Saturday, March 28, 2009

Off To The Big Easy!

I am so excited to let you know you that I am off to New Orleans for a shopping trip for some of my clients. While I am there I will be meeting with a few great talents!!!

First, I am headed to Julie Neill Designs - The wonderfully creative and artistic Julie Neill, will be meeting me and showing me some of her exciting new products and designs.

I'll also be meeting with the stylish and talented Tara Shaw! We'll see some of her new shipments from Europe and she'll share with us her visions for decorating the home.
I'll also be meeting the famous, Suzanne Kasler as she launches her elegant new line of furniture for Hickory Chair, and get to see her new designs in person.

Also, get ready for some exciting information on an antique collectible that is gaining in popularity, (which you are going to just love), as well as several other goodies and surprises along the way.

On Thursday and I'll announce the winner of the gorgeous, antique grain sack pillow. Thank you all for entering - Kym Fraser of Three Fine Grains and I are absolutely overwhelmed by your response!

On Friday I'll begin my series on my trip to "The Big Easy" - I hope you are excited as I am!!
See you in few days!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grain Sack Pillow Giveaway!!!!

We have had so much interest in antique grain sacks over the past few weeks! First with the different ways you can use linens and grain sacks in your home, and, secondly, rare, antique grain sack pillows and upholstery from textile artist, Kym Fraser at Three Fine Grains.

To celebrate the launching of her new website and on line store, Kym is offering one of our readers their choice between two rare, antique pillows.

Would you like this lovely German grain sack printed with stripes? As you recall many are printing reproductions over grains sacks to get this look, but this pillow is a true original! An antique German grain sack from 1849. Very rare salmon and blue coloring. Or this German Grain sack with roses which are very rare and usual? It has a wonderful original patch at the top which is amazing. This is the only one she has ever seen with roses before. This pillow is from 1899 Authausen, Germany.
Just leave a comment below and you will be entered to win one of these pillows. I will randomly select one winner from the comments next Thursday and Kym will ship you your choice of one of these two pillows.

Here are a few more of Kym's new items. Check out these gorgeous new stools!
And I love her collection of new Bolster pillows!
And here are some of her new German Grain sack pillows!Love these two matching pillows!
But here is my favorite new item: To see her entire collection check out her website

And don't forget to leave a comment to win one of those great pillows! Thanks so much Kym!!!
I'll post the winner on Thursday, April 2!

Note: Leave a comment and become a Willow Decor Follower and we'll put your name in twice so you'll get a second chance to win!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Romance Of Italy - Rimini's Grand Hotel

Is there anywhere more romantic than Italy in the Spring?
A favorite place for Europeans and Americans alike is the Grand Hotel in Rimini, Italy. Famous as a beautiful national historic landmark and made more famous by acclaimed Director, Federico Fellini, The Grand Hotel is a beautiful now as it was in the past.
Many years ago I had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel and even spending time in the luxurious Fellini suite, where the famous director spent many wonderful holidays.
The hotel became world-famous through Federico Fellini's films. As a poor child growing up in Rimini, he often looked through the gates of the hotel in awe, dreaming of a life of luxury like the hotel's guests. These childhood memories inspired some of his most successful films. The Grand Hotel is featured particularly in his film Amarcord, where it is in the background of some of the film's most memorable scenes.
Elle Decor UK recently did a tribute to Fellini by styling and photographing a shoot at The Grand Hotel. They chose to shoot in black in white, which really highlights the architectural features. To really see the grandeur of the location, I have tried to find the coordinating locations in color.
Elle Decor says: La dolce vita is as iconic a film as they get. Fellini’s masterpiece has been referred to throughout fashion, film, architecture, philosophy and music. As the title suggests, “The sweet life” is about frivolity, glamour, fame, style and surrounding yourself with beautiful things and people. This shoot pays homage to Fellini and the film in its black and white style photography by Fulvio Maiani and luxury setting at Grand Hotel Rimini in Italy.

The styling by Chiara di pinto and Arianna lelli Mami is seamlessly co-ordinated with the vibrant, cleverly designed furniture and interiors. “Lounge chairs” scatter the foyer, poolside and club room as if to challenge the viewer with their positioning. Sky high heels indicating power and prestige work with designer swimwear, head scarves, capelets and jewels which allude to “dressing up” for a leisurely lounge by the pool.

Like the film, the series of images presented by Elle Décor end on a reflective note, showcasing the human desire for masking the tragedies in our lives by living and searching for beauty and enjoying the sweetness of life! - Kate Vandermeer

One of the most attractive aspects of the Grand Hotel is its classic style.
Directly above and below are photos of the main lobby area. The rooms are still decorated with Venetian and French antiques of the XVIII century, and the original wooden floor (parquet) and Venetian chandeliers have been restored.
Plaster work has been restored it original grandeur.

Venetian glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling at every turn - adding to the Hotel's glamour.

In the restaurant and the other banqueting rooms, the furniture, the paintings, and the lights, reinforce the original atmosphere of the past.
Here is the Grand Ballroom - done in lovely soft pinks. Notice the ceiling is also painted pink highlighting the plaster work. Also notice the arched french doorways. Stunning.
Here is a smaller more intimate dining space. Notice again the chandelier. Mirrors are also used very often - see the very large one in the far right of the photo.
Lets go up stairs to see the more private rooms. Notice the iron work on the staircase - again the large mirrors reflect the gorgeous interiors. Beautiful carpets add another layer of luxury.

Here is one of the sitting rooms and bedrooms in one of the Hotels many suites.
Here is the sitting room in the Fellini Suite. When I visited I had the opportunity to spend time in these famous and lovely rooms.

Fellini himself loved to be a guest at the Grand Hotel once he was successful, and stayed in this favourite suite on a regular basis. Today, some guests specifically request to stay in that room. It was actually in this room, while talking on the phone, where he had the collapse that ultimately led to his death. The friend he was talking to on the phone heard a sudden silence from the other end, and called the Grand Hotel back immediately to ask them to check to see if Fellini was alright. They found him lying on the floor, and he was rushed to hospital. He later died in Rome.
Above the adjacent sleeping quarters and bath of the Fellini Suite. Though difficult to see, the floor to ceiling french doors in the bedroom open to a spectacular view of the ocean. Again many mirrors, Venetian glass chandeliers, plaster mouldings and marble abound.
The outside grounds of The Grand Hotel are equally as beautiful.
Outdoor dining in the garden - Also the area where many parties and weddings have taken place.Here a semi-outdoor pavilion has a permanent painted "tented" ceiling. Notice the gorgeous floor.
Dining by the pool - Wouldn't you love to sip champagne cocktails here?

More outdoor dining, with a spectacular view.
A beautiful tablescape with the Hotel as a spectacular backdrop.

Getting ready for a wedding - Oh so romantic!
And, of course, do not forget the ocean! Just steps from the hotel.
Make sure to reserve your private cabana.
Evening parties on the outdoor pavilion!
Ahh - wouldn't it be fun to escape to Italy in Spring?!
All photos from The Grand Hotel website, Golden Star Events and Elle Decor UK.
Research from Wikipedia, Fashionista, and The Grand Hotel.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Industrial Kitchen Stools For All Styles

It seems like industrial furniture is in every magazine -tables, cabinets, and lighting fixtures. But, some of my favorites are the counter stools. Lets look at some wonderful examples:
MS Living

Here is a great example of mixing the industrial style with a more rustic decor. I love the shiny surface of stools against the rough matte brick walls. This lab stool style is fairly common and easy to come by.Accurato

Here is another example that is a bit more modern from Offi.
We are seeing the square style in many homes. These are from Design Within Reach. Notice how great they look against the wood island and with the industrial pendant lights.
Martha Stewart
Here is another set of squared topped stools - these look wonderfully vintage - but what else could we expect from Martha?
Apartment Therapy
Look at these interesting spring stools I saw over at Apartment Therapy! Aren't they fun! They look so cool against the barn wood island and slate floor tiles.

House Beautiful

These are classic lab stools which can be purchased from many school or office supply sites. I love how modern they feel next the classic black island. Also notice the pendant lights and the interesting floor. This kitchen is one my favorites.
Country Living
How about a chocolate malt? These fifties vintage stools, complete with footrest rail, look wonderful in this kitchen filled with antiques. Notice the antique table paired with what looks like a copy of an aluminum Emeco chair. Schoolhouse pendants, antique signs and old lockers add charm.
Though I love the look of stools, I much prefer them with backs for comfort. Here are some stools that are copies of Emeco stools. Notice the four bars in back versus Emeco's three. The style though, does look perfect in this more traditional style kitchen.
Here is a photo of the true Emeco Navy stool, a classic is often copied - but isn't the orignial wonderful.
Desire to Inspire

Look at these vintage chairs - I really love them, and the kitchen cabinets and the center island in stainless steel. My only issue is the lights. They remind me of being in a dentist office. I would never open my mouth in this kitchen, but perhaps that's a good thing!
Seattle Times
These stools have more of a vintage look in this modern kitchen . I like the barrel backs. They look comfortable and hip.

Apartment Therapy

Here is an example of the Hudson Stool , also made my Emeco, available from Design Within Reach. These really add some bling to this New York Loft!

Giannetti Designs
Perhaps my favorite stools are the ones designer Brooke
Giannetti used in a recent project for a client. I love the size and scale. In her own home Brooke used these with a fabric seat cushion .
Cote de Texas
Designer Joni Webb, mentioned this kitchen in her famous blog on Kitchens 101-Elements to Copy. The chairs can be found at Beach Dwelling and are the same ones as in the
Giannetti designed kitchen. I love the interesting floors and the chandelier. Both kitchens have very different interiors, but they both work with these stools.

I hope they are comfortable because I think these are my favorite. Which ones do you prefer?
Check out other great finds at Miss Mustard Seeds Furniture Friday!