June 9, 2008

Karen Kessler - Antiques & Curiosities

A family friend, Karen Kessler has been an antiques dealer for years. She will be at the Crown Center Antique Show http://www.crowncenter.com/AboutUs-Antique/Index.htm the weekend of June 22nd. I know that you will love her collections and wanted to give you a heads up to head down to Crown Center to see her unique must have antiques.

Contact Karen Kessler for any questions and requests for that special antique for your home at kar.kessler@gmail.com .

I asked Karen Kessler if she would allow me to visit her home and photograph some of the wonderful ways she uses things that she loves. So often, gals come into the shoppe and comment that they love something but wouldn't know how to use it in their home. Karen's home is full of inspiriation, ingenuity and darn right clever uses of wonderful found antiques and primitives.

The photo above and below is of Karen's front entry. This is an inviting entry to her home and I can imagine sitting with a good book and an iced tea waving to my neighbors as they stroll past.

The foyer is just as inviting. Karen's heritage is Swedish and her design sense includes lots of white furnishings. The rocker and display cabinet are a great combination. The vintage light fixture was a find that was rewired for Karen's home. Isn't it perfect?
Let's get down to the clever ways Karen uses the things she loves in her home.

Fireplaces can be a unique opportunity to group things you love. The vintage wooden cabinet is the perfect focal point for the hearth during the Summer months. Ivy always looks great and it is easy to care for. The little galvanized watering can is looks right at home. It works because it is the same color tone as the metal container that the ivy is planted. On the mantel, the tiny vintage bird house picks up the color palette once again. Karen uses architectual salvage pieces like the post that holds a croquet ball. The bright red color again, is a Swedish element.

A closer view of the vintage wooden cabinet that is so functional for any room.

In this photo, little Alexis the tiny sheltie poses for me in front of the fireplace on the cool tile. Again, the mantel is used to showcase collections.

One one side of the mantel is wonderful vintage glass bottles filled with shell buttons that catch the light and shine. The silver coffee pot is a great shining companion for the glass bottles. The enamelware teapot adds a bit of whimsy and the color picks up the colors in the print above.

On the other side of the mantel another tiny teapot, a green tin that mirrors the enamelware teapot on the other side with porcelin figurines on top with a kerosene lantern that repeats the silver tones of the coffee pot. The lace doily softens the collections and gives it a feminine feel.
How great does this green table look with the illustrated book and lamp? The lamp is elevated with another bit of lace under which gives it a place of importance.

I really thought that the use of children's gardening tools on tabletop was very interesting. It was unexpected and looked great with the books and potted plant.

Another collection of porcelin lambs on a table underneath a great vintage print of sheep in a pastoral setting. The amusing thing is that Karen and I own the same print. She walked into my office one afternoon and exclaimed, "Where did you ever find that print?" I love it!

The child's white chair had the sweetest tiny pillow with scottie dogs embroidered on the front.

This photo is of Karen's grandparents in the company of a tiny porcelin cup & saucer, a porcelin dog and a great vintage book. I loved this arrangement and it was the most touching to see Karen's grandparents. I encourage you to get out those old family photos and live with them. This very valuable heirloom was tucked away on a shelf behind glass doors. It is on a shelf at the bottom of her staircase and I am sure she glances at the photo everday as she descends the stairs.

I loved this trunk on rollers in Karen's living room. It was a nice conversation piece and a little masculine touch in a room filled with feminine touches.

Would you walk past this table at an antique mall or estate sale? Karen has the seeing the potential in the unusual. I love this little table and it is perfect under the shelf above. The scale is just right to make the collection work.

This green shelf is one of Karen's favorite pieces. It would be one of my favorites too. The green cabinet underneath is such a great color match that they seem to go together, but are really two very different pieces from different origins. Karen laughed that she had once put the little cabinet in one of her shows and when it didn't sell realized that it would be a great companion piece for the shelf.

A closer view of the top shelf featuring tin kitchen items and an embroidered dresser scarf pinned to the back.

The curtain in the window are vintage pillow cases altered into lovely curtains for the kitchen nook. The bench under the window is from England and was used for picnics.

Another wooden box with vintage kerosene lantern, lace bit and a collection of strawberry tins.

Clever use of a vintage wire rack at the corner of the stairs in the kitchen.
See the galvanized watering can on top of the wardrobe? Unexpected - and therefore perfect.

Now we will let Bandit, the sweetest cat give us a tour of Karen's private collection of children's vintage miscellany. Every antique dealer has their own private collection - their passion. At Karen's show you will find children's memorbilia, but primarily she shows furniture pieces, garden antiques, cabinets, stars, all great things I know you will love.

There were alot of things in Karen's collection that I had never seen before - anywhere. Like the little tin tray with matching dishes.

This tiny blue dresser in a size appropriate for a four year old is in pristine condition. It had the tiniest little curling iron on top and a tiny cap hanging by the mirror.

This was my favorite item of Karen's collection. A tiny plastic dog with a ring filled with plastic charms.

This is my camera shy friend, Karen. I took this photo without her knowing... this way you will recognize her more easily when you see her at her next show at the Crown Center Antique Show.

The little white dress hanging over the edge of the basinette was Karen's when she was a baby. How cute! My mom had a little navy blue dress like the one hanging nearby.

I am sure some of you will remember some of these items - the Beatrix Potter book was printed in France for a special event Karen attended.

I love this happy little rag doll in this little wooden chair.

A collection of miscellaneous children's antique items on a bookshelf.

What a cute handcrafted rabbit a vintage bedspread. I love his big bunny feet and his little ears.

A collection of children's books, little leather coin purse, ruler and scissors. There were the tiniest little green dice on top of the tray beside the bell.

Figurine of a child reading a book with his little dog at his side. Adoreable. If you see something you love, bring it home so that you can smile each time you walk past.

Another collection featuring tiny bakelite utensils.

A simple rail with hooks works so well above the print to hang a tiny basket and star. I must ask Martin, our cabinet maker to make some of them for me.
Onto the garden -

A dove is always a nice element for the garden and looks right at home with the old enamelware kettle potted with annuals.

Good use for a tiny stool - a plant stand for a potted plant.

Karen found this trough and brought it home from Texas. She uses it to hold some of her favorite plants, a candle and various littles.

Karen found this old post that a woodpecker had made a hole in cut the top into a point added a tin roof and instant garden art. Genius.

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