Thursday, July 26, 2012


I'm popping in from vacation (and from painting this sign) to invite Bay Area residents to come and visit us at our upcoming booth at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire.  

Who:   Urban Orchard Interiors and Claremont Finders Keepers.  Lane, Wendy and I are going to be sharing a booth.

What:  We'll be selling all of our repurposed, upcycled, refurbished, or just plain antique and vintage stuff.  We've got a whole 14 foot Uhaul truck-full of fabulous things. 

When:  Sunday, August 5, 2012 starting as early as 6am to 3pm closing.
Where:  Northern California's largest antiques show in Alameda. Click here for directions. 

Why:  We'd love to see you.  If we don't yet know you, please introduce yourself!  Our stuff aside, we're sure you'll have a great time perusing all of the wonderful treasures that this huge flea market has to offer. 

We look forward to seeing you!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Silhouette as Design Element

The original title of this post was going to be "Modernizing Antiques."  I intended to talk about how contrasting an antique with a bright white interior and using either neutrals or bold color and pattern can make the antique feel modern.

But as I finished up, I realized that what I'm really attracted to each in photo is the silhouette created by the antique.  Let me show you. 

It all started with this image from July's Country Living:


What is it that creates the silhouette of the table?  Certainly it's the dark/light contrast, but it's also the shape of the table with its very spare decor atop.  Balance and symmetry also help to form this interesting silhouette, as does the contrast between simple and ornate.  Even texture comes into play to make the silhouette stand out. 

  In fact, I think that's true of all the photos.  In each one you'll see that the piece isolated, and therefore important, because of its silhouette.







Bright white gold with a mix of furniture styles.

I just love the contrast of the dark wood and curvy lines of the chair against the straight lines of the vanity and white paneling.

Darryl Carter is the master of creating silhouette.

More Darryl.  The silhouettes created by the funiture and accessories are pretty astounding in this room.

So using silhouette as a design element is really about combining contrast in value, line, shape, even texture to make a piece or several pieces stand out.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Get the Look: A Shot of Orange

Orange table lamp coming soon to Claremont Finders Keepers on Etsy

The Look:  A shot of orange gives any interior a bit of zest. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Composing Photos: Analyzing the Styling

Here's another post from the July issue of House Beautiful.


Imagine that this photograph of an outdoor deck was taken without any styling.  Most likely we'd see a grey, weathered deck against a grey weathered shingle cottage with a grey metal table, sans tablecloth, and grey Tolix chairs all neatly tucked in place.  Our eye would immediately go to the scenery in the background.  And while that's an important part of the photo, this is House Beautiful, a magazine about interior design and so it's important to keep the eye on the deck with its relation to the house. 

I'm going to point out several elements that keep the eye traveling in a directed path and that make the photo feel welcoming to the viewer. 

So you don't have to keep scrolling up to see what I'm pointing out, I'm going to post copies of this picture several times.

What makes the photo feel welcoming to the viewer?
  • Beside the obvious stuff, food and wine on the table and the various casually draped cloths to soften hard lines, we see an open door -- a symbol of hospitality and invitation to wonder what's inside.  
  • The photograph is taken just above table height as if you might be sitting on a comfy deck chair viewing the scene yourself and waiting for dinner to begin.  This creates a feeling of intimacy.
  • The chairs are pulled out and angled slightly.  Here is a scene that invites you to sit down and relax.


How does the styling make the eye travel?

  • The lines on the deck, the pattern on the side of the tablecloth. even the way the chairs and stools are lined up on the left help the eye move from the table toward the back of the photo with the stunning San Francisco Bay scenery.  But there are a few things blocking the eye from looking through the grid on the deck railing at the bushes and trees behind.  If the wagon full of flowers and the striped towel (blanket?) weren't placed there, it's exactly where I would look.  
  • Also, to avoid looking through the tunnel, a vase of greenery blocks the eye from looking at the water through the railing grid.  Instead, the eye moves up to see the water above the railing and golden hills behind. 
I wrote a post on photographing dining tables sometime ago, focusing specifically on round pedestal tables.  Since then, I've  noticed that rectangular tables are often photographed at a slight angle from the corner, rather than straight on.  Just like in the above photo. Hmm, maybe I'll do a post about that sometime. 

This post is basically a review of all the composing and styling observations I've made since I started the series.  If you'd like to read more, you can click on the links or see the "Photographing Rooms" tab at the top of this blog.  

Stay tuned for more observations about composing and styling photos of interiors.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Colorful Bar

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought the July issue of House Beautiful knocked it out of the park.  (Last year's July issue was equally good, by the way.)

I think I've lost count how many times I've looked through this issue!

The two seaside cottages in California are particularly wonderful with all of their neutrals, but the thing I keep looking at is Mary McDonald's colorful bar cabinet.

Not only is the actual cabinet beautiful with its black exterior, but that cinnabar red color on the inside stunning.

What I am most attracted to is the mismatched jewel-like colored glasses you find on the shelves.

Of them, Ms. McDonald says, "They're not very important on their own, but in a group of all different shapes and colors they look like jewels."

I've found a few collections on Etsy.

Katch Studios Olive Green Iced Tea Glasses - set of four for $22

Austin Metro Retro's Teal Blue Glasses - set of nine for $72
Vintage Adorable's Amber Decanters - set of three for $22

Aspen Vintage's cranberry glassware -- set of four for $25
Tatter and Fray's blue goblets - set of 6 for $42

Fondly Vintage's purple glassware -- set of 4 $22

I don't think I'll ever look at these 70s era glasses 
the same way again!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Santa Fe

On Thursday we flew to my home state of New Mexico.  We left the twins with their grandparents in Albuquerque while we traveled an hour north to attend a wedding for the weekend in Santa Fe. 

We stayed at the beautiful St. Francis hotel.  This morning, I ran around like a nut taking pictures of the interiors to show you all. 

I wasn't sure they'd let me turn off all the lights first, so you'll have to excuse the 
unflattering artificial light.

I loved this arrangement of black and white photos on the rustic wooden ledges.

And a few of the room:
Didn't get the bed made, but would you look at those gorgeous and huge casement windows? 

 In New Mexico, it's hard not to be a sucker for ivy covered walls when there is so little else that is green.

And the traditionally painted turquoise doors are hard to resist when you are running around like a nut taking pictures.  Wish I had more to show you, but I was busy having fun!

We had a fabulous kid-free weekend.  I took my husband back to the airport today, but the girls and I are staying for another month.   We've got a new niece to visit, a funeral to attend, a family reunion, and our annual trip to Estes Park, Colorado where we'll meet up with the other side of the family.

Posts might be a tad sporadic, but probably no more so than they have been for the last several months...

I hope you all had a great weekend!