Tuesday, September 9, 2014

From Flea Market to Fabulous

As I sat in Nick's room, before the make-over, I knew that I wanted this room to be very dramatic. You can see the entire new look of "Nick's Room" in the new book, Carolyn Westbrook: A Romance with French Living. Here my favorite photographer Eric Richards, captures the images for the new book. So, before Nick had the "Safari" look, which I do love, since the first book, Carolyn Westbrook Home. He had grown up with it. I remember upholstering his walls with burlap before burlap was hot. Now, it was time to create something completely different. My flea market finds often inspire an entire room. With my quest for the perfect thing at the perfect price, that often leads me to search flea market tents, tables, in garage corners, in the back of pick-up trucks, and underneath tables sifting through boxes. There is no where that I won't go for just the right thing. A grouping of faded blue globes of the world, some of which came out of an old school, are some of my favorite things. Yes, we had used them before, but NEVER get rid of fabulous.

I knew that we wanted to use a rich, dark blue, as it is always impactful and dramatic. Life is all about the details. No detail is too small. Here we have a tray that is sat atop a beautifully skirted table in blue silk. The blue top sets off this tray perfectly. I adore trays for decorating. Your art does not have to be just on the wall. You can create gorgeous vignettes on a table top, with a tray as your base. This tray is made from wood, with beautiful brass handles, and came from England originally. I actually found a stack of these at a junky flea market in Atlanta. The tray can be anything that you absolutely love, from a mirrored tray, to silver, brass or wood and the trays can be used on any surface such as a chest, a coffee table, a sofa table, to a centerpiece on the dining table.

Think outside the box when creating your "tray art." My "tray art" almost always includes antique, leather bound books. I am in love with little books, and these are magnificent. One of my sources for these magnificent books, is Kay Gilbreath, a.k.a The Book Lady, who will be at Marburger  Farms Antique Show in just a few weeks in Texas. The books shown here, came from her. Books play an amazing part of decorating. They can be stacked, used as a pedestal for a plant, a small easel with a miniature oil painting or in this case, a rest for an exquisite magnifying glass and some larger books are stacked as a base for a lamp, to give it some height.

All the small things that I love can be "showcased" on a tray.  One could add a small plant potted in an antique trophy cup, a small vase filled with one bloom, your imagination will make it your own. I do love tiny ancestor photographs, housed in small, antique silver frames. It adds a bit of your own family history, and makes the house yours. Anything from blue pottery to Mercury glass candlesticks in all shapes and sizes. I do think a "live" element is good, like I said...a small green plant or a colorful bloom works well. I have a fascination with the, hourglass sand timers. I think everybody likes to look and touch these, so a great conversation piece for a coffee table, not to mention they are a pretty detail to our "tray art."

I preach this all the time, but with the release of my new book, I have to get back up at the podium. Get out there and hunt down your treasures for your home, that will then be uniquely yours. They will have a patina, a history, and you are actually recycling in the best way. You will never have the home that you want from an "all new" interior. Our mantra is, "Creating a Home that Reflects the Spirit of You" and that means going out and traipsing across fields and through tents to find the perfect thing. Lucky for you, one of the best flea markets around is coming up and only happens twice a year in Roundtop, Texas. More on that in the next blog....

xoxo Carolyn

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