Tag: furnishings

Pigtown Design: Design and Decorating Books That Stand the Test of Time

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I think that it’s always fascinating when you hear about something new, and then all of a sudden that thing pops up all over the place in your life. I was reminded of this, in a way, when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty section over the weekend. The article (here) talked about vintage design and decorating books which have stood the test of time. Her Holy Grail is the 1938 edition of Dorothy Draper’s “Decorating is Fun“, which I am pretty certain I have (from the Book Thing). Yep, I’ve gotten a few copies.

The author, Gillian Fassel, talks about five essential books that someone interested in vintage design should own to start a collection. First up, of course, was Billy Baldwin Decorates.

And then Terrance Conran’s mid-70’s series of books about the House Book, the Kitchen Book and the Bed & Bath Book.image

Rare Baltimore Desk Fetches Over Half-Million Dollars at Christie’s

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standCourtesy Citybizlist – A rare Federal desk and bookcase, presumed to be Baltimore 1800 – 1810, was estimated to sell for $150,000 to $300,000 at Christie’s Important American Furniture sale on September 25th.  In fact, the satinwood-inlaid, Verre Eglomise (reverse-painted glass) mahogany cylinder desk realized $567,750.

Pigtown Design: The House Downtown Redone

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My friend Stephanie owns a lovely shop called The House Downtown, and it’s always been one of my favourite places to check out the latest home décor trends. She’s got a marvelous eye and the shop always looks terrific to me.

Stephanie saw flaws where I didn’t, and she just wanted to freshen up the shop.So for the past seven weeks, the shop’s been closed and getting a makeover. I stopped in this afternoon to see it at about 85% complete and it looks fabulous!

Pigtown Design: High Point Style Report

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Each year, after the Market has finished and things have calmed down, the High Point Market Authority presents a report of what they’re seeing as the upcoming trends. You might recognize a few of the pieces that I highlighted in these posts.

Gore Dean to Move to Hampden, Hon

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Our friendly gossips spies tell us that Gore Dean, the high-end interior design furniture and accessories store in the Village of Cross Keys and formerly in the Mt. Washington Mill,  is moving to Hampden.  The venerable shop, which bills itself as the designer’s department store, will make its move in the next few weeks into the Republican Club at 3535 Chestnut which was recently sold.

Pigtown Design: High Point Highs

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Our favorite local interior design blogger Meg Fielding of Pigtown Design headed to High Point earlier this week to cover the foremost American furniture show known as “Market” at High Point, North Carolina.  Throughout the week she has written her diary of happenings at the show and documented her favorite trends. Read on to see what’s in store in 2013. -The Eds. 

I am heading down to North Carolina for the High Point Market for the next few days.image

As you can see, this Market’s focus is Fashion. I am going to a breakfast with Christian Siriano (who went to the Baltimore School for the Arts), Thom Filicia and Lela Rose.Also scheduled are cocktail parties, book signings, lectures and lots and lots of checking out gorgeous showrooms.

Blogging Baltimore Interior Design

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Interior design blogger Meg Fielding is not an interior designer, just a creative woman a little obsessed about houses–like a lot of us. Her Pigtown Design blog features musings on local, national and international design trends from antiques and architecture to textiles and entertaining. It’s not her day job (she works full-time as a development director) but it is her passion. 

Whether she’s cruising local second-hand shops for great finds–she has appeared on “The Nate Berkus Show” for her keen eye for finding just-the-right-thing–making a favorite recipe for a dinner party or showing guests Baltimore’s best architectural nooks and crannies, it’s all chronicled on the website. 

In the last month, readers have eagerly followed her move from Pigtown to Hickory Heights, a North Baltimore neighborhood closer to Roland Park, where she grew up. She wittily regales her devoted audience–she draws about 1,000 visits a day–with the thrill (wood floors beneath the carpet!) and agony (boxes!) of home ownership and keeps everyone up to date on how her beloved yellow lab Connor is adjusting to it all.

“It’s like having coffee every day with a good friend,” says one faithful reader, “but you can do it in your pajamas.”

What inspired you to start your blog?

I’d just moved back from the UK and was working in a soul-sucking job! I needed something creative in my life, and wanted to keep my writing and photography skills up to date, and had just discovered blogging. So I started one of my own, with no real concept of where it would lead.

Pigtown Design has been more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. I’ve met some of the most incredible people, here in Baltimore, and in New York, DC and London. I’ve had opportunities like being a guest on “The Nate Berkus Show” twice. It’s so humbling to know that people like Pigtown Design enough to take time out of their busy lives to read what I have to say.

Tell us about the Pigtown Design name.

I’d rented a little rowhouse in Pigtown (near Ravens Stadium) when I moved back to the states. I thought about a lot of different ideas for names for the blog, but realized that Pigtown Design was an eye-catching name, and for people who are from Baltimore, it was sort of an inside joke.

Where did you pick up your interest in interior design?

Initially I thought I’d like to be an architect, but realized that I didn’t have the chops to do it. I have always loved looking at buildings, and didn’t know about interior design (this was ages ago). My family’s house was classically decorated and very timeless, and my parents taught us about furniture, painting, silver, china and other things. I also visited a lot of historic houses when I was growing up, I guess I picked it up then.

How would you describe your design style?

You’re assuming I have a style!

I think that my style would be “rough luxe.” I have a lot of very nice things, like my Royal Copenhagen china and William Yeoward stemware, but then I have some industrial pieces like a commercial steel kitchen counter which I use as my desk, and two old doctors’ cabinets which are for storage. I have some old Oriental rugs and kilims that are pretty battered by age and incredible eiderdowns, Welsh blankets and French Ivory-handled silverware that I got in England and Wales when I lived there.

I learned to sew during the blizzard two winters ago, so have been making curtains and pillows for my new house and I even made a stuffed pig for my dog.

Where is the best place to get great, cheap finds?

I love to poke around because you never know what you’ll find and where you’ll find it. I’ve picked up gorgeous silver pieces at the Goodwill or Value Village, or at yard sales. But two people could go into the same store at the exact time, and one person would find the treasure and the other would not even see it. It’s more about educating your eye to find great cheap things than going to any specific location.

Also, I love going to yard sales, thrift shops at churches and hospitals and old junk shops. I’ve even been known to stop an old pick-up truck piled with junk to get a piece that I spot! In England, I loved going to “car boot” sales, where people lined up in fields selling junk from the trunk or boot of their cars!

Where to you shop for inexpensive antiques? Expensive antiques?

Local auction houses like Opfer, Coopers or Woodwards are great places to pick up some inexpensive pieces. Brown wood furniture isn’t selling well these days, so you can pick up a nice dresser for about ten dollars. And because it’s so inexpensive, you won’t have any qualms about painting it! At auctions, you can get up close and personal with a piece before you bid on it. You can heft it, examine it, pull open the drawers, turn it upside-down and even sit on it!

I love Gore-Dean for expensive antiques. They have a great selection of stunning pieces, and their new location in Cross Keys is beautiful. Even if you can’t afford expensive antiques, visit places where they’re sold, so you learn what’s good, what’s better and what’s best.

What is your favorite shelter store in Baltimore?

Hands down, it’s Halcyon House in the Greenspring Valley. I could just move right in there. There’s nothing in the shop that I wouldn’t love in my house. The owners, Stiles Colwill and Jonathan Gargiulo, have an unerring vision for what they want in the shop. From John Robshaw prints and pillows to extraordinary Maryland silver, everything’s amazing. I always take out of town design/decorator friends there!

I also adore David Wiesand’s little shop and atelier, McLain-Wiesand, in Mount Vernon. He collects and sells beautiful things, as well as making custom furniture and lighting. He’s such a huge talent.

Who are your favorite national decorators?

Some of the well known ones like Bunny Williams and Alexa Hampton are favorites. Their rooms feel like they’re personal and warm. I like Rita Konig, who is Nina Campbell’s daughter, and who writes for The Wall Street Journal’s “Off Duty” section. She has a fun design sensibility, mixing pieces from her London and New York sources and making it look effortless. Grant Gibson in San Francisco does beautiful work and is getting a lot of national recognition from the shelter magazines.

Who are your favorite local decorators?

That’s a funny question to me… I really am not involved in the local design community. I know some decorators personally, but haven’t seen enough of their work to comment. Of course, Stiles Colwill and Patrick Sutton are two of the very best, and they both do exceptional projects. More along the lines of mere mortals like me are Stephanie who owns The House Downtown in Belvedere Square, and Christopher Howarth who just has private clients.

Which design blogs do you read?

From the very beginning, I’ve read Style Court and the Peak of Chic. They got me started on blogging and were a big inspiration. I love Mrs. Blandings who is an amazing writer. I love Little Green Notebook because she not only decorates, she makes things. There are a few guy blogs that I love to read, like Maxminimus out of Alexandria. He’s hilarious. House of Beauty & Culture out of London has a totally different viewpoint on design and décor and always has something that I’ve never seen.

I love finding new blogs because it makes me realize that there are so many talented people out there.


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