Patina!

by Posted On

house beautiful

First of all, I have to say how completely thrilled I am to be participating for the first time in Splenderosa’s BY INVITATION ONLY!

AND

Also incredibly lucky to have been able to pick the topic!!!

As some of you may know, I was  published in House Beautiful (one of my very favorite magazines!) in September, 2011!

It was about our house! (Which we built from a vacant lot ten years before the photographs).

The photographs were taken a couple of years earlier;  and the shoot was presided over by the

darling and wonderful Newell Turner!

I had not seen any of the photographs, and I was interviewed over the phone by one of my favorite writers, Mimi Read

of New Orleans  (the Queen City of “Patina”).

I had no clue what the article would say! (nor the title)

“Patina”

  I was thrilled with all of it!

Because of that article;  I became close friends with Brooke of “Velvet and Linen”,

(author with her darling husband of the book “Patina Style”);   started a blog, and have made wonderful friends in blogdom!

Marsha of the divine “Splenderosa” is one of them!

patina fortuny

The picture above is an excellent example of what “Patina”  is to me; and why I love it!

The dictionary defines it as:

a : a usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color.
 b : a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use
I like copper and bronze with patina;  but it is the second definition that is what I mean when I talk of “patina”!
The above chairs were my mother’s purchased in Italy 70 years ago.
Their fruitwood frames are faded and nicely worn.  The “Fortuny” fabric is inside-out, and the table
is over 300 years old.  It was in a French convent.  The nuns would work at it all day (probably weaving  and
writing.  They would then take their dishes out of the space under, have their meal, and return their
plates after the meal.   You can see that it sways a bit in the middle; and the top is anything but perfect.
The boxes are antiques;  one of them is covered with an ancient  French fabric.

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 1.34.06 PM

 This is a personal taste, I am sure everyone understands!  This coverlet is all hand sewn copperplate toile

from 1782 England.  My friend Eric Haskell (head of the Humanities Dept. of Scripps College has authenticated it).  It is faded and worn in places,

(I think the man I bought it from thought I was crazy to buy it for $140.00)  Eric has a fit that I use it;  he says it belongs in a museum!

It represents the American Revolution!  And it is the original from 1785.

It is in “Winterthur”.

toile bedcover

(I just found it by “google images” !  It is in many museums!)

Lordy!  This sold at auction for $3,500.00!!!

The pillowcases are old  French embroidered in a way that cannot be duplicated today.

 patina shutter

  This gate was made by my pond man;  I showed him a picture; and he made it!  It is mesquite with leather holding it to the wall.

I said, “How on earth did you know how to make that? ”  He said, “we vacation in third-world countries.  They use what they have!”

(the mail truck hit one of them once;  the man with the clipboard came to make a report;  he was just scratching his head …I went out

and explained to him it  wouldn’t be expensive to replace.  I think he is still trying to figure out why

anyone would want a gate like that!!)

 Sharon Santoni showed some lovely French shutters in her blog My French Country Home (below)

I looked everywhere for old shutters like  she showed.

Our carpenter made some and they look close!

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 1.01.24 PM

The patina on this old panelling is very difficult to reproduce.  If it isn’t done really, really well;  it doesn’t work at all!

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 1.00.43 PM

(also from Sharon’s blog)

I try to promote the grown of this kind of stuff on our walls……no “power washing “

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 10.02.14 PM

I actually cried when the floor people took this off our front steps!  (it’s back!)

Mail Attachment-1

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 10.52.05 PM

The real thing in France

  Mail Attachment-2

(I know what a bad picture it is….)

My  painter did a great job!

Mail Attachment-3

I did find an old gate from France.  My husband said,  “Do I dare ask?  Do we paint it????”

“EEEEK!!!!!  NO!!!!!!!!  That’s Patina!!!”

patina6

The lime wash on the walls of the loggia

patina4

My mother’s old “lacca provera” chest from Venice. Old oil paintings, antique Chinese export

porcelain (the color worn off the top handle)

patina 3

patina 2

The imperfections in the antique mantle are so appealing to me.  And that it is hand-carved.  Where has it been???

None of our walls are painted.  Lime mixed with natural mined pigments we brought from France.

It is a natural insect deterrent, and leaves a lovely, uneven chalky  surface that you see in Europe.

patina

Our loggia again.  Can you see the vine growing over hand painted fabric panel?

Now!  A different sort of “patina”!!

“Wendy’s chair”!!!

That is Wendy on her chair!  Quite proud of what she has wrought!

“Isn’t this how you make chenille??

  Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 1.15.46 PM

I took these pictures in to Cowtan and Tout and said,  “this fabric just isn’t holding up very well!”

They all laughed their heads off!

 Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 1.16.05 PM

Really the best way to learn about Patina is to read Brooke and Steve Giannetti’s book:  “Patina Style”!

When Brooke and I  first met, I said,  “I think we knew each other in another life!”  She

said,  “Just one?”

THAT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST COMPLIMENTS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!

 patina style

 If you find this interesting;  please read this book!! It is my favorite!!!

59 thoughts on “Patina!

  1. Marsha @ Splenderosa
    Reply

    Penelope, this is brilliant. We all love your style so very much, and admire that you do not leave out any detail. Welcome to By Invitation Only, everyone is going to LOVE you. You are now linked in.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Thank you sooo much! I was so upset that I could not link in! You saved me immediately!

      Bravo! and thank you for including me! Goodness!

      Penelope

  2. Marsha @ Splenderosa
    Reply

    Penelope, this is brilliant. We all love your style so very much, and admire that you do not leave out any detail. Welcome to By Invitation Only, everyone is going to LOVE you. You are now linked in.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Thank you sooo much! I was so upset that I could not link in! You saved me immediately!

      Bravo! and thank you for including me! Goodness!

      Penelope

  3. Virginia from Glamour Drops
    Reply

    Well hello Penelope and welcome to the BIO group! Aren’t you clever to think of such a charming topic as patina.

    I am still in shock about that toile coverlet….astonishing provenance…how absolutely wonderful. And am very glad that it is in your safe hands, where it is obviously treasured.

    Greetings from the other side of the world, in Australia… Virginia

  4. Virginia from Glamour Drops
    Reply

    Well hello Penelope and welcome to the BIO group! Aren’t you clever to think of such a charming topic as patina.

    I am still in shock about that toile coverlet….astonishing provenance…how absolutely wonderful. And am very glad that it is in your safe hands, where it is obviously treasured.

    Greetings from the other side of the world, in Australia… Virginia

  5. Mona Thompson
    Reply

    Penelope…Welcome to our group. We are just thrilled to have you join us. I was first introduced to your fabulous home through one of Brooke’s posts. So much fun today getting to devour each room and lovely outdoor space again. Patina Perfection! Have a great day. Mona

  6. Mona Thompson
    Reply

    Penelope…Welcome to our group. We are just thrilled to have you join us. I was first introduced to your fabulous home through one of Brooke’s posts. So much fun today getting to devour each room and lovely outdoor space again. Patina Perfection! Have a great day. Mona

  7. Coty Farquhar
    Reply

    Welcome to this fabulous group of girls Penelope! and what a wonderful subject, thank you for thinking of it!
    Your home looks very beautiful and I do look forward to spending more time soon looking back through your older posts.

    Sending hugs and warm wishes from down under! xx Coty

  8. Coty Farquhar
    Reply

    Welcome to this fabulous group of girls Penelope! and what a wonderful subject, thank you for thinking of it!
    Your home looks very beautiful and I do look forward to spending more time soon looking back through your older posts.

    Sending hugs and warm wishes from down under! xx Coty

  9. Taylor Greenwalt
    Reply

    Penelope…I love learning more about your house and the wonderful things you did to it…love your gate and love the treatment on the walls…so pretty! I want to try Brooks treatment also…pool plaster…such a great idea…..Did you finish your daughters house?

  10. Taylor Greenwalt
    Reply

    Penelope…I love learning more about your house and the wonderful things you did to it…love your gate and love the treatment on the walls…so pretty! I want to try Brooks treatment also…pool plaster…such a great idea…..Did you finish your daughters house?

  11. Lisa
    Reply

    Welcome to BIO! And thank you for the interesting topic. Your house must be beautiful, all the layers and fading.

  12. Lisa
    Reply

    Welcome to BIO! And thank you for the interesting topic. Your house must be beautiful, all the layers and fading.

  13. Christina @greige
    Reply

    Penelope,

    It is so nice to see your home featured here! I love the kitty cat chair, if only mine had stuck to just one piece of furniture!

    Wishing you a wonderful week.

    Best,
    Christina

  14. Christina @greige
    Reply

    Penelope,

    It is so nice to see your home featured here! I love the kitty cat chair, if only mine had stuck to just one piece of furniture!

    Wishing you a wonderful week.

    Best,
    Christina

  15. D. A. Wolf
    Reply

    So nice to meet you, Penelope. And I adore your examples of patina. That toile coverlet is a treasure!

    And I share your love of these beautiful worn surfaces. (Perhaps my New England upbringing, antiquing with my mother… or the many times I’ve transplanted myself to France for a whole other life?)

    Either way, the hand and the eye adores these surfaces.

  16. D. A. Wolf
    Reply

    So nice to meet you, Penelope. And I adore your examples of patina. That toile coverlet is a treasure!

    And I share your love of these beautiful worn surfaces. (Perhaps my New England upbringing, antiquing with my mother… or the many times I’ve transplanted myself to France for a whole other life?)

    Either way, the hand and the eye adores these surfaces.

  17. Heather in Arles
    Reply

    I was so excited that you are joining us and that you suggested such a fabulous topic that I saved reading your post for the end of the day, when I could enjoy it with a glass of wine and a bit of Mozart.

    To say I was delighted by all that you shared with us doesn’t begin to cover how lovely this was, nor how touched that you included two photos from my blog to show patina as well. You have always been so supportive of my photos and I am very appreciative of that!

    Am hoping to one day meet you and beautiful Brooke in person. In the meantime, welcome to the BIO group, we are lucky to have you!

    With my Best from Provence,
    Heather

  18. Heather in Arles
    Reply

    I was so excited that you are joining us and that you suggested such a fabulous topic that I saved reading your post for the end of the day, when I could enjoy it with a glass of wine and a bit of Mozart.

    To say I was delighted by all that you shared with us doesn’t begin to cover how lovely this was, nor how touched that you included two photos from my blog to show patina as well. You have always been so supportive of my photos and I am very appreciative of that!

    Am hoping to one day meet you and beautiful Brooke in person. In the meantime, welcome to the BIO group, we are lucky to have you!

    With my Best from Provence,
    Heather

  19. Jacqueline
    Reply

    Dear Penelpoe,
    It’s so lovely to welcome new members to our BIO circle and what a wonderful subject you have given us this month…… it is so me !!
    Your post is beautiful in both text and images but I have to say, I love the photographs of your cat the best !!!!
    Welcome and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the coming months. XXXX

  20. Jacqueline
    Reply

    Dear Penelpoe,
    It’s so lovely to welcome new members to our BIO circle and what a wonderful subject you have given us this month…… it is so me !!
    Your post is beautiful in both text and images but I have to say, I love the photographs of your cat the best !!!!
    Welcome and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the coming months. XXXX

  21. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    via the internet:

    “fabulous as usual”

    Catherine

  22. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    via the internet:

    “fabulous as usual”

    Catherine

  23. LA CONTESSA
    Reply

    WENDY knows how to make PATINA look just right!GOOD GOD LOVE THAT CHAIR!!!!!!!Where was it as I do not recall seeing anything so gorgeous upon our visit!??Patina is a beautiful word……and you have used it to describe many gorgeous things in your home!Sounds like you have converted THE HUSBAND too!I applaud you and your PATINA STYLE!Age is beautiful.The more layers the better………….XOXOXOX

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Any person who would not approve this divine comment…….needs to be hospitalized immediately!! Isn’t she marvelous? Simply marvelous!!

      And she is my friend!! she is our kitty Wendy’s friend, also! she is a fan!!

      this woman is a treasure!!!

  24. LA CONTESSA
    Reply

    WENDY knows how to make PATINA look just right!GOOD GOD LOVE THAT CHAIR!!!!!!!Where was it as I do not recall seeing anything so gorgeous upon our visit!??Patina is a beautiful word……and you have used it to describe many gorgeous things in your home!Sounds like you have converted THE HUSBAND too!I applaud you and your PATINA STYLE!Age is beautiful.The more layers the better………….XOXOXOX

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Any person who would not approve this divine comment…….needs to be hospitalized immediately!! Isn’t she marvelous? Simply marvelous!!

      And she is my friend!! she is our kitty Wendy’s friend, also! she is a fan!!

      this woman is a treasure!!!

  25. velvet and linen
    Reply

    Well, you know how I feel about you Penny!

    You did not need to mention me in your post, because you are the ultimate Queen of Patina!
    I’ve learned so much from you and cherish our friendship.
    Congratulations on being a part of this group. I’m sure you will enjoy creating every post.

    xo xo

    Brooke

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Brooke, you silly goose!
      I did not feel the need to mention you! I HAD to!! We feel the same way about “patina”!!
      And, I LOVE your house, I love your family, and I love your book!

      The cover really does say it all!!!

      P

  26. velvet and linen
    Reply

    Well, you know how I feel about you Penny!

    You did not need to mention me in your post, because you are the ultimate Queen of Patina!
    I’ve learned so much from you and cherish our friendship.
    Congratulations on being a part of this group. I’m sure you will enjoy creating every post.

    xo xo

    Brooke

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Brooke, you silly goose!
      I did not feel the need to mention you! I HAD to!! We feel the same way about “patina”!!
      And, I LOVE your house, I love your family, and I love your book!

      The cover really does say it all!!!

      P

  27. Greet
    Reply

    Dear Penelope,
    What a gorgeous post!!! I so enjoyed it!
    xx
    Greet

  28. Greet
    Reply

    Dear Penelope,
    What a gorgeous post!!! I so enjoyed it!
    xx
    Greet

  29. Marsha Cannon
    Reply

    I love the topic and enjoyed your post so much. My mother used the reproduction of the toile for draperies and after a move she took the draperies and made slipcovers for two love seats. Alas, the patina eventually resembled your kitty chair and had to be replaced. That fabric has been such a part of our life!

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Marsha Cannon,

      Scalamandre made the reproduction! I hope it still does! If not; my friend Steven Stolman is the new President! I’ll ask him to!!!

  30. Marsha Cannon
    Reply

    I love the topic and enjoyed your post so much. My mother used the reproduction of the toile for draperies and after a move she took the draperies and made slipcovers for two love seats. Alas, the patina eventually resembled your kitty chair and had to be replaced. That fabric has been such a part of our life!

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Marsha Cannon,

      Scalamandre made the reproduction! I hope it still does! If not; my friend Steven Stolman is the new President! I’ll ask him to!!!

  31. Antonia
    Reply

    What wonderful photos of a beautiful house, lovingly designed. Years ago a friend of mine and I visited the San Francisco designer house. Conveniently enough it was located across the street from our hotel! The small downstairs powder room walls were done in Venetian plaster, something I had never seen before. They positively glowed — . Patina?

    Love your blog.

  32. Antonia
    Reply

    What wonderful photos of a beautiful house, lovingly designed. Years ago a friend of mine and I visited the San Francisco designer house. Conveniently enough it was located across the street from our hotel! The small downstairs powder room walls were done in Venetian plaster, something I had never seen before. They positively glowed — . Patina?

    Love your blog.

  33. home before dark
    Reply

    Since I have said no to Botox and dying my hair, I’d have to say perhaps I have the most patina of anything in my house!

    With the globe getting smaller and smaller as people decorate their houses to sameness, it is patina that makes the difference. Patina tells the story and without a story, I’m bored!

  34. home before dark
    Reply

    Since I have said no to Botox and dying my hair, I’d have to say perhaps I have the most patina of anything in my house!

    With the globe getting smaller and smaller as people decorate their houses to sameness, it is patina that makes the difference. Patina tells the story and without a story, I’m bored!

  35. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT to say that the reproduction of this fabulous toile is Scalamandre! My dear friend Steven Stolman is the new President of Scalamandre!!

    Bravo! (I sure hope they still have it!!)
    “Revolutionary Toile” I believe is the name of it!!

    Penelope

  36. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT to say that the reproduction of this fabulous toile is Scalamandre! My dear friend Steven Stolman is the new President of Scalamandre!!

    Bravo! (I sure hope they still have it!!)
    “Revolutionary Toile” I believe is the name of it!!

    Penelope

  37. audrey friedman
    Reply

    Dear Penelope,
    As a first time writer on By Invitation Only, I, too, was thrilled to do it.
    Having a home in France, Patina was all around me.
    I hope you have a chance to see my take on it.
    http://www.myamericanfrenchlife.blogspot.com
    Looking forward to more wonderful blogs from you, this one is great.
    Thank you.
    xxxxAudrey

  38. audrey friedman
    Reply

    Dear Penelope,
    As a first time writer on By Invitation Only, I, too, was thrilled to do it.
    Having a home in France, Patina was all around me.
    I hope you have a chance to see my take on it.
    http://www.myamericanfrenchlife.blogspot.com
    Looking forward to more wonderful blogs from you, this one is great.
    Thank you.
    xxxxAudrey

  39. Indra
    Reply

    In this seemingly disposable country we live in it is always so refreshing to see things that have been treasured and cherished for lifetimes and will go on to create so many stories to share. I loved the comment by Home Before Dark “Patina tells a story and without a story, I’m bored” brilliant observation!…..mee too! Love the subject and your style Penny

  40. Indra
    Reply

    In this seemingly disposable country we live in it is always so refreshing to see things that have been treasured and cherished for lifetimes and will go on to create so many stories to share. I loved the comment by Home Before Dark “Patina tells a story and without a story, I’m bored” brilliant observation!…..mee too! Love the subject and your style Penny

  41. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    Audrey, (I have learned to specifically name whom I am responding to) it is all out of order!!)

    I LOVED your description of patina! You are indeed, surrounded by it i France!

    Who finds it curious that some Americans go to France and Italy; love love love, the rock walls with no mortar; the aged shutters and peeling paint; and the patina of age.

    They get back here……and if one chip of paint is peeling off a door……REPAINT IT!!!

    I don’t get that! That is “patina”!

    The American Indians really “got patina” and probably had a word for it!

    Not so much Americans today………they “think” they like it?

    what say you????

  42. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    Audrey, (I have learned to specifically name whom I am responding to) it is all out of order!!)

    I LOVED your description of patina! You are indeed, surrounded by it i France!

    Who finds it curious that some Americans go to France and Italy; love love love, the rock walls with no mortar; the aged shutters and peeling paint; and the patina of age.

    They get back here……and if one chip of paint is peeling off a door……REPAINT IT!!!

    I don’t get that! That is “patina”!

    The American Indians really “got patina” and probably had a word for it!

    Not so much Americans today………they “think” they like it?

    what say you????

  43. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    Heather!

    I need you to tell me the photographs I did not credit you with!

    You have no idea how hard it is for a person with a lifelong case of ADD!!

    To keep track of any photos!!

    (I usually use only mine for that reason!)

    I know how important this is for photographers…..and great photographers are major important artists in our world……

    Please tell me what pictures were yours…….so I can credit!

    Penelope

  44. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    Heather!

    I need you to tell me the photographs I did not credit you with!

    You have no idea how hard it is for a person with a lifelong case of ADD!!

    To keep track of any photos!!

    (I usually use only mine for that reason!)

    I know how important this is for photographers…..and great photographers are major important artists in our world……

    Please tell me what pictures were yours…….so I can credit!

    Penelope

  45. www.muitochique.com
    Reply

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  46. www.muitochique.com
    Reply

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  47. Lucile
    Reply

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  48. Lucile
    Reply

    Hello I am so grateful I found your site, I really found you by error, while
    I was searching on Digg for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the superb work.

  49. http://www.muitochique.com/
    Reply

    Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading
    your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover
    the same subjects? Appreciate it!

  50. http://www.muitochique.com/
    Reply

    Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading
    your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover
    the same subjects? Appreciate it!

  51. fishing lovers
    Reply

    Very informative post.Really thank you! Much obliged.

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