A Trip Down Memory Lane..

Having just started the process of saying goodbye, we've been so touched by the kind words and wonderful wishes from our clients and colleagues. We couldn't help reminiscing and thumbing through old photos. Maybe some of you remember the early days when we had a large amount of garden relics, live plants and even green furniture, and we mean the color green- the eco-friendly term didn't exist yet! So take a trip down memory lane with us, from the beginning of our Encinitas store in 2003 to unique products we carried in the past to some of the fun times we've had along the way.

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We found this gem - the corner of the 101 in Encinitas. Here's our storefront before we put the side window in, complete with 'coming soon' signs and a phone booth! And below, is the finishing touch complete with our sign.

Here's our interior when we used to have a back door, before the back office took over. And the fixture pictured below might look familiar- it's the one that inspired the gate in our logo!

Did we mention that garden relics were our biggest seller when we opened? In addition to the many planters and pots we've stacked on our vintage farm table (which is newly up for sale) , there were even fountains and large round vessels filled with live greenery.

Some of our bestselling artwork items are pictured. This Moonlight Beach sign that we commissioned inspired by a NYC street sign was a hit, even though the directions are actually incorrect for locals in the know. Some of you might also remember these gorgeous Italian frescoes.

This sweet little angel was a score! We think it came from a graveyard headstone. And depending on who you ask (Lili remembers them as old bingo ball holders while Fletcher thinks they are upside light fixtures) these oversize round glass vases were a favorite of the clients and staff.

Life size terrariums were unique to Gardenology. And white bedding has always been a staple, though we used to be more experimental with the headboards before we got our canopy bed.

Here's our Encinitas wall behind the register before it was gray. We will be sad to see the large vintage mirror that the team primps in every morning, but it's nice to know it will likely find a good home after our sale. And below is the Newport Beach cashwrap being built, complete with a concrete top that had to be delivered by crane.

And of course we've had some fun along the way, the ringleader usually being TJ as he was merchandising away. Some of you may not recognize him with a full head of hair!

Thanks for reminiscing with us and being a part of our journey. We have already received so much support and love, if you have any memories, please remind us in the comments below! Keep in mind, we're not quite ready to sign off on the blog just yet- we might be featuring some unique product deals once our sale begins on December 15th, so stay tuned!

Our Favorite #Shelfies

We've got some great shelving units still available, pieces that your eye might look right past when in the store. So we thought we'd share some of our favorite #shelfies. We are featuring shots of the shelves themselves and a shot on how they look filled up. A before and after if you will, but more after and before if that makes sense..

CHINESE ELM SHELVING UNIT

This vintage piece has a unique lacquered gray finish, contrary to most shelving units that were found around this time- most being in shades of black or red. We love filling this guy up with white dishes, which stand out nicely against the shaded backdrop. This piece would be a great addition to a farmhouse style kitchen.

Shelf Measures: 63W x 98H x 20D

LARGE INDUSTRIAL SHELVING UNIT

This oversized piece features a sturdy metal frame with reclaimed wood shelving. The lower shelf starts right at the floor and the height gives lots of space for storage. We loved to soften the industrial feel with some florals and feminine accessories like candles and lanterns.

Shelf Measures : 82W x 124H x 24D

ANTIQUE FRENCH HUTCH

This 2 piece antique makes an instant statement. It was often the home to our botanicals selection, the pops of green standing out against the creamy gray paint. How lovely it would work for a gardener to keep their tools. But it would also work as a lovely hutch in a large dining room or kitchen.

Hutch Measures: 94W x 102H x 27D

WHITEWASHED DOUBLE SHELF

The unique paneled wood on this piece gives it that perfect coastal look. Often serving as our bedding shelf, it also transforms beautifully during the holidays as shown below.

Shelf Measures: 78W x 81H x 13D

WOOD AND IRON INDUSTRIAL SHELF

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Once home to our beautiful bedding pieces, this sturdy shelf has an iron frame and thick wooden shelves. It also has a twin for those looking to double up on the shelving. The open top gives you flexibility to house something large.

Shelf measures: 69W x 99H x 20D

Stop in to see these shelfies in person before they go!

Vintage Architectural Elements

As we say goodbye to our wonderful clients, we also have to part ways with our wonderful pieces. Some of the unique vintage items have been with Gardenology from the beginning. One-of-a-kind items recognized and unearthed thanks to Lili's keen eye. Some of our favorite pieces are featured below- think about how you can add them to your home!

ANTIQUE EGYPTIAN DOORS W/ BUBBLE GLASS

These doors have opened a number of design possibilities for our visuals team, having served as a backdrop for our assorted vignettes in Encinitas. Below, we featured them behind a white sofa styled with putty colored pillows, with some of the windows open to let the light and air flow through. We like to think of these as a substantial and functional room divider.

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ASSORTED WINDOWS

If anyone has a stellar window collection, it's us. Not that we know many people that collect old windows. But these guys have been great pieces for us. Some are in their original state, while others are painted Gardenology Gray, with a mirrored back behind the glass. In the patio display below, we hung the windows as both a backdrop and above the seating area, draped in greenery to create an ethereal nook.

SOLID IRON FACTORY WINDOW FRAMES

These will make you look twice at a dilapidated old factory. These pieces come from European factories, the arch on top making them an unusual shape. These add an instant industrial style to any room. Available in 2 sizes, one tall and one shorter but wider, these frames can be used to add some contrast a drama to a simple white wall as shown below.

WOOD LATTICE PANELS

These three wooden panels with a lattice top and slatted bottom came from India, likely used as a partition for what we imagine as a gorgeous room. The weathered wood is a great way to add a rustic element to an otherwise pristine room- . Each panel measures 3 feet by 10 feet. Together they have served as a unique wall in Encinitas, and super easy to hang things from.

EUROPEAN WOODEN DOORS

There's nothing like beautiful weathered wood- and we have a couple sets of these beauties. Our favorite idea for these? Install them into a custom frame for a truly beautiful and functioning door.

PATINA SHUTTERS

Perhaps you bought the 'Patina Style' book from us when we have it. Well if you are still inspired by this look, we've got just the thing for you. Worn to perfection from shades of brown and green, these old shutters are ideal for creating a cozy, rustic outdoor space- which is exactly where we used them. 

PAIR OF HINGED SUNBURST DOORS

Add a little glam with these 2 pairs of vintage wood frame doors can be used together or separately. In the photo below, we can picture these being used in a large room or even a studio to create a partition- how about an office where you need privacy but still need to see what's going on on through the looking glass...

WHITE IRON FRAMES

And finally, these arch beauties imported from Fance look sharp against a dark wall. Here's an idea from the picture below, shift the frame over a few feet to serve as a unique headboard.

That wraps up our vintage architectural elements. We are sad to say goodbye to these, but hope that our ideas will inspire someone to adopt them and bring them to a new and happy home!

FASHIONABLE. Accessories that are Good

It’s the holiday season and it’s never too early to start shopping! Whether it’s for yourself or you are looking for the perfect gift, we have a new collection of leather goods that are not only beautiful but also impactful. Meet Fashionable, a local and global brand that creates beautiful products by women ‘who have overcome’. How can a line be local and global? Well it all starts with the husband and wife team that founded the collection- having lived in Ethiopa and now in Nashville.

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Rachel and Barrett Ward lived in Ethiopa in 2008, meeting women from challenging backgrounds such as prostitution, addiction and homelessness. In speaking with these women, they learned that charity is not what would help them get out of their situation, it was work that they were in need of. So, Rachel and Barrett provided just that, jobs for these women with the purpose of providing women a solution to poverty. When you purchase these products, you are investing in a woman.  You are providing an opportunity- and the empowerment of work for a woman creates an experience of joy from developing skills, and also impacts her family and community.

What kind of product can you expect? A modern, timeless selection of accessories ranging from leather goods to handmade jewelry and woven goods.  At Gardenology, we fell for the leather goods fast! The leather accessories include oversize totes, convenient handbags, and stylish wallets and clutches.

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Drew Barrymore, Cindy Crawford and Julianne Hough are some of the celebrities that have been spotted in Fashionable products, just to name a few. Our selection at Gardenology includes those for the woman that likes a simple, minimalist look. A basic tote is perfect for back and forth errands, and the interior keeps you organized.

We also stocked up on a cross-body tote to save those shoulders some of the work and to kick the notch up on your overall look. The removable strap makes it double as a tote. Roomy and soft, yet durable this piece is stylish with genuinely distressed leather.

The 2 color combo option also makes a statement against a classic black or white wardrobe, or a simple casual look like jeans and a tee.

Smaller options are available as well, more suited to an everyday handbag. Super cute in size and versatile in function, this leather Handbag features a zipper closure, lined interior with a zip pocket, and a removable crossbody strap. Made in Ethiopia.

Slim, sleek, and functional, this sleek wallet contains a removable zipper coin pouch, and has slots for 8 credit cards.

Now, we know it's the time of the year where you should be shopping for others, and we won't deny, these are great gift options! But we also promise not to judge if you treat yourself...

6 Steps for Trimming Your Tree

It’s that time of the year already, and alot of us enjoy having the tree ready to go on Thanksgiving. At Gardenology, we trimmed our 12 footers back in September, and we even got festive enough to break out the upside-down tree in Encinitas. But it's been some time and now we’re going through trimming withdrawal. So we thought we would revisit the process and share some tips with you! It’s also suitable timing considering our holiday merchandise is currently 20% off! The key to a beautiful tree is layer, layer layer...

STEP 1: THE BASE

Don’t be afraid to break away from the traditional tree skirt. Putting the base of your tree in an urn or pot will give added height and a new look to a traditional feel. Ask a male family member to help and make sure the base is tightly secured and weighted down.

STEP 2: LIGHT IT UP

It just doesn’t feel like the holiday season without twinkle lights, and understandably, no Christmas tree is complete without that first ingredient. Start with soft white lights or get creative with color. Wrap the lights around the tree working from the top to the bottom, paying attention to consistent spacing throughout.

STEP 3: POSITIONING WITH CARE

Dangling ornaments in silver and gold create a reflection of the light. Irridescent orbs and symmetrical shapes will add sophistication. The ornaments you choose will reflect a certain mood or theme to your tree, but how to place them? Start by hanging your largest ornaments first, positioning them further down the tree branch, closer to the trunk.  Large ornaments are a good way to disguise awkward spaces between branches. Smaller ornaments hang best when positioned farther out on the branch.

STEP 4: ADD DIMENSION

Sprinkle the smaller pieces throughout, but work in groups of three for impact. Cluster medium sized ornaments into pairs. When working on these small groupings, as long as the size is similar in each group, you can include a range of colors and textures to make things eclectic but still uniform.

Also, don’t forget the bottom of the tree. By adding larger pieces below the bottom branch, it makes the tree look larger and gives a balanced look from top to bottom.

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STEP 5: GARLAND + FLOWERS

Adding garland or swirling ribbon breaks up the tree visually. Weave in strips of pine cone garland for a rustic look, or a snow covered berry garland for a wintry look. Whatever garland suits your style, a good rule of thumb is to incorporate it every 3 feet.

This is a signature Gardenology step- include floral elements. We love adding magnolia bursts throughout the tree or glittering silver leaves with dangling beads. Consider combining different stems together and work as you would with a vase, large to small, concentrating floral at the top for a bold statement.

STEP 6:  ADD PERSONALITY

Finally, add the unexpected! Whether its bird nests, picture frames or special ornaments that have meaning for you. Handmade ornaments by the kids, family heirlooms and other memorable finds you have collected can be attached to the ends of the branches so they are in the forefront, creating moments to share the sentimental story behind each one.  

That wraps up the layers of the tree. Stop in this week while our holiday merchandise is on sale and get your tree ready for the holiday weekend.

Home is where the Hearth is

The hearth is technically defined as ‘the area in front of the fireplace’. So we are going to refer to the ‘hearth’ in this blog post as just that, but it might also extend to a simple corner of your living room in the instance that you don’t have an actual fireplace to work with because hey- there are no rules!  After all, it’s the holiday season, and gatherings are where memories are made, whether the space is small or large, fireplace or not.

So where do you start on decorating the hearth? We’ve got a few ideas.

Rugs

A perfect scene that you might find on pinterest is a square fireplace with a circular rug in front. We do love the idea of the contrasting shapes. But a circular rug can be limiting as well, so you can also consider a large rectangle that will fit all of your furnishings. Either way, choose a material or pattern that suits your room scheme.

Candles

We can’t deny there’s nothing like the ambiance that a cackling fire in the fireplace produces, but for those of us that aren’t lucky enough to have a fireplace, the use of candles can aid in setting the mood. We love these marble candle holders that add an elaborate elegance to any space. Another great option is hanging elegant wall sconces for added light.

You can also surround yourself with a scent that’s pleasing to you with a candle, the plus side is that you can change it up with the seasons. For the holidays, we love Klaene Gray’s ‘hearth’ scent which combines orange, cinnamon, clove, frasier fir and pine notes.

Cozy Seating

There’s nothing like curling up in a chair with a good book, with either the fire cackling or the aroma of scented candles around. Find the right chair based on your overall living room style. This leather lounge chair is ideal for a modern rustic room, and tend to be a hit with the men.

For an elegant, more formal setting, arrange the furniture around the hearth, facing each other. Timeless chairs make a statement and a slipcovered sofa adds a softer touch and is ideal for year round designs. And after the guests leave, it's the perfect place to sprawl out on your own.

Blankets and throws

Get even more comfortable in your seat by adding a cozy blanket to snuggle under. A little texture goes a long way. Knotted throws and furry stools keep things cushy and layers of patterned pillows are easy ways to get snug. Consider yourself lucky if you have a built in banquette on each side of the mantel! 

image via Atlanta Magazine

image via Atlanta Magazine

his tip is beneficial for those that are working without a fireplace.. For a little more warmth and luxury, grab the Bella Notte quilt from the bedroom or a Matteo thermal throw.

Tabletop Lamp

While the soft subtle flow of fire is soothing to all, it’s not necessarily soothing to our eyes , so consider adding a table lamp to achieve the perfect ambiance. Our favorite tabletop lamp is the Hibiscus. The translucent glass base adds a contemporary flair that works with all styles and the glass will reflect the fire light.

And after you're all set up with a chair and a blanket, and a lamp, it's time to curl up with a good book! Choose something uplifting and meaningful.

What’s your favorite way to cozy up the hearth?

How to Add Jackie-O Style to your Home

Since it’s election day, it’s time to prepare for a new first lady- or first gentleman. But we’re not so sure we’re keen on either Melania Trump’s or Bill Clinton’s decorating skills. So we thought we’d take inspiration from a first lady who had style that noone can deny: Jackie Kennedy.

Thankfully, the majority of homes to decorate out there aren’t quite on the same level as the White House, what with having to keep it as ‘an emblem of the American republic’ as Kennedy described it. But that’s not to say that we can’t get inspiration for our homes from America’s most stylish first lady. So let’s take a little history lesson…

ANTIQUES

In September 1961, LIFE Magazine covered Jackie’s restoration of the White House as her first job updating it while keeping the authentic look and feeling. Her focus? To bring in furnishings and art of America’s past while keeping it modern and comfortable. She worked with curator Lorraine Pearce searching the historic building for valuable relics. She unearthed pieces dating back to legendary presidents such as Teddy Roosevelt, James Monroe and even Abraham Lincoln! Many of these pieces are seen in the pictures included here.

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As always, antiques are an ideal way to add personality to any home. It keeps things dimensional and there’s always a story to tell. So remember to vary your furnishings here and there just as Jackie did.

MONOCHROMATIC COLORS

The White House certainly has a good amount of color in its 54 rooms and 16 baths. There’s the ‘Red Room’, the ‘Green Room’, and more. But when you take a look at Jackie’s fashion sense, there’s no doubt that she liked things classic and crisp, and when it comes to the home, we agree. She was often photographed wearing classic colors like white with black. And there’s nothing more transitional than a classic white sofa. Slipcovers have come a long way and you can select custom fabrics and cuts to make them look like an upholstered piece, with the added benefit that you can easily wash them.

ARTWORK

Keep in mind that Jackie was decorating for the White House families of the future too, so while she incorporated personal relics into some of the rooms, she also had to keep the artwork on the walls neutral and pleasing to all. Hanging above an antique table on a silk wall, she chose Paul Cezanne’s post-impressionist landscape: ‘the Forest’. And while it’s certainly not likely we will be finding any Cezanne pieces floating around Southern California, we do suggest incorporating some more ‘contemporary’ artwork. Consider doing a gallery wall if you want to mix in personal photos with art pieces.

HOMEY DETAILS

Always detail-oriented, Jackie also focused on younger generations that would visit the historic home “to see what a fire in the fireplace and pretty flowers can do for a house.” She even encountered Lincoln’s lavender-bordered dinner plates during a scan of the house that she actually used when hosting an event. Now that’s a dinner party we’d like to be part of! The use of antique dinnerware combined with modern details such as floral centerpieces and towering candlesticks is something that can be emulated in any home. So whether it its colorful floral arrangements, cushy pillows or textured rugs, she recognized it’s the little things that make a home a home.

If you’re intrigued about this inspiring lady like we are, there’s a new film coming out in December called ‘Jackie’, focusing on America’s chicest first lady!

Tablescaping Demo

In case you weren't able to attend our first holiday workshop, we're bringing the workshop to you. Last Thursday, we demonstrated the art of Tablescaping, adding different elements to work together and create a centerpiece or display to your liking. We had a great turnout at both stores, and got some great shots during the Encinitas demo hosted by our Visual Merchandiser/Buyer TJ.

Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

Tablescape 1: Winter Wonderland

We started with a blank table to show the complete process of building the table from the base up. When working with artificial garland, make sure to bend and move the branches to liven it up.  It's also possible to use live garland in the same way for all of the tabletop arrangements shown here.

Since the first tabletop had a 'Winter Wonderland' theme,  what better way to do that than to add some sparkle. One of the benefits of using faux botanicals is that it incorporates elements like snow, glitter, and more glitter. And in TJ's words, more is better!

The mercury glass vases combined silver and natural elements to create a whimsical yet elegant focal point. Snow covered bare branches combined with circular ornaments and bells contribute to the wonderland mood.

Tablescape 2: Rustic White

Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

The next arrangement is ideal for someone who likes a cleaner, simple scheme.  And maybe someone who needs a truly functional table that guests can eat it. This look works well in a 'modern farmhouse' decor scheme.

Starting with a casual table runner and clean white accessories: a large ceramic vase and marble candlestick holders. These twig candlesticks are a great way to add a little character while keeping the look minimal.

The next layer that TJ added was a string of beads, some glittery (of course!) stems along with a few more whimsical elements: tiny house and snowflake votives to give the table a holiday touch.

Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

The vase can be filled with anywhere from 3-8 different items of dried botanicals, keeping in mind that you can interchange some of these with each season. After layering on the fan favorite 'Lastra' collection from Vietri's line, it's easy to see how this table will suit a holiday celebration but can easily transition to a year round tabletop.

Tablescape 3: Santa's Forest

Our last tablescape is a family favorite, and it might be hard to keep the kids away from this one. Once again, we started with a string of garland, this time choosing a more natural look. Next we layered in our tall Santa statues along with a couple different sized deer.

Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

To add to the forest theme, our bird ornaments worked perfectly, having little clips so they can be added in securely. Vintage mercury glass brings an elegance to the vignette and we finished it off with antique tree toppers and ornaments, keeping in mind to work with odd numbers when accessorizing.

Don't forget to join us for our next demo: Holiday Homescapes - featuring tree decor, mantel decor and holiday swags. This Tuesday (election day!). RSVP here.

 

5 Tabletop Essentials

It’s officially ‘the time to dine’, what with two of the largest entertaining holidays of the year coming up. So whether you’re playing the role of hostess with the mostest or if you are simply planning to bring your signature dish somewhere as a guest, we’ve got 5 dinnerware items that are perfect for the holiday season.

1 THE SETUP : Bistro Stripe Table Runners

Set the tone of your table with this two-tone striped cotton runner. The soft neutral colors of this piece lend a warm touch to the tabletop and the textured stripes lend a rustic charm reminiscent of the popular farmhouse style. The fabric measures 3.5 feet long, to accommodate most dining tables and the cotton fabric is washable for easy clean up. Score!

2. THE DISHES : Classic White Dinnerware

Is that dinnerware collection you received at your wedding getting outdated? These modern yet classic pieces are ideal for holidays. A sophisticated look allows for a more formal setting, perfect for this time of the year, but the simplicity keeps them casual year-round. The elegant matte white finish beautifies the irregularities of each shape. We love that these pieces are created by artisans here in the great state of California and each piece is signed by the artist.
 

3. THE APPETIZERS : An Olive Boat

We just love this piece! Not only does it’s 13 inch length make a statement on the table, but this simple and stylish stoneware piece is the perfect way to showcase your culinary creations- whether you choose to use it for olives, nuts or cheeses!  Buy 3 and stack ‘em for a unique way of plating!  The rustic shape is inspired by an overlapping wood mold, with a tinge of color on the edges to highlight each silhouette. All Vietri pieces are hand formed in Tuscany and are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe- making for an easy clean up!

4. THE APPETIZERS : Cocktail Utensils

If your signature dish is crudite and such, then bring along matching cocktail forks and spoons. These hand-forged pieces are crafted from food-safe nickel plated iron, with squared handles joined to artistic shapes. The matte pewter-like finish keeps things contemporary and looks fresh next to a crisp white plate.

5. THE SERVING PIECE : An Artisan Bowl

Evident when flipped upside down, this bowl is inspired by a coat the artist saw in Paris. And we can't think of a better conversation piece!  If  you look closely, you can see the pleats and a button. This strong piece combines stoneware and porcelain to keep it chip-resistant, made in Peru in a super casual way to allow for imperfections that make it unique.

What's your favorite tabletop element to use at this time of the year?

4 Under-the-Radar Furniture Pieces

Since our furniture promo is going on, we thought we’d share some of the unexpected pieces we have in stock.  It goes beyond slip-covered sofas and upholstered sectionals, we have home furnishings that can be customized to fit perfectly into any setting. Whether it’s an industrial or rustic look you are going for, or minimal and organic, these pieces are functional and look good. 

A CUSTOMIZABLE ROLLING CART

Perfect for the kitchen or home office, a good cart is a timeless piece that works in every home. Lucky for you, we have options so you can design one that fits your space. Island carts tend to be the most popular, since they can function as both a workspace or simply a moveable display area.

Start by choosing wood or metal counter tops/shelving. Once you select your height and width, from 7 different sizes, you also get to choose your wood finish, from 12 different options. Casters provide a movable option for maximum flexibility and use but hand-finished steel finial feet are also available if you’d like something more stationary.

AN ADJUSTABLE STOOL

Looking for the perfect seating to go with your new rolling cart? Or perhaps your new home has a built in kitchen island. Look no further, available with a back or without, these stools screw up or down to fit the heights of any counter, table or bar- offering adjustability and style.

Create your own custom stool starting with the brushed metal steel frame, then select oak seats and backs available in 12 wood finishes.

A STURDY BED FRAME

At Gardenology, we love an over-the-top layered bed. So to keep the focus on the bedding, we love the option of a clean and simple frame. Alternatively, a clean and simple frame also looks great with crisp white bedding if that's your cup of tea. The straight lines keep a minimalist look and once again multiple finishes are available to suit any style room. We also offer coordinating bedroom furniture for your storage needs.  Simply tell us your mattress size, select your finish and your bedroom will come together in no time.

A UNIQUE BOOKCASE

Though it's called a bookcase, this piece can be used in any room, whether you need a kitchen pantry, a home office storage unit with metal baskets, or a book shelf in the entryway. This piece is handmade from reclaimed woods, exposing natural imperfections that make it unique.  The FSC certified wood is sanded and finished with a clear sealer to expose the imperfections in the wood, ensuring there are no 2 pieces alike.

Next time you're in the store, keep your eye open for these items. You may have overlooked them in the past because they were customized to fit our space so well, you didn't even realize they were for sale!