One Kings Lane

I'm addicted to One Kings Lane almost as much as Houzz.  I remember the days when I had to peruse stacks of magazines to show clients beautiful rooms and special things so that they could visualize the concept I envisioned for their own home. Now, we can share idea books back and forth and the world of beauty is but a mere key stroke away

I especially enjoying the new format of One Kings Lane that includes the blogs. I was eager to read the article titled, "10 Things Designers Swear By."  Would I agree with the choices?  What if I fell short? (Gasp)!

1.  Gilded Mirrors: check! I have no less than eight hanging mirrors in my home, from vintage gold-gilded to heavy, solid carved wood in antique gold, and a delicious, heavy beveled glass one I designed and commissioned. Hmm, I thought I had more...time to indulge in another.

2.  Simple Tumblers: check! I personally prefer to mix designs rather than match with clear glass. Nothing beats the heaviness of cut-crystal casting a smell in your hand, whether you are drinking juice or a single malt Scotch. Vintage and new and even cranberry glass work well together providing so much interest and light reflective qualities.

3.  Rush Baskets: check! I don't over-indulge in baskets, but I have a few scattered about to hold magazines, laundry, and makeup essentials. I'm ok with this. I gave away a number of these that I rarely used because I have not one but several accessory closets that spill out into the spare bedroom, the master bedroom and the garage.

4.  Lacquered Trays: check!  My favorite was purchased recently on One Kings Lane. A set of three in different sizes that easily stack (gives you space for more). A rich, creamy white, a bright pink and a gold one now grace my living room lacquered table from Councill Craftsmen that was scooped up during their market sample sale. I have trays of all materials, painted wood, Barbra Barry dark wood by Henredon, multiple silver ones, simple and ornate and a prized wooden one that is finished in gold leaf from Occupied Japan that I paid $16.00 for in a tiny antique shop somewhere in a quaint town in Virginia. It is square with the sides sloped and I use it to serve hours d'oeuvres.

5.  Linen Napkins: check! I have a drawer full. Shamefully, I rarely use them. I hate to iron and I don't have a house keeper. I have vintage ones, oversized rough Irish linen ones purchased in Ireland, along with crisp white Waterford linen also purchased in Ireland. My favorite linens are the thin drying towels offered by Willian Sonoma years ago.  I look to see if they have revived them all the time. I even have special napkins embroidered by both sets of grandmothers, along with lovely tea towels and fingertip towels. I do use these as props and even for special dinners, but my guests aren't as discerning as I and I do not want them soiled. As I tell my clients, use them or pass them on. Nothing is enjoyed from inside a drawer.

6.  Coffee Table Books: check plus! A designer can never have too many books for inspiration. Beyond the obvious from designers we admire, I also have art, photography, travel books, gardening books, history of....books, piled in every room of the house. I use them on the floor, on end tables to make a lamp taller, under accessories to create height, on the coffee table to pick up and browse, and of course my husband is allowed his own collection of Cigar Making, The Civil War, countless car books, The Turn of The Century, etc.  A home without all sorts of books is an empty shell to me.

7.  Cashmere Throws:  check! I only have one, perfectly folded over a slipper chair. It is winter white with long fringe, and a glorious three-ply construction purchased from Restoration Hardware during their end of the season sale. I'm sure I'll wear it this winter as a pashmina draped around my shoulders. I love it! I have a number of cashmere, long-fringed scarves that I should drape about my home. I do have other throws, some purchased from One Kings Lane. They are an investment, so always purchase these on sale.

8.  Hurricane Vessels:  check! I have several pairs and a number that are intentionally mismatched. These are not restrained to use for candles, but year-round objects (if they are clear) to use seasonally for all sorts if things. At Halloween, fill them with candy corn, round Cheetos, and sticks of black licorice as a center piece. At Christmas, they can be filled with small, colorful inexpensive glass Christmas ornaments, gilded pine cones, bunches of evergreens, poinsettias, or red and green M & M's. In the spring, bird nests, puffs of fluffy cotton, cut stems of cherry blossoms, pots of tulips, etc. The possibilities are endless and they also look great empty with one sitting atop a few coffee table books it tracing a mantle.

9.  Silver Picture Frames:  check plus!  I have more than I can count. All of the frames have been put away for another day. My leather, bone, and inlaid wood frames may come out again in the future. Currently, even my silver ones have been put aside. I'm in a minimalist mood and the mass sitting on top of a chest just overwhelmed me one day and I placed them all in drawers. I love and cherish every one of them and never part with quality items, as I know my mood will change, and I'll once again return to a time of organized "English" clutter and bring them out again. I will caution my readers to gather items together. A collection is impactful when displayed together, but fussy and stifling when spread all over the house.

10.  Garden Stools: check! Love these! I only have one in bright brass and a quilted design reminiscent of Coco Channel's famous design and purchased from One Kings Lane. I have it sitting on my hearth. I would have purchased more, but again, my closets are stuffed with treasures (open a closet door and you'll be knocked over by bolts of fabric, tomes and books, mountains of scrumptious linen and velvet stuffed pillows, a collection of antique tea cups, etc). No I'm not a hoarder. I'm a designer, a purveyor of fine things essential to my life. But back to my garden stool - it borders on the gaudy in its riotously reflective brass. But what fun! I love gold, shiny objects! My husband finds it abhorrent but do I care? Does he have my trained eye? Not a chance. He gets 1/2 of the garage. The rest is filled with my treasures.



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