Saturday, August 6, 2011

Scalamandré Fabric and Fred Reed Antique French Botanicals Meet Ballard's Backroom Outlet Tables and Steinmart Lamps!

I've got a uniquely philosophical approach to design. I suppose it's because I'm an artist at heart. I'm not acquiring "things" just for the sake of having them. I don't believe in filling spaces or decorating. Decorating is something you do for the holidays! I appreciate good design, beautiful antiques and fine fabrics because someone created all of these things...starting as a spark in their imagination and then coming to fruition through a skilled process. It's just as real and meaningful as appreciating a fine wine because of the years of effort that went into creating something so amazing. I love arranging all of these works of art together in a way that doesn't detract from one another, but rather enhances every other element in the shared space.  When it comes to interior design, I've perfected the art of knowing when to splurge and where to save while creating meaningful and timeless spaces!

One of my favorite personal examples of mixing the "saves" with the "splurges" is this vignette I created on the wall above the living room sofa in my Atlanta house. It's not a great picture with the glare on the glass, but I'm actually amazed that I could produce a picture of our former home in our current crazy renovation situation!

The Splurge: Hand painted frames with high quality mats and gold leaf inserts from Fred Reed Picture Framing in Atlanta. Look at the detail of the hand painted border and the indented corner at outer edge of the frame.

The Save: Gold painted resin sunburst mirror and laurel wreath plate holders from Hill Street Warehouse in Atlanta.


The Pièce de Résistance: Antique French botanical prints we found on our 10 year anniversary trip to Paris. Here is the element of meaningfulness that a space needs. When I see these they conjure up the memory of spending the afternoon in a little shop on the left bank with my wonderful husband. He helped to pick these out, which is very out of character for him, making them even more special

Additional examples of "saves" also pictured:

The sofa was restyled by Furniture Works on Chattahoochee Avenue in Atlanta and upholstered in an inexpensive linen fabric from Lewis & Sheron Fabrics. I love the lumpy bumpy single down seat cushion! It's very comfortable and inviting. Spaces should be inviting and comfortable even if they are designated "formal" spaces like a living room. Your home is meant to be lived in.

The lamps are also gold painted cast resin, though they look like real wood just like the plate holders and mirror. I purchased them from Steinmart and added english pleated silk shades....always a great lamps with expensive shades. I've bought lamps at Target for $20 and added pretty silk shades. Another great option for lamps is Tenille and Co. on Roswell Road in Buckhead. The lamp pictured here is great looking and it already has a pleated silk shade. The price is $125 including the shade!

The brass and marble side tables were purchased from Ballard's Backroom Outlet in Roswell, Georgia. Ballard's has a great on-line catalog with some beautiful accents pieces...a great source for the "saves".

Here is a great example from their website of an inexpensive accent table for just $149. Of course, I bet you could find a scratch and dent one for around $50 if you live near the outlet!

Additional "splurges":

The curtains are a tone on tone pinstripe silk by Schumacher. They are lined and interlined. The interlining is not just the flannel's "bump" interlining.  It makes a huge difference. I copied this design from one of Jackye Lanham's designs published in Southern Accents several years ago. It's also very indicative of Suzanne Kasler's signature style of incorporating dressmaker details into curtain design. NEVER NEVER NEVER skimp on the curtains...NEVER!

The center pillow was purchased at Scott's Antique Market, which also makes it a "save" I suppose. It is a beautiful green velvet with my all time favorite fabric by Scalamandre called Marley.

Stay tuned for more helpful topics in the weeks to come such as, "Taking the Pretentiousness out of Interior Design - Creating Meaningful and Inviting Spaces", "The Importance of Proper Editing", and there are sure to be many posts related to our home renovation presently underway here in Chicago. I'll be sharing some before and after pictures you won't believe!

I'll also be sharing more great Atlanta resources and Chicago resources as I stumble upon them in the weeks to come. I'm thinking about a "Top 10 Best Of". I've got plenty for Atlanta and I welcome any followers in Chicago to share sources with me. I'll go check them out!

~Finely Frugal~


  1. As my first blog post, I am open for any and all suggestions and comments!

  2. I love it! Now just come and work your magic on my house!

  3. PS - It's me, Lynn, not Lily! xo

  4. Oh Michelle it is perfect!! You know how much I love your design style and I love that you don't think everything has to be over-the-top expensive. I need a new lamp for the living room and will plan on heading over to Tenilles (the store in Vinings didn't last). Keep this up. You're amazing!!

  5. Those curtains are gorgeous! Do you have a pattern for them to share!?