle.

But fine. Maybe you’re right.  I’ll show you now.

 

Here is where God lives.

 

and yes, it’s in England. Dorset, to be precise.

McCormickcharlie via instagram - perfect English Garden in the mist

Another view.

I don’t know about you, but to me, this is all so incredibly beautiful, it hurts.

But not like the pain I feel in my feet.

No, this pain is a little difficult to describe, but it’s the good kind of hurt.

It’s kind of like the hurt you get when you’ve had one too many slices of banana cream pie. (hold the tabasco, please)

 

Okay. Many of you have already recognized this amazing place as the exquisite classic English home and gardens of

 

(Charlie above tending the garden)

 

Charlie McCormick and his famous husband, the classical architect, interior designer, blogger, author…

 

 

(not to mention) phenomenally-handsome (well, geezzz they both are!) sickly talented rock star of all rock stars—

 

BEN PENTREATH

 

But you see…

Even though I’ve never actually met Ben Pentreath,

it doesn’t explain in any way how I feel about him by just looking at his amazing work.

It’s something like this…

 

That’s close.

 

Here’s the thing.

 

Somehow the trip coordinators found out that I’m such a rabid, frothing at the mouth fan of Ben Pentreath and have a tendency to get carried away… I’m so embarrassed.

But, alas it’s true.

I can’t control myself.

I’m really sorry. I’ve tried everything. Hypnosis, acupuncture, yoga, exercise, meditation, vitamins, the paleo diet, vegan diet, gluten-free diet, dairy free diet, wheat-grass juice fasts once a week…

None of them had any effect whatsoever.

The ONLY thing that has any effect at all is the previously mentioned banana cream pie.

It calms me right down like nothing else!

 

But here’s the real issue.

 

The trip coordinators also found out about my lack of self-control when confronted with insurmountable beauty and because of their overwhelming concern are allowing  me to come on the trip, but only under one condition.

 

I must agree to wear a muzzle when visiting Ben and Charlie.

 

Oh dear. I’d rather not, but fine. Yes. Of course. I’ll do it. I understand that it’s for their protection as well as anyone else who might feel it necessary to intervene while I’m FREAKING OUT OF CONTROL!!!

 

And if I get a muzzle with a yap lock, it will also help me not say some impulsive dumb-ass embarrassing thing as well.

win-win-win. :]

 

But Guys, this is where I desperately need your help. And that is because I’m torn between numerous muzzle-model options.

 

Yes, I know! I had no idea that there are so many human muzzles on the market. Evidently, there are other folks who share similar issues of requiring to have their faces incapacitated. Cool. Maybe we should form a support group. I’ll have to check on FaceBook.

 

So, please bear with me for one last essential wardrobe choice. I so appreciate this!

 

 

muzzle #1

They call this one the Hannibal Lector. Whoa! Heavy. With a nice chianti…hehehe…

I don’t think that I’ve actually ever eaten anyone, but you can’t be too careful, I guess.

Still, it looks a little scary, no? And besides I don’t know if it goes with any of my outfits.

muzzle #2

This one’s kinda cute and it looks like there’s a yap lock. Perfect! And it’ll coordinate nicely with my new leopard belt. I wish it was spots on both sides though. I’m a classical girl. And that means symmetry!

muzzle #3

I guess this one would work but how am I supposed to eat? I refuse to eat my banana cream pie through a straw! No, that won’t do.  But it would probably be helpful when our weather in NY turns snot freezing cold. ugh. any day now.

 

muzzle #4

This patent leather muzzle is quite chic, but dang. The reviews aren’t so great. (I found it on Amazon) ;] They do say that it’s great for reducing speech. Awesome! However, the zipper is too low making it difficult to breathe. No, that won’t work either.

 

See how difficult this is?

 

And just so you know. I have better things to do than muzzle shopping. But I really want to meet Ben and Charlie!

 

Wait! I’ve got it!!!

 

Heavy-duty duct tape!!! Oh, and I could stencil on a Greek Pattern border. Wouldn’t that be adorable? And I could remove it long enough to eat and then put it right back until we leave.

 

Well, we need to leave all of that aside because I have more that I need to share.

 

Laurel, sweetie…

 

Yes?

 

Are you feeling okay? You DEFINITELY need a vacation. And of course, you can control yourself and act like a respectful adult, right?

 

Well, it depends on how much banana cream pie there is. ;]

But, I better bring the muzzle. Just please tell me which one and I can have it over-nighted. Thanks guys.

 

 

Oh wow! It’s getting late and we need to go back to the house!

Aptly named “The Old Parsonage.”

And make no mistake. I am positive that this is where God lives.

It’s not the biggest house, or the fanciest, but it’s so full of beauty and love.

You can feel it popping off the page!

 

BTW, I imagine that God has a LOT of houses!

Let’s step inside.

 

The beautiful entrance looking into the kitchen. Love the wallpaper!

 

Oh, just stop it already! THE most, charming flower room, they call it.

Seeeeeee???

The charming living room which I posted a while back.

Ben and Charlie’s frighteningly incredible English Unkitchen.

 

Complete with, oh blimey! The shmata hanging from the ceiling. Forgive me, yet again. I know it has a name but forgot it.

Is there room for a cot in the corner? ;]

 

Wall color, Laurel?

 

Say, please, please.

Thank you. :]

Well, it’s a Farrow and Ball color called Wet Sand and it’s not in their current offerings, but you can get it. If you consult this page, you can see the current colors.

But sure. There is a color in the Laurel Home Essential Paint Collection you can look at that reminds me of this. (by Benjamin Moore)

 

Grand Canyon 118

 

This a wonderful color and positively glows at night.

And please don’t forget that the prices for the paint/palette collection and Laurel’s Rolodex are going up in price on November 13th.

 

 

What??? That is the most glorious dessert I’ve ever seen! Oh my word!

You know… That could work in place of banana cream pie. ;] Is that a cup of English tea? Duh, of course it is!

Maybe Ben needs someone to make tea for his team? I could do that!

 

To reiterate, in case you missed it, our group will be going here… to the Old Parsonage.

 

uh huh… it’s okay to hate me. I hate me too! lol

 

and there’s more.

Not only are we going for a visit, but Ben and Charlie are making us lunch! Or giving us lunch.

Well, anyway. We’re having lunch there. :]

And I very much need some of that amazing dessert.

 

Memo to God: Please tell Charlie and Ben to make a yummy dessert– for everyone’s sake!

 

thank you.

Of course, there are going to be more photos. My photos! But before I sign off, I wanted to share some of Ben’s exquisite work. It’s very different from his home and will give you even more of an idea why I need the muzzle.

uhhh… we’re going here too– on a different day. I’m already crying.

An architectural drawing of the above entrance in the photo! I adore architectural drawings! Don’t you? It was my favorite thing to do when I was in design school. Such a lovely loose style. Gorgeous!

See??? Classical All the way!

 

sick.

 

I believe that the house is this one, from Ben’s gorgeous portfolio.

 

Those windows! Those of you who own the paint and palette collection may recognize the window in a couple of the boards. BTW, these are all from the same house!

This is a different home, but way cool kitchen and that red!!!

This is Ben’s fabulous first book which you can get here.

And his wonderful second book which came out late last year.

 

And an image of Pentreath & Hall, the fabulous shop he owns with artist, Bridie Hall. The walls were once a warm gray and then I think this orange came next. Recently, they were painted a pretty soft pink. I don’t think that I’ll get to see the shop, but Ben has tons of pics on his instagram and of The Old Parsonage, too. You definitely need to see that. You will be transformed. Guaranteed.

Oh, and Charlie’s instagram page is awesome too.

 

Uh oh… breaking news!

“Houston, we have a problem.”

 

I found an article with a darling photo of Ben and it talks about his diet. How ironic!

 

But, this is what Ben Pentreath said about lunch:

 

“1pm Lunch is as regular as clockwork, extremely boring and usually at my desk – some sushi and miso soup with a fruit salad.”

 

Well, there it is… I better bring the muzzle. Just tell me which one and I’ll have them overnight it. ;]

Now, if I can only figure out how to stop myself from rolling around in the garden!!!

Much Love,

 

 

 

  • sharon swallow - September 30, 2017 - 1:33 AM

    I think I am coming late to this party of your London trip and I just love the post as I still think that London is over the moon best city in the world. The British have the most incredible sense of style that is oh so comfortable and sophisticated at the same time….as well as timeless. As you so aptly put…..and in other words, God is in the details and the Brits have a lock on that. Ok so the French do too…..and OK so do the Italians and then of course, the Spaniards….and on and on to so many places in this world. We are so lucky to have access to this wonderful world of interiors. Thank you for being a great resource and having such a great wit writing about it all.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen Graham - September 28, 2017 - 6:36 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    Have a marvelous trip.. I love that I found you!

    I now have almost a completely finished condo renovation and made good decisions because of you…

    Enjoy where God lives!

    MaureenReplyCancel

  • […] Hanging With Ben Pentreath + Need Your Help Again! […]ReplyCancel

  • Jo Galbraith - September 26, 2017 - 9:13 PM

    Oh Laurel…some people are not even worth a second thought! You have a distinctive and charming style of writing which most of us love and those who don’t …well it doesn’t even matter, does it? I love your informative yet entertaining posts and I for one know you are a very kind and sweet soul. Have a lovely trip!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 26, 2017 - 9:42 PM

      Thank you so much Jo! Means the world to me. BTW, I’m in the air! Of course, landing time is about when I normally go to bed, so I’m going to be pretty trashed. But that is why I decided to come a day early. I also hope to see a bit of London as we are only spending one day here.ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - September 26, 2017 - 7:13 AM

    Laurel, why are people giving you grief about this post? Is it because they have no mental capacity to understand humor when they see it?

    That white house with the amazing not-too-light and not-too-dark wide-plank floors . . . well, those are my dream floors.

    Enjoy your trip.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 26, 2017 - 12:44 PM

      Hi Lorri,

      Thanks so much!

      I think it’s a combination of rigid thinking coupled with the need to control others. Or for some reason, they take the post personally which of course is absurd.

      But, that might explain it.

      ReplyCancel

      • Lorri - September 26, 2017 - 6:33 PM

        I would not normally tell someone not to cry, but please don’t cry.

        It would mean you’re only crying over sanctimonious morons. 😉

        This reminds me of that time the Christmas police came for you. They were sanctimonious morons too. Ain’t no one got time for that.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - September 26, 2017 - 9:40 PM

          Hi Lorri,

          Great memory! Yes, the Christmas police! But I really appreciate your putting those comments into perspective.

          Without anyone else around, I begin to wonder if they’re right, if they’re so upset that they’d take the time to tell me off?

          Although, in any case, what I say has absolutely nothing to do with them! That’s what freaks me out!

          I need to embroider that over my desk.

          NO CRYING OVER SANCTIMONIOUS MORONS!

          hahaha! xoxoReplyCancel

          • Lorri - September 27, 2017 - 11:39 AM

            Or Sancti-Morons for short.

            You could embroider it on a pillow!

          • Dolores - September 26, 2017 - 10:54 PM

            Keep laughing, have a wonderful trip, and don’t forget: She who laughs last, laughs best 🙂
            The joke’s on the joyless morons!

  • Melissa - September 25, 2017 - 3:03 PM

    Thanks for the chuckles! Have a lovely trip!! Their home is comfy and divine – maybe the true definition of divinity?
    Next time you visit LA Have a slice of the best banana cream pie that exists! I know, I’ve tried en all and this one can bring tears of joy!
    http://www.laweekly.com/restaurants/best-banana-cream-pie-the-apple-pan-2384042ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 25, 2017 - 3:37 PM

      Hi Melissa,

      Yes. For me, God = Love! And this is a home and garden oozing with it.

      Seriously? Why did no one tell me about this banana cream heaven place when I was in LA last March! ;] lol (though, I realize that perhaps I hadn’t made it clear.)

      BTW, come T’Giving, it’s pumpkin pie all the way… also with fresh whipped cream. If you serve me that plastic stuff that gets sprayed out of can, I’ll throw it in your face. ;]

      (just kidding. I’ll still eat it and be very happy, just not AS happy)

      And BTW, I probably have BCP about once every 3 years. haha. Usually, I’m already too full. But maybe once a year, I have dessert for dinner. ReplyCancel

  • Louise R - September 25, 2017 - 2:31 PM

    Holy Cannoli, Laurel! Did you stay up all night writing this post?! 🙂 I started to read it, but then had to start skimming as you went from thought to thought. I will go back, but I wanted to make a couple of suggestions first.

    1. God is everywhere all the time and loves you more than you can ever know, no matter what (or what your believe about it.)
    2. Hurtful posts are not worth your time of day. Do not spend ANY amount of time thinking about anything said that hurts your feelings. Certainly DO NOT cry! The only reason you would cry is because you are focusing on what has been said, and it contradicts what you know about yourself. DO NOT DO this. Your comment train is filled to the gills with good stuff. Only pay attention to those things, and completely disregard anything else. (You can do this, if you commit yourself to doing it.)
    3. People who hurt your feelings are probably not meaning to do it, but even if they are, they are still humans. Mean people have their own issues that are not your concern. Bless them and let them go about their business. What anyone says is a reflection of that person, and has nothing to do with you. It is certainly NOT a reflection on you.
    4. Focus only on good stuff! There is a ton of it in your life, obviously. You are on a roll! 🙂

    Thank you for all your great work! I admire and appreciate you, along with hundreds (thousands?) of others. We are going to England vicariously, lol.

    LouiseReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 25, 2017 - 3:29 PM

      Hi Louise,

      Actually, this one took less time than many posts. But still was a number of hours. I lose track of time, because I love what I do!

      I so appreciate the rest of your kind, kind comment. It is incredibly wise and beautifully expressed! Thank you so much! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Robin - September 24, 2017 - 9:30 PM

    I think the items hanging on the dryer “thingy” are men’s shirts!! Have a wonderful trip- love your blog.ReplyCancel

  • constance hill - September 24, 2017 - 6:11 PM

    I am really bad at this social stuff … 30 years ago I saw 14 English gardens in 2 weeks time and I thought I saw them all; Pusey House, Sissinghurst, Heathcote Gardens… Do have fun! I did. I’m an old tired decorator from years past who loves a good garden. Love your tenacity and style.

    CL HillReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 6:26 PM

      Hi Constance,

      Do you mean social media like instagram, FB, etc? If so, I hear you. And I’m also a little bit of a lazy reader. Yes, ironic, since some of my posts are pretty long. lol

      thanks so much too, for your well-wishes!ReplyCancel

  • Libby - September 24, 2017 - 4:46 PM

    Have a wonderful trip! Can’t wait to hear and see the rest of your itinerary! I’m glad for you that pursuing your interest and joining the group has afforded such a big payoff (your Holy Design Grail)! And that you are able to take advantage and go!ReplyCancel

  • Gilda - September 24, 2017 - 2:02 PM

    I almost fainted when I saw the pictures..ReplyCancel

  • Anne - September 24, 2017 - 2:02 PM

    I am filled with joy for you over this trip and looking forward to weeks or months of your posts about it. The pictures will be fun to see, but just reading your words– what you saw, what your learned, how you felt–is what I look forward to the most. And, selfishly, the update on the Rolodex has me giddy with excitement. You are a sparkling woman, deserving of all good things. Rock on Laurel Bern!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 5:19 PM

      Thanks so much Anne for your beautiful comment! It means so much to me! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Em - September 24, 2017 - 1:48 PM

    Beautiful…all!!!

    However, I made the mistake of opening this post at my daughter’s swim meet.

    I think all the attentive eyes in the crowd have a new opinion of me. 🤣ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 2:08 PM

      LOL!!! Just tell them that you’re doing a little early Christmas shopping! hahahahahaha.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - September 24, 2017 - 1:45 PM

    NO WAY!!!! Laurel, you get to go to Ben and Charlie’s house?!!! I’ve never been so jealous. Charlie responded to one of my Instagram comments on his garden and I was floating for a day. This is most certainly where God lives. We all love the huge country estates with all their pomp and flare, but what Charlie and Ben have created is a sacred space that makes your soul feel large. The fact that you feel the same way about this home now solidifies you as my favorite ;). I don’t know how you’ll keep your cool, but if you can manage it, ask Charlie if he’ll give you some free tulip bulbs to mail back to your equally adoring blog reader, Tiffany, back home. Thanks! Have the time of your life!! You deserve every bit of the outrageous beauty that is coming your way.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 2:06 PM

      Oh, that is so sweet Tiffany. What happened is that I had just posted a photo of their garden on instagram and that was right after the blog post with the living room and I had just looked through both of their pinterest feeds. I belong to this classical architectural group that a friend of mine turned me onto a year ago and the have this travel program.

      So, last June, I got a notification and I saw Ben’s name, and that was that. I knew that I HAD to go!ReplyCancel

  • debra - September 24, 2017 - 12:25 PM

    AGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! you are killing me, he is my idol too!!!! come on laurel send me an invite I am very near beaminster resting after guiding a tour. I’ll trade for another piece of heaven I have access too **bribe**

    sooooo cool! his shop can only fit 3 people max, so not really missing much on that front.

    will you be in town for some amazing antique shows coming up?

    dying over here!!!
    debraReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 2:04 PM

      Well, I am paying for the privilege of this adventure. But it’s all planned out. I don’t like being away and trying to figure out what to do or how to get there, etc. No, I am just doing this tour and coming back on the 5th. It’s the longest I’ve been away from my home since my honeymoon in 1989. Kind of sad, I know, but there’s a lot worse!ReplyCancel

  • Michi - September 24, 2017 - 12:07 PM

    Oh Laurel, I can’t stop laughing…the tears are blurring my vision. Egads girl, you can’t muzzle yourself, you are the life of the party. Images of you rolling around in the garden, well it is all too funny. Hope you have the time of your life!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 1:59 PM

      Hi Michi,

      I’m glad that you’re laughing. I know that at times, I go out on a limb…

      My favorite part is when it suddenly came to me– the image of Katharine Ross screaming BEN at the top of her lungs at the end of “The Graduate.”

      I was laughing and cackling to myself for a full hour!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - September 24, 2017 - 11:54 AM

    Very funny, but I say no muzzle for you Laurel ! You are every bit as interesting and charming as Ben so I say enjoy it all to the fullest. I hope your dessert is as delicious as that multi layered Victoria Sponge cake I see there ! What a treat the whole tour sounds. And those photos you posted here…….divine!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 1:51 PM

      Hi Maggie,

      You’re always so fabulous! And on further reflection, I realize that’s Ben’s lunch as described is “at the office.” I imagine that we will have a bountiful and beautiful feast.

      And I will be sure to waddle away afterward quite sated and happy!

      ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Berube - September 24, 2017 - 11:43 AM

    Have a glorious time – you deserve every wonderful moment of this trip…your orange handbag is perfect, btw …
    Can’t wait to read those upcoming blog posts.ReplyCancel

  • Alisa - September 24, 2017 - 11:39 AM

    This is as big as when Rosie O’Donnell got to meet Barbra! I’m sure you will be charming as ever. Enjoy.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Silverman - September 24, 2017 - 11:24 AM

    Hi Laurel. I’m all for the leopard muzzle but I’m also loving the patent leather one, even though the reviews aren’t that great. You can’t always listen to reviews.
    Too bad you’re not spending any time on London, definitely a city worth seeing. My favourite actually! Enjoy your time with God and his husband…you lucky dog!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 1:01 PM

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much! The leopard is definitely the best one. Yap lock and all!

      I will be in London, a day early. Actually, almost a day and a half. I’m taking that luxury so that I can at least get *some* sleep. When I went to Italy, I got about 4 hours of sleep the first 48 hours including travel. ReplyCancel

  • J - September 24, 2017 - 11:24 AM

    Whichever gag goes best with your new trench coat 🙂 I’m excited about your trip to England and I already live here! It’ll be fascinating to see what you make of it all.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 12:57 PM

      It’s funny, but after seeing sooooooo many movies and images from magazines, blogs, etc. and TV too, it feels like it will feel familiar.

      But after having been to northern Italy, I realize that it’s not the same as being there. ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - September 24, 2017 - 11:21 AM

    Wow!!! is all I can say. I would use the decorated duct tape, you have some exfoliation going on at the same time.
    You are way too funny to “behave”. I have complete confidence in you. Without a muzzle.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 12:55 PM

      Now, you’re talking! Brilliant! Mouth control AND smoother skin!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - September 24, 2017 - 11:15 AM

    It’s over the top fabulous, Laurel! What a thrill! (I didn’t realize Ben was so young.)ReplyCancel

  • Michele - September 24, 2017 - 11:00 AM

    Hahahaha! Well, your post certainly brightened a very grey and dreary Sunday in Norway! As for the muzzles: the leopard print, definitely ;). The things they have on Amazon…. what did people do before the World Wide Web??

    About the room pictures: well, for sure it wouldn’t be a problem with some dog/cat/horse hairs in those rooms! I really like the lived-in feeling they give you.

    Just wondering: do you think these rooms really are more ‘au naturel’ (haha, seems a fitting term with this particular post)? I mean, less styled-to-the-hilt? Or do you think they are styled as intensively but look more achievable7less intensely perfect on purpose?

    Maybe you should have done a contest for your readers. Everybody can send in questions, and you have to pick one to discuss with Ben. Now, THAT would necessitate a muzzle!

    Have a great trip, I am looking forward to hearing all about it. In the meantime I will go shopping – love the kelim cushions shown in the pictures. Another perfect ‘zeitgeist fit’!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 12:49 PM

      Hi Michele,

      Well, we are actually spending an entire morning with Ben 2 days before going to his home.

      As for your question– yes, I do believe that this is the way they live and if anything, they’ve tidied it up, somewhat. Not that they are slobs, but as I see it, and this is a sweeping generalization, but they are the anti-trend-setters of the world. The sofa IS 40 years old because if they got a new one it wouldn’t be as comfy and it would look exactly the same, anyway.

      And they love to have their books and all of the things they love out and about. But, this is today.

      Two weeks from now, it might be altogether different.

      I was in London for a few hours in 1989. Yes, that’s right. 1989. But what I remember is that most of the beautiful homes had heavy drapes that were usually closed–during the day! ReplyCancel

  • Kym Beckham - September 24, 2017 - 10:18 AM

    Stop it! There is not enough jealousy to go around… Maybe I can share some really beautiful places in Scotland when we return in the spring!!
    Have a lovely trip and be safe! These are potentially dark times in the realm.ReplyCancel

  • Elle - September 24, 2017 - 10:00 AM

    Dear, you DO need a vacation! I hope you’re going to be over there for at least two weeks.

    I can’t say why you love their house so much, but I know why I love it: It’s old-fashioned, colorful, and comfortable. It’s filled with things I love, from ceramics to mismatched patterns to books. There isn’t a single cool or trendy thing that looks like it came from a “contemporary” furniture store, and the mix of stuff is incredibly personal. Nothing was chosen to impress anyone or because it’s expensive. In other words, they filled their house with nice old stuff and colors they love. It’s a plan that works for me, too! Not that I can do it with so much aplomb.

    Have FUN!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 10:59 AM

      Hi Elle,

      Yes, I love it for all of the same reasons you do. And you are right. It’s not an easy look to pull off. But one thing that’s crucial if you or anyone sees this is notice the scale of the furniture.

      HUMAN SCALE.

      It is going to be surreal being there. Like literally stepping into the pages of a book or magazine!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Avello - September 24, 2017 - 9:51 AM

    Literally LOL! My husband asked me midway through what I was laughing at but I shook him off because I was too entertained. I had to keep reading! Always enjoy your blog but this is your best!! 😂
    I’m kind of partial to the patent leather. Hee hee. Enjoy your trip!!ReplyCancel

  • Julia - September 24, 2017 - 9:15 AM

    Hi Laurel, I am also green with envy this morning drinking my Twinings English breakfast tea! We had the great pleasure of living in the U.K. twice, once BC (before children) and the second time as a family. Best thing was the long school day! I was able to visit so many beautiful places and still be back by pick up. Enjoy every moment.
    Ps drinking said tea in Maine surrounded by “Cotton Balls” walls/trim. Thanks again for those fave whites 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Diane Tye - September 24, 2017 - 11:08 AM

      Dear Laurel,

      Last year, my husband and I did a home exchange in West Sussex for 1 month. It was in May and it was so stunningly gorgeous …just like your pictures. It was the best month ever…except for the driving on the wrong side of the road…a bit terrifying…but we survived. We found a 300 year old pub that we could walk to through fields and meadows…WOW. The people were wonderful and the food was great…and no driving home…just sober enough to walk 2 miles back through that piece of heaven…God lived there too! Have a BRILLIANT time. I came back making buntings for my grandchildrens rooms. Buntings are everywhere in rural England…you will see. So delightfully English. And OH the SCONES. I am SO jealous of you! Love your blog…kind of love you too but don’t really know you!ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 12:53 PM

        Hi Diane,

        I did have proper English scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, also in 1989. I was in Cape Town. However, we don’t have to go there. It was supposed to be my “honeymoon.”

        But my point is… they were a piece of delicious heaven. Nothing like the hard rocks we have over here. haha

        ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 10:21 AM

      Hi Julia,

      How fabulous! I could’ve used that long school day. I remember for years, the world stopped at 3:00PM. I would’ve never been able to do what I’m doing now if I was still raising kids. Glad you’re enjoying your lovely soft, white walls!ReplyCancel

  • Val - September 24, 2017 - 8:44 AM

    Welcome to the United Kingdom, Laurel! I hope you’ll have a great time here 🙂

    Every time you mention “unkitchen”, I remember my grandmother’s kitchen, which perfectly fits this definition. It was (is – the house is unoccupied now but owned y my father) smaller than the kitchen above, and a different style, as the house is in Eastern Europe, but at the same time very similar to the kitchen in The Old Parsonage. There is a built-in cabinet, flush with the wall, a range, a table, where we all used to eat, and a day bed made by my grandfather. I used to spend a lot of time there when my grandparents were alive. Lovely memories!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 10:19 AM

      Hi Val,

      Thank you so much! It’s so cool that there are so many UK readers. Or maybe all 3 of you are commenting. lol No, it’s more than that. Wait. Hold on. I can tell you, if you’re interested. Hold on. I’ll be right back. This month, it’s 2.6% of all readers which is several thousand. Cool! Today’s average is higher than normal. 3.7% There have been 192 people so far, from the UK on the website, per google analytics.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Leyble - September 24, 2017 - 8:23 AM

    I loved this post – you cracked me up…again! You are the only person who could bring in muzzles and design into one post! Your inability to keep quiet when in Ben’s presence reminded me of the character that Kristen Wiig used to play on Saturday Night Live – Sue, the over-excitable house guest who can’t keep a secret!

    You are one lucky girl!! Have a great time!!

    LindaReplyCancel

  • Laura - September 24, 2017 - 8:19 AM

    Laurel, ( this is an English expression) you lucky cow! Pls while you are at Bens house find out about the fabric they used on the kitchen chairs. It’s gorgeous! Also the kitchen thingy is a Sheila maid. Have a lovely time !ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 10:11 AM

      I will do my best to find out the fabric on the kitchen chairs. And thanks for reminding me about the Sheila Maid.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - September 24, 2017 - 8:12 AM

    You lucky dog! If you have time in London, do try and visit Ben and Bridie Hall’s store, Pentreath and Hall. It’s very small, filled with incredibly beautiful things and tucked away on a little street near the British Museum. I dragged my teenage sons and husband there last summer…worth every grumble. Have an amazing time at the Old Parsonage and can’t wait to see your photos!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 10:09 AM

      Hi Wren,

      We’re actually not going to be in London very long. I am arriving a day early and will definitely need a nap. But maybe I can get over there later in the day.ReplyCancel

  • Amy, Home Glow Design - September 24, 2017 - 7:59 AM

    Gah!!!! So jealous, but so happy for you! Enjoy, and try not to drool all over yourself if you can!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - September 24, 2017 - 7:58 AM

    Oh Laurel! I’ll suppress my jealousy just this once:-) If I can’t go- then I’m happy that it’s you, because when you return, we’ll have the most delicious Pentreathean mise en scène laid out for us in your report.
    Since Ben’s two books are the only two that NEVER move from my coffee table, I’ll be so interested in hearing your impression of his beautiful home.
    Would it be gauche to take pictures?:-) Can you take your BM color chart? Please, please, please find a color match for the lovely PINK of the living room. This is what Ben wrote about the color:
    “The sitting room is an altogether more restful thing, in its new coat of powdery chalky pink. Patrick( his paint supplier) mixed that for me too, a shade right in-between his 1950s pink and Farrow & Ball’s ‘Setting Plaster’ (which is a beautiful colour but was a bit too grey for me here)
    I think I learned from you that Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster, is close to Benamin Moore’s Georgetown pink beige hc #56.
    Have a WONDERFUL time, and don’t even consider muzzling yourself-you will be a lovely treat for them!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 10:06 AM

      Hi Dolores,

      I’m just picturing me with my fan deck trying to be surreptitious about the color matching.LOL But you never know. I can try asking them what it is because the most delightful reader is dying to know. I bet they have some left over paint. (no, I won’t ask!) Of course, I have to be mindful that there will be 22 other visitors besides me!ReplyCancel

  • Joyce - September 24, 2017 - 7:56 AM

    Laurel. I’m a newbie to your site/ blog but love every angel of them. I would like if you can give me your professional opinion on size and shape for a dining room table in my space. My room is open on 2 sides with 6′.5 openings – one to my new kitchen with an island and the other to my liviving room. The kitchen opening is on a 10’8″ wall and the length of my room is 13’8″. I’m torn between a round table or the typical rectangular table. Please advise shape and size ! Thanking you in advance for your time and advice enjoy your trip.
    JoyceReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 10:00 AM

      Thank you Joyce, and welcome! Unfortunately, the answer to your question is not something I can help you with because a) I can’t see what you’re talking about and b)I’m not doing consultations and if I were, there’s a hefty fee. Only the blog is free. :]ReplyCancel

  • Carol - September 24, 2017 - 7:48 AM

    Sweet Baby Jesus! The details in their rooms are out of a dream. I might have to try your trick for googling an image so I can find the fabric on the seats of the kitchen chairs.
    Please enjoy every moment of your journey….we’ll miss you.

    And is that a Sheila Maid that the shirts are hanging from?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 9:57 AM

      I will still be “here” but not as much. Sheila Maid might be right.ReplyCancel

  • Hollie @ Stuck on Hue - September 24, 2017 - 7:27 AM

    You are an absolute nut. Have an amazing trip!ReplyCancel

  • pat - September 24, 2017 - 7:01 AM

    Dear Laurel,

    You’re wit and humor amaze me! Where did you EVER find those pics of the muzzles?? 😂

    I hope you get to see God and that you have a safe and wonderful trip – I will look forward to your pics when you return…..I am sure they will be fabulous!

    xo.
    PatReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 9:55 AM

      Thank you Pat. I found all of the muzzles on Amazon. lolReplyCancel

  • Joanna Pearson - September 24, 2017 - 6:14 AM

    I am a nice person. I am not a jealous person. I love it when good things happen to other people.

    I chant this over & over while I am turning a shade of Green to match the apples in my Garden.

    Enjoy Laurel ! ( I can only write it because my teeth seem to be gritted & my words are trapped behind them. No muzzle needed for moi! )

    P.S. please say “Hello” to Ben. & Charlie from one of their fans who lives up the road in Harrogate. xxxReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 9:53 AM

      Haha! I hear you Joanna. That was me for years and years. I’m incredibly blessed and feel like the luckiest girl on earth!ReplyCancel

  • Hazel Lavelle - September 24, 2017 - 5:00 AM

    Dear laurel ,glad you are coming to England ,
    Yes we all live like Ben !!! And sit around eating the biggest cream cake !! And cups of tea , sat in our drawing rooms ! Oh !! It’s so lovely !!!!!
    Ha !! No joking apart I do hope you have the best time in our lovely country

    Sorry no banana pie love ……

    Hazel from Manchester uk. XxReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 9:51 AM

      Hi Hazel,

      Well… I’ve been wasting away my years in the wrong country then! I’ve always felt that something was off!ReplyCancel

  • Rosemary Parker - September 24, 2017 - 4:27 AM

    Oh, I forgot to say you just Must, Must, Must visit Pimlico Road in London which is home to all great dealers and decorators. Turn by Rose Uniacke’s fabulous shop into Holbein Place and visit her mother’s shop – Hilary Batstone.

    Sorry, I don’t know your itinerary – all this happened because I googled Churlish Green and came across you!

    Have fun in England.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 9:50 AM

      Hi Rosemary,

      I love how you found me! It is a jam packed itinerary and all but the first day is NOT in London. We are staying in 5 different hotels!ReplyCancel

  • Rosemary Parker - September 24, 2017 - 3:45 AM

    Hi Laurel

    I’m a new subscriber from England and have just read about your England trip and visit to God Ben’s place. How did you arrange that? I’m envious! I have been to his London shop and bought a great picture. If you manage to go there you must pop along to Robert Kime’s shop nearby in Museum Street – a wonderful antique dealer and decorator who has done work for the Prince of Wales.

    A week is not enough! I could suggest some wonderful places to visit and stay. Do you know about Olga Polizzi’s two hotels or the Gunton Arms in Norfolk or The Pig Hotels ? They are all wonderfully decorated.

    Have a fabulous trip and please take some bright, light – weight cashmere as the weather is not great here at the moment – oh and an umbrella!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 9:49 AM

      Thank you so much Rosemary. You’re right. A week is not long enough. I’ll have to come back!ReplyCancel

  • Joni - September 24, 2017 - 2:36 AM

    This post! This is why I’m so addicted to your blog. Have a fantastic trip!ReplyCancel

  • Cyndia - September 24, 2017 - 1:17 AM

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!! Seriously??? I am so freaking jealous I can’t even stand you right now! Please take me in that teeny suitcase of yours. Pretty please??? I’ll make you all the cake and banana cream pie you can eat!

    I adore Ben and Charlie. Read the blog all the time. Love the books. Stalk them whenever I can. I am so envious, truly. So now you know that there would be two of us that would need muzzles, instead of just you. Choose the leopard. It is very chic.

    Now you better have a wonderful time, absorb all that wonderful energy, and bring back loads of pics and stories from Merry Ole England!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 2:09 AM

      Oh Cyndia,

      I hope that the people on the trip are half as fun as you! The leopard it is! lol

      And please know that until very recently, this trip would no way have been possible for me. I’ve spent a lifetime of being jealous of others. Oh well… not the entire lifetime, fortunately. Apparently, I needed to wander for 40 years in the desert. And during that time, I learned quite a bit about life, other people and especially myself. xoxo

      ReplyCancel

  • Mary - September 24, 2017 - 12:43 AM

    You are too funny! But I see what you mean; those rooms are amazing. I can’t wait to see your photos when you return. I love how the English can make lived in elegant.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 24, 2017 - 1:12 AM

      Hi Mary,

      Some of the rooms, not Ben’s are SO lived in that most Americans would cringe. But I love that undecorated-it-looks-like-it’s-been-here-for-100-years look.ReplyCancel