Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Get ready for an exciting ride with Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie, as he seeks out the best each country has to offer. Hit the St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town - on the Sundance Channel original series MAN SHOPS GLOBE!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
We had some excitement at the house this past week which I thought I’d share with you. First, there was a photo shoot for a local publication about….holiday decorating! Of all things! Because as readers know I’m not a big holiday decorator OR a big hostess, but I do have my annual Hanukkah party for my family – so that counts. For the photo shoot, though, I set the table religious neutral. I’d love to share the pictures with you, but these will have do until next month. As with all photo shoots, there was much hustle and bustle around the house. First my sweet dog Georgie decided to get deathly sick that afternoon with infected paws! Poor thing. I had to rush her out to the vet at 5:30 that evening when I realized she couldn’t even walk. She’s all healed up now, but still – not exactly what you want to happen during a photo shoot!
And even MORE excitement was when the candlestick melted all over my skirted table with its J. Robert Scott SILK table cloth. OK. Breath slowly. My cardinal rule for any clients with skirted tables is when actually using the table for a party, ALWAYS first put down a layer of waterproof cloth over the skirted tablecloth, then top it with a decorative linen tablecloth. That way, when grandpa spills his red wine – you will only stain the topper and NOT the expensive silk tablecloth underneath the waterproof lining. Of course for the photo shoot, I didn’t want to put a topper on for the pictures – I mean, no one was going to eat or drink, so why bother? Famous last words. I didn’t even think about melted candle wax getting all over the J. Robert Scott SILK (I’ll say it again) skirted tablecloth. Don’t bother sending me instructions on how to get it out. I’ve done it all, about ten times: ironed out the wax through paper bags, then cleaned it with dry cleaner solution. It actually works pretty good. At this point I don’t think I will need to replace the J. Robert Scott SILK (one more time!) tablecloth, at least. There is just a little bitty tell tale sign of the wax left at this point and I may be able to get that out too. We’ll see. I mean, how many times can you go through the process before the dry cleaning solution eats a hole through the silk? I’ll let you know. So, before you hope you get your own photo shoot – take it from me, it’s not always smooth sailing. Especially when the photographer wants to take your picture in front of all the bright lights and the only thing going through your mind is: How bad do my wrinkles look? Is my hair straight or frizzy at this point? Do I need more under eye cover up? But, all in all, despite a deathly sick dog, melted candle wax, and major wrinkles, it was great fun!!!!! Truthfully, it was, and the crew were two of the nicest people out there, thanks guys! Can’t wait to see it!
Which leads me to remind you – if you haven’t listened to this week’s Skirted Roundtable, it’s on that timely subject, Holiday Decorating. We playfully called it: Two Grinches and a Jew discuss holiday decorating. If ever there were three girls who shouldn’t have discussed holiday decorating it would have to be Linda, Megan and me. But somehow, we pulled it off, I think. Be sure to listen HERE.
And there was even more excitement at Maison Cote de Texas. Mr. Slipper Socks Man is getting a little wary of all the flower arrangements that mysteriously appear at the house while he is hard at work earning a living. He is starting not to believe me anymore when I tell him they are from a “reader” – and is wondering if I might be having an love affair! Well, I am – with the readers of Cote de Texas, who happen to be the nicest, most thoughtful and generous people in the world! One reader whom I gave some decorating advice to (not worth the price of the flowers either, I’m sure) sent me this most beautiful arrangement of roses and strawberries!!!! Isn't’ it beautiful! A very public Thank You to Linda! And, Maryanne from Beadboard Upcountry in Brenham sent me this wonderful package with some French hand lotion attached to the ribbon. Maryanne is getting reading for the onslaught of shoppers from the Round Top Antiques Fair this week. It’s already in high gear – check out her blog HERE where she is giving Round Top updates on very important matters like Port O Potties! OK.
So what was in the package? Maryanne sent me the loveliest of books - all about Flamant – the famous French store (HERE.) Thank you to Maryanne and her famous husband, Robespierre! See you in two! And if you are going to Round Top – stop by Beadboard Upcountry in Brenham across from the Courthouse to meet Maryanne and see all the things she just bought in Paris.
And speaking of Round Top – one of the largest, if not the largest, antique fairs in the United States is happening this week. If you are into Swedish and Belgian, Mark Sage, aka Bobo’s Intriguing Objects, will be at the Big Red Barn Wednesday through Sunday! This is some of the actual merchandise he will have with him – all wholesale priced! For a more in depth look at Bobo’s Round Top merchandise, go to Velvet and Linen HERE to read all about it! I can’t wait to see his booth – he has rented out 20 spaces for it all.
The neatest thing about Round Top is all the friends you see out there. Brooke from Velvet and Linen is coming along with Angela from Washington! I can’t wait to meet them both. My Tanglewood House client Angela (another one) will be out there too, along with my sister-in-law who’s KW Ranch I’ve featured before. I’ll actually be staying with her – that lucky thing. I hear famous American turned French blogger Corey Amato is out there SOMEWHERE in Marburger setting up a booth right now! The two original Cote de Texas STALKERS will be there of course. And probably Rachel Ashwell and Mary Steenburgen will be there too (not with us though – but you never know!) (I know they won’t be, but a girl can dream!) Who else? Probably half of Houston, Dallas, and Austin and all of Washington County. Is Hill Country House coming???? ANN?? Sally Wheat’s already been out there for days traipsing through the fields looking for new things for her booth and house. Who else? YOU??
And if you happen to see me Wednesday afternoon somewhere in Warrenton sitting around having a Diet Coke or coffee, if I’m lucky, be sure to say hi and sit down to join me!
And don’t forget to listen to this week’s Skirted Roundtable HERE as Two Grinches and a Jew discuss Holiday Decorating!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Many times in the emails I receive, there will be pictures of readers houses – usually fresh from moving in, or a recent remodeling. Rather than keep the pictures all to myself, I have decided to share them with you in an ongoing series called Readers Houses. Some of the houses are small and full of wonderful DIY projects and others are larger and look more professionally decorated – both are wonderful in their own way. Today – the reader’s house comes from Deerfield, Illinois – just north of Chicago. The owners are a builder and his wife who is an interior designer. The couple sometimes collaborate on projects and their own house is the result of one such partnership. Their house was a true labor of love that they both enjoyed creating from the very first blueprint. The result of all their hard work is truly amazing. The photography itself is gorgeous which makes the house sing! I think you will thoroughly enjoy this newest Readers Houses installment! To see the pictures in their entirety – be sure to open your browser on maximum view – they are B-I-G!
The entry hall: from this paneled space – with its beautiful herringbone wood floors – you can see straight into the living area and on the right, into the dining room. The house is transitional – slightly contemporary and slightly traditional with a muted, quiet color scheme throughout (except for the children's rooms!) In the mirror on the right – you can see the banister of the staircase with its glass topped newel post leading upstairs. Unfortunately, there is no other picture of the stairs. Let’s take a right first – into the dining room.
The dining room has beautiful wallpaper – all in soft taupe's and whites. A large mirrored cabinet between the two windows reflects the crystal chandelier. Remember – mirrors should always reflect something beautiful! Notice the ceiling, a soft metallic taupe, the same color as the wallpaper. The owner used a combination of chairs - tufted velvet mixed with host Chippendale styled painted wood chairs. The curtains are a loose weaved fabric that continue the shimmering quality of the room. What a beautiful dining room – so soothing!
Straight off the foyer is the living room. The mood from the dining room continues here with the soft taupes and accents of black. Here there is more velvet tufting, with the only pattern found in the silky pillows. The large seagrass area rug helps to tone the room down from being too dressy – but the overall atmosphere is one of tastefulness and sophistication. To the right of this room, through the black double doors is the computer room (see pictures below.) The wall next to the doors is mirrored which makes the entire living area appear larger.
The view of the living room that faces the left side of the house – here you can see the built in painted black cabinets and the pretty chaise lounge. The kitchen is through the opening here.
The kitchen is a large area with an adjoining breakfast area, dominated by a gorgeous built-in cabinet, painted black. Again, the same soothing feel is found here, but the taupe color is now replaced with white. Isn’t that built-in gorgeous? I love the mirrored doors with the faux arches. The contemporary styled chairs are on one side of the long wood table and a banquette is on the other. And I love the series of light fixtures over the island – so effective!!!!
In the kitchen, the right side has no overhead cabinets – instead there is one long series of windows overlooking the back yard. The sink is incredible – so large it has two faucets! Amazing! And I love the open shelving filled with white dishes. The dark wood flooring helps to warm up the space which could have been too cold looking without it.
The range is another incredible part of the kitchen. Whoa. Pure lust – it’s like a piece of jewelry in the kitchen!! The countertops are white marble. This kitchen is truly beautiful!!!
To the right of the living room, there’s a wonderful computer room for the couple and their two daughters. Beautiful chairs! Notice how the children's art work has been framed and is placed around the countertop. Must make the girls so proud! All the boxes stored with crafts and paperwork are neatly labeled. Someone who lives here is seriously organized!!! And extremely neat - the house is spotless. This room is painted in the same soft taupe of the living room.
The computer room has a beautiful bay window, overlooking the back yard, which is fitted out with a cushion and pillows. Very pretty fabric shades at the windows. Such a nice tranquil space for homework and computer surfing. Wall to wall carpet helps cut down the noise level.
In the library, the color scheme changes and gets deeper with a dark blue velvet sofa and dark wood paneling. But the show stopper here is the fireplace! What a screen! It looks like a piece of art itself!!!
In the library two chairs face the velvet sofa. You may think the blanket is H for Hermes, but it is really H for Hunter, the adorable dog! Of course there would be an adorable dog in this house, everything else is!
Upstairs, the oldest daughter’s room has a large scaled blue and green wall paper. I love the chaise in here – perfect for when friends spend the night. All the upstairs bedrooms have vaulted ceilings.
Daughter #1’s adjoining bathroom has seafoam colored tiles and a charming little make up chair.
Daughter #2’s room is more traditional – pink and green with a beautiful French caned headboard and side tables. She gets a window seat in her room for friends.
The master bedroom also has a large scaled wallpaper, but it is, of course, much more sophisticated than the daughters paper. A sitting area fills up the space in the large taupe and seafoam colored suite. Notice the scale of the upholstered headboard – brought up higher than usual so that it can be seen over the euro sized shams. A beautiful crystal chandelier lights the room, along with sconces instead of lamps.
The master bathroom is filled with white marble - and, as in the kitchen, there is beautiful cabinetry and very gorgeous hardware.
And finally – a view of the dormer window on the second floor. What an interesting vignette and what a beautiful house! It’s so interesting to see what readers houses look like - they are all so different, yet share one quality – the owners all have a deep love of interior design.
Thank you so much to the homeowner who shared her beautiful house with us today! If you live in the Deerfield area and are interested in hiring her for interior design work, email me and I’ll pass on your information to her. And remember – if you have a house you want to share with us online, send me the pictures!