One word, chinoiserie, the design equivalent of bliss. One element often seen in chinoiserie designs is the ginger jar. Quick history: these bulbous, usually short, small mouthed jars are named as such because they were originally made to hold spices (ginger to be exact) in Asia. In the 19th century, they became popular for their aesthetic in Europe and export of the items began. Here's some pics that really showcase their beauty. (Click through for image source.)
My great grandmother loved blue and white porcelain pieces, and I was lucky enough to inherit a few, which I really treasure. I've also started picking some up when I'm out and about. I recently visited The Depot at Gibson Mill with a friend and found this beauty!
The colors are beautiful and fit perfectly with my bright kitchen accents. It can be hard to find a vintage ginger jar with its lid and this one was all in one piece! Marked at $38, I knew I had to have it.
The marking on the bottom is a Chinese/Japanese(?) symbol so I'm not sure of its background but I love its beautiful, hand-painted exterior! Yellow jars were designated as gifts for the emperor according to Chapinhouse.com. (To learn more about the meaning behind various colored jars, visit the link.)
What design style makes your heart race? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Happy weekend!
When we decided to sell our first house in order to trade up to something a little more pet and baby friendly we knew we were in for a search. I loved our first house to pieces, it just wasn't the best layout for babies with the master bedroom upstairs. The yard was also too small for our rambunctious pointer, Brice. I'm a little finicky (or a lot) about the layout and location of a house and we had a laundry list of wants that would likely be hard to find in our price range. (Bless our realtor, her work was cut out for her.) After some looking at existing homes, we mulled over the idea of renovating a house to meet our needs. We started looking at houses that needed love. One Friday morning, this colonial popped up on the MLS. This old house needed lots of love.
The listing noted water damage, foundation problems, and mold on the first floor. The listing agent even advised any lookers to wear a mask for protection from the mold. However the list price seemed really good, so after seeing these photos (taken straight from the MLS posting) we ran out early Saturday morning for a look.
After seeing this guy in his saggy, sad, moldy, smelly state we did some serious thinking and on Sunday wanted to go for another look with a contractor to get an idea of the cost for the extent of repairs needed before making an offer. The only problem was...it sold!!!! In ONE day!!!!! I was in serious distress. The house could easily satisfy our list of wants AND needs if it was renovated. But alas, the search for the perfect house was back on. We loved the neighborhood this old house is in, so we continued searching there. I rode through the area on my way home from work sometimes...ok maybe 3-4 times a week to be honest. Stalker, I know. I would drive by this old house and think of what might have been.
I noticed on several of my rides, a guy and his white truck at the house and started to think that a contractor may have purchased the house to flip and resell. Since it sold in a day, it was likely paid for with cash and the work seemed to have already started. Going back to my Nancy Drew loving roots (don't ask), I decided to do some digging. I considered stopping to chat with this fellow, but didn't want to look desperate. Instead I asked our realtor (she's an angel) to call the seller's agent and get the scoop on the buyer.
Our agent, Becky McGrath, didn't bat an eye! She called and found out that the house was indeed purchased by a company that was planning on restoring the house to its former glory and reselling. She somehow got in touch with the buyer and set up a meeting at the house.
That's when we met Doug of Halley Douglas Homes. He and his realtor showed us around the house and outlined the plans for renovation. They were so kind and down to earth! We were able to see some of Doug's other work on new builds and renovations around town, which we LOVED! Hubs and I expressed our interest in submitting an early offer in order to be involved in the process of renovating the (almost) dreamy colonial. After some deliberation, we all came to an agreement! In successive meetings we were able to give our input on layout and down the line, made design choices that made the house feel like us. I should mention that this situation was even more exciting because Halley Douglas does not typically work with homeowners on renovations. They almost strictly renovate or build houses to sell on the open market. Throughout the process Doug, his partner Brandon, and head guy, Dean were all amazing. They thoroughly exceeded all of our expectations and I can't say enough about their workmanship. From getting a structural engineer to check out the foundation work to getting us a deal on all new windows, they were fantastic in every way. I think it's rare to go through a renovation and think, "Oh yeah, let's do that again!" but we so would with Halley Douglas Homes.
We feel like this house was a God send for our growing family and couldn't love it more. The before, during, and after renovation photos will be emerging over the next few weeks so keep your eye out!
Last week in my post about Moveloot (this awesome new consignment site) I mentioned that a purchase was in the works. Well cha-ching! Hubby's home office is now properly outfitted with a desk. His old desk broke during the move and since then he has been using a drop-leaf table as a desk...until now.
My whole experience with Moveloot.com was super. The desk was a steal at $60, the $15 delivery was totally worth it, and I was even able to use 10% off since I was a first time customer. Cha cha cha!
Here's how it went down: after deciding on the desk, I added it to my cart and paid online. During the process, I was able to opt for delivery instead of pick up and choose the day and time slot for delivery. I purchased the desk on Tuesday and chose delivery for Wednesday evening between 4 and 6pm. I got an email confirming my delivery time and shortening the window to between 5 and 6pm. This seems so much more efficient than the typical delivery windows companies give that can be upwards of FOUR hours. (Moveloot got it right!) On Wednesday, the delivery driver called and let me know their ETA would be about 6:30 because of some set-backs. I was so appreciative of the call since baby girl's bedtime routine starts around then (and we don't mess with Texas or bedtime routines in this house).
When the drivers arrived, they introduced themselves with a smile and handshake, apologized for being outside the window, handed me a THANK YOU note for purchasing (say what?! appreciation in 2015?!), and a confirmation statement containing photos of the desk and the description from the posting on the site. Then they carefully brought the desk in and set it up in the office. They even centered the desk carefully in the room and asked if I liked the placement. I signed a document insuring that I received my purchase and they were on their way. IMPRESSIVE Y'ALL.
The desk came as described and is just waiting to be filled with office items. Keep in mind, if I wasn't pleased with the purchase, Moveloot gives a 48 hour window for returns. They seriously thought of everything! Needless to say, I will be stalking their site/ordering again.
During a recent trip to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall I spotted a couple of sweet looking federalist mirrors. The photo above shows how Dorothy Draper used one of these mirrors in her design at The Greenbrier Resort.
Quick Background: These mirrors originated during the federalist period (1776-1806). They feature a carved eagle, convex mirror, gold-leaf finish and usually 13 dots surrounding the mirror, which represent the first 13 colonies. They are sometimes referred to as bull's eye mirrors or a Girandole mirror if candles are attached to the frame. As you can imagine originals are quite expensive. Replicas made of wood and resin or molded came about in the 50's and can be found easily on Ebay for a steal.
After spotting these pretties at the antique mall I started thinking about them. ALL. THE. TIME. The reflection is like looking at yourself in a fish eye lens! They can be incorporated in many designs and look fresh with a coat of paint or lean more traditional when used in their original gold form. It went on my treasure hunting list.
I snagged one last weekend that I found on Craigslist for $35! It happens to be pretty large and is made of wood and resin. Definitely a replica, but it made this momma happy, happy, happy. For now, it has found a home in our powder room, but the options are endless. Maybe he'll end up in the entry way??
This week my fabulous friend Lindsey emailed me a link to a site new to the Charlotte area. If you love vintage or thrifty furniture as much as I do, allow me to enlighten your life: MOVELOOT. It is an online furniture consignment business. GENIUS. This site started in California and is now open for business in the Charlotte and Raleigh areas. Best part about it, they deliver for FREE on orders over $99. I haven't bought or sold anything yet but a purchase is in the works. As soon as I have a full experience, I will share. For now, here are some of my favorite pieces (at great prices). Tip: Make sure you read the description fully for disclosure about any damage to the pieces.