May
05
2011

2 Cents On Antiques (Via Fab Blog Friends)

Time for the next segment in my 2 cents series where I let blog friends share their heartfelt opinions on a topic I find interesting. Today’s topic is about antiques. I used to import Swedish antiques to the US before my blog adventure started, I grew up with them and I have always found pieces with some history facinating. You sometimes wish they could talk and tell you what they have seen and heard!

Today you will meet five incredibly talented ladies. They are all successful entrepreneurs and designers, they love to incorporate antiques into their interiors, they have impeccable style and really good eyes for quality and craftsmanship (and you should see their homes). They know what they are talking about and I am absolutely thrilled to have them here today sharing their…

TWO CENTS ON ANTIQUES CLOSE TO THEIR HEARTS

Personal & Educational. You will learn a lot from these talented friends. Enjoy!

My favorite antique piece is an Italian gilt wood architectural element that hangs above our master bed. Steve gave it to me for a surprise holiday gift a few years ago and it has real sentimental value to me. But that isn’t the only reason why I love this treasure. It actually is the perfect embodiment of my design aesthetic. Although this piece is beautifully carved, it doesn’t feel overly precious because of its fantastic weathered patina. Over the years the gilding has worn off in places to expose the grayed wood underneath, adding a bit of rusticity to my fragment. It is the balance between these two worlds:” the elegant” and “the everyday” that makes my heart beat a little faster.

For  more on Brooke and her great blog, visit Velvet & Linen here.

One of my favorite antiques is my Swedish “Mora Clock” which I purchased in Europe over 20 years ago. I had been searching for a very long time when I spied it in a small antiques shop. I immediately fell in love. You should choose an antique which really speaks to you -– if you find one that really resonates with you; you will keep it and love it forever. The most wonderful thing about my Mora clock is that even though I have moved so many times, it has found a home in some of the most unexpected places. The clock has stood proudly in my bedroom, my kitchen, my living room, my dining room  and my entry way. Do not be afraid to buy an antique because you may move to a different size or style of a house. A cherished antique generally can find a suitable place in any room. Just make sure to buy what you love and what speaks to you!

For more on Gina and her great blog, visit Willow Decor here.

To me a Swedish Gustavian Bench is one of the most beautiful and elegant seats you could ever have in your home! You can place it in a room that is more traditional or classic or you can place it in a room that is more of rustic style. If you ever want to change the style of your interiors completely you can still keep the timeless Gustavian bench. It is a real piece of art! The bench even lends itself to being mixed with contemporary furnishings.

Two years ago I discovered a pair of Italian walnut cabinets at a local antiques dealer. And I fell in love! Don’t ask me why, it is not easy to explain. Maybe it is the wonderful proportions or the beautiful stained and aged walnut wood.  Look at the gorgeous paneling of the doors. I would be so happy to own only one of these stunning cabinets! You don’t need much more in a room. (But first I need to raise the ceiling at my house! These cabinets are tall!).

For more on Greet and her great blog, visit Belgian Pearls here.

Anything fabulous, old, and time worn makes my heart beat faster! I believe a personal collection of well chosen furniture, antiques and one of a kind objects is what makes a home uniquely yours. My (I work as a team with my lovely sister) design philosophy centers around this pairing of old and new. I am on a constant search for interesting and unusual pieces. If I had to choose one, it would be a unique antique architectural piece that could either stand alone, be incorporated into the homes’ structure or fabricated into a piece of furniture. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

A couple of images from my own home: In this  first image…three antique marble fragments mounted in the wall above the master bath tub surrounded by mosaic tile.

Here, an old stone bowl made into a sink and reclaimed ballusters support a fabricated cast stone counter top in the powder room.

The history and character of such pieces turn the ordinary into the extraordinary!

For more on Mona + her sister and their great blog, visit Providence Ltd. Design here.

Years ago, out of a basket in the flea market of Vernaison, Paris, I saw some old print blocks that were used on Les Indiennes print fabrics in the South of France. I bought three of them and have enjoyed looking at them ever since. One was used as a border, one was used as a floral stamp and the third was used as a paisley stamp. (That one was darker than the other two). Evidently these Indiennes fabrics were sent from India in the 1600’s and the bright colors from Madder (red) and Indigo washed up just fine on the light cotton fabrics sometimes referred to as “chintz”. They became sought after and were embraced by the French and by Queen Mary in England. We know them today as Provencial prints from the South of France like Souliado. So, since the cotton fabrics became so popular, the silk and linen makers basically objected to them and the prints were banned in both France and England. In a proclamation, England “forbade the wearing of apparel in imported chintz, and also it’s use in any bed, chair, cushion, or other household furniture” (boy did that ever work!! NOT!). By this time the French had already started to make their own blocks. But many of them were ordered to be burned and most of the ones that survived were in the South of France.  

So what did I do with my blocks? Inspired by Monika, I got some fabric paint and took them for a test drive.  This picture shows the results. The three prints are in a bluish (indigo-like) color which I stamped on linen. So, what is the RED?? As I was rinsing off the color of the third and oldest block, I put it down and noticed COLOR coming out of it. I put it upside down on the fabric and guess what it was….The original MADDER RED!!!!  .

For more on Maryanne and her great blog, visit Beadboard UpCountry here.

Thank you so much ladies, it was so much fun to find out which antiques you consider close to your hearts!

The 2 cents series will continue and yes, ALL of my blog friends will be asked to contribute. No one will be forgotten. You see, there are reasons why I follow you all! (:

Happy rest of the week everyone!

Written by Splendid Willow in: 2 cents | Tags: ,

37 Comments

  • Joe Clarke says:

    WOW! Inspirational and educational, indeed! Hard to pick a favorite. Your friends really delivered!

    Well done, Monica.

    JC

  • I really enjoyed this post Monika! I loved learning a little about each of your friend’s and their styles.

    Wishing you a wonderful week! xo

  • i loved learning more about these ladies–all of whom truly know themselves and what they like so they bring a confidence which for me is always inspiring.

    i also love how you organized this post (i’m taking notes)and aspire to someday be able to present my content in a rockin MONIKA-esque fashion.

    hugs.

    michele

  • Monika, Thanks so much for including me in your wonderful series. I’m honored to be included with this group of talented ladies and I loved getting there take on antiques as well. I’ve been inspired by each of them and their wonderful blogs for a long time. No doubt, you are included in that group as well. Hugs to you. Mona

  • This was so much fun, Mon!
    Thank you for including me in this series. I really enjoyed reading about some of my favorite blogger’s treasures. Gina, Greet and I share a love for Swedish antiques. Isn’t Gina’s clock stunning? The architectural fragment that Mona chose looks amazing above her tub! I also appreciate the introduction to Maryanne. I always enjoy meeting new creative people.
    Thank you again!

    xo
    Brooke

  • You know I love this series, Mon. What a great group of talented women! Hope you are well.

    Excited to hear you’re going to Sweden soon!
    xo

  • Ohhhh, Monika, this is a wonderful series. I know well Greet, Mona & Maryann, but I didn’t know the other two, so now I will. What a great idea!! Yes, it will be wonderful to see how your continuation of this type of feature will work…it’s limitless & boundless. And such FUN. xx’s Marsha

  • Delishhh says:

    Great Series and so much fun reading. Nice work. I love the peice over the bed. Would love it in my bedroom :)

  • Greet says:

    Dear Monika,
    Thank you so much for including me in your wonderful 2 cents series! I enjoyed reading about the beautiful pieces my lovely blog colleagues have falllen for! I do think that we are kindred spirits, you included!!
    Thank you again Mon, you are a sweetie!
    xx
    Greet

  • I LOVE hearing from all my favorite blogging designers! and what a super series you have going. It is fabulous!! It is so important that antiques are incorporated into today’s designs. Great Monika!!

  • Whew!!!!! What a busy morning!!! I’m “HOME ALONE” in the shop this AM. So, let me say I think this post turned out really great! Love that piece above Brooke’s bed. The Gustavian Bench, from Greet, the Clock from Gina and Mona’s marble……Great company with all these talented designers…. Thanks for including me! Maryanne xo Have a safe trip….

  • sherry says:

    Monica…thanks for introducing me to a few new bloggers…I think :) More great reading……Also thank you for your sweet comments on my blog about the shelter home. I did feel so good after it was all over and I got to meet the Mom. Just seeing her smile….

  • Such a delightful post, Mon! I love these lovely ladies’ lovely selections. I easily fall in love with old pieces that seem to tell a story.

    P.S. – Your first comment on my post did go through, my dear. You used the name ‘Spring Week’ and it’s a couple of places above your second comment. I treasure your company on my wee blog, my sweet!

  • This was great…..each of them have their own style but my, what style they each have! Fabulous…thats what I love so much about blogging, only being here for 4 short months..and I swear I truly learn something each and every day, its like a classroom! I love it, so many gorgeous images above. Really enjoyed this post. Is class dismissed? Enjoy your afternoon!

  • so many talented ladies! great, Mon! thanks for your lovely comments. You are special! My son turned 1 year this week :-) Many hugs to you

  • wow amazing post, darling! love the combination of antiques and modern designs, old and new, rustic and glamorous. love! xo

  • Style Attic says:

    Well, I loved Mona’s bit! I feel so special for feeling like I “know” her :) I can’t wait to check out the rest of your amazing group of talented women. This was great, education is always key to honing and evolving our own personal styles! XO, Kelly

  • What an amazing lineup here. Fun to see our friend Mona, and love all the great architectural antiques, from relics to benches to clocks.

  • This was so fun to read about! What beautiful treasures – all of them. I have been thinking of trying out some block printing and have seen many at our flea markets here in Munich lately – so maybe this was the final push I needed to go ahead and buy some and try it!
    Thanks for a beautiful post full of inspiration!
    http://bjdhausdesign.blogspot.com/

  • I am in love with that clock!! What a find, and the way it is set up in her home with that precious chair to accent it, I just adore. I am currently looking for a farmhouse table … any suggestions on making that find?

  • Therese Long says:

    Wonderful post Mon!
    Thoroughly enjoyed seeing these cherished treasures!
    xo

  • LiveLikeYou says:

    What a cool series. I’d listen to these ladies and your 2 cents on anything!! (hmm did I just write that in Swenglish?) Just posted your yellow boots on my Facebook page for the perfect Mother’s day gift.
    xx

  • […] From editor in chief Diane Carroll: “Fun to see our friend Mona Thompson of Providence Ltd. included here, with a great roundup of guest bloggers talking about their favorite antique pieces. Love the Swedish style, and love Mona’s bathroom too (we featured her house in November of last year!). (2 Cents on Antiques (Via Fab Blog Friends) via Splendid Willow) […]

  • Mon, we will take one of each of these fabulous antiques. Ladies after our own hearts!!! Could find a place for any of these fabulous pieces. Beautiful! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    Angela and Renee

  • Kicki Ek says:

    Talented friends. Lovely and personal antiques. Of course my heart beats extra hard for that beautiful Swedish bench and clock!

  • Julie at BV says:

    Monika,

    I love the 2 cents today. Full of info and interesting stories like Maryanne’s. I agree with Greet on how versatile a Swedish Gustavian bench can be.

  • Happy Mother’s Day for tomorrow, Mon! many hugs to you

  • Marsha says:

    This is my first time to your blog and it was lovely. I too enjoy the charm of antiques and the stories they tell. I introduce them whenever I can. One of my favorites is a mirror that hangs over my dresser. On each side the gold leaf is all worn revealing the red underpainting. …from where people have held it as they hung it or took it off their wall. Who looked into that mirror and what did they see?….and now that image is me!

  • liza says:

    I love what Gina said about a piece speaking to you, and Maryanne’s info about the stamps is fascinating. I LOVE the Gustavian bench – wow! Such a great group of women! Thank you Monika. And Happy, Happy Mother’s Day to you!
    (I got your sweet comment, too, and will e-mail you!)

  • Anci says:

    Hej !
    Tack för din underbara kommentar ! :)
    Det är en kollega på mitt jobb som har gjort halsbandet (efter min idé´)och hon är jätteduktig. Något ska jag göra (webbutik eller inte)vet inte vad än bara. Det är en del förändringar på gång i mitt liv just nu.

    Det skulle vara så kul om vi kunde ses när du är i Stockholm !! Hör av dig när du vet mer.

    Många varma kramar
    Anci

  • Wow Mon…Great post and wonderful designers! I love GREET!
    Happy Mother’s Day !!!
    Hugs,
    Amy

  • Such beautiful finds all of them – but my favorite is definitely that first photos of the ornate Italian architectural element!

  • Monika, you have
    given me the best
    Mother’s Day present
    all wrapped up with
    a bow in this post!!!
    Loved reading about
    all of these talented
    design blogs {I already
    follow Mona}. The
    Mora clock and Gustavian
    bench make my heart
    go pitter patter : )
    Happy Mother’s Day
    and have a wonderful
    trip to see your mama!
    xx Suzanne
    PS: I wrote you back
    the first time you
    mentioned your mom, but
    YOU have a “no-reply
    blogger” address. Hint,
    hint, hint. I know that
    I can come over and find
    your e-mail, but it is
    SO much handier simply
    to hit the reply button
    and have you get my note.
    Thanks for listening : )

  • Jayne says:

    Great to see how these women used their special finds to make a room sing!

  • Monika, I loved this installment of your 2 cents series. What a lovely layer of interest these antiques add to the spaces featured. And the best thing is that they usually come with a neat story of how they were found or some cool family history. And each of these ladies homes just look amazing!!!
    I hope your trip to see your mom is wonderful and I hope you are having a delightful Mother’s Day. Thank you for being such a good friend. Huge hugs!!
    Nancy xo

  • Tina says:

    Sååå mycket skönhet att begrundas av. Har fått nys om en sådan där Gustaviansk soffa som på bilden med det stora vackra skåpet. Inte alls samma tidsålder men med lite fix kan den nog bli en riktig skönet. Håll tummarna:)!
    Kram och önskar dig en bra start denna nya härliga vecka!!!

  • this one is close to my heart, monika. you’ve gathered all the best here, as well. wonderful post…donna

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