Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Our Maine Home in Country Living

I have exciting news to share: our Maine home is featured in the March 2019 issue of Country Living magazine! Yay!! Read all about the renovation of our 1863 cottage in Castine.

A big thanks to the entire CL team - especially Editor in Chief Rachel Hardage Barrett and Homes Editor Jennifer Kopf. These two really championed our story, and I'm grateful to them.

Photographer Alec Hemer made our little cottage look so airy, inviting and idyllic. Tom and I are thrilled with his stunning photos - thank you, Alec.

Stylist Elizabeth Maclennan created many magical moments and vignettes. Thanks, Liz.

All of the flowers are from Dan's Flower Farm in Sedgwick, Maine. Go to our Maine Instagram site where we shared our day there picking from Dan's organic fields. I loved arranging with such beautiful, fresh flowers!

Here's a sneak peek:
Our front door painted in high gloss "Willow" by Fine Paints of Europe. The mussel wreath was handmade by a local artist - available through Handworks Gallery in Blue Hill, Maine.
This Swedish Gustavian secretary's chalky surface reminds me of the weathered patina of the cedar shingles along the coast.

The decor is a mix of coastal, classic and Continental. I had fun sourcing local coastal art and natural finds like rocks, shells and driftwood. A classic blue-and-white palette, from linens to pottery, runs through many of the rooms. And Continental European antiques give our casual cottage an unexpected sophistication.   
This coffee table "flat lay" vignette featuring our collection of Maine books, local rocks, and other finds is my favorite shot! There is even a walking map of Castine village.

Please pick up a copy of the March 2019 Country Living - hope you enjoy it!

Cheers,
Loi

Friday, January 25, 2019

My Potting Shed

A warm greeting on this January day!

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful start to 2019.

I have settled into a routine of working from my design studio at home. I do love my new flexible schedule, and uniform of cozy flannel plus fuzzy slippers (on days that I'm not meeting with clients, of course 😉). I do, however, miss the social part of a retail shop - things like friends and clients dropping by for a quick browse and even those random chitchats with the mail carrier. It's been an adjustment not having a store!

In case you didn't know, Tom and I have closed Tone on Tone in Bethesda, Maryland. We still have our antiques booth at the York Antiques Gallery in York, Maine.

My mornings now are usually spent in the studio and, after lunch, I'll pop into the recently completed potting shed to dote on my topiaries. Speaking of that, let's take a tour of the shed, which I sometimes refer to as the topiary house. Click on photos to enlarge. 
Here is the architect's 1928 sketch of our cottage. This gives a good birds-eye view of the property - house, garage and courtyard. Thankfully, nothing major has changed in the 90+ years except that the enchanting parterre garden in the courtyard was replaced long ago by a flagstone terrace. Because our cottage is rather small at 1,600 sq ft, I don't mind having this walled terrace as an additional (outdoor) room. It does make a charming, private space that's fabulous for entertaining from May to October.

We recently converted the garage into my design studio, and also built a new 11' x 18' (exterior footprint) potting shed at the end of the courtyard, centered on the entry gate. The idea is to have a compound, like a teeny-tiny country village, with different places for different purposes. It's fun going from building to building.
I designed the shed to complement the existing architecture, but not to copy or compete. Finding that right slate palette to match the house and studio's roofs proved impossible, so I chose copper with standing seams. The custom stucco finish is identical on the three buildings, and all windows have a similar exterior bronze color. Notice the lantern's scrolled iron brackets - I wanted to pay tribute to our gate's arch with this light fixture. See below.
Let's get out of the cold...come inside, please! Even though the space isn't palatial, there is a lightness and feeling of openness thanks to the skylights, oversized windows, and lofty pitched ceiling. A pair of closets flank a wall of floating shelves over a base cabinet painted in gray. Flagstone flooring gives the room a garden spirit, while tying it to the courtyard directly outside.
One of my favorite elements is the stainless steel, which brings a utilitarian sensibility to this workspace. A huge thanks to Cheney Millwork in Beltsville, Maryland for fabricating the stainless steel shelves as well as the countertop. They did a perfect job. The finish is smooth, durable and flawless! See more of their work here. Also, check out their Instagram page @cheneymillwork .
These polished steel pulls and knobs, with their industrial vibe, look just right paired with the stainless surfaces.
A couple overall views. You can see a corner of the heating / air conditioning unit in the above photo (top left). Behind the painted lantern is an air exchange unit for circulation. BTW, I'm thrilled to finally find a spot for this antique French orchard ladder.
Now for the fun part: moving in! My collection of old terra cotta pots has found a new home. I've been busy sorting, cleaning and getting them ready for spring planting. Antique trugs along with baskets hold garden necessities such as jute twines, plant markers, pruning shears, etc. 
I love the weathered patina contrasting against the silvery shelves!
A woven linen towel from Sweden hangs ready to dry wet hands. Both the tole hook and miniature giltwood frame came from antiques dealer Melissa Alden at the York Antiques Gallery. Pop over to Melissa's Instagram page @m.aldenportcity .
Every gardener needs a calendar. I look forward to planning this season's schedule very soon.
Who can resist this vintage stone squirrel? She's found a spot near the myrtle topes.

And here they are! 🌳🌳🌳 Everyone is happy so far. There are more topiaries on the other side. I also have a few inside our home. 
Snow might have been falling outside our cottage in sub-zero temps, but inside, it's warm and cozy for us and the topiaries.

Cheers,
Loi
PS - Don't miss my next post on the studio!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Shop Closing - UPDATE!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

So many of you came to shop our closing sale, to say goodbye, and to wish us well - WOW! The sale has been a tremendous success, and Tom and I couldn't be more grateful.

Of course we loved seeing each of you, and enjoyed catching up. Like proud parents, it touched us to hear that you still cherish your Tone on Tone pieces. Many, many thanks.

Tom and I were saying how much we'll (me, especially 😢) miss your visits. To stay connected after the shop closes, I'm thinking of offering an open design day, once a week, in my home studio where clients can stop by to select paint colors from my favorite palette, peruse my fabric library, and chat decorating projects, big or small, from renovations to pillows. Please stay tuned.

Here is an update on our closing:

- The shop's last day will be Saturday, December 15, 2018.

- Starting Saturday, December 1st, we will have a mini estate sale here at the shop. There will be new (never used) accessories that I picked up as display props. These include Swedish linens, designer fabric remnants, glassware (vases / vessels), baskets, wooden trays, moss / lichen balls, etc. There will also be lots of miscellaneous items. And, we'll be selling quilted moving blankets, dollies, as well as small tools. Everything priced to move! This will be fun - please come.

- Remaining antique inventory after December 15th will be available on our website: WWW.TONE-ON-TONE.COM.
I will be updating the site often. 

- Starting in January 2019, select inventory will be for sale at our booth in the York Antiques Gallery (a group shop located in York, Maine).

- Our email will remain the same: info@tone-on-tone.com.

- Our new phone line is: 202-262-5732.

Now a look at some of the items currently available:    
A handsome 1780s French walnut secretary desk with exceptional parquetry of boxwood, from Alsace. It measures 41" wide x 29.5" deep (desktop down) x 38" high.

Shown on top of the secretary are two striking 19th-century French seaweed prints. 
This Danish Neoclasscial style clock, dated 1869, is quintessentially Nordic with its chalky gray surface and elegant simplicity. We had it for many years at home - see photo below.
The small Swedish painted bench, French trumeau mirror, and Swedish cartel wall clock are all available. Please email info@tone-on-tone.com for more information.
Curves in the all the right places! I love the undulating lines of this 1760s Swedish Rococo table - so sculptural! It measures 36.5" wide x 26" deep x 29.25" high.
Beautifully painted with classical urns and figures, this early Italian chest is one of my favorites. The top is faux painted to mimic stone. The legs are slender and airy.
Gustavian grace - an early Swedish stool that's been hand scraped to the original painted surface. Iron brackets were custom made to reinforce the curule legs during the 19th century. Upholstery is Claremont's silk damask with trim by Samuel & Sons.  
A pair of Swedish Gustavian armchairs that is good looking AND comfy! Plus, such sweeping lines and exquisite carvings. Instead of the ubiquitous nailhead trim, I opted for small iron tacks on the new linen upholstery. Each chair measures 24" wide x 27.25" deep x 37.5" high.
The patina of this French Classical style giltwood chandelier (approx 28" diam) is really stunning; as are the carvings. It has been rewired. 
Here is a Louis XVI style giltwood mirror (20" wide x 35.5" overall height) crested with a laurel wreath. Two sweethearts give a hint to its origin - perhaps a courting mirror or marriage gift?  
Another romantic mirror (26" x 35.5") but in a very different style. This one is vintage Venetian with an eglomise glass border that's been painted on the backside.
Next is a Mid Century Modern brass bar cart (26" x 16.75" x 25.5" high) from France. The smoked glass gives it a tres chic look. 
There are also lots of accessories including this fabulous pair of Continental creamware candlesticks in perfect condition.

And loads of custom pillows in fabrics by Quadrille, Michael Smith, Lee Jofa, Peter Fasano, Cowtan & Tout, etc. Below is just a sampling.
That's it for this post, but there is much more still in the shop.
Don't forget that our last day is Saturday, December 15th.
Hope to see you!
xo
Loi