Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grandma and Miss Audrey go Shopping!

Mr. RTH and I flew out to the San Francisco Area to see our first granddaughter, Miss Audrey Brynn . A first trip for Audrey to downtown San Francisco proved to be a great day trip, since it has been raining for a week. Today is warm and sunny ( especially compared to Chicago!). So we have always wanted to go to the Ferry Marketplace to see the artisan food vendors and savor the California food scene. The chocolates, the cheeses, and the fresh selection of flowers, produce, and meats were awesome. We purchased food for dinner tonight- a beautiful pomelo, burnt caramel sauce, fresh beets and smoked salmon. Deelish! We will go home and figure out what to do with these luscious ingredients.

Miss Audrey was a perfect baby- but was totally exhausted from the shopping experience. Guess I will have to train her for future excursions!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bedroom for a Princess

One of my dearest friends, Linda, is one of the most elegant, tasty, chic and resourceful people that I have ever met. She is always finding these incredible finds - food, antiques, clothing - and always shares her sources with me. So it was a fun project to create a whimsical, out of the norm bedroom for her daughter. We used crystals, twigs, and a bird's nest to create the window treatment, and an old wedding gown to make a chair for her dressing table! Linda had found the antique bed and tables on the Internet. I love this room - with it's bed just layered with vintage lace bedspreads. The beautiful beaded chandelier is from Romancing the Home. A young woman really does feel like a princess in this room!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fog Ice Color Palette Happens!

The color of the landscape, when the early morning fog ices the branches of the trees, is beautiful! It gave inspiration for the combination of taupes, icy greys, and cremes for our new store displays. New wire garden vessels, finials, and columns are combined in interesting shapes and forms. Of course, we did add some color to the large tablescape with some very realistic silk flowering branches. A large industrial dining table anchors the base of the display, with a new large black iron chandelier adding sparkle. We found the garden backdrop at the Scotts Antique Show in Atlanta last month. These urns look great with fresh flowers, but also are very pretty with our moss balls and branches.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fog Ice Gives Decorating Inspiration

Yesterday, Sunday morning, Laurell, Katha, Candy and I met early to drive down to the Mart to pick up merchandise for the store. During dawn, a fog had formed over the snow covered ground and created a sheer coating of ice on the trees. It was breathtaking! We decided that we needed to take a picture for inspiration for a new decorating color palette. I realized that the merchandise we were going to pick up was in the color tones of the frosty forest. Maybe, we need branches for our displays in the store??? It's funny where we get our inspiration from on a cold winter morning! The new inventory is being delivered to the store this afternoon, so we are all excited. Soon I can have our interpretation of this beautiful color scheme set up in the store.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Floors Cause a new Scene

Since moving into our new location, we have wanted to re-do our floor color. So after our January Sale, Laurell and I decided to paint them a swirly brown and bronze. Of course, that makes us move and re-do every display in the store and that's a good thing! Last night, we finished the floors on the frenchy side of the store.
The first change was our store windows. A beautiful settee with Italian accessories is one side, and the other has a great white french chair covered in burlap. Next we painted the back room and created a new shop for Bella Notte. The new pewter color of bedding looks great on the antique cane bed. We love the the little paintings of cherubs on the bed. A beautiful vintage tapestry hangs over the bed.
A gift selection for Valentine's Day is together on our feature table. Cherub menu cards and porcelain vessels are so sweet and look antique, although they are reproductions.
A large collection of old floral oil paintings is re-hung on a wall by the new slipcover line that we carry. The white chair is slipcovered in a white linen and is detailed with small ruffles. The document printed fabric on the host or hostess chair is very fun and popular with our customers.
For spring, we will expand our jewelry collections into our front window. The crusty garden coat hooks contrast the shiny stones in the necklaces.
This weekend we hope to finish the floors in the rest of the store as next week we will
start to receive our new merchandise from the Atlanta Gift Show. Tomorrow we drive to Chicago to pick up a load of awesome garden merchandise. We can't wait -- displaying it is so much fun!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hard to Find "Finds"

About 25 years ago, I found a beautiful silk velvet textile, beautifully embroidered with chenille threads. Shortly thereafter, I found two more for my collection. I haven't seen any since then, until a couple of weeks ago when I found 2 more from one antique dealer. These textiles are from the early part of this century and it amazes me how vibrant the color has stayed. I love the deep color of the velvets and embroidery. Our seamstress at the store makes them into beautiful pillows. I wish women still knew how to make these beautiful textiles, but I am afraid that it is a lost art. So preserving them for the future is very important to me. Pillows are beautiful, but the textiles also look great framed and hung as art.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas in January

Just got back from Atlanta for the Gift Show. It was very exhilarating and exciting to finally see some new product introductions. But more about that in later blogs.

During every January gift show, my girlfriend, Lynda, and I celebrate a late Christmas. We designate one night as gift exchange night and enjoy opening gifts without the pressure of Christmas Day. That also gives me time to be creative and have fun with wrapping her gifts. This year animal print was the theme and the gifts were wrapped with a croco embossed gold and silver paper. The ribbon was from Sam's Club - can you believe it? Small rhinestone frogs and leopard pins embellished the ribbons. Lynda can use those later under cloches and in other small tabletop arrangements.

My friend's favorite colors are red and black, so the choice of packaging was perfect for her. But is sure makes it challenging to plan for the next season of gift giving. But I'll look for inspiration during the year---- that's the fun of it!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January Begins a new Year and new Look

It's Saturday in the store and our winter sale has started.
Laurell, Candy and I have been condensing Christmas, setting up sale, and beginning to re-do our windows and tablescapes. And of course, sweeping up the snow and glitter from our Christmas displays is always a chore.
First we set the front entry table with a vintage white china and a romantic rose bouquet for Valentine's Day. Hand dyed birds and ostrich feathers add romance to the display.
Candy merchandised the front window in a new leopard settee, an antique mantel and gilded accessories.
The side window showcases a new slipcover line with a sweet, white linen chair.
A grouping of vintage samovars and old wine jugs look great in our kitchen area. It's always fun to think of new ways to refresh our merchandise displays.