Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Flipping through the latest Pottery Barn catalog I spotted this table designed to serve as a large bar cart console.
The Markham Bar Console has a great vintage styling meant to look like you found it at an antiques shop and added a towel bar and bottle opener to convert it into your own bar station.
I knew I’d seen a similar style bar table before and a quick scroll through the visual archives in my brain reminded me that Thom Filicia (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Dress My Nest fame) has a similar table in his lake home.
I did a quick search on the internet (faster than flipping through my hard copies of design magazines to find the original photo, which was featured in the now extinct but fabulous Domino magazine, August 2008) and quickly found the following image.
What do you think of the similarities? Obviously the scale of Thom’s table is longer, but the feet, thicker ends to the top, and lower shelf with high sides are all very similar. I’m sure there are many old work tables like this to be found in old shops, and the details aren’t particularly unique to this one table. Nonetheless, I can’t help but think that the Pottery Barn design team was inspired by Thom’s vintage find when they designed their own piece.
I think both are nice tables, and I’d love to have a table like that in my house when we entertain since everyone ends up in the kitchen and this would pull them out into adjacent rooms. But I always prefer an authentic old piece whenever possible because the patina of true wear and tear can never be matched in a factory. Of course finding an old piece like this would take a lot of work, but that’s the fun part for me – the victory of finding just the right piece and the story that comes with it (both it’s history and the story of your quest.)
By the way, does this remind anyone else of the Friends episode where Ross and Rachel both buy the Pottery Barn Apothecary Coffee Table and Rachel tries to convince Phoebe that it’s vintage and she found it at a flea market since Phoebe doesn’t like mass produced furniture? Yeah, I know you remember it too!
So what do you think? Would you buy the Pottery Barn version or try to find a vintage table of your own? Or would you prefer a totally different style bar cart?
Photo sources: Pottery Barn and Houzz
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Can you believe how time flies? Summer ends, I try to transition into fall, and then suddenly snow is flying, sidewalks are covered in ice and it’s time to think up creative gift ideas for every person on your holiday shopping list. Yikes!
Well thanks to West Elm‘s Festive Edition holiday catalog I’m brimming with ideas for fun gifts my loved ones might not have indulged in buying for themselves, but will put a grin on their faces nonetheless.
I don’t know about you, but I can never manage to spend the month of December shopping for other people without falling in love with a few things for myself. Fortunately, at these prices I won’t feel guilty buying myself a fun accessory to dress up my own house for the holidays!
With all the green and red overload in stores throughout December, I’ve chosen to give myself a color break and decorate my own house in silver and blues for the holidays. It feels fresh but still has that wintery, sparkly, cheerful vibe that’s perfect by candlelight. How do I break up the silver and blue palette? Why will white accessories, of course. And since white is a neutral my accessories will still work perfectly with a different color scheme in the future. Should I add a white nutcracker to the collection this year?
The holiday season seems to be filled with parties, and if you don’t have your bar cart stocked yet with the essential tools, this is a perfect time to build a collection. The Sheesham-Wood Cocktail Collection could just as easily fit in on the set of The Graduate or in a swanky downtown bachelor pad.
I love a good geometric pattern and I love simple animal shapes. So those cocktail plates with four of my favorite animals (of course I’m partial to any collection with a Fox) are right up my alley! Crate and Barrel has a similar small square white plate in two sizes and you could easily mix and match them together.
While you are stocking your bar cart, you better be planning to serve your guests some food! Cheese is an absolutely essential at my parties. If I don’t serve at least 3 really good and interesting cheeses my friends threaten to leave (they don’t really, but they rely on my excellent cheese choices.) I like the idea of having a nice glass dome to protect the cheese over the course of the evening.
I’ve told you about our mushroom theme before, right? My husband and I like to go foraging for wild mushrooms during the summer. I find the textures, colors and variety of species in the woods inspiring. So I documented the wide variety of mushrooms we’ve spotted on our expeditions, printed out the photos, and created our own wall of photos in our living room that tells a unique story about our lives. It never fails to start a conversation with a new guest to our home. Knowing our love of mushrooms, one of my best friends just surprised me with a set of the mushroom plates above! They are gorgeous in person and have an uneven edge that makes them stand apart from your average dessert plate. It’s a great way to have your party tools reflect your personality.
After you get your place styled and party ready for the holidays, it is time to find presents for everyone on your holiday list. I like these office themed gifts, which could easily translate to the home office. I’ve been thinking about downsizing from my big stereo components to a small radio like these, and the iPod connection makes them perfect for the modern lifestyle. How much fun would crunching numbers be with a orange calculator you can clip to your project binder?
More animal silhouettes – this time as minimal black bookends. Simple bookends are hard to find – they are so often gaudy or so large you can’t fit more than a couple of books on the shelf with them. I also recommend the wood boxes with laquered lids. I used a pair of them on the desk in the Showcase House bedroom and in my own office. They keep all the little bits and bobbles contained and out of sight so nicely. The small square one is the perfect hiding place for all those business cards I get that have yet to be entered in the computer. What would you hide in there?
I hope that has you inspired for your own holiday needs. Be sure to check out the rest of the decor and gift ideas on West Elm’s website as this was just a sampling of all their great products. Happy hunting!
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Despite the 70 degree weather we’re experiencing in Minnesota, the trees still know it is fall. Everywhere I look I see the most beautiful mixes of golden yellow, orange, sumac red, green and brown. I couldn’t help but be inspired to create some room palettes to help inspire you as well.
How fun is the orange on the back wall of the white bookshelf?! What’s great, is that could be changed up easily over the years to a new accent color or fabulous wallpaper since the rest of the room is in easy to coordinate with neutrals. Love everything about this room.
And the bold kitchen with the gorgeous wood lining the walls as well as the floor? A raw stone fireplace surround and sleek red cabinets and stainless steel provide a great balance of color and texture while making their own strong statements. And the fluffy chandeliers add great whimsy (and texture).
Again, pops of orange on a neutral but texture filled living room. Do you see how this works? The eclectic mix of furnishings work together because nothing is too fussy. This entry in a more traditional home features beautiful woodwork, which allows that elegant red table skirt with framed detailing really pop. The chocolate brown zebra print stair runner hints at the homeowners playful personality. Using a solid runner for the entry floor prevents that print from overwhelming the space.
Vintage riflery targets as bathroom wallpaper? Brilliant! The shotgun casings encased in a resin toilet seat cover certainly carries out the theme, but seems a bit much for most situations. I like the pops of color in the accessories on this bookshelf as bar cart.
The bold mix of red-orange and lime green in this library conveys the homeowner’s fearless personality. With such high ceilings and plenty of white to balance the bold colors, the room still feels balanced. Have I used this photo of a vintage red leather chair in front of a glass case before? Probably, since I love the tone of that leather and the simple form of the chair. It seemed a good match for this palette, so forgive me.
I think this really represents those golden yellow and orange tones that so many trees take on at this time of year. A harvest palette, if you will. I can picture that yellow pom-pom fringe on the bottom of a lampshade, along the side of curtains, or the bottom of a roman shade. Pom-poms are not just for the back of your socks (remember being 10 years old and wearing ankle socks with pom-poms on the back? I do!) I just flashed back to some pillows I made for a client years ago in a golden yellow cut velvet with braided trim and a ribbon detail that was similar to the materials in the top left photo.
I had to find you a picture after that description! It wouldn’t be fair to leave you hanging.
I love this media room with those inviting chocolate brown velvet couches, golden yellow pillows, and plenty of throw blankets. Did you notice the bookshelves in the back are orange? Difficult to tell from a photo, but it could even be Hermes orange. What a great punch of color that doesn’t overwhelm because the frame of the shelves has a narrow profile.
Finally, the deep reds of the Sumac bushes make a bold backdrop for two very different kitchens. You can see how it mixes well with orange tones and either dark chocolate brown wood and marble or crisp white cabinetry and stainless steel. I couldn’t resist throwing in the great Weimaraner photo – the chair and the dog both have such great personality!
So that’s your fall inspiration, courtesy of the trees and bushes I see on my drives around town visiting clients and vendors. What is inspiring you right now? Are you drawn to the fall colors or does another season capture your style best?
Tags: bar cart, Bathroom, bookshelf, chocolate brown, fall, foyer, golden yellow, green, Kitchen, living room, orange, pillow, Red, white, Wood, zebra
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