Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monogram It--Hmmm!

Image via Southern Accents

I would like to have a few things Monogrammed--let's see, starting, for instance, with my new towels that I bought several months ago, but have yet to take them in to be done. The fact is, I'm torn--should I do a single monogram script, or a three-letter traditional script, or a deco-style script. I can't decide! So now, I'm going through all my tear sheets to see what I have with monograms --starting with the one below!

I do like the single script!
Image via Veranda September 2007
Photo by Roger Davies..

Also, I would like to do a few throw pillows for our front porch swing!

This may work! Image via Victoria March 2001.

And if you read my Decorating Dilemmas you would have seen my French chairs that desperately need to be redone-I can't take the 1940's wine velvet much longer! So here's what I'm thinking on what I may do with them.

I love this slipcover! Image Via Southern Accents March/April 2008 isssue
Photo by Erica George Dines.

Or perhaps I can put the monogram on the back of the chair.
Image via Cottage Living September 2007 -
Photo by Roger Davies..

Hmmm! I will keep searching; and you should, if you haven't already, check out The Monogram Shop ! I read their story several years ago via Martha Stewart, and the whole time I was thinking I would love to have s shop just like that one day! As a present, I always like to give cocktail napkins with the persons's home address.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Off to Mrs.Howard!

Image via Mrs.Howard

Ever since the July 4th weekend, I’ve been meaning to write a post about Crulla’s and my antiquing expedition in Atlanta. So here it is—a few stores that I think that are always worth a visit or two depending on your time.

First up, Anne Flaire Antiques—I love Anne, and I have bought a few pieces from her over the years here and there. Anne Flaire is located in a huge warehouse off Howell Mill Road, and she is stocked full of all things French. Needless to say, the warehouse is not air conditioned, but Crulla and I always seem to manage exploring through it. Crulla didn't even think that she had a website! (Even today, the antiquing industry, including Crulla, is slow to move into the 21st century. I just discovered not too long ago that Crulla had a hotmail account, now I need to show her how to use a browser so she can pull up my blog; so I’ll have a reader or two, and use MapQuest which she needs—trust me!) 996 Huff Road, Atlanta.

Next, Antiques of Vinings–I love this quaint shop, and I’m wondering why Cruella and I have not been here in a while. To me it is a little hidden gem and it’s just around the corner from Banana Republic. The shop is mostly English—silver, Staffordshire, and accessories. It has separate dealers, but you wouldn’t know it because of the flow of the interior. Indeed a sign of a great shop. Sorry no web site or I would give it to you– 4300 Paces Ferry Road, Suite 230.

Now, finally, clear across town is Jacqueline Adams—if you have never been to France and would like to go on an antiquing shopping adventure, don’t. Jacqueline Adams has cleared France of all its period antiques. Walking into Jacqueline Adams is like walking into a French chateau, so if you’re searching for a few French period pieces look no further, but adjust your purse strings accordingly. Cruella and I enjoy looking but not touching (we would have to win the lottery), which I’m sure her shop keepers are not thrilled with. After Cruella and I did all three floors it was 4: oo. Normally we keep going until the last shop closes, but we were wiped out for the day and it was time for Starbucks. I did notice that Jacqueline is on 1st dibs.

The Beauty of Blue - Photo by Roger Davies

Before leaving for Atlanta on my Antiquing expedition, I had just received my Southern Accents July/August issue. I loved the cover and I even thought about adding it to my Feeling a Little Blue Lately post, but it didn’t make the cut. Anyway, I was talking to Cruella the other day and I told her we had to go into Mrs. Howard’s shop. Her designs made the cover that month. She is located right down from Jacqueline Adams (we were tired or we would have found her!) I’ve read many great things about Mrs. Howard, and she has an extensive website with beautiful projects. Both she and her husband are both very talented. I was very inspired, and the two that I really, really love are Riverfront Residence and the Mountaintop.

Image via Mrs.Howard - Mountaintop project

Image via Mrs. Howard Riverfront residence

And lord and behold, I believe that is Lee Jofa’s Bordeaux toile—will have to ask Cote de Texas what she thinks. Speaking of which—I just received my memo samples—hooray! So, later this week I am off to Atlanta to Mrs. Howard!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's the weekend!

Unfortunately, I won't be relaxing, reading or playing croquet this weekend! I have a few small projects ahead of me and one them is painting my old wicker table that I just recently found while driving down the road. I could have had the whole wicker set but I didn't want to mess with reupholstering the chairs or the loveseat for that matter! I have my hands full in that department already--see decorating dilemmas by me. The good news is that the table is old and not just one of your run-of-the-mill ones. I think I wrote in Southern Porches--just this past spring how I needed a table for my porch. Anyway, now that it is 100 plus degrees outside I'm ready to check out all the outdoor sales stuff! Another nice thing is, my mother-in-law just recently gave me, for my birthday, a nice umbrella in a pretty shade of green that met my approval! How she knew that I needed one is beyond me -I'm thinking it must have been late last summer when her and my father-in-law were over for brunch and I insisted we all set on the deck with the flies in the blazing heat! For my next birthday, she'll probably give me a bug zapper--she has a great memory!

Restoration Hardware - Looks like mine!

Now for some cushions

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Southern Dawgs! Charleston Playgroup vs. Nashville Playgroup

Upon moving to Charleston, SC, it did not take the hubby and I very long to start our daily walking routes with Rolle, our very spoiled basset hound. One afternoon, while walking down Broad Street we bumped into a lady with an English Springer Spaniel. We stopped and chatted for a few second so the dogs could say hi-–but she said she was in a hurry and had to go--she was on her way to the churchyard where all the Spaniels gathered for playtime, she uttered. I was thinking to myself—we would like to go, after all, were new here in town, we have a cute, well-behaved dog, and maybe she’ll invite us (me, hubby & Rolle), but no such luck—Spaniels only!

Shortly afterwards, on another scorching day, while at Starbucks drinking our late afternoon coffee, we bumped into another lady who looked like she had just gotten off work. She had her dog with her and she said she was heading down the street to the dog park. She very politely invited us and even told us how to get there. Hubby and I immediately grabbed our hot coffee and the dog and off we went to “Playgroup”. “Playgroup”, I should probably let you know, is our cutesy name for the dog park, where people take their dogs to run around and play with other dogs. Hubby and I just nicknamed it “Playgroup” since Rolle has always been the baby. My in-laws are not really thrilled with the term but Hubby and I like it. The Playgroup we would take him to in Charleston was where a lot of the downtowners—people who lived on the peninsula—took their dog, or dogs. Once at playgroup it did not take Rolle very long to introduce himself and start making new friends. He’s a natural when it comes to socializing. Playgroup, as it turned out, was also a nice time for Rolle’s mommy and daddy to socialize as well. The hubby and I got to meet interesting Charlestoneans, as well as a few out-of-towners, and most impotently get the daily gossip—which I loved! And of course Rolle got to meet several new friends. Let’s see, there was Harold & Maude the Scottish Terriers, Carolina the Boykin Spaniel, Nemo the French Poodle, Max the Poodle, Dutch the Labrador, Glory the Cocker Spaniel, Annabella the Doberman Pinscher, among others. Rolle, in fact, became one of the regulars, and trust me, they knew when a new K-9 was in town. Oh, the English Spaniels were eventually banned from the churchyard, and their private club had to be relocated to where Harold & Maude, Carolina, Nemo, Max, Dutch, Glory, Annabella and Rolle gathered everyday at 5:p.m...

Now, currently, while living here in Nashville, Hubby and I noticed that playgroup is a little different. We still live in an old, urban neighborhood, but Nashville is a much larger city then Charleston and now we have to drive to the playgroup at Centennial Park (although back then hubby would often drive and it was less than a mile). It’s actually a beautiful setup for the dogs—fully fenced with trees and hills—whereas in Charleston we shared a playground with various little league teams. Here in Nashville we seem to find a lot of Vanderbilt students, or we may meet a few ambitious country singers and songwriters wannabes with dogs named Waylon, Hank, Reba, or Merle.

All pictures from Living with Dogs Photographs by William Stites & text by Laurence Sheehan. Rolle & Ellie love this book!

Either way, you can rest assured that Rolle is a happy little hound as long as playgroup is somewhere in the South! For now he is teaching his new sister, Ellie, the ropes! Strangely enough, I have been lobbying for an English Spaniel named Henry for quite some time! More Nashville playgroup observations later.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Few Lessons From The Nanny Diaries

One movie that I was just thinking about a few weeks ago was The Nanny Diaries. My friend Watson had given me the book to read when it was first released, and he said that I would really enjoy the witty humor, and, most importantly, a peek into a few of New York’s high-society participants. After reading the book I was looking forward to the movie. So last summer, upon seeing the movie and thinking about Mrs. X’s apartment, I had remembered reading a small article in the April 2007 issue of Domino. The article was with production designer Mark Ricker, and in it he shares his secrets of creating that look for Mrs. X, and reveals what you could do to achieve it for real.

First, he talks about the overpowering symmetry that was used. He said, for the screen “I created this absurd sense of symmetry, so that everywhere you look there are pairs of chairs, sconces, mirrors. “It gives the sense that there’s no freedom for anything to be out of place.” He then adds that, to do this for real “symmetry is pleasing but becomes suffocating when taken too far…Leave space for uneven arrangement to loosen up a room.”

A nice example of symmetry that he is talking about it!

Next he talks about the pattern on pattern – which I have to admit I could never ever pull off, and not even with their purse strings. He quotes, “Park Avenue apartments tend to have this extreme manipulation of designs on top of each other.” He shares, “To pull this off, carry through at least one color for continuity, and change the scale of patterns that sit next to each other. I for one happen to love color and pattern, and find this very helpful indeed.

Mrs. X's Living room

Now for that beautiful chinoiserie that was used. Mark finalizes, “I used this throughout, in fabric and wallpaper. Because it’s classic and beautiful. The birds, trees, vines and flowers are like having a garden inside.” For me personally I love it! So he states back to us real folks, “If miles of pricey chinoiserie are not exactly in your budget, try framing a small piece of beautiful wallpaper--you’ll get the feeling without the expense or the over-the-top-ness.

Mrs. X's Bedroom
All Images from Traditional Homes
Also see Traditional Homes for more with Mark Ricker regarding the set design.

On a final note, I personally think Mr. Ricker did a wonderful job. And in case you’re wondering why I’m blogging about this like my hubby is—I’m looking for the wallpaper that was used in one of the bathrooms! Hmmmm any idea?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yea! New Book Releases!

Last week, while having lunch with my buddy Cruella, we were discussing our favorite designers and decorating books that always inspire us. Cruella said hers, without question, was Charles Faudree. I mentioned to Cruella that he has a new book coming out and it looks wonderful! For me, one of my favorite designers lately is Michael Smith - I purchased his first book, Elements of Style, when it first came out and never grow tired of it. His new book, Houses, is going on my most-wanted list for fall—I’ll bet it will be pretty good. If you would like a full report on Mr. Smith go to Cote de Texas—I swear I’m not getting kickbacks, but she gives nice full reports!

Michael S. Smith's Houses

Monday, July 14, 2008

Visions of a Beach Home

Last week, Cruella and I hit every antiques shop south of the Mason Dixon Line. Needless to say I was very exhausted when I returned home to Nashville, and needed a vacation from our excursion! For those of you who are not familiar with Atlanta traffic, one should plan her trips accordingly. For example, don’t try to hit four to five different counties in one afternoon like we did. Cruella and I are usually on a tight schedule before we are summoned back to our posts, and if you have read any of my blogs you would know that is how Cruella acquired her nickname–not because she kidnaps puppies and turns them in to coats, but because nothing stops her from hitting all the antiques stores in the Atlanta metropolitan area. She is always motivated, and has a heavy foot on the accelerator. We try to squeeze in all of metro Atlanta and its little surrounding towns that may have a store that has the word antiques in its name.

All pictures courtesy of Cote de Texas

Last week, when I arrived home and started reading a few of my favorite bloggers, I noticed Joni from Cote de Texas had written a great post on one of my favorite’s movies and movie sets--Something’s Gotta Give. The funny thing is I was just thinking about that house-- she must have red my mind (Nashville is nowhere near the water)! Go check out her site for a full report! Since I had spent the first half of my week antiquing with Cruella and was extremely exhausted, I spent all weekend looking for the Lee Jofa’s fabric that was used on the dining room chairs in the movie –no such luck. Note, if you have read my Decorating Dilemmas, you would have seen my French chairs with their original 1940’s velvet fabric that desperately need to be redone and you would understand my urgency!

Something's Gotta Give- Dining room - Lee Jofa's fabric on the chairs that I want!

Another picture that I’m showing is of a kitchen with bead board on the ceiling. Hmmmm, see Kitchen Stuff by yours truly! Thanks Joni for such a great and informative blog!

The End!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Feeling a Little Blue Lately!

Image from House & Garden Dec 2007 issue

Home of Aerin Lauder - Photographed by Francois Halard

Last fall, I bought my first piece of Canton—a vase. It’s not incredibly old; the antiques dealer said that perhaps it was from the twenties, but it doesn’t matter, because I love it! It currently looks great with my white hydrangeas that I can cut from my very own yard. This past spring it looked great with my neighbor Eula’s pink peonies (her husband Frank kept me stocked when she was away visiting her sister), and in the winter it will look great with some red nandinas! Anyway, I have wanted to do a blue and white room for some time now. Last December, when I saw this room of Aerin Lauder’s, I looked at it every day for a month. Of course, I started thinking how could I do that room—would the hubby notice if I put the blue toile wallpaper up in his office (there’s nowhere else to put it in my cottage). Then I thought to myself that perhaps I should start small, maybe with the lamp. After pondering for a bit on where I could get that lamp, I knew exactly who to call—Cruella! Cruella is my very, very good buddy who happens to be a very well-stocked antiques dealer! When I mentioned my plan, she offered it up immediately (which is code for ‘she had no plans to do a blue & white room in her own house in the near future’)! Now, I just need to save my pennies!

Cruella's Canton Lamp that I hope to have soon!

FYI- Just in case you have not heard or read, Carolyne Roehm has a new book coming out in the Fall—A Passion For Blue & White –should be pretty good!

A Passion For Blue & White

Book Report Alert!

This past Sunday, I finished reading The House on First Street by Julia Reed, which I mentioned in my previous blog, A Little Summer Reading. I have to say I really enjoyed the book, and would highly recommend it to someone who enjoys a little Southern History, a wee bit of tasty Cajun/Creole culinary, and, most importantly, the heartache of renovating your dream home in a city that is full of charm, allure, beauty, and perhaps a little foolishness! Last week, Stylecourt wrote a lovely review of some of Julia’s collection pieces from Lucullus Antiques and also included one of Julia’s recipes for a primm's royale--yum! After reading Stylecourt’s blog. I remembered the House & Garden July 2006 that featured Julia’s home, and the long table that seated twenty! Ironically enough, I was reading the House & Garden while the hubby, Rolle, and I were heading to the Crescent City for a wedding. Anyway, following are a few pictures from the article “New Orleans Stomps and Joys” from House & Garden July 2006 issue! Oh, the hubby and I did stop by Casamento’s, but they were closed! Maybe next time!

All images from House & Garden July 2006 issue. Photographed by James Merrell

The table & chairs from Lucullus Antiques

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Visions of a Bachelorette Apartment!

Shortly after the hubby and I got married, my good buddy Susan sent me a list of things to be cognizant of during the blissful years of married life! Two of her reminders have always stuck with me: one–always keep a chic, hot outfit on hand and ready to wear in seconds when you need to charge out of the house after a huge brawl; and two--keep your own glamorous-flat to run off to when you need your girl time by yourself. For me, unfortunately neither one is very realistic; however, while making a small pit stop back in Atlanta, the hubby and I rented an apartment on Peachtree Road. Hubby, at that time had to do a lot of traveling –what a pity—so this was my chance to do my bachelorette apartment—finally!

One Friday night, the hubby came home and noticed there was a lamp on the floor, no sofa (I had put it in storage because I could not stand looking at the fabric anymore), and no end tables! They only thing that the hubby saw was our ten-year-old TV that my faithful handyman Andy accidentally dropped while trying to move us in– he only weighs 100 pounds! Needless to say, this is not what the hubby had in mind when he ventured home for the weekends to watch football--no sofa, no end tables, and a broken TV. So one Friday night, after venturing home from Greenville, the hubby said, “Get what you need to fix the place up” and to use my discretion! Deep down, he knew that the sofa would never come out of storage until he agreed to have it reupholstered, and since he was so busy he didn’t have time for silly things like picking out fabric! With him traveling, and only interested in having a sofa to watch football on, this was my small chance of starting up my almost-Bachelorette apartment! Below is one of my favorites!

Images from Domino March 2006-Designer David Lawrence- photographs by Eric Cahan

The End!