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Valentine’s Shoot Featured on Trendy Bride

14 February

Am always humbled when our work is published… On this Valentine’s Day, Trendy Bride is showing us some love by featuring our Watercolor Romance Styled Shoot. Beautifully captured by JofFoto, the images evoke vibrant, passion-filled romance where pinks and reds overcome every shade of gray!

“He found the colors to paint her where the world had left her grey”

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Inspired by Atticus Poetry

Happily introduced to the Bella Villa inventory collection on occasion of this shoot is the vintage menu stand above. Our artistic groom used it as a unique easel for painting his muse. View More:       View More: Totally fibbing.  That was just for the shoot… the real artist was Lazy Dog Art Studio who painted her interpretation of the Atticus quote as that poignant watercolor you saw above… did you notice she’s grey in the picture and he’s breathing color into her?  I love it.

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If you’ve never been to Rust Manor House and Nature Sanctuary in Leesburg, VA it is absolutely worth a visit as the Audubon Naturalist Society is also located there and I’m pretty sure they love squirrels. Also, along with Aldie Mill Historic Park, another unique Loudoun County venue located just across the road from the Bella Villa warehouse, Rust Manor is open to the public!  I digress. Back to the shoot… We also introduced these awesome new red velvet bergere chairs, which have yet to be named. Feel free to post suggestions on my Facebook page.  Gorgeous to add a punch of color to any lounge!

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They’re so comfy and feature the same body style as the pair of Siena & Chiara pink velvet tufted chairs, but the new ones are red and have a smooth back (no tufting).

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We also featured two very feminine “occasional” tables… the petite mint green serpentine console. So gorgeous and was perfect for the card and gift table. And of course, you can see the inspirational quote beautifully scribed in watercolor.

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So perfect with all its chippiness, fancy hardware and curvy body. Like a woman!  Those droopy tulips in the drawer make my heart skip!

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We displayed Sweet Pink Bakery’s gorgeous cake (complete with Cupid’s arrow!) atop our white frenchy table and displayed the gorgeous blooms from Danielly’s Boutique’s in the caged bottom area.

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And this might be one of my favorite things to rent… tableside bubbly for the bride & groom… I love love love using this fancy urn in lieu of a traditional ice bucket. Anyone can have an ice bucket. It takes a genius (that’s what I like to tell myself) to see creative, yet practical, uses for ordinary objects. Although, this urn is hardly ordinary!

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Thanks for reading! I’ll have more photos from this shoot on my Facebook page. Meanwhile, take a look at the full team of creatives listed below and don’t forget to check out the Trendy Bride post! If you’re compelled, leave a comment… share some love. The world needs more of it.
And Happy Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!



Photographer:  JOFFOTO//Event Designer: A Beyoutiful Fete Events & Design//Heirlooms and extras: Bella Villa Antiques & Vintage Rentals//Model: Daniel Bachelet//Floral Designer:Danielly’s Boutique//Model: Ellie Thomposon//Dress Store:Fabulous Frocks of Alexandria//Art: Lazy Dog Art Studio//Calligrapher: Mommy In Pink//Reception Venue: Rust Manor House and Nature Sanctuary//Cake DesignerSweet Pink Bakery//Makeup Artist: Tmak Artistry // Valentine’s Day 

A year later?! Really?

01 February

Sometimes I take a long time to get things done. : / Call it the squirrel in me. This is just to report that I’m going to make a concerted effort to add inventory photos to this website so that ya’ll can make a wish list and book your rentals!  Word of mouth and exclusivity has been awesome for me, but I’m too busy and can’t keep up! Something’s gotta give! Custom proposals are still the way to book your rentals, but to anyone waiting for one of those, especially my planner friends… it’s coming and I promise not to make you wait to much longer!



11 January

Hi there! Just a note to let you know that our winter project here at Bella Villa is to get our vintage rentals inventory uploaded to the website so you can see what we have at any hour of the day or night!

Red Fox Inn; June 12th, 2013

It’s ever the ongoing project partially because we continue to squirrel away new vintage pieces, but mostly because I just want to foof and style events to create memorable moments like this one!  The squirrel in me just does not want to sit at a computer uploading a database.

Shannon and Dan Briar Patch (23)

Alas, owning your own business means doing the stuff you do not like in addition to the stuff you love. Or hiring someone and delegating! Hmmm….. leaning that way. Isn’t this turkey feeder an awesome rustic wine cooler?

Shannon and Dan Briar Patch (5)

You can use it for water too, or whatever beverages you like!



So until I hire someone, don’t hesitate to send me an email requesting inspiration images. I’ll quickly send you a pdf file (or 3) with tons of images to give you an idea of what we have. If you see something you like, we can set an appointment to come check out the warehouse in person!

Shannon and Dan Briar Patch (28)

Cheers and have a great day!



The 7 Year Itch & Picking Just One Door

05 June

Hi Everyone! 

Big news… Really Big News actually.  No time for pictures today -I just have to tell you something.

We’re restructuring Bella Villa.  By restructuring, I mean, changing the model so that I can focus (Squirrel!) on the part of the business that will give me greater flexibility and more time to actually live life. I love doors! I would go through every single one if I could. But I’m picking just one main door and behind it is Vintage Rentals!  



Wow! I finally said it!

Eeek!!  It’s taken me WEEKS to write this note, partially because I’ve been busy decorating an awesome house, cottage and barn in between several beautiful weddings, rehearsals, photo shoots and company events!!! Also because, seriously, who wants to sit at their desk and write this?  

Indeed, after 7 ½ years of offering a cool and classy shop in the great little village of Aldie (many thanks to the contribution of my family of dealers I might add), I’ve finally come to accept that, I really cannot do both jobs in the awesome and amazing way that I would like. Therefore, I am closing the door, as it were, to the retail storefront of Bella Villa. While I will miss the daily interaction with all of you, my wonderful customers and friends, I confess I am beyond excited about the change because I’m keeping the Annex as the warehouse for my Vintage Rentals inventory (along with the Squirrel Barn Studio and the Middleburg Events Studio). I will have more time to do everything better! Well, less than everything, but still alot!  I’m still going to sell directly to design clients. I’m still styling and designing and might do a show or two… I’m just not running a shop anymore. : )   

So this is how it’s goin’ down, folks.  The transition is already well underway and everything is happening super fast!!
The shop is closing on Friday, June 26th. Bella Villa items that are not being absorbed into the rentals inventory are 30% off!!!
Our hours for the last 3 weeks are Wednesday thru Sunday 11 to 5ish. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

One of the best things about the change is that not only do I get to stay in the Village, hang out at Wally’s wine shop, and continue to contribute to the Aldie Heritage Association, but I also get to decide who will be taking over the Bella Villa space, and thus be my new neighbor!!  I’m in the process of recruiting someone new to come to the village and am super excited because we’re in talks with another antiques shop, a consignment shop, a tea shop and a group of gals that want to open an Etsy-like boutique shop. All this from word-of-mouth! I wish they could all come! Aldie rocks!  

On that note, I’m still taking inquiries and a final decision will be made by July 15th if not sooner, so if you’re interested in opening your own doors in Aldie (and have me and Wally as your neighbors), send me a note, and I’ll send you the Request for Interest form. They’re due by June 26th.

Last but not least, I’m happy to report that my dealers were quickly invited to join other shops. Doors everywhere! I’ll have more on that in a subsequent post. Meanwhile, as Father’s Day is quickly approaching, I invite you to come check out the wares of our super awesome “Men’s Den” dealer, aka The Hound Dog, aka The Marlboro Man, the one and only, Chris Mueller!!

I’ll be at the shop today and Sunday if you want to pop in!  : )   




10 October

So the last newsletter I sent was titled “Just Got Back from Italy” and how I was looking forward to Loudoun’s food and wine festival Epicurience Virginia… I had every intention of sending more pics from Ischia along with a how-to video on eggplant parmesan the way my Zia Giovanna makes it… I was going to send pictures of all the fabulous vintage furniture I set up in the Epicurience VIP lounge and the video on how to carve a whole pig…

I’ve since helped style some of the most beautiful photo shoots and weddings yet!!


And at Villa Smith, we’ve given our little country bathroom a face lift.  More pics later.


We have gorgeous inventory at Bella Villa coming in daily! And new dealers with seriously awesome looks upstairs, whose stuff has already been selling!!

 I have great garden pictures with tasty and easy food suggestions. And there’s stuff you need to know about awesome local events! For instance, ALDIE HARVEST FESTIVAL is NEXT SATURDAY!! WHAT??

Somehow the days and weeks keep passing, and yesterday…. yesterday I turned 40.  FORTY.  Really???  WHERE has the time gone?


I spent the morning of my 40th birthday doing what I love most, decorating with one of my dear friends who helped me for hours until we finally took a quick break at 4pm for another love – bread, decadent cheese and wine! We didn’t even stop to take a selfie!

And then… for the first time ever, little Gianni, Siena, Rocco and Carlo came to visit!!! They’re here in Virginia!!!  They all poured out of the van and literally ran up to me and hugged me one by one and then all together hollering Happy Birthday!!! at the top of their lungs. Even little 2 1/2 yr old Carlo.  I just loved every single second of it!! PLUS my Mom and Dad are here too!  And my brother Giancarlo and his beautiful wife Tina (the kids’ parents), and my middle brother Paolo too!!!  Yesterday’s hugs were some of the best I ever had. Almost everyone in my immediate family is here in Virginia, for me, on my 40th birthday.

Am missing my little brother Marco and Paolo’s fiance Gina so we’ll have to do sushi on my next trip to Cali.  Sushi fixes everything.

So I’ve just been busy, and this is why I haven’t been sending newsletters.  I didn’t even take pictures yesterday (with my own camera anyway). I just wanted to live it.  I just wanted to answer every curious question, and teach them all, and show them all, everything about our life here in Virginia, and all at once which is how they ask questions!!

Forty gets here pretty fast.  And I didn’t want to miss any of it!!

Oh. One more thing. The shop will be closed tomorrow, Saturday, October 11th because we’re celebrating my being 40, and my precious nephew, Gianni who turns 10 tomorrow, and I don’t want to miss a single thing about that either.
Since the folks at Bella Villa are like family to me too, the shop will be closed.

See you next Saturday, October 18th at the Aldie Harvest Festival!!!




Middleburg Events Studio: Grand Opening!

06 May

Am so excited to announce the Grand Opening of Bella Villa’s newest venture.

This long-envisioned goal of my friend, Matilda Reuter, who also happened to be Bella Villa’s very first Vintage Rentals Bride,  is coming to fruition this Thursday, May 8th, and you are all invited to come celebrate!!

Ribbon Cutting Invitation

It’s a design collective for those seeking unique events in and around Middleburg!  Matilda has brought together as Founders of this Studio some of the best wedding industry vendors, and we’re incredibly fortunate to be counted among them!  Also included are:



Very soon we will have videographers, hair & make-up, dessert specialists, dresses, venues and everything else you need to plan a wedding or special event, all within one collective studio in the charming village of Middleburg!

And while she may not be a Founder, I would like to give a special Huge Thank You to my dear friend, Aly Rohling, owner of La Bella Luce in Clifton, VA.

For without her gorgeous Italian antiques, and more importantly, her generosity, inspiration, talent and positive attitude, the Middleburg Events Studio space would not look nearly as fabulous!!

Join us this Thursday at 5pm with Middleburg Mayor Betsy Davis, and come see for yourself!!




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