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Monday, August 1, 2011

Ebony and Ivory

In 1982, one of the number one singles was "Ebony and Ivory", which was sung by the greats Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. The first line of that song is (y'all sing along now)

"Ebony and Ivory, live together in perfect harmony..."

Today I will highlight contrast in home design. These contrasts are yin and yang which can be colors, antiques & contemporary pieces, simplicity and complexity, darkness and light, gold and silver, well you get the idea. Ebony and Ivory is a perfect example of two beautiful contrasts. 

I love vignettes because they tell a story and they often times reflect my personality. The Ghanaian ebony thinking man among the white porcelain pieces is an example of one of Candice Olson's essential principles of good design which is decorating with contrast in mind. Plus, I just adore her.

I have fallen in love with porcelain pieces adorned roses. I have had the good fortune of finding them at Les Marchandises d'Maison. That's right, the Home Goods store. The ebony piece in the middle is a hand carved ebony statue from Tanzania. She is a carrying what appears to be a heavy jug. These contrasts allow me to enjoy the yin and yang of decorating. In this case, black and white as well as old and new. You have seen some of my porcelain pieces in the posts Cloche Encounters and To Shine or Not to Shine.  

I have this thing for tea pots and caddies. The ebony tea caddy with the African elephant is a great contrast to the delicate porcelain teapot and is an example of how contemporary and traditional pieces co-exist without competing with one another.

I picked up the ebony African old man with the marble base at one of my favorite local antique stores. He looks great anywhere you put him. Today he stands next to the porcelain bell. Hey let's ring the bell, "Espresso any one?"

This antique black marble hindu buddha looks peacefully at the delicious strawberries which are lying on a sandwich tray adorned by roses with patterned lace around the edges. I have a tendency to mix high end pieces with great regular market finds. The buddha came from a local antique shop. I recently found the tray at my neighborhood Marshalls. The porcelain bud vase I found on eBay for little of nothing. I was the only bidder. I love those kinds of bids.

So switching up a bit, I added a few more pieces to this contrasting vignette. The large porcelain vase in the back, with the beautiful roses around the neck, is the keeper of a special silk floral arrangement I had made as a center piece that sat on each table of my mother's retirement party. Two very special ebony statues from Ghana pose between the porcelain pitchers and creamers. In the foreground is a very delicate rose. The juxtaposition of colors, objects, history, culture and textures allows me to live in an environment that is elegant yet casual. This is what I call Vintage Urban living.

This week we will be partying with the following fabulous folks:

It's Party Time @ It's So Very Cheri
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Making the World Cuter Monday @ Making the World Cuter
Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle
Motivate me Monday @ Keeping it Simple
Sunday Blog Love @ Cherished Treasures
Boogieboard Cottage @ Masterpiece Monday
Wow us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Time to Shine @ A Diamond in the Stuff
Inspired by you Wednesdays @ Eisy Morgan
Whatever Wednesday @ Momma Hen
Anything Goes @ Type A
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
White Wednesday @Faded Charm
Pearls and Lace Thursday @ Faith, Grace, & Crafts
Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground
Inspiration Friday @ At the Picket Fence
Time Travel Thursday @ The Brambleberry Cottage
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Primp Your Stuff Wednesday @ Primp
Passionately Artistic Linking Party @ Passionately Artistic
Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors


Stacey said...

love your take on vintage urban living. your vignettes are gorgeous and quite eclectic too.

Katie @ Wildwood Creek said...

Beautiful vignettes! Love the porcelain.

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Love those pitchers! Beautiful!

Jane @ Jane's Junk and Treasures said...

Vintage Urban Living............I like it.....

The Charm of Home said...

That is wonderful! I love this style and enjoyed it very much.

Rhonda said...

I do love contrast in interior design - especially mixing a bit of modern with lots of traditional/vintage. It somehow relaxes any uptight feel in an otherwise stuffy room.
I love an occasional whimsical element too. Over fussy just isn't comfortable to me.
Love your post and yep, great idea on that giveaway!

poppilinnstudios said...

Love contrast in decorating. The vignettes are beautiful!

Honey at 2805 said...

Your vignettes are all lovely! I do like to have contrast in decorating.

Blessed Serendipity said...

Using things that contrast brings attention to your collection instead of just blending in. Nicely done.


Veronica said...

It gives soo much more interest when there is contrasts. Whether it is in styles or colour, it adds dimension. love your vignettes, especially the strawberrie one!


Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Very nice vignettes. Love the contrast, and you demonstrated it well. Of course I love anything with roses on it.

Atelier de Campagne said...

The song was lovely and so is your style ladies. Greetings from sunny California!


Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

Oh I love that song!

I enjoyed seeing all your takes on contrasts. Great photo's too!

My mother loves to decorate with black and white. She uses red as the accent color.


romance-of-roses said...

Contrast is important otherwise could get boring. Love the vignette with the strawberries. Reminds me of a gal I used to know who had a black and white kitchen with a splash of red, wow, was it ever an attention getter.
Great work girls....Lu

Aarthi said...

Hai Dear

you have a lovely blog…I like your writings and words...Please check out my blog.I am having a Giveaway in my blog..Please check it out and partcipate in that..


lvroftiques said...

Awww I loved that song! it's vintage now too isn't it? *winks* And I also love Candace Olsen AND your vignettes Paula! The porcelain pieces with roses are a favorite of mine. They look great paired with the darker sculptures. Could I please have a few of those strawberries? They look absolutely delish! *winks* Vanna

Tammy @ Type A said...

love the pitchers and the buddha! great finds. nice to meet you! i'm your newest follower, tammy :)

Olive said...

I remember that song! The ebony is so right next to the rose pieces. We love Asian art here as my daughter collects it and is running out of space for it.

alissa {33shadesofgreen} said...

As a kid, that was one of my favorite songs! I still love it. What beautiful vignettes you have put tohether! I love the white and black pieces together.

Thanks so much for stopping by yesterday.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

You have some very pretty treasures to work with. I have always liked using one color like red with the black and white. Many years ago I had a bathroom with black and white tiles and white walls, so used red and white towels - looked good. Will be back when have a little more time to check out more of your posts.
Thanks for stopping by and reading along. I have a tendency to ramble a lot, so hope you don't get to bored. :-D

Anonymous said...

I just have to say ..... I love, love, love everything!!! The pitchers are magnificent!! white with black!! love it!! a touch of red!!! yes!!:) I will return!!!
Pink Hugs,

Kathy said...

Everything looks just lovely. I esp. love the white clay flowers emblishing the vases. Following you from Wow us Wednesday. Kathy

Pamela said...

Loving everything! It looks so lovely! Thanx for stopping by last week for Treasure Hunt Thursday!

Town and Country Gals said...

Your vignettes are lovely! I think contrast is what makes it all so interesting and visually pleasing! Thanks for visiting!

Lynn said...

Love the porcelain bell.....thanks for stopping by!

Shelia said...

What a pretty display! You're good!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Amy Kinser said...

I like the way you mix things up. Very pretty vignettes.

I love your header also.

Blessings to you, Amy

The Charm of Home said...

Thank you for linking it to Home Sweet Home!

A Few Pennies said...

Beautiful. I love my decor in tans, whites, black and tiny bit of faded aqua. Your blog is inspiring!

Unknown said...

I think my favorite image is the last one. I can really see the whole tablescape and how all your gorgeous pieces play off of each other. You did a beautiful job. :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi! I am really enjoying yours. :)


Debra@CommonGround said...

Hi Paula, your vignettes are amazing! The white porcelain pitchers with roses are making my heart go pitty pat. Love their delicate petals. So glad you linked up to VIF! xoxo Debra

Anna at the Doll House said...

I have chanced upon your inspirational piece and wonderful photos. I must confess that I am a blue person myself. Having said that, however, I do so agree with your thoughts about contrast and style mixing. I have also always loved this song.


Temple said...

Hi Joan,

Everything is just gorgeous, but what I really like is how you've created a seamless global-vibe (Asia, Africa, India, Europe...). All distinct peoples, cultures, etc., but they also really look great together. LOVE it!


Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

Les Marchandises d'Maison has been one of my favorite places to shop for many years. ;)

You've struck a wonderful balance - a perfect yin and yang - with your ebony and ivory pieces, Paula. The contrasting colors, materials, and themes make the displays quite interesting.

Thanks for visiting the cottage, joining the party, and becoming a follower (I returned the favor.). I would love to have you join me each week.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Paula, I love the porcelain pieces with roses and the entire vignette is lovely. Thank you for linking to the Open House party this week.

Maggie Lamarre said...

Hi Paula,
Luv the vignettes, now I have that song playing in my ear, I remember that song pretty well...
I will be honored if you will add this project in our weekly linking party every Wednesdays at
Have a great week,

Doni said...

Those porcelain pieces are just gorgeous!

Tanya Anurag said...

WOW.. that's a pretty collection. Nice :)

I am hosting my first Link-up party - Tea Time Thursdays. Would be glad to see some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see ya at the party :)

Nayana said...

I love that Buddha in such a beautiful pose, Thank you for leaving me a wonderful comment and following. following you too..

Anonymous said...

What I find the most appealing about this post is the marriage of so many cultural elements. That in itself is a breath of fresh air.

Unknown said...

I'm so proud of you and all you have accomplished with your blog. The pictures are amazing. As are your vignettes. I love the vintage with an urban twist look.

bahar006 said...

I love the pitchers, look great:)

At The Picket Fence said...

What a great post Paula! I loved seeing all of your vignettes of contrasts and you have such gorgeous pieces. Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

Unknown said...

Great contrasts and vignettes.

Martha said...

I like what you did -- the contrast is perfect. I've seen those same pitchers and THOUGHT about buying them -- perhaps I should have after seeing what you did with them.

Savannah Granny said...

As usual, you are inspiring. I love all the blacks and whites. Thanks for sharing you talent. Hugs, Ginger

The Tablescaper said...

Do beautiful. Love the contrast.

- The Tablescaper

Kathy said...

Those are beautiful pieces, so unusual, you go girls! Thanks for stopping by my blog, it is so nice to meet new friends!

Maison Beldecor said...

Hi Paula,
thanks so much for your visit and your lovely words, they make me so happy...
I love the romantic combination of "Ebony and Ivory" your vases are great...
Wishing you a beautiful week

Designwali said...

gorgeous! thanks for your lovely comment on my blog! have a great week!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Ohhh goodness the porcelain roses are soo pretty!! Love the combinations of the colors and your vignettes! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday this week!

Tanya Anurag said...

Thanks for linking. The party for this week - Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner - is on. Hope to see you there with latest posts.

Cindy Adkins said...

This is simply gorgeous! That photo with the strawberries is just so lovely. I've been looking at a several of your past posts this evening. Your blog is one of my favorites!


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