Saturday, November 8, 2008

Christmas at red


She's been written about numerous times by bloggers - Mrs. Blandings, Garden Antiques, and design sponge - to name a few. D'Ette Cole is a favorite around these parts, a friend and supporter of our local design shop, red. Most of you probably read the article on D'Ette's creative and wonderful home in last month's Cottage Living. From uncommon objects in Austin to clutter at the Round Top shows to all kinds of other venues, D'Ette's creative spark and energy is contagious. Her bottle tree is just one example of clever Christmas decorating - in fact, I'll bet it's not Christmas at all, just one of her many fabulous creations!

photo - Cottage Living

The same quirky, incredibly creative energy is evident at red. You won't be surprised to know that Nikki of red, and D'Ette are friends. I had not been in the store in a while and stopped in a few days ago. Upon entering I was overwhelmed by the amazing colorful displays at every turn. The shop still has the great furniture and accessory selection as always, but this time of year it really sparkles with Christmas cheer.

Still carrying a wonderful selection of bella notte linens................

Lush towels and beautiful hour glasses....................

and here we go with Christmas...............................

wonderful vintage and new decorations of every kind and color..................
and lots of pink!! lots of pink!!

......what a cute tricycle!!

I love the use of industrial pieces for display and practical use, too.

Wonderful - mixing white and green pumpkins in old bird baths......................

.................creative display around every corner.................

Too jewelry made from vintage beads and buttons.........................

To see more stockings go to

................what a good looking suzani print pillow....................

I think these might be my favorites - fish and pinecones..................great color!

Oh these are scrumptious!! What gorgeous coral and gold ornaments.

Had to add a little pop with these folky pillows...............and what a cool bin/coffee table.

Of course I want the whole deal - not just the tree. Someone has got to have the birdbath, the silver balls and the tree!! Stunning!

Thanks again to red for allwoing me to snap so many pictures. If you are in the area, you really should stop by - guaranteed to make you smile with holiday spirit!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Friend, Alice

My friend, Alice, and her husband, Byron, knew the charm of Fredericksburg long before I did. Byron used to travel here on business and has fond memories of that time. Little did any of us imagine that years later my family would move here permanently.............and that Alice and Byron would follow 14 years later!!

What began as a weekend getaway became a favorite escape from the big city. Over the years were lots of conversations about building a house in the country, retiring "someday" (the always elusive "someday").....................loving their life in Dallas, but with nagging thoughts of living somewhere pretty and peaceful..........and finally, the stars aligned, all fell into place, and............ they are here!

They have settled in a beautiful home that sits on acreage overlooking the hills. They have learned about snakes and scorpions and cutting hay. They have become a two dog family (they used to be a no dog family).................and I think they are having a blast!

The whole story of how they found and bought their house is very circuitous and fun! It involves another set of friends, also with a great house, and a much longer post..................for another time.

So, the topic today is Alice's bedroom. Alice and I share a common passion for great design, color, and whimsy. We both get excited when we find something great, and sometimes buy before we think about the big picture. I know this won't shock you if you have seen my very eclectic house. Nevertheless, we buy what we love and somehow it all comes together to our liking.

When our friend, Carolyn, opened red, we both began to visit her regularly. Alice bought a fabulous new iron bed at the new store and along with the bed, fell in love with a Denyse Schmidt quilt. She had some great art and accessories that she wanted to incorporate into the room, and also wanted to bring a little red into the bedroom. I was flattered when she asked me to pull it all together for them!

With chocolate, pistachio green, and red I knew I was in for a fun project. I found a lovely "plummy", chocolate matelasse spread at Homestead Fine Linens in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I designed a bed skirt in a black and cream stripe with accents pulled from the curtain fabric. This photo gives it a weird "swooshy" look, but it is actually a simple straight skirt with a band of the same stripe on the bias along the bottom. Alice learned from our favorite pest control man that scorpions can crawl up a bed skirt, so I was instructed to have it hemmed one inch above the floor! He swears that if it doesn't touch the floor they can't get to it. No puddling bed skirts or curtains here! Some might call it skimpy, but I call it smart!

Alice had some European shams that she wanted to use on the bed, so we blended those with some others from red as well as a small custom designed pillow, also from the curtain stripe.

I chose a big green and cream check for the custom slipcovers for the chair and ottoman, crafted by our local talent Debbie Phillips of Simple Slips fame, and I designed another little custom pillow for the chair.

We used the existing iron curtain rod for the new curtains (also designed by yours truly and created by Debbie Phillips) .

The fabric is a crisp red and salmon pinstripe that pops against the pistachio green painted walls (Benjamin Moore "warren acres") I found the bed skirt fabric and the curtain fabric at a new shop here called Threads, owned by friend, Margo (it's a small town). It is a wonderful fabric shop specializing in custom bedding, pillows and vintage accessories.

The floors in this house are stained concrete. We wanted to soften them a bit, and used a Pottery Barn seagrass rug trimmed in cherry. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve - new lamps, and a new painting perhaps...........oops, Byron are you reading this?!

All in all, I think the bedroom looks very pretty and look forward to having more fun with this very unique house in the Texas hill country! I think you will be surprised to see the architectural design of this home. It is very special.

I will post more as we progress.

Meanwhile, Byron and Alice, Welcome to Fred!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Austin Artist Terrell Powell

When I was wandering through the tents at Round Top I came upon Terrell Powell, a talented and friendly artist from Austin. As I have mentioned before, I tend to be an all or nothing kind of girl, to a fault. So, I have had these photos loaded and ready to go for a week..........waiting until I had time to call Terrell and do a full fledged interview. Well, it hasn't happened yet, and they are such fun, so my words will be few and if you want to see more go to

I love the houses and Terrell appears to love what he does. He told me enthusiastically about his work being in people's homes as well as in children's hospitals. His paintings are happy and full of vibrant color and pattern used in surprising ways. He paints houses, flowers, birds and all sorts of animals.

His work has a wonderful folk art and naive feel to it, yet some of his work could fit in the most sophisticated of interiors.

I loved this tall vase of flowers. It has a great dimension, or maybe "not dimension," sort of flat, almost like a collage.

Here is the friendly guy himself! He was greeting his customers and also painting in the back of his booth when he had a chance.

I found Miss Priss (my name for her, not Terrell's) with the bird on her head and the flower in her mouth very charming................

and of course, had I bought one of these, I would have had to have all four!

A man of many talents, Terrell also works in iron. These flower baskets are hilarious and beautiful at the same time. Made from old iron faucet handles, they have a beautiful sculptural quality.

Folky as they are, these birds have a crisp, modern edge. I can see them in a minimal, contemporary setting.

While these are a little more primitive and sweet...................

If you want to see more of his work, visit the website mentioned above and click on his name. Guaranteed to make you smile!!

Round Top Quickie

The fall Round Top antiques event took place during the last week of September and the first week of October. It is a full two weeks of antiquing and great treasure hunting. For a full description check Cote de Texas . Joni gave a very thorough account of her visit last year about this time. Look at her blog archives and click on Round Top - she gives the full scoop.

I used to shop the shows, then set up with my friend, Barbara, at the Round Top show for a number of years, and now just try to get over there for at least a visit each season. This fall I went for two days - a quickie, but better than not at all, I guess!

I took these shots because I could tell someone took time and energy to set up charming fall displays. Love the watering cans and pumpkins!

Isn't this clever - dress forms and wonderful white pumpkins!

Ohmygosh! too cute! These were already sold. Don't you know they were a fabulous Easter display once upon a time!

This was a beautiful collection of antiques and newly produced pieces made from old materials. The dealer was Paragon Antiques from Birmingham, Alabama. I believe she told me the painted cupboards are French. I love the wonderful old paint.

When you are there you just wander from tent to tent full of incredible things. This was a different tent across from Paragon. Great lamp - one of a pair.

Incredible collection of botanical prints.................
Maybe a little better shot with less glare...............aren't they good looking?

Back to the Birmingham dealer, Paragon - this piece was so folky and I just loved it. The scalloped edges are sort of wavy. The midnight blue paint is great - just the sort of funky piece I an drawn to!

Love the top treatment. What a great fun piece.

This was one of my favorite things. A dining table with a demilune table on each end. You could use all three pieces together or use the demilunes somewhere else, and just pull them to the table when you need more space. The paint on the table and the legs was well done. Again, Paragon Antiques.

What an interesting way to enlarge your dining table. Love it!

These may have been my favorite things of the whole show. The sideboards had the most remarkable blue paint on them. The mirrors were made in Spain out of old materials. I absolutely adored them and had I been able to afford them, would have brought them home in a second! Both the mirrors and the sideboards could be bought individually or together. I think some very lucky person in Houston got them - or at least one of the mirrors!
There were several designers lurking around speaking secretively into their cell phones, supposedly "checking with their people".............oh well, hope one of "their people" loves her new mirror!


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