Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Closest I could get to the 19th century cabinet in John Derian's Apartment

The Chase Bookcase from Aidan Gray. About $3200.

Look out I come!

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
2 (3-ounce) packages halved ladyfingers
1/4 cup rum
2 ounces crushed amaretti cookies

Beat whipping cream and sugar until peaks form. Add mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice; beat just until filling is smooth.
Line bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 1 package ladyfingers, overlapping and crowding to fit. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum. Spread half of filling over ladyfingers.
Repeat with second package ladyfingers, remaining 2 tablespoons rum, and remaining filling. Smooth. Wrap tightly in plastic, then foil. Chill overnight.
To unmold, run knife around inside edge of pan. Release pan sides; sprinkle with amaretti cookies.
*Recipe and photo from

To Covet... 9.30.09

The Bowery Button Boot by John Varvatos
Made from Italian sandblasted calfskin,
The Bowery Button Boot has all those vintage
details I look for in a great shoe. I especially like the burnished
toe and heel. Very Edwardian don't you think?
If you are ever in NYC, you've got to check out the John Varvatos
store located at the old CBGB location.

Vintage Fans

I wonder what it is about some vintage objects that speak to us on such a personal level? When it comes to vintage fans, I know exactly why I am drawn to them. As a young boy, there were many sleepovers at my grandparent's house. It was my favorite place to be. I spent many afternoons in my grandmother's kitchen, helping her prepare dinner or just chatting while she did all the work. During the warmer months, we'd take a break and go sit on the porch swing together. Her porch was the best. It wrapped around the house and was filled with just about every flower you could think of. Night would come and I would change into my pajamas to watch TV with my grandfather. Granny didn't enjoy TV as much. The evening news would come on and I would be ready for bed. Granny would pull out a "summer quilt" for me to sleep with. Beside my little twin bed she placed a small fan — much like the one in the photograph. The lights would go out, the fan would hum, and I would sleep like a baby.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Some Options for Pam...

Hummingbird or Red Velvet?
You know Hummingbird is now my favorite —
but wouldn't those Red Velvet cupcakes be
aesthetically pleasing for Christmas?
Unfortunately I've never been a fan of Red Velvet.
I would have to bet the one pictured from
Magnolia bakery wouldn't be half-bad.
Lord knows I inhaled my all-white confection
from Magnolia!
Decisions, decisions.

Each Supports the Greater Whole...

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together — Vincent Van Gogh
A nest. Recipes.
Conversation among friends.
Details of a room.

Unconventional Christmas Tree Ornaments

I'll be using these rumpled books as Christmas tree ornaments on a tree for Finderskeepers this year. I think I'll add some tarnished silver accents (remember those gravy boats?) tucked here and there to complete the look. Top it off with some mercury garland, and I think I'll have a very lovely and interesting display. Not quite my "Men With Moustaches" tree from 2007, but interesting just the same.

To Covet... on Tuesday part II

Or how about this 19th century cabinet in John Derian's apartment? Of course I'd want each and every little trinket to complete the look. Photograph is from the March 2006 edition of Elle Decor.

To Covet... on Tuesday

Perfectly scaled classic furniture (in Belgian linen) by John Derian.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Week's Checklist...

  • J & J project list and deadlines
  • Update and organize client information
  • Prepare chest for Jennifer
  • Receive Bella Cucina and Voluspa orders
  • Place CC order
  • Place Aidan Gray order
  • Organize credenza with Design Dossiers
  • Revise phone list and send email copy
  • Tag sale items
  • Review carry baskets
  • Prepare magazine pages
  • Punchlist and sketches for Holiday Open House (Saturday, November 14th)
  • Organize and share plans for Cheryl's bedroom

Still September with Frost in the Forecast

Perhaps I will not be shoveling snow in the morning — but there is frost in the forecast!
I realize this is not exciting to most, but there is something about that first chill in the air that always gets my blood pumping a little faster and inspires me to start seriously thinking about the holidays. This wonderful photo by Rodney Smith certainly helps out a little too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Searching for concrete deer...

Of course it has to be the right one (or two, or three). Spotted this pretty little thing on the Stylecourt blog. Mossy perfection!

Vintage Alarm Clocks

Who knew vintage alarm clocks would be the "must have" item this season at Finderskeepers? We had a nice collection a few weeks ago and just finished selling the last of that collection. Time to look for more.

Jane Campion's Bright Star

I cannot wait.

Gray is the new Gray

You do not have to know me well to guess that my favorite color is gray. This photo shows the right way to do masculine. I am faily sure that amazing chandelier is from BoBo Intriguing Objects and the table lamps look very Barbara Cosgrove. Minimalism is the way I like to live, but it rarely shows up at Finderskeepers. I just have way too much that I want to share. The photo is by Erica George for Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles. The goat painting is by Helen Durant. It is all just very handsome, don't you think?

The Frame is the Artwork

There are some really nice details in this installation. The railing, the rug, the dog — where to begin? I would like to focus on those wonderful frames though. The hands that hung those frames certainly know something about how to create visual interest. The placement is perfection, and the absence of artwork makes for a creative and unstuffy vignette.
We used this concept with great effect at Finderskeepers last year. We have a great wall that seems to extend forever in the upstairs landing. We did not only stick with rectangular frames, but mixed in heavily carved and oval pieces as well. Some of the gilded frames were punctuated with stag antlers to create a display with hints of English country, baroque detailing, and modern flair.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Valentino: The Last Emperor

I just finished watching Valentino: The Last Emperor. The film documents the life of the iconic fashion designer with a focus on the closing act of his celebrated career. The emotion in the film is brought to life due to the 50 year companionship he shared with business partner Giancarlo Giammetti. Inspiring!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Boxes of Christmas

In the retail world, it is that time once again. Everyone else has several weeks before they start making their lists and checking them twice. Here at Finderskeepers, boxes of Christmas have been arriving all week. It really is like Christmas morning opening them up and rediscovering all the lovely things we found at the January market.

To Covet...

Today's choice: The IT chair. Restoration Hardware is offering IT as the Madeleine. Here IT is with a perfect little cushion. I saw IT used with great effect at Thomas O'brien's Aero in NYC. I think my friend Pam will be using IT at her new house. Look at IT. Covet IT.

It's the simple things...

Just look at this lovely tableaux. What impact a simple collection can create. I love that it looks collected and unnarranged. It is a declaration — I love these things and I only want to share them. This still life comes from the Oliveaux blog (check my Links I Like list) and is part of a series of images from a most lovely French village house. Time to start a gravy boat collection?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

To covet...

I will try each day to share something with you to covet. Today's choice: Feu de bois fragrance from Diptyque. Feu de bois is French for firewood and boy does this scent deliver. It truly must be smelled to be believed. Instant romantic Fall atmosphere.

Rustic simplicity isn't for everyone...

...but it sure is nice whenever you have a good book in hand.

Modern Fall color + a tiny little rant

I love how this trad Fall palette by Todd Romano is distracted a little by bits of charcoal, silver and fuschia. The addition of the rustic/modern faux bois is also a nice touch. And that artwork!
I know faux bois and Ikat have seemed trendy for some time now in the design world — even used to the point of overkill. But I still love them both and feel they are classics that should never fully retire. Unfortunately, I can't send a single item out the doors of Finderskeepers that features either motif.
Why do some trends have to be six or seven years old, then appear mass produced in the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog, before people want to purchase them? I often wish people were a little more confident in their own taste and didn't desire an over-designed aesthetic full of details they feel are acceptable or sought after by others. Just listen to people on all of these current real estate shows (another pet peeve of mine). Every episode features the same boring checklist of "needs" the house buying couple cannot live without. Where is the character? The personality? Why should anyone ever have so much trouble trying to decide between 8 shades of beige for their walls?
Yes, I do get a little worked up over such things. I have seen so many homes with such great potential give into the wiles of Pottery Barn. You walk in and an artifice of perfection permeates your clothing like cigarette smoke. Trust me, I am not anti-Pottery Barn. I am only anti-let-me-buy-the-whole-damn-page-and-get-this-all-over-with.
Have fun with the things that surround you. Make your spaces beautiful to you. Don't take design too seriously. Conjure up a creative lifestyle in your home that says something about the people that live there. It is a process and it comes in layers that take time. It takes more effort than one quick swoop of your credit card.

Oh, what a ceiling / When you're dancing on the feeling...

I think it was the other way around. Nevertheless, look at that architecture! This is a Jim Howard project with him being responsible for the decor and the architectural details. I really think the wood on wood effect is nice where the ceiling and chandelier are concerned.

Longing for Tumbleweed

I love this tumbleweed as mantle ornament shown in Debbie Dusenberry's home. Debbie is the owner of Curious Sofa in Kansas City and the author of an amazing blog:

I don't like spiders and snakes — unless they belong to Laura Zindel

Gorgeous pattern. Yes, it's snakes.

Another Chevron Floor, Just Because I Love Them So

Feeling Orange.

I've been considering orange a lot lately. It all keeps going back to these amazing pumpkin colored velvet panels in Ina Garten's pied a terre in NYC. The space also features one of my all-time favorite details — chevron floors.

If you have been to our shoppe, Finderskeepers, you know that I have a room painted the color of an old camel hair coat with a ladyfinger-colored ceiling. This is the space I would love to coat in a warm melon/orange color. Only time will tell if this inspiration will remain when January brings our annual transformation.

Changes occur throughout the year at Finderskeepers as new merchandise weaves its way in and out the doors. But January always brings the most dramatic changes as we close those doors for an entire month to completely rejuvenate our aesthetic — allowing us to bring new and exciting ideas to our clients and customers.

There is no reason one of the scariest colors to clients couldn't slip in to become a beautiful backdrop. Now if Ina would only ship those curtains to me.

Dolci Nocciola

I just discovered that our Bella Cucina line offers a chocolate hazelnut sauce! Of course we'll be stocking it now. It is made with Belgian chocolate and has a hint of espresso. Eat your heart out Nutella.

Blog. Day one. Back from Springfield.

Just back from an eventful trip to the Springfield September Extravaganza in Ohio. Where to begin? Thursday the 17th brought hints of funny little aches and a scratchy throat. With the plague being reported 24/7 on the news, I just knew the flu bug was pawing at my door. Perfect timing flu bug. Thanks a lot.

Sure enough, Friday came and the symptoms were even more apparent. I knew I just had to carry on like nothing was wrong. We had aleady booked our hotel rooms, rented the van, and announced the shoppe would be closed on Saturday while we were away stocking up on some cool vintage to share with everyone.

I woke up Saturday, certainly not feeling 100%, but excited about the day ahead nevertheless. We were some of the first to arrive at the show, but for some reason the parking supervisor wanted us to park in another county and walk back to the site. We ignored said parking supervisor and drove up as close as we could to the vendors and parked out little white van. Said parking supervisor looked like her head might pop. I was going to be schlepping antiques across fields and in and out of a van all day — and there was no way I was going to make the process any harder, especially with the flu.

As the day progressed, I got into my zone and enjoyed scouting for the perfect pieces for our Holiday Open House (Saturday, November 14) at Finderskeepers. Though feeling a little cloudy, my appetite never waivered and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of corn dogs and Mt. Dew! Ahh, nothing like The Dew to get you going. I had a short list of things I wanted to look for and knew I would recognize the others when they called my name. First thing on the list — white miniature reindeer. I know you've seen them. Originally flocked or painted, their now worn and bare bodies are bone white and look so pretty beneath a cloche or lined up amongst a mantle of other neutrals and silver. One of the first booths we stopped at — 10 white reindeer. It was going to be a good day.

The 10 white reindeer were definitely a good sign of things to come. In our first strip of vendors, we went on to discover the most perfect iron bed ever, an unusual little metal purse I will fill with some Belles of Ireland, and a small white stool that looks as if it needs to be paired up with one of those industrial looking dental cabinets. There were plenty of other things of course, and you'll see them all when you visit the shoppe.

My friend Pam Foster gave me a huge bundle of beautiful dried lamb's ear. I knew I had to find the perfect container to display their lovely pale silverness. What's that I hear? Why it's a big, gorgeous vintage pinochle trophy beckoning across the way! There it was — declaring itself as the ideal receptacle to show off a huge bundle of soft lamb's ear. I cannot wait to build an entire display around this as the centerpiece.

Like I said, there were plenty of other discoveries. We had a lot of fun, but as the day stretched on and on my sickness started making itself known more and more. It was time to drive the van back to Florence, KY and prepare ourselves for Sunday's Burlington show. What remained of Saturday is somewhat a blur. I was sick and paying for acting like I wasn't.

Sunday morning, and the rain had arrived. After the perfect weather of Saturday in Springfield, my body and mind was not to eager to head out into the wetness. Driving to the show, we knew there wouldn't be many vendors set up with the rain. We were right. There were only a few dedicated (or delusional) vendors scattered about with huge sheets of plastic draped across their wares. Still, we grabbed our umbrellas, walked about, and managed to find a few things we couldn't let some special customer live without.

In the end, it was mission accomplished. Flu or no flu, I was determined. So now my mind is with the holidays. All of our finds are slowly starting to dictate where their perches need to be. Sometimes an object's beauty is defined by what it is sitting next to. The installations are always my favorite part. I cannot wait to share it all with you. Now go get your flu shot.