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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Mirrors: The Perfect Reflection

There are two things in my home that you will see a lot of, candles and mirrors. The latter has absolutely nothing to do with vanity, in fact on any given day I’m lucky if I have a chance to get out of my P.J.’s before 5PM. If I’m not out sourcing for clients I am at home on the phone “taking care of business,” as a blogger. Bottom line it’s the way most designers bloggers roll. When I used to work for a well known purveyor of all things beautiful in the ATL, an exceedingly talented and well known designer came in with her entourage, in her P.J.’s and a long sweater jacket,  the latter had more “pills” than a Hollywood starlet. It’s a visual that is positively burned into my short term memory. In fact, I have seen her at numerous events perfectly coiffed, dripping in high-end couture (think Paris runway), and all I can think of is a tattered sweater, and Land’s End lounge-wear (on my new Tory Burch messenger bag, I swear it’s true). At that moment, I knew that I could definitely work that look, and I have, to the mailbox, down the street, to the drive thru and once right into my favorite high-style boutique. I just haven’t gone out in public with Mr. B. in my “P.J. Chic”…yet, but it will happen.

So, my point is that mirrors are definitely not for vanity at our house, but used to reflect light, add some sparkle, architectural interest, or to create a little high drama. If you follow my blog, you may have guessed that we actually “live” in our home. I make very few apologies for the toys lining our hallway, or the constant clutter and culinary chaos in our kitchen. I have been in “designer” homes and literally looked underneath the couch cushions to see if there was any evidence of kids (because I knew they had some), or signs of life. Yes, our house is well lived in and our mirrors are strategically placed to reflect back the cleanest parts of our home. How clever is that? Here are some of my favorite mirrors, inside some of the most amazing spaces, some of the interiors I have been fortunate enough to step foot in. P.S. I wish I could show you some of my own well-loved mirrors, but I just signed my life away with a company that is using some photos of our home in a marketing campaign. Say what? Hopefully our cleaning lady can wave her “Mr. Clean” wand and transform Casa B. into some much needed semblance of order, or at least find hiding places in between our cushions that haven’t already been taken.

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Courtesy/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

This mirror at one of my favourite watering holes in NYC-General Assembly, not only reflects the light, but adds architectural interest to an otherwise empty wall…

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Credit-House of Parker

This mirror in a simple frame, balances the artwork, and  gives the illusion that the studded console is taller than it actually is…

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Credit-Aclure Interiors

Foxed mirrors are the perfect backdrop to sophisticated, transitional spaces.

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Photo-Vicki Bolick/ theaceofspaceblog.com

This Federal style mirror is so fitting over the mantel of this century old mansion. I love the way it captures the chandelier in the room. Located in Memphis, Tennessee it’s a must see if your ever in “Elvistown.”

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Courtesy/Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

A large grouping of similarly toned mirrors goes a long way in creating visual impact…

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Photo-designinspo

This is such a clever way to mount a few mirrors, on a painted board or door. It also allows you to move this piece around the room….Genius.

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Photo-Vicki Bolick/ theaceofspaceblog.com

A large mirror leaned against a wall warms up this dining space…

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Design-Vicki Bolick/ theaceofspaceblog.com/ Photo-Christina Wedge

This was a space I designed for a couple who moved back to the states from Singapore. The large wall needed more visual pizzazz without detracting from the artwork, so I added mis-matched mirrors, which also served to reflect light back into the space…

I hope you have an amazing 4th of July holiday! P.S. Well be back with our “Tastemaker” series next week with more fabulously talented designers! So don’t forget to check back…

As always,

Be Inspired. Be Amazed.

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The Ace Around Town-“Tastemaker Series”:: Angie Hranowsky

 

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I have a bucket list, or a list of sorts which has the title “Designers I Will Hire When I’m Rich.”  In this ideal dream world that I have created, I will own a mansion in Newport, Rhode Island  one of “The Gilded Age Mansions” (you absolutely have to dream big). It will have many rooms, enough that I could hire each of my design “fixations” to complete and finish a room. Angie Hranowsky would be one of the “chosen.” I don’t know exactly when she first caught my eye, but she has been in my folder, the one that sits on my desk as inspiration and a little motivation to “never stop creating beauty.” Angie has been hailed as one of Traditional Homes “20 Designers to Watch” and watch I am. Not only has she ranked on some of the design industries most coveted lists, but her work has been featured in top shelter magazines such as House Beautiful, Metropolitan Home & Domino. With a flawless melding of periods & textures, her affinity for color has made her a standout in a world that for so long has been held captive in an endless sea of beige. (I do want to clarify that I have the utmost respect for neutral tones).  After a slump in the economy had many tightening their purse strings and making conservative choices, a refreshing burst of colour is what the world needs right now. This Charleston based designer is anything but traditional, and is redefining Southern design- paving the way for a whole new breed of “Style-makers.”

So a few weeks ago I approached Angie, she was ever so gracious in responding and agreed to be a part of our “Top 10 Southern Tastemakers.” The fact that all of our picks are extremely busy and have little precious time to spare, it is an honour to have them agree to be featured. So we e-mailed back and forth, and then I received the final draft. I was in the waiting room of a firm that we might team with on a product launch. I’m telling you this story because of what is yet to follow. They were running late, (and I was on time) so I decided to check e-mails and saw one from Angie, I opened it, and the images she sent effected me in such a way that I had tears in my eyes. That’s right, in the waiting room of a future client. So when one of the team members came out to let me know they were ready, my eyes were brimming chock-a-block full of salty pools on the verge of spilling over. Talk about a great impression. Of course, trying to explain the cause was challenging, but when “the Team” saw the images, it was amidst gasps and ooooh’s…and ahhhh’s, and the handing over of a box of tissues. Our reactions were a true testament to Angie’s ability to not only create interiors that evoke powerful emotion, but are also reflective of the people who are lucky enough to live in them. So without further ado…I want to introduce our 4th “Tastemaker”-Angie Hranowsky.

logoforinterviewsWas there a defining moment in your life when you knew that design would be your career?

I started my career as a graphic designer, which I loved very much. But it was when we bought and renovated our first home that I knew my true passion was interior design. I’ve always loved interiors and spent countless hours designing rooms for my Barbies. From the time I was in college I was transforming my apartments, painting every surface and scouring vintage and second hand stores for pieces I could transform. So once I got  my hands on an entire house the deal was sealed.

logoforinterviews Do you have a favorite room in a home that you like to design?

I really like to design all rooms. I guess if I had to choose I would say living and family rooms, and kitchens. I love the possibilities that living-rooms and dens offer in terms of furniture plans and how they function. Kitchens provide the opportunity to work with amazing materials, and I love the challenge of coming up with original plans for cabinets and islands.

logoforinterviewsHow would you describe “Angie’s Style?”

I would describe my style as “Relaxed Modern”. I’m a modernist at heart, but I love color and texture and mixing different styles. I like to create spaces that feel like they’ve been collected over time.

logoforinterviewsWhat is the one thing that most people wouldn’t know about you?

I love to play backgammon.

logoforinterviewsWhat is the one piece of furniture you covet in your home?

My 4-poster chrome bed.

logoforinterviewsThe interiors you design are so evolved and have a fresh modern vibe. What is your favorite design style to work in? 

I’m most drawn to mid-century furniture and architecture.

logoforinterviewsDo you have someone that influences your design?

Gio Ponti and Anita Pallenberg.

logoforinterviewsYou have achieved so much in your career, where will we see you in five years?

With a growing design firm and collaborations for a line of lighting or textiles, perhaps a book…we’ll see.

I want to thank Angie for being a part of our series, and of course I look forward to seeing what the future will hold for this design heavyweight. So now my readers you are in for a very special treat…no further words needed.

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Photo courtesy/ Angie Hranowsky

Colour play…

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Photo courtesy/Angie Hranowsky

The perfect mix…

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Photo courtesy/Angie Hranowsky

Modern glamour…

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Photo courtesy/ Angie Hranowsky

Textural & so very stylish…

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Photo courtesy/ Angie Hranowsky

Curated collections…

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 Photo courtesy/ Angie Hranowsky

Art, action, lighting…

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 Photo courtesy/ Angie Hranowsky

An artful display…

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Photo courtesy/ Angie Hranowsky

Pattern play…

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Angie’s Top Five…

I know you are speechless right now…

Until next week.

Be Inspired. Be Amazing.

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