Ho Ho Ho

Christmas preparation Trouvais

After recently reading Vicki’s French Essence and Debra Shriver’s Stealing

Magnolias and French Kissed’s Favorite Things post here, and all the other blogs

lit up with their holiday finery….I thought you’d like to see what how my

Christmas decor is shaping up….



On the bright side… do you like my latest entry hall color? Tired of hoarding

paints, today I mixed all my leftover gray and taupe limewash paints together

and tossed them up while my husband cranked up the Christmas music and

clucked over what a messy painter I was.  The garland is for your benefit…

Hope you all have a wonderful week !


Stealing Magnolias


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House Beautiful Oct 08

Most of us swooned over these photos when they first

appeared in House Beautiful back in October of  ’08…

Jewel tones of purple, amethyst, silvered blues…

House Beautiful '08 Debra Shriver

Monogrammed valances with crown detail…

House Beautiful Oct 08 John Kernick

When the homeowner showed antiques shop-owner turned

interior designer Hal Williamson tassels she had collected in

Paris in her favorite colors of purple, pink, citrus green and blue…

he found the embroidered silk that became the bed covering, as well

as inspiration to the home interior’s color palate…

House Beautiful Debra Shriver

Per the homeowner: “…in my walled courtyard, I have my late grandmother’s

gardenias planted. We brought them over from Alabama, stem by stem, with the

roots in little jars of water. To sit near them reading the newspaper in my

pajamas while listening to the New Orleans soundtrack of crickets, steamboat

whistles, children playing, cathedral bells, and the pie lady selling pies —it’s divine.”

House Beautiful John Kernick photography

Paying homage to Ella Fitzgerald…

The quote, tabletop crown, a kaleidoscope of marbleized

folios and pink ballroom skirted drapes…

all clues to the sensibilities of the homeowner…


Debra Shriver's New Orleans Home HB '08

An antique Paris map whose street names mirror those of New Orleans’

Vieux Carré (French Quarter).  Mimi Read interviews Hal Williamson

about the home via House Beautiful here. Photography John Kernick.

Though identified in House Beautiful only as ” a southern-born media

executive ” who hails from New York…the homeowner is Debra Shriver,

who has recently published a book about the magic of New Orleans.

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

In Stealing Magnolias...tales from a New Orleans courtyard…

Debra Shriver weaves a fairy tale of her evolving love of New Orleans..

begun over frequent visits from New York and brief stays at the Soniat Hotel.

A dinner party in the garden district, her husband’s toast expressing the hope that

they would one day could put down roots in New Orleans, the party’ s hostess

calling with a hot tip on a nearby home the very next day, and no sooner had

a bid been entered than Hurricane Katrina struck. Rather than back out the couple

resolved to go forward, and magic and serendipity produced this treasure of a home.

In a chapter titled “The House Finds Us” …it is Coup de Foudre…love at first sight…

the moment we walked in, looked upwards at its high ceilings, then down the

hallway to its small, leafy courtyard, it was familiar to me.


Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

The various toile images on the dining room chairs

illustrate different aspects of the city’s past…

One of the many ways that Debra weaves the history

of New Orleans into her home…

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

With chapters on Monograms and Muslin, Recipes and Rituals,

stories about her grandmother’s gardenias, and catching the

golden coconut at Mardis Gras, snippets on Old Paris porcelain,

a glossary of terms complete with pronunciation guides, quotes

throughout from the famous and infamous residents…

My only regret is that I did not drink more champagne

…Lord Maynard Keynes on his deathbed

…its a scrapbook, design journal, love story, travel guide…

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

Antique gilded Pots de Crème on matching stand…

So while your running madly through the mall…you might want to

take a moment to flip through this book…or put it on your wish list…

Other blog reviews and more photos Visual Vamp here ,

Style Court here, All the Best here



Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

Copyright © 2010, published by Glitterati Incorporated.


Available here





Christmas Blues and Chocolate



Cool teal tones wash over every surface in the butler’s pantry

of “Swan House” in Atlanta, massive covered silver platter …

This has such an “Upstairs Downstairs” look about it,

very “Gosford Park”…

Gosdord Park


If you haven’t already seen this film, its kitchen scenes are my favorite…

You’ll want to soak up every “British Country Manor” interior feature…

and then scurry down to your scullery to order your cooking staff to

whip up these gratifying doses of high grade chocolate. Or if you’ve

benevolently given the staff a few days off, try it yourself.

Molten Chocolate Puddings

5 1/4 oz dark chocolate

3 1/2 oz unsalted butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

thick (double) cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 355°

Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the chocolate is melted

and smooth. Place the eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale. Gently fold in flour

and chocolate mixture and spoon into 4 lightly greased 1-cup capacity ovenproof dishes. Bake

for 12-15 minutes or until the puddings are puffed. Top with the cream to serve. Serves 4.


Trouvais kitchen

Individual souffle cups on my cabinet shelves…

Double Chocolate Cookies

4 1/4 oz dark chocolate, chopped

4 oz unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

9 3/4 oz dark chocolate, extra, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 320°

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir

until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar for 8-10

minutes or until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat another 3-4

minutes. Stir the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and melted chocolate. Add the

extra chopped chocolate and stir to combine. Roll tablespoons of the mixture

into rounds. Place on baking trays lines with baking paper, allowing room for

the cookies to spread, and flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes until slight cracks

have formed. Cool on wire racks. Makes 16.


Both recipes by Australian based author, food stylist, editor,  Donna Hay

click for online shopping site…

Trouvais agua tones

Vintage wide ribbons and grain sacks and toile…

Trouvais grainsacks with agua

All above from post last December…but just in the mood

for chocolate…intense blues…Gosford Park screen shots…

Trouvais lantern

A few good recent finds from sample sales…

One of a pair of huge zinc lanterns from Myra Hoefer

on One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag sale

and MarieBelle gift set from Gilt


Trouvais MarieBelle tea

MarieBelle…for the chocolate…teas…

but mostly for the gorgeous packaging….here

(Just as pretty…and a free gift from mother nature…

a carpet of moss outside my dining room…)

Fabric scraps from Cote Est…

more pretty brights here


Tim Walker blues

Tim Walker…

more here and here

Feeling the blues…in a good way…


Top photo Southern Accents ’06



French Essence


, , ,

La Mirande Avignon

Vicki Archer’s latest book French Essence

has been on my nightstand the last few weeks…

Its red ribbon bookmark slowly moving its way

along her charming storytelling path through

her life in the south of France…

French Essence Vicki Archer

The Chinoiseried walls of the Chinese Cabinet room

at La Mirande in Avignon…

Carla Coulson’s photographs leave an exquisite trail

of Vicki’s travels through narrow pathways in Avignon, St. Rémy,

Aix-en-Provence. Past chocolate shops and florist stalls, a peak inside

Cézannes’s art studio and his favorite restaurant Les deux Garçons


Vicki Archer French Essence

The art of collecting…

Love the glimpses of Vicki’s exuberant style…

A peak into china cabinets and linen closets, across stacks

of books and perfume strewn vanities, her red jacket

tossed over her desk chair before a wall resplendent with

inspirational French movie posters and photos…

French Essence Vicki Archer

In the gardens of Mas de Bérard, Vicki’s re- christened hot pink climbing

rose  “Shocking Semini”…along with tales of white iris’s and clipped hedges,

apple orchards and olive harvests…

French Essence

Sitting room chairs pulled out into a summer garden…


You feel like you’ve been welcomed in for a visit..

French Essence guest bedroomA warm winter guest bedroom at Mas de Bérard…

French Essence is a continuation of Vicki’s personal story

from her earlier My French Life…earlier post here

With chapters on collecting, her gardens, the harvest,

views of Mas de Bérard dusted with snow, replete

with the vivid reds of circus tents and Christmas baubles

and a sprinkling of candlelight throughout…

Truly magical…a book to savor slowly…


French Essence Vicki Archer gift wrap

Thanks for a lovely gift of a book, Vicki! A huge book…double page

photos…my snippets don’t do it justice!

Vicki’s blog here

Thanks to a post Vicki did on Roman antiquity in Arles here

and personal emails, my daughter had a magical detour

through Provence last January on her way to Rome…

Quiet Beauty in Provence here

Antiquity in Provence here


Making a List

Trouvais kitchen counter

My list of to do’s is in near constant flux…

And it’s pretty messy over here…

Trying to tie up as many loose

ends as possible…and put off the rest

so that I can get to the serious business

of decking the halls…

Trouvais December roses

The drip drip drip in my bathroom is not

the plumbing…it’s herding the cats…


The day the plumber hoists that

toilet from where it sits outside my

garage to its final resting space…

well…I sure hope it will be in 2010!

Trouvais dining room

Over Thanksgiving break my son enjoyed resting his bean-pole

frame after a family meal on my outdoor bed brought in from the cold…

By the time all my major projects are finished the bed will be able to

make its way back outdoors.  Though…I have to say…I kinda like the

idea of taking a nap or going through a tall stack of design books in

my dining room… perhaps a little espresso and pots de creme to

fortify me as I work my way through the visual feasts of

Vicki Archer’s French Essence or Suzanne Rheinstein’s At Home…


Trouvais front door

Outside our front door…a garland waiting to drape the entry…

and a San Francisco Flower Mart bouquet… info here

Holiday forecast: messy with a touch of pretty

to be continued…


In the Details



Antique Swedish

Porcelain kitchen at Thureholm…

Decorated in the 1740s

Walls, sideboards, doors decorated with scenes from

the Orient as a backdrop to the family’s collection of

blue and white porcelain imported from China…


antique Swedish porcelain


The recess above the decorative ledge was designed to hold a cup.

Busy these days on details and struck by the beauty of every

curve, every hue of this room….


The Swedish Room

Lars and Ursula Sjöberg

Photography Ingalill Snitt


Lars Bolander’s Swedish Design

Another view…page 9…


François & Co


, , , ,

Francois & Co

In San Francisco today to look at tile and stumbled into

this gorgeous space…the showroom of François & Co

Founded in 1997, with manufacturing in Atlanta, Georgia,

François & Co has showrooms in Atlanta, New York, Beverly Hills,

Winter Park…and the San Francisco showroom that just opened this Fall…

more here


Francois & Co San Francisco Trouvais


Beautiful fireplaces, walls, floors…

Francois & Co Trouvais


Up close…the authentic look of antique carved limestone…


Columns, kitchen hoods…

all made with a technique called  Scagliola…

Francois & Co San Francisco Trouvais

Have you ever heard of Scagliola?

“…it is a technique that was developed during the 17th century by impoverished

Italian monks…searching for an economical way to restore their monastery and

discovered that an aggregate of travertine, marble and limestone chips (Scaglia

in Italian), stabilizing agents and pigments could be combined to form a material

indistinguishable from the original stone. Using binding agents and natural

pigments the chips of stone were crushed and mixed to create a paste that was

applied by hand, layer after layer into a mold. After the product was dry, it was

sanded and polished all by hand.”  More info here

Francois & Co San Francisco Trouvais

Their Innova collection of hardwood floors

recreate the look of antique European floors…

Francois & Co San Francisco Trouvais

They have a beautiful line of mosaics…here

and this empire tub made with the Scagliola technique…

Francois & Co San Francisco Trouvais

At around $9500…not exactly a budget

tub, but a wee bit better than solid marble…

Beautiful website will get you dreaming here

François & Co

Decorative lime plaster wall in first photo done by

artist Olivier Garnier…

See his portfolio and publications  here


Happy Thanksgiving

Trouvais Thanksgiving kitchen

Pie crust…pumpkin puree…

cornbread…freshly picked apples and

roasted chestnuts and dried cherries…

chopped celery and onions…fresh sage leaves..

It’s over the river and through the woods to

two grandmother’s houses with two pumpkin pies,

two kids home from college, and a large quantity of

bespoke cornbread stuffing.

Hope you all have a wonderful day…

Surrounded by friends, family and lovely memories….


Thankful for Surroundings


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Astier platter with dried lavender Trouvais

Very thankful that Linda Merrill of Surroundings here

asked me for a holiday tip for her Holiday Style Guide…

It forced me to slow down, look around, and enjoy a little

holiday project in the midst of the holiday rush…

After enjoying a Summer of bee bobbed lavender… the tall wands of

“Provence” lavandin here drifting languidly on summer breezes…

the harvested stalks are hung upside down ’till dry, then stuffed in

wall hung baskets and vintage florists buckets…

rows of Provence lavender

Memories of Summers past (miss my lavender strolls)…

In the Fall I “thresh” the lavender on an old sheet

on the kitchen counter and collect the lavender buds…

The scent in the kitchen is intoxicating…

Trouvais photo of kitchen


Even the bud stripped lavender wands are

beautiful…and I bundle sets to be thrown on the fire…

Silk scraps fpr sachet Trouvais

Hunt through my collection of fabric scraps

and pink them into 4 inch or so squares…

backing the fancy with the plain…

(the scent travels better through the linen)

Any store bought potpourri would work as well…

lavender sachets Trouvais

It’s that time of year to be thankful for our surroundings…

our people, our places, our memories….

Thank you Linda for pulling together such a great

holiday on-line magazine full of great holiday tips

and gift ideas from across the design blog world!

To appreciate Linda’s Surroundings and get

some tips for your own, click below…




More Bella Notte



Bella Notte linens

For those of you who don’t live close

enough to take advantage of the big

Bella Notte Outlet sale of seconds, samples, and

discontinued merchandise later this week…

info  here

Bella Notte linens

Cottage Chic here

The largest stocking dealer of Bella Notte Linens

is having a sale starting tomorrow…

November 16-30

Bella Notte linens

20% off in-stock items,  free domestic shipping,

Tax free for for those outside North Carolina

Also ships internationally…

Bella Notte Whisper Linen

They have a fantastic website…

Love their View Our Beds section here

And carry a wide assortment of other top

brands…Shabby Chic, Pine Cone Hill….

Bella Notte Linens

Off the top of my bed….

Celeste neckroll and Whisper Linen throw pillow in Graphite

Olivia Lace in Flax…

Bella Notte bedding

White, Flax, Sable Whisper Linen pillows and duvet (bottom),

discontinued Deluxe Marie floral pillow,

Graphite Silk Velvet Embroidered pillow.

So if you want perfect, now, on sale…

Check out Cottage Chic here

They also offer complimentary design assistance

and are very helpful via phone.

My French Country Brocante


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My French Country Home shawl

Sharon, from the blog My French Country Home, has a wonderful

eye for beauty, a penchant for treasure seeking, a picture perfect

home in Normandy…and has just filled her online brocante

with some extraordinary finds. As Sharon puts it:

Everything you see for sale here is old, and French.

Each item has a story to tell.

My French Country Home 18th c sleeves

18th c sleeves

Her latest finds come from a fine old family home in Brittany…

Exquisite treasures from the 18th through 20th century…

Like this pair of intricately embroidered engageantes that

would fall in a foot long froth at the sleeves of refined

ladies and gentlemen in the eighteenth century…


18th c printed cotton bodice

A precious 18th century printed cotton bodice

strewn with bright floral sprays

in the Indiennes style…more here

18th c printed cotton bodice

It was wonderful to be able to talk with Sharon

by phone the other day…she is so excited

to have been able to procure such a

wonderful collection…

18th c printed cotton bodice

A similar piece from one of my favorite books, Toile de Jouy

A late 18th century dress bodice in small checked pattern,

the lining was made from an old floral print bodice…

Antique clothing was often reworked into newer items…


Toile de Jouy

Another example from Toile de Jouy

An engageante extending from an

exuberantly floral sleeve…

18th c embroidered cloth

My favorite of Sharon’s pieces…

This breathtaking 18th tablecloth is festooned with

floral flourishes, crowns and dragonflies…

Fine imported cotton…more rare in 18th c France than linen…

18th c French fine cotton embroidered cloth

Pause…deep breath…

18th c French fine cotton embroidered cloth

I can imagine this hanging over a bed…or framed…

as far away as possible from the cranberry sauce!

Just outstanding….


Toile de Jouy Riffel & Rouart

18th century block print of roses and lilacs on cotton

in a sample book at the Musée de la Toile de Jouy here

The enduring love of gardens and the natural

world from across time…

Antique French nightdress

A lovely nightgown…

One of several antique clothing items

in Sharon’s brocante…

Visit My French Country Brocante here

My French Country Home

Sharon carefully launders the pieces

to gossamer perfection…

Her photography captures the

ethereal nature and fine details of all

the items…


Antique French fabric

L’enfant au dauphine c. 1765-81

Also at the Musée de la Toile de Jouy

Peak at the permanent collection here


Oberkampf at the door of the factory shop Labouchere gouache on paper

Reams of dyed linens…

How absolutely lovely…

Toile de Jouy

Printed Textiles in the classic French Style

Mélanie Riffel & Sophie Rouart

Marc Walter photography



Point of View



Recently Paris Apartment here and Gypsy Purple here have

posted this gorgeous photo of a pelmet trimmed, ciel de lit topped,

and luxuriously draped 18th century French bed…

Have you made up your mind about the couple that

lives in this house?

Though it’s made its way through the blog-o-sphere…I cropped

and posted this photo in July of ’09 in Red Burnished Neutrals here.

I was entranced by the gorgeous photography…and narrowed

in as close as possible to study all the details…

Of course…from my point of view…

The advantage of scanning your own photos is that it allows

you to zero in on the face cast in bronze at the table leg’s intersect…

or the artlessly off-center sketched nude beyond the doorway…

The glowing red of an antique leather chair

and voluminous carmine curtains….

Martin Morrell photography

Un-cropped…here is the original photo by Martin Morrell

A striking balance of soothing neutrals and overt avant-garde…

Have you changed your mind about the home-owners?

Another view of the bedroom…an 18th century Italian chandelier…

An ottoman covered in old French fabric and 17th century walnut wardrobe

from Piedmont. A Paula Rego painting…part of the owner’s

large collection of modern art….

Chintzes from the Tree of Life range by Braquenié

for Pierre Frey in a guest bedroom….

Dining room

The ballroom…added in the 1920′s…

More antique linen at the windows, 17th century chandelier

from Genoa and 18th century chairs from Turin…

Almost every view shown is painted with soothing neutrals…

yet adds a tiny bit of drama…

Or maybe not so tiny….

Red glass vase from Venice filled with

flowers from the garden on a stone plinth table…

Tea-soaked antique linen slipcovers…

A Martin Malone painting with 1930′s green leather chairs…

So…opening up the view a bit reveals quite a bit more

about the home’s heart…

What does your home say about you?

Petersham House

The 17th century home of Gael and Francesco Boglione

who created London’s Petersham Nurseries next door…

Petersham Nurseries click here

Vogue Living Australia May/June ’09

By the Light of the Sea

Daraux By the Light of the Sea

Jean-Loup Daraux

By the Light of the Sea

Photographs by Mario Ciampi

Daraux By the Light of the Sea

The colors and textures and exquisite details captured

in this gorgeous book have inspired me as I’ve worked on

my husband’s study. Love the use of antique hardware

and reclaimed wood. The sonorous quality of deep

natural tones balanced with just the right amount of

color and light…



Daraux By the light of the Sea

The artist, sculptor, collector Jean-Loup Daraux writes:

“I mixed contemporary with antique, languid serene colours with

others that were audacious, light refined materials with the raw, wood

and concrete, mosaics and metal. And of course I filled it with objects,

selected for their unlimited poetry.”


French design book

Detail of riveted door and antique French bronze watering can…

Jean-Loup again… “I love iron because it lies between the flame and

the anvil, because it comes down to us from the beginning of time”…

and “how can one not be enchanted by the successive repairs

on this very old watering can that I have had for so many years. “

Trouvais 18th c French bronze watering can


A detail I hadn’t really noticed until I recently found my own little

18th century French watering can (above) …

It reminds me of the French term “belle laide”…literally

“beautiful ugly”. And, as usual, I wonder where it’s been…

French Design book

You can catch glimpses of his antique watering cans

in several photos…I love homes that give a  sense of

the passions of those who live there…

French design


Here’s a larger photo that shows how all the elements are balanced…

the touch of purple…the verdigris of old copper in the cabinet…

the rough with the smooth…

French design book


Gorgeous composition of hard lines, strong color,

rough antiquity, Jean-Loup’s modern painting…

French design


Traditional study elements…the ladder, leather club chairs, a trio of

classically moulded bookcases, simple drapery hardware…

Beautifully underscored by the modernity of rough etched

concrete floors, the antiquity of over-sized antique crystal and urn…


French design book

In a foreword on Jean-Loup Daraux’s style, Guillaume Tournier writes:

“…to decorate a home is not to “dress” it, but to give it life, to fill it

with dreams and the irreplaceable: humanity, friendship and beauty.”

Of course I’m only scratching the surface of this beautiful book…

Lightly written…it’s a bit like poetry…and I find something new in

it every time I look through it…




Tall, Dark, and Handsome


Trouvais Study redo

Yes, I know you thought I was doing my bathroom…

but the plumber was cautiously, assiduously, slowly moving my shower pipes

and I didn’t want to lose my little crew so we started in on my husband’s study….

We’ve lived here for 18 years, but there’s something about being an empty nester

that just lights a fire under you. Plus, my husband  was going out of town for a week.

Drum roll. I’m sure you know the feeling….

You can see here how dramatically the roof cascades from a lofty 10 feet height

to 6 feet, with 7 additional feet of storage space beyond the wall. (You can also see

me ruminating on a chandelier for the space!). One has to hunch over to drag out

boxes out of the storage space so they tend to be forgotten in the furthest reaches…


Trouvais Study redo

My husband loved his desk but was resigned to give it up…at 80″ X 42″ it took

up alot of space on the floor. We discussed selling it or cutting it down to size,

perhaps with a drawer front. I wanted to make it easier for him to utilize the

storage space  and considered ordering a bank of cabinets to back their 24″ depth

into the wall. In  the end it just seemed easier, and less expensive, to keep the

desk and create a niche from the storage area, with deep shelves on either side…

Trouvais study redo

I had them add 4 plugs on each side and 2 recessed lights on dimmer…

The wood floors needs to be extended…I still have lots of painting to

do on shelves but am waiting for my husband to return to cast his vote on

whether to go dark or light in the niche…


I had a small sample pot of Farrow and Ball’s Charleston Gray….

and though this a second story, tree shrouded back room…

the dark, muddy gray just worked perfectly. I spent the day triple coating

the room…with a crisp Benjamin Moore White Diamond on

the trim…

Trouvais Study redo

My husband’s grandfather’s golf clubs in a vintage metal ice cream

container. Still lots to do before it’s certifiably handsome…

but it’s coming along. Cherry wood is usually not my thing

but it looks gorgeous with the Charleston Gray walls…

to be continued….

Have a wonderful Sunday…enjoy your extra hour!


Out is In


, , ,

House and Garden '06 Emma Jane Pilkington

Emma Jane Pilkington

House and Garden ’06

More here


Jean-Loup Daraux


A collection of 18th century French watering cans…

Jean-Loup Daraux

By the Light of the Sea

Bobby McAlpine bathroom

Bobby McAlpine

more here






Trouvais old roses


Big fan of moving the garden indoors…

Photo above my garden in the Spring…

Madame Ernest Calvat

Antique Bourbon rose c. 1888

Miss it already….



New Baths with Old Themes


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Barry Dixon Beautiful Baths BH&G '06

Barry Dixon

Busy…started second project to keep my

crew busy while the plumber took two days

to reroute lines…



Barry Dixon BH&G '06

Wonderful to have the weekend to regroup and daydream through

my vast (!) collection of old inspiration photos…

Check out Barry Dixon’s site here for more

of his portfolio…


Barry Dixon BH&G '06

Love the way the mosaic continues up the walls…

and antiquity tossed into the mix…


Barry Dixon Met Home June '08

I’m trying to go curb-less…

but meeting with resistance…



More Barry Dixon here

Top 3 photos from Beautiful Baths BH&G ’06

Last photo Metropolitan Home June ’08


Latest Project


, ,

Inspiration bath

The inspirational images files are open…

dreams and ideas confronting reality…

Trouvais bathrm

Materials are gathered or ordered…

or very nearly fetched…

Carrara marble honed subway and brushed mosaic…

with bits of gray stone left over from my son’s bathroom…

Inspiration photo

The tub…sigh…will just have to wait

until we bump that side of the house out…

This is the sort of tub that really requires

it’s own little wing…

Restoration Hardware shower plumbing

Should I or shouldn’t I?

Might just have to pass this beauty up…

Restoration Hardware…

I can be quite frugal sometimes…

Gray and marble in baths

A favorite Restoration Hardware image…

Love the frosty whites and grays…

Venetian mirror Turkish marble sink

Venetian mirror and Turkish marble sink are staying…

The sink perfect for rolls of Turkish towels…

Imagining the mirror slightly higher…hung from chains…

Still love those three hooks for my linen chemises…

Counter replaced by a gray honed limestone or soapstone…

Since this part will be done by a stone fabricator, I have

the luxury of making the decision later.

Trouvais French antique chair

Will try to sneak in a bit of black….

Venetian lanterns

And gray….

My husband is not keen on the idea of

bumping his head on a Venetian lantern

hanging in the middle of the bathroom…

But wouldn’t one of these be lovely?

Maison Cote Sud Dec. ’03

Inspiration file

Windsor Smith entry (House Beautiful)…

Feeling my way through this project…

And the guys with hammers are showing up on Monday…

What could go wrong?

Tin buckets Trouvais

Always love the challenge of creating the most positive affect with the least

amount of time and money. Wish me luck! And thanks Jermaine of French Kissed

and esteemed commenter Home Before Dark for all your behind the scenes hot tips!

Would love to hear everyone’s hot tips…and since it’s so close to Halloween…

feel free to share your horror stories!

(Top two photos House Beautiful and Veranda)

Cheryl Ekstrom


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Cheryl Ekstrom

Highlights from artist Cheryl Ekstrom’s current exhibit


at the ART Cube in Laguna Beach

click here to see this mannequin in action…

Cheryl Ekstrom


A collage of antique film negatives…snap shots…history…

Cheryl Ekstrom

This mannequin is called “Memory Board”…

a montage of the artist’s memories…


Cheryl Ekstrom

Cheryl Ekstrom

Also from her current exhibits…

Love the texture, patina, detail…

evoking industry, artistry, hard work and dreams…

Out on a Limb

Cheryl’s wedding dress..

reworked by the artist to create…

Artist Cheryl Ekstrom

Out on a Limb

In Cheryl’s words…

This work speaks to the expansion of society’s traditions. The dress represents a

structure that I feel needs to be redefined to fit with the world today. Keep the hammer

ready at all times to break the mold and have the courage to change the old script.


at the Laguna Art Museum

Artist Cheryl Ekstrom

Artist Cheryl Ekstrom

Artist Cheryl Ekstrom

From an earlier exhibition

Plaster Series


Trove Laguna plaster


19th Century and New…
Large plastered antique crystal chandelier …

Cheryl’s chandelier can be found at…




Artist Cheryl Ekstrom for Trove LagunaCheryl’s stainless steel beanbag sculpture…

as well as her other stainless sculptures…

can also be found at Trove on 1stdibs here

You see…Cheryl has an “in” with the fabulous store’s owner Heather Lee…

I’m sure one of Cheryl’s proudest accomplishments…

She’s Heather’s mother….

To revisit the magic that is Trove….

click on the photos below to revisit earlier posts…

Antiue French aviary Trove antiques


Rough Luxe in Laguna Beach


Trouvais Trove Laguna

Poetically Juxtaposed

Trove antiques

Trove Antiques at Ocean Avenue

Antique Garden urn


370 Ocean Avenue

Laguna Beach, Ca. 92651



PS: Hot tip…look for Trove in the November issue of Elle Decor

(Under What’s Hot! Shops p.88)