May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


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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