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Posts Tagged ‘home furnishings’

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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The Fiesty Side of Charlotte's History...exclusively at Slate!

So maybe you weren’t born in Charlotte.  (Who was?)  Or perhaps you are that elusive native I keep hearing of.  Nevertheless, Charlotte is your home, your center, your family, and your resting place.  You are a Charlottean at heart.  When people visit, they find it alluring.  Charlotte has a rich history, and it is palpable.

That is why Shannon Schultz, a Charlotte-based designer and merchant with us here at Slate, has been hard at work researching, designing and fabricating these Charlotte Heritage shirts, which are 100% locally made.  And we mean local.   From the shirts themselves to the screen printing, abvDESIGNS debuts The Original Charlotte Heritage Tee, produced in your beloved Queen City. 

The Original Charlotte Heritage Tee

Ages before the QC was “The QC”, it was nicknamed “The Hornet’s Nest.”  A little history lesson reveals that when, during the Revolutionary War, British General Cornwallis occupied the city of Charlotte, he was driven out by hostile residents, prompting him to write that it was “a hornet’s nest of rebellion,” leading to the nickname The Hornet’s Nest.  (Now why does that sound familiar???)  Charlotte has been important in our country’s political past, and with the Democratic National Convention coming to town, it just might be time we looked back, remembered, (or learned about it!) and were proud.

Available exclusively at Slate Interiors, these Tee’s sell for only $24!  Welcome to The Hornet’s Nest!!!

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Scrumptious Green Vintage Chair

Consider the chair…

A sitting thing, a resting thing, a reading, watching, reaching thing.  A feet-up place, and chatting space, another place to feed your face.  A comfy spot, a favorite spot, a snuggle-with-your-babies spot.  A place that’s great, but don’t you hate when someone beats you to “your” spot?

When you consider all the things a great chair does for a person, don’t you think it makes sense to invest in a piece that you absolutely love? Mmmm… I do.  So here is what I propose… (I know; I propose far too often, my friends, but always sincerely.)

Perhaps it’s time you find a new favorite chair…  if not to replace, then to accentuate.  Or perhaps to mediate?   (When I was a kid, my brothers and I would call “seat saved” when we got up so as not to have that dreaded battle over the “good chair” upon returning from the bathroom or getting a snack.   This is a proposal for a peace-offering, preventing constant war with your husband, girlfriend, roommate, or dog…  But I digress. )

Come into Slate and plant your buns in any of our lovely chairs. Take a moment.  Sink in.  Picture eating dinner, chatting with friends, hanging a picture, watching your guilty pleasure on TV, taking a leisurely snooze… Go on, we won’t wake you up!  (Just don’t tell us its “Jersey Shore” you love – we’ll make fun of you when you leave.  ;))

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So, you have purchased new furniture, found gorgeous art and put your space together with creativity and heart, only to feel like something is missing.  It doesn’t feel the way you hoped it would.  Perhaps it feels a bit flat. What are you doing wrong? 

Before you go out shopping endlessly for the perfect “something” to make all your design dreams come true, try looking up for inspiration.  No, you don’t need to pray to the God-of-All-Things-Beautiful – consider your lighting.  Is it adequate? Balanced?  Inspired?  Updated even?

Oh, Lighting.  Perhaps the single most important element of any space, but also one of the most overlooked, and trickiest to perfect; lighting is the magic element that can turn a room from glum to glamorous, dark to dramatic, or claustrophobic to cozy.  An otherwise well designed room without the right lighting can leave you with a sense of uneasiness, and the room feeling incomplete and uncomfortable. 

Enter Parker Kennedy Living…

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Founders David Ecton and Lance Jackson of Parker Kennedy Living have joined us here at Slate with a selection of unique and beautiful lighting at inspiring prices.  David holds an MBA in International Trade, while Lance is an Atlanta-based interior designer with 15 years experience, and projects everywhere from New York to Texas to Palm Beach, among others.  He has also worked as lead product designer of the lamp and accessory line The Bradburn Gallery.  Together they bring us lighting that ranges from contemporary to preppy to vintage in inspiration.  You’ll find the perfect lighting to complete your project, or the perfect statement piece for an instant update.  And don’t forget that anything at Slate can be taken home on approval – feel free to try it out.

So stop by and check out what’s “up.”  We’ll see you soon!

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Admonishing owl $64

According to an article from the stlye section of the wall street journal last month, every great space has, among other things… an animal? Looking around the spaces within slate, it proves true.  Animals make us smile, lower blood pressure, are personal, unexpected, and just plain charming!  May I suggest an owl? Everywhere I go, I find myself falling for owls.  They are charming, darling and wise.

As pillows, they warm a picture-perfect room with whimsey.  Bookends peek out to offer sage admonishment or hoots of laughter.  And how about an incredibly whimsical pair of andirons?  The amber glass eyes illuminate with the firelight!

Not into owls?  No worries-it’s all about your personality. A beautiful silver teddy bear talc shaker would be sweet in a nursery, or come check us out at slate to find your newest obsession. Whatever your penchant; dogs, monkeys, horses, find a sweet or quirky animal to tuck into your favorite room and notice how you smile whenever your gaze falls upon them. Voila! Instant charm.

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We’d like to welcome Dana Phillips and her mother, Sheila Mahood, the newest members of our Slate family. Guided by a shared passion for art, antiques and vintage items, Sheila and Dana love working together, taking trips to the High Point Market, and seeking out inspiration and current trends.  They are always on the look-out for unique pieces from all time periods.

Sheila, who lives in Fayetteville, WV with her husband Charles, daughter Sarah, and dog Lucy, has been an interior decorator for more than 15 years.  Her current passion is spending time in her workshop refinishing antiques, vintage furniture, and making glasses from wine bottles as well as doing room redesigns.

Dana and her husband live in Charlotte with their two sons Noah and Tosh.  A stay-at-home-mom with a background in Culinary Arts, she is inspired by green initiatives, and is continually seeking new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in her designs. Often you can find her in the workshop in her home crafting new items from discarded items such as burlap coffee sacks and otherwise repurposing items for a lovely second life.

Drop by Slate soon to check out Dana and Sheila’s great space.

 

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