Friday, January 28, 2011

A Visit to disegno Karina Gentinetta: Antiques Shop in New Orleans

The prettiest armoire ever, now owned by the very lucky Daria Pew
I hope she blogs about it when it’s installed (hint hint Daria)!

The Fanciful Designs paper rose napkin rings on the edge of the mantle made it in
nearly every picture I took.   I won a Fanciful Designs paper rose in a giveaway
and will be blogging about owner Noel Solomon’s art in late February.

Architectural detail, layer upon layer, everywhere in this sensuous city.

Karina at home with her poochies Thelma & Louise.

Lucky for me, I came across Karina’s blog  for her gorgeous fine antiques store disegno Karina Gentinetta as a novice blogger.    Eventually, whenever I needed a picture of the prettiest antique I was trying to emulate with a yard sale find for a blog post I automatically emailed her instead of googling.

I found her via Claudia Strasser’s Paris Apartment blog, intrigued by a post about a designer that started an antique shop after life-altering tragedy.

What touched me the most about Karina was ‘the voice behind the blog’.   She’s down-to-earth, self-effacing, and asks about the mundane as well as the marvelous in my life when we correspond.   After a shoot at my studio for Romantic Country magazine where the stylist used bright red props I didn’t delight in, she put her lawyer hat on and counseled me over the phone when I stressed over a solution that would make all parties happy.

When I thought I had a December deadline for shooting photos to include in my book, I automatically emailed Karina asking if I could cite her shop’s dream furniture (it's the real deal and priced to reflect that) for leading broke folk like me to good ‘lines’ when yard ‘sale-ing’.

I flew to New Orleans (very French and rife with its own culture) in October 2010 and took pictures of her home and shop.   I couldn’t control my reaction (gasping, jaw-dropping) when I came through the door—it’s the drama of entering a palace.   Or a dream.   Everything was going so well for the 2-day shoot; her pretty city (well-healed) bewitched me, I saw Spanish moss hanging from live oaks for the first time, I didn’t accidentally call her “Katrina”.   Her great cook of a husband made an excellent shrimp dish and I learned the very hard way I’m suddenly allergic to shellfish.   He spent most of the night in the emergency room with me when he should’ve been sleeping for a job interview in the morning.

Tragedy struck again--her husband was laid off and now only her shop (and his temp work) supports them.   Like her city with its occasional bulldozed lots next to neighborhoods of the cutest twee Creole cottages nestled in subtropical landscaping, Karina dances on.   She’s put her wares on 1stdibs, the New York Design Center, and even as props for the next Twilight movie.

If you ever need a French furniture fix, dash over to disegno Karina Gentinetta and linger in her shop and its piquant New Orleans flavor.   And, if you hope to own a shop someday, believe in it.   Anything can happen.

Until next time, stay shabby!

I’m sharing Karina’s magic with the White Wednesday blog party at Faded Charm, come join us!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mira & Bianca's book is finally released plus a Giveaway!


Mira & Bianca of the serene, restful, pure-as-snow beautiful blogs
Belle Blanc and White Living, respectively, finally have word
their valedictory work Aus Liebe zu Weiss (The Love of White) is released!
BELLE BLANC - Aus Liebe zu Weiß available on Amazon Feb. 2011 EUR 29,90 (D); ISBN 978-3-512-03354-4

I was lucky enough to interview Mira for Jo-Anne Colletti's gorgeous book
The Feminine Home last fall, and I think it's the best example of decor in that tome.
And, I should mention I'm in that tome.

These gals make me very nervous I can do a can one follow such beauty?

I'd say hurry and click over to buy it at Amazon, (I sure would), but I don't think it's 
released in America until February.  They have a German Amazon link up.
Or just link up to their giveaway ending 5 February 2011! 

Until next time, stay shabby!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dreamy Whites: Open At Last

Photo: Maria Carr

Photo: Maria Carr

Maria's house is filled with the secure beauty that comes from a real, lived-in home.  Filled like the tangy scent of lavender that wafted from the box before I even opened it, with the little lilac-tinted bottle I ordered from her new online store for $24.  Isn’t it bliss receiving packages from independent boutiques like Dreamy Whites?  If only I’d thought to take pictures of every one I’ve received.  Just marvel at her sympathetic use of color.  I’ll proudly use the velvet bow in my pooch Zuzu’s hair.

The first time I came across Maria Carr’s heavenly blog Dreamy Whites I marveled at her use of textured walls, wondered where she got her chandeliers (the Alameda Flea Market), and assumed her home was in Scandinavia.   I went through every page of her romantic blog and saved many of her pictures in my inspiration folder.

Imagine my surprise when I read she lived on a horse farm in California with five kids.

Another surprise came on a recent snow day where I got to watch The Nate Berkus Show, and there she was!   I’d noticed she went to Manhattan in my Blogger Dashboard, but it was during the holidays and I was way behind reading my favorite blogs (still am).   Maria demonstrated how to get stains out on a ‘How to do White Right’ segment.   They showed the picture of her bedroom with salvaged doors for a headboard, and Nate gushed over her ingenuity.

I’m so proud of Maria, for she’s a humble, gentle artist with a fear of public speaking yet she came off relaxed and confident on national television.   She attributes that to the support of her sister and daughters watching the taping in their green room at CBS.   I clearly remember the kind of nervousness one experiences before stepping onstage for The Nate Show--I tried to bring my dog Zuzu to help me get through!

So, what are you bloggers and future store owners out there waiting for?   Send your best pictures out to shows and print media.   I want to be pleasantly surprised again.

Hurry over to Maria’s shop.   French décor galore: lots of pitchers, grain sacks, lavender products, and spiritual transport to Provence.   C’est ravissant.

Until next time, stay shabby!

I’m sharing with White Wednesday at Faded Charm  – c’mon over for the pale party!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Antique Chandelier


I love all three of my ‘chandys’, but this petite one is my favorite
because it’s actually old and the original brass connecting wire is tarnished black.

I paid over $300 for it at an antique store in New Paltz, NY about five years ago
when I had a lot more disposable income than I do now.
The owners said they bought it in South America,
and were disappointed when I said I was going to paint it white
because "the Shabby Chic craze is over, isn't it?".

Never for me!

Until next time, stay shabby!

I'm posting with:

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Come share the fun!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting A Handle On Things and Going For Baroque

A New Year and the general suggestion in our culture of making a resolution for it got me thinking of opportunity, opening doors, and the commonplace act of opening a door.

I casually hooked a rosary on the baroque reproduction dresser pull I installed on my china cabinet for safekeeping while arranging stuff during a blog shoot, and mused at the humble utility of a handle.   I use these and Victorian glass knobs in my studio because it’s a delightful moment when you encounter the pretty when all that’s needed is the practical for quotidian tasks.

In contrast, my plain 19th century hook-and-eye hardware for securing my screen door shut in mountainside winds is honest utility and simplicity and I won't change it for something fancy.

I’m ‘getting a handle on things’ in my career, going for ‘baroque’, as I like to say for good luck, because I’m too close to actual ‘broke’ and definitely don’t care to go there

My resolution?   To work hard on my craft and start knocking on doors.

My King and I and our puppies wish you a Happy New Year!

Many engagements are made over the holidays.    If you are newly engaged, I extend my heartfelt congratulations, for I’ve always liked the saying ‘a bad day after you’re married to your soulmate is better than a good day when you’re single’.

Special thanks to Fri over at Wedding Nouveau  for making and sharing such an inspired mosaic featuring two of Trevor’s photos of my studio I love so!

{CREDITS: Bedroom interior via NY Times (photo by Trevor Tondro); Bride photo by Andrey Bykhov (Styling  by Dmitry Kuteyko); Hanging dress & macarons photo by Frank Amodo via Pacific Weddings; Book & Mirror via NY Times (photo by Trevor Tondro); Table Seating Sign photo by Aaron Shintaku and Amy Hinden; Rose and gray cones by Michelle Rago; Lace Pillows photo by Monica Roberts; Paris Illustration via Saveur du Jour; Lace shoes via Retro Vintage Shoes; Cake by The Caketress}

Until next time, stay shabby!

I’ll be sharing this with Kathleen’s White Wednesday over at Faded Charm – come join her blog party!