Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Reflecting on the past...

via Zsa Zsa Bellagio
 One of the most important elements in decorating is light.  Back in my photo styling days, I learned that no matter how beautiful your set was, if the lighting was awful, everything was awful.  During that career, I found myself in residence at some pretty dingy brownstones and found the best cure for a dreary interior was light.  Not necessarily the light bulb kind; but reflective light.

via Oopsy Daisy
 You could hang a mirror and instantly create a window (by reflecting a window) so it was like adding little portholes of light.  If the mirror was large enough, or you created a grouping, it could visually expand the room. (Just imagine this setting with the candles lit for an evening dinner!)

via Sadecor.co.za

Source not found...

via Studio 180 Shop/Etsy

I've never considered myself a collector, that is, until it comes to old mirrors.  The "skanky-er", the better!  Over the years, I've collected quite a few and now I proudly display them going up the stairs.
This photo was taken of my house by Funky Junk Donna, at Bella 2012
Another of my favs is a huge mirror in the entryway.
Source not found...

I also love collections of hand mirrors... 

Found at Country Living Magazine
via Pink Pig Westport
...but what really sets my toe to tappin' is a mirror hung in the garden! 

via BuzzFeed

Check out these beauties created with concrete frames!  How awesome would they 
be propped in your flower beds!  
What do you think of this mirror creating the look of water?

via Apartment Therapy
What's your favorite decorating gimmick?

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cabin Fever

I took my daughter to camp this past weekend.  It is a week she longs for all year.  The camp itself is full of rich history and time-worn cabins mixed in with the new and sits peacefully on the banks of the Caney Fork River in Middle Tennessee.
What is it that we love and will endure the lack of air conditioning, a constant coating of bug repellent, and less than glamorous rustic surroundings?  It must have something to do with the crackle of a campfire at night, the sound of crickets and frogs, getting to stay half the day at the craft cabin, and plenty of delicious food!

Somehow, the best sleep of our life is with a box fan at our feet.

It makes me so envious of this adorable little family that lives the life daily at a sweet little camp in Wisconsin.
Do you remember the original Parent Trap movie with Haley Mills?

Tereasa Surratt and her husband, David Hernandez couldn't bear to let this storied Wisconsin getaway fade into the forest, so the Chicago couple bought the camp in disrepair and set out to restore and rebuild the glory of what once was.
Image and story courtesy of Midwest Living Magazine
The 86-year-old camp has had many lives, and by the 1990's the camp had fallen into deep disrepair.  David, a former camper at the location, saw a chance to save a legacy.  He and Tereasa bought the camp in 2004 and have restored it lovingly a little piece at a time.
Compliments the Lettered Cottage

Renovations uncovered lots of treasures and Tereasa used them to craft each of the property's unique spaces as an authentic set piece picturing a moment anywhere from the 1920's to the 1960's.  With only a budget of $200 per space, she completed the look by shopping flea markets and secondhand sales. She lays out her strategies in her book Found Free and Flea.  You can also visit her blog HERE
The whole place is like one big, walk-in time capsule, complete with a 1960's Wagoneer.  The camp dog, Frankie, is a perfect accessory as well.
I won't spoil it for you- so please go take a look at their site and read the article from Midwest Living HERE .  (Read how she discovered a whole set of vintage Fiesta ware behind a false wall when remodeling the kitchen!)  Pinterest is full of cool photos as well.  Heck, just Google it and you may become as totally smitten as I am.

I admit, this isn't breaking news.  It's been in lots of magazines and I think was probably big news in 2010.  I've always been a late bloomer…. how could I have missed this?????

Anyway, thanks for dropping by!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fresh & Playful

In our search for the best vendors around, we hope to offer something for everyone.  One of my favorite styles is what I would call Vintage Hipster.  The East Nashville scene is a Mecca of fresh vintage and I'm always inspired when I travel "across the river" to the eclectic mix of Antebellum architecture and Atomic Ranch.  A cup of Bongo Java and peek at what's new in Wonders on Woodland," I am transported by the creative vibe that surrounds this amazing community.   I grew up with Mid-Century Modern, so it's never been a favorite, but it is slowly edging it's way into my right brain and altering my fascination. 

I am currently teetering between the Campy-Lodge look to colorful, eclectic vintage "moderne".
I think it would be quite fun rescuing a discarded piece and giving it a second chance as a contemporary.  Look at these amazing transformations by Barb Blair, owner/designer of  Knack Studio.

“What started as a kitchen cabinet makeover, slowly and organically grew into the full blown furniture design business that Knack is today.” Barb has created a name for herself through her furniture makeovers with designs that are original, fresh, playful, and full of character.  I love the idea of just painting a portion of the piece!  

Look closely at this updated secretary.  The stripe detail and surprise inside just makes me happy!

She also has a great eye for styling her pieces, and I love the quirkiness of selective painting.
Knack Studio has been featured in Southern Living magazine, Design Sponge, D├ęcor 8, Apartment Therapy and more.

For all you DIY’ers, Barb’s new book “Furniture Makeovers” published through Chronicle Books is available for purchase at Knack as well as anywhere books are sold nationwide. Furniture Makeovers is a step by step guide to creating your very own furniture masterpieces and is packed full of tips, tricks, and inspiration.

So don't  NOT come to Bella thinking it's going to be all red, white and blue!
We have a great round-up of vendors and a smorgasbord of style!
Coming in October to "A Spectacle of American Vintage"!

Thanks for dropping by!  


Friday, April 25, 2014

 The glory of the old farmhouse at Harlinsdale Farm, in a shot captured by Bill Hobbs, was slipping away.   Once a thriving Tennessee Walking Horse Farm and home of prize champion Stallion Midnight Sun in the 1940's, the farm has been recalled as a most significant piece of history in the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.  The 200 acre landmark was sold to the City of Franklin in 2004, but there was much work to be done.  Extensive renovations continue with the help of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson Co. so that the public can passively enjoy the history of this lovely farm.

Urban decay as captured by Bill Hobbs

 Four years ago, when Bella was looking for her first home, we approached the Park about hosting the show.  Deanna Scheffel, Park manager, was very enthusiastic, but we could not use the barn because it wasn't up to codes.  We couldn't have a "barn sale" and not use the barn!  So I passed it over.
This year, even though we still can't use the barn, we opted for the location.  The gorgeous barn will just be a lovely backdrop, but I believe we will be able to peek inside.

OK- just look at the inside…..my imagination is going wild!  I see double-decker shopping, don't you??
We may never be able to use this barn, but fingers are crossed!

Besides the Heritage Foundation, there are several groups who are fundraising for this great cause.  Friends of Franklin has done a lot to help with the costly restorations of the entire farm.

Here is a shot of the farmhouse today.  Mike Wolfe and his "American Pickers" crew shot an episode here.  Not sure if he was responsible for the restorations.  We really were not supposed to physically be this close, but I couldn't resist-

We are so excited that the City of Franklin Parks granted us permit to hold our 4th Annual Vintage Market here!  This is about what it will look like in October.   Besides a top-notch group of vintage vendors, we are adding some family friendly attractions on Saturday.  Hooker Farms will bring some of his famous exotic animals along with some of the farm favorites.  There will be a grand hay maze for the kiddos as well as some good ole funnel cakes and carnival food!

If you're coming from out of town, be sure to check in HERE first.  The farm is only 3 minutes away from the square!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Many of us dream of the idea of a simpler life.  A home more than likely in the country and no doubt has a porch, a garden and a wood pile.  My dream "Simple Life" exists on a lake where I'm sitting in an adirondack sipping coffee with a golden at my feet.  

It's early in the morning and there's promise in the day ahead.  No rushing out the door, dodging traffic, prioritizing in my head the tasks for the day and breathing a sigh of relief that there are no ballgames or practices I must tend to.

Sure, in my dream-world, there's chores to be done; a few meals to plan and the dewberry patch is demanding my attention, but the bounty will make for a sumptuous ending to dinner.   I walk into the kitchen that still smells of coffee and bacon from breakfast.  My gathered bouquet of coneflowers will be stunning in that old white pitcher…

White Buffalo Vintage

Even though in reality my house is in the "burbs", I do my best to create that same sense of place I long for.  We create our home and surround ourselves with the things we love and the things that have a story; that little stainless mixing bowl that reminds me of Granny's hand-rolled biscuits, or a kitchy Elsie cookie jar remnant of my great aunt's eccentric style.

 We love the beauty in our collections.  Hiding them away in a cupboard is not an option.  Instead of saving that good china for a Sunday dinner, we enjoy it daily with everything from cereal to pot roast.
I've always loved faded, water stained art against crisp white.  Old fruit prints from the 1930's or a pastoral print of cows in a floral meadow.

High Street Market blog

A good decorating book is fuel for our imagination and always a great way to escape our hectic lives.  It can be that  endorphin for our soul's craving for beauty.  One of my favorite things is a "magazine party".   My friend comes over for tea with her well-read, dog-eared magazines and we swap.  Now, that's pure bliss!

Have you seen this book by Emily Henson?  I'll bet you've seen many of her images on Pinterest.  I love that there are no rules for decorating anymore.  Mix your Mom's Mid Century Modern with reclaimed barn wood or hang a delicate chandelier against a rustic ceiling in your laundry room.

Hanna Borg Living Room


Beauty is definitely in the eyes of the beholder.  I say great taste is curated by travel and exposure.  The vendors we are gathering for Bella Rustica 2014 will wow you with remnants and treasures from their travels, thus creating a "Spectacle of American Vintage"...
Our homes are an extension of ourselves and our experiences, so share them with your friends.   Slow down and savor… the beauty, the sounds, the smells of the world you've created for yourself.   Grab another cup of coffee and breathe in the inspiring beauty God, the ultimate Cre-ateur has set in his awe-full creation.


Until next time…