Do you know about this show on the History channel? It follows two guys who comb the country scouring barns and storage units looking for vintage treasures. In the words of Reality TV Queen Rachel Zoe "Shut the fff…ront door"! If you love the thrill of the hunt and are a serial flea marketer, you will looove it too. Please feel free to thank me! I think I need this trucker hat to complete my no-shower-bed-head Alameda attire. Bummer it was rained out today!
The biggest challenge in opening a pop-up shop was having only six weeks to transform the contemporary-styled space which was formerly a fashion accessories boutique into an inviting home decor store without making ANY permanent changes.
My guiding principle was to only design/make/buy things I would love to have in my own home.
Starting with this console table I had made from reclaimed barn wood. One of the top planks still has a little bit of red paint. It's amazing. Our contractor found this (pulley?) wheel under our house about a month ago. I thought it added just a little industrial chic-ness.
The cubes are one of my favorite pieces, probably since they took so many iterations to get just right. Plus, I love the vintage grain sack and denim together. They are sturdy enough for a linebacker, yet are surrounded on all sides with a slight cushion, so they work as an ottoman, under a console, at the foot of the bed, in kids' rooms and can be tumbled around for additional seating. I can also get them in other fabrics, leather and hide.
Right after signing the lease, I placed an ad on Craigslist and got over 80 resumes. I interviewed only one person and hired her on the spot. Lisa was such a huge help, lending her tech skills, positive attitude, thorough research of signs, fabric, etc and most of all creativity. I love this flower receptacle idea. She put a tall cylinder vase inside a wire waste basket and filled around it with moss. It looks so pretty with the big yellow sunflowers.
Last summer, months before the store idea came up, I stumbled uponthese fabulous 'his and hers' wingback chairs at an estate sale. The representative told me they are from the Aptos estate of Clark Gable, who sold his fully furnished mansion to the current owner. The sofa (see below) is also from the same estate.
"Hers' was transformed with gorgeous new linen fabric, refinished legs and nailhead trim.
I thought the 'his' version would look handsome in a chocolate velvet pinstripe fabric with a fat welt.
Another great vintage find was this chair – I actually have four. I didn't like the dark reddish antique-y varnish and the grannyish rose carvings. When I asked my wood refinisher to cut them off, strip the wood and leave it unfinished, he thought I was cuh-razy.
He doesn't think that anymore. Absolutely stunning.
I have made no secret of my crush on chesterfield sofa's. So when I discovered this big guy at the same estate sale as the wingback I knew he was coming home with me.
The solid wood frame and horse hair cushioning indicated the high quality and age of this piece. It needed some new springs, and was recovered in divine charcoal gray velvet. He's back to his original debonaire condition.
The pillows are made from vintage linen fabric that I bought in Paris this summer. They look equally beautiful on light colored fabrics like white cotton duck slipcovers.
This antique Riddling Rack is from France. I believe the original purpose was to store champagne as it fermented, because the angle of the bottle was just right to allow bubbles to form properly. It's a great garden piece as it is, or my favorite way is taking the two pieces apart and hanging them on dining room walls. If they're mounted a few inches out from the wall they can store wine bottles and also serve as wall art.
Stacks of Belgian linen and velvet pillows.
Ruffled linen pillows in fig, olive and crimson/flax. Can be ordered in any size and configuration.
This awesome door is from an old barn in Petaluma, CA.
One of the new pieces is this metal and wood top coffee table. The small company I ordered it from offers many wood finish and metal options, as well as the ability to customize sizes.
This console table is from the same company. It would be stunning in an entry with a gilt framed mirror above, or a more rustic look with a wicker basket underneath for shoes, soccer gear, etc. I ordered it in a desk size for someone yesterday.
And vintage wooden lamps that I blogged about here. I adore them so much, I'm on the fence about parting with them…
The two black and white images below are the work of another Marin County artist – photographer Stuart Schwartz. They were taken inside the kitchen of a restaurant in Italy. They would be the perfect wall art for a restaurant.
If you are interested in any of the pieces in the store, please feel free to email me and I'd be happy to provide more photos, specifications, etc.
The store is open Tu-Sat from 10-4 until Nov. 10th. Please come by and say hello!
Actually, it was my next door neighbor Sara. Every so often she leaves me magazines with post-it notes on pages she thinks I would like. This time she left an article about a kitchen from Food & Wine magazine's September 2010 issue that stopped me in my tracks. Gorgeous. Design credit for this inspiring kitchen belongs to Tracery Interiors, whose name I have seen before in blogland but never had the pleasure to peruse myself. Their work is terrific and I love that they have a blog!
The two islands – one with drawers, one with upholstered stools is so innovative. I appreciate the new take on kitchen seating – to be able to push the stools all the way under the island when not in use is a great use of space. The best of both worlds – the substance of an island, yet the versatility of a separate work and dining space. Besides the white (…just as I was leaning towards gray…) I'm also loving the open shelving, rough hewn beams, wood paneled walls and the salvaged barn siding floors. Notice the sliding glass doors on the pantry with the ladder. It's hard to believe this is a brand-new kitchen – makes me want to see the rest of this house!
Have a great start to the week – and if you're like us, first day of school tomorrow!
One the highlights of this summer was a visit – albeit brief- to one of the oldest and biggest flea markets in Paris. If I had a store, I would have come home with an airplane hanger full of great finds. Chanel and Hermes – no temptation, but that pair of carmel colored leather club chairs – ooh la la. One of the vendors got cranky about pictures, so I didn't risk it after that, but I can show you what I scored. My constraint being what could fit into my already full suitcase…
These linen and sunflower yellow drapery panels were love at first sight. They will be reincarnated next week into pillows (not by me, rest assured). Crossing my fingers that I do this fabric justice and they turn out ok! I think I was inspired by the charcoal gray and sunflower yellow combo I first noticed in Italy, but coincidently now that I'm back I'm seeing this color combination more. It's my new Fall color inspiration – wouldn't these colors make a stunning Thanksgiving table?
I also brought home a few pieces of indigo ticking, grain sack fabric and a bolster that didn't get in the photo for some reason. I like the neutral tones for my new office – aka sunroom off of our bedroom 🙂 Since going to Paris every month is unlikely, the next best thing is Alameda. It never disappoints. Last month, three of us went and all came back with great stuff. My only purchase was this humongous basket. I have no idea why I had to have it – no clue what I was going to do with it – but so far everywhere I' ve put it, it looks great. I think it will end up in my office since it looks so good with the fabric which will also become pillows and cushions eventually.
Here are some past Alameda finds that, again, if I had a store would have come home with me.
Love this antler chandelier. Made with only found antlers it is rustic and modern at the same time.
These barnacle encrusted urns are actually from a sunken ship! Displayed as a collection or just one on a console table would be beautiful.
This seashell chandelier is to die for! I would love to see this beauty in an all white beach house entry foyer or over a big dining table!
Swirly metal chairs that just seem to tell a story. Can't you just picture them in a garden under a rose covered arbor?
Badminton and tennis racquets. I know, totally random, but I just thought they looked cool and sort of vintage preppy – Great Gatsby-ish. Again, if I had a store – these would make a dandy wall display.
A million uses for these pretty frames – mirrors, black and white photos, art, bulletin boards…
I stared at this piece for awhile… It would have to have a well defined purpose to be so dominant in a room. Then it occurred to me – it belongs in an artist space – each drawer for different colored paints, pastels or even yarns for knitters. I just love the industrial look and feel of it!
More metal + wood industrial pieces. The casters are such a good idea, since they weigh a ton!
The next Alameda Antique Fair is Labor Day weekend, which also happens to be the Sausalito Art Festival – the biggest revenue grossing Art Show in the country. This year the bands are great – Jefferson Starship, Modern English and a total throwback to my husband's early band days – The Tubes, just to name a few! If you are looking for something fun to do Labor Day weekend, I highly recommend it!
I recently stumbled upon a great resource for all things Industrial Chic. Hudson Goods was started by Karl Miller who left his high-powered Wall Street job in Nov 2008, decided to follow his passion and create a company focused on making and selling Industrial-style furniture, lighting and home furnishings.
This sturdy canvas bag comes in a smaller size too.
And my personal favorite….
Recycled glass bottle lights.
I found an interesting interview about Miller and how he made the leap from the corporate world to designing and manufacturing furniture. Below is just an excerpt that pertains to blogging – both the significance blogs have in the new marketplace, and also a mention of Hudson's blog. Read more of the interview here.
We talked at length about your successful marketing strategies. Give our readers some specifics about which of these has been the most useful in managing to stay competitive with places like Pottery Barn.
"Although on a smaller scale, I advertise in some of the same places as Pottery Barn on BizRate, Shopzilla, etc. and undercut them on price. I also utilize Google Ads but I have also put myself and my face out there to make my product more personal than the generic Pottery Barn by using youtube videos, facebook, and more importantly the bloggers world. I started a blog at HudsonGoodsblog.com on home design which I love and run frequent giveaway contests on fellow blog sites which has proven to be very successful."
I just thought I would include a photo of Hudson Goods owner, Karl Miller, who is mentioned in several articles as being recently single… Ladies in the New York area…just saying.
The space we call home is a reflection of who we are. Each of us deserves to live in an environment that nurtures and provides comfort and peace. Creating a home and a life you love starts with surrounding yourself with things and people that make you happy. It’s not about fancy things or being perfect, it’s about appreciating the beauty that is accessible to us all. This blog is my journal for celebrating the all the beautiful things that inspire me. I hope you will visit often and will be inspired too!