Chocolate Extravaganza on Valentine's Day, Saturday February 14th

What is it about chocolate that brings out the best in romance, the best in wine and the best in holidays, especially Valentine's Day? Please join us for the ultimate chocolate experience at Cottage Antiques where we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day, Saturday, February 14th, Valentine's Day! You'll enjoy a decadant chocolate fountain with so many delights to dip: pastries, your fruit, cakes, marshmallows and pretzels just to name a few. We'll have heart shaped chocolate lollipops, solid chocolate jewelry boxes, we'll be baking cookies in the shop all day, and more! Tremendous sales will be offered throughout our store. We're proud to present and feature a special holiday artisan with her exquisite, whimsical Valentine paper creations made completely from antique scraps. These are one-of-a-kind treasures exclusive to Cottage Antiques.

Don't miss it! We look forward to seeing you at this fun Valentine's Day chocolate fest! Look for more details soon.


French wire Eiffel Tower

I was so excited at the end of this week because I had found this great French wire Eiffel tower custom made in France for a restaurant. A guy that worked for the owner of the restaurant offered to sell it to me. So, here it is and it was in our store for a nano second before it sold. I'm happy that the customer wanted it, (she was soooooo happy walking it up to the counter), but I always feel a little cheated when I can't enjoy a great item a little longer than a day. Oh, well. That's why I buy merchandise, for our customers and the best feeling ever is when they love what we bring in. Sigh.

Thought I'd share the real thing below. Breathtaking, isn't it?


Use architectural pieces in your home!

This is a lamp made from a ribbon-wrapped old lampshade (sans the fabric) outfitted with an extra large clear bulb. We hung an empty antique mirror frame from the ceiling to frame the shade. Makes for a great effect. You can add architectural interest where none existed before or just fill a space. Using architectural objects is more about creating an ambiance completely unique to you and it becomes your style. Use columns, finials, urns, balusters, old door knobs and hardware - all of it adds an element of interest and can change the mood of a room.

What is so great about today in the interior decorating world when using antiques is that they don't have to be restored or perfect. Aged patinas showing decades of use only adds to the charm of antique furnishings. The message when showcasing a time-worn antique is that there is a history there which adds a stability to a home and indicates that there some lineage or heritage in the home. That's why using a family heirloom in a room, even if it's just one old book or a piece of inherited silver, adds an element that a new accessory can't. The goal should be to create a layered look, so to speak, where it doesn't look like things just arrived.

Antique statuary brought indoors lends a contrast to typical furnishings. Balance a concrete piece or chippy painted piece with a crystal chandelier - it makes for a magical ambiance.

Decorating with architectural pieces can enhance any room and shape the inside of a home's landscape. Reclaimed vintage building fragments and elements and incorporating them into your decor is fun and a challenge. It can lend an air to a room that nothing else can. I love to use antique building brackets or korbels as wall sconces, they make a statement. Antique columns, big or large are wonderful accents. Basically, if you like a piece that you think will work somewhere in your home, go for it. There are no rules so follow your instincts. Too many people trying to decorate their homes get caught up in what they "should" do. Find your own style and keep fine tuning it. You'll then create surroundings that are unique and individual to you and your lifestyle.

Vintage and antique mannequins are so collectible right now, they're just an appeal there. They can be used merely as a piece of art on a table or standing alone on the floor. Dress it up with vintage clothing or jewelry, anything that suits your fancy.

Victorian frames like this old one are getting tougher to find. This one dates to about 1870 and proudly hung on the wall of a painted lady Victorian home no doubt! I love it just the way it is, faded and worn but sooooo appealing!
I picked up this antique porch post and railing around the Fresno area when we were doing a show up there. It is aged to absolute perfection.

Did I mention windows? You'll see windows scattered throughout all of my photos because we use them everywhere. Use wherever you think they'd look good. They add such a dimensional feel to a room or wall, it's amazing. I love them hanging as a divider or lean them against another piece of furniture. The windows with the small panes are the best for display, in my opinion.  
An antique building facade framing a chandelier proved to be an outstanding decorating technique in our store.

a late 1800s door with the original paint chipping and worn makes a statement on a wall or have legs put on it and use for a coffee table.

Have fun!


Rearrange small things for a big new look

Sometimes the smallest changes make a big difference in the look of a room. It was a great way for me to start out this morning by rearranging and redecorating a my china and a few accessories. My creative juices were flowing and two hours went by without a blink of an eye. A perfect shot in the arm for me. I love to decorate and rearrange, it makes everything seem fresh and new, the same way 2009 feels.

I woke up energized this morning and so happy about crazy 08 being behind us. I had to take some photos for an editor of San Diego Home & Garden. Well, one thing led to another and I completely rearranged all of my china and accessories in my dining room and glass doored kitchen cabinets. Very fun. Before I knew it, half the morning was gone but I feel like I have a new dining room. My husb and I snuck in a brisk walk on Sunset Cliffs (b-eautiful!), then home just in time for the Rose Bowl football game. And here I am, blogging on January first two thousand and nine.

Check out my new china arrangments. I moved all of my blue & white English Staffordshire Calico to the kitchen.