Friday, April 13, 2012

Thank You So, Portico!, Welcome to My Home

Welcome to My Home!
Please come in . . .

This table in my foyer and the sofa table under the stairs
 both belonged to my grandmother Nanny.
I designed the Gothic chairs for a showhouse.  

I recently had the great pleasure of welcoming
Amelia Patterson of
who was photographing for
into my living room for 
a photo shoot for the magazine.

Let me show you around just a bit.

In my Gothic chair, the small pillow needlepoint crown pillow is an English antique
WITH a touch of eclectic leopard of course!
The Goofus Glass bowls on the table are from the early 20th century
 and part of my collection.  The colors of the Goofus Glass are perfect in the house.

My home is an extension of my studio, a place where I experiment and try out new ideas and combinations.

The house has two staircases, here the front stairs.
My mother's collection of mostly antique walking canes is in an antique Turkish vessel.
The European nude oil painting, framed in a hand made and custom gilded frame,
 is one of my favorites and
 contains the entire color palette of the house.

The antique chandelier, one of four identical ones in the halls, 
was rescued from a bank in Clarksdale.

Of course lots of things, 
in fact most of them, are old, vintage or antique, and some are a bit worn, but to me REAL, kind of like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
 "Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter. "
I could not resist putting this in!  I cry every time I read it.

I am not sure I ever thought about it before, 
but REAL kind of sums 
up my design philosophy in one word.

Lots of REAL here:  More Goofus Glass, an antique plaster medallion, framed antique lace, antique Shakespeare books, antique green corbels,
and one of a pair of antique French tassels.

I tend to move things in and out, 
and often have overflow from my storage temporarily in the house, like this 
Scottish Courting Chair from a designer showhouse that I did.

I do love the Scottish Courting chair, also from a show house, in kind of a grasscloth fabric which is temporarily in my living room.  The bird pillow is an antique needlepoint.
The oriental rug was also Nanny's, as was the French coffee table.
  I love to use touches of shell like the box, also Victorian.
The preserved Mississippi Magnolia has lasted for nearly 40 years.

My color scheme throughout the house is a take off on Victorian colors.  I started with true Victorian colors since my house was built late in that era, completed ca. 1904, although the style of the house is Greek Revival.
But of course, I tweaked the colors to my own taste, brightening them a bit . . .


Of course I couldn't resist putting kumquats and long stemmed, 

spring Louisiana strawberries, in my colors of course,
 on an antique plate with metallic copper lustre trim.

I have been a collector my whole life and I love to use my collections in my design,
 like my Goofus Glass which is also late Victorian.

More goofus glass on my glass topped Chinese Chippendale oversized coffee table.
  I will save its story for another day.
I am planning to gild it soon.

And of course, I MUST have a few feathers tucked in!

Sorry about the lighting in some of these!
I was having camera issues.  I, unlike Amelia, am NOT a professional photographer.
Did you notice I elected not to put drapes in the living room?
I love to sit in here and just relax and enjoy the light in the afternoon,

 having a cup of tea or a glass of wine.
The house faces east, so the light is lovely and not too bright then, 

just warm and soothing.

This coal burning fireplace, now with gas logs,
in the living room is one of seven in the house.
I added the marble surround.

I love a velvet sofa.  This camelback one is in bottle green velvet that my father chose.
The urn pillows are vintage Fortuny. The center pillow is made from a rug.
I designed the others.  I love the linen scalloped ones.
The piece behind the center pillow is a full sample yard of vintage Fortuny, marked 1962.

The orange Fortuny is perfect in my living room where the walls
are a custom blended color which combines
terra cotta and melon.

More Goofus Glass!
And one of a pair of Nanny's lamps, one of a set of antique tiles,
and my (another!) 
collection of Limoges boxes, some displayed in  a gilded
  antique clock case.

I showed Amelia around just a bit, 
and we HAD to eat a few of those long stemmed, luscious Louisiana strawberries.

Then she and her cute, young, male assistant got to work making pictures.

Amelia Patterson, photographer for Portico jackson Magazine,
and her precious baby boy Keller

It didn't take Amelia long to make her photographs for Portico.

AND NOW . . .

I am so thrilled to be included in the Perspectives section of the new April issue. 

My good friend and designer Nancy Price's house was used for the color block fashion shoot in the same issue of
 Portico jackson Magazine where I was featured in the Perspectives section.

And the cross I recently gilded for the new Chapel at St. Dominic's made the cover of the March issue of the magazine,

The beautiful new Chapel at St. Dominic's will be dedicated next month.
I am so proud to have gilded the orb and cross on the top.

and is shown up close in the featured article.

Click HERE  to read about my gilding project for this orb and cross.

Thank you so, Portico!
Thank you Karen Gilder.
Thank you, Richelle Putnam.
Thank you, Amelia Patterson.

What do you decorate with that is REAL?

* Amelia explains the interesting name
 of her business
 Studio Milly Jean Weakleg:

"My family and friends from home (Memphis) call me Milly and my husband tacked on the Jean just being silly. And my maiden name is Armstrong so hence the Weakleg. And I refer to the business as Studio MJW and those just happen to be my grandmother's initials."

photo credits: Marilyn Storey, The Velveteen Rabbit, Portico Magazine, Amelia Patterson, Warren Husband

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