Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Garden Inspired Home Office

  A Garden Theme Home Office.  
 It was the smallest room in our home. We hadn't used this room much at all
except to use the copy machine or make a quick phone call.  But since I 
 retired from the shopkeepers life, this is where I have put down roots.
Since the room was already painted in a historical green, the garden theme
came to mind and that was essentially my inspiration point.
And since I love gardening and I had lots of garden type accessories that helped seal the deal.
Green and black and white would be the color palette in this space.
A set of old black and white toile drapery panels were used to skirt the desk, 
which is just a piece of formica mounted in a floating manner.  A black and white
cabana stripe "rug" covers the floor.  It is not really a rug, but a 
large length of Sunbrella fabric, which is very stiff and works well
as a floor covering in a spot that doesn't get a lot of use.
The graphic punch pushes the room in a modern direction, but also
stays in keeping with the garden theme, as this cabana stripe is used 
mainly in outdoor settings.  A new set of drapery panels from HomeGoods,
also in a black and white pattern dress the window.  A pair of our dining room
chairs are put into service for the time being, and because they are super comfy
and have green and white  buffalo check upholstery, they fit the palette.
A small silver occasional table from HomeGoods makes it easy to sit up
here with hubby in the morning with a cup of coffee as we go over bills.
 Black and white and green. 
 Pick a simple color palette like neutrals plus one color is almost a foolproof way to decorate a room.

 Faux moss balls and old urns in different sizes are used for table top and window sill decor.
 So make your extra room come alive with a fun theme and a simple color palette.  
Throw in a graphic pattern for a modern touch and accessorize with some vintage 
items to get a look all your own.  The bird cage from Brimfield found its way up here too!
  Little accents with the garden theme are sprinkled around the room.  If it could be found in a garden it can be found in this room.  Picking a theme to help you come up with decorating ideas is always a good idea.  It might seem silly to put bird eggs or mossy urns in an interior room, but when all are combined, the theme pulls it together. A pretty miniature book with a fancy design in a lacy floral print with a golden spine elevates the birdcage, filled with tiny eggs.
 It is still a work in progress, as I think I will be painting this room and 
changing out the light fixture, but for now its coming along nicely.


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Note: This post is partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation in their designer program on Pinterest, called Happy by Design. Follow our designer board for great tips and tricks from some national designers, like me! Click here to go to our Happy by Design board.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New! Limited Edition Maison Decor Mora Clock

Hi Everybody!  
Just a quick update to those of you who have been obsessing over our 
Maison Decor Mora Clocks.  The lovely Swedish reproductions that we 
hand finish in our Boston sister store per our customers color preferences
are our Maison Decor Deluxe Mora clocks.  We have been selling  
Mora reproduction clocks for FIVE years now, and have sold hundreds of them!
We are thrilled to announce a new addition to our Mora clock family!
Its more affordable, and has some features you have been asking for,
so take a closer look at the 
NEW LIMITED EDITION MAISON DECOR MORA CLOCK.
 Even though its more affordable, it has some lovely upgrades including a glass enclosure around the face and a faux pendulum in the opening of the belly of the clock.  This is a fabulous reproduction Mora clock with a French Country face.  It comes in one color, Gunnar Grey, with antique gold trim. Slightly distressed around the gold trim area, the painted body finish is done to resemble an aged appearance.  Since we are not hand finishing these clocks, we can offer them to you at a significant price point reduction and ship them within 72 hours, allowing if they are in stock.  Otherwise expect a three week time frame on these clocks if you miss out on our initial offering. Don't worry however, we will restock these limited edition clocks when we sell out.
 The Limited Edition Maison Decor Mora Clock has a slender stature which makes it particularly ideal for narrow spots or hallways.  Shown here in my living room, it is as tall as our Deluxe Mora floor clock, but more narrow as it projects from the wall.  I love the color of the clock, it is an appealing gray, and most closely resembles Benjamin Moore Gettysbury Gray HC-107.
We have a limited amount of these clocks in stock. Those ordered first will get their clocks shipped out immediately! You could have your Maison Decor clock in one week!! Normally our hand finished clocks take 8 weeks.  If there is a lot of interest, we will consider adding these to our line of Mora Clocks as a regular item.  I think they are spectacular! 
Click HERE to view the clock in our online shop or to place your order.  You can also view and purchase in our sister store, Pioneer Goods Co, at 764 Tremont Street, Boston.  Owned and operated by my son, Justin Power, his shop is open both Saturdays and Sundays for shopper's convenience. 

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Creating my French Style Courtyard

Often all it takes is one image that sets my mind to thinking.
The simple outdoor courtyard below was one of the inspiration
photos I collected when I was imagining my outdoor space.
 This image from Martha Stewart has the simplicity of design
and the vibe of the European country lifestyle I admire.
Making such a space in our own yard would be my intention.
One designated for outdoor dining or early morning cups of coffee.  
  The rear of our home has just such a space that I though would convert nicely to this idea of a French courtyard.  I had piles of cobblestones just waiting for me to use them, and so this weekend it all came together. Although I started the project on Saturday, and did a lot of back breaking handwork and digging, Mr. Maison Decor came to the rescue on Sunday with his dump truck and skid steer and made my dreams come true very quickly!  He has an excavation business and its super handy at times like these to have this equipment and knowledge of how to set the stone and all that.  He first removed the grass that was growing in the courtyard area.  We leveled out a space in front of one of the stone walls to create a dedicated grilling area.
This would be the grill station, and hubs would put down the two large slabs
of blue stone for the grill to rest upon.  
This is me supervising hubby. He was doing an amazing job!
By the end of the day we had set up a cobblestone courtyard that we 
had leveled out so we could set up our dining table.  Then we put down a weed barrier
fabric and on top of that the tiny pea gravel was sprinkled over that.  The bluestone
was perfect for the grill and my two large black urns were dragged over to their new spot.
I have taken those urns everywhere I go! One was even in front of my old shop.
We worked our butts off and today Colin and I are going to level out the pea gravel
a bit more and put the dining table into position.  Its a big step forward in the 
courtyard project, but still more things have to happen.  A pair of French doors
that lead to the back yard will have to be installed, as well as another wall trellis
for the big blank backside of the house.  Only one window is on the north side of
the house out here so it feels awkward.  One trellis has been installed and I think
I need to put up one more.....I am back out into the yard to plant some lavender 
and add some mortar behind the cobbles to secure them.  
One more thing that is headed to the courtyard!
 I found it on Craigslist and it is an antique garden arbor.  
Woo Hoo! Not exactly sure where I am putting it, but I am 
picking it up today! Look for another exciting courtyard post tomorrow!! 
At least I am excited, lol. Its the little things in life that get me that way.
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Florentine Accessories and my French courtyard garden takes shape

 These golden beauties catch my eye at antique shops and fairs.
They bear a soft golden patina, not a harsh in your face kind of gold.
It is called Florentine, and it is usually made in Italy and stamped
on the back of the piece.  I have one piece that was made in Japan
and its not nearly as nice as the Italian made items.
 This set of Florentine bookends was gifted to me at my last day of closing the shop by Julia, my right hand gal.  She was with me when I spotted them in an antique shop, but I had picked out too many other items and so I left them behind.  What a surprise it was when she handed me these all wrapped up along with a lovely card on our last day at the shop.  Now they will have a special meaning.
 Trays are the most common things you will find in the Florentine style.  I have had quite a few in my day and sold most of them on my online shop.  The pink and gold is my favorite and I love this small decoupaged plaque that I bought online from a Facebook friend, Stacy.  It is one of my favorite Florentine pieces, and it hangs in my pink and gold bathroom.
 So this little Florentine collection has started to become a bit of an obsession.  I found the 6 drawer jewelry chest on my trip to California's Central Cost last month.  I found a few more pieces at Brimfield Antiques Fair and if you are looking, you will be certain to find them in most any antique shop.  Its a nod to the Renaissance style, and its a bit of old glamour that I just can't resist.  
Moving on~I have been mad about creating an outdoor space since I have retired from shopkeeper's life.  It will include a French door for easier access to this little space behind our home.
 I worked my butt off all day digging in the earth and moving plants and cobblestones.
At the end of the day I decided to reward myself with a little garden party as the courtyard
is really starting to take shape.  Mr. Maison Decor is bringing in a machine tomorrow
 to level out the area underneath the alfresco dining table. 
After that we will spread pea gravel as our base.
Any time you set up for al fresco dining, you need lighting.  
I found a large and attractive citronella candle with a chicken wire wrap 
and wooden handle at HomeGoods along with a tiered tea light votive stand.
 Bugs aren't welcome, but pretty mood lighting is! 
 So grab your favorite beverage and a pair of glasses and cap 
off a long and hard days work of digging in the garden.  
This photo is for my mom, a fellow gardener.  The one who inspired the passion of gardening inside me.  I really love gardening. Its another creative pursuit that was left to the back burner when I opened my first shop three years ago.  But now, I am BACK!  And this garden has my full attention.
The trellis was assembled by moi, after I spotted it online.  I think its terrific and it filled up this
great big empty exterior wall.  Today I dug out a climbing rose bush and transplanted it in the hopes it just might make it...it wilted soon after moving, but I have watered it diligently and even used some Rose medicine from the garden center.  Some lavender will be in this border, and a few other things need to get moved around. Tomorrow my man promised me we will move the earth!! Woohoo!
I will be back with our progress in short order, hopefully. 
 Until then, I hope you are enjoying your weekend.
This was one long winter and I am soooo glad to be outside!

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Note: This post was partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of their Happy By Design Pinterest program.  Click here to visit our Designer board to see more tips and tricks for decorating.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Brimfield Antiques Fair Day Trip 2015

Most of my Brimfield score!
Yesterday I went to do some antique hunting at the Brimfield Fair.
The Brimfield Fair is Americas oldest and perhaps largest antique fair.
Julia, my old shop gal, and I set out for a day trip.  Julia had never been
and I have been a few times before so I had a rough plan.  Park near the church
and get out with our rolling shopping carts and hit the route.  There are so many
fields with hundreds of vendors in each field so its impossible to visit the entire 
antique fair in one day.  But its alright to not worry about seeing everything,
just start wandering and start buying whatever catches your eye and seems 
like a price you are willing to pay.  I had nothing I was looking for except
for perhaps an old screen door to attach to the outside of our side door for 
that old fashioned breezy summertime feeling.  Other than that, it was 
just going to be a very laid back hunt.
 It took us less than an hour and half to get to Brimfield, Massachusetts from the Boston area.  
When we got close to a mile away the traffic stalled but it only took a few minutes or so to find a 
local place to park. $5 in someone's yard and we were off to look for antiques!
My first score was this spherical told chandy.  It had no price tag, so I had to ask....the lady in the tent said it belonged to another vendor and she would call him on the phone. It was not looking good....but the guy answered and he told her he wanted $20.  HUH?! SOLD!! The cheapest chandy I have ever bought and now it was mine. Its a little round metal chandelier that I want to put in my small home office.  I might paint it antique green, but its too early to say at this point.
You can see it sitting in my rolling cart. I already have a  pile of things inside
my cart, as I was having good luck.  Maybe if you aren't looking for things they 
come and tap you on the shoulder? In the cart was a Florentine musical jewelry 
box for $25 and some other goodies.  Julia was holding back and her cart (the blue one)
was still empty.  I had to encourage her to BUY stuff!! Come on girl!! Get our your wallet
cause you are at Brimfield!!
 At this point of the day, as you can see by the selfie we took in the gigantic tin tile mirror,
Julias cart was loaded.  Alright, well half of it was mine, but she was catching up with me.
We had to peek through the bird cage holder that I bought. It has a matching bird cage that 
was in a pretty antiqued green and gold finish.  What is it about bird cages that I love? I have 
no idea, except that they remind me of small gazebos and I love outdoor garden houses.
We made a point to visit Cary Goodrich at her booth in the Shelton Field.
It was filled with interesting smalls and garden pieces.  One thing in particular 
caught my eye...this large round window.  I saw it on Cary's instagram feed
and I just had to see it in person.  Cary was featured by Matthew Mead for her 
collections as an antiques dealer and she is in DECORATING with me in the same issue.
 Here is that amazing window!!!
 I would have loved to get that thing and install it somewhere....
but where oh where was the question.  
Anyway it was SOLD by the time we got to it.
 So I have this funny story to tell about the Matthew Mead DECORATING magazine
 that Cary and I are currently featured in.  Here you see a stack of them for sale in Cary's booth.  
Well this was the second siting of "MY" magazine in as many minutes at Brimfield!
You see we were at a dealer's tent two doors down from Cary's and finding all kinds of the stuff I LOVE!  Like pink Florentine frames and boxes, (gold italian decorative wooden pieces),
 florentine style sconces, ceramic asparagus molds, botanical prints etc when I spotted the Matthew Mead magazine sitting on a table in the back of the booth.
So I asked the dealer, "oh have you been reading this magazine?" and the guy says, "Well my friend is in it!" he said very proudly.  I asked him, "who is your friend?" He says, "Cary. Cary Goodrich. She's an antiques dealer who is a friend of mine"." So then I said, "I know Cary! She is a friend of mine too. And.....I am in the magazine too!!!"  So now the guy looks at me really carefully.  I pick up the magazine and flip the page open to my spread, the one with the blingy chandelier dripping with crystals and all....and I say, "This is my house!"  Then I turn the page where there is a photo of me and show him because I wasn't sure he believed me.  Hahaha!!! 
He probably didn't recognize me in my big sun hat.  Not exactly a glamorous look. 
Anyway, it was SOOOO WEIRD! After seeing my layout he says happily, 
"Oh no wonder you love all of MY stuff. It will go perfectly in YOUR house!" 
So that was a very funny thing that happened to me at Brimfield and "Tony" was a great dealer, but old school he said, so I have no website or Etsy or Ebay shop to hook him up with you.  Oh well.
He is from Savannah Georgia. His wife is a big button dealer. 
 I just do find myself loving how people in the South tend to decorate.
  I swear I must have been an old Italian/French lady who settled in the South in a former life.
 You can see Tony his booth. This photo was an after thought.  I had left the booth for the neighboring one and decided I must take a pic of his wonderful booth. See the tole floral chandys
he has hanging on the left. The metal grates out front, and then tons of gilded goodies inside.
That was a memorable visit.  Some booths you just wander in and out, others you forge a quick friendship as you exchange money for goods they carefully curated for their booths. Antiques dealing is not for the faint of heart. Its a lot of hard work for the money and boy do they work hard to set up at Brimfield.
At some point along the way I spotted this green screen door.  It looked kind
of short, and our side door is shorter than normal. It also had a wooden panel
on the bottom that I wanted to keep pawing dogs from busting through screen 
after screen.  It might be perfect, but I had not measured so I just had to wing it.
The price was knocked down to $50, so I bought it. 
Counting out the money to this dad and son dealer team. 
 He said he would bring the door to our car  at the end of our shopping day 
if we pulled into his little dirt road.  Sounded great to us. No lugging needed. 
As far as the screen door I had my fingers crossed it would fit. 
 If not, the door it would look pretty good as a garden ornament 
with a big hook holding a hanging plant.
So many pretty booths, and many had themes. Like sweet painted cottage style
furniture or industrial goods, or all chandeliers etc.  After about four hours we
were run down and ready to go home.  Plus we had no more room in our rolling 
carts. It was time to hit the road.  Julia got a pink metal bread box and a big iron
plant stand for her patio. She also bought a crystal sconce from Tony.
 I grabbed a few more goodies along the way and even found a purple transferware
bowl for $12~!  A brown transferware vase for my sister for $5!
A fancy pink horse ribbon from 1939!  In pink, no less! Did I say it was pink?! 
( I rarely see pink ribbons)
I also scored on a wonderful old wedding ring quilt done by hand in the softest pastels 
and it was in almost mint condition.  It was all too much fun.
Loot was loaded and were done with Brimfield. 
We loaded up and headed back. Husbands and kids were waiting on us.
Not to mention dogs....
That night I felt like a kid on Christmas pulling all my antique treasures out of
old paper wrappings and mismatched bags that the dealers had used to wrap them
securely.  One by one I set them onto the dining table.  I was in heaven!
It was really a lot of fun, and I did not spend more than $80 on any one thing.
The quilt was the most pricey at $80 and the rest were in the $20-30 range.  
 My pink horse ribbon and a pair of Florentine boxes, one a musical jewelry box.
 A pair of soft pink and green botanicals would go inside a pair of vintage Florentine frames.
And above them the spherical chandelier in tole.  
 A neat tole library lamp in that lovely antique green color. Ivy pattern painted on the base
and a pastoral scene with dogs on each shade. I fell hard for this lamp.  Both these light fixtures
were destined for my little home office.  The one I have the pair of garden architectural prints of Versailles over my desk, remember?  The leaf patterns will be perfect for this garden theme.

 A European maker of bird cages, Julia knew of them, but not I.  She told me they were the word in fine bird cages.  And its matching stand! I could not resist its charms.  Oh, I stand corrected, this 
pair set me back $110.  
 I got these pink Florentine frames from Tony, as well as the botanicals I will use.
 These aspic molds with signatures and bearing my favorite asparagus and artichokes.
 A lovely taupe needlepoint that I will fashion into a lumber pillow for our bed.
And that wedding ring quilt?  I thought it would either go in our bedroom as an 
accent throw on the big leather chair, or it might look nice for the summer laid over the 
back of our white living room sofa.  I set it up in the morning and planned to photograph
it later in the day after I finished washing the crystals on a huge lamp I bought last month at 
another vintage market, SOWA. As I was in the kitchen washing a billion nicotine stained crystals...
each one had to be removed, washed and then dried and reattached...so about an hour later I came back into the living room holding the lamp and what to my wandering eyes did I spy??
 Dillon was having a little pillow party for himself.  He looked ever so comfy and cozy.
And my lovely and delicate wedding ring quilt was tossed around in his whirl of
sofa cushion tossing and pillow fluffing.   He has never done this before.  Hmmmm...
I think the wedding ring quilt will NOT be on the back of the sofa after all.
 I moved it onto the back of the tufted chair until I travel back 
upstairs.  I had a big pile of treasures on my piano to put away 
after taking photos.  A blog post of Florentine style will be next up,
as I have a slight obsession that is growing.

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