Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Liquor bottle + Soap PUMP (not pourer) = pretty

I love Bombay Saphire gin bottles. Come to my house and you'll notice them on shelves, on display, etc - just love them. It started me thinking; could I find a useful purpose for them? My husband was against the idea of a glass bottle and pourer for dispensing dishwashing liquid (Martha Stewart's innovation), but since a hand soap pump is meant to be stationary I got the idea to combine a soap pump + gin bottle.The first picture is my second attempt - using the clear plastic pump from Trader Joe's Next to Godliness handsoap. I prefer the label left on because it's so pretty. Here's my first attempt - using the green pump from an old Cucina hand cream dispenser. This is the no label version for those who don't want to be constantly reminded the bottle used to contain gin. Both of the pumps fit perfectly on these screw-top gin bottles.

The tube from the Cucina hand cream was too short. However, you can solve that by adding a plastic straw over the original tube. Works perfectly. I have these shown in my kitchen but they are just as lovely in a master bathroom or powder room (not sure about the glass in a kid's bathroom.) Wouldn't the Bombay Sapphire bottle look beautiful on carrera marble?
Now I'm on the look-out for a pump dispenser for this very pretty Patron Citronge bottle. (Keep in mind the bottle needs to be a screw top style.)
Pairing bottles with pourers is one of Martha Stewart's Favorite It's a Good Thing. Maybe Dan will eventually change his mind...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sills, Huniford & a Terrific Design Book from 2003

I almost titled this post an "...Overlooked Design Book" but then thought maybe it's just me that hasn't discovered Dwellings: Living with Great Style by Stephen Sills and James Huniford until recently. The book was released in 2003 while they were both partners in Sills Huniford Associates. After 25 years together, they went their separate ways in the summer of 2008. I have found myself returning to this book frequently for inspiration and enjoyment.
Side by side marble tubs in a bathroom floored with Moroccan style tiles. Beautiful. I'll let the rest of these photos speak for themselves. (these images via Stephen Sills Associates)

The book is sans dust jacket and has the most wonderful gray linen cover. When you're not reading it, it looks quite lovely left about. For more images of their respective work you can visit Stephen Sills Associates or James Huniford.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Room Envy

Love this study - dark, glam and energized with red accents. Hope you're having a great weekend. Yesterday, Meg of Pigtown*Design gave my friend and I a great tour of 3 of Baltimore's design shopping spots. The McLain Weisand Warehouse sale did not disappoint! Be sure to check out her recent two posts.

Designer Sonia Simpfendorfer, Nexus Designs, photography by Elliot Cohen, image via Home & Garden Australia

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Simple Gray & Yellow Table

This is my first time participating in Tablescape Thursday and I was inspired by my recent purchase of these two vintage tablecloths while on the Eddie Ross flea market tour. However, both were rectangular and neither one was the right size for my round table. Problem solved when they are layered, one crossing over the over and each one making up for the "short side" of the other. Yeah!
The top tablecloth is the Fantasia pattern from the 70's. To tie in with the gray in the pattern, I was able to use the light gray napkins my late elderly neighbor, Mrs. L, gave me. This table is set for three - I only wish I could run next door to invite Mr. and Mrs. L over for lunch. At first I tried a floral centerpiece, but instead settled on pears in a vintage aluminum footed bowl.
The glassware is from my Mom - purchase in Bermuda in 1961.
Here are the lovely Creative Candles that were a gift from Eddie and Jaithan. Two sets of matching candlesticks create four different heights with these 12" and 18" tapers. They're Paris Gray and are more gray than they appear in this photo.

Love small bouquets - this one is made from last Friday's white flowers w/cuttings from a butterfly bush and a shrub.
After setting this table and lighting the candles, I thought to myself, "I should do this more often!" For links to more tablescapes, be sure to head over to Between Naps on the Porch for the 57th Tablescape Thursday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flea Market Finds & Tips with Eddie Ross

Go on a flea market tour with Eddie Ross and you'll never see things the same way. Case in point: we got there early before the tour started and I didn't "see" much. Actually felt a bit disappointed. Then started the 2 hour tour with Eddie and realized all the hidden treasures and deals that were there. (plus had a lot of fun!)

Eddie and Jaithan scope out the flea market ahead of time in order to bring to life all his ideas and tips. Here we are at one dealer's booth where Eddie spotted these mauve velvet slipper chairs. To transform this $450 pair, Eddie suggested:
- Remove the skirt and the button tufting
- Reupholster in linen. Consider making your own custom striping with 2 colors of linen, broad stripes on either side.
- Add polished nickel casters to the legs. That suggestion was unexpected and I think really takes those chairs to a very high end.

In addition to tips on what to look for in terms of markings on china and silver, Eddie gave helpful advice on how to spruce up and care for your purchases. Eddie recommends:

- Gorham silver polish. Remember not to polish out all the patina in the relief.

- Don't put silver and stainless steel into the dishwasher at the same time. It will damage the silver.

- A small dab of Lestoil can work wonders on stubborn stains. Just don't use too much as the smell is strong.

- For painting furniture, use Zinsser primer to block out all stains.

Eddie also differentiated between options for higher end items versus lower end items. For example, for these high quality vintage broaches he suggests shadow box framing them for a custom piece of art. A few stalls later we came across bags and bags of lower end vintage jewelry - those can broken apart and used for magnets and decorative accents. Other great ideas:

- If you love a "onesie" buy it! Eddie recently fell in love with one glass and bought it. A few weeks later he found 5 more in the same pattern.

- Upgrade common mats you may find vintage artwork or prints in with linen and spray adhesive.

- Always look at the vintage clothing booths for great fabrics that can be used to make a one-of-a-kind pillow or for upholstery. A plaid wool or tweed coat can transform an accent chair. A brocade top becomes an awesome pillow.

Here's Meg of Pigtown Design and Jennifer Sergent of Washington Spaces checking out feedback sacks. Jennifer scored 3 great ones for only $10 total!

I love vintage linens and was thrilled to go back after the tour and find the $40 London Map linen table cloth Eddie had showed us there still available. Eddie's suggestion - find a way to keep this treasure in view. For example it could be used as wall decor in a child's bedroom or playroom.
The detail is great. How cute is that - You Are Here - The Westbury!

Green linen napkins, $1 a piece, 6 blue napkins w/a Made in Belgium label $15, 6 monogrammed yellow napkins $15. Keep in mind Eddie's advice - don't worry if they're not your initials.
I'm very excited about these 2 tablecloths. The one to the left is cotton with a raised white design $15 and the Fantasia permanent press golden yellow and gray one was $15. (All these linens came from the nicest dealer, Debra Morman of Back In Time Antiques. You can find her beautifully laundered and pressed linens at Old Town Manassas Antiques (703.361.4510) andTwo Guys Antiques (703.221.9669).
I've got plans to set a table using both of these and the gorgeous Paris Gray Creative Candles that Eddie and Jaithan gave me. It was a really fun day at the D.C. Big Flea!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eddie Ross & Jaithan Kochar - So Much FUN!!

I hope you like gushing - because I'm smitten with Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar! In the end, the success of a party is really all about the guests and I had the fortune of having the most wonderful group of people come to this party. If graciousness is the art of making others feel comfortable and valued then Eddie and Jaithan are the embodiment of the word! Here's Eddie autographing my July 09 copy of Style at Home. The tag line for the article: "Move over Madonna! Meet Eddie Ross - the King of Reinvention" - click here to read more.
I think I'll frame this picture of Eddie & I along side my autographed magazine copy!
Leila of In the Tweeds and her lovely mom. I think her blog name is so creative! (In the background are my new linen curtains from I Dream of Drapery - I'll be doing a whole post on this wonderful company out of Georgia.) Bob of Homer's Odd Isn't He ,with his lovely guest to the left, and Linda of Haven on Hanover. Bob's blog is the go-to blog for a behind-the-scenes look into auctions and Linda is a designer renovating her historic home in the Fan Distric of Richmond.
The ever stylish Jen of Department of the Interior and the guest who traveled the farthest - Terri of Wind Lost - all the way from Calgary, Canada!! Terri and her boyfriend David were here in the States for a vacation and the timing was perfect for coming to the party. It was so great to meet her in person - she's wonderful!
Gretchen Ginnerty of Ginnerty Architects (click here to see Gretchen's amazing transformation of a 1960's split ranch) is speaking with Terri Sapienza of The Washington Post. In the background is Jennifer Sergent of Washington Spaces chatting with Eddie. I always enjoy reading Terri and Jennifer's articles on design. To the right is Scott Fazzini of Domicidal Maniac and Bob Murphy of Homer's Odd Isn't He.
Designer Anne Hardock and Gretchen Ginnerty of Dwellings by Design. A huge thank you to both all them for all their wonderful help in the last hour before the party - invaluable!
Janet of JCB and Scott of Domicidal Maniac - two talented and fun people!
Jaithan, Beth of Chinoiserie Chic & Style Redux, Lauren of Pure Style Home and Jen of Department of the Interior. How could a party go wrong when you have these guests in your kitchen?! After emailing Jaithan so many times it was great to meet him - so charming and interesting to talk with in person.
To the left, Thomas of My White Shirt - one of the nicest people you'll meet.
Gabi, Meg's sister-in-law, Anne Hardock, Meg Fairfax Fielding of Pigtown Design and Janet of JCB. I was so excited to meet Meg as she was one of the first blogs I followed. Fun, witty and super nice - everything you would expect as a reader of her blog.
More fun - did I mention that everyone wanted Terri to take a picture of them because her camera magically makes you look tan!

And I wished I had taken more pictures - I'm hoping other bloggers have their photos so I'll be able to add photos of the other bloggers. They included (if I've forgotten anybody let me know!):

Stefan of Architect Design

Annie of Bossy Color

Allison of Matters of Style

Pat of Pat's Addition - I don't have a picture of Pat but here are the incredible raspberries she brought. Homegrown, hand picked and spectacular!

And finally a HUGE THANK YOU to my husband for all his support. His Cuban roasted pork was the hit of the party - love you Danny!

Tomorrow's post - Eddie at the Flea Market: Fabulous Finds & Tips

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Every once in a while it's good to put yourself out on a limb and try something a bit outside your comfort zone. So after hearing Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar would be in town for the Big D.C. Flea , I invited them to my house for a blogger party and they graciously accepted! So to say I'm a bit excited is an understatement. Looking forward to meeting them both and to a fun evening with local bloggers and designers. Back with pics on Saturday!
Here's just a few of my favorite rooms from Eddie's portfolio - beautiful!


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