Monday, September 26, 2011

What to Collect Now: Vintage Posters


Did you see the amazing collection of rare art posters last week on One Kings Lane? I am totally obessed! Last spring, I bought a vintage Picasso poster from the 1960's to frame for my new gallery wall in my basement for just $25. The colors are so vibrant and unusual.






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Friday, September 23, 2011

Soups On




I don't know about you but as soon as the weather even gives me the slightest hint of fall, I want to make soup. Today, it is pouring down rain {again}and a little gloomy so I made soup.


Here's what I made Chicken with White Beans. It actually doesn't have a fancy name because I made it up. I do that a lot and many months later a friend will send me an email requesting the recipe and I have forgotten how I made it. This one's a keeper so I thought I would share.

Chicken Soup with White Beans and Green Chillies

{1} Package Chicken tenderloins, cut in bite size pieces
{1} small vadilla Onion, Diced
{1} can diced, fire roasted Green chillies
{ 4 or 5} miniature red, orange, yellow sweet bell peppers, diced
{1} can chicken broth
{1} can cannellini white beans
Dash garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the chicken pieces until almost cooked through, add the green chillies, onions and peppers. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of garlic salt. Saute vegetables until tender. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and add the white beans. Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmasean cheese and a little red pepper flakes.




I keep these homemade crackers that i get at Whole Foods on hand. You'll die when you taste them! They are delicious with soup but also make a great appetizer with cheese or a white bean dip.



The only thing that would make my soup taste better would be eatting out of these handmade pottery bowls from Bergdorf Goodman.


from Vogue's best summer hostess gift list.

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Rustic Gray Kitchen


Just when you thought there was really nothing fresh and innovative you could do with interior design in the kitchen, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles and interior designer Beth Webb create this lovely rustic, sophisticated kitchen. My latest issue just arrived in the mail, and its packed with inspiration from AHL's three new showhouses at a new 'urban sporting resort' just outside Atlanta. The three showhouses at Foxhall are decorated by Room & Board, Jimmy Stanton and Beth Webb.

I am always looking for a girls weekend road trip and am checking my calendar now for October 13-30.

I have been a fan of Beth Webb Interiors for a while now and always find that her designs featured in Atlanta Homes regularly are the ones I have dog-eared. She writes an inspiring blog and has just launched her new design blog....check it out Beth Webb Interiors.





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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Seasonal Palette: Earthy Browns


Goodbye Summer. Hello Fall!

I want a warm, earthy brown room that I can wrap my arms around and settle into like a cashmere blanket. A room layered in the warm, rich hues of brown and the texture of an old leather book.

Brown is the color I crave as summer turns the page and fall creeps in. Brown is a great neutral that offers a little more oomph than your typical neutral and provides the perfect springboard to layer in textures and directional fabrics like velvets and mohair. It is a great unifier creating the perfect backdrop for marrying a mixture of traditional and modern furnishings. Rich, dark chocolate or charcoal walls create effortless ambiance. I like brown rooms with a touch of gilt, old world oil paintings and a lived in leather chair.


I love this quote from Bobby McAlpine's book, The Home Within Us, describing the warm and cozy interior of his once-upon-a-time home he affectionately calls 'The Shack'. It beautifully describes the kind of room I crave that is dark and handsome.

"In those days, I was seeking a kind of somber containment in a house. I loved being in a dark shell - its compression and enclosure. The cabin had such a cratelike nature that it was impossible to resist putting gilt and fine things in its presence. It was a beautiful foil for things unlike itself. And so there was a lesson somewhere for me in the pendulum's swing between rough plank walls and gilt frames, great tapestries and absolutely raw floors."
-Bobby McAlpine




I will absolutely never tire of the warm and inviting aesthetic of this layered brown room from Interior Designer, Dan Carithers. He often uses brown as a neutral in his designs and I just love the results.

" I use a lot of brown because everything goes with it. This is like melted chocolate — sensuous, smooth, velvety. I don't think of it as dark, but rich. It anchors a room and gives you a luxurious feeling. I've used it lots in libraries, with white trim. All the beige, camel, and parchment colors look handsome with it."
-Dan Carithers





Dan Carithers uses a brown palette its fullest potential in the Regent's Park Showhouse from Southern Accents. From the formal areas to the kitchen, bedroom and bathrooms, brown is used as a neutral.







A rich dark brown room can be both traditional and modern at the same time. I love the deep charcoal walls from the Hollywood Hills home of  Interior Designer Adam Braum Straus featured in the August 2011 issue of Lonny Magazine. One of his designer tips speaks to his artful mastery of mixing traditional and modern elements in a room:

"Stick to a palette; color can unify an interior with a range of styles."
-Adam Braum Straus


To keep an environment warm despite all of the dark elements, Straus suggests layering lighting by mixing ceiling lights and chandeliers, table and floor lamps, sconces, picture lights, and candles.

 



Mrs. Howard's speaks to the unifying qualities of the warm brown palette she used in the living room she designed for the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Christmas House. To see the transformation visit Mrs. Howard's blog here for the before and after:
"It was a challenging room, with not the best windows, and all kinds of funny angles, soffits and awkward corners. Her solution was to paint all of the walls and trim in high gloss chocolate brown, which masked a lot of the architectural flaws and made the corners disappear. With this change, the room became very warm and inviting."
-Phoebe Howard

 


Today is the first day of fall. What are you dreaming of?

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Collecting: Nature vs. Nurture

I welcome fall with open arms and savor the days of cool breezes and bluebird skies. It's this time of year that I crave an early morning trip to my favorite flea market. I grew up wandering the aisles of the local market so I still question whether it is something I was taught {nurture} or something that is just apart of me {nature}. I was never really a history buff in school and it would be safe to say that I avoid all current event and history conversations over an evening of cocktails but strangely enough I adore learning about curious old things and the history of antiques I favor. You know what they say "Buy what you like and you'll find a place for it in your home." That's definitely true for me but sometimes I like a simple table or a quirky old thing because I learn about its history and I find it even more charming.

I never know what my next acquisition will be and I am amazed by the disciple of one of my best friends who makes a list of what she is looking for and does not stray. She comes prepared with dimensions and measurements and stays the course. I am a wanderer and typically bring home a wide assortment of finds. I also have my list. Its not written down and usually somewhat unattainable.

So, just for you, I am writing down my list. Here are the things I am coveting now:

Bohemian Textiles from Around the World

Interiors with a global perspective are influencing my design choices as of late. I love the soft palette and time-worn texture of an old Kantha or Suzani. The vegetable dies bring an aesthetic that you just can't get any other way. I like antique textiles artfully laid down the center of a sofa or casually draped over a chair or the foot of the bed. They bring relief to a room with perfect proportions and symmetry and say "welcome."




Antique Marble Sink and Hardware





I know you recognize this amazing bathroom. Its from the home of the uber-talented Brooke Giannetti author of one of my most favorite blogs Velvet & Linen. The bath below is her inspiration from John Saladino. This is where the unattainable comes into play like where I am going to come across one of these bad-boys without getting on an airplane and crossing an ocean? In my opinion, the best part of both of these vanity designs is the faucet. It's an antique fountain spout. Any way...I love to dream about my next project and I love a good hunt so this will keep me challenged for a good number of years.




 Antique and Vintage Gilt Frames



I love the patina of an antique gilt finish where the gesso sometimes peeks through. They are often hand carved with gold and silver applied leaf. I appreciate their fineness because they don't make frames this way anymore. They are works of art in their own right.



These frames are from the latest antiques shipment from Circa Interiors.







18th Century Glass



Lately, I am quiet taken with vintage and antique glass in warm tones like amethyst and amber. I like the hand blown sculptural shapes, and warm colors. Both visually and functionally they are sturdy enough to hold a fall branch. The photo above is from the Sag Harbour bedroom of Swedish antiques dealer Jill Deinst featured in Martha Stewart Living.



Here is another picture from Deinst's home that I have shown you before. The table and the mantle are filled with her old glassware collection something that I immediately am drawn to because I have been collecting old glass for years. I am always looking for large old goblets or spooners as they make nice gifts when filled with a candle or fresh flowers.

An Old Plaster or Stone Bust



I have been looking for an old plaster or stone bust for a few years. I think they bring a lot to a layered tablescape, mantle arrangement or bookcase. Interior designer, Dana Wolter, used her bust brilliantly in her own home. You would definitely enjoy reading her blog here. I imagine most of us would have struggled to find just the right way to accessorize this small, somewhat awkward corner. I like old things used in a clean modern way and Dana's example above is a case study in the look I desire.


Here's another beautiful crusty old bust from Atelier de Campagne my latest world wide web diversion. They are expecting their latest shipment from Europe momentarily.

Antique & Vintage Epicurus



I enjoy entertaining and like to set an artsy table combining beautiful old finds from my flea market excursions so I am always on the lookout for french linens and ticking, vintage french flatware, unique colored glassware, weathered wood cutting boards, creamware, hotel silver, etched glassware, silver serving pieces and unique containers for flowers. The picture above is from Lonny Magazine promoting Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, My Father's Daughter.

Natural, Textural or Nature Inspired
Objects of Desire



This is a category that is somewhat undefinable that I can be assured some purchase from every excursion will qualify. I am drawn to natural textures and inspired by the natural world. I took these pictures of bee skeps at the High Point Furniture Market last Spring from a global antiques importer called Blue Ocean Traders. They were all sold when I arrived on opening day and were too busy helping customers to chat with me about their origin. I just adore them!



Is it Nature or Nurture?

So my friends, what are you in search of as of late?


Image Sources: {1,2} Jayson Home & Garden {3} West Elm {4} unknown {5} Brooke Giannetti/Velvet & Linen {6} John Saladino {7} Circa Interiors {8}unknown {9} Circa Interiors {10} unknown {11} my dining room mantle {12-13} Martha Stewart Living {14} Dana Wolter Interiors {15} Atelier de Campagne {16} Lonny Magazine {17, 18} my photos from Blue Ocean Traders



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