For The Love Of Baskets

I had a professor in college who taught me how to weave baskets one day after class. (No, I didn’t take the infamous basket weaving class)

Cindy Barganier

He made amazing wonders out of things like pine straw or twine or sticks. I so wanted one of his but they were way beyond my checking account. Some of his creations were huge. They were gallery installations and magnificent.

There is nothing like attempting to make something like this to give you an appreciation for those who do it well.

Here are some examples that I find intriguing.

This one is from Zulu.

Cindy Barganier

zanzabartrading.com

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This is called a thistle basket. I’m not even sure what that means. But it is lovely.

google

google

 

surfacedesign.com

surfacedesign.com

Cindy Barganier

Hamill Galleries

Hamill Galleries

 

 

Kim Sacks Gallery

Kim Sacks Gallery

mbabramgallery.com

mbabramgallery.com

And my own personal favorite: the chicken baskets.

Cindy Barganier

I would love to have me some chicken baskets if you know where to find them. And yes, I know that is terrible grammar. 🙂

A little birdie told me a client is thinking about  a chicken coop which must mean she is thinking chickens to go in that coop. No way would she have ugly chickens, so maybe I will find some chicken baskets for her then I can just go visit them from time to time. What do you think?

 

 

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I Thought It Was So Cutting Edge

According to Jamie R. Kern, ASID, President Design Theory Interiors

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“Interior designers are paid to stay ahead of color trends and set the direction of those trends. Unfortunately when

introducing innovative, unexpected color combinations to clients for the first time, the designer often has a tough sell.

The typical mailbox in America is inundated with Z Gallerie, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware catalogs and

homeowners assume that they’re seeing the latest trends in the pages of these sacred mail order publications. The truth

of the matter is that by the time the trends hit the retail market, they are already on the way out alongside hunter green

and burgundy.

Traditionally retailers and manufacturers research color trends based on what fashion and interior design professionals

have already produced and introduced into the market so their “trends” are less about leading the industry and more

about following an established innovation. The best advice I can give any homeowner involved in an interior design

project is to go into it with an open mind to fresh suggestions and new ideas. Break the cycle of relying on mail order

catalogs to influence your home buying decisions. If you’re making an investment in your home and you want be sure

that your new interiors will endure, step outside your comfort zone and trust your interior designer to guide you

through innovation.”

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The Man Who Almost Cost Me My Marraige-Not Really

Cindy Barganier

Only in my dreams

I had such a thrill this past week that I just had to share it with you. Only my cousin, Rodney Etheredge, would really appreciate this post so Sandra please be sure that he sees this.

July 7, 1979 dawned as a beautiful sunny day. I happily leaped from bed to join two of my sorority sisters who were helping me fill dozens of bags with sand and candles. These would be the luminaries that would line my parents’ long driveway and street on both sides for the evening’s party; for this, at long last, was my wedding day. In compliance with my parents’ wishes we had dutifully waited three long years until I graduated and I could not wait to be joined with the love of my life, aka, The Writer.

Fast forward to 4 pm. The wedding party, my parents and I are preparing to leave Mama and Daddy’s house for the church where the wedding will take place at 6. The phone rings. It’s the caterer. That’s never good.

“Have you seen the sky?”

“Ah, no.”

“Well you might want to look outside. What is plan B for the reception?”

“Plan B? There is no plan B. What are you talking about?”

Now you must understand that my sweet little Mama who had lived for this day had been slaving in our yard for over a year to get this thing just right. We had borrowed I don’t know how many sets of lawn furniture, a dozen giant ferns were scattered just so, the roses or hydrangeas or whatever is supposed to bloom in July were in full bloom. It was gorgeous but I was being told to “go look at the sky.” So I did.

You guessed it. The worst electrical storm of the year hit at 6:15 just as the choir finished the opening blessing. Ah, but I get ahead of myself.

Poor Mama was undone by the phone call but I was too happy to care. I was GETTING MARRIED!! TONIGHT!!!

When we got to the church the guys were dressing in one wing and the girls in the other. Somehow  Cousin Rodney and I ended up in the sanctuary at the same time. Well that was probably not the best scenario because my family loves to sing and Rodney and I had just graduated from Auburn together where we were each a part of choirs that were like family to us. As a matter of fact, parts of those choirs were singing for the ceremony. For whatever reason, we ended up at the piano trying to remember a song called “Moses” that composer Ken Medema had written a few years earlier. If you have never heard it you must go here and have a listen. We would make it through 3-4 lines and forget the words. We were having a blast…. until Mama opened the door and said, “Cindy! The choir has arrived and practiced. Your guests are pulling into the parking lot. This is your wedding and YOU are not dressed.”  LOL

Rodney is the 1/2 man on the far left. (I know that you are really a stud but you almost didn’t make the picture)

Cindy Barganier

Well I had never met Ken Medema and he had never heard the story of how he almost made me miss my wedding…. until this week!

Ken is one of the most inspirational musicians I have ever met. Blind from birth, I don’t know how he ever learned to play the piano but he flat burns it up, he water skis and he has the most delightful personality of anyone I know. He was in town for a concert and my awesome neighbors Jack and Gayle Horner had us all to their home for dinner so that Ken could hear the story in person. The pictures stink but I couldn’t be still long enough to get a decent shot.

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Cindy Barganier

Cindy Barganier

I have a new friend for life.

Well I did get dressed.

cindy barganier

The wedding was glorious. The reception was a disaster.. almost a non-event but 34 years later we are still blissfully married so the ending is happy.

CindyBarganier

Thanks for indulging my little trip down memory lane and if you ever have the chance to hear Ken in person climb the mountain, rent the boat, forge the stream but don’t miss it!

Oh, and by the way Cute Thing, I didn’t mean to call another man a stud while talking about our wedding. You are the real deal.

xoxo

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Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy

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I’m really hoping this picture has meaning this weekend.

We are  looking for Noah around here we have had so much rain.

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That is a fully grown tree that normally stands at the end of a grass pier (you can see what’s left of the opposite pier just beyond the tree). At the other lakes, if I walk out onto the wooden docks it appears that I am walking on water because the entire dock is submerged. The stone waterfall is completely under water. That is some serious rain in the neighborhood folks!

Oh, and now Hubby tells me the forecast for Saturday is…. what?!?!?… snow flurries.

Bet he’s glad he’s going camping this weekend. tee hee

Think it will look like this when I wake up?

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Yeah, me neither but a girl can hope. Right?

Whatever your weather I hope your weekend is wonderful!!

See you back here next week.

xoxo

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Love Is In The Air

x0

I hope that your day is filled with hugs and kisses (need some help? go find the neighborhood children. they are full of love)

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No one to give to you? Pick a fresh bouquet and take it to a friend.

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I think I would love those. Iced lavender shortbread cookies.

You can bring these to me. 🙂

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 So go share some love!

And while you are at it…

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Will you be mine?

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The Learning Never Ends… Thank Goodness!

Those of you (especially my fellow design buddies) who know me well know that I have had a love affair with TND communities ( or New Urbanism) for many, many years. The first one I fell in love with was in North Carolina twenty something years ago. I vowed then that I would be a part of one …..some day.

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I didn’t care if it was the mountainy look of Mt. Laurel

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the southerness of The Waters

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 the beachiness of Watercolor

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or the European feel of Rosemary

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I just loved them all. Still do.

Well that day and those dreams finally came together about 8 years ago.

I was hired to work with the developers and builders at The Waters in Alabama and ruined many a pair of shoes before the streets were in but shared in the excitement of watching a community literally come out of the ground. My first visit was in Andrew’s 4-wheel drive as we drove through pasture land with him saying, “Now there will be a 200 acre lake that horseshoes around this section and the tree lined streets will be laid out in a grid here and there.”

Amazingly, we could see it all, right down to the white chapel at the top of Chapel Hill Street. We bought a house and opened a shop  there here

Then came the day that made me smile for a full year. I was hired to design a fabulous house at Watercolor on 30A in Florida, then another and another.

I felt like Walt Disney had waved his magic wand. But in my heart of hearts I knew from whence the blessings flow.

The learning curve is steep in these communities. The footprint is small. The windows are many. The walls few.

Furniture that worked last time won’t work here. Parking is tight. Streets are narrow. And never have I experienced the love of neighbors that exists here. It’s just a special kind of living. It’s that simple.

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Therefore, I am celebrating my good fortune and the lessons learned learned along the way by offering a series of seminars built around the topics of design, decorating and entertaining. We will look at everything from current trends to tackling some of the challenges unique to these communities. I will, from time to time, be sharing some of the content here.  It should be “large fun” as my neighbor, John, would say.

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More Favs From Scotts

Here are some of my other favorite “finds” from our visit to Scott’s in Atlanta this week:

You don’t go to Scott’s to find cheap. You go to Scott’s to find good.

scotts 2013-02-07 001

These little chairs were so charming. I loved the gray velvet and their backs make them great candidates for floating in the middle of the room.

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I loved everything about this chest from the stripped wood to the leg detail. Check out that graining.

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More greatness in chairs. They were solid as a rock. Can’t you see a bright contemporary fabric on them?

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And check out the table they were paired with. Don’t try to lift that one by yourself.

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Iron lamps aren’t much fun to carry around but we did it!

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These guys could seriously get all of my money. I have to close my eyes and run.

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Come on now… really?

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They are inspecting Russian ones.

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sigh… moving on.

Right on trend were these “wrapped tables” except that upon closer inspection I realized that they were painted not papered. Very pretty in person non the less.

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They came in several sizes and shapes.

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I don’t know what drew me to these little guys. They were just sort of enchanting.

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The equestrian in me stood up over this.

scotts 2013-02-07 035

I have a certain neighbor (you know who you are) who would be all over this!

scotts 2013-02-07 036

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I never knew the stripes etc. were part of the dowry.

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We had fun visiting with M.J. who splits her time between the U.S., France and Italy where she paints what she sees. There was a whimsical, almost childlike quality to her technique that made me happy. She first does a charcoal sketch then pen and ink over that then glazes it so that the whole thing feels a little smokey like a London day.

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And that’s a wrap. A delightful day that started with stone-ground grits and biscuits with scuperrnong  jam with my honey at The Country Store at Calloway Gardens and ended with Brickoven Pizza in Auburn. I would call that just about perfect.

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Find Of The Year

You have been so kind to ask how the ideas for the law office were received.  There are several rounds of presentations but the first one was a success and at this point we are a go for the look presented. If you missed it click here to catch up.

Yesterday The Writer and I spent the day in Atlanta meeting with folks from North Carolina about printing my wallpaper collection. We hope to have some exciting news to share on that in a few weeks. Then we oooed and ahhed our way through Scott’s Antique Show. I am so very excited,  over the moon, about my find. We have always loved The Biltmore House in Ashville, N.C. and the accompanying  Biltmore Village. We spent our honeymoon there and return often. If you have never been you must plan a trip today!

Envisioned in 1888 by George Vanderbilt, Biltmore is a 250 room mansion on 8,000 acres in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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While still a bachelor George moved into the estate in October of 1895

 

photo by jcPollack

photo by jcPollack

 

but the doors were not thrown open to guests until Christmas Eve and what a celebration it was and still is today.

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Here is a link to a video to whet your appetite. The Vanderbilt’s world.

 

He didn’t stop with the house. As we know from Downton Abbey, it takes a lot of folks to keep a place this size running so he built a village. Yep. A village to house his staff, a railroad to bring in supplies, stores and shops, schools, churches, hospitals, it’s all there.

 

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Why, you ask, is she on this tear about Biltmore all the sudden. Well, it has to do with my “find”.  Notice the arched top windows in the picture above? The school is sort of modeled on this building and they are in the process of doing some renovations which involve replacing the windows with (I am sure) more energy efficient ones.

 Therefore, the original gorgeous windows were made available to a very few lucky souls. Most stayed in the Ashville area but two of the final three now belong to …..ME!

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They already have a home in my head. You will have to stay tuned to see where they land. I am in my element!

p.s. The most amazing time I have ever had at The Biltmore occurred one year when a company Hubbie worked for rented the entire estate for an evening in the fall. If you can believe it we got to drive right up to the door like we lived there, park in the motor court and have free reign of the entire place for one whole night. We had cocktails by candlelight under the stars in the garden and  were served a gourmet dinner in the charming English stables that have been converted into a restaurant. Everything we ate was either grown or raised on the estate. I still pinch myself. I’m sure Carson was lurking somewhere close by. smile  Ask someone if you don’t know what that means… they will tell you.

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Awesome Week Of Awesome People And Projects!

What a fabulous week it has been. We have been on the road sun up to sun down with inspections and proposals. I can’t WAIT to share some of this with you. Monday started off on a happy note when a friend called to ask me to meet her at a bible study. The rest of the week has sailed by.

Tuesday Marilyn and I were in Enterprise all day for an inspection of the house I am working on down there. Yesterday was sample making day for the glazes and special finishes that will be used throughout the residence. I will give you a brief tour of what this project is all about.

This is a sketch I did some months ago of the exterior of the house showing all of the different materials and how they would relate to each other in terms of color. The small pop out walls are cedar shake that will gray as they age, under the porch is board and batten with a wood plank ceiling. The small section of roofing on the center gable is copper as are the downspouts and the rest is Olde Savannah Brick.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

As construction progressed we added more and more “character traits”. I used the same trick that I had incorporated into the Watercolor house and wrapped “beams” in old wood ( this time barn siding) to give the appearance of structural beams. The trick here is that you must miter all the joints or it looks fake.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

I love the richness it adds. You can see the top of the third door where we are testing the stain for the doors and floor.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

The mantle is going to be custom built to look like this since this one is too large. Marilyn will paint it to look like limestone.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

We used some more of the barn wood to cover the ceiling in the foyer. It might end up being my favorite of all.

This shows the sub-ceiling that the barnwood attaches to.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

And here is the real deal. I adore all of the different colors in the wood. Note that on the beams the trim man hand selected pieces that were the same color so that it would read as a solid beam. Had he not done that the effect would not have worked.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

I can’t wait to get that bad boy iron lantern unwrapped. Below is a peek at how the foyer and dining relate to one another.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Moving into the kitchen. We had to tweak the size of the island (represented by the folding table) to avoid having a seam in the quartz.

This is a large island. About 7′ by 6′ and it will be an important design element so we had to get it right.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

The space between the wall cabinets (above) is the hole for range hood. Due to an error made at the mill we ended up with some free barn wood and decided to incorporate it into a hood that I think is going to be a show stopper. I loved it that I showed up on site with an inspiration photo from Houzz and the home owner opened her ipad to show me the exact same photo. Great minds. haha

We decided it was meant to be. The cabinets will receive a soft gray glaze and the barnwood will be limed/whitewashed. We have never done this before to barnwood. I am super excited. This same finish will be mimicked on the butler’s pantry cabinets where we are adding chicken wire to the uppers.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

Cindy Barganier Interiors

In designing a home that doesn’t look “decorated” it is vital to have a pleasing mix of several different textures: some smooth, some rough, some shiney, some dull. It is the blending of the patinas that makes it look acquired. This is my very favorite part of design and the one that I consider to be my real strength.  I would not make it for two seconds on those non-reality (as I call them) TV shows where you have 2 seconds to make a million decisions. I have to let it all marinate and gel before I am sure the different flavors come together as a pleasing whole.

Cindy Barganier Interiors

I am also in love with the back hall and mud room. Some people would have croaked yesterday when they saw us grabbing hand sanders and attacking this perfectly beautiful wall but it needed age so we roughed up the edges of some of the boards where they join revealing a bit of the raw wood color. As the boards cure and shrink the cracks will become more pronounced so to get this look you have to either paint the wall behind the boards black or line it with felt cloth.

Well this post has gotten much longer than I anticipated so I will save the rest for later. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I love that I ran into some readers out shopping today and they wanted to know, “So did they like the law office??? I can’t wait to see it.”

You all are the best. Hugs and kisses.

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Restore, Refuel, Run!

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I know it’s Super Bowl weekend but somehow I am feeling a bit more contemplative than that. I think I will spend some time thinking about how to REACH my new goals for the year. How about you? What does the weekend hold? Whatever it is may you meet the new week refreshed and ready to run your race with excitement.

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