I stumbled across a great blog called Velvet & Linen last week. It's run by a Los Angeles-based designer, Brooke Gianetti, who, in addition to being lovely and talented, has some great friends. Among them is Mark Sage, owner of Love Train Antiques in Atlanta and a partner in Bobo Intriguing Objects, the Belgian design company who's products are now featured in the Restoration Hardware catalog. Mark and his Belgian partner, Rudi Nijssen, were on the catalog cover recently. Brooke and Mark decided to have a contest and give away not one, but three, of these Brickmakers tables, which retail for $1,360 in the catalog.
So here's how it works: entrants were required to submit a photograph of the room where they intend to place table, should they win, and they agree to photograph the table for potential promotional use by Mark or Brooke. Pretty good deal! I have been familiar with Mark's Belgian company for years, as I travel to Brussels for my job. I usually stay over the weekend to browse antiques on rue Haute, where you can see selections from the Bobo line displayed in a great little shop called Jacques Brol, run by the very interesting and multi-lingual Paul Jacobs. Here's a pic from rue Blaes, one street over, leading to the flea market.
I knew this table would be perfect for Garvinweasel, but the challenge I faced was which room to photograph, as most of rooms here are in various states of renovation construction, with none of them lending themselves, as is, to a photograph that would inspire a contest judge think 'aha!'. So, I decided to throw together a vignette in the future library using objects and light weight pieces of furniture to convey a sense of what could be, should the table arrive here one day soon. After moving loads of wood around in the room, sweeping up a little sawdust, and moving in what you see below, I felt I had something worthy of a try, and off to Brooke my email entry went.
About the objects in this photo: I bought the antique mountain chair at the Place Jeu de Balle flea market in Brussels in 2007; the books include two Axel Vervoordt exhibition catalogs, Artempo and Academia; the carved wood Buddha is from a trip to Beijing and the ceramic opium pillow on which he rest is from another trip to Hong Kong. I did the pen and ink drawings from an illustration inside the cover of Paris Interiors (Taschen Press) and blew them up on hand-made paper. Should the brickmakers table arrive at Garvinweasel, I would place it between two sofas in the same light sage velvet shown on the ottoman and pillows. I grabbed the hay bale off a stack out back, but it will soon make its way to the dog shed for their winter comfort.
To give you a slightly better idea of what is really going on in this room, here's a wider angle shot.
In case you are curious about the rest of the room, here's a doorway from the libary to the music room. Note the heavy plastic over the door opening, to contain sawdust. The blue paint left on the old door frame will be stripped, and the whole room will likely go a mildly distressed french gray. I have stripped the old fireplace mantel, constructed a built-in a bookcase and custom doors for the audio closet, and have started on wainscoting.
So it looks like 2010 is shaping up to be the year of country chic, as you can see in this video for the Chanel Spring 2010 collection, shot under the glass of Paris' Grand Palais. Karl Lagerfeld and crew are welcome to spend the weekend at Garvinweasel anytime. From the looks of this video, they would feel right at home.
Brooke and Mark's contest has shaped up over the past week into a raving success. She has posted dozens of entries on the site over the past few days, and the first round of judging will take place over the weekend. Her blogging design friends will pick ten finalist, then on Monday morning at eight a.m. the public can vote right there on her blog. The final selection of three lucky winners will be by popular vote. Please check in with her on Monday to see if my hay bale made the first cut, and if so, I hope you will vote for me. The dogs will thank you. They want their hay back.