Monday, September 28, 2009


This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Charlottesville, Virginia with my husband's family to celebrate his mom's birthday. It was a great trip, we toured Monticello (the main attraction), stopped twice at Jefferson's Vineyard, and drove around UVA's beautiful campus.

Monticello, for those of you who don't know, is Thomas Jefferson's house. I grew up learning about this famous house and to be at the estate of our 3rd President was pretty remarkable. I didn't realize this until we toured the house but Thomas Jefferson and I are really into French decor! Every room we went into, I was oohing and ahhing over all of the architectur, furniture, and accessories because a lot of it was French. But kidding aside, it was amazing to be in the home of a great man and I would encourage anyone to take a trip here if possible.

So majestic.

Trisha, my future sister-in-law (can't wait!), and I on the grounds of Monticello.

The occupation that Jefferson wanted people to remember him by was that of a farmer.

{Photos by Stephen Johnston}

Getting back to home decor, I was tickled pink when we went into the dining room because right there on one of the tables in the separate tea room were these tea spoons that looked just like the Anthropologie ones I mentioned in my Kitchen Goods Wish List Part II post! And the plates that were set were blue and white porcelain - exactly what I adore.

*Sadly, we were not allowed to take any photos/videos while we were inside the house.

Well, a stop at the gift shop was a must after seeing all of the goodies in the house. A good thing too since now I've got a new addition to my Little Black Book section on the right-hand side. Don't worry, you don't necessarily have to come all the way to the gift shop to enjoy what's there - you can check out their gift shop online.

Here are some of the items I had to pry myself away from - my wallet appreciated that even though I didn't.

Oval Tobacco Jar Lamp for $175.00

Very similar to the Orange Yuan Lamp but a little too short for my needs.

Convex Federal Mirror for $360.00.

Blue Italian Spice Jars for $79.00.

Jefferson French Wine Bottle for $49.00.

A reproduction of the bottles that Jefferson ordered from French vineyards.

Berry & Thread Casserole Dish for $49.99.

White Party Set for $45.00.

Great gift idea.

Crystal Water Pitcher for $29.99.

I love the look of old glass and while I don't think this is particularly that old, it's definitely got that wavy look that I love.

Spode Garden Plates for $59.00.

Sèvres-Inspired Dinnerware: Twenty-piece Set for $350.00.

Might have to ask the husband to get me this for Christmas.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wallpaper: Yes or No?

Wallpaper has comeback but it's not your grandmother's wallpaper that we're seeing now. It's fresh, modern, and classic and I am on the hunt for the perfect roll.

I've been reading through "Domino, the book of decorating" and I came across an ideal way of resolving my blank dining room wall issue. Framed wall paper! I was married to the idea the minute I saw an example in the book.

Here's the lowdown on the blank dining room wall situation: We have this ginormous wall behind our dining table (lengthwise) and it just cries out for some kind of treatment (shelving, artwork, etc.). The problem is/was, I didn't fall in love with any of the choices that we had thought of...until now. It is definitely getting some fancy schmancy chinoiserie wallpaper, because I think that is exactly what the room needs, some quiet drama.

If you're not thoroughly convinced check out the images below and just try telling me that a part of you doesn't want some kind of wallpaper treatment in your home.

{Photo Credit: de Gournay}

This is exactly what I have in mind for the dining room!

{Photo Credit: de Gournay}

{Photo Credit: de Gournay}

{Photo Credit: de Gournay}

{Photo Credit: de Gournay}

{Photo Credit: Walnut Wallpaper}

{Photo Credit: Walnut Wallpaper}

{Photo Credit: Walnut Wallpaper}

{Photo Credit: Walnut Wallpaper}

{Photo Credit: Woodson & Rummerfield's}

If adding drama to your home is a scary thought, then start out in a smaller room like the powder room. That way it's confined to one area but still makes a statement.

{Photo Credit: Woodson & Rummerfield's}

Make sure to keep the rest of your pieces solid and simple so that it doesn't compete with the wallpaper as seen in this photo.

{Photo Credit: What's Up Magazine}

{Photo Credit: What's Up Magazine}

An otherwise bland wall is now a statement wall with the framed wallpaper.

{Photo Credit: NSR Handcrafts}

The paneling creates the illusion of windows - makes you feel like you are looking out into a garden.

{Photo Credit: Flavor League}

"The strawberries taste like strawberries, and the snozzberries taste like snozzberries." Well, it's not exactly what Willy Wonka had but close enough. Flavor League's got scratch & sniff wallpaper in a Fruit Cocktail Collection consisting of Cherry, Banana, and Tutti Frutti to get your noses all a twitching with joy.

Had to throw this one in the mix since it's so out-there. Would you get scratch & sniff wallpaper?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mermaid Hut

I am simply going gaga for all of these tables from Mermaid Hut!

Golden Bamboo Butler Table with Removable Tray for $179.00.

I love anything that is gold, painted gold, gilded gold, you name it I love it. The gold gives off a sense of decadence, but is balanced out by the relaxed charm of the bamboo.

Golden Bamboo Two-Tier Antiqued Mirror Folding Table for $249.00.

Golden Bamboo Antiqued Mirror Tables - Set of Three for $399.00.

Golden Bamboo Round Nested Side Tables - Set of Three for $429.00.
My dream nesting tables~ I nearly died after discovering these.

Organic Shape Stool / Side Tables Set of Two for $299.00.
Great deal since you get 2!

Alexandria Bone Hand-Carved Inlay Occasional Table for $569.00.
Pricey but gorgeous.

Elephant Ceramic Side Table for $199.00.
This would add a bit of whimsy and intrigue to any room.

Lotus Leaves Porcelain Garden Stool for $349.00.

You're right, I am supposed to do a whole post on garden stools and I haven't as of yet. It's definitely coming but I just had to post this one up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Local Hunts Part IV: Shoemaker Country

I'm taking a little break from the Kitchen Goods Wish List (wish list II) to let you in on a new discovery I made this past weekend.

I visited my brother, Tim, up in Charles Village in Baltimore on Saturday and on my way home I stopped by Old Ellicott City to check out some of the antique shops and boy did I find some goodies. Sadly, I did not purchase anything this time around but that was simply because I was overwhelmed by the selection each shop had to offer. Well, really it was because I got there a little late in the day (most shops close at 6pm on Saturdays) and I wanted to hit up as many stores as I could before making any purchases. Ya know, covering all grounds before putting money down. I thought it was a smart idea (it usually is) but I didn't pay attention to the time and so I did not make ANY purchases. Sad, no?

I was able to make it to four shops, but there was really one that stood out. It was the first one I went into and definitely the largest one too. The Shoemaker Country shop is curated elegantly and effectively. I was nearly gasping over every single item that I laid my eyes on.

Foolishly, I left my camera in the car thinking that I wouldn't need it but, oh the minute I walked into the store I was kicking myself.Thankfully, their website has photos but they just don't do justice to what is in the store.

If and when you do make it to this store and for some crazy reason you can't find what you're looking for, don't fret. Just bring your ideas and designs to them and they will build it for you. How great is that?

Great over a fireplace or on a foyer table with two lamps just like the way it is in the photo.

Besides furniture, they've got a great collection of artwork too.

If your kitchen needs an island, this is it. It's even got cubbyholes for books and things.

I can picture this in a grand foyer (marble floors & staircase) with a Chinoiserie vase on top.

When I go back to Shoemaker Country, I'll make sure to post up photos of my purchases, promise.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kitchen Goods Wish List Part II

And the wish list keeps growing and growing...

Lion's Head Soup Bowl from Stonewall Kitchen for $7.95.

Mini Lion's Head Bowl Set of 4 from Stonewall Kitchen for $15.95.

You will look like the ultimate host/hostess serving your guests soup in these bowls. And the mini bowls are great for serving jams in - I've been looking for little bowls just for that purpose and these are exactly what I had in mind.

Teatime Spoons from Anthropologie for $28.00.

I am kicking myself for not picking these up the last time I was in Anthropologie. I suggest you don't make the same mistake since these are just right for stirring coffee or tea.

Sycamore Salt Cellar from Anthropologie for $28.00.

The Monarch's Salt Cellar from Anthropologie for $28.00.

The leaf motif is great for Fall/Winter while the crown motif is right on point with today's trend.

Nigella Lawson's Living Kitchen, Mezzaluna/Herb Chopper from Bliss Home for $18.70.

Ever since I first saw Nigella Lawson using this mezzaluna chopper I've always wanted one. I still don't have one yet but I'm hoping to get one very soon...

Nigella Lawson's Living Kitchen, Utensils Set from Bliss Home for $55.22.

What a fresh alternative to the usual stainless steel utensil sets you normally find.

Vintage Magnetic Kitchen Timer from for $11.95.

Add an unexpected pop of color to your kitchen with these timers.

Woven Washable Baskets, Set of 2 from for $49.00-$59.00.

Baskets are great for storage in the pantry. I use mine for kitchen linens and seasonal items. For less expensive baskets, I would suggest going to your local Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Michael's, or HomeGoods for alternatives.

Cobalt Mixing Bowls Set of 4 from Stonewall Kitchen for $179.00.

I told you I was obsessed with blue and white anything.

Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven, 9 1/2-Qt. from Williams Sonoma for $325.00.
{Comes in 6 other colors}

My favorite Food Network chef, Ina Garten, uses this when she makes soups and stews. It's great because it's large enough to hold all of the ingredients, heats things evenly, and it's oven-safe.

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