Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Spy: Supersized Edition!

It's been far too long since I got my antiquing on, so when my sister-in-law asked if we could spend our weekend antiquing, I was so excited, I probably got overambitious! I have a list of antique stores I'd like to visit that would take 3 years to complete, but we only made it to three places. Here are my favorite finds from two of them:

 Morgan House Antiques Gallery, on West 21st Street in Norfolk, is not a place to find deals, but it's definitely a place to see some amazing pieces. Katie likened it to a museum where you can actually touch the items, and that's the truth! I didn't take many pics, but here's a couple items that struck my fancy. These carved stools, circa 1880, were $295 for the pair. Definitely not cheap, but certainly heirloom quality pieces that would lend so much character to a room.

I loved the modernity of the shape and lines on this quite classical chandelier. I feel like it could work just as well in a very classic dining room as in a very modern bedroom. It's English, and was marked down from $695 to $350...seriously not bad for a working, antique chandelier.

As always, I spotted a million great items at Cypress Point Antique Mall in Virginia Beach, but I didn't buy a thing! You better believe I'll be showing up with a truck if/when we ever move! Part of why I love this antique store so much is that you can find things of all eras and styles at great prices, so it's always very creatively inspiring. First up, this beautiful 1930s twin bed; at $175, it would be so much classier in a guest room or even a little kid's room than an IKEA piece for the same price.

 As always, the mall had some great midcentury pieces. I loved the color of the wood on this Danish teak secretary, priced at $630. Not cheap, but the piece was in great condition.

 The store had at least 10 of these tiny chairs that would be so cute in a kids' playroom, possibly painted different colors, or maybe just paint the legs to make them pop.

It's never easy to find two of the same vintage lamp, and these mod brass lamps, at $45 each, are the same price you'd pay for most lamps from HomeGoods! They would lend some disco glamour to a sofa table, or flanking a bed in a swank bachelor pad. 

 This midcentury chair is pretty much straight ugly, but in a grey linen or tweed, wouldn't it be great? For $185, it might be worth recovering, although maybe you could bargain the price down.

 I won't lie; I am OBSESSED with this crazy $400 brass light. It's so unique and reminds me of the kind of crazy light fixture that always pops up in rooms designed by Kelly Wearstler or Emily Henderson. I'm sure you probably all think I'm crazy for liking it!

 Looking for a perfect printer table/toiletry stand/plant stand? This adorable blue medical stand would do the trick for all of the above and for $75, it's a steal! I think I just talked myself into needing it, lol.

 I couldn't quite understand what this framed piece of art was, and then when I got closer, I realized it's a framed 1960s Pucci scarf. The firm is solid at $650, so this is not for the bargain hunter. But it's definitely cool. Framed scarves are all the rage.

But if you are hunting for a bargain, this bright, contemporary flower painting was $8! It looks like something you'd buy from Lulie Wallace.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What's New Around Our House

When you're pretty maxed out on space for furniture, you have to do little things to spruce up home. I thought I'd share some little tidbits of new things 'round our casa. I got around to hanging this lovely print we bought from Frederick Nichols a couple weeks ago. It's the first thing I see when I wake up!

 In the guest bedroom, I finally got to put my West Elm shibori-inspired tie dye shams to use.

 I picked up this cool geometric vase at the gift shop for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and finally grabbed some flowers to use it. I'm a sucker for cool white bud vases.

 A story about our bathroom: when we moved in, I got it into my head I needed to try to steer clear of "girly" and be as gender neutral as possible. But over time, this bathroom evolved into being my bathroom and after 4 years of the same beige-on-beige-on-beige gender neutral blahs, I decided to cheer up my bathroom.

 Katie and I popped over to World Market, and I bought this cool grey-and-gold peacock print shower curtain, and I tell you, changing your shower curtain is one of the cheapest things you can do to instantly make yourself feel awesome! A little change goes a long way. I think it really livened up the room, and it was interesting to see how the brassy color of the gold brought out the brassy doorknob.

 It inspired me to go grab my Van Gogh print from the guest bedroom and put it up in the bathroom. True story: I bought that print from the Met when I was in 6th grade. What an old friend it is!

 During our antiquing adventures, I ended up buying this art nouveau brass frame that is just gorgeous. I don't have the right picture for it yet, but for now, it's just doing a lovely job being glamorous.

And last but not least, I have a lovely Laduree box on our dresser straight from my in-law's trip to Paris this spring. Sadly, it doesn't hold macarons, but it will do a fine job holding change/bobby pins/receipts or whatever.

What's your favorite low-cost way to spruce up your home? I'm pretty sure normal people rearrange their furniture, but once I find a good layout, I'm pretty stuck on it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Best v.169

I'm kind of obsessed with this poster collage by Stefano Arienti

We're having a busy weekend of antiquing (look out for posts on that!) with my sister-in-law. The weather has reached that absolutely perfect moment where summer is having its last gasp and fall is creeping up on the evenings. Patio weather, for sure!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wine Club Night Out: Venture

 For Wine Club's night out this week, I convinced the girls to come to my side of the water to sample food at my new favorite place, Venture Kitchen & Bar. Its combination of pizza, tasty tapas items and a creative cocktail menu made it a hit! Lord knows we sampled enough to know!

The cheese board was delicious, with a bacon-topped pimento cheese, brie with fig jam and a hard cheese with balsamic jelly that was SO GOOD.

 I had my old favorite, the grilled asparagus salad topped with popcorn and goat cheese dressing.

The toasted bread was also delicious dipped in the creamy port wine fondue!

But seriously, don't even get me started on the fried broccoli dipped in basil mayo. Omigawd. Why don't veggies taste like that all the time?

 We also sampled each other's pizzas, creamed kale and delicious pork belly with apples.

 It was all pretty stellar.

And we finished the night with chocolate peanut butter custards served piping hot in mini skillets and they were fantastic. Everything was delicious, and the menu is surprisingly affordable. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Best v.168

Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY

We're out of town again today, this time for a little family get together in Baltimore. But never fear, I have SO. MANY. great links this week for your Sunday afternoon clicking pleasure:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wine Club: Oregon

Wine Club's journey across America already skipped to the West Coast, where we enjoyed seriously tasty Oregon wines at Ashleigh's house! Pinot grapes grow famously well in Oregon's many valleys, where wine has been made since the first settlers in the 1840s. We ended up finishing just about every bottle! We tried:

  • Coelho Renovacao Pinot Gris, a lemony white with a citrusy finish.
  • Kudos Pinot Gris, a delicious pinot that I brought. It came highly recommended from the experts at my local Total Wine.
  • Kudos Chardonnay, a Willamette Valley wine with flavors of honeydew, lemon zest, peach and cream. I'm not a huge Chardonnay fan, but this was good.

On the red side, we had an array of Pinot Noirs...Oregon and pinot grapes are not joke!

Ashleigh did her research on Oregon! In honor of Oregon's state nut, the hazelnut, we had Nutella with banana slices and sprinkles of coconut, all on top of graham crackers.

The Hood River area is known for its pears, so we had a salad with pears, walnuts and avocado.

For an entree, Ashleigh made really, really great rosemary garlic salmon.

But our favorite part might have been the Tillamook Garlic Chili Pepper Cheddar Cheese, a truly unique cheese unlike no other I've tried! The website description calls it "a real conversation cheese," and wouldn't you know it, that came true! The cheese is made by the Tillamook Valley Creamery and is a win.

Our next wine adventure will just be a hop up the Pacific coast to Washington state!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Barboursville Adventures

Backroads in Virginia can lead to the sweetest places if you've got the time. This weekend, I ventured out to Barboursville, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it downtown known for its chic winery. I started the visit with a stop at the Fred Nichols Studio, where the artist and his wife are always on hand to give guests a peek into the artistic process. Fred's work is gorgeous and vibrant, and it was fascinating to see his in-process paintings and the subsequent silkscreen process. I couldn't help but buy a piece to bring home!

Across the road and just up the hill is the Nichols Gallery Annex, which is stuffed with interesting and intriguing work by artists from Virginia and beyond. I passed a very happy hour there getting inspired.

Barboursville Winery is a legendary winery in Virginia, developed by the Italian Zonin winemaking family in the 70s. It's a full-service estate winery, making all of its wine from grapes grown on the premises. The wine is delicious, but the winery is also notable for its ruins.

The ruins are beautiful in their imperfection, providing a peek at the past while lending a European air to the Virginia countryside. The home was built for former Gov. James Barbour, who served as leader of the state during the war of 1812. It was based on a design by Thomas Jefferson.

It was hard to resist climbing over the rope and exploring! The winery also has an inn and rentable cottages...I think it would make for an incredible weekend romantic getaway or girls' trip!

Just down the road is Stonefire Kitchen, a fantastic restaurant and event facility. If I were getting married at Barboursville, I'd have my rehearsal dinner here in a second! 

The sandwich menu alone was astounding. I love finding little treasures on the road less traveled, and this place is a great little gourmet surprise for those of us who don't spend much time on 33.

I enjoyed an orange mango soda and my favorite Dill Pickle Route 11 chips (woot, woot Shenandoah Valley love!).

Sean had the meatloaf sandwich, which he loved!

I had a delicious Cuban sandwich, with pork loin slices instead of pulled pork. So good!

We took 33 to Richmond, passing through some more sweet downtowns, like Gordonsville and Louisa. 

And to cap off our touristy day, we asked a sweet couple to snap a shot of us with one of the roadside "Love" signs placed throughout the state. It was a great little weekend trip!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Wedding in Virginia Wine Country

We spent the weekend in beautiful Piedmont Virginia, just a few miles north of Charlottesville off U.S. 29, which is basically the Napa Valley of the Commonwealth. It is the real deal God's Country. We ventured to Early Mountain Vineyards for our friend Joe's wedding to the beautiful Katie, whose creativity really shone through in all the elements of the event.

Here are some peeks at the details:

Guests created a keepsake piece of art with thumbprints ...

Beautiful hand-painted silhouettes of the bride and groom hung on the end of aisles and were painted onto a cornhole set...what a cool heirloom piece, right?

The bride's dress was incredibly gorgeous, and I loved the wine-inspired color palette.

The florals were incredible, too...Sean's boutonniere was so special.

To keep the little ones busy, wooden owl masks were put out with markers. Very cute!

 The venue is fairly new and it's clear the designers had entertaining in mind. Every detail was gorgeous and romantic!

 Even the hallway looked like Restoration Hardware!

The place settings were marked with little MASH-style menus and fun tidbits about each person at the table so we could get conversations going.

For the send-off, we each received a blinking glow balloon, which was amazing and really cool. 

Some other cute details:
  • the flowergirl carried a bouquet of balloons. Adorable, easy and hard to mess up!
  • When guests arrived at the venue, there were glasses of lemonade and water to keep them hydrated before the ceremony. It is August in Virginia, after all!
  • Before the meal, we enjoyed a gnocchi bar and after the meal, we had a crepe bar! Fun!