Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Green Pea Boutique

Antiques, Collectibles, Fashion, Home Decor & One-Of-A-Kind Items

One of the things i want to do with this blog is highlight design related businesses in and around N. California. My first one is Sandi Vander Dussen's Green Pea Boutique in Escalon, CA. Escalon is a small farming community that people pass through on their way to the mountains and Sandi has definately upped Main Streets cute factor.

Her shop was originally built in 1906 and was a mercantile and post office with the livery in the back. She and her husband Jim spent 18 months and many long hours transforming it into a charming place with exposed brick walls and the original wood floors for selling antiques, fashion and home and garden decor. Sandi had previously been leasing a smaller shop a block off Main St. but when the opportunity came available to own this historic building she said "where do I sign?"

I want this has such possibilities!

Sandi had seen the green paint color of her building somewhere else and fell in love with it. She and her daughter were brainstorming names for the new store, leaning toward something french. Her daughter hit on "The Green Pea" but it didn't translate as well in french so the "Green Pea Boutique" was born.

That same daughter lives in Texas and Sandi makes several buying trips there a year, as well as Las Vegas for the gift items she offers. Her future vision for the store is to bring in more kitchen accessories and garden products and decor. Her style is a little cottage, a little rustic and she loves things with character and blemishes that show that someone has loved them and used them. Being in a small town adds quaintness to the experience. Her customers make it an excursion to come shop and have lunch at local restaurants and on the weekends, the clientele switches to couples out for a treasure hunt!

Too bad...these are already 'sold'

She also carries great baby items!

I think it's important that we support local businesses and especially businesses run by women, although Sandi gets lots of support from Jim. (I want to take pictures of these amazing doors he built for the Livery in back). Sandi's advice for other women business owners is to "buy what you like". She sometimes has a hard time parting with items she loves, but its even less fun to look at things that don't sell, that you don't like.
Thank you Sandi for your time and sharing your lovely store.
The Green Pea
Escalon, CA

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Spring! Decorating for the Seasons

Welcome Spring in an orchard near my house

In this part of California, you definately know why we are called the 'Golden State'. For about three months, usually January thru March, it is green and beautiful. Then the gold part sets in and actually it's more brown, but right now it is stunningly gorgeous with the almond and peach trees blooming. It may not be the coastline but when you see acres and acres of blooming trees, it truly is a sea of pink deliciousness. So i thought i would share some spring time and talk a little about decorating for the seasons.

In some parts of the country, it may not feel like Spring but its 'on' here and i'm getting the itch to change things up in my house. It's a sickness that happens every year and i just have to go with it. My mom was recently here for a visit and admiring some curtain panels I had up. I said "thanks mom, but those are about to be taken down for something different...actually wouldn't those look nice with your colors?" Her comment back was something along the lines of once she has it up, it's staying there. Alas, i am afflicted with the disease to change decor. Do you think there is a support group?

Pier 1 panels
In Fall i tend to want to nest and cozy things up, add warmer colors and textures, but in the Spring it's all about shaking things out and lightening up (and don't we all need just a bit of that right now!). In Spring we're ready for lighter and brighter, so you could put a light colored slipcover on a couch or chair. Change pillows (this is where you can use some new colors from last months newsletter), candle colors and accessories. Bring in more nature inspired objects; a birds nest with some blue eggs displayed on a cake stand or a large vase with pussy willow or blooming branches (try Michael's if you don't have the real thing). Putting items in glass apothecary jars or vases is a great way to display them and the reflection from the glass adds light and sparkle to your room.
Throw rugs and area rugs are another way to add color to the floor and outdoor or cotton rugs can be used inside as well. They're relatively inexpensive and indestructible. In the Fall, just wash and store them until the following Spring.
If you have a collection of pottery, glassware, rolling pins, whatever it may be, rotating your collections in and out of view is another way to keep things fresh. By paring down what you display from season to season, you eliminate clutter from your room and shelves and this gives your eye a place to rest and appreciate what is there. Plus everytime you change what's displayed, you get to appreciate it all over again and remember why you loved it in the first place.

Williams Sonoma Home

Pier 1

Williams Sonoma Home

So this year when it's time for some Spring cleaning, make an appointment with yourself and your home, put on some good music, move some furniture around and change it up a bit! You'll be surprised how good it looks and feels...Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's All In Good Taste!

So i was talking to a friend the other day about a home we had been in. My friend said "this homeowner has such good taste and she was right. The home is lovely and welcoming. You felt comfortable in every room. The colors were rich but muted, the furniture of great quality but not pretentious and collections displayed in a way that showed off their importance without feeling like you were in a museum. Later that evening I was thinking about just what exactly is good taste? Some people have it in their homes and some people have good taste in clothes; always seem to have that perfect look no matter the occasion. It's one of those intangibles thats hard to define; that it factor, and very subjective. One of Webster's dictionary definitions is a sense of what is fitting, harmonious, or beautiful. So if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then we all have good taste, right?

Below is a taste of what some of the greats think in an article that appeared in House Beautiful magazine.

Design by Kelly Werstler

Benjamin Moore Paints

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

I don't believe in the goodtaste/bad taste thing. It's like being in or out, and I think it's all stupid and snobby. I don't believe in taste-only in personal likes and dislikes...You should like what you like and the heck with anything else.

Betsey Johnson, Designer, 1973

Michele says "Amen sister!"

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) "Ah, good taste- what a dreadful thing."

Sometimes it's more important to be human than to have good taste.

Bertolt Brecht, Playwright (1898-1956)

Taste, I think, is a form of sensitivity. You can have an aptitude for it , like a potential for playing the piano, but you will never be a great pianist unless you do your finger excersizes.

Sir Humphrey Wakefield, President, Mallett & Son, 1973

The discovery of the good taste of bad taste can be very liberating.

Susan Sontag, "Notes on 'Camp'," Note 54, Against Interpretation (1966)

A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika. Dorothy Parker, wirter (1893-1967)

Nate Berkus, featured on Oprah

What is your taste?