We visited Flora Dora today. My advice, get there quickly.
Here is our shopping list at the end of the day:
Gordon listed our house's negatives as far as resale:
No real garage. All new houses have a garage even if the garage dominates the facade. (That's a "snout house" per Dan Curl.)
No premium landscaping. Landscapes deteriorate quickly. They have to be kept up. Very soon the shrubbery gets out of control. Some big feature between house in street makes an impact. Gordon suggested a big stone mailbox, stone in the driveway at the street, and/or a 9 foot lamppost with a huge lantern where the sidewalk meets the driveway.
It's only a storefront at Amsterdam Walk just a couple of miles from the house. I've seen it a hundred times. Who cares about silk flowers anyway? Gordon does and now I do.
Flora Dora is a huge store filed with plants and related decorative items. The owner recognized Gordon right off as a "color" man. He and Gordon were on the same wave length. Flora is going to do a few arrangement for us. One is for the coffee table or anywhere else we care to put it. Another is for the "2 big vases with iron leaves around the kitchen sink. This is the model we took to Flora Dora. I can't wait to the final product:
There will be one vase on each side of the window.
The arrangement was to suggest the size.
Gordon grabbed the candlestick from around the house.
The owner was a scream, he read Gordon's mind. We looked at everything keeping up a chatter with the owner. They guy is good, witty, and opinionated. We bought a few great vases, a tree, a plant, and a garland for over our keystone. There was plenty more we liked and nothing we didn't.
Oh, I was going to mention flower bending. While we were there, a customer arrived with her digital camera. With the tiny camera screen she showed her room to the owner. From tiny view he redecorated the room: "Get rid of this stuff; keep that and that; use that vase, and put these three silk flowers in it. The lady was aghast but as a prior customer she wanted to believe him. While persuading her, he showed her how to bend her silk flowers. I guess it had come out of a package. He bent every single stem, every branch, every flower, and every petal. As we watched, that flower came alive in his hands. I'm sold.
I hope to pick up our arrangements next week.
Back at the house we hung the trees and Rachel's pedicures.
Gordon rearranged the table while he was at it with cat, vase, and coral.
We love the coral everywhere we put it.
Caution, this picture doesn't do it justice.
We finally hung "Drawbridge."
While he was at it he did a Christmas mantel:
Berries from Z Gallerie, Candlestick from 18 years ago,
Bowl from Steyn Mart, Candles from Marshalls, picture from B A Framer.
By this time David had completed his commissioned painting for the end of the laundry. (It's 15" by 60".) It's a knockout so Gordon promoted it to the big room:
Then a radical change of plan emerged! "If you really want to know what I would do."
Gordon wants to keep our place from getting too serious. Seeing the David's work was a kick in the pants for him. "If you really want to know ... I'd move the screen downstairs and have David (or Rachel) do a painting the size of the screen." We could also put the screen back in the entrance until we got a fountain, or didn't get a fountain.
Gasping for breath we began to get it. Gordon took David aside and told him he could make money out of this stuff. We commissioned another painting for the end of the laundry hall. David did it in 24 hours (no picture yet). We're reeling.
David working on number 2.
Seeing the tree pictures and David's painting put Gordon into high gear. He's determined to find the right place for every picture and decorative item we have. He raided our bedroom for a decorative rock, a vase, some sticks, and a pedestal. We let Gordon be Gordon.
I had to work on the computer a bit. As I climbed the stair, I noticed he'd made our stairs into an exhibition hall:
First the column, a Flora Dora base, and plastic cat tail.
The the botanical the we removed from the office.
As I walked up the stairs I saw the tree picture, the okra picture, the column, and the botanical. Nice.
We've made a boring laundry hall into a dramatic picture gallery and a stairway into an exhibit. What's next?