I’m always a multi-tasking interior designer, so why shouldn’t my blog posts follow suit? Just this week, I was in the process of pulling together some client projects, while also making plans to spend the day at our local, (Charlotte, NC), antiques’ show, the Metrolina Tradeshow Expo Big Fall Classic. I’ve been an avid attendee for at least the last fifteen years! It has morphed from being only about antiques and collectibles, to providing savvy shoppers with some pretty fabulous interior design finds. The key to making it work for you is to have a creative eye . . . or at least the ability to take a pair with you!
(Eddie is as warm as his picture! In the photo to the right, he’s showing our group how to consider using vintage trims. We received many pearls of design tips, on this trip.)
Since it seems I’m always sourcing for the unique and different, as well as to think of creative solutions for even the most simple items, I decided I would borrow another designer’s vision. How exciting to know those peepers would belong to none other than the immensely talented Eddie Ross! If you aren’t as familiar with Eddie, as his enthusiastic following of fans might be, Eddie comes to the world of design via a background in catering, event design, and editing. (Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, and the Food Network – just to drop a few names.) You might also enjoy listening to a podcast, with Eddie and his partner, Jaithan, on the Skirted Roundtable. I’ve always enjoyed the intimate, conversational style interviews with guest designers. (Eddie’s award-winning window, at Bloomingdale’s, representing “Elle Decor” is a primer in framing multiple elements.)
It seems, back in the spring, several fans kept nudging Eddie to head into Charlotte and to share a tour, much as he’s done at places like Scott’s, in Atlanta. (I have three places to antique on my bucket list – Scott’s, Brimfield, and Round Top. One day . . . one day!) Eddie, and his partner Jaithan, decided to put Metrolina on their calendar and the count-down began! While he also made stops by the lovely Mrs. Howard’s and Interior’s Marketplace, I wanted to join-in on the thrill of sourcing. No matter how much we’ve all attended a venue, it’s always nice to be offered a different perspective.
If you weren’t able to join the tour, I won’t dwell too much on how much you might have missed. (It was definitely a great time!) I’ll be a good gal and take you along on a virtual stroll, down the aisles, while I share some of Eddie’s finds and designs, peppered with a few of my own, and I’ll end it with a local “go-to” source for framing beautiful interior treasures!
Who would have thought to place such a delicate christening gown between a pair of graphic patterned panels? Eddie has the gift of knowing how to meld and balance all things modern and traditional. He referred to it as “traditional cool”, during our walk around the flea market. While I think he should copyright that phrase, I hope to borrow it, from time-to-time!
I captured a few spots of video, along the way. In the one above, Eddie shared pointers about framing some textile or quilt remnants. Not only did we see beautiful objects, their potential was unleashed via Eddie’s keen sense of design!
Eddie discussed the concept of looking deep into bowls or plates to find unusual color palette combinations to inspire you for your room. He also shared the idea of framing them as wall decor. This dealer had a well-rounded collection of silver, transferware, and Imari pieces.
I absolutely concur on using pieces of porcelain or stoneware as a focal subject! I had previously collected some blue transferware, in order to wrap them around a high-arched headboard, for a client’s guestroom. I could have just hung them, as they were, but the custom-shaped matting and the turning of the frames made the arrangement much more conversation worthy!
I looked at these buttons as a wonderful way to finish off some drapery panels or to attach them to a jacket. Eddie added the idea of putting them on a card and framing them. The Button Lady had aptly named her booth! These were vintage buttons, where three layers had been placed inside of one another. Another form of shadow boxing, as it were!
Sometimes having little objects of art can present a quandary as to how to best showcase them. Larson Juhl shared the great idea, above, on their website. They also offer a sleek, modern selection of framing materials. A combination of their metallic frame and a padded headboard, below, helps to expand a room, visually, while pulling back on the bed’s footprint.
By the way, Eddie did a wonderful series of videos for Larson Juhl, one of the leaders in the frame industry. You can click on the photo, above, to be taken to the Larson Juhl link, and choose from any one of Eddie’s fabulous framing presentations!
Here’s a clever idea for recycling old frames. Adding some handles, changing out the art with layered materials, fabrics, or prints, can turn a toss-out into a tray. I know I’m often on the lookout for something to place on a cocktail ottoman and the solution might be just staring back at me . . . from the wall! The how-to can be found at Better Homes and Gardens < just a click away!
A couple of years ago, while working on a new home project, I found a series of book etchings. It just so happened, the vendor was a fabulous artist so he hand-colored the etchings to fit into my client’s decor. Here they are, in the before stage, as I was selecting the fillet, mat, and frame. (A fillet is a small version of a frame, which can be inserted between the picture and the mat, for adding decoration or depth.)
Here is the completed wall! I really needed something to anchor this space but there was not much depth for a large piece of furniture. The bench gave a practical solution, as it was just to the exterior of the master bath. The wall of etchings provided the much-needed visual impact, while staying close the surface. Scale and proportion can be created in more than one way!
In speaking of placement of artwork, “Women’s Day Magazine” shared some simple, but effective graphics of how-to’s, below:
(PS – Eddie is a frequent contributor to Women’s Day. He says they are really upgrading their content!)
As promised, I must tell my Charlotte, NC area folks about Graham’s Framing Specialties. You may have zipped right past them, if you were on Highway 74/Independence Boulevard, (12995 East Independence Blvd, Matthews, NC 28105), near the 485 interchange. They are located in an unassuming white building, facing the “boulevard”, as we locals refer to it. I’ve known Al Graham, for more years than either of us care to admit, and I’ve used his framing services for just that long, too. (We’ll just say I’m going on my 15th year of owning my firm.) I can attest not only to his quality of work, the value you receive, the immense variety of frame materials and supplies, but also to the fact that Al is one of the nicest and most ethical people I’ve had the pleasure to know! I can also scoot in with a stack of prints, photos, objects – you name it – and they come back to me, completed with the precision of a true craftsman, in usually less than two weeks.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there must be at least that number of frames, if not more, located in Al’s shop! Don’t let his location fool you. While Graham’s Framing might not be in a “chi-chi” shop, he has one of the most fabulous offerings I’ve found in the Charlotte, NC area. Sometimes those secret sources have the best selections. I just had to let the cat out of the bag on this one!
More frames! The selection just doesn’t seem to stop! Even so, there have been times I needed a finish tweaked and Al has offered me that option. I’ve also taken some antique frames to be adjusted, and because I’m a fairly regular customer, he’s helped me with those special little requests. It just goes to show relationships with vendors are not about price. The value story of loyalty goes a long way!
Okay, I’ve got to use a designer comment, here . . . These are “to die for”! I could see the moldings on the left, incorporated as an architectural accent in a room. Some of the burled trims could be inserted into a window cornice, over dramatic drapery panels. Al did say he receives order requests for linear footage, only. He’s more than happy to oblige. Being that he’s a distributor for some of the frame manufacturers, he can order as much or as little as you need.
I had just been by to see Al, prior to my Metrolina visit with Eddie and Jaithan. Sometimes we designers have certain things buzzing around in our heads, and that makes us more receptive to what we might see, as we’re out sourcing. Eddie really had me thinking of all of the different things I could frame and the trip to Al’s shop made me even more mindful of who could help me to do it.
(It was a picture perfect day! I had a great time with girlfriends, Maybelline and Davetta. I never realize how short I am until I’m in a photo! And may I just say, both Eddie and Jaithan are lovely from the outside, in! ~ From left-to-right: Maybelline Te, yours truly, Eddie Ross, Jaithan Kochar, Davetta Moore.)
On a side note: It would make my heart happy if you would stop by to see Al at Graham’s. He’s open Monday – Thursday, from 10am – 5pm. Be sure to tell him “Wanda sent me”!
. . . And that’s what I call multi-tasking at it’s best!
Here’s looking at you! Wanda
PS - Contest Alert! I’ll be giving away an autographed copy of Vicente Wolf’s “Lifting the Curtain On Design”! All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on any two of my posts, beginning with the 2010 High Point Furniture Finds – Post 1, and by November 30, 2010.
I’ll announce the winner the first week of December 2010. I hope you’ll enjoy a festive month!