Friday, April 30, 2010

My Old Kentucky Home

Several months ago the American Cancer Society here in Key West asked me to volunteer on their gala committee because it was going to be on May 1st...Derby Day! I'm always ready for a celebration on Derby Day, so I agreed. Key Westers know how to party, but nothing compares to Derby Day in the Bluegrass State.

The Derby Festival actually begins several weeks ahead of The Derby, and includes balloon races, deafening fireworks displays, steamboat races and the chow wagon (don't's just what it sounds like, funnel cakes and all). But on the first Saturday in May, Kentuckians travel back to a gentler time to celebrate the most exciting two minutes in sports in much the same way as they have for 136 years.

The day begins with a Derby Breakfast at the Governor's Mansion and on the grounds of the State Capitol in Frankfort (my hometown).

The breakfast is free--the governor's gift to the citizens--and artisans display their wares while girls dressed in belle gowns stroll the grounds. The race is called the Run for the Roses, but on the capitol grounds it's all about the tulips and our famous floral clock.

While the citizens are enjoying the breakfast at the Capitol, the Governor's Derby Train is on the tracks in downtown Frankfort in front of the Old Capitol waiting to carry the governor and his guests to Louisville to The Derby.

On occasion I've met folks who assume that since I'm from Kentucky then I must be a hillbilly. I sweetly inform them that where I'm from, the horse barns are more elegant than than some homes where they may be from.

This is actually a horse stall that my former associates and I decorated at a horse farm for a fundraiser.

But back to the Derby...Probably the most well known symbol of the The Derby is the Mint Julep.

It is quite tasty--it's a Mojito with Bourbon instead of rum, and the official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby is Woodford Reserve.

The Woodford Reserve Distillery is absolutely beautiful, as are all the distilleries in Kentucky, with the exception of some moonshine operations in the mountains. If you ever find yourself in Kentucky, a distillery tour is a worthwhile adventure.

So, even though I have a Derby Party to attend, I am a little homesick for country ham and biscuits, an icy cold mint julep, and of course, the stars of the day...

Happy Derby Day, Y'all!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Garden Tour

Warm weather has finally arrived and the garden is burgeoning. Here are a few pictures that really don't show their true magnificence but give an idea of it.

Bougainvillea in pots by the pool lend a lush color accent.

The Angel Trumpets bush is my absolute favorite with it's delicate peach blossoms drooping down like bells.

There are more Bougainvilleas peeking out amidst the ferns.

Even this little bonsai tree is blooming for Spring. The bonsai pot with it's stones and grass and little tree looks like a mini yard.

Finally, even though it's not a blooming plant, I have to show you how this Rosemary bush has grown so big it looks like a Christmas tree. I think we'll have to put lights on it this year!

Happy Spring everyone! I hope you are enjoying all the spring blossoms surrounding you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy to Have the Blues

We just got in a shipment and wanted to show off some new blue merchandise.

We're lovin' those blues!

*DON'T FORGET: We're giving away a set of pajamas or a pair of throw pillows! Click HERE for details.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me GIVEAWAY!

WINNER: Congratulations to Averill!

Happy birthday to me...

I skipped posting yesterday so I could do so on my birthday!

In honor of the day, I will be hosting the very first Style Key West giveaway! And it's a good one.

One winner will be chosen at random and she (or he) can select one of the following fabulous prize options:

A set of capri pajamas in either this pattern:

or this one:


A set of two pillows in any of the three colors (either two of the same or two different colors):

(excuse the tiny picture here - but I couldn't capture a larger one)

(These pillows are in the background of a picture we've posted of Caroline.)

All you have to do is comment here. And of course there are a number of other ways to get additional entries!

1. Become a follower of Style Key West (or let us know if you already follow)
2. Become a follower of The Big Piece of Cake (see above) - Hey! It's my birthday - I can beg for followers!
3. Become a follower of Wishing True (see above) - (see above)
4. Enter my Fifi Flowers giveaway on Wishing True (beautiful painting)- who knows you may win both!
5. Tweet, Facebook or e-mail about this giveaway (you get an entry for everything you do)
6. Write a blog post about this giveaway and get FIVE extra entries!
7. Can you think of anything else you can do to let others know about this? Do it and I'll give you another entry.

So get to work! I'll thank you in advance for the fond birthday wishes - and of course, wishing you a wonderful week in honor of ME!

(singing) And many more...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jo's High Point Market Report (The Last Chapter)

Our last day featured a final (and a little scary) trend, NeoGoth.

We noticed quite a bit of over sized and over-the-top Gothic inspired furniture. As in the following two beds.

Tell me, could you fall asleep in either of these, thinking that any moment, Dracula or maybe Liberace might come flying into the room?

I remember this as being a trend in the 80's. Are any of you old enough to remember when Cher had a Home Design catalog? These beds would have fit right in. Actually, I remember seeing Cher at Market that season. We were going up the escalator and she was coming down. I was mesmerized by this vision in a huge, fluffy gray fur coat flowing open over a skin tight black cat suit and thigh high, black patent, spike heeled boots. All black curls, makeup and attitude. Then, the moment was over. She was downstairs and we were up, almost as if it didn't happen. But it was a moment to remember.

But back to the present. I'll end on a brighter note with two pretty beds.

One a painted white headboard framing an upholstered panel of abstract turquoise and white nautilus shell print. Very fresh and beachy.

Then a whimsical canopy bed by Traditions made entirely of white painted twigs and dressed up in lovely green and white linens with a turquoise throw. The picture doesn't do it justice. It was lovely and ethereal.

And a final humorous note - me next to the biggest chair ever matched to a huge turtle shaped footstool. Terry wanted me to sit on it a la Lily Tomlin but I couldn't even climb up on it!

And finally, home in Key West, the most eccentric little airport in the US.

In conclusion, forget the trends. Just buy what you love. If you are a retailer, your store will reflect who you are, and standing in it all day every day will bring you joy. If you are a customer, you will end up with a home that will make you happy all your life. And isn't that what this design business is all about?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jo's High Point Market Report (Part Two)

To follow up yesterday's report, we're back with more High Point highlights:

Wood Finishes
We noticed far less washed oak (grey finish) although we did see a prettier whitewashed or pickled look, and bought a few little tables and bench as that mixes in well with our Key West colors. We also noticed many showrooms including Lee, with dark, very antiquey pieces mixed with contemporary neutral upholstery. Sorry, no pictures here. I totally zoned out on the dark furniture although much of it was very handsome.

Oriental Style Rugs
Again - these were mixed with contemporary neutral furniture and used in unexpected ways, like upholstered benches and pillows. At Lee the Oriental upholstered ottomans were selling so fast that they had to bring a new truckload of them in every other day!

This didn't apply to us in Key West but we did find a fabulous Soumak (ancient Turkish rug stitch construction) woven in a contemporary design of giant seahorses that is perfect for Style Key West. We bought it in Turquoise and also in soft lime green.

Decorative Glass
This trend that we saw again and again in accessory and lamp showrooms suited us to a T. We bought some beautiful accessories shown in the following pictures.

I thought the green glass ball chandelier was fabulous. Too bad it's not for Key West cottage style.

That does it for today. Tune in tomorrow for the scary conclusion.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jo's High Point Market Report (Part One)

We're back from High Point Market with lots of news and pictures! So much so, that we'll have to do this in three installments. All for just a couple of days...we didn't rest for a minute.

After arrival at High Point, we headed straight for the Minutes Matter booth where Jackie Von Tobel was signing her books and presenting her new graphic design software. Minutes Matter, which is an incredible tool for designers, allowing them to translate Jackie's fabulous designs into professional elevation renderings filled with fabrics, colors, and textures (more details HERE). I am so impressed by Jackie's genius and talent. It was a treat to have a picture with her. It was literally the high point of my High Point adventure!

Then, on to the showrooms to see all the new trends.

The first one I noticed everywhere was an emphasis on GREEN. No, not the color but the concept of preserving the environment. We're proud to say that Lee Industries (our supplier of upholstery from the beginning) has been a leader in eco-friendly manufacturing since their inception in 1969, long before it became a style trend.

Here is a short trip through the Lee Showroom which is always full of great ideas (click to enlarge).

This season, their very talented designer used antique windows, doors, mirrors, and contemporary trellis screens to divide the enormous space with 20 ft. ceilings into intimate settings. The pictures here were taken during a festive dinner party complete with down-home Country music. And a good time was had by all.

More trends tomorrow!

Related Posts with Thumbnails