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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!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saturated Colors at Ikea

Entrance to marketplace at Ikea store in Atlantic Station - City of Atlanta
If you have any doubts about the popularity of deep, rich, saturated colors in home decor,  you only need to stop by any Ikea store to set you straight.

I travel to our local Ikea story in Atlantic Station (City of Atlanta) about once very 4-6 weeks to pick up a twenty accent pillow insert supply for my furniture. At $6.99 and available in 20X20 or lumbar/rectangular size, they are the best deal available. My upholsterers love them because they are tightly bound on the edges and do not shed feathers  (did I mention that they are 95% feather - 5% down) and are easy to work with.

This week as I arrived at the Ikea store and planned my usual mad dash to the pillow section and out the door, I got distracted by the display above with its bright saturated colors and patterns. With my trusty camera, I thought I would take a leisurely stroll and see what I was missing on most of my visits.
Friends of ours used Ikea cabinetry in their South Carolina vacation home. I had not realized how many beautiful options Ikea provided for kitchen cabinetry and loved the design and deep colors of this settings. 
Colorful accent pillow covers (many sized for those great inserts I mentioned above) are available to glam up any setting. 
Bedding and accessory choices for young and old - loved the green and purple combination.
I thought the one of the left would work well with the series of Art Deco blogs I have recently posted - here is one of the blogs.
What a great emerald and red setting - love this grouping.
These whimsical chairs were in the outdoor section - in multiple colors - I can see them indoors as well.
Even shower curtains can make the space!
Loved this little table-scape / mini-bar!

After getting excited about all of these great finds - none of which I needed but loved looking at - I did eventually end up in the "accent pillow" section and purchased my 20 pillows.  It was a nice visit to Ikea!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shopping for Art Deco on Craigslist

Friend's Art Deco (with original art) home in Palm Desert, CA.
Several days ago, I wrote a blog called Art Deco in the Desert link in which I describe a wonderful Palm Desert, California, property decorated in "Art Deco - Mid Century" style. The owners had bought most of the furnishings at local consignment and thrift shops. I thought it was perfect for this location and so different from the typical decors I see and love here in the South. I wondered how hard it would be to duplicate this setting in this area by using a similar method. Instead of getting in my car and driving all over the vast metropolitan area, I took a craigslist short-cut to do some virtual shopping.

I used two search terms on craigslist - Art Deco and Mid-Century Furniture - and got a lot of hits. I would estimate that only about 20% came close to the the mark (as I envisioned it) but there was definitely a lot to ponder and review. There does appear to be some difference between the two concepts in terms of timing. Art Deco is often described as being in its heyday in the 1920 - 1930's  while Mid-Century was, well, mid-century - 50's and 60's.

Here's a description of Art Deco Furniture - I love the "attitude" comment:
The Art Deco period rose in the early part of the 20th century from a conglomeration of other art styles, including Art Nouveau and Neoclassical. In the United States, the Art Deco rage peaked during the Roaring '20s, while the nation was recovering from World War I. The furniture from this period has some distinct and defining overtones and architecture that reflect the uplifted moods of the citizens as they shed their inhibitions and focused on decorative elements that reinforced their new avant-garde attitudes. Description plus Fact Sheet.
 Clearly not everyone who labels their pieces "art deco" is consistent in the application of the various definitions. Here are some samples of what I found.
Some of these pieces actually looked like some of the examples I saw on-line. I didn't care for them, however, and thought they were too bulky and dark. 
I thought these were closer to the basic styles that I enjoyed in the Palm Desert decor - I could visualize using these in a color-saturaed setting. 
While these were not exactly bright, I thought their sleek designs would work well with bright color furnishings and accessories.
Here were some of the pieces that came up when I used "Mid Century Furniture" as a search term. I definitely remember the tapered legs and streamlined look of this 60's furniture from my youth. Again, this wasn't exactly what I was looking for although a few of these pieces might blend well.
Some bold-colored case pieces that might work well in the setting. The red media cabinet is from Ikea and I have noticed that a lot of their furnishings might work in this setting.
Here are some some lighting and tables labeled "art deco" - the multicolored piece above was quite pricey ($750). 
I enjoyed my virtual shopping experience and concluded that I would probably not have any difficulties executing this style in our area. I did note that some of the pieces were quite pricey for items all labeled "for sale by owner" - I did not include any dealer information and suspect that there are plenty available in the area.

Finally, I saw this piece labeled as art deco and couldn't quite decide if I could work with it - what do you think?

Chair labeled Art Deco on Craigslist

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Designer Color Palettes - Teal with Brown and Citron

BHG Color Palette
One of my favorite websites is Better Homes and Gardens link to site. Recently, the site featured a series of "designer color palettes" that show interesting and dynamic combinations of current colors. I find inspiration in these palettes and, of course, opportunities for including some of my great refurbished furniture.

I like this grouping of colors and find that I have a lot of pieces in the blue/teal/seafoam/acqua color group but not much in the browns or citron green. I have introduced a variation of this color set (taupe, seafoam and charcoal black) into my own recently renovated terrace level check out blog about project here.

Here are some of my current inventory pieces that would work well in this setting. Yes, this is advertising but I hope it helps sell this overall color palette which I do love!

I just added the two settees (in a bright teal - not well photographed here) and the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) set of French Style Chairs refinished in a distressed Duck Egg Blue.
I do not have a real citron color piece but find this apple green Martha Washington chair might work in this setting.  In addition to these hostess/upright chairs and the Sherrill Chair and Ottoman, I also have a set of Sherrill Club Chairs in the great seafoam and cream houndstooth.

I do not currently have anything really citron green or brown and must admit I've been a little nervous about doing pieces in those colors. Now that I am focusing on this great color combination, it should bolster my courage to try some pieces in these colors.

I will be featuring more of these interesting color palettes in future blogs - they are truly inspirational. What do YOU think of this color combination?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chalk Paint Refurbishing Project - Four French Chairs

ASCP Refurbished Chairs 
I just completed another Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) link to website and continue to be excited about the results. This set of chairs was purchased from one of my newer "go-to" dealers who occasionally gives me GREAT prices for furniture that badly needs redoing. These four chairs were manufactured in Brooklyn in the 70's and the woodwork and fabric were in a pretty bad state. I liked the wood details and carvings, however, and saw definite possibilities.
My upholsterer, Mr. Lee, helped me take off the seats and upper piping to allow me to get the best coverage on the woodwork.
The main problem with the woodwork was dirt and age. I used my trusty wood cleaner, Goof Off link to website to remove the dirt and had to use quite a bit and scrub pretty hard to get it all. Once removed, the surface was ready for ASCP.

I have eight ASCP colors and decide which one to use after selecting the fabrics. In this case, I wanted to use the Duck Egg Blue with some Old White as a counterpoint. I found just the right fabrics for this treatment in my collection (have i mentioned that I have a fabric ROOM)!
Fabrics selected - a nice cream-colored linen blend herringbone for seat cushion and front of back and a Cowtan and Tout Jane Churchill embroidered linen-blend for the back. The latter was a large sample and I asked my upholsterer to find four different images to use on the four backs.
I applied a first coat of ASCP Old White and this step resulted in a nice clean finish and a good base for  the dry-brush application of ASCP Duck Egg Blue.

The most challenging aspect of using the dry brush method to do the second coat is to be consistent in how much of the undercoat remains visible. I found myself constantly stepping away from the piece I was working on and positioning it close to the one(s) I had finished to try to maintain that level of coverage. I don't think I was totally successful but am happy with overall outcome.

I finished the pieces with a coat of clear wax and dropped them off at my upholster - the fabulous Lees of Norcross, Georgia, who do all my upholstery work.
The chairs came back this week and are beautiful - the fabric really coordinates well with the refurbished ASCP finish.
Four "after" Chairs
Details of backs - all four are different.
Another successful project - I love how these turned out and will definitely have to show photos to the dealer I brought them from - he will be impressed!

I plan to try selling these on One King's Lane link to current One King's Lane Sales and will see how they do!

This project is linked as follows - Savvy Southern Style and Miss Mustard Seed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Art Deco in the Desert

Art Deco Space - Love the Mid-Century Style Furniture
Recently, we had the opportunity to stay in a friend's lovely Palm Desert (part of Palm Springs area in California) condo which had been decorated in what I would describe as "Art Deco - Mid-Century" style. I just loved the richly saturated decor and how well it had been put together by this artist and his wife.

The art deco style is one I have not often seen carried out in an actual home and particularly not in the area of the country in which I live - the traditional South! It just seems perfect for this desert region.
The term 'Art Deco' is taken from the name of the 1925 Paris exhibition titled Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.

Artists of the day began creating works of art that were highly stylized and purely decorative. The focus started to shift from the cold, dismal, lifeless factories to the energetic, colourful natural environmentsource
Details of Space Using Color FIlters (my husbsand's red jacket is on table).
 I found some interesting articles and information about the Art Deco style.
Colorful Furniture and Artwork
It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation. source
One of the things I found particularly great about this decor and how they had put it together is that much of the furniture and accessories were purchased in consignment shops in the Palm Desert area. In driving around, we noted that there appeared to be many shops - what a great green decorating challenge and outcome! You can tell that they had a great time doing this!

Since the owner is an artist, many pieces of art - including his own - are shown throughout the space adding additional layers of color and interest.

Great Artwork! 
 I fell in love not only with this beautiful space but with the whole Palm Desert/Palm Springs area. I have been bugging my husband about possible property investments, but so far he is not convinced. I will just have to try harder!

This posting has been shared on the following blog - French Country Cottage.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jukeboxes - History and More!

Estate Sale in Sandy Springs Neighborhood - Atlanta Area
Friday was a beautiful, clear day in the Atlanta area and I spent some time going around to several estate sales in nearby neighborhoods. I did not buy anything but was impressed with the fact that two of the sales were selling jukeboxes that had been used in the home. It's been some time that I've actually seen a jukebox but they certainly did remind me of my (long-ago) youth when they were ubiquitous in all the my favorite places - bowling alleys, pizza parlors, dance halls, etc.  No-one I knew had one in their home - a luxury that would have been unheard of.

Estate Sale in Roswell Neighborhood - Atlanta Area
This bit of nostalgia encouraged me to do some internet research on the history and current state of jukeboxes and I found that there is a lot of interesting information available.

First, the DEFINITION:
a coin-operated player for records, discs, etc., used in restaurants, bars, etc.: 
a record, disc, etc. is chosen by pushing a buttonany device for playing CD's, accessing CD-ROM's, etc. in which one of several discs may be selected for use Source - Websters
Next, the ORIGIN of the word:
The name jukebox is thought to derive from an old Gullah word "jook." "Jook" meant "to dance" although with a somewhat wilder, more rowdy or sexual connotation. The makeshift bars workers on Southern crop fields used to frequent where called "juke joints" and these establishments were among the first to install the new machines. The History of Jukeboxes.
And more HISTORY:
One of the early forerunners to the modern Jukebox as we know was the Nickel-in-the-Slot machine. In 1889, Louis Glass and William S. Arnold, placed a coin-operated Edison cylinder phonograph in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It was an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph in an oak cabinet that was refitted with a coin mechanism patented (U.S. 428,750) by Glass and Arnold. This was the first Nickel-in-the-Slot. The machine had no amplification and patrons had to listen to the music using one of four listening tubes. In its first six months of service, the Nickel-in-the-Slot earned over $1000.  source
Two Jukeboxes Found at Friday Sales
 The demise of the jukebox is attributed to the availability of personal devices that provide users with multiple music options. Today, jukeboxes are most often seen in decors reminiscent of these times - whether commercial or residential. Finding the required records is also a smaller and smaller business specialty.  I just enjoyed seeing them in these settings!

I did not do any extensive market research on sources and prices for today's jukeboxes but found a nice one called "The Digital Bubbler" - love that name - here are the specifications - source!

The Digital Bubbler

The Digital Bubbler is a full-size commercial quality reproduction of the classic Model 1015 jukebox designed for the home. Rotating color cylinders and eight bubble tubes help recreate the look of this timeless jukebox.

State of the art technology allows you to digitally store up to 600 of your favorite CDs on it’s 250 Gigabyte hard-drive with no loss of sound quality. The embedded database of over 1.6 million song titles makes cataloging your music as easy as inserting your CDs. Update the database with an update DVD or through the Internet using an Ethernet or modem connection.

250 watts of pure digital sound output through five speakers provides outstanding sound reproduction and ample volume. External speakers can be added by simply plugging into the external speaker jacks.

-Upload Music Easily
-LCD Screen Display
-Authentic Details
- The Digital Bubbler is for home use only

Price $3,999.00

Friday, February 15, 2013

In Praise of American Furniture Manufacturing - Sherrill

Sherrill Wingback in Houndstooth Fabric - Seafoam and Cream - Wydeven Designs
As I look at my current inventory, I am struck by the plethora of pieces manufactured by Sherrill Furniture link to company website.  The pieces are well designed and exceptionally well made!
Since 1944, Sherrill Furniture Company and its divisions have supplied custom home furnishings to Major Furniture Stores and Major Department Stores throughout the United States and Canada. All of our factories are located in the Hickory, North Carolina area. We are very fortunate to have a workforce of skilled technicians who combine time honored manufacturing techniques, and the highest quality materials, to hand build each piece of furniture for your home.
One of the tricks in selecting furniture to refurbish/reupholster is to make sure that the piece is worth redoing - worth spending the time and money to give it one more life.  With the Sherrill name on the label, all of that worry is needless - it is worth redoing! I actively look for the Sherrill label and do craigslist searches for this and other high end labels such as Henredon, Baker, Southwood, Hickory Chair and a few others that are still made in America. Unfortunately, many labels no longer exist and much of the manufacturing has shifted oversees. It's just not the same thing!

Here are some current and recent pieces in my inventory - check out my sales on wydevendesigns.com, eBay and Etsy.
Sherrill Slipper Chairs in Heavy Flocked Fabric - Sold 2011
Sherrill Club Chairs and Ottoman in Heavy Woven Stripe - Wydeven Designs 
Sherrill Tight-Seat Skirted Chairs in Black and Gold Damask - Sold 2013
Sherrill Club Chairs in Seafoam Blue and Cream Houndstooth - Wydeven Designs
I will continue to seek out these great pieces and bring them back to life. For anyone wishing to find good quality furniture to redo, you cannot go wrong with Sherrill!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Longhorn's Big-Haired Lady Inman Park Sale

On Thursday, I traveled to the Inman Park area of Atlanta for an estate sale.  It was a crisp, cool day in the area and a wonderful day to take a drive into the city.  The Inman Park area is historic and features some wonderful older homes.

Some nice items for sale in Inman Park - I did like the leather wingback chair but it was pretty pricey!
Running around at the sale, I noticed some colorful, western style costumes and a huge ten-gallon hat on the master bedroom bed.  Nearby was a recognizable photo of a 80's spokesperson for Longhorn Steakhouse - the BIG-HAIRED LADY - I remembered her immediately!  I checked with the ladies running the sale and they confirmed that, yes, this was the home of the famous Big-haired Lady (fortunately moving - not deceased).

I loved these colorful costumes. 

I found the sale charming and was thrilled to have found it.  I googled the phrase "Big Haired Lady" and found several interesting articles including this discussion about "resurrecting" the older advertising campaign in the late 1990's:
Lotta Mae Ledbetter is back. Better known as the "big-haired lady," the beehive-coiffed star of Longhorn Steaks' ads has returned to the Atlanta-based restaurant chain's commercials.
Created by advertising veteran Ron Scharbo, who resigned the Longhorn business in July 1996, the big-haired lady had been part of the company's campaigns since 1989; the ads were replaced earlier this year by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the Miami advertising agency for the steakhouses. link to article