Friday, August 31, 2012

Fancy That's Process of Becoming a Tea House - Chronicling the Process

Got Tea?

Over the next six months or so we'll be chronicling the process of becoming a Tea House, or if you prefer, a Tea Room.  It just seems like the next logical step for us, and we're excited about it.  
Fancy That started almost ten years ago as a small, woman owned, family run vintage china rental company with a penchant for tea parties :) ...Almost ten years on, our inventory includes pristine mismatched silver plated flatware, beautiful dinner plates, vintage tea cups and saucers and so much more.

In May of 2011, we opened our retail gift shoppe.  So many of our clients and customers wanted to be able to purchase items for tea, we simply had to help out! (grin).  Our Shoppe offers imported British lemon curd, clotted cream, Double Devon cream British jams, French jams, vintage china cups and saucers and many more unique tea related items (like Scottish Clotted Cream Fudge!  YUMMY!).

All of the above has led to our newest and best idea yet...

We want to serve afternoon tea, and we're hoping to do so to coincide with our Tenth Year Anniversary Celebrations starting March 2013!

One little problem.  The cute bungalow we lease is not quite equipped for the whole process. 

So, we have a little bit of work to do, and we thought it would be fun to share the process with everyone here!  So stay tuned as we chronicle the process of Becoming a Tea House - Victorian-Gentility-Style!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Softer Side - Softening Exposed Brick Walls

courtesy of  

The question is simple:  What to do with exposed brick walls and how to soften them!  Abandoning fear of the "harsh, cold brick" is the first step.  Once you pass through your fear, you can begin the decorating!  Art work always works well when softening the walls.  Like the picture above, shine halogen lights directyl into the artwork.  This allows the art work to stand out allowing the brick walls to take a secondary view perspective.

Trendy London Shop from

Placing color on the walls either on shelves or with items you love to display (as in the case above, retail items), detracts the eye.  You are immediately drawn to the color and afterward, you notice the wall.  Of course, you may not see the brick at all if you only are focused on the awesome items that are on display!  :)

Kitchen from

Hanging floor to ceiling curtains over an "imaginary" window softens the walls as well.  In the cae of the kitchen above, the stainless backsplash "softens" the brick on either side.  Adding artwork further takes the brick down several tones.  Imagine a wall where you have two panels, a faux fireplace then two more panels - you may never see the brick walls at all!

 Living Room from

Of course there always is the one of the best tricks - glue wainscotting on the wall!  Before attaching the wainscotting, glue the top rail in place then install the entire unit.  From about 36" down there will be no more brick!  This also give the room an early 1900's feel - like you have walked into a Victorian Parlor.  You can also apply lincrusta at the dado level using heavy wallpaper clay.  Once set, a paint technique or a rub that will look like leather will indeed make the walls softer.

Marvimon House  from

Softening the walls of exposed brick is just a matter of taste.  From the sublime, to the modern, Victoriana to Edwardian, or even a wedding venue as above at the Marvimon House, plants, colors and lighting make the walls less cold which means they will stand out less.

MaryLay Lonneman from - mktotebags

Defining space - not dividing space, as Mary Kay Lonneman from mktotebags did on her shoppe as pictured above, defines vignettes in wide open areas.  The vignettes create intimacy and intrigue.  Try creating each vignette around a color pallet - pinks, baby blues, smoking room burgundy.  Separate wide open spaces with display shelves - try simple book shelves with wallpaper inside the shelves on the inside back, and then again on the exposed back to the shelf so each side has a point of interest. 

Softening those exposed brick walls is as simple as using your own design esthetic, color, and some unique ways of "hiding" some of the brick!  And don't forget the floor as well.  Adding area rugs, or better, painting the floor with link squares, will add to the softness of the entire space - softening the exposed brick as well. 

Thanks for stopping by!