Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Arrivals

Hello, there ~
Did you hear the news? We just received a new shipment :) It's a large and eclectic one with finds from Belgium, England, France and Sweden. New arrivals include:

- Original twentieth-century art with early frames
- Antique gilded, painted, sunburst and Venetian mirrors
- Classic white ironstone china, all in superb condition
- Garden items with old moss-and-lichen surfaces
- Decorative accessories and smalls
- Midcentury modern as well as industrial pieces
- Antique furniture with bleached, painted, and wood-stained finishes

I know that this is a busy time filled with garden chores, graduation festivities, weddings, and weekend getaways, so stop by and visit at your leisure. But don't wait too long or you might miss out on some of these......    
Mixed, but not matched! Though my passion is Gustavian antiques, I try to introduce other periods and styles. At Tone on Tone, the point of view is light and bright, but always with a little twist. Mixing the pale grays with darker tones creates contrast and allows the individual items to pop. Notice how a touch of industrial metal can ground the neutrals. To finish, I rely on accents of silver, gold or brass for that polished sheen. 

The focal point of this room is a 20th-century French bookcase / etagere in polished steel. I've loaded it with gleaming white ironstone china - sort of like a modern baker's rack. But, of course, it would look just as cool piled with books and framed photos.

Flanking the bookcase is a pair of Swedish Gustavian 32" chests surmounted by unmatched French silver mirrors - all from the 19th century.

Directly in front is a French country chestnut server or console with a narrow depth of only 16.5 inches. On each side are early 1800s beechwood armchairs from France. You'll recognize the chairs from our personal collection.   
I couldn't resist this Italian Ca. 1940s center / dining table with its rosewood veneered top in a sunburst pattern, four blind drawers and ebonized legs with brass sabots. Obviously its spirit is modern, but it would look equally smart in a home furnished with classical antiques.
Bringing together pieces from different periods and countries! All the painted furniture is Scandinavian. The giltwood mirrors, including the rare pair of sunbursts, are French. Also French is the set of four Klismos style walnut chairs from the 1820s. The garden flower urn and discus thrower come from England - both 20th century.
This handsome copy, executed in cast composition including marble, is after the famous copy in the British Museum of the original Discobolus by Myron, Ca. 460-450 BC. The original Discobolus had his head turned to look towards the disc, while the copy in the BM was wrongly restored. The Greek key frieze on the plinth is striking.
Also from England is this 29" high obedient Labrador statue. Again, it's cast composition with a wonderful patina acquired from guarding a beloved garden.
More for your garden or interior! This pair of footed urns has traces of old white paint and unusual lions (?) flanking a tree of life. There are also naive faces / masks on the side handles.
The English urns sit on Swedish sideboard with an elegant form. At 35" high, this sideboard makes a great server - not too tall or low. BTW, the sideboard / buffet in the dining room should always be higher than the dining room table and, preferably, not matching.
Two antique French mirrors with lovely old glass. The mercury glass in the gray trumeau is fabulous. Oooops, please ignore my arm :)
This early painted Directoire mirror has that "just right" patina - a bit chalky, a bit crusty!!
The coolness of the mirror and chairs contrasts beautifully against the warmth of this 18th-century Alsatian walnut secretary richly inlaid with fruitwood. Each piece stands out next to the other.
A greige pedestal table makes the perfect neutral canvas for this assembled collection of treenware and boxes in fruitwood, mahogany, maple, and walnut.
A pair of Swedish Art Moderne clubchairs with bleached oak finish and new linen upholstery shown with a set of three French Ca. 1970s nesting tables in lucite, glass and brass - so chic! The lucite tables could also be placed next to a sofa or low bed.
Here is a Belgian bleached oak dining / kitchen table with oval top and trestle base. I've grouped four French side chairs and two Swedish armchairs around the table.  It all works thanks to the pale finishes. Mixing it up doesn't always mean contrast.
Let's check out some of the paintings starting with my favorite one above. This is a late 1800s oil on canvas painting of the Pont Neuf in Paris. By the way, that's the oldest bridge in Paris - construction started in 1578. The painting is unsigned but definitely Impressionist. It's so special I had to find the right frame - a period Montparnasse one with finished corners.

Below are two more French paintings - these are just a little later from the early 20th century. Both are signed by listed artists. The spirit of the port painting with an iron crane reminds me of the iconic Eiffel Tower in the heart of Paris.
More French mirrors including two rectangular ones, both with mercury glass. Note the left mirror's undulating pie-crust edge.

The white secretary and pair of gray consoles are Swedish Gustavian. The consoles are freestanding tables with carved apron on all sides along with urn finials draped with laurels.
Whew - long post! Are you still with me? I leave you with a couple of smaller paintings. The seascape is an English oil on board and the landscape is a French oil on canvas - I think they pair up nicely.

If you have questions on any of these pieces,  feel free to email me: info@tone-on-tone.com

Memorial Day is just around the corner. What are your plans? Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. Thanks so much for reading :)
Loi

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy May!

Happy May Day! Families during medieval England would celebrate the beginning of spring by collecting greenery and flowers from woodlands and bringing them back into their homes. This custom was known as "Going A-Maying" or "Bringing Back the May."

In France, the tradition of giving lily-of-the-valley flowers goes back to May 1, 1561 when King Charles IX was presented with a bouquet as a token of luck and prosperity. Now on May Day or the Fete du Muguet, lilies of the valley are fondly sold throughout the country - from roadside stands to supermarkets.

At home, our lilies of the valley are blooming right on schedule despite spring's late arrival this year. All of them were gifted by my friend Charlet - they were transplanted from her garden. I love gathering a few bunches to enjoy. Just a bit of caution: these dainty, sweet-scented beauties can be invasive, and all parts of them are poisonous.
A generous bunch of lilies of the valley for our shop. So pretty! So spring!! The mirror with gilded Greek key border is French Louis Philippe. The greeny-blue painted chest is Swedish Gustavian.
Another bunch for our kitchen. These petite bell-shaped flowers infuse the air with a delightful fragrance - doing dishes just got a little better :)
Meet Lemon Drops! I also picked a few of these charming Narcissi from our small courtyard garden. Their fresh cream-and-lemon palette looks especially cheerful with our gray walls, furniture and floors.  
Speaking of our home, do you remember this post? Many of you have asked about the progress of our house search and real estate listing for our home. Tom and I had planned to officially list it right about now.....with the gardens in bloom. We have decided not to list our home at this time. Why? There has not been anything on the market that we liked or wanted to renovate. Plus, the smaller properties that we were focusing on have been selling extremely fast and, often times, with multiple bids. So for now, we'll continue to enjoy our home. Thanks for all of your interest, support and kind words. 
xoxo
Loi  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Early Spring

It's 5:00 somewhere! Time for cocktails on the veranda!! Don't you love spring? :)

This is such a busy but exciting season. There is much to do in the garden: cutting back deadwood, dividing crowded perennials, mulching beds, fertilizing plants and trees, etc. Please don't forget your street trees. Everywhere I look, plants including weeds are popping up like crazy. I'm just grateful to see any sign of life after that lonnnnnng winter. So, weeds: you are safe for now. Though I'll get you soon.....after I enjoy my margarita.
Pansies are one of my favorite early spring annuals - they are cheerful, hardy and easy to grow. This year, I've planted small white pansy flowers in the footed urns. These small flowers, just a little bigger than Johnny-Jump Up Violas, suit the scale of the urns.
The 16 European hornbeams, planted in groups of 4, are starting to leaf out. Even without foliage, they are striking with their graphic, twiggy form. But it's a relief to see that they've made it through another winter.
BELOW: A few days later, the other 8 Hornbeams on the north side are filling in nicely.
The boxwood balls are also flushing out. Soon they will be covered in chartreuse-green like the hornbeams.  
Speaking of green, the lawn is looking very lush. I love the stripes after it is freshly mown. Tom gets all the credit here! To keep the grass from meandering into the walkways and beds, he installed metal edgers.
 A closer look at a 4" high metal edging strip - about 3" is buried in the ground.
I don't think I've ever shown the street side of our Nellie Stevens holly hedge. Each April, hundreds of white Narcissus Thalias bloom in these terraced beds. After the flowers have finished their show, the foliage gets hidden by liriope plants.
With star-shaped flowers in pristine white, Thalia is an heirloom Narcissus that has enchanted gardeners since 1916.
Behind the cedar gate is the courtyard garden. The row of crape myrtles is still bare. Notice they are pollarded - pruned at the same height each year for size control. Pollarding or topping off crape myrtles is quite controversial - some refer to it as "crape murder."
Step inside for a pop of sunshine courtesy of mini Tete-a-Tete daffies. These early bloomers are the perfect way to welcome spring. Panda, our regal 16-year-old Tibetan Terrier, thinks so!
 Here are 2 photos of this same courtyard taken in previous Aprils - note the crape myrtles were not pruned.
Lastly, we have mischievous Mocha, another TT, frolicking in a bed of perwinkles :) Can you believe she is almost 15?
Cheers to another garden season!
Loi, Tom, Panda and Mocha