We escape the summer heat and retreat to our home in the Catskill Mountains as often as possible. The weather is milder and is a welcome break from the steamy humidity of August in Des Moines. This summer especially, with kids and work life being a bit different, the refuge of the mountaintop has been a welcome change of scenery after months of being cooped up at home.

Life is simple there. Hiking through the dark and shady woodland trails is a therapeutic alternative to going to a gym. One of my favorite hikes takes us through the woods around the lake. We scramble over roots and rocks on paths lined with abundant moss and a bounty of ferns. The ferns grow naturally and plentifully and are a constant inspiration to me.



Oversize patterns that depict plant life, including ferns and palmettos, commit to the idea of an enchanted forest. The colors and textures of natural greens growing in the wild along with stones, wooded bridges over streams, and the sandy shore of the lake inspired my latest mood board.

When I wrap walls in a deep-toned printed wallpaper, I like to enhance the scheme with additional moments of green. Texture then adds dimension and makes the space inviting. Here, a carved glass vase in a bottle green color adds translucency and reflects light. Hunter green highlights the grain of ash. Green injects a color surprise in a geometric-pattern hair-on-hide rug. Below, you can shop my scheme for a room inspired by the fern-filled wooded mountain trails of the Catskills.



With regular afternoon rainstorms, the famous Kaaterskill waterfalls keep flowing, and by this time in August, it feels like a rainforest. The designer in me sees camel and honey tones to offset the greens with light and warmth. This is the time to consider the textures that naturally emerge in such hues. Surprise with bamboo in any form. Choose serveware for instance, to dish a summer salad or hunt for a vintage end table that hints at Palm Beach. Wicker, jute, and camel-colored leather earn extra points on the style scale.

As a person who loves green and anything that makes green greener, I’ll bow to nature and embrace what feeds it.