It’s Not Exactly Home Decor…

…but when my husband comes home from work, I’m just as happy to see his beautiful briefcase as I am to see him.

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It really does make the room look better. It’s made of the thickest, most beautiful leather and it gets better looking the longer he uses it. I actually get sad when he leaves in the morning because the briefcase is leaving too. When he retires, it’s going on permanent display somewhere in the house – I can see it hanging by that gorgeous strap on a hook somewhere. If only retirement were sooner! At least it does give me a bit of time to find the perfect spot – and right now I’m (wishfully) thinking my modern barn dream house might just be it.

Large Tobacco Briefcase, Saddlebackleather.com

Knoxville

On our Spring Break road trip, we spent one beautiful morning in Knoxville, Tennessee – a lovely little city. I found a great little shop on Market Square called Bliss Home. There was so much to see in every inch of the shop – all of it fun and also well priced.

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I am a huge fan of the mismatched throw pillows trend. A wild mix like this one is wonderful.

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This huge chalkboard with the architectural black frame was amazing. Whimsical and sophisticated all at the same time. It was a little big to fit in the car with all our road trip gear, so I bought this fabulous orange Moroccan patterned mug instead:

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I’m almost positive that my coffee tastes better in it.

Outside the shop, there were some other fun Design Finds:

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Building numbers in tile.

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A dismantled radiator becomes railing supports.

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Orange Panton chairs brighten up an outdoor restaurant patio.

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And then there’s this crazy thing – the giant Sunsphere, built here for the 1982 World’s Fair. The sphere itself  is 75 feet across, but unfortunately it was closed when we were there, so we didn’t get to go up into it. I was dying to look out through the gold glass -it’s layered in 24 karat gold dust! The world must look pretty glam from there.

 

Primitive

Hello! We’ve just returned from a Spring Break road trip to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its neighbor, Dollywood! I learned pretty quickly that this part of the world doesn’t have too many modern Design Finds to share, but what it does have is an endless supply of beautiful primitive barns (many of which are fighting a losing battle with time and gravity), log cabins, mills, fences and churches. Their beautiful simplicity and the stories they hold really spoke to me. My dream house is a modern barn – maybe something like this:

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While the structures I saw in Tennessee were a far cry from the one above, they were lovely in their own quiet way. Their age becomes them – and some things just never go out of style.

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 All structures above photographed by me in the Cades Cove area of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Modern barn/house is Thistle Hill Farm, photo via Houzz.com.

Give Handmade

Mother’s Day is coming up. Give handmade! I’m quite a few years past bringing home artwork from school for my mom, so this year I’m substituting lovely things handmade by someone with actual talent.

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Above are beautiful hand printed note cards I recently gave a friend as a birthday gift. They are, of course, from Etsy – my favorite source for handmade goods and gift giving. My mom reads this blog, so I can’t reveal what she’s getting until after Mother’s Day!

Note Cards: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShopKatharineWatson

 

Let’s Go Visiting Again

Remember Connie and her amazing Christmas collection? It turns out that she also collects hand painted Easter eggs during her world travels and she invited us back to see them. Each one is a tiny work of art.

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Krakow, Poland

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Poland

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Poland

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These eggs in the bunny holders are actually real eggs! Connie found these beauties in Prague.

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These tin eggs are from Vienna, Austria.

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Poland

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Poland

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Poland

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Poland

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Thailand

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Thailand

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Thailand

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This cast iron egg stand is from England, where it was intended for everyday use – eggs are often not refrigerated there. The eggs are from Poland.

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Poland

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Poland

Thanks Connie!

Design House

Last week I did a quick run up to the Lucketts Store for their Design House and outdoor flea market. This isn’t the big Spring Market (which is in May), but was a lot of fun. I saw many lovely things!

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I really love vintage doors and have my eye out for some for my bedroom to decorate the very big empty wall behind my bed. The ones I saw were way too tall, but I loved them anyway!

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These drawers also both caught my attention, but I wasn’t sure what I could keep in such shallow drawers. Ideas?

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There were some neat lighting ideas:

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And bunnies and birds:

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And chairs:

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You might recognize the above chairs here also!

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And random fun:

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It was a quick visit, so I didn’t buy much, but I did find this wall basket and painted cast iron hook to hang it with for my youngest daughter’s room. She likes to keep birthday cards and notes from friends and relatives, so I was thinking this would be a pretty storage solution.

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FYI – I have not forgotten that I promised to tell you about Design Finds from my trip to Charlottesville! Look for those soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love for Elvis

My friend Katherine recently visited Memphis, Tennessee and just knew that I would want to see pictures of her visit to Graceland. What an awesome friend! I’ve never visited Elvis’s home, so I was pretty excited to see it vicariously through her. I never expected to love any of it – Elvis is not known for tasteful choices. But then I totally fell in love with this room (which I believe is his music room):

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I don’t even know why. I don’t actually like heavy drapes or brass chandeliers or stained glass or grand pianos. But somehow all together it’s a fabulous time capsule of a space that I adore. I just made this picture the background wallpaper on my laptop. Go figure!

Eastern Market Sunday Fun

Before we begin, I just wanted to let you know that I tracked down the maker of those cool modern birdhouses featured in yesterday’s post. A link to their Etsy store is now at the bottom of that post.

Now let me tell you about all the fun I had and the Design Finds I spotted at Eastern Market in Washington DC this weekend! This is one of our favorite places to take the kids on a Sunday morning. There’s so much to see, and something for everyone – our whole family loves it. This is only a small fraction of it – I was having so much fun, I didn’t take as many pictures as I could have.

I saw two booths of beautiful handmade cutting boards. They were all lovely and make great gifts – especially for Mother’s Day (or a housewarming, or a wedding, or a birthday…)

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There was also furniture, including tables from reclaimed wood and even a headboard made from the facade of an old barn.

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There was also lots of home decor:

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Maps and posters:

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Random fun and funky stuff:

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And of course food:

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There was also tons of jewelry (both costume and artisan made) and art and photography and leather goods and scarves – so very many scarves! And of course, the interesting neighborhoods to Capitol Hill to wander around:

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Definitely worth a visit!

 

Reader Design Find!

Did you find a Flea Market this weekend? I was able to get to two – I’ll share what I saw later this week.

A reader in Georgia sent me pictures of some great modern birdhouses she saw at a market this weekend. Love them!

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I love birdhouses. We have a friendly birdhouse competition here at our house every year. We have a wooded back yard, and each member of the family has a birdhouse on one of the trees. My husband and kids have wooden ones they handpainted, and mine is a bird bottle from Colonial Williamsburg. Each spring we see if one of us is lucky enough to have our house host a bird family. While we do have a lot of birds come check them out, only my youngest daughter has had occupants who hatched and raised their baby birds in her house. My husband happened to be drinking his coffee on the back porch early one morning and saw the mama bird push each of the babies out for their first flight – an amazing sight! Perhaps we’d have more occupants if we had cool modern bird houses like the ones above!

Churp Modern Birdhomes:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChurpModern