Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Not Leather - It's Concrete!

Yes, that ottoman may look like leather but it's actually concrete! Mention this to anyone looking at it and they find themselves compelled to touch it before believing you. In some cases, they'll even knock on it before believing. Known for resurrecting the dying art form of high quality concrete faux bois, Richard Taylor of Flat Earth Designs has taken concrete to a whole other level with these pieces.
The zipper and button detail is incredible. I should also mention these pieces are suprisingly comfortable to sit on.
In addition to the ottoman, Richard creates a Barcelona chair in concrete. This one is in a light finish. Couldn't you see these in a chic hotel or backyard garden setting?
Another double-take; this is concrete not alligator.

Just one of the many faux bois planters available.
Eddie Ross chose these mushrooms for the Chicago WOW event - I'm also loving the beautiful console table they're featured on.

Another favorite of mine - the poppy bowl.
I forgot where I saw this but a designer had a placed a huge clamshell like this in a fireplace. Looked stunning.
Pennsylvania finial.
Hypertufa spheres in various sizes. I particularly like this large one on a pedestal.

The Richmond Planter. The finish on this piece, and the one below, is akin to marble.
Rams Swag Pot
Oak leaf urn
This is just one of a number of lions available.
Richard's work is sold wholesale to stores and garden centers throughout the U.S., including select pieces for Anthropologie. (*Although he does sell to the public at the Round Top Antique Shows)

The acorn mirror and frog on a pedestal, along with a number of other pieces, are available from Scentimental Gardens and SG Grand in the Chicago area. (Debra has a great eye and has been carrying Richard's work for a long time.)
Here in DC, I believe Notting Hill Gardens on 815 King Street, Alexandria, VA will be carrying some of Richard's collection in the near future. (no connection to me)
To see more of Richard's work - go here. If you're like me, you'll spend alot of time looking around!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Debra Phillips: 1 Designer, 2 Different Stores

Yes, Chicago is still on my mind! During my trip I had a chance to attend the opening party for Debra Phillip's new store in Chicago, SG Grand, as well as visit her first store, Scentimental Gardens, in Geneva, Il. First I should say that both stores share something in common - unique pieces displayed beautifully. SG Grand has an exciting urban vibe and features work by local artists. If you count Elle Decor as one of your favorite magazines, this store will be a slice of heaven to you. It's on my must-visit list the next time I'm in Chicago.
A Richard Taylor concrete bust and lotus leaf.
A gorgeous (and comfortable) linen settee with a beautiful pillow.
Adore this chair!

Some of my pictures didn't turn out well - I may have been enjoying their signature mango champagne cocktail a bit too much. This image of the amazing bubble chandelier is from Chicago blogger Alaina of Live Creating Yourself. You can read more about SG Grand's opening night at her post here.
Debra's other store, Scentimental Gardens, is in a former residence on a main street in Geneva and is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. Debra is known for both landscape design and exterior transformations. The setting is idyllic and the entire store is imbued with a relaxed and sophisticated charm.
Absolutely love these turquoise chairs! (and the way this whole vignette is displayed)

This sconce would be a stunning focal point in anyone's home.

**In my next post I have a few more pieces to show you from Debra's stores - at least one of which I think you will find absolutely amazing...

Friday, June 25, 2010

TGIF: Summer Cottage Eye Candy

Woke up this morning to find the humidity had broken and there was a summer breeze blowing; I thought these images captured the mood. Just realized that since June 21st was the official start of summer, this is the first summer weekend of 2010. Hope you have a great one!

(first two images - interior design by Michelle Lloyd Bermann, photography by Stacey Brandford, Canadian House and Home July 07)

(designer not known, photography by Stacey Brandford, Canadian House and Home July 09)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tips from Eddie Ross's WOW Party

Spending the day helping out at Debra's house with Eddie and Jaithan was the equivalent of a crash course in party planning - but the WOW kind (without work) I learned so much and had such fun to boot! (is that still a saying?) Here's Jaithan carrying out a standing dolphin sculpture that would become the central focal point for the buffet table at the Dunham Riding Club.
Eddie used unexpected pieces at varying heights to create an interesting backdrop. The dolphin was elevated on a pedestal and attention was given to a symmetrical arrangement on either side. It was great fun to watch Eddie create the tablescape and I noticed how willing he was to try something one way and then make changes until the look was just right.
Hosta leaves picked and washed that morning were layered over the tablecloth and serving pieces to create a lush setting for the food.
You'll notice there's not one platter of food in this spread. Bread sticks are arranged in a faux bois planter, grapes spill from the sculpture and cheeses rest upon overturned garden planters. Also, all the different types of food are evenly distributed throughout the table preventing the need to line up at one end and proceed down. Plates were located throughout and the whole arrangement made for easy access for the 100+ guests.
This was my first introduction to purple cauliflower - so eye pleasing.
The WOW evening included a slide presentation and a demonstration followed by Q & A. I walked away with a ton of practical tips, a renewed enthusiasm for entertaining and the fondest memories of a day behind-the scenes with great people, including all of Debra's friends from Scentimental Gardens.

I know Eddie will be posting all the details from this event in the near future so be sure to watch for that. Chicago week continues - next post will be about Debra's 2 beautiful design stores.

(garden pieces featured are by Richard Taylor)

Monday, June 21, 2010

WOW - Still Recovering from Chicago!

Back from two terrific events in Chicago - Eddie Ross's WOW event and the opening night party for Debra Phillips new store, SG Grand. Here I am with concrete artist Richard Taylor and Eddie enjoying all the fun. My camera is loaded with interior design & party planning eye candy but my day job is calling. ..more to come later today!
Richard with Debra Phillips
Designer and Material Girl's blogger Julia Edelmann of Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC with Eddie. Julia also has opened a terrific new store next to Debra's - more on that later too.
Me with designer and blogger Marija Stephens of Holding Court - so fun!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Painted Books & More from Boston's Hudson

Today I'm blogging from the gorgeous kitchen of Debra of 5th and State as preparations are being made for tonight's WOW event. Can't wait to show you pics of her AGA cooker. I just visited her fabulous store, Scentimental Gardens in Geneva, Il, and am excited to post pictures of it when I get back to Washington. In the meantime, here are images from my visit last week to a favorite Boston store, Hudson.

Loved this alternative to covering books in paper - paint them instead!

Back in 2008 when I visited they had a huge collage wall of vintage letters and photos (see here). The display is now gone but here are some select pieces enlarged and framed.

Did you know Albert & Dash makes terrific, reasonably priced throws? I didn't until I saw these.


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