Thursday, December 24, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
1. We love design magazines as if they were our own children...okay, more than that. A LOT. And we are down to a select few that we actually open the day they arrive: Elle Decor and House Beautiful. (And then there were two.)
2. We try not to devote too much attention to projects featured in said magazines....there are lots of other blogs who do a much better job at this than we are likely to. But the last time we did, it was of that insane House Beautiful cover spread with the pink chairs and the discontinued Kravet Ikat pattern everywhere. You know the one. And can we discuss the recent red, red, red Miles Redd HB cover project???? When can Miles Redd have his own magazine, full of nothing but Miles Redd projects? Who's with me?
3. I have been ridiculously infrequent in my blog postings as of late.
Until today. Because something happened to bring all of these factors together into a single unifying force that compelled me--nay, DEMANDED me--to crank out a new post. What happened was this:
Stephen Drucker, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful magazine, former editor of Martha Stewart Living magazine, and former something at basically every publication serving as an arbiter of style in modern society, walked into my shop.
Thankfully, I was wrapping up a transaction with a customer (good to look busy and somewhat successful, yes?) when he entered. I immediately recognized him as familiar but couldn't quite place him until he approached me and said, "Hi, my name is Stephen and..." He had me at "Stephen." Stephen Drucker! House Beautiful! Can't. Breathe.
I'm happy to report that he couldn't have been more charming. I immediately begged him not to go under for fear of depriving me of one of my few remaining reasons to get out of bed every morning, to which he replied that House Beautiful isn't going anywhere.
(Collective sigh of relief.)
I inquired as to what brought him to Seattle, to which he replied that he had never visited before and wanted to see what it was like. Isn't that a wonderful way to spend a weekend? I think I may have a new life goal.
He spoke highly of his time in Seattle thus far; let's hope he returns with cameras in hand. Stephen, I'm ready for my close up.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Primarily because of the insanity of my life (I know, join the club, right?), I am not as good as I should be about documenting my design projects--a goal for the New Year is to create an online portfolio of professional project shots--but I have a nice (though not yet complete) visual story of one to share.
Now, with a new fabulous table, a new and equally fabulous set of chairs was needed, which led to a need for some other new and fabulous items, and thus, a project was born.
Most of the final selections are represented here--the Jonathan Adler greek key rug in the Dining Room (being made as I write), paired with affordable red-lacquer chairs from Pottery Barn sassed up with some colorful indoor/outdoor fabric on the seat cushions, and the stunning chandelier from Arteriors.
Compare the new light to the old (unelectrified!) fixture:
What an improvement. And now they can see what they're eating, too! (When I cook, dim lighting works in my favor.)
We're still awaiting the arrival of a number of pieces, and there remains more work to be done, but I thought I'd share our progress thus far. Stay tuned!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
For me, Home with a capital "H" is Nashville, Tennessee. The South. I love the South. I know it has a lot of baggage associated with it, some of it deserved, some of it exaggerated, and some of it just plain made up by people who have merely passed through or never even visited.
What do I love about the South? The obvious, of course: it's home to all of my family. When you leave a place as a single girl, you miss your family all the time, but you're building your own life, so it's easy to push those feelings aside in favor of the here and now. But when your life transitions to the next level, when you begin to create a family of your own, that's when you begin to miss your family in a way that hurts....and not just because you have to pay everyone who's not family to watch your children!
Then there are the little things: the insane food which, no matter how anyone above or west of the Mason-Dixon line tries, cannot be duplicated. (If I had a nickel for how many times I've said, "You call that 'cornbread?'" I would be lounging on a tropical island at the moment.) Sweet tea. Chick-fil-A. Need I say more?
The friendliness. Sure, some of it is phoney, but in the south, when you walk down the street, people--people you do not know--look you in the eye and say hello; they don't avert their gaze as they pass. People chat you up in line for no reason. Just because that's what you do.
The landscape. The rolling green hills and three-hundred-year-old trees. The beaches and seafod boils. The front-porch swings.
The driving. People drive fast there. People get in the left lane and actually pass the people next to them. Who knew this was something I was taking for granted the first half of my life?
The hospitality. The luncheons for the most insignificant of reasons. The food people cook for you when you have a baby, lose a parent, lose a job. The table settings. The deviled egg plates. The effort.
The decorating. Yes, I said "decorating." Southerners are not afraid of going all out where aesthetics are concerned. Of filling every vacant space with objects. Of passing down items from generation to generation, even if said items are worthless to the average person. If it's not tied down, we monogram it; it's not that we don't know they're our towels, we just like an excuse to throw curly script on something, especially if it's pink.
I know many (if not all) of these things exist in some form in all parts of the country, even in the world, but I miss my own special variety of it all, or at least the variety I have conjured for myself. Some of it surely has been romanticized, but isn't that the great thing about all that is far away, whether geographically or chronologically? We forget all that made us pull out our hair in favor of that which makes our eyes glisten with nostalgia. Thank heavens for that.
I was fortunate, growing up, to have an extra-special home/Home. We lived just outside the city on 18 acres, in a home built in 1808. As a 9-year-old child, moving from a duplex I shared with my single mother to what then seemed a palatial home with outbuildings, a barn, a pool and a guest house, I felt like Little Orphan Annie moving into Daddy Warbucks' estate.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
For those of you we haven't been harrassing via e-mail about our recent move, we are now open in our new location, the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Our grand opening was last week, after a month-long hiatus since closing our original Georgetown location.
We have so many gorgeous new (and new "old") pieces that I simply had to share a few photos with our friends who must have been trapped under something heavy since last Thursday and haven't yet been by the new shop. (Those of you outside the city are excused.)
I'll be working over the coming weeks on updating our Web site with our new inventory, new store images, and hopefully soon building our online interior design portfolio so you can see some of the fun projects we've completed. (Baby steps.... I am lucky to shower most days.)
Take a peek inside the new shop. And whether you're two blocks, neighborhoods, cities, or states away, come up and see us sometime. We'd love to see you!
Now, for the tour:
Can we briefly discuss how incredibly GORGEOUS this piece is? I bought it at an auction, back when it was a medium-oak finish. My gifted painter worked his magic, and how you see the new incarnation. Somewhere Dorothy Draper is patting herself on the back.
Also, I would like to touch on the striped wall, which I'm sure (like me) many of you have admired in the pages of Elle Decor (mostly in bathrooms, it seems, or with a slight twist of vertical stripes ala Alessandra Branca). I had about a week to move in and put my own finishing touches on the space after the painters and other folks completed their work, and do you know what I spent about 98% of that time doing? Yes. Stripes. I'm now seeing stripes in my dreams (nightmares?). But I am really happy with the finished product, particularly against the insane secretary and adorable sconces from a new line we're carrying at the store, Stray Dog Designs.
Back to the tour:
Another glimpse of the aforementioned stripes, along with one of a pair of vintage greek key-embellished mirrors. You know me and the greek keys....
Check out the ball pillow. I had it custom-made from the Rubie Green "Jackie" fabric. Why a ball pillow? I don't know. But I like it.
This little arrangement makes me happy whenever I glance its way: navy blue, hot pink, yellow, and white. You may recognize the sofa from a stint in my living room; its now covered in bomber white vinyl that actually resists even ink stains. The chairs are vintage, as is the coffee table, now in a shade my painter calls "American Cheese." Not likely to make its way into the pantheon of paint names anytime soon.
Gorgeous black faux patent leather on 19th-century French dining chairs (now with white paint -- I know if legions of people were reading this, about three-quarters of them would be shrieking in horror.) Flanking the two lovelies are a set of redone Thonet chairs, with seats in white faux croc vinyl. Yes, I am single-handedly trying to keep the vinyl industry afloat.
Accessories shot: Jack + Lulu paper products (love), vintage barware with the motif whose name shall not be spoken, along with a Simon Doonan/Jonathan Adler shrine.
Also new to the shop: Kaarskoker candle sleeves and customizable candlesticks. A better hostess gift anywhere? We think not.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Why vinyl, you ask?
Here's how it looked before its little visit to the upholsterer:
The Living Room is slowly coming together.... baby steps. Literally.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
To begin, I'd like to share some things I've learned over the last month:
2. If you sell things at 50% off, it won't be enough for some people. (Not you, of course.)
But I'm hoping it's like a bike: You just jump back on and it feels like you never stopped riding. In the spirit of that wish, I thought I would post a follow-up to a post from a few months ago about my glorious neighbor (and unofficial mayor of Georgetown), Jon Dove. I previously shared some photos of his beautiful yard and new garden room, and I visited him afterwards to capture some complementary images of his home interior.
Jon and I have differing interior styles, but I love so many things about his home: his attention to detail, his passion for collecting, and his love of accessories, as well as his affinity for history--both his own, and that of the land and people around him.
Take a look and see what I mean:
Upon entering, the taxidermy squirrels tip you off that you won't be seeing much Pottery Barn here.
Ditto the fowl on the bannister post.
Jon's lovely living room, with our own Palace Bench peeking out from the corner.
A vignette showcasing some of our favorite books, and apparently Jon's, too.
I love how threadbare the rug is. If only it could talk!
This room is Jon's OFFICE. Could you die? It's like a scene from Tara.
I love the rainbow created on the shelves.
A man after my own heart: a fellow design-mag hoarder. This cupboard is filled with back issues of World of Interiors. I wish all magazines had white spines.
Another one of Jon's paintings. He truly has a wonderful talent.
I love the gaslight, from an old funeral carriage.
Those peeling paint patches would keep me up nights, but for Jon, they work wonderfully. Love the paint detail at the tops of the turquoise chairs.
A vignette from the guest bedroom, themed as a child's room. The bookcase is filled with Jon's old toys and books.
The outline of a future mural. Can't wait to see the finished product!