Yesterday was the kick-off of the Blogfest on Design. Some of you might remember, this was the event I attended last year too. Folks from around the country coming together (who write blogs where design is part of the mix) for a few action packed days of design heaven. Pure fun for me. The day began at the Kips Bay Show House. I remember reading about Kips Bay when I was a kid, interested in design and thinking how cool it would be to see it. It is a townhouse filled with inspiration and design ideas. A different designer does each room, creating a design laboratory that is just visually amazing. It is quite hard to describe, so I will let the photos do the talking. Enjoy!
We end our stay at our friend’s home in the country this morning and head into the city where I will attend the National Stationery Show today. It is our tradition when we stay here to set the table and make the dinner the night before we depart. It is a fun way to say thank you, as the host can just sit back and be feted in their own home. One of my most asked questions at the shops is what to bring as a gift when you are staying as an overnight guest. While we enjoy taking our host out for a meal as a gift, it can be so much more relaxing to have a home cooked meal. Setting the table, putting together the flowers, choosing the wine, cooking the meal–all become part of the gift. For someone who has everything, the festive evening becomes part of a memorable gift. It was an evening filled with friendship, a tasty meal, good wine, and much laughter.
The love continues… I have antiqued and flea marketed much of my life, and nothing compares to the vast amount of stuff you will see at Brimfield. And like I said yesterday, the majority of it is pretty darn good stuff. My arms feel an inch longer from carrying things. It is a tired but exhilarated feeling. It is a day of rest today at Barrett Pond, then into the city early tomorrow for an action packed 5 days. Here is a further look at what caught my eye. I was also shooting things for my book, so it meant shifting from camera to iPhone, but it is a fun mix of ephemera and all the good things like portraits, numbers & letters you know I adore.
Oh my word, where to even begin. Brimfield is extraordinary. Not only is it a massive antique show/flea market, but so much of it is so good. I mean really good. Often times at flea markets, you are surrounded by quite a bit of bad to mediocre ‘stuff’ while Brimfield offers so much good. It is a visual feast for the eyes. We have found so many treasures that will make their way back to the shops & website. I am doing my darndest to remember to click images. Here are a few things and vignettes that caught my eye. More tomorrow too…
We are up early for the 2 hour drive from Hillsdale to Brimfield this morning. I am so excited I can barely contain myself. Brimfield happens 3 times a year, and is one of the largest antique/flea markets. I have heard stories about how immense it all is. We are ready for the adventure. As well as finding tons of vintage treasures for Watson Kennedy!
I am loving this new app called, Beautiful Mess. It allows you to add words and a few select icons to photos. Fun to play around with to add a little added flair to images.
Yesterday was a fun day bumming around Putnam and Dutchess counties seeing the sights and vintage shopping. The area is rich in history and incredibly visual at every turn. Today we will be in Columbia county where our property is located. We will spend time in historic Hudson, which is home to a slew of mind-blowing antique shops on Warren Street. The city is named after the adjacent Hudson River and ultimately after the explorer Henry Hudson. It is a place filled with inspiration–just wandering from shop to shop is good for the creative soul. Be sure to put it on your list if you are ever traveling in the area. The train ride from the city along the Hudson River is one of my very favorite. Making it an easy day trip if you want to add a little country to your city visit.
For those of you reading this in the Seattle area, you are smiling as big as I am right now as I type this. For you readers not in the area, we have just had 2 of the most spectacular May days in a row that I can ever remember. It was close to 90 degrees yesterday on Vashon Island. It really was more like a warm & sunny August day. Needless to say, we enjoyed each moment of it. Our days off are Sunday and Monday, so I am writing this from my favorite chair at our home on the island before we head to the ferry to head back to Seattle. Here are a few snapshots or “moments” from these 2 glorious days.
The world is filled with quite a bit of stuff. Some good, some quite good, some bad, some quite bad. It is just up to each of us to search out the things that have meaning to us. For this post I am talking about objects, but as I am writing this, I realize you could take out ‘stuff’ and insert quite a few other words, like people, experiences. Bottom line, we should be surrounding ourselves with stuff, people and experiences that bring us joy. Back to stuff. The above and below are of a game board that sits atop an ottoman we use as a coffee table at our home on Vashon Island. It is filled with things that bring us much happiness. The white pottery is something we have collected over the years, and this is a piece of that collection. It is filled with vintage pool balls with my favorite No.11 on them. The Diptyque candle is one of our very favorite scents. The tulips are, and you already know this, one of our very favorite flowers. Also included in this tableau is a gold hook that we bought from the estate of Albert Hadley, that was a gift that was given to clients when a project was completed by his firm he had with Sister Parish, Parish-Hadley. We actually bought 2, and the other one sits on the coffee table in town. I feel such a creative vibe just by having them around. And lastly, a small bowl we bought on a memorable trip to Maine, that has a piece of moss/lichen (not always sure of the difference) that TPS found on a walk with Bailey. It all conjures up this quote that I used to have painted on my showroom wall years ago about only having in your home what you believe to be beautiful and bring you happiness. Again, it really is just all stuff. But by surrounding ourselves with the things we love, it really does bring joy & fond memories of how you acquired the object. All resulting in happiness as your eyes glance over the things through the course of the day and then a lifetime.
Spring brings such a profusion of flowers, so it is easy to pick & choose to create a special table setting. But for those times that you are coming up dry finding a bloom that speaks to you, also look to the produce aisle. Vegetables can offer clever alternatives to flowers. In both these cases, asparagus just seemed to go the trick for each table being set. The above needed another little something along with the white tulips for the table in town. The below being the only centerpiece on the long zinc table at the beach. Extra added bonus, you get to cook up the display at a later date. The asparagus became a lovely addition with a piece of fish last night, roasted in the oven, for dinner.
I have really tried to hold off talking about my book these past months as I didn’t want it to take-over the blog posts. “Oh great, he is writing about that damn book again,” they collectively sighed–was my worry. But it has been a non-stop week of styling, photo taking and finishing up the manuscript, and my excitement is hard to contain. I also want all of you along with me for this journey. Not ever having written a book before, I am finding the process quite interesting. Which leads me to, styling. I am so lucky I get to do it almost daily at the shops. Styling this past week for photos is second nature to me, but it is a tad different than styling at the shop. Every, and I mean, every, little detail is seen in the shot. This level of detail just makes me giddy with happiness. We spent the last 3 days out at our place on Vashon Island, as the light is just so spectacular there with the Western light bouncing off the water, bouncing off the white floors and walls. Sort of perfect for photo shoots. Most of everything is being shot at our homes and the shops, so it is fun to pull from our collections of “stuff” we have collected over the years. And, last, but certainly not least, I get to play with and be surrounded by flowers. 3 days of much work, but pure heaven for me. Here are a few shots I took with my phone of things along the way, before the final photos were taken.
One of many table settings that were assembled over the days. I recently found the tablecloth, which is a French vintage linen bed sheet. It works perfectly for a tablecloth, fitting the long zinc table to a T.