Friday, May 6, 2011

Apartment Spotlight: Elegant Electicism in Downtown Charlottesville

I couldn't think of a better Royal Wedding viewing party than the one I attended last Friday morning. Our gracious host's Charlottesville "flat" was the ideal enclave to gather and watch Prince William wed his beautiful bride.  Within minutes of our arrival and exchange of compliments on each other's hats, fascinators, and dresses, we were offered a festive cocktail of chilled champagne, a dash of promegranate juice, and topped off with a few plump blueberries.  Over the most delectable homemade scones, deviled eggs, and fruit salad, we commented (unanimous adoration over Kate's dress), and critiqued (did Chelsy Davy forget to brush her hair, or look in the mirror all together for that matter?).  It was indulgent television spectatorship like I've never experienced before.

While we were certainly there to witness the historical British event, I couldn't help but ask my friend if I could photograph her apartment for my blog.  She graciously agreed and below are the pictures (my best attempt at using our new enormous Nikon camera.)  Her apartment that sits just above the historic downtown mall in Charlottesville, embodies understated elegance with an electic flair.  Her pieces are a mix of antiques sourced from auction houses and rare finds from her studies and travels abroad.  I had the chance to ask a few questions about her design inspirations, her favorite places to shop, and the story behind a unique Turkish settee.

Where do you find design inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from touring other people's homes. Both on house tours and of [people] that I know. I adore taking aspects from my favorite parts of homes I have seen and trying to incorporate them into our decor. Also, growing up my parents renovated and decorated a variety of homes in different locations, and their style and ways they used touches of color as well as mixed new furniture, antiques, and finds from second hand stores has also been a huge inspiration to my style and influenced where I look for furniture or accessories for our apartment. Lastly, I have a few favorite stores I love to visit frequently as their displays and selection are always impeccable. My current favorites are Caspari and Random Harvest, which is located in Old Town, Alexandria. 

There are a lot of framed architectural prints throughout your apartment; is there a story behind them? 

The architectural prints were a 25th birthday present from my parents. They are from an antique store in Alexandria, Virginia and are of different buildings in London, which is a city I fell in love with after studying abroad there in college.  

I think you said you found the Turkish settee at an auction; what is story behind it?
Yes, the settee was purchased from Leslie Hindman auction house in Chicago. One Sunday of every month she had a live auction called "marketplace" which was a compilation of furniture from a variety of resources. We have many things from the auction in our apartment including the settee, the bookshelves, and most of our side tables.

What is your favorite piece of furniture or accessory?

Our horsehair dining room chairs. We love to entertain, and when I saw them in an antique store in DC I immediately fell in love with them. They were unique, and also classic enough to work in a more formal dining room, or could be placed in a more casual setting, as we have them in our apartment now. They are also extremely comfortable, and show no dirt, or wear and tear, an added bonus!

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