Thursday, March 24, 2016

Revisiting: Round Top Antique Week

Last year’s spur of the moment trip to Round Top, Texas for antique week was my first trip to Texas and a trip that ranks as one of my all-time favorite experiences. To me, there is no better way to usher in Spring than to meander around an open air flea market. A trip to Round Top offers so much more than just antique shopping. It is just a happy place. The Texas countryside is breathtaking especially in Spring when the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush are in full bloom. The food is simple, casual and good and the people are colorful. At night after the shows close, there are lots of venues with live music and time to bond offer what you saw, who you met and what you couldn't live without. 

Last week, i decided that I just had to go again so on Sunday I leave for Round II. My sister and brother share my love for antiques and they will be there. I'll only be there for three short days and  hope I'll have time to revisit all of the things I fell in love with last year and add a few new experiences to the list! If you missed it, here's a link to last year's post. I'll look forward to following up next week with a recap of this year's trip. 

Here are a few of my favorite places to eat from last year that I plan to revisit:

JW Steakhouse – A really, really good steak! You can’t go to Texas and not have steak!

Los Patrones – authentic Mexican food on the main highway across from the historic Round Top town main street. Not gourmet, just a fun locals spot to grab dinner and a beer at the end of the day.

The Arbor Caféat the Arbors Antique Show – order the brisket and the homemade potato salad. The brisket is slow cooked overnight, each night and is ready just in time for a late lunch.

Looking back at my pictures, I wish I had brought a few more of these treasures home with me. Can you say patina? There's just nothing like the richness of texture and color that comes with age. 

Here's just a few quotes from designers that have graced the pages of Elle Decor over the years that speak to the value of filling your home with antiques.....

"Rooms are albums that provoke memories. What you decorate with should remind you of a street you wandered down or an experience that made you happy."Designer Amy Hase, September 10

"I don't shop. I buy things that inspire me, that give me emotion."Fashion designer Giambattista Valli, April 04

"I dress homes the way I dress myself—layers and collages, bits of old things mixed with new, like a patchwork. Eclectic style is hard to achieve, but it's always personal."Textile designer Sherri Donghia, December 07

"Nothing is passé if you really love it."—Interior designer/antiques dealer Rose Tarlow, June/July 94

"An enfilade holds an element of surprise the way a good plot does. It hints at what's on the horizon and keeps your curiosity up."Interior designer Stephen Sills, November 07

"I couldn't live without something that touches my heart. No one should."Fashion designer Donna Karan, April 02

"Objects really do acquire a life of their own, when they've been held and loved for years."Antiques dealer Vito Giallo, February/March 99

"I gravitate to handcrafted and textural things—things with good imagination."Decoupage artist/shopkeeper John Derian, December 08

"The most elegant interiors are just slightly tatty." —Interior designer David Netto, October 05

"Buy the best, and you only cry once."—Interior designer Miles Redd, November 06

"There is a conception in this country about luxurious things that we have to save them for a time that's right. But an object is truly luxurious if you allow it to be, if you use it. When you live with beautiful things you stimulate your mind, you enjoy life a little bit more."—Fashion designer Ralph Rucci, September 05

"I need contrast—the old and the new, the rough and the soft. The clash of it all is very sexy."Fashion designer Catherine Malandrino, April 02

"I love the visual energy that comes from the imperfect, the unexpected. People sometimes think designers create fairy tales, but we give them something that's much more sincere. We don't live in fairy tales."—Interior designer Victoria Hagan, August/September 02

"In the most successful spaces, you don't see everything at once. The more time you spend in them, the more you discover. They open up like flowers."—Interior designer Vicente Wolf, January/February 07

"There are two things that make a room timeless: a sense of history and a piece of the future."Interior designer Charlotte Moss, April 02

"Old houses are alive. All you have to do is pick up the thread and go with it. There is something reassuring about them that you don't find in modern dwellings. A new space has to be tamed. It takes a lot of energy and quite a bit of intuition."Antiquaire Pierre Passebon, December/January 97


Friday, February 12, 2016

The Weekender: Four Southern California Creatives You'll Want to Follow

For the last few weeks I have felt like I an in a episode of speed decorating with every second filled with making decisions that, ideally, I would like to spend time researching. Pinterest has been a great source of inspiration and an important tool I have used to make decisions and show contractors the look I am trying to achieve. As much as I like a project, I am done! I am ready to relax and just enjoy a weekend that is not filled with trips to the hardware store or a house full of painters. 

 Since landing in California, I have discovered several California based interior designers and creative spirits that I enjoy following through blogs and Instagram. For my friends back East, if you're staying in because of the cold weather, I thought you might enjoy a day of surfing.

Here's just a few of my favorites:

Amy Meier Design - Amy Meier is an interior designer and the mother of two young boys based in San Diego, California. She recently opened a storefront in Rancho Sante Fe and was selected to decorate the second floor grand hallway in Luxe Magazine Maison de Luxe at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. I think you'll love her style that effortlessly blends beautiful antiques into fresh, modern interiors. Here's a link to her blog, Amy Meier Design and instagram feed.

Andrea Drexelius is the creative talent behind the blog The French Basketeer. I have had the pleasure of attending two of her French Food Camps that take place in her home in Laguna Beach where I learned to make fresh pasta and French macaroons. She spends her summers in France and loves the same things I do - antiques, a good farmer's market, wine and cheese and all things French. Her instagram images are magazine worthy! Follow Andrea on instagram @frenchbasketeer

Becki Owens:

I stumbled upon Becki Owens blog via Pinterest while gathering information for my house renovation. She has a crisp and clean California style with a bohemian vibe. My favorite feature on her blog are the cool graphics she puts together with sources for the newest design trends like this one and this one and of course, this one! Here's a link to her blog, Pinterest page and Instagram feed @beckiowens.

Brooke Wagner Design:

I sought out more information on bwd design after seeing  a beautiful house on the Newport Harbor High School Home & Garden Tour. Crisp and tailored, their work has a decidedly coastal look that usually includes a few of my favorite things - a fresh white palette, Lee Industries upholstery, beautiful textiles, barn wood, modern lighting and always has lots of blue and white. To see more of their work visit bwd design or follow @brookewagnerdesign on Instagram. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend filled with inspiration!


Monday, February 8, 2016

The Houses of Newport Beach

On my last visit back home to north Carolina, 
the question I was asked most often was:

"What do you like the most about living in California?"

The obvious answer is the weather! beyond the obvious, I would have to say that I enjoy walking through the neighborhoods and drawing inspiration from the wide diversity of architectural styles and beautiful gardens. In any given block you will see an original California cottage, a modern structure with minimalist attributes, a Spanish colonial with a tile roof and hand forged iron details, a cedar shake bungalow reminiscent of Cape Cod and a newly built white shiplap with steel windows and cool lanterns. From a garden perspective, you'll see beautiful espalier, vertical wall gardens, colorful succulents, draping vines, olive trees, English gardens, white roses, interesting grasses and bamboo, and fruit trees lush with lemons, limes, oranges, cumquats and tangerines. Many of the houses have incorporated antique shutters and doors into the landscape design or added barnwood for rustic charm. The exquisite attention to detail is covetable.

I am amazed at how these vastly different styles harmoniously work together. Every day I set out in a new direction and always discover something new. most of the homes on my mini photo tour are located in the flower streets of corona del mar. I've included a few of my favorites from Balboa Island and Irvine Terrace and two more from dover shores and laguna. believe it or not, i tried to limit the ones i posted. 
there is just too much to love!

You know what they say 'A picture is worth a thousand words'.