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Valerie Tyler Collection Blog — nature

The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard Review

Posted by Valerie Tyler on

We recently celebrated a big anniversary and knew we wanted to do something special.  However, we've done so much travel this year that we wanted to stick a little closer to home.  After much research we settled on spending an overnight at the Villas at Gervasi Vineyard.  One night sans kiddo (as much as we love her) having a rustic retreat and a few glasses of wine sounded just about perfect for an anniversary celebration.


I know some people balk at the idea of paying the going rate for a what they think is a mere hotel room in Canton, but the villas are beautiful and the suites are positively luxurious. Each villa consists of four suites with a common area.  The common area had a cute sitting area, a fireplace and a small fridge stocked with yogurt, coffee, tea and other drinks.  (I definitely drank my fair share of Pellegrino) There was also an outdoor patio off of the common area that overlooked the lake.  Now there is a bit of a luck of the draw what the other guests staying in the villa might be like, but our neighbors were pleasant and no one took over the building.  In fact the morning before we left we had a nice chat with a couple slightly older than us who were celebrating an anniversary as well a birthday.

Our jaws dropped when we entered our Suite.  While they're described as Tuscan they have a bit of a Renaissance castle feel to them too with high arched ceilings, tudor style beams and plenty of wrought iron. The furnishings were very comfortable and being able to turn on the gas fireplace in the evening lent such lovely ambience.  The bathroom included a second flat screen television, a coffee maker, delicious smelling soap and shampoo and wonderful heated towel bars!


We planned to spend most of the weekend enjoying the grounds and sampling the food and drink Gervasi Vineyard has to offer. We got to the villas a little before check-in so we grabbed an appetizer and a drink at the Crush House.  The mozzarella cheese sticks were quite different from usual bar food with a wonton style wrapping.  Post check in we walked around the grounds a bit before dinner taking pictures of all the lovely gardens.  I have to admit, they were lovelier than I expected.  Granted, going at the height of Summer things were in full bloom, but I imagine the grounds look beautiful during other seasons as well.  Their plants were lush, and I mean LUSH.  I was quite envious of the the size of the Hostas (something deer always much around here!).  Russian sage, hydrangea and of course vineyards were just a few lovely bits of nature to be found.

We had reservations at the Bistro, and aside from being seated in a corner which we thought was a little strange for an anniversary celebration versus in front of the windows looking over the grounds it was a delightful meal.  Our waitress was very pleasant, the food was good, and of course the wine was superb.  Outside in view of the water, families played cornhole or bocce ball, a live musician played at the outside bar, and couples lounged in big adirondack chairs at the edge of the pond.

If you are looking for a trip to actually sit back and relax, to unplug, delight your tastebuds and actually talk to your travel companion(s) this is a place for you. I came away refreshed and energized.  As an owner of a home decor business I also came away inspired as well by the gorgeous architecture, decor and grounds.

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Natural Inspiration in Interior Design - A Photo Shoot Gone Well

Posted by Valerie Tyler on

I was so in love with my latest photo shoot that I wanted to share how beautifully they all coordinate with each other. This also gives you a sneak peek of some of the products coming soon.  My blooming dogwood (one day after it snowed here!) was the inspiration for the color scheme and I borrowed a few plants from the yard for accents.

One of my interior design recommendations is to try to combine a natural elements together for a cohesive, complete and refreshing look.  It only makes sense then to use brass to complement your plants, and greenery to complement your metal decor.

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DIY Pine Cone Natural Display

Posted by Valerie Tyler on

If you live on a property with evergreen trees or have access to a location where you can collect pine cones you have a lovely resource to create beautiful natural displays. I happen to have a Hemlock tree in my front yard that has the most adorable little miniature pine cones.  My toddler simply loves to collect them so I thought I'd put all her hoarding skills to good use and do something with them all. Today I'm going to share an absolutely simple DIY you can do to turn pine cones such as these into a lovely, stylish natural filler for candle displays and other decor ideas (they also work to fill bowls, charger trays, vases and more)

What you need:

  • Pine cones (any size really)
  • Clear Lacquer
  • Silver or gold glitter
  • Silver or Gold spray paint


Lay out all your pine cones in a flat tray.  (I found a big empty pizza box worked best) Sprinkle the pine cones with the glitter.  Then lightly spray with your silver or gold paint but only cover lightly with a mist so as to not completely cover the pine cones.  Gently toss the pine cones around in the box or tray to distribute the glitter and paint on all sides.  Allow to dry slightly then coat the pine cones with the clear lacquer to seal. You may wish to repeat this process a few times to get the desired consistency of "sparkle" you want. 

Once dry the pine cones can be used surrounding a candle on a charger plate (shown) or use them to fill a vase or bowl.  If putting around a candle, I'd recommend making sure the candle is in a glass jar and not alone so as to not allow dripping wax to fall on the pine cones. 


It makes a lovely and VERY inexpensive natural display. 

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Let Nature Inspire

Posted by Valerie Tyler on

Having a studio near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is so inspiring. It's amazing how much a good hike can clear your head, feed your soul, and renew your creative energy!

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Mountain Inspiration

Posted by Valerie Tyler on

When I began designing the pieces for the Wanderlust line for the Valerie Tyler Collection I let landforms and gorgeous locales serve as the inspiration for the pieces.  The jewelry was created drawing on the textures, shapes, lines and other elements you might see when gazing at various landscapes and natural structures.

The idea behind my dotted ridge earrings and dotted ridge necklace was to recreate the idea of a ridge dotted with rocks and to simulate the texture of a gorgeous craggy, rocky mountain scape.


Dotted Ridge Earrings

Mountain Photo from Unsplash

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