Monday, April 25, 2011

Something Fresh

Online only: the new TradHome Magazine.

I've been struggling with something lately, ever since I got back from the Round Top, Texas antique show. I think my taste is changing and I am ready to move on to a different design sense. Not surprising. It's just good to do every few years and try to stay somewhat current with the times. I hope all of us change it up now and then from hairdo's to furniture to fashion.

I emailed a friend while in Texas and said, "OK, I think I am done. I think I am done with the shabby-chippy-burlap-ironstone thing." Just how much of it can we all have anyway? I found myself not drawn to it much anymore. Tacking a piece of burlap on a chair is a cheap and quick fix but we all know it doesn't feel so good. Stenciling letters on a burlap pillow can be equally appealing but again, do you really want to lay your head on such a thing? And once you are over 40, do we really want all our furniture to wobble with drawers that are hard to open? I am ready for user friendly and well built. But don't get me wrong, I am still in love with antiques, chipped paint and worn linens but I am ready to use these items in a new way and mix them up with some unexpected elements.

I pondered hooking up the camper and heading to a new antique show a few weeks ago but decided against it. Once I saw the pictures online of the show I was glad I did not make the trip. There it was again; images of rusty wire things, burlap covered whatever, chippy drawers or badly painted white something (or bright pink or turquoise!). I do hope dealers are selling these things because these shows are so much work but I want to shout to the universe of antique dealers out there and say "DO SOMETHING ELSE!"

What really prompted this blog post was the discovery of the new TradHome online mag. From the makers of LonnyMag comes a fresh look at the old Traditional Home magazine. Heck, this is so new looking, traces of Traditional Home are nowhere to be found! I was stopped in my tracks by these images from what they call the New Traditionalists designers. Enjoy.

Above, this fabulous mix of color, texture, shape and pattern.
A bit retro, a bit bohemian and fresh!

A lot of yellow but it works! I especially love how all the vintage items have been
reupholstered, cleaned and polished to look brand new.

And yes, I am still a lover of white. Mixed with black and pattern
and stone it gets an immediate 2011 update.

The blue painted cabinets turn this kitchen on its ear!
It looks designed but not untouchable.

Above; from the home of my friend and customer,
Hallmark stylist Andy Newcom. I love how he added the large
oval window making the vintage sink
and ironstone seem more regal.

Also in Andy's house, modern lighting used above an
older French table and antique accessories.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have been thinking that something was wrong with me. I kept seeing this syle all over the blogs and felt like I was just not 'with it' and would never fit in. Just this weekend I decided to go ahead and find my own style, a mix of so many the new online magazine that you shared. So thanks again and I am looking forward to see what you come up with too.

  2. Debbie, I hear you on this very topic. I'm a newer shop owner of antiques that are newly refurbished. That too, is a lot of work! Bottom line, is I just want to be a designer...and the selling stuff is the hassle, but more often it's the platform to get people to see our designs. You are an inspiration and I look forward to seeing your continued ventures. Wish you'd come see me here in Sprinffield. I'd love to host a workshop with you as the hostess extraordinaire! Best, Sharon

  3. I completely understand this. I think it is normal for style and taste to evolve. What I love right now is that what is old and boring to one person is new and original to another. There are people out there who have never even considered burlap before who are blown away but putting it on a chair. You are a trendsetter, someone who goes before everyone else and paves the way for others to discover new styles and ways of thinking. I would be surprised if you didn't keep evolving! Can't wait to see what you dream up next!

  4. I'm with you, Debbie! I think my tastes changed somewhere around the time of Domino. I still have all those magazines! But what was selling in the shop where I sold was the shabby, chippy style. Now that I am no longer there, I have found there are many people who have changed as well. So I will really be looking forward to everything you do! Thanks!

  5. Debbie, couldn't agree more. I've been ready for a change for a LONG time now. In my own home, I never have embraced all the white-white-white and lace, etc. I crave more warmth, more soul.

    There is something rumbling out there... an undercurrent of change (thank you, Lord) and I'm ready to head out into the frontier with you! ;)

    Hope all's well! How's life sans brick & mortar?? :)


  6. Funny how you say the very things I am thinking when it comes to decor now! I love the rusty wire white chippy look, but can't and never have been able to do that look. I guess I am getting older and I don't want the wobbles anymore. It doesn't sell well here in mid-Indiana anyway..been there selling in the Antique malls etc...that day seems to be over..I'm a bit sad though...mostly because I have a lot of it to sell!

  7. I fell in love with so many things in this new magazine I couldn't pick just one image either!
    I love how each of the rooms feel!
    Fresh and new but attainable and livable!
    I am so...tired of what I am seeing at the shows and events so I decided to take a step out on my own.
    I can't wait to see your new path...what will inspire you on your next phase of the journey!
    I praying for you!
    If ever this way...stop by our little store and our French Flea Market event in July!

  8. Hallelujah! Thank you for saying it. Someone with clout needed to. I don't want to touch things that appear to be dirty. I don't want them in my home, especially in my kitchen. I don't want guests wondering if I borrowed that wire basket from the chicken coop and if it's clean. Our antiques and whites can be incorporated into a more refined style. The fascination with burlap baffles me. For that look, I'd choose coarse linen.

  9. just happy that you posted and are alive and well I have always loves a blend of things new and chippy etc......went into an arhus furniture store in ohio last year when I was at the country living fair....they are cook check them out they kinda have the boho thing going good blend.....I am getting rady to open my store....keep thinking of you and wish you lived here to add your fresh picked funk....hope you are well!!!XXOO
    patrice (aka forever stalker)

  10. How refreshing!!! I thought I was all alone. I look at all white rooms and it reminds me how hospitals used to look when I was a kid. I've never been a fan of a fad that calls for getting rid of all my favorite things in order to be in style.
    Recently, I've gone to a few new shops and while the displays are very nice it's just more of the same. I thought I must not be in the right state of mind when I've gone hunting. It seems it's just been over done.
    Love the photos. I will always be a sucker for old sinks that are skirted.

  11. I'm always slow to incorporate a new style (and usually too poor for a whole-house redo). I completely missed the shabby chic fad eventhough I really liked it. And the rusty, faded, chippy look--well I missed that too, not because I didn't like it, but I thought looked very uncomfortable. I can hear my dad saying 'why do you want something that us old geezers threw out years ago?'

    My style is classic comfort created with color and texture. Livable, usable, sturdy, inviting, and homey. I don't have to worry about spending a fortune every time the fads change. I'll never have a home fit for a style magazine, but I do have a home that is fit for family and friends.

    Thanks for sharing a fresh new take on decorating!

  12. Nicely said!
    My home is a mixture of old and new, contemporary and traditional, elegant and quirky and I have found as long as scale, height, colour and texture are varied and balanced, it works. My grown children tease me that nothing really matches, yet everything goes together and it's comfortable, approachable and beautiful.
    I could never be pigeonholed to one style or sensibility other than maybe "I like what I love". Anything else is too limiting!

  13. While I love the white worn look,(I'm always stopping at those blogs) I can't do it in my own home! I'm re-upholstering chairs for someone, and the old burlap is there, and I know it isn't comfortable to sit in...I am with you on this change!


  14. Good morning Debbie, so glad to see a new style in your future. While I loved visiting your site, I never was into the whole chippy white thing. My bohemian soul could just never go there. Not to say that there weren't bits and pieces here and there. So looking forward to seeing how you evolve into your new style.

  15. I can't believe my ears. I think this is the best news I have heard in a long time. I was wondering when and how long it would take people to get over that shabby,rust,rundown, poor look. Thank You Jesus. Richard

  16. Amen.. couldn't agree more! I love the blue cabinets and have filed them under my "dream beach house" folder.

  17. thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!! I've never been onboard with the chippy, shabby chic thing and it seems like it will just never die in the magazines. There's no way my family or friends are going to sit on burlap, after all, we live in farm country and burlap does not translate as a fashionable decor statement. HA!

    I almost flipped at the flea market last month when I came upon a quarter sawn antique oak washstand that had been painted turquoise.

    Say Amen somebody!

  18. thank you for your comments. I have always mixed my traditional look with modern and love a touch of the chippy white here and there. I was really feeling dated because I was not on board, but now I am refining my look and collections. Less is more to me right now. Looking froward to your posts

  19. Eclectic is the way to go, yes? If you can pull it all together into a beautiful room, no reason we can't have a little of this and little of that. Not saying it's easy but sure beats the old concept of a matching suite - couch and two chairs!

    Personally I love French/Swedish country in soft neutrals - grey-blue, creamy whites, with real linen rather than burlap. I don't see this look as shabby chic, more authentic farmhouse, especially when adding some beautiful pine armoires and tables, old oil paintings of country scenes, antique foxed mirrors and sconces, and yes ironstone - but mixed with prettily patterned antique china.

    I will never change to contemporary, it's just not me. So bottom line, decorate your home with things you truly love, no need to follow trends if they don't appeal to you.

    Thanks for showing us the pics - the kitchen is marvelous! I'll be interested in your new look Debbie - you always work miracles - and we do need trendsetters!
    Fondly, Mary

    P.S. I'm old but can still manage wobbly for a while longer hopefully!!

  20. This post hit home with me.
    I too have become bored with the constant repeat of shabby and chic, chippy and cream.
    Although I fancy it still not to the extreme of seeing it EVERYWHERE.
    How about antiques that showcase worn walnut rather than sherwin williams eggshell. Yeah, how about that!♥
    Rather than be a follower strike out on your own and allow your style to shine through. After all, your style is unique and special and one of a kind just like you!

  21. Debbie this is the perfect post. Sometimes I think we just get in a rut and maybe have a hard time taking the steps to break loose and move to the next idea, the next adventure!

    Art by Karena

    Come and enter my very Fashionable Giveaway from the French Basketeer!

  22. WOW What an awesome post..I was wondering when someone was going to say something about the chippy rusty thing!!!!Don't get me wrong it is a cool looking set up..BUT our world is made of color!!!!and I am sorry to say I never went with the all white thing..first I am too messy..second I need color and lots of it..and I do not like the chipping paint..just doesn't work for me..LOVE it in the pictures but just not for me...Hope I don't offend don't mean too...but I was wondering when I was going to come back into style again...I like the richness of wood and the colors of I will so excited to see what you come up with next. Lisa

  23. Whew! Do I feel better hearing (er...reading) you express your comments about being tired of the same-old stuff shown the same-old way. I've been struggling with this sentiment; I've already cleared away so many was time.

    I can hardly wait to see what direction you head. Knowing you, you'll make it better wherever you go.

    Happy weekend,

  24. I can not wait to see where your style is going next. Where ever it is, be sure to take lots of pictures!

  25. I think I'm in agreement. Who knew we'd all get so excited over some nubby burlap anyway? I purchased a few yards, then sneezed so bad every time I went near it that I can't work with it! So it's a no-brainer for me.

  26. Doesn't it feel good not to have to poke around in junk shops anymore ? Maybe it's a thing with getting older - but I want bright, new comfy things. Burlap doesn't fit into any of those categories !

  27. I have been shouting the same thing for a couple of years now...ENOUGH! Tired of seeing it all over the place. Everyone's home looks alike. Bring on the individualism and QUICK!!!! As an artist I never went all white and as a 50+ homemaker I surely didn't paint my antiques. However, I have friends that did. Change is coming and is very welcome. It's good to hear it from someone like you...a trendsetter. I cannot wait to see what you do next!!

  28. You go girl. THANK YOU!! You must be reading my mind. If I see one more stenciled burlap pillow or chair I think I might scream. It is a short lived fad. A nice traditional piece of functional furniture is so nice. A beautiful collection of white ironstone is awesome, but display with style.
    To much rust and chippy furniture could be harmful to your health.

  29. I have long admired all the burlap and white and ironstone...but I love color too much to fill my home with it. I do love chippy white paint and have for a very long time...25 years it is a part of my decor and always will. But I want nice things mixed in a interesting way. You will never see rows of mason jars in my windows. I think they are good for canning but not to be used in my decor.

    But we all crave change...I know just when I get as much of something as I always desired...all of a sudden I don't want it as much any more. It's all about moving on to the next thing. Reaching for the gold ring. You desire something until you have lots of it and then you want something else.

    For my own home...I never do a trendy decor...I may mix in a few trendy accessories...but my major furniture pieces I've had for years and years and I put them in different spots or repaint or recover. Right now....I really really want a big mod fixture in the dining room. I am resisting this urge even though this would be an easy thing to switch out. But I have the most fabulous 1930's fixture just perfect for my home that I am putting up. I know this one will stand the test of one else has a fixture like this. If I put up the big IKEA dandelion one I want...I'd only be taking back down in a year or two.

    I will be very interested in seeing how your home changes. Loved Andy's home in the book "Undecorate". Love the mix of things in his home.

  30. You are a visionary... I'll bet mouths are dropping at this post! These pictures aren't moving me - but I do understand. I never could translate white shabby chic into my own home since I don't live near a beach and it always seemed too cool. I never got the beige and burlap thing (I swear it is mostly a blog thing!) - I get too excited over paint chips and fabric swatches... I love walls with gorgeous color, fabric with geometric patterns, or just great florals...

    When you make changes, girl you go for it! I LOVE that. Change is GOOD.

  31. Yes, jaws are dropping which I think is kind of humorous.

    I had NO INTENTION of making anyone think their own "chippy-burlap-ironstone thing" was outdated. It was a call to dealers to shake it up and extend their way of thinking because this is where customers buy things and ideas start. Also, I do NOT think of myself as a trendsetter (now that I no longer have a brick and mortar venue to show off) and never have. I would like to think I stick with timeless items and give them my own twist; personally and professionally.

    Also, the images I posted were not at all where I may go with my own personal interior design. They were much too perfect and mod. It was simply something fresh to study. This is why we must look at all kinds of mediums to find something that speaks to us and use bits and pieces of it and turn it into our own style- and to stay fresh.

    I have no desire to move away from my all white/neutral home. I still LOVE IT and find tranquility in it. But I am ready to add more items from all decades, not just a country look. I have always loved a touch of ethnic because the fabric patterns are divine. We'll see where all this goes!

  32. I think you are right about the design trend. A lot of what is popular now are away from the shabby-chic to the bright colors of the 50s and that country kitchen look in bathrooms and kitchens. You can accent these rooms with wonders from the past to give a modern, but classic look. Milk glass is one of favorite accessories for some of the kitchens you showed. They are elegant and classic pieces, but their bright white color adds a clean and modern look.

  33. I always feel like change is a good thing. And I think there are design styles for everyone, but some things catch on and then take off like wildfire as is the case of the shabby, chippy, all white craze these days. I personally need a little color around me in order to feel at home. I guess that's the great thing about blogs, shops, and designers, they can all be creative in their own way.

    Great post!

    Kat :)

  34. I still LOVE chippy,crusty and whites!! ;) BUT I think we should all do what WE LOVE and not worry about what others think about OUR decor~ Modern and bold is not my thing BUT I still think it is great that others choose it in their homes.:) But I have to agree that burlap is not too cozy for pillows!! Hugs, Rachel

    French Farmhouse 425

  35. OMG!!! FINALLY, someone said what I am thinking! Time for a change antiques dealers! I live in Louisiana and have always enjoyed The Roundtop Antiques SHows, until this year. All the vendors look alike, nothing new, no new ideas, nothing inspiring. Just a bunch of rust and decay. With age comes change.....and it's time for a change. I have collected white ironstone and brown transferware for years. Now I am selling it cheap just to be rid of that look. Times are changing and homeowners are getting younger, so with it comes a younger decor. Fresh, colorful and inspiring. Look out antiques dealers, I think I see a change coming with buyers!

  36. I think the interiors you show in this post are refreshing and fun, especially the yellow w/starburst collection and the kitchen with the oval window. How I would love to have that window! Thanks for the inspiration!

  37. Amen!!! I've been phasing out this stuff in our home, too. Tired of it. Hubby hates sitting on burlap and honestly, white is just not kid or people friendly at all. I'm so glad you are done with this design aesthetic and can't wait to see where your new journey takes you! xoxo

  38. I love that you posted this. I personally have never done "the white" thing as I call it, I will admit that some people have done it well. I miss Mary Emmerling and her sense of style and color. She always seemed to be able to take what was new and current but at the same time ground it with ethnic pattern, designs and color. I miss her and her editorial touch.

  39. Amen! Loved your post, it's fun to shake things up every so often! :)

  40. These comments make me so sad. Here in the South we are slower to pick up on the latest "trends" so to some people this is brand new. I've decorated a lot of different ways and I have to say, this white on white, worn weathered, feedsack thing is by far my favorite. Never have my heart skipped a beat so fast as when I found my first grungy feed sack throw pillow. I love the graphics and the contract between the worn and the chic. To die for! I hope it stays around forever!!!

  41. Thanks so much for the post. I love the butterfly chair and will be searching for a cheaper alternative for my home! It has a vintage and rustic feel in a modern design. love it!

  42. I don't think that I could ever embrace the modern contemporary look. I love old too much (but not rickety!). Ironstone, painted cupboards, old mirrors, paintings....I can't get enough of it. I love white painted pieces, but it has to be authentic. Too many people are slapping paint on antiques and that makes me sick! I will always have a home with some color. Most of my favorite colors are neutral, but I never could fill my home with all white furniture. And burlap??.....forget it. I have never been interested in that!

    I can't wait to see what you do next!!

  43. Thank you for putting it out there! I've discovered Lonnymag a few weeks ago and I'm always drawn to go back. It's fresh, eclectic and stylish. I just purchased a new house and wanted a fresh new look and this is the answer for me. No more bulap, books with no covers and rusted urns...I'll add you to my list of inspiration, thanks again!

  44. You are spot on with this! We just loaded our trailer with the last of my chippy white pie safes and farm rusties and took them to my friends' home to sell at the Barn House Flea Market in July, because I've made a shift back to my personal favorite which I call "City French". For my booths, I've taken my vintage camp blankets out and I'm making pillows out of them. Though I love cream and white, I just redid one of my booths in patriotic colors and love it!


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