As Good As Gold

As Good As Gold

While all that glitters is definitely “gold” this season, I would argue that using gold or gold finishes in design has always been in vogue, and one of my favorite ways to give your home a timeless and beautiful look. Using gold, or one of its warm-toned counterparts like brass or bronze, in interior design dates back as far as ancient Egypt, and appears in every period and style through the ages since. Gold, brass, and giltwood can appear aged and traditional on a gilded frame or mirror, or sleek and contemporary in the form of a mid-century brass lamp. One of my personal favorite ways to incorporate gold into a scheme is in the form of a Sunburst Mirror. Dating back to the late 15th century, these mirrors symbolize Apollo, the sun god. These happy accessories made a bold comeback in the mid-20th century and have found a place in our homes today. I believe using gold in a room is like adding a piece of jewelry to your outfit – it can elevate a space by bringing both pedigree and that highly sought after patina.

Here are a few suggestions for giving you the Midas Touch!

  • Master Bathroom: Replace your existing brass plumbing fixtures and hardware with something a little more contemporary. For instance, try a modern Brushed Gold, vibrant French Gold, or timeless Champagne Bronze finish. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how these minor updates transform your space. 
  • Living Spaces: Reframe an existing piece of art with a fabulous gold leaf frame, and try an upholstered bench with brass legs in the same room. Or add a brass and glass coffee table for a bit of Hollywood glamour! A subtle pop of metal can be daring, creating a versatile feeling and big impact.
  • Holiday Decorations: Not sure about adding brass or gold permanently? I have always found the holidays to be a great excuse for a trial run! Deck the halls with bright gold ribbon, metallic ornaments, and vintage brass or giltwood candlesticks. You’ll get a better taste for what tones fit best in your home and could stick around after the tree and trimmings come down.
If you are considering ways to freshen up your home in the new year, perhaps adding in this timeless finish will be just the ticket. Gold might just give you the elegant and sophisticated look you’ve been wanting!
Gather Around

Gather Around

With the holidays just around the corner, I know many of you are already thinking about hosting family and friends in your home – and specifically around your dining table. I have found that the key to gracious entertaining isn’t necessarily in having extravagant centerpieces or perfectly placed name-cards, but in engaging your guests with a meaningful and elevated sensory experience.

When creating an interesting tablescape I often follow many of the same design principles that I employ when designing a room. For example, I first decide what the focal point will be. It’s important to think about which element you want to take center stage – the flowers, linens, dishware, etc  then let the other elements compliment this and play second fiddle. My family has come to expect a seasonal focal point from me, typically in the form of beautiful flowers. However, you might prefer to highlight a patterned tablecloth or colored glassware; just make sure your selection reflects you! I have outlined several tips for creating a special tablescape below, and hope they will inspire you this holiday season!

  • Function First: When it comes to entertaining – put function first. This may seem surprising because I am all about a gorgeous aesthetic, but it is never a great idea to hide your guests’ faces behind an obtrusive floral arrangement. I was taught that your flowers should not be taller than the distance from your elbow to your fist OR they should be in a tall, slender vase that can easily be seen around.  It is important to vary the height of these decorative objects so that your tablescape does not feel flat or one-dimensional.

  • Get Creative: Don’t be afraid to add a bold hue, pattern, or texture to your tablescape. Pops of color on linens or dishes can add interest, festivity, and personality to your décor. Express yourself by investing in items that have meaning to you, as you will likely use them year after year. I personally adore Busatti linens, candlesticks of differing heights, clear glass hurricanes and vintage pieces. If you’ve inherited grandma’s china or a treasured family heirloom, the holidays can be the perfect time to dust them off. These items give you that timeless and collected look that can otherwise take years to achieve.

  • Appeal to all the senses: It is easy to get lost in preparing tasty holiday treats and special family recipes which appeal to our sense of taste, but it is also important to think about the other senses as well. Luxuriously soft linens, scented candles, or a special music playlist can help guests feel right at home. Don’t forget to include a natural element such as fresh flowers or greenery, fruit with cloves, leaves, gourds, garland, or clipped branches from the yard. Bringing the outdoors in can appeal to your guests’ senses as well as add authentic and natural beauty to your table.

Implement a few of these tips and you’re sure to make a great impression on your company. Going beyond the basics with personalized and special entertaining is what the holidays are all about. A carefully curated table conveys warmth, gratitude, and welcome. Your guests will feel the joy you create!

The “Write” Solution

The “Write” Solution

While hunting for antiques, I have always tried to keep my eyes peeled for interesting writing desks and tables because they sell! These pieces are in high demand because of their versatility and ability to solve a variety of design needs.  

When I suggest a writing desk to my design clients, I find that many of them haven’t ever considered using one outside of a home office space. I explain that writing desks can be used in many ways, serving the home far beyond office work. While the term “desk” might imply work to some, it can mean play to others. After all, why balance a laptop on your legs when you could have a designated surface for writing, surfing, or creating?

See my suggestions below for how you might incorporate these often neglected pieces in your own home! 

  • Living Area: Consider using a writing desk as a sofa back table. It can serve as a holding area for beautiful accessories and do double duty as a small office. I love it when you can get great function in a small space!     
  • Bedroom: Another place I like to use writing desks is in the bedroom. I tend to gravitate toward smaller desks that do not appear heavy or overly business-like. It can be interesting to pair a decorative desk with a skirted table or small chest on the other side of the bed. A pretty writing desk with an upholstered occasional chair can elevate most any bedroom!
  • Guest Bedroom: In today’s technology-filled world, I find that house guests value space to unwind and recharge – their devices. It is thoughtful to provide them with a surface to store their laptop and potentially work remotely. Your guests can also use this surface to hold personal items or as an alternative vanity option if the guest bath isn’t large or accessible.

I believe that purchasing an interesting writing desk is a sound investment for people at most any age. However, young people who are just beginning to invest in furnishings should consider this piece as it could serve in one capacity in their current home and then function differently in the next. With so many beautiful writing desk options available, this might just be the functional solution you’ve been looking for!

Shine Bright This Summer

Shine Bright This Summer

Gone is the day when ornate chandeliers graced only formal dining rooms and entrance halls. As their decorative style has evolved, so has their placement in the home. Any room is a candidate for a chandelier, however, living rooms, master bedrooms, and bathrooms have become popular locations.  Whether traditional or contemporary, adding or replacing an outdated chandelier can add instant architectural interest and take an otherwise plain room from boring to beautiful!

Why should you consider adding chandeliers to your décor?

1.Aesthetically– A well – chosen and properly proportioned chandelier can serve as a piece of art, creating a focal point and setting the stage for the rooms’ design.  Additionally, a chandelier can draw the eye upward creating the illusion of a larger space.

2.Functionally– Every room needs more than once source of light. Most designers recommend “layered lighting” which includes a mix of task lighting, accent lighting, and ambient lighting. A chandelier is a form of ambient lighting, which is indirect, evenly spaced light that can illuminate the entire room.

3.Mood Altering– When connected to a dimmer switch, a chandelier can create mood, atmosphere and even enhance the shape of other objects in the room. I believe that nothing creates elegance and romance in a master bedroom like a beautiful chandelier.

And, when it comes time to move, should you not want to part with that carefully chosen chandelier, realtors recommend that you pack it away and replace with another before potential buyers have time to fall in love with your treasure!

Come visit us at our Design Atelier and Antique Showroom (311 White Bridge Pike) to see our collection of unique and one of a kind chandeliers. We would love to help you light up your life, and your home, with chandeliers that say WOW!

Celebrate Porch Living

Celebrate Porch Living

One of the things I most look forward to about summer is spending time outdoors and specifically on my porch. I believe the best porches and verandas have all the style and functionality of an indoor space, with the added bonus of the incredible sights and sounds of nature. There is nothing I enjoy more than sipping my morning coffee while curled up on the porch and being serenaded by my backyard friends.

I believe outdoor living spaces should reflect the home’s interior but with a bit more whimsy and a much different expectation. While I encourage and collaborate with clients to create their personal outdoor oasis, I also remind them that mother nature always has the upper hand. Even with the latest technology in outdoor fabrics and weather resistant furnishings, it is nearly impossible to achieve porch perfection. With southern summer storms, tree debris and an abundance of outdoor critters, one must learn to live with an attitude of “perfectly imperfect”. Here are my suggestions for making the most of your outdoor living space this summer:

1. Mosquito Control – If you don’t have a screened porch, splurge for some type of professional mosquito control from a reputable company. The most beautiful porch in the world won’t be enjoyed if you are constantly battling these pesky insects.
2. Fans – Keep the air moving with ceiling fans or portable standing fans. It may not be an ocean breeze but will certainly keep you more comfortable during these hot and humid summer temperatures.
3. Lighting – Lamps, chandeliers, string lights, and candles can provide illumination as well as ambience and architectural interest.
4. Comfort – Incorporate upholstered furnishings, such as club chairs and ottomans, covered in outdoor fabrics; Add colorful accent pillows, throws and outdoor rugs. These elements used in a similar palette as your home’s interior, can create not only a beautiful outdoor living space, but also visually extend the interior.
5. Whimsy – Dare to add a touch of whimsy like a porch swing or an accent table that is a completely different style than you typically gravitate towards. Have fun and use more vibrant patterns – this is your opportunity to be more bold than you would with your interior.
6. Plants – Potted plants and flowers not only make for a chic, lush outdoor oasis, but ease the transition to the rest of your backyard.
7. Antiques – Antique garden elements, planters and wicker furnishings used in moderation help create that timeless and collected look that instantly elevates any space.

Now that you’ve got some of my favorite elements in place, all you need is a good book and a refreshing summer cocktail. This is the perfect recipe for a getaway that’s just a few steps outside your own back door!

My Dad’s Margarita Recipe

Hornitos Tequila Reposado – 8 ounces
Cointreau – 3 ounces
Bar Syrup – just a dribble
Margarita Mix – 8 ounces
One lime squeezed
Ice

Blend and Enjoy!