The Wheats, The Stalking Continues – Part II

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Sally Wheat lets me back inside!

 

One of the most popular stories on my blog has been “Stalking the Wheats” where last year I wrote about a beautiful house that I stalked on my daily Starbucks route.   The story of this house, a mixture of Belgian styling with lots of trendy pops, was a huge hit with everyone.   Their gray kitchen in particular was admired.  Even today, I still get emails asking for the color of Sally’s cabinets (Benjamin  Moore’s Fieldstone.)      The Wheats’ house did not go unnoticed by people in the media either.   Several magazine scouts that read my blog took an immediate interest in the house and finally  -  it was approved for a photo shoot with Country Home magazine.   As we all know, that magazine folded, just shortly before the photographs were to be taken.   But, all was not lost.   The editor of Houston House and Home, the top local design magazine here, contacted me about photographing the house - which  Sally very excitedly agreed to.  The photo shoot was set for earlier this summer.  The only thing  that was particularly nerve wracking about the entire shoot was Linda Barth, the editor, had asked me to write the cover story!   YIKES!    She promised it would be easy – she wanted a similar story to the original “Stalking the Wheats” – and so I agreed.    Most exciting of all, I would actually get paid for writing the story, which is a first – to be sure!  Everyone knows blogging is truly a labor of love, we don’t get reimbursed by some big blogging boss out in cyberspace.

The Houston House and Home photo shoot happened over a month ago.  I had not been back inside the Wheats’ house since the first story, and I was very pleasantly surprised at all the wonderful changes that have taken place.  Sally, like all interior designers, isn’t one to sit by and let her house just “be.”  It’s constantly in flux as pieces go in and out and from room to room.  The biggest change was in the living room; oh, I almost gasped when I saw it – it was so beautiful.    It’s been pure torture to have all these wonderful photographs that I took that day and not to be able to show them, but we (Sally, Linda and I) decided it would be better to have my new pictures timed to come out at the same time that the magazine issue came out.    The Houston House and Home with Sally Wheat’s house on the cover arrived in the stores this week, so, today – here are my updated pictures of the house!     The magazine is online – if you don’t live in Houston, you’ll still be able to read the story.   And for fun, be sure to read my original story here to see what changes Sally has made since we first visited in April of 2008.

 

image  The evergreen wisteria has really grown since last year, but all in all the exterior was same, except for different pots at the front door.

 

 

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The front door is dark brown planked wood with small sconces flanking it.   Above is the lantern from Chateau Domingue.

 

 

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Sally and I are very different in that she doesn’t like any lights on in her house during the day!  I am the complete opposite – I love all my chandeliers blazing all day long and I keep my sconces on 24/7 (after years of fighting with Mr. Slipper Socks Man over this!)   Here, I turned on the lantern and the dining room fixture.    She really doesn’t like them on – not for electricity issues – she just thinks the house looks better in natural light only.   A thought:  do you?  Which you do like, lights on during the day or off?   

 

 

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The biggest change in the dining room was the breakfront – it was formerly in the living room.  The mirror that was previously where the breakfront is now moved to the living room!     Sally had the dining table custom made to  match one she had seen in World of Interiors magazine.  Os de Mouton chairs are slipcovered in a muted damask.   The curtains, from Indulge in Houston,  are very breezy and are unlined linen with top ties. 

 

image Another new addition to the dining room is the large cross made out of dried leaves.  I love her wooden Italian chandelier and  her choice of accessories for the table.

 

 

image One small wall in the dining room is completely filled with this set of botanicals. 

 

 

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Here you can really fully see the chandelier.    The dining room is to the right of the front door, so now, we’ll go the living room at the left of the front door.

 

image Facing the front door, this vignette is between the living room and dining room and it shows Sally’s style – a mixture of antique and modern.

 

 

image BEFORE:  The living room had four arm chairs surrounding a small Italian table.  The breakfront now in the dining room was in this room last year.  At the time, Sally still hadn’t purchased her seagrass – it was on the way.  

 

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BEFORE:  Against the back wall of the living room was this magnificent screen from Thompson Hansen.  When I was stalking the Wheats, I could see this screen from my car, and it used to really make me want to go inside and see the rest of the house!

 

 

image TODAY:  C’est magnifique!    What a change!   I gasped when I first saw this room – it is just beautiful.  Sally moved the screen (and removed some extra panels from it) behind an antique gilt framed French settee.  She added a linen skirted table and a seagrass rug is layered with a white calf skin on top.  Two vintage chairs that are not a pair are covered in Kelly Wearstler’s Imperial Trellis.   This setting made the cover of Houston House and Home.

 

 

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On the right wall is the large mirror that was once in the dining room.  It is now flanked by two antique sconces. 

 

 

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Perfect perch for the pooch!

 

 

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I love the way the room is reflected in this shot.   I hate to leave here!  It’s so pretty!

 

image Walking down the center hall to the family room/kitchen, you pass the stairs on the left.

 

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Here we pass the iron stairs that were painted to resemble pewter – next is the family room.  This picture is from last year - I forgot to take one of the stairs this time!

 

 

image The family room – all lit up for the photo shoot.  I think the candles look so pretty.   This room is much the same as it was last year, just the mantlescape has changed and the coffee table accessories – I actually like both much better now.

 

 

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The two matching sofas are slipped in linen, long and lean – Belgian style.  There are two armchairs and a cow hide rug underneath. 

 

 

 

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The mantle now has old books – without covers, the trendiest of the trendy, and lilac roses.  I think this looks so beautiful!  The light above was driving Sally crazy – she couldn’t wait to turn it out.  I happen to like it on myself – too funny.   Notice moi in the mirror.   hehe

 

 

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Love the coffee table – Sally makes the driftwood art herself with wood she collects at her beach house on Boliver.   She sells the items at her antique booth at Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy here. 

 

 

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The TV hides behind one of the antique shutters Sally bought and had repainted.  Originally the house plans called for open shelving here which Sally had changed before the house was completed.    The shutters are now the beautiful focal point in the family room. 

 

 

 

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Behind the sofa on the left are the stairs and the portrait wall – filled with anonymous women – several of whom actually resemble the dark haired Sally!   The collection of portraits has grown over the past year. 

 

 

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A wide view of the family room – on the very left is the kitchen and on the very right, under the stairs, is the computer office hideaway.   In the hallway by the front door are things being moved around for the photoshoot.    Madeline Weinrib pillows on the chairs.

 

 

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To the right of the family room is the breakfast room and then the kitchen.   The doorway leads to the back stairs which go to the playroom.

 

 

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Closeup of the vignette between the family room and the breakfast room.

 

 

imageThe back stairs up to the playroom.  I really like this carpet.    Sally loves trends as much as I do – can you count the trends in this picture? 

 

 

imageBEFORE:   The breakfast room as it was – French host chairs and an antique chandelier. 

 

 

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AFTER:  Everything has changed except the Tolix side chairs – the zinc table is new as are the Pantone chairs.  The lighting fixture was replaced with something more modern from Indulge Maison Decor.  Sally loves to mix the new with old, the modern with the antique, the industrial chic with the Belgian chic. 

 

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Leading into Sally’s kitchen  - the plate wall over the marble buffet is new since last year’s visit.  

 

 

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Sally’s kitchen was such a hit last year – everyone loved it!  The gray cabinet paint color is Fieldstone by Benjamin Moore.  The lighting fixtures came from Brown in Houston – aren’t they fabulous?

 

 

image Sally’s cabinets are open and show off her white dishes and crystal.

 

 

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I love her casement window and the Shaws sink with the polished nickel faucet.   Love her cabinetry and hardware too.   Let’s go upstairs now.

 

 

image BEFORE:  Sally’s guest room before – actually this color is so “in” right now – I’m almost surprised she changed it all out.  But she did. 

 

 

image AFTER:  The new guest room is all black and red – with a vintage suzani the focal point.  I love the hanging lanterns!  Upstairs is all wall-to-wall seagrass, my favorite.

 

 

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Cute side table vignette in the guest room.

 

 

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Since last year, Sally has added some new touches to her daughter’s room, like the Madeline Weinrib rug.

 

 

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Sara’s vintage chairs wears a Rubie Green fabric, isn’t it the cutest?   Sally loves to buy vintage chairs and redo them with paint and fabric.

 

 

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The master bedroom now has two vintage chairs, slipped in white, in front of a large antique mirror. 

 

 

 

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Tired puppies from the long day of photoshooting.  Large tufted headboard and antique bench. 

 

 

 

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Against the windows on the right side of the master bedroom is a large white desk and a ghost chair.   Unlined linen curtains.  For pictures of her bathroom, see the photos from last year. 

 

 

imageAll of Sally’s backyard furniture was damaged in Hurricane Ike, so the back patio is completely new this year! 

 

 

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What a photo shoot looks like – the stylist checks the shot while the photographer waits patiently nearby for the OK!!   The editor is nowhere in site – probably out looking for the sun.  The angle of the sun is important – how the light comes through certain windows can make or break a shot.  They were excited to get sunrays in the cover shot of the living room below:

 

 

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The afternoon sunlight was streaming through the left windows in the cover shot.  Really, this is just an excuse to show this picture one more time!!!!!

 

To read last year’s Stalking the Wheats, go here.   And to read the story about Sally’s house in Houston House and Home online, go here.   If you live in Houston, be sure to pick up the magazine this month.    And if you would like to learn more about moi,  read the Editor’s Note – on page 8 – online too.    Linda Barth has always been extremely nice to me and I want to sincerely thank her so much for her support and confidence in this little blogger.    And a huge thank you to Sally Wheat for all your hospitality and friendship!

Goodbye, Old Friend

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“This one hurts.”

The Skirted Roundtable

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This week Megan, Linda and I take on the August issue of HB – specifically, Bunny and Joe Nye.    Be sure to listen and grab your copy of the magazine first, if you have one.  If not, we’ve posted all the pictures for you.   And shhh, don’t tell Bunny about this one, ok?   Thanks!

Go to www.skirtedroundtable.blogspot.com to listen.

AND – there’s a winner in the Lavender Market giveaway:  Aspirations of a  Southern Housewife!!!!  Claim your prize.  Thank you everyone for entering and remember – you can still get a 15% discount at The Lavender Market during the month of  August. Just use the code Cotetx7.

Swedish Country Interiors

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In the past decade, Swedish style has exploded on the interior design scene.  It seems people in American can’t get enough of the gray and creamy toned antique furniture, often mixed with cheery blue and white gingham fabrics and surrounded by exquisite gilt mirrors and crystal chandeliers.  The look is so soothing and calm – perhaps its popularity is sought as an antidote to the frenetic lives we lead today surrounded by technology 24/7.   There is something so relaxing about a Swedish interior – the cool colors, the quiet atmosphere, the subtle sparkle reflected from mirror to light fixture and back.   Riding the wave of this much in-demand look is the team of Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems,  two childhood friends, both of Swedish descent, who back in 1998 opened Eleish van Breems Antiques.  Their shop, unlike any other, was first set in a charming 18th century house that the two had turned into a living Swedish home where everything just happened to be for sale.   Located in Woodbury, Connecticut, their first location served them well for over eleven years, until success forced a move to a larger showroom, located in Washington Depot, Connecticut.  

 

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Rhonda Eleish and Edie van Breems – childhood friends, now shop owners, authors, and interior designers.

 

The two friends, whose Swedish antiques business was one of the first of this current trend, adored their 18th century house, but a need for more office space, showroom space, a reference library, and room for photo shoots forced their hand to sell.    No matter - they are now happily ensconced in their new shop and things couldn’t be better for Eleish van Breems.    Besides their extensive collection of antiques, the pair sell a reproduction line of Swedish furniture made to their specifications back in the mother land.    In addition, they can now show more modern Swedish furniture in their showroom.    They also carry other furniture lines such as Chelsea Textiles.     According to Edie, today over 50% of their business is conducted virtually, through their website and 1st Dibs, so a pure store front was no longer needed.  The best part of their location is the view – overlooking pine trees and a rushing stream, the scene is reminiscent of the Swedish countryside.  Moving to their new location last year has been liberating since they no longer have to run a storefront seven days a week, and this has produced a creative renaissance for the women who are energized by the new directions Eleish van Breems is taking.      And then, there are, of course, the books.    Just two years ago, the pair wrote a beautiful book on Swedish design, called, appropriately, Swedish Interiors.   A smash hit, a second book was in the planning stages before the first one was barely distributed.  The newest book, Swedish Country Interiors, is now available to preorder at Amazon and will be on sale in the next month.    I can barely wait – a little birdie told me that one of the featured houses will be Wisteria’s owners, The Newsoms,  whose beautiful house was also featured  in Veranda.   Not surprisingly, a third Eleish van Breems book is now in the planning stages!   

 

 

image  The cover of the new book due out next month, Swedish Country Interiors, available now for pre-ordering here.

 

 

 

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  This picture, on the new book’s preview page at Amazon, is driving me crazy!  How gorgeous is this?  I can’t wait to read the book!

 

 

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Another picture on Amazon’s preview is this beautiful shot of two Swedish chairs and a server.   I love the traditional Swedish paintings on the walls.

 

 

 

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This Amazon preview picture shows a wonderful  Swedish antique corner cabinet – a traditional piece - along with a chair dressed in the blue and white gingham that is so closely associated with Swedish design.

 

 

image The original Eleish van Breems shop in Waterford, Connecticut.   At one time, owner Rhonda Eleish lived on the second floor.   The duo has recently relocated to a larger, more efficient space in Washington Depot, Connecticut.

 

 

image  The original shop in Woodbury was set up just as a Swedish house would be. 

 

 

image Here, in the same spot as above, the foyer, this vignette changed as old pieces were sold and new pieces were acquired.

 

 

 

image The Woodbury shop:   one thing I really adore about Swedish antiques is the oval portraits. 

 

 

 

imageThe Woodbury shop:   I love these chairs!   The best thing about Eleish van Breems is if you can’t find the antique you want, they probably have a reproduction of it in their line!

 

 

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And now for something completely different!  No longer tied down to their store in the 18th century house, the partners have moved to a showroom where they have more office space, room for a library and room to showcase all the other furniture lines they carry besides their Swedish antiques.  One such line is Swedish modern from Fritz Hansen.  

 

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For a time, Edie van Breems lived in a wonderful old house that she had totally renovated and which was much photographed.   Here is her former living room with traditional Swedish antiques clad in  blue and white cotton.   Notice the mirror with the attached candle sconces.   Because Sweden is so dark much of the year, every bit of light is sought out – the candles’ reflection in the mirror doubles the amount of light given off!

 

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 Edie van Breems dining room with its antique Swedish crystal chandelier and assorted chair styles.  Notice that gorgeous sofa - divine!

 

 

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The breakfast room in Edie van Breems’ former house.   Here is the popular Swedish Mora clock, one of the most recognized Swedish antiques there is. 

 

 

 

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Eleish and van Breems first book, Swedish Interiors, was filled with pictures from a wonderful mix of houses.  Some were furnished strictly with antiques, while others were furnished with modern Swedish furniture.   Next - I’ll show you a few of my favorite chapters from the first book.

 

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One of my favorite chapters in the first book was the story about this house located in Louisiana.  The interior designer is one of the best there is, Gerrie Bremermann from New Orleans.  The owner collects Swedish antiques and the entire house is filled with his bounty.   Here is a small sitting room located off the larger living room.   I just love the coolness and calmness of this space – so typical of a house with Swedish interiors.

 

 image The upstate New York home of the owner of Face Stockholm - a popular Swedish make up line.  White slipcovers and Swedish antiques make this a charming, inviting home.

 

 

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This is the New York space of Lena Kaplan who owned White on White, a shop specializing in Swedish design.  The shop is now closed and she operates Studio White on White in a more personalized environment.     I love how the painted floors match the table and chairs!

 

 

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Another wonderful chapter shows the former Palm Beach house of Lars Bolander, a Swedish interior designer and shop owner.   Cote de Texas featured  Bolander here.   His sense of style is wonderful and totally uniquely his own. 

 

 

 

image Another pioneer of the Swedish antique importing business in the states is Linda Kennedy and her husband Lindsay.  Together they formed Chloe Decor which became one of the more well known Swedish antique dealers.   Today, Linda sells the antiques on a wholesale basis but she concentrates mainly on her new floral design business.    At the time when they lived in this house, it was a stage for all their antiques, which were actually for sale!

 

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In Linda’s house:  I love these desks with the diminutive Mora clock affixed to the top of them.   I would love to own one of these for my office!

 

 

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The 1760 Rhode Island house of Libby Holsten.   Once a lover of both Italian and French antiques, upon reading a book about Swedish design, she threw herself into collecting as many pieces of the furniture as she could.

 

 

 

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Holsten’s beautiful Mora clock sits aside a French grisaille.

 

 

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Holsten’s music salon in her Rhode Island house filled with antiques.   Here she mixes French antiques with Swedish which is perfectly natural to do.  After all, Gustavian furniture was based on French designs at the time.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Eleish van Breems.  To preorder their new book, Swedish Country Interiors, go here.  To order their first book, Swedish Interiors, which I previewed today, go here.    And to reread a story I wrote about Gustav and Sweden, please go here.