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The Classic American Road Trip

The Classic American Road Trip

As a production company dedicated to making TV for the world we often spend our time filming across the globe. however now that summer is here it’s nice to work in our own backyard and so we took Let’s Shop’s Host Cheryll Gillespie, rented a convertible and headed out on a classic road trip. Here’s one of her weekly newspaper columns on the experience.

This week I’m taking a road trip through the State of New York looking for fabulous designer pieces and creative inspiration. I started off in lovely Toronto, crossed the border into Buffalo and then drove to the Adirondacks and wrapped up my trip in Syracuse. This area is known for its picker haunts and artisan havens and my trip did not disappoint. Not only did i make a lot of fabulous new friends but i got suitcases full of great ideas and trunks full of incredible finds.

In Buffalo I ran into designer and Architect Michael P (yes it is just P) who was just putting on the finishing touches on the rooms of a restored hotel. His idea that I loved, was to take the linen wallpaper he was using behind the bed to a local print shop and have it printed with a photograph, for this project he used an historic snap shot but imagine what we could do at home! This idea can be applied to more than wallpaper, try roller blinds, shower curtains and throw cushions.

In Aurora, I stopped into the local Arts Center and found these gorgeous wind chimes and glass and crystal sculptures. Loved loved loved both idea’s which i know that we could do ourselves at home. Speaking of loving an idea, on a whimsical note i found a four foot silver teapot sculpture made from old stacked silver or plated tea pots, absolutely brilliant. At the Mackenzie Childs store I also made note of the picture frames that they made from their broken pottery and odds and sods- great fun for a child’s room or even the sun porch. I also loved the old armoires that they turned in to bars or mini kitchen suites, great for a guest room or your family bar. I also saw an old red telephone booth at an antique store turned into a bar -a 25 cent glass of wine anyone?

At another shop I found these great glass vases in which they had shortened the chain of a vintage stop watch and wrapped it around the neck of the bottle. I love old time pieces and now I know exactly how I’m going to display one or two of them in my home.

At the foot of the Adirondacks I made a true friend Barney Bellinger. This amazing man who’s beloved by many of America’s best decorators and fashion designers, including Ralph Lauren is the king of upcycling. Barnie is a painter, sculpture, woodworker and artist extraordinaire. As I scoured the out buildings I found fabulous vintage 1950’s signage and couldn’t resist buying the four foot letters that spelled ‘ART’ for my own home, I’m so excited. I also took home a wood lamp with a shade made from old conveyer belts and a metal glove form that was used in the 1920’s to steam the gloves into shape. Barnie and I will stay in touch and I will return.

I love a home that is filled with unusual pieces with a story, both vintage and modern. This is what makes a room truly yours; this is the room that we want to take the time to explore. Road trips and holidays are where we often discover these pieces for our homes and just think of the stories you will have to share, now that’s fabulous living!

Salad is a staple meal at our home and I love topping my salads with seasoned nuts. Yesterday I got a chef at a New York State four diamond restaurant to share his recipe for seasoned pecans or walnuts with me. Blanche the nuts, then toss with Allspice, cinnamon, cloves and sugar. Simply bake and then toss in your salad-yummmmm!

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