Totally Tole

A new form of metal work was popularized in the 18th century, and it is reclaiming popularity today. It is called Italian Tole and it is thin metal sheets that are painted often with enamel. The chandeliers, wall sconces and lamps are often covered in flower or fruit and add a touch of femininity to a space. Tole became a popular medium to craft more than floral chandeliers because the thin metal could be shaped and bent to resemble the leaves of a palm tree or the top of a pineapple. Today, the Millennials are seeking out authentic vintage tole of every kind, online and in secondhand shops. Millennials, those who were born between 1981-1996 seek uniqueness, upcycling, and sustainable value with their purchases, so that makes vintage very attractive. This movement does not have to be exclusive to Millennials and I am happy to say that I have Baby Boomers getting involved. Let’s take a peek into the dining room of a Lantana model with a pineapple chandelier that is totally awesome and totally tole somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

•  The ChandelierLantana model Dining-room, bright and fresh, Interior Design - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer.
The room started with the chandelier! This chandelier is a very large tole pineapple with a fluffy top. The pineapple is sitting in a bed of pineapple leaves and the arms of the chandelier sprout out from beneath the pineapple leaves. This is vintage and so pretty. They just don’t make stuff like this anymore and it is truly unique. The pineapple represents the universal sign of hospitality. In the 18th century the pineapple was viewed as sign of wealth because they were not native to Europe. The pineapple was first introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus.

•  Two large arch mirrors
The home has vast and sweeping views of the golf course. We wanted to capture that view by placing mirrors on the wall that opposes the slider so that the view would be captured and reflected back into the space. These mirrors are titled, “Grand Palais” mirrors and they are made to look like two palladin windows. The mirrors reflect so much view and light that the room looks larger. The mirrors are 72” high and 48” wide. This wall needed two mirrors to collect all the view.

•  Wainscot
The walls of the dining room were wrapped in a wainscot of plain boxes and a chair rail. The entire wainscot from the top of the chair rail to the bottom of the baseboard was painted white. This creates the illusion that wood was added to the wall when in reality we applied half round molding to create the box and the wall is the backer board. The chair rail was custom applied to dip down around the base of the mirrors leaving a two-inch reveal of wall and then back up again to end at the same height that it started on the adjacent wall. The large wall across from the non-mirrored wall in the dining room, is home to a large and beautiful buffet. The chair rail was customized to start at the same height as the two dining room walls and then rise around the buffet leaving a two-inch reveal. Then, the chair rail drops back down on the other side of the buffet to match the height of all the other chair rails. Customizing your chair rail makes the furniture pop because it is against a backdrop of white. Should the homeowners ever move, most new homeowners want the mirrors with the house. The space for the buffet can be filled with another buffet. If the new buffet is smaller, it does not matter because there will be more molding to see which is always a good thing.

•  Lamps
The lamps on the buffet again reflect the symbol of the pineapple and though they are not tole, they do have metal leaves which makes them look like tole. The lamps are large and create a rich statement in the space. I like large lamps because they act as beautiful jewelry in the room, adorning the buffet and complementing the art.

•  The Art
The homeowners selected two pieces of art from the official fine arts photographer of Florida, Alan Maltz. The first piece is titled “Sea of Dreams” and this is a photograph of a Florida sunset in soft hues of blues, pinks, and coral. The art piece is 60” by 40” and it makes a big statement on the wall. I love that the art is also reflected in the mirrors as you pass through the room, there is always something beautiful to look upon. The second piece is titled “Pathway to Palms” and this is a picture of a palm tree lined path to the beach in Key West.

•  No Rug
There is no rug in the space and that is o.k. because the Lantana model can be difficult to place a rug without having to walk over the corner or around the corner. Rug placement is up to the homeowner and how comfortable they feel about dealing with having to walk over a corner.
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Before and After Pics Below