Chateau Multicultural




I found this house for sale on Sotheby’s Real Estate web site HERE.    Located on Lake Norman in Charlotte, North Carolina, it is listed for a cool $15,000,000.   Recession?  What recession?   The listing details make you think the house was built when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked the earth:  “Ancient craftsmanship, incredibly ornate details from the Biblical Stone in the Grand Foyer to the imported French limestone walls.”    OK.   The new house even has a name “Chateau Lyon.”   And to go along with all that pretension, even the rooms have fancy monikers:  The Grand Foyer, The Loggia, The Grand Salon, The Palm Court – what is that? and The Morning Room.    The house is also multicultural:  Mexican Pinon stone surrounds, antique European roof tiles, French boiserie, Italian chandelier (in the Palm Court), and Texas limestone foundation walls.   Despite all the fancy labels, the house is decorated with a very youthful flair.  The interior designer was not listed in the details, but I guessed who it was with the first picture of le Grande Fo-yer.  Can you guess who the very talented designer is?   




Whoa – what a foyer!  I wonder if this doubles as a living area?   I love the round settee in the middle – this piece is a real clue to who the designer is.   Do you know now???   Portieres separate this room from the family area.  





A close-up of the iron railing and stone stairs.  I love the stone flooring – it adds such a permanence to a house.



image In the foyer, golden curtains with trim hang over a small niche. 



image Looking down at the Grand Foyer,  from this view it somehow seems smaller.   What a gorgeous staircase, I love the stone treads.





image The dining room aka The Palm Court is off to the left of the Grand Foyer.  I refuse to call these rooms by their real names, like entry hall!   Notice the trumeaus inset in the French boiserie.




image A smaller table sits in the bay window.   Again, the apothecary jar filled with colored water gives another clue as to who the designer is, so do the colorful fabric choices.



image Another set of portieres separate The Palm Court from the hall.       



image The large lighting fixture is the advertised Italian chandelier,  what a beauty!  




 In The Grand Salon, aka the family room, there is a huge fireplace that looks like you could walk in it.   What a beauty! 





image From this view, the Grand Salon looks very large.   The Grand Foyer is the opening on the left and the kitchen is to the right.   The ceiling here is pecky cypress, a beautiful wood, one of my favorites.





imageThe back wall is made of stone, while the other walls are faux painted.  The master bedroom is through the doors on the left of the fireplace.  



image The Loggia, or the patio to you and me.  The ceiling here is more of the pecky cypress. 




image This is the master bedroom, but truly all the bedrooms are so luxurious it is hard to tell.  The walls have a very faint mural painted on them.   This bedroom is located right off the Grand Salon, to the left of the fireplace. 





In the mirror’s reflection you can see into the Grand Salon.  The Loggia is located off the windows, on the left.   Notice the hardware on the chair arms!  Another clue to who the designer is – did you guess yet?




The master bathroom is incredible.  Look at the shower on the right!   More chandeliers and sconces.   The bathroom is treated like another room – typical of this designer’s style.




A closeup of the sink area.  Notice how the tiled floor flows up so high on the walls.   So pretty!




image This round room has another wood ceiling with beams.  Is this the library?  Again, the round ottoman with the Greek key trim is a hint to who the designer is – figure it out yet???



image The kitchen is really pretty with painted cabinets and the stone floor. 



image Now THAT’S a range hood!   And check out the range itself.  That alone probably cost more than the average house in America does!  Is that copper????  Whoa!!!!!!



image An antique butcher’s table rests under a cow’s head.  Anyone want a steak??



imageThe upstairs hallway has a groined ceiling and 250 year old pine floors.




An upstairs balcony off the Grand Foyer.




This balcony over looks the Grand Salon.   There are five bedrooms in Chateau Lyon.






Another bedroom, here you can really see the antique wood floors.  Very pretty room!  Notice the wonderful window and its surround. 






Another bedroom filled with antiques and a suzani bedspread.



imageThe same bedroom – I love the bed and the oval sculpture above it.  So pretty!



image  A bathroom, with arches and stone floor and footed tub.  





imageAh, this must be THE Morning Room!    Charming! 




image The Morning Room overlooks the lake out back.   What a beautiful piece of property.



imageThe Loggia leads down to the lake.   This is off the Grand Salon and Master Bedroom.  





A wide view of the back of the house.  I didn’t realize there were that many fireplaces in the house.



image For just $15 million, this can be yours too!

If you want to guess who the designer is, leave a comment.  If you knew who it was before, don’t ruin the fun for everyone else!!


And don’t forget tomorrow is the last day to enter the Skirted Roundtable giveaway HERE.

Giveaway on The Skirted Roundtable!


The French Rolling Basket from The French Basketeer company – Cote de Texas’ last giveaway.


On this week’s Skirted Roundtable, we talk blog giveaways – how to set up a giveaway, the pros and cons of hosting a giveaway, and we discuss how easy it is to win something fabulous on a blog, like, for instance, a $350 French Rolling Basket, which was my last giveaway!    Traditionally,  it is the magazines that run most contests – when you enter a magazine contest, you are competing with tens and hundreds of thousands of other competitors making the chance of winning very, very small.   Why even bother?  But, in the blogosphere – it seems there is a different giveaway each day.    The smaller the blog readership – the greater your chances of winning.  Sometimes only 20 people may enter a giveaway contest and 1 in 20 odds is pretty fabulous.  Even with large readership blogs, you might be competing with only 300 or 400 people, again, very small odds indeed, especially when compared with magazine contests.  



Plantes Sans Fleurs:  A French teaching poster.   This item is the Skirted Roundtable’s giveaway – be sure to enter the contest to win!


To go along with this week’s discussion on giveaways – we are hosting our own, thanks to Jill Mitchell.  Jill is an American living in Provence (poor thing!) who hosts antique and vintage shopping weekends in her adopted homeland.     Her company, Le Trip, conducts various types of tours in France, some of which specialize in “women only” shopping trips  - no pesky husbands allowed!   While conducting her tours, Jill does quite a bit of buying herself and has an EBay and Etsy shop to sell her goods.    We are thrilled to offer one of her items as a giveaway – “Plantes Sans Fleurs” - a vintage French school poster.   The print measures 29.5 x 35, so it is quite large.   Linda, Megan and I are so thankful to Jill for such a generous giveaway.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is visit ONE of Jill’s sites:  her web site HERE, her blog HERE, her EBay store HERE, OR her Etsy shop HERE.  Come back and leave a short comment about whatever catches your eye and we will select a winner from one of the entries.   Hurry though, the contest will be closing on Thursday, February 18th!



Photograph from Jill Mitchell’s blog, Le Trip.Org HERE.


This coming week, the Skirted Roundtable will be interviewing author, interior and fabric designer Jackie Von Tobel.   Jackie is a powerhouse, a true entrepreneur, and the interview promises to be informative and entertaining.   The following week we have photographer Michael Lee, who will explain how to take good interior shots, how to get published, and everything else about photography.

Be sure to listen to this week’s roundtable on giveaways – and enter the contest today!!!!  As always, we appreciate your continued support!

To listen and sign up for the contest, visit the Skirted Roundtable,  HERE.


Baby Lust.


Now that my baby is almost all grown up and leaving for college, I just happen to discover a line of baby furniture that makes me want to hire a surrogate and have another child!!!  Notice I’d hire a substitute womb, as opposed to using my own.    God knows that at 55 I am incapable of actually carrying another baby.  Although there are 60 year old women who have somehow managed that feat, I barely made it through the nine months when I was 37.   The night I went into labor, I was so bloated,  retaining  fluid in every cell – especially in my face - that my father walked into my hospital room and seriously didn’t recognize the water filled balloon that was masquerading as his screaming-in-pain daughter.    Such wonderful memories, makes you want to really relive that event!   But still, seeing French inspired baby furniture certainly leaves me a little wistful.  If only!   Is it just a tad ridiculous to want a baby in order to decorate a nursery?   OK, it might be a little too obsessive.   So, I’ll settle for a granddaughter.  After all, Elisabeth is going on 19.   Realistically, she could get married at 23 or 24, have a baby at 25 – that’s just six years away!   I better start planning her nursery now!  And yes, it’s going to be a female, because this furniture is just too gorgeous for her not to have a little baby girl.  



A picture from Elisabeth’s graduation photoshoot.  Notice how the photographer sat her in an antique French chair with exposed nails and muslin upholstery!  Of course I loved this picture with the antique prop (how did she know???!)   The photoshoot was at Found For the Home.  Karen Sachar Photography HERE.


This baby lust started innocently enough (my daughter will be so relieved to know that I am not actually sitting around planning her nursery when we still haven’t found a college for her.)   I got a phone call from a reader, which is a first.  Usually I get emails.  The reader must have somehow known how backed up my emails are right now and that I’ve spent the day apologizing to people who haven’t received a follow up in over a month.  (Seriously  you try reading all four books from the Twilight series in a week and run a business and write a blog!)   The phone call was from a woman who had recently discovered design blogs.   As you might imagine – we all fell under their spell at one time ourselves – the reader was giddy with all the photographs and design talk that goes along with blogging.   She felt a certain kinship with me, after all we certainly like the same things, and she wanted to share all this with me and just talk about her excitement.  I love that part of blogging, meeting people you never would have met if not for sharing a love of design.  Oh, and by the way.   She owns a company:  a baby and juvenile furniture company:  Art For Kids.   She also has a retail store although a large portion of her business is wholesale.  Would I mind looking at her web site?   Casually she asks this, waiting to hear my response.    She should known that her merchandise would overwhelm me to the point of thinking about giving birth again, or maybe just adopting a orphan from some impoverished country like Borat’s Kazakhstan, or selling my daughter’s virtue off to anyone who will just impregnate her with my grandchild!!!    



 The Josephine Bed from the French Collection.


But, do you blame me?   I took one look at this bed, from the French Collection and my heart skipped a beat!   White cane, Louis XVI, silk bedspread, reaching to the floor.  Has a cuter bed ever been made for a little girl or a teenager just leaving home for college?  Immediately I am so sorry that didn’t see this bed before I redecorated my daughter’s bedroom.   After all, the pale blue silk would have gone so perfectly with her new decor, I know her curtains would look fabulous with this bedding!   I could have even make a little canopy – there’s a wood corona that matches this bed:



imageThe bed corona for the French Collection that would fit easily over the Josephine bed to make a faux canopy.


The same caned Josephine bed, painted in a soft aqua. Too beautiful!!!!!!!!!




The brains behind this wonderful collection of baby and juvenile furniture is Gail Sedigh.  In 1982, newly married and pregnant, Gail started Art For Kids when she painted nursery pictures spelling out children’s names.  Today, the company is run by Gail and her husband and together Art For Kids sells everything for a child’s bedroom from baby to teen.   There are now ten furniture collections, ranging from the elegant French Collection to the fun, youthful Nursery Rhymes.   Located in southern California where the main office is, the flagstaff store is in tony Beverly Hills.   The furniture is exceptional – bench made -  and luxurious with carvings and appliqu├ęs.  It is hand painted in  California and each piece is made-to-order so that the client can choose their finishes and designs.   Gail is so enthusiastic about her product and it is infectious – she designs for the younger set because it is in her heart – a personal choice that can’t be easily explained.   Truthfully, I think some of the pieces would be beautiful in a master or guest bedroom despite their having been designed for the younger set.  



The handpainted “names” signs that started it all in 1982.



This nursery shows the full range of AFK’s merchandise from the cribs to the changing tables to the rockers, including the bedding and mirrors. 




Twin cribs in the French Collection – what pretty striped skirts!



More of the French Collection showing the light pink and white bedding.   Oh, it’s just too beautiful!  I would have never left my baby’s nursery if it had looked like this!



The tufted Hollywood bed is part of the Upholstery Collection.    The side chest goes from nursery to tween.  The lamp and mirror are also part of AFT’s accessories collection.



Here is the Hollywood bed shown with just a headboard.  Custom bedding from AFK.



No, this is not a master bedroom, it is technically “Juvenile” furniture, showcasing the Courtney bed, handpainted.   All the chairs, tables, chest and accessories come from AFK.



This nursery shows the Madison crib with more furniture from the French Collection.  I love their trumeaus and that low, open bookshelf, perfect for little hands to put away her own books!



Aqua and cream handpainted pieces from the French Collection.



Though little girls are definitely favored at AFK, the boys furniture makes quite a statement too.



AFK is known for their round cribs – many of which show up in design magazines and books.



This child sized table with four chairs is just adorable!

Does it get any cuter than this chaise lounge for a little baby girl?  I don’t think so!  I would love to design an entire nursery around this one piece!!!



Well, this is pretty adorable too!



imageThe Josephine bed comes in a full size.   Here it is shown with the corona above and the matching armoire.  



The Charlotte bed, shown with a trundle for preteen girls.



Naturally there are two bathroom vanities – one in pink and one in blue.  But, you can custom the color for any decor.




The flagship Art For Kids store in Beverly Hills.    On the web site HERE, there is a store locator to find a shop that carries this line in your area.   The Longoria Collection in Uptown Park is Houston’s best choice.


Thanks Gail for the phone call and for letting us all know about your wonderful company!   You knew I would fall head over hills in love with it – and I have!!!!


And, finally -




The new Skirted Roundtable discussion is up.  This week we talk about giveaways.  And as a tie-in to our talk, we are giving away this vintage school poster direct from FRANCE!!!!   Be sure to go listen to the new Skirted Roundtable and sign up for this fabulous give away!!!!!

To reach the Skirted Roundtable go HERE.