Ceri's Chic
By Karen Parr-Moody

"My brand is an eclectic mix of vintage and designer pieces that tell a story," says Ceri Hoover of her GasLamp Too booth that stems from a passion for interior design and antiques.

Hoover already operates an online retail shop, cooper-grey.com, where she sells her favorite designer and vintage pieces, as well as her handbag collection. But she also wanted to create a physical retail space. So when she learned of GasLamp Too's direction — designer taste blended with vintage flair — she felt that it matched her vision.

"I'm thrilled to be included," she says.

One look at Hoover's booth reveals a spin on design that is swanky — in carefully measured doses — and thoroughly modern. As one example, she reaches back into history with an item as classic and masculine as the wingback chair, but lathers it up with luxe femininity by upholstering it in a cream-colored faux ostrich (photo, left; $800; T-296).

"Faux ostrich is amazing," she says. "I use the same fabric for a clutch in my Cooper Grey handbag collection ... and the brass nail heads are the perfect addition to this soft, creamy faux ostrich."

The chair is draped with a hook rug in a nod to a Maine grandma ($75), then taken to the contemporary edge with green and white trellis print pillows ($325).



Hoover softens the crisp lines of her designs with items, including the hook rug, that give the various vignettes a level of authenticity. This cow painting in the photo, right, is firmly entrenched in an earthy world, but its size and drama blends in with the contemporary elements of Hoover's booth.

"My mom actually found this painting during an antiquing trip together," Hoover says. "The colors drew me in immediately and I knew it was a winner. The cow's face is piercing and I love that each viewer sees their own story through its eyes."

In the vignette in the photo, left, a Mid-Century Modern mirror from Europe is flanked by black-and-white vases (European mirror, $575). Hoover likes what she calls the "unorthodox" and "understated" flair that such Mid-Century Modern items bring to a room.

"This mirror is gorgeous!" Hoover says. "The patina and the detail in the shape is eye-catching — and everyone needs something that stands out. I could find a home for this mirror in any room in my house."

Feed sacks, like the one in the photo at right, are incredibly popular right now. Hoover likes them for a specific reason: She loves to mix old and new, rustic and shiny.

"When I saw these framed coffee sacks I knew instantly that a gallery wall was in my near future," she says. "I plan to collect sacks from Costa Rica — my home away from home — to frame behind Lucite panels."

Hoover says she isn't sure which she enjoys more, interior design or antiquing. But what she is sure about is straightforward enough: "I love that I can blend pieces that inspire and offer a unique sense of self to a home."

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