July 15, 2014

Antiquing........the goods

Twice a year I hitch up my trailer and head south. Seeing old friends plus a "treasure hunt" is unbeatable. This is a sampling, all items shown are loaded and ready to head north!
 First stop, my friend Lisa's warehouse where everything is covetable
Lisa's speciality is the South of France and repurposing objects found, into a new life. I told Lisa when I shop I will often wonder to myself "what would Lisa do with this......?" 
Never would I be able to rise to her level of imagination.
An iron bench with a heavy grade linen cushion she designed and manufactured

 Here is an example......In southern France she found these wooden/zinc edged frames. In her mind; table tops.....really?! Iron stands were made and viola, interesting side tables. Not to be found in every other home, these conversation starters, she later discovered, were from a French manufacturing plant that made shuttlecocks, these are their industrial holders.

She found this authentic wine barrel in the same region, what a great patina. It already has a home in a design clients renovation of a large space to house a bar, pizza oven, dining and leisure space.

Ephemera......a deep passion. These French letters and documents, plus others I found, feel good in my hands. Who were these addressed to? What were the circumstances? The oldest dates to 1612. 
 One of many applications to preserve this beautiful history
Then there is art, which I cannot refrain from buying. In my home I collect old Dog oils, they move me. This pooch is from Belgium, c1850

 Belgium c. 1825
France 1870
France c. 1900. Look at these colors!

 For a design clients Pub, hand painted from the English countryside. Sometimes you will find a Pub, in England, that has a sign stating FREE HOUSE, that means they are not beholden to a brewery and can offer any beer they choose, a more costly route for the owner, delightful for the customer.

 Leather, and a pair......needs a good bath but lovely lines
 Chest from 1850, NY. Mint condition excluding the top. Not an issue, will lacquer the top black

 A pair of sconces from Marseille France. Interestingly the candle sleeves are wooden
A pair of leather strap chairs by McGuire. See the same in the current issue of Veranda
 Found in my friend Marie's booth, a great wholesaler from Michigan.
She bought this chest from.......Kerry Kelly Novick who lives in Ann Arbor, Mi. This chest was in her fathers home, her father was Gene Kelly. Learning that after I bought this was quite a bonus, fell in love with the butter patina

Killer coffee table with carved wooden removable tray and brass finials


Interested? Visit the shop next week or drop me a line; debra@scentimentalgardens.com

June 29, 2014

Urns........Before and After

Our client purchased a pair of urns and bases from the shop recently. Beautiful together, however the top and bottom are from two separate manufacturers. The urns were a warm cream and the bases, decidely gray. What to do? 
Paint them!
The Amy Howard paint line we represent is a form of chalk paint with unending applications. What you can paint is astounding; wood, brass, fabric, laminate, fiberglass, mirror, concrete...... Two major attributes of this paint is the added adhesives which makes the product adhere and the ability to just paint without priming, stripping or sanding.......have to like that! The only prerequisite is to clean your piece with 'Simple Green' degreaser. Viola!
We chose 'Metropolitan Gray' as it is a brilliant match with her homes trim. The above image displays the top portion waxed and the lower in waiting. The wax I favor is 'Antiquax' which imparts a warm glow and further protects the paint.

What makes me cringe are urns that are too small in relation to their homes. Here, perfect! They are an integral part of the overall design. Will recommend extending the brick to under the urns to prevent splatter.

Lovely indeed, just too many, too small........
This shade combination includes;
   Birds Nest Fern
   Lysimachia 'aurea', aka, creeping jenny. When the bright chartreuse foliage begins to cascade, it imparts a touch of pop
   Streptocarpella, purple/blue flowers
   Sunpatiens in coral/orange. This plant can tolerate both sun and shade
   Coleus 'Vino'. The color of Port with chartreuse edging which will become more profound when the Lysimachia grows.
As this begins to grow, and fill out,  it will be an exciting color combination to offset the neutral palette of the home.
Here is something I learned in rendering classes; Look at your nightly news set, what are the colors?
Typically orange and blue, it is the color combination that most excites the brain. Take a look, let me know what you see.

So, if you want to change up your pots, or say you moved and your pots no longer match your new homes color ways, no problem.......just paint. No chipping, flaking or cracking with Amy Howard One Step paints. That includes; terra cotta, concrete, wood, iron and even glazed. We recommend a touch up of wax 3-6 times a season, depending on the climate where you live

                             Here is a project in the works.........

 Found a lovely pair of chairs; very comfortable, quite dated, but good lines. The velvet upholstery was terribly sun faded and seriously spotted, however in excellent shape. Hmmmm, I could reupholster, or, paint! And that is what we did, straight from the paint can. Now all that is needed is to lightly sand with fine sandpaper or steel wool to bring the nap to it's former luxurious hand. Next up, painting the frames........stay tuned!

Have a great holiday! I am off to my semi-annual shopping extravaganza; Atlanta gift market and southern antique shows.  Hee Haa!!


June 22, 2014

Coveting.......by nature

Twice a year our premiere faux floral manufacturer based in San Francisco, treats myself and others to a free trip, and lodging to their warehouse in the city to buy, without the crowds of market........pinch me now!
When business is complete it is off to my favorite spot in the city, Flora Grubb's Gardens. Instantly I am inspired and seriously covetous, what beauty and possibilities in such a mild clime, in the artistic hands of Flora Grubbs

Her vignettes are imaginative
Yes, that is the interior of the car above, profuse and alive
Need a new deck? Bring in an old truck, viola, raised deck! (see the chairs?)
Succulents abound

In vertical gardens
And creatively disbursed everywhere
What we can learn from these plantings is TEXTURE. Flowers are far and few but the container plantings excite. The use of varying colored and diverse foliage makes for all season impact

This is a great example of varying textures, and it works beautifully

Air plants are abundant and imaginatively displayed. Like an important sculpture those above had me immediately
Plant protector turned private hiding spot by cutting an entry hole and wrapping in rope to soften the cut edge
The staff indulges me as I snap away and linger for hours.  Thank you Flora, you never disappoint!


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