Tactile memories and layers of light in a Greenpoint apartment

When Victoria Mier and Trish Andersen first met at SCAD 15 years ago, they never knew their journeys would parallel for so long. Roommates on and off through their 11 years in NYC, the ladies spent time in a loft in Williamsburg with 2 other roommates and then several years apart before finding themselves together again in this Brooklyn apartment.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing these two for almost as long as they have known each other. There is an overwhelming sense of welcome and optimism from the moment you step foot into their home. Both were raised in the South and hospitality was one lesson they didn’t miss growing up. Their apartment is filled with items that represent a time or a place they have been and wish to remember. There is something special about having a tactile memory. Touching that cloth or seeing that image remind us, with a smile or a tear, of moments passed. They are both always moving forward, motivated and driven, but neither forgets to live in the moment.

Victoria works as a fashion designer in Manhattan. She takes a dress line from design all the way to fulfillment for a major fashion brand. In her off time Vic loves an adventure. She tries to get out of the city almost every weekend, spending time with friends at the beach, upstate or a town wide yard sale, she’s up for anything. She also does beautiful calligraphy for invitations, place cards or anything else that needs a hand lettered touch.

Trish is an installation artist, really she is a wearer of many hats, from designer to fabricator she does it all. Trish is very hands on and manages teams that create both large and small-scale wonders. Often creating huge pieces for large event venues, Trish likes to experiment with different materials and utilize them in ways others might never dream up. With a fibers background, Trish is always incorporating textiles and new techniques often taken from the world of fibers. If you look through her past projects there’s weaving, tufting, wrapping and shagging, amongst other things. Trish is a unique voice.  A little of both these women shine through in their home.

  Trish travels alot in her line of work and brings back treasures from all over the world. On this wall are two large prints she found in a French brocante (flea market) outside Lacoste last summer. The gallery style wall is filled with one conversation piece after another including a drawing by folk artist Howard Finster, that Trish acquired as a child while visiting “Paradise Garden,” his massive installation piece in Summerville, GA. Trish attributes much of who she is as an artist today to this life changing visit from her childhood

Trish travels alot in her line of work and brings back treasures from all over the world. On this wall are two large prints she found in a French brocante (flea market) outside Lacoste last summer. The gallery style wall is filled with one conversation piece after another including a drawing by folk artist Howard Finster, that Trish acquired as a child while visiting “Paradise Garden,” his massive installation piece in Summerville, GA. Trish attributes much of who she is as an artist today to this life changing visit from her childhood

  Living in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn keeps things both convenient and exciting. Trish’s studio is just a few blocks away and Victoria (seated on the left) has an easy commute into midtown. Most importantly many of their friends live right around the corner, they all get together frequently taking advantage of all the great bars and restaurants in the area.

Living in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn keeps things both convenient and exciting. Trish’s studio is just a few blocks away and Victoria (seated on the left) has an easy commute into midtown. Most importantly many of their friends live right around the corner, they all get together frequently taking advantage of all the great bars and restaurants in the area.

  This corner of the living room features marionettes from Java and a geisha from Japan. Trish recently created décor for an event in Tokyo and can’t wait to go back. Of course, what living room is complete without a giant black apple? Floor mats from    Domestic Construction   , a company Trish helped found, ground the space. Though no longer a part of the company, her patterns adorn both her space and homes around the world.

This corner of the living room features marionettes from Java and a geisha from Japan. Trish recently created décor for an event in Tokyo and can’t wait to go back. Of course, what living room is complete without a giant black apple? Floor mats from Domestic Construction, a company Trish helped found, ground the space. Though no longer a part of the company, her patterns adorn both her space and homes around the world.

  Plants are a huge part of the girls’ space. This wall installation of textile collage and living plants makes an incredible focal point in the space. Herman Miller chairs provide a neutral base for an afghan and a crazy quilt, both vintage and colorful. A large statement lamp brings a modern touch to the wall.    

Plants are a huge part of the girls’ space. This wall installation of textile collage and living plants makes an incredible focal point in the space. Herman Miller chairs provide a neutral base for an afghan and a crazy quilt, both vintage and colorful. A large statement lamp brings a modern touch to the wall.

 

  Victoria added some interest to a group of built in shelves in her bedroom. She brought pattern and color through wallpaper and keepsakes. Victoria believes in positive thinking, and loves a good mantra. She adds handwritten and found phrases like “we do not remember days, we remember moments,” and “strive for progress not perfection”.

Victoria added some interest to a group of built in shelves in her bedroom. She brought pattern and color through wallpaper and keepsakes. Victoria believes in positive thinking, and loves a good mantra. She adds handwritten and found phrases like “we do not remember days, we remember moments,” and “strive for progress not perfection”.

  Bright colors make this bathroom just as cheerful as the rest of the house. Patterned foliage wallpaper emphasizes the deep love for plants, clearly, a theme throughout the apartment.

Bright colors make this bathroom just as cheerful as the rest of the house. Patterned foliage wallpaper emphasizes the deep love for plants, clearly, a theme throughout the apartment.

  Black and white stripes line the main hallway of the apartment. This little moment outside the bathroom brings us a phrase that epitomizes the mentality of two Southern raised girls making their home in Brooklyn.

Black and white stripes line the main hallway of the apartment. This little moment outside the bathroom brings us a phrase that epitomizes the mentality of two Southern raised girls making their home in Brooklyn.

  In contrast to the rest of the house Trish’s bedroom is filled with muted colors. It has a relaxing vibe and is the perfect place to end a long day. She attached lace yardage to the ceiling, and created a geometric accent wall with string, paint and wallpaper pieces.

In contrast to the rest of the house Trish’s bedroom is filled with muted colors. It has a relaxing vibe and is the perfect place to end a long day. She attached lace yardage to the ceiling, and created a geometric accent wall with string, paint and wallpaper pieces.

  The girls call this the chill room. The whole room is draped in a vintage olive green parachute centered in the ceiling. It’s layered with additional textiles, making it a cozy place to hang with friends.

The girls call this the chill room. The whole room is draped in a vintage olive green parachute centered in the ceiling. It’s layered with additional textiles, making it a cozy place to hang with friends.

  Trish loves to play with scale. The oversized tassels make a big statement in a small space and vintage textiles add color to an otherwise neutral room. A palette of red and white bring all the elements together.

Trish loves to play with scale. The oversized tassels make a big statement in a small space and vintage textiles add color to an otherwise neutral room. A palette of red and white bring all the elements together.

Greenpoint Brooklyn Apartment home tour Trish Andersen // Found by a Prop Stylist // Photos: Courtney Dawley
Greenpoint Brooklyn Apartment home tour Trish Andersen // Found by a Prop Stylist // Photos: Courtney Dawley

Credits: All photos by Courtney Dawley, Styling by Trish Andersen and Courtney Dawley Calligraphy by Victoria Mier

 

 

Vintage Chenille the history

Recently I was at my friend Trish's , styling and shooting her apartment for a house tour. I brought along a vintage Chenille bedspread in case we needed some prop linens. Trish is from Georgia originally, in an area I had always known for their huge part in USA manufactured carpeting. We got to talking and she gave me a glimpse into the history of chenille and carpeting in the Dalton, GA area, and it made me want to dig deeper. 

So let's start with chenille. What is it? In French, chenille means caterpillar, and the material was named this because it "resembles the fur of a caterpillar." It is said to have begun in France in the 18th century as a yarn. They made it by taking a gauzy fabric, cutting it into strips and then creating the yarn. In the 1830's Scotland developed a chenille of their own. The Paisley fabric mill's foreman created a fuzzy weave of fabric from which to make shawls. They wove tufts of wool together into a large piece and then cut it into shawl sized strips. Finally we come to Dalton and Catherine Evans, who took sheets of cotton and added tufting to create bedspreads. The designs were popular both locally and regionally. While the bedspreads were not chenille in the traditional sense of the word, the terminology stuck and the chenille of the South was born!

By the 1920's Northwestern Georgia was sending bedspreads to department stores in major cities all along the East coast. In order to meet demands, artisans all around the area in the South received deliveries of the cotton sheeting, marked with patterns. They would then tuft and the finished pieces would be picked up from them for distribution. It was a handcrafted collaborative market, where mainly women worked from their homes to fulfill a need. This industry helped keep many afloat during the great depression.

By the 1930's route 41 had become a popular path for tourists heading to Florida. Dalton's tufters lined the side of the highway with clotheslines adorned with the popular chenille bedspreads. One of the most famous patterns of the time was the peacock, giving route 41 it's nickname of "Peacock Alley". Continuing into the 1940's now in the form of corporations, including "Cabin Crafts" Northwestern Georgians began to experiment with small throw rugs for the bathroom using the same tufting technique. This eventually led to huge sheets of carpet, what we now know as wall to wall carpeting. By the 1960's carpet manufacturing well surpassed bedspreads in Dalton, but it's amazing to think about where this booming industry began. 

Chenille  can be found in many patterns and colors. I am partial to the poka dots and more graphic patterns, but I love a good floral as well. Recently I have been developing my deep love for chenille into a new product line. Stay tuned for updates on that. Can't wait to share it with the world!!

 

Resources

Patton, Randall L. "Chenille Bedspreads." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 19 August 2013. Web. 17 June 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenille_fabric

Photo: Courtney Dawley

Found by a Prop Stylist's mom

My friends and family know one of the main reasons I do what I do is because of my mother. But I thought with the upcoming holiday, honoring the women who mold us into who we are and will become, I should share a little with you. 

I grew up being dragged from antique store to antique store all over New England. I walked the fields of Brimfield several times before I was 10, and became VERY familiar with the phrase, "look but don't touch". I also learned what it means to haggle, what a reproduction looks like vs a genuine antique, and how to find a treasure in a box of junk. 

In addition to dealing in antiques, my mom was a master crafter. Any creative event, whether it be a haunted house or the holiday gift fair, my mom was involved from planning through to the end. Is it any wonder, that I too should be involved in events, visual merchandising, antiques and making? I remember sitting on our 3 seasons porch in Massachusetts painting rocks and birdhouses along side her. No surprise they had a floral motif, have I mentioned I love plants?

As I grew older I began to draw, first I tried to replicate Disney characters from my favorite movies, then I moved on to flowers and things I found in nature. She always encouraged me and offered me anything i needed to help the process along. When I got into photography she provided me with cameras and lenses and eventually an enlarger to create my own darkroom, should the need arise. Both she and my father were incredibly supportive of me in art school when I tried a bit of this and a bit of that before finalizing my major and graduating with a BFA in the amount of time many would earn their masters.

I think I learned the jack of all trades mentality from her as well. But take this with a different meaning, as jack of all trades but master of none, never applied to my mother or to myself. While neither of us specialized in our artistic ventures, we both take great joy in learning and mastering many techniques and skills. I lost my mother in 2012. But in some ways I lost her 8 years earlier when a complication from an accident left her with significant brain damage. She seemed outwardly to be unscathed if you didn't know her. She was still charming as ever and social as was her nature. But, to those who knew and loved her, she had lost a part of herself. She used to be the person to get it done, whatever it may have been, but after the accident her focus and determination was different. There were also short term memory problems, similar to what you might see in a person with alzheimer's. All that being said we were grateful for every day of our "bonus time" as dad liked to call it.

Sadly my mother is not here with me to revel in the beauty that is a career based around making people smile. All of the things both she did and I continue to gravitate towards are life enriching. Can you survive without a beautiful enamel tea kettle? Certainly. But, what is it about design and art that makes our lives feel more full? I cannot answer that question, and likely neither could she, but we both knew it to be a truth, one I am passionately driven to share with others. 

Today take a moment and think about your own mother. How did she make you who you are today? If you can, give her a call and let her know. 

The picture below was found by my mom. She had it for sale in her antique booth 10 years ago and now you can find it for sale in mine. She had a knack for finding intriguing pieces, and this is certainly one of them.

Here's a good one of the whole family on a trip we took to the Olympic Peninsula while I was living out in Seattle. And amazingly while she was in Africa with my dad she found a shop she could really relate to, it kind of describes her mentality (and the one she passed on to me) related to shopping ha ha!

A little floral inspiration.

Doors, Doors, Doors...

If you follow my instagram feed, you know I love doors. I recently visited Portugal with a brief stopover in Spain and the doors were fabulous! Not only the doors, also the plant life, pastries, hospitality and the architecture overall. But, this post is dedicated to doors. These need no description. I will let them speak for themselves.

On my next trip to Portugal I want to spend an entire day (or 2??) in Sintra. It sits perched atop a mountain with a palace at the very top. The town climbs the hillside up winding roads amidst a magical forest. I want to walk the streets and photograph all the fabulous doors! It was raining the day we went to see the palace, next time I will make sure the sun is shining and I have ample time to explore. Stay tuned for more posts from my recent trip to Portugal.

Marimekko x Target

It's happened! It launched today, a collaboration between two of my favorites, Target and Marimekko. Now, you know I had scoped out the goodies ahead of time, because they offered a sneak peak on the site. I have been salivating over a fabulous umbrella for my backyard for days and with the line becoming available today, I ordered it this morning!

Now, this was not the only item I wanted... But we have to make choices and so instead of buying everything I loved I decided to put together a little post of my picks. And if someone happens to see this, who is in the market to buy me a gift, this would be a great guide for that as well! Ha ha, seriously.

I was very happy to see that both the Kaivo and Koppelo prints made it into the collection. It's great to Marimekko bring their designs to a more affordable venue. I always love their collaborations with Crate & Barrel, but hopefully this will bring their design sense to even more homes across the country! You can check out the full collection including clothes, bags and of course products for home here.

Cathrineholm

I fell in love with Cathrineholm the first time I saw it. With it's bright colors and graphic patterns it's a great representation of Scandinavian design.  Based in Norway the iconic brand began production at the beginning of the 20th century and closed it's doors in 1970. Grete Pritz Kittlesen is the designer responsible for designing the shapes and colors for the enamelware line. The most frequently seen, and most recognizable pattern, lotus is attributed to Arne Clausen. It comes in a variety of colors complimented with white. Kittlesen is said to have disliked the lotus pattern stating she preferred the plates and bowls in a single color, which highlighted the shapes. I think the popularity of the lotus pattern speaks otherwise, but I do love a bright pop of color all on it's own as well!

The flag pattern is another of my personal favorites. It is less often seen, but just as graphic and beautiful. This pattern has a periwinkle color which I really love. Below is an example of it in orange, repurposed as a hanging planter. Also below is a picture of the zebra stripe pattern in blue repurposed as well.

Cathrineholm has solid colored enamel pieces as well as pieces that are enameled on the outside and metal on the interior.They also have a more organic pattern called Saturn, here's an example in a lovely turquoise and black color combo.

There are other patterns out there, including snowflakes, a white background with a thick white stripe and an interior that matches the color of the stripe, and a great navy blue decorative pattern on a light blue background.  Be careful, once you are bit by the Cathrineholm collecting bug it's hard to shake it. Before you know it you'll be swimming in bowls... but I like it that way!