What a great day we have had! It started out with a photo shoot (more about that soon!).
We literally ran from the shoot to another city to set up the law office we have been talking about for months. Miracle Man ( the man can hang anything that will stand still) immediately set to work on my prize possessions- two windows out of the old Biltmore Village school in Ashville, North Carolina that we re-purposed as mirrors.
As Steve measured, furniture was being hauled in. ( yes, that rug is going 🙂 )
I am stacking the windows/mirrors one on top of the other with the bottom one turned upside down. When complete it will form a very dramatic 100″ tall oval.
Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the room Leon was getting started on the grass cloth.
Love it. Love the chandeliers.
We originally planned to pull the plaster off this wall also to expose the brick but it was not possible so I chose to add the texture of the grass to add some weight to this end of the room to balance the brick on the other.
If you have been following me for any length of time you know that my love and passion is taking any building old or new and adding character to it through the use of architectural antiques, unique finishes or whatever I can imagine to take it from the ordinary to something very special. This was one of those projects. Lest you forget, this is what we started with.
This was the sketch that I drew as we dreamed of what it might become.
And even though the draperies are still on the workroom table and we are still missing a few pieces of furniture this is how it looked an hour ago when we left. As I told the owners, I was giddy.
Really wish I were a better photographer. 🙁
It is so close I can taste it!
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This will be the first in a series of “look backs” as I post some of my favorite posts, articles and memories from our three years of blogging during this, our birthday month.
THINGS for your home
taken from River Region Magazine September 2008
Local writer and attorney Jeff Barganier waxed poetic as he shared the story of his unique coffee table…
“I used to gaze up at those beautiful Ionic capitals atop gleaming fluted columns and yearn for a closer look. Not anymore. A stunning Greek capital beautifies my living room—as a coffee table. Old salvaged capitals are extremely rare.They’re not only difficult to remove, but salvagers also face prohibitions against demolition of historic structures. My Greek ‘Erectheum’ capital measures 32
inches wide by 45 inches long and 18 inches high.Although significantly
weathered, it features ample detail including ‘egg and dart’ ornamentation at the abacus and base, lots of beading and enlarged Ionic scrolls or ‘volutes.’
I’m not sure where it originated. According to our sources,it was salvaged from an old building in Huntsville.When I brought it home, its original finish was peeling and moss was growing from surface crevices. Rather than clean it up, I
placed a great looking piece of glass on it just as it was. The downside to owning one of these fantastic artifacts is that they are very, very heavy. Two really
strong men can handle it (but I do not care to be one of them.) On the other hand, it is a thing of incomparable beauty that will last forever and appreciate in value. Not a bad conversation-starter either.”
End note: He got major brownie points from wifey for this find. I have been asked several times if I would sell it. I can’t bear to.
What is your favorite find? Share!
To start reading this series from the beginning start here.
Today I am moving into finishes, floors, and surprises and we will just be scratching the surface. I already feel many more posts coming on this topic.
The wall and range hood below reminded me of a house in my neighborhood that has a beautifully patina-ed ( just coined a new word?) faux copper hood. This one is a faux leather wall and hood. It’s not for everyone but in the right place it is a great statement piece. I’m thinking of the lodge I am going to design one day in Montana. 🙂
Want it to be a little more European? Add this to the face.
Or more to my everyday taste… love me some brackets! I have done these in concrete and in wood and painted them to look like stone. Both are glam.
This is so smart. Whenever the builder/homeowner will allow me to (when I am brought in early enough) I make cased openings deep like this. It feels more authentic and it also makes the dead space usable. I am a huge fan!
Just a tiny little detail- using 3 small spindles instead of 2 larger and adding the decorative knuckles- but what am impact.
Be still my heart. Steel framed doors for a shower. I am still
mad at myself, kicking myself, having a screaming hissy fit over throwing 3 huge sections of these away from a greenhouse on Daddy’s property. s-t-u-p-i-d!!!
A dead, boring wall at the end of a hall comes to life when it is upholstered and trimmed out with nailheads.
I will have a secret door one day. Love them.
Dueling Murphies. Gotta love it.
I am going to do a full post on these stunning floors. Made by a virtual friend in south Alabama they are hand painted.
Another beautiful re-purposed pedestal sink.
I say yes! to sliding screens.
I think we may have found a spot for several of the doors from yesterday’s post. Pumped!
It’s a beautiful day. Enjoy.
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I feel like I hit the jackpot this weekend. Without much comment here are our weekend finds. If you are interested in purchasing and need more information leave me a comment with your contact information and I will supply details. Happy shopping!
fits above this.
Just for my cottage lovers: the little shutters were so cute. This one has a water/milk pitcher carved out.
This one has a tree.
I think the middle set has already found a home as pocket pantry doors but the others are available.
Forgive the ridiculously horrid picture of me but we wanted you to see how short these little guys are. I am barely 5’2″. Want great doors but only have 8′ ceilings? Here is your answer!
Then on the opposite end of the spectrum…
I didn’t even notice the colored glass when we were in the barn. Obviously that could be replaced with clear. wavy or seeded for residential use. I think we found 6.
“Oh Baby, can you hear my heartbeat? You’re the one I love.”
Sorry, gotta run. I have stuff to add to fabulous extraordinary houses!!!
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This is a recap of what I spent an hour and a half teaching in detail last night at my monthly seminar.
When you are choosing your designer bring them in as soon as you start working with your architect. And please do use an architect! I know it costs more at the beginning but better to cry once and get it right than cry multiple times over the re-do’s and the “I didn’t know it was going to look like that’s.” If you put the entire team together from the beginning so that everyone hears all of the conversations then you allow your team to solidify and you will get the best possible project.
Hands down the projects in my portfolio that people use the most as their inspiration photos or that get picked up and pinned the most are the projects that followed this advice. They spent many hours with us in the beginning laying out their vision; and then stepped back and gave us great flexibility to flesh out that dream. That might sound scary to some but here’s the deal: If you have done your job of communicating what you want; If you have set forth a clear budget; and if we know the time line that we have to work with (this is actually the hardest part of all with weather issues and everything coming from overseas these days); then we know what we have to do. Trust us enough to give us the freedom to do the job in the most efficient manner and then make the minor adjustments that are needed. Trust + flexibility = money saved. Micro managing or being indecisive =money wasted. After all, our reputation is on the line so we have every incentive to get it right.
SO! What about those details?
How different all three of these openings would have looked had it not been for that extra little touch. Last night students were saying, “Yeah, but who knows how to do that?” The artisans are out there. Your builder might not want to be bothered with it but there are people who are pleading for the opportunity to show what they can really do.
Doors, doors, doors: they rank in the top 5 ways to make a house special. Find a great salvage yard and begin the search for special doors. You will be glad you did. They add instant value. Imagine the middle photo above with a builder standard door. You wouldn’t look twice would you?
And what about the one below? Simply adding the X to the mullions in the transoms brought that wall to life.
Speaking of salvage can you imagine this shower without the bespoke quality added by the header?
Every detail of that bath is special from the marble vessel bowl to the hardware, to the walls and doors. Even the little stool to hold the towel says “someone cares.”
Nailhead trim around a cabinet? Why not?
I wish I had thought of this. How beautiful is the gentle curve
With the no wall cabinets trend this is a good idea for someone besides me. LOL I am not neat enough to have this.
Don’t forget hardware. It is a quick and easy way to update old cabinets or furniture.
This is going to be a little series since there is so much to touch on so stay tuned for “the rest of the story.”
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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.
While still a bachelor George moved into the estate in October of 1895
but the doors were not thrown open to guests until Christmas Eve and what a celebration it was and still is today.
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.
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!
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.
Here are some examples of my own work showing our love of salvage in new construction:
This first image highlights our use of decorative finishes to achieve the effect of old when old is not possible. We used a product called Bella Vernichi to achieve the look of a crumbling brick and plaster facade in order to tie in the theme of new from old for the corporate headquarters of this branding company.