The Nesting Game

By Anita Garner

Staying inside for long periods of time isn’t unusual for some of us. We’re nesters. If a cozy spot isn’t available, we’ll make one.

Be still my heart.

I’m a magpie, gathering a few things that make me feel at home and a few other things that turn a nest into a work space when needed. Everywhere I visit, everywhere I’ve lived, it’s always one small spot that gets my attention. No matter how large the room is, I’ll end up using just one part.

The British have a nice word for these kinds of places. They call a small, peaceful space a “snug.”

There’ll be a place to set down a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea, whichever screens I’m using, pad and pen, magazines, books, pillows, snacks, move a lamp closer, turn a comfy chair to face a favorite view.  Window or not, there should be something peaceful to look at.

Drawn to rustic

Whether it’s an estate or a cottage or an old house for sale, visiting in person or online, I play the pick-a-room game.  Which of these rooms will become a nest?  I appreciate, admire, absorb and when  I leave, one room always stays longest in memory. Online I check out country manors where we see lots of family libraries and before the tour moves on, I’ve chosen a place over by the window.

Okay this is Highclere Castle.  Not your typical “snug.”
It’s Downton Abbey. I’ll take that chair way back there on the left.

I’m interested in people who fix up falling down buildings and reclaim barns and turn piles of wood into habitable homes.  Right now I’m on Instagram helping a family choose paint colors for their summer cabin on a lake somewhere.  I don’t know their names or where this lake is, (maybe I have been inside too long) but they ‘re talking about screening a small porch and that’s interesting. Lots of nesting opportunities on a screened in porch.

If I could create the perfect Instagram account or one perfect magazine for compulsive nesters like me, it would be called,

“Cottages & Cabins & Barns & Castles With Corners
& Nooks & Some Nice Flowers & Trees Nearby &
Once In A While Some Recipes.”


Worth a thousand words?

By Anita Garner

It’s not just the picture that tells the story.  Though I love photos of castles and British country homes and follow many of them on Instagram, this time it’s the words that get me.

For all my colleagues who’ve toiled in the marketing/ad agency/broadcast production world, always looking for fresh ways to describe available merchandise, when I read the description of this gorgeous place on Instagram and came to the part in green  below, I applauded the copywriter.

Who thinks to describe plants growing up the side of a building like this?

Eastwell Manor is a Great British country house originally built for Sir Thomas Moyle in 1550, located in Ashford, Kent.   Much of Eastwell Manor, the building that now serves as a hotel, was built in the neo-Elizabethan style during the 18th century.

Eastwell was occupied by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria, for a long period of time. He lived here with his family until 1893.

This property is Grade II listed and a gorgeous display of period neo-Elizabethan architecture, and has been shackled and enthralled by a wave of moss, ivy and other vine shrubbery.  We adore this overgrown aesthetic which was allowed to progress over the last century, do you?