Friday, September 25, 2009

Decorating Mecca - Atlanta

Two weeks ago I flew down to my favorite town for interiors shopping - Atlanta - to shop for some clients (oh, and for Haven on Hanover). Yes, Washington, D.C. has its share of great shops, especially along Wisconsin Avenue and O Streets in Georgetown, but Atlanta has it, hands down, for the design obsessed. We started our quest at Atlanta Decorative Arts Center - fondly known as ADAC.

Washington, DC, where the firm I work for is based, has a Design Center but something about ADAC makes shopping so much more fun and easy. We know we will always hit the jackpot. We started at Smith Grubbs, right inside the door and found a great variety of lamps and side tables for our client who lives on Long Island.
Isn't the hammered finish on this table divine?

I've been searching for the perfect bar cart for a client in Georgetown and this one hit the mark.

This table lamp would be very happy at Haven.

And this table lamp we could sell to several different clients.

We had so much luck and the fun had just begun. Off to our favorite rug source, Moattar, Ltd. A client in Georgetown needed a runner for her front hall and we had searched in DC and New York all summer. We walked in to Moattar, showed Andrea Moattar a swatch of fabric and a photo of an existing rug and a few minutes later we had a couple of options to send to the client back in DC.


Next we blew through Travis & Co. and shot some photos of some lovely acrylic tables and more great lighting:

Then we happened upon Bradley Hughes who used to be on Miami Circle but just recently moved to ADAC. There we found some pendant lights for a client looking for a "funky" fixture for her stair hall.

After a quick bite in ADAC's cute luncheon spot, we zoomed over to another pair of favorites, Mrs. Howard and Max and Co. Much has been written in the blogosphere about these two shops so I won't go into a lot of detail, but suffice it to say if this is the first you've heard of these two shops, then google them and then get yourself over there pronto. You won't be sorry. Here are some images:
I could have crawled right into that bed. Or this one.

Hating to leave but knowing that time was getting away from us, we popped over to Bungalow and found some great accessories and ended up at Bill Lowe gallery to peruse the latest art in his collection. Feeling very inspired, but tired and hungry, we checked into our hotel and called it a day.

The next day the cab showed up at 7:30 to take us to Scott's market. Shopping at Scott's is so much fun and exhausting at the same time. There is so much to see that one's eye can not take it all in. It is a bit difficult to shop for clients there as it is "cash and carry" so we typically buy things and put them into inventory knowing that down the road we'll be able to place them. We purchased some prints from Prints Charming and then stumbled upon a vendor with some beautiful lighting that had just come in from France. I purchased this ceiling fixture for my powder room and after I take it to be electrified it will be installed here at Haven.
I also picked up these sconces which will find a home here at Haven - probably in the Dining Room. Someone got carried away with gold paint but that is easily rectified with some artist's acrylic and a paint brush.

Some more images from Scott's:

I thought these angels would make awesome lamps.

Very nice crusty trumeau.

My partner in crime, Beth, had to run for the airport to make a noon flight back to DC but I was staying for one more day to shop some more and visit with my younger sister, Kelly, who lives with her family in Dunwoody. I taxied up to the Mart in downtown Atlanta to visit one of my favorite lighting showrooms, Currey and Company and to see who else might be open. It turns out not too many showrooms were open - it was like a ghost town. Rats - but I'll be back another day.

The next morning I took off from my sister's house in my nephew's car feeling ultra confident with his tom tom on the dash. I wanted to visit Ballard Designs outlet store. Tom Tom gets confused in Atlanta and I wound up in some one's town home driveway. Luckily I had printed out mapquest directions as well. Ballard's outlet was very lean - maybe a sign of the times - hard to say. I guess my shopping success (and navigation success) was at an end. I mapquested my way back to Dunwoody and hung out with my family until it was time for my flight.

There was progress at Haven this week. The base trim which had to be custom made to match the rest of the house is slowly going in and being primed and painted. All of the kitchen cabinets are in place and the templates have been made for the marble counters.

The refrigerator was ordered over the Internet long ago and seems to have gone down the black hole. I've learned a lesson there - better to buy from your local appliance guy - I've spent more time on the phone trying to track this than I care to admit. We purchased a washer and dryer from Lowe's on Broad Street and they were delivered the very next day. Now I'm feeling the need to wash everything in sight. That can't last for long.The gas fireplace insert has been selected and this mantel was brought over on approval.
This is where in a renovation it gets down to the details and they say that is where the devil is.
However some say “God is in the details,” meaning that opportunities for discovery and creativity come from digging into the details - I think both are true when thinking of a renovation.

One more thing - today is my 27th wedding anniversary - Happy Anniversary to Harry Homeowner of Haven on Hanover - you've made all of this possible and I love you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Checkers, anyone?

My dear friend and talented artist, Anji Johnston, came down last week to turn my kitchen floor into a big checkerboard game. You may remember that the original kitchen floors could not be rescued from their life under three layers of laminate and one layer of carpet and had to be put to rest. The replacement, 5" wide yellow pine boards were laid down with not a flaw in sight. Most people would think that is good. I was afraid I'd made a huge mistake. Because there was no way to make the transition from antique heart pine to brand new yellow pine with stain (to my liking) I decided to have the floors painted. The color palette was chosen - brown (to help transition from heart pine) and gray - to be happy with the white cabinets and gray wall paint.
In the photo above you can see how the old heart pine and new flooring come together. We struggled a while to get the brown color correct as every brown that went onto the yellow boards turned green. The final solution was to squeeze a tube of artist's acrylic crimson red into the bucket of Benjamin Moore Lenox Tan. The grey squares are Wickham Grey on top of the Lenox Tan.
Poor Anji's knees will never be the same. The paint really couldn't be rolled on and still have the grain show through so she ragged it on. Above is a photo of the Lenox tan (doctored up) going down onto the raw wood. After we were happy with the first coat the taping began. Do you remember much about geometry? It was the only math class that I did well in. I loved my teacher, Mr. Black, and drawing all of the shapes and doing the proofs. So, I loved watching this floor evolve and helping to figure out the pattern. Then the taping began.
We could only tape one row at time, then pull up the tape and lay down the next row. After all of the squares were done and the tape removed, Anji sealed it with three coats of Coronado sealant. My fingers are crossed that it will withstand the antics of the two dogs. Stay tuned. In any case, I could not be happier with the way it turned out and can't wait for the rest of the kitchen to be complete so I can go down and start living with it. The sink is being installed today and tomorrow the stone folks come to do a template for the Carrera marble.

After Anji finished the floors I high tailed it up to northern Virginia to attend a party in honor of Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar at the home of Michele Ginnerty of My Notting Hill. I never imagined I could have so much fun at a party where I literally knew no one. I met so many fun and interesting people in addition to Eddie, Jaithan and Michele. Bob of Homer's Odd Isn't He was great to chat with as was Pat of Pat's Addition and Lauren of Pure Style Home. Terri of WindLost was so nice to meet as was her boyfriend, David. I know I'm leaving someone out so I apologize in advance. Of course, we all have so much in common so there was no lull in the conversations. In addition to the fun attendees, Michele's husband whipped up some delicious food and the wine never stopped flowing. Eddie and Michele

Home again home again jiggety jog. Many projects were waiting for me when I got back including painting the powder room ceiling in preparation for the wallpaper hanger to come this Friday, painting the window trim in the laundry before the washing machine and dryer show up, painting some chandelier chain to match the fixture before the electrician wrings my neck not to mention grocery shopping, playing with the dogs, oh - and doing some work to bring in some cash to pay for all of this fun.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Right Up My Alley

Okay, it isn't technically my alley but I walk in it everyday and so it is a little bit mine. It is a secret garden, a little bit of heaven in the city. I don't know who did all of this work but I'm very grateful for the daily pass through.There are hundreds of perennials and shrubs.Even their old garage doors look charmingThey even decided to place all of their rubbish bins together out of sight.
Most of the alleys in our neighborhood look like this -
There isn't much you can do to beautify this long row of garages - the abandoned sofa lends a homey feel, though, don't you think? It does look like they're trying to keep ahead of the graffiti, though, which is a hard job in itself.

Another alley that I enjoy visiting is Mule Barn Alley. I can only imagine that this is where the mules lived - now it houses a cool condo. Also in the alley is the workshop of Nicholai Smith of Spartan Metalwerks. The interior design firm that I work for, Elizabeth Hague, Inc. uses his talents for custom lamps, tables, and bar stools. The statue of Lady Liberty is for sale. You can contact Nick for pricing.
This is the entrance to the alley behind our house. I fell in love with this gate the moment I laid eyes on it. Our alley isn't as bad as some. It is funny that people don't devote as much effort into the backs of their houses as they do the fronts. A few plantings and putting the rubbish bins away would go a long way in making this alley lovely.

I guess we could set an example by painting the mismatched garage doors and ripping out those horrid bushes. Another project for another day.

Lots of progress was made on the inside of the house this week. the walls in the Kitchen (Benjamin Moore Classic Gray) and the Family Room (Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan) were painted as was the trim throughout (Benjamin Moore White Dove). The floors except for the Kitchen were sanded and coated with polyurethane.
To refresh your memory - here is the "before"

Doors previously used as dining room doors and back hallway doors have been repurposed as closet and powder room doors. Tomorrow the kitchen cabinets arrive, but, unfortunately I won't be here to welcome them. I'm off to Atlanta on a buying trip (will post on that next week) and I'm hoping to return to see the cabinets and appliances all in place. I love having something to look forward to!