Archive of ‘Places to Check Out’ category

Travel by Design…California, Sonoma County

Vintage Suitcases

Seriously…I love to combine work and play…when I’m traveling I’m always on the look out for cool salvage shops or interesting design ideas, so it is no surprise when visiting my twin sister in California for a little vacation…I squeezed in some work :)

Vintage Suitcases

These vintage suitcase were a gift from my girlfriend, Regina. I cleaned them and shipped them back to Vermont — where they are now proudly displayed. Thank you! Regina!

Seriously, my sister and I ate at the counter at the Fremont Diner in Sonoma, and that was sitting in front of me the whole time! Crazy yummy food. The place is an ICON! You must visit there when you are traveling in Wine Country.

Diner mugs… you gotta love them! This display is something I’ll keep in mind for future kitchen design ideas.

Vintage Ford Explorer Truck Yellow

Just in case, you were wondering what I want for my birthday… a vintage Ford Explorer Truck will do!

This is a fun stop in the town of Sonoma, California. Café Scooteria, where you can drive up and they’ll serve you coffee at your window. Or hang out at the shop — and enjoy it there. Rosanne and I road our bikes there. I mean really who could resist Italian style coffee drive-thru located at a vintage scooter mechanic’s shop? Not us!

Rosanne relaxing, while I check out all the vintage bikes…

Now… work time… yes, you can see we take our work seriously. Rosanne (pictured here) is working on a design project for a villa in wine country so I’m helping out for a couple of days.  Rosanne was making sure, Regina Martinelli, from Martinelle Winery, measured up to helping out for the day as well. Turns out she does. :)

I’ll admit, I haven’t been to a lot of ballgames — but really is there a pretty stadium than AT & T Park in San Francisco? WOW!

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Into the city of San Francisco we go! For a ballgame that is! We were taking our lives in our own hands wearing our St. Louis Cardinal’s gear in the Giant’s stadium. Gorgeous day! Beautiful spot.

Pladra Clothing Line USA

Shopping in San Francisco’s, after a yummy breakfast at … Pladra, a very cool custom flannel clothing line made in San Francisco, has a very cool Pop Up Shop on Hayes Street. Loved their displays. Again… great ideas for a rustic Americana entrance way look!

Bodega Bay…early, early in the morning… surfers, fog and us. Really doesn’t get any better!

When we were not hiking, or doing design work…we were…busy meeting people and drinking their wine — which was outstanding! Here we are having a blast at Buena Vista Winery. I felt like I was back in Italy! The nicest people there — they took such great care of us!

LOVED the private lounge, party area upstairs at Buena Vista — someone rent that out for me for my birthday please! And the Champagne Lounge downstairs was fantastic as well.

Rosanne and I getting a private tour — we were honored! Thanks for making us feel so special. It was a great day.


Artefact Design & Salvage

Rosanne and I shopping at Artefact Design &Salvage in Sonoma…Love their displays and vintage finds… amazing shop for anyone who wants to add something special to their home design.

And Rosanne says I’m the one with the bad sense of direction… Lost again, on the trails through Sonoma… Here is Rosanne showing me the way out.

Once again, hiking in Sonoma, who would have thought an amazing Redwood forest in the middle of wine country

Visiting Martinelli Vineyards…the back side of the vines…gorgeous day! If you have not tried their wines — I insist you run out and get a bottle — my fav — the Pinot Noir.

Here is Rosanne again…this time we stuck to the trail at Bartholomew Winery Park. LOVED the Redwood forest in the middle of the hike. It was a great trail system.

Here I am, helping Rosanne out with her design project. Don’t worry when she comes to see me, she helps me with all my projects as well.

Seriously, I should have picked this up. $20 at Republic of Thrift (benefiting the public schools), a second hand shop in Sonoma. It would have looked so cool framed in a huge frame hung in a living room — Adobe style house… Love all the second hand shops out West!

Being from Vermont — I’m sure you can understand how much I appreciate an amazing Mexican food meal. Here is a hidden gem in Sonoma…El Molino.  The before picture…

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A house for sale in Sonoma comes will all the parts and pieces you could ever want… LOVED this place. Housing hunting with my sister…

The backyard at Artefact Design & Salvage. LOVE the extra large blue industrial pot…looks like an old smeltering pot turned into a garden container. I can see it in a very large sunroom with a huge orange tree growing out of it. The fair wheel is fun too!

Rosanne’s friend… has the original…salt and pepper in old toy trucks… or at least that is where she got the idea, and I got the idea from her… and other’s got the idea from me… and so on and so on…

How happy am I? Craft coming right up!


A DIY Craft I made from my memories of my trip… sand dollars from Bodega Bay. Lots and lots of fun!

I didn’t get here but I will next time! Sonoma Nesting Company and many other interesting places to visit… I’ll be back!





April Adventures and Finds…Texas, Caribbean, Nashville and More!

It’s official…It was a busy April and an even busier May so far. But that said, I want to share some amazing finds, DIY’s and places to check out (and eat at) from my travels… So here is a quick recap of  April…

First Week in April…Texas… (no particular order…)

Winflo Osteria…yummy and beautiful in Austin, Texas!

Loved this mural on a wall on South Congress Street in Austin, Texas! Yes…I’ll be your neighbor!

Prost Wine Bar in Round Top, Texas was fabulous… great location, amazing building, tasty wines and good friends! Here I am with my friend, Joseph from Totem!

Can’t believe I didn’t bring this home with me! Another great find at one of the side of the road shops near Round Top, Texas.

Big thank you to the folks at Marburger Farm for inviting me to do a book signing there during the Round Top spring show. What a blast! Thanks!

Even the pies are bigger in Texas! We were regulars at JW’s Steakhouse in Carmine, Texas, around the corner from our Bed and Breakfast!

This was on a dresser! So feel like Yosemite Sam sometimes!

This pile of goodies was in an antique shop in Carmine, Texas…

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Working away…oh, poor me… my job is never done :) Marburger Farm Antique Show!

What a small world…a friend from many years ago had a booth at Marburger. Great to see you Annie. (My sister, Rosanne, me, Annie, my sister, Julie)

I loved Totem Salvaged’s booth at Marburger. I was proud to be walking around with my Totem bag, that Stephanie custom made for me a couple years back.

Bev at Bel Soles Bed and Breakfast in Carmine took great care of my sisters and I. What a blast to stay in this very cool renovated 1940’s home. Bev has a great eye and the beds were cozy and the breakfasts amazing!

Drinks at Hotel San Jose on South Congress Street. I love Liz Lambert’s style…so excited to finally see one of her renovated hotels. What an honor! Hanging with my sisters!

Love the simple design and décor of the outdoor space at Hotel San Jose…Very cool!


At airport…working on design projects as I travel. :) Bathroom concepts for Mad River Barn Annex Building…

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Thank you Lisa for making the great event at West Elm Austin so fun! Loved the store and all the folks who came to the event. It was an honor to meet such amazing interior designers from Austin!

Texas was a blast… it was hard to leave that great weather to head back to chilly Vermont…but I did and worked away for a week on some amazing design projects…Mad River Barn and Basin Harbor Club and a coffee house…

The Mad River Barn project is up and running again…this time it is the Annex that is getting renovated. There are 8 rooms in this building and Heather and Andrew are renovating 4 of them. I’m thrilled to be designing for them again. We will keep with the general theme as with the Barn itself, but change it up a little bit. Can’t wait to show you the final results…

Working in Vermont in the spring… (well, not me, but others…)

Salvaged dimensional lumber and antique reclaimed Douglas fir flooring picked up at the Rebuild center. I’m testing colors on my kitchen counter…always makes my family happy when we are trying to make dinner…

Big thanks to my neighbor and friend, Brett, for picking up reclaimed barn wood with me for the Mad River Barn project. Really excited about these pieces of gorgeousness.

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Off to Basin Harbor Club. We are renovating 8 of the cottages this year and bringing in some really fun unique custom pieces, including this great pillow with the Basin Harbor Adirondack chair on it.

That was the second week of April, now we are finally off to a family vacation…haven’t done that in a couple of years. Had a blast traveling with my BFF’s family and my twin sister and her husband! Warm waters, blue skies and lots of sun!

Of course, even on vacation…I’m thinking SALVAGE! This old post office building — maybe my next “winter” office?!? Loved the vintage colors and patina! Virgin Gorda, BVI’s!

Seriously! This was the view from the villa we rented. Dos Sols in Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda! The most amazing place ever!

You all know me… I’m not normally camera shy — but I had some great hives going so I let my husband and our daughter, make the most of this shot! Hanging out on Saba Rock!

This new restaurant (only a couple years) has a great eco and recycled theme about it! Great location, right on the beach in Spanish Town.

Family and friends waiting for the lunch hour… Not a bad place to wait…

Even the bar counter top is made with recycled aggregate from sea glass that washed up on shore… I would not have believed it if I didn’t see tons of sea glass on the beach myself! Awesome job!

Till next time, British Virgin Islands! Love ya!

Nashville… Straight from the amazing vacation I fly to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in Country Living Magazines first FAIR in Nashville.  What a huge success it was for them. Despite the severe weather warnings…the weather was great and there were tons of happy folks there.

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This was just a piece of décor at South Porch Antiques, but Karen and Patrick were willing to part with it — so I bought it :) Can’t wait to show you what I’m going to do with it.

My friend Crystal, who is in marketing at Country Living Magazine, was a busy gal…but luckily we got just enough time for a quick photo opt before my first presentation on the main stage.

The displays and vintage products where outstanding…again, South Porch Antiques!

There were lots of amazing presenters…the Beekman Boys, Cari Cucksey and Mike Wolfe, from American Pickers. Really a nice guy! We traded books :)

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I don’t know how Cari and her husband Vincent do it! They were straight out busy at the show with their booth, paint line and presentations…but they still made time for friends! Hanging out in their very cool airstream!

Feel in love with these… wanted to bring them home. Don’t have a project for them know…but hopefully soon! Recycled art!

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Shipped 8 of these home for the Mad River Barn annex project! More old chicken feeders turned into light fixture!

Maybe next year’s Kentucky Derby hat??!!

My friend Mary, from my town, had her booth, Vintage Inspired…she was so sweet to bring my DIY’s to and fro from Vermont! Thanks Mary!

Then I stayed longer and enjoyed Nashville…

Loved Franklin, TN!

The buildings, even the signs were cool!

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and their mascot…

Merridee’s…my husband would have been in love with this place! Maybe next trip, I’ll bring him.

So in his honor…

Stopped at antique shop after antique shop…

Mindful…of my little suitcase…I picked up smalls…

Luckily… this one was closed the day I was there…or I would have had to purchase a few suitcases!

Cool buildings…this was an old cotton mill.

Back in Nashville…stopped at the Barista Parlor. Loved the style of this place.

Check out the cool wood with the rough ends they have for the tables…character!

Nashville friend, Brandon, took me to Rolf and Daughters for dinner. YUMMY!!

Loved the look of the décor as well!

Stopped by Mike’s shop, Antique Archeology as well. Loved the vintage finds in it.

Then we hit a few Honky Tonks on the main street in Nashville and I was wiped out! Note to self…more time in Nashville next year!

And then it was back home to more design work at Basin Harbor and Mad River Barn…

Pennie Beach, one of the owners of Basin Harbor Club, and I scour the attics at the resort, finding old family heirlooms to put into the rooms…

Different attic…more finds…

Cleaning the finds…thanks Jen for all your help! Not really in the marketing job description…but I certainly appreciate it.

Then a little homework…repurposing all the old Basin Harbor Light fixtures…with a little rope!

Start putting all the pieces together… new and old…for a May opening.

and that was just April!


My best, Joanne


Research…Getting Ready for Round Top, Texas

Packing up, pages from my books, my walking vintage Frye’s and my custom made vintage fabric, ToTem handbag, that I can sling over my shoulder.

I love research, I mean if I didn’t I would not have been able to write two books, that’s for sure. So as I prepare to do a book signing at Marburger Farm Antique Show at Round Top, Texas, I want to make sure I get all my ducks in a row for the extra time I have for SHOPPING! I’m going to spend Wednesday shopping and Thursday morning, 9 to noon is my book signing (hope you drop by). I’ll also be raffling off some cool stuff!

Photo by Meghana Gandi, Full Article, Huffington Post

According to an article from The Huffington Post, Round Top, is the best antique fair in the world! “Touted as the largest antiques fair in the United States, the event, which has been around since the 1960s, attracts more than 2,000 vendors who descend upon a 25-mile stretch of Highway 237 from Burton to LaGrange.”

Yikes, I don’t think I gave myself enough time to check it out! Next year…

The Howdy is the program for the Marburger Farm Antique Show. Here is just one of the many pages…

But for those of us who love more than antiques, will be thrilled, because the show has everything…antiques, vintage, retro, modern, crafts, architectural salvage pieces, repurposed materials, and flea market goodies. A cornucopia of beautifully displayed salvage goodness! At Marburger Farm, where I’ll be this time, they have a program called the Howdy, which lists all the dealers, where they are and gives helpful tips and information to all who visit.

Joanne shopping at vintage fair

I always try and wear a hat, that covers my face but isn’t cumbersome, when I’m at shows, fairs and flea markets.

So what am I going to bring, water, cash, checkbook (some dealers don’t take credit cards) and a great attitude! Looking at the maps (which I love by the way) I have found where I want to stop for food, where I can ship stuff and how I can get some WIFI, since I hear reception can be spotty. I’ll check the weather in advance and bring the sunblock (I am coming from Vermont, where the lake is still frozen over) and a jacket I can wrap around my waist if need be. I’m bringing along my sisters as well, more hands to carry stuff (but don’t tell them that).


Bev, the owner of Bel Sole, is a salvager as well, and has transformed this home into a beautiful B&B. I can’t wait to see it!

Thankfully, I’ve book at room at cute B&B, less than 10 minutes away, Bel Sole, so I’ll be well rested and fortified for a second day of treasure hunting.

Here are some other folks articles about what to know about visiting Round Top. Hope to see you there!  My best, Joanne

Rachel Ashwell’s Tips

Country Living Magazine’s Guide to Round Top

The Vintage Round Top Best Tips


Marburger Farm Antique Show at Round Top & West Elm in Austin!

At my book signing at the Marburger Farm Antique Show at Round Top, I’ll be raffling off these Long Horn vintage wood coasters I made, along with a vintage Vermont hunting vest. Stop by, say hi and enter to win! Looking forward to wearing my cowboy boots.

I can’t wait to go to Texas! I’ve never been to Round Top Antique Fair or Austin, so I’m thrilled to say, I’ll be heading to both. On Thursday, April 2nd, I’ll be signing books at Marburger Farm Antique Show from 9 a.m. to noon and EXCITING NEWS!…on Friday I’ll be giving a How to Design & Decorate with Salvage and Vintage Goods talk at West Elm in Austin from 5:30-8 p.m. (This was just announced, only 30 seats available. RSVP)

AT MARBURGER FARM ANTIQUE SHOW… I’m also bringing a little Vermont to Texas! Besides signing my books, answering your questions, you can enter your name in a raffle for a vintage hunter’s vest from Vermont and Longhorn coasters I made from wood from an 1800’s barn in Vermont. So stop by and say hi and enter to win. I’ll be near the Promenade (close to the café). Can’t wait to see you there!

You have got to check out their website. Full of amazing information about the show!

You have got to check out Marburger’s website. Full of amazing information about the show! Check out the map!

At West Elm on West 5th Street in Austin, on Friday, April 3rd…coming join me for a presentation, slideshow and Q&A about Salvage Design.

With over 75 slides of amazing salvage design and DIY projects, Joanne will show you how to add it and where to find it. Don’t miss out on the presentation. It will be fun, funny and filled with great design ideas!

More information and tickets available HERE! The Naples, Florida event sold out in a week, so don’t miss out! Tell your friends in Austin.

I’ll be talking more about Texas, styles, designers, and some inside scooping about shopping Round Top! Plus a DIY Post on how to make the Longhorn Coasters! So make sure you follow along on the blog (see the email sign-in on the right).

Till then…Y’ALL have a great day!

My best, Joanne

Awesome Arizona - Presenting, Shopping, Traveling and Salvaging…

As I sit in my home office in Vermont and the outside temperatures reads 18 degrees…I long to be back in Arizona. Even though I loved the warm weather — that is not the reason I want to be back there (okay…maybe a little). Dear friends, new friends, family, tons of salvage and antique shopping and the unsurpassed beauty are the reasons! Follow me on a salvage and shopping journey from Phoenix to Sedona…

Arizona Republic Article

A big huge thank you to Kara Morrison of the Arizona Republic for the amazing interview and two page spread in the paper before my arrival in Phoenix. Wow — I’m larger than life in this picture :)

I was able to spend some time with family and friends on this trip as well. My friends, Nora and Dave have these amazing artisan-made metal landscaping containers in front of their house. Fabulous!

I could not wait to get to Sweet Salvage and see the booth layouts the morning of my presentation. I’m so glad I arrived with an empty suitcase. What?!!! You live in Phoenix and have never been to a Sweet Salvage event ? You have to get there! Tell them Joanne sent you :) If you’ve been — you know what I’m talking about!

If this Red Trunk on Wheels with the galvanized metal top is at the Sweet Salvage December event — I’m going to have to send my sister down to buy it! What an amazing coffee table this will make. And…I’m in love with all those frames.

Sweet Salvage Shop Phoenix Holiday event

From coffee tables, chairs, dressers and more — to the littlest ornaments. This scrap wood snowman face was made by a relative who is disabled. Each booth has incredible displays and just as special stories about their items.

Kim Rawlins, one of the owners of Sweet Salvage, gave me this sweater as a gift! Luckily…because when I finally arrived home after a red eye flight…I needed it. Thank you Kim.


I know, I look tired… I was :)


Stephanie and the folks at Sweet Salvage did an amazing job setting up for my presentation — there were 50 tickets available and the event sold out! We had a blast! Stephanie said everyone LOVED LOVED LOVED IT! Happy to hear that.

A 80 picture slide show, Holiday DIY’s and treats! Thank you everyone for coming to the special event. Hope I get to see you all again soon. Thank you, Thank you Sweet Salvage!

Attention to detail — that’s what Sweet Salvage is all about. Look at my book signing table. I felt like a queen.

After a busy two days in Phoenix, I headed up to Sedona for one night at L’Auberge. I know…right! A special treat to myself after a very busy year.

How romantic is this! I didn’t eat dinner at L’Auberge, but if I did, I would have wanted it right here. This ivy covered setting with crystal chandelier and curtains is gorgeous. Wonder how it would look in my yard? Hmm…

I’ve been visiting Sedona for 20 years, lots has changed…except for Clear Creek Trading Company. I love to see it remains relatively the same. I love coming here for some bead supplies and seeing the unique items they have for sale.

I picked up numerous strains for turquoise beads for a project I’m making for a friend.

The next morning, I didn’t lay around (much). I headed about 25 minutes west of Sedona to Cottonwood — because I wanted to check out Larry’s Antiques and Things. Any store that’s tag line is “From tea cups to Tractors” is a must for me! I meet the beautiful and talented owner, Jennifer Cohen, who got these old boots down off a wall for me. I’m trying to bring them back to life with a lot of mink oil and rubbing. 

If you haven’t been here — you have got to visit it. It is true — from tea cups, vintage appliances, desks, rugs, architectural salvage, metal signs…room after room, yard after yard…barn after barn…  Cottonwood, Arizona is between Sedona and that cool town of Jerome…the historic copper mining town that is about 5000 feet above sea level with a population of about 400 people.

I saw this dusty old rug, hiding behind lots of stuff. Jennifer was so kind to get it down for me. I barely had enough room in my suitcase for that one.

After a good cold bath, it fit perfectly in my upstairs hallway. I’d love to know more about this rug. Is it native American? Is this a specific pattern? Wonder what the age is? Until then…Hope to see you all in Arizona next year!


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