I just returned home from a wonderful couple days in Lexington attending the annual Bluegrass Trust Antique & Garden Show. It’s one of the premier antique & décor events in Kentucky and it never disappoints me.
This year it was held at the Kentucky Horse Park at the new Alltech Arena which was home to the World Equestrian Games last year. It has previously been conducted at the Keeneland Racetrack before the spring meet starts.
It is a very high-end show and exhibitors include some of the finest antique dealers in the U.S. plus a variety of outstanding nurseries and garden designers. There are always great event speakers, silent auctions, and lots and lots of the best antiques for home décor. Plus, some of the best of the best designers, dealers, and so forth from right here in the Bluegrass are featured.
I wish I could show you some photos, but I never take any at this particular show. To say it is upscale, is an understatement. This show has what I call a certain classy “Southern Refinement” and it is not the place where you go around all giddy at the amount of amazing items and snap photos incessantly while you drool over everything. It’s just not that venue. It has such a distinguished air about it. Don’t get me wrong…..it’s definitely not snoody…..there are soooo many wonderful people here…..it’s just the way it is. There are professional photographers there and you just don’t see people taking pictures.
I attended the Gala and Preview Party on Thursday night with a couple of my friends and it was a wonderful evening. My pick of the night was a lovely potted orchid and dried lavender bunches that came from a fine nursery in Frankfort.
On Friday, I attended the luncheon with featured speaker, Suzanne Kasler, renowned Atlanta-based designer extraordinaire. She’s actually from Indiana and went to school in Cincinnati before finally moving to Atlanta.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with Suzanne’s work, but if you’re not, you’re missing out on am amazing interior designer. Her work has been published in every major national home décor magazine, and she has lines with Hickory Chair, Ballard Designs, Lee Jofa, and Safavieh.
Her book, Inspired Interiors, published by Rizzoli a couple years ago, is a well written visual feast. She got it right on both ends….the text and the photos
She was charming in person and conducted a book signing before and after she spoke. This lady knows a lot about great design and her presentation was very interesting.
I find her style to be fresh and exciting without a lot of fuss.
Her overall design philosophy is a pretty straightforward approach that says if you get the architecture right, the decorating becomes less of a challenge. She says a home should look collected not “decorated”. Her rooms are carefully edited. What I really like about her style is the attention to detail. She infuses dressmaker’s details on textiles such as banded flanges on upholstered goods and grosgrain trims under tacks. Monogrammed pulls are also something she’s very fond of.
Her palette is mostly layered whites with different tones, and strategically placed pops of color which is what makes her rooms so memorable.
Below is her own foyer in her Atlanta home. I love the little gold leaf gueridon table. I have limestone floors with black marble pickets in my foyer as well.
This is a beach house and I love her use of blue in this space without it being overdone.
The random placement of this collection of antique and new starburst mirrors is unexpected and visually appealing.
She makes her own upholstery at times by combining different fabrics as seen here. She places importance on collections by grouping them together.
This is one of my favorite rooms (her master bedroom) with the embroidered Chanel-like details on the bench and pillows which gives the Chinnoisserie bed a contemporary vibe. You can’t see from this photo, but there is ribbon detail on the simple drapes.
She incorporates a lot of antiques into her rooms, and these vintage batik prints she found at a flea market and had them framed to use in this space.
This is a photo of some of her pieces for Hickory Chair. I got to see the French-style slipper chairs in person and they are to-die-for. She’s traveled extensively and uses her own antiques for inspiration when designing furniture and accessories. She also loves to shop in France….my kind of gal!
She was very gracious and I managed to get one photo of her, even though it isn’t great quality as I was using my I-phone.
One of the homes from her book is featured in the new April issue of Veranda on page 136 titled “A Golden Mean”. If you get a chance, pick up a copy to read.
I did manage to hit the exhibition one last time and I came away with a cool vintage mid-century bronze statue of the Eiffel Tower on a marble base.
It has great detail.
I’m sure my selection was influenced by Suzanne just showing us her Eiffel Tower collection that she has in her own home. Yes, I left all the awesome French and English art and antiques at the show…..for now.
All in all, it was a great show and I can’t wait to see who they get for the featured speaker next year. Who could it be? It was at this same show that I met Charles Faudree in the spring of 2010 as he was the speaker. If anyone wants to come to the show with me next year, just let me know and I’ll meet you in Lexington.
Happily linking up to these parties: