Affordable Luxury (Drapery) For The Home :: Barn & Willow

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A few months ago I was contacted by Trisha Roy, the founder and creative force behind the luxury brand Barn & Willow www.barnandwillow. As a design blog, I receive many inquiries, but some innate six sense of the design-kind caused me to visit her website. My interest was piqued. Her mission was clear, to redefine luxury, one room at a time combined with a belief that “everyone deserves a beautiful home,” Needless, to say our philosophies intersected at “luxury” and “beautiful home.” In an age of big box stores with big mark-ups, there are few options available to designers or homeowners who are in the market for quality linen drapery. I personally adore linen, and it’s versatility in design. It works beautifully in interiors ranging from contemporary to traditional, but the cost is prohibitive for most. Quite frankly, the designer in me always cringed when I looked at prices and there were times I was left wondering if it (linen) was ever going to be an affordable option for clients.

I think that search is over. With a keen eye for quality and a commitment to realistic pricing, Barn & Willow is simply a breath of fresh air. They are quite possibly the answer to a designer’s prayer. If you’re a designer, then you know how difficult it is to propose product that has a high price tag coupled with poor quality and a client that insists on the very best with a limited budget. It is a scenario that happens all too often. So when a company comes along that offers the finest linen, carefully crafted and fairly priced, you take notice (I know I did). I want to share with you an interview with Trisha Roy (TR) Founder of Barn & Willow (www.barnandwillow.com), I think you’ll be as impressed with her vision and products as I am.

logoforinterviewsHow did you come up with the idea for Barn & Willow?

TR-My husband and I were buying drapery for our new home, and we started our search in high-end stores. What we found was that the prices were high and out-of -range for what we were looking to spend. Everywhere we went we were pushed in the direction of in-home design and sales pitches for overpriced custom made drapery. Frankly, the whole process was exhausting, and with the high cost of linen, we were afraid that we would have to live with bare windows. This experience really motivated me to dig deeper. What ensued was months of research and meetings and visits to fabric mills located in different countries. It was through this process that I was able to forge strong relationships with some of the finest linen mills in Belgium. After discovering that mark-up on linen can be a staggering 200% when purchased through upscale stores,  I became committed more than ever to finding the finest quality linen, and making it an affordable option.

logoforinterviewsIs the linen drapery also constructed in Belgium?

TR-No. After visits to different manufacturing facilities, I found a group of skilled craftsmen in India who have been sewing drapes for generations. It was a critical part of our business model to bypass the middlemen, and deal directly with the manufacturers. I felt that the craftspeople in India had the high standards that were necessary in constructing our high quality linen drapery. They truly treat each stitch as a labor of love.

logoforinterviewsYou are so passionate about linen, what is it about this fabric that has created such a demand in home interiors market?

TR-It’s crisp, clean, soft and yet strong and durable. The best of all worlds really. I truly believe that it is the most natural fabric which brings the right amount of richness, luxury, and down to earth practicality into a space. Each of our drapes is made from 100% Belgium linen,  from the world’s finest Belgian flax fibers. These drapes are made to work well in many different interior styles.

logoforinterviewsWhat is the design philosophy of Barn & Willow?

TR-It’s simple. You shouldn’t have to overspend to have a beautiful home. Elegant design, thoughtful craftsmanship, exceptional service and realistic prices are all non-negotiable.

logoforinterviewsTell us a little about Trisha Roy, creative force behind Barn & Willow…

TR-I love exploring home décor and ideas, my friends all think we are constantly re-designing or remodeling but all I do is re-arrange furniture or add a few pieces to give a fresh look. I’m also a “foodie,” I love to try out different cuisines and experiment at home with my friends. As you may have guessed travel is in my blood, I have traveled across all continents and major countries. I am intrigued by the lifestyles in smaller towns and villages. In fact, I always make it a practice to eat with the locals in their houses. There are some sites out there where you can meet locals and eat with them. Not a bad way to travel. The one place I still have yet to visit is Morocco, I love the culture the food and the intricate designs of furnishings and textiles. When I’m not working and need a little “down-time,” I love to watch foreign films, some of my favorites are “Le diner de cons” or “Cinema Paradiso.” In fact, I’ll share a small secret I wanted to become a movie star when I was a kid (which is no longer a secret I realize).

logoforinterviewsWhat is the mission of Barn & Willow?

TR-To offer home décor that is thoughtfully design, carefully crafted and priced fairly. We are challenging convention by offering high-end, made to order drapery at reasonable prices. We believe that everyone deserves to have a beautiful home…

logoforinterviewsThanks, Trisha for sharing your vision and mission of Barn & Willow…

An “Ace” note-Barn & Willow sends out linen swatches for free, all five fabrics will be shipped to you within 3-5 business days. You can also connect with their designer for personalized styling tips http://barnandwillow.com/pages/talk-to-us . Now for a very special treat-for 30 days they are offering a 5% discount to my readers when purchasing drapery, just enter the code LINEN at checkout.
P.S. I have the swatches sitting in front of me and the quality is simply incredible.  Now for a little eye-candy…

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Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

 These are sitting in front of me as we speak…the quality leaves me speechless (if that’s possible)….

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 Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

Oh the possibilities…

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Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

It’s all in the details…

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 Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

And the spotlight is on….

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 Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

The perfect puddles….

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 Photo/ Courtesy Barn & Willow

Glam it up, or down…

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 Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

Stunning from top to the bottom…

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 Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

“Everyone deserves a beautiful home…”- Trisha Roy

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Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

Sheer luxury…

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Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

Sumptuous sheers to let the light shine in…

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Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

Handcrafted stitching…

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Photo courtesy/ Barn & Willow

An array of eye-catching neutrals…

Barn & Willow is graciously offering a 5% discount to my readers for the next 30 days, just enter LINEN at checkout. To see the complete collection visit http://barnandwillow.com/collections/drapes

Although, we received compensation for this post, the musings & product review are entirely my own. As always, we will never review any product or service unless it meets our brand standards.

Until next time…

BE INSPIRED. BE AMAZED.

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Hey There Pretty Bird! :: Peacock Chairs

Is mercury in retrograde this month? If it’s not then there has to be a reasonable explanation for all the crazy that is happening. If I were to share some of the crazy with you, I think you would agree that it can only be attributed to some seriously maligned stars. From missed flights, to head-scratching e-mails, and RAC (Random Acts of Crazy) performed by others. I know we have all had those weeks (or months in my case), and with a final vacation looming I can only hope upon my return life will fall back into place (somewhere between normal and holy &%” moments).

Although, I am on a whirlwind of non-stop summer travel with the Fashionista in tow, I did have opportunities to fill my design bucket full of inspiration. Most recently on a farm (in my red Tory Burch flats). What better place? Yes, there were enough animals on the farm to fill a fleet of Arcs, and almost an entire memory stick on my Canon. So what did I see, while everyone else was focused on cows, goats, chickens and just about every four-legged creature on god’s green earth? I saw horns for tabletop displays, bird feathers to fill a vase, chicken eggs in colors to inspire any paint palette, wool from Alpaca’s that would make cozy throws for the winter, pastoral scenes that should be painted on canvas, a herd of Scottish Highland cows with hides so shaggy that I could just hug them (no I wasn’t thinking rugs). Okay, let’s go back to the feathers, the NY farm we visited had a “muster” (hey, who knew?), of Peacocks roaming the barnyard and spreading their covert feathers for our viewing pleasure (think extravagant & eye spotted). Although, I don’t have Peacock feathers in my home (but I sure would like a “muster” hanging out in our backyard), I have a deep appreciation for the range of rich colours and the design possibilities that inspired me to write this post. So this post isn’t neccessarily about colour, but about designs inspired by this wonder of the animal kingdom, and more specifically the Peacock chair. I had one in my 20′s a gift from a former boyfriend. I coveted that chair. It made its gypsies journey with me from NY to Washington back to NY and then Atlanta in the span of 13 years. Then as luck would have it-an armoire fell on it in the moving van from NY crushing my treasured chair, and hopes of sitting in it during my golden years. So if you think the Peacock chair harks back to hippies and Woodstock, think again because this marvel of design ingenuity is poised for a comeback, or maybe, just maybe, it never really left…

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Credit/Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

This is the picture that started it all…and one of my personal favourite snaps of all time. 

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via biojouandboheme.com

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via annadonohueinteriors.com

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via ladolcevita.com

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Designer/ Angie Hranowsky

Angie is one of our “Ace Around Town Southern Taste-makers” this year…see our interview here: http://wp.me/p25JdX-24M

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via elledecor.com

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via Sam Durant

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 via elledecor.com

So there you have it the fabulous, misunderstood Peacock Chair…

Next up is Jane Goetz in our “Tastemaker Series” she just finished having photos of current work taken….and I can’t wait to share! I want to let my readers know that we are experiencing growing pains, and we are in the midst of adding a new section “The Ace of Entertaining.”  Also, starting in September we are going to start posting five days a week (with some very talented Contributors), I’ve got some amazing things planned, (fingers, and toes crossed)…and a complete renovation of our masterbath to share with you all courtesy of Kohler. We are so excited over at The Ace of Space to be partnering with this industry leader.

On Monday check back and read our interview with the fabulously talented designer-Jane Goetz.

Until then…

BE INSPIRED. BE AMAZING.

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Why I Forgive Restoration Hardware…

Over the 4th we packed the car full of swim toys, new luggage (I retired my well-worn set after it survived the injustices of being relegated to cargo on too many occasions to count), and picnic baskets. Regarding the luggage- I just transfer the contents of one un-packed suitcase into my new leather Bric’s set (a gift), add a few more clean pieces and Voila! If I were a lifestyle or fashion blogger you can bet I would go into great detail along with info-graphics showing you the “how-to’s” of my unique packing system.  By summer’s end, all I’ll have to do is store away the suitcase, no unpacking required.

The Fashionista and I are in the midst of a whirlwind of non-stop travel, most is personal travel with a touch of business mixed in (when I can). Back from Charlotte off to NY on Friday. Even through the hectic pace of the summer, I have actually managed to get work done, if you’re a Mom you know what I mean. Yes, I have used the little snippets of free time to hide myself in the closet (thank goodness the internet reaches the clothing catacombs of our house), the mosquito infested garden (dousing myself with every Citronella product known to mankind), and in the garage sitting on a large bucket of paint. The list goes on and on. So this weekend, with the help of my sister I was able to grab several hours of pure uninterrupted “me” time. I headed off to a mini-shopping mecca in the”tony” South Park area of Charlotte. While sitting inside the culinary paradise of Dean & DeLuca, sipping tea and sampling sugary delectable’s non-stop (another form of working out “hand-mouth, hand-mouth”),  I decided to take a leisurely walk, of which I was under a strict moratorium of window shopping only (imposed by the hubby). Hmm…there is Restoration Hardware. I peeked in. Then I took one step, and another until both feet were firmly planted on the other-side of the door threshold. It’s been years since I actually have done more than look through a window. Why? Because they changed quite a few years ago, and I was never sure how I felt about the new “RH Look.” I’m not a fan of change, and it was such a dramatic departure from their signature look of 5 or 6 years ago (or more) that I moved on. As a design blogger, I feel responsible to bring inspirational interiors, product, and even stores you can’t live without to the masses.

So from time to time, there were little nudges in the form of catalogs, well photographed and curated. Still, no. Then “the stack” came in the mail. If you are in the design field or a preferred customer, you’ll know precisely what I mean. It was heavy, I mean it was “flair up the old hernia heavy.” A stack of admittedly design heaven, that left  you wondering if you should bring it from the mail box into the house using a hand-truck. Don’t get me wrong, I understood the thought process. One large mailing would save money, and trees and cut back on trips to the mailbox. I’m sure they gave it a lot of thought, and since I don’t run a mail room the size of North America, who am I to judge? There were social media dissertations on the size of the mailing, and then there was the “calm” after the “storm.” On Saturday, I forgave them, because after I walked into the store and actually looked around I was impressed. Very impressed. I would even go out on a limb, and apologize for literally judging this book by it’s cover. They have won me back. The store in Charlotte was the equivalent of walking through a show-house, a very livable one. I mean that in the nicest way possible. It was “lord of the manor” perfect.  If I take out my camera on a day when I have a few hours of quiet, then you know I have been duly impressed. Which is my point, the few hours I had of peace and quiet were spent taking pictures and asking questions. The staff were very accommodating and nice, a huge shout there. Taken with my trusty i-Phone, I wanted to share the excitement, and hopefully give you some inspiration, because this company has certainly set the bar. So hopefully Restoration Hardware you forgive me for ever doubting you. You have won me over in a really big way.

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Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Endless possibilities as far as the eye can see…

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

I love map gallery walls, and honestly no one does it better. The heavy pewter-ware creates the perfect table-setting atop the trestle table. Simple is better, and less is more.

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Large pillars, upholstered benches, floating shelving and a quadrefoil mirror and you have the perfect entryway.

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

A closer look at the fabulous tables-cape. Cooked goose anyone?

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

I took this photo to highlight the gorgeous chandelier. This piece is large and “in charge” whether over a table or hanging over a bed. What doesn’t look better under glass?

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Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

 I love groupings on tabletops, and of course stacking books gives a collection more importance wouldn’t you agree?

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Which gives me an idea, even though this showcases various tablesettings, why not put silverware in urns on the table? This would allow your guests to help themselves from a unique display.

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Artful living…

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Photo/Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

This photo is actually from my archives, and I took it when I was in NYC in the Flatiron District, and happened by Restoration Hardware. I loved them all, and thankfully I didn’t have to chose one (how hard would that be?).

Who isn’t inspired by the vignettes in this lifestyle store? Frankly, I was glad that I took a moment to look around, and next year when I get the delivery catalogs full of visual luxe, I’ll definitely be hoarding the stack..

P.S. We will hopefully be posting another “Tastemaker” this Friday, many of our designers are photographing new work and want it to be included. But, we have the line up in place. Good things will come to those who wait.

A Master-bath Update: My Kohler product is beginning to arrive, and soon I’ll be taking you on a renovation journey of our Masterbath, complete with a vanity I designed with Kohler. I can’t wait to show you all the fabulous product from their luxury line that they provided us for our renovation. Thanks also to the team over at Sharp Communications in NYC, specifically Josh Schoenfelder, and Kate Harrington! Over the next two months Casa B. will be under construction, all I have left is make a decision about the tile. So MANY choices…

As always.

Be Inspired. Be Amazed.

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