Bon Vivant Co. Blog

Sit Back & Relax with Lighting

Sit Back & Relax with Lighting

"Lighting is everything" they say...or so the photographers do.

Of course, the best way to create a beautiful environment in your home is with natural light. Every human, animal, and plant loves sunlight. It's essential to life, it's warm, and it's beautiful, so why not have an abundance of it? Well, not every home has the luxury of pools and streams of natural lighting due to architectural purposes, zoning, and so on. 

You've found the perfect home minus a little less sunlight than you may have anticipated. Now it's time to create a harmonious environment. A place where you can come in at the end of the day, turn on a lamp, and kick your feet up.

We'll give you a few tips and tricks for how to create a beautiful interior lighting environment for you! 

Beautiful Interior Lighting Tricks

Mirrors

Mirrors are the secret key to improving lighting in your home. Double the amount of light by placing one behind a lamp or strategically positioning them around the home and near windows. If one window gets more sunlight than the others, you better believe there will be a mirror near by! 

Candles

While really only effective at night, candles create a warm environment and relaxing vibe. The soft flicker casts a natural orange glow, leaving you feeling at ease after a long day. Use mirrors near candles to to amplify the glow and make you feel like you're in a room full of these wax-made delights. 

          

Trim Bushes

It's simple ... keep the bushes and trees around your house trimmed down. If you're not getting enough light, then it's possible that your windows have been blocked off by hordes of beautiful green foliage. We know...it's glorious...but clear up those windows! 

Wall Paint/Furniture Color

A critical element in the world of interior design (and all other design realms) is that dark colors absorb light and brighter colors reflect light. The lighter an object is, the brighter it will appear. Science! The is crucial to know if you want to make your home look either brighter or darker. If you want to bring in more light, use brighter wall paints, flooring, and fill the rooms with light-colored furniture. This will perk the light levels up immediately! 

Soft Lighting 

Using soft lighting is an excellent way to make your space feel relaxing and soothing. If you don't want to go overboard, especially in the evening, use lamps with dark lampshades or invest in some dimmer switches to control how much light there is. 

Check out our collection of lamps & lighting for some funky ideas and cool shades. 

Don't Use LEDs

LEDs are all the rage these days. They are said to save energy. While this may be true, they also give off what can be an overwhelmingly bright white light. They tend to create a environment that seems too bright with an intense wavelength. People enjoy artificial lighting that is as close to natural lighting as possible. Go for other types of bulbs with a more yellow hue such as incandescent or halogen bulbs. 

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It's important to have a good balance of lighting in your home in order to create an inviting atmosphere. Utilizing some or all of these tips is a great start to getting that perfect lighting. All it takes is a little tweaking here and there - perhaps some furniture rearrangement or maybe even repainting the walls! It's an enjoyable process, especially because keeping things fresh is great for the mind body and soul.

Have fun! 

 

Call Bon Vivant Co. if interested in purchasing & for questions about shipping/in-store pickup. 
(828) 785-1527

PRODUCTS

Image 1: Seda France Fine Candles $37

Image 2: Southern Litatelier Candle in Oriental Printed Glass $33

Image 3: Seda France Luxury Scented Candles $37

Featured Product: Pillow Pups!

Featured Product: Pillow Pups!

Pillow Pups --- Your Local Pup

               

For years, big time manufacturers have been churning out all kinds of fun pillows from Pillow Pets to Build-a-Bear. These plush toys with a personality have brought many people (children AND grown-ups!) so much joy! 

This is why we're proud to feature our newest project at Bon Vivant Co. --- our very own version of a squishy pet - Pillow Pups! Our Vendor, Rebecca, is the brains behind it all. When she started bringing in these adorable pups, our shoppers went crazy! As time goes on, she continues to create and the collection grows, featuring more and more unique patterns.

Who needs Walmart? Support a local artisan and look out for these cute creatures! 

Oh The Choices! 

With all of the different varieties, you're guaranteed to find a pup you like. The best part about it all? These adorable pets are customizable! You can order any combination of fabric that you can possibility imagine. Want a red velvet pup? Done. How about a series of constellations and stars? Yup. Both? Absolutely.

If this isn't cool enough, you can order different types of dogs. You like pugs? Here's to your new best bed friend. The options are truly limitless!

Product Description 

 

Pillow Pups are handmade in the beautiful state of North Carolina, by Bon Vivant Co.'s vendor Rebecca Romine. They are crafted with all new cotton fabrics and a poly-fiber fill. They are machine washable but should be air dried with care! 

Each Pup features half-and-half fabric, with a different pattern on each side. They come with a cute collar and a long tail. The ears have a different fabric underneath as well. Feel free to call in order your own unique pillow! 

Call (828) 785-1527 and order yours today. 

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Call Bon Vivant Co. if interested in purchasing & for questions about shipping/in-store pickup. 
(828) 785-1527

 

Prints Prints Prints!

Prints Prints Prints!

When it comes to interior design, your home is a reflection of who you really are. What makes decor so exhilarating is the fact that you are starting with a blank canvas. This empty space can become anything you can imagine ... within the realm of possibilities of course! 

An excellent way to beautify and individualize your space is with home accents. A favorite accent of ours at Bon Vivant Co. is wall prints.

Prints are a unique form of decor because they come in all shapes in sizes. They are also minimalist because they don't actually take up any space. The best part of all is that they are extremely affordable. While we always encourage purchasing original art and supporting artists, if you're on a budget and need an abundance of decor, then prints are the way to go!

We have quite a few at our store and there are always new prints coming in. They are a designer's never-ending and forever eclectic supply to home design!  

Featured Prints

Jim Thompson's Framed Printed Silks

Jim Thompson was an architect and art collector in early 1900s America. After World War II, he settled in Thailand because he was particularly captured by hand-woven Thai silks. To counteract the decline of the industry he created The Thai Silk Company to support local artisans. The company that was birthed from his accomplishments has evolved into a modern textile company for interior design. 

 

This piece consists of a large cut of silk with a floral print. The fabric is stretched out over canvas and framed with a thin gold trim. It is a surprisingly large piece, measuring 32 3/4" W x 32" 3/4" H. It would serve as an excellent patio piece, as it is exceptionally big and brightens up a space with its bold presence! 

Rhea Gary Prints

Rhea Gary is an independent artist and a native of Louisiana. A talented painter, she studied Fine Arts at Louisiana State University. She displays her love of the country through her depictions of the marshy swamps, the rushing rivers, and the earthly hillsides. She adds her own unique touch with dramatic bold colors, giving her work an ethereal and heavenly feel. 

 

This print of Rhea Gary's original painting perfectly depicts her character - the way in which she meshes natural landscapes with unusual but dream-like colors. It features an abstract landscape, perhaps a field and marsh, with bold colors running through her paint strokes. The print is mounted on canvas with a gold-painted frame. It measures 20 1/2" W x 20 1/2" H. If you're looking to add some color to the main space, hang this print above your fireplace mantel! 

E.L. Weeks Prints

Edwin Lord Weeks was an exceptional 19th century American painter. His passion was in traveling to the East and re-creating oriental scenes and styles. He was considered an "Orientalist," or someone who imitates oriental themes through writing, painting, and other various art forms. 

"The Last Voyage" by E.L. Weeks, depicts two men rowing an elder man who appears to be dying either away or toward the city. It is believed that they are traveling on the Ganga, a sacred river that flows through India and Bangladesh. The original painting was created in vibrant colors, but the black and white print still retains the quality and care with which it was painted. The print measures 17 1/2" W x 14" H. It certainly adds class to any home. Hang it in your hallway or home entryway for guests to curiously inspect on their way inside.

Call Bon Vivant Co. if interested in purchasing & for questions about shipping/in-store pickup. 
(828) 785-1527
 

Modern Metallics

Modern Metallics

"Fashion fades, only style remains the same," said Coco Chanel, one of the most influential designers of the 120th century.

The Power of Creativity

It's true - trends fade, patterns end, and preferences shift. While our world is ever-evolving, the arena of fashion and interior design is definitely not excluded, we are continually channeling our creative powers. As humans we possess the super-power of limitless imagination and inspiration. We are able to use the trends and theme of the past to create something brand new and exciting.

This is what we've done for centuries with music, painting styles, building and decorating homes, and clothing fashion. An important role that home designers, in particular, have is to collect from all resources around them and melt them into something beautiful and perhaps, never seen before! 

One trend that has found its place in the midst of some debate is Modern Metallics. The question that comes is one that asks how we can utilize such an antiquated fashion while still keeping things fresh. 

 

The History of Metals

When thinking about metallics - brass, copper, iron, and steel - it brings about a particular nostalgia. Observing and experiencing a metallic orange is reminiscent of the American Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. It brings up thoughts about railroads and trains, smokestacks and textile factories, or Henry Ford's mechanical vehicles. 

Steel was an imperative element during the industrial revolution, as well as other metals. The production of these metals allowed for the rapid industrial growth and construction of cities, forming the United States into how we know it today. This is the reason why metallics are associated with 18th and 19th century America, and they are often debated as antiquated when it comes to interior design.

 

Using Modern Metallics

Okay, so, how do you use modern metallics? Well, it's a beautiful theme - if done right! 

Here are a couple of ideas:

Steel: There are so many different types of steel, but the preferred type is stainless. It has a mild shine, but it looks clean and modern. Perfect for kitchen backsplashes, appliances, and sometimes outdoor lighting. It is also a highly utilized material for counter tops.

Iron: A popular type of iron used in design is wrought iron. It is unique because it's a material that is meticulously worked on by a smither while hot. Cast iron, on the other hand, is melted and poured into a mold. If you're having your interiors custom designed, it's excellent for hardware such as stairwell banisters and awnings. This is because it can be shaped into your own unique design so a theme is created throughout your home. It's important not to overdue use of wrought iron, but rather use it in a uniform fashion and sparingly. 

Brass: This is a timelessly gorgeous material. It's an all-time favorite because it's the perfect combination between stainless steel and gold. It provides a lot more warmth and color to a home, but still maintains the same sleek and shiny nature as stainless steel. Brass is reminiscent of the steampunk era, and is a perfect material for interior hardware - columns, light fixtures (a particular favorite), sink basins and handles, wall art, and home accents. Luckily, it doesn't really seem like it can be overdone!

               

Copper: A beautiful material with mixtures of reds, browns, and oranges, it's important not to over-do copper. While it is metallic and industrial, it is also great for farmhouse-style homes. Copper is best used in home accents and appliances. Having a full copper pot and pan set out on display can be very beautiful, along with copper planters, and the occasional copper faucet or outlet. If you're feeling daring, you can throw in a copper bathtub or sink. It's important to use these accents very carefully and make sure that they are balanced with the other aspects of your home. Copper is undoubtedly extremely beautiful. Sometimes, using less of it makes it more noticeable and have a bigger impact than more would. 

 

Take a Risk

It can be challenging to choose everything that goes into your home with so much care and precision. There needs to be a balance between making your space seem too antiquated versus fresh and modern with a olden touch.

The most important thing is to start with a foundation, and then slowly add in your accents. This is a great way to avoid overdoing it, and allowing the metallic features to steadily add in their beautiful antiquated touch to your already modern home. Be sure to do your research and consult a designer, or even just flip through a couple of really good magazines! 

 

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Call Bon Vivant Co. if interested in purchasing and for questions about shipping or in-store pickup. 
(828) 785-1527
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FEATURED PRODUCTS

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Theme: Minimalism

Theme: Minimalism

There's something incredibly unique about minimalism. Some designers go back and fourth between a minimal interior look and a more full and embodied look. They are two opposite ends of the spectrum, and yet people tend to like one or the other. 

Minimalism is tricky because it can be so...well...plain. There is, however, something special about the look, and that's feng shui - our way of harmonizing with our environment. There are tons of books and articles on this subject, because doing it right can be an exciting challenge! 

One principal of feng shui is: a clear environment = a clear mind. 

Our outer world is often a reflection of our inner world, so having less clutter and disorganization lends itself to a refreshed, happy, and clutter-free mind. This is the biggest reason why people tend to go for a minimalist look in their homes, whether or not they fully understand why! 

Do you want your friends to step into your home and say, "Wow, it feels so GOOD in here!"? The truth is, you probably want to say that when you come home too! 

The question is...how do we make our dwellings minimalist without making them look PLAIN? 

Guide to a Minimalist Home:

  • Have out the essentials - Display only the things you need such as 1 or 2 plate settings, the appliances that you use daily, 1 blanket draped over the couch, and so on.
  • Use light colors - On your walls, white is the all-time favorite of minimalism. You can go a little further and use off-white or very light shades of greens, blues, yellows, or purples on your walls. Floors are the exception if you are using wood paneling. 

These chairs are an excellent example of a wooden accent against white walls and flooring. The dark cherry red color compliments neural very well. 

  • Storage - Having plenty of storage is essential, especially if you have a lot of stuff. If you do tend to collect things, try donating some it. You might find that it actually feels really good! Try to tuck everything neatly away and only keep out only what you use regularly.
  • Use color accents - To make sure your space isn't entirely washed out, utilize little splashes of color here and there, for example, a bouquet of vibrant flowers or a brilliant red photo. These will pop out! 

                            

Notice how the colors look especially vibrant in these photos. The plethora of colors in the bouquet and the quilt particularly stand out against the washed out walls and floors, and the navy blue table compliments these colors.

  • Simplicity - Ultimately, the goal of minimalism is to simplify. Your clean and clear space reflects your clean and clear mind. Want to feel lighter and more liberated? Get rid of things you don't need. Clean regularly. Organize your possessions. You'll feel amazing! 

These framed lace pieces exemplify simplistic art. They would even pair well as a two-piece hanging wall set, especially because they display the dual-nature between plain white and teal green. 

We say, "Go for it!" If you're looking to simplify your life, look forward to going home after a confusing day on the job, feel relaxed and at ease, and impress your friends, then be daring and go for the minimalist look! Trust us, you'll love it and your friends will be asking when they can come to your place next. Maybe they'll bring snacks! 

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Call Bon Vivant Co. if interested in purchasing and for questions about shipping or in-store pickup. 
(828) 785-1527
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Novel Trends: The Old World Voyager

Novel Trends: The Old World Voyager

We've been looking into different trends that have gained popularity this year. Because Bon Vivant Co. has such a wide & eclectic collection of furniture, collectibles, home decor, & more (and our inventory is always rotating), the variety of trends that we can whip up is never ending. Our people have collectively voted that one trend in particular is absolutely timeless.

We call it: The Old World Voyager.

This style incorporates possessions that you would probably have seen somewhere around the year 1550 - compasses, maps, scrolls, leather bound books, scales, letter openers...Even if you weren't (necessarily) alive during the early years of human civilization, setting up your home in a way that's reminiscent of these times can feel rather nostalgic.

Whether that nostalgia comes from novel movies, museums you visited in adolescence, or your childhood home, we cater to helping you create an environment where you will feel at peace. Maybe you need somewhere to dive deep into your studies and books, or simply a studio where you can work late into the night on your artistic masterpieces or science projects. We've done our best to re-create The Old World Voyager style with our collection of souvenirs. 

                

The photos above feature two types of corner decor. The first is a pair of two vintage suitcases, a bundle of very loved books with that wonderfully familiar musty old paper scent, a magnifying glass, a safari hat, a Chinese-style fan, and two rolled up scrolls of sheet music. The second photo portrays several of the same items along with an antique entryway table, a leather flask and corked elixir bottle, and a bronze antique globe lamp. 

For a clean & modern but still olden and vintage look, these two set-ups are diverse examples of entry way shelving or a home accent beside your leather living room ottoman. These particular mementos are reminiscent of an old world style - maybe something you would see if you stumbled into a British voyager's at-home office. Upon walking in, you see an enormous wrought iron clock hanging on the wall and a pile of large scrolls with calligraphic writing and hand-drawn amps sprawled out across a sturdy oak table. 

To top off this vintage image, you may find that the room is dimly lit, but there's a slimmer of sunlight peeping in through heavy silken drapes. They are multi-layered and display beautifully dark hues of maroon red, eggshell white, golden yellow, or abundant foliage patterns. These colors perfectly accompany the early-style color scheme of dark brown woods and paneled walls, creating an antiquated theme.

We've certainly had a lot of fun putting this theme together. In fact, there are so many ways that this style (and many others!) can be created. The most exciting aspect of interior design is that the options are endless, and what is birthed is a result of your imagination. 

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Call Bon Vivant Co. if interested in purchasing and for questions about shipping or in-store pickup. 
(828) 785-1527
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FEATURED PRODUCTS

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  • Vintage Helbros Carriage Clock Quartz: $22
  • 1960s Vintage Cut Glass Decanter & Glass: Made in Italy. $24

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  • Antique Suitcase Salvaged from Staton Island, 1900s: $59
  • Brown Vintage Luggage: $18
  • Vietnam Helmet, Vintage: $18
  • Letter Opener & Magnifying Glass with Jade Handles: $37
  • Sheet Music Bundles: $3/ea

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  • Bronzed Figural Banquet Antique Lamp: $347
  • Two Tier Mahogany Vintage Table: $177
  • Vietnam Helmet, Vintage: $18
  • Letter Opener & Magnifying Glass with Jade Handles: $37
  • Black Stainless Steel Flask: $14
  • Italian Cruet with Kork: $18

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  • Various Hand-Picked & Hand-Crafted Drapes: $100-180

 

 

 

The Future of Paint: How to Save Your Home Design

The Future of Paint: How to Save Your Home Design

It's easy to hop onto Amazon or head over to your neighborhood furniture store while browsing pieces that may end up in your home for a long long time. This is what makes the hunt for the perfect piece of furniture an often long and arduous journey. You're mentally preparing yourself to befriend this ... say ... bullnose solid oak 5-drawer dresser with a caramel finish. You're going to spend quite a lot of time together, you're going to get to know each other ... you're going to bond. So why wouldn't you spend the time in search of the more pristine, glorious piece for your new place? 

There may just be a solution to this issue. Why not make your own dresser? Well ... not create it from scratch, but rather give a pre-loved piece a little more love and a makeover? At Bon Vivant Co., we are all about the three R's: Recycling, Reusing, and Reducing. Many of our items are furniture pieces that were once cast away and now show off a new, unique, and often spunky look. By dusting off your old living room cabinet and pouring a little bit of love into it, an entirely new beast emerges ... for example, your classic Mad Men 1960's golden orange cellarette, now designed for crafting Manhatten elixirs for your Friday night guests. Not to mention ... you've just saved about $300, hours of shopping, AND the environment! Sounds like three birds, one stone. 

One of our vendor's, Tennessee Whimsy, performs the art of furniture paint quite flawlessly. Jennifer uses a particular type of paint called milk paint. Historically it is derived from an ancient home recipe, made from milk for texture and natural materials such as lime for color. The paint that Jennifer uses incorporates limestone, milk protein, clay, and an earth pigment of choice. What makes it such an amazing alternative to commonly used paints is that it is non-toxic so you can avoid dizziness from insane paint fumes. Also, it comes in a powder form so you can mix it with water to achieve your desired consistency.

If you're envisioning a particular style for your furniture piece, milk paint can be played with to create a desired effect from smooth and solid to flaking and vintage. It is an incredibly versatile substance! The image to the left features several items, one of which is a repurposed door that can give your hallway a rustic, farm-like feel. Because it has been attached to a thin shelf, the entire piece is perfect in an entryway as a place to display photos, plants, a mirror, or anything of the like. The image also displays a coat or hat hook in the center as well as a decorative window frame. This vendor uses milk paint for her unique rustic style.  

Not only can you paint and repurpose furniture, but you can do the same to glassware, lamps, kitchen accessories (as shown in the image of Belle Decor's painted mason jars) and more to spruce up your kitchen or dining room! So go ahead and jump in! Get crafty and make yourself something that you will love having in your home.

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Call Bon Vivant Co. if interested in purchasing and for questions about shipping or in-store pickup. 
(828) 785-1527
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Featured Products

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  • Occasional Table: Hand-painted with General Finishes Milk Paint in "Persian Blue" by Tennessee Whimsy $65 

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  • Repurposed Door with Shelf: Hand-painted with General Finishes Milk Paint in "Persian Blue" and Chalk Paint in "Kid Gloves" by Tennessee Whimsy $150
  • Wall Hanger: All-Natural Hemp Oil Finish by Tennessee Whimsy $40
  • Vintage Window: Hand-Painted with Sweet Pickins' Milk Paint in "Pantry Door" with All-Natural Hemp Oil Finish by Tennessee Whimsy $45

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  • Painted Mason Jars: by Belle Decor $5 each or 3 for $12