Monday, October 31, 2011

Oxford Castle

Happy Halloween! In honor of Halloween today, here is a scary fact for you . . .

Oxford Castle is a very large and slightly damaged Norman medieval castle located in Oxfordshire, England. This castle was used as a place of incarceration from 1071 until the closure of HM Prison in 1996. The buildings have been preserved and are now open to the public. It is thought to be one of Britain’s most haunted buildings, and therefore frightening events, including Ghost Fest during the month of October, are offered.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oyster Veneer

Have you ever wondered what Oyster Veneer means? Well, it is a labor intensive technique that was used to enhance exquisite furniture during the 17th Century. The technique resembles the cross cut wafers of a whole oyster shell, and therefore it is called Oyster Veneer. Oyster Veneer is produced by cross slicing or sawing wooden twigs or stems. The slices of this sewn veneer, show the year rings of the wood. By placing these slim stems in a uniform way, interesting patterns can be formed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fashionably Aubergine

We have two things to share this Friday. One, is if you are not familiar with the wonderful fashion blog, The Sartorialist, you should check it out! And, two, this amazing photograph came from this blog and highlights well our color of the month. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

High Point, North Carolina

Ever wonder why you hear so many people in the interior design / furniture world speaking of traveling to High Point, NC . . . . . well, here is a little history behind why.

High Point, North Carolina, often called the “Furniture Capital of the World” is located in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. High Point’s first furniture factory began in 1889 and in 1905 the High Point Furniture Exposition Company was created. Today, the High Point Market is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world and measures over 11 million square feet in about 180 buildings. As of 2010, approximately 115,000 people reside in High Point. When the market is held, close to an additional 100,000 buyers and exhibitors from around the world arrive and visit the city. Amazing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Can anyone guess what the French call 'chewed paper'? Papier-mache of course. Papier-mâché consists of paper bound with either glue, starch, or wallpaper paste.

A few historical facts:
  • Papier-mâché has been used to make doll heads from as early as 1540.
  • In Egypt, coffins and death masks were made from cartonnage.
  • In Persia and Kashmir, boxes, trays and cases were manufactured by using papier-mâché.
  • In Europe in 1725, gilded papier-mâché began to appear as a low cost alternative to similarly treated plaster or carved wood in architecture.
  • In 1772 Henry Clay of England, came up with a process for treating laminated sheets of paper with linseed oil to produce waterproof panels. In 1847, Theodor Jennens invented a process for steaming and pressing these laminated sheets into different shapes, which then could be used to manufacture trays and chair backs and was usually laid over wood or metal for strength.
Enjoy chewed paper friends!

Friday, October 14, 2011


We seem to be stuck in Jeffrey Bilhuber again! See his beautiful room created around our color of the month. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fish n' Chips

Ever wonder why the English are obsessed with their Fish & Chips? Well we are not sure either, but here is a little information we hope you find interesting.

Fish and chips became a very popular meal among the working class in England during the late 19th century, due to the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea and railways connecting ports to cities. In Britain, cod and haddock are the most commonly used fishes in this dish. Traditionally, they are deep fried in a batter of flour and water, and sprinkled with salt and vinegar before serving. The first fish and chip shop opened in London in 1860. Today, there are roughly 8,500 fish and chip shops in the UK, and on an interesting note, the waste fat from these shops has become a useful source for biodiesel!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Chinoiserie is a French word signifying “Chinese-esque”. Chinoiserie is a design inspired by Chinese or Asian-themed appearances, but the actual pieces of furniture, paintings, and interior design have a European flare. Chinoiserie dates back to the mid to late 17th century and became very popular around the middle of the 18th century, when it was easily assimilated into the rococo period. The popularity later declined when Europeans realized it was contrary to neoclassicism. However, Chinoiserie has been making a comeback since the late 20th century. We are routing for you Chinoiserie!

Friday, October 7, 2011


The month of October is already here! We have picked Aubergine as the color to celebrate.

Webster defines the color below to kick us off.


1. chiefly British: eggplant
2. eggplant

Floral Design by Malee Rauscher Helm
Photography by Casey Sills

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dining Tables

Ever wonder how certain things came to be? How did the dining table evolve is the question at hand today -
The history of dining tables dates back to the Middle Ages when upper class Britons and European nobility lived in castles, palaces, and manors and would eat in a large rectangular room called the Great Hall. The family would sit at the head table on a dais, and the remaining members of the home would sit in order of diminishing rank away from them. Tables in the Great Hall were usually long trestle tables with benches. Over time, this upper class population began to desire more intimate gatherings in smaller rooms called Parlors, just off the hallway. This was mainly due to political and social changes, including the Black Plague and religious persecutions under Henry VIII. Eventually dining in the Great Hall was only for special occasions. In the early 18th century, ladies of the house would leave the parlor or dining room and head to the drawing room, known as a living room today, while the men would stay and have drinks at the table.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blackberry Farm

Sometimes you just pinch yourself to be so lucky to work with certain people. That is how we feel about the folks at Blackberry Farm. We are honored to have our furniture throughout the guest rooms of Blackberry Farm. If you don't know the history behind this magical place, go to to learn more. Today Kreis & Sandy Beall's son, Sam continues the beautiful vision his parents started over 30 years ago. Thank you Blackberry for allowing us to be part of such a special place and thank you Beall + Thomas Photography for these beautiful pictures!