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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Eclectic Decorating - So 2014!

Eclectic decorating - mismatched chairs and different finishes and styles - link to sources on my pinterest board.
The style that most appeals to me and best describes my own is "eclectic".  It also describes a 2014 trend for one-of-a-kind pieces and "not matchy-matchy" decors.
ec·lec·tic [ih-klek-tik]

1.selecting or choosing from various sources.
2.made up of what is selected from different sources.
3.not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.
4.noting or pertaining to works of architecture, decoration, landscaping, etc., produced by a certain person or during a certain period, that derive from a wide range of historic styles …link
This is the style that promotes variety in all things resulting in a setting that is as interesting as it is personal.
Eclectic setting - different finishes and styles - see links above. 
Eclectic style encompasses a variety of periods and styles and is brought together through the use of color, texture, shape and finish. Here's how it breaks down:
Colors: The palette can vary, but it's best to stick with a few neutrals to help tie all the elements together.
Furniture: Lines, finishes and materials of the pieces in a room are tied together with paint, fabric or a more refined finish.
Fabrics: An eclectic look is partly defined by the multitude of fabrics, whether they be patterned, textured or both.
Finishes: A combination of finishes and textures sets an eclectic look apart from the rest. link

Modern style with classic furniture and finish results in a much more interesting look here - see links above.
Rustic setting for some contemporary and traditional styled furniture - great eclectic look - see source above. 
A good example of a layered eclectic look - see source above.
The only rule that seems to apply to these great eclectic settings is that, despite the types of variety used, the end result is harmonious and pleasing to the eye. Careful placement and editing is still important. This is a decorating style that can work for everyone!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Visit to Westside Foundry in Atlanta

Love this skeptical-looking lamb near entryway of Westside Foundry
On Monday, I accompanied by friend Ouida to Westside Foundry link to website:
Westside Foundry Home Furnishings was founded as World of Rugs in 2003, family owed & locally operated. Westside Foundry is a complete Home Furnishings Lifestyle Storehouse, offering over 200 name brands like Lexington, Century, Bernhardt, Stanley, Hooker, Bradington Young and more.
She was looking for a couple of things for her home including a rug for the entryway and a console table for behind a new family room sectional. I, of course, like checking out the marketplaces and looking for new ideas.

The large store/shop/warehouse is located near downtown Atlanta in a mostly commercial and industrial area. It has both a new area and an area of "market finds and shops" that are leased to consignees and feature a wide variety of goods - mostly vintage.

Ouida's rug
Almost immediately, Ouida did find the perfect rug for her foyer at a reasonable price (over 50% off of suggested retail) so that part was easy.  It was just the right size and offered a color palette that would complement her space. It was also beautifully made!

I enjoyed seeing both sections of the space and found inspirations throughout. Of course, my focus, as always, is upholstered furniture and there were nice examples all around - some at pretty good prices.

Here are some examples!

These chairs were all new and located in the regular market area of the store. 

The market find items were interesting but priced a little high for my refurbishing projects - I actually have the exact fabric on the lower middle chair and like how this looks!
Another lamb - almost succumbed to this one but not quite!
We enjoyed this visit and will be back!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Sunny Weekend in Atlanta - Buy, Buy, Buy!

Estate Sale (actually moving sale) in Atlanta - north-side neighborhood.
Covers and Inserts
FINALLY, we had a sunny weekend in Atlanta! I heard that the last one was way back in early November and believe it - it has been very rainy (and unusually cold) most weekends. That is not great for my favorite weekend activity - checking out the estate and garage sales in the area. I think it has also kept many people from having such sales unless they had no choice (e.g., moving sale).

I started Friday and found several sales including the one at house above. The items (lots of newer Mitchel Gold) were nice but pricey.  I did leave a bid on a gorgeous brown mohair velvet settee priced at $950 (bid $500 - original over $3000) - I did not get a call.

I also left a bid on feather-down inserts - various shapes and sizes - but didn't get those either.

Mitchell Gold Settee - I had bid $500 but didn't get it.

$50 Chaise Lounge
The next sale was in a Buckhead (primo section of Atlanta) condo and was an actual estate sale being run by the daughter of the deceased. There were a lot of older pieces of furniture at reasonable prices - prime pickings for me! I bought two pieces and left bids on an additional two. My purchases were a cloverleaf ottoman and an older settee - both $50. Not too bad!

$50 Cloverleaf Ottoman

The bids were left on another chaise lounge and a Eastlake Victorian Settee but I didn't get those.  

On my way home I stopped at one of my favorite local shops - appropriately called My Favorite Place on Peachtree Industrial Avenue - not far from my home. 

My Favorite Place 
Some of the items that I considered at My Favorite Place.  I came closest to getting the older rocker (with graceful dove arms that are hard to see in photo) priced at $50. It did need woodwork refinishing and I wondered whether using chalk paint on a rocker was a good idea. I passed but saw it was sold before leaving the shop.
One of two Swaim Chairs
On Saturday, I went out with my faithful companion, Ouida. There were not many sales posted so we traveled a little further than usual to check out those that were available. One sale was in the suburb of Alpharetta - although it was day two and most of the good pieces were sold. It did mean that they were willing to take a little less and I found two Swaim chairs for $100 - not a bad deal.

We also traveled to the Morningside neighborhood of Atlanta to pickup two Craigslist chairs (Charles Stewart - a great manufacturer). They were perfect and I picked them up for $100 for the pair - lots of down in back and seat cushions. I forgot to photograph them but will definitely feature these in a "before and after" post.

In addition, I had made an offer for three Norwalk Furniture pieces on Craigslist which were already sold. The seller contacted me Sunday morning to say that the buyers had never picked up and she was willing to accept my offer. My husband and I traveled to Sandy Springs to pick up the skirted club chair and bergere style chair and ottoman. I paid a little more than my usual (cheap) price - $300 for all - but these will be gorgeous redone.

SO ... a good buying weekend AND great weather! Life is good!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Radiant Orchid - 2014 Color of the Year!

Pantone's Color of the Year
Every year, Pantone selects a "color of the year" and this year, the company has selected RADIANT ORCHID.

So who are they and why should we care?

Here is the description of the company and their "color of the year process" from wiklipedia (See full description:
Pantone Inc. is a corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics…. Annually Pantone declares a particular color "Color of the Year". Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations' color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year.
Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones. 
There is a lot of publicity about the "new color" and I was able to find many articles including renditions/photos of how to incorporate this color into everything from grocery store products to fashion to, of course, home design.

Here are some samples:

Chicago TribuneThe color purple would like to thank the global color authority Pantone for crowning it the color of the year for 2014. But it’s a color — Pantone 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, to be precise — so it can’t exactly talk. This blend of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones does, however, speak in murmurs of exoticism and enigma.Read more and see a video: see full story 
Wall Street JournalMove over, emerald. The color watchers at Pantone say the “It” color of 2014 is a pinky purple known as “radiant orchid.”Expect to see the peppy shade on everything from cardigans to coffee makers next year. Vibrant and inviting, it has enough warm tones to look good on most skin types, which makes it a natural for nail polish and lipstick. Pantone executives say that because it is nuanced and bold, the color suggests creativity and ingenuity, which may appeal to fashion-minded, tech-savvy customers in their 20s and 30s. The hue also offers a sharp contrast with emerald, Pantone’s color of 2013. Read more and see a video: See full story
Well, obviously this is a big deal for designers and manufacturers so they can get on board. For home design, however, it still looks to me like another strong push to support the use of "purple" in the home - a color that I like but just have not successfully integrated into my own decor and have not used in any of my refurbished pieces. I will try to change that this year.

I did pick up some lovely images of the use of radiant orchid in home decor:

Love these chairs and like the combo of this color with low-key metallics.  

Some of these images do appear a little more "fuchsia" than "radiant orchid" but they do come close to the color - at least to me.  We will see how much of this color I can use this year!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Goodwill Industries and a Calico Corners Diversion!

Goodwill of North Georgia Store in Buckhead (Atlanta, GA)
Small loveseat purchased at Goodwill
On this beautiful, sunny day, I thought I would travel to my neighborhood Goodwill of North Georgia stores for their "you cannot beat this" Senior Discount Tuesday (a whopping 25% percent off for anyone over 55). I started out at my favorite store on Roswell Road in Buckhead. I needed some new reading material and this is my best source for great paper-packs. And, of course, I am always looking for great ready-to-be-refurbished upholstered furniture. I scored on both counts today.

Books found and bought at Goodwill 
I have a client looking for a loveseat and ottoman for her bedroom and found this nicely sized and well constructed piece. I don't know if this will work for her but I can envision it in a number of my fabrics.

 I also needed some new reading material and this particular store seems to have some high-quality readers. Without spending much time, I found six books that sounded interesting. 

On my way to the next store (about 4 miles down the road), I diverted to go to the Roswell Road Calico Corners Fine Fabrics. I used to be a regular at their stores because I LOVE all fabrics! Since they are now using an order only process (eliminating large bolts which could be eventually reduced in price), I very seldom find usable fabrics at my price point (VERY reasonable). So, this trip was really just an opportunity to breathe in the new fabrics and leave inspired.

The store was having a fabric sale but not at the price point that I can use. However, they had a stack of "bolt-ends" that had been 75% off of their regular retail but were now marked at three bundles for $10. This got my my blood flowing!

I could not resist these prices although most were only 1.5 to 2.0 yards. The fabrics were beautiful and a great deal!
Here are some of the labels - the original prices were quite high. My cost per bundle was $3.33 - not too bad!
Here are some of my purchases - can't wait to find the right furniture match for these!
The pieces I bought ranged from 1.3 to 2.4 yards although I did get three bundles of the same totaling 5.5 yards and another two totaling almost 4 yards. I guess I will be looking for smallish pieces (upholstery requirement-wise) for some time to come.

What fun! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

First Scott's Antique Markets Visit in 2014

This is Scott's Antique Markets weekend in Atlanta link to website and my usual market companion, Bette, and I visited the markets (south building - our favorite) on Friday. As I always do, I developed a plan for focusing and photographing in advance of the trip and decided to concentrate on the use of blues in decorating. Various decorating gurus are predicting that the color blue - particularly cobalt blue - will be a major trend for 2014. Since I LOVE blue in decorating and use it extensively myself, this choice was a natural for me.

I did start out looking for and photographing blues but very quickly got distracted by the various furniture offerings at the sale - including some that were within my admittedly cheapskate price range.

Of these pieces photographed, only the chaise was a true draw based on a reasonable ($125) price point. I loved the chunky wooden legs and overall shape. My hesitation was the back which looked like it needed a cushion to balance the rest of the piece and to make it comfortable. 
This vendor, near the front of the building near the concessions, always has interesting pieces for sale. I have bought from him in the past - usually when he gets a little more desperate to sell than he was today. 
These were some of the pieces that tempted me. The chairs on top left (had more for sale) were interesting and reasonable. The chairs on the top-right are done by a talented lady we've seen before and also quite reasonable. The great chair on bottom has a Century frame and nicely done upholstery. All tempting! 
Well at least I could get my purchases into my Highlander and not be forced to return with the bigger minivan. I look forward to using the great fabric on a set of wing back chairs and perhaps a settee - there is enough for at least this much upholstery work. 
It was a great day to be at the sale and much busier than our last visit in December. Several vendors told us they do not appear in December - evidently it is not a great month for sales. However, it is hard for us to stay away!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Before and After - My Own Parade!

Every now and then, I have been posting some of my own "before and after" photos which is a joy for me and, I hope, encourages others to look at existing furniture sources for their new/improved home decorations. It is a GREEN way to decorate and according to House Beautiful, vintage and one-of-a-kind is very trendy for 2014.

Here are some of my beautifies - some more radically transformed than others.
This may have been my most minimal restoration of the year. The finish on the chair was in perfect condition and all it needed was a new fabric seat. This piece was purchased at one of "Vicki's" estate sales. 
Another item from Vicki's sale in Brookhaven (next door to friend's house), this Henredon chair has very nice light woodwork - the new cream fabric really makes it pop. 
Another Vicki story!  This set was featured at one of Vicki's sales near downtown Atlanta and I had left a bid. The bid was not accepted. Several weeks later, I saw this set on Craigslist and I again offered the same amount and this time it was accepted. This is one of the nicest sets of wing back chairs I have had offered for sale. 
This settee was brought as a result of a Craigslist add. The sellers use space in an antique mall and I got this great piece at a pretty good price. It just sold and was picked up for One King's Lane. 
This set of Lee Industries wingback chairs were originally purchased through a craigslist ad - I love the clean look.
I bought this chair at an estate/moving sale in Brookhaven and initially tried to sell it "as is". No-one seemed to want it with its original fabric. I must admit, I much prefer it in its new fabric.
This chair and ottoman were purchased through a craigslist ad from a home in Smyrna, a suburb of Atlanta west of the city. The original leather fabric was very soft but way too sloppy and worn. I think it has a "Ralph Lauren" look about it with its soft wool-blend plaid.
That is it for today's Before and After Parade. I cannot overstate how gratifying it is to turn these worn but well built pieces into modern and very desirable furniture!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hot Trend for 2014 - Use of Floral Fabrics!

I love checking out the new (and not-so-new) trends identified by various designers and decorating magazines. I read in House Beautiful link to site that florals are making a comeback in 2014. This is good news to me since I love floral fabrics and think they look particularly great on upholstered pieces - often taking a pedestrian piece from nice and serviceable to WOW!

There is a lot of advice available on-line and elsewhere about how to integrate fabrics into a decor - here are just a sample.
Decorating with floral fabrics is a great way to add life, color and excitement to a room, and the more you can use the better. But there are a few rules you need to keep in mind.

                When decorating with floral fabrics it's important to use different sizes of patterns. A good rule of thumb is to use at least one large pattern, one medium pattern and one small.
                Repetition of pattern is always a good idea in decorating but don't overdo it.
                Don't be afraid to be bold. Floral patterns are at their best when they're strong. Big patterns and strong colors look great so don't be afraid to use them.
                If you're using a lot of different floral patterns they need to connect in some way. The best way to do it is with color. That's not to say they need to all be the same colors, just the same colorways (meaning the colors compliment each other and work together).
                Use a variety of different types of fabric with different textures. For instance, mix silks, cottons, canvases, etc. link
Floral upholstery looks great against the one-color background. Floral patterns can also be combined with other less busy patterns like stripes. Grouping several throw pillows in various patterns together will add detail and depth to the room decor. Try several fabric samples together before deciding which ones will work - link.
The consensus seems to be that there are wonderful fabrics (and wallpapers) available and that they can add freshness and interesting texture to any space. I certainly agree!

For some time, I've been collecting images of various fabrics (on fine upholstered furniture of course) on my pinterest board and here is just a sample of that collection:

Check out these items and more on my pinterest board - link
I am always torn when refurbishing fine upholstered pieces about whether to use florals (or other definite graphical patterns) or to stick to the more neutral fabric choices. My concerns are about whether my vision is "sellable" and whether potential buyers can actually envision incorporating the patterns into existing or planned decors. My experience has been that the neutral pieces do sell better but not always. I went back to my last several year collections and found some fine examples of pieces that did sell well and are now enjoying their colorful and interesting lives in some lucky person's home.

I love each and every one of these - one of my all-time favorite is the "watercolor" fabric on the French style chaise that just left me for its new home in NYC!
I hope you enjoy this discussion of florals - I will now need to be bolder about using more of them in 2014!