Sunday, November 28, 2010

Swedish Chic

One of my favorite homes was recently featured in Veranda. It's the personal home of decorator Shannon Bowers. You wouldn't guess from its traditional, red brick Georgian exterior that the inside looks like this.


It's light, airy and casual - Swedish Gustavian to a tee. This is the hot look right now but Swedish style actually dates back more than 200 years, when King Gustav III reigned over Sweden. 

The King spent several years in France's Court of Versailles, and fell in love with their furniture. He later returned to Sweden and knocked off the Louis XVI look, but pared it down with his country's culture - simple lines (the people weren't as flamboyant as the French) and soft painted colors (to reflect light during dark, cold winters).
Here are some beautiful rooms decorated in Swedish Gustavian style. 

Swedish Interior Design

Cote de Texas

The Swedish formula is pretty simple. Color is light, furniture is unadorned and worn with paint, and accessories are well edited and sparse. What results is a calming space that's easy to live in. 

As you know, I'm a fan of antiques, but unfortunately Swedish Gustavian pieces can get pretty pricey. Here are some beauties I spotted on 1stdibs today. 

Gustavian commode, $5,790

Pair of Gustavian chairs, $10,000

Gustavian settee, $3,700

Thankfully, you don't have to make your husband too mad - there are some pretty convincing knock offs out there. Check out Wisteria, Country Swedish, and Real Gustavian and start shopping! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wild about these turkeys!

My husband Stroud is a hunting fanatic. He has a closet full of camouflage, an arsenal of rifles and weekend trips blocked out on our family calendar. It would have made his year to have killed our Thanksgiving turkey himself.

The girls in our family like to hunt, too - we just prefer antique shows with Baggallinis and Pumas. And we're on the lookout for a different kind of gobbler - Wild Turkey Bourbon decanters. The distillery released a series of eight during the 1970s, and each is a little different. They're not terribly expensive (usually under $30) plus there's a huge selection on Ebay. Such a fun way to add a little charm to your Thanksgiving decorating! 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Walk Inside Wisteria

I stopped into the brand new Wisteria outlet in Dallas today. I've visited to the old outlet on Luna Road and I'm happy to say the new space (which just opened yesterday at Mockingbird and Cedar Springs) is much better. For one thing, it's huge - more than 20,000 square feet! And it doesn't have a warehouse feel. It's set up like a shop with everything you see inside the catalog's beautiful pages but at a lower price. 

Here's a look at what you see when you walk inside the door. Aren't these giant pine cones hanging from the ceiling gorgeous? 

The outlet is packed with holiday decorations right now. I bought a basketful of ornament balls to pile inside my antique mason jars. 

Wisteria has the best collection of reproduction starburst mirrors. The real things can cost up to $3,000, but these will only set you back about $250 - affordable enough to buy a few to hang together. (Excuse the pictures below...I only had my iPhone with me!)

Walls lined with pretty lamps and mirrors.

There's a big selection of tabletop, too. I spotted boxes loaded with monogrammed linen cocktail napkins. I'm going back to pick up a few for hostess gitfts! 

Best of all, the outlet is literally across the street from Love Field airport. So out-of-towners, you can kill some time on your next layover!

Wisteria Outlet
6500 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas
(972) 919-3622

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sew Cute!

I've always wanted to learn to sew. But honestly, walking into most sewing stores made me feel like an old lady. They are too old fashioned with the quilting fabrics and outdated patterns.  

Thankfully there's City Craft - it's the perfect place in Dallas to get schooled on sewing, and it's not anywhere a granny would shop. The shelves are stacked with modern, graphic fabrics from Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner. And there's space where you can take fun classes (and bring in your own bottle of wine, I might add). 

So after spending two months learning the art of threading my machine and sewing a strait line, I grabbed good friend Lindsay (who has been my study buddy from the beginning) and signed up for a class on making throw pillows. 

Part one of the class was easy. We cut out two panels of fabric for the pillow. Then we cut more fabric on the bias and attached it to plain cording. I decided to make my pillow for my friend Karin, who is expecting a baby girl this spring. 

Lindsay's project was a throw pillow for daughter Madeline's bed. Here she is cutting fabric for her cording. No major mess ups yet, which is a good thing because we forgot our wine that night. 

And here's me sewing my cording together. 

The last step was attaching our cording the pillow panel. We finished up and spent all week marveling at our sewing skills. 

A week later, we headed back to City Craft to finish the pillow. The night's agenda was to sew in an invisible zipper to connect the panels. We'd heard rumors that the zipper was something to fear, but we weren't worried - after all, we were clearly professional seamstresses! 

Or so we thought. Between the two of us, we sewed and ripped out those things AT LEAST five times. Lindsay sewed her panels on backwards, I sewed my zipper together, and I think we both almost took a needle through the thumb. We didn't stop to take pictures of the painful process, but thankfully we had Pinot Grigio to help us through.

And (drum roll, please) we are with our pillows! Aren't they great? They look almost perfect on the outside. I just wouldn't recommend opening them up.

We got to take them home that night, along with the realization that we have a lot of practice to do before we attempt the roman shades. Instead we're enrolled in a skirt class for Friday night. Fingers crossed that elastic waist is forgiving!  

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Peek at Phoebe

I'm a big fan of designer Phoebe Howard. She's southern and traditional, something that appeals to a Dallas girl like myself. Her rooms are centered around soft colors and symmetry, freshened up with a few modern touches. I thought I'd share some of my favorite Phoebe Howard rooms. Also, check out her blog, Mrs. Howard's Personal Shopper. It's one of my favorites. Someday I'm going to visit her store in Atlanta! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Urban Market in Houston

One of the best things about my new job as an antique dealer? The "business" trips! I'm always on the lookout for new things for my booth, so I'm hitting the road whenever I can. This Saturday, I kidnapped my mom to check out the Urban Market Antique Show in Houston.

Our first stop was lunch at Tiny Boxwoods inside the super cute Thompson & Hanson nursery. I'd been cooped up inside all week with a sick baby, so eating lunch on this sunny patio was just what the doctor ordered.  

After polishing off chocolate chip cookies we were ready to shop! I wish we had a nursery like Thompson & Hanson in Dallas - it's got so many unusual succulents and topiaries. And of course, it's covered with these cute little tiny boxwoods. I'm kicking myself for not taking a few as a souvenir! 

Urban Market didn't open until 3 p.m., so we killed a couple of hours visiting Round Top girls 2 Lucy's at Memorial Antiques & Interiors

Then we set off to Urban Market. This was our first visit to the show, and we didn't know what to expect. It didn't take long to realize that it's Marburger Farm's little sister - same customers, same big white tents. 

Julie Landreth

Julie Landreth

But Urban Market is smaller (just 60 dealers) and less expensive (I spotted a Louis Phillippe commode for $1,300). And the ladies were a little more laid back - no pushing and shoving here! Probably thanks to the two wine tickets that come with admission. 

Here are some snapshots from inside the tents. 

My favorite booth was loaded with botanical holiday decorations. I almost left with this garland made of fresh bay leaves and a handful of these giant sugar cones. 

I didn't end up buying much for myself (Stroud was very pleased). But, I found some fabulous things for the shop - French Napoleon III pieces and a cute little iron side table with a mirrored top. I'll post pictures soon.

And antique lovers, mark your calendar for the next Urban Market on February 12th and 13th. I'll be there for "business", but you should go for a fun - it's the perfect 24-hour girls' getaway!