Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ebanista- the Most Beautiful Furniture is "Scandalously Perfect"

It is no wonder that Kerry Washington's Scandal apartment is decked out in Ebanista!  It is truly some of the most beautifully crafted furniture in the world.  In December, the set designers contacted Ebanista and placed an order for some of their exquisite pieces for Olivia Pope's apartment.  And if it is good enough for Olivia Pope, it is good enough for me!
As you walk through their showroom, a sense of calmness and grandeur overcomes your senses.  Every single detail is carefully selected including the accessories, mirrors and beautifully handmade pillows. 


I love this ottoman.

They also carry a beautiful collection of fabrics for their upholstery.


The hand carved details on their furniture are graceful.

One of our favorite chairs in the collection- the Jesi chair- breathtaking!
But let's talk about their beds- where  you spend one third of your life !
Shouldn't it be beautiful?

Olivia Pope's bed- isn't it gorgeous? 
 My friend Jill is still thinking about this beauty for her new home. I am betting it will end up in her master bedroom below soaring 20 foot ceilings and rustic beams.

The wood is an unusual dark smoky brown with silver highlights.  Notice the nail head and fabric detail on the side rails.   Exquisite workmanship.

And then there is this beauty- the Beau Ruban bed.  A hand carved frame and velvet details make you want to stay in bed. No two pieces are exactly alike and that is what makes them special.
This bed will be perfect in my new master bedroom with the exposed antique wood ceiling.
I like the contrast of the fancy bed and rough ceiling.

Details of the footboard.   

The Louis XVI Bed- with it's canopy almost 10 feet high!
This bed is perfect for one of the guest rooms on the lower level of our new house.
The Louis XVI bed in the showroom. 
Notice the beautiful altar candlesticks and chandelier by the bed.
I simply can't afford an entire home of Ebanista. 
But I like mixing in a couple of their pieces.  So I am choosing their beds and mixing them
with rustic antiques and even a few modern touches.  I am envisioning the Louis XVI bed with
black serpentine chests as night stands.   An zebra print cow hide  upholstered settee will add a little drama to the room.  White lacquered wood floors will add that modern touch.  White bedding with a fur throw will add that luxury feel, along with high quality sheets and blankets.  I can't wait to see this room come together!  I want my guests to totally relax in their suite- open the floor to ceiling windows and listen to the sound of the rushing river below.  Hear the soft  classical music from the speakers overhead and a nice glass of wine- maybe I will be lucky and they will never leave!

Black serpentine style bedside chest with brass accents.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Beautiful Western North Carolina

An update on our move and new home-

My husband and I spent last week in Asheville, NC.  We moved into our temporary living quarters for the next year and got the essentials set up- internet, beds, cooking supplies, etc.  It is very strange moving into an apartment after owning a home for 40 years, but it sort of felt like college life again!   Exploring a new area and  meeting new people was exhilarating and made us feel younger again.

While it is certainly not the view we will enjoy when we are in our new home, it is very pretty from our private balcony.  Mountains in the horizon and the French Broad River at our feet, it will be a relaxing spot to sit and read for the next year. 
View from the deck of our apartment

After the initial move-in during last weekend, we had time to drive out the check on the progress of our new home.

The construction team has been able to erect the forms to pour the concrete.  However, it has been so
cold in the area that they cannot not complete the pour.

You can see the river below.  We can now see that the lower level floor and decks will be very close to the sound of the water.  The top of this foundation wall is the floor level on the main floor.
Due to the steepness of the lot, the concrete foundation is extremely tall.  So it requires several concrete pours to finish the wall.

The lower level concrete walls did get poured before the cold spell, 
so they are able to start framing the lower level. 


Our cute builder, Marc Tyner, talking with my husband about the roof lines.

The final concrete pour was scheduled for last Friday!   But Mother Nature had other plans.  This is the scene at the gate house entrance to our property.   No concrete trucks on these crooked roads today, plus it is 18 degrees- way too cold to pour concrete.  

We will try again next weekend, when temperatures are expected to be in the 60's!

As Jay and I left the property and drove back to Asheville, we followed the road along the French Broad River.   Natural springs drip from these rocky hills in the summer, but in the cold winter they freeze.  A magical crystal fairyland is created for your enjoyment as you follow this highway back to town.  It is breathtaking.

Crystals on one side of the road and the river on the other- sheer natural beauty.

On my last visit to Asheville, I found a beautiful spot on the river, and I wanted to take my husband
out to see it.  I though it might be great for trout fishing.

This section was flowing fast and had lots of rocks to stand on.

The skies were "Carolina Blue" and the river was clear.  Just natural beauty at it's finest.

And as I was waiting on the wooden bridge for my husband to check out the fishing scene,
 I spotted a box tucked under the railing.

As I studied it, I realized that it was a box of someone's remains!  I am guessing that he wanted
to have his ashes thrown over this bridge into the beautiful river. Maybe he had wonderful memories about this particular spot.   I am not sure why they left the box there on the bridge.
Maybe it was his wish.  Again- deep thoughts are going through  my mind-
I blurred out the name for privacy sake-

Moments like this make you think about living in the moment and enjoying today. 
Standing there, thinking about this gentleman and wondering about who he was and why he loved this spot so much-  I look up and see kayakers  coming down the rocky river.
I could not believe it!   That water was fast and cold and there were a lot of rocks. 

Could they really make it through this rough patch of water under the bridge and through the rocks?

 Yes they did!
These guys were living in the moment!

As I get to know the area more, the more I love it!   There is always something unexpected to see!
While it might not always be lovely, it is usually  interesting and provokes thought.
For example-
Our builder sent us down to Travelers Rest, SC to see a new construction home with a new roofing material.  He wanted to see if we liked it for our home. 
And as is  very common in the Carolinas, roads to some of the most beautiful homes take you down paths that are very unusual.   This particular home was at the end of a dirt road  about 1/2 mile from the nearest paved road. As we drove through pot holes and ruts- which takes  time to navigate- we found ourselves deep in the woods.  And just when we were ready to turn around and get back to civilization, a housing structure was seen through the trees. Could it finally be the house?

No- we had come across an abandoned home deep in the woods.


An abandoned home with a chair still sitting out in front?
It was eerily beautiful.   Why did they leave?  Why did they leave that chair in the front?
Who lived there?  That's what I mean about "unexpected to see" and provoking thought!
 This is Carolina art at it's best!

As we got to the end of the dirt road, we found the house that we were looking for!
A huge home with a party deck to handle 300 people!
No neighbors for miles- except if the folks return to the that abandoned cabin!!!
They are right next door!
Now back in Chicago and wishing I was still there!  It is truly beautiful country.