Five days and counting

I am so excited! I feel like a little girl going to Disney for the first time because in just five days I will be flying out to attend what is simply referred to as “High Point” or “Market”. Held in High Point NC, this event is the largest industry trade show in the world. All the top furniture, accessory, and lighting companies introduce their newest products to the trade, while celebrity designers host parties, seminars and “meet and greets” throughout the thousands of show rooms.

Social media is all abuzz with which parties to attend and which vendors are “must see” however the number one question is “what are you wearing? Yes, crazy I know but hey, this is the design world equivalent to attending the Oscars and one must “dress”. Of course this whole wardrobe dilemma is complicated that by fact that the hotels are all far away (45 mins. drive) so once you leave in the morning there is no going back to change. This means, walking through show rooms for 6-10 hours a day, followed by evening cocktail parties. SOOO what’s a girl to do?

In my case, I made a call to my good friend and wardrobe stylist Susan Kanoff, the owner of A great New Look . Susan is down to earth, kind, and somehow makes what could be a very unpleasant experience for someone like myself (who is not confident in either my looks or body) actually feel good about clothes. I don’t know how she does it but she does.

Susan Kanoff of A Great New Look

Susan Kanoff of A Great New Look

Susan worked her magic last week and now all my stress about what to wear is completely gone. Before we met (in my closet) Susan had “pre-shopped” for me and sent me a number of online links to dresses, jackets and shoes that she thought would be good for the trip. I ordered most of them so we started out our session with me trying on everything and Susan either giving her approval or disapproval of fit and over all look. Luckily everything Susan had me order was free shipping and return so I ordered WAY more than I needed and we had plenty to choose from.

We spent the morning putting together all my outfits and Susan accessorized everything with shoes, bags and jewelry.  So that I wouldn’t forget what goes with what, she photographed everything for a style book right on my cell phone. At High Point, all I have to do is scroll through my cell phone and choose an outfit. So easy!

These are a few possibilities Susan put together for me.

outfit #1

I loved how she made it so easy for me by accessorizing everything.

same dress different look!

So in five days I will be there soaking it all in and sharing all my exciting new discoveries of trends and products with my clients and my readers. If you want to see a bit of High Point for yourself be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I will be posting photos and updates throughout the week.

How about you? have you heard of or been to Market at High Point?

Have you ever worked with a stylist?

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating Inspiration from the Brimfiled VIP Tent

This was my third year attending Brimfield and taking part in the official VIP tent. Organized by the amazing team of  Gretchen Aubuchon and Shane Inman the VIP tent was sponsored by Benjamin Moore, Robert Allen and Ru La La. The tent serves as a place where attendees can relax and regroup while antique and vintage shopping. Every year the tent and the event itself gets better and better. This year I think Shane and Gretchen hit it out of the park.

Shane built and designed the tent and it is such great inspiration for an outdoor event you might host this Summer.

Brimfield VIP tent

I love how he made the light fixtures out of plain rope and then painted them in shades of coral. Here is a photo of how they looked under construction.

VIP tent lighting by Shane Inman

Shane also made paper hydrangea flowers for the tables which I just love! Paper flowers are so on trend right right now and surprisingly easy to make.  Here is a YouTube video I found with easy step by step instructions so you can try it too.

Paper flowers by Shane Inman

My absolute favorite thing was the bar. Every bottle lining the bar was colored with one of the new Williamsburg colors by Benjamin Moore. 144 colors…144 bottles.

Williamsburg color collection bottles by Shane Inman

and an even better part of the bar was Bartender extraordinaire Warren Bobrow.

I mean what isn’t there to love about cocktails starting at 9am! Warren’s cocktails were so special they involved the use of eye droppers and flaming herbs…who knew? Of course the only down side is that indulging so early in the day could  make for some risky purchasing choices; like this set of horn chairs.

 or this life sized statue of Bruce Lee.

No, I didn’t buy either of those.  Instead, I bought 2 pair of vintage earrings and this beautiful purple glass bottle.

purple glass bottle from Brimfield

Good choice don’t you think?

Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to post a comment on my last post about the newest Benjamin Moore color collection if you would like to be entered to win a free Williamsburg fan deck. I will pick a winner on Monday.

 

 

The Hottest New Product on the Market

Over the past couple of years there has been an explosion in the popularity of outdoor rugs. One of the reasons is that outdoor rugs have evolved from being bland, scratchy and plastic looking to being stylish, fun and fashionable. In fact, the technology has so advanced that many times it is difficult to even tell it is an outdoor rug.

Outdoor rugs are great for adding texture and color to your outdoor space but they are great inside too; especially if you have young children or pets. Not only are they easier to clean (they can be taken outside and scrubbed with soap then rinsed with a hose) but they are typically less expensive than a traditional inside rug.

There are SO many great choices today but here is a round up of a few of my favorite  sources for indoor/outdoor rugs.

Dash and Albert has a wide variety of outdoor rugs. The colors and patterns are right on trend and I usually find something my client loves.

Grandinroad also has a nice selection of outdoor rugs. The Aqua one below is hand hooked and would look good inside in almost any room in the house.

as would this one in shades of Blues and Greens also from Grandinroad.

Company C is another favorite source for outdoor rugs. They have such beautiful colors and patterns, just like their traditional inside rugs.

Home Decorators Collection has a good selection of outdoor rugs as well.

If pattern and color is not what you have in mind  check out Frontgate  for natural fiber outdoor rugs.

As you can see the choices are plentiful and varied and would make a great addition to either outside or inside your home.

Let me know your thoughts. Do you think you would use an outdoor rug inside?

If you need help choosing a rug or with any color or decorating advice give me a call.

 

Graduation Weekend in Burlington Vermont

This past weekend was a huge milestone for our family. Our youngest son Tyler graduated from Champlain College in Burlington Vt.

For those of you that haven’t been to Burlington it is a fun and very “happening” place. Burlington is located on Lake Champlain and the down town area centers around one really long street called Church Street. The street is closed to traffic but filled with college students, restaurants, bars, street performers and some really great stores.

Church Street Burlington VT

Church Street Burlington VT

There is always lots to see on Church street like this fire juggler who preforms while standing on chairs 15 feet in the air.

fire juggler

street performer

or this guy playing a didgeridoo while wearing some kind of strange wooden animal mask.

one man band

one man band

Burlington also has some great shopping and one of my favorite stores is Bennington Potters North. Although the original store is still located in Bennington VT the Burlington store has been there since I went to school (UVM) a gazillion years ago. In fact, I still have two coffee mugs that I bought while in college from the “seconds” bin for around $2.00 each.

bennington Potters north

Bennington Potters North

Located just off Church on College Street, the store carries original pottery as well as painted furniture, art, rugs and and repurposed items.

Bennington Potters North

Bennington Potters North

Another great store not to be missed in Burlington is  Conant Metal and Light. Their brochure says “from Dumpster to Dining Room” and this really is the case; everything they carry had a previous life.  Although they are known for their signature Mason Jar lights, they offer so much more.

mason jar lights

mason jar lights

Customers can bring in almost anything made from either glass or metal and Conant will create a one of kind item just for you. They also have an entire show room of fabulous ready to go items. The store has somewhat of a Steampunk vibe and it’s fun talking to the staff and learning of the “story” behind each unique piece.

For example, back in the 1800’s lake Champlain was used to ship ice down from Canada and this coffee table on wheels is from one of the original Burlington ice houses.

conant metal and light

conant metal and light

these black metal ice tongs are original and also came out of on old ice house.

conant metal and light

conant metal and light

You can see an old glass lab beaker in the back ground and they have some really wonderful old science glass (my favorite) made into lights and chandeliers.

If you do visit Burlington, one of the best places for Brunch is the French restaurant Leunig’s. Located right on Church you can sit at one of their outside tables and watch all the tourists, students and characters walk by. The food is delicious but be sure to make reservations or you will have a very long wait for a table.

Leunig's Bisto

Leunig's Bistro

The best part of the weekend though was simply being a proud Mom. The time flew by, not only college but his childhood.

Congratulations to my graduate who now joins his brother in pursuing the next chapter of his life.

Have you been to Burlington VT?  If so, do you have a favorite store or restaurant?

 

As always, if you need help with decorating, choosing color or home staging, give me a call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Morning Inspiration with Holly Becker of Decor8

This past Saturday I was one of the lucky dozens who had the opportunity to meet Holly Becker at Anthrolpogie in Boston. Holly is the founder of the widely popular blog Decor8 and the author of the best selling book Decorate. She currently lives in Germany and is on a US book tour and chose Boston as her first stop. Holly lived in Boston for 20 years and told us she considers Boston her home and wanted to start her tour here. It was such a treat to meet her as I have been reading her blog for years and following her in the virtual world. Holly is just as authentic as her blog and could not have been more gracious. Those of us that registered early had the added treat of a wonderful breakfast with Mimosas (thanks  Anthropologie)  as well as a presentation by Holly on creating a Mood board.

Yummy breakfast!

 

Don’t you just love those plates?

Holly shared some great tips, my favorite being; use a small photo album to store all your room elements  such as color samples, fabric swatches and measurements. Keep this in your purse and then when you are out and see something that might work you’ll have all your samples and measurements to refer to. Here is Holly showing off her own mini sample book.

 

Holly and her mini sample album

 

Of course the big treat of the day was getting my book signed. The signing was open to the public and poor Holly must have signed a thousand books. The line was never ending but it just goes to show you how many Boston fans love her, her blog and her book.

 

me with Holly

 

I know I look a little like a crazy stalker in this picture but I am not so comfortable being on the other side of the camera. Good luck on your next stop Holly!

What gets me up at 5am on Sunday

Not too far from where I live is a Sunday morning secret that everyone, yet no one, seems to know about. Most of my friends have never heard of it (even the ones who live nearby) yet it is always crowded. I forget how I first heard about it but I have been going on and off for over 20 years.  The secret is that every Sunday there is a mini version of  Brimfield in Rowley Mass. For years I just called it Rowley but I have since learned that most people call it Todd Farm; which is the name of the Farm the Flea market is located on.

vendors setting up at Todd Farm

Todd Farm is owned equally by two brothers who are is some sort of huge feud and haven’t spoken to one another in over 30 years. No one I have asked actually knows what the feud is about but many of the old time Dealers side with either one brother or the other one. This past year the feud got so ugly that the two brothers actually built a fence right down the middle of the land. Now you have to walk almost all the way out to the street to go around the fence to get to the other half of the tables. It seems completely crazy but everyone seems to have adapted to the inconvenience just fine.

 

Todd farm vendors

 

After years of going as a buyer, I talked my good friend Elise into coming with me to sell.  We have set up and sold now 4 or 5 times; making some money but even better, having an absolute blast. We have meet some of the regulars, learned a ton about Flea Market culture and seen more weird things and people than I can count. Let me give you a quick run down of how it all unfolds.

If you are selling, you need to get there no later than 4am or all the vendor spots will be gone. It is a free for all so the earlier you get there the better spot you get. The lot opens at midnight and most of the Dealers who make their living selling,  get there shortly after that.

If you are a serious Flea Marketer,  buyer or collector, 5am is the absolute latest you want to arrive or much of the “good stuff” will be gone. The true die-hards (dealers and true collectors) get there as early as 3am then run from table to table with flashlights, buying before the sun comes up.

The Designers (I can spot them from 50 feet away) arrive around 6am with their Starbucks in hand and rolling carts in tow. They are always on a mission, never stroll or poke around, and usually have an assistant following behind.

The last to arrive are the general public. They come around 8am-9am with their kids and dogs and are usually just looking for a fun morning activity. They are the ones who stroll slowly and poke around.

Like all good Flea Markets there is a mix of  high end stuff, low end stuff, crazy stuff and just plain junk. Here are a few of my favorite things I saw on my last visit.

Head Vases

The woman that was selling these Head Vases had hundreds of them. Her father-in-law was a Head Vase collector and had recently passed away. I had never seen or heard of Head Vases but she said they were popular in the 40’s-60’s.

Quilts are becoming very hot again even in modern interiors and this one was a beauty.

 

I love antique bottles and this seller had thousands more at home so he told me. He dug most of them up himself and has traveled all over the country on bottle digs. He has been a bottle collector since he was 6 years old.

antique bottles

 

Obviously you couldn’t actually sit in this chair but the amount of work  and time that went  into making this is amazing.

Shell Chair

I wanted to buy all these spindles but heard my dear husband’s disapproving voice in my head if I brought home one more “project thing” to go into the garage, so I resisted.

spindles

 

Don’t you just love these wooden figures and hands?  Wouldn’t they look great painted black standing on a mantle against a white wall?

 

Flea Markets are such a great place to find inexpensive items that speak to us and add character to our home. When we collect what we love our home becomes all that more rich and meaningful.  Whether it is vintage furniture, glass bottles, Head Vases, or wooden figures, collected items speak of who we are and gives our home a soul.

This is what I have been collecting this Summer at Todd Farm.

 

vintage science glassware

 

Why did I collect this?  I majored in science in college, worked in a lab for two years after college and have always had a “thing” for beakers,  test tubes and lab glass. The  bottles and beakers  ranged in price form .50 cents to $5.00 for the large flask. A very small investment for an interesting vignette that brings me joy every time I look at it.

What do you like to collect?    And on another note…anyone free at 5am on Sunday?

 

If you would like some help styling or building a collection for your home, give me a call.

 

 

Scoring Big At The Yard Sale

Last Saturday, while driving to my friend’s surprise birthday party, I passed a big yard sale. Since  the party was being held an hour from my house, I left 45 minutes earlier than I needed to ( the thought being I would rather be 45 minutes early than one minute late and spoil the surprise). I figured I could stop by ever so quickly and take a quick peak.  Even though  it was rather late in the morning for scoring any  great bargains, the number of cars and people mulling around warranted more than a drive by.

Boy am I glad I stopped! Check out my treasures, the cost and what I did with them once I got them home.

I found these two beautiful green Majolica vases for $3.00 each.

 

Here is one filled with the last of my Peonies that the huge rain storm spared.

 

 

 

I found three hard cover decorating books for $1.00 each.

Fun to look at but also great for adding some height to my ever changing table scape.

 

I also nabbed these gorgeous blue and white Japanese transfer ware plates . The back is stamped “made in Occupied Japan”.. total cost $1.00 a plate.

I am such a sucker for plates with animals on them..esp. dogs (although I thought at first they were pigs)

 

And my most exciting find of the sale??  A bag full of silver numbers and letters. The whole lot was just  .50 cents….yes..only .50 cents!! I am not EXACTLY sure what I want to do with these but I have a few  crafty ideas…..of course  involving paint.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my big score and please let me know if you have any fun ideas for my silver numbers and letters!

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