Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stephen Knollenberg

Stephen Knollenberg is extremely talented.  His style is clean and timeless.  He is able to balance old and new, dark and light, wood and iron and create breath taking spaces.  "Innovation, editing and style are basic fundamentals of Stephen Knollenberg's work".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brimfield Finds

Here they are as requested.  A few of my favorite Brimfield Finds.  The vintage shoe rack is one of my favorites. I bought it 5 or 6 years ago and paid $5o.oo  The couple that I purchased it from still sells in  May's field.  They have gone up in price, but are still affordable and one of my favorite flea market finds.  They can be used for wine, towels, books...anything at all....

kelly mcguill home  photo by eric roth
After a rainy week at Brimfield ,sellers usually are very willing to bargain.  I spotted this open hutch and asked how much they wanted for it.  The seller looked at me and said "How much do you have?", I reached in my pocket and pulled out $100 in cash.   He said ," If you can get it out of here on your own, it's yours."  I proceeded to rally my posse of friends and carried the hutch to the u-haul that we rented .It has  graced my dining room for years..
This  window taken from a newly restored town hall immediately caught my eye.    It came from J&J field ,I paid $75.oo for it. The stools are also from Brimfield, I've never paid more than $35.00 for any one of them..  Brimfield continues to be a mecca for antiques and vintage finds.  It's still affordable and a great source for that one-of-a kind piece your looking for.  Only about 3 1/2 months till May......

Friday, January 15, 2010

Something's gotta give... Dining room inspiration

Yesterday, I listened in awe to The Skirted Roundtable discussion with Beth Rubino. Beth is an Academy award winning set designer for many movies including Something's Gotta Give and It's Complicated along with so many others. During the discussion Beth talked about her friend Diana's dining room being the inspiration for the dining room in Diane Keaton’s Hampton house in Something's Gotta Give. I knew that Beth was referring to Diana Salzburg's home that is in this book "American Farmhouses" by Leah Rosch and Photographed by Keith Scott Morton. The cover photograph is taken in Diana's front entrance .Unfortunately, I cannot find any pictures of the dining room on-line to share with you. If you have the book, Diana's house is featured on page 175 and is titled Country Artistry. The author states that the house is Cape Cod circa 1786 but I think the house is in Litchfield, CT. Diana's dining room display is tone on tone white ironstone that rest in built -in cabinets that date back to 1850. The book is so beautiful with the most amazing photography. Enjoy

Monday, January 11, 2010

Peri Wolfman and Charles Gold

Sometime in the 90's I walked into a store in New York City called Wolfman-Gold & Good Co., and fell in love, I was hooked.  Not just with the products but with the man and woman behind it all and their design philosophy. I wanted to know everything about this married couple.  Peri is the designer and Charles is the  photographer.Since that day I've amassed a large file of Wolfman -Gold and Good tear sheets. I purchased two copies of their book; A place for everything and everything in its place , just in case one get's lost..  Their sense of style , order and symmetry is mesmerizing.  Here are images of their latest home.  It's a black and white Utopia.
all images are from Elle Decor: Point Click Home

Monday, January 4, 2010


Here is an article that my sister Susan and I wrote for Country Decorating Ideas.  After three days of snow I started dreaming about on and you'll understand why.

A Fair To Remember

BRIMFIELD, who would have thunk it?

Nine letters, arranged just so, would give antique lovers such pure pleasure, such exquisite anticipation, such excitement. If you think we’re kidding just ask any of the hundreds who flock there every year searching for the right piece of furniture, architectural element or Halloween paper mache pumpkin,( circa 1930 ),to make their lives complete.

Getting there. Here’s what happens when you take that fateful turn onto exit eight off of the Massachusetts Turnpike. You drive for what seems like an hour, (it’s probably more like 15 minutes, depending on the traffic), thru the town of Sturbridge and into Brimfield center. If it’s your first time you might want to drive down the main thoroughfare just to get a sense of the scope of this place, the sheer colossalness , if that’s a word, of the fair. Anyone who loves antiques and yard sales is going to be about as close to paradise as you can get on the planet.

Now to park. Where, how much should you pay and how will you remember where your car is are all good questions. You can park in a lot like J&J’s, which is one of the sections of the fair, (see map), where you’ll have to pay a premium but the advantage is you’re right there in the thick of things. Or you can park a little further out, (a ¼ to a ½ mile), and walk in. These lots are usually in some enterprising souls backyard. Expect to pay anywhere between $5.oo and $20.00 depending on how close you are to the fair and how large your vehicle is. As for us, remembering where we parked… we make a note in our journal.

Journal? You bet. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or elaborate but it sure comes in handy to note where you spotted that collection of sap buckets or the enameled bread box that you think you might not be able to live without but you’re just not quite sure yet. You see the fair is so big that you’ll want to get a sense of what’s out there and how things are priced, as prices vary. However, that said, if you see something and you love it, (and it seems like a good price), by all means go for it. The journal also comes in handy for a clear headed list of things you’re looking for, which you can write down beforehand. Believe us when we tell you that you will be better off if you have a sense of what you would like to find as well as recorded dimensions for larger items such as bureaus, bookcases, etc…

Pricing. Most prices are negotiable. A good rule of thumb is to offer 10 to 20% below the asking price. Be advised this may not work. If it does the dealer will most likely get a far away look in his/her eye, count silently to ten and respond “all right” or “how about” an amount in between what you have offered and what they have asked. If you have never haggled try out the following phrases in front of a mirror for a week or two, every morning, before you go to the fair; “ Can you do any better on this ? “ or “Would you take X # of $’s for this?”. Also practice your most nonchalant but friendly look. Closer to the end of the fair vendors are usually more willing to barter. Be warned, don’t offer someone $5.00 for an item priced at $100…you’re bound to make an enemy.

Necessary accessories. Here are a few things that we highly recommend you do to make your day more enjoyable.

1. Wear comfortable closed toe shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking and the fairgrounds are either very dusty or very muddy.

2. Wear comfortable clothes. They are a must. Remember, you’re not making a fashion statement. Layering is a good idea too because at 9:oo am you may need a sweater but at 1:oo pm you’ll be glad your wearing your ‘life is good’ t-shirt.

3. Sunscreen is ultra important, unless you like the lobster look.

4. A backpack is a good idea for holding water, wipes, a cell phone, your journal, snacks, and a measuring tape. Keep your money in a secured fanny pack or in a pocket of your clothing. We have never heard of anyone being pick pocketed, but it’s certainly a possibility in this kind of setting.

5. Carts on wheels are a really good idea. You won’t have to lug all your booty around on your back or in your arms. They are sold at various locations at the fair and cost between $20.00 and $30.00. These are sold with or without inserts, get the insert. That way you won’t have to worry about rain or things falling out…well worth the money.

6. Transportation. If you take your car remember to bring rope, bungee cords, and blankets to protect any large or delicate purchases, (there are also vendors who sell these things). If you know in advance that you’re looking for larger items, you may want to rent a small U-haul Van or truck. No fooling, this can be a huge time, frustration and back saver and it’s not too expensive especially if it’s split 3 or 4 ways among a group of your friends. If you do go with a group why not make a party out of it. We usually rent a room at one of the nearby hotels. It’s good to do this several months in advance. This way you can relax at the end of a long day with a cool beverage and a take-out pizza and show off your finds to your friends and see theirs.

Go at your own pace and try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of vendors. There’s a good chance you won’t get through the whole fair in a day maybe even two. Or you may find, as we have, that your funds have run out well before you’ve seen everything.

Paying for it. Cash, checks or credit cards. Most vendors prefer cash, checks are usually acceptable with ID but credit cards are rarely taken, except for large ticket items. ATM machines are available on site. Just ask any one of the helpful dealers or fairground staff where they are located.

We know you’ll love this place as much as we do. There’s something for everyone and it’s always an adventure. If given the choice between a vacation in Bermuda or Brimfield, (with no kids and no hubby, even though we love them dearly), we would without a doubt choose Brimfield, we think you will too.

Written by Kelly Farrington McGuill and Susan Farrington Owen

I paid $5 dollars for the map and $40 dollars for the church bench.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Handbook 2010

I received this yesterday in an e-mail.  I'm not exactly sure where it originates from other than the Handbook 2010.  I usually hate these mass e-mails but this is a keeper and a sharer. It has amazing positives for the new year. I hope you enjoy. 


1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..

4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games

7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day

9. Sleep for 7 hours.

10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your time in the positive present moment.

13... Don't over do. Keep your limits.

14. Don't take yourself so seriously.. No one else does.

15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..

18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...


25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others.

27. Forgive everyone for everything..

28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30. What other people think of you is none of your business.

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

34. GOD heals everything.

35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37. The best is yet to come..

38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:

40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about, I just did.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My girl crush

I've got a serious crush on Ina Garten; everything about her..I love her style, her house, her husband Jeffery. She's absolutely beautiful.  Oh and there's her friends; T.R., Miguel, Michael, etc....She makes me really want to be her friend. Ina  has a way of making everything look simple but elegant.  I'm a huge fan of her interiors. I study her show , not  for cooking tips but for design and styling ideas.  I'd give my right arm(well not really) for the open shelving she has in the kitchen.  And there's that ginormous island...Ina Garten and Robert Stilin, the designer created a space that is beautiful and classic .  I 'm hopelessly devoted to Ina...