Chairs and a little Windsor

I've been under the weather around here lately. Haven't been into the office this week YET, meaning- I have been laying around my house all day surrounded by kleenex. And not responding to emails (sorry guys!) When I'm not blowing my nose, watching Oprah, or sleeping I've been laying on the couch staring at ways we could change our place. Hmm.. I should hang out here more often.

I also realized that I haven't shared my chair story. It's recent too.

I'm helping my good friend, Catherine, with her living room. I wanted her to put a wing chair in the corner because the room needed some height. But we are working with a tight budget so we decided to stick with the existing chair and wait to get what we really wanted. (Which I recommend in most situations!) But as luck would have it- we struck gold... early. 

Where?     Craigslist, my friends. Yes, It is a hit or miss- much like flea markets and junk stores. But this one particular day I found a post titled: 2 wing chairs for sale, mint condition, $350 for the pair

 Picture looked vague, boring, but it had me intrigued. I called Catherine and said "Let's just go look at them- it's worth a shot." 

We roll up to the house in a pick-up truck, ready to talk business. (Husbands, no snide comments here please.) 


The chairs looked pretty nice up close- Score!... so I flipped up the cushion to see the brand:

H chair 1

(gasp!!) Hickory Chair?!

Catherine gave me the cut-your-throat hand gesture while I scrambled to compose myself: 

"We'll take them... but the fabric is faded in the back-....We'll only pay $300." 


So, as I promised- I took one and Catherine took the other. We rode off in our pick-up truck all excited that we scored a Hickory Chair wingback (retails up to 2K) for $150. Pretty darn good.

 For me- I wanted to dress it up and make it a little more feminine. Believe me, our place needs a little femininininity. Casual, slipcovered, relaxed.  I was inspired by Windsor Smith's home featured in House Beautiful several months ago- let's just say the woman is not afraid to go bold or feminine. I wanted this chair to have a pleated skirt that puddled ever-so-slightly- like these:


And have the simplicity of this:


And I wanted it slipcovered in light sunbrella fabric so I could use it anywhere and get away with white.

Thanks to my slipcover lady I got myself a Windsor inspired chair. Isn't she cute?...




The back is my favorite part. It was a last minute decision and I love how it turned out. And guess what? I can rip it off and throw it in the washing machine. Nothing better than that!


Voila! My little craigslist chair got a facelift. And a sex change (?)... It's possible.

I'll post pictures of Catherine's chair soon. I can hear the Oprah episode now: "Twin chairs separated in childhood, one went through sex change, the other did not. Their FIRST interview together- NEXT Oprah."

Just in case you haven't seen the rest of Windsor Smith's fabulous house, here it is:

















My next step (after taking a long nap) is going to be: find tall black boots... and something orange.

What do you feel inspired to do?


<pictures via House Beautiful>

Rustic Elegance

One of my favorite things to do in life is 

fine dining with people that I love.


There's nothing better. In fact, I think heaven might be a lot like that. Where the dining table goes on and on and on and on...

When we were in North Carolina this past weekend my sweet Dad treated us to dinner at Artisanal- an absolute gem in the middle of Banner Elk, NC.

 where is that? Here.

 Bill Greene, owner and chef, started off at a very young age working at a country club in NC. He then went on to cook at some of the best restaurants in the country- including becoming the sous-chef for one of their 4 star restaurants, Le Cirque,in New York. But apparently the fast pace life didn't work for him because he soon returned to his hometown in Banner Elk- and now graces this tiny town with his amazing culinary skills. 
His precious wife, Anita, runs the show.

<flatware wallpaper by anthropologie>

(+1= reasons to visit Artisanal)

Picture 9

“This place is amazing”. There is no other word to describe the beauty of the setting and the barn like building, but inside is warmth and elegance. We call it Rustic Elegance”. -Anita Greene

I was going to say that I cannot even begin to describe what is was like pulling up to the restaurant but Anita just said it for me... Trust us- it's perfect. The exterior is dramatic with its dark stain and rustic roof yet it gracefully blends into the setting.  +1

Picture 3

And the interior... +1

Where SCALE is everything.

Picture 11

the wine cellar below- amazing. +1

Picture 2

<all images above from artisinal website>

I pulled my camera out to take a few pics of my own but immediately felt like the paparazzi. That combined with my mouth hanging open for 4 hours straight are reasons for dismissal in my opinion. But they let me stay+1... and devour my food. +1


 OTTN: the driftwood horse sculpture... absolutely stunning. +1 Their 'horse theme' is repeated throughout but not overdone in the slightest bit.

***I'd like to state here that the food here is out of this world+1.... the calamari is the best I've ever had. It's not fried but yet it's not raw either-- again, unexplainable. +1


The outdoor dining porch sits beside a quiet stream.+1 We sat at the far table in the back- and let me tell you: a peaceful stream + self-induced food comatose = Night night Rachel.

One reason I loved it is because of the fabulous, carefully selected decor+1 <I can't find the name of the designer for Artisanal but as soon as I find out I will let you know. Whoever you are- I'm very impressed.>

Some items I spotted (or "look alikes"):

Picture 12Hickorychair


Solaria chandelier Picture 14

(1) Lee barstools sat at the bar.

(2) Hickory Chair Gunnison leather chair

(4) My dad, Hoyt and a great looking sofa from I-don't-know-where

(3) Solaria rope chandelier

(4) Lee Grand Lounger chair

I told Anita as I left- "Even your toilet paper holders are impeccable." +1

< they are old horseshoes nailed flat against the wall and carefully bent to hold TP- nothing else to it >

If you'd like to take your spouse or significant other on a romantic getaway for a weekend I highly recommend staying at:

Eseeola Lodge in Linville, NC


and treating yourself to Artisanal for a little taste of heaven.

Picture 6

I just gave you 10+ reasons!!! That's why.


p.s. If anyone in my family is reading this I promise I'll stop talking raving about Artisanal. I admit- I've gone a little overboard and probably embarrassed you in front of the staff. It's only because I think it's amazing... best restaurant I've ever been to... aaaaaand I'm doing it again. 


Nesting Bowls....right up my alley. 

Aren't a nesting bowl type person? You might want to reconsider.

For the earthy, organic type:
spotted via MetHome- for the unique story about them click here.

For the cheery and kid-friendly type:

Conran bowls
or multicolor bowls from William Sonoma
Ws bowls

For the practical, no-nonsense type:

For the eclectic, trendy type:
spotted via elements of style

For the functional, utilitarian type:
Stainless (Nesting) Mixing Bowls
For the simple, classic type:

For the funky, hipster type (Last but Least $)
Rachel ray bowls
Take your pick.

Bedroom on a Budget

Today you will find me over at Style Blueprint, home of Nashville style!  Liza, one of my super-stylish clients, put me up to a challenge to spruce up my guest bedroom on a budget. 

Here's a preview:

Also, if you live in Nashville (or anywhere else for that matter!) you need to add styleblueprint to one of your daily reads. You know those people that find fabulous deals and then keep them to themselves???? I don't either. I think it has to do with living in the south... but this blog is like a secret (southern) club that shares all sorts of deals and steals!

Liza (and Elizabeth), thank you putting me up to the challenge and allowing me to guest-host on your awesome blog!! 

To all my readers- check it out. You won't regret it!
Click HERE to see the post.


Garnet Hill Steps it UP

I used to associate Garnet Hill with J.Jill, L.L.Bean,and to be honest: Mom jeans. (no offense) But I was perusing through their website recently and thought- Daaaang! Garnet Hill's steppin' up in the world!

Either that or I am getting older.

Check out what I found for very reasonable prices....

Garnet lamps   Floor lampGourd  Spindle lamp  Simonpeirce lampQuiltT_Detail
T_Detail3 Zinnia shower curtainState fair pillow
State fair pillow2 
Perhaps a play off Peter Dunham's fabrics?

Go Garnet-!
Out with the Mom Jeans, in with the Cool Beans!

{Yup, I'm getting older.}