Monday, February 16, 2009

Something Different...........and Wonderful!!

Upon entering Something Different II on Main Street in Fredericksburg, I am struck by the eye popping colors and fabulous looking furnishings everywhere I look. I have to stop and just stand for a moment - taking it all in and deciding which way to go first.


Valerie Durst, proprietor, has long been known in town for her great taste. When we moved here 14 years ago, she owned a clothing store by the same name, "Something Different" . Local shoppers, as well as tourists who came to town just to shop with her, frequented the classic store.


To the dismay of many, she closed the store after a number of years and went on to do other things. Life changes and a love of art and home furnishings has brought her back, and man, oh man, is she back!!

Valerie has opened yet another amazing and beautiful store chock full of case goods, pottery, art, lamps , rugs, and anything else you can think of that is interesting and delightful for the home. I especially love the selection of Gorky Gonzales pottery from Guanajuato in Mexico. You may remember that it is one of the Mexican potteries that I have collected for years, and this shop will definitely be a weakness for me in this department.

This sign would have made a splendid Valentine for someone. I did show it to my husband one night through the window, but I guess he thought the sentiment and seeing it through the window was quite enough........


Valerie is very much an international shopper and she can't keep these telephone wire baskets from Zimbabwe in stock. Aren't they fun?


Of course, she has to have a few fashionable things to wear and these belts with Frida Kahlo and religious icon buckles are great looking.

Sweet.......another would of been good Valentine sentiment - actually a good sentiment anytime.

Love the pillows, love the tables and chairs, and of course, love the square Italian platters..........

Valerie has mixed in some vintage with new, and this old iron plant stand comes alive with the red pottery. This table is full of different sizes and shapes of this yummy red pottery.

Textile hangers from Indonesia..........who knew?

Of course, being the pillow addict that I am, I love the mix of color on the black and white zebra print settee.

For those who like a more neutral palette or things of an organic nature, great wooden bowls , woven baskets, and seed balls.

I am wild about this toile chair, one of a pair, as well as the wonderful rectangular sconces flanking the mirror. So handsome!

........and I will take the drum chandelier, too, thank you very much!

These are kind of hard to see, but the table and the chairs are woven wire to resemble bird's nests - love 'em!

Traditional as well as classic modern pieces are mixed together all through the store.


Art as well as rugs and accessories are blended in every corner and I had to walk through several times to even begin to se everything.

IMG_2926.JPGI the sillouette of this beautiful lamp.

Cute striped slips on these chairs with a great mix of pillows.....ooh, and look at the great lampshade!
Love this boxy chair - one of a pair. Many of the upholstered pieces in the shop are made by Rowe.

Each piece can be custom ordered and Something Different II has over 800 fabric samples from which to choose.

I am not usually a fan of artificial plants, but these succulents are very real looking.

Gotta love that color!!


I noticed this very handsome sconce hanging on the side of the door - the tag says "Brimfield" which tells me that Valerie found it on one of her treasure hunting trips. Really, really nice..

A peek into one of the big front windows to see one of many colorful displays ..............


This is the view from the front door - just a glance around told me I needed some serious browsing time here.
Oh my...............beautiful Robin's egg blue leather chairs.......yum.


A modern version of a penny rug - all bright and bold with a modern circular table sitting on top
Uh oh - I am in trouble now. Valerie just got in a big shipment of pottery!


I really don't buy any more of this particular pottery unless is I see a piece that is very different from what I have or one that is very unusual

..........but aren't these big lidded jars and the orange pitcher so pretty mixed with the Mexican pieces on the wall?


Did I say I don't buy this pottery anymore? Who am I kidding?

A closer shot of the table with the blue leather chairs........ and the table set with more great pottery - this time black and white stripes with brilliant colors and animals.

Valerie regularly shops in Mexico in places like San Miguel de Allende, Cuernavaca, Guadalajara, Guanajuato and Mexico City, as well as our markets in Los Angeles and New York. I am looking for a spot in my house for this fabulous carved wood and tin lantern from San Miguel.

She carries fabulous lanterns, candlesticks and lamps. She also has wonderful Balinese folk art pieces cut from steel drums that she cannot even keep in stock, they are so popular!

I visited the shop last Saturday, Valentine's day, and the goodies at the front counter were quite picked over! Still a few treasures for those late shoppers, though!

Did I mention beautiful glass vases and whimsical chickens?

...............colorful side tables and multicolored orbs (sometimes "orbs" sounds better than "balls"!!)

So, the next time you find your self in the neighborhood, do stop in to visit this great addition to our shops on Main Street. Meanwhile if you have any questions or want to shop by phone, call 830- 997-2734, and any of Valerie's friendly staff will be glad to help you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

True Love, Jeffrey Bilhuber in House Beautiful

I want this fact, I want eight of them, right now! Make that ten! I have been thinking something in blue would liven up my dining room chairs.

Covered in fabulous Suzani Jaquard by Donghia, the color is "Blue Bliss" . Bliss is the key word for me! The trim is a yummy tangerine that just makes that blue pop. A portiere, or interior curtain, hangs behind the chair. It is exquisitely made of "Oak Leaves Vine" from Chelsea Editions. The chair is one of a set of dining chairs designed by Mr. Bilhuber. The shape of the chairs was dictated by the round suzani pattern - genius.


When I received my new issue of House Beautiful today I could not wait to sit down and devour it. Some issues are like that. I do not know if it is because the issue is about color or if it is just the incredible talent of designer Jeffrey Bilhuber, but I am so, so happy when I look at this particular house! I love the mix of old and new. I love the mix of color. I love the texture of the rock walls and the painted cabinets in the kitchen..and the big fabulous hinges!


I am such a collector of all sorts of things and routinely beat myself up for having too much stuff. I look at the current shelter magazines with all the sleek, color coordinated rooms with the most current lamps and just the right sea grass rugs and think "Why can't I even come close?" I am too much of an art, antique, cool stuff, junkie, I guess. I know design principles and can help someone else pull a room together, but when it comes to my house................who knows? I am way, way, too emotional about the things I love. This house, with its combination of clever, quirky and sophisticated, is just the balance I so wish I could achieve.

The beams give the kitchen an old look, while the light fixtures are so current. The hardware is classic and the oriental rug gives it warmth - all without making it look too , too......... anything, just perfect!

The slate floors and rock walls are just what we love here in the hill country. Obviously we are not alone as this wonderful farmhouse house is in Pennsylvania, and of course, the use of indigenous stone is very typical there, too.


The bedroom is just the right balance of clean, fresh and modern with a wonderful layering of linens on the bed and a lovely framed antique glazed chintz, perfectly framed, at the head of the bed.


Being a lover of folk art, I think Bilhuber's version of a Pennsylvania hex sign painted on the whitewashed wood floors in the living area is a fun and lively touch. The signs are common on the sides of barns in Pennsylvania Dutch country. The designer tells of driving through the countryside and having an epiphany, suddenly realizing "That's what I want to do!"


The living room armchair, covered in a yummy plum fabric, is charmed with a vintage hooked pillow.


Of course, there is more information along with more photos in the magazine. This is just my interpretation of a brilliant mix of old and new, modern and country, folk and traditional art, in this charming and warm home.

There are other great designs in this issue, too, that I think are so full of life and color. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

P.S. Yes my photos are blurry. I am still trying to use a new publishing software. I am afraid I may have to surrender and stick with the ever so temperamental If you haven't already, buy this issue of House Beautiful to see the true colors and designs. Anyone have any suggestions for user friendly blogging on a Mac? My frustration is mainly in the downloading of photos - both sizing and sequencing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Confessions of a Novice Blogger

Lovely dining room of my friend, Debra's house. Read on to understand the sequence here.........

Full shot of Liz Steving's assemblage/painting. Read further........................

In trying to learn to use a new publishing system "ecto" so that I can post larger photos, I somehow published the next post with about half of some of the photos showing. Not only do I not know how to correct the photo issue, I don't even know how to edit the text at this point. It was such a huge accomplishment for me to finally get the thing to publish, I don't want to delete it! So here are a few photos using blogger, and you can read on in the next post for the information.

Detail shot of the armoire that I covet each time I see it. Again, read on!

Warm and cozy living room with great art and great armoire!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Thank You and a House


I was so surprised to be included in a blogging award. Kari over at Reese&Marie included me in a group of eight other bloggers. Thank you so much. Check out this charming blog here.

What the award is about..........."This blog invests and believes in the Proximity-nearness space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming ........these bloggers aim to find and be friends.They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propogated. Please give more attention to these writers!"

What you have to do.........Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award. Okay, I don't know a lot of bloggers, but here are a few of my new friends, or bloggers I read, but may not know, until I give them this award!:

1. Freckled Farm

2. Little Red House

3.Antique Therapy

4. Pure Style Home

5.Porchlight Interiors

6.Beulah Designs Blog

7.Garden Antiques Vintage

8. Marley & Lockyer

Visit these bloggers for great design and personal inspiration.


Now, come with me to visit yet another great Fredericksburg home. My friend, Debra, has a wonderful, warm home full of great furnishings and art. The front entry is minimally furnished and each piece is interesting and colorful. The nicho on the entry table was made my friend, Leslie's ,mom. She is an amazing artist who can take the most ordianary things and create exceptional art.

Debra's mother in law, Sandra Hulse, is a very talented artist of many different mediums. Debra has several of Sandra's tapestries hanging in her home. This one of a saint hangs in the entry hall.


The living room is comfortable and family friendly, with great art and a fabulous carved armoire that I covet each time I come over here!


Above the fireplace hangs an amazing assemblage by artist Liz Steving. The bird nest in the central part of the piece is a beautiful painting. Liz uses all kinds of found objects to frame and embellish her works. Notice the black and gold patterned border surrounding the bird's next. The flowers in the corners are metal roses encased in glass.


Flanking either side of the fireplace are two spectacular paintings by another very talented artist , Peruvian Martha I. Ochoa. Martha paints saints and angels in elaborate costumes in the style of the Cusco School - an artistic tradition that rose up in the former capital of the Inca empire after the Spanish conquered the city in the early 16th century. She uses special washes to give her work the patina of two or three centuries.

Martha, whose grandfather Francisco Olazo was a respected impressionist painter and one of the founders of the Cusco School of Fine Arts, started out as a landscape painter. About 20 years ago she was inspired by friend and fellow Peruvian artist Miguel Baca to begin using the technique and style of the Spanish colonial era.


If you follow my blog, you know that I love Mexican pottery as well as Mexican folk art. Debra's beautiful painted cupboard is filled with green Oaxacan dripware as well as fabulous Italian spatter ware plates, a tree of life and wonderful large pots.


The first thing one sees upon entering the dining room is another tapestry created by Sandra. Sandra's work has shown in various galleries over the years and her work is collected by many. You may have read about her in my post on my friend, Leslie's house.


Sandra uses a variety of textures and fabrics and has an amazing sense of form and color. You can learn more about Sandra in the book "Behind Adobe Walls, The Hidden Homes and Gardens of Santa Fe and Taos". Notice the details in the larger picture below.



My friend, Debra is a very talented artist in her own right. She painted the above painting that hangs over my fireplace. Thank you so much for the visit to your charming home, Debra!


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