french frippery.

don't forget that you can find fanciful French treasures hidden in plain view at Mignonne!

of course, our usual abundance of revamped furniture is always on hand ... but we also pride ourselves in discovering all sorts of unique items, vintage and artisanal, to satisfy your d├ęcor or gift needs ... whether it is an unusual collection of french ashtrays (which can be used for a multitude of things besides ashes!) ... pretty pastis decanters, tiny digestif glasses, delicate decanters ... we have an ever-changing selection for you.

And we have beautiful new items such as body products, soaps and the like for those pampering moments we all enjoy.

come check out what's in store today!

Old Growth Forests

In 2003, a writer by the name of Kara Gebhart Uhl wrote an informative article about old growth forests. See In the article she talks about America’s historical usage of wood and the deforestation that occurred, especially at the end of the 19th century. She talks about old growth wood and ancient forests within the United States. She also talks about the value of using reclaimed wood, from old buildings and barns, and where to purchase it. A very informative article.

Kara Gebhart Uhl is no novice when it comes to knowledge of wood and wood working. She has done many articles for Woodworking Magazine and Popular Woodworking. She obviously knows the difference between a spokeshave and a skew chisel. She also knows the importance of preserving our natural forest heritage. Read the article and tell me what you think. a Google image search for “old growth forest”. You’ll discover some amazing pictures.

Square Foot Gardening

(Images from

This year I am hoping to have a successful vegetable garden. During the past I have tried every year to do some gardening, but have only grown a handful of fresh vegetables. In researching different gardening methods I have decided to try square foot gardening.

Square foot gardening was popularized by Mel Bartholemew; it is a very efficient way to create an organic vegetable garden. In the modest space of 64 sq ft (2 – 4’ x 4’ beds) you can grow enough fresh produce to feed a family of four.

Important Elements to a Square Foot Garden

· Create raised beds that are between two and four feet in width (possible combinations include: 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 2 x 6, 4 x4…). These dimensions allow the garden the entire bed at arms reach. When you walk on the soil it becomes compacted causing distress to the plant roots.

· The garden beds should receive full sunlight from 6-8 hours each day, and should be located in an area of well-drained soil.

· Soil preparation should include a mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost. This is a lightweight soil that will maintain appropriate amounts of water and provide adequate minerals for growing plants.

· Create a grid system by dividing the garden in one-foot squares. The grid system will allow you to easily remove plants at the end of the harvest cycle and replace with additional plants. This system will also help eliminate wasteful planting.

· Plants should be planted with consideration of their final growth size and habits. Plants that grow on vines such as squash, watermelons, beans, peas, and tomatoes should be trained to grow on a trellis.

· A plant spacing guide can be found at “My Square Foot Garden” (

Other Square Foot Garden Sites







· gardening

Mothers Who Know

Cassatt, Mary - Young Mother Sewing
(Image entitled "Young Mother Sewing" by Mary Cassatt)

In October 2007, I listened to a talk by Julie B. Beck entitled, Mothers Who Know, which had a significant influence on my life. She taught how the world needs more women who recognize and fulfill their divine roles. I feel strongly that her words are true. As I listened to her speak, my heart was filled with hope as I saw more clearly that the path I am on is exactly where I need to be. This knowledge gave me the confidence to move forward in cultivating talents that will improve my abilities as a woman, wife, mother and homemaker. I know that as a I become a "Mother Who Knows" I will draw closer to the Savior and will be filled with the eternal joy given to all who follow Him.

The excerpts below are taken directly from that address:

* "The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know..."

* "There is eternal influence and power in motherhood."

* "Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness. To nurture means to cultivate, care for and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes."

* "Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, [we] should be the best homemakers in the world."

* "Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a 'house of order'... Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work."

* "Wise mothers... are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most."

* "Mothers who know are always teachers."

* "Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distractions, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's good in order to spend more time with their children - more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world... That is influence; that is power."


What can I say about Kelly Wearstler's style? 
Detailed, Inspiring, Glamour, Color, Crisp, Rich, Bright, Textured, Clean, Eye Candy, Unexpected, Beautiful!

Below is one of my favorite photos from Kelly's book: Modern Glamour. Why do I love this photo so much? The composition and the mixture of styles. It captures my attention and makes me want to sing! All I know is that Kelly gets it!!  This display features a cabriole legged console with carved benches in a new finish. It is enhanced by a sculptured lamp and unique accessories, all topped by a mid century collaged oil painting.
MMMmmm good!

Book Review: FLIP! For Decorating

Elizabeth Mayhew has written a wonderful book about decorating, especially for the novice. This book has a page by page guide to transforming a room from the bare bones. Here is an overview into this wonderful book!

Chapter 1 - Fundamentals of color - Elizabeth also lists her favorite color choices.

Chapter 2 - Window Treatments - This chapter focuses on how to choose window shades and drapes with great tips on the subject.

Chapter 3 - 6: These chapters focus on the four most decorated rooms - the living room, family room, dining room and the bedroom. It will show you the progression of the room, step by step.

A great little book of ideas, tips and information that will make you Flip!  See a few of our favorite photos below from the book.

Starting from scratch!
Adding the important pieces!

The finished room!

Principle of Design #1 - Balance, Scale and Mass

I love learning about the "secrets" to design... so I thought I would do a series on the Elements and Principles of Design.

Principle #1 - Balance, Scale and Mass
(Image from

Balance and scale are used to create mass, or visual weight, in design. When a visual equilibrium is met the room will feel composed and completed. Careful consideration should be given to the placement of objects throughout the space. For example, if one side of a room contains several dark, heavy or large pieces the room will often feel off-balanced.

You can create balance in a room with symmetrical (mirror image) placement of objects from a central point. Typically, symmetrical balance will create a more formal feel.

(Image from

Balance can also be achieved asymmetrically by placing varied objects around a central point. Often asymmetrical balance will create a more informal or casual feel in a room.
(Images from Country Living, A Kitchen Full of Color)

A third way to create balance is through radial placement. Objects are placed in a circle around a the center point of the design.
(Image from House Beautiful, "Dark Dining Room")

Some helpful points for achieving this visual equilibrium are:
* The visual weight is more important than the actual dimensions or size of an object...

* It is important to factor architectural elements - such as a fireplace or large window - into the "balance equation"...

* Massing furniture or objects together can create a heavier visual impact. For example, a sofa may be balanced with two smaller chairs...

* You can balance a little piece with a bigger piece by placing the large object closer to the central axis and the small object further away...

* Lighting can effect arrangement as it will create a visual impact of its own...

* Achieving balance is intuitive...

"The desire for symmetry, for balance, for rhythm is one of the most inveterate of human instincts."
--Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr. (The Decoration of Houses)

Cleaning Products

Routine households cleaners need to be able to create a clean, fresh and sanitary environment, but it should not pose health risks to the family or the environment. This balance can be achieved by using very common household items that have proven their effective cleaning abilities throughout the years.

Some of these more vintage cleaners may require more time and energy to help maintain the home, simply because they are not as corrosive as their more modern counterparts. The intense level of toxic material that are found in many modern cleaning agents can actually cause harm to the environment, the health of our family and be destroying the surfaces which you are trying to maintain.

We should always begin cleaning with the most mild cleaner and slowly work towards more abrasive and toxic cleaners. By maintaining a regular cleaning routine these products will be very easy and effective.

Some simple and financially wise cleaners that can be used routinely in the home are listed below:

1. General All-Purpose Degreaser: For cleaning simple spills and greasy fingerprints around the home, simply combine 2 cups of warm water with 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Simply spray the area allow a minute or two for the dishwashing liquid to penetrate the surface and wipe with a clean damp cloth. This will be safe on countertops, wood and stone surfaces. (PH Level is neutral 6.5-7)

2. Bathroom, Kitchen Sink and Oven Cleaner: A gentle, yet effective cleaner that will remove stains without scratching surfaces is a paste mixture of 3 parts water to 1 part baking soda. To add additional cleaner power substitute water with dishwashing liquid, mixed with baking soda until you have created a think paste. For more stubborn stains a touch (pea size amount) of toothpaste can be added for extra whitening power. (PH Level will be somewhere between 7-9)

3. Soap Scum and Mineral Deposit Remover: Simply soak a rag in either vinegar or lemon juice. Cover area with the rag for a few hours. Wipe and rinse excess. (PH Level will be near 3)

4. Window Cleaner: 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. (PH Level will be near 3)

5. Hardwood Floor Cleaner: 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. (PH Level will be near 3)

Alkaline household cleaners (PH 7-14) are best for cutting through grease, oil, fats, proteins and other common household dirt.

Acidic household cleaners (PH 0-7) are best for cleaning areas that will have calcium build up and rust (typically areas that have high levels of water use... bathrooms and kitchen sink).

The more neutral the product the easier it will be on our bodies and our environment.

** PH Levels for Common Household Cleaners
Chlorine Bleach 13
Ammonia 12
Oven Cleaner (Containing Lye) 12
Tub and Tile Cleaner 12
Borax 10
Baking Soda 9
Dishwashing Detergent 6.5-9
Vinegar and Lemon Juice 3
Toilet Bowl Cleaner 3

Furniture for Sale...

Beautiful Vintage Solid Wood Desk - $95.00 ** SOLD **
(Dimensions 60"L x 38"D)

Cottage Table - $60.00
(Dimensions 48"L x 29"D)

Farmhouse Table - $90.00
(Dimensions 50"L x 40"D)

Farmhouse Table

I have wanted to learn how to refinish furniture for a very long time. So I finally jumped in to my first project... a Farmhouse Style Table. I must admit... I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I sanded down the previous scratched varnish. Applied primer and a beautiful off-white latex paint. Then I distressed the edges and finished with several layers of polyurethane.



I have linked this post up with:

Kimba's DIY Party over at A Soft Place to Land.
Post image for DIY Day with Lisa Leonard Designs

Miss Mustard Seed Workshop Series... This has a fantastic tutorial with it.

Posted with Remodelaholic's Anonymous Meeting 8...

Designer's Best! A Great Store To Visit In Atlanta

PIECES was founded in 2004 in Atlanta to bridge the gap between high end antiques and mass produced items. It is available to interior designers, stylists and to the regular consumer too. Their wonderful store in Buckhead is a designer favorite that inspires us to see furniture and accessories in a different way. They have been featured in many publications and continue to bring new and exciting items to the Atlanta market. See one of our favorites below:

The "Midnight Upside Down Vase" - High fired stoneware with a matte metallic finish. 24" high x 15" wide.

Visitation: 10:00 - 6:00 M-F; 10:00 - 5:00 on Sat.
                3234-A Roswell Road, NW
                Atlanta, Ga. 30305

Robert Allen Design: FIVE TOP Textile TRENDS for 2010!

Below we reveal the top textile trends for 2010 from the experts at Robert Allen. We are also showing you some examples of each trend using the great fabrics from Robert Allen & Beacon Hill. Enjoy!

1) NATURAL - Natural fabrics such as cotton and linens are loved because of their softness and relaxed look. These fabrics can be luxurious even though we think of them as casual. The natural fibers are enhanced with richer colors and greater durability when a polyester blend is added.
Examples:  Damask Linen - A beautiful linen damask with added rayon for durability that is perfect for draperies too. Shown in Bronze Leaf and Watermelon. Eleven beautiful colorways available from Beacon Hill.


2) COLOR  A wider palette of colors that are used together such as blues, grays, creams and whites. Clean and soft colors with a relaxed feel. Also a return to brighter shades such as leaf green or turquoise will all become important hues on textiles.
Examples: Fall Flowers - A 100% cotton fabric shown in Wicker, no other colors available. Shown with a companion trim, Rustica Lattice, a leather look in polyurethane and cotton. Shown in Sepia, also available in Java.


3) NOT SO TRADITIONAL - A more modern spin on the traditional look but with simple patterns. Adding youth to more traditional fabrics with more graphics seems to be a big trend. Luxury fabrics will become more durable in the performance area.
Examples: Willow Breeze - A faux silk embroidered fabric shown on a poly/rayon blend, only $26.00 retail. Shown in Toffee & Jungle. Four colorways available.
Below are luxury fabric examples: Velvet Circle in Plum on 100% silk with a more modern motif. Four colorways available. Sheer Hoops - A silk sheer with modern embroidered graphic. Shown in Spring, also available in Butter.

4) ECO-GREEN - There are entire lines of fabrics now that are eco-friendly in content and the way they are produced. Fabrics with bamboo, organic cottons and recycled materials are attracting more customers.
Examples: Two fabrics made from 100% organic cotton - Park View in Surf, a modern botanical that comes in three colorways. Glockenspiel in Surf, a modern stripe that comes in two colorways.

5) ETHNIC APPEAL  - Ethnic designs have been strong in the fashion world and are now being used on many different levels in the home. They add pattern, color and history to your space. They have been reinterpreted using different fibers with a softer hand suitable for today's homes.
Examples:  A trio of acrylic chenilles with raised patterns in a cotton/viscose blend. These three patterns come in three different colorways for a great coordinated look. Part of the Robert Allen Home collection, a group of fabrics at a more competitive price point. All three are shown in the Burnt Orange colorway. Left to right:  Bjork, Bornholm & Karlsburg.


All fabrics are from Robert Allen and can be purchased through your designer or The Designer Insider.

Lillian August: My Top Ten Favorites From The Lillian August Brands!

Lillian August is a unique designer of interiors, furniture, textiles, lighting and above all, an artist and a painter! Her collections reflect the desires and needs of her clients while fulfilling a sophisticated and cosmopolitan vision. When purchasing a Lillian August product, you will receive top quality, individualistic style and her vision brought to life. She oversees and designs all of the licensed designs for the Lillian August brand.  Below we are showing you some of the beautiful pieces in her lighting collection as well as her fabric collection through Fabricut. You may see more of the Lillian August products at our website, The Designer Insider.

From the top: C09044, C09050, C06471, C09036, C06392, C09031. All of these Lillian August lights can be purchased from our website The Designer Insider.

Fabrics below are from Fabricut and can be purchased through The Designer Insider. Just contact us.

3475903 - Bramley - A rayon and polyester blend damask, shown here in Mist. Three other colors available: Caviar, Nutella & Pomegranate.

3476603 - Foulard - A rayon and polyester blend, shown here in Seafoam. Four other colors available: Cinnamon, Frappe, Moss & Redwood.
3526803 - Tea Ceremony - A rayon, cotton and polyester blend, shown here in Meadowbrook. Three other colors available: Brown Patina, Garden & Heather Rose.
3484602 - Glendon Stripe - A viscose, polyester and linen blend used in this velvet stripe, shown here in Horizon. Two other colors available: Primavera & Teak.

Pillow Talk...

I loved The Nester's idea to use a regular size pillow in a sham on your couch. What a cozy idea...

Over at the Houzz Ideabook, Layla from The Lettered Cottage, has some great ideas for using pillows in your designs...

Family Room Designs - Decorating Ideas for Family Rooms - House Beautiful

If you want some beautiful, unique pillows you can find so many on Etsy. Rocky Bella did a great post on some truly amazing pillows...

parisian inspiration ...

Strolling through a design quartier in Paris ... spotted this amazing window spiraling many possibilities spring to mind when viewing it ... the soft shades of grey for a chest ... the design of the iron glass frames worked on to a pillow ... the reflective glint of the light and murky shadows beyond produce a mirrored quality (how could that be replicated in design?)

le sigh ............ !!!

Interior Design 101: Details Make The Difference!

As you look through many beautiful photos in design magazines or online, you have to delve deeper into the photo to see what an interior designer might see. Eventhough you may not like the design of a particular room, it is the overall composition that becomes important in the photo. The details that surround the main subjects like a sofa or rug, really become the focal point and makes the room truly what it should be. So look beyond the design style and place your main focus on the details. Our motto is "Details make the difference" and they do! Below are a few rooms with wonderful details for you to ponder over. Photos are courtesy of one of our favorite shops, Webb Marsteller in Atlanta.






Webb Marsteller - 425 Peachtree Hills Avenue, Suite 6, Atlanta, Georgia
To The Trade

Roll Top Desks at DutchCrafters

DutchCrafters offers solid wood roll top desks - a treasure in craftsmanship and tradition.

Each roll top desk in the Holmes Office Collection is handcrafted of solid wood. Available hardwoods include Oak (Standard), Cherry, Walnut, Hickory, Hard Maple and Quarter Sawn Oak. Each piece of wood is carefully selected for its strength and uniformity in grain.

Once the roll top desk is complete, it is handsomely finished with OCS stain. We will provide you with stain samples to choose from once you order your roll top desk.

Some customization is available on the roll top desks in our Holmes Office Collection. Let us know what unique features you would like, and we'll do our very best to accommodate them. Options such as raised panels, black accents, keyboard drawers, pencil holders and special configurations allow for individuality in each roll top desk. Don't hesitate to call us at 866-272-6773 to discuss customization and special options.

Each roll top desk includes the very highest quality hardware, including locks, lights and drawer slides. Wooden drawer pulls are handcrafted. Lights are 35 - 45 watts.

All our roll top desks feature raised panel sides for an elegant, sophisticated look. The raised panels are free-floating to allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the hardwood. The standard back on each roll top desk is plain, made of ¾" plywood, stained and finished. Raised panels and solid wood can be added to the back for an additional charge.

Our roll top desks feature dovetailed drawers with full extension drawer slides. The drawer boxes are made from solid wood and glued at the dovetails for long-lasting strength. The drawers hold letter-size paper. Dividers can be added to drawers to help keep things organized, and locks can be added to keep the contents of your roll top desk secure.

The carpentry on these roll top desks is second to none. One unique feature in our roll top desks is that the tambours are carefully crafted from a single piece of hardwood.

The furniture in our Holmes Office Collection is handcrafted by a father and his sons. They have been building office furniture for decades and specialize in the roll top desk. While this is not our largest collection by any means, every single customer who has purchased one of our roll top desks from this collection has been delighted with the end product. You will be too!

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