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Archive for the ‘Charlotte Shopping’ Category

Sgraffito.

n. pl. sgraf·fi·ti (-t)

1. Decoration produced on pottery or ceramic by scratching through a surface of plaster or glazing to reveal a different color underneath.
2. Ware decorated in this manner.
 
If I just taught you something, you’re welcome!  Beginning August 1, we will be featuring the artwork of Janine Medlin, a local artist who applies this technique to oils on canvas, creating depth and complexity in each piece she touches.   Whether you have never heard the word before, or you know all about this beautiful approach to artwork,  you will want to drop in for the artist’s reception this Friday evening, August the 3rd, to celebrate Janine’s art, chat with her, and enjoy some delectable bites, and a glass of prosecco (or two!).
 
Janine, a Tennessee native and UT Knoxville alumna, began painting in 2000 after moving to Charlotte from Nashville with her husband and sons, and quickly fell in love with it, realizing she had a knack for capturing the complexity of single elements in nature.   Some of her most personal and prolific artwork has consisted of nests of eggs, which have connected with people in countless personal and beautiful ways.  Some of these paintings have gone to new mothers, mothers leaving abusive relationships with their children (symbolizing that home would be wherever they were safe together), the Ronald McDonald house for families away from their homes, and recently to a woman who just lost her husband.  Janine says that her faith directs the feel of a piece as it reflects the serenity and grandeur that she sees in nature back to God who created it all.
 
Janine has been a participant in many charities including Art with Heart, where she has been a finalist in the emerging artist competition for the past 6 years, earning second place in this years event.  In addition, she’s been featured in Charlotte Living,  and Baby and Child Magazine among others, and one of her pieces was selected for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition house built in Shamrock.
 
And, even more wonderful than all her accomplishments, Janine is a lovely woman with a sparkling spirit and a deep and beautiful heart.  Just like her art.  Come check her out on the feature wall of Slate Interiors from August 1-31.
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Ah, acrylic!  Lovely lucite.  The splendid see-through wonder incarnated into furniture fashions to sparkle in any space. J’adore!  It longs to be looked at.  It’s lovely to live with.  Vintage or spanking new, as transparent as your best friend, it is the clear choice for making impact without the visual weight. This versatile and incredibly dynamic material has been around since 1931, but it has just recently enjoyed an almost unprecedented re-emergence within the furniture market for its ability to open up a space, remove visual clutter, and add a touch of the unexpected.Louis and Casper the Friendly Ghost Chairs

Take the classic Louis chair, and reimagine it in lucite:  Bam! – the Louis Ghost Chair:  an instant update with a quirky nod to the much more formal past.  Thank you Philippe Starke.  And for even more fun, there are now mini-me versions of the ghost chair.  Your little loves will be drawn to them like moths to a flame.  And let’s not kid ourselves (you like that?) – these are a far cry from pink plastic barbie chairs!  Kid furniture with design appeal?  WIN!

And it just feels super special.  Want to make a fearless style statement?  Lux and sophisticated in a small, dark foyer, or perfect to back your sofa without overwhelming it, this lucite console might be the single sexiest piece of furniture you ever owned.

Not ready for quite that big of a leap?  How about a baby step?  This vintage ice bucket is pretty near perfection.  Look every inch the stylish hostess while serving your guests.  Another cocktail?  Yes, please!

And I can’t help but gush over this unique vintage game table set.  Simultaneously a table with four chairs sheer enough to fit into the most crowded corner without feeling cluttered, and its own storage solution.  Genius.  A rare and fabulous gem.  The perfect solution.  Super score!

So what is the moral of this story?  Come to Slate, and see all our exquisite lucite pieces.  They are in high demand, and there is something special for everyone.  Let us help you find the perfect piece for your abode.  You’ll be in love at first lucite.

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Have I ever mentioned that I love my job?  I do.  I love my job.  Weird stuff happens here.  The awesome kind of weird.  For example…

Once upon a time (not so very long ago…) a lovely lady heard great things about Slate and came to see what all the fuss was about.   Little did she know as she drifted through each vignette, that hidden among all the loveliness was a buried treasure in the form of a painting,  from her life decades ago.  Until there it was, staring her in the face with a sense of irony too unlikely for words.  So she sought out the charming and witty store rep (who bears an uncanny resemblence to your dear writer…) and told her, “You will never believe it, but I painted this in the 60’s.  I can’t believe it’s here.”  So I will tell you the story of how the painting came full circle, and then you will know why this place is so awesome. 

You can still see hints of the original colors, and still in it’s original frame!

Five decades ago, the aformentioned lovely (Chris is her name) gifted a sizable red and yellow magnolia flower painting to her sister for her birthday, which remained with her for her entire life.  After she passed and her husband remarried, it was thoughtfully returned to her, where it sat in a closet for several years. 

One day her daughter came upon it, decided it might be useful in a different color palette, and gave it a cream and sky-blue make-over.  Voila!  Sadly, her husband hated it.  So back to the closet it went.  Years come and go, and nob0dy wants it.  It’s time.  The daughters sells it.  A short time later, another daughter hears the painting has sold, and is beside herself.  Really? How could you just go and sell a family treasure like that?  I want that painting! 

Now at this point in the story, Chris pauses to qualify that (she swears) she talked to everyone and nobody wanted the darn thing.  But there we are.  The painting is gone.  I mean, what can you do?   And so she stares at this painting in serendipitous disbelief that it has made it’s way back to her.  It even has the original rough wood frame that her husband made for it.  And so it came to pass, my friends, that I made a call, relayed the story, and Cookie (the sweetheart  merchant who owned said painting), was as charmed by the story as I was, and returned it to the family for her cost.  The painting is home again, and hopefully not in the closet.   Full circle.  I love my job.

The end.

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It’s a new month, friends, and though 2012 is half played out, we are here to give you something to look forward to each and every month.  Yes, those new year’s resolutions may be but distant memories, but at this, the halfway point in the year, we are hosting  a reason to put on a dress and drink some prosecco.  Our feature art wall changes the first of the month, so it is time to celebrate a new month, new artist and new season of summer fun. 

This month, at the crux of summer, we highlight the art of Kate Gaither.  Inspired by nature and frequently a painter en plien air (frenchy speak for open air painting), she often takes a multi-media approach, and has been known to use everything from recycled materials to beach glass she finds along the Carolina shore. 

Born in Indiana and raised in Florida, Kate moved to NC in 1980 after college at University of Florida. She owns Newport Properties, a full service real estate firm at Lake Norman and has been in Real Estate for 32 years. Kate finds it relaxing to create new visions of what she sees in nature in her spare time.

 This collection of works is inspired by spring’s bloom – everything coming to life; it is a collection featuring acryllics and collage.  And with the heat bearing down on us these days, these flowers may be the only ones not wilting in the sun.  Come see them here beginning the 1st of July.  Stay tuned for more information on our artist reception July 13th.

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He’s been your hero, your rock, the voice in your head, comic relief.  Your dearest friend, your dear old dad.  And for all these things (and so many more!) our desire on Father’s Day is to reflect even the tiniest glimmer of the love, admiration and respect we feel for the old man.  Unfortunately, it usually goes something like this:

“Dad, I love you so much that I have combed the world over to find you the perfect… new tie?”   Wowee.  Now, that’s love…  Really, if that’s all you got, don’t even bother.  Nobody wants another tie.  I don’t think I’m wrong about this.  For the love of  God, get some  inspiration!  Try just a modicum of thoughtfulness.  Really, it’s the least you can do.

Ok, so what does dear old dad like to do?  What would he do if he had the time?  What makes him smile and laugh for days?  Think.  How about a momento?  Something that will remind him of great times you have shared, dreams in the making or an inside joke he can’t live down.  Or something just really cool.  Or really anything at all besides another tie.  Really.

(By the way, I was testing this hypothosis with a dad I know around here (we refer to him as “Papa Color”, but that’s a whole other story…), and he agreed.  “No, not a tie.  Nothing practical.  Get me something I would never get for myself.”  So there it is.)  Here are a few unique and super cool gift ideas to get you started.  You’re welcome, dads.

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Vintage...

The word evokes visions of brass warmed by gorgeous patina, well-worn chairs and lasting quality.  Though there may not be a hard and fast definition to what is and what is not, the romantic in me sings it’s delight when considering objects with an aura of history – that have stood the test of time, or have reinvented themselves, and that add warmth and life to a space full of sparkling, spanking new.  I had a glamorous great-aunt who’s life, jewelry, and furnishings whispered in hushed tones about things I will never have the thrill of experiencing.  Those whispers fill my senses and make each piece feel rich with history.

And with the surge of media celebrating times past, we are seeing more and more interest in furniture and accessories from unexpectedly mixed eras.  From Mad Men and Pan Am to the Tudors, and everything in between, eclectic furnishings are in demand.  Go ahead and jump in with a special piece that whispers to you… These are a few of my current obsessions.

What do you think?  A flame-stitched mid-century chair, perfect with a martini after work? Yes, please!  These vintage bar glasses? Fabulous. They offer a nod to a time when cocktails were glamorous.  And when did boring become the norm, anyway?  Why shouldn’t every day feel just a little special?  I want these to be my everyday water, cocktail and everything else glasses.  And then there are all the vintage smoking accessories…  Now, I know nobody smokes in their houses anymore (thank God!), but vintage ashtrays and matchstick holders are so gorgeous that they scream for a second life.  I love to use them for jewelry and desk accessories.  They have such sexy sculptural appeal.  What are your favorite vintage finds?  Check out the slide show for a taste of the vintage beauties currently living at Slate, or, come in and try on a past life… Whatever whispers its secrets in your ear.

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You have a defined style, you know what you like.  Why, oh why, then, can’t you get it to feel right?  Forgive the cliché, lovelies, but too much of a good thing…  In design (and just about everything else), we all know that while too much sweetness is cloying, too much masculinity can be cold, just as too many neutrals can feel monotone but overwhelming color feels like a circus. Do you find yourself drawn to the same elements over and over?  Marinate on this: One element in the absence of  its opposite may feel incomplete, but the whisper of its opposite magnifies itself. ( I theorize this is why kettle corn may be the world’s most addictive snack, as illustrated by my recent trip to the mountains.  But I digress… )  So if you are plagued by a Groundhog’s Day sense of safe and similar, what to do? Throw a wrench in it!  Highlight all the things you already love by peppering in a tiny hint of its counterpart.  You like clean lines and crisp finishes?  Drape a sumptuous throw over your sofa.  You have a room full of dark wood? Lighten up with a white-painted chest.  Lots of solids?  A kiss of pattern will banish the boring. Shall we begin?

Look your space and take stock.  What themes are repeated?  Is it all hard lines and crisp finishes?  Or perhaps you are a creature of comfort and many of your surfaces are rounded, soft and cozy.  Look at the colors in your space.  Are they cool or warm? Lots of color or all neutrals?  What words describe your aesthetic?  Super glam or casual?  Dark or light?  Preppy or romantic? Relaxing or energizing, etc?  Assign shapes to the elements in your space. What shape is most often repeated?  Look at the lighting, furniture, art and accessories, and take some notes.

Next step: Analyze.  Determine your comfort zone by what you see a lot of and your fears by what you don’t.  Perhaps you have a space filled with rounded shapes, comfy chairs, pillows and throws, lots of neutrals.  What are you missing?  You want it to feel comfy and relaxing but not boring!  Here’s the trick.  Your space is craving a tiny touch of the elements you run from.  It should be 90/10.  You need a few hard edges, some reflective surfaces (maybe a touch of sparkle?), a few shakes of bold color, and Voila!  Treat it like a spice.  Just a touch will wake up the flavor.  Perhaps a mirrored tray, a sleek accent chair, and a bold geometric pattern.  Take a color you love and introduce it around the room in small doses to add excitement and energy.  One, two, three, done.

Conversely, for all you hard-edge modernists out there wanting expansive breathing room, but living in sterility, your space is aching for the softness of a curving line or two, a touch of texture, and some organic shape to warm it up.  A few luxurious pillows, a touch of warm wood or fresh flowers, and an unexpected vintage accessory will replace the echos with exhales and coldness with an invitation to live  life within your walls.  Check out the driftwood lamp, the abstract flower painting, and the antique elephant garden stool.  Fresh flowers that never die add energy, and the organic shapes of the coral pillow and vessel are dynamite for breaking up the defined lines of a, ultra-contemporary space.

Overall the key is this:  take a risk.  Try something you normally wouldn’t.  A few opposites make a room feel just right.  Keep your modern or traditional, but juxtaposing just a few elements enhances the style you already have.  Don’t take my word for it – try it!  Come into Slate with a few pictures and we’ll help you find exceptional elements to carry it to the next level.  And because you can try nearly anything in the store on approval, there is no excuse to let your room sit stagnant!

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