Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 580's pretty

I'm very excited to be headed to my college town to celebrate my little sister's 21st birthday. We plan to toast marshmallows over a bonfire tonight, eat in all of the cute places that are too crowded to hit during football season (Big Blue Bagel and Amsterdam Cafe, of course!), and maybe make a trip out to a big flea market/antique mall that never disappoints.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 579's inspiring house

After hearing yesterday's news, one of my first thoughts (after the now-standard "what am I going to read?!") was to check in on my Deco File on Domino's web site. I was reminded how much I liked Katie Lee and Billy Joel's New York home.

Filled more texture than pattern, it's both restful and sophisticated. I imagine that it's the kind of space that reveals itself the more you look at it -- especially in person.

Another beautiful kitchen. I love the wall colors she uses, and will have to get my hands on a June-July 2008 issue to see if they are named.

This is what I think I want to go for in our guest room. Pale greenish-gray on the walls, a simple, upholstered headboard (which I'm going to attempt to make!) and white linens on the bed.

UPDATE: This wall color is Cliffside Gray by Benjamin Moore.

And maybe a little bit of orange, just to keep it interesting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 578's pretty things

The other day, Layla at The Lettered Cottage wrote a wonderful post on the impact of fresh flowers on a person's mood. After reading it, I couldn't help but pick up some pretty pink tulips while on a quick grocery run.

I love flowers and bring them home from the grocery store fairly often (well, less often lately). But I usually put them in the living where -- supposedly -- the can be enjoyed by more people. This time, on advice from Layla, I put them in the kitchen, which is where I honestly spend a lot of my time when I'm at home. And you know what? I did perk me up, even on a rainy day.

On that note, I also updated the wall of my cubicle with a photo from February's Domino. Even though it's just a picture, those big, bright peonies are much nicer to look at than my to-do list (and yes, that is a Burger King crown on my desk -- another story for another blog!).

Did you hear the news? Guess I'm going to have to pick up the Domino Book of Decorating before it becomes a collector's item ...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 576

Photo by Roger Davies for Cottage Living (found here)

As you may have noticed, I've been thinking a lot about the finishing touches in our house. In the living room, dining room, bedroom and office, we've pretty much got the furniture taken care of. But I've still got a little ways to go in terms of getting things on the walls and satisfying my desire for pretty displays of the fun things we've picked up along the way. And I'm finding that walls of art and table vignettes are catching my eye more often now, than say, a color combination. With that in mind, I did a simple little makeover in our living room.

Between our two wonderful rocking chairs is a walnut drop-leaf table that my mother gave to us. It was one of the first pieces of furniture that my parents bought after they were married, and I think I can place it in every house I remember us living in. In other words, I love this silly little table. Besides its sentimental value, it's a great surface for display.

This is how it looked during the holidays. Well, during the last part of the holidays, as I had our nativity set here until Maddie ate baby Jesus (yes, you read that correctly!). Mary and Joseph looked kind of silly staring down at nothing, so I swapped them out for some sparkly trees. In front is an oval platter with Christmas cards on it.

I've really been loving big stacks of books lately, so I gathered all of the big, pretty books we have, and stacked them up (can you guess which are mine and which belong to Wes?). Then I added a blue-and-white porcelain box that I picked up at a flea market and topped the other with a candle and a metallic shell (my souvenir from Pieces). Then I took the little oil painting we bought on our Charleston honeymoon and hung it under the mirror (which I moved up a couple of inches). We're getting there!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 573's weekend plans

Interior by Michael Smith

Spring is coming a little early at our house. Not spring weather necessarily, but spring cleaning. Wes got a wild hair earlier in the week and decided that he was ready to put some floor down in the attic so we can make some storage space up there. And when he is ready to do something, I've learned to go with the flow! This will, enevitably, lead to some serious and much-needed closet cleaning, which I am both excited about and dreading. But, it is the first step in completing one of my goals for 2009: to make the third bedroom an actual guest room.

In other news, my mom tells me that our favorite antiques auction is happening tonight! I won't be making it (I'm still on a shopping high from Scott's), but I thought some of you might be interested. Click here to see some of the loot that will be auctioned tonight. You should go -- you'll be amazed at the deals!

David Tims Auction
2007 Cogswell Avenue
Pell City, Alabama 35125

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 572's trip recap

I wish I could show you some pictures of kitchy little Helen, Georgia, but all I have to show for our trip are some photos taken in an antique store. You're not surprised, are you? One afternoon we browsed a few shops in Nacoochee Village, a neat little area just a half mile from Helen. All of the buildings are old houses with lots of charm. The antique store -- Nacoochee Antiques -- was in a huge old farmhouse that had at least 15 fireplaces.

There were several pretty dressers that just oozed farmhouse style. And probably more milk glass than I've ever seen in one place. I bought a gorgeous jadeite cake stand that I love (it looks like this).

After browsing, we had a fantastic dinner at Nacoochee Grill. I love this little place! It was a little too dark inside to take any pictures of it, so check out what's on the Web site. Most of the food and wine is local (except the seafood, obviously), and everything we had was delicious -- you should try the Crab Stuffed Portabella.

So, that and the aforementioned fire-burning pretty much sums up the trip! A great long weekend was had by all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 571

We're back from a weekend in a little cabin in the woods. The trip began a little stragely -- we arrived to find frozen water pipes and had to relocate -- but was lovely in the end. I think we spent half of our vacation budget on firewood. Well, firewood and food, of course. We'll tell you all about soon!

Photo by Tom Leighton for Homes & Gardens

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 565: Scott's recap, part II

Definitive proof that Eddie, Jaithan and I are now BFF. Er, well, we definitely would have been had I not been a total wimp and waited to introduce myself until the last possible minute of our little tour. Lucky for me, they stuck around while we all shopped, and we chatted over a pretzel and chicken salad before parting ways. It really was so much fun, and I hope they will get the chance to do more trips in the future. Here are a couple more fun things we spotted at Scott's.

Eddie offered redo tips on this cute x-bench, among other pieces.

I went on a little side adventure and checked out a table of antique and vintage fixtures and hardware. These could really bring some character to a bathroom.

He had just about everything in every finish you could imagine. I sifted through this pile looking for something that would work on the drawers of my blue chest, but couldn't come up with 8 of anything. In hindsight, it might have been kind of cool to do eight different knobs of similar sizes and finishes.

I also really loved these doorknobs. I've seen antique doorknobs in several different places, but rarely see them with all of the hardware you'd need to actually use them. Most of these did have the hardware, and started at $20 each (we just paid $25 for a new doorknob at Lowe's).

One dealer -- a fabric designer -- had bolts and blots of fabric at an extremely discounted rate. He showed us one roll (I think it was Clarence House) that retails for $1,000/yard. I didn't recognize any patterns, but I'm no expert on fabric, and he definitely had some pretty things.

Erika, these turtles are for you! The same dealer had a couple of really big shells, too.

There were some totally random things, like this enormous sleigh! If I lived on a farm in Connecticut, this would totally be a part of my Christmas decorations!

And this enormous white leather settee. There were two, actually, and they were at least 6 feet tall. Not antiques, obviously, but interesting nonetheless.

All of these dough bowls were about $125, which makes my $50 sound like a pretty good deal!

Speaking of random, does anyone know more about these angel wings? I saw them all over the place at market, and was surprised to see them again at Scott's. The dealer was no where to be found or I would have gotten the scoop. In any case, they were super-pretty and would be neat in a frilly little girl's room, I think.

Love old jars, especially with crusty lids.

Zoe, all of the vintage furs made me think of you!

This was my object lesson of the day. I've seen these in antique stores before, and they have always puzzled me. Why would anyone need a little crystal dumb bell?? Turns out they are knife rests -- a fancy little contraption to keep your table linens clean. Learn something new every day!

These lamps made of hubcaps (rims?) were cool. You can see that he had lamps made of all sorts of interesting things.

These three plates were some of the prettiest I've ever seen! Oh, so pretty. Too bad there was only two dinner plates and a salad plate (probably should have taken them home anyway, oh well!).

This lovely lady is here to say hello to my mother-in-law (Hi Nancy!), who has just begun a similar project using shells she collected while living on the Gulf Coast.

The detail was gorgeous! I especially loved her little belt and coral "corsage."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 564's loot

You may have seen my lovely mug on Eddie Ross yesterday afternoon (um, nerd alert!), and if so, here's another look at the pretty Jasperware pitcher I picked up at Scott's. While Eddie was detailing the finer points of the transferware process, I spotted this little ditty across the table and instantly imagined it filled with pretty white hydrangeas -- is it any wonder that I didn't retain any of his teachings?

While it isn't marked, Eddie suspects it is Jasperware, which is made by Wedgewood. Of course, I'm certainly no snob when it comes to serving pieces (most of mine hail from the hallowed walls of HomeGoods), and it was the unusual chalky basalt finish and milky black color that attracted me to it in the first place. I've got a small collection of white pitchers in all shapes and sizes, and the prospect of adding a couple of black ones to the mix is more exciting to me than it probably should be.

My other lucky find is that marble lamp with the shade that is clearly much too small. I actually went to Scott's hoping to find such a lamp for the blue chest in the dining room, and can't believe I did because that sort of thing never happens. I saw lots of pretty painted parchment shades at market, and since this lamp isn't really for task lighting, I'm thinking it might be fun to experiment with something different, like this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 563's Scott's trip recap, part I

Wow, what a weekend! In three days, I hit the gift and home furnishings market, all of the cool shops in Atlanta (or at least most of them!) and Scott Antique Market with Eddie Ross. I've been dying to investigate Scott's for some time, and getting to hit the aisles with Eddie was just the be-all end-all!

And for those of you who are curious about what he's really like in person (let's just get that out of the way), I found him to be very relaxed and open, warm and quite entertaining. I'm sure that all 35-plus (!!) who met with us on Sunday morning felt like he was an old friend by the time we parted ways.

And it helped that we were all totally in our element surrounded by such eye candy! Have a look for yourself ...

I claim to not like Victorian furniture, but I just cannot resist running my hands over a beautiful bowfront chest like this. This would be the perfect beginning to a wonderful chest-mirror-lamp combination in any room in a house. And check out the detail of the hardware above -- gorgeous! AND this dealer had about 15 to choose from.

Oh, this piece made me a little sick. Remember that antiques auction my mom and I found? We saw a piece that looked just like this at the end of the night and thought it was so interesting. Unfortunately, we'd both already spent our limit and we passed it up at $75. I've thought about it several times since and wished I would have broken out the credit card and brought it home.

So when I saw this tag I about lost it. I can't believe I let the first one go! Baker! Ah.

Here's Eddie in action talking about something we know he loves, vintage tabletop. He talked about the differences in manufacturing and how to distinguish markings, etc. Unfortunately I was little ADD that morning and I'm afraid I didn't retain much useful information. Ha. I brought something home out of this booth and I can't wait to show you.

Lovely blue and white delftware and transferware (which I unfortunately probably cannot tell apart!). I almost think it looks more beautiful stacked like this than hung on a wall.

Here he is talking about another of his favorite things, vintage prints and lithographs. This dealer had everything but maps -- she said she had to draw the line somewhere, which I can totally understand, and thought was funny. I actually didn't buy anything here, given the total backlog of things that need to be framed at our house. But, I thought the prices were pretty good on the whole, and would go back if we needed something.

After lunch, my friend Kim and I headed into what I called the "eye candy section," meaning, all the gorgeous things that I cannot even come close to being able to afford. But it sure was fun to look!

These French commodes were, oh. So beautiful. I loved the one in the foreground, and the dealer said that she hasn't had many people intrested in it because it doesn't have drawer pulls. That was exactly what attracted me to it in the first place! I could have taken it home for $1500, she said. I said knock off a zero and you have a deal (okay, of course I did not! that would have been totally rude!).

This iron daybed is so fabulous! I imagine it piled high with pillows in a pretty sunroom (or really any room, for that matter).

Back in the "real people section," this little bench caught my eye. I loved the bench in Chaffee Braithwaite's bedroom that appeared in Cottage Living last spring, and thought it was along those lines. I think it was marked at $125.

Wes loves these little tags for his liquor decanters, and there was at least one for every drink imaginable.

I just love mother-of-pearl-handled flatware. This set was especially pretty.

And the dealer was so kind to show us how to tell English from American (most of the English makers have a crown in their logo), and what to look for in a good set.

This is barely skimming the surface of what we saw, and of course I can't wait to show you my goods! In the mean time, here's what a couple of other bloggers thought of the trip:

Layers of Meaning
Southern Hospitality
The Confetti Chronicles

Let me know if you'd like to be included in the round-up. And a big, heartfelt thank-you to Eddie and Jaithan for coming down South to spend the weekend with some totally crazed fans! We all had a great time!