Finding Vintage

Stone Barn Renovation

Stone Barn Renovation

From this to that . . . . along with a one story red barn that was used as a lean-in (old farm term) there sits a one and a half story stone barn.  This building was part of Holiday Farm and was used to hold two large water tanks.  These tanks supplied water to the wells on the entire farm. (Rumor is that Walt Disney stayed here). This building, although charming in it's dilapidated state, needs a renovation.

The problem that home owners of farm properties have is the up-keep.  We are not farm owners but have these outbuildings with great opportunity.  Do you spend now to renovate? Once it falls apart getting permits and rebuilding is a more lengthy and expensive process.

Preserving this history is definitely a passion of mine and bringing a building back to life with minor modern updates and a nod to it's past is the best part.

Follow along on my journey to remodel this small gem.

Happy New Year!

Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracy Foley
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Collected

Collected

Decorating for the holidays.  Fun or stressful?  

I don't feel the pressure of having the outside of my home look all decked out, maybe because I don't live in a neighborhood, but I do feel the pressure of having the inside of my home look festive and represent our relaxed family vibe.

The place I always start with, is with a collection and for some reason this just works for me. Could be because I hoard collections of white - ironstone, enamelware, porcelain or collections of silver - hotel, nickel, monogrammed or any other of my numberous, must have it, too good to pass up finds. My closets and barn are filled with these goodies that float in and out of our home depending on the event, the holiday and the season.

Although, I am not decked out yet I have my base. Taking a group of my white pieces: pitchers, West Elm vases and antique vessels and putting them on a table together is so much more impactful than having them scattered around the house. Trimming the boxwoods and pines outside is a good place to start. Putting a few in each container, adding holly, bittersweet, eucalyptus and possibly a miniature wreath might end up completing this display. Not exactly sure what the end result will be but that's the fun of it not the stress of it.  

So many different ways to decorate for the holidays.  Share your ideas, your hacks or things to avoid!  Next up . . . how to display the holiday cards? Always a challenge.

All the best,

Tracy

 

Tracy Foley
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Work Studio Renovation

Work Studio Renovation

It may not be perfect but it's perfect for me.  The small red barn that sits just across from our kitchen window view has always looked like an opportunity to me. I could picture it fixed up, painted inside, little white twinkle lights. Very romantic visions for a Water and Main Studio.

I've been using it for years for storage but over the last few years it has further deteriorated. It needed a new roof (huge hole), barn doors were not attached so they couldn't slide to close properly, dirt floor with lots of tree roots finding their way throughout, definitely not airtight from outside intruders (any animal who lives outside), cracks in the walls and rot made it easy for the elements to get inside the building. The list goes on.

As with most projects or pieces. I see the potential but the timing isn't always right. It's like when I see a chair with great lines but horrible fabric (it just needs a facelift) or an adorable pine cottage bureau (the paint just needs to be stripped and the knobs need to be repaired).  Apparently, I like to create more work for myself.

This summer the barn project finally rose to the top of the list and I began to check off the to do list.  The roof is now brand new and the barn doors are back on their tracks. New fascia boards have been installed but need to be painted and sealed. The walls are single barn boards and will need some batten boards between them to cover some of the cracks/spaces. And the roots will have to be dug up and a floor created (concrete? pressure treated lumber?). I certainly have a ways to go but when the little white lights go up I'll celebrate. I saw the potential. Stay tuned to watch my progress.

Tracy Foley
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Heading Home

Heading Home

Heading Home's mission is to end homelessness in greater Boston. For people in the design community what a wonderful organization to partner with.  

Here we are (I put myself in that category loosely) a group of people who are passionate about making people feel comfortable in their homes. We pride ourselves on being able to create a place that reflects you, your travels, your values, your family.  Can you imagine not having a place to call your own?

The Heading Home organization hosts many wonderful events in and around Boston but this week they've joined forces with the design community of Boston to celebrate with Heading Home to Dinner. 

"Heading Home to Dinner is Boston’s first “dine by design” event where members of the Boston design community create dinner table and bar cart designs, that are auctioned off in effort to help our neighbors in need."

Heading Home has partnered with New England Home Magazine and Jamestown Properties for this 3 day event where people can buy tickets to view these inspirational designs, enjoy cocktails and dinner.  Come out and celebrate this wonderful organization!

For tickets go to  //eventbrite.com/tickets-external?eid=36779039096&ref=etckt

Tracy Foley
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A new look for Water and Main

A new look for Water and Main

I love finding hidden away antique shops, going to auctions, meeting people who are creating products and goods and hearing all of their stories.  That is the most interesting part of what I do.

Now that we've redesigned our website I'm hoping to be able to bring you more interesting content, current stories featuring sharp business owners, more inspiring photography, and inventory that is vintage as well as my own new designs. 

So take a look our website with fresh eyes and be prepared to stop back as it will continue to change and grow as we do!

Tracy Foley
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Brimfield or Bust

Brimfield or Bust

What a fantastic week it was exhibiting at the Brimfield Antiques Show.

I've been a frequent shopper of Brimfield for many years and always wondered what it would be like to be on the other side of things. A seller for the week not a buyer for the week. I was worried that I wouldn't get to "pick" and I wouldn't get the good finds first. What I didn't fully realize what that I just had to change my expectation.

The week began with my family helping me load and unload a twenty foot U-Haul and pick up truck. Back breaking but had to be done none-the-less. This was followed by two full days of setting up my goods and styling my pieces so that it felt more like a shop than a tent on Sheltons field. Now is when it gets good. The next seven days were spent telling people my story, how Water and Main began and how much I love doing what I do, hearing what people were looking for and meeting people and hearing their own stories.

My worry of not being the first one on the field to shop quickly diminished when I met the cool dealers exhibiting around me (Nina, Carmella, Susan, Julie, Andrea and Kevin), when I met shop owners who were looking for pieces to stage their stores with, when I met people that I follow and who follow me on Instagram - how crazy is that! When I met customers who come to Brimfield every year with their best friends and spouses because it's just a fun way to spend the day with friends. 

Brimfield is a wonderful place to shop but it's also a fantastic melting pot of people with different backgrounds and lots of great stories to share.  I'm hooked and I still came home with a few goodies.

A big thank you to my best girlfriends who came to Brimfield to support me, help me move furniture and spend the day with me in my booth. Cec, Diana and Sarah - you are awesome!

I'll be exhibiting there again this September 5th - 10th, on Shelton's Field in the same spot. Booth B66.

Tracy Foley
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The Vendue Charleston

The Vendue Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina is my new favorite place.  

I took my first trip there two weeks ago and four days was definitely not enough time to explore the art, history, shopping, foodie scene and architecture. 

(Painting by Brett O. Scheifflee - Robert Lange Studios)

Our trip included staying at the Vendue Hotel in Charleston and for art lovers this boutique hotel is a must.

The roof deck, cocktail hour and warm cookies at 9 were lovely but the art installments that appear everywhere in the hotel are a wonderful part of the Vendue experience. 

(Elizabeth Foster - Mitchell Hill Gallery)

At the end of this hallway just beyond the lobby is an incredible sculpture of a lion "Leo" which is made entirely from bullets. It sits in the window of the Vendue in downtown Charleston. My photo does not come close to doing it justice. (Mary Engel - Robert Lange Studios)

Bars and restaurants like SNOB, Husk and the Darling Oyster were a short walk or pedicab away from our hotel location as was the water, the boardwalk and historical downtown homes.

From photography, to oil, to mixed media and interactive art displays the Vendue Hotel was a gallery in and of itself. 

 

Tracy Foley
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WATERHOUSE in Hingham

Amber Waterhouse opened up her antique shop in Hingham Square in April of 2014.  Not only does she have amazing taste in antiques but she's a talented painter who's been working on her craft for 15 years.  Combine the two and you've got one of my favorite paces to shop for art and antiques South of Boston.

Her shop is filled with pieces that look like they came from the English countryside.  A federal style mahogany sideboard, a pair of Stafforshire porcelain dogs, an Empire four drawer chest, a Japanese campaign chest, majolica and blue willow dishes and Asian garden stools.

Asked about her personal style Amber admits she will always love Empire period pieces, blue and white and all things collected over time which is probably why I love her style so much. That aesthetic is reflected in her carefully curated pieces and paintings are a big part of that.

The artwork that covers every wall is inspiring and personal. Amber has many artists represented as well as her own paintings and they mix seamlessly with the antique pieces in her shop.

Amber was an art history major in school and that's where her love of art took hold. "It's your personal signature" Amber says about adding art to a room and I think that's so true. One painting I fell in love with was a piece by Margaret McWethy.  Margaret studied at Swathmore then was mentored by Henry Hensche. This impressionist piece makes me wonder what is at the end of this lovely tree lined road. A beautiful antique barn? A hayfield? A pasture? This piece speaks to me (along with the bamboo chairs with blue pillows.)

I actually met Amber through my dear friend Cecilia Walker (Cecilia Walker Design) and ironically Amber and I both ended up having space at the Boston Design Center in the Market Stalls area of the building (art and antique dealers). Right away I loved her style. Because of the way she mixes her pieces you can easily envision how they would fit in your own home as statement or accent pieces.

Ambers knowledge of antiques and art makes shopping at Waterhouse a fun trip.  Lot's to see, to learn about and get inspired by. 

Waterhouse is located at 106 North Street in Hingham, Massachusetts. They are open from 11-5 Tuesday through Saturday. You can also see Amber's collection on facebook, instagram and pinterest at @waterhousedecor

Tracy Foley
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Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue

I don't know when it happened that I fell in love with American flags but it happened. I obviously love navy blue and definitely love stripes so it's no surprise that I love to incorporate vintage flags in design.

More interesting is that the actual history of the American flag goes beyond how many stars are on it and which states were incorporated.  There are many flags from individual state flags, Navy flags, Indian flags and flags for specific regions of the country. We all know that Betsy Ross hand stitched an American flag in 1776 but did you know that in 1775 American ships in New England flew a flag called the Liberty Tree Flag which showed a green pine tree in the center of a white background? I saw one for the first time last summer at an antique show and had never seen one before.

As states were incorporated the pattern of the stars would change and would not be as symmetrical as they are now with 50 states. For instance, a thirteen star flag would have five columns with a 3-2-3-2-3 patter of stars. 

I have a small collection of American flags that I find everywhere. I find many at estate sales that are perfectly folded in a triangle because a family member was in the service. Antique shows have them in abundance - cotton stitched vintage flags, newer nylon flags or cotton with a flag pattern printed on it (these are usually the smaller flags that everyone waves on the fourth of July.)

Although, Ralph Lauren has used Americana in their styling forever, you don't need a big budget to get the look.  Share your American flag designs with me on instagram (@waterandmain)

If you're interested in reading more facts on flags here is a great resource http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagfact.html

Tracy Foley
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Antique bench, vintage tool box and an antique farm table at the Vintage Retriever

Road trip to The Vintage Retriever

There's a great reason to take a road trip to Holden, Massachusetts. It's home to one of my favorite shops.  The Vintage Retriever. Julie and her husband own the charming shop that has been in business since 2014.

 

Julie a former teacher has a love of old homes and found pieces. Her passion for antique furniture developed after she and her husband bought their first home and began to furnish it. They loved the character of antique homes and wanted to create that within their first house.

They began renovating by replacing new doors with old ones, adding beams and shiplap and then began to fill their home with unique finds.  Although she was still teaching, she took up space in some multi dealer shops and eventually left teaching to open her own shop. 

Her eye for spotting a great piece is fantastic but her styling is what's really amazing.  Her shop is set up in such a way that your eye is drawn to one vignette after another and the more you look the more you find.

 

I love to go antiquing and try to go picking once a week.  I've shopped at Julie's booth space at the Brimfield antique show on Shelton's field where she exhibits three times a year (next show May 9-14) so I know what kind of pieces she carries but I was excited to see what new pieces she had in her shop because I knew I'd find something to purchase.

Her shop is filled with antique tables, pine armoires, apothecary chests, antique benches, industrial pieces, concrete garden ornaments, linens, pillows, soaps and lot's of wonderfully styled on-of-a-kinds like the unusually large brass propeller I had to have.  These pieces are all housed in a charming building with a tin ceiling and painted floors, of course.

As the name implies, they named their shop after their golden retriever but have since added Ruby who happily roams the shop and sits in the window to welcome visitors. Julie's clean, farmhouse aesthetic is right up my alley and is worth the trip!

Vintage Retriever, 1148 Main Street in Holden, Wednesday through Friday.

 

Tracy Foley
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Golden Globes and vintage globes

Golden Globes and vintage globes

Although, I have not found any golden colored globes in my travels while hunting for antiques and unique finds, I have found that vintage globes are very easy to find. 

They are found in different colors, between 8" and 14.5" and are one of two types. Globes depict a map of the stars or a map of the earth.  I think I've always been fascinated by maps.  It's so interesting to me to see places I've visited on a map or to see where a location is in relation to another or how an area has changed over time.  

Globes were first recorded in Nuremberg, Germany in 1492. In the 17th century it became the fashion to carry a miniature globe in one's pocket because geography was often a topic of conversation. Fast forward to the 19th century where globes became common in schools.  

Globes were made of paper-mache, a layer of plaster with 12 hand-colored printed paper strips. There would be a brass ring (the meridian ring) and the globe would be on an oak stand.  Can you imagine the level of detail?  What a piece of art.  Nowadays, globes from the 20th century are abundant.  They may not be as valuable but I still find them to be colorful and interesting accessories to decorate with and not just for a child's room.

The above picture is of a favorite globe of my own.  It's oversized, has a metal meridian ring that rotates and the blue water and yellow land colors are bright and vibrant.  A fun mix with my vintage white-washed cabinet.

 

 

Tracy Foley
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Stars shine in Vermont

Stars shine in Vermont

A favorite tradition for our family is to go North for the holidays.  We owned a home in Vermont for around 13 years and love being there when the snow begins to fall.  Over the last year of traveling to the Mad River Valley area we began noticing large stars made from branches and twigs that were placed in yards and on the sides of buildings and barns. At night the stars were sprinkled with white lights and lit up main streets and back roads.

On the surface the stars are pretty, charming and sweet. What they actually represent is a strong sense of community in the Mad River Valley which is home to ski resorts, business owners, artists, farmers and a whole bunch of people who care about where they live and work together to preserve it.

I love to take pictures of barns when we travel to Vermont so I can continue to dream about the barn that I will one day live in but to drive down route 100 and see stars lighting up the sides of barns one after the next is inspiring. It's a tradition that has taken hold in that area of Vermont and reminds me of what a special place it is.

 

 

Tracy Foley
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