Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oyster Stick Furniture - Yes or No?

Oyster sticks - used to cultivate farm raised oysters are now showing up recyled into furniture and accessories. I first noticed oyster stick furniture in this restful living room designed by Erin Martin and featured in House Beautiful (photography by Luca Trovato)
Yesterday, the new Wisteria catalog came (full of great, new stuff) and they're offering an Oyster Stick Mirror ($249) and Oyster Stick Lamp ($399).

BoBo Intriguing Objects also offers a lamp, chandelier and mirror (and possible more).
So here's my question - Do You Like The Look of Oyster Stick? On the one hand, it's very eco-friendly but every time I look at it, it makes me think of pock marks. Is it just me or do you like the look...?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Haute - Designer Fabrics & Trims at Incredible Prices

The Washington Post ran a Sales Talk piece about Haute** back in Feb '09. Not sure why it took me until November to get there to check it out - especially since designer fabrics that sell for $100++ a yard can be found at incredible prices. My friend Anne walked away with a gorgeous Victoria Hagan linen for just $20 a yard! In the above picture I'm checking out trim that's $2 a yard. (**as of this post, the website still lists the old Middleburg address. The new address is 8393 West Main St., Marshall, VA 20115, 540.364.1221)
The trim collection at Haute is truly unbelievable. The wide Greek Key trim is $10 a yard, the narrow $7 a yard. The quality is extremely high. I purchased the wide yellow/grey and the narrow blue/grey.

Haute is housed in a house on Main Street with each room dedicated to different types and colors of fabric. Need a neutral?
Here's a small peek at the extensive collection of toile from top name firms. I didn't recognize all the brand names but noticed that many of the fabrics were printed in England.
Here's a pretty Brunschwig & Fils print.
I purchased this Greek Key cut velvet for $20 a yard. Love it!
This braided trim was only $9 a yard and I've sewn it onto the dark brown curtains in my office. My office redecoration is almost finished - hoping to do a post on that soon.

Haute is located in Marshall, VA, just off exit #28 on 66 West. It would be a great trip to combine a visit to Haute with Matthews House and Garden in Upperville, VA and then to the shops in Middleburg. Just keep in mind Haute's website still has the old Middleburg address and the site only showcases a small fraction of the selection.

(This is my personal recommendation and I do not receive any form of compensation for this endorsement - I'm just a fabric nut!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Renewed

"Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing." (from the film, The Santa Clause)

Another Christmas has come and gone, leaving me renewed in my belief that the goodness in the world is immensely greater than the bad. I hope this Christmas & Holiday season finds you surrounded by love, comfort and contentment. Thank you so much for sharing 2009 with me here at My Notting Hill. Peace be with you. With best regards, Michele

(Christmas Tree, near the entrance to the Key Bridge, Georgetown)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ragland Hill Social: A New Blog!

As 2009 comes to a close, I'm very excited to have come across a new blog, Ragland Hill Social (although a number of smart bloggers found this one before me!). Written by designer Gwen Driscoll, her collection of virtual tear sheets is incredible and her own designs are gorgeous as well. The first picture is of her library - love the dark ceiling with the gold painted design.
I think the arched panelled mirror to the side of the fireplace in this room is brilliant. Love all the pattern in the pillows and ottoman.
Here is a dining room and living room from one of her client's home. To see more from this beautiful home, go here.

Gwen uses the term appointments in reference to accessories - I rather like that. Here is a french buffet in her sunroom that she recently edited.
Finally, I'd like to point out that Gwen posted an entire week about the color green. I have never seen a more definitive exploration of that color - it is something not to be missed! 2010 is looking to be a great year for design blogs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eye Candy from John Jacob Interiors

I'm cheating a bit because I posted the above picture back in July - but this could be one of my all time favorite rooms. Maria Killam of Colour Me Happy recently did a post on when accent walls work and I think this brown grasscloth accent wall is perfection in this room. I was introduced to South African designer John Jacob Zwiegelaar via Porchlight Interiors and often visit their site to see what's new. The following are more gorgeous images of his work. (all images via John Jacob Interiors)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

County Plow - Not Needed When You've Got 15 Neighbors with Shovels

On our no-outlet loop street, we understand why we're always dead last on the list to get plowed. Even when they do come, County plows often get stuck on our steep road. So, as we did in 2003, we all got together and dug ourselves out! Here's the view from my house first thing this morning.
One hour later we've cleared this down hill section and rounded the corner...
another hour later to meet up with our neighbors who came down the other side...
to join up in the third hour to clear the final 100 yards to the "main" street.
Here's the view looking up to our new, snow-banked Y intersection. Hats off to all the neighbors on our street - we did a great job!

Now, time to sit in the newly made igloo and sip a cup of hot buttered rum.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sewing a Leopard Cushion

This weekend I'm hoping to start-and-finish a cushion for a small bench. The fabric is a white and gray leopard spot that I bought from Pink Wallpaper's Designer's Attic back in October. The gorgeous image of Elvira Manrique de Lara's home from Nuevo Estillo will be my subtle reminder this weekend to get going! (Although I think those chairs are covered in a cheetah print?)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Complicated - check out Washington Post article

If you don't live in the DC area, you might miss Washington Post journalist Terry Sapienza's great interview with Jon Hutman, the production designer responsible for the film's interiors. Click here not to miss the article, along with pics of the interiors. I usually don't go to the movies on Christmas Day but it might be hard to wait until the 26th!
(image from It's Complicated Facebook page, photographer unknown)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cozy & Warm in Charleston

Ever since my first visit to Charleston last spring, I occasionally check out the historic properties for sale South of Broad. One can imagine, right...? Here's a collection of cozy interiors. Isn't this double fireplace incredible? All images from Carriage Properties.

Love the classic, elegant feel of this room above paired with the comfortable, lived-in look of the furniture. The large bust on the tall boy really sets the tone of this room.

I think this is a well done kitchen with the dark wood cabinets contrasted with all the white painted windows. My favorite is the dark wood finish of the far countertop. Hope you're having a great week and it's not too crazy w/all the Holiday preparations.

All images via Carriage Properties

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blog Affiliate Information and Policies for My Notting Hill

Blog Information:

 (December 2013) My Notting Hill is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  Affiliate links may appear in blog posts.  All links to books featured on this blog link to the Amazon affiliate program, as well as other products on occasion.

(January 2014) My Notting Hill is also a participant in One Kings Lane affiliate program.

My Notting Hill occasionally accepts paid sponsorships for products and services we respect. Posts which are sponsored will be noted.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Washington Spaces Magazine Closes

Folio is reporting on their site that Washington Spaces magazine's current November/December issue will be their last. The article by Jason Fell quotes the CEO and president Becky Loker of Greater Washington Publishing as attributing the closing to the “current economic climate." The article also noted that it is not clear "what might come of the magazine's web site."

I am shocked. Washington Spaces was a high quality, regional shelter magazine and this is a blow to local coverage of area designers and builders. I'm also a fan of Jennifer Sergent's blog on Washington Spaces and have always found her posts to be interesting, informative and written with a sense of fun and passion for design! Her most recent post was on the designer trees created for the upcoming Georgetown Jingle annual event. This is Jennifer's picture of David Iatesta's imaginative driftwood tree.
Again, very disheartened to hear this news.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Usé Opulence

I received a wonderful book as a gift this weekend, The Way We Live by Stafford Cliff, and came across the concept of usé opulence. The opulent, abundance of this type of interior is comprised of well used and even slightly worn furnishings, and the accessories are not merely for decoration but also have a purposeful use. It's the luxury of being surrounded by many things that are well loved and frequently enjoyed.
It seems that usé opulent interiors can't help but be personal and revealing of their owners.
Here Fortuny fabric serves as the backdrop - not for the expected portrait or antique mirror - but for a framed collection of locusts and grasshoppers. (first three images from At Home with Pattern by Sally Conran and Katherine Sorrell, photography by Claire Richardson)
This library is in London, of course. English style and usé opulence seem to go hand-in-hand. The furniture is certainly worn but still seems to retain its dignity. It must be the classic form that allows one to view the worn and sagging leather as rather charming. On a less classic piece, it would just be old and tired. (Image from The Way We live by Stafford Cliff, photography by the late Gilles de Chabaneix)
This room is from the book Living in Flanders by Piet Swimberghe and Jan Verlinde. A bit more organized in its abundance and with furnishings that have been well cared for, I think it could also be considered usé opulent or, maybe not...what do you think? (image via Habitually Chic)


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