Friday, March 26, 2010

Chair Envy

I know it's a sin to covet. I was raised Catholic, I know my 10 Commandments. 

But, oh, how I covet my friend Becky's new (old) chair. It is so cool. I love its unique shape.
What makes it even harder? She found this chair today while we were shopping together. We had hit a local school's yard sale and had barely been there five minutes when she spotted this chair and decided she needed it. I agreed immediately. If she didn't get it, I would have. Other women there were eyeballing it, but Becky got it - fair and square - for $50! In the world of treasure-hunting, you've got to be fast and fierce. As the saying goes, you snooze, you lose.
Within seconds, I knew where I had seen this same style of chair before . . .
One of my favorite interior designers, Celerie Kemble, featured a pair of these chairs on the cover of her book To Your Taste. When I made this realization, I was even a little more jealous.

After the chair was safely in the car, we made our way to a fabric store to check out re-upholstery options. We found a great little suzani print with vibrant colors that I think will really make her chair pop. Here's the tiny swatch they gave her.
Once she gets it reupholstered, I'll be sure to share an after photo. I just know it will be fabulous.

So, what do you think? Are you as jealous of her find as I am? And I'm not usually the jealous type. I threatened to steal the chair, but I only live a few houses away so I feel sure she'd find it rather quickly.  I guess visiting it from time to time will have to suffice. Sigh. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ladies Only

I picked up a great piece of artwork over the weekend. It was on sale. Seriously, art on sale. What could be better?
It's a fairly small piece, just a canvas (I might frame it later), so I've been moving it around and propping it up in different spots. Still not sure where it will land, but probably in my bedroom. It's titled "A Day at the Spa." I could use one of those.

Art is such a visceral thing. Either you're drawn to a certain piece or you're not. Some people love landscapes, others favor abstracts (which I also love, by the way). For me, it's always been art with a particular subject that pulls me in time and again.

Here's some more art from around our house. See if you can detect a theme. Don't worry, it's not a test. And if it were, it would be super easy.

This was one of the first pieces of original art my husband and I purchased many years ago. I think it's titled "Old-Fashioned Girl."

A couple of years later, we picked up this feminine thinker at a local art show for a really good price.

And recently, this lovely lady came home with me from an antique mall for just $40. I love her expression -- very Peyton Place -- and her peacock blue dress. You may remember her from this post.

So, have you figured it out yet? I swear I'm not gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I keep picking artwork featuring women. At least they're not nudes. Although that would probably make my husband happy. 

Is there a particular type of art that you're drawn to?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Spy . . .

With my little eye, something in my house . . . 
That bears a striking resemblance to this . . . 
This is "The Best" list from the April issue of House Beautiful.

I was a bit taken aback that the humble little rug that sits in front of my sink is mentioned in one of my favorite magazines, House Beautiful.

According to HB, "the ancient tradition of Shyrdak rugs -- handcrafted from felt -- dates back centuries, to nomadic yurts in Kyrgyzstan." 

I'm assuming that what I have is also a Shyrdak rug. If not, maybe it's just a distant cousin. Here's the illustrious history of my particular rug, as I know it. My dad went on one of his mountain-climbing trips (he started this particular hobby when I was 12) to Mongolia years ago and purchased two of these small rugs as well as a large wall-hanging. He believes he may have paid $10 for each rug. That's quite a bargain considering the one listed in HB was $500 (of course, the flight over there and back probably cost a bit). The rugs gathered dust in my parents' spare room until I rescued the one above from obscurity several months ago and brought it into its current incarnation -- as a kitchen rug.

Now, I realize Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan are not the same country but they're pretty close (I looked it up), and apparently in Mongolia they live in gers instead of yurts, but close enough (they're both tents basically).

Whatever it's called, I love my soft felt rug with the fun pattern. I'm glad House Beautiful agrees. Thanks, Dad . . . you predicted a trend years in advance!

Sources: MIL, House Beautiful,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Style Crush

Have you heard of Kayce Hughes?
Well, if you haven't, you should get to know her.

Now is the perfect time since the home she shares with her husband and SEVEN children is featured in the April issue of Country Living.

Kayce is the designer behind the adorable children's clothing line Pears and Bears and the simple and chic Kayce Hughes line for women. Her designs are fresh, vintage-inspired pieces that I absolutely love. And she lives and works in my neck of the woods . . . Nashville. 

So, imagine my surprise while perusing the magazine aisle at the grocery store to run across her home in the pages of this month's Country Living (I've started looking at this publication more and more since the demise of some of my favorites). I've actually been to her house, not in it exactly, but in the garage/basement where she used to hold her warehouse sales for Pears and Bears. My daughter had several P&B dresses growing up especially during her preschool years. 

 Love the chair. And the guitar. Oh, and the old radio and sewing machine. You get the point.

Her house does not disappoint. It is everything you might expect from someone who used to work at Ralph Lauren (and whose aunt is Lily Pulitzer, by the way) . . . very well-edited with great vintage touches and lots of personality. 

I think my parents have the same side table. I need to swipe it and paint it high-gloss green immediately.

Isn't this girls' room adorable? I'm sure Goldilocks wouldn't be able to choose between these three beds.

While her house is amazing, just look at her beautiful family. A husband, seven kids and two dogs. How does she do it? And she didn't even cheat by having multiples (like the Sixx Design clan . . . just kidding. I'm waiting to do a post on them once their reality show hits Bravo in April).

Having met her a couple of times at her clothing shows, I can honestly say, she's just as nice as she looks. Just like the girl next door . . . who has a successful career, beautiful home and great big family. 

Yes, I've got a bit of a style crush on her. Who are you crushing on lately?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Treasure Hunt

I did a little bit of antiquing this weekend at some out-of-the-way (meaning it took me half an hour to get there) stores. Nothing earth-shattering was found, but did find some gems. Also, did some local online scouting. See what you think . . .

An alabaster lamp for $82, which I believe is a pretty good price. I've been really wanting an alabaster lamp lately . . . don't ask me why.

Saw lots of vintage milkglass footed bowls and containers. Thought these would be great to fill up with flowers for spring!

This may be my favorite find of the day. Loved the color, and it's only $50! 

This is a tiny little hand-sewn pillow. I'm not a huge bird person, but the colors in this fabric are great. Although, the pillow itself was pretty lumpy.

Thought the graphic punch of this red paint-speckled bucket would be really cool in the right setting.

Now, onto some of my local online finds.
Here's a Craigslist find. I know the shade looks awful, but the base looks nice. Another alabaster lamp, this one for $60! Hmm. Might have to follow through on this one. Maybe talk them down to $50?

I love books . . . particularly pretty old books to put on my bookshelves (although, I desperately need some built-in shelves so I can have a library). There's an online auction company here in Nashville that's selling off the entire contents of a local home. And there are tons (this is just one lot out of about a dozen) of books. The inspection day for this auction is next Saturday. I know where I'll be!

More from the same home. The colors of these "Mexican Painted Wood Panels" are amazing. Don't know what I'd do with them, but they're so different and whimsical.

And a camelback sofa and settee. I adore this shape. 
 I have a crazy idea of putting a settee in my breakfast area almost like a banquette. I would recover it in bold graphic print . . . a la Ruthie Sommers.

So, what do you think? Any treasures in the bunch?

Sources: MIL, Nashville Craigslist, McLemore Auction Company, The Scoop

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Give Me Liberty . . .

Liberty of London for Target, that is. 

As I swooped into my local Target today to grab a SpotBot (some Bissell steam cleaner) in an attempt to eradicate some pet stains (yet another chapter in my pet saga), I had the happy surprise of seeing more Liberty designs throughout the store. Last week, during a severely abbreviated Target run I saw some home items (lampshades, pillows, trays, boxes) while practically running through the store, but not the clothes.

Overall, I thought the kids clothes were cuter (mainly because most of the women's were polyester), but I did manage to snag a bathing suit and a shirt/dress/tunic cover-up thing in the same print for myself.  
I think this would look great with a tank underneath, possibly belted over white skinny jeans.

And a smocked swing top for my daughter. I was afraid if I didn't get them they would "get gone" as my mother-in-law is so fond of saying. So I took action.
 Cute, huh?

I've loved Liberty prints ever since I spent a few weeks in England for a summer course during college. I remember stumbling into a store that carried Liberty fabric and just being amazed by the colors and patterns. That may or may not have been the same day our group saw Princess Diana in Harrod's. I kid you not. How is that for a celebrity sighting? She was stunning and it was surreal, but I digress.

Occasionally, I'll run across a Liberty print stateside . . . J. Crew springs to mind and a children's trunk show a few years back (although the name of the brand escapes me now). 

Founded in 1875, Liberty built its reputation with its iconic signature bold florals and exuberant prints. Even if they've diluted them a bit for Target, they're still great. 

Some other Liberty items I spied on the Target website:
Who wouldn't love to tool around town on one of these?

Love the colors on these peacock mugs. I might have to see if these are at my local store, as they're already out of stock online.

They had great smelling candles too, but I couldn't find a photo online of the pretty packaging. I might need to go back and get a couple as they could help out with the aforementioned pet smells. Ah, sweet Liberty.

Sources: Liberty of London, MIL, Target

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Asian Invasion

In an earlier post, I hinted at an obsession I have for Chinoiserie (Orient-inspired furniture and accessories). I'm not sure if it's a full-blown obsession really, maybe just an extreme fondness. You be the judge.
I realize this is too much Chinoiserie in one place. I didn't mean for this to happen. 
It was an accident really. The vintage lamp is from eBay and was $60!! 
And the bottom lights up . . .
how cool is that?

 I love my eBay emperor.
My chandelier is from CircaWho. Great resource for Chinese Chippendale or 
West Palm Beach fabulosity.  Just email Tracy there for prices/shipping.
 Asian garden seat. I had been searching for one of these forever when I finally found it at a local antique mall where someone else had it on hold. But my luck and patience prevailed. I adore the color.
Scored these ginger jars from HomeGoods for $19.99 each. I say jars because you know I had to get two as I'm also obsessed with pairs.

And, of course, you remember my foo dogs (also from eBay).

Oh, who am I kidding? My house is starting to look like Chou Imports. The first step to getting help is admitting you have a problem.

I even drive my Acura while listening to this song incessantly . . . what is wrong with me?

If you want to hear more from the Bird and the Bee, you can check them out here.

Considering my abundance of Far East inspired treasures, you'd think my interest might be waning or that I would be sick of this style. You'd be wrong. 

Things I still long for . . . 
Chinese Chippendale style chairs. These have been on my list forever. Preferably in a bright colored lacquer finish. So pretty.

And something covered in Chiang Mai fabric from Schumacher. This fabric has been around a while, and some may think it's a trend who's time has come and gone, but I still love it.

What do you think? Do I need an Asian intervention?

Sources: MIL, Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Point Click Home, Windsor Smith Home, Plum Cushions, O at Home Magazine