Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Martha, Mary and More

Tom and I have had a bit of excitement at the house. Our home and collections were photographed for Martha Stewart Living. Yes, indeed! Hence my absence from the blog - we were busy cleaning, scrubbing, waxing, and polishing everything. Just for Martha :)

I want to thank photographer Helen Norman and Martha Stewart Home Editor Lorna Aragon for working tirelessly throughout the shoot.

With her artistic eye, Helen did a brilliant job capturing each room. I always learn a great deal from my friend Helen. She sees the best angles, and is so creative in manipulating the light. After each photo, I'd say "this is my favorite, Helen!" :)

It was my first time working with Lorna and, wow, talk about impressive! From flowers to furnishings, her thoughtful styling created many lovely vignettes, layers and moments. In addition to being talented, Lorna is quite strong. She insisted on helping move whatever needed moving.

Here we are about to have a quick lunch of yummy Danish Smorrebrod or open-faced sandwiches that Tom made. Helen is seated on the left, while Lorna is on the right. That's me in the middle...always in the middle!
Helen Norman's photos are beautiful. I'll keep you posted on the publication date. 

In the meantime, enjoy these gorgeous flower arrangements that Lorna created. I brought a couple to the shop after the shoot.     
An early spring arrangement of very fragrant hyacinths. I adore their heady, sweet scent. Iconic plantsman Christopher Lloyd once said "If hyacinth scent is cloying, I am perfectly happy to be cloyed." 
These stunning green-and-white parrot tulips take on a modern spirit arranged in this simple fish bowl. With the changing light each tulip reaches here and there, creating a bit of a dance. Don't you think the blooms look hand painted?
Many thanks to Lorna and Martha Stewart Living for the flowers!

Adding to the excitement, I finally met in person a much admired blog friend: the charismatic Mary from A Breath of Fresh Air! She and her husband Bob just enjoyed their golden anniversary. Mary was born in England, and she met the debonair Bob in Washington, DC - the happy couple came to town to celebrate. And, they made a special trip to visit moi in little Bethesda, Maryland :) I couldn't be more honored as this worldly couple has circled the globe. Mary has been to all seven continents, btw. Below is a sampling of her travel photos. 
A N T A R C T I C A
R U S S I A
S W E D E N
C R O A T I A
A R G E N T I N A
I N D I A
V I E T N A M
Z A M B I A
ABOVE: The majestic Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
Did you enjoy that tour around the world? Cool photos, right? Please visit A Breath of Fresh Air for more. Many thanks to Mary and Bob! The pleasure was all mine~

With my crazy schedule, it's been difficult to post regularly on the blog. I'm going to try writing more but shorter posts - fingers crossed. You can also check out my INSTAGRAM account where I share daily snippets of...

New arrivals at Tone on Tone

Homes of clients and friends including:
This conservatory sitting room in CT.
And the living room of artist Jill Bateman.
Our gardens
Our home in DC (update soon)
Our home in Maine
Hope you'll follow along on INSTAGRAM.
Thanks so much!!
Cheers,
Loi

Monday, March 23, 2015

Little Treasures

Spring, we've been eagerly awaiting your return!

Speaking of return, Tom and I are back from a buying trip abroad. There are antique mirrors, garden items, French paintings, Continental and Swedish furniture, decorative goods and a few surprises coming in April / May. So please start making room :)

I couldn't resist bringing a few "smalls" back in our luggage. Though fine furnishings will always be admired, it's the smalls that speak to me. I love handling each object as well as learning about it. Tabletop vignettes, seasonal garden flowers in a favorite vessel, a gallery wall of collected art - those are just a few ways to tell a story with accessories. What is the difference between a beautifully decorated hotel room and a thoughtfully appointed home? The lack of personal accessories.

Before I share my little treasures, let's properly welcome spring with a stroll through the Parisian Marche aux Fleurs on the Ile de la Cite. This petite bijou, located near Notre Dame Cathedral, is the oldest flower market in Paris - it was founded in the early 1800s.
The florist and garden shops are housed in picturesque pavilions dating from the 1900s. Bursts of colors compete with lush greenery.
Monsieur in blue surrounded by a sea of vibrant colors - what a moment!
Stunning, right? Now back to my world of Gustavian grays . . .

Let's see what antique treasures are at Tone on Tone.
On a Swedish Gustavian round table with carved apron, a tablescape of books, candlestick, creamware basket, magnifying glass, and tobacco box greets shop visitors. 

Made of solid brass and measuring a mere 5" w x 3" d x 4'' h, the 18th century English tobacco box is perfect for business cards, desktop items, stamps, etc. Note the acorn finial.
Also from the 18th century is this round magnifying glass with a fancy brass handle. I've seen a similar one in the bibliotheque of a house museum in France (sorry I forgot which museum).
Here is a charming 19th century French oil on board still-life painting of cherries. Including the frame, the dimensions are 9" w x 6.5" h. I love the casual look of it propped on the wall between the American gilded oval mirror and French cherry desk with boxwood trim. Placed on a surface, the painting can be easily picked up and admired.
Also in this vignette is a 19th century English Sheffield loving cup polished down to the copper base - the silver plating is long gone. The cup has been well loved and, with its dings, proudly shows it. This treasure would have held posies from the garden of its mistress; today it is graced with hellebores from mine. I absolutely adore the handles terminating in sweet hearts. 
Another small French oil on board painting. This still-life of apples was painted by a listed artist. Wouldn't it be lovely leaning on a kitchen counter or in front of books on a shelf? 

Next to the painting is a pair of early alabaster vases (4" high).
Restyling the center table with an American blown glass hurricane, English silver plated tray, and Continental brass finial with traces of silver gilt.
The tray holds thoughtful notes, thank you cards, and invitations from friends of Tone on Tone. I have a stack going back 10 years - many thanks!

I wonder where this architectural finial came from - perhaps atop a fence post?
Another look at the 19th century reticulated creamware fruit basket. Without the creamware basket, the antique Chinese vellum trunk might come across as a box without a focal point.
I've styled this Ca 1850s desk and Ca 1760s chair, both Swedish, to suggest a gardener has just slipped away. Gathered on the desk is a myrtle topiary, botanical book, collection of mini pine cones, and a stunning faience dove.

And there is a beautiful little courting mirror from the mid 1800s. The oval form is accentuated with a pie crust edge.  
But the piece de resistance is this Ca 1880s Alcide Chaumeil signed faience dove from Paris. The dove is in mint condition.
Next is an 18th century tapestry fragment. With the antique frame, it measures 4.5" x 5.'' Simply darling!
Antique children's furniture is a personal passion of mine. I appreciate all the attention that goes into making these small scaled pieces.      
ABOVE: A mid 1800s English child's chair with barrel backrest and faux bamboo spindles and legs. The rich patina on the oakwood just glows.

BELOW: From my private collection is this French Napoleon III clubchair made in the 1880s for a pampered child. The proportions, details and craftsmanship on this little guy are top notch. I've had it for years, but time to find it a new home.
So there they are: little treasures! Come see them and, better yet, take them home :)

Cheers,
Loi