Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Butler's Pantry

Who doesn't love the look of a traditional Butler's Pantry? The Butler's Pantry is making a comeback in American and English homes as part of a resurgence of nesting and homekeeping since the late 1990s. It is one of the most requested features in American homes today, despite larger kitchen sizes than ever before. There is a charm and nostalgia to the pantry, as well as a practical, utilitarian purpose.

Here are some pictures of my favorites:
House Beautiful
This lovely pantry is in Washington, DC. I adore the way the upper cabinets sit directly on the marble countertop. I love the use of the traditional marble and bin pulls with the contemporary chandelier.

House Beautiful
In America, pantries evolved from Early American "butteries", built in a cold north corner of a Colonial home, more commonly referred to and spelled as "butt'ry", into a variety of pantries in self-sufficient farmsteads. Butler's pantries, or china pantries, were built between the dining room and kitchen of a middle class English or American home, especially in the latter part of the 19th into the early 20th centuries.

The pantry above has drawer fronts which conceal cabinets and appliances. The designer liked the sleek look of all drawers so he had false drawers made to give the pantry an old world feel. Notice also the use of different "period tiles" including hexagon on the floor and subway tiles on the walls. All this topped off with beadboard, veined soapstone and upper sliding cabinet doors.

Here are some other examples:

This is a bit too formal for my taste, but I included it because I think it is interesting to note the wonderful use of lighting in this space. Notice the under cabinet and inside cabinet lighting; the chandelier, sconces and recessed ceiling lights. Very good lighting design that gives this pantry a special jewel box feeling.
House Beautiful
I love the use of latches versus knobs or pulls and the mahogany top.

House Beautiful
Again, the use of subway tiles, beadboard , glass doors - are you starting to see a trend?

I live in a classic 1930's Royal Barry Wills Colonial. I have a 7 foot by 8 foot butler's pantry that I am renovating back to its original splendor over the summer. I have had the help of a very talented cabinet maker that shares my vision. Together we have created a very special space. Now you have seen my inspiration photos. Gorgeous cabinetry, latches, bin pulls, glass doors and marble. I am so excited to see it come to fruition. I will share my pictures when it is complete!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Sneak Peek...

Things are really hoppin' around here in preparation for the Tumbleweed Cotillion in Reno...Wanna' see what we are up to?

Mr. Deb has been busy busy busy - he located two old Victrola cabinets, and has totally repurposed them. The one above is the smaller of the two, and he has set it up to be our cash wrap station in the booth. It has a plethora of storage so it's perfect for that: The center lid lifts up to conceal an area that used to hold the turntable - now it will hold sales books and the charge card machine. The side doors open to reveal slots for Victrola records - but we'll put bags and tissue in there, plus it sits up high enough that our picnic basket with munchies and my tote bag of necessaries will fit beneath.

Oh, and the pi'ece de resistance: Mr. Details hooked up a tiny speaker to his MP3 player and put it inside the old grammaphone cone - that's the ivory area behind the black grille above. When he turned it on and chose some Gershwin tunes, I swear it sounds exactly like what music coming out of there sounded like in ought-six. AMAZING guy!!!!!

He also took some legs from one table, a leaf from another, and edge banding from another, and created this stunnning sofa/entry table.... ok so it's not stunning yet....look below.....

NOW it's stunning! Behind it is the second Victrola cabinet, retrofitted to be...wait for it...a mini bar! The top lifts to reveal a serving area and a sunken ice bucket. Inside all of the doors are wine, libation, and glass storage and even space for a small refrigerated wine storage unit. The man is brilliant!

Chairs waiting for their upholstered seats... and they have tables to match but for some reason Deb forgot to get 'after' photos of the tables...sheesh... plus there's a dresser and more tables and more chairs and.....

... And a Bit of the Little Stuff....

I found this old book of organ music from 1889 at a thrift store. I just love the tattered page edges.... and these are cotton paper, so they are soft and flexible - not crispy and crumbly.

They are going into vintage paper packs along with all this good stuff... plus I found some old player piano rolls. I was going to cut them up and add the paper to these packs, but decided to keep them intact. They could be cut up and used for crafting or scrappin', or let whole and used as a window shade or a table runner or wall art... very cool.

OK, I need to get movin'! This morning we go over to Faded Elegance and empty out our two booths for 'the big move' - which we'll miss while we are in Reno. When we return, we'll hustle to get our stuff into the new store before it opens. Later today, it's pack & load the trailer. And bless His heart, it's lookin' like God sent some sunny blue DRY skies our way... ahhhh. Thanks, Dad! ;0)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

le Sneaky Peek

I am having so much fun putting this booth together for the Tumbleweed Cotillion, I just had to share a sneak peek or two with you. (Filtered and sepia'ed and a bit blurred, of course...we don't want to give away all of our secrets!)

Just imagine Madeline Peyroux crooning 'La Vie en Rose' while you take in the (hidden) wonders of Frenchified Foofiness that we'll unveil in Reno in just over a week.... yikes, I'd better get back to work......

le demoiselle 'Foofy la Rue'... she's looking tres shabbique (is that a word?!), isn't she?! Like, perhaps, a French courtesan who has travelled across the wild frontier to Nevada?

PS: The new July/August issue of Victoria magazine is in at Faded Elegance! I am so busy, I didn't even sneak a peek inside the cover or remember to take a photo of it!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Faded Elegance booth update...

Yesterday I went over and enlisted my darling daughters' help to move some things around in the booth at Faded Elegance. In the shot above, you can see that I've added a few of the pieces that didn't sell over at Farm Chicks - which, honestly, is just fine with me! This way I can freshen up the booth without having to create something new - 'cause I'm doing enough of that for the Cotillion in two weeks!

This sweet little dresser has handpainted soft blue 'lace' detailing on the top and drawer fronts. It also has an Eastlake-style backboard on the dresser, with more handpainted detail. It's a perfect bedside chest or child's dresser. And if you love love love that swirly 'Brocade'-style mirror, get in here and buy it! As of next week, I'm taking it out and painting it to look like old metal and hauling it to Reno for the show!

This shot and the one below show peeks of a perfectly shabby chippy peely ivory painted table.
I LOVE this thing, and I have no idea why I'm selling it. Oh yeah - because my grandson thinks the paint chipping off of it is something to eat. Not so good! It's very chippy and flaky, did I mention that? Authentic aging, tho - no crackle paint or such nonsense. Uh uh, this is the real deal. My loss, your gain!

Under that table are two boxes of glass party ware - you know, the glass snack sets that Mary Tyler Moore used in the Dick Van Dyke show? The Beav's mom had them, too, and so did Donna Reed. All the best hostesses do! These are in their original perfect boxes, ready for a bridal shower or brunch with the girls on the patio. (There's a third box under the blue table - because that box is silver and I just don't like the way it looks. The glass inside is all perfect, though!) All specially priced at just ten dollars a set. The clear glass cups make FABulous votive holders, too.

After we finished that and completely emptied the yellow display, I took my girl to lunch at Under the Red Umbrella, a cute little bistro up on Rucker Ave. So nice!

Then today, I installed a whole new display in our other space at Faded Elegance. It's red and vintage and kitschy. Go here to see it - I'm using photos of it to demonstrate display techniques on my design blog!

A reminder that Faded Elegance will be open for business in the current location through Saturday June 28. Then it will close for the big move, and the new store in Snohomish will open Friday July 4th! Our booths will be emptied Monday, June 23, before we leave for Reno. So get in there!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Traditional Minimalism

Recently Traditional Home interviewed James Radin, an interior designer and set designer for the popular movie "Something's Gotta Give". They discussed his idea of "traditional minimalism." Here is what he had to say:

The key is to start with the interior architecture — cabinetry, moldings, the physically immovable part of the whole thing. A lot of great old houses were very rich in wall and ceiling paneling, interesting floors. Even the pantries would have great detailing like beautiful tiles. Get the interior architecture right, and then fill in with comfortable furnishings.

That restricted sort of palette is conscious. The initial impression is that it's plain, but it's a house that slowly reveals itself to you — so it stays interesting when you live there. There are a lot of subtle variations in textures and colors — mostly blues, whites, beiges — and lots of different patterns in the fabrics, the rugs, the spongeware. That's what saves it from blandness and makes it come to life. Often when people decorate with the blue-and-white look it fails, because it's just blue and white. It's like dressing all in black. It works if there's black patent with black silk with black wool...the subtle variations that I mentioned
The main thing was that they wanted comfortable, easy, usable rooms. Nothing formal. In the living room, we have elegant wood paneling, but an eclectic mix of furnishings — all slightly mismatched — to take away any stuffiness. You'll see that the master bedroom has a touch of formality to it. We were after a crisper, dressier effect there. It's a little fancier than anything downstairs because it's more private, so things could be more fragile.

All photos Traditional Home

The clients wanted the look of an old-fashioned country kitchen, so we used old-style lights, bead-board on the ceiling, elaborate crown molding. I've done this kind of kitchen 50 times, and one day I asked myself, 'What is it that makes it work?' And I think it's about the underlying quality — the nickel faucets, the Carrara marble, and so forth. Each thing is so carefully considered. And it's also about the simplicity. It's very controlled, not tchotchked-up.

Thanks James Radin -what a lovely home!

The Ol' Switcheroo

Early on Sunday morning, we revamped the booth and brought in the last of the items still in our trailer. The small dresser/bedside chest and desk, as well as the blue chair with vintage fabric seat worked nicely together. (Note: the chair & small chest didn't sell, so they will be heading over to Faded Elegance this week!)

The red enamel table in the shot above was in the center corner on Saturday - we moved it over, and put this setup in the corner:

An old flaky wood picnic table and four benches (sold in the first half hour!) and two FABulous 30's iron garden chairs. Lots of garden accents, too.

On top of the newly-relocated red enamel table, we featured the handpainted chairs and FooFoo Faux Food cakes. (They went like...well, cakes!) Strangely enough, the red table did not sell. I am still stunned! So, I am hard at work trying to find a way to make it fit into the new display at the new location of Faded Elegance for the fourth of July... I may not figure it out! We'll see.

Serena emailed me to let me know there are photos of our booth up on their Farm Chicks blog!

Coming in two weeks for Reno's Tumbleweed Cotillion : Two antique Victrola cabinets made into mini bars! Bistro tables of several sizes, with elegant chairs, a round dining table & 'loopy'-back chairs, vintage outdoor folding chairs, birdcages, Domelets, NeSts, lamps & beribboned lampshades, frames & mirrors galore, and many more accessories for your home. Paper packs with vintage French book pages, ribbon, and notions. (And you should SEE how 'Miss Foofy La Rue' is shaping up - ooooh la la!)

All foof, all finery, all French - we won't look anything at ALL like we did at Farm Chicks!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Farm Chicks 2008

Whew, whatta' wild weekend!!!
The Farm Chicks Show was a whirlwind of fun! We enjoyed the entire experience, and will be sharing about it in the days to come. We'd like to welcome all of our new visitors and friends to retreat - it was such fun meeting new people this weekend!

We've included a few shots of the booth, themed 'Grandma's Garden retreat'.
The shots here are from our day one setup.... after selling most of it, we restocked and reset on Sunday morning. The booth looked completely different! We'll share shots of day two soon - for now, it's pack up and drive home from Spokane!

Friday, June 6, 2008

3...2...1... GO!

Farm Chicks....Before...

...During Setup.....

...STILL During Setup...
This is 'booth one' setup. When this stuff sells, we have two more complete booths in our trailer!!!

More to come! Stay Tuned...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Linda Banks' Iris Hill

Anyone who has picked up a decorating magazine has seen the work of interior designer, Linda Banks. Let's have a look at her home,
Iris Hill in Connecticut.
All photos from Banks Design Associates.

I love this space! From the painted floors to the antique barber shop pole. Don't underestimate the use of interior windows, they add the illusion of space and light. This window is wonderful.

The kitchen is has such charm. I love the antique hanging cabinets and butcher block center island. Notice the antique towel bar on the end of the island.

This is a lovely dining room. Notice the detailing on the chairs with coordinating upholstered checked backs. The lamps on the side board and beautiful chandelier complete the look!

Finally, the living room - what interesting detail on the walls. This is an inexpensive way to cover not so perfect walls and add unique detailing at the same time. If you are ever in Portland, Maine head to her store SIMPLY HOME -a great collection and worth the trip.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Have You Heard????

Oh, my yes - it's being talked about allllllll over town!
What's the big news?
Faded Elegance Antique, Gift & Home Decor Boutique is MOVING!

During the last week of June, all of the fabulousness of Faded Elegance will relocate from Everett, moving just a few miles East to the charming town of Snohomish, Washington.

Snohomish is known as the 'Antiques Capital of the Northwest' and also hosts some wonderful restaurants and 'non-antique' boutiques. Snohomish is home to street after street of lovely restored Victorian houses, and a historic district that includes our FABulous new two level building on First Street...You'll find it a wonderful place to come and spend a day!

Faded Elegance will open in the new location at 1116 First Street in Snohomish on Friday, July 4th - so plan to come to town for the parade, carnival, fireworks, and grand opening festivities. You will be as thrilled as we all are with our new home!