Friday, February 29, 2008

Carrot cake and elephants

Yesterday was a fun day. I got to go shopping with Carla Birdsall, one of our workshop style students. She won a contest a while back to go shopping with me with a $1000 gift certificate from Interior Accents. Carla and her husband have a beautiful home that she’s going to be uploading pictures of. She came to our last workshop and she also registered for our Shop with Focus event because she wants to continue training her eye, so she’s going to be joining us at C.S. Wo next Saturday. With our schedules being so crazy, we finally got together.

I loved that she was very prepared! She was wearing her brand new Style Kit with her inspiration pictures inside, and she knew exactly what she wanted: accessories for the coffee table in her formal living room. After she learned about the 60-30-10 rule at our workshop, she determined that her dominant style would be Asian. So she measured her coffee table, took a picture of it and brought along her girlfriend Judy, who also attended our workshop.

We set off for Interior Accents in Gentry Pacific Design Center. Melody, who helped us, told me she really enjoyed our workshop and was hearing from some of her customers that they loved it too. Judy, the proprietor, said she was really disappointed because she had to work that day. They think it’s great we’re educating people how to shop because a lot of their customers need that extra help.

Carla, Judy and I found a lot of possibilities, lots of unique and interesting pieces, but we just couldn’t find the right thing.

Then as always happens with me, I got hungry and said to think better, I need some sustenance! We went next door to A Matter of Taste, and I had a hot pastrami sandwich—I didn’t bother with the Reubens because I’m so particular about my Reubens. I insisted that Carla and Judy try the homemade carrot cake, which is to die for and they run out almost every day. So they shared a piece and I had one all to myself, and it was delicious. I finished every last bite!

Back we went to Interior Accents and my favorite find of the day—three brass elephants, the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil trio, but elephants instead of monkeys and they were so cute! The see no evil elephant had his big old floppy ear covering his eyes, it was so adorable, a perfect touch of whimsy. I kept trying to push them on Carla, but they were too small in scale for her coffee table.

Just as we were about to give up, we found our inspiration piece—a metal and glass pagoda candleholder lantern, Asian-inspired and very interesting. And her coffee table is sort of a painted wood, so we wanted a different texture to layer on top of it. This definitely fit the bill.
Then we found this really neat orchid that had some dark red tones in it that will tie in with a nearby Asian cabinet. Finally, to complete our trio, Carla loves Chinese fu dogs, and we found this little carved-stone fu dog, and that completed the trio.

They were three different things that made for an interesting, eclectic arrangement. They all vary in height, proportion and finish but what ties them together is the Asian theme.

That’s what it takes when you’re out shopping. You have direction and focus, but sometimes you don’t come across your perfect piece. There’s no point in rushing because things cost a lot of money.

Mission solved! And it was a fun day of shopping and eating, my two favorite things!