Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Purpose for old Olive Oil Jars

We just received a shipment of old olive oil jars. I love the patina and texture of these vessels. I wonder where they have been - surely in a romantic villa in Tuscany! They look great alone or filled with branches. My kitchen island needed a change, so I filled them with branches from my yard, vine, and grape bunches and placed them on the end. The colors blend well with the french limestone counter top. The crystal chandelier is a great contrast to the muddy colors and texture of the jars.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peaceful and Blue

A room of soft blues is very calming to the soul. The owner of this home wanted a calm retreat for entertaining guests or simply to take a nap! She already owned the sofa and chairs and wanted to update the room. So we used a heather blue velvet on the sofa and updated the style with a long bolster pillow inlaid with a wide creme trim. A fabulous Romo silk print updated the classic chairs that were originally in her bedroom. Finishing touches of mirrored chests, painted sconces, and silver nail heads added a little grey to the mix. The boucle' drapery fabric has the texture of a couture sweater and hangs softly from the simple rosettes at the top of this beautifully detailed window. Anchoring the entire space is a faux bois printed rug in a pale taupe.
This room is peaceful and a beautiful place to entertain guests or just read a book!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Walk Palette

Taking a walk in the snow gives you a sense of tranquility and peace. Lake Michigan takes on this icy blue gray color that is so wonderful. I'm working on a client's home, and this picture inspired the color palette. Sumptuous faux furs, velvet embroidered on creme linen, velvet croco, men's wear flannels, and grey faux leathers all work together to create a calm environment.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Je T'aime Mademoiselle

Recently, one of my customer's husband called to ask if there was anything in the store that his wife had been wanting to buy. He needed a special gift to give her, so we put together a tower of gifts, and made a special embellishment for the top. A hand dyed bird was adorned with a crown and sat on a bed of vintage flowers, angel hair, and crystal stems. We lavishly tied ribbon around the boxes and added a little ribbon to the bird's mouth that said " Je t'aine mademoiselle! I couldn't resist sitting it in our freshly fallen snow this morning for a little photo session before it arrived at the store!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dumping the Flower Centerpiece!

What can go in the middle of a dining room table instead of the obvious bowl of flowers? I am always experimenting with other centerpiece ideas. Using an assymetrical design, a wire urn filled with preserved ferns is paired with interesting glass vessels. The multi-tiered decanter could be filled with different liquors or wines, and is very pretty with it's etched surface. Two matching antique compotes and a new large apothacary urn complete the collection for the tablescape. A pair of painted candlesticks add another dimension to the display. Antique tapestry runners anchor the items together. I am constantly searching magazines for new ideas, but inspiration is hard to find. If anyone has a great centerpiece idea, please email us!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Valentine's Day is such a great holiday - no pressure for big extravaganza's, it's just a great day for little surprises for loved ones! The sweetness of a Valentine allows for the most creative and decadent of gifts. So I decided to make my friend a Valentine's gift - A box of Chocolates. As Forest Gump said- Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get! Several little gifts were placed in a single box, with dividers like a box of chocolates. Antique monogrammed napkins from France, Antiga Farmista hand soap and room spray, rock sugar flavored with pralines, handmade gift tags, and other goodies fill the box. The cover of the box was made with scanned images from an antique book and rhinestone decals. Add a little bowl of pink roses to this gift, and it's a beautiful Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blue Skies on a Gray Day

I finally went over to one of my favorite customer's home to take pictures of a new room that we have been working on during the past several months. I was afraid that the pictures would not come out well since it was a very snowy, gray day in Chicago. But the beautiful blues in the room prevailed! This is one of my favorite rooms that we have ever done. Kathy wanted a multi purpose room, TV, games, crafts, dinners, etc. So to create that multi-functional space, our upholsterer built benches on wheels, that can be rolled to wherever needed. The long table is great for dinners, puzzles, cards, just anything! It is a reproduction of a Swedish bakery table that is made from reclaimed wood. French toile drapery, framed antique herbs, crusty wall sconces, and a sisal rug combine to give a calming palette. Laurell glazed the sky blue walls to give an antique appearance to the space. The large console under the television is a reproduction from Italy, and the scale and color of it are perfect for this room. We added a bouquet of mixed hydrangeas, sea sponges, and candlesticks for the finishing touches.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New gift tags for the Store

One of my friends is having a Bridal shower on Wednesday. That motivates me to make new gift tags for the store, so that I can use one on her gift. Finding an old engraving in an antique book, I scan it, color it, glitter it, and add a tiny crystal to finish the tag. Creating a romantic tag for a package inspires me to wrap a pretty gift for my friend. Using a silk leaf for a base, hot glue
flowers,moss, crystals, ribbons, and a wedding dove together. A little glitter and some pretty ribbon finish the package. This is a great way to use little snippets and treasures that you have collected.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tudor Style

One of our favorite clients has a beautiful Tudor home built in the 1920's. We are now working on a project to freshen up the entry foyer by brightening up the colors and bringing some of the owner's personality to the space. The home owner is a passionate reader and collector of books, so we decided to create a library table effect with the use of the four stools. Books discussing Tudor architecture and the home's history are placed in stacks for people to enjoy. The original wood paneled walls add a sense of history and permanence to the room, and the old black terrazzo stone floors are timeless and elegant. Who wouldn't want to sit here and enjoy a glass of wine with a great book?!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Northern California Charm

While in the San Francisco area, we stayed at a boutique hotel called the Hotel Los Gatos. The grounds are beautiful with these pretty pink camellias as you enter the guest room area. Flanking the restaurant doors are large urns with manzanetta and mosses . This establishment is a very cozy place to stay, especially during the winter months. I love the colors of the furnishings- turquoise, honey, browns, and terracotta. Lots of beautiful iron sconces and lamps light the romantic spaces. There are many individual seating areas tucked throughout the hotel, just begging for someone to sit down and read a juicy novel. The spa treatments were delightful and the restaurant was great. We had a table by a window and enjoyed a very soft rainfall as we ate dinner. In addition to this wonderful Hotel, the town of Los Gatos is gorgeous, full of great shopping and dining experiences. The homes are wonderful examples of California Victorian Cottages built in the early 1900's.