Friday Favorite: 2014 Art & Antiques Show

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December 5th through the 7th in Jacksonville, Florida

Late last November I got an email from a friend that said she had extra tickets to the  Art & Antiques Show lectures. “Would you want to go? Miles Redd will be there on Friday, and Bunny Williams, James Farmer, and Danielle Rollins will be speaking on Saturday.”

What? YES!  Bunny Williams is going to be in Jacksonville? Miles Redd is coming? What is this wonderful event and why hadn’t I heard about it?

I was so excited and responded with a big “YES AND THANK YOU” before I even looked at the dates and times of the event. In that moment, nothing else mattered because I was going to hear Bunny Williams discuss her life and decorating style, and give advice.

A foyer by Bunny Williams

A foyer by Bunny Williams

Bunny Williams has been a designer I have loved the longest. She learned from the best, Albert Hadley & Sister Parish, and has a style that mixes antiques and tradition with splashes of modernity to create fresh, inviting spaces. She pays acute attention to details and makes sure there are repeating elements so the rooms are tied together and full without being busy.

I listened to her speak that Saturday morning as if she were the teacher and I her student.

Yes, I took notes and I still have them:

 

  • use Farrow & Ball paint
  • when in doubt, paint old furniture white
  • train your eye to find the best pieces
  • sleep in your guest room before you have visitors to make sure it is comfortable
  • you can never have too many dishes or too much china (She had a WHOLE ROOM built to store hers.)

Needless to say, I was in heaven and was one of those people who jumped in line, right after the lecture, to get my Bunny Williams book signed. It is a treasure.

Danielle Rollins at her former home Boxwood

Danielle Rollins at her former home Boxwood. (from Veranda magazine)

I KNEW hearing Mrs. Williams speak would be an experience, but I didn’t know how much I was going to love Danielle Rollins. I had heard of her because her beautiful home “Boxwood” was featured in Veranda  and was decorated by none other than Miles Redd.  But, I didn’t know what a force she was on her own.  She is smart, gives great advice, hosts beautiful parties filled with special moments for the guests, makes people laugh, and has that quality to her that makes you feel like you could be her friend.

After her lecture, I was in line again with her book Soiree.

It was an inspiring day. Not only did I come home with a pair of  beautiful antique foo dogs and three signed books, but with the realization that this world of styling and decorating was full of smart, cerebral, gifted, and kind people. Having an eye for things that work is not just something you are born with, but it is also something you can learn.

I realized it was a world I had always loved, and a world I wanted to be a part of; I realized that it is about more than just making things look pretty.

I realized it is about making people feel special and making people feel at home.

That’s what the Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital does, too. Their fundraising is ensuring that Jacksonville’s children’s hospital, Wolfson, has the best equipment and is giving the best pediatric health care in the region.   I never realized how important it is to feel comfortable at a hospital until my stroke in April.  It was scary for me and I am an adult.  I can’t imagine how traumatic it can be for children and their parents.

So, not only is it a Friday favorite of mine, but an all time favorite; the Art & Antique Show  is an event with a heart… an event that inspires the guests and contributes to a most-worthy cause.

I invite you to come to the show this year, December 5th through the 7th, and attend the Opening Night Party which is “the much anticipated highlight of Jacksonville’s social season.” Tickets can be purchased here for any or all of the weekend’s events.

This year I am especially looking forward to hearing from designer Jan Showers, authors and designers  Jane Schwab & Cindy Smith (of The Welcoming House),  and journalist, novelist, Garden & Gun contributor, and foodie Julia Reed speak.

You can find me there volunteering in the pastry shop and the decor re-sale booth… or in line getting my books signed!

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