Friday, January 28, 2011

New Chair Arrivals at Gatewood Hall

I have a "thing" for chairs...really both Shawn and I do. I think our love of unique chairs is because we both feel that you can take a mundane or simple sofa add a really special chair, some fantastic accent pillows, and have a "WOW" or "custom" look...all because of that unique chair. We have some new arrivals this week, mostly chairs. Look at that leather tufted chair and ottoman set above...that baby is sexy! It looks vintage but it is new and bench-made in the USA! It is so comfortable and can be used in either a casual or dressy setting. LOVE IT!

We fell in love with the clean lines of this chair when we were in High Point this fall. The nail head feature will allow it to be a little less traditional, however it could work very well in the most formal setting.

The slip covered chair above is so well designed and very also swivels. I think this is a perfect reading chair for the bedroom, or a pair in a small gathering area would be so useful because they can turn 360 degrees.

Here we go again with a photo that just doesn't do this chair justice. You have to see it in person because it is wonderful. The wood is a grey driftwood finish, it has two fabrics a neutral linen look on the front and a rustic burlap on the back, and the spaced nail head is just the special detail that makes it all come together.

Finally, we saw this leg saddle stool and had to have it. It is such a statement piece! Again we believe you could use it in so many settings it would be great in a formal setting because it is so unique, but it would look so great in front of a fireplace in a rustic cabin. Come in and see our new arrivals this weekend! We can't wait to see you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are You Ready for Valentines Day?

O.k. Cupid, It might seem early but Valentines Day is just around the corner are you ready? Don't worry, at Gatewood Hall we can help, we have some great gift ideas and inspiration for your special someone!

Just in from the winter market is Votivo's newest fragrance, the Rush Of Rose candle. Perfect for Valentines Day this candle is an explosion of fresh, green Damascus Rose buds, surrounded by light, watery notes and soft woods that bring a youthful revitalization to the Classical Rose of yesterday. We love it because it is so fresh and not too sweet because of the wood undertones!

We have great napkin box with frivolous heart weight sets by Mariposa. The Jan Barboligo rustic heart-shaped collector wine cork is a perfect gift for him!

How about a romantic table set for two with Juliska dinnerware? For inspiration check out our display table in the store. Shown above we used the the King and Queen of hearts tied with a lovely red ribbon as our napkin ring & place card. We filled vases with conversation heart candies and tea light candles. A red organza runner, old fashioned, heart-shaped paper doilies, and red glitter hearts finish our look!

The special little cornerstone tray by Juliska was such a hit last year that we brought it back. Beautifully gift boxed, it is inscribed on the back with "Love Conquers All" making it a really special memento. We can just imagine it on a bedside table as a place to put your rings for a daily reminder of a special love.

We also have vintage-look valentine cards, "Be Mine" hand towel sets, beautiful Caspari napkins, music cd's with romantic standards, heart-shaped frames, great gift books and some really fun valentine serving plates and bowls.

More traditional and romantic? How about a piece of jewelry from Waxing Poetic, Belouise, Lenny & Eva or Silver Seasons? Let us help you put a wonderful gift basket with French and Italian shaving products for him. How about a "pamper yourself" luxurious bath and body basket for her. None of those ideas strike a chord? A beautifully gift wrapped Gatewood Hall Gracious Home Gift certificate is always a hit!! Come in and let us help you with the perfect surprise for your special Valentine or heck a little something for yourself...Indulge a little! See you soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Back From The 2011 Atlanta Winter Gift Market

Yes, we are back from the winter market in Atlanta and we are worn out but we had a great time! We love to bring you new items and lines, in fact we measure the success of a market on how many new lines we find to bring to Blue Ridge. This market was excellent, we are excited to tell you that we have twelve new lines!!

The new lines range from new handbags, to candles, and linens!

These new pillows are gorgeous and best of all you would never believe that they can be used indoors or outdoors. There are so many selections that we will have a huge ring of fabric selections for you to choose from.

Waxing Poetic had so many new entries. We loved this charm bracelet!

This new line of bedding is wonderful and made with 100% organic cottons and linens from France, Belgium and India! They feel great and even offer linens for the baby!!

This new chandelier can be rustic or urban! It is awesome (my photo doesn't do it justice).

This is similar to the bed that we had last year however this one is in a natural / driftwood finish and it is beautiful!

Along with the new lines we placed over 40 orders with existing vendors and their new entries. We have already started receiving some of this new merchandise and will probably be getting shipments over the next 60 days so I'll do postings when we have new arrivals...check back often or better yet just come on in and see us!! Happy Friday, we'll see you this weekend!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter Market 2011

As I mentioned in previous FB postings it is Winter Market Time again in Atlanta. We enjoy and love this time of year because we usually find some fabulous new things at this show. This year we had to work a little harder than normal because of the "blizzard". We finally made it in and it was a mess, but once inside we forgot our troubles and "got to shopping and buying"!! We are so excited because today was very productive..we already bought two new lines that we just know you are going to LOVE!!

Above Shawn with one of our favorite reps and friends Jill looking at some of the new Lenny and Eva items (THEY ARE AWESOME!!!), Waxing Poetic has some really exciting new entries too! We found a ton of great new accessories, as a matter of fact while we did do some re-ordering I'd say that 90% of what we purchased today is brand, spanking new product! We found some great new art, and you will be amazed at some of the new candles. We can't wait to show and tell you more about our unique and wonderful things! Wish us luck tomorrow!! While we are away go in and see Becky we have put out some fantastic new Valentines goodies. Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gracious Mountain Living

In celebration of the New Year Shawn and I were invited to a couple of parties, one was Friday, New Years Eve and the other was New Years Day. We always consider an invitation to one's home an honor and a treat because someone is allowing you to come into their "inner domain" and see how they live. We find it really wonderful here in the mountains because something about this special area encourages people to want to "nest" and really create their own "sanctuary" or "getaway". Perhaps it is for many a second home and an opportunity to create a place that is very different from their primary residence therefore they take more risks and have more fun with their decorating options, or maybe for others they are at a different phase in their lives and they have come to understand how they want to live and entertain while at their special place in the mountains or on the lake. Either way we are fortunate to know some folks who really understand what we define as "Gracious Mountain Living". I hope our kind hosts will not mind but I wanted to share some of their secrets and special details with you.

The party on Friday night was described as "Champagne and Chocolate" and what a decadent evening it was. First I want you to get the setting of our friend's mountain home! Because they love to entertain while in the mountains she and her husband took a small log home near a lovely creek and designed some thoughtful additions to really enhance the way they would utilize their second home. The area that was originally the living and dining room is now solely the dining room with a very large round table in front of a stone fireplace with a huge, beautiful chandelier that is made up of patina finished metal leaves. They also added a very large gathering room with plenty of seating and another stone fireplace along with a great deck, outdoor fireplace and screened in pavilion overlooking the creek. (While they were at it they built a garage with an apartment and bought the adjacent cabin for a guest cottage so we lovingly call this their "compound"). It is no wonder that we love this woman as she is a consummate shopper, with great taste, she loves home decor and we describe her look as upscale lodge. She has a wonderful knack for mixing rustic and elegant. Picture beautiful rugs layered with real hides, lots of texture in her tapestry fabrics on the pillows and draperies, leather chairs and mohair sofa. She is also great with scale, I love her use of oversize pieces of furniture that really make her rooms feel larger. Finally, her art is amazing she collects original oil paintings that she loves and she has a great collection of mostly nature inspired subject matter in various size and genre.

The party was so lovely, with lots of candles and her additional beautiful holiday decor. The large round table in the dining room was layered with amazing cakes and pastries, truffles, gigantic chocolate dipped strawberries with fresh whipped cream, another friend even brought delicious pink champagne cupcakes!! There was Veuve Clicquot Champagne (my favorite!!) and a wonderful champagne punch. I loved that our host had a tray with various unique champagne was fun to watch guests "choose the flute" that they wanted to be toasting with at midnight!

What a wonderful party! In her true form our host created an elegant, sophisticated environment that was very, very welcoming and comfortable. It was a great way to celebrate the new year and we are thankful to have been included.

On Saturday we were invited to visit the mountain home of some other friends for their "Traditional New Year's Day Fare". This was our first time to their home but we just knew that it would be special and we were right. Our friends are a Mother and her two adult daughters, along with a son-in-law and two of the most adorable young grandsons. Mom wanted a getaway where she and her family could be together and make memories and she found a place that with some vision and renovations could be the perfect retreat from their busy lives in Atlanta.

Situated on a great piece of property with a beautiful view their retreat has been created with entertaining in mind. The home has a a bunk room for the boys, a master retreat for mother, and bedrooms for both daughters. They also have a large gathering & dining room, newly renovated kitchen, a cozy finished terrace level, media room and even a craft room (and believe me these ladies are CREATIVE and CRAFTY!). They have several outside living areas where I am told they do the bulk of their entertaining. These areas include a lovely screened porch with that great view, decks, and even a guest house. My favorite area is at the terrace level where they have their stone fire pit, hot tub, a really cool outdoor shower and the piece de resistance the specially designed (by grandmother) tree house for the grandsons. (We are talking trap door, operable windows, dutch door, and room to run around...every kids dream!)

The decor is so welcoming, casual and comfortable. They have several wonderful originals by the artist Cornbread. Some great collections like the wonderful vintage picnic baskets and the clear glass antique oil lamps that look so great on the large mantle mixed with Mercury glass and evergreen for the holidays. I love this idea, they have a rustic bulletin board just off the kitchen with tons of family photos (both old and new). This home is just a place you want to hang out and relax. Another special point is that the homeowner's sister purchased two cabins just up the road, so this really is a place where family memories are made, with aunts, uncles and where two generations of cousins get to spend time together.

Remember I said that they were creative and crafty? They have so much fun like a recent family contest where they wrote odd ingredients on pieces of paper, you then drew a piece of paper with the ingredient and they had a "cook off" to see who could make the best dish (Strawberry Rhubarb pie won!). They also had an entire beautiful, gingerbread village on display that they completed with friends at a gathering just after Thanksgiving a tradition that they started years fun is that?! (I spoke to one of the daughters today and they were doing decoupage projects!)

Now about the party! When we arrived we were graciously and quickly offered a cocktail. I loved that they had large mason jars pre-made with special family recipe of whisky sours and bloody Marys of course with all of the accoutrement including pickled okra, celery and dilly beans to garnish your drink. The kids played while we sat on the screened porch in rocking chairs enjoying our delicious cocktails just visiting. Then there was the food...oh, the traditional southern food! The buffet included ham, turkey, cornbread, black-eyed peas, the most delicious greens and 'hoppin john that I have ever had! For dessert there was coconut cake and my all time favorite a seven layer caramel cake. Just when you think it couldn't get better we had a sinful tiramisu cordial (mother's special recipe, that I must have!!)

What made this party so wonderful was the welcoming and relaxing way everything was presented. The hosts made it seem effortless (and we know how much work was involved prepare all of this.) Having the bar and a couple special signature drinks ready is always so smart. But I feel the most important part is just loving what you are doing and where you are doing it. When we left Shawn and I discussed how we loved the way that they "really used and enjoyed" their very special mountain retreat.

THANK YOU to our friends who really get the "gracious mountain living" idea, they understand how fortunate we are to be able to be here in this special place. We feel fortunate to have been included in their fetes and can't think of a better way to bring in the new year. I hope their ideas inspire you to put together your own special gathering or maybe even start your own family traditions!