photo fmf_home1_zps0c653918.jpg  photo fmf_shop3_zps6cf47ec0.jpg  photo fmf_about3_zps88fe2b41.jpg  photo fmf_letters3_zps71190877.jpg  photo fmf_letters3_zps71190877.jpg

Thursday, December 17, 2015

May All Your Christmases Be White

Click above to listen...

It's the most magical time of year! My heart is filled to the brim, thinking about family and friends and the real meaning of Christmas; true peace and joy. I hope that as I write today, you have a few quiet moments to remember your blessings and along with me, dream of your white Christmas.

I think it's the child in all of us that wishes for simpler times. I'm reminded every Christmas Eve of the year my father took us up to the "big hill" nestled in the woods at my parents' farm in Wisconsin. We bundled up and trudged up there with our sleds, saucers, and toboggans and dad built a bonfire at the top and bottom of the hill where we warmed our mittens and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows in between slicing down the hill on our sleds. I remember so vividly the light, gentle snow falling all around us and the fire lighting up the trees that flanked the sled run down the hill.

That was a simpler time, a time that was seemingly without care and one where we saw everything around us through those unobstructed child eyes. It was beautiful!

I've dreamt of returning to that very place out in the woods with my family one Christmas Eve very soon. But, maybe it wouldn't be the same, and I certainly wouldn't want to be disappointed by the way things have changed. I think instead, I'll just package that cherished memory and tuck it away in my heart as one of those blessings to remember.

So, just as the song that Andrea Bocelli is singing, no matter where you are, let your Christmas be "white" in your heart. For me, it's "just like the ones I used to know". And, don't forget to fill each new year with new memories and new blessings for you and those close to you.

If you need help with tokens and mementos to give and share this Christmas, we have some charming gifts and decorations at the shops. We'd love to help you make this Christmas a special one. 

From our homes and hearts to you and yours, wishing you a Christmas filled with friends, family, blessings, and peace that comes from knowing the real meaning of Christmas.

May all your Christmases be white.......



Monday, October 5, 2015

The O' Jackie Chair

FMF Compagnie is proud to participate again this year with our local IFDA Chapter's Take A Seat for Charity event.

I don't know if the other chair designers feel this way, but I think it's funny and interesting to see how the final design evolves and eventually comes together in the end. I guess it's that way with all designs and works of art, the vision of the artist or designer ultimately results in a culmination of the way or another. 

Here is my final design, rightfully titled the "O' Jackie" chair, complete with pearls, gloves, and mid-century pill box hat. 

This classic mid-century chair was “found” calling out for a second chance; dingy upholstery, marred and scarred and broken. My design concept has risen from the iconic mid-century goddess herself, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and building on that inspiration, I have chosen original mid-century elements to incorporate into the final design. My goal - that you will immediately be taken back to your mid-century roots and say, “O’ Jackie, those were great years!” Take it from the other Jackie.

Here is a before photo of the chair. Great bones, right!

28 chairs were submitted by Interior Designers and Design Teams, currently all on display at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall from now until October 13th. You can see the entire chair display in the rotunda area between Nieman Marcus and Dillards.

 Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, Scottsdale, AZ

At the end of the exhibition, the chairs will be available for live auction to raise money for Military Assistance Mission.

 AZ Military Assistance Mission

MAM represents one of the core values that remains very important to me and to the members of our local IFDA Chapter - making a difference in our local community, helping heroes at home.  Read more about Margy Bons and her mission to honor her late son, Marine Sgt. Michael Marzano, by helping other local heroes. Click here to read more.

That's not all! You can help to support this amazing cause by attending our Take A Seat Arizona Gala Auction where you can purchase a chair and enjoy an evening of fun getting to know all of the chair designers. Click on the "Buy Tickets" image below to register for the event.

 IFDA Arizona Take A Seat Gala Auction

This year's auction will be hosted at J. Levine Auctions and Appraisals.

  • Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
  • Where: J. Levine's Auction & Appraisal, 10345 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
  • When: 5:30 - 9:00 pm *Program and auction starts promptly at 6:00 pm
  • Cost: $50 per person preregistered or $65 per person at the door
  • Purchase tickets here!!
In the meantime, I've been thinking about Beth, there on the East Coast in Raleigh, NC, soaking up the rain and weathering the affects of Hurricane Joaquin. Hoping all is well there! **Note: rain and remodels don't mix well...

Thinking of you, Beth! Keep us posted!


#IFDAAZTAS, #MidCentury, #JackieO, #FurnitureDesign, #HomeDecor

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Historic Homes - Antique Elements, Modern Twist

After perusing through the "before" photos in Beth's last post showing her new (old) home in Raleigh, it takes me back to the multiple conversations we've had through the years, sharing our love for unique and special elements; bringing something worn and loved back to life.

That's exactly what Beth is doing in her home in Raleigh, renovating a house that has beautiful bones and creating the "castle" that she and Jim will enjoy and share with their family.
Beth is a pro at taking on this challenge! Since I've known her, she has created and lived in some of the most beautiful homes; homes that she renovated and designed from ancient cottages, old barns, flats in London, and old adobes in Arizona. It's truly been fun to see her choices and interiors move and meet the challenge of each project she's done. 

This is sure to be her best project yet! I know if you are like me, you can't wait to see each step of the design process. We both love that tension between old and new, fresh and aged. It's about the juxtaposition, the tension that builds character and interest in a home

Since I've been helping Beth with a few things for the powder bathroom, I've been collecting ideas to share.  I came across this article in Elle Decor magazine featuring a 1930's Tudor in Beverly Hills where the design includes mixing eclectic antiques, contemporary ease, and a dash of West Coast glamour.

This bathroom has been very inspiring for me. I love the crisp white contrasted against the dark cabinetry and yes, you know......I was initially drawn to the design by the English Leather Club Chair, just like the one we have at FMF Compagnie

 Antique Leather Club Chair, c1930
Antique Leather Club Chair, c1930
I love the 1930's connection that the leather chair brings to that master bathroom. What a regal touch and it goes back to that mix of old and new, fresh and aged.

Wouldn't this brass and marble side table look stunning right next to it! It's also in stock at the shop. Click on the photo below for more information.

Irish Brass and Marble Side Table

This swivel pedestal base mirror, much like the one in the inspiration bathroom, is also in stock at the shop. 
Wood Swivel Base Pedestal Mirror
And further "reflection" takes me to the mirrors above the vanity in our inspiration bathroom above.
The Gigi Mirror
I think our Gigi Mirror shouts 1930's Hollywood Regency Tudor. They would be fabulous behind the vanity in any bathroom. 

Recently at the shop, I began layering mirrors over the top of our vintage scrolled school maps. It's such a fun and interesting look! I could see layering bathroom mirrors over beautiful white or dark mill work, giving yet another dimension on the wall. 

What if we used a French patisserie stand for extra towels and bathroom accessories...
Adjustable Glass and Nickel Shelf Stand
Truly, helping Beth by offering some suggestions has been great fun for me. As I mentioned before, we've been sharing this love of antiques and new home goods for a very long time. 

Before you go, check our our Bathroom Inspirations board on Pinterest. 

Stone Sink with Brass Fixtures
And before I go, just a teaser on the new IFDA Take A Seat chair design we are doing this month. Here is a BEFORE photo and we are working on the finished product. It's going to be quite a transformation, inspired by a mid-century fashion icon! 
IFDA Take A Seat Designer Chair Event, Benefiting Military Assistance Mission

More to come......



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Empty nest.....just the two of us.

I could so relate to Jackie's last blog about season's change and an empty nest. When Jim and I started  looking for a home in Raleigh, the main criteria driving our house hunting decisions was, it is now just the two of us. Our youngest will be a Senior at Penn State this year and on her own soon. She has made it very clear, she will be living in Southern California - not anywhere on the East Coast - she says she has had enough snow in Pennsylvania to last her lifetime! Our other two children are settled in Tucson, Arizona and Franklin, Tennessee, so you can see we are in the season of just the two of us back in the U.S.A. The little birds have all left the nest. All of this reminds me of that very upbeat song in the 70's by Grover Washington, "Just the Two of Us", which ends with the lyrics, "just the two of us building castles in the sky." So that I don't get sad, I'm going to focus on this new season of castles!  As we searched, "the castles" in Raleigh all seemed far too large for just Jim and I. We have grown accustomed to small cottages and fallen in love with less work inside the cottage and having more time to be in our garden and the biggest bonus - more free time!

I'm laughing as I'm writing more free time, because we've moved in and every day is chockablock with lists, projects, follow through, dreams and more dreams......some days dreaming of just sitting in the garden and relishing the flowers, the shade from the Oaks and watching the birds and squirrels playing. That is quite a ways away; lots to do inside and out.

Our house is is what the say here, a two up, two down - I didn't understand that at first - maybe you do. It means two rooms on either side of the staircase downstairs and upstairs. So, when you walk in to our entry hall, the staircase rises and on one side is a long living room, on the other side of the staircase is the kitchen, pantry and dining room. Both sides are equivalent in size. Then when you go upstairs, it is the same scenario. Over the living room is the master bedroom and bathroom. Over the kitchen, pantry, and dining room are two bedrooms and a shared bathroom.

 When I googled two up/two down in architecture it was interesting that the third story was from the UK, where they call it a Terrace House. The fourth listing on google was another story from the UK a two up/two down that the National Trust is trying to purchase. The article and pictures were fascinating with the creativity by Kenyan poet, artist and writer Khadambi Asalache, who made his common floor plan come alive in the British Colonial emphasis.

From that wonderful historic inspiration to our simple two up/two down back in Raleigh! Remember the gate I found on Craig's List? Here it is again, and first on our list of "to do" is to place it between these two hedges as the entrance to the brick walk way leading to the front door.

 I wanted to show you the property from the front where we hope to put the beautiful iron gate we found.

 Please come on up the brick walk you walk up, you'll begin to see the list of to do's grow....ugh....brick needs to be cleaned, coral door needs to be painted, whole house needs to be painted!

 Welcome to our empty nest and right now it is truly empty as we will be beginning demolition soon. Have you ever seen anyone paint their front door to match their brick and their hanging lantern too? Add the lantern to the list to get stripped! Come on in...welcome.......

 Here are some pictures of the inside before we get to work on the electrical, plumbing and demolition. This hopefully gives you the sense of the simple floor plan and the 'good bones'! I've always loved that saying. The first time I heard it was in England, but since returning, I hear people say it in the South too. I was just reading an article in House Beautiful and "good bones" was used in an article in the first sentence because the people who's home it was could see the potential when they first bought it. Jim and I felt the same way about our home. The "good bones" we saw were the higher ceilings, wood floors, staircase and crowning.


 Adding to the list, the carpet needs to come off and the wood stairs will need to be refinished....the list just keeps getting longer and longer!
 This is the living room fireplace. For some reason the previous owner painted chalkboard paint in the cubicle shelving units (?), so we will have some painting to do throughout the inside of the house too. Jim and I both love how bright the house is with a lot of large scale windows and French doors and the wood floors are throughout the entire house - bonus!!!

 This is the view from the living room to the dining room and the entry in between. This gives a good feeling of the "two up - two down" name for the style of the layout.
 Adding to my list, paint over the University of North Carolina light blue walls! The previous owner played basketball for UNC on the NCAA championship team, so North Carolina blue is on the walls upstairs and down!
 I love these large windows at the top of the stairs looking out to the arms of the oak tree in our back yard.
 This photo is from our first visit when we were contemplating purchasing the house, so that is why you now are seeing it furnished. Don't mean to confuse you, but I wanted you to see the pretty view down the stairs.
 This is the downstairs bathroom, that sadly on the list the marble floor is coming out. We need to do all the plumbing throughout the house, so we have to break up this floor. Heartbreaking. I love anything old and have tried to think how we could safely take each tile out, but it can't be.
 This is our little kitchen on the back of the house. It is sweet, but the list is endless for this room. But there is so much potential to enlarge the kitchen by opening the wall you see in the forefront of this picture.
 Upstairs master bathroom, list begins in this room with everything coming out and behind the tub wall is a closet, so we will break that wall down and enlarge the room....the list keeps I'm going through these pictures with you, all I'm seeing besides the list is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ signs!

Work has begun and even though it is all the dirty work that is necessary, Jackie and I can't help thinking about the interiors. It was like Christmas for me when a box arrived from Jackie with some wonderful inspiration in fabrics and wallpapers. She found a beautiful Ralph Lauren Sahara Weave - Straw from the Serengeti Textures Wallpaper Book that we are going to use in the guest bathroom downstairs. She also helped select a fabric from her Indiennes collection that she has in her stores, called Valerie. We are going to use it for window treatment and a skirting/curtain under the sink. I can't wait to show you our plan for this bathroom.....and it begins with an old bed!

This is the box of all the gorgeous ideas in fabrics, furniture and wallpaper that Jackie mailed to us. The picture below is the wallpaper she found. I love it!

And this is the bed, another great find on Craig's List. An old twin (even skinnier!) bed frame that we are designing to be be the counter and mirror for the small guest bathroom with the marble floors that are going to be demolished. Can't wait to show you our ideas on this bathroom and how it will all come together! Come back to see what we do!!!

Be sure and visit Jackie's stores and the FMFCompagnie site and see all the new inventory. I have always loved blue and white and I'm crazy about so many of the accessories she showed in her last blog. She has gotten in so many new wonderful items.

Well, it's Friday p.m. and it is "just the two of us" working this's messy, demo started, so we are on clean up duty Saturday and Sunday! You can bet by Sunday night, I'll be dreaming of just sitting in the garden in a year sipping something cool! Hopefully, our castle in the sky will be done by then.................have a great weekend everyone!

Beth and Jackie

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blue and White Coastal Inspiration

This past week, my husband and I spent time in California with family. His family has been making this trek every year for the past 50 years and each year, the importance of setting aside and spending this time together grows. Times change, seasons of life come upon us, our children grow up, we seem to multiply and yet we have an empty nest, and none of us can seem to keep time from passing. And so, we relish it, every fleeting moment.

 Oceanside, CA
Oceanside, CA
For as long as I've been tagging along, we've been staying in the same exact location in Oceanside, CA. We stay in a charming place situated right between the harbor and the ocean. The views on any side are amazing. Every morning, we roll out of bed and meet at the local coffee shop, right off the harbor.

The Nautical Bean Coffee Company
It's so peaceful there........

Oceanside Harbor
One of the historic homes just up from the coast in Oceanside is the little cottage that was once featured in the movie, "Top Gun".

Cottage from the movie, "Top Gun"
It looks a little different today, but still maintains that original cottage charm we all remember from the movie. I love that tiny little porch and all of the details in the moldings and balustrades. It reminds me of mid-summer nights on the porch swing back on the farm in Wisconsin and family time. Families and porches, they just seem to go together!

Being back at the ocean reminds me why I love coastal design so much. In a flash, it takes me back to bright rooms filled with ocean breezes, breathtaking views, and the sound of the waves constantly crashing and moving and the all-important outdoor verandas, patios, and porches.

Beach House
Ralph Lauren Coastal Inspiration
And, it also reminds me of Beth's and my love for all things blue and white.

 Carolyne Roehm's Blue and White Table
Carolyne Roehm's Blue & White Table
Since Beth and Jim have purchased their "new" historic home in Raleigh, NC, we've had such fun collaborating back and forth on some of the elements for the interior. Raleigh is about 2.5 hours from the eastern seaboard and definitely influenced by the ocean weather and water, inspiration for some of the beautiful shades of blue and white that she is going to use.

I recently went to the Kravet Fabrics showroom in Scottsdale at the Arizona Design Center, looking to find the fabric in this incredible chair...

Well, I found it and needless-to-say, I've sent Beth these fabric samples, hardly able to wait to see which piece she uses them on. **Note: Had you noticed the exterior edge stitching on the arms of the chair? That's another design element Beth and I love. The chair frame also reminds me of our antique deconstructed French Armchairs on FMF Compagnie.

I've also thought that mixing some of these blue and white elements might lend a casual elegance to the final design. These great pieces will be in stock at FMF Compagnie this fall.

Blue & White Bone Inlaid Frame
Blue & White Hand-Dyed Pillows
Indigo Rattan Baskets

Blue & White Cantonese Collection
Stay tuned for more as we continue to update you with Beth's home renovation in Raleigh.  You can also keep updated by checking on our Pinterest board with additional photos.

During my time at the beach this year, I felt fortunate to have time to read the New York Times Best selling book written by Kristy Woodson Harvey, "Dear Carolina".

Dear Carolina
A moving debut novel about two mothers—one biological and one adoptive—from a compelling new voice in Southern women’s fiction.
One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.

Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us—and that families aren’t born, they’re made…
One of my favorite quotes in the book: "You can never have too many people who love you."

Sending love......until we enter the gate at Beth's home in Hayes Barton again soon.....