February 11, 2015

nashville antiques and garden show - road trip recap

I can't believe it has already been almost two weeks since I went down to Nashville for the Antiques and Garden Show. If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't, why the hell not?!) then you got to see some of the highlights, but I thought a full recap was in order. And please note, 'full recap' is blogger speak for 'a whole lot of pictures'.

To travel for a weekend full of walking and ogling over antiques, I could think of no better companion than my mom. She is the one who taught me all I know about antiques and spent the first 18 years of my life dragging me across the country thru every home and museum open to the public. So dragging her around a huge convention center and a very busy city for a weekend was the least I could do. And by the end of each day, trust me, we were dragging.

Thursday afternoon kicked off the weekend with a private event for a handful of bloggers and all of the stars of the show, hosted by the wonderful women at StyleBlueprint. I got there just in time for a discussion on inspiration, the good and bad side of trends, process, successes and failures, the power of social media and basically all things design. Heaven people. Pure heaven.

From left to right: Christopher Spitzmiller, Kreis Beall, Suzanne KaslerCarolyn Englefield, Michael Devine and Margot Shaw
We also got a preview of the show to open bright and early the next morning. After this point, things get a bit fuzzy. Staring down at the show was the last moment of calm for the weekend. The next three days were a blur of talks, celeb sightings, and almost more eye candy than my eyes could handle. Almost.

There were about a half dozen speaking events over the course of the show, and I could go on for hours about all the wonderful stories, advice and great one liners from everyone I saw. But in going thru my notes, yes I took notes, I thought I would share some of my favorite bits and pieces.

I texted this picture to the hubs as I waited for Diane Keaton to take the stage. The elderly lady sitting next to me said, "What is a blog, anyway?" We started to chat but then Diane came out and the lady proclaimed, "Oh thank God she isn't wearing gloves!" How I love visiting with strangers.

My fuzzy picture of my new best friends, Diane Keaton and Alexa Hampton (Alexa later retweeted this picture). I must say that Alexa Hampton is my new crush. I already loved her work but now I'm a total fan of the whole woman. She was SO funny, self-deprecating, quick witted, and basically just an all around gem.

And Diane Keaton was exactly how you think she would be; so sweet, open and just relaxed. It was like she was just chatting with 300 of her like-minded friends. She talked about her work on more than 30 houses, experiences with contractors, real estate and her life long love of design.

My seats for all the other speaking events were much further back so pictures weren't an option. But, luckily my ears are good so in no particular order... some of my favorite quotes of the weekend:

Spitzmiller - "I never go for cutting edge. I go for what feels good to me."

Englefield - "What's important is how a place feels and does it have a soul."

Kessler - "Clients want a foundation of tradition, but not traditional. Style evolves so if you respond to something, then bring that in. Let that give you the freedom to find your own style."

Devine - "There is a hunger for more pretty in design."

Keaton - "Play with your dreams and then just do it for Gods sakes."

Then there is the other side of the show, the goods. So. Many. Amazing. Things. Booths from all over the country, even a few abroad, with dealers who knew their stuff. They were all so friendly and the combo of knowledge, kindness and incredible taste paid off because I will tell you - things were selling like hot cakes. I can't even tell you how many things I saw on Friday that were sold by Saturday. There were things at vastly different price ranges so there was honestly something for everyone. My mom and I tend to pick the most expensive thing in a booth, so we were generous enough to let others buy many of our picks.

There were booths styled to perfection.

That leather was as soft as a baby's bum.

Miles of amazing furniture.

Can you say custom banquet perfection? Look at that right angle.

Chinoiserie secretary in pristine condition and the most perfect scalloped solid brass lamp. Damn it why am I not rich?!

I may have shed a tear when I saw this bar. Wouldn't my gin collection fit perfectly in there? It sold quickly to a very smart woman (sadly not this smart woman).

Lamps. So many great lamps.

Some with shades that I now dream about regularly (silk peacock blue custom shade? yes please)

And some with no shades at all.

If only I had more money, I would have taken her home with me.

Luggage for my next trip.

And of course, blue and white as far as the eye could see.

We also got to spend a bit of time exploring Nashville which is a city I want to spend more time in. I could go on for days but the moral of the story is, I will for sure be going back. A huge thank you to all of the wonderful women from the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show and StyleBlueprint for including me. I will be back!


  1. So much eye-candy! Glad you had a blast!

  2. How fun! Those rugs and the blue and white collections had me drooling :-)

  3. My jealousy has taken over. We're no longer friends. Just kidding -- take me with you next year! ;)

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed the show and our fair city. I am SOOO bummed I didn't get to the show this year, but other engagements had me tied up. But am especially sad I didn't get to meet you. :( I know you were super busy though anyway. The show is exhausting but amazing every year. When I heard Miles Redd speak a couple of years ago and then got my photo taken with him I thought I had died and gone to heaven (of course I had a hair malfunction - grrr - I blogged about it somewhere - I'm sure it still exists on my neglected blog). Loved your recap! Oh, and I heard Alexa Hampton speak at Blogfest a couple of years ago and have been in love since - she's hysterical!

  5. How great that you and your Mom went together. An all star lineup of speaker , great booths and I wish I could have been there with you!! Thanks for the super images!

    The HighBoy featured at The Arts by Karena

  6. Nashville is so much fun!! Looks like the show was amazing! Glad you had a great time!!

  7. WOW! what a lot to take in! and i want to touch the baby butt leather. i loved the quotes you jotted down, and i think alexa sounds like my kind of girl. i am all for wit and self deprecation.

  8. Thank you for the recap .... this show is on my bucket list! I grew up in Nashville and will be going back this fall for my nieces wedding ... I haven't been in so long and know it has changed so much ... I am soooo excited!! xokim

  9. What an awesome experience E! Thanks for sharing, this was such a fun post - so many pretty details and I especially love the words of wisdom from the designers. Interesting, the one on clients wanting tradition but not traditional, and whether a place has a soul. Love those thoughts. Glad you had a great little getaway with your mom sharing something that you both appreciate. And that bar NEEDS to be yours someday for the gin collection!

  10. Oh, where to begin?? The QT with your mom, that old portrait of the girl, the fact that I am dying to go to Nashville?! And I guess we can assume that it's no coincidence that Diane Keaton is always in movies with my dream houses?!

  11. Oh this looks amazing! Total eye candy... I drool. And also I wish I was rich too. (sigh) Thank you for sharing your adventures and I totally would have stuck that bar cabinet thingie under my arm and hot footed it out of the country ;) xx

  12. Wow! It looks like you had a fabulous time! I really enjoyed looking through all of your pictures :) I love what Kessler said about tradition - I think that is so true. - Anna (www.annaeleeinteriordesign.com)

  13. I spy champagne and a lot of it!

  14. dream trip! love seeing it through your lens.

  15. Ooooooooo....... So. Much. Pretty. Yep, I need to be rich.

  16. Beautiful pics - that show looks fantastic! We're going to Nashville for the first time in April - taking my daughter to visit Vanderbuilt. Do you have any suggestions for stores?

  17. You were so close to me! Wish I had my act together to make the trip to Nashville to meet up with you. Looks like it was a fun show!

  18. How fun, Elizabeth!

    I freaking LOVE Diane Keaton. Mostly for her quirk but lately for her interest in being more public in the design world. "Thank God she didn't wear gloves." Bahahahahah!

  19. not sure what happened to my comment :( Loved your recap. And I loved that Diane Keaton was there. She is such a classic. And that bar cart!! lucky lady who scored it!

  20. What a fun event! All of those gorgeous lamps and rugs!!! I love Diane Keaton's quote. ;)

  21. You are such a funny writer. I love when you said "why am I not rich?" This is how I feel too when looking at all these dreamy pieces of furniture and accessories! I'm glad you told us all about your experience. I hope to go next year.

  22. those vintage louis vuittons trunks are fantastic! amazing! looks like it was a fun trip

  23. What a great trip! Im so inspired just reading about it! xo Nancy

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