Monday, November 30, 2009

Seven Things You May Not Know

About a month ago a fellow blogger, Emmie of Aspirations of a Southern Housewife, gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award. Emmie writes a wonderful blog, do stop by and check it out!
Thank you Emmie for nominating me. You need to share seven things about yourself. I tend to be a rather private person, so I have been hesitant, but here they are in no particular order.
I am an incredible procrastinator but also an over achiever/Type A personality. This causes me lots of stress in my down time but very concentrated blocks of productivity during my work time.
I am half Italian and half Portuguese, My grandparents on both sides came to America in their youth and spoke only broken English. I love my heritage. I am very expressive and passionate about life, actually about almost everything.
Of all the areas of design my favorite is kitchen design and spacial planning. I really should have been a kitchen designer; perhaps someday I can play one on TV.
I have an incurable antique furniture habit. My basement and attic are filled with furniture that will someday find the perfect home - but until then happily reside in spaces above and below where we actually live.
I love puppets. I wanted to be a Puppetry major in college but my parents thought it was irresponsible. Instead, at their urging, I entered college as Accounting major (what a laugh!)
I am a mother of two beautiful children. They are amazing people and they make me laugh everyday. I can not imagine what my life would have been like with out them.
I believe we are all connected somehow and that we need to be good to one another. I try to be a better person every single day.

I am also suppose to nominate seven other blogs for this award, but I am interested in so many blogs I couldn't possibly choose. So, if you would like to share anything about yourself, please consider yourself nominated. I would love to know more about YOU!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Decorating with Antique Grainsacks

Everyone who regularly reads Willow Decor knows my love (obsession?!) with antique grainsacks. So can you imagine how excited I was when textile artist, Kym Fraser, of 3 Fine Grains sent me photos of her new Antique Grainsack Holiday Collection.
Kym transforms authentic antique German grainsacks, hessian and french jute into gorgeous pillows and throws, but what to do with the small scraps of the precious material that is left over? Well Kym has designed these extra pieces of history into the most wonderful Christmas ornaments and stockings.
Above is her Christmas star made out of French Hessian with real antique glass buttons.
Another star fabricated from a striped German grainsack.
One of my favorite designs is the Dove. This lovely little gem is made from 100 year old antique linen and an antique glass button eye.
Hanging in front of the Dove is an antique button over an antique spoon ornament.
Here's another one for that special mother in your life - (I hope my children are reading this!) Plain small hearts and large hearts are also available, as well as partridges. Kym's ornaments range from $10 to $15.
My other favorite items in Kym's Holiday Collection are her antique hessian and French jute stockings.
They come with a ruffled or striped cuff made from 100 year old antique linen. The striped stocking is $65 and the Ruffled $75. Surely Santa would appreciate these beauties and pack them full of goodies!!
Finally, an antique German grainsack finds new life as Christmas tree. Contact Kym directly for more information on this one of kind item. Notice that Kym also used jute upholstery webbing as garland for her tree. You can learn more about using jute upholstery webbing in home decor in my post here. Now here is the exciting part; contact Kym between now and December 6 and mention Willow Decor in comment line and you will receive 10% off your purchase. If you are interested in any of these items please contact 3 Fine Grains. Happy decorating!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Velvet & Linen Brickmaker's Table Voting

Today starts the voting for Velvet and Linen's Brickmaker's Table Giveaway. I was fortunate to be asked by Brooke Giannetti of V&L to be part of the judging that narrowed down the choices from 170 rooms to 10 finalists. The top three rooms with the most votes will receive the Brickmaker's Table from Restoration Hardware; a gorgeous table designed by Mark Sage. If you get a chance, do stop by and cast your vote. The top ten are just a small representation of all fabulous spaces that were entered. I'd love to hear which ones are your favorites! Click here to see them and vote!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Peek Inside a Danish Home

One of the wonderful things about having a sister in Denmark is having her share with me some of her favorite shops. She was excited to see this shop featured in Skona Hem and sent it along to me. K & CO is a wonderful antique shop in Copenhagen. The owner's home was recently profiled in the magazine. Their home is a wonderful mix of industrial and Gustavian styles. Let's have a peek.
In the entryway a console table with marble top was given a new coat of Gustavian gray paint. The iron roof decoration is a beautiful focal point and the vintage shelf makes wonderful coat rack.
The living room is an interesting mix of hard industrial lines and soft linen upholstery. The antique pedestals, lamps and desk, add interest and soften the room. The vintage clock and antique shutters above the couch are charming.
Through out the home the couple adds unique accessories that add whimsy, texture and personality to the space. Above are rusty steeple finials that once sat on a church roof.
The kitchen is a wonderful mix of stainless steel appliances, Ikea cabinets and hand worn antiques. I love the Danish hanging cupboard filled with traditional blue willow plates. Also the Tolix chairs add a wonderful feeling to this space. The owners enhanced the chandelier with antique crystals.
Part of an ancient altar screen hangs on the opposite wall of the kitchen.
The dining area also has the Tolix chairs. I love the linen pillows as chair cushions. The chandelier gives the space a bit more formality and sparkle; and the mirrors bring your eye up and open up the room. Vintage candlesticks and fluted cast iron urn add a rustic contrast.
Finally the bedroom is serene in all white. The owners collection of vintage perfume bottles and female bust in Bronze become a uniquely personal vignette.
With such wonderful items available to them, they certainly have created a gorgeous home.
(all photos Skona Hem)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Pennsylvania Farmhouse

I love this time of the year in New England when the leaves have all turned and the weather is getting a bit more chilly. It's time of making apple pies and getting the wood stacked and ready for roaring fires in in the fireplace. I thought this would be a great time to share this thoughtfully restored 1840's Greek Revival Farmhouse in Pennsylvania, a two hour drive from NYC.
Paul Ochs, founder of Och Design has a passion for restoring historic homes in country, that are commutable to the Big Apple. This rural residential restoration showcases his wonderful talent and gift for returning an antique abandoned home back to its original beauty.
Paul was careful to keep as many of the original details of the home as possible. Above, the mudroom has been restored with the original plank ceilings and hemlock floor.
The kitchen was completely renovated, but the new cabinets evoke a true farmhouse feel. The countertops are bluestone that was found locally. Notice the moulding detail above the window that was enlarged to hold antique crockery.
Paul designed the farm table to seat 10. He also hung a collection of antique butter paddles as a reminder that the property was once a dairy farm.
The fireplace was added to the dining room and, because it was done so thoughtfully, it looks original. The antler light fixture in the living room is an Ochs Design original. I really like the cozy feeling in this room. The two old chests pushed up against each other create an interesting coffee table. Also notice the enhanced moulding around the windows - it creates a great shelf for displaying what looks like bittersweet branches.
The historic paint color selection creates a lovely autumn feeling in this guest suite. A black Windsor chair is a classic in any farmhouse decor. The addition of the botanical prints creates a perfect accent.
In an effort to embrace the interesting roof lines, a custom velvet headboard was created in the master bedroom.
Every farmhouse needs a chippy iron bed! The wall color in this guest room is just beautiful.
The attic was renovated to hold an artist's studio. I adore the interesting chair made from found objects.
The barn was also restored and renovated into a four car garage with a large overhead space which could eventually become an apartment or guest house. The house also sits on a bubbling stream and is surrounded by acres of undeveloped property.
If you are interested in seeing more photos of this wonderful home, including many detailed before and afters click here. A two hour drive from NYC and you feel world's away - I can almost smell the apple pie baking!
(all photos Ochs Design)

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Comfortable Home Winner!

Congratulations to Linda at Lime in the Coconut for winning the wonderful design book: The Comfortable Home - How to Invest in Your Nest and Live Well for Less.
Special thanks to Mitchell Gold, Bob Williams and Mindy Drucker.
Enjoy your weekend!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sag Harbor Really Sagg Road - Mystery Solved!!

Thanks to a wonderful reader the mystery of of Sag Harbor is solved!! Actually the true title of this home is Sagg Road and it is the the Hampton's summer home of architects Bernt Heiberg and Bill Cummings of Heiberg Cummings Design. Their home was featured in the July 2007 issue of Home and Garden.
Interestingly, this home really has many of the popular trends we are seeing now but was completed in early 2007. A great testament to the vision and design aesthetic of Heiberg and Cummings.
Here is another view of the dining area, which we had not seen. I love the mix of chairs and the mix of woods and painted pieces.
They also design furniture, and have a collaboration with the famous Hodnebo company in Norway. The corner chair is an example.
If you are interested in seeing more of their very impressive work you can visit their website at Heiberg and Cummings. Also to see the original article as it appeared in Home and Garden click here. Finally, to read another post from WD on Heiberg and Cummings, another Hampton's home and more about Hodnebo click here. Mystery solved!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Mystery of Sag Harbor!

I have been doing some cleaning this week and purging unused computer files of saved photos. In my quest, I came across these wonderful photos of Sag Harbor which I saved last April. But, here is the problem, this lovely home has no home, link, photo or decorating credits. I only labeled them Sag Harbor when I saved them. I was so taken with this beautiful home I was sure I would never forget where it came from and of course I did forget. So, if any of you recognize this home please let me know so I can acknowledge the wonderful architect, designer or photographer.
Take a look at this living room! It has so many wonderful features. First, the over all feel of the room is so comfortable. I think the mix of antiques, accessories and small tables are very interesting - clearly the people who own this home are well traveled as the mix of found objects seem to come from all over. I adore the linen couches - they have a marked Belgian feel. Also note the French antique chairs and the Swedish style daybed. I like the use of black in what feels like a very neutral decor. The black tables and iron candlesticks are obvious,but also look at the french doors which are boldly painted black. Further inspection and we find iron curtain rods, fireplace screen and a pie rack used as a room divider.
I can't really make out what material the window shades are - is it an antique canvas? or an antique stenciled linen? In any case they are very unusual. I also find the mix of upholstery out of ordinary, but I like how it all works together.
One of my favorite items in this room is the Trumeau mirror but mixed with Chinese lanterns is very unexpected and a bit edgy. Again black curtain rods and hooks hold linen drapes and lanterns.
Moving into the kitchen we see black cabinets and slate flooring. Upon closer inspection we see the upper cabinets nearly disappear because they have been painted white. The marble adds a richness and we see the french door in this room has also been painted black. Clearly this not a historic home - could this have been a renovation?
Here is a bedroom - I really like the black beds - do we see a trend here? Also notice the grain sack pillows and what looks like postal sack or flour sack pillows.
Another bedroom- could this be the Master Bedroom? Headboard is ticking and really like how they did NOT do ticking on the bedskirt or pillows. I love ticking but a little goes a long way. Grain sack pillows look great and Swedish bench and table are sweet.
It looks like this is the view out from the living room. A lovely pool - I adore the cast iron planters.
Hopefully we can solve the mystery of Sag Harbor. If anyone recognizes this house or knows its story please do let us know; for now we will just enjoy a job well done!