Pillow Talk

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Readers of my blog know that I am personally pillow challenged.   For clients – I have no problem picking out pillows – and rarely even give it a second thought.   For myself  - it’s a totally different story.   When I bought a new sofa a few years ago – I began a long search for pillows:  an embarrassing number of sets passed through my doors and out again at an alarming rate.   There were the striped cotton ones, the gray and white toile ones, the feed sack ones, the silk velvet tiger ones, until finally – I settled on the Oly Studio zebra ones – which I loved.  That is, until I moved my zebra rug downstairs and it all became just too – zebra-y.   I wrote about  my pillow issues HERE and many readers weighed in with their opinions of what I should replace them with.  There were some great suggestions and  in the end, I settled on a deep pink linen to match the suzani throw (a lot of readers had suggested this.)   That is until I changed my mind – and decided on a deep brown velvet (another reader idea.)     The latest from the workroom is they are currently making up both colors, one for summer, and one for winter.   I’ll keep you posted.   I had thought the subject of me and pillows was finally over for good, until now.   I’m totally afraid I might change my mind yet again,  when Rebecca Vizard rolls into town this next week with her entire stock of fabulous hand made, antique pillows.  Oy.  

 

 

image Becky Vizard surrounded by all her beautiful pillows. 

 

Vizard owns B.Viz Design which makes all different kinds of hand made pillows using beautiful antique textiles such as tapestries, suzanis, and vintage Fortuny.   There are also embroidered pillows, appliquéd pillows and stump work pillows – the thread actually becomes three dimensional.   Vizard lives and works at Locustland Plantation in St. Joseph, Louisiana, where her studio looks out over a picturesque cotton field, pecan orchard and Lake Bruin.   She is an important figure in her tiny, impoverished town – employing many of its Delta women to stitch the antique textiles into true works of art.   B. Viz Design was born when interior decorator Vizard couldn’t find what she needed for a project.   On a hunt, she found some antique textiles and bought up the lot – creating pillows out of it.  Gerrie Bremermann of New Orleans was an early devotee who carried the goods in her Magazine Street store.   The big break, though, came when Neiman Marcus discovered Vizard and ordered her pillows for all their stores.    The business has been growing steadily ever since.   Becky is always on a search around the globe for her priceless textiles and her collection is extensive.  Some pieces, such as the fragile ecclesiastic textile fragments are held onto for many years until she finds the perfect trim to accompany it.    

 

 

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An 18th century metallic applique and trim applied to a pillow made of soft aqua colored velvet.

 

Vizard works with top interior designers around the country and her pillows appear in more magazines than you can count.   She is bringing her inventory to Houston this Monday, November 2nd through Wednesday, November 4th to one of my favorite haunts – Watkins Culver.   Her pillows are so beautiful – and quite tempting!   I’m sure I will be in big trouble here when I see all the pillows together.   Help!!!!  

 

 

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A chocolate and white Fortuny is classic.

 

Accompanying Becky to Watkins Culver will be her good friend Ann Connelly whose twenty-year old art gallery, Ann Connelly Fine Art, is located in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   Connelly will be  bringing an assortment of fine French and Italian school drawings, as well as some contemporary works.   Connelly started her gallery with the antique works on paper – traveling to Paris several times a year in search of art to present to local interior designers.  Her business has continued to grow through the years, and today, the gallery is over 3400 sq. ft.    Along the way, Connelly moved into contemporary works –  her gallery now has a roster of over 30 artists.   She sells to the public but continues to concentrate on providing decorators with art for their clients.    Ann still travels extensively, as Becky does – and the two now often do so together, having recently returned from Venice.

 

 

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Ann Connelly Fine Art specializes in both contemporary and antique works. 

 

If you are in Houston this coming week – be sure to drop in at Watkins Culver and see Vizard’s and Connelly’s art work!  Details of the event are at the end of this post.

 

 

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A few of my favorite designs, this vintage Suzani pillow, of course!  These pillows would actually look great in my family room.  Oh no!!!

 

 

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Blue and white Fortuny – these pillows would be so pretty on a white slipcovered sofa with apple green walls.  

 

 

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This Fortuny would be beautiful in a bedroom or on a living room sofa.

 

 

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The tapestry remnant pillows are gorgeous.   Like these.

 

 

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And these – wonderful for a chair.

 

 

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There is a nice sized selection of antique appliqué pillows.  

 

 

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A beautiful antique damask pillow with trim – so pretty on a living room sofa.

 

 

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How fun!  Antique suzani stockings.   There are also little pillows for wedding ring bearers – and a host of other soft ornaments.  

 

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B.Viz Design pillows have been featured in dozens of interior design  magazines.  Many of the pictures are quite well known – see how many you recognize.  Here, Vizard’s pillow made the front cover of Veranda.

 

 

image In this well known photograph, a pillow for Phoebe Howard.

 

 

 

imageGerrie Bremermann is a huge fan of  B. Viz pillows – here two tapestries rest in chairs.

 

 

 

imageBarry Dixon uses Vizard’s pillows on many jobs.  What a beautiful picture!

 

 

image One of the more popular rooms on the blogosphere from two years ago – Fiona Newell Weeks.

 

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The pillows made it on this bed from Mary Evelyn McKee.

 

 

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And on this bed by Barbara Westbrook.

 

 

 image  A large  B. Viz pillow in Southern Accents for Phoebe Howard.

 

 

imageAnother well known photograph – two pillows rest in the front chairs.  Gerrie Bremermann.

 

 

 

imageCharles Faudree is another fan.

 

 

 

image Yes, B. Viz is in this famous photograph too!  

 

 

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Another cover story for House Beautiful. 

 

 

 

image Suzanne Kasler used B. Viz pillows in several rooms in this house – featured in House Beautiful.

 

 

 

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Barbara Westbrook – in the Belgian House cover story in House Beautiful - used several pillows from B. Viz Design. 

 

 

image  Christopher Maya used B. Viz pillows for this published house. 

 

 

 

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Joining B. Viz Design, art from Ann Connelly Fine Art gallery will also be at the show at Watkins Culver.

 

 

imageAlong with the framed works on paper will be some contemporary art work.

 

 

 

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Ann Connelly’s art studio is also featured in many magazine spreads.  Here, the Vera Wang Couture Campaigne used a painting from the gallery.

 

 

imageAnd, here too – more art work from Ann Connelly.

 

 

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This charming living room features antique pieces on paper from Ann Connelly’s gallery.

 

 

image  While this bedroom used a contemporary work of art from Ann Connelly Fine Art.  Interesting curtain feature here. 

 

 

 

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Information about the show at Watkins Culver.  Call 713-529-0597 for more details.

B.Viz Design’s web site is HERE.   Ann Connelly Fine Art’s web site is HERE.

Suzanne Kasler

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The adorable Suzanne Kasler on her bed in her former house.

 

This week we are so excited to have Suzanne Kasler as our guest on The Skirted Roundtable!   Linda and Megan don’t know this – but I am secretly trying to get all the designers on the Cote de Texas Top Ten Designers List to come on the  SRT.  With Suzanne and Charlotte Moss – that now makes two.  And we have another one from my list hopefully coming on in the next few weeks – so that will be three!      SSSH – don’t tell Linda and Megan!!!

 

 

image The new book, signed by Kasler, available HERE.

 

The interview with Suzanne is quite in depth but truly fascinating, especially if you are interested in interior design – which I assume you are since you read this blog!   The three of us each talk about our favorite room in the new book -  and it was so interesting to learn the behind the scenes tidbits about images we have long admired.

 

 

image Suzanne’s family room in her former house – this is one of my favorite rooms in the book and we discuss it at length.

 

Thank you, as always, for listening – and please leave a comment if you want to continue the conversation.  If you have the book – get it out before you start the interview.  If not – we have posted  all the pictures on The Skirted Roundtable blog for you to follow along.   Listen HERE.

A Dance Through Paris

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I have been busy writing all weekend – working on a new blog post that I was hoping to have finished by Monday for you – but no such luck.    Needing a diversion, I thought I would catch up on some blog reading, when I noticed that my friend Olga Granda-Scott from Coral Gables, Florida had finally posted pictures of her new house.   You remember Olga, right?  I ran into her and her  husband at Round Top where they had a booth.   At home in Coral Gables – they help run the family  antique business  - Alhambra Antiques HERE – one of the better antique shops in their city.  They had packed up a huge truck, filled with all kinds of beautiful things to sell, and headed from south Florida to Round Top, Texas – not an easy drive.   Olga wrote about the trip HERE and HERE.   Luckily she spotted me in the crowd (who could miss me with the ridiculous blue boa?) and came over to say Hi.   Olga is absolutely adorable and I was so surprised to see how young she is.  She looks like she is about 15 – but with three children, I’m guessing I’m off a few years.  

 

imageHere are just a few of the antiques Olga sells -  to give you an idea of their look.   French, Swedish, Italian – they carry it all and then some.  I’ve been lusting after their crowns – they have a wonderful collection of them.  In fact, Olga is wearing one in the picture of us if you look close enough.

 

 

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So, tonight while I am trying to ignore the blog post that has been making me slightly insane all weekend, I see that Olga has finally put up pictures of her new house.   

 

 

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You see, they just sold the house they bought when they one child.  Today with three, they need a little more room.  So after spending many years fixing up this charming house that was built in the 20s – they are moving on.   They sure don’t build houses like this in Texas – it’s so adorable!!   Olga and her husband put in all the lush landscaping during their remodeling. 

 

 

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This is their new house (well, old house – it’s a 1926 Spanish style stucco) – as they found it – overgrown and in need of some new paint and a good landscaping trim.  I think it looks pretty cute as is.    But wait until you see what they did with the inside.   After I pulled my open jaw off the keyboard – I thought you would love to see how beautifully Olga has decorated her new house.   Makes me wish I owned an antique store too!  You will too, I promise.   To read Olga’s story about the house’s redo, go HERE.

 

 

imageWhen you walk through the front door – this fabulous antique clock greets you – along with a marble topped scrolled Baker’s table.  The floor here is river rock – so great looking!   As with most antique dealers, their furniture is always changing.   On Olga’s blog, the pieces that are for sale are linked to the store’s web site.  Hmm – the clock is pretty hard to resist!!!!

 

 

 

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Every entry hall needs two clocks, don’t they?  Of course they do, especially when they are this beautiful.   Here a Danish tall clock rests next to the front door.

 

 

 

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The living room – you can see the dining room through the two arches.   Notice how thick the arches are – they don’t build houses like this anymore.    The table is a vintage Italian gear with an added glass top.   Scattered throughout the house are industrial pieces, along with all the French and Swedish antiques.   Maximize your view setting to see the entire picture.

 

image Looking the other direction – there’s a beautiful pier mirror and two chairs.  The cow hide rug was bought at Round Top!   I love the fireplace – it’s gorgeous. 

 

 

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 A close up of the carved stone mantel perfectly accessorized with an assortment of antiques. 

 

 

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 In the dining room, an antique Spanish table with painted chairs is mixed with a crystal chandelier,  painted console and another industrial piece – just out of view.  I love the pop of the red shades here. 

 

 

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Upstairs in the master bedroom, Olga hung two Italian fragments instead of using a headboard.  The bed is made with French linens and is flanked with two different night tables.  The gilt framed chair adds the glamour. 

 

 

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A collection of Royal Vienna porcelain stands on the night table.  The lamps were made from an iron gate found in an old church.  Be sure to read Olga’s blog story for all the details of the furnishings HERE.    With three children and a business to run, Olga doesn’t get to post to her blog that often, but she promises she is going to show her yard soon.  Olga, don’t make us wait too long!!   OK, I’m back to work on my post.