11 June 2016

Art: Jules Breton


I was recently looking over photos of some of the pieces I carried in my vintage shop RevivalSmith and I was reminded of this poster of a painting by Jules Breton, The Song of the Lark. I was already a fan of Jean Francois Millet's The Gleaners when I came upon this poster and it struck the same chord in me that Millet's famous painting had -- appreciation for the beauty of hard work, community and closeness with the land. In researching some of his other works, I realized that I connect with a lot of Breton's pieces. His subjects are often women -- farm workers -- and he clearly has reverence for them and the simple but dignified lives they lead. 

Jules Breton (1827-1906) was born in a small village in the Pas-de-Calais and his paintings were deeply influenced by the rural life he experienced and witnessed as a boy. He began painting in the Realist style but his later works are more representative of Symbolism. More information about the Symbolist movement can be found here. We live in a complicated time where women are expected to conform to a very specific aesthetic ideal that excludes much of the female population, so seeing depictions of women with strong arms and sturdy feet who are nevertheless feminine and beautiful does my soul good. 

               Returning from the Fields

Paysanne au Repos

 Young Women Going to a Procession

La Glaneuse

Calling in the Gleaners

Images: 1) RevivalSmith. 2) Wikimedia. 3) Sotheby's. 4) Art Renewal. 5) Fine Art. 6) Web Gallery of Art.           

08 April 2016

Dressing Rooms


The last time I wrote a post about dressing rooms was 5 years ago and it makes me laugh to see that I had a good sense of what New York living would entail. At the time, I wasn't even considering a move to Manhattan. But when I closed my vintage furniture store in 2013, I began considering all options and New York quickly became the best one. I've lived in a couple of apartments now and clothing storage has proven challenging. So the dream of a big closet that can hold not only my clothes but an armchair and vanity table continues to be elusive. While these versions are practical and elegant, mine would be a little less formal. I would need boho and industrial touches to feel at home -- maybe a mudcloth armchair and a copper pipe wall-mounted fixture. But chances are that when I finally realize my dream of a big dressing room, my design scheme will have been revised several times over.                       





Images: 1) Tidbits & Twine. 2) Apartment Therapy. 3) Architectural Digest. 4) Hooked on Houses. 5) Traditional Home.                        

27 February 2016

Looking Back: RevivalSmith


Once in a while I find myself scrolling through photos of the vintage furniture shop I had in Philadelphia and I get a bit nostalgic about it all -- the pieces, the people I met and the creative freedom it allowed me. Though it was a struggle to stay in business, I gained too much from the experience to ever regret it. And ultimately taking a step towards my passion for creating inspiring spaces led me to a job I love, working as a visual merchandiser for ABC Carpet & Home. I have no desire to reverse the clock and be back in the shop, but I do get a lump in my throat looking at old photos and being reminded of the day-to-day moments that made up my time at RevivalSmith. These are just a few of the pieces that I got to live with for a time (some of them just cleaned up and others refinished). I'll admit I had a hard time letting the seltzer bottle lamps go -- definitely the ones that got away.








Images: RevivalSmith.

23 January 2016

Layered Linens


It's a blizzardy Saturday in New York city and I've only been trapped indoors for a few hours, but cabin fever is already beginning to hit. As I layered up to dig out my car after the first foot of snow had fallen, I found myself wishing I could skip the whole process and instead bury myself under layers of bedding. I've been hopping from sublet to sublet since the summer and what I miss most is my own bed and getting to switch up my linens as my mood dictates. Right now I'm loving these unfussy linens draped loosely with knits thrown over them haphazardly. They work as well in winter or summer and make for easy bed-making in the morning -- which leaves room for hitting the snooze button at least once.           






Images: 1) First Home. 2) Inrichting-huis. 3) Helt enkelt. 4) Nest Design Studio. 5) Interiors by Studio M. 6) Design Sponge.                        
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