Have you ever imagined purchasing a home, and transforming it exactly the way you dreamed? After walking into the foyer of this magnificent home, you feel an instant gratification of grandeur and fantasy. Every corner is detailed with artistic perfection, and no square foot is left behind, this house is a perfect Jewel Box. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to document the transformation, enjoy the pictures below:

The entry-hall and grand stair case: the paneling was added to add some drama and detail.

Formal living fire-place was simple cast stone, now upgraded with intricate wood paneling, enhanced with the Swedish color palate.

I can’t wait to see where this goes…

The bar…

This bar is made from a black forest antique hutch, some of it is original antique, and some is brand new. Can you tell which is which? I can’t….

I can get lost in all the details, one of the characteristics I love about European antiques.

The study doors, first coat.

Pantry doors.

Wine fridge surround: they took terra cotta pipe, and transformed it into wine storage!

Refrigerator surround, just the bones.


A peak of some of the kitchen cabinet doors: steel doors from French pastry tables.

Ceiling detail in powder bath.

Powder bath sink.

Cabinet in powder bath, this piece reminds me of a fairy tale.

These rosettes on the drawers are just another example of the endless details.

Not your average laundry room.

More paint coats to come.

Doors to Master Suite.

Ceiling in Master Suite.

Master Suite continued. 

The detail takes hours, but worth every minute. 

“His” vanity in master bath. 

“Her” vanity. 

"Her" medicine cabinet.

A view of the kitchen from the family room.

Upstairs guest, there wasn’t room for side tables, so they just built this beautiful surround, so Swedish!

A close up of the upstairs surround.

An upstairs bath vanity.

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10 - 31 - 2010

meeting mark sage. . .

One of my favorite booths we came across in Round Top was “Love Train Antiques,” where we met one of the owners, the one and only Mark Sage. Mark Sage is an amazingly creative designer, who is famous in the home design world.  I was first introduced to Mark when Restoration Hardware had several of his products available. Restoration Hardware offers some unique and artistic objects, which is quite different than most of the mainstream furniture stores and catalogues, thus why I like it so much. His wine barrel chandeliers popularized him, they appeared in Traditional Home, Southern Accents, and Veranda just to name a few.

Swedish Booths at Roundtop Texas

This chandelier represents his design well: taking old things and recreating into new items. He will take old items from all over the world and use them to design one of kind furniture. You can see several items from his furniture line, BoBo Intriguing objects, in all of the designer magazines. I love the rustic and industrial look, and Mark Sage does it well. One thing we love about Love Train Antiques is they incorporate the Swedish look. The subdue colors work well with his distinctive look. Love Train is only available wholesale, but Restoration Hardware is where you can easily achieve a similar look.

Here are some pictures from our visit to Love Train Antiques below:

Mark Sage Designs

Monique Nelson, Mark Sage, Terry Carlson, Doug Jenkins, and Mary Durbin.

Swedish Style

One of the vignettes, I love all the gray and silver.

Swedish Design Examples
Mark Sage Designs

A display inside one of the cabinets, shells were EVERYWHERE in Round Top, but I especially loved the way they displayed them.

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Sometimes if you really want to make an impact, hang your art, all of similar subject and framing, together in one grouping; this is one of my favorite ways to make walls really come alive. In this example, I used these beautiful intaglios, by Swedish Dekor.

When it comes to hanging a grouping, I prefer “eyeballing.” You always think measuring would make the most logical sense, but after several tries, the human eye always wins. Have someone hold the picture in place while you simply place your finger, and mark the spot where the nail needs to go. Here are some helpful hints below:

-Use hangers. When you have just a nail, your angle will be different on each picture, causing heights to differ.  Keep in mind, the actual “hook” on the hanger will dictate the height, not the nail.

-“Levelers” are great, but if your house is older, your walls might not necessarily be even. This is when you are going to have to trust your eye. Just think, when people view your art, they will not have a measuring tape, what’s most important is how it looks, not measures.

-Hang a center picture first, then work your way out.

-Having all your hanging wire being the SAME on all your pictures in your grouping will help tremendously.

-Have a BUDDY! It will help for almost all the steps necessary.

Happy Hanging!

Swedish Framed Art
Art Framing Tips
Swedish Styled Framed Art

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The first time I pulled into this tiny little down, which consists of one main road, conveniently named Round Top Road, I never thought I would ever make this statement: Round Top is one of my favorite places in the world. Yes, a tiny little town, population 77, is one the best places to be if you love antique shopping, good food and just a good town to escape with friends.

To briefly summarize the concept, because it can be confusing to someone who doesn’t know much about these antique shows (my husband was somewhat confused last spring when I missed Easter and left him with my one year old and in-laws to go shop for antiques in a cow pasture) there are large tents set up on designated land where antique dealers from all over the world transport their beautiful items to display and sell. It was a domino effect that took place when one antique show started, more started to follow, thus allowing Round Top, TX to grow each year with more and more vendors to take advantage of the local buyers. It might be a small town, but it is right in the middle of Houston and Austin. You will find shoppers, professional designers, antique junkies, or just some gals trying to find items for their first home traveling from all over Texas and Oklahoma two times a year to find some fabulous purchases. Yes, these shows are in the middle of land with only port a potties for relief, but it’s worth roughing it for that one of a kind chandelier or settee.

I was fortunate enough to go this year with a group of experts in everything antique and home décor. This was my fourth visit to the great little town, but could have been the first because of all the new places I discovered with my shopping partners. Below is just a little snap shot of our trip. It would take longer than a week, shopping all day into the evening to cover all the shows that take place. Next spring, I would like to attempt this. I would like to mention my first visit I was almost eight months pregnant, and I did not let that stop me from all the fields of shopping glory.  It just might be one of those places, and I hate to repeat such a cliché statement, you just have to go to understand!

Swedish Decorating Tips
Swedish Decorating Blog

These Are Vellum Books from the 17th and 18th Century, something that would look beautiful on your shelves and appreciate even more over time.

Swedish Design

Isn’t this light fixture extraordinary? One of our lucky friends walked away with this one. What I also love: the Edison bulbs, so vintage!

Swedish Vintage Art

Same booth, different light fixture. These were found in the Blue Hills area, we will definitely revisit this show.

Designing a Swedish Home

We are pretty sure this bird house was made out of an old barrel. The new owner’s backyard will be even more fabulous with this treasure in it.

Swedish Birdhouses

Mary and Monique with more birdhouses for their backyard. Terry suggested hanging on their fences? Too cute!

Swedish brushes

These wooden boxes and calligraphy brushes were all over Round Top.

Swedish Brushes

I can’t wait to see what Terry does with these: gardening creativity at its finest.

Old Swedish Books

Old groupings of keys- you could group them in a bunch, hang on a wall, put on top a pile of books…

Swedish Decor

Our Herbariums were available of course at Marburger Farms at one of my favorite booths. She displayed the Intaglios and Botanicals so well against her beautiful antiques. They were a hot item!

Swedish Interior Design

This chandelier was with our botanicals and intaglios, as you can tell this vendor has excellent taste!

Swedish Style Tips

I adore these old horse statues.  The faded colors in this one are perfectly subtle.

Designing Swedish Homes

Another favorite vendor of mine also located at Marburger, “Kay the Book Lady.”

Swedish Decorating with Old Books

She has reasonably priced old books, and displays them so well. Some more old calligraphy brushes!

Swedish Bathrooms

These lamps (they were a set) were so whimsical, perfect for a little girl’s room.

Swedish Lamps

Kay also had this statue, of religious suggestion, which was a very common theme all over Round Top.

Swedish Style

Here is our group walking to another show, just a good glimpse of what it’s all about. One main road, many wonderful shows.

Swedish Dekorum

Justin and Lisa buying treasures for their new store, Dekorum, and I can already tell by their purchases it is going to fabulous!

Design Tips for Swedish Homes

Waiting in line for lunch. Yes, they serve champagne. We might be roughing it, but fine champagne just makes it more fun!

Swedish Design Examples

The end of another productive shopping day.

Swedish Style Pics

Terry and Mary pleased with another great purchase, until next spring!

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It’s amazing what a little paint can do, that is an understatement when it came to this recent dinning room makeover.

The table was inherited by the owner, just needed a paint face lift. The base coat is Cornforth White from Farrow & Ball, with an accent coat of Dauphin and Pigeon. With the “Swedish Dekor” touch, the table is brought back to life to say the least. With the ingenious idea to accent the leg shape in two separate colors, is what gives it that unique, artistic and Swedish touch.

The chairs were classic with the “Louie XVI” like shape, but the stain of the wood was too dated. The colors chosen brought these chairs to the full potential they were capable of. They are now magnificent; especially how the hint of glaze gives the cane backs extra depth.

The hutch was actually intended on being bookcase. The owner wanted a grand place to display all their china, and inherited silver pieces, but felt that most china cabinets found were too predictable, or stuffy. This had great display space, and cleaner lines the owner usually leans towards. It was black, and basic, and you couldn’t really detect the fine details that the piece contained. Now with the colors Off White Lamp Room Gray, also from Farrow & Ball, and silver leafing, my favorite, it’s now a showstopper piece.

The intaglios, from “Swedish Dekor” are grouped together on the only wall that is allowed for hanging art, a perfect layer to the newly updated room. Enjoy the before and after pictures below.

Design Tips
Decorating Tips
Swedish Design
Swedish Herbariums
Swedish Design Tips
Swedish Botanicals
Herbariums from Sweden
Botanicals from Sweden
Swedish Decor
Swedish Interior Design
Interior Design the Swedish Way

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