[Liz's Antique Hardware photographed by Art Streiber published in Shabby Chic, Harper Collins, 1996.]
In her recent G & G essay about Harper Lee, writer Alice Randall talks about Scouts and Scarletts. For Randall, the world has long been divided into one archetypal literary character or the other -- a Scout or a Scarlett. As my sawhorse desk project has evolved and I've found myself happily spending more time in hardware stores, I've been thinking that, just in terms of aesthetic style, maybe our personalities can be distilled into 'hardware store' or 'shoe shop.' You know, essentially where are you most energized: exploring the crowded aisles of an old fashioned hardware store or the edited displays in a sleek boutique?
I love the creative possibilities inherent in all those heady art supply and hardware store scents. My preference seemed obvious. But then there are tall boots. Especially Frye's.
[Heath boots via Frye.]
Since age five I've been drawn to all sorts of knee-high boots and even if I'm only window shopping, I do like thinking about them. So, the material archetypes need a little work.
The picture at top is from my favorite among Rachel Ashwell's older series of books, the original Shabby Chic, featuring more well-worn leather, natural wood, and an interesting mix of California houses, including director Tony Scott's. Although, shown here is Liz's Antique Hardware in L.A. Off the top of my head, Architectural Accents is a good place to go in Atlanta if you're looking to browse a somewhat similar place. I found the supplies I needed for my almost-finished desk at General Hardware in Brookhaven.
[Photo by Caroline Allison courtesy G & G.]
Matt and Carrie Eddmenson's Nashville shop, Imogene and Willie, may just offer the best of both worlds. Located in an old gas station with perfectly faded oriental rugs scattered underfoot, this store sells custom-made jeans, hand-dyed scarves from India, hamam towels from Turkey, and vintage boots all in a utilitarian-chic setting. Learn more about Matt and Carrie, along with twenty other rising designers, architects and artists, in G & G's special style issue. (Yours truly contributed the profiles on Shelley Hesse and Melissa Rufty.)