Posts Tagged ‘chartreuse and co’

I was just in the Garden House today, and look what I found!

Doesn’t the painted furniture look amazing against the rough floors.  Rosanna of Bella Villa came in and magically transformed the one-time kitchen with her tiffany blue accents and pretty pieces.
Here’s some more of what I found, and you can see this weekend, along with the all the Market Days dealers and our full barns.


Lothar of German Favorite Antiques has also been working his magic, and here are some of the results:

Thanks for reading,



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Between Tag Sales and renovating the cottage (a.k.a. The Garden House), we’re also putting on our fall Market Days this weekend. It’s a blast – dozens of temporary dealers arrive, put up their tents, bring out their fabulous finds – it’s like Christmas for me!  I mean, think about it – all this coming to your backyard.  You have to admit it’s pretty awesome.

I just loved how everyone embraced the grounds so creatively!

But, as I await the arrival of all these cool dealers, I (and the rest of the Chartreuse & co gang of permanent dealers) have to get the barn ready and picture perfect.

In going through the barn, I realize this time, many of my favorite things are objects I’ve seen many times before, but now see them used in a creative way.

Here’s some of my favorites today:

Love these glamorous chairs.  The textured, graphic fabric is spot on.

So amazing to find this hip, mid-century modern lamp with it’s original shade.  It’s a single object update for any room.

TThe carved details on this table got it on my list of favorites.

Mid-century modern pair – freshly reupholstered in a great basket-weave fabric.

Yup, it’s the birds on these bamboo rugs that got me.

I’m a sucker for channel-back chairs.  This one is spectacular in it’s new fabric.

Love these vintage accessories.  Turning a garden urn into a pencil cup is such a great idea.

The silver rims of this glassware set makes them so versatile and ready for the coming party season.

I just love vintage suitcases, and this little stack is just right.  The train case on top seals it for me.

What a cool, funky cupboard!!!  The window detail at the top, the corrugated metal back, the primitive details throughout – all these make this one a favorite.

I’ve seen vintage bowling pins as sculpture, or funky graphic detail, but I just loved seeing them as bookends.

This pine cupboard is just so cute with the vintage crates inside to organize all the goodies to be stored.

Red is looking so fresh to me right now.  Is it the season change?  The contrast with the neutrals I see so much of?  I’m really not sure.  But this piece is a knock out.

This pair of wing-backs is just so pretty.  The tone-on-tone, textured fabric in such gracious color sets them apart.

Love these bottles.  The deep green color, especially.  And I just love them lined up, popping out of the urns like little plants.  Just plain fun.

These funky little owls are just so cute!  The pale blue color, and their feisty expressions make me love them.

Another clever repurposing that I just love:  using bicycle baskets as file holders.  Adorable.  I also love using the hooks to hold a pretty pencil holder in a handy spot.

I really like the french provincial lines of this china closet/bookcase.  But paired with this swanky chair updates it and makes the ensemble a stand out to me.

And what is the fall without wine tastings, wine festivals, that oh-so-important glass after the homework’s done and the kids are in bed . . .

Possibly the coolest repurpose I’ve seen:  carburetor covers turned sconces.

So there you have it – my favorites today.  Tomorrow I’ll probably have more.  And I’ll be updating on our barn website, chartreuseandco.com

One more cool thing coming up this weekend:  we’ll have two of the rooms in the Garden House open!  If you’re in the area, drop in and see it.

Thanks for reading,


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Actually, this should be titled, “Before & Now”, because while it’s technically ‘after’ pictures I have, they are not the magazine-ready kinda after pictures you may be hoping for.  Things happen around here in baby steps – mainly because we inevitably run into the unexpected.

So this post is really an update on the ‘cottage’ we’re working on.  And I can hardly express how happy I am to just be this far along in our process.

ROOM #1:


You may recall that all that wood is actually contact paper.  And those parquet floors are stick-on vinyl tiles.

ImageSo here’s what we had after removing the contact paper and vinyl tiles.  Yes, those are holes in the wall. But the hardwood floors had a great patina.Image


This is what we have today.  A bit of patching, a couple gallons of Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Gray, trimmed with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, and it’s worlds better.  Don’t you think? It makes me so happy to open the door now!ImageI just LOVE the old built-in cupboard!

ImageHere’s a detail of the colors.  So pretty and calming.Image


ROOM #2:


This room seemed to have the most potential because the lighting is so nice and the wainscoting has so much charm.  But this room had the stickiest floor tiles of all.  We tried everything, and finally ended up using a belt sander to sand the gunk off the floors. Image



We had initially planned on staining the floors after sanding, but I really like the look of the raw sanding.  The patina would be totally lost when covered by stain.  What do you think?ImageRoom #2 BEFORE

(with the ‘parquet’ floor)ImageParquet floor removedImage


And, voila!  The wainscoting did not disappoint.  Nor did the soft natural lighting of the room.  ImageDetail of the wall color in Room #2ImageIt’s the same Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray that’s in the first room, yet look how the lighting changes it.  I just LOVE that about the F&B paints.ImageRoom #3


Again with the floors.  And this wall color was almost like a trip to the Caribbean.  It was super intense.ImageThe ‘parquet’ floors removed.ImageAFTER
We’re still working on this one, but the walls are finished, painted Farrow & Ball’s Blue Gray, with F&B’s Old White as the trim.  The combo is like a softer, warmer version of the colors in the other two rooms.  A really comforting transition.ImageDetail of the wall and trim colors.

Room #4


Moving upstairs, this room is directly above Room #2 with the wainscoting, so it has that beautiful natural light.  Even though it’s the smallest room in the house, it’s one of the prettiest.



And here’s what paint can do.  Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light, trimmed with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.  Upstairs we did stain the floors, using Rustoleum’s Kona stain.  Don’t you just love the deep, rich floors in contrast to the pale walls and trim?ImageBEFORE (Room #4)Image


AFTER (Room #4)

Another angle of this beautiful room.  You just want to stay in there it’s so pretty.




This is the room above the turquoise room.  It had the grungiest walls and trim of any room in the house.  It took 2 coats of primer to make them paintable.  And, like every room in the house, it had the vinyl tiles on the floor.Image



And here it is with F&B’s Blackened on the walls and Cooking Apple Green on the ceiling, and Benjamin Moore’s White Dove trim.  We used the Rustoleum Kona stain throughout the upstairs.ImageAnother view with more of the ceiling showing.Image

So there you are.  We’re about to finish up completely with the renovating process and begin the decorating – my favorite part, of course.  I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading,


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I get asked about sources for affordable, high-end fabric all the time, and thought you might like to get the scoop.  My favorites are right here in the DC/MD/VA area.  They are:

1.  Haute Fabrics in Marshall, Virginia

This is a selection of not just decorator fabrics, but truly high-end designer fabrics.  Bolts that would be over $100/yard can be found for less than half that.  And in some cases 1/4 or less of retail.

2.  Discount Fabrics in Thurmont, Maryland

A warehouse full of fabrics, notions, and fillers for pillows.  Leather, linen, silk – they’re all here, and discounted.  My favorite section is their $5/yard ends-of-bolts section.  You can get up to 7 yds on a bolt this way – enough to do a chair.

3.  G-Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland, and Chantilly and Falls Church in Virginia

This store used to be phenomenal, with an entire floor dedicated to designer decorator fabrics.  Again, my favorite section was their end-of-the-bolt area – just piles of fabrics to dig through!  However, with their move a number of years ago off Rockville Pike, it’s just not the same.  (I haven’t been to their Virginia locations; they may be more like the Rockville one used to be.) Hence they get #3 listing here.

And if you’re looking for super-cheap in quantity, I was just scanning Pinterest (okay, so it may have become an addiction), and found a link to Momtastic blog, featuring sources of decorator fabric for under $10.

If you search these with “$10 and under” plus the color you’re looking for, you’ll find a nice selection at super affordable prices.

Here they are:

1. 800Fabrics.com
2. Carousel Designs
3. Fabric.com
4. HawthorneThreads.com

Happy decorating!

Thanks for reading,


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I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. But I love a single, beautiful piece. With fall and winter coming, I begin to think about that just-right piece to finish off my outfit. If you get the right piece, your clothes can be of the simplest form and design, yet your look will be polished and put together.

My favorite designer of such pieces is Fran Simons of & Coco. Here’s a few pieces that she brought into the barn this weekend.

I have a soft spot for cameos. For my 21st birthday (and graduation from college) my grandmother Thomas (for whom I am named) gave me her grandmother’s cameo engagement ring. I gave it to Katherine, my older daughter, when she graduated from my alma mater, Hollins College.
Chip, knowing my weakness for these delicate pieces of wearable art, has given me several over the years, and I love them all. This piece of Fran’s updates the cameo into a chunky necklace, without losing the cameo’s star quality.


Each element of this necklace is is playful and fun. The coin/chip/button – I really don’t know which – shines with that pop of red. The elements all play so nicely together.


Okay, so now we’re into the bling. I think this one’s centerpiece began life as a shoe clip. Can you imagine clipping a pair of rhinestone encrusted clips of this size onto your shoes? I really don’t think I could walk in them. But this necklace? Perfect.


The simplicity of this numbered tag is charming. I don’t even like the number 17 – not sure why, I just don’t – but I really like this necklace.


Imagine this deeply plunging pearl necklace finishing a simple, mono-chromatic dress. Lovely.


These cuffs create glam with the simplest of outfits. Think jeans and T-shirt or turtleneck. One of these finishes it off just right.


If you’ve ever had a rosary, you’ll recognize the origin of the pieces of this bracelet. It’s delicate beauty is accentuated by the lovely Madonna image.


I really think I need this one. Another bracelet created from pieces of old rosaries. I love that the rosary pieces are finding a new life. A simple, yet meaningful piece like this makes me happy every time I see it.


Uber-bling! Nobody’ll miss your entrance with one of these spectacular cuffs on your arm! Love it.


These leather cuffs are enhanced with vintage brass faceplates – you know, the beautiful old backs to drawer pulls. Fran has found a delightful way to use them and really show off how pretty they are.

Have you picked out your favorite yet?  It’s hard, I know.

Thanks for reading,


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It’s been a busy month so far. House guests, renovating the cottage, Chip’s birthday (yes, it was Thursday, the big party is planned for later in the fall – when it’s cooler. ), and the sale this weekend. Here’s a few images of some favorite items from this month’s sale.

Click on any image to see it larger.  Enjoy.

And, thanks for reading.

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It’s a annual ritual I’ve been through for the past 18 years, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

It always begins with the excitement of (my absolute favorite part of school) picking out the new school supplies. There is just something about those freshly sharpened pencils, brand-new pens, gloriously clean pads of paper. I’m happy just touching and gazing at it all.

And I have spread this little bit of wonder to my girls. We’re like kids in a candy shop when all the store roll out their aisles of supplies. Each girl would pick out her favorite things. We’d come home with bags brim-full. Gaze at them, love them. . . But then, what do you DO with all that stuff?

Here’s a few ideas:

I love these old card catalogs with all their cubbies. I especially love that they can be labelled so nicely. Put each family-member’s name on a column of drawers. Label the extra drawers with the supply it holds. For larger items (spirals, notebook paper, workbooks, etc.) place baskets beneath or on top. Organization of school supplies: done!

Another great card catalog.

Brass plate detail of card catalog. I just love brass tags, and find them even cooler when they’re still attached to the object they came with.

For textbooks and workbooks, consider an open hutch. This one is great because it has the ‘bar’ across to catch things before they fall.

An industrial shelf like this one (love the wheels and side bars!) works great as a compact school organizer. Give each child a shelf. Let them pick out a basket (or get a group that are identical to save on stress) to place on his or her shelf. Let each choose a heavy, flat-bottomed object to use as a book end. Fill the baskets with their small supplies. Stack the workbooks, and secure the textbooks with the bookends. Voila! you have all their school stuff in a personalized space that takes up less than 10 sq. ft.! Pretty sweet, huh?

Lockers are another great solution. They not only catch the school supplies, but they also give you plenty of room for sneakers, hats, gloves, and sports equipment. I love the cheerful color of this set, and that the doors flip up to open. Who wouldn’t have fun putting stuff away in this cool locker set?

This locker set is made up of shelving and a set of tough locker baskets. Each basket can be completely removed from the shelf, making it easy for everyone to access their baskets at once.

Next, we’re on to desks and some really clever ways to contain your desk-top supplies.
Thanks for reading,








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Here’s a few items I just photographed today. Enjoy!
Love these chairs.  They're not identical, but a perfect pair.
The brass number updates this beautifully painted chest.
How could I not love this adorable piece?  It's chartreuse, after all.
Shapely dress forms
The Cottage has expanded here at Chartreuse.  Check out the space at the top of the stairs.
Actual brass tags from Ford Motor Co.  Perfect for anyone driving a Ford.
So graphic.  Love the shocking yellow gear.
Fabulous red leather chair.
I think I need a wall like this in my office.

I’ll be posting more in a few days.

Thanks for reading,

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I’ve just returned from Marietta, Ohio. You may not have heard of it, but it’s one of the most charming towns I’ve seen. I didn’t say city, for this is clearly no cosmopolitan place. It is a town, a truly all-American small town.  And as such, it’s just plain lovely.

And what may be most charming about it is that I don’t think Marietta realizes how charming and extraordinary it really is. That’s partly because it’s seen a population growth of nearly 0% over the past 20 years. Coming from a place that’s experienced nearly 100% growth over the same period, that sounds delightful!

But it’s not just this quiet consistency that make Marietta so inviting. It’s the downtown, full of stunning architecture, which boasts a thriving Front Street, facing on the Ohio River.

We go to visit friends, who we helped move from Maryland to Ohio nearly 25 years ago. As we’ve returned to visit them, we’ve watched the town evolve as their family grew. We’ve become charmed by it and return each time contemplating how pleasant it would be to live there.

After Mass on Sunday, I strolled back to my car and just had to snap these pictures to share with you the loveliness of it all. (Please excuse the quality of the photos, as I only had my iPhone with me.)

I had parked my car right in front of this porch and it’s garden.

Here’s the whole house. Note the amazing curved front.

A couple doors down was this lavender charmer.

The attention to details is part of what sets this town apart.

And this is the delightful front porch (which people actually use in this town!). Isn’t it decorated with such flair?  The leaded glass filling in the end of the porch, the mirror hung by the door, the inviting furniture arrangement all draw you to it. I would have loved to drop in and share a glass of lemonade with this creative decorator!

The view of the dome of St. Mary’s, across the street from these houses

Another view of the curved-front house. This image shows the extraordinary architecture more clearly.

St Mary’s front entrance. Not at all what you’d expect from a quiet little town in Ohio. And the interior is even better!

What’s tempting is that many of these houses have For Sale signs out front. This 1903 Cape Cod boasts twin french doors leading onto the porch, and a front garden just perfect for hydrangeas. (Yes, I’ve thought about it . . .)

Detail of the french doors.

Want something a little larger? This 1919 beauty is also for sale, and has a pretty bricked patio and finished basement (for $269,000!)

And they all have such lovely yards.

But this butter-yellow brick beauty is really my favorite. (and it already has hydrangeas!)

This is it’s front. Don’t you just want to move in?!  If this one were for sale, I’d probably have Chip packing us up already.

sigh . . .

And just look down the street!

It was 4th of July weekend, and all the flags were flying.

I think I need this wrought iron fence and gate.

And if you like something more formal . . .

And, oh the porches! This one is on an early 19thC white brick home. These porches gaze off into the ethereal town cemetery. Sounds creepy, but it’s absolutely lovely in a Midnight-in-the-Garden-of-Good-and-Evil kinda way.

The House of Seven Porches. Though only these four are apparent from the street, it does make one anxious to see the rest.

And did I mention that Marietta is a college town? To top it all off, Marietta has the vibrancy and engaging activities that come with having a thriving college located in the middle of town.

Bottom line – if you’re ever in Ohio (a haven for great vintage finds), drop in on Marietta. Take a stroll down front street, breath in the beauty of the scenic river view, and enjoy the shaded streets with their exceptional collection of fine architecture.

Do you know of an exceptionally charming, yet little-known town?  I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading,

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Chip, me, Sasha, and Katherine, last month, at Sasha’s graduation from Chip’s alma mater, McDaniel College.

The love of my life, Chip, is turning 50 in August. Unlike his looming 30th birthday (couldn’t believe how he mourned his 20s!), he’s taking this one in stride. In fact, he’s even embracing it. (Though the AARP packet in the mail was not received with any enthusiasm.) And he wants to celebrate it. With a party. A big party.

Now this is music to my ears. I LOVE a big party. I love everything about it: the planning, the creating, the decorating, the prep, the event itself, even the cleanup has a certain charm for me. I just, plain love parties.

So you’d think we have them all the time, wouldn’t you? Not so much. My soon-to-be-50-year-old husband likes to keep his home and his family to himself. So my having a business literally in our backyard, with the public streaming in once a month is really asking all I can of him and his domain.

So hearing him calling for a party was pure delight.

And then the other shoe drops: “You know, a real kegger!” And he’s smiling so genuinely . . .

College memories of drunken frat guys, blaring hard rock, and beer bottle littered yards came to mind. My little bubble was burst.

You see my idea of a party begins with the perfect invitations to set the mood and theme of the event. My favorites are outdoor parties, so strings of lights, beautiful tables, flowers, upbeat music, flowing wine.

The decorating I had in mind didn’t involve wheeling in a row of kegs and bags of red Solo cups.

But I’m a creative person. And I love this man. There must be a way to marry these two concepts. We’ve been married for 25 years, after all. Certainly our ideas of a party can be melded.

So here’s what I’ve come up with – and I’m SOOO excited!

Chip loves cars. He loves fast cars. And he loves racing. The kind of racing they do around great big circular racetracks. And the mother of all these races, in his estimation, is the Indianapolis 500. Now I love vintage. This race has been run for over 100 years. So I think, “There must be some really cool vintage tickets out there – the perfect image for his invitations!”

I actually found a 50th anniversary ticket on eBay (similar to this one).

That’s the seed. Next I envision bunting hung from all our porches.

This is actually the home of President Harrison in Indianapolis, IN, but the volume of porches (and bunting) is like what I have in mind. (I’ve already ordered it!)

Little American flags interspersed with checkered flags in the flower arrangements on the tables.

Maybe I could even make little checked flags to go in the drinks!

An adorable double wash tub (yes, I already have one!) filled with little pints of milk (the winner of the Indianapolis 500 is traditionally handed a glass bottle of milk to drink in winner’s circle).

I know, you’re thinking, “Cute, but, YUCK! Who would want to drink milk at a party?!?!” But you see, I’ve got the cure for that, too. Sitting along side our cute little tubs of milk will be the mixin’s for mudslides. Another of Chip’s favorite things.

Add tubs of beer and wine (and maybe even a keg . . .), strings of lights (you see there are just some things I must have), pretty tables and chairs throughout the patio and lawns, highlight reels of Indianapolis 500 scenes showing on the side of the cottage, and we’ve got ourselves a party even Chip would enjoy.

Am I sounding a little too carried away already?

Wish me luck!

And thanks for reading,

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