Romance Is In the Air

By Sandy Dale


It is definitely too hot to work in the garden. Time to go inside where it’s cool, sip a lemonade and read a romance novel. Well, probably not a romance novel for me, but I did pick up a great decorating book at one of our thrift shops called Romantic Style. Every year about this time I get the wild urge to go all pink and white and ruffly. Not my clothes, my décor. I want fine antique lace curtains, an easy chair upholstered in chintz with big dusty pink roses on it. White, white, white…everywhere. Kinda what we’ve called “shabby chic” but is now “cottage” or romantic style. It’s sort of American “country” gone Italian or French. Light and airy and fresh. So, I went for a walk down the Main Street of Florence to see what I could find.


I checked out Heartland Classic, Heartland Antiques, Legends and Lace and a few other of my favorite shops. I knew they’d get my decorating juices flowing. Ambling down the street to my surprise, I discovered two new shops filled with cottage classics.


The first was Rustique Treasures in the 100 East Block. Fun painted furniture and, believe it or not, Watkins spices, extracts, and soaps. Remember those? I had trouble leaving the shop without the cute little gate-leg, lime green table…so light and summery. You can usually find the owner in her studio at the back of the shop painting up a new treasure. A great high table and stools perfect for the patio caught my eye as I was leaving.    The second new shop, 103 Vintage Market, in the 100 West Block of Main had a great 4th of July “shabby chic” red, white, and blue window display. A handsome new “primitive“ take on your grandmother’s early American. Perfect for the cabin or the cottage. This shop definitely has a French Provincial feel with a little Tuscany thrown in for good measure with some fabulous “chalk” painted furniture and even vintage clothing, a certain nod toward the romantic style.


   As I strolled home, my head spinning with decorating ideas and trying to figure out where to put the cute little green table, I started thinking about what makes a romantic room romantic. Flowers, of course. Live ones are best, but I don’t seem to have that in my meager budget. I thought of the elegant arrangements at the Heartland shops…and then there I was looking in the window of Florence Flowers & Antiques right next door to 103 Vintage Market. Melissa arranges both live flowers and faux flowers…I guess I’ll just have to stretch my meager budget. Well, folks, it’s true. You can find it in Florence.

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