Home & Family

Designer and Blogger Brooke Giannetti on Patina Style

Brooke Giannetti is a California-based interior decorator, shop owner, and the blogger behind Velvet & Linen. Brooke frequently collaborates with her husband, architect Steve Giannetti, on projects as well as their store, Giannetti Home. Brooke and Steve’s work has appeared in Veranda Magazine, Luxe Magazine, C Magazine, Romantic Homes, Country Living, Coastal Living, HGTV, New Old House, Rue Magazine, and The New York Times among others. They are currently working on their second book, out Spring 2016.  Brooke and Steve live in Ojai with their children, 3 dogs, 3 mini goats, 2 mini donkeys, 12 chickens, and a house bunny.

On How Patina Style Started

Steven and my style developed when we started frequenting antique shows and swap meets and bought only items that we both loved. We then began to design furniture we wanted but couldn’t find. When we brought all the elements together a new look emerged, featuring aged fabrics, gilded objects, rich leathers, roughened woods, and industrial artifacts. When we bring antiques and other items from the past into our homes, we connect with the stories behind them, and the people who created and used them. Our personal style began to come forth as a reflection of our personalities and we called it “Patina Style.”

 On Collecting

We love objects that not only have history and individual style, but a practical purpose too. You can find these vintage everyday items all around our house, displayed in a way that looks beautiful but also provides easy access. We store small stacks of vintage blankets tucked into baskets by the sofa or folded on shelves. In our kitchen, we have open shelves stacked with flea market ceramics, silver, and breadboards. We started collecting hotel silver at flea markets and we use those serving pieces, trays, and coffeepots regularly. The silver is so pretty we sometimes double the teapots as vases, filling them with flowers and using them as centerpieces for lunches with friends. We are also drawn to the versatility of white pottery and we mix and match plates, teacups, and pitchers that are all linked by their color. One of our favorite types of vintage objects, ones we use again and again, are books. They inspire us when we read them and grace our shelves with their lovely worn bindings.

On Combining Collections

We like to keep things in the same color range. We are often drawn to soft, muted and neutral hues, which makes it easy to mix and match, keeping the focus on shape and texture. We frequently have leather or parchment books in our arrangements, because they are very neutral, blending beautifully with a lot of different pieces. They also provide great perches for layering.

On Composing a Room

There are a few compositional rules that can help you when you are putting things together. You can almost think of it as balancing a scale. The visual weight of one side of your arrangement should match the visual weight of the other. One way to do this is with symmetry, making the two sides mirror reflections of each other. Another way is to start with the larger grounding elements of a composition, like books, and then counterbalance the weight on the other side with pieces that, while different, match the books in visual interest. Then you can fill in the display, making sure you have objects at different levels, and sizes to keep the flow. You place a tall element and then a larger wider element and keep layering until it works. We make a point to not have things be too perfect, it is ready when you step back, look at it as a whole, and love the way it looks. 

Follow Brooke on twitter @velvetandlinen, and on her glorious pinterest page. Photographs and excerpt by Steve Giannetti from Patina Style by Brooke and Steven Giannetti, reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith. Visit Giannetti Home here

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