Friday, January 28, 2011
Authentically French.............. This photo was taken back in the Fall
before the snow fell. The owner of this home is a friend. I asked her if I could do a story on her wonderful home and she said she would love it. Would I mind waiting until she got home from Naples?????? We are about six weeks away and counting and I can't wait. You are going to love it!
Posted by Mary Anne at Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The keyword for this wonderful shop in Chicago is NOSTALGIA. When I first had the pleasure to visit, I was stunned by the creativity of its owner and how she came to be.
The minute I walked through the door I knew I was on to something very special. There wasn't a corner in this shop that did not beckon. It was filled with all of the imaginable nostalgic elements that could ever be gathered. Someone had really hit a specialized niche that I had never seen....................ever! Plaids were everywhere and vintage fabrics that had once been curtains were now pillows. Vintage glasses on silver trays, baskets filled with unpolished silver and a rifle box loaded with aluminum serving pieces from the 50's.
One of a pair of reupholstered vintage chairs coordinated with black linen.
A successful hunting trip
Does anyone need a thermos?
Vintage leather cowboy boots
Skates, blankets and a thermos or two more
One of Julie's front windows
Before plastic water bottles were delivered
*Just a little note to consider....after attending a forcasting event
for color and patterns for 2012, it was noted that toward the
end of this year, plaids will be making a come back in
the world of design as will small prints.
If you enjoyed Brimfield, you can visit in person if you happen
to share the Chicago turf at
5219 N. Clark Street
visit her website at http://www.brimfieldus.com/ and tell her
that Always Robins Egg Blue sent you!
Posted by Mary Anne at Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
The hand carved flowers and leaves that were hidden beneath layers of paint.
While our addition was being built, I was in Belgium (didn't know you yet, Greet), buying for the store and looking for special objects that would make our 'new' home even more special. While shopping in Bruges, in a warehouse filled with gates, armoires, chests, chairs, doors, wooden boxes and chippy painted stuff that words cannot explain, I came across two sets of these doors that had come from a French chateau. They spoke to me!!
They showed years of usage (note the three different keyholes ), but what I couldn't see was the great patina (and carved flowers with leaves) that was hidden beneath the layers of paint. I had the doors sandblasted before I had them shipped to the USA. Shocked when they arrived, were the carved flowers on the upper door that was undetectable when purchased, because of all the thick paint build up over 100 years.
Posted by Mary Anne at Thursday, January 20, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
LIFE ON A SHELF......
Shelf life is defined as the length of time that perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption. I would like to define SHELF LIFE as a refreshing of the "same old" look day after day, week after week and sometimes year after year! Especially at this time of the new year, we are reorganizing or just plan getting organized! I have been having so much fun after returning home from holiday travel, refreshing and redoing. Many thanks for your patience.
Many of you have seen this kitchen 'shot' before....now for the details.....
I do love the influence of a French kitchen with open shelving.This area over my cooking area is the closest thing I could come to that
concept. The rack against the wall was purchased at Marche Opus. Its
original use was a coat rack in a restaurant in some obscure village in the
south of France according to the dealer.
This corner cabinet is in our guest powder room. I gathered all of the silver from
that small Christmas tree that was on the counter in my kitchen, cleaned all of the baby
cups, rattles, etc. until all shined and into this little cabinet they went. I love the look
of all the silver together. The miniature black and white plates on the lower shelf are
transferware pieces that are over 100 years old. They are of French origin. The hand carved
balsam angel will stay out all year. I love her and hated to put her away.
This is the desk in my office. I am going to be painting this room
but, I have decided to redo bookshelves and desk top in my mission
to refresh SHELF LIFE.................
I decided that I didn't want the flowers on my desk and needed something other than flowers so I chose the footed urn with the fern and love its presence on my desk which is so clean!! Just give me a day with a design
project and I promise it will change......................and FAST!
The plate on the shelf.........one of my favorite sayings,
"Remember... Ginger Rogers did everything
Fred Astaire did...but she did it backwards
and in high heels." As for the little female figure,
purchased by my dad and my little girl......they went
shopping and bought this for me when our son was born.
A little reminder when things get so complicated or deadlines are due.
When our little grand daughter comes to stay, she has her own room.
The Paddington Bear bookend belongs to her mother (my daughter)......just
can't give it up!
While Victorian furniture is not my style, I love the richness that this shelf provides
in the master bathroom.
This wine hod from Burgundy hangs on the wall over the hot tub in the Master Bath.
It is made of zinc and its purpose originally was to carry the picked grapes on the harvesters
back. Can't imagine as it is very heavy. I found this in the Cotswold's, but it originated in France.
Stopped by my daughter's and she had just finished organizing her shelves according to color. I
loved it! She has an Etsy site called Livingston and Porter. You must visit it. She does all of the
canvas' by hand. She has been collecting quotes for a long time. She will even do a custom quote which
can be personalized.
Her gathering spot for purchased items she will sell on her Etsy website. These are items
purchased at estate sales which she is also a part of.
Some of her favorite things............................
More of Holly's favorite things.....................
This shelf or surface as it would be, is a French woman's bedside table. This was hidden in a corner
of my kitchen and I decided that it could hide no more. It is made of Zinc and I found it on a hook in the rafters of a Renaissance building covered with moss so thick I thought the roof might cave in! A
couple of books is all I felt was needed. Not to be over-accessorized.
On the hearth is set my little iron cricket symbolizing GOOD LUCK.
What is on our shelves reflects who we are and what we have lived. In this day of
less is more..............hmmmmmm. To put all of our things away, is to put life ON HOLD.
Knowing how to display our treasures, those things important to us, helps us to relive why we
are in possession of those things dear to us in the first place. After all, memories are
all about our past, sometimes making us smile or laugh and even sometimes making us
cry.....but, memories are who we are and a life shared within the walls of our homes
on our shelves or surfaces is so fulfilling.
It is good to be back, the promise of another year to inspire and be inspired. I hope the surfaces
that have been refreshed have been an inspiration to you and will inspire you to change your
Posted by Mary Anne at Thursday, January 13, 2011