Friday, December 30, 2011


                                                          Homestead in the old days

Throughout my life there have been a handful of people outside my family who have had a profound influence on me, and Carol Hicks Bolton is one. A great part of Carol's magic seems to be her ability to recognize potential ( in people and in objects) that others can't see. She recognized and nurtured that unseen raw talent in me.

My relationship with Carol has seen everything from the two of us sleeping on a pile of packing blankets in the back of a U-Haul truck at 3am on the way to buy antiques in Brimfield to her being the first person at the E.R. after my teenage daughter was seriously injured in an automobile accident, to giving into folly at numerous Homestead parties dressed in everything from pajamas to 18th century French gowns.

Through  the years Carol has always shown her great depth of compassion, creativity and love which have always outshone even her most glorious material works. And I wonder if it is because of those attributes that she is so easily able to create those glorious material things.

One of Carol's many gifts, as I think you will see in this interview,  is to be an artful storyteller whether she is using words or objects. So it is with great pleasure that I present a preview (the inside jacket cover?) of Carol's newest and wonderful story which she is preparing to tell the world.

So cozy up - brew a cup of hot tea and enjoy the one time, one-of-a-kind glimpse into the genius that is Carol Hicks Bolton.

BLF: In the more than twenty years that I have known you and Tim, you have both proven yourselves to be innovators and trendsetters, always on the cutting edge of design, morphing and sometimes changing entirely the business concept while aspects of the Carol Hicks Bolton signature style have remained relatively unchanged. Can you give us a glimpse behind the scenes of your latest endeavor?

CHB: Picture a space with million foot ceilings, concrete floors, tobacco stained, chickenfeed smelling concrete walls, and beautiful light--right next door to your favorite place to buy sod seed and fodder..... and there you are--a peek into our next adventure on Lincoln Street.

We loved being in the midst of the craziness of Main Street for 20+ years. (Wow, I don't even know how long we were there.) With the birth of our children, we began trying to simplify our lives so that we could enjoy the family that we had prayed for for 15 years. Mac is 16 now, and Augusta 12!!! Moving to Lincoln Street gives Tim a lot more flexibility of schedule. It will be a much more laid-back venue. The folks that head our direction will understand more about what we are doing and will appreciate the art of our aesthetic. Our clients will be our friends again. There will be time for relationship and fellowship--something we have missed with the busy footfall of Main Street.

BLF: So will we see the same Carol Hicks Bolton style that has been so successful in the past or are you taking things in a whole new direction?

CHB: It feels like a whole new direction for me--I have been at home with my children and out of the design world for awhile but I am still a storyteller. I continue to love interiors and objects that tell a tale--either make-believe or true. The CHB style is alive and well, perhaps a bit more spare but with a healthy dose of detail and wonder. We have bought a mountain--ok, a hill- of ancient cushy chairs from France that we are redressing into little jewel box pieces for boudoir and parlor-envision the diminutive antiquities clothed in a patchwork of sari's, paint and velvet, industrial bits of--wait, I can't tell you everything. there will be no surprise.

BLF: How has your style evolved over the years and what has driven that evolution?

CHB:I would say that my style has evolved from moreismorealiceinwonderlandmeetsbohemianbotanist to a littlelessmoreismorealiceinwonderlandmeetsbohemianbotanist. I have become much more simple in my own personal style. There's no time to dabble in things that aren't important.

BLF: What color could you not live without?

CHB: I've never met a sea-green, blue-green, mineral, greenish-blue, or aquamarine that I didn't like.

BLF:Words like Victorian, Old World and Nostalgic have be used to describe your look. How would you describe it?

CHB: hmmmmm..... I think that my look is a mash-up of Bollywood/Peasant Clothes/ Oliver Twist/laundered lace set out to dry/ National Geographic/French Modern

BLF: Tell me what your vision is for this newest pursuit?

CHB:Love God, Follow the Savior, Serve Others, Be Content, Inspire, Encourage,Have Fun.

BLF:What shapes do you find yourself drawn to?

CHB: Anything that was once chubby, but has now lost it's shape because of love---you know, Velveteen Rabbit-ish chairs and such.............

BLF: A key element to the Carol Hicks Bolton look seems to be taking a common object and using it in an unexpected way.
Can you elaborate on that?

CHB: We are calling this shop Carol Hicks Bolton: Antiquities & Laboratoire de Design. Tim has always been a "thing-finder"--you know those fascinating objects from the past ages that cause you to stop, gasp, and wonder. This time, instead of just displaying them as they are, they will be made into things-- old things made into new things.......we want the look to be always inventive--the space acting as more of a laboratory--something always in the works--a place for a changing assemblage of objects and antiquities. Tim is designing AMAZING beds out of these collected parts-so delicious. I'm putting together linens--pieces of my authentic style mixed with my new fascinations:---really pretty and kinda simple with a fewfewfew pillows instead of a pile.

BLF: How would you express the philosophy behind your designs and what feelings or emotions do you wish to create
through your designs?

CHB: I hope that you know that I cannot bear pretension in any way. Someone slap me if I ever act that way or attempt to create something that pretends pretension. It is what we all wish to create--it is what you and Ron do so beautifully---something that delights the eye and awakens the emotion. Life is messy. I believe that home should be safe haven. Home is "base" in the game. I want our designs to reek of a peaceful but exuberant place.

BLF: Your style has been a huge inspiration to many over the years, but what has been your greatest inspiration?

CHB:  Creation-The miraculous,mysterious, indescribably beautiful universe--spoken into reality by a word from the Master Creator

I hope you all enjoyed this peek into the person who is Carol Hicks Bolton as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. It is amazing that after all the years I have known her she still suprises me with her depth of inspiration like an old time magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat------ an old ,well loved, - velveteen - rabbit of course!!!

Carol Hicks Bolton: Antiquities & Laboratoire de Design will be opening in mid January at 301 South Lincoln Street. You may call 830- 997-5551 or go to for more information.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Well he's done it again. Dream man outdid me last year, and he's outdone himself this year. The present he wrapped for me last year was absolutely beautiful. {You can see it on my post titled "OUTDONE"} And this year it's just as beautiful, if not more so. I think he has started a new tradition!!!
I will be expecting my gift to be wrapped in some creative and elaborate way every year now. Usually, I can't wait to open my present, but I don't mind waiting to open this one because the wrapping is a gift in itself.
He used an old player piano roll, an old porcelain insulator, a 60's gold plastic bird ornament, a vintage millinery flower. and other bits of vintage goodness sprinkled with mica snow. His creativity really astounds me. I love him!!!

And I thought I would show you a few vignettes of our home as we get ready for our Christmas eve gathering of family and friends tonight. Hope you enjoy, and Hope your Christmas is Merry and Bright!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


In the garage sale section of the Fredericksburg Standard classifieds a few weeks ago, was an add for an in-home vintage sale by Rusty and Redone. I went. And I'm so glad I did!!!! I met a charming young woman called Shannon who had transformed her home into an exciting shopping adventure.
She had draped her furniture in canvas drop cloths and burlap, the walls were hung with paint spattered drop cloths, and there was eye candy everywhere.

Shannon takes unwanted, rusty castoffs, and turns them into one of a kind art, and home decor.
she opened her etsy shop last august - where she sells her wares.
Shannon is a stay at home mom who homeschools her three children ages 9, 11, and 15.

the cute white shelf you see in the back right corner is now in my bathroom
It was only $20.00!!!

so please stop by'll be glad you did!!