Afterthoughts…

It has been a while since I returned from London but before I clear the camera, I just wanted to share the random photos that still remained.

The first bunch are some of the buildings in Camden. They are all adorned with enormous objects, mostly footwear. I am guessing they are a form of advertising, however what would that mean for this store?

Planes =Leather

DSC00441These are a little more obvious.

DSC00444And so are these-

DSC00442Shoes are the product of choice

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DSC00473On the other side of town, one more display window theme was for the Royal Ascot, which is the British version of the Kentucky Derby with much better hats.

DSC00491This door was on a side street of Harrod’s and was probably twenty feet tall.

DSC00498While walking,I found this enclosed mall with the most beautiful architectural detail.DSC00508And for a grand finale, while stopped at a red light in a taxi, I noticed this huge horse looking like he was grazing on the grass, (or eating a truck!)

DSC00507Now I can clear the camera. Hope you enjoyed the quick trip!

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Having fun with JONATHAN ADLER

This past week, I had the pleasure of being invited to a reception at the Madison Ave. location of Jonathan Adler.

DSC00542It was a special treat for me, as there was not one French antique, no scratched, chipped and gilded objects and just a hint of crystal. I was greeted with an abundance of color, unique ceramic objects, and an overall feeling of fun and creativity.

DSC00529DSC00527As stated in the company’s title, “Jonathan Adler is a design company dedicated to bringing style, craft and joy to your life”

DSC00519“Iconic potter, designer, author, and personality. Adler launched his first ceramic collection in 1994 at Barneys New York. Five years later he expanded into home furnishings, opening his first namesake boutique in Manhattan.”

DSC00520To really appreciate the history of the company, you might enjoy reading his full timeline of how the company evolved on his website http://www.jonathanadler.com/about.php

ja_aboutThe story is as entertaining as strolling through the showroom.

DSC00532The “pot” refers to the iconic shape of one of Jonathan’s many ceramic pieces that fill the store.

DSC00523I loved the eclectic mix of product and color. Everything works together as an entire room or even if you are looking for some accent pieces to add some color and texture to an existing area.

DSC00526So much to choose from and so many options!

Another amusing feature are the “Jonathanisms” that are written on the walls for you to see as you browse.DSC00531They reflect the philosophy of the brand and teach the buyer not to take decorating so seriously.

DSC00530The well done vignettes throughout the store help you to visualize the possibilities achieved through the mixing  or matching of the many objects.DSC00528The designs are very versatile in that every age group has something to choose from. And who doesn’t want to smile when they come home?

DSC00522My favorite quote was behind the register which just assures everyone who is considering a purchase…DSC00533I didn’t need much convincing!

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The Camden Stables Market

Camden Town, London offers one of the most interesting tourist attractions.

DSC00446While walking near the London zoo, turn the corner and the neighborhood becomes a sea of shops and people. Within the shops is “The Camden Stables Market in London, which consists of a group of 19th century horse stables, horse hospital, workshops, warehouses and vaults, all connected by cobbled lanes, with it’s various levels connected by ramps.

DSC00448International traders offer and sell their wares in well lit shop units, which are housed within the old catacombs and railway arches of the viaduct, giving the whole area a Victorian England feel about it.

DSC00453DSC00452Intensifying this Victorian feel is the widespread positioning of magnificent bronze sculptures of the horses, their handlers and farriers of those long past years, and the former use of the area, which arouse hidden memories of those bygone days.

DSC00460DSC00461It all started in 1854 when, due to the increase in rail freight, more and more horses were required to supplement the already considerable number of animals, which were being used to haul the Pickford distribution wagons around the streets of London and to tow the heavy barges, up and down the Regents Canal in North London.

DSC00463The first buildings were no more than one and a half storeys high, but with the developement of the nearby railway, larger two and three storey brick buildings were constructed, leaving  with what is now, the finest group of industrial stabling left in England.

DSC00456In the previous century, Camden had been a sleepy little country village, consisting of nothing more than just a few houses and farms, aligned alongside a main route out of London to the north and surrounded by fields and trees.

The only form of road transport at the time was horsepower and the rapidly expanding goods yard had to rely heavily on horses, not only as the sole form of road transport to and from the goods yard for the distribution of goods, but also within the goods yard itself. This was still the case until well after the Second World War.

DSC00449DSC00451Before the advent of the railway, horses had been used exclusively to tow the fully laden barges along the canal. At one time, some 420 horses were stabled there and it became necessary to build stables, a horse hospital, blacksmith forges, saddlers workshops, wagon stores and several warehouses within the yard.

DSC00457DSC00454A company by the name of Pickfords, were agents for the London and Birmingham Railway Company, the owners of what was still the only major railway line running north out of the capital.It handled freight from as far and wide as Carlisle and Tynside bringing it to and from London, with Pickfords handling the movement of these goods to and from the yard, employing well over two hundred horses for this purpose.

DSC00458Initially both horses and trains were able to work on the same level, but this scenario eventually became far too dangerous, due to the busy rolling stock.In order to raise the level of the tracks, the railway company constructed a viaduct with special horse passages running through the huge arches and catacombs which carried the viaduct.

DSC00459It was in these arches and catacombs that the various stables, blacksmiths forges etc. were accommodated. They still remain there to this day and can be found at the end of the vaults which are now used as shops.There were now safe routes for the horses to travel, even unattended. One passageway led to the stables and another one led to the horse hospital, they were now able to come and go without fear of injury or even death from moving trains.

DSC00470Further expansion took place in the early 1880’s when additional levels were constructed, all linked together by ramps and bridges and which are still very much in evidence today.

DSC00471However, it is now people, rather than horses, who walk easily around the whole site, bartering, purchasing, eating, drinking or simply just browsing, but certainly enjoying themselves as they take in the wonderful atmosphere of this very picturesque, Camden Stables Market.”

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Great Gatsby Fever

I have just returned from London and Great Gatsby Fever is everywhere. Art Deco is the trend of the moment. Clothing, jewelry, home furnishings; everywhere I went I was treated to the wonderful elements of the era.

I remember in the 90’s, my favorite showroom to go to was J. Robert Scott in the D&D building. To me, Sally Sirkin Lewis, the founder of the company was the ultimate woman gifted with vision and execution.

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Her brand was based on the neutrals, crystals, shine, lacquers and metal all synonymous with the Art Deco period. Her showroom would always take my breath away every time I would visit.

71Needless to say, with the popularity of the movie affecting a new generation, I am brought back to one of my favorite design eras of all time.

Tonight I will be attending a preview party for the movie. However, I know I will be in my seat not listening to the dialogue. I will be intensely looking at the backgrounds of every scene. I will be marveling at the furniture, wall finishes, accessories and architecture. That is what I do. I live for design.

So while in London, I found out Harrod’s Department Store had used their windows to pay tribute to the Great Gatsby Movie. What a pleasant surprise it was!

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I felt like I was the young girl in Manhattan in the 60’s at Christmas time. We would bundle up from the cold in to go see the beautiful and very famous window displays from Barney’s. This time around it was Harrod’s in May.

DSC00505The building is very large and covers what could be comparable to the size of the New York City Macy’s. The windows circle the entire block and I tried to photograph every one of them as best as I could.

So if you can’t get to the movie, at least enjoy the show of vintage style photos. The experience was complete with my very own doorman!

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F. Scott Fitzgerald would have been proud!

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A Day at Covent Garden

Today, I am in London. As always, I invite myself to join the husband while he works, and I get to explore. Instead of heading straight to Harrod’s, I decided to get creative and go someplace I haven’t been.

We are staying in Regent Park and the hotel is very nice.DSC00399Of course my eyes are always drawn to the details, so I took this photo of the moldings for future reference. They are painted black with gold leaf overlay.

DSC00403The hallways are beautifully done in mahogany wainscoting  and doors with bright brass fittings. I feel like I am on an old vintage cruise ship.

DSC00475Because Monday was a Bank Holiday here, a lot of things were closed. We had been told that the Jubilee Market was open and would be fun to go to.

DSC00423Jubilee Market is an open Flea/ Antique Market that is only open on Mondays so we bought our tickets to the metro and headed over.

There were hundreds of booths with all kinds of fun vintage items. Even if you are not looking to purchase anything, the sights are very entertaining. One thing that we noticed is that the British are really cashing in on the popularity of their “Keep Calm” campaign!

DSC00409DSC00440Next to the market is another covered two story area where there are lots of food vendors, entertainment and tables to take a break from all the shopping.

DSC00415DSC00426From the balcony I noticed probably the biggest pot of Paella being made by a vendor in the courtyard.

YUM!DSC00427There even is an old fashioned cigar and snuff shop.

DSC00416A string quartet was playing for the enjoyment of everyone seated down below.DSC00414We overdosed on caffeine at Le Pain Quotedien. It is a coffee chain throughout Europe that I love to go to. The shop is made entirely from old scrubbed pine cabinetry and carrera marble. It’s so quaint and cozy!

DSC00419DSC00418DSC00420We did leave with some purchases…a piece of china to add to our collection,

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and a remnant of a beautiful French silk embroidered fabric for some throw pillows.

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The weather was perfect for all of the walking we did. After a long day, we decided to return to have a well deserved dinner. We got back on the Metro for a short trip back to the hotel.

Even  the underground is very quaint. It is decorated with original appropriately named Subway Tiles, as in this sign.

DSC00405Obviously, just another way to say “EXIT”, but the most common phrase which has come to be synonymous with British mass transit is..

DSC00404Now off to Harrod’s..

Cheers!

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Horse Trailer Glam-Over

This past week in New York, the weather was finally feeling like spring. Sunny and warm in the 70’s, it was perfect for riding outdoors and getting ready for the first show of the season. Unfortunately, that includes cleaning the trailer from last season.DSC00384Trailer cleaning is not fun. It is messy, smelly and unrewarding and no one wants to help.

So this year I had an idea.

Although we own three horses, I plan on showing only one of them this season. That means the trailer is all mine… My space, my rules, my organization.

I decided that the dressing room, which had no room for dressing, would be cleared out completely of all supplies. I could now have a real room/sitting area to myself.

DSC00385A blank canvas to have fun with! And it’s all mine! I could now put the broom, shovel, buckets, hoses, fans, tack trunks and everything else into the back of the trailer into the side that will not be used for a second horse.

So where to start?

Color scheme, of course. There was no question that pink would be used, but I needed something else.

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Since my daughter had moved out, she had some pieces in her room that she did not take, so I decided that they were now mine.

Painting was so easy. I bought a latex paint that has a primer in it so all I had to do was fill in the sections with two coats and my room was ready for decorating.

DSC00386I wanted a fun and feminine Hollywood feel, so I used lots of shine.

I bought a cute chandelier from Lowe’s and cut the wire. I tied it to one of the ceiling seams made from aluminum.

DSC00390Maybe at some point I can wire it so that it really works, but for now it’s just for show. I took an old mirrored table from my house and it fits perfectly into the rounded end of the room. A silk orchid, horse statue and candle are secured in place with putty.DSC00391A lawn chair is just the right size, comfortable and is able to be brought out when we are tailgating at the showgrounds. Some “outdoor friendly” throw pillows add color and comfort.

DSC00394In front of the chair is an ottoman that I also took from my house. It’s perfect for putting up my feet if I want to study my test or take a nap.

DSC00393My friend Chris gave me this photograph that she took in 1999. The statue is a reproduction of a DaVinci that was touring the United States until it went to Italy for permanent display.

DSC00392The window panels I purchased at a local store that sells all kinds of bedding, towels and drapes that are slightly irregular. They are a shiny silver stripe and are held back with black holders with crystal balls on the ends, so privacy is an option when changing clothes.

So to see the finished product, open the door with the appropriate label,

DSC00387 and see the final result!

DSC00388It was so easy to do and much more attractive and enjoyable than the way it was before.

I wish I had this truck to pull my trailer!

3c4a5d84c82f96e1771fd22bb70f0912And to top it off, have the trailer painted to match the truck!

141092fc91fff5644a4534f24fe66c0bUnfortunately, my next project is organizing the back of the trailer. Not pretty and not fun, but someone’s gotta do it.

DSC00396I think I’ll buy some lawn Flamingos. Come visit if you see me at a show!

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