PRESS RELEASE: Paul Gruhler at the governor's office

Release: Immediate

Date: March 25, 2010

Contact: Tracy Martin, Assistant State Curator

802 828-0749

New works by Paul Gruhler

at the Governor’s Office for April and May

A show of new works by Paul Gruhler will be on display at the Governor’s Office on the fifth floor of the Pavilion Office Building in Montpelier from April 2 through May 27.

A self-taught artist, Paul Gruhler grew up in New York City where he remembers being impressed by tall buildings and the “orderly grid of streets and avenues.” The ancient and contemporary art of cultures that he encountered in later travels to Mexico, South America, the Far East and Europe also came to influence his work. While Gruhler is quick to acknowledge the importance of encouragement he received from artist friends such as sculptor Michael Lekakis, painter Harold Weston and the colorist painter Herb Aach, he clearly made is own way with a strikingly distinct abstract vision.

Gruhler describes his work as exploring “vertical and horizontal relationships in space, the harmony and tension within color, line and form.” In many of his pieces planes of color seem actually to advance or recede in space, while lines bisecting those planes appear to vibrate in place. Gruhler’s exuberant use of color, coupled with deceptively straightforward compositions, result in works that fairly radiate energy.

Paintings by Paul Gruhler were first shown in 1965 at the DeMena Gallery in New York City. In subsequent years his work was shown in Mexico, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and throughout the United States. Since moving to Vermont, he has exhibited at the Vermont Supreme Court, the McCarthy Arts Center at Saint Michael’s College, and at the 215 College Gallery in Burlington. Paul Gruhler lives and paints in Craftsbury Common, Vermont.

The public is invited to a reception at the Governor's Office in honor of the artist on Wednesday, April 7th, from 3 to 5 PM.

Black Is Back! New Products in Black

Black is back! Why is black so essential to our decor? Because just about any color on the palette goes with black. Using small amounts of black or even just one wall, balances a room and makes the overall look stunning. Black is showing up in just about all of our design elements including the ones we are showing below. The next time you shop for home decor, look around and see what you can find that is black!

Kohler's new matte black faucet with a modern appeal. Looks especially great with stainless steel. Style K-6127-4. Several styles available.

Ann Sacks Tile:

Bali tile in Sumatra Black. Available in pebbles for vertical surfaces and flooring too. A crisp line at an excellent value. Style AS9479.

Our all black crystal chandelier in a petite size of 13" round x 21" high. All wrought iron frame covered in black crystal beads and enhanced with hanging black crystals. Item #C09062 at The Designer Insider.

Sherwin-Williams features color-to-go samples! Below are their matte black choices:

    * SW 6258 Tricorn Black                                 
    * SW 6991 Black Magic
    * SW 6993 Black of Night
    * SW 2936 Black Emerald

Where Do You See Our Products? Designer Rooms Like These!

This beautiful room features our chandelier C09334, the small French Mansion Chandelier. Even though we call this small, this chandelier is still 41" round x 29" high to bottom of chain. This makes it large enough for most dining rooms and tables. All hand carved wood mixed with wrought iron arms and a distressed dark gold finish. This room was designed by Sara Scaglione in an Austin home. The chandelier perfectly enhances this neutral room and gives it the extra design element needed. Photo courtesy of House Beautiful magazine. Feel free to contact us about these products.

Our other lighting that matches this chandelier are below:

C09314 - The largest of this group at 60" wide x 54" high, holds twelve candles on two tiers.

C09324 - The medium size of this group is 48" round x 44" high and holds 9 candles on two tiers.

C05325 - The wall sconce is sold as a single and has two lights at 22" wide x 29" high.

Kravet: Great Finds in the Atlanta Showroom!

I visited the Kravet showroom in Atlanta this past week to choose a rug for one of my clients. I found the perfect one! The Kravet showroom is full of ideas and wonderful items for any style home. See below some of my finds!

This photo features a beautiful Oushak carpet that comes in different sizes and colors. Pictured above is the Chestnut color that I am purchasing for my client. A deep chocolate brown with subtle golds and creams are enhanced by a light and dark turquoise. Yummy! This carpet is hand knotted in 100% wool from India. Also comes in Brick, Light Gold and Light Blue.

Oh no, more great geometrics! This wonderful linen fabric is from the Windsor Smith collection. A washed and softened linen for heavy duty that comes in five colorways. Shown above is the Archipelago Mist, a white linen with a pattern in a pale blue/green color. See the other patterns below.

First row:  Archipelago Lime & Archipelago Clove.
Last row:  Archipelago Haze & Archipelago Smoke.

A wall of many different fabric books with just about any pattern or color imagineable! Another wall of books the same size sits on the other side too!

All photos and info courtesy of Kravet and the Atlanta showroom. Contact your designer or The Designer Insider for more information.

creative reuse ...

We adore vintage glassware at Mignonne ... we are constantly "on the hunt" for interesting pieces, both in California and in France.

Vintage glassware definitely adds character and pizzazz to your table settings and can also be repurposed in interesting ways to bring charm to your décor.

Glasses can make lovely vases ... or when paired together you can create unusual centerpieces when entertaining. Take these vintage brandy snifters, for example. One would make a pretty vase ... line the four down the center of a rectangular table and float one beautiful flower (poppy, small rose, magnolia) in each to make a statement.

Let your imagination be your guide and add some character to your tabletop. Its fun finding new ways to express yourself! and at Mignonne, we have the inspiration ...

Atlanta Shopping: Stark Carpet's Newest Patterns!

Yesterday I visited the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center to shop for a client. As I said before, geometric patterns are in!! These new patterns feel fresh and inspiring as well as adding a more modern feel to the home. Stark Carpet is known for always showing carpets that are fashion forward in style and color. Below are photos of the showroom in Atlanta, see what I found!

A beautiful rug full of circles and more circles!

Rows and rows of carpets in every pattern and color imaginable!

Gray geometrics! Yes, gray is gaining in popularity!

More geometrics in black, beige, brown and navy!

Geometric designs in soft blues, browns and mixed colors.

Smaller patterns for a softer look in muted tones.

Brighter blues with chocolate brown!

What's that in the window? Gorgeous geometric patterns next to the yummy hanging Tibetan rugs!

All photos courtesy of Strak Carpet. Contact your designer or The Designer Insider for more information.

JMX Bamboo Unveils New Website Design

JMX Bamboo, part of the JMX Family of Stores, has a new look. The change was made to better showcase the bamboo moulding, bamboo stair parts, and bamboo furniture featured on the site. Check out the new site and send us your feedback today at!

You can also learn more about the history of bamboo at the new improved website.

express yourself!

Your home décor can be a reflection of you and your indvidual style! Whether colorful, muted, rustic or mod ... We can help you bring out your taste and style in your home environment... here's a sampling of recent pieces ... give us a call if you need some support translating the real you!

An Ode to Board and Batten

Image from House Beautiful.

I love board and batten! Our home would feel so nice with it running up the stairs and wrapping each room. I have wanted to install some fancy woodwork in our home, but I always thought you have to be a master craftsman to undertake such a huge project.

Image from Elite Trim.

I have been really inspired with all the amazing work out there in blogland. So I have decided I want to give our little home a some character because it really wants to be a cottage, not a suburban cookie cutter.

Image from This Old House.

The timeline for this project is not immediate... I hope to undertake with in the year...

Here is an Ode to Beautiful Woodwork:

Image from Just Beachy.

Image from It's the Little Things that Make a House a Home.

Image from Newlywoodwards Life: Beyond the Picket Fence.

wainscotting or wainscot paneling looks great

Principle of Design #3 - Emphasis

(Image from

Emphasis in interior design is simply enhancing or creating a focal point in the room. A successful focal point immediately draws the eye to a specific point in the design. It does not have to be dynamic in pattern or bold in color because size, color, line, texture, woodwork and ornamental detail can all be used to attract attention.

I love the use of color in this room to create a focal point.
(Image from Apartment Therapy)

Some natural focal points often found in a room include: a fireplace, a beautiful view, architectural details, artwork or a large piece of furniture (such as a bed or piano). Other objects in the room should compliment the primary focal point.

A contemporary bookshelf creates a bold focal point.
(Image from

By emphasizing the beautiful design of this tub this bathroom feels like a spa... well that and the gorgeous floors, vibrant plants and waterfall feature in the background.
(Image from

The piano really invites you to come in, sit down, and enjoy some Chopin...
(Image from Better, Homes and Garden.)

Samuel & Sons: Perfect Trim!

See great collections below from Samuel & Sons.  Collections that are unique and that bring exciting new designs to market . Samuel & Sons is sold throughout the world in trade showrooms. Enjoy!

Aristotle Greek Key Border - A classic Greek key style in updated colors with the finest French quality. Available in 17 colors and 3 different widths. Perfect for drapery trim, pillows or any place you need a border or outline.

Leather Piping - Hard to find luxurious leather piping in a vast collection of 51 colors. Two sizes which are suitable for residential or commercial applications.

Repertoire - Designed by Lori Weitzner, this unique collection of intricate pleated designs features silk and linen borders. Perfect for draperies, pillows or any border application.

Oasis - This nature inspired collection features exotic elements such as sibukaw pods, abaca fibers and banana bark for tie backs. Other unique elements are wire wrapped wood fringes, macrame jute braids and hand embroidered linen borders. All designed by Lori Weitzner.

Grotto - An elegant collection of intricately woven cords and borders with a contemporary take on classic patterns. Offered in a large range of sophisticated colors designed by Michael Smith.

Contact your designer or The Designer Insider for more information. Photos and information courtesy of Samuel & Sons.

Organizing Small Spaces

Lately, I have really been on an organizing kick. I do enjoy sorting, clearing-out, organizing and straightening the small spaces in my home. I love a quick reward and I can usually do a closet or pantry in very little time (from start to finish about an hour or less).

Also, I find it is so rewarding every time I open the door and see a neatly organized space. Last night I organized our master bedroom closet... I must admit that I made my husband come up and look at it (he was very kind).

My approach to cleaning and organizing is to begin by hauling everything out of the space... making a huge mess. (This probably helps me feel a little better about the final product.) I then sort items into similar groups... shoes, my clothing, my husband's clothing, suit cases and bags, hats, ties, keepsake boxes...

I then sort these groups into four piles or trash bags:
1. Give Away or Sell
2. Trash
3. To Clean or Repair
4. Items to Keep

Because I do this pretty frequently, the first three piles/bags tend to be small. (When I first began learning how to organize I would set a goal to eliminate a certain percent... such as 50%.)

After I have cleared out the excess clutter, I begin placing items back in by similar groups. I try to put items that are used most frequently at or near eye level.

Tips to an Organized Closet:
* Continually eliminate clutter... if you don't like the way something looks on you - give it away; if an items begins to become worn out - toss it; if you love it - keep it.
* Use small bins, baskets or plastic tote boxes to organize small items such as belts, scarves, undergarment and socks.
* Hang purses and bags from large hooks so they don't lose their shape.
* Use bins, shelving units, hooks, basket and rods to accommodate a variety of items.
* Group clothing by season, use and color.
* Store items that are used infrequently at the top or back of a closet.
* Keep heavier items low, and lighter items high.
* Invest in a cute pair of rain boots... all the really great closets seem to have them... ;0).

Images from Real Simple, "31 Ways to Make Over Your Closets."

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