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Heading to Paris!

I’m heading to Paris this week, and just can’t wait!!  I’ll be staying with my dearest friend, who is currently living in the 6th Arrondissement, just steps from the Luxembourg Gardens, The Cluny Museum, and La Seine.

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It’s a beautiful neighborhood, but then is there a Paris neighborhood that isn’t?  Not only am I obsessed with home decor, I also love to cook.  And, yes, I’m a huge Julia Child fan.   Just outside our door is the famous Raspail food market.  And I can’t wait to explore it!

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If I can get them to understand what I want, I’m hoping to gather produce, flowers, bread, and meat, and bring them all home for a fabulous dinner!  Oh, and a bottle of wine, of course.

And then there’s the Montemarte neighborhood, where we are going in search of a fabulous, 5-story fabric store (in anticipation of which I’m bringing at least one empty suitcase with me!)  And everywhere we go, we’ll be seeing sites like this:

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And of course, this:

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And we’ll be heading to Belgium (she has a Suburban – yes in Europe, she’s got a Chevy Suburban!) to fill it up at the Ciney Puces:

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Have you been to Paris recently?  Any suggestions on some not-to-be-missed markets, sites, or events?  I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

Traveling Light

If you were to hit the road, and really travel throughout this great country, how would you do it?

 

Lisa Kamin, The Galavantin’ Gal, participated in this past weekend’s Chartreuse & co Market Days.  It was such fun when she arrived, and saw that she has created the most inviting nest-on-wheels ever.  Come take a tour with me . . .

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It’s an adorable mid-century, pull-behind camper in the most delightful shade of aqua blue.

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Notice the funky, sphere exterior door lamp.  And, of course, so much of her cool merchandise is from this same era and speaks to the 1950s/60s camp feel.

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But, before we go inside, I want you to see these pictures of what Lisa’s spectacular camper was when she found it.  She completely gutted the interior and lovingly restored the exterior.

So, now we go inside:

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From the wood floors and bamboo rug, to the vintage dresser with its myriad knob details, this interior calls out the vintage girl.

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Space is at a premium in this tiny traveling home, so this dresser is her sink, and all those little cubbies in the vintage cabinet above hold her essentials.  Love the metal backsplash and the clever toothbrush holder.

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The sink is vintage enamelware, and she just hooks it up to an outdoor hose!  Such a great pink, too!

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A few modern conveniences and some vintage touches round out her kitchen.

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Just to the left of the sink is Lisa’s only full-sized storage – a vintage metal locker painted a soothing celery green.  And, of course, enhanced with a graphic design.

I also love the vintage chenille bedspread and the delightfully feminine skirt which hides some more essential storage.

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Don’t you just want to curl up here?!  It’s every vintage girl’s dream!

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The charming Americana she’s displayed on the shelf above the bed is a collection of favorite items.

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Lisa’s even got a spot for you, should you drop in to visit for a while.  Check out the distressed, pink board used to create yet another little nook for storage.   And the derby-hat chandelier is adorable.

So that’s it.  Should you get the traveling bug, you now have the inspiration you need to do it right!

 

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

 

And the winner is . . .

Yes, I’ve finally committed to a paint color for the Chartreuse & co barns!  The winner is:  Railings for the window and door frames, Cornforth White for the mullions – both from Farrow & Ball.

And here’s the really cool thing:  As I stood there, staring at the face of the barn, trying desperately to envision it painted grey, charcoal, anything, Rosanna (owner of Bella Villa shop in Aldie) approached me and asked what I was doing.  I explained my agony:

“See those silos and how they’ve weathered?  I love those colors and want that pallet for the barn . . . but how ?”

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Rosanna, gifted stylist that she is, offered this suggestion:  “Why not just sand it and seal it.  Keep the weathered look you love, and just freshen the paint on the trim?”

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I could have kissed her!

So where you see the dark green paint now, we’ll have the Farrow & Ball Railings.  The mullions (the inside dividers of the windows) will be Farrow & Ball Cornforth White, plus, because it’s an awesome part of the barn structure, the upper barn door (partially open in this picture), as well as it’s hardware and track, will be painting the Railings, too.  All the rest will be simply power washed, lightly sanded, and sealed to preserve that beautiful, natural aged, gray and white wooden appearance.  Can’t wait to see it complete!

So we lined up the paint, the painter, and a block of sunny days.  But, of course, nothing goes as planned.  As work began we realized that all the old wood framing around the windows was completely gone.  And by gone, I mean you could push your hand into it and pull out wood pulp!  I couldn’t believe it!  But as luck would have it, Rob, who was doing the painting, is also a gifted carpenter.  He is actually recreating the window frames exactly, to match the circa 1920s pieces.  Some of the painting is complete, but the whole project will be ongoing into fall.

NEWS FLASH!!!

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Beginning with our  August event (August 15-17), Farrow & Ball paint is available at Chartreuse & co!  Yes, that fabulous, best-in-the-world paint that I’ve been gushing over for years (Bedroom Redux, Color Happy, Before & After, Laundry Room Blues)  We’re working with Patrick Street Interiors, the local stockist for the paint.  You’ll find a seasonally edited selection of the 750ml cans (approximately a quart) to try on your furniture, or, as I have done, all over your walls!  Be forewarned:  Farrow & Ball paint spoils you for all other paints.

Thanks for reading!
Virginia

 

Paint can be tricky.  Add to the mix the lightening effects of painting exterior surfaces, and I become frozen with indecision.  Whatever I choose, I’m stuck with it, and so is everyone who drives by and/or visits my barns.   So here I sit, paralyzed with indecision as the warm summer painting season passing by.

A mere six years ago, when we purchased this property from my family, we had the barns painted.  Feeling nostalgic and wanting to honor the past, I simply had them repainted as they had been all my life:

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Classic white with dark green trim.  If you travel up and down Buckeystown Pike, you’ll find barn after barn painted this same way.

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But the job was done poorly, and now, after only six short years, we’re faced with the need to paint again.   And I’m itching for a change.

I’d really like to move on to this look:

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Farrow & Ball’s Railings is an great choice.  I attended one of F&B’s color seminars, where I learned to go 2 tones darker for exterior color, as the sun washes it out, making it appear much paler outside than it does indoors.

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Here’s Railings as a trim color – so beautiful.

There is no comparison for richness and fullness of color to the Farrow & Ball paints.  And here’s another choice – but paler:  Downpipe:

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downpipe against red brick

I really like this color in combination with the red brick.  Our house (which could also use fresh paint) is red brick, and I’d like consistency throughout the property.

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This image above is F&B’s Downpipe against Cotswolds stone.  But doesn’t anything look beautiful against Cotswolds stone?

 

 

Amherst grey

And then there’s Benjamin Moore’s Amherst Grey.  So elegantly sharp with it’s crisp white trim.

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Or, Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal.  This image gives you a great look at how color can change.  On the cards, Kendall Charcoal is darker than Amherst Grey, yet if you compare these images, they appear to be almost the same color.

 

Best Exterior Outdoor Green House Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green, Gardenista

And here is Benjamin Moore’s Black Forest Green.  Try to envision this barn with crisp white trim framing the small door, and outlining the detailing on the large barn door.

You see how it goes?  I just need to choose and get on with it.  But whatever I choose, it necessarily eliminates all those other beautiful, tempting choices.

It’s just so hard to decide . . .

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this vexing issue!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

Vintage America

Here’s a favorite collection of vintage Americana images from Chartreuse & co.

Enjoy!

 

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Enjoy your summer, and have a Happy 4th!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

Inspired store decor

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I really don’t like malls.  They’re all the same stores, same basic layout, same corporate look.  But every now and then (yes, especially this time of year), I’ll drop in.  When I go, my favorite in this area is Tyson’s Corner/Tyson’s Galleria – mainly because they have the best Apple store in the area AND Anthropologie.

But, much as I love both those stores, there’s still a bit of that corporate-ness to them (this shop window, is just an example of what I’m saying).

And then I found Free People:

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Firstly, I just love these spectacular doors.  And it’s the details that make this for me:  the gravel “pavement” with the cute bike parked outside, the bronze doors that look like it’s a pavilion plucked from the Tuilleries Gardens in Paris.

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And then you walk in to hardwood floors (no big surprise, or exception there), charming clothes and accessories, and – here’s the part I love – handmade holiday decorations!  Yes, the staff at Free People made this adorable pom poms them selves, and set up this charming display.

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And I’m always a sucker for incorporating natural elements in displays of any kind.

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And don’t they just plain look fun to make? IMG_3818

These pretty cones are a nice complement (not sure if they made these, too).

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I was surprised to find this level of personality in a corporate store.  Kudos Free People.

Happy Holiday shopping to you!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

Snow!

What better to put you in the Christmas spirit than a December snow? And we’re already on our second one here in Buckeystown, Maryland! I’ve lived in this area all my life (eg. a very long time . . .) and cannot recall a December with two early snows, especially over 6″ (the mid-Maryland definition of a decent snow).

So how am I celebrating this natural phenomenon? Sipping french vanilla coffee, in pajamas and slippers, ensconced in my down-cushioned sofa, watching the snow fall outside our wall of windows. Ahh, contentment . . .

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What I awoke to this morning:

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And a few images from Sunday’s snow:

 

 

 

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I think the 14′ Christmas tree, which I struggled all month to decorate (and keep upright!), looks spectacular the way Nature has trimmed it.  The ultimate flocking!

If you got some snow, I’d love to see pictures of it!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

 

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