Bringing the garden indoors

By Karen Parr-Moody


Despite the bitter cold, creative homeowners can bring spring’s sunshine into their homes with some fresh décor ideas. Renowned interior designer Jason Parker Counce, who has two booths at GasLamp, explained how to bring spring indoors during his recent Tea@Two@Too presentation at GasLamp Too at 128 Powell Place.


Counce, an artist and designer who frequently appears in magazines and on News Channel 5, says, “I want to enlighten your home with bright and fresh ideas. You can enjoy forced bulbs, fresh flowers or an orchid to bring that feeling of being in the garden indoors.”


This bronze jardinière in the photo, above right, is an Art Nouveau style from the early 1900s that has been appraised at $3,500 but is priced at $1,800 (at Booth T-255, Boîte a Trésors Vintage). Discovered at a Paris auction, this jardinière at GasLamp Too is festooned with three charming putti. These cherubs had their roots deep in ancient art and were revived in 15th century Italy, when they figured largely in both Italian Renaissance and Baroque art.


“I always like planters indoors,” Counce says. “They have many uses, not only for holding a plant. They are a great catch-all for holding groups of items, too. This ornate cherub jardinière is nice enough to grace a Bell Meade home with an orchid in it, or even a loft in the Gulch.”


The woman in the painting, left, reminds us of that carefree feeling we had as children (“My Bonnie” by F.L.P, $85; Booth T-504).


“Springtime means many things, but this painting of a woman swinging on a swing would feel fun year-round,” Counce says.  


Painted pieces definitely evoke spring, says Counce, including this bright green bamboo magazine holder that was handmade in the Philippines (photo, right, $58; Booth T-156


“It could also hold books, yarn for knitting or towels rolled up for the bathroom,” Counce says. “Using old-fashioned milk paint to refinish items of furniture and accessories in bright colors, like this magazine holder, is a great change of looks for spring.”


GasLamp has its own exclusive brand of milk paint for sale, filled with inspiring colors that can completely transform any piece of furniture for a more spring-like mood.


“Think of those times gone by, when every year it would be time to whitewash the fence,” Counce says. “Now we can choose the color white, along with many, many other choices of paint colors.” 


Vintage flower pots – like the charming McCoy faux bois version in the photo, left – are a staple for indoor gardening, great for forced bulbs and houseplants (McCoy planter, $19.95; Booth T-275).


“I use planters as a change of décor in spring,” Counce says. “They can be used to hold small kitchen extras on your counter or to corral all of those odds and ends on your vanity.”


Flower frogs, like the Weller version on the photo, right, were once a staple in many homes (Weller flower frog, $124.95; Booth T-113).


“Now they are nostalgic,” Counce says. “You can use them in an artistic way by grouping collections. If you have a great pottery flower frog, use it to brighten up your desk as a pen and pencil holder. I have one in my workshop that holds my small paintbrushes so they are ready to use anytime.”


Counce says that trunks and storage boxes, like the one in the photo below left, are also great for this time of year (Metal box; $68; Booth T-113).


“Because it is the time to fold up the blankets and quilts,” he explains. “They also are a great year-round way to store loose paperwork, magazines, even out-of-season clothing.”


When thinking spring, think fun, indoors and out, Counce says.


“By using elements in a different way in your home, it can make us feel like those warmer days are close,” Counce says. “And our inner child is ready to play in the garden or swing at the park.”


Tea@Two@Too is a monthly event at GasLamp Too during which a speaker makes a presentation and refreshments are served. Guests can sign up by calling 615-292-2250 or by visiting the original GasLamp Antiques at 100 Powell Place.


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