January 29, 2012

Finished......for now

Phew, going to market, it is complete! 
Shopping, decisions (will this sell?) husband questioning "are you really thinking that will sell?!" (insert the stink eye look), loading, hauling back, unloading, rearranging the shops, pricing......embracing a cocktail.  I know, I know, I really pinch myself and have fun on these antiquing jaunts, but.............love when it is over, till the next one that is!

What do you think of our haul? Hope you have fun looking!

 Recycle, recycle was again the uppermost theme and one I can really embrace.
 Re-purposed shipping crates supported with metal sides and finished with a steel top. Personally love the contrast of rough hewn and clean lined. It's all about contrasts
LOVE this concept. A friend goes to Europe frequently and buys discarded salvage. Not just salvage but that which no one else wants. Then her creativity is launched depending on what she finds.
Take vintage bottles, fuse with a band of copper one unbroken bottom with one unbroken top!

1.    take one broken wine jug
2.    salvage the top
3.    cut and add a band of copper
4.    Viola.......a lovely cloche!

Stacking chairs intended for the heap
1.     rescue
2.     clean and paint the union jack on the seats.......they did come from London after all

Same concept, different chair, this time add a sparkling metal cover to the seat

 A tobacco drying rack from Provence; add glass and a coffee table is born.  Something of this stature is large and over scaled, a real statement piece. Blend with some shiny elements in a room for great contrast
 Velvet giraffe fabric updates a 70's classic

 Adoring shutters, the real ones. They can be interesting flanking your interior windows or hung on the wall. I recommend you hang them with the proper exterior hardware so they are not flat on the wall but slightly angled. Take it a step further by adding a sconce to the shutter for old-world influence

 Remember the "aqua duct" cabinet from a previous post?

A recently completed project was painting this side table. 
Adoring high-gloss oil paint, alas oil paint is outlawed, (I could be an outlaw)........I made a discovery. See that finish above, slick, with no brush or roller marks and virtually scratch proof? Well it is a Chicago paint manufacturer, Graham's and their 'Aqua Borne Ceramic' paint. Initially used in medical facilities for a impenetrable and sanitary finish. Personally I like the contrasts (did I use that word again?) between the high gloss top and the satin finish base. 

 The old fashioned Apothecary jars from the deco era mingling with miniature apothecary jars from Portugal
 Remember the sail boat we found? Here it is in the shop with a backdrop of French school maps found in Normandy and appropriately.......a whale!

Have a splendid week and as always, thank you for visiting!


January 21, 2012

The Winter Garden

 Many are surprised to hear that winter is my favorite season. Yes, I am a garden designer, one that is drawn to the muted colors, textures, whisper silences and the possibilities of the winter garden

When designing for a client winter is uppermost in the back of my mind. It is easy to attain a lovely garden in the summer months, but in climates such as Chicago, winter is nearly six months out of the year. All 5 senses should be equally engaged
The quintessential choice is evergreens. Great start! Do however think of the myriad of varieties, shapes and colors available to you, each play an important role

Boxwood forms after a fresh snow
Ornamental grasses should be allowed to remain upright, catching the wind and rustling

Water can be an integral component; the sound and movement entice birds and create mini ice formations
The Robin of the British Isles, chubby and charming

Shrubs with retentive berries. These are for us to enjoy as these varieties are disliked by birds 

Hardscapes such as gates and fencing

This morning, after a fresh snowfall, Cooper and I went about photographing examples of winter in my garden. Do note his all important color-coordination :-)
Here is my favorite view, off the drive. The centerpiece being our "pass-thru" from this garden to the pool, built by my husband Steve. Nightfall brings on glistening snow as it is lit from within. Additionally there is boxwood, an enormous birdhouse, containers, benches, the form of a weeping cherry and the remnants of summer; spent hydrangea blooms

A great exercise in designing your winter garden is to take a black and white photo, now. Black and white photography diverts your eye to the shadows and shapes which take center stage. Ideally it makes for an interesting photo

Or, is this more of what you see? Hmmmm.......get to work or call your friendly garden designer!

Back to my side garden,  a vintage cast iron horse head that resides in this container year round.

Other sculptures abound, catching snow. Peeking out of the far right of this photo is a wonderful winter plant, a Beech tree. Copper toned leaves remain until spring!

Seating.........so many varieties to choose from

 Here's a great opportunity for color, your containers; urns, hanging baskets, window boxes.......

A favorite home of mine is that of Ron Van Empel of the Netherlands

And the rear garden, all equally enchanting in winter with much to see, even in this diminutive space
Enjoy the season!


January 16, 2012


THIS JUST RELEASED........'Sunbrella' FRINGE! on a 'Sunbrella' pillow, on a 'Sunbrella' sofa, for indoors or out! Oh the possibilities............

January 12, 2012

Still crazy, after all these years........

Happily away on an antique shopping venture where I can walk solidly for 12 hours and even forget to eat (the only time). It's visually enticing and my heart skips a beat wondering "what lies around the corner or coming off the next truck". I love to see what is new and trending but will always incorporate "My" classics.
Indoors framing an interior window, an entrance to another room, blank walls...........endless possibilities. The above shutters would be gorgeous with large sconces coming through, emitting a soft glow and adding depth of texture

 With a favorite client in mind, I found four sets of these shutters from Belgium. Her bedroom has a series of loooong thin windows. If these went in front of the windows, at the lower end, she can still sit in bed and watch the stars, privately.

Well done, that is. Multiple color ranges play with the lines of the piece


A great combination of refined and rustic

Nail heads on fabric tape, nice.

Love the "ears" on this wing chair. And, made in America.

 I will never tire of beautiful European grain sacks, the touchy-feely hemp and linen. Margaret here in Atlanta is the best, she rescues sacks from remote German farms then cleans, cleans, cleans and presses. She has developed access where few tread. Reproductions abound but the "hand" of the original  cannot be duplicated
The assemblage of arched forms reminiscent of Ancient Rome add a sense of elegance to any piece

From the journey of limed, white washed and now bleached wood that enhances the grain and form of vintage pieces. I love to mix bleached and dark case goods in a room for a collected look

Speaking of luscious wood grains, add lacquer, cut into shape, add a base........ 

                       And one has a sleek table from re-purposed gymnasium floors........love it! The genius behind this is www.davelennard.com

                                                    BRIGHT SPOTS OF COLOR
The Anglophile in me loves this vignette! The kelly green adds excitement, or perhaps red, or coral, or.........

Not entirely new for me, my Chicago shop in particular, has been graced with many lovely ladies. 
Isn't she beautiful? LOVE the outfit......where was she going, who was she, what is her story? These unknown mysteries pique my interest in these long ago beauties
Has slowly crept into my consciousness. Ever evocative of summer, a long summer at the shore and all the activities and adventures it promises
 Enjoyed this sea fan "floating" with a linen lined shadow box

Nooooooo, just feeling "slap happy" from all the excitement.......stay tuned!
note;  many of the items shown are currently in my trailer and headed north for the chicago and geneva shops. With space still in the trailer, round two is sunday

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