Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Field Trip Friday - 1/21/11

My latest field trip was to see my friend Aimee at her shop, Valerianne, in Vienna, VA. Valerianne specializes in luxury linens, but there is so much more to see! Beautiful things for the bath and bedroom and some lovelies for the top of your dining table. And did I mention they are currently having a sale? Treat yourself to a new set of sheets. I did!
Here's the address: 111 Church St. Vienna, VA 22180 703-242-1790

Romantic Centerpiece

Well, we finally got the holidays pretty much cleaned up (except my snowman outside, my Little Beacon of Hope)so my kitchen table was bare. Now, if I was a neat and tidy kind of girl this would have been great. But I am a More is More kind of girl and truth be told, a Too Much is Not Enough kind of girl.

So I got to thinking.........
And I kept looking at this cloche that my friend Sharon gave me years ago that usually has a beautiful vintage bunny in it. And I love it and it makes a great centerpiece but I was hoping for some kind of candlelight for cozy dinners. Candles under the big dome would have looked great but would never have worked. Then I remembered my battery operated, remote control candles. They came from Costco. I am not a huge Costco fan, but my friend is. She always finds the greatest food and cool stuff like the candles. So I force myself to go over there and buy whatever she tells me. (I keep my Costco membership because I think they have wonderful party food.)

So battery operated remote control candles, not only means they will light up under the cloche, but I don't have to lift the lid to turn them on. I just grab my little remote and poof! Magic!

The candles looked a little bare and then I remembered how I am always squirreling away corks from wine bottles. I don't know why I can't throw them away. They always remind me of good times, and I think so many of them are like little works of art. The guy at the wine store recently told me that all the wineries are going to start moving away from corks and moving towards SCREW TOPS! Even the Italians! Gasp! I hope he is wrong.

I filled in the spaces with corks, put on the lid and lit the candles. Loved it.

Then I added my favorite sheep, Patrick Ewe-ing (or maybe it's BaaBaa Walters)and a silver teapot full of tulips. I was in the store the other day and my husband bought them for me. You have to love a man who sees flowers and says, "I think you need tulips."
Something seemed a little off to me and I realized that it was the runner underneath. (Actually this is a pillow sham - I will use anything as a runner.)I felt like there was too much going on - even for a Too Much is Not Enough Girl. I found an old valance that has been floating around here since 1992, took out the rodpocket to make it squarer and added some chenille onion fringe that I found down in my studio. (See, I told you! Anything is fair game for a table runner.)
I like it much better. Romantic candlelit dinner? Bring it on!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Field Trip Friday! - 1/14/11

This particular Friday took us to the Washington Design Center and my partner in crime was Cheryl, who designs and fabricates window treatments.
We concentrated on finding a match for a fabric swatch Cheryl had, getting some inspiration for my next project and just seeing what was new. We went to some of our favorite fabric suppliers. You might call it fabric and trim, but I call it HEAVEN.

First stop was the Duralee/Highland Court showroom. I am a big fan. They have a pink and brown vignette and since I just redecorated my living room in pink and brown, there was lots of inspiration there.

Here is a Duralee fabric that I recently used in a client's kitchen and family room. Her goal was to brighten up the place and this certainly did it. Such an optimistic print!

The next stop was at Robert Allen/Beacon Hill. I use the term "stop" loosely, because that sounds like we "paused" in each showroom, when actually we wander around, look at everything, study, study, study, and then discuss the merits of what we see. It's exhausting, but someone has to do it. Robert Allen has a new collection from Dwell Studio - so good I can't even describe it. But I want it.

Here is a yummy trim from Robert Allen that I am about to use on a pillow in my bedroom. Ruffled stripe ribbon with brown beads. Happy.!

Our last stop was at Kravet/Lee Jofa. You could furnish an entire house from this showroom. Rugs, furniture, fabrics, trim, wallcovering. And every style imaginable. They have one whole room devoted to Ralph Lauren. (Love my Ralph).

Here's a chair in the showroom that was soooo comfortable. Here's the chair test. I sit in a chair (I am only 5 feet tall). Then some tall person (like Cheryl, 5'8") sits in the same chair and we know that if it is comfortable for both, it's a keeper. So this chair is not only cool looking, but felt great, too!

The wallcovering section of the showroom. You will want to wallpaper something. I swear.

I am getting ready to start a Cowboy room for a client. Look at the Kravet fabric we are using for some cornice boards. We'll be trimming them with some braided leather.

Here I am taking a much needed rest in the showroom.
All that inspiration made us hungry, so after Kravet, it was off to lunch.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Field Trip Friday! - 1/7/11

It's back! Field Trip Friday has been gone way too long. So much work needed to be done the last couple of months that it left no room for play. But in as much as the field trips fueled my curiosity and inspiration, I am beginning rethink them simply as play.
So I tried to keep it close to home. I had just heard of a place in nearby Clifton, VA that sold antique Italian chandeliers. (Aren't those three of the most beautiful words in the English language?? Antique. Italian. Chandeliers.) I called two of my trusty sidekicks, one of whom should have stayed in bed because she's had a bug for like, 2 weeks, but I promised her we would go have some much needed soup at the end of the field trip.
La Bella Luce was more than I could have dreamed. I took a pretty horrible picture of their sign - didn't notice the glare. The shop is in an old house, right on Main St.Once inside, I was lucky enough to catch the owner, Aly, long enough to meet her and hear her story.(She said she is so busy with clients that sometimes she only pops into the store for 5 minutes in a whole day.) She lived in Italy for many years but is not Italian. I think she said she still has a house there. She imports Italian chandeliers, but she also had a good mix of antiques and artwork. Aly has the kind of store you have to wander through twice just to try to take it all in.
We all fell in love with these antique twin beds. Loved the chandeliers over them. They were overloaded with snowflake decorations.
In the blue bathroom there was still a Christmas tree in the bathtub. Such a tiny room, it was hard to photograph.In fact, my picture keeps coming in sideways. Sorry.
Now, I love red and white kitchens (or any room, really) so this kitchen vignette really stopped me at the door! Lots of old dishes, glassware, even a freestanding wardrobe in the corner that looked so perfect instead of built in cabinets.
La Bella Luce features a different artist each month (displayed in the stairwell - pretty cool!) and also each month they have a short seminar or event related to design. The address is 7137 Main St., Clifton VA 20124. Phone: 703-830-8442 Visit them on the web at