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The Farmhouse is getting a facelift!

Yes, that adorable little (heated) house has new residents:   Barefoot Dwelling.   These girls had a vision immediately.  And what has inspired me so about this is that their vision was totally different from what mine had been.

I don’t know about you, but someone with a fabulous vision, totally outside my usual style, inspires me like little else can.  It’s what invigorates me every time I travel, and to have such a vision unfold right here in front of me is exciting!

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So here’s a little BEFORE & AFTER fun for you:

BEFORE, Room 1:  Let’s start in the first room, which was the kitchen.  You may recall how it looked when we first took possession of it in July 2012:

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After removing the contact paper ‘wallpaper’ and vinyl ‘parquet’ floors:

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Two and a half years ago, after applying Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Grey :

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Now, with a fresh vision comes fresh color!  Using Farrow & Ball’s fabulous paint, Lisa and Mary, owners of Barefoot Dwelling, chose pure white, with contrast, feature walls.

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AFTER, Room 1:  In this first room, the color grabs you right away, it’s Farrow & Ball’s Charlotte’s Locks.  Such a great punch with the fabulous mid-century pallet they’ve collected.

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BEFORE, Room 2:  Then on to the second room, as we found it 2 1/2 years ago:

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After removing the rest of the contact paper covering the wanescoating, and  more of the vinyl ‘parquet’ floor:

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Then, after a fresh paint job (Farrow & Ball Pavilion Grey)  in 2012:

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AFTER, Room 2:  Now with a a fresh white facelift, complemented by a contrast wall of Farrow & Ball’s Churlish Green (yes, that’s a paint name, don’t you just love it??!!)

And check out the sleek mid-century aesthetic.

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This room has NEVER been so cool!

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More great stuff is being added through the week, and you’re all invited to come take a look this weekend, February 20-22, Fri/Sat 9am-4pm, Sun noon-4pm.  I hope you’ll find it as fresh, original, and inspiring as I do!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

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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

 

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Let’s start with the most basic of mantle decorating designs:  candlesticks flanking a clock or mirror.  There is nothing wrong with this design.  Yet, take a look at it.  Does it really draw you in?  Does it turn your head or engage your interest?  Not really.

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Step 1:  Add greens.  A base of natural greens – found in your own yard or clipped from the Christmas tree – is best.

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Step 2:  Create asymmetry.  Change the height of one of your candlesticks to add flow to the display.  Here I use books – my favorite decorating go-to for giving an element the height it needs.

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Go further with the asymmetrical design by moving the candlesticks together, and pulling the clock to an off-center position.

It’s getting better, isn’t it?

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Step 3:  Employ vertical elements.  I’m removing the round clock so that I can add some additional height.

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I’ve found just the thing in this vertically hung, vintage mirror.  Mirrors have the added benefit of their reflective nature and room-opening power.

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Step 4:  Intertwine layers of garland.  Intertwining the wired, glittered garland with the natural greens gives shape and interest.  When using store-bought greens, always work with them to give them the lively shape that you want them to have.  Never leave them flat as they come from the store.

Here, interweaving them with the natural greens gives liveliness to the display.

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Note how this base of greenery has tied the major, vertical elements together.

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Step 5:  Add texture.  These paper garlands add whimsy and texture.

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Step 6:  Include a theme.  They mantle already looks great, but we can take it to the next level with a theme – in this case I’m doing Woodland.

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Step 7:  (Woodland theme)  I’ve added both a natural and a tinsel tree, combining the glittery with the earthy, as we’ve done with the garland base.

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Step 8:  Add figures.  These felted deer provide a sculptural element, and serve the design function of linking the white, carved frame to the trees and garland below.

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Step 9:  Maintain visual balance.  The ‘weight’ of the deer needs to be balanced on the opposite side.  In this case 2 large pine cones – one natural and one dusted with German glass glitter – work perfectly.

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Step 10:  Tuck ornaments and tiny items amongst the greenery.  Small owl and squirrel ornaments complete the Woodland theme, as they add that extra level of interest – that little something you see as you come nearer to the mantle.

Compare this photo to the first one.  Quite a difference.  And we had so much fun doing it!

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Step 6:  (Vintage Toyland theme) Let’s remove the formal candlesticks (which provided that shot of red for the Woodland theme) in favor of a vintage toy store sign.

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While the elements are completely different (silver candlesticks vs. graphic sign), design-wise they serve the same purpose, which is to balance the trees and mirror.

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Step 7:  Add whimsy.   Love the playfulness added with this candy cane.  It also draws together the base to the full height of the mirror.

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Step 8:  Embrace scale.  If I had room on the mantle, I’d love to use this vintage toy horse in the display.  Alas, it just won’t fit.

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Step 9:  Add little details.  Tuck vintage ornaments among the greenery.

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Step 10:  Use graphics.  Add to the graphics of the toy store sign.  I’ve used the blocks to spell out N I P, as well as a little red and white bike license plate.

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And here’s the final product.  I love the richness and detail of this display.

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Note the little toy truck poking out from under the ‘toy ‘n joy’ sign.

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Step 11:  Don’t forget the fireplace itself.  If you’re not burning a fire, use this space to display beautiful items that integrate with your mantle.  In this case the blue child’s skis, candy cane, and oversized letters do the trick.

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Hope you found this inspiring and useful.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks for reading!

Virginia

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Winter Wonderland . . .

 

 

 

Here’s a quick look at the amazing wonderland that everyone’s been working on here at Chartreuse & co!  It’s truly spectacular, and makes me so happy each time I walk through and find just one more layer, one more special item perfectly placed.  It’s such a thrill for me!

Take a look and see what you think!

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We’re opening at 9am on Friday, November 1 (it’s actually our wedding anniversary – oops!  Chip’s super understanding – we’ll just celebrate next weekend!).  We’re open Fri/Sat 9-4, Sun noon-4.  Hope to see you then!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

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I’m totally in a garden state of mind. Our new landscaping is coming into full bloom, and it’s just been decorated with some great vintage treasures. Here’s few of my favorite images of it:

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These sweet little chairs take on an sculptural appeal in the garden.  The green chest adds just the right punch of color.

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In the little spring house, which the new landscaping surrounds, has a fresh look, too.  This pie chest and its topiaries are just the right balance for the weathered door and walls of this beautiful space.

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Vintage trellis growing out of our boxwoods – which we planted in an old, concrete water trough.

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I love how this vintage bottle reflects the soft light of the stone house

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This exceptional, hybrid wisteria was just planted in March.  It’s been trained to grow along the ‘new’ stone and brick wall – created as a ruin from salvaged, vintage materials.

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These ‘ruins’ are brand new – just constructed in March.  They comprise the main structure of our new patio area.  This wall continues to the left to our outdoor fireplace.

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Looking back at the stone house from the fireplace area, these vintage furnishings invite you to linger a while.

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And yes, I just had to share this image one my time.  I just love the magnolia playing off the rough, old silo.

Hope you enjoyed this look into our garden. What part is your favorite?

Thanks for reading,
Virginia

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At last it’s warming up and flowers are blooming. Our new landscaping is showing us something different every day – our latest: wisteria will be in full bloom for our opening next week.

We’re getting ready, and so many fabulous things are already coming in. We have 2 new dealers to introduce: Squirrel Hill Designs  (upstairs in the Main Barn) and The Spring House (in, you guessed it, the Spring House – with the water wheel).

And here’s some pictures of what’s already going on in and around the barns, as we get ready for you May 17-19:
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I just loved these darling little 1920s shoes.  They’re the perfect shade of sea shell pink.

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Set of 4 Danish modern chairs – straight out of one of Leona Helmsley’s hotels.  Love the fresh paint job.

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Heather Grey Decor has an entire set of these vintage office clocks.  This one was custom made for IBM.

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The ultimate locker room chair, huh?

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The perfect island/table for your beach-house crowd!

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LOVE suitcases with their original tags.

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Great selection of old metal globes this month.

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Oh, that color!

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Don’t you just love the contrast of the gilded glasses and the industrial bar cart?

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Some great vintage concrete throughout the Chartreuse & co right now

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This large cabinet is the perfect size for your mudroom supplies.

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A couple of really cool, vintage, toy boats upstairs this month.

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Jennifer, owner of Squirrel Hill Designs, just brought this armoir in - still has the hauling rope around it!

Jennifer, owner of Squirrel Hill Designs, just brought this armoir in – still has the hauling rope around it!

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This pair of caned chairs is comfortable, and summer-ready.

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Perfect softball accessories.

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German Favorite Antiques and Bella Villa have moved from the Garden House into the upstairs of the main barn – under THE chandelier.

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I’d love to know which picture/item is your favorite so far . . .

Thanks for reading,

Virginia

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I just love the tent city that crops up here every Spring and Fall. Imagine how much fun you would have if the best vintage dealers you could find, all agreed to come to your house and put on a show? The BEST, right?

I had a blast today chatting with everyone and oohing and aahing over their great stuff. Here are some of my favorites:
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