Archive for the 'Collections' Category


The Holiday Pickins at Sullivan Hardware

Wildflower Home
(Dave, doing his best “discrminating shopper.”)

A few years back Sullivan Hardware, an old Indy standard, opened a store at Keystone and 71st. Their new place features Wildflower Home, a stand alone cottage which carries their home dec stuff and product that Dave and Ken really like. I’ve been pretty ambiguous about the place. They have a few nice things, sort of pricey. I would normally put it into the “lots of potential” category, but this time around I liked more of what I saw.

I still think I may have to make this wreath work somewhere in our house. Kitchen maybe?

Wildflower Home Wreath

And for some reason I love this metal deer head. Dave suggested it might look good on our back porch. I think it could look equally great in an all white modern space or a cabin. How about a kid’s treehouse?

Metal Deer Head

There’s typically plenty of real greenery around here, but actual berries can be hard to find. These Winterberry branches were really nice.


And I loved the painted branches, too. Would be worth the five or so bucks not to have to choke on the fumes.

Painted Branches

This train is the kind of thing kids will remember when they are older.Train Station

The only sour note was when it was my turn to check out at the hardware store. A random couple from Brownsburg (for some reason they announced their origins when they waltzed through the door) approached my guy and said they wanted their Christmas tree. And instead of calling someone or smiling and saying, “you’re welcome to get in line” or “I’ll be with you in a moment” he just walked away to help them, leaving me standing there. After watching him futz around with them for a few minutes and waiting longer than I should have, I finally put my stuff down and left. Dave told me I should have said something, but sometimes (admittedly, not often) I just don’t feel up to arguing.So if you aren’t in a hurry and need some greenery (or red-ery), a free bag of popcorn, or a few interesting holiday things, you may want to stop into Sullivan.


Patterns, Color and Winterthur Revisited

I’m intrigued by how good designers mix patterns. Henry F. DuPont’s, Winterthur, is a great place to see a seemingly infinite number of ways to do it.

I took John there for his birthday a few years back because I knew he would enjoy the craftsmanship of some of the finest examples of wood furniture in the U.S. As DuPont turned his estate into a survey of high quality non-native American furniture (approximately Empire and before), he also created a giant canvas on which to layer his talent for putting rooms together (and gardens, but that’s another post).

Julie and I have been exchanging comments lately about color in neutral rooms. While the elements of DuPont’s dining room are a little more reserved than Julie’s more worldly style, the basic idea of using color with a neutral background is here—the fabrics carry the color.

Dining Room

The architectural elements are allowed to shine on their own with a neutral coat of paint (more of an oyster than the pinkish color you see here), and maybe a few highlights (see the trim on the doors). The rich wood of the furniture also gets to play a major role.

I like that the drapery fabric and the chair covers are the same medium sized pattern. Sometimes I think I’m afraid to use a fabric in other parts of the same room. I don’t know why (maybe it’s an attempt to avoid the catalog look). But a few repeated fabrics, even a vibrant stripe like this one, can give a room unity of design, calming the space. If I remember correctly the stripe and the large pattern of the rug are the only two fabric patterns in the room and the differences in scale work well together.

floating staircase

The stair hall (not a great picture, sorry) is an even more refined space, with light and airy Federalist pieces, which play nicely with the floating staircase – delicate, but sturdy. Anyway, the green of the settee fabric, which in another application might be considered bank-ish or too heavy handed looks downright understated in this setting.

chinese parlor 2. jpg

There’s nothing understated about the Chinese parlor. I love it, with all of its game and tea tables everywhere (mostly, if not all, American Rococo, aka Chippendale), and that great (in every sense of the word) wallpaper that makes you feel like a character in a giant storybook. The whole room is a big, elegant play room for grown-ups, but really, wouldn’t kids be happy here, too?

chinese parlor

I’ve never worked with pattern on the scale of this wallpaper, but I like it, especially that DuPont made it work with two large rugs and the large pattern in the two different green damasks. The sturdy forms of the furniture ground things. And now that I look at it so do the drapery and sofa fabrics, which even though they are a damask pattern read as a solid when seen next to the wallpaper.

If you are a furniture/design or even a garden buff, Winterthur is well worth a trip for inspiration.


Goodbye Winter Buffet


Finally time to start thinking about the transition to spring. This wasn’t my favorite winter buffet design. I don’t think it ever really came together. But it did get me through the season and looking at it reminded me of some good people and times.

Close up

-From left to right, the candle was a Christmas present from John.
-The plate stand was from a trip to Target with Dave.
-The Nautica earthenware was an outlet find of John’s (10 place settings and all of the serving pieces for $110.00) on one of our old trips to Branson.
-Mercury ball and the “C” were birthday presents from Dave. The “C” (a Dave original) is for Claire and is wood painted to look like b and w damask. Little cardinal was a Dave Christmas present.
-Sweet red box was part of a Christmas present from Lori.
-The lamp was “at the auction” with John’s mom.
-The runner was on the bargain table at Williams Sonoma as was the mistletoe garland (from Country Friends).

Sometimes good memories can overcome so-so design.


Lara Collects

Drove through snow, freezing rain and a lightning storm (!) on Saturday to get to Lara and Frank’s (and Lucy and Zoe’s) house for Movie Night. (Here in Indiana you can’t afford to let winter weather keep you from living your life.)

Our movie night selections tend toward the semi-obscure, thoughtful and fun films. This time it was Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Since Hedwig spends time in East Berlin as well as a Kansas trailer park, sources for food inspiration were plentiful. Susan brought meatless meatballs that were excellent and won the award for most ironic appetizer.

Lara and I worked together at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She is smart, fun and very stylish. Her home is lovely and I’ll post pictures of it someday, but this time around I had to show you her snowglobe collection.


Well part of it anyway, there’s actually another wall of them.


I keep meaning to ask Lara about this one with the woman in flames (in a snow globe–tee hee) and chains. Every time I’m there I end up looking at it for a long time and then forget to ask Lara where it came from.

Frequently home collections made up of things like snowglobes show up in more random or haphazard interiors, but Lara is a highly ordered person, which came in very handy when we worked together. Here’s one picture (of a kickin’ etagere) to prove that Lara and Frank’s primary decorative impulse isn’t wacky Fun House…