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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 23, 2015

Pinterest Dreaming with My Lovely Pieces

Every so often, I have been adding  a "pinterest dreaming" posting juxtaposing one or more of my lovely pieces with images I have saved on my pinterest boards. It is an opportunity to analyze how well the pieces work in currently decorated and curated settings and validating decisions I've made about fabrics and finishes. It's also fun! Here is the link to all my boards - pinterest. Source of all images not my own can be found on the boards.

I did the woodwork refinishing on these USA made French style pieces and they were just recently completed. The set of chairs is already in NYC and the settee will probably not be around long. I love it and would love to ditch some of my own things just to find a home for it!
I think either of these stylish chairs would work in this type of layered neutral setting. You really cannot go wrong with a neutral piece! 
This chaise lounge is a little more contemporary looking than most of my pieces. I do love its sleek look and soft, sumptuous fabric, VERY comfortable as well - I have a chaise lounge in my bedroom and it is my favorite place to read/nap. This chaise is currently available through One King's Lane - link. 
I have been acquiring and selling these wonderful "European Linen" pieces from a local colleague/collaborator for over two years now. The finish that she applies is a hard lacquer in a distressed cream color. Most of the fabrics are cream linens with some other neutrals mixed in. This set is available through Etsy and eBay - link. The latest sale from this collection (a simple bench with pale seafoam linen) sold yesterday on One King's Lane. I love these pieces!
I do not do many independent ottomans (separate from chairs) but this square one was an exception. I think it would be wonderful in front of a sofa or settee. It is available through One King's Lane - link.
Well that was fun! I tried to find last similar posting but it has been a while. Next time, a report on my business/pleasure trip to Florida!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Picking the Perfect Fabric for Your Home

Since I LOVE fabrics and am in the business of marrying fine upholstered pieces with just the right fabric, I am always interested in good advice about how to select fabrics for the home. Fabrics are not inexpensive and a decision, once made, is difficult to reverse or modify.

Here are some bits of wisdom from renowned designers about selecting just that right fabric:
Here are their top tips:
1. Have a starting point. "When I'm fabric shopping, I start with what I call the 'main fabric,' that fabric is the linchpin from which I can pull all of the other colors," says Alexa Hampton."Sometimes the main fabric can just cover something small, like a pillow or a lamp shade, but it is the critical element that I need to inspire all of the other colors and patterns."
Good example of creating a color palette by using small amounts of fabrics on the accent pillows - you can just envision the rest of the room with these starting points  - source HGTV.
2. Incorporate a blend of textures. "When pulling fabrics for a project I like to incorporate a blend of textures like linens, velvets and grasscloth to create a warm balance and give a rich palette to a room," says Jenny Wolf.
3. Have fun! "It is always important to have a little fun when pulling fabrics, even if it is just for a small accent pillow to throw in the room,' says Wolf. "Chelsea Textiles has some of the most wonderful, whimsical embroidered fabrics."
I think of fun fabrics as ones with colors and pattern/movement - here are some examples I've used and/or will be using soon. The bright yellow pattern on top was used on a settee and matching chair and selected by my daughter as a house-warming gift when she moved into her new home during the summer. There, it brightens her entry foyer and welcomes her guests with its sunny disposition.
4. Think in layers. "Different fabrics and textiles are a great way to layer a room and give it warmth," says Eddie Lee. "Coordinating patterns or a monochromatic palate in different textures or solid blocks of color, multiple fabrics give a room depth."
Even in this monochromatic room, the various layers complement each other and make the overall look more interesting - source Traditional Home 
5. Be appropriate. "A fabric may be beautiful, but not be right for every room," explains Lee. "For example, a gorgeous embroidered silk could be great in a living room, but not so much in a Family Room. That being said, there are no set rules." link
I have a board on pinterest devoted to fabrics - link. Check out some more ideas here!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekend Estate Sale Shopping

First sale on Friday morning - a "Vicki" Sale. I  did get a call on the red Baker chair late Saturday but declined - probably not a wise move.
We've had a long stretch of rainy, dismal weather here in the Atlanta area and were overjoyed to see a blue sky Friday morning despite the below 32 degree start of the day.  My husband, my now-regular Friday morning sales companion since his retirement almost exactly a year ago, and I traveled to several sales to check out the goods and just get out of the house.

One of my favorite estate sellers, Vicki, had two sales this weekend. As is typical, there are "high-brow" and "low-brow" items for sale. In the beautifully transformed ranch house shown above, prices were high on most items such as a pair of no-name Jacobean chairs/provenance for $3000. I did leave several bids and did get a call later on Saturday. By that time, I had made several purchases and didn't want to return to the area so I declined - probably should have pursued it - a Baker wingback for $100 is a very good deal!

This Buckhead sale had some nice pieces as well. I bid on two sets of chairs (prices were $350 for the pair and I bid $150). I haven't heard back from this sale and don't expect to.
There are still not many sales this time of year and we decided to stop at a local shop called "My Favorite Place" link to facebook page. It is a nearby flea market type shop and prices tend to be very reasonable. Friday was a great day to stop by and I found three pieces to buy (two are Annie Sloan Chalk Paint projects) - total costs = $171.00 (much better than estate sale prices).

On Saturday, I again went on the road with my Saturday shopping companion - Ouida. We did see some decent sales and even stopped in a design shop that is relocating and was offering, amongst other things, fabrics for $5.00 a yard up. I bought 12 yards and Ouida may buy some for chairs she wants to recover.

One of two chairs purchased
After returning from the sales, I got a call on a set of Hickory Chair leather wingback chairs (wonderful condition) that I had bid $500 (against $900 asking). I consider these "as is" chairs and would love to keep them myself if I had the space. I asked my son out in California whether he could use them but his space is so tiny that they just will not work. I also asked my daughter to see if she had any use possibilities but she has no more space as well. SO ... I guess they will be listed as part of my "Estate Collection" which are items that are not refurbished. It is a fairly small collection because my joy is in transforming and revitalizing dated furniture but these just don't need it and, truthfully, I would not have paid this price for chairs that need redoing - my average is less than $100 per chair.

So .. a wonderful shopping weekend all around. I am already working on the chalk paint projects completing clean-up and first coat yesterday and will be picking up the two leather chairs later as well as returning with Ouida to the design shop to revisit some of the fabrics for sale. I do love this!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Part II - Creating Harmonious Homes - Color and You

Colors affect your mood and influence your health and happiness - link to extensive article about how different colors affect mood
This is the second posting in a series I am calling - Creating Harmonious Homes. The first posting dealt with managing clutter. This one is all about selecting primary colors in a home - colors that sustain you - emotionally, physically and psychologically! 
Studies have shown that color can change body temperature and appetite. It can affect your mood or level of energy. Begin to become aware of how different colors impact you before determining what hue to paint your walls. link to article
Color is a universal language, it stimulates the emotions, shapes, cultures and forms the background of our world. Everybody's life is enriched by color, which both energizes and lifts the spirit. Color can be a tremendous enhancement when you love it, or cause a real depletion in energy if you don't.
The rights colors are silent music; the wrong colors irritate and disturb. Louis Cheskin link
There are many articles about color and how it affects your personality. There are tests you can take to determine how color affects you.  It is important to choose colors that make you happy, content, and at peace with the world. For me, that is quite an array - I like reds in some areas and blues and greens in others. I have tried to like primarily neutral colors but find that I just automatically start adding color to spark interest and variety.

Blue is said to bring down blood pressure and slow respiration and heart rate.

What mood do you want to create? Which colors will help you achieve that mood?

Find clear answers to these questions. If you find this task difficult try to look at magazines, decorating books, blogs and websites for ideas, or let your fabric be your guide. In fact, this is a good approach to take even if you’re starting from scratch. Fabric, carpeting, furniture and tile are available in a more limited range of colors than paint, so choose them first and then decide on your paint color. Once you find something you like, limit the number of colors in a room to no more than three or four. Too many colors can make a room look busy or cluttered. Paint is fairly inexpensive and transforms a room more quickly than anything else, so you can afford to experiment a little.

Read more: http://freshome.com/2007/04/17/room-color-and-how-it-affects-your-mood/#ixzz3Opf2LHp1 
Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness.
This is an important subject to tackle before getting too far in decorating a new home or making significant changes in existing space. It is easy to do right, there is a lot of help out there!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Part I - Creating Harmonious Homes - Managing Clutter

Your home should bring you calm and peace!
I found an uplifting article about how to create and maintain a calm, harmonious home listing multiple steps and strategies.
Your home gives you a foundation to connect mind, body and spirit. Your home grounds you and gives you a sacred space to connect to your inner light. Your body allow you to move with energy and vitality as you go through your day and connect with your world. A calm mind lets you face everyday challenges with ease, grace and poise. Connecting to your spirit allows your inner light to radiate and illuminates your path on your journey - link to article
A key step is to "de-clutter". Evidently, cluttering is a major negative energy drainer and disrupts the positive vibes one should get at home.  There are TONS of articles, books, advice columns about managing clutter. I found that many refer to distinguishing types of clutter and working with the easiest form first.
Clutter is a thief that robs you day after day of happiness and energy. Most people have two kinds of clutter: memory clutter or "I-might-need-it-one-day" clutter. However, we all struggle with the 'lazy clutter' and that's what we need to tackle first. Lazy clutter is all the stuff that accumulates out of negligence over time. It's not stuff you care too much about, so you ignore it: un-filed papers, unopened junk mail, magazines, unwanted gifts or that freebie cap you brought home from the grocery store but will never wear. Lazy clutter is little more than trash and one of the few purposes it serves is to accumulate on every flat surface in your home. link to more information and articles. 
We are not particularly messy people but are always working on de-cluttering strategies. One effort we make annually has had enormous benefits. We have a garage sale which encourages me to go through every corner of my home to contribute items and to judge whether something is useful or not. Whatever doesn't sell, goes to charity. I highly recommend this strategy. Or, if you don't enjoy the garage sale process (I, of course, do), just skip that part and bring the stuff immediately to a charitable organization. It really feels good!

My daughter and husband are both much better at de-cluttering than I am. Here are a couple of unique/interesting strategies they use:

  • Small children are constantly bringing things/toys/stuff out and leaving them laying around. Toys have a way of making it outside of the bedroom and play rooms to all parts of the house.  My daughter has placed attractive baskets on her steps - one for each of her two children. The kids place items to be returned upstairs into the basket and they go upstairs every evening to be refilled the next day.
  • Spices and other packaged//long-term items in kitchen cupboards tend to be forgotten and when using new or infrequently used recipes, I had forgotten what I already had and was buying multiples (up to 4X in some cases) which just ended up being stored with the other clutter in the cupboards. My husband actually took an inventory (laminated it) and placed it in my spice drawer. I have proudly shown this to friends who would like his services. I have not had to buy any spices or condiments for quite a while.

I agree that minimizes clutter in a home has enormous impact on both the physical space and your feelings about it. I am will be featuring additional strategies to create a harmonious home in the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Whimsical (and Productive) Trip to Scott Antiques Markets

I was captivated by some of the whimsical items for sale at Scott Antique Markets - runs through Sunday in Atlanta
This is the second weekend of the month and, therefore, Scott Antique Market weekend (aka the largest in the world) - link. My usual companion for this monthly event, Bette, and I traveled there on a cold, clear day to spend time with some of our favorite vendors and visit the numerous shops. It was a particularly busy day which we attributed not only to post-holiday enthusiasm (December is one of their slowest months) but also the fact that there is a huge Atlanta Mart activity in the city bringing lots of designers and others to the area.

In addition to looking for great pieces to add to my collection (Wydeven Designs sales), I looked around at the whimsical items on display. I found quite a few although would have found many more if I didn't get distracted so easily and constantly by great pieces of upholstered furniture - many at MY price point.

Bought this set of four French style chairs newly upholstered and refinished by Cynthia of CJD Antiques - regulars in the North Building of Scott Antique Markets. I have made several purchases from this charming and talented couple. 
Here are the items i bought from Sharon (does her own upholstery and refinishing work as well). I am making monthly purchases from her which become part of my "European Linen Collection". It will be interesting to see how those unusual benches (with arms) sell. She told us she was inspired by a photo of benches like these in the latest issue of Architectural Digest!  
A great day at the markets! I spend quite a bit but could have bought more - such an interesting variety and, clearly, some within my price point limits. I continue to be surprised that so many people in this area have never been to these sales and finally convinced my daughter and her husband to go last month. They loved it and promptly bought a unique table for their new home.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cold Day Delivery to Cornelia, GA

Main Square in Cornelia, GA
It was 11 degrees in our Georgia neighborhood this morning and VERY COLD! Of course, not as cold as many other parts of the country (I am thinking of family and friends in Falls Church, VA, Staten Island, NY, Chicago, IL and Cable, WI - ouch). But cold is cold. We delivered a lovely set of refurbished chairs to Cornelia, GA - about an hour north of the city.

I don't think I've been to Cornelia before (I am sure my sister Ellie's ears are burning - she is a "Cornelia" named after our Dutch paternal grandmother).  I checked out the Cornelia website and found the following - love the reference to the moonshine still downtown:
At the close of the Civil War in 1865, the area where Cornelia is located was a typical mountain forest. The spot was so well secluded that a moonshine still was operated without interference at the site of what is now the center of downtown. Cornelia was first a settlement around 1860.  It was situated near the old boundary line between the Cherokee and Creek Indian tribes. In 1872, workers of the Charlotte-Airline Railroad (later Southern Railway) invaded the virgin forest. link to website
 We enjoyed our "tour" of the area which did not take long. Despite the cold, it was a beautiful day to drive around and check out the local sites.

My client's home (graceful Southern two-story home with extensive acreage and a nice pool area in the back) was located a few miles outside of the city. I always like meeting new clients and hope I can make this little trip again soon! She did buy one of my recent favorites - a chalk pain project using chairs bought during a recent trip to Destin, Florida. I love how they turned out and they will enjoy their new keeping room setting!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Creative Use for Benches - End of Bed

I happen to be awash in benches at the moment - many of them are part of my European Linen Collection. They are such useful pieces of furniture and can be used just about anywhere. I was glancing at an article about glamorous bedrooms in Veranda Magazine (one of my favorites) and noted that most of the bedrooms featured end of bed benches - almost as if this was a requirement. link to article and magazine.

I have a pinterest board devoted to ottoman and benches that provides details about the various "end of bed" looks that work with benches - link to pinterest page.

Here are some of my favorite looks - all on my pinterest page.

This is a very tailored look.
If I were redoing my bedroom today, this is what it would look like. I love everything about it.
This set of benches is similar to some of mine - love the colorful print!
Love the height of the sides on this one.
Love this multiple "X" bench!
Nicely proportionate to size of bed and room.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Decorating Myths - Use of Multiple Patterns

Demonstration of Mixed Patterns from Article Below.

MYTH: Choose one pattern to be the star of the room

REALITY: Through artful pairing you can feature two, three—even five!—fabulous patterns as long as you keep the color scheme similar, and get creative with scale. link to article

Designer Charles Faudree
An article in Veranda Magazine got my attention. It debunks 10 myths about decorating and one is about the use of patterns. It reminded me immediately of a customer I am working with who loves Charles Faudree link to pinterest page highlighting his decors, the internationally known interior designer (unfortunately no longer with us). His trademark look, besides his sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, was French Country and he loved to mix 3, 4, 5 even 6 patterns.
Interior designer Charles Faudree, long a favorite of Traditional Home readers, was known for his fondness for all things French. He was based in Tulsa, where he had an interior design studio and shop. The multitasking and highly versatile designer—who enjoyed an international following—wrote popular books on design, led design tours of his beloved French countryside, and designed wallpaper and fabric. He designed both quaint cottages and lavish formal homes. “I’m a big believer in the mix,” he said. “A single object on a tabletop or a single work of art on the wall can be nice, but for me, mixing collections provides the most excitement.” link to article.
 My customer (homes in Maine and Maryland) is decorating the latter home and wants to invoke the spirit of Charles Faudree in her selection of fabrics and particularly patterns. I am loving the collaboration as we find and refurbish several French style wing chairs, a leggy chaise lounge and a compact settee.

In support of the notion of putting together multiple patterns, I pulled some photos from my 2013 and 2014 collections and feel that they do work together very well.  There may be some obvious lessons here!

Just reviewing my choices, I drew several conclusions:

Mixed patterns work when:

  • patterns and colors are clear and crisp - not too many colors or too complex of a pattern
  • some of the patterns are stripes and checks which work with any graphic or floral pattern
  • colors are complementary or in the same color group (except blues - see next point) - I love combos of green and blue as well as yellow, blue and white
  • including many variations of blues and whites (some designers feel you can never go wrong with blue and white combos unless you have too little variation in the color hues)
  • space for solids is allowed in the mix - it could be the walls, larger furniture pieces (e.g., sofa) or window treatments

I enjoyed reviewing (and debunking) this myth and hope it will encourage others to be more willing to play with patterns. What are your favorite pattern mixes?