November 12, 2017:


It's hard to believe, but winter has arrived early in my hometown. One week it was in the 70s and gorgeous outside, the next week it dropped down into the 40s and then boom, less than a week later, into the 30s. We've already had several hard freezes, the earliest that's happened since I moved here in 2014. Anyway, the trees had not even begun to turn color yet in the neighborhood - and now most of them are bare due to the many hard freezes and strong winds that blew most of the days last week. Wowsers! Today, however, the sun stayed out all day, there was no wind to speak of, and the temperatures felt positively balmy outside. I was very glad because I had to be out and about today.

So, the poor trees did not have a "fall" this year but we did get enough rain to ease my mind that my pines and shrubs will have enough moisture in the ground to survive the winter. The squirrels are SO fat and SO furry, I can't help but think they know we're in for a bad winter. Sigh. I'm way behind in everything including lots of garden clean-up that now I won't get to unless we get a few days of "Indian Summer," which doesn't seem likely this year. I did, however, get everything outdoors pretty much put away, except for the area rug (it needs to be "washed" with some soap and rinsed off) and the mosquito net curtains on my Shezebo. Now I'm already thinking about Christmas, and soon it will be here, before we know it! So, I figured it's about time I put up my "autumn" photographs from prior years as the seasonal header here at Maison Newton. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, that will be here soon and then it's into full-tilt Christmas decorating. Take care, everyone!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Look for Less: Traditional Home Visits Designer Joseph Abboud

Hola Darlings!

Fantastic articles in this month's edition of Traditional Home print magazine, and you can see a lot of it online.

Many beautiful spaces and gardens were featured this month, but -- and I am not sure what it is, exactly -- something really grabbed me about this space when I was reading the article about men's wear designer Joseph Abboud's "pied-a-terre" (it actually looks to me like the oldest building comprising the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. - some pied-a-terre, woo woo!)

Here is one of the photographs of the front room (living room):

You can read details about the room online at Traditional Home (click on the link above).  I am so in love with this room, I selected it for my next Look for Less self-challenge!  I haven't had one of those for awhile and I'm itching to do one again.

I'm looking at (1) those amazing ionic capital coffee tables, (2) the round mirror on the wall between the windows, (3) the brass "pharmacy" lamps at the end of both sofas, (4) the sofas, (5)the bookshelf to the right of the fireplace, (6) the arm chair opposite the fireplace and (7) the horse print.

Let's go! 

The first thing I hunted for was some kind of substitute for those incredible Restoration Hardware coffee tables.  A single costs $1,995 plus shipping, per online catalog.  Yikes!  Details:
  • Finished in chipped, flaked and weathered lead-free paint; top is unfinished, as it was on the original, salvaged architectural fragment
  • Finish may continue to flake over time, complementing the patina
  • Each is one of a kind
  • For normal daily care, dust with a feather duster or wipe with a clean, dry cloth

    • 37"W x 25"D x 16"H
    • Weight: 92 lbs.

    Maybe it's just me -- but nowhere did I actually see these reproductions described as being carved out of wood, but if they are true reproductions then they have to be wood, so I'm assuming the tables are made from wood. 

    They are, of course, absolutely beautiful.  I did not expect that I would be able to find a close and less expensive replica of these tables, and I have not.  I have found similar looking TINY little capitals upon which to stand small sculptures.   I have found a few possibilities but overall, I'm disappointed.  Take a look and see what you think:

    First, I found these Medici Capital Ionic Columns at Ballard Designs:

    Dimensions:Large: 6"H X 14" Square
    Medium: 5"H X 10" Square
    Extra Large: 7 1/4"H X 16 1/2" Square
    Construction: Made of plaster.
    Country of Origin: USA

    Prices:  $49 medium; $69 large; $99 extra large. 

    They're beautiful!  But they are not anywhere near the size - or made from the material of the RH tables.  They are meant to serve either as pedestals for plants, sculpture and such or to be stacked like this arrangement and used as a side table.

    That doesn't mean, though, they can't be used to make something akin to the RH coffee tables.  I thought two sets of two large Medici Capitals stacked on top of each other would work well to construct the coffee tables.  My thought is to insert a slab of stone, travertine, marble or hardwood 16 1/2" square and 1/2" to 1" in thickness in between two of the capitals; the bottom capital would have the "top" (square flat side) on the floor, then the insert would be placed, and the top capital would be placed with the scrolls resting on the insert.  The look would be top -- flat; middle section -- curved capitals mirroring each other, separated by the slab; bottom section -- flat. 

    I think the weight of the construction would be enough to hold it stable, but some kind of construction glue might also be used to cement the pieces together.   It would be a smaller version of the RH tables that has the same kind of vibe, but not the price.  The piece could be finished with milk paint which, I understand, "chips" and could give a similar look close to the RH tables.  I did not price what a 16 1/2" slab of stone, marble, travertine or a good strong hard wood would cost (times 2), but four of the large size Medici Capitals would run about $400 plus shipping.  Three pairs of tables would cost about $600 plus shipping.  Less than half the cost of one RH table, but would still yield a great WOW factor, IMHO.

    My next stop was at a website called Casa de Arti that I found during a Google search.  Lots of really cool things there!  I found some possibilities for coffee tables. I think these are cast in plaster. 

    Corinthian Capital Table Base:

    The photos from this website aren't always the best, and the information provided for each piece is skimpy!  For instance, I believe this piece is 16" tall, but I have no idea on length/width.  Judging from the photograph, it may be 16" square.  The $104 price (not including shipping) is for plain white.  Painted finishes are available, generally at a cost of plus 30%. I did not find photos of finished articles at the website, so I've no idea what the different finishes look like.

    I would use this piece by anchoring the round bottom section to a 16" squared piece of stone, marble, travertine, or wood, and fixing it together with a strong construction adhesive. 

    Ionic Base:

    This piece is 16" square and 18" tall.  Price is $127.19 which, I believe, is for white unfinished.  This piece presents some possibilities.

    Baroque Pedestal:

    This piece is 15" tall, I assume also 15" square, judging from the picture.  It could use some height, a 15" square piece of stone, marble, travertine or wood used as a base glued to the bottom of the pedestal would give it stability and additional height for use as a coffee table.

    The pieces could also be flipped with the flat tops and scrolls on the floor and a new top piece added.

    I am next going shopping for a white-framed mirror.  See you soon. 

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