Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inspired By...

Inspiration comes from everything around us, and today is no exception.  I love visiting REstyle Source for amazing design ideas.  Today I read an interview with the ever amazing Carol Hicks Bolton.  I am sure many of you have heard of her or know of her style by sight (it's easy to spot her signature work) or maybe you were a fan of the old Home Companion magazine in which she (and her family) were featured many times.  That is how I came to know of her, and her talented family as well as the little town of Fredricksburg, Tx. 


 photo: Amy Boland

The Oct/Nov 1998 issue of Home Companion was the bellwether article.  It was called, "Beyond the Pale", about Rose Hicks, matriarch of the talented Hicks girls - Carol, Janet, and Cathy.  Her featured home was styled with a totally different mindset to decorating with antiques.  So many new ideas, dark wood furniture painted creamy white, ironstone turned backward so the marks on the back are visible, the use of books and words cut from them in display.  I could not get the old 1980's tole painted stuff out of my house fast enough!
If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the snippets of type that have been cut up and pasted to the cabinet front.  I do not even have to enlarge the photo because I can remember, even after all this time, it says, "you are the salt of the earth" and then has the scripture reference up above.  Captivating.
Needless to say, I started buying white ironstone like mad, glass salt and pepper shakers to hang from old chandeliers, and old books to cut up.
You can see the rest of the article about Rose Hicks here.

Then, in the fall I visited Fredrickburg for the first time.  Back then there were at least 5 stores that were part of the Homestead dynasty.  If I remember correctly there was Homestead (2 floors of everything under the sun, from school maps to Catholic saints), Homestead 2 (fabric with another antique store hooked on), Room No 9 (huge store with iron beds, amazing chandeliers and bedding/bathroom linens all lined up on huge wood tables), American Higgley Piggley (sp?), a darling little house full of ironstone (and I mean full).  There was also a garden shop down a narrow alley but I can't recall the name.
I have a very distinct memory of standing with my sister in Homestead 2 looking at a farm table that was set for dinner with mismatched white and blue ironstone.  On each dinner plate was a small antique book that had been opened and a large silver serving spoon placed horizontally across the top to keep the book open.  It might not sound so very innovative in 2013, but 15 years ago it was a breath of fresh air from what had been in any magazine at the time.  I don't know what it was about this specific scene, but I felt differently about design when I left that store as if a whole word of off-beat ideas opened up. 
 
 How many of us have this picture stashed somewhere?  This photo, from Country Home magazine, is of Janet (Carol's sister) entry way...amazing.  I love how the frames are hung with string from the pegs above and the books held open with wire screwed to the wall.  Notice the subtle harlequin pattern on the wall and then the faux wallpaper over the top.  What detail.
Today, the Homestead stores are gone, but Carol and her husband have a new venture, Carol Hicks Bolton Antiqüités that opened in 2012, a huge design lab of sorts.  I have not been there yet, maybe this year, who knows? but when I do, I am sure it will be an inspiration. 

I have gathered some images from the store Facebook page to share or you can check out the Antiqüités Facebook page for yourself here or even what comes up when you type her name into Pinterest.  Amazing work.
I hope you enjoy! 
Always little typed out scriptures tucked into small spaces.


red book covers
photo by April Pizana

 A signature Carol display...hanging stacked frames. 


lovely linens
 love the tiny patches of fabric on the back of the chair.





A real curiosities shop...



 photo by Anne Lorys

This vignette is my favorite, wire screwed right into the Texas limestone.  Usually it's old books or ironstone turned backward being held by the wire, but here it's an inspiration board.

I hope you have enjoyed this little foray into the unique design of Carol Hicks Bolton.
If you want to see more photos, here are a few more posts about the store from 2012 -

carry on,
paula

23 comments:

  1. Thank you SO much for a delicious post! I was unaware of Ms. Bolton and can't wait to dig a little deeper by way of your wonderful directions. Who can explain what this style triggers inside us and why its appeal is so universal. I've followed you for a long while and see how she may have influenced your work. I really relate to your words, "but I felt differently about design when I left that store as if a whole word of off-beat ideas opened up."

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    1. thanks Just B! I agree she HAS influenced my work. I think everything we see and do has a purpose to either elevate us or drag up down. That day in the store was a huge influence on my design work 5 years later working with 7gypsies. Where off beat ideas worked perfectly. And of course, continuing on now with Tim, where off-beat is key.
      thanks again,
      paula

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  2. Absolutely fabulous... But think of all that dusting!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your inspiration! Off beat Is good. Thanks for the reminder that inspiration is all around us and to stay true to your own style.

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  4. I really miss Home Companion. I have saved all of mine and look at them time and time again. I love the "off-beat". Your style is so creative. Love it.

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  5. That was so refreshing! Thanks so much for reminding us what an artist she is. Di@Cottage-wishes

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  6. Carol Hicks Bolton has always been a huge influence on me,too! Thanks so much I'm going to dig out that issue of MEHC and dream again. :)

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  7. Ahhhhhhhhhh.....makes me want to visit TX again. Beautiful article - full of inspiration.

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  8. Delicious photos - love all these cool ideas!

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  9. Thanks for the delightful article, Paula. I dearly loved Home Companion and still own every issue. If any of the defunct magazines came back, it would be my choice. A few months ago, I pulled out the issue of Mary's cottage in Florida to see how she had used a quote on the wall that I wanted to use in my home. Now, with a gentle nudge from you,I'll spend wonderful hours looking up the articles about Carol.

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  10. The "Beyond the Pale" article is one of my all time favorites, and I pull it out to look at it every so often. I think Victoria magazine also featured some Carol Hicks Bolton articles. Great post, fun to see what Carol is up to now.

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    1. Definitely one of my favorite articles of all time. Mostly because of my shift in thinking after I read it. I agree, both Victoria and Country Home did articles on the Hicks sisters at one time or another. Should have saved those too!
      paula

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  11. Paula,
    What an amazing post! I too have loved CHB for years and even dedicated an entire post on my blog a couple of years back to Rose. You have pictures here I've never even seen. They are the pioneers of this worn & weathered look so many of us love. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Lisa
    PS Loved your work for ages, longtime stalker of your blog.

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    1. Oh yes, Lisa I have read the very post you are talking. Love your blog, Tarnished and Tattered! so the stalking is mutual.
      paula

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  12. I can see why you are/were so enamoured with CHB! This is new to me and I'm smitten! Thank you, you are always inspiring me - so glad to have found you via TimH.

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    1. welcome Cheryl! Hope you stay awhile!
      paula

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  13. OH MY Paula!!! You've really reeled me in deeper, and I already liked you! Fredericksburg is my most favorite town in all of Texas, and my husband and I often look at living there. I've been to Carol's store a few times, and just get lost in the things I see. To be a fly on the wall of her brain!!! I always think Tim would have a field day in there, and now I will think of you! I too collect old Ironstone and Milk Glass, among other things!

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    1. well, well Anita, just another thing I like about you too! I have been to Fredricksburg maybe 4 times over the past 25 years and love it every time! Love me some junkin'.
      paula

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  14. The pictures look as fresh today as they did 15 yrs. ago! Amazing that they continue to inspire!

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  15. THANKS for sharing these AMAZING, INSPIRING, HEARTWARMING, MAKES ME WANNA GO THERE SO BAD, pictures, Paula! I will definitely be looking further into Carol Hicks Bolton! Huggles, Gabby :)

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  16. Oh, you made me miss ME Home Companion magazine so much just now! I still have every issue except the Premier - never could get my hands on that one for a decent price. And Country Home too. I miss them both. MEHC is responsible for my out of control McCoy pottery collection. :)

    What a wonderful roundup of photos. I have four blank walls after painting last weekend - lots of inspiration on ways to redress them. Thanks!

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  17. Hi Paula!
    This is Janet Hicks Proch and as I was browsing goodies about Carol and our sweet little mama, I thought I would check in and give you a little update. It seems that the crazy creative gene from Rosa (now Nanny) has been passed on to our littles, now big, and they have a band called 4 Proches. Well, this week, Beecher added Nanny to the Summer vlog and you can see her tiny little self with her mounds of wisdom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5TSK5Du3TE Thought you might like to see her a few years later.
    Much love and hugs!
    Janet for all of us <3

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