Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Remembering the Past 16 Years

Tomorrow is the final day of business for Romancing the Home as a traditional retail store. We have rented showroom  space, where we will conduct 4 to 6 sales per year.  The concept is exciting and gives us the flexibility to do more traveling to gather more unique merchandise for our customers.  Our first sale is going to be "Parisian Hide-Aways", a gathering of new and antique merchandise that one might find in a Paris apartment, inside a walled Paris  courtyard or in an neighborhood bistro. We are so excited and already beginning to gather, create and display the first show.  But much more on our new direction in later blogs..............  Today I am reflecting on the past 16 years of business and remembering the fabulous customers that have supported us.  They have allowed us to come into their homes and create something for them.  The following pictures are a snapshot of some of those moments that  we were lucky enough to share with our customers along the way. 
Remodeling Projects

Bathroom in a Chicago Brownstone

Feature  piece in a new kitchen we designed.

Powder room in the city
Interior Design
Entrance to a ladies studio in an attic

Dining room with a mixture of traditional and modern

Sitting room. We fabricated the sofas by coping an antique and made the window treatments to mimic the iron garden shelves. Wallpaper on the ceiling and a low hung iron chandelier make the room cozier.

A lady's study ready for Christmas

Our Book Launch - Romancing the Home Entertains

Launch Party in Tennessee

 Picture from the book- fruit sushi on shell plate. Staged a local fundraiser by RTH

                                                            Book launch party in Atlanta
 Antipasti tray in book
 Centerpiece with rhinestone pins as centers of flowers
Boxed lunches for another fundraiser using old silver plate vegetable dishes popular in the 60's and 70's.

Installation of  Christmas Décor in Many Homes every year!




 Birthday Luncheons and Weddings and many Dinner Parties

Birthday Luncheon for Girlfriends

Place Assignment Card table for a wedding in a library using old books to organize.

Summer Dinner Party Bash


House Walks and  Home Tours for Charity Fundraisers

Sunroom breakfast setting for Woodland's Christmas Walk 


Store Displays

It has been a busy sixteen years with lots of different experiences.  I have had the pleasure of working in some of the most beautiful homes in our community and wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  But I am looking forward to more freedom in my daily life, yet  still staying connected with my favorite customers. Many of my most loyal customers have become close friends and I am so lucky to have them in my life.   Tuesday morning I start the re-design of another city apartment  for a customer whose home we designed in Lake Forest last year.  And we will be participating in the Spirit of 67 Home Tour in May and looking forward to it. In a couple of weeks, I travel to Atlanta to purchase Christmas décor for our November sale in our showroom  and to fill in  existing Christmas customer's  decorations. Late May is a trip to France. So the year is beginning to fill up quickly and promises to be fulfilling and fun.  The past sixteen years have given us a foundation to build our future business. So from the bottom of my heart- to my dear customers and friends- I thank you.

 To my dear staff, none of this would have been as much fun without each of  you at my side.  Your support has been unbelievable. Who would have guessed that 7 women could become such close friends.. much less last together in a small business for 16 years! Through the good and bad, you stood by me. You girls are one of my life's greatest blessings.  But our real fun is just starting!! And to Lynda Sue, Jill , Marlene and Mariterese- thank you  for your  endless support. The buying trips, the "hotel accommodations in Atlanta", helping me with the publication of the book, the advise and wisdom over many glasses of wine  and generally just sharing life with me.  I love you all!
From the Romancing the Home team- we plan to exceed our customer's wildest shopping dreams with our first sale in May. So  stay tuned! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tulip Magnolia Branches

This is our last couple of days in the store and it is looking very sad!  So it was quite delightful to get these beautiful flowers delivered on Thursday!  Jeannie from Twigs comes walking in the store with this huge vase of Tulip Magnolia branches and "Coffee" roses.  My heart did a back flip!  The color of these roses was the most perfect color of pink that I have ever seen.   Of course, I couldn't wait to get them home to enjoy them.  Covering them with a huge plastic bag, I took them home and put them in some fresh water.  I hope they last forever.  The branch is a gnarly organic texture with these pink tulip shaped flowers.  And the roses- well I am in heaven.  If I could only have one color- this would be it.

I just could not resist placing this little pin in the beautiful rose for a picture.  How romantic this little  guy looks!   Thanks Twigs for adding so much pleasure to my weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Friends create a Modern Marvel in the City

Sunday, we spent the evening with our friends at their new place in the city.  John and Denise met later in life, fell in love and got married a couple of years ago.  Meshing their two styles together was a challenge- Denise a girl who loves girly things- pink and lots of fun dishes- and  John- a Texas boy who loves his longhorns and his bourbon. So they finally decided to buy a new place together and create their own style together.  They found a four level residence with a fabulous view of the Chicago skyline and went to work.  While trial and tribulations were abundant during the renovations, they now have a stunning home.

View from the upper deck of the home


Walking in the courtyard through the gated entry.
Entering the main level, you are mesmerized by a glass wall- reverse painted with tree trunks.
A contemporary round dining table and black lacquered chairs  sit in front of one side of the wall.

As you can see- Denise has kept a bit of pink in the home! Love this table setting.
                                        The dining space opens into the living space

A black lacquered wood cabinet houses a bar next to the dining area.
The mirrored back makes the space seem larger, as it reflects the painted glass wall.

 The ethanol burning fireplace requires no ventilation or flu and adds a sense of warmth to the night.
View from the living room into the kitchen

fabulous chandelier over the dining space.

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 Entering the large kitchen, you are immediately drawn to the fabulous range area. Again, glass door sliding glass panels were reverse painted with drawing that are significant to the couple. When open, they reveal a flat screen TV and storage shelves  for spices.  Love this feature!
A large glass and chrome cabinets displays Denise's dish collection.

                                   A black lacquer cabinet houses the pantry and refrigerator.

A La Cornue  Range is flanked by two sets of stainless steel drawers for pot and pans.

Lighting over a white quartz island

A custom fabricated stainless steel  handrail leads up to the master suite and his and her studys.
Just had to share Denise's study with you. A custom island houses supplies, while her apple computer sits on top.
Very clever use of space.  And yes girls-
She did paint it PINK!  How much fun is this??
This was a fun evening - full of inspiration- happy laughs and it does prove that "fairytales do come true".
Great job Denise and John! Your home is stunning!