Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tomorrow is the autumnal equinox, so it's time to start posting lots of seasonal photos. I'm starting off with some great images from a local shop, La Belle Maison. It's a gift and home decor shop in town and I was over the moon when it first opened about a year and a half ago. (Or so, I can't remember.) We have some other nice gift shops in town, but they tend towards "mountain cabin" look which thrills my mom. I think bears and pine cones and plaids are nice too, but in someone else's home. I love the whole Tuscany, European shabby chic, and dark color palettes that La Belle Maison specializes in. And it doesn't hurt that I've also come to adore the owners, a mother/daughter team who's grandson/son plays football with William, so whenever I stop in, we usually end up chatting about football, raising kids, tea, chocolate, paint palettes. Y'know, all the important things in life.

So, anyway, I stopped in there the other day as they had a board outside announcing new autumn merchandise. I was totally blown away by the big Halloween display in the middle of the main room. (Did I mention they also do display and decorating consulting?) I asked if I could take some photos to show all my blogging buddies such a great design. Those of you who are doing the Sweet and Sinister Swap in particular will appreciate the new take on the black and white theme.

My one disappointment, the photos I took aren't as clear as I'd expected them to turn out. You can double click on them to enlarge them and see more detail though. Here is a wide view of the Halloween "table". I loved how she used so much simple, every day decor items to create a haunting, sophisticated, and adult take on Halloween. And instead of just black and white, she added browns, which warmed it up without brightening it up and losing the "gothic" mood.

Here's another look, slightly closer. My favorite part of the whole thing is the large urn with the branches full of crows. I think I need to buy some of those branches.

She used black and white foods in these great glass jars. Black licorice and popcorn - Popcorn! What a great idea! Don't you just love those pumpkin tops!?

More jars from a different angle, all in black. In another part of the store she also had jars with decorative orange tops with orange wrapped candies inside them.

This wasn't actually a Halloween display, but I thought it looked pretty "in the mood" as well, with the black chandelier and (I think you can see the detail if you click) those "rotten eggs" in the jars. I have some of those tucked into my china cabinet. Good idea, I'll have to drag them out to use in my Halloween decorating. If you added a few candles or crows or other seasonal pieces, this table vignette is already 80% there.

Let me show off a bit more of the store. Oh, look, there's Lora in the background. She didn't want to be in any of the photos. Oh well, too late. She always sets the table in the middle room (the store is in an old home) with the most wonderful settings. She had one in brown and aqua this summer, this is a new one.

More gorgeous autumn color in the first room. I wish you could see how rich those oranges and rusts are in person. I love this color scheme all year round but of course it's in it's glory during the autumn season. The only places where you'll find a change of palette is through that middle door, where the store displays beautiful gifts and decorations for babies and boudoir. And through the door on the left, which leads into a bathroom, filled of course with soups, towels, lotions, and all manner of pampering lushness to buy for yourself or for a friend.

One more photo, from the small kitchen. Here's a display full of teas, oils, kitchen towels, and more. I really love that bright orangey gold tin Welcome sign. It's new and I'm tempted to go back after the first and make it mine.

I hope you enjoyed this little cyber window shopping. If you fell in love with anything in any of the photos, just e-mail or call up the shop. Lora said she'd be happy to ship to you.

La Belle Maison

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