Shop Highlight: Studio Veneto Provides Luxury Italian Decor

Every now and then you stumble across a shop that is truly a unique find. Studio Veneto located in The Village neighborhood of La Jolla, California is one such gem. I came across Studio Veneto several years ago but it wasn’t until last summer that I had a wonderful chat with the owner, Linda McCormick, who allowed me to take pictures of the shop (Thank you, Linda!). I paid a visit to the shop again last weekend and took a few new pictures.
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The exterior of the shop has an elegant quality to it with an old world Italian feel. When you walk up to the space you immediately realize that this shop is truly something special.  studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

Studio Veneto is no ordinary antique shop. It is well known for specializing in Italian antiques and textiles sourced directly from Italy. However, you don’t need to be decorating an Italian villa to shop here. Studio Veneto is a great shop visit even if you just need to find a one-of-a-kind item that will make a statement in a room. The shop is not large but there is an abundance of inventory to choose from.

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As you walk into the shop you are immediately greeted with a treasure trove of items. The photo above was from my trip last year, with the photo below from last weekend. The shop is hard to photograph as it is fairly dark with lots of tight spaces and is packed with treasures tucked away in every corner. studio veneto la jolla Reviving Charm 1

Linda is a woman after my own heart. She has quite the affinity for textiles, particularly being a longtime fan of the prestigious Italian textile maker Fortuny. She sources her textiles directly from Italy and uses them to create pillows, tissue box covers, lampshades and her signature nightlights (shown below). While $175 may sound steep for a nightlight, remember that each shade is made by hand using antique Fortuny fabric. No two are identical. These would look stunning in a powder room although I have contemplated about putting one in the living room.

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Custom lampshades in a variety of shapes and sizes are a particular specialty of Studio Veneto. Tucked away in a small area at the back of the shop you can see a plethora of small shades ready to purchase off the shelf. However, if you are interested in having a custom lampshade crafted for you, there are a number of finials and other lamp parts to choose from (shown below along the right-hand side of the picture). No detail is overlooked. studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

Don’t forget to look up! Above the owner’s desk toward the back of the shop, you can see the wire lamp frames just waiting to be turned into a beautifully handcrafted lamp. The wire frames are custom made specifically for Studio Veneto. studio veneto fortuny reviving charm studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

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If you are looking to incorporate a bit of Italy into your decor, be sure to pay a visit to Studio Veneto or check out the website.studio veneto la jolla Reviving Charm 5

 

Kalabasa Elevates Dessert into an Artform

I have never had a desire to learn to cook primarily because I think it’s too stressful. For some reason, the responsibility of prepping and timing an entire meal gives me pure and utter anxiety. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that I’ve always wanted to stay out of the kitchen because I would actually love to spend more time baking. Focusing on just one item is something I can handle and making that one thing beautiful, unique and delicious is something I would strive for.
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I’ve seen and heard about the latest craze of “brushstroke cakes”, particularly those seen here from the Russian bakery, “Kalabasa”. The bakery creates chocolate “brushstrokes” by airbrushing on color to create a more artistic look. If you feel like attempting this yourself you can try using colored chocolate. It’s inexpensive but very poor quality chocolate. However, if all you care about is capturing the look and feel of the Kalabasa cake then the cheap stuff should get the job done. Just note that you won’t get the same depth of colors as the airbrush technique. With the airbrush technique, you can tell that color is layered on and blended subtly, as real painting often is. kalabasa bakery feather brushstroke case

I first learned of Kalabasa after stumbling onto their Instagram account and I would describe Kalabasa as a bakery that has elevated dessert into an artform. Their cakes are so creatively distinctive and look just too amazing to eat. I think I would feel guilty taking that first bite!
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I never got into the whole cupcake craze that was going on a while back, but if I ever do need to make cupcakes then this is something I would try myself. Kalabasa via Reviving Charm 1

While the brushstroke cake has elevated Kalabasa in the baking world, we can’t overlook their other beautifully executed baked goods. Maybe they will inspire you to put your baker’s cap on. I know they have definitely inspired me. Their use of florals, sugar coating, airbrush techniques and use of gold dust are baking techniques worth testing out in my own kitchen.

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Shopping on Saturday: Sale at Smythson

Call me old fashioned but the art of letter writing and days of journaling are far from over…at least in my book. And when it comes to luxury paper goods, Smythson is one of the leading purveyors of fine stationery products. Known for their quality craftsmanship, the company originated in 1887 by Frank Smythson with their flagship store on New Bond Street in London. Smythson enthusiasts include royal households, Hollywood icons, and other prominent historical figures.

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The address book of legendary actress Katharine Hepburn.

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Sigmund Freud’s Smythson notebook.

In 1994, Princess Diana commissioned Smythson to create personalized stationery that was inspired by royal stationery from the 1920’s.

The tradition of the handcrafted process continues to this day. Their legendary notebooks are hand assembled and include gilt edging and a grosgrain ribbon page marker.smythson notebook via Reviving Charm

A pop of color is added to envelopes with Smythson’s signature tissue paper.  smythson tissue lining via Reviving Charm 1

Smythson’s signature Nile Blue boxes are often used in decorating. Can you spot them neatly stacked on this bookshelf?smythson nile blue Reviving Charm

What I love about Smythson is that a sense of humor is injected into their products. Their notebooks come embossed in gold with clever titles and quit-witted charm.smythson notebook quotes Reviving Charm

If you want to treat yourself to a little luxury, why not update your stationery wardrobe or purchase some of their leather goods? Smythson is currently having a great Summer sale. At 50% off sale on a wide range of products, it’s a great time to stock up or try something new. Here’s a sampling of just a few things I picked up…

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas. I couldn’t resist buying a few packs of these snowflake gift cards to attach to gifts. They are a steal at $10 for a pack of ten. smythson Christmas Reviving Charm

I bought this new travel journal hoping to use it for my annual fall trip this year. Naturally, I purchased it in black but it also comes in five other colors. smythson travel journal Reviving Charm 1

I always have blank correspondence cards on hand so I can compose a personal note to friends and family. “Just Because” is always a perfect occasion. In an age of technology, I hope the recipient feels extra special receiving something via snail mail. I picked up these correspondence cards in several fun, bright colors. Not all colors are on sale so be sure to check carefully.

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My name means “butterfly” and although I usually always shy away from butterfly themed items, I couldn’t resist these pretty correspondence cards.smythson stationery butterflies

 

If you pick up a few items from the sale, be sure to let me know. I’d love to hear about what you bought. Happy shopping!