Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Our Newest Shipment!

Well, hello there!

Remember me :) ? It's been toooooo long. Apologies for being out of touch. Lots going on, and life has been crazy busy.

Tom and I are still living at the apartment while work continues at our Tudor cottage. I'd share photos but it's kinda yucky during construction. 

What have we done? Let's see...we've gutted a bathroom, boarded up a window, removed a bulky radiator, installed a wall of bookcases, rebuilt the fireplace box, added ceiling beams, updated the HVAC system, etc, etc. Oh, the asphalt roof will be replaced with slate tiles very soon. I know, I know: we need an intervention. Help!

We've also been swamped unpacking our newest shipment. The collection is a bit eclectic with a mix of styles. From Art Deco to Georgian, the point of view is slightly different but still edited. I had fun putting everything together. Hope you like my latest finds. Shall we have a look?
There are many new mirrors, including ones with gilded, painted and stripped frames. Of course they all have their desirable old glass plates; some of the mercury mirrors are fabulously foxed.

Here is a pair of French round mirrors that have retained their early painted surfaces. I've hung them over a pair of Swedish Gustavian chests. Flanking a French marriage armoire (with beautiful carved doors), the mirrors and chests would look equally lovely on each side of a doorway or fireplace.
This 44" x 60" (large) Italian mirror has been stripped down to its gesso surface with much of the carved wood showing. It's a piece with understated presence.
Now for a little pizazz: a French gilt mirror featuring an undulating piecrust border. 
Three centuries of style in this corner. The mirror above the garden statues is 18th century French. Another 18th century find is an English Georgian arched transom having great scale. From the 19th century are two Swedish pieces: a tall Gustavian sideboard and an Empire console table. Then from the 20th century are a Belgian bobbin bench and French Art Deco Champagne bucket.
Measuring 56.5" wide x 29" high, this transom makes a statement. Can you imagine how grand the door must have been? I'd love to see it mounted over a linen headboard or fireplace mantel.

Below the transom is a pair French Directoire cast iron urns with exceptional patina.
Here's another architectural piece: a 1700s Italian carved panel featuring a fretwork window. Again, wouldn't you like to see the room it came from? I'm picturing decadent silk panels tied back with ornate tassels.
This French faux bamboo mirror with its heavily foxed mercury glass is more of an art piece than mirror. The frame is carved walnut.
Mix darkwood with painted finish? Yes, try it! Look how the beechwood armchair pops in front of the painted desk.   
In addition, there are lots of tables that just arrived. This Italian glass-top table (51" diameter x 30" high) has a gorgeous baluster base in reconstituted limestone. As a center table, it makes a dramatic focal point. As a small dining table, it stylishly seats up to six comfortably.
Above is a French chestnut farm table with a casual yet elegant spirit. By the way, most of the French farm tables are in cherry, so this is a bit unusual.

Speaking of unusual, this American industrial slate and steel piece makes a cool coffee table. Check out those chunky castors.
From the mid 1900s is a French cocktail table with a beveled glass top and shapely iron base. Tres chic!
At Tone on Tone, there is always a selection of silver gilt mirrors. When I saw this tall beauty, I scooped it up right away. Though from the late 1800s, there is a streamlined modernity about that silver frame.
I've got the blues! A selection of pieces in shades of cool.

The vivid colors, textures plus movement in this still life painting take my breath away. 
Two blue-gray French accent chairs; the right has a Belgian woven linen slipcover. 

Who needs a sink vanity base? How about converting this original painted French sideboard?  
As always, lots more in the shop. 

And, as always, thank YOU for reading. I can't wait to start sharing photos of the Tudor. Soon, my friends :)

Cheers,
Loi 
For more, please follow along on INSTAGRAM

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Powder Room Renovation

Are you a fan of wallpaper? I am! So are many of my clients. Wallpapers can add that additional pattern, texture and depth. I'm getting ready to paper a historic home's living room and study in two iconic 19th century William Morris designs. Hope to share soon.

If you're on the fence about wallpapering, why not try it in a guestroom, office or powder room? These rooms allow you to experiment in a less prominent setting and/or on a smaller scale. If the paper turns out to be a mistake, it can always be removed.

Recently, I helped my friend (and client) Ceane renovate her powder room, which now features a stunning wallpaper. First, take a look at the before photos:
Measuring 63" x 45", the room is small but not tiny. Let's start with the positives. There is a good-sized window that brings in natural light as well as fresh air. The existing shutters are handsome and easy to maneuver for privacy. Plus, the 9' ceiling adds volume to what could be a claustrophobic space.

Now for the issues. The oversized sink basin is a bit deep; the door barely clears. Stylistically, the fluted pedestal base is too formal for this vintage farmhouse. Next, notice how the chrome light fixture clashes with the gold mirror. The light fixture is also mounted too low. And that Colonial-ish pineapple wallpaper? Too dated for Ceane's young family! Oh, a piece of it is missing along with the rest of the toilet paper holder :( Time for a renovation!
Here is the newly renovated powder room featuring a Galbraith and Paul Lotus wallpaper. The pattern is a fresh interpretation of classic paisleys. By the way, a large pattern can make a small space feel more interesting, so don't be afraid to experiment with scale. An antique silver gilt mirror from my shop fits perfectly within the narrow wall space, and its cool tone looks striking against the colors. A small pedestal sink with canted corners is reminiscent of bathroom furnishings from the early 20th century. Its backsplash is a bonus; practical for Ceane's three young children. The toilet is from the same collection. For the new light, I selected a satin nickel fixture with cool glass shades that have a vintage vibe. Note the light is mounted much higher than the old one. With such a tall ceiling, why hug the mirror? Now there is room for both pieces to breathe.
Hope you enjoyed this project. Sources:

-GALBRAITH AND PAUL LOTUS SMOKE WALLPAPER
-TONE ON TONE ANTIQUE FRENCH MIRROR
-SCHOOLHOUSE ELECTRIC DAVIS DOUBLE SCONCE
-PORCHER SINK AND TOILET
-BENJAMIN MOORE SIMPLY WHITE ON TRIM
-BENJAMIN MOORE BLACK PM-9 HIGH GLOSS ON DOOR
-UNION HARDWARE (BETHESDA, MD) FAUCET SET AND TOILET PAPER HOLDER

See more of Ceane's beautiful home here and here. A BIG thanks to Ceane!!

Cheers,
Loi
PS - For more, please check out my INSTAGRAM

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Arrangements in White

Is there a prettier season than spring? Just walk outside and behold: all of nature is in BLOOM! So grab your clippers and bring a few branches, blooms and buds to enjoy inside. Even in the simplest vase, it's sure to cheer up any room.

Speaking of vases, I recently teamed up with a group of friends on INSTAGRAM to each create a spring arrangement in a white vessel. Other than using a white container of our choice, there were no rules. We wanted to show that in a ubiquitous white vase, the possibilities are endless. The creativity from the group was inspiring as well as overwhelming. See for yourself and, remember, bring the beauty of spring inside now!
For mine, I kept it simple with branches of cheerful forsythia, the harbinger of spring. Clipped from the garden at our new home, the branches are casually dropped in an antique white ironstone pitcher. Note the pitcher's height balances the tall branches. With lemons piled on a footed cake stand, the pops of yellow are pure sunshine, especially against the wall of white china at my shop.     
Kelley Nan, who created and coordinated the White Vase Challenge, masterfully mixed fruit, flowers and foliage in her captivating centerpiece. Such happy colors! A special thanks to Kelley for inviting me to participate.
Randi Garrett's arrangement of roses, clementines and eucalyptus foliage in a classic urn-shaped vase is lovely. And elegant. Note the asymmetrical layering of the eucalyptus for movement. Marvelous, Randi! 
Shauna from The House of Silver Lining also incorporated fruit. Plus, she tucked in veggies for an arrangement that's original and stunning. The trailing parsley is charming.
Now let's check out a few arrangements with tulips, starting with this artfully layered vignette from Erin at The Sunny Side Up. Erin's vermilion tulips in white look especially striking against the weathered wood. The entire ensemble is beautiful and organic.    
A mix of tulips, lilies and other spring favorites in a crisp white pitcher is timeless and fresh. It's from Jennifer at The Grace House. Gorgeous, Jennifer!
Gathered from the garden. That's Jennifer from Decor Gold Designs' fabulous signature style. In a footed compote, Jennifer loosely interspersed greenery amongst tulips in her carefree, garden bouquet. Divine!  
Keep it cool. The glamorous Deborah Blount designed a floral creation that shines in shades of purple, lavender and blue. Positively dreamy. And breathtaking!
Next is Tamara at Citrine Living's combination of hydrangeas, roses, pears and artichokes in a gleaming white bowl. I can envision Tamara's gorgeous piece anywhere - from the dining table to a foyer console. What a classic!
Let there be light. Annie at Zevy Joy selected soft whites and pastel pinks for an ethereal centerpiece that's bright and beautiful. With her garden as a backdrop, it simply says spring.
Now a grand masterpiece from Janice at Fig and Twigs. This is floral architecture at its finest. A true piece de resistance from Janice. 
Hello, sunshine! The talented Bree from Z Design at Home put together this vibrant yellow-and-green arrangement. I love the texture as well as movement. Such a happy statement.  
The last group of friends went white with a twist. Oscar from Oscar Bravo Home channeled zen with his bonsai and moss covered bowls. Totally unexpected. Totally cool. That's Oscar! 
Speaking of unexpected, I have to hand it :) to Sandi and Shalia at The Spoiled Home for originality. Brilliant! No wonder these ladies have nearly 100K followers on Instagram.
With an enchanting home on Cape Cod, Sandra Cavallo drew inspiration from the sea. Her giant clamshell, nestled in a sunny corner, is overflowing with pink perfection. Stunning!

Cheers,
Loi
PS - For more, check out my INSTAGRAM.