My passion, after my family of course, is Treasure Hunting. The simple beauty of things from by-gone eras have always spoken to me. Whether these treasures are found at a flea market, fine antique store, estate sale, thrift shop, or in the family attic, surprises abound.
As an interior designer, I believe it is vital to balance your decor by including found and family treasures. Surrounding yourself with things you love should always be the goal, from there you will find your true style.
As I shop, I may have a client in mind or I may want to resell at our french flea market or in my shop. I am lucky to have several outlets for my treasures including my own home! I plan to share my searching, hunting, travels, and treasures with you and encourage you to enjoy adding your treasures to your home.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Uses for Old Treasures

Tucked away in the dark corners of china cabinets and kitchen cupboards are the charming pieces of tableware that belonged to generations past. We keep so many items that we promise ourselves we will use someday. Well, as we have all learned, someday never comes. Now, may be the time to show these wonderful pieces the light of day, include them in our holiday tablescapes and share them with our friends and families.
While a silver coffee service is rarely a practical addition to our holiday table, I always encourage my clients and customers to include family silver as decor for the holidays especially. We tend to forget that the next generation may not have the connection to family pieces as we do. Include grandma's silver and great-grandmother's china in vignettes on your sideboard. Open the channels of discussion, share stories and continue to include and honor those family members, who left use treasures, in your holiday celebrations.
Use a beautiful tureen, that you may be too worried serve food in, as a beautiful vessel to hold seasonal treasures from mother nature.  Add a piece like this to your entry table, coffee table, kitchen or buffet table. This is another great way to pay homage to generations past.
Many pieces of antique tableware have outlived there usefulness on todays tables. This is my favorite use for antique napkin rings- simply perch a small pine cone on the top and tuck a place card into the cone. If this natural look does not fit your table decor, paint the pine cones high gloss white and add glass glitter to the tips.
Vintage collections can add to your table decor in unexpected ways. Here we added a collection of antique Germany metal animals to the table. Charming and unique, they add interest and spark conversation relating to the family members who treasures added to this collection.
Grouping like items is the key to meaningful displays. Here, vintage silver plate baskets have much more impact when grouped than they would alone. Just one item from a family member can spark an heirloom collection, which you can continue to add to as you find others at flea markets. Filled with seasonal treasures, antique baskets, boxes or bowls can be filled to accent any decor.
Get out those family treasures and include them in your holiday celebrations. What could be better than actually using pieces from generations past to create an heirloom holiday for all to enjoy? 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Great Treasures at the Rainy Flea

After a very busy couple of weeks at Le Potager I was looking forward to getting out to do some treasure hunting. Today, once again, the forecast called for rain however not until later in the afternoon. Needless to say, it began raining just after 8am. Although not really prepared for a rainy treasure hunt, we were finding such fun, unique items and meeting some truly lovely people, that we did not mind being soaked to the bone. Here are a few of today's flea market treasures.
Very large poster size men's suit fashion plate from the Fall of 1912 hand colored with fabric samples on the reverse
Vintage wood composite hunting dog head bottle opener.

 Two French wine tasting cups on original ribbons in great condition
This spectacular set did not make it home with me but I cannot stop thinking about it!

This was a great find. Part of a horse bridle, this vintage leather piece features 4 original sleigh bells as well as an incredible glass dome bridle button with a red sleigh! Would be fabulous around the door knob this Christmas

Today was a successful treasure hunting day however, not a very successful photo taking day. I am blaming the rain, it certainly couldn't be me.  Ok, it was me. Better shots next time I promise.
Just a follow-up to the other treasure hunting I did this week, an estate sale that had sounded quite interesting unfortunately, it turned out to be a very big disappointment...they can't all be great.
Treasures and tips for your holiday decorating coming soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Woodland Treasures

The woodland room at the shop is filled with wonderful items from treasure hunts of the past. The extraordinarily large vintage English stoneware turkey platter and the hand-painted wood tumblers are  beautiful in these surroundings-  both recent finds.  Also, in the background, an antique deer platter along with pheasant and turkey dinner plates.
Also recently found, vintage stemware, an antique silver tray, and crystal decanters. Together they are charming accents to the antler candlesticks and wonderful Williamsburg pine & pomander arrangements. Our intent at Le Potager is to always display in combinations like those we all have in our homes- antiques, vintage items and new wares all living in harmony.
The tree in our Woodland room is filled with natural elements like pine cones, pomanders, and dozens of antlers creating an elegant twist on the classic hunting lodge during the holidays. More peeks into other rooms at Le Potager coming up and big treasure hunting scheduled for this week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Treasures Within

I love the early evenings this time of year, it lets us light the shop in such a way that the glow through the windows creates an open invitation to one and all.
Over the last week I have been unpacking holiday treasures and putting the final touches on the store. Boxes full of treasure that I have been setting aside all year, just for the holidays.
The tables are set for holiday feasts with treasures from across the country. Springtime treasure hunting in the Ohio Valley, summertime road trip through California and dozens of flea markets and estate sales in between, all together have created our beautiful table settings.
The mantels are draped with boughs of evergreens and branches of holly. Our holiday events continue and treasures are finding their way home with our customers. With that in mind, the need to add even more unique vintage and antique treasures to the store never stops. I have two treasure hunts planned for this week, one very interesting estate sale and another large flea market.  I am looking forward to finding some great items and will share them with you as soon as I bring them home!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trees Trimmed with Treasures

The holiday season has truly arrived at the shop. The weather has changed, days are cool and evenings have been quite chilly allowing us to light a fire in the fireplace at Le Potager, to take the chill off and of course, add to the ambiance of our holiday decor. 
This season we have created very unique trees each with their own personality and brimming with new items as well as treasures found throughout the year.
This tree has a charming home decor theme. Filled with French inspired wall clocks, glass glitter keys, French journals, picture frames and more. Not a traditional holiday look but very festive indeed.
Back by popular demand... the Le Potager wine tree. This fun tree is filled with vintage and antique treasures- silver and copper wine coasters, silver wine tasting cups, red crystal wine glasses and raffia wrapped chianti bottles. Of course we have added a cork garland and wine bottle topper, both Le Potager originals. Cheers!
Our pantry tree is dripping with sweet little gifts and stocking stuffers. We have added antique silver flatware (including the topper) , antique muffineers, silver salts and vintage cookbooks. Along with those items we added custom pink rock salt rocks with graters, fresh nutmeg nuts with graters and French spreaders and tea spoons. Bon Appetit!
This is one of the trees I did give a sneak peek of on a previous post. Full of vintage musical instruments found along my summer road trip, the instruments serve as the large scale backdrop to the smaller charming ornaments. The sparkle of the metal of the horns and flutes, the warmth of the wood of the violins, all work together with the sparkle of crystal and pearl embellishments. 
This Christmas consider trimming your tree with unexpected items, use a collection, set a theme, nothing is off limits. Think fun, festive and create a look unique to you and your family.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Treasures Rain or Shine

I have always thought that the weather forecaster is the only employee in America that can be wrong most of the time and still keep their job. With that in mind, I have to say that today they were correct, 100% correct. Rain was the forecast and this is what we ran into on the way to the flea market today.
When you go to a flea market that claims Rain or Shine you think how bad could it be in the rain?
I don't think I have ever really expected anyone to honor a rain or shine promise before and I must say, after today, I never will.
Cold and wet was the theme of the day. When the wind came up and the rain began to fall horizontally I discovered that rain or shine pertained to maybe 10% of the vendors. I completely understand packing it up, it broke my heart to see some of the wonderful treasures completely ruined in the rain.
I did find one beautiful antique silver calling card tray and a charming French decanter before the last of the vendors packed up and wrung themselves out. From the flea we were off to the Farmers Market and then we did some treasure hunting in 3 charity thrift shops, all before lunch! Looking forward to next week's flea.
This week, look for posts of some of my past treasures finally unveiled on the Christmas trees and table tops at the shop.

Treasures Finding Their Way Home

After a week of fourteen hour days, mounds of boxes, scores of light stands, hundreds of floral stems and more creative juices than I thought I had... the Le Potager Holiday Open House came off without a hitch!
As the day began, my customers were asking about specific treasures they had seen on this blog from my August road trip and several flea market finds. Dozens of antique and vintage items made their way to their new homes today. As bitter sweet as it is to see many of these treasures go, I begin yet another search for treasures first thing in the morning at the flea market. More treasures soon plus pictures of the store decor, holiday trees before and after photos along with some holiday decorating tips and ideas.