27 April 2012

ME AND AIDAN GRAY

 

A few months ago I was contacted by the décor company, Aidan Gray, about becoming a sponsor on Cote de Texas.   Usually I don’t bother Ben about the blog (which he never even reads anyway), but this time, I went running in front of the TV, surely interrupting some UT athletic game, screaming – “WOW! Aidan Gray wants to advertise on the blog!!!”    Ben looks at me funny and says, “Why would an actor want to be on the blog?”   Well, that’s a clueless husband for you.  BTW, the name Aidan came from one of owner’s three sons!

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you who Aidan Gray is.  I’m willing to bet that the majority of readers have at least one piece from AG in their house.  I know I do:

 

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This chandelier by Aidan Gray is in my guest room.  This might be my favorite piece from their collection.  I’ve used it more times than I care to admit!  The price point is so reasonable and it’s so pretty and large, there’s just nothing on the market that beats it.

 

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For this client I used the chandelier AND two AG lamps.  I love their lamps and find that for many jobs, I will use AG.

 

 

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I  used two AG lamps, The Fluted Urn,  here, in this dining room.  

 

 

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And in Elisabeth’s room, I used this small Aidan Gray lamp that I bought at Olivine.  A lot of times when I’m in a rush, I’ll just run over to Olivine and pick up one of the AG lamps that they sell HERE.

 

Although it seems like Aidan Gray has been in business forever, it is still quite young  – founded in just 2003 by Randal Weeks.  Armed with an MBA, Weeks had toiled for 15 years in the business world before he decided to branch out on his own, following his passion for design.    While his MBA was a huge help in starting the company, Weeks is quick to give his wife Sally credit for making AG the success that it is.   It wasn’t until 2007 before Sally could quit her job as a medical representative and work full time as a partner at AG.   Prior to that she was the family’s primary breadwinner while AG was taking off. 

 

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For this client, we used a pair of AG lamps and their round table, which is now discontinued.   (Mimi! You need to come meet Lucy and Riley!)

 

Randal and Sally were both heavily influenced by Europe when they began designing their line. Striving for authenticity, they wanted their products to rise above the ordinary found in parts of the décor market. They wanted their products to reflect the craftsmanship of handmade items, using wood, rustic metals and painted finishes. Quality was a very important goal.

 

 

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In this house I showed two years ago, this Aidan Gray console generated a lot of comments.  I think this might be their most famous piece.  Every loves it!

 

Aidan Gray started small, but over the past decade, the AG line has grown to be quite large.   Where before lighting and garden products were the mainstay, today there is a furniture line and now an upholstery line.  Recently at the High Point market, AG launched a new chair line, which Randal has been so kind to let me show you today!  They photographed the chairs at the Week’s beautiful home.  You can guess that their house is filled with AG product.   Can you imagine just going to the warehouse and picking out what you want to take home?!  I think I’m in the wrong business!!    Randal tells me that the new line is very competitively priced – something we can all use in this economy. 

 

 

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First off, is this new chair – the Ferrell dining chair.  I am so in love with the ballet ties!  And I love that they are referred to on the web site as “ballet ties!” Little things like that make me happy.  Notice how long the ties are – they gracefully slide down to the floor.  No skimping here!    The ultra deep cushion is loose, another detail I love.  Behind the chairs are some new items from the accessory line:

 

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Here’s a close up of the carved architectural element pieces – the five pieces come as a set.

 

 

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The Isla chair comes in bleached wood or dark.  I love the bleached wood!  The cushion is down/foam for extra softness.

 

 

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Taken at the Weeks home, notice their beautiful fireplace.  This tufted chair is called the Quinn.  Its proportions are decidedly oversized for extra comfort.

 

 

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This tufted chair has grand proportions.  I love the casters – such an authentic touch.  The carved side table and urns are also from AG.

 

 

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The Josie chair has a tall back with bleached wood frame.  Pretty lamp!

 

 

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The diminutive Blue chair – has a gray chalk finish, with French nail heads, caned back and a nice deep cushion.  DARLING! 

 

 

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The Andrew beach has French nail heads and those great, long ballet ties.  This would be so cute at the end of the bed.

 

 

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This is the Ethan arm bench.  I’m really loving the caned back.  It’s so French.    Notice the sconce – I’ll tell you about it at the end of the story!

 

 

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And, the tufted Andrew bench – also great for at the end of the bed!

 

 

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The Isla settee in bleached wood, upholstered in linen. Notice the charming AG chandelier overhead.

 

 

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As a special treat, the Weeks sent along pictures of their house.  The entry hall is especially grand with steel doors at each end.

 

 

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Notice the raised roof with the large skylight.  Amazing.  And, notice the arched brick doorways, closed off with linen curtains. 

 

 

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The living room is especially beautiful and grand.  Notice the charming double tall bay window.  The house is, naturally,  filled with furniture from the Aidan Gray line. 

 

 

 

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An antique rug is layered on top of a seagrass area rug.  And notice the drapery rods – no finials.  I love that!

 

 

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The dining room as styled for the catalogue.   These chairs, the Milton, with French nail heads are numbered, with burlap backs.

 

 

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And the dining room, styled with another chair, again with French nail heads and a painted frame and curved legs. 

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The kitchen is so large – what an island!  Notice the ceiling – X beams over planks.  The X mimics the windows.

 

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Here, you can see there are actually two islands, topped with white marble.  Each has a chandelier over it.  And there are two dishwashers – with three young sons, I would imagine that is a necessity.  Unless, Randal, you aren’t Kosher are you?  

 

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The cooktop is on the right side of the room, by the double refrigerator/freezer.

 

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Notice this ceiling in this hallway with the bricked barrel roof. 

 

 

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In the serene master room, a collection of daybeds, chairs and benches.   The bench at the end of the bed is from the new collection – the Coyle.  This style also comes in dining room chairs.

 

 

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In the master bedroom – is the Havana Lounger.  The drapes are so pretty!!

 

 

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The pool cabana is made of stacked stone with columns.  Notice the gutters  and awnings.

 

 

 

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Inside is a wonderful fireplace.  The slipcovered furniture is from Aidan Gray’s slipcovered line.

 

 

 

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Must be a dream to have a pool house like this!  I can’t imagine.  I would LIVE out here!!

 

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Remember these Aidan Gray sconces? 

 

 

 

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Randal Weeks told me that he was inspired to create the sconces after seeing these in my dining room.  Seriously.  I was floored – I was so excited!  I actually was acting like I had designed them myself, when all I did was buy them!  Like, I was taking credit for them!  Too funny.

 

 

 

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And finally, Aidan Gray sells all kinds of wonderful things for the garden – inside and out!  This is from the Weeks’ back yard. 

 

 

 

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And MY Aidan Gray planter from last fall.  I TOLD you I had tons of AG!!!   Randal’s urn looks prettier than mine,  I need to replant it and I like the way he put pots of flowers around it.

 

To visit the Aidan Gray web site – go HERE.  

 

 

A HUGE thank you to Randal Weeks for all the beautiful photographs!