04 September 2012

WOW!! ENTER THE AIDAN GRAY HOUSE SEARCH CONTEST!!!



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Aidan Gray – from their 2012 catalogue showing various products.
As you might already know, the popular décor and furniture company - Aidan Gray - is a sponsor on Cote de Texas.  Because I am such a huge fan of their company, I was thrilled when I got a message from the owner, Randal Weeks, asking about running an ad on the blog.  I’ve been using their products in clients’ houses for years and have truly always been impressed by the quality of their designs,  and their excellent customer service.
My favorite item is their Italian chandelier – HERE  - which I have placed in my own guest room and in clients houses.  The price is reasonable and the look is fabulous.

Italian Chandelier
The Italian Chandelier

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Here, I used the Italian Chandelier in this client’s family room.  The lamps are from Aidan Gray too.

Aidan Gray has been successful over the years because their merchandise stays above the trend - they have just the exact product you want to buy, now.  The catalogue is updated and edited regularly so that merchandise is always fresh.  Randal has an uncommon ability to know exactly what the market desires and this ability has made the once small start up company into the large business it is today. 
There is a real person touch to the company.   This year, I was so surprised when he informed me he had designed sconces based on those he had admired in my dining room – and named them, the “Joni.”   These new sconces are now is stock and I’m curious if they will sell well.    The important message is he sees inspiration everywhere and he then acts on it.  

Joni Three Light Sconce
The Joni lighted sconce.  It also comes in a two arm version HERE.

In another instance, I casually mentioned to Randal that they needed to reproduce an antique French lantern which would be reasonably priced.  “You’d sell a million of those,” I easily promised him knowing my business acumen would never be tested.  Randal just informed me that the lantern has now been designed and will be available for sale shortly!  Oh My God!   What if it flops miserably???? 
But, this is the kind of businessman and designer Randal is.  He is willing to talk with those out in the field to get their opinions and ideas and listen to what they want, what they are looking to buy, and what they say.   Have an idea for a product?  Submit it to Randal and he will consider it.  I can’t think of another company that would be so open.     So, everyone, please order that lantern!!

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A page from the new catalogue showing some of their furniture.
And so, one day recently when Randal came to me with a wild idea, I was flattered and all ears.  After all, he is the brilliant businessman, of course I would listen.  Each year, he told me, a new catalogue is produced.  And each year, Randal’s own home has been used for the photoshoot.   The Weeks house was built for the Aidan Gray line, so naturally, all the furniture looks great in it.    But, now, Randal is looking for another stage.  He asked me -  “how about we hold a contest to find two perfect Cote de Texas readers houses where the 2013 catalogue would be shot?”   Needless to say, I was ecstatic at his proposal and thought you would be too!

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Randal Week’s house with its stunning steel doors and brick walls provides the perfect backdrop for the Aidan Gray line.

Randal proposed that we run a contest to find two houses for the new catalogue photoshoot.  Readers would enter their house – and Randal and I would pick the two winners.  
This is the scenario for the photoshoot:  In a few months, Randal and his crew would come to these two houses, with an assortment of chairs and tables and lamps and together with the homeowner’s own backdrop, the new catalogue would be photographed.
Randal would be at the photoshoot  continuously for the day or two that it would take.  All the homeowners possessions and the house itself would be carefully protected and cared for under Randal’s watchful eye.  The Aidan Gray photoshoot would be no different than having your house photographed for a décor magazine.  Except for one important detail – the homeowners would receive a generous compensation.
First place winner would receive a $5,000. gift certificate to Aidan Gray.
Second place winner would receive a $2,500 gift certificate. 

ARE YOU GAME??????

DO YOU WANT TO ENTER YOUR HOUSE INTO THE CONTEST????

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Randal Weeks house, as it normally is furnished, filled with products from Aidan Gray, some still in the current catalogue, other pieces discontinued through the years. 


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Here, the same room, shot for the catalogue. 



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The same room, pretending to be a dining room for the catalogue.


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And, yet again, a totally different look for the same space created by using different products.   It’s hard to believe this is the same living room in all four photographs.   


AGLIFESTYLE-230-7(Medium)
Some photographs will be of just a chair or lamp – this picture was taken in the same living room at the Weeks house.


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If you have a romantic kitchen, like the Weeks, – that would be a plus!  Be sure to include a picture of it with your entry!


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Or, do you have a beautiful bedroom?   Take a picture of that too!


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A small corner is turned into a stage, filled with all Aidan Gray product.

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With a different curtain, the setting looks completely new.


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Just an interesting table top might be enough to create several beautiful pictures.

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A pool, a pool house?  Both could be assets for the photoshoot.  Be sure to include pictures of your backyard, front yard and side yard if they are beautiful or interesting.


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Just a small spot in the backyard becomes a gorgeous photo in the new catalogue!

HERE IS WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
Ideally, the two houses picked for the photoshoot will be either architecturally interesting, romantic, or atmospheric.    But, if you have a cleaned-lined modern house, don’t hesitate to send in an entry!    If you have a smaller, second home on a ranch or a lake, send in those pictures.   Even if your house is small, it still could be the perfect stage.    Size shouldn’t be the deciding factor if you enter.   All houses entered will be considered.  
We are looking for an attractive backdrop that the Aidan Gray line will look fabulous in!   Perhaps you have brick or stone walls, a French fireplace, painted wood paneling, vaulted ceilings, luscious silk taffeta curtains, antique furniture or collections, stone or dark wood floors – or bleached or painted hardwoods – any of these would be an asset.   Think texture, think contrast, think interesting, eclectic, romantic, charming, exotic and picturesque.   If any of these adjectives describe your house, enter the contest.  And architects and designers, think about your clients houses.  If you know of a good one, enter it!
Remember - t’s not the size, NOR what the house is worth – it’s strictly what the house would look like with the Aidan Gray merchandise in it. 
Don’t be shy!   You never know what will catch Randal’s eye. 
Ideally, Randal would rather the two houses be in Texas, BUT he is willing to come to you if your house wins!  So, don’t let the fact that you live in New Hampshire scare you away!  Enter!!!   Perhaps you feel your house isn’t right for the photoshoot, but you know the perfect house that would be – try to get those owners to enter!!  We realize this might be word of mouth contest.
THE RULES:
1. Take photographs, during the day only, with the lights on, of your living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, master or 2nd bedroom, and the back and front yard.   Or, just take pictures of the spaces you feel would be best for the photoshop.  If you have a cute greenhouse or laundry room – let’s see it!
2.  Upload the pictures via email to Cote de Texas at mrballbox329@aol.com – you can use www.zoomfoot.com if the files are big. 
3. ONLY send in the largest images!  No small or medium images can be used!!! 
4.  The contest ends  September 12th.  You have one week to enter your house.  BUT, if you need more time to get your photographs together, just let me know!
That’s it. 
  Randal and I are both hoping this will be a fun contest for everyone who enters.  We are both so excited and can’t wait to see your houses!!!    Remember, a rustic cabin might be as perfect as a French chateau. 

42 comments:

  1. Um...New Hampshire....I vote that Joan submits her gorgeous place!

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    Replies
    1. I love Joan's farmhouse, but have to say I don't think it has the Aidan Gray look. Perhaps it's because I am so familiar with its current look that I can't get a different vision. Joan's blog is always so inspiring for the things she and her husband have accomplished in restoring this home. Her decor seems so perfectly selected for its environment.

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  2. I have a few houses in mind, but I'm guessing the owners wouldn't be game...darn it!

    Congrats on the Joni Sconce line, and I'm sure both the sconces and the new lantern will be top sellers!

    Kat

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  3. I hereby nominate The Enchanted home by Tina.I tried to e-mail her about this contest,but was having difficulties for some reason.Her home is amazingly beautiful and can envision it in the catalog.
    So,Tina if you are reading this ,please enter so that others will be able to enjoy your home with that fabulous furniture.
    Mary Anne

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  4. Do you think he would come to Australia??? Man I would enter in an instant, we have a home that would look great with all his furnishings, and I may just buy it too!

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  5. Wow this is going to be a great contest win for someone! My home is not one that would be in running for something like this but I look forward to seeing who they pick!

    I agree with Mgeddis- Tina's home would be perfect for this photo shoot!

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  6. I live in NY so I guess I'm out! Too bad for me! However, if you could at some point Joni, find out where Randal bought or had fabricated those marvelous black hanging shelves in his kitchen. Those are to die for! Thanks. The "Aidan Gray" post happened to be one of my favorite ones. Keep up the exceptional work Joni!

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  7. It's going to be hard to beat his house.....but I think this is a fabulous contest. I hope you find two great houses.

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  8. oooooooh this would be a fun shoot! our house would be a great backdrop, and would it help that i bake THE most delicious gooey cinnamon bread for the crew?

    :)
    michele

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  10. The McAlpine house in the Woodlands that you featured on the blog a few months ago would be perfect!

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    Replies
    1. Holly and I agree, I immediately thought of this home, in and out, perfect!!! Has it sold? Joni, you should email them. I toured the home and you need to go see the master bath, gorgeous!

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  11. Yes, please, oh yes! Would it help my entry if I know I would spend the renumeration in that glorious catalogue?

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  12. Seeing pictures which you posted of the photo shoot at your house Joni should make anyone reluctant to have a crew move in and take over for several days. It is a unique offer and as stated above, the McAlpine house or an otherwise empty home perhaps from a listing at HAR might be a better option. That $5000 worth of merchandise is very appealing, however.

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  13. OK I'm in New Hampshire people and we have great homes and fabulous woodlands outside! Although we only have vaulted ceilings in our carriage barn so that might work. What a great contest and what a wonderful way for everyone to feel special and have their homes possibly used for a shoot. Such a generous offer and it's very tempting!

    XX
    Debra~

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  14. need to speak to clients who would be interested + adore AG + congratulations, Joni xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  15. what a fun idea! My house is too simple and regular to enter the contest, but I think it is so fun that you are going to be part of this contest!

    Liz

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  16. Joni I love that your sconces (which I have always loved are being produced by Aiden Grey!
    This contest is so very wonderful, I fear my small 2 bedroom condominium would be too low end although I would be thrilled to see it filled with all things Aiden Grey!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  17. What an exciting contest! I am only about thirty minutes from Dallas and have great high ceilings with dentil molding BUT, I am still working on bringing it out of the eighties so I don't think it would be up to Aidan Gray standards. I can't wait to see who will win!

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  18. There have been some very good suggestions regarding possible candidates for the photo shoot. And although I understand how important it would be to have a substantial house to photograph for the catalogue, it would have been very exciting and educational for the second home chosen to be of lesser means so that we could see the Aidan Gray products used in a more middle class home. Visualization of their beautiful furniture and lighting in smaller settings might even increase sales from the smaller house market. Also the prize would be a wonderful treat for the home owners.

    This brings up another point. Joni, I would hope that the final houses chosen would not belong to a design professional or already decorated to the max, since the whole idea of dressing the readers homes with Aidan Gray furnishings would make for a brilliant post of before-and-afters done by none other than you. As beautiful as The Enchanted Home is, well, it's already done. The average consumer would want to see how a home could be transformed. In there lies the dreams that a catalogue would conjure.

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  19. Lavender has a very good point. I, too, would like to see one of the homes chosen be owned by someone of "lesser means". The offer by Aiden Gray is a very generous one since it entails a total of $7,500 in merchandise AND the cost of travel to the location or locations. However, it would be a significant decorating challenge to choose a standard home with 8 foot ceilings, sans boiserie panels or elegant imported flooring. Just as clothes always looks better on rail thin, teenage models, home furnishings derive a portion of their beauty and elegance from the architecture of the surroundings.

    Based on their website, I calculated that one Italian Chandelier plus a settee and 2 salon chairs would cost about $5,000. That would be a very nice start for the "average consumer" to create the room of his or her dreams.

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  20. Wow so pretty nice home looking so beautiful. Thanks a lot for sharing these awesome post with us !!

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  21. Joni, I've had 2 emails today telling me to nominate the house I posted for this contest! It is truly a lovely french home... and my favorite house!

    http://www.thefrenchtangerine.com/2012/09/my-favorite-house.html

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    Replies
    1. Definitely a winner! Such beauty and the gardens. I doubt you could find a better candidate.

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  22. I hope he picks a home that is not anything like his own. I love his home but to show that his product can work with something very differant would be a smart move on his part! I can't wait to see the winner of this contest. Love AG.

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  23. This is a beautiful post. Congratulations on the sconce named after you! I love the Weeks's home. It is spectacular. Thanks for the opportunity. I will start taking pictures!
    Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  24. Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!!! Can see you my hand raised from Oklahoma????? I LOVE your blog...but rarely do I comment :( sorrrry :( Okay, I'm allll over this offer but will need my hubby's sweet patient help with sending pics bc I AM LAME-O with the computer :) We built our dream home 3 years ago and it still looks like we just moved in :( I would LOVE to see how it all looks with his furniture!!!!!! Gonna gather my thoughts and my grab the hubby and send pics soon!!!!! Thanks soooo much Joni!!!! Can't wait to enter!!!!!! My email might be from either soonerstaci@att.net or Boomer-sooner@att.net (Yes, we are HUGE OU Sooner fans! I hope that isn't a strike against us! heeehee!!!)

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  25. With this post, I decided to check out the Aidan Gray site. Love, love, love the items! I think that any number of them would enhance my home greatly. While my home is a pretty home, it certainly would not have any of the features you listed. I would love to achieve the look of many of the homes you feature and even add a few of the Aidan Gray items. I still am not sure my home would feel as spectacular. It would be very interesting to see what could be done with the "average" American home. By average I mean a spec home with nice furnishings but with no spectacular features.

    Our home is 27 years old and we have spent the greatest part of our budget on updating. Yes, we had to throw the Bee Gees out!!! While I am thrilled with the updating, it left little budget to do the spectacular. I dream the spectacular dream. Your post is my dream that one day my home will be as pretty as the homes you show.

    Thank you for your continued inspiration.

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  26. I am so excited about this contest, I'll start taking pics but I'm pretty lame with the camera..I absolutely love the Aidan Gray line.. I just bought the Italian Chandelier for my breakfast room and it is perfect..Took me a year to make up my mind(sad I know)..but so glad that I went with my first choice. I would love to see more of the AG furnishings in my home..so I'll be submitting and Joni, I'm wondering if you will also be involved in the photo shoot...how fun for the winners that would be! Thanks for the opportunity..
    Sharon

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  27. This is such an exciting offer. I can't wait to see the winners

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  28. My house would be perfect....in 5 years or so:/ I just finished the most thrilling remodel of a 1924 Tudor...but now it's empty and needs to be furnished. Maybe they'll do it again some day...it's the prize is the perfect thing for someone in my position!!

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