8 posts categorized "Interior Decor"

Paul Stuart ~ Houndstooth, Herringbone, Tweed & Twill & A Giveaway (Victoria Magazine November 1996)

1 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (570x800) 


Velvet riding jacket, Han Feng; Blue & White Striped Shirt, Cego; Cuff Links, Paul Stuart ; Silk slacks, Nicole Farhi; Brown Hat, Lola Millinery ; Velvet lace-up boots, Emporio Armani.


2 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics 


Tea time at The Lord Thompson Manor, Thompson, CT.


3 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (570x800) 


All furniture, Marie Albert; desk-chair fabric, Schumacher.


4 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (556x800) 


Jacket & Yellow Ascot, Paul Stuart; Ivory Blouse with french cuffs, Romeo Gigli ; Pants, Ralph Lauren; Velvet Shoes, Emporio Armani ;  throw, Pendleton.


5 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (570x800) 


Jacket (which I am coveting), Escada Sport; Skirt (also love), Rodney Vaughn Telford; Hat, Brenda Lynn, Suede lace-up boots, Ralph Lauren; Shirt, Flatiron Workshop


6 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (557x800) 


Edwardian Sofa; Vintage plaid pillow, English Country Antiques


7 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (563x800) 


Desk as sideboard & Ottoman, Marie Albert; "Medeival Red" Velvet Paisley Fabric, Ralph Lauren; Camel Shawl, Ballantyne Cashmere


8 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (566x800)


Coat & bias-cut velvet skirt, Zuzka for Fabricology; Antique Bakelite pin, Rin Tin Pin; Velvet Shoes, Donald J. Pliner; Porcelain Cup & Saucer, "Vulcain" by Bernardaud; "Antique Velvet" on chaise longue, Schumacher;  "Herringbone" crystal stemware, Ralph Lauren


9 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (568x800) 


Blue shirt, Cego; Pocket Square & Suspenders, Paul Stuart; c1880 Toiletry Set, The Mill at West Hampton


10 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (573x800) 


Striped shirts in armoire, Flatiron Workshop ; Houndstooth Leather Bag (want!), Ghurka; Shoes (from left): Donald J. Pliner, Emporio Armani, Cole-Haan ; Leather Bag, Coach ; Blankets, Donegal Tweed, Faribault & Pendleton.  All furniture, Marie Albert


11 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (563x800)


Irish plaid lamb's wool scarves, Foxford ; Paisley silk scarf, olive green hat & wool plaid bag, Paul Stuart.


12 Victoria Magazine November 1996 featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics (575x800) 

Brown stripe shirt, Cego ; Red Ascot, walking sticks,striped umbrella & tortoise cuff links, Paul Stuart ; Double breasted jacket & pants, Ralph Lauren ; Vest, Pendleton ; Shoes, Cole Haan ; Ankle Length Coat, Rodney Vaughn Telford; Driving Gloves, Joseph Abboud.


I've written about my adored collection of (almost vintage) Victoria Magazines a few times over the years here at "Tales".  For all the times I've looked through them, I never tire of them.  (If only people were that way...)  I just brought out my stack of November issues, ranging from 1990-2002, and found that I have some duplicates, November 1996 being one of them.  

It's a gorgeous issue featuring articles such as "A Colette Pilgrim's Progress" by Judith Thurman for all my fellow Francophiles, an article on "Creating A Timeless Toy" featuring English toymaker Tom Cobley, "Come Gather At Our Table" just in time for Thanksgiving, and, my favorite, painstakingly scanned & researched in the above photo collection: "Fabrics We Love for Home & Fashion ~~ Houndstooth, Herringbone, Tweed & Twill".  It features some lovely treasures, many from Paul Stuart, who, "since 1938, has been the leading arbiter of taste, style, and fashion for luxury menswear in the United States".

All photos featured here by Toshi Otsuki. Taken on location at The Lord Thompson Manor in Thompson, CT (my childhood stomping grounds).


~~ If you'd like a chance to win a copy of this issue of
Victoria Magazine, 
please leave a comment on this blog post.  
The winner will be announced on
Monday, 18 November ~~




xx ~ Michelle

Six Year Anniversary = Cosmetic Surgery

Six years ago this month The Red Velvet Shoe opened the doors to it's virtual vintage boutique.  If you read this blog, you know my dream is to, someday,  unlock the doors to a brick & mortar store-front in addition to our online boutique.  You also know that all along I've been sneaking things into the house & past husband that I could someday use in said shop.  Sadly, I had to let some beautiful things that didn't fall into the "sneak-past-husband" category go, but even so, my collection of "Someday Shop Stuff" grew into a collection that was becoming difficult to hide.   When I overheard him muttering "clean that basement out...DUMPSTER..." I knew my days were numbered and I had to do something STAT.

After a great day setting up shop at Urban Vintage Bazaar on 21 April , I decided since much of my inventory was already packed up and out of my workspace, it was the perfect time to give The Red Velvet Shoe a major facelift.  My workspace & shop are in my basement, and although it's a finished basement, it wasn't exactly my dream office & workspace, to say the least.  Not knowing remotely when I would be in a position to use all my treasures in an actual store front, I decided to use them in the space I have and make it my dream office, workspace & boutique...that was a month ago yesterday, and while not 100% complete, I decided it was high time to show you what I've been doing for the past month:

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (17)

Welcome to The Red Velvet Shoe ~ Boutique

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (9)

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (7)

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (8)

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (4)

The dressing room...

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (10)

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (21)

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (24)

The sitting area...

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (11)

The Red Velvet Shoe fireplace makeover pictures (13)

The "Gothic Amethyst" fireplace doubling as a bar...(click Here to see the before photo)

The Red Velvet Shoe workspace & office  (1)

My worktable & reference library.

The Red Velvet Shoe workspace & office  (4)

My desk & sewing table.

1930s Art Deco Lightolier 3 tier crystal chandelier (12)

The crystals to the 1930s Lightolier Chandelier prior to cleaning...

1930s Art Deco Lightolier 3 tier crystal chandelier (13)

and after....my favorite piece in the entire shop!

The Red Velvet Shoe boutique makeover (18)

Next on the agenda: "Grand Opening "Soirée in The Shoe" ...









xx ~ Michelle

Serendipity: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

So what do you do when the telephone rings 4 days before leaving for a vacation that's been planned for a year only to learn that the house you had rented was flooded and will not be available?  Generally, you call your travel agent/realtor and they find you a place to stay.  Generally.  When said house is located on Martha's Vineyard and the week you booked is not only "Fair Week" but "The 150th Anniversary Fair Week", there are 14 in your party and the President is coming, that simple feat becomes a bit like the Bermuda Triangle of vacation planning.   Packing (everything but the kitchen sink) came to a screeching halt, and that special bottle of cognac that was saved for "The Vineyard" was unpacked to keep us company as we sat anxiously by the phone and computer, our week of sun, sand & sea hanging in the balance.  Tick Tock.  Tick Tock.  Two days went by, two long, frustrating days.  But sometimes, when things go very, very wrong, as they did, they turn out very, very right. 

This is the lovely house we had the privilege of calling "home" for a week.  A restored 18th century farmhouse on 8 acres of lush island land.  Owned by a young, very talented family man who calls himself a carpenter, but I would call a craftsman.  I cannot begin to imagine the hours of painstaking work that went into restoring and creating this beautiful estate, but I am quite certain it was a labor of love.  I actually got goosebumps when my friend, who had arrived at the property first, escorted me through the door.  I still have them a week later.  As the days passed I kept pinching myself, half expecting to see Jane Austen walk through a doorway at any moment.

While days passed and we sat at the shore, survived the wild surf of South Beach with bruises to show for it, saw the fireworks at Oak Bluffs, spent an afternoon at The Fair, took in the spectacular views from Gay Head, played 18 holes at Farm Neck (in spite of getting bumped from the original tee time because Mr. President wanted to play), bumped into David Letterman at Morning Glory Farm, consumed insane amounts of seafood and libations and even jumped off "The Jaws Bridge" at sunset, the best part of this vacation was that we spent it in this beautiful home.


My daughter on the far left with friends jumping off "The Jaws Bridge" on Martha's Vineyard 

xx ~ Michelle




I've been in need of an umbrella stand for, well, my entire adult life, now that I think of it . . .you would think every single home ever built in New England would come with an umbrella stand built into it's foyer (that's actually a great idea, maybe someone should market it? ) but having lived in many, that is, sadly, not the structural case.

  Some friends tell me they've scored a "Faux~Asian~Antique" copy at The Christmas Tree Shop, but I have yet to find one on my occasional visits there to stock up on candles, Carrs water crackers & cocktail napkins . . . (and sometimes that colorful and absolutely delicious Bassetts Licore  made in England . . .but even that is a rare find nowadays).

So, while recuperating from hosting a retirement party for my step~father which involved a keg of Guinness (courtesy of my brother~in~law, our resident beer & wine maker and sentry of THE little black book of numbers that could even have supplied us Absinthe when it was still illegal here), 30+ people, far too much greasy Irish food & blasting Celtic music (pictures forth coming), I decided to do a bit of eBay browsing for this critical object sorely missing from my home.  (A wonderful diversion when one does not want to face the aftermath.)

Compliments of Ebay's Labyrinth of Luxuries:

French period umbrella stand/painted wood & cane sides (find it here)
I love this...but with a starting bid of $149.99, that faux Asian one is gaining by a nose . . .

Teak umbrella stand 

Anglo~Indian Teak Hallstand & Umbrella Rack (find it here )
Just the title makes it worth the $2,250.00 . . . but it would cost another thousand to find umbrellas worthy enough to be in the same room.  Come to think of it, I'd have to replace everything!
I'm in love . . .

French iron and bronze umb stand $150.00 

French Iron & Bronze Umbrella Stand (find it here )
This would be perfect . . .I wonder if the umbrella is included for the $150.00?
This is a favorite . . .but it must weigh a ton, and that is an issue with shipping . . .


Oak ball & stick umb holder 

Oak Ball & Stick Umbrella Holder (find it here )
It's lovely, but with $425.00 the starting bid, the Xmas Tree Shop is beckoning . . .(I think I saw one of these at our local thrift store for $5.99 . . .)


C1980 ant victorian wicker umbrella & cane stand $495.00

c1890 Victorian Antique Wicker Umbrella Stand (find it here )
I love this, but could I paint it black?  For $495.00, I guess it should be the color I want . . .not to mention what painting it would do to the value.

Antique umbr stand black finish

Antique (???)  Umbrella Stand/black finish (find it here )
This could work, and it's only $29.99!
Somehow, I don't think this is an antique . . .especially since there are "More than 10 available".
Even so, I like it.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .

Realizing I was truly in no condition to make a serious decision of any kind, I decided to put off my decision by making a far easier one:

A little Ireland in Rhode Island

It's not going to rain today anyway . . . 






xx ~ Michelle


I've always had a fascination with vintage vanities~~ever since my grandmother auctioned away some amazing Art Deco mahogany furniture at her country farm estate auction, I have carried within the belated realization that every child should/must be taught about antiques and heritage, about the importance of family heirlooms and preserving history, about how to determine whether this should be chosen over that, to learn which things one must never, ever part with, simply about how to know what one should inherently know~~from those who have come and gone before. . .

gram & grampa






I have,since, taken this task very seriously with my daughter.  We make a weekly ritual out of visiting various antique stores, museums, estates,  yard sales, thrift stores & consignment shops for the sheer motive of educating her in what is truly








with the high hopes that my little princess, born into a very modern world, will find some way to show/express appreciation for what has come and gone before her. . .Now she will say "Mom, why would anyone ever want to get rid of that?  It was probably their great, great, great, great grandmothers and here it is at Goodwill~~What's wrong with people????"

I couldn't be more proud than at that very moment.

She gets it.

And so, one day, she will get this:

my vanity 2 

as part of her inheritance. . .

my vanity 1 

A lovely gift from my adored grandmother when I was just a young teen, this antique desk which, over time, has become my vanity. ..

A place to sit, each day, and take a moment to remember, reflect, refresh & prepare for what may, or may not,

ever come . . .

A place to be with one's own private self, to prepare to become the public person we all must be at some point every day,

with the comfort of being close to loved one's lost, yet still greatly loved, for the simple reason that this was where she once sat

doing the very same thing. . .


 (Vintage House & Garden magazine cover)


Do you have a vanity?  A dressing table?

Claudia at The Paris Apartment is collecting photographs of vanities to be used in a wonderful book she is working on and is inviting everyone to submit their photographs for consideration! 

What?  You don't have a vanity or dressing table?

Well, now you have the perfect excuse to create one for yourself. 

After all, every vintage loving gal must have one!






xx ~ Michelle

Yes, you may use the bathroom!

Question du jour:

Can we ever be truly finished decorating?

I, for one, can never say I am completely "finished" with "dressing a room".   The same goes for "getting ready" for some special occasion. . .I will continue to tweak my look until my husband stands with my coat open with that stare that is screaming LET'S GO!  (Thankfully he only verbalizes  it under extreme circumstances, "the look" is usually enough for me!)

So while the major work involved in the makeover for my upstairs bath is complete~~I can't say the same for the decorating . . .I'm still tweaking that part (which is also the fun part!)   But one thing is for sure~~I don't have to brush my teeth with my eyes closed anymore!!!  Or beg my house ~guests to use the downstairs bathroom!!  Here are some photos of it:

100_2047 100_2043

I made the velvet curtain topper~~still deciding on the curtain rod~~I think it needs bolder finials. I love the contrast of the light, delicate lace with the dark, rich velvet. . .

Remember the piano stool I found at the auction last summer?  Well here it is, all spiffed up and a perfect place for my old Victoria magazines (each month I update the stack with all the old issues for that "month"~~they are wonderful for inspiration!)100_2037_2

This sweet little picture was a card my Aunt sent me a few years ago.  I framed it with this beautiful antique frame I've had for years.

100_2035 I love, love, love this print~~I found it at Homegoods for $29.99 and snatched it up!   Although I have to confess that I worked at a Fine Art Gallery for years and know how to do Custom Framing so when I buy ready~ made it sort of feels like a champagne lover filling their flute with Budweiser (nothing against Bud~~I actually like it in the summertime!)   I had to lug it around the store since there were no more carts available but now I am so very glad that I did!!  This is actually very different from most of the art in our home but I just loved it and the black frame really makes a statement against my "Creme Brulee" walls.  (Which actually finished with more of an olive tone than I imagined but I am very happy with it!)

I thought this print was fun~~and it gives me my claw foot tub, doesn't it?  I love to use a small image with an extra wide mat.

100_2041 100_2045

My husband brought this beautiful Antique picture home from an old farmhouse in Iowa years ago~~it is marked 1875!  (Thank goodness he didn't throw this out!)


This paisley shower curtain was my color scheme inspiration~~I found it one day and knew instantly. . .and that is my Vintage bias cut nightgown that I found years ago and have had hanging in our bedroom~~I thought it looked pretty on the back of the door.


The only thing about a room makeover is that the rest of your home tends to look like a bomb went off~~has anyone else noticed that?  Why does every other room get ransacked because of one teeny, tiny bathroom??

Maybe that should be the question du jour?

One last thing~~we are having our first snow fall here today~~here are some photos from this afternoon & this evening. . .if you don't have any snow here is a little from me to you!!   



xx ~ Michelle

The Powder Room Calls

You know that project in your home that you keep putting off, and the weeks go by until it gets to the point you close your eyes at anything that even hints at your everlasting procrastination?????

Among my many such projects, at the very tippity top of my list,  has been my upstairs bathroom.  It had a Greco/Roman theme wallpaper that was just beautiful.  But once my little toddler discovered bath water can go on the wall, too, and that it will make paper peel quite easily,  I knew a decorating job was on the horizon.  But the weeks have turned to months and after another morning  trying to brush my teeth with my eyes closed I finally faced my fear in the mirror and said to my husband:  "I'm going to Home Depot".   

I actually love to decorate but I have a very hard time deciding to choose the look I want.  Does that sound familiar?  I did some searches for "Vintage Bath Decorating" and along the way these are some of the beautiful photos I came across:


You know I love this one in  Blue & White~~with the painted ceiling and Sunflowers~~another favorite of mine! 


And look at this!  That sink is just stunning and the vanity makes it so unique.  I love the pale yellow & lavender combo~~so soothing.  (And I think my blogger~friend Sophie would love this one so I hope she sees this post)!


I also love the simplicity of this bath~~someday I will own a claw foot tub!!  Although I'm not so sure about all those windows unless it's waaaaaaaay out in the mountains somewhere!  That chair has a very retro feel to it, too, and the blue colors are, again, in my favorite category!


This is just so elegant~~I have two chairs like this but unfortunately my bath is too small to have such a chair.  This is elegant simplicity at it's finest. . .very well done.


I thought this last one had a very rich, masculine look to it~~although it is a bit too dark for my bath I do like the deep russet walls with the pearl trim~~and again the dresser style vanity with the marble sink makes such a statement.

With so much inspiration it didn't take me long to pull together a new look for my "Powder Room".  Here are a few before pictures:


I have already taken down the old paper and sanded the walls~~not a job for anyone who cares about their manicure!

We'll be busy painting away over the next few days (my Vintage Treasures are getting so lonely but as they are more of a "Hobby" I have to put them on the back burner until I can place some check marks on my very long "To~Do List") 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


100_2027 100_2024(My poor guest room is taking the brunt of it!!) 100_2026

xx ~ Michelle