Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas at a Historical Brownstone in Chicago

enter  through the old  gate to a magical place the city

capture the natural essence of the vibrant foyer decorated with moss balls, garland and amaryllis
Venetian inspired tree in the living room

this year we placed the tree on top of the grand piano!

special handmade parchment vessel covered with vintage music sheets, old trim,
and rhinestone embelllishments, are tucked in the tree

Asian horses saddled with the Christmas elf

the Triple Crown- definitely a winner

love the Christmas tree reflection in the mirror

Buffet is reflective of an old still life painting
adore this kitchen - iced chandeliers with  white amaryllis floral

is this not intoxicating???  Sitting at the dinner table and looking at this magical setting!
Mariterese and I were going for the "Dr.Zhivago" ice castle look!

 Spending the last 2 days in the city with one of my favorite people in the world has been exhausting, exhilarating, and extraordinary. Up and down ladders, up and down stairs, and up and down  energy, Christmas happened at Mariterese's home.  Christmas extraordinaire was installed in a fabulous brownstone in the Lincoln Park area of historical homes in Chicago.  It is always fun to work with a person with eclectic  style and a wonderful personality- and as a bonus- a fabulous cook!  While I was busy creating Christmas cheer, Mariterese  was busy creating wonderful meals for us to share. Don't get me wrong, she helped me decorate - she's actually quite good at bows!  It was  a girlfriend  retreat - creative, productive and a lot of comraderie! Love the results!  The RTH girls are invited for dinner to view the decor in a few weeks- invites are at the store.  And by the way, you girls are in luck- Mariterese is cooking!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Elves at Work

Yesterday, Laurell and I spent the day at a gorgeous home, two elves creating a little Christmas magic.  The owners were away on a short trip and wanted to be surprised by having a bit of Christmas cheer when they returned.  So I wanted to share the festive mantel display that we created.    Long branches of bronze coral shaped flowers,  iced large fans of platinum colored lace,  and long stems of gorgeous pearl branches were used to create the base of the display.  We tucked in miniature  imported Venetian masks on the sides and placed a large one in the center for the focal point.  Black and silver music ribbon is garlanded throughout the display.  A large silver tray was placed on the massive coffee table and filled with a spray of more pearl branches, coral fans and the music ribbon.  Ivory candles and a gold cherub were tucked in the edges of the tray.  As we left the home for the evening, we left on soft overhead lights that made the mantel sparkle.  We hope that they loved coming home to an enchanted Christmas setting!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Done Right!

my favorite find of the day- gilded eggs hand crafted  with old trims and rhinestones


vintage trims and rhinestones on velvet eggs
love this small compote
favorite finds of the day

unbelievable detail on this urn

vintage silver tea pots to be filled with fresh roses for our Christmas house walk on Dec. 5th

exquisite finial detail

love the wonderful walnut finial

2 adorable small silver domes with  ivory finials

For several years, Jill and I have traveled west to a fabulous "day after Thanksgiving" event.  No black Friday promotions for us-  too many years of retailing and having to be at the store by 5 am the day after Thanksgiving   makes us stay completely clear of that nonsense.  Instead we choose to go a more gentile way-  meet at 8:30 in the morning  at Starbucks and head west out into the country  to  visit a  magical red  barn and  purchase  as many fabulous finds as we can in about 45 minutes of "fast browsing" - our own version of heaven on the day after Thanksgiving. Today was no exception.  An incredible artisan from Michigan was selling her version of Faberge eggs made of antique jewelry and trims.  They are such wonderful little treasures and she has agreed to let me sell them at the Woodlands Holiday walk on December 5th. I am so thrilled.  I couldn't wait to get them home and display them on my dining room buffet - I even made Jill take them out of the bag while I was driving home and let me take another gander at them.     We both found some great silver pieces, some of which will be for sale at the holiday walk next week.  I scored a fabulous vintage  urn with great details on the sides,  already filled with Christmas greens. It's a keeper for now!  Jill bought some wonderful tartan goodies today - a vintage throw and some stockings made of vintage tartan blankets.  She also took home a vintage silver bowl filled with paper whites - so lovely and a fabulous  large silver meat dome.  Giddy with chatter about the magic  of the day, we both agreed - this was a magical retailing event!  Beautiful food, beautiful setting and unique items that we could not buy anywhere else - a perfect retail formula!  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Table with a Blackberry Farm Touch

Casual Thanksgiving table set in the kitchen this year using a plaid throw for the cloth.

I found the faux bois plastic shelf paper at the dollar store and it works perfect as a runner.

Getting to use my Blackberry Farm plates - a special gift from some of my friends!

Love this faux bois wine bottle on the silver tray in center of table

Heavy linen napkins in horn napkin rings

The Harry Goblet -  great for the wine

vintage bone flatware

awesome hotel silver coffee pot with crown motif - found this weekend.
I have a weak spot for anything with a crown on it.

Mr Coykendall, the master Gardener at Blackberry Farm, drew the design for this dinner plate-
Love the orange color for fall.

An oval shaped bowl for the sauce at each place setting.

Medley of fall on a square silver tray with ivory handles for the centerpiece.

Old pantry door adds a sense of history to the area of the kitchen.

over sized natural linen napkins

Set of restaurant chairs from Europe sit at the sides of the banquette eating area in the kitchen.
They are one of my favorite chairs- I love the double nail head detail, the suede backs and carved tops.

This will be a quiet Thanksgiving this year.  Only my two sons will be here, so we have decided to fore go the traditionalturkey dinner this year and do a little experimenting1. My sons love to play chef and this year we are going to try to accomplish frying the "perfect oyster".  Accompaniments such as macaroni and cheese with Chesapeake Bay lump crab will be prepared, along with some other undecided vegetable dishes.  So for this casual meal, I set the table in the kitchen for dinner.  It is a cozy banquette with a little window and filled with  lots of pillows, so one can linger over a long meal with candlelight and chatter endlessly.  These two sons never stop talking from the moment they arrive and the conversation is always lively.  There will be many arguments over how to "fry that perfect oyster", but I am sure perfection will prevail.  {Maybe I'll stick a turkey breast in the oven just for insurance purposes.} Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone and enjoy your day!
We will be joining for Tabletop Tuesday, a great place to get Thanksgiving table inspiration.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Beautiful Gift- it's all about the Presentation!

Imagine being surprised by this incredible basket on your kitchen counter when you arrive home from work on a Saturday evening.  A farm basket filled with all sorts of delectable delights, a gift certificate to one our our  favorite restaurants, a beautifully wrapped gift, a southern cake from Nonnie Waller, and this gorgeous floral arrangement in a carved white pumpkin. all sent to Mr. RTH and I. First of all, these flowers ( from my fav- Twigs of course!) are so pretty and full of interesting flowers. I love the kale rose, the center part of an actual kale plant.  The Nonnie Waller cake is in a beautiful green velvet box,  which will look lovely when filled with another gift for under the Christmas tree. Can't wait to taste the cake tonight!  This was a lovely thoughtful gift and really touched  both of our hearts.  Thank you so much - you newly weds- enjoy your first married Thanksgiving together!