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…


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: ,


2 Cents On Lovely Design Trends (via fab friends)

If I could, I would have blog friends over for dinner all the time. There is so much talent to tap into and by nature I’m a very curious person. I love to learn.

 Today, I am starting a brand new series, I’ve named:

“Two cents” on topics I personally want to learn more about.

 This is as close to a dinner conversation as it gets with virtual friends.

I am kicking off the series with these four wonderful, kind, smart and incredibly design savvy blog friends. I seriously want to live inside their heads.

Today they are sharing 2 cents on ONE design trend which they have really taken to heart.


P.S Can I tell you just how thrilled I am to start building an extensive portfolio on my blog with personal thoughts by really great & talented people! The button for this series will permanently be listed in the right hand column of my blog.

My 2 cents on a design trend I seriously heart; the perfect pairing of old and new, modern and vintage, sleek and rough … I can’t get enough of this beautiful layered look. It combines a good dose history with a touch of modernity. These rooms give us the feel that pieces have been added and altered over a long period of time, rather than selected from the same store and plopped into place all in one afternoon! I adore the tension between old herringbone floors and a clean-lined sofa, or the sparkle and shine of a crystal chandelier juxtaposed against a lovely raw wood table. This look is very fitting with the ‘Rustic Glam’ trend that has really taken off this year, and I have been itching to attempt a little bit of this striking contrast in my own home!

You will find the talented Nancy over at Marcus Design.


Just the word alone elicits feelings of grandeur and glamour. Say it quietly to yourself….gold. An instant feeling of warmth surely transcends. From the very beginnings of history, gold has signified wealth and prestige. Molded into opulent jewelry and made into furnishings fit for royalty, gold has always elicited great reverence.

It is this historical root that makes gold such a delicious trend. Timeless and safe from faddish whims, gold enjoys a stable desirability that makes it a perfect choice.

On a personal note, I’ve been exceedingly drawn to it recently because of its unabashed glamour. Gold makes no apologies for being what it is. Pure, sexy and undoubtedly gorgeous, this precious metal is the definition of confident style. Even a touch instantly elevates a space, a mood, a look to a place it couldn’t have reached without it. Gold. A trend that is by definition not trendy. And is thus, perfection personified.

You will find the talented Christine over at Bijou and Boheme.

A trend that I’ve been loving for a while is oversized drum shade pendants. I just love the great impact they make and also how versatile they are. They can work with any style of room and just about any space – as long as the ceiling height is there. Doesn’t the light just make this room? Short and crisp — my 2 cents!
You will find the talented Ally over at From The Right Bank.
More than a trend, a design principal that I much, much love is: layers, layers and layers. It could be applied to walls or on floors. There is no space-restriction issue involved in the process and it transforms a home instantly by adding interest to your existing colors and textures. It’s also an easy way to update your home year-round for the different seasons. Did you fall in love with a Kilim at the grand bazaar in Turkey? There is always space on your existing rug to layer it on. How wonderful is that?  The same case with a mirror, by hanging art or a contrasting mirror in front you are instantly creating that “behind the scene” feeling of expansion and dynamism that makes any home far more interesting and collected.

You will find the talented Julie over at Belle Vivir.

Thank you so much friends for sharing your personal design thoughts with us! I’m really looking forward to building a great archive on many topics from around the blog world. Perhaps enough so I won’t have to stress about going to all the magazines to keep current (ha!). 

All of my blog friends will be involved — sooner or later. They are sitting on a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Warm hugs to you all.

Image credits: No. 1 (2 cents button) via Splendid Willow. Images via Bijou and Boheme: {via Elle Decor, Left in the Dirt, Pinterest, From Me-To You, Everything Fab, This is Glamorous,  World GalleryErin Ever After, The Die Line, Lonny, We Heart It, Design Crisis, Desire to Inspire}. Images via Belle Vivir: (no. 1 via Hamish Bowel’s house , no. 2 via  Michael Bruno’s house).

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