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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Awesome Summer Finds: Part 2: New Decor

In my last post, I showed you some great antiques that I found while I was working with a client in Houston.

But, holy smoly, look what I found in new decor!


It’s a tabletop patisserie table of all things!!!  I must say it was a very nice replica.  It didn’t come home with me…bad decision.  I can’t find anything like it on the internet.


I also discovered Le Cadeaux melamine dishes.  Yes, melamine.


Some of you may be familiar with it, but I hadn’t heard of it before.  I love melamine for its practicality and who says it doesn’t have to look pretty?  The ones below reminded me of the bright colors of Provence.


And finally, I spotted a couple of designer pieces that I really liked.
These are from the Barclay Butera Lifestyle collection.  Orange leather tray and photo frames that look suspiciously like Hermes…but with much lower prices.


The clean lines on this dresser tray caught my eye and it’s one of my favorite design motifs.


And who could resist these totally awesome metal bamboo-style frames on these hurricanes?


I needed a truck to bring back all the neat stuff I found, but alas, I practiced restraint and didn’t purchase anything so I can have more to spend in France.

I personally like the exercise of window shopping to identify quality pieces and see where trends are going.  It helps sharpen my eye when I’m antiquing to land great vintage items that look spectacular in contemporary homes.  And, of course, most all décor pieces today are throw-backs from another era.  They’re just updated and re-freshed.

I’m headed to Atlanta tomorrow for the Haven Conference.  I’m so excited to see blogging friends and to make new blogging friends.

Be back next week,

Monday, July 29, 2013

Awesome Summer Finds: Part 1: Antiques

I was in Houston last weekend working on a client’s home and did a little shopping in the process.

I love visiting antique shops when I travel to see what types of things can be found in different parts of the country.



Right there in Houston in an off-the-beaten-path shop I came across this magnificent French vasselier!  It’s a wonderful example and was in excellent condition.  The hand-wrought piano hinges and steel ferrules were to-die-for!


There was inlay on the top crown that matched the diamond inlay on the bottom apron.


The dealer didn’t know anything about it, but said an interior designer had brought it back from Europe for a client who decided to sell it after many years of use.  I was tempted to have it shipped to Kentucky until I saw the price…originally $9,800 marked down to $5,000. 


Extremely nice piece, but definitely overpriced.  You should consider coming with me to France on a future brocanting tour to find much better deals than this!!!


Oh well, it was wonderful to find such an example on a weekend excursion.

And just look at the copper!


I became interested in an escargot pan!  So French.  It’s now on my shopping list! Hopefully I can find a vintage Dehillerin!


Totally not French, but loved this stack of vintage suitcases for their color! Très chic!


Stay tuned for Part 2 on Wednesday of some great NEW décor that I found.

Countdown to the Haven Conference at the end of this week.  I’ll be headed to Atlanta on Thursday! Woo Hoo!



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The New Direction For Grain Sacks?

I was immediately drawn to the freshly dyed grain sacks in Madame’s fabric shop.


I chose a couple lovely hued blue ones.


I was informed by Madame that this was the new direction as people were wanting more color and moving away from the plain sacks.


I failed to get a photo of the lovely green, purple, and pink sacks that were stacked ever so neatly. There were many different shades and hues.


I’ve not decided what I’m going to do with these yet.  I’m considering upholstering a small French chair or making pillows.

I looked on Pinterest but didn’t see many colored-grain sacks.

What do you think?  Do you like them?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Psssst….I Have An Announcement

We’re really thinking about it.  My husband and I.  We think we are about ready to take the plunge.
We will probably be MOVING in the next year or so.  

Where?  Lexington!

We are staying in Kentucky.  That's settled.  It’s our home and we love it here.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know that we travel to Lexington quite often.  It’s the closet metropolitan area to us a little over 2 hours away.  It’s the “stomping grounds” for most Eastern Kentuckians for shopping, nice restaurants, and entertainment.

We are ready to downsize.  The dilemna?  Downsize to what?

La Belle Époque has been our dream home but it’s time to move forward into the next chapter.


Here are the options we are considering:

1. BUILD a Jack Arnold French Country home OR

2. RENOVATE/RESTORE an historic home!

We have been looking at several grand homes in some of Lexington’s most charming and historic neighborhoods lately.  I love the building process (we've also been pouring over Jack Arnold house plans, too) but I’m not sure if I’m ready to tackle a complete gut job and renovate.

We’re really torn between the two choices.  That’s why we are beginning the house hunting process a head of time so we can make the right decision for us.

New vs Old
Charm/Character vs Pristine
French Country vs ???
I’ll be taking some photos to share with you the types of things we are looking at.  Come to think of it...Is this downsizing??? lol

Any thoughts?  I'd love to hear your opinions.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Frippery? What’s That???

Ever heard the word “frippery”?

It’s the French version of a secondhand clothing or consignment shop!
Frippery:  archaic : a place where old clothes are sold. 2. a : finery; also : an elegant or showy garment. b : something showy, frivolous, or nonessential in architecture, dress, or language  [French friperie, from Old French freperie, old clothes, from felpe, frepe, from Medieval Latin faluppa, worthless material.

Okay enough with the definition.  These shops are just plain fun.  Several near the Louvre are cool and the Marais has a good variety.  Many are geared toward the 70s.  Groovy man!


I was introduced to this word by my cousin Bobbi.  And if one is going to hit the flea markets for vintage décor, one might as well stroll through vintage clothing shops in search of Chanel or Hermes!

What I found was that EVERYONE in France knows Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes.  There’s  absolutely no “maybe I’ll find a Chanel bag or Hermes scarf and the dealer won’t know what they have and I’ll get it for a song!”  Wrong.  Oh you will find nice vintage Chanel, Louis V., and Hermes, but believe me they know what they have and the high prices reflect it…sometimes especially on vintage.  But kudos to the French for recognizing the quality and being proud of famous French-made goods.


However, I did find a few awesome vintage scarves that are all recognizable fashion icons and made in France.  Christian Dior, Givenchy, and my personal favorite find, Cartier…  Ooh La La!   These probably date to the 1970s-80s.


I think décor and fashion go hand-in-hand.  And if you’re going to shop for vintage décor in Paris one has to look très chic.



C’est la vie.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I’ll Take Romance: The Most Gorgeous French Textiles

It’s been over three weeks since I last posted and honestly there’s no good reason except that it’s summer….glorious summertime.

  I admire all of you who can keep up with the many things you do and still rock the blog world and be social media mavens.  Maybe I’ll learn more about time management at the Haven Conference next month!!!  (Of which, I’m so excited)

I think I daydream in French.  You know. Those romantic notions of style, class, and savoir faire.

One of my missions while in France was seeking out lovely textiles…specifically vintage toile.  What I found was a treasure trove of linens of all sorts in a hidden gem of a place.

Quintessential French toile ca. 1900

Once upon a time there was a French linen paradise run by Madame and her charming husband.  There were literally hundreds of fabrics of every imaginable type.  A decorator’s dream.  Three rooms full of goodies.  Located in L’Isle Sur la Sorgue, I was able to go not once, but twice. 


I had found authentic antique/vintage toile in Paris to be way too pricey so I was happy to dig through her stack of lovely toile. 


I came away with several pieces of blue and white dating to the early 1900s and a cool pair of 1950s lined curtain panels in the most gorgeous purple.  The hunt scene detail is amazing.



There always seems to be a wonderful armoire everywhere and Madame’s shop was no exception!


There were baskets filled with lavender sachets made from antique textile remnants.


The blue toile I brought back!



So crisp and vibrant. The old toile is soooo much better than new.



There were lots of grain sacks and linen.  What caught my eye was the grain sacks that had been dyed beautiful colors.  I think we are seeing the trend now of more color.  I picked up a couple of different blue ones that I think would make the most gorgeous upholstery for a small chair or pillows on a stark linen sofa.



The most romantic of all was the boudoir chemises that I found in her backroom of antique French clothing.  I can only imagine what lady wore these remarkable works of art while getting dressed in the morning or relaxing in the evening.


These would make the perfect bed jackets or dressing jackets and I bought the only 3 she had.  Dating to 1900 they each are crisp white cotton with lovely handmade detail.  Of course, you could always just hang them over a door for romantic décor in the bed or bath.



Ooh La La!




Trying these on I couldn’t help but feel like French royalty!!!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!  I was thrilled to have my son and future DIL home from Chicago.  My daughter is home from college for the summer and I’ve been working on sorority crafts with her.  The summer is going by way too fast.



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