What material possessions do you think of when you imagine great wealth? Luxury cars? Second (or third) homes? Designer clothing and jewelry? Fabulous art? I bet the one thing that doesn’t come to mind is a dining room sideboard.
Back in the 1850’s the dining room sideboard was the ultimate trophy to show off one’s wealth. The more intricate and lavish the carvings the more impressed your dinner guests would be. It was the 1850’s way of showing the world, “look how wealthy I am”!
1850’s Pennsylvania sideboard Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Intricately carved fruit, birds and animal heads added to the wow factor and expense of the piece. The sterling silver urns and tea sets completed the look. Today, we have moved on and replaced side boards and silver tea sets with other possessions as a way of showing off our wealth. It is fun though to look back on history and see how trends have changed. I wonder what prized possession of today will be passe in the next hundred years?
A few weekends ago while at our camper in NH, my husband talked me into driving way north (just miles from the Canadian boarder) to a teeny tiny town called Dixville Notch. In spite of it’s size, you may have heard of it. The town’s claim to fame is that they are the first precinct in the United States to vote in the presidential primary. There is a total of nine voters who all turn out at midnight (along with dozens of news and TV reporters) to cast their vote for the next presidential candidate. It’s front page news for about 24 hours until the rest of New Hampshire votes.
There actually is nothing in Dixville, as we found out it’s not really a town but simply a voting district. However, we did pass a sign for The Balsams. I had heard of this legendary grand hotel but never seen it. Built in the late 1800’s it was a first class resort for wealthy city folk seeking refuge from the sweltering Summer heat of Boston, New York and Philadelphia. In the Winter there was skiing, snowshoeing and hiking with miles of both cross country and alpine trails. I was excited to go and check it out but for some reason, unknown at the time, the road leading up to the resort was blocked with barricades and a “closed” sign.
Well a few barricades was not going to stop me so we parked along the side of the road and walked about a mile up the driveway to The Balsams. Much to our surprise, I discovered why the road was closed.
The Balsams: Linda Holt Photo
The Balsams has evidently been closed for years. I did a little research when we got home and it seems a developer has purchased the property with the intent to renovate it but there have been some delays with funding and permits. Even though I didn’t get to see the once glorious hotel, I thought there was still beauty in it’s decaying state. I took dozens of photos but this is a good overall image so you can image what it once looked like in it’s grand state nestled in the beautiful mountains.
As for Dixville Notch? Here are the Feb. 9th 2016 primary results
Bernie Sanders 4 votes
John Kasich 3 votes
Donald Trump 2 votes
Have a great weekend everyone and remember, always try and find beauty…even in the ugly.
This past week has been rough. The young singer gunned down in cold blood, the horrific mass shooting, the little boy dragged off by an alligator, it was just one nightmare report after another. Add in all the hate filled rhetoric on the news and on social media and I felt like I was at the breaking point. I was unfocused, had difficulty sleeping and started to obsess over the future of our country and the future leaders of it.
When I get really stressed the one thing that calms and soothes me is getting to the ocean. Nothing fills me with peace, love and joy more than the water. I love the mountains too but the ocean is my deepest love.
Rockport MA Linda Holt Photo
The timing therefore could not be better because next week I will be staying on the coast in northern Maine immersed in a week long photography class at the Maine Media Workshop. I had originally taken a photography class there 34 years ago this Summer. I think it was either the first or second year they were open and it was one of the highlights of my photography schooling. I studied with a very famous (at the time) fashion photographer. I remember being absolutely star struck because he worked for Vogue and other top fashion magazines and was friends with all the super models of the day. I was young, impressionable and thought he was the coolest guy on the planet. I mimicked everything he did and wanted my photos to look just like his.
Sunday I return 34 years later a completely different person. I am not looking to copy another Photographer’s style. Instead I plan to dig deep and discover (or rediscover) the artist in me. The pretty photos that I post on Facebook and Instagram are fine but I want to express myself deeper.
Back in the 80’s when I was in photography school I had a teacher who was passionate that his students never photograph flowers, sunsets, puppies, or any image that he deemed “pretty”. God forbid if you did, because in front of the entire class he would dramatically rip up your photos and dump all your hard work onto the floor. He would bellow“any idiot with a camera can shoot a pretty picture. An amateur “takes a photo” and a professional “makes” a photo. I was so brain washed (and traumatized) by him that to this day I can’t shoot a sunset or a flower without hearing him shouting his outrage in my mind.
So next week I am going to spend a week “making photos”. I am also checking out of all social media. I need to clear my head, take a break from the upsetting news and just enjoy being with other like minded art loving individuals. I will continue to post “pretty” pictures (northern Maine is seriously beautiful) but you may also start to see something different…stay tuned!
Have a wonderful week everyone and I will reconnect in a week or so.
Today I have another “can you spot the trends” quiz for you. I photographed this room vignette at Ambella Home (one of our generous DesignBloggersTour sponsors from High Point Market) and it has eight interior design trends. See if you can spot them before you read the answers below.
1.Geometric shapes: Mirrors and geometric balls on console
2. Gold: Accessories, vase and cabinet hardware
3. Birds: On chair and drapes
4. Mixed materials: Cabinet is constructed with faux ivory parchment, mahogany wood with walnut finish, brass hardware,and gold leaf iron base.
When showing off a collection it is best to display the items as a group rather than spread piece meal throughout the house. The collection will have more of an impact displayed as a grouping and will not appear as random clutter throughout the house.
I prefer my client’s collections be contained such as in a book case or a glass cabinet. However if that is not possible here is a cleaver idea that I saw at the Boston Junior League Show House in the study designed by Holly Joe. If you have a console table like the one below use the free space under the table as additional display space.
Holly Joe Design: Linda Holt Photo
The additional space and will look intentional if you follow these three simple styling tips.
1. Vary the height and size of the accessories. You can use books or stands as a platform to give smaller items more presence and added height.
2. Try and fill the space between the top of the table and the accessories below. (you don’t want it to look like a group of random items laying on the floor.
3. Be sure the accessories relate in some way. In the image above the accessories are mostly neutral in color, organic and have a global flair.
Whenever I go on vacation I always make it a priority to get up extra early to photograph during the “golden hour”. The golden hour is just after sunrise when the light is low in the sky and often has a golden glow. It’s a great time to shoot before all the tourists and locals crowd the streets and the lighting gets harsh from the sun. Last weekend I talked my husband into playing tourist in Boston and we drove in not quite at sunrise but around 7am. We were rewarded with a glorious morning and streets void of people and parked cars in this otherwise crowded Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Beacon Hill: Linda Holt iphone Photo
If getting up early is not your thing then the other time of the day to catch the golden hour is just before sunset. The crowds may still be around but the lighting will be the same soft glowing golden light.
Have a great weekend everyone and be sure to try out the “golden hour”.
I’m back from the most amazing and inspiring trip. Italy was everything (and more) that everyone told me it would be. I mean the food, the wine and the scenery was just out of this world. The group of travelers could not have been nicer and the organizers, Adam Japko, Toma Haines Clark and Jeremy Parzen created an outstanding tour. I have been home for less than a week but I have found it difficult to regroup and get back to work. I think it is more than just jet lag. I think Italy really got under my skin.
St. Mark’s Basilica: Linda Holt Photo
Today’s Friday Photo was taken in Venice Italy. Look at all the different colored marble, stones, textures, colors and patterns. I could have sat and marveled at this all day. Just imagine the artistry and labor that went into creating this masterpiece. It truly left me in awe.
I have so many photos and trip highlights that I will share over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am doing my best to come down from my Italian “high” and get back to blogging and work.
Have a good weekend everyone, I’ll be dreaming of you know where!