Monday, April 18, 2016

News and New Stuff ...

vintage cross bottles antique cross bottles cross bottle guy cross topped bottles crystal cross bottles
Oh my! What a busy, busy week it's been! I feel like when I'm not working my tail off at the office, I'm in the studio creating, leaving very little time for the transformations I'm looking to make in the apartment living room. But, slowly but surely, I'm getting there! This weekend I loaded a beautiful lot of my handmade cross bottles onto the Cross Bottle Guy website, including the one above made with crazy large Swedish teardrop prisms. Take a look at all the beauties uploaded on Saturday here.

I was lucky enough to find the bamboo pavilion style chairs I was thinking would work well in the re-envisioned, more laid back, living room. There were 6, plus a table so I bought the whole set, even though I'm not quite sure how they'll be used, (or if they'll be used).  Only two of the chairs have their original caning, the rest of the chair seats have been covered over with a thin plywood stained the same color as the chair. I assume that over the years, these vintage chair seats were damaged, and that was the least expensive fix. It doesn't look bad - it will just require cushions. Which got my mind going on fabric.
Design by Jeffrey Bilhuber
Probably one of my favorite pattern pairings is ikat and animal prints. Jeffrey Bilhuber did an excellent job illustrating this in this Manhattan townhouse. Silk velvet Scalamandre le Tigre was used to upholster a club chair, and ikat pillows added even more pattern and color in the space. I loved the look even then, and I keep returning to this pairing for inspiration in the new space. I loved living in my all white look, and I still do, but I am craving a little more color now a days.
I've also been thinking of using ticking on the chair cushions, with small boudoir pillows in the animal print. Then perhaps suzani on a secondary piece of furniture that would flank the sofa (where the giant ottoman used to be).
I'll be heading to Brimfield mid-May, and I'm hoping something there reaches out and helps wrap this all up. So, until then, I'll futz and putz and hopefully we'll get through this without any bumps or bruises!
Til' then!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Inspired by Nate

Nate Berkus for Curated Kravet
Kravet, the mid-range to the trade textile company recently let loose of a new series of collections compiled by designers. These include curated visions by Nick Olsen, Barclay Butera, Nate and more. I fell in love with the vision that Nate created for Kravet. A masterpiece that has inspired the newest move in my apartment. Let's take a look:

Gorgeous, right? So, inspired by this, there are a few changes in the works at The Apartment. Not too many - but enough that I think there'll be a noticeable change for the good, and that will work better overall with the way that I need to use that space.

1. Bye Bye ottoman/daybed/settee. That'll go into the bedroom that WAS to be a dining room.
2. Hello rectangular table, part dining room table part library table.
3. Hello benches. I have two, vintage sewing stools. They're slightly different, but much more likely to play well as dining room seating. I'll find two more, reupholster the seats, and voila.
4. Bye Bye French chairs with the slips. I have no idea what I'll do with these. Probably sell them, maybe repurpose the slips and donate the chairs? I'm up in the air on this!
5. Grab 2 Lanterns from storage (thankfully, I have something SUPER similar to these already!)
6. Enter different chairs. Possibly the bamboo pavilion chairs, maybe something mismatched and upholstered.

Now, how long will it take me to get this all finished and pulled together? We'll see!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Changes ...

The Apartment
When I moved from my old apartment to the new apartment there were some obvious hurdles. The space was not as large, the character was not as charming, and the finishes were not as fine. I pulled up the carpet and put down a vinyl plank "hardwood look" floor in the living room, added the wall of antiqued mirrors behind the sofa, and raised the visual height of the window with my bamboo blinds and floor to ceiling curtains, but the space still just didn't feel right. Doesn't feel right. Not like me.
 The Gallery Wall at The Apartment
There are a few things that I do love. I love the art, and I've spent a lot of time curating these original pieces. This wall is meant to grow with me, and it already has from this photo of the space. I love my slipcovers, so tailored - the work of a brilliant seamstress. I love most of the furniture, though, I am second guessing those French bergere chairs at the moment. 

The Mammoth Centerpiece of The Apartment
One thing that I don't love (anymore) is the GIANT multi-functional ottoman/settee/daybed/chaise piece that I designed for the space. I mean, it's not that I don't love it - I don't love it there. I SHOULD have put a long, harvest style table there that could have been super useful for dinner parties or as a library table, a staging area for all the pretty little things that live in boxes because there aren't any good places to store them. I suppose it's not too late, but where oh where will this massive thing go?

Leo at The Apartment
Then there's Leo. Good ole Leo, who never does me wrong. I love this piece, and it's become so wonderfully useful in this new space. But the rest of it ... eh? Do I love it? No. Do I hate it? No. Am I just tired of looking at the same ole thing?
Bedroom at The Apartment
The one room I haven't grown tired of is the bedroom. Is it because there is color in this space? Is that what I'm missing in the other space? Color? I've been looking for different chairs for the living room, and I keep coming back to something like these Pavilion chairs:
via 1stdibs

Back at CDLV, I had one of these as an office chair, and I loved it! It was both beautiful and comfortable, and that was when I weighed 100 pounds more than I do today! I also love the look of bamboo mixed with the look that I have. So many people have done it so well that there's endless inspiration:
via pinterest - Designer Credit, Lorenzo Castillo, Madrid
They'd certainly make for great conversation chairs, and dining chairs. Love them around this skirted table.
via pinterest by way of Cote de Texas - Designer Credit: Mary McDonald
Of course, Mary "Can do no wrong" McDonald used them in this beautiful space as "staged" additional seating and they look wonderful with the ikat fabric cushions.

via pinterest - Designer Credit: Jeffrey Bilhuber
Another design master, Jeffrey Bilhuber, uses one here and it blends perfectly into the fold, along side beautifully upholstered pieces.
via pinterest by way of HouseBeautiful - Designer Credit: Mark D. Sikes
Mark D. Sikes uses one in his old library decor. Not sure where this got moved to when he made shifted his interiors around?
via pinterest by way of Mark D. Sikes - Designer Credit: Jeffrey Bilhuber
Love this! Jeffrey used these chairs a lot, and they came up in a lot of different houses when he published his third book: Defining Luxury. I think it aids in the argument of how versatile and beautiful these chairs really are.
via pinterest

There's something about these chairs, paired with seagrass or jute rugs, creams and whites, stripes, and the blue and white porcelain that just says YES! Don't you think? Add some ikat or suzani in there, a velvet pillow or two, and that whole laid back, sophisticated, 'just a touch' of chinoiserie comes through and just shines.
So that's where I'm at. Maybe I'm nuts. The chairs are certainly NOT cheap, but I feel like they're a little more me, a little less formal, a little more fun, and maybe even a bit more youthful? I think, yes! So, consider them ordered and now we wait!
Stay tuned for the slightly new look at The Apartment.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Patina Farm on OKL

I ordered my copy of Patina Farm today, and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival. I've been a long time fan, avid follower, and lover of all things Velvet & Linen, so naturally having watched the creation of their Ojai, California dream home from the ground up, I had to buy the book that showed all of the glorious finished details! Friends of mine who have already gotten the book are raving about the house, and the gorgeous landscaping that Brooke and Steve hired renowned landscape architect Margie Grace to create with them.
Last month, OKL (One Kings Lane)  visited Patina Farm (I'm SO jealous, BTW) and took pictures of their own for the sale that started today! I was so excited about them, that I had to show them here.

The exterior front of Patina Farm via OKL
Isn't this picturesque? Steve and Brooke designed this house with every possible detail and view in mind. The mountain, the huge 300-year old existing oak tree; and sourced materials from all over the world to create this magical place. Again, SO excited to get the book!
The Giannetti Family (minus eldest son) under the oak tree via OKL
The interior of the house is furnished brilliantly in Brooke and Steve's aesthetic which features fine French and Swedish antiques, furniture designed by the pair covered in gorgeous linens and velvets, and of course, lots and lots of patina!
Patina Farm Chicken Coop via OKL
But the outside living spaces of the farm are furnished as beautifully, including their chicken coop wash area and greenhouse! (Which are both also pictured in the book!)
French limestone floors and doors sourced throughout Europe in the entryway via OKL
The living room, with Gracie wallpapered screen covering the television via OKL
Steve and Brooke design a lot more than architecture, interiors, and gardens. They also have a line of furniture, many pieces named after their own children, that feature gorgeous lines. They pieces are sophisticated without being unfriendly, and are perfectly proportioned to fit with antique pieces - like this Alix sofa, which is paired with an antique Gustavian settee.
The dining room at Patina Farm with wide open views to the oak tree and pond and mountain beyond via OKL
There should be no doubt that Patina Farm is one of the finest homes in Ojai, certainly one of the finest blogger homes on the internet, but what I love about the whole feeling of Patina Farm is that it's welcoming, safe, comfortable, a home that a family lives in, loves in, and genuinely calls home. Beautiful houses are easier and easier to come by these days, now that sourcing things has become so easy, and getting increasingly more-so every day. But to find a home that is both beautiful AND authentically comfortable, that's not so easy - but Steve and Brooke have that talent in spades. (They should figure out a way to bottle that up ... I'm just saying!)

The breakfast room and kitchen of Patina Farm via OKL
I don't cook. It's not that I don't like to - I have just never had a beautiful kitchen that I wanted to spend time in, nor do I have a serviceable kitchen that doesn't become an all out mess of dirty pots and pans anytime I try to cook something even as simple as tomato soup and grilled cheese. But the kitchen at Patina Farm with that stunning Lacanche French Range makes me want to go to culinary school!

Brooke's Office at Patina Farm overlooking the Kitchen Garden and Chicken Coop via OKL

Steve's Office at Patina Farm via OKL
Makes you want to work from home, doesn't it?
The Master Bedroom at Patina Farm with views to the mountain and pond via OKL
Master dressing room and bath at Patina Farm via OKL
I want to let it be known, for the record, that I will be copying this dressing room at some point in my life! I think this is simply amazing and I can't wait to get my copy of the book for more photos!
The Guest Cottage at Patina Farm via OKL
Lastly, the guest cottage at Patina Farm, perfect for long or short term residents. Anyone thinking of showing up at Brooke and Steve's for a little vacation?
If you're interested in their book, you can order it here: 

I also highly recommend their first book, Patina Style, which can be ordered here:

And lastly, you can shop the One Kings Lane sale, which started today, here. Cleverly titled: The Good Life on Patina Farm! Once I get the book, I'll do a dedicated review - I'm sure I'll have lots to say! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Where did the time go?

Happy Easter ... well, the day after Easter anyway!

It was a busy day at Chez Artie and Arlo, with the Cross Bottle Guy Sale in full effect. We were "hopping" around the studio and at home trying to make sure that we could get everyone accommodated and the boxes ready for shipping today! I hope you were able to find something you liked during the sale. If you missed out, have no fear, new bottles will be available on April 1st, and so far, they're really gorgeous!

cross bottle guy

A mix of crystal cross bottles, made from antique and vintage chandelier prisms, shells, and Brazilian agates forever married to beautiful old bottles with wonderful patina - all handmade, by me, in our Buffalo, New York studio.

If you are a frequent visitor to the Cross Bottle Guy website, you've probably seen all of the bottles that were purchased for private collections across the country. This week, I'll be adding email buttons to the previously sold bottles where you can contact me directly if you're interested in having something similar custom made for you!

Every piece is handmade, and all of the pieces are hand-sourced. No bottle will ever be EXACTLY the same as another, but general shapes can often be recreated through inspired pieces of our past art! So, take a look at the site again - I'd love to have Cross Bottle Guy commissioned art in your lovely home!

Lots of work in the studio this week - but I've got two book reviews coming up, and a little bit of a DIY project I'm working on in the kitchen I thought you all might be interested in! Til' then!

Friday, March 25, 2016


Who doesn't love a sale? Am I right?
This GOOD FRIDAY you can have a GREAT FRIDAY and score awesome deals up to 40% off our regular prices! Starting at 10AM Friday, March 25th and ending at 10AM Saturday, March 26th, the Cross Bottle Guy Flash Sale is your chance to score great deals, and save HUNDREDS of dollars on our beautiful handmade art! One day only!
Beautiful, handmade works of art ... like this:
cross bottle guy

cross bottle guy
cross bottle guy
Don't Miss Out!