July 21, 2012

DESIGN AEROBICS part one

 Day after Day, walking 10 to 12 hours daily, and never tiring, well maybe a little, is my happiness, the exercise, a bonus. I could never do this at home, I would be bored beyond belief, but looking at pretty things........I'm there! Here's some of what I brought back
First stop, my suburban Chicago shop, Scentimental Gardens, in Geneva, Il.
 A market stand, England 1930's, hand made and signed
 French papers, letters, legal papers....just an odd assortment of miscellaneous papers, circa mid to late 1800's. Great for covering books or simply framed in a gold leafed, thick, wood frame. These could be an autopsy report and it would not matter, they are so lovely!
 An authentic, large, double sided pub sign. I fell for the subject and the colors
 A pair of vintage consoles
 Faux bois (fake wood) planter with handles, French, circa early 1800's
Do you like demi-lunes? I am crazy for them and all their uses. This pair is from Sweden.
 Isn't the patina stunning? Hard to capture here but the primary color is a faded blue
 A design trend I embrace; metal stands with antique fragments or objects. This is a hand carved wood fragment from France, turned lamp
 My friend Herb makes mirrors and assembles and frames antique engravings. This is his mirror, attractive in it's relative simplicity
 The drama is this attachment, an iron hawk. Herb was visiting a metal re-purposing facility. To his delight there was grand panel after grand panel of gating from an estate in Hungary, a massive gate and a pair of Hawks, on the ground, about to be discarded!
 At both the gift show and the antique venues a noted trend was yellow. Could you embrace yellow? I never thought I could, but it is pulling me in
 One of a set of hand colored engravings (1796) of birds. Look closely, Herb has a touch i love; the cut edges of his mattings are all gold leafed, elevating and enhancing the art within. We are planning an Autumn trunk show in Chicago with a surprise guest.
 From England, a darkly stained gate leg table
From France, a metal potting bench. This resides in a new addition, our kitchen room, food stuffs to follow....... My intention is to paint the back plate and the top in chalkboard paint leaving recipe tips on the back. Anyone know of a good quality chalkboard paint that really works?
 Over the potting bench is a hand crafted light fixture by a gentleman that collects elements from former light fixtures, plumbing supplies and other assortment of finds. Don't you love his craftsmenship?
 Cannot believe I am selling both of these, having hunted them for over ten years. Old European cutting boards with legs, not just any legs either, each is carved from one piece of wood. Having been to a friends gathering, she had vintage cutting boards filled with cheeses, olives, breads and fruit. The wine was out and the candles were lit. All of us "oohed and ahhhed" over the display with the raised boards.

I am always asked "how do you give up these pieces?" Easy, I enjoy possessing them for a moment and then get further joy from seeing delight on my clients face.
Ironstone in our kitchen room
 Let's move over to my Chicago shop, SG Grand. Here is another of Herb's mirrors, up close it appears quite aged.
 Love mixing contemporary and vintage. The lamps have a clean lined look with the aged pieces
 Ok, adjust your eyes here, ever try to photograph glass?! My friend Lisa crafted this coffee table. From France, an oversized ruffled planter kissed in faded turquoise. Her metal worker crafted the base and attached the planter. I think she is a design genius
 "Odd" you maybe saying to yourself? Of course it is! Love adding a touch of whimsey and in this case   puppet forms (racy) from belgium
 And one for the ladies.........Original art, Empire chest, Rococo mirror and re-furbished regiment trunks from England
 Adore black accessories in a room
 I am over the moon for leather, add the look of a Chesterfield and I fall in love
 A Beidermeier styled chest from Portugal. In reality it is burled maple in a rich honey tome, but look at those lacquered legs, a style popular in Portugal
 Care to make a statement?
 I found five ottoman's on this trip, am addicted!
 More frames from Herb, 200 year old hand colored engravings and that ever-present gold leafed matting border
 Mid-century, a total of three
 Care to guess what these are? Stumped? Or did you guess French drain-tiles, you would be correct?!
Backed by a three-panel screen dressed with French adverts I made
Lastly, care to guess on this beauty? We are displaying it as a side table, but it's origin is a hand crafted bee skeps made of wood and "stitched", from France.

Part two is the gift show......

For a great read, my shop manager Bart, whom I also think is a genius (but one who can't bother commenting on my blog......hmmmm) shares a furniture history lesson, copying art and design, over the top creativity and utter frustration
www.simply-grand.blogspot.com

Hugs,
Debra

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