Sunday, October 28, 2012

Christmas in October ...

Many of you know that I routinely take part in Decorator Home Tours in Lewsiton, New York each year, which benefit the Lewiston Historical Society. This past June I worked with a lovely home, and two lovely people who turned out to be great clients. We went from this:

The windows are 12' tall, and have a view directly over the escarpment onto the Niagara River Valley and has a birds-eye view of the Toronto skyline view. It's a great view ... framed horribly. When my clients bought the house, this is what they inherited, and they thought they were just as bad as I did. With a little help from me and the curtain fairy ...

I used maple toned bamboo roman shades, and silk curtains in the most gorgeous ecru color, hung with hidden back tabs from Restoration Hardware rods. We also painted, got new chairs and tables, and did a lot of moving things around.

My clients have raised champion line Shelties for several years, and have commissioned paintings by a well-known artist of some of their friends who have passed. The artwork is gorgeous, and beautifully framed, but it wasn't getting any attention hung that way. So ...

Now, centered around a glass curio cabinet that once sat in the hallway between the living and dining room, you can't help but to be drawn to the beauty of the paintings. I had the large painting on top of the curio re-framed and matted, added the hand carved wall sconces and then put the clients collection of pottery in the case and on the sconces. I think the best thing to do with collections is have them grouped, and this is precisely why.

I had Gina of Slipcover Chic make these pillows for the clients existing Pottery Barn sofa. The lamp was added, from Pottery Barn, too.

Check out those subway lights over the stairway to the basement. We were not looking to keep those, either, nor the vertical blinds in the foyer or dining room.

See how they're gone? You can barely even tell that there are lights there now - but they're there. Simple, and incredibly bright but small halogens took the place of those hanging contraptions, and now the view is clean and bright.

This year, for the Christmas tour, I'm working with a gorgeous home with a similar view - but not at all this contemporary. The living room will be draped in white - white tree, white slipcovers on the furniture ... all planned and on course. The stone room will have baskets of fresh greens and the homeowners collection of nutcrackers will be along the mantel. The sunroom will be a Ralph Lauren dream ... well, I hope! This is where you come into the picture.

I'm looking for leopard ribbon for the tree, which will be otherwise festooned with red tipped pheasant feathers, grapevine wreath garland, and amber hued glass ornaments. I know that Ballard used to carry some leopard ribbon, but now they only have the bow. So ... if you have any sources, even wholesale for ribbon ... drop me a line or leave a comment!


  1. Hi Artie! First, amazing transformation. What a great job, seriously. They must love you. Now, leopard ribbon - I just saw that, about 4" wide, in A.C. Moore. Do you have them near you? If not, let me know. I can send you some. :) I'm always game for helping a gorgeous Christmas!!

  2. Beautiful transformation Artie! I am sure the homeowners are so pleased.

    Re Leopard ribbon, I see that one of your readers has located some, however as I do plan to start my Christmas Shopping shall definitely keep my eyes open. (Actually am hopefully heading down to Watertown next week, so will pop into Jo-Ann Fabrics (Ogdensburg) and see if they have any.) I am assuming it is 'garland ' ribbon that you are looking for and do you have a specific width in mind? (A reply here is fine.) Hugs -Brenda-

  3. P.S: Artie --- For wholesale ribbon you may wish to try JKM Ribbon & Trims who carry an assortment of Safari ribbons (Leopard included that comes in different widths). They are located in New Jersey and minmum order is $25.00. -Brenda-

  4. wonderful work! stay safe and bundled!

  5. So lovely!

    Yikes! vertical blinds should be banned from the earth!

    Never are they a good idea!!

  6. Wonderful job with the windows! What a transformation!

  7. Artie I am so excited to see the results for this Holiday House!

    Art by Karena

  8. Just saw beautiful 6" wide leopard ribbon at Michaels Craft Store - in Christmas section!

  9. Artie, it's looking great! There in great's going to be beautiful when finished.