Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Staffordshire Lion

Here's an antique gem to brighten your day.

There's nothing like the internet to do some "shopping".   I love using staffordshire because it is so whimsical.  I've done the decorating with the expensive antique porcelain, but pottery is what appeals to me the most.

Making staffordshire figures was a cottage industry in England in the 1800's.  The idea that some family was running a kiln at home to feed the family, and kids helping mom and dad paint the figures gives the pieces such a feeling of it!  Meissen is lovely, but I'm in a staffordshire phase.


Wouldn't he look great on a stack of books?  or anywhere!

  I've purchased from Madelena before--although I prefer my scavenge-bargain hunting prices.   Sometimes you have to jump in and get the rare stuff.  They were great to deal with, packed well and overnighted the piece to me!    

I'd love to buy the piece, but my mind is on other things right now--sometimes I can't make an 'expensive' decision. It drives my husband crazy!

If you don't want to spend $1500 on a piece, here's a few cheaper options.  bbjoylove on Ebay are reputable, check out this cute auction.  Only $325 for darling sheep?  (make an offer for 10% less)
 I think these figures are in a bit better shape, the paint is not so chippy.  Auction starting at $275,   

Be sure to always look at the paint jobs for chipped paint, and for reglued limbs, ears, etc.   Although when I'm decorating, I've been known to buy a $25 piece of chipped staffordshire because it "looks right".

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Casita Design: Floor Plan

I mentioned earlier that we are building a little casita on our property for my parents who are in their 80's.  I finally decided on a floor plan for the casita.  It has been fired off to the engineer.  At first we looked at getting an architect, but he wanted to know the cost of the project, and would charge 8% of total project cost.  We decided that was too high.  My decision to put in tile rather than linoleum has nothing to do with the work that we are requesting that he do.

This is not a huge home, it is a 750 SF room, and I didn't want to spend $10000 on a plan, when all I need is a simple drawing.  Other people said we should use a drafting service.  We finally decided to go with an engineer who would have to do all the calculations for a drafting service, and he charges by the complexity / square foot.  That actually seems more fair to me.  So our estimates are from under $2/ sf to $2.50.

It has been an interesting process.   I am sharing the plan here.  

The room at the top is a woodworking shop, (and room for the tractor with a door high enough so we don't take out the side of the garage when we forget to fold down the roll bar).

The room at the left is a kitchenette/rec room with a fireplace.  The room to the right, which has the bathroom off of it, could be used as a study or guest room.

Some of the design details that we considered were:

If the building has a bedroom with a closet, it is considered additional living space for a septic system.  No closet, no additional testing.    Technically there could be 12 people living in the big house, but there will only be 4: my husband, myself, and my parents.  So no closet.  Consider the casita a "day room" where my parents can have their own space.

The big house doesn't have a handicapped shower, so we are installing one here.  I don't feel like tearing up a new house.

The "kitchen" isn't really for meals.  They will eat with us.  However, like any pool room or rec room, I'll have a small refrigerator, a bar sink, a drawer dishwasher, and a microwave.  No stove for safety, my mom has dementia.  However I'd like for them to have a cup of tea, toast and a sandwich if they don't want to come to the big house to eat.

I have a space for a stack washer/dryer.  If we put in a pool someday, this will be a perfect pool house.

The left side of the drawing is pretty much dictated by the design of our house.  The casita will be located to the left of a front courtyard, and the architecture (ok, so there's not much), will be dictated by the big house.

The biggest thing I'm doing is putting the design out to share my decision making issues:

The potential "bedroom" is about 15 x 14'9".  I was thinking 12 x 16 was ideal, but I wanted a covered porch, so I gave up some bedroom size for a sitting area outside.

The family/rec room is nice and big.  The kitchenette is on one end.  There's a small pantry next to the fridge.  Not alot of storage space, but it's not really needed.

The bottom wall has a window on each side of the fireplace.  I really agonized over this and went for symmetry.  It would be much easier for "tv viewing" to put the tv in the right corner (if you're coming in from the front door), and the picture window in the middle of the wall, and the tv in the left corner.   I don't know what I am going to do with the tv.  I hate tvs over the fireplace, but this is an insert, and can have a lower mantle.

Some of the fun things we're doing is reclaimed beams over the windows/doors, and rock walls.  Here's the inspiration room.  The room shape will be pretty similar to this.   I don't see a tv here.  My parents like to watch tv.

The other part of the casita is a garage. It is really a woodworking shop for my dad, who likes to make "stuff".  He has a goldmine of reclaimed wood, and makes all sorts of cabinets and benches out of it.   He sells to alot of antique dealers in the bay area and northern california.

Aren't they cute!   Dad is 82, and has a heart condition that saps his strength.  He loves to tinker, and this is a good way for him to stay active.  He's not a couch potato at all.

We put lots of sidewalks around the house so mom can zoom around in her walker. 

 I wanted to do something nice for my parents, and hope they will move here. They're currently on a 22 acre farm surrounded by so much stuff in a huge house, that I don't know if they'll ever move.   So we thought we'd make it a cute cottage for an old german stone mason and his wife.    OK, so the rocks will likely be lick & stick to cut costs.  But even my dad thought the fake ones looked pretty good!  We're going to overmud them so you don't see too much of them anyway.

I sent the plans off to the engineer, I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Versailles Pattern Travertine Porch

 Porch Project Background

We purchased our house in the country last fall.  The soil is clay, and gets tracked everywhere.  So to minimize the dirt coming into the house, and make the outdoors wheelchair accessible, we had concrete sidewalks put in.  Because of the clay soil staining the concrete, we went with stained concrete.  A problem with the concrete color had us wind up with stamped concrete.

It would have cost us about $4/foot to have the porch concrete ripped out and replaced.  Instead, my husband and I decided to spent $4.80/foot to install antiqued travertine tile.  There are 4 different sizes of tiles:   8x8, 8x16, 16x16, 16x24.   It is laid in a random pattern called Versailles.   Of course, this is a do-it-yourself project for us.  We are two accountants, we are not professional.  So don't laugh at our methods.  My dad was a stone mason and always built his own houses so I am not afraid to try anything; and my dear husband is a sport for any adventure we dream up.

Why didn't we leave the white concrete alone?  Well, because sometimes you just do things without thinking it through.  It's supposed to be "outdoor living" and after 30 years in the Portland, OR. rain, we thought porches sounded great.  We also found out white concrete gets badly stained with the rust colored clay soil.

Before Photo
"Before" any work was done.   This photo was one of the few before purchase.

This is after the concrete got poured, before any plants were put in.  Click on the photo to see the enlargement.

I went crazy with sidewalks.  My mom is in a walker, and I wanted her to be able to "explore" the yard if she moves here.

Prep Work
A close-up below shows the lip that we will use to butt up the new tile.  Unfortunately, it was poured a bit high which we discovered as we were laying the tile, causing us to have to "float" the tile in lots of mortar.  This isn't good because the tiles can sink and become uneven as it dries.
This is the lip of the stamped concrete walk coming up to the porch
 We had to cut the rock pillars to be able to lay the tile underneath the rock.  The rock was so uneven, we didn't feel that cutting the tile around the rock would look very good, it varied as much as 2 inches.  I know, rock should look like it went in first, but hey, this is lick & stick, who are we fooling?  Oh yea, this involved a tool purchase for the hubby, a grinder or something...
The "lick & stick" rock pillars posed a problem.
Snapped lines & crack cover
They make a sticky product that you put down over cracks in concrete--to prevent your tile from cracking.  The photo above shows this, along with snapped lines.  We ran 2 lines to find the center and then laid the tile off the line.  This is VERY important, the 2 lines must be square to each other.  We did play with the pattern for a few hours, trying to figure out how to maximize the pattern---you don't want to have to cut 24" tiles.  They are very fragile in that large size.

Travertine is a crumbly rock and is not easy to work with.  It goes down easy enough, but it is more fragile than marble or any other material we've cut on the tile saw.  It can blow apart when the saw hits it--at least this unfilled antiqued tile.

 DAY 1 

Our first day doesn't look like we made much progress.   Note another prep step:  we laid down kraft paper to the driveway, where the tile saw is parked. That way we can run the wheel barrow loaded with mortar to the job without dripping anything on the stained concrete.  It makes for an easy cleanup job.  Pieces of tile hold down the paper--very sophisticated.
1/4" board , plus Day 1 tile laid....
We only laid about 4 square feet the first day.  We ran to Lowes and got some board to put down.  We were floating so much mud and this helps with the thinner layer of mortar.   As we move up the porch there is enough slope so we won't have to continue to use the board. We use a level as we lay--to make sure that the water will run off, and not puddle on the porch.

We laid more tile today, but my helper had a conference call, and we quit by 4 PM.   Or, I quit then.  My husband continued to work. 
Day 2 progress has the spacers, Day 1 progress has the spacers removed.
Since we are working so slowly, when we quit, we need to make sure that the tiles don't "wander".  So I pile stacks of tile at the edge of  laid tile so they don't move.  This is a real problem if you are a novice and work slowly. 

Day 2 ended around 4 or 4:30 for me.  Hubby continued to work.  In order to go around the post and head down the porch, we'd have to remove the iron fence.  We didn't think laying tile on top of it would look good--just think about mucking up the tile job going over the nuts holding down the fence.  So, the fence removal involved chipping some rock off to get to the nut in the wall.  Well, the wasps with their nests there weren't happy.  Oh yea, that was another reason I was in the house.  So he finally got it removed.

We were off to In-N-Out where I get a tomato sandwich for dinner.  (crazy cheapskate vegan--it's a hamburger, no burger, no mayo, extra tomato (4 slices), onion slice, and a thick SLAB of lettuce, on a toasted bun)  When you work all day, food becomes important as that is the only other thing you do, eat, work!

Day 3
Today we laid 41 square feet.  Again, we are still "floating" tiles in lots of mud.  This will allow the water to run off the porch to the flowerbeds.   It makes us go very slowly.  Once we get to the sides of the porch we think it will go faster because the base concrete is sloped properly.

Day 3 progress--tiles with spacers

We had a slithery helper today.  I wonder what kind of snake he is.  We left him alone....

We did a quick lunch break for frozen Amy's burritos, and on return, we found a "helper" right next to the front door!  Yikes, that critter could crawl under the door into the house!

Tomorrow we're hoping to finish the area in front of the door.

Mortar is very hard on your hands.  When you're setting the tile it gets all over so you need gloves.  Kitchen gloves and rubber gloves don't work, neither do gardening or rubberized gloves.  It is because they are too big, the rubber ones make your hand sweat, etc. The best gloves in the world are ISOTONERS!!   I pick them up at estate sales for nasty jobs.    When you're scraping mortar out of the wheel barrow, it's really easy to take the skin off the tips of your fingers.  Isotoners have leather strips on your fingers which helps. They also let your fingers be more sensitive in check tile height, we don't want any toe-catchers!  The isotoners are also great for wiping mortar off the tile.  Yea, lots of accidents here.

As an aside, a friend of mine used to pick up old white dress gloves at estate sales and used them for gardening.  Unfortunately my hands are too big to use all of those gloves from the 40's and 50's.

OK, now you know I am nuts.  But it does work!!

Day 4
Today's progress felt slow, but we had to cut tiles around one post, and along the front door against the house.   Notice how we sometimes stack tiles to keep the laid tiles from "drifting" into the unlaid area.  It is really important to keep things squared up.

Day 4 - Tile laid to front door!
 Our goal today was just to do from the sidewalk to the front door.   However, Mrs. "Let's get ahead of schedule" had Mr. Mortar Mixer do one more batch, and we went down the side. 
Day 4 - Laid tile starting down the side

Day 5
We finished off the left side of the porch, put the railings back.  Now we need to put the rock back.  I'm so tired of working all the time, that we took a break and went to our favorite garden store.  I am on the hunt for a long bench, and the only long bench was a Lutyens bench, or should I say a copy of one.  It was designed by Edward Lutyens for Sissinghurst Gardens in England.

Lutyens Bench in Sissinghurst Gardens

I decided to get the bench even though the back is higher than the window--the back is pierced so it really doesn't block the light from the window.   The other reason is that the high back was a lot more comfortable to sit in than the low-backed bench (and it wasn't as cute).
Day 5 tile, with new bench to enjoy the front courtyard.

Tomorrow we plan on finishing laying tile, with only grouting left.  We're really tired of this.   The benches were a nice treat.  As was dinner at Buca di Beppo.

Day 6
Almost done.  A small area left to tile, plus areas around the fence

Day 7
I am tired of the project, it's lasted too long.  However it is nice to get two crates of tile out of the garage.

View across the porch.  I like the travertine with the rocks, the colors go well together.
No more tripping hazard transitioning from the sidewalk to the front porch
  Ok, we have grouting left to do.  There are some rocks that have to be replaced at the bottom.  However we will be gone for a week to rest.

The grout job will make the porch look really nice.  The tile is antiqued tumbled travertine with rough edges.  It looks like this after grouting:
Back porch view of grout.  The tile looks like old-world hand-chiseled edging.

In a week or 2 I'll add a photo to this post of the final grouted job.  In the mean time, I think I'll go do something with all that money we saved by doing the tile job ourselves!  A piece of furniture?!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Casita Design: Restoration Hardware Cabinets

We are working on a casita for my 82 year-old parents.  We walked into Restoration Hardware this weekend, and I found the perfect cabinets which I would like to use in the kitchen and bath.   Unfortunately, they do not make kitchen cabinets.  HELP!  Does anyone know if a company makes anything like this?  One thing the photos don't capture is the finish.  The patina is a wonderful soft wax finish look. (and feel, very soft and buttery to the touch)

This is a 55" vanity.  Wouldn't it look great with the mirror below?

They have it paired in Portland:

 The showroom is so dark with the new paint color, it really absorbs the light.  I didn't notice until now that the wood really looks like a different color in the mirror vs. cabinet.

There is a great cabinet to use for towels:

RH does not make kitchen cabinets.  No one has a product like theirs.   I priced some painted and distressed cabinets from Lowes that I liked--until I saw these.  The cabinet below is perfect for a pantry, and priced about the same as the box stores.  I love the hardware because I know my dad would really like it.

 What would you do if you were only going to have 12 feet of kitchen, no stove?   I'm thinking (left to right)
refrigerator, bank of drawers, dishwasher (with microwave above it)  Sink (with plate rack above it), trash pullout, ending with a bank of drawers.  I could do a built in pantry tower at the end which would "balance" the refrigerator, but I'm thinking, how about this cabinet on a wall about 4 feet away.  That way I have a bit more counter space.   No stove, my mom could burn herself on it. 

Drawings are coming soon,

My Daily Decorating Fix: Chair Fabric Find

The weather is changing.  The weekend had some crisp cold mornings, and today we wound up with rain.  I get my haircut in Portland, so it was going to be a day of chores.  Whole Foods in the Pearl was one of my stops, and as it happened, there was a parking spot on the street (unheard of) in front of Versailles Interiors about a block away. (My husband would say "isn't that a coincidence, how many times did you circle the block waiting for a spot?")
Versailles Interiors were having a sidewalk sale--and had a big table piled with fabric samples and leftovers.  I was in a hurry, but there was a fabric on top that caught my eye.  Even though I swear I will never be a packrat, I must confess I have a closet shelf full of fabric.  A quilt someday when I am too old to shop for fabric?  You can say I'm thinking ahead!
Fabric border says Toiles de Mayenne.  $80/yard Retail
Sale $2 small scrap, $10 large scrap
 I dropped the fabric on the chair by the front door when I got home.   It looked fabulous with the carpet there, so I think I will recover the two child's chairs with this fabric.  Is that decorating by default?  (I know that's how the painting got hung to the left of the large painting.  I figured I'd keep it up off the floor until I found a "home" for it.)     I had originally planned on finding a gray silk to put on these chairs, but have never looked for it.  A designer walked through and said get rid of the small chairs and the two side paintings.

Chairs with original fabric "before"
The entryway is the most Federal-looking room in the house.  I like the small chairs with the card table--one with an eagle inlay. The symmetry of the two chairs appeals to the very orderly accountant in me (A past career).   I love small chairs and have others that I use for books and magazines stacked next to the sofa.   The "bow" below is out of Chinese sleeve bands done in the forbidden stitch, a wonderful piece waiting to be turned into a project.
Potential upholstery candidate
 My departed kitty also loved sitting on the chair to the right--you will notice the heater vent right at the seat level.  She would wait there so she could keep an eye out for us coming down the stairs in the morning.   We all miss her, she was such a nice kitty!
Our beautiful Kitty- a Russian Blue
  The charm of the fabric with a basket of fruit and the border really appeals to me.  I've been really hesitant to use print fabrics ever since I used too many Waverly prints 20+ years ago, and I just don't want to ever go there again.  The only prints I have used in the past decade is toiles.
The other plan was a pillow for the coral sofa:

The pillow is gone, sold on Ebay.  When you are a dealer, things just "pass through" the house.  The pillow is by Katha Diddel, still available.  The sofa is sentimental as it was owned by my friend Bev who passed away, so I've not wanted to upholster it.

Toiles de Mayenne

So I got my daily decorating fix with an unexpected $2 piece of fabric.  No, I didn't staple it just yet, I want to see it in all kinds of daylight. (tough to do as we say we have 3 kinds of weather in Portland:  July, August, and Rain)  The delight of a beautiful object can feed the soul.  I'm glad it found me.  I can thank the designer who put together such an artistic print.

Happy September, I love the "change" seasons!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Favorite Collections: Antique Mirrors

I've spent many years collecting antiques, and many of my friends, especially those who are 60's plus, passionately collect a specific arena of antiques.  There are die-hard collectors who have PATHS through their house, with so many boxes of depression glass, figurines, staffordshire (one had over 350 dogs alone!).  They don't necessarily have all junk, some have hundreds of thousands invested.

A lesson learned in 30 years is that I am attracted to antiques that contribute to the ambiance of my home, and I become frustrated when I become OCD over a particular genre.  I had over 400 pieces of American Brilliant Cut Glass.    I finally realized I don't like cabinets loaded with "things", I prefer to create vignettes around the house.  So I  called Jason at Woody Auction, and he picked it up and sold it.  I'll blog about ABCG later.

The best advice ever given to me was:  educate yourself about a particular field,  collect 5 to 7 items in that field, and move on.  Everyone says buy the best you can afford, in the best condition, with no or minimal restoration.  I have to say, while I preach that too, I don't follow it.  Educate yourself, and if you see an item in poor condition, for 10 cents on the dollar, go ahead and buy it.  Place it in your house, and decide if you want to continue to collect.   Everyone tells you to buy from reputable dealers, but often they will pass up a piece in poor condition because it doesn't meet their criteria.    If you're willing to pay $79 for a table at Ikea, who cares if that cute french table has a cracked and reglued leg/ or top?  I'd rather have the $79 french table!

Tthe next time you're visiting your favorite dealer, tell them you to call you if they find a beat up period piece of furniture. Those dealers have the contacts and have the ability to look out for things for you.  PLUS, they will also tell you that there's been a major repair, where others may not....

It is easy to decorate with antiques and be successful--the pieces are interesting, have some patina, and even the most modern room needs an antique object in it to give it some depth.   It is NOT easy to decorate and pull together a room if you are not a decorator or designer.  For those of us who collect antiques, people always love our homes.   The reaction is very gratifying--friends love all my treasures as much as my husband and I do!  Even though I've helped friends out, I think my success lies in using antiques.  I don't consider myself to be a good decorator, I just have an eye for antiques.

Antique Mirrors
I've always liked mirrors.  Living in the Northwest,  daylight is an issue.  We only have 60 sunny days a year, and mirrors reflect light in the home.   I find little mirrors very interesting.   There are 3 mirrors in my dining room.  They are all different.  The mirrors on each side of the breakfront are lovely. The one on the left is a tabernacle mirror, with a reverse-painted scene.

These reverse painted mirrors are hard to find in good condition. This one is too sweet for words!
The shield shaped mirror may be the oldest mirror I have.  I tend to have a weakness for anything with an eagle on it.   This mirror is interesting, the chain that you see on the front is actually the original chain that this should have been hung with.  If you are wondering what a 200 year old mirror should look like--check this one out!

The eagle below is FROM a mirror.  See, I can't resist!

The third mirror is a typical large Victorian mirror.   You can sometimes find them with console type tables.  This one is sweet because of the grapes carved in the frame.  I have it in the dining room so guests sitting with their back to the view can see the view in the large mirror.
Dining room, reflecting view
The view is great, don't you think!  A great sumer day with sailboats on the Columbia River.

I was in a model home and liked the two mirrors that were used in this dining room to reflect light and make the room seem larger.  Of course I don't like the frames, but it really was pleasing to view from the entry way.

 I would love to have a pair of mirrors from Restoration Hardware instead.  They are massive and wonderful!

However, I have my share of tiny and wonderful.  The great part about tiny is that you can move them without breaking your back.

The above reverse painted mirror was an accidental purchase.  I was just checking out an online auction through liveauctioneers, and thought I'd "test" the bidding process.  I clicked "bid" on the starting price--and got it.  It was from Skinner, and I think I got it for around $150 including shipping!

There are many mirrors with gilded frames. Here are a couple of my favorites:

 The one below I plan on taking to our country house to hang on the limestone fireplace.  It is quite small, I'd guess only about 26" tall.   This mirror gets the award for being so "over the top" with it's carved roses.  It's appropriate to be moved--we just planted over 100 roses there...

I totally love this mirror!    I suspect that the mirror may have been monkeyed with, but there isn't too much damage to the gesso and carved wood roses.  The reason I think something has been done to it is the crest is a bit of a different color.  It matches the carving, but has someone refinished the rest of it?
 There mirror above is in the guest room.  I have some great Schumacher wallpaper that I put up in 1986.  I hate to "update" this room--I still love the wallpaper.  It from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art collection, a copy of a vintage velvet ribbon, as I recall.

This mirror has wonderful original wooden candelabra, I love the way they twist with you being able to view the jasper medallion through the center one.  It is quite a neoclassic theme.  Usually when I think of attached candelabra, I think of bullseye or convex mirrors.  I have a reproduction mirror, no candelabra though.  I got tired of waiting for an antique, and I thought it would be fun to get an extremely large mirror to reflect the entire room back at you.

I need to be a good blogger and dig out the inspiration photo for this one..

Another interesting mirror is a reproduction that Barbara Barry did for Baker Furniture.  It is a very deep frame, but I didn't like the $1600 price tag.  Also, the one I saw in person had the frame a very dark ebony.  This looks walnut to me.   I recognized this as a reproduction of an antique.   They tend to show up on Ebay, and you can pick them up for around $150. if you keep an eye out.  Of course you would need to cut a mirror for it.  I picked one up about 4 years ago, and it's still sitting in my "project" closet.
The next mirror,also a reproduction, is in my powder room.  I had planned on keeping an antique cabinet in the remodel, but the old cabinet had the marble glued to the top and it literally didn't survive the attempts to use it.   Unfortunately it was short notice and I had one day to hunt for a new cabinet.  It was tough and I had to settle for the cabinet below--we didn't have Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, or Restoration Hardware back then.  I did manage to pick a nice grey blue wall color, which looks fresh today.  I'm not thrilled with the candlesticks, but there you have it.  Sometimes it takes me years to get something right.

I have another reproduction mirror, this one from my Baker triple dresser.   I've always liked the mirror, but I really love the fabulous antique Imari urns that I have on the antique French brackets.

The reproduction French mirror was picked by my daughter, she had the foresight to go with this wonderful painted finish which is fabulous in her living room.

The mirror is huge and makes a great statement in the room.  She's in college, so she has a few cast off items.  Not bad for a poor college student!  It beats my first living room with cardboard boxes and tablecloths on them.  She just got a large wicker basket for all of her blankets (Restoration Hardware, she reads Joni at Cote de Texas).  I think she has about as many blankets as I have mirrors....

The above Biedermeier mirror was at Clark Graves in Saint Louis.  I debated about it, and by the time I made up my mind that I had a spot for it, it was gone.  Sigh.  It is different from the rest in the collection.

Here's my favorite formal dining room.  I love the green walls with the mahogany breakfront.  The mirror reflects the beautiful drapes made out of a chintz by Mario Buatta.  I had decided I wanted some more years later after I made these.  I called Mario's office in NY, thinking that I would have a staff person answer the phone.  HE ANSWERED THE PHONE!!!  Anyway, he was very gracious, and I was sooo delighted to talk to him!

Back to the mirror:  I picked this massive mirror up at an estate sale.  It was a mess.  I've actually antiqued the gilding, because someone else had done the same and ruined the old finish.  The wood on the back of the frame weighted a ton, and was in pieces in a box.  I managed to get it for $50.  It looks fabulous with the Williamsburg sideboard by Baker.  I am not a purist, I will buy reproductions.  Antique isn't always better when you're looking for function.  My husband has a pet peeve of stuck antique drawers.....  I love the oval mirror over the oval bowfront sideboard.

I don't limit mirror collecting to wall mirrors.  Keep an eye out on Ebay, there are many wonderful hand mirrors out there.  The repousse work is incredible.  Check out my fabulous linen too.  I love this piece!

  Plateaus are a great way to reflect light into a piece of glass.  This is my favorite plateau (sitting on a fabulous 19th century handmade figural Italian Pt. de Venise lace cloth.

I just picked up this mirror for my dressing table in the other house.  It's very charming and petite.  I would guess it is half the size of any other shaving mirrors I owned.  There's nothing like old mirrors to soften the wrinkles when you pass the big 5-0.

I have a pair of these mirrors.  I think they will look great on each side of our bed over the nightstands.  They are circa 1830's, featured in an old "The Magazine Antiques".  I need to find some fabulous lamps.  I will take my time this time!

My last purchase was this mirror above.  I thought it looked really great in the antique shop.   I was planning on putting it over a Georgian chest, but the scale was all wrong. Now I'm not happy, because I can't find a home for it.  I especially like the little tassel carved and painted below center.  The carving is quite heavy and ornate.  What do you think of this mirror?

My dear friend Beverly had this antique mirror in her house.  It is a courting mirror, and she was so delighted to finally add it to her collection. Isn't it adorable!  My husband didn't like it so I didn't bid on this at her estate sale.  Wow, am I sorry I didn't just go for it!!

I hope you've enjoyed my parade of mirrors.  I went over the 5-7 item limit, but I will plead my case, I have alot of square footage to deal with.What do you think about using antique mirrors?