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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mobile blog post test

I will be blogging and facebooking while away on my buying trip. I have not yet posted using my iPhone so I thought I would give it a test run before I go.
I stopped this morning at an estate sale that I saw on my way into the shop. Since I was short on time, I gave myself 10 minutes to shop. I was rewarded with this beautiful antique mirror and a nice pair of vintage silver candlesticks. Not bad for 10 minutes!
Happy hunting!
P.S. I cannot seem to place the photos
where I want... will figure it out.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tortoise Shell Bamboo Find

I just couldn't resist making a quick stop, on my way home tonight, at a local resale boutique. Not really in the market for anything as I am saving my pennies for my big buying trip next week, so my pace was a little quicker and my scanning a bit more selective. I was about to leave empty handed when I decided to take a look in the back room. The golf clubs, garden tools and old skis all pointed toward a neat little stack of tables leaning against a pile of old suitcases. 
The closer I got the better they looked. The more I opened and closed them the more I liked them... SOLD!
These 3 vintage folding side tables would be perfect for a 3 season porch or conservatory.
 Made of classic tortoise shell bamboo they are beautiful in both form and function.
Tortoise shell bamboo has been used for centuries by Japanese, Chinese, English and American furniture makers. It was a staple material in both the Victorian and Arts & Crafts styles.
This bamboo has a very unique growing pattern. In Japan, it is refered to as 'Kikko' means "tortoise shell". The trunk growth alternates on either side creating a pattern much like that of a tortoise shell. 
However, this characteristic is only present in the first few feet at the trunk or base of the plant making the bamboo itself a rather unique material.
I am very happy to have found today's treasure. When I return from my sojourn I will have glass cut for each of these and display them in the garden room at Le Potager. I think they will be quite smart looking. 
Thank you for visiting. I will post more about my buying trip this weekend.
In the mean time... happy hunting!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Farewell to a Family Treasure

How does one thank a dog for 16 years of unconditional love?
How do you thank her for teaching your children how to be loving and kind?
How do you say thank you for being such a big part of the family?
For putting up with the silly things we asked her to do?
Can you place a value on seeing her sleeping with the kids?
How about for playing hockey for hours with the boys and being the best defensemen of all?
Or how she greeted each of us when we came home, everyday, for sixteen years?
There are just not enough words to express my thanks.
I am so sad that she is gone.
My heart hurts to think she will not be here to greet me tomorrow or the next day.
However, I am so grateful that she was here for as long as she was. 
Farewell my special girl, we will miss you so.
Our Molly... aka "miss molly" "molly tamale"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mystery Treasure... Table and Chair?

I seem to be in a furniture mode these days. I have been finding some rather nice furniture pieces at local estate sales and flea markets. Most of them I have left behind as the selling climate is weak this time of year. So, when I scanned across the warehouse at a local charity thrift, I nearly passed this special mystery item by.
It was the classic lines that originally caught my attention, as I have a soft spot for mission or arts & crafts style furniture and accessories. 
However, it was it's function that captured my imagination.
It appears to be a simple side table.
The table top is hinged in the back like the lid of a truck thus creating the back of the chair or the top of the table. 
When the lid opens it exposes the little pillow chair pad.
I have been unable to identify the original function of this piece but I find it interesting and unique.
But whatever it's purpose, it is a very nice, well crafted, solid piece of vintage furniture. 
Any ideas what it could be? I would love to hear your ideas.
Also, starting the count-down to my summer buying trip... 14 days 'til departure! 
More on that very soon.
Happy hunting! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Décor Trends at Market

I am a glass is half full kind of girl, always have been and hope I always am. However, when I was at market wrapping up our holiday buying, I took some time to really look at what vendors are offering us in the year-round home accents and furnishings world.
Frankly, I was disappointed this market. I am well aware of the influence a challenging economy has on what is available to us but, it was very apparent to me that most manufacturers have taken a bandaid approach to their catalogues. We are being fed pretty little things but very little in the way substance, quality or originality. I have come to believe that when we look back upon this time in history there will be no contributions to home décor and design. I think that is a shame.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many strong wonderful lines out there but even they are cautious to venture beyond what they have been doing for the last several years. I am ever so thankful for the continued popularity of global vintage and antiques in interior design. I think without that influence we would be in a bad spot.
What did I see trending? An interesting twist of vibrant décor items such as carpet and lamps paired with monochromatic accessories. Painted furniture, unique hardware and antique reproductions
 Bright colored carpets.
Colorful printed lamp shades.
Painted furniture.
And lots...
of painted furniture.
Accessories did not appear to be out of the ordinary either, however they too have added more vibrant colors to their lines. Yes, many of the items have been the same for the last several seasons but the happy color schemes did breath some new life into them.
The bottom line, for me as a retailer is, I have my work cut out for me. We will continue to create our own look and set our own trends by combining small selections of many, many lines.
I think that is what is so inspiring to our customers, creating vignettes with antiques and very well chosen new items just like we all do at home. There is nothing less inspiring than walking into a shop and seeing an overabundance of the same thing. Generally not very appealing in the shop or in your home. We work diligently to avoid that at all costs.
I apologize for the photo quality on this post. I was using my phone rather stealthly as some showrooms do not like photos being taken. They are always worried that their lines may be copied. No worries with me.
More treasure hunting this week... stay tuned.
Happy Hunting.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shopping the Holiday Markets

It is that time of year once again… off to market.  What used to take days here at the Los Angeles show plus a week at the market in Atlanta has been reduced to a weekend here at home. That is mostly due to a slow economy as well as our new refined and focused buying.
Our economy of late, has been especially challenging in the retail sector, many of our vendors have cut their lines drastically while many others have closed their doors all together. This could be devastating for some retailers we, on the other hand, have come to relish the hunting process.
When planning for the holidays my business partner and I have taken a new and different approach to shopping, ordering and displaying. To balance price and quality we have heavily fused trans-seasonal and year-round home décor into our holiday vignettes.
These are looks that can work in any home with any style of décor.
Fall accessories and tabletop wares can be used from September through Thanksgiving (or the end of November) if they are not “holiday specific”. Stick with classic seasonal colors and traditional patterns. If you are searching for value choose large items that celebrate the entire season and small items, that are less costly and easy to rotate, that are holiday specific ie jack-o-lanterns or turkeys.
Winter accessories and tabletop wares can be used from December through Valentine’s Day. Following the same ideas above plus incorporate a “common tread” such as sugared fruits, metallics and or winter botanicals (holly, cyclamen, paperwhites, amaryllis). All of these items span the season and do not lock you in. Yes, add santas or snowmen or angels but keep in mind that you should be able to rotate those items out easily.
Our outlook on the fall and winter seasons is to use color, texture and natural elements first then sprinkle with holiday specific décor. Also, keep in mind my 3G’s of  display during the fall and winter decorating season… Gather like items, Group them together and Ground your collection on a tray, old books, or ?
Bottom line is mission accomplished. We are ready for the fall and winter holidays. As our orders arrive and vignettes are created at Le Potager, I will of course be sharing.
Next post will be of some other year-round lines we saw. I will share the trends and some insights.
Until then, happy hunting and Merry Christmas!