Monday, November 28, 2011

Huff Harrington Heroes

Well, here we are a week or two into our newest little venture…and it’s been great. We’re busy, busy, busy…but what fun!


We’ve got a million great things we can’t wait to share with you…and don’t worry, they’re coming soon.


But first and foremost, we absolutely have to tip our hats to the wonderful team we have in place at Huff Harrington Home – and thank each and every one of them from the bottom of our hearts for everything they have brought to our lives.


DSC_0036 Linda, wrestling with inventory on the computer…always a smile on her face.



From our darling Linda Mohan (who has been with us since the very first day of Huff Harrington Fine Art and whom we had to peel away from the gallery to come to Home because we couldn’t imagine daily life without her); Allison (who is a constant presence of graciousness, calmness and order – and who seems to know everyone in the city);


Emily and Colleen above and beyond the call of duty Digging through the dumpster for a missing lamp harp. Now that’s impressive…Emily and Colleen are really, really dedicated.


Colleen (who knows every design source in the ATL and is completely tireless and always ready to do anything) and Emily (who has the sweetest smile and warms our hearts with her enthusiasm and hard work.)


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Two words: true dedication. Searching under the newly arrived sofa for the lamp cords and an outlet in which to inconspicuously plug them.


And, of course, there’s Sam Jones…a Renaissance woman if there ever was one. She’s full of brilliant ideas, hasn’t met a sofa she doesn’t want to move to at least three different spots and constantly keeps us giggling with her funny observations on life in our little version of the fast lane.


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True dedication, part deux…


If all that’s not enough, we have to give Sarah, our wonderful gallery manager, a gigantic round of applause for keeping our first-born, Huff Harrington Fine Art, happy and ticking seamlessly along. Here’s Sarah on the right on the night of our Home opening (with Emily and Colleen.)


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Where would we be without these energetic, fun and enthusiastic girls? We shudder to think and it never fails to bring a smile to our faces when we see them in action – always charming, gracious and bursting with fantastic ideas and creativity.


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Sam, Emily, Allison, Ann, Meg, Colleen and Linda. We have the very best little family at Home.


You’ll have the pleasure of meeting them if you stop by the gallery or Huff Harrington Home and we promise you’ll be as enchanted with them as we are.



Ta ta.


HH

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Link in the Chain

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Mina Yamada and Courtney Tomlin

It started with a visit from one of our favorite jewelers, whom we were introduced to via the Trinity School. Over the past several years, Huff Harrington Fine Art has happily contributed to the Trinity School’s Spotlight on the Arts fair, and so as a kind “thank you” this year, Trinity generously gave each of us a gorgeous bracelet from one of their jewelers, We Are One Designs. We loved the bracelets and we loved the story behind the jewelers, who contribute a hefty 20% of their sales to the customer’s charity of choice. So naturally we asked the jewelers, Mina and Courtney, to come by the store and show us their wares.

Opening night at HHH 348 compressed Adorable Mina barely had time to walk in the door before one of us unabashedly pounced on her to buy the necklaces right off her neck. (This is one of the many perks of our job!) Luckily, she kindly obliged and now one of us is getting compliments on the necklace every time she wears it!

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It got even better. There were so many styles to choose from that we had a hard time narrowing it down, and so we kept increasing our order. Mina had to make several trips to the store that day, but she was happy to provide. And our customers responded immediately by buying the jewelry even before we could get the pieces in to inventory.

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And then the piece de resistance. Along with the purchase order we had to make a decision about which charity would benefit from the 20% donation to their cause. We talked amongst ourselves about some of our favorite causes and then Allison walked by and suggested a lesser known but extremely important and effective local charity called Focus. Allison and Mina both had experiences with Focus, which supports families with children who are medically fragile or have significant disabilities. We told them we’d think about it, and we did a little research.

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Fast forward two days, and Allison came back to the store (on her day off!) with her adorable daughter Kate and equally adorable husband Mark. It was Allison’s birthday and she wanted to shop! Allison has an exceptional eye for jewelry and discerning taste, and so it was no surprise that she ended up picking out a bracelet from our growing jewelry section. She casually asked us, as we were wrapping her birthday present, whether we had chosen a charity for the jewelry sales from We Are One Designs. We told her we’d selected Focus, and she was overjoyed.

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Later that day, Allison wrote us a little email, and this time we were overjoyed: “I came home tonight and was more excited about HHH choice to support FOCUS than my beautiful birthday present! I remembered an article that Katie (her daughter) wrote about her experience with FOCUS through National Charity League and had to share with you. I also have to say that we have a dog named after a beautiful FOCUS child, Chloe ...”

That made our day, along with meeting FOCUS' Executive Director, Lucy Cusick, and her associate Annie, when they came by the store with our jewelers, Mina and Courtney on Friday. We hope that through our association with these jewelers and this fine organization, we at Huff Harrington Home will be a little link in the chain to help the families of children under stress, especially during this holiday season.

From left: Mina, Meg, Ann, Lucy, Annie and Allison (and Courtney was behind the camera!)

Cheers!

HH

PS For more information on Focus, visit their website at: http://focus-ga.org/index.htm. Their mission: FOCUS understands and supports the unique needs of families with children who are medically fragile or have significant developmental or physical disabilities. FOCUS offers comfort, hope and information to parents; accessible recreational and social programs for children and teens; and fun, inclusive activities for the entire family. A non-profit founded by parents in 1983, FOCUS continues to embrace and strengthen metro Atlanta families.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Lorraine Christie Stories

 

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We all enjoy telling our clients about how Lorraine Christie weaves stories into her paintings. It’s a well known fact that she often names the paintings before painting them, and already has an idea of the characters in her paintings and their relationships to each other even before her brush touches the canvas.

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Well, having just opened an excellent and tremendously successful show for Lorraine Christie, we, as gallery owners, have enjoyed the stories told by our clients who have been touched by Lorraine’s work. In some cases, they had to buy the painting. In other cases, there were some broken hearts of people who couldn’t get the painting they wanted. But in all cases, it seems, Lorraine’s evocative images and the (often romantic) stories that are woven behind them have stirred up enough emotions in our clients that we have a few stories of our own to tell:  (By the way, to protect the identity of the clients, we’re just offering cropped glimpses of the works).

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There was the musician from Decatur who performed at our gallery several years ago as part of a classical quartet, and who said that she’s been haunted by the beauty of Lorraine’s work ever since. She had to come to the show and meet the artist.

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There was the woman who has wanted a Lorraine Christie painting for years, and now, recently divorced and just spreading her wings, came to the show, met the artist and gave herself permission to buy.

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There was a couple who spent their honeymoon in Paris, and needed to know that the City of Light was the inspiration behind the painting they wanted. It was … and now they are thrilled to proudly own the painting.

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At one point during the evening, some clients approached us and said, “That man over there can’t stop staring at the painting – does he know that it’s sold?” Luckily, we told them, he did, because his wife had bought it without his knowledge! And luckily, he was falling in love all over again. It was a wonderful sight to watch.

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There was the couple who have collected Lorraine’s work over the years, with a keen eye and much happiness. But the icing on the cake was when the husband, a cleverly conniving kind, planned a secret trip to Paris for his wife, and bought a beautiful Lorraine Christie painting of Paris, as one of the clues in the multi-pack, beautifully wrapped present.

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And maybe our favorite story of all, that of the wife who’d always deferred to her husband’s taste in art, and knew that he wanted a Lorraine. But he couldn’t attend the show, so with some hesitation, she bought a painting for him. Then she hung it in the restaurant where they were having his birthday dinner, and waited for his reaction. Half way through dinner he said, “OMG, is that a Lorraine Christie hanging over there? This restaurant must be doing well!” and she said, “I believe it is. Do you like it?”

Luckily, he loved it … and the rest is history.

Ta ta …

HH

PS  Enjoy some pictures from the exhibition.  And if you missed the show, we still have a few paintings hanging.  So come by and see for yourself … and tell us your Lorraine stories.HuffHarrington_gallery-9

Clients, with our gallery manager Sarah Sullivan

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First HHFA show for Emily Sawyer, who is working for us at Huff Harrington Home, but loves to spend time at the gallery – with a friend from her home town.

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Meg Harrington with artist Aaron Whitehouse and Sarah.

Friday, November 11, 2011

We’re Open!

Today’s eleven eleven eleven…and Huff Harrington Home is officially open as of 10 a.m. this morning.


We have all been working day and night and our space is finally shiny, pretty and, in our very humble opinion, full of gorgeousness – and we couldn’t be happier.


Things started coming together last Friday when we finally got word that our long-awaited container from France was finally released from Customs in Savannah. We’re unabashedly babies at this new business and fingernails were bitten to the quick and tempers were frayed all week as we waited, called, waited, called, paced and called again. Finally, we heard that the truck would be at 102 West Paces at 7 a.m.DSC01819


We arrived in the pitch black along with our helpers who had huge muscles, good cheer and some very handy skills.


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The container was stuffed to the brim with our treasures and it was like greeting old friends when we saw their curvy legs and graceful arms. We were thrilled to see our twelve orange, painted metal grape-picking baskets that Ann discovered on her last trip. (We love those and have lots of ideas for them…)


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Our guys didn’t love the orange grape picking baskets as much as we did….they are heavy.


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Ann had her list….


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The empty container left…and then the fun started. We unwrapped, unpacked, moved, moved again, polished and created mounds of cardboard and bubble wrap.


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By the next morning, we were starting to see some results. With almost all of our merchandise accounted for, we’ve been tagging, placing, moving, tagging, tagging and more tagging. Did we mention tagging?


Some fun behind-the-scenes and very ad-lib photos of this week’s pre-opening days:


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Allison in action: she’s working her magic…


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It’s a family affair: the two Harrington girls pricing jewelry…


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A little snapshot of what we have to offer: two stylish armchairs done in the most luscious wool blend in slate gray. We love these…especially accented with our sassy flag pillows.


DSC_0062 Mirrors and chandeliers are hung and add the most gorgeous and playful sparkle. The antiques gleam and hints of gold leaf peek out from decades of patina.


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And, as we hoped, everything looks wonderful together. The Louis XVI chairs love the sexy and modern lines of our lacquered furniture line. Our new upholstered sofas and chairs love the crunchy 18th century benches that sit next to them. Pillows of all shapes and sizes add punches of color. The coffee tables books are fabulous with a capital F. The jewelry is unusual, eye-catching and pretty, pretty, pretty.


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Of course, we’ll be doing what Sam calls the “last minute fluff” at about 9:45 a.m. this morning but can you blame us? We want it beyond perfect for our opening day and we can’t wait to share every inch of it with you!


Ta Ta…

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eleven Eleven Eleven countdown

It’s hard to believe that in just three short days (which in our minds, translates to 73 hours, 45 minutes and 30 seconds to get everything done), we will be opening the doors to our newest venture, Huff Harington Home at 102 West Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta.

It’s hard to believe that an idea, born out of our wonderful art gallery down the street,  with many twists and turns along the way, is finally coming alive, to the public, on Friday.  It seems like just yesterday that it was a dream …

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What were we thinking on that rainy November day, when we fell in love with an old Mercedes dealership on West Paces Ferry Road, and thought it could be transformed in wonderful new home with all the things we love …

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Look at Linda’s expression when we first introduced the idea to her!  Actually, it was a love at first sight for her, and for Sam, both of whom shared our vision of what it could be, and cheered us on along the way. 

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With the help of an expert in commercial real estate who just happened to be part of our little family, and the support of a few other key people including a wonderful banker, and a vision of what it might look like, we signed papers on this space and took a giant leap of faith.  5

Then, of course, came the fun part:  Defining what Huff Harrington Home could be and scouring the planet (OK, mostly the French and Flemish speaking parts of Europe as well as several wonderful sources closer to home).  This part could take up a book, or definitely a blog of its own, so we won’t go into details now.  Besides, we’re now down to 73 hours and 32 minutes before we officially open our doors! 

What is it, you ask? 

Well, you’ll have to wait until Friday to see it for yourself, but let’s just say that it started with some inspirational pictures of things we love, collected from magazines and blogs and even our own homes over the years:

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(Sorry if we don’t remember all the sources … maybe you do, and can remind us so that we can thank them?)

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We love the clean lines, the marriage of antiques and contemporary art ….

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We love to mix it all up, and break all the rules.

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We love the touch of the unexpected, as in the pink chairs in our favorite Paris Apartment.

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And the glint of glam with sparkling chandeliers in antique mirrors …

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And of course, we just love to find the little things that make it all come together. 

Like these little jewels ….

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And glimpses of gold …

A glimpse of gold

Combined with nail heads …

a glimpse of nail heads

And something very old ….

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A knock on wood  …

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And coral from the sea …

One of the things we love 

A new take on blue

made in the UK

And a crystal ball

Crystal ball

That will tell us how we’ll do!

Will you be there to support us?  It’s just 71 hours away!  We hope so … and hope you’ll love it too!

Ta ta …

HH

PS  Huff Harrington Home, at 102 West Paces Ferry Road, will be opening Friday at 10 a.m.  “We’re home” Monday to Friday, 10 to 6 and Saturdays from 10 to 5.