Saturday, May 31, 2008

the Gueridon table

I love this style of table. Naturally, the French deserve credit for this beauty. Louis XIV populated Versailles with them. They can be at home, however, in much more modern applications.

Additionally, to me, they are a great piece to have around. It's small, so you can always find a home for it. And while you wouldn't want to permanently store one of these beauties outdoors, it could certainly serve outside admirably.

The tabletop is usually circular, but other shapes are out there (see above). I don't think the X- supports are necessary for the table to be a Gueridon, but the style is typical of the most well-known tables. Look for pairs like the ones above. They are also most often created in brass or bronze, but I could imagine a more modern interpretation in brushed nickle. I'm sure Pottery Barn had a knock-off Gueridon a few years ago, but I can't find a photo. It must be off of their web site.

Check them out on eBay here, here and here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

God Bless America - vintage/unique Fourth of July party decorations

I love America. So much so that I have considered throwing a Fourth of July party for years and I have just never gotten it off the ground. But I think this year I'll try to make it happen. The fact that today is Memorial Day has spurred me to action.

Check out these finds over on eBay.

Wouldn't a collection of lead soldiers like the one above be grand marching up the center of the serving table?

And speaking of the table... not everything needs to be vintage or antique. The table runner above is a modern reproduction. The vibe is that of a vintage tablecloth, though.

Finally, who could have a Fourth of July party without bunting? It's an old-timey classic that never goes out of style.

The point is to search thrift stores, eBay and yard sales for entertaining elements that are vintage or a little unique. That way, you aren't stuck hosting the same red-and-white-checked shindig that everyone else will be hosting.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

getting fit in style

I'm trying to get in shape. Over the past year, I've eliminated almost all processed foods from my family's diet, decided to eat mostly organic and have in general focused on our overall health and well-being.

I thought it only fitting to take my fitness quest to the next logical step and start working out. I work out with a trainer every couple of weeks and I've even started taking Pilates and core conditioning mat classes. There's lots of "pyramiding" with weights and working with the resistance bands. I feel better already. So now I've started shopping for activewear and I've discovered two favorite brands.

The first is Tonic, a Canadian company. I love the magenta top pictured above. I layer a royal blue or light pink sports bra under it (I need the extra support) and just looking great makes we want to show up for class.

My other favorite is good old J. Crew. They have just introduced a yoga line and I'm placing an order this weekend to take advantage of their 20% off sale. (AT JCREW.COM, ENTER "SALESHHH" AT CHECK-OUT TO GET 20% OFF EVERYTHING OVER $175. NOW THROUGH MEMORIAL DAY). I'm going to start with the cami and pant and might add the jacket later if I like what I get.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

eBay today - tape measures

I'm willing to bet there are a lot of you out there that are a lot like me. Our styles might be different, but if you blog, or frequent blogs, then you probably care a lot about all the little details that go into designing a home, event or outfit.

If you are like me, you probably carry a tape measure around with you at all times. I shop all kinds of different places and I need to be able to quickly measure some cool chargers found at a tag sale or find out if an antique store chandelier can fit in a room with ceilings the height of mine.

So I take my trusty little tape measure along. The one I use is a vintage advertising tape measure for a bank in Mississippi. I found it among my great-aunt's personal things. It's OK and has served me well, but I would really love one of the tape measures like the ones found here, here, here and here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

eBay today - antique or vintage fabric

I love searching eBay for things that will make my home and entertaining stand out. As I've said on numerous occasions, Target is fine for some things, but to really be unique, you must turn to one-of-a-kind items.

The fabrics above are an example. They are all from the same seller and the applications are unlimited. Notice her application as a stair runner for the thick hemp roll on top.

The huge roll of twill linen hemp would make a fabulous slipcover for a sofa - with 18.5 yards, there should be plenty for even the largest sofa.

Finally, the khaki ticking and the mangle cloth would make beautiful large napkins once finished off.

Monday, May 19, 2008

eBay today - organic design

No, I don't mean eco-friendly, although I do buy all my milk, eggs and fruits and veggies organic and local. (It is worth noting that eBay is really a green alternative for purchasing stuff. There are, of course, carbon emissions associated with shipping, but there is someone out there to buy everything... no need for it to go to a landfill).

When I refer to organic design, I mean my total fixation with decoration that takes its cues from nature. I have a great-grandmother who was a full blooded Native American (Choctaw, we think), so perhaps my natural tilt comes from her.

Take the mink wrap above. I have one almost identical that was inherited from my grandmother. I almost sent it to Goodwill. Mink wraps just aren't my style. One morning this past winter, however, I saw it and threw it over my shoulders while I read the newspaper and inspiration was born! I now have the wrap hanging over the back of the club chair I sit in.

I am totally lusting over the bronze chandelier. It features oak leaves and acorns. Quite grand.

Wouldn't it be fabulous to have a collection of Buccelatti sterling? I love the leaf dishes, decorative fruits... really all of their organic pieces fashioned in sterling.

Finally, I know that decorators have totally done the coral/shell/sea fan thing, but I don't care. I have white and red coral that were inherited from my husband's grandmother and I display it proudly. I would love to frame up a couple of sea fans to add to my organic house.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

eBay today - Zuber

I dream of having a house one day that has a complete Zuber panoramic wallcovering in the dining room. It's a dream that likely won't come true, but dreams are for dreaming, right?

As a close second, I'm considering purchasing single Zuber panels like the ones above. I imagine a wall of them, all framed in different sizes. Check them out here, here and here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mum's the word, says Jonathan Adler

I love getting the e- mails from Jonathan Adler. He's so clever.

I'm looking forward to Mother's Day this Sunday. Have you gotten something for your mom yet? Jonathan has some ideas. He found inspiration from famous TV moms. Here are my favorites.

Friday, May 2, 2008

eBay today - tazzas or compotes

When I entertain, I love to add height to my table. It took me a while to get that. I could never figure out that no matter what I did to my table, it just didn't look right. Everything was out and looked beautiful. The table was just bland.

And then it hit me one day.... I needed height. It gives the table depth. Without it, any spread looks boring. Use this tip for sterling and porcelain baby showers and for casual birthday parties. Always work in some height.

Tazzas, or compotes, are a great way to make this work. I frequently make a dessert stand of a low glass cake place, topped with a footed glass cake stand, topped with a silver compote for candies. I fill the two glass cake stands with cupcakes or macaroons. It's always a hit.

Check out these listed on eBay here, here and here. When searching, look for "compote", "tazza" and "comport". I know... it's misspelled and it totally bugs me, but you need to search under how the seller will be listing it. If they misspell it, the only way you'll find it is if you misspell it, too. If you are more of a sterling girl, use silver and porcelain. If you're more casual, go with majolica or ironstone.

Pick up a few. You won't be sorry. Find your style and use them often.