An Old Friend

My recent visit to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens was pleasant and refreshing. I always love a good afternoon walk in the garden! In addition to the beautiful weather and scenery, I also enjoyed strolling around in my good-for-most-occasions day dress… an old and beloved friend. This charming floral dress is the most comfortable piece of clothing I own and is also perhaps the oldest (to me) item in my closet. Despite the changes in my personal style over the years, I still love it as much today as I did in my early teens and it has maintained it’s appearance surprisingly well over the years, as well. Longevity, comfort, and style – Now that’s the sign of an excellent purchase!

And what would a floral day dress be without my trusty red ballet flats to accompany it? Not as comfy or cute, I can tell you that! These are another pair of staples in my closet right now. I would say I wear them 75% of the week. I’m thinking an alternate set would be a good idea to give these babies an occasional rest. They must be so tired!

Cheers to the beginning of another week, friends! I hope you get the chance to step out and enjoy the beautiful Autumn weather.

 

 

A Night at the Thrift Studio

Oh dear, dear, dear…. we are already half way through the week and I haven’t spoken to you once! The weekend is well over and I am a full week and a half behind in telling you about what I did the weekend before! Despite my tardiness and delayed posting, however, here I am – ready to share a few moments from a beautiful event not too long ago.

Many of you have heard me talk about Dwell with Dignity. If you live in the DFW Metroplex you may have even attended one of their previous events. In fact, folks all across the country may be aware of them now after a national debut on The Nate Berkus Show! They are a wonderful charitable organization that works to create homes for those less fortunate with dignity and beauty. I could go on and on about their many merits but visit their site HERE to get more (and better) details.

Today, I am interested in telling you about a very exciting project that the Dwell team recently embarked on. With a warehouse brimming full of generous furniture and home decor donations, Dwell had the idea to create a pop-up thrift shop to sell off their excess inventory and bring in additional income for the organization. Enter, Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio… Wonderful! But even better than that, they decided to also bring in some of the area’s most talented designers to style several vignettes using reworked pieces from the warehouse. Brilliant!! I attended the preview party and let me tell you, it was awesome! I was completely blown away by the creativity and ingenuity used by each team to make old, worn items new and fresh again (of course, knowing many of the designers, I also didn’t expect anything less than fabulous).

Here are a few shots I managed to take between mingling with a pleasant and bustling crowd of supporters.

The Dining Room by EJ Interiors

The Office by studio ten 25

The Lounge by SWOON [the studio]

The Study by Jones Baker

The Parlor by PULP Design Studios

I think the pictures speak for themselves… this is a fantastic event and a MUST for anyone in the Metroplex area but visit soon! The shop closes at the end of October. The prices are very reasonable and support a fantastic cause. If you happen to pick up an item from the Thrift Studio, let me know. There were so many wonderful treasures I would have taken home with me!! I’d love to know what made it into your place.

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Old Dress, Old Chair… Old Soul

Since  I first started taking notice of clothing and decor as a young girl, I have been drawn to old things… clothing from a different era, patterns with a sense of heritage, decor telling a piece of history. I thinks it’s kind of odd considering that I am now such a fan of the modern arts… curious how our tastes develop and change over time. Despite my personal evolution, there’s no question that my love for antiques and vintage still burns strong (case and point HERE, HERE, and HERE). On days such as this one, it is unmistakably obvious!

Initially, I bought this old chair for it’s sturdy construction and clean, classic lines. The fabric works fairly well in our living room but it was a secondary interest. It’s old and tattered and could use a facelift. But after living with it for several months, I am slowly appreciating it’s age and history more and more. My plans for re-upholsterey and re-stuffing are most definitely still on the project queue but for the time being I’m enjoying it’s current state, ragged as it may be. (My choice for new fabric will probably be more neutral and a smaller pattern, but I have to admit that this retro fabric is actually very nice. It must have been really lovely in it’s own day!)

The dress is also a vintage piece I picked up HERE (of course). I love the rainbow seersucker and reverse button back. Likewise, it shows a visible history in the form of a falling hem (now repaired) and occasional age spots. This might be a negative for some but I like to think it adds character and interest to the piece. In my girlish practice of dressing up for the day, I can’t help but think about the lady that wore this dress before me. Who was she? Did she feel as elegant and polished as I do while wearing it? Was it a Sunday outfit or everyday house dress? Did she value it’s wonderful large, front pockets as much as I do? Our lifestyles have changed so much over the years. What was common then is special now. Part of my joy in wearing and using old pieces is the sense of refinement that comes with their use and is practically unavoidable. They seem to elevate the ordinary to something more significant.

Am I stuck in the past? I hope not. I greatly value the pursuit of originality. But do I have an old soul? Well, I think that’s obvious… undoubtedly, yes!

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Antiques Around the Corner

 

I’ve told you about my Thrifting hobby and given a few pieces of scavenging advice, but I haven’t yet mentioned that antique shopping is also a favorite activity of mine, though a bit less frequently done. Lucky for me To make matters worse, our house is just minutes from one of the better antique malls in Fort Worth, Montgomery Antique Mall. Several days ago, a friend and I stopped by to browse and enjoy a pleasant cafe lunch at the mall’s Secret Garden Restaurant.

It was lovely and I look forward to returning soon! While perusing the many interesting booths, I snapped photos of a few favorite items of interest…

Brightly colored glass and ceramic,

Unique textiles,

And exotic jewelry and art,

As it is, this could even be used as a simplified antique shopping guide… don’t worry about looking at everything, just focus on the things that catch your eye and make you stop. That’s what I do, at least.

Cheers to Monday and happy antiquing!!

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A Simple Tablescape (yes, that’s a word)

A couple weeks ago, I pulled together a few odds and ends to create a simple table scape on our living room coffee table. Up until that point, our table sat bare and lonely… nothing on it to keep it company. I had grown so accustomed to the empty surface that when I added a few pieces to its top, the difference was surprising! Suddenly our living room felt more complete and official. For someone that has moved six times in the past six years, those sorts of details are important!

I don’t typically choose glass accessories… I like things that are a bit more sturdy and less dainty but I love the way the light reflects through these candlesticks and I enjoyed collecting unique pieces of different shapes to compliment one another. This Asian inspired dish is probably my favorite part of the group. I love the colors and am using it as inspiration for the rest of the room, which is obviously still in progress as you can see from the picture below. (David and I have big plans for that bare spot on the wall!)

I can’t help but mention that today’s post feels perfectly timed after yesterday’s launch of Rue Issue 6. Did anyone see the “Arabian Days” spread? I thought it was a beautiful fantasy!! (especially that cover photo!)

My table scape, with a touch of exotic, lends me a similar feeling of escape and that’s what I love about it! (it should also be noted, for those shopping on a budget like me, that the contents of my table decor cost me in total no more than $20… a keen eye, patience, and clear sense of one’s style are all that’s necessary to shop on a budget).

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A Bit of Nashville

Last week, I made an impromptu visit back home to Nashville for the holiday weekend. It was a timely escape during the transition between my old job at Havertys and my new work with Arteriors Home.

Here are a few tidbits from the weekend.

My mother, brother Nick, and I stopped by the new Antique Archeology shop owned by the guys from the History channel’s American Pickers show. Little did we know that everyone else in Nashville had the same idea that day! (oh yeah, did i mention that it was also opening day?) The downside… scorching heat and humidity while standing in a seemingly endless line of people, the upside… I discovered a new and interesting part of town called Marathon Village! (all you Nashvillians, if you don’t already know about it, the history is fascinating!)

The weather was squelchingly hot but charming refreshment stands helped keep many people cool and quenched.  Despite the unpleasant temperature, however, there was plenty of good company and interesting sites to keep us all entertained. Lesson of the day… umbrellas and hand fans are life-savers in the South!

And check out this super cool door embellishment made of old tools and parts from the original Marathon Motors factory… It’s all in the details!Hope your holiday weekend was just as wonderful!

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Garden Table

Do you wait for an excuse to use your nice tableware like I do? If you have any interest in fully enjoying the finer things in life without the added stress of managing the kitchen, preparing drinks, and keeping up good hostess conversation, I recommend that you change your ways immediately! Take out that china…polish that silver…iron your favorite linens. Rather than missing out on the experience due to a myriad of other hostess responsibilities, try dressing your table with the finer pieces that make you happy on an ordinary occasion and notice how wonderful it feels.

I did and felt special the whole day through! Without putting too much labor into the event, I arranged a few vibrant pink peonies in an old silver pitcher, placed a handful of fresh Granny Smith apples on a silver server, and laid out my favorite garden inspired table cloth. All in all, a lovely summer retreat just steps away from my desk.

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Out of the Box

For the past four and a half years I have lugged my collection of china and crystal in silver Dillard’s boxes from one rental home to another. And at every stop they have remained hidden in those boxes, stowed away in some storage closet, and only wishing for the chance to showoff. Well, their day has come…finally! Our current abode had a charming china hutch built into the corner of our kitchen. It is the perfect place for decorative display and convenient storage.

Along the way, I’ve also enjoyed embellishing it with small trinkets and accessories that make our home personal. Like these charming “feet” candlestick holders that David and I received as a gift at our wedding…that are so odd but I absolutely love them!

And this small set of brightly painted china…I picked it up at a local thrift store and felt it would complement the colors of my own collection beautifully. The base is printed with the inscription “Superior English Bell China, Shore & Coggins Longston, 1833”. It may be of no significance…but I like to think that it is. 😉

Then, while my family was in town, my mom arranged these lovely calla lilies. They fit perfectly, peaking from the hutch shelf…besides, I thought they were nicely unexpected in the hutch rather than on the table.

Now, my time spent in the kitchen washing dishes and packing lunches is a bit more sophisticated and a lot more beautiful!

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