Tag: interior design

Unique Home Decor and Fall Gift Ideas from Sprezzatura


Fall is in full fashion and the perfect time to freshen up your home decor, in addition to your wardrobe.  Sprezzatura has a beautiful collection of personal, home and gift items to liven up your home or present the perfect gift.  Take a look at some of their beautiful new collection.81I75lw1oXL

Just Released! Sprezzatura presents Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table, a stunning visual and written account that enters the world of famed fashion designer Valentino Garavani.   Introduction by Andre Leon Talley.


Foo Dogs are traditional guardians of Chinese homes and gardens.  They are normally found in pairs.  Our fine porcelain foo dogs are of the highest  quality, hand painted and crafted by masters in their art.


Boca Bowl Chiller measures 13 1/2″ x 7 1/2″, made of polished stainless steel and leather handles.  Bowl features double wall stainless steel walls.


A classic figure of a fish, this very fine tureen comes from one of the finest studios in China.


Made of the finest polished stainless steel, Sprezzatura’s picture frames are from Germany, and are of the highest quality and design.


Sprezzatura’s festive fall candles are made of hand-poured soy blend wax and come in a mini box with bow and Jack-O-Lantern.  The scent is an autumnal blend of ground ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar.


Sprezzatura logo.pdf


Monday through Saturday
10am – 5pm


Located in Stevenson Village 10429 Stevenson Road Stevenson, MD 21153


[email protected]

Outgrown Ikea? Head For Arhaus in Harbor East


Welcome to our new column Shop Girl, a bi-weekly post that will review area stores.

Arhaus Furniture

660 Exeter Street, Baltimore 21202

[email protected]

Hours: 10am-9pm Monday-Saturday, 11am-6pm Sunday


Of all the trendy shops in Harbor East, Arhaus Furniture is the largest, its 16,000 square feet occupying nearly half a city block. It’s a confident presence in a neighborhood of repurposed lofts and open-plan condos — full of young buyers looking for furniture that’s a cut above Ikea, but less serious than mom’s dining room table. Arhaus’s southern entrance, on Aliceanna Street, across from South Moon Under, lures shoppers with floor- to-ceiling windows and great-looking room displays.  Next thing you know you’re inside, whether you were really looking for a distressed oak daybed or not.


The shop floor is light and bright, with furniture and accessories on the fashion-forward side of Restoration Hardware. Comparisons between the two are inevitable: quality and pricing is similar, both stores tend toward large scale pieces in solid hardwoods. Both favor neutral-toned fabrics in linen, leather and tweed. Arhaus’ strength is in a brighter and more varied fabric selection (because, really, shades of grey is not decorating) with more one-of-a kind items and a more fun aesthetic.

On the day I was there, customers ranged from fashionable young women, one with decorator in tow, clearly on a buying mission, to couples dreamily putting together a wish list, and even a few wistful-looking single guys.  A pleasant and knowledgeable young man approached me immediately, letting me know about a weekend sale event, and guiding me towards the “statement” armchair I had spotted across the floor ($1,599 down from $2,199 with free fabric upgrade). He wandered off when I wanted to browse, but reappeared, with flawless timing, to answer questions.

arhaus:room2Prices here are not cheap, but not outrageous by any means. Sales and promotions are frequent and varied. There’s a plain linen sofa marked at $809, down from $2700. Beautifully framed butterfly prints at $159 each, down from $349 (would anyone buy them at $349? Probably not.) A giant bed is piled with throw pillows in an pretty assortment of fake fur, bright silks and soft flannels, marked down from the $150 range to the $39 range.Some interesting India patterned cotton lamp shades from $39-$59.

A line of architectural salvage pieces add character. Accessories make use of organic materials — glass, stone and wood. There are interior specialists who will come to your house with highly rated (according to Yelp) advice on choosing colors, styles and mixing new stuff in with the old. They had a number of complaints about delivery and post-sale problem solving, (Yelp again) but so do other interiors stores.

Creativity: B+ good for what it is – a high-end mall store

Service: A+ staff is enthusiastic, relaxed and very informed

Price: $$$  for the level of quality, it’s on the money

Best find: Turquoise painted bombay chest, $599



Pigtown Design Turns Eight!


I started this blog eight years ago this week. I had recently moved back from the UK and was so “homesick” for there that it physically hurt. I was working for my best college friend’s family firm, and his father would yell at me: You! With the dark hair!” and then a pencil would come whizzing my way, with me instead of the dart board. I was living in my parents empty house until I found a place to live and I’d just adopted Connor, the amazing Houdini dog. (Yes, that is Connor with his snout in my boot on our mudroom floor!)

I needed something stable in my life, and something to focus on, other than everything that was swirling around me. I had found Style Court and the Peak of Chic. From there I discovered other blogs, and decided to put some structure in my day by writing a blog. I had been writing for years, but it was mostly fundraising pieces, grant applications and public relations articles. Writing every day would keep me in practice until I returned to fundraising. Writing the blog would also give me a chance to hone my photography skills.2013-01-19_16-19-15_65

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


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

Pigtown Design: Looking at the Latest in Furniture Design at High Point


After a long drive, which went by very quickly by listening to “Christmas Bliss” by Mary Kay Andrews on CD, I arrived in High Point on a cloudless beautiful day. And then immediately started meeting people, seeing gorgeous furniture, visiting amazing showrooms and having a ball!

First up was Jonathan Charles and William Yeoward’s wonderful new collection, called “… Collection”. I have some of his crystal, and it is one of the most beautiful things I own, so I was excited to see his new goods. William Yeoward is charming and funny and so interesting to chat with!He’s taken old looks and given them a new twist – different woods and finishes, tweaking shapes and great accessories. Additionally, there were a lot of pieces of old china scattered around the showroom.Some of the pieces reflect his childhood in England, like this adorable fox that graces several pieces.

Pigtown Design: I’ll Take This


There are a lot of these “shingle cottages” in the area where I grew up in Baltimore, including the house where my family lived for 30 years.image

This house could just as easily be in Nantucket, or along the Northeast coast somewhere, as where it is in the middle of Baltimore City.imageWith it’s grey cedar shingles, white and dark grey accents, jutting rooflines and white picket fence, it’s a classic. The inside is filled with nooks and small rooms, as well as some rather bizarre colour combinations and a 1970’s kitchen. However, it all could be remedied with a few coats of paint. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Happy Birthday Linens & Lingerie!



Today Baltimore shop Linens & Lingerie turns 30! That’s a long time for a small shop tucked away in Ruxton to stay in business. (Although it’s no wonder; it is a local gem!) In honor of the occasion, we re-publish an “Insider” we posted on the store last November.  Congratulations to our friends at Linens & Lingerie. – The Eds.

Inside Baltimore’s Linens & Lingerie

Originally published November 9, 2012 –

Linens & Lingerie‘s straightforward name belies the stylish sophistication that awaits within: bespoke linen, pretty lingerie, smocked dresses for little girls, cashmere throws, monogrammed towels and more fill the shelves. This is no Bed, Bath and Beyond: the distinctive products promise decadent comfort not found in a strip mall chain.

The central source behind all the panache? One Baltimore family who has owned and operated the shop for nearly 30 years with a certain kind of Baltimore graciousness that mixes equal parts good manners and good taste. One can almost see the polished silver that will sit atop the hemmed-stitched table linens they sell and visualize the mahogany four-poster bed the monogrammed comforters will snugly embrace.

Southerner Elizabeth Franke first opened the store in 1983 after her husband died — she didn’t want to be a “lunch lady” her daughter says — and long after the kids had graduated from Gilman, Garrison and Bryn Mawr. She modeled the shop after Gattle’s in Palm Beach and Hannah’s, a fine linen store that used to be on Howard Street. Her daughter Blair has run the shop for nearly a decade, carrying on a genetic predisposition for refined elegance.

The special occasion table linens standout, ranging from beautiful white linen and damask for the holidays to colorful everyday washable cotton (napkins to go with, too, of course). There’s still time to order tablecloths for holiday dinners.

Thick and luxurious bath towels — the monogrammed ones are my favorite –and special order bed linens from lines like Matouk (including the chic Lulu DK line) add a personal touch.

Pigtown Design: Renewed Ladew Room Debuts


Ha! Try and say that fast three times! I was invited to Ladew Gardens, one of the most special places in our area, for the unveiling of a newly redecorated room in the manor house. For years, the house was decorated mainly in the fashion of the owner, Harvey Ladew, but there were always the tastes of the various house committees overlaid on the décor.

What started as a job to replace some pelmets and restore a cracking ceiling became a 10-month long project, spanning the globe and using the expertise of numerous craftspeople.Ladew 103In the image above, you can see a little bit of the room as it’s been decorated for the past 20+ years. What you can’t see is the huge and growing crack across the ceiling and the deep concern on the faces of the staff and board. In addition, there was a feeling that something wasn’t quite right about this drawing room, as it didn’t fit well with the rest of the house.

Everything was removed from the room and the plasterers were called in, only to find severe structural damage to the plasterwork and the ceiling. Once the pelmet was removed, the damage to it was clearly apparent.Moths, age and lots of cigarette smoke had taken their toll and the fabric was damaged and the stitchwork was tattered.The curtain tie-backs were not in much better condition.Trips to the Design Center in NYC were made, fabrics were sourced from Scalamandre and Chelsea Textiles, and an order was sent off to be hand-stitched in India.pelmetPaint colours were investigated, and it was discovered that the room was the palest celadon green rather than the yellow which it had been painted.

Pigtown Design: Shelter Pub “Refresh Magazine” Hits Shelves


When I was in High Point in April, Katie Denham from the Katie Did blog,and I were wandering around the CR Laine Showroom, when we ran into Holly Blalock, their design director, taking some other people on a tour of the showroom.Holly kindly included us in the tour, and we shortly found out that one of the other people was Lacey Howard,the editor of the new BHG special interest publication “Refresh”.

Lacey told us that the magazine would be coming out in late May, so when I saw it at the store, I grabbed it! The basic premise of the magazine is that to refresh your house you don’t have to start from scratch, you can use what you have, maybe in a different way, you can find inspiration from many sources, and budget items can have a huge impact.

Pigtown Design: Oh Darling!


One of the most gratifying and amazing things about writing this blog is the people whom I have met through it, not to mention some of the adventures I’ve had. One of those amazing things started almost a year ago, when I received an e-mail from a fellow blogger, telling me that he would be visiting Baltimore and that he’d like to get together.

So I threw a small party for him and his partner, and we all got along famously. We drank. We talked. We laughed. We ate. We drank, talked, laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a brilliant evening, just full of love and admiration. So now I am headed up his way this weekend, and the timing is quite fortuitous.

The house where I will be staying has just been published in Architectural Digest. And Boy, is it gorgeous!imageSimply incredibly gorgeous. I haunted the shops until the June issue of Architectural Digest arrived and then tore through it in the check-out line.