Vintage Tin—Re-Colored—Beautifully!

This is Vintage Tin Art! These magnificent patterns have been enhanced with the application of new paint and colors!

At The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we are fans! The options are endless—the mixing of patterns, colors, sizes—and the multitude of choices of how to display—independently or with the creation of interesting groupings are endless!

Texture, Pattern, Color and Varied Sizes–Vintage Tin Art has it all!

The texture is vibrant with the combination of the dimensional pressed patterns of the tin and the surface texture created by peeling and cracking of the original paint. The aging of each tin creates an original work, as no two are alike!

The possibilities are endless—using the same pattern in various colors, intermixing patters of the same color—we get dizzy just thinking of all the ways these pieces can be used.

The plan at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is to have the Vintage Tin art go down the entire stairway of The Cottage! Time to discover more!

We are considering making one-of-a-kind sets available for purchase—any interest? We have many ideas and color combinations in mind! Contact us!

Vintage Tin—in the original historic form or Vintage Tin Art—which has been recently enhanced—is nothing short of artwork!

Art Lives!


Vintage Tin—Re-Purposed—Beautifully!

Some Vintage Tin comes complete with a story, a history—shared and cherished from seller to buyer. While other pieces of Vintage Tin may arrive at your door anonymously, with only your imagination to fill in the blanks—see tomorrow’s post. Whatever the pedigree—Vintage Tin always brings—beauty!

This Vintage Tin has a story—or so we were told—we discovered this Vintage Tin in Northwest Arkansas. The seller had traveled to Texas for the dismantling of a theater and the subsequent purchase of the tin paneled ceiling. The varied history is evident of having lived, if nothing else, a colorful life. The layered story can be read in the rich original patina of greys; charcoal, heather and graphite. In addition to the greys, there are pinks and greens creating a multi-colored visual feast! One cannot help but wonder—had the green paint been applied over the dull grey after the war in the 1940’s? And, had the pink paint then been layered on top of the green in the 1950’s? Or—so we were told—one can only imagine!

We purchased four panels measuring 24″ x 48″, one a 24″ square center medallion and 28 linear feet of crown molding with absolutely no idea what would become of it! Since the purchase in 2008—we have dragged it out a few times, arranging the puzzle pieces onto the floor in various locations in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge as well as the House at Rooster Ridge, only to re-pack it all and lug it back into the attic for storage—the inconvenient old-house attic which is accessed only by pulling down a trap-door-staircase. Maybe this purchase wasn’t the best choice—were the friends and family who asked with confused looks on their faces, “But…you don’t know where it will fit and you bought it anyway?”

Our answer, “Nope.”

That is until we began the recent renovation of The House at Rooster Ridge. With all of our creative design mojo in full swing we were now able to revisit the Vintage Tin with fresh eyes—allowing for the expansion of thought.  Previously our consideration for the Re-Purpose of the tin panels had been stuck in the purpose the various pieces had served in the past. Letting go of that—our horizontal thoughts (ceiling) were transformed into vertical design opportunities! The “grouping” of tin panels were ultimately installed in three different locations—no longer belabored by viewing them as a single entity but rather— individual elements of design.

This new approach enabled the Vintage Tin to become transformed into architectural details for multiple applications. Using two of the panels as an accent feature on the surround of the built-in kitchen desk created a unique space—differentiating the area from the back splash of the kitchen counter-top areas. The kitchen back splash is also tin—a faux finished new copper tin—more about that in another post!

The second highlighted area was also in the kitchen—we had a wood panel built around the tin to creating a frame for the tin accent panel! The colors of the greens and greys work beautifully with the green wall ovens and black stove top.

The crown molding was installed in the downstairs powder bath located next to the kitchen allowing what I refer to as memory design  coordination (okay, I made that up—but still!)  Our mind remembers and holds onto aspects of design features, details or color-ways and as you travel to the next room there is an unconscious connection of the two—creating a harmony from room to room. That’s what I call—memory design coordination! Let’s see if it trends! LOL!

The center medallion was placed in the center of the painted white ceiling and trimmed in mahogany as was the crown molding. The contrast of the white ceiling with the two Vintage Tin treatments creates a dynamic impact.

The purchase of the the Vintage Tin—from Texas via Arkansas—in 2008 has now come full circle becoming one of the prominent vintage features of the renovation of The House at Rooster Ridge.

Following your heart—what speaks to you—telling you a story or a whisper of history enriches our lives! Free yourself from knowing the when, where or how!

If you love the art of something—have faith—a place within your cottage will become, home!

Art Lives!


The Art of Dining—Chairs!

Ten Dining Room Chairs—One Fabric?

The same color and pattern for ALL 10 ??? — Borrrrrrring!

Ten different fabrics? Toooooo many!

Five varied fabrics—JUST RIGHT!

We have found at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge that mixing  patterns creates visual interest and seemingly energetic movement. By building upon a common thread (pun intended) colors and patterns are easily combined in new and unusual ways! This kind of freestyle decorating adds whimsy, character and personality to your decor! You also are encouraged to take minimal risks as you say yes to the fabric you love—with bees on it or Faberge´-like eggs! One yard of upholstery fabric is usually sufficient for two chairs—why not?

With our anthem of—attention to detail—using multiple fabrics will work beautifully by looking for the commonality of the fabrics; the five fabrics chosen for this installation have two primary aspects in common.

The Color Connection; Each fabric has a similar warm-golden-yellow element within the pattern of the design. In addition each fabric has the same amount or sheen, creating a coordination in the level of formality.

The Hand Connection; The hand of fabric refers to the way a textile feels in the hand. All five fabrics have the same smooth hand and the weight of the fabrics are the same.

These two subtle similarities create sub-categories of coordination, the results— multiple fabrics working beautifully in conjunction with one another. We also love each of these fabrics independently—each is a remarkable design statement alone. Together—pure design bliss!

In the decor of Rooster Ridge, variations of the color red is one of the hallmark colors in our design scheme. With that in mind, two different fabrics with red grounds were selected.

A lovely warm-gold-yellow is another one of the primary colors used within the color scheme of Rooster Ridge. We were very fortunate to find a rich gold fabric with a rooster motif!

A gorgeous green fabric  (with gold bees) was also included in the five, the color works beautifully with the traditional, historic green that is used as an accent color. Historic green is painted on the inset of panel moldings and on one fireplace mantle. Additionally, deep green is introduced through the use of Verde marble on the five fireplace hearths.

Another assistance in coordinating multiple fabrics is to use one pattern in more than one color variation. This approach assists in creating a cohesive blend of the different elements. The golden-yellow rooster fabric had a second color-way on a black ground. The eye naturally connects the two as the patterns of the prints are the same.

The addition of the black fabric works beautifully also as accent chairs in the family room. The retro wooden blinds with exposed hardware are accented with black ribbon. Due to the use of the industrial pieces throughout the house black is an additional secondary accent color.

Depending on the number of diners, the mood and theme of the table can also be altered by choosing certain chairs. A holiday dinner for six could consist of four red and two green chairs. A spring buffet for four might consist of two gold and two green chairs. The combinations and theme inspired arrangements are endless! And of course—there are often requests from guests to sit in a particular chair, as a favorite fabric is declared!

By using five fabrics—there are two chairs in each fabric, the chairs naturally fall into matched pairs which can be used in other rooms—especially for entertaining!

Fabrics and textiles are another form of art—expand the palette in your cottage—introduce artistic touches with soft goods; upholstery, window treatments, pillows and table linens all become canvases for art!

Art Lives!


Love of—Ephemera

From Wikipedia:

Ephemera are transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.

And yet, for some wonderful reason—these paper treasures lasted!
Art Lives!

Ephemera can be anything—postcards, labels, magazines, theater tickets—according to the Ephemera Society (yes, there actually is a society!) there are over 500 categories of collecting.

Similar to most collectibles—the range of expense, sophistication and knowledge is vast. Often the high end of a hobby or interest is the only version we are easily exposed to. Unfortunately, that glimpse can be the cause of a door closing, rather than the wonderment of a door opening! Often an interested person may feel that collecting is “out of their league financially” or that the required education of the topic is lacking.

Balderdash!


Collect pieces that move you—your collection does not have to become a significant or important item in a famous auction to have value—the value is in the joy you experience in looking, selecting and cherishing each piece and your collection!

The history lesson which is often accidentally stumbled upon, as was the case in the purchase of The Decoration Day Greeting postcard (pictured above) can inspire us, while connecting us to the past—assisting us to be mindful of the lives and the events that have come before us.

Hoping to achieve inspiration for designing an invitation to our Memorial Day—Parade-Viewing—Breakfast (the name is a mouthful) I discovered the postcard for Decoration Day Greetings. I came to learn, prior to the holiday becoming Memorial Day, the original name was Decoration Day, as this was a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. The artwork of this postcard is so beautifully touching—I love the American flag dress the artist created and the sorrowful expression on the woman’s face. The background is a lovely landscape depicted in soft blues and greens. Printed on the gravestone in gold metallic ink is the year 1860 as the year of death. Indeed, I was inspired.

Dated May 28, 1909 and stamped with a one cent stamp, the poem reads;

Though more than forty years ago,

in Freedom’s cause he fell,

While facing furious, Gallant foe,

He is remembered well.

The Collection of Vintage Postcards at Rooster Ridge is small and has only just begun.  I found this new-Vintage-style postcard rack and it sits at the top of the stairs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. Our collection of Vintage Postcards is inexpensive—purposely—to encourage holding, picking up, exploring and touching—admiring, dreaming and reading. The dated and handwritten messages on the cards from the original sender are a peek into bygone days. The addresses are interesting and often contain minimal information, studying the postcards is similar to a film set in a specific time period—these period pieces are a mere snapshot!

The inscription of one card dated 1910 reads;

~

Received the socks this morning. Thanks immensely. They are fine for the purpose.

~

Another dated 1909 reads;

~

Dear Friend,

Please excuse me for not writing sooner but mamma and paw both working every day and don’t have much time. We will write a long letter later. Your friend, Maude Mitten

~

The Campbell’s Tomato Soup Advertisement is from The Ladies Home Journal dated October 1926. With the significance of the historic soup kitchens just a few years later, there is subtle irony in the wording which proclaims;

WITH THE MEAL OR AS A MEAL SOUP BELONGS IN THE DAILY DIET

12 cents a can

Advertisements and labels from boxes and cans are often—simply put—beautiful art—which can become unique pieces to be framed and used in decorating.

Join us as we delight in the beauty, the history and exploration of the

Love of—Ephemera!

Art Lives!


515 Madison Avenue

We were in hour five of six—cold and damp—muddy and rusty—hours of scouting the iron yard at our favorite location for Architectural Salvage. The confusion swirled amidst the chipped and bent iron rails as we attempted to reconstruct an image that existed only in our minds—creating a new puzzle, with no straight edges to start with. Frustration set in. We were on a mission to find 50 feet of Vintage Iron Fencing that could be adapted to recreate a banister on the upper balconies of The House at Rooster Ridge. We succeeded, but this not about that—

This little story is about what you might miss—the tale of reminding us to keep our eyes and our mind open—to all of the possibilities—yes, even when you are frustrated and freezing.

There is one heated room in the expansive warehouse of our go-to Architectural Salvage spot. Fortunately, you need to pass through it in order to use the facilities. Ahhhhhh…a break from the wind, the wet, the rusty, heavy, dirt encrusted, paint chipping, bent and crooked iron—adventure of it all!

As I walked through the (gloriously warm) building I became mindful—to stay open to the soft whispering of the heart aspect of the decorating style at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. For me, the process is a soulful experience. I try to quiet my mind, stop thinking—figuring out—measuring—planning. And the method worked beautifully—as it usually does when I get out-of-the-way.

This is what I saw—a little corner peeking out—the last item in a mass of confusion leaning against a wall. Hidden from view and obscured by a depth of four feet of iron gates and window frames some with shards of broken glass snarling; “Keep Away!”

Refusing to be deterred—like a kid in a toy store—I raised my chapped, red, frozen hand (note to self; remember to bring gloves next time) and pointed at the little glimmer of brass and asked, “What’s that?” As my inquiry was “off-point” the question was met with, well, let’s just say, it was unenthusiastic.

And, yes, I really did want to find three guys to start moving the contraption which had been amassed by the myriad of debris (in my mind) that was blocking me from what I yearned to see. What I needed to see!

The Discovery! What is it? It says something!

Hidden behind the jumble of iron and glass we found a solid brass transom that once regally pronounced the address of 515 Madison Avenue in New York!

No longer attached to a building and without the traditional installed glass—it was simply put, a brass frame. It had all of the requirements; four sides, relatively flat with an opening in the middle…sounds like a frame to me!

The statement/question followed, “It’s gorgeous, but what would you do with it?”

Anything! My answer didn’t seem to be assisting me at arriving at the conclusion I was hoping for—time to think quickly—as sometimes partners need concrete answers. I’d put a gorgeous mirror in it with a 1′ inch bevel and hang it in the dining room!

At The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we attempt to allow ourselves—the privilege to forget what something is, or has been—and focus on the possibility of what it could be!

With heart, Art Lives!


A Newel Romance—Marry Me!

The renovation of The House at Rooster Ridge involved the replacement of the Newel Post, Handrail and Spindles of the curved Mahogany staircase in the entry foyer. The existing newel post hand been installed during the first renovation in the 1980’s, at the time the design de jour was contemporary. Gray (grey) was the new black and I embarrassingly remember the (at the time) the decidedly delicious accent color (colour) was—wait for it—marvelous mauuuuvve…eek!

C’mon admit it (quietly to yourself) we all followed the trend!

Due to the influence of the day, the scale of the existing Newel Post was meek, meager, sleek—contemporary—as possible as that is—in a Victorian Revival Farmhouse—

Sidebar; why do we attach proper names to design? To me, what’s in a name?—is the representation of limits, boundaries, rules…design prison!

We urge you—jailbreak!

Looking for Love in all of the Right Places—Architectural Salvage!

A Newel Romance—Seeking an impressive, grand and stately Newel Post. Prefer Mahogany with elegant turnings.

Nothing is perfect! The almost perfect Newel Post was a handsome catch—turned from a single piece of mahogany.

With an impressive and grand scale this Newel Post would serve as a wonderful salute to those entering the House at Rooster Ridge!

Unfortunately time had taken a toll on the top finial of the post.

Seeking a harmonious blend of style and character to become a lasting partner.

The solution? Marry Me! A second Newel Post was selected with the emphasis placed on the top finial.

A Newel Romance—Marry Me!

A perfect coupling!

The top finial of the second Newel Post was married to the base of the first Newel Post creating a marriage made in heaven!

In the world of design the possibilities are boundless when you take an artistic approach! The experience is enriched by refusing to be limited by what is only readily available and taking risks to follow your own vision!

By utilizing vintage pieces, the process of recycling and re-purposing naturally becomes the new black and is always—green!

Art Lives!


Architectural Salvage: Part One—Discovery

On Sunday it seemed as though there was a hint of Spring in the air—after all, the outdoor thermometer boasted a balmy 46 degrees! With the sun shining what followed next was (almost) predictable…the official Spring is in the air chant;

“Road Trip! Road Trip! Road Trip!”

Favorite type…Architectural Salvage!

“One man gathers what another man spills.”

                                                                         Lyrics by Robert Hunter

What may appear to be a vast wasteland of broken-down pieces haphazardly strewn in an iron yard—can become the seedlings of creativity, the birth of Re-Purposing and Recycling! What is more Spring-like than that?! (Okay, we admit it snowed while we were there…)

The Discovery—

One of the discoveries made on this Sunday; an intact and complete four-part capital.

From Wikipedia:

In architecture the capital (from the Latin caput, ‘head’) forms the topmost member of a column (or pilaster). It mediates between the column and the load thrusting down upon it, broadening the area of the column’s supporting surface

This is an example of what can become of a single section of a rusted and discarded capital.

This piece was sand-blasted and painted with metallic pewter, gold and copper paint. For this application, we chose not to treat the paint with an acid to create a patina. The options are endless—the possibilities for color, aging and the creation of a patina are limited only by your thoughts.

This singular section of an iron capital hangs as a piece of art in The House at Rooster Ridge. The beauty of the design creates a textural and dimensional masterpiece!

What will become of the four-part capital newly discovered—as well as the numerous items piled into the back of the car on the way back from—

“Road Trip! Road Trip! Road Trip!”

Stay tuned!

Art Lives!


Sometimes…it’s about the drama!

This is one of those times I absolutely wish I had an incredibly talented and professional photographer available to me—bringing with them their artistry, knowledge, experience—and, all of those great lights and cool lenses… to fully demonstrate—sometimes…it’s about the drama!

Exposing the peaked roof on the second floor of The House at Rooster Ridge created an architecturally dramatic essence from the naturally stunning angles, pitch and height of the space. The drama, in this case, was a good thing and we did what we could to embrace it, enhance it and build upon it.

The first item to be addressed were the two support beams which ran across the pitched ceiling. We relied upon the artistry of our wood craftsman who created panel insets on the beams and finished them with classic crown molding. The talented craftsmanship was further elaborated with the richness of Mahogany, our favorite wood.

To intensify the impact of the height of the ceiling, lighting was added along the top (inside) of the beams creating a glowing illumination.

In the same finishing style we built a mahogany triangle base, to suspend the majestic Americana Fan. We discovered this from one of our favorite resources, Barn Light Electric. As luck would have it, the blades were available in mahogany and we selected an Antique Brass finish. The impressive scale of this fan usually results in a sigh, as the span is an impressive six feet!

Another one of the beautifully dramatic elements is the 1930’s Antique Art Deco glass lamp which is gracefully suspended from the ceiling on long brass chains. The soft lavender—blue glass emits a sultry lilac light while simultaneously displaying a lovely contrast created from the etched white flowers when illuminated.

The acquisition of what we consider to be a piece of art is the pre-1900’s stained glass window. The glass brings continuous joy as we observe the variances of colors—depending on the light from outside.

Sometimes, it’s best not to “Save the drama for your Mama” and relish the drama created in the magnificence of design, color and varying elements!

Art Lives!


The Art of the Collection: Vintage Desk Bells

As all collections do—the gathering begins with one. Often unbeknownst to the person at the time, the item enters their life and for some unknown reason—gives birth—to the collection.

You attempt to deny the yearning—as you coyly place the item of your new found interest in the verrrrrrry back of the cabinet. Committing yourself to forget about it or quite simply to view the obtainment as a single, independent action—never to be repeated again.

And then there were two.

Rationalization follows. The pieces are vassssstly different—one evokes simplicity in clean lines set in brass. The other is a work of artistry—mother of pearl insets, ornate carved bronze, a delicately feminine design.

The questions begin…

“How may I announce my arrival at the front desk?”

How kind and welcoming to offer me a sweet! Your world begins to expand—a candy dish and desk bell combined? Who knew?

Someplace between the quantity of four or five, you sigh, as you softly say to yourself, “It looks as though we have begun a new collection.”

Your taste evolves as it travels with you as you embark upon the discovery of style, function, form, material and size.

Last Sunday while at an antique show I was party to a conversation with a seller advising a “beginner collector” the appropriate way to collect. They explained a collection should begin with a size and a style in mind and to only collect those pieces that fell within that description. The seller further explained, in proceeding in that manner, the collector would be assured that the gathering would display well.

I respectfully kept my opinion to myself. Upon reflection of the conversation (my personal curse) I realized—I believe the precise opposite of those instructions!

Collect what you love, what moves you—inspires you, causes you to wonder, dream or ponder!

Allow yourself the freedom to evolve in your collection! In doing this you will grant your collection it’s very own history and story line. When the collection began and with which piece. Where you were and what you were thinking at the time.

By including varying designs, scale and form into your collection an interesting and unique presentation will be created!

After all—collecting is about love!

Art Lives!


Illuminate with a Unique Pairing!

The farm table in The House at Rooster Ridge is richly illuminated with a trio of lights—creating a visually interesting balance to this long rectangular room! The two lights placed on the outside end of the trio are composed of a unique pairing—designed at Rooster Ridge!

We began with two vintage brass and copper ship lights. Commonly referred to as a “fox lights” these lights were positioned several feet above the working deck area and were only used during loading and unloading operations. The beauty of the beehive design, the rich color and sheen of the copper and brass is wonderful! The lights have a latched glass lens which once protected the internal electrical components from salt and sea creating an industrial feel.

Rather than hanging the “fox lights” directly to the ceiling by suspending them from a chain or a using a pole extension an unusual pairing was made with a Vintage Iron Pulley. A theme was loosely interpreted by connecting the two with heavy rope, a standard in the world of ships and remaining authentic to the original use of a pulley! A natural fit for a unique pairing!

With our ever present desire to remain vigilant to the attention to details two additional nuances were addressed. With a cheeky irony, the hooks attached to the ceiling to hold the lights are mermaid hooks! The other detail is the wire we used, we researched vintage style wiring and selected a gold cloth-covered braided wire. We agree with the adage; the whole is the sum of the parts, we believe it is the attention to the smallest of details that creates an overwhelming design.

At Rooster Ridge we make every attempt to illuminate life—shining the brightest light that we possibly can—on creativity and…

Art Lives!