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.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Decorating... it's all in the simple details

The past several weeks have been quite a whirlwind. Completely decorating Le Potager from top to bottom for our holiday events, decorating for clients on days off or evenings and expanded shop hours has left me with just a tiny window for recharging. 
Settling into the retail holiday groove, I am thrilled to be back to blogging world.
I wanted to share some photos of the shop focusing on the little things... the details. We all have heard and even remarked "it's all in the details", whether it relates to our wardrobe, a work project, preparing a meal or decorating our homes, the details always make a difference.
Details have the reputation of being time consuming and rather costly, I must strongly disagree.
This approach to home and or holiday decor creates a big impact with minimal effort and cost.
Use wreaths on horizontal surfaces... easy and beautiful from all sides. Here a holly wreath adds a holiday spin to a year round rooster statue.
Fill assorted vessels with pine boughs, apples, pomegranates and pine cones. Any seasonal items including glass ornaments look great enmasse. I love the simple gathered look. 
Using bits and pieces can add a seasonal touch in almost any area. Here a petite bunch of mixed pine and berries top a small wall clock. A small, simple detail.
Topping cabinets with stems and branches gathered in the garden, amended with faux botanicals 
can last all season. A simple way to add rich colors and textures.

Any small area that needs a little extra something is the perfect place to make a nest of cones and berries or rose hips. Just about anything you can gather out of doors this time of year can be used to celebrate the season in our homes.
I hope you are enjoying your Christmas decorating and can add a few simple details with little cost or effort creating wonderful impact.
Flea market this weekend, weather permitting, fingers crossed.
Happy decorating and happy treasure hunting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Festive Hunt Table and Photo Shoot

We were honored to be asked, by the Orange County Register newspaper, to be a contributing designer of a festive Thanksgiving holiday table for an upcoming story. Le Potager's European country hunt table will be featured along with Jonathan Adler's contemporary style table and WAM Design's Parisian style table. This will be part of a special holiday insert focused on the joys of holiday entertaining.
I wanted to share some photos of our finished vignette as well as the photo shoot itself.
We designed the table more for photos than to actually dine on but our approach takes the front half of the table and sets it as a dining table and the back half of the table is set as a sideboard or buffet table would be.
Set with layers of dining ware and decor, the table is a charming combination of rich and rustic.
We even had a fire burning in the shop fireplace adding to the ambiance.
Beautiful vintage crystal stemware glasses added some sparkle standing upon pheasant placemats.
Vintage stag stirrup cups graced each place setting.
Antique silver and horn handled serving pieces helped to add history to this tables story.
One of our favorite pieces, this very large antique Charter Oak silver loving cup, was filled with spectacular fall botanicals. It is a definite statement piece, regal in design and scale yet rustic with its unpolished silver finish.
It's all in the details.
Although it is a small area to be photographed, it took the expertise of many to get it just right.
We brought our design concept to life and turned it over to the professional. Photos were taken from every angle including the table in its entirety as well as the smallest details. I am looking forward to seeing the photographers interpretation of our work.
The feature is set to be published this Saturday just in time for Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas season.
Create a table for your holiday feast using treasures from your home and garden. Make it a fun process, not a stressful one. There is never a wrong way to set a table and always remember that it is the people sitting at the table that are far more important than the meal or the decor.
Next week I will be posting some photos of our Christmas table vignettes as well.
Happy Decorating and Happy Hunting!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Holiday Displays for our Open House

It has been an action packed week. We prepared the shop for our annual Holiday Open House and completed our tasks just in time for Saturday's event. The weather was absolutely perfect, breezy and only in the 60's (for a change) which meant a fire in the shop fireplace and spicy warm wassail.
I took shots throughout the week of several rooms at Le Potager using my camera and some with my phone, hence the less than perfect photo quality but I think you will enjoy them either way.
It has become tradition that we create a room that is frosty and full of holiday sparkle.
Our woodland room features a more natural ,warm, forest feel.
One of our home decor trees holds new French style wall clocks with vintage French clock faces.
This tree and cabinet hold Parisian style holiday decor.
We layered new and vintage items to create a charming look.
No surface is overlooked. Even the inside of this large armoire becomes a holiday vignette.
A small bedroom mantle in white.
Even the kitchen pantry has a tree this season.
Although the majority of the shop is decorated for Christmas we pride ourselves on remaining 
"true to the season" by having fall and thanksgiving decor displayed as well. 
This hunt inspired autumn table was just photographed for a holiday insert in our major newspaper.
I will be posting more on that photo shoot and details on the table in my next post.
Happy holiday decorating and happy treasure hunting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Treasure Hunting and My Wish List

I was off and running this morning. The schedule called for part work and part pleasure. First stop, a customers home. Following up on a remodel and consulting on future furniture purchases. This home is simply lovely, as is our customer, and it was an added bonus to see so many of her purchases from our store beautifully displayed in her home.
Next stop... shopping. It was a little too late for the flea markets and since our clients home was in an area that I am rarely in, the local antique shops seemed like a great idea.
First stop, first purchase. This beautiful antique enameled cast iron headboard. This will look great behind an antique french sofa that we have at the shop.
I am still thinking about this antique mirror. At over 8 feet long, it calls for a special spot. I have added it to my wish list.
I searched through piles of vintage linens but did not have any luck finding any holiday pieces.
Loved the demijohn with the green bottle.
Spotted this vintage French foie gras print. Unfortunately it is too big for my kitchen or breakfast room at home and also too big for the pantry at the shop but it is a really great piece. Another wish list item, maybe I should go back for it after all.
This was a little bonus buy. Perfect for the holidays, the classic red and green vintage wool blanket would make a festive table topper, Christmas tree skirt or maybe even several table runners? Any ideas?
Had a great day on the road but duty calls. This week holds a photo shoot at the shop and our holiday open house. Much to do and I am very excited to get started! 
Will keep you posted.
Happy Hunting!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Antique Stoneware & French Beaded Flowers

In the midst of preparing the store for Christmas, I had to step out to run a few quick errands. After several stops and my "to do" list completed, I decided to take a little break and stroll through a local charity thrift shop. 
While searching I spotted it, tucked away on a shelf in the kitchen section, surrounded by various and sundry pots and pans... was this beautiful antique stoneware tureen.
As I inspected the tureen's condition, I noticed another petite stoneware tureen hiding just behind it. It's a cute little piece with heavy crazing and no lid but I just couldn't separate the two.
As an extra bonus, at the check out table... a sign which read "Half Off Housewares Today!" 
I love old stoneware but it is becoming more and more difficult to find, at least here in California, so I was thrilled to add these treasures to my collection.
I use my antique white stoneware tureens and casseroles to display seasonal accents at home. Shells in the summer, seasonal nuts & fruits in the fall, antique holiday ornaments and paperwhites for Christmas and so on.
This small piece would need some special attention as the items I traditionally use as filler are just too big for it. I remembered a very special treasure we brought back from France that would be just perfect!
We found these antique handmade glass beaded flowers at a flea market in Normandy. I have sold most of the stems but I did set aside some for myself and this was my chance to use them.
Ready to use any season of the year, this is not only a beautiful piece, it is a little reminder of our trip.
I'm looking forward to placing these two pieces in my grandmother's corner cabinet along with a few of my favorite pieces.
More treasure hunting this weekend and I will post some holiday vignettes from the shop soon.
Thanks for reading and
Happy Hunting!