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11 Mar

Buying at Auctions for your Home is the Best Thing Ever!

Auction-J. Garrett

I’ve been on the hunt for hidden treasures for our home for over 20 years. I’ve always been interested in antiques, and good deals – shopping like a boss is in my DNA! But I really got serious about finding furniture and other home goods when I married Jason. Filling a new home is no easy task, especially on a newlywed budget. That’s when I discovered the magic of auctions.


I grew up in a diversely furnished home, and naturally, I fell into the habit of, well, furnishing diversely. Walking into a store or a showroom and coming out with an entire roomful of furniture has never been my jam, and it shouldn’t be yours either. There’s nothing creative about matchy-matchy, IMO. I love and appreciate all of the different things I’ve collected over the years in my home. From my great grandmother’s curio cabinet in our bathroom to special pieces from our travels – some of it fun and funky, some of it basic but essential, but all of it representing a beautiful memory.


I’ve found that auctions are the best way to shop for one-of-a-kind finds. I’ve also been able to score some sweet deals over the years. There’s always something for everyone – and I always find plenty of things that need to come home with me. And sometimes, they do!

Auction-J. Garrett

I have developed quite an effective strategy for scouting, bidding and buying at auction, one I am going to share with you (for free!). Here, revealed for the very first time, are my Top Five Tips on How to Win Big at an Auction

Five Tips on How to Win Big at an Auction

1. Try to attend the auction preview. However, if you cannot see an item in person thoroughly read the condition reports. You can also speak with someone over the phone for more pictures and information.

2. Only pre-bid if you will not be available during the live auction. Otherwise, you will receive alerts each time someone outbids you, but as long as your MAX bid is programmed, you won’t miss out on the item.

3. If you are going in with a budget be sure to do your math. A little reverse math will save you a headache. Factor in the Hammer Fee, taxes and possible shipping cost for larger items.

Sample: Budget – Hammer Fee – Taxes = Actual Bidding Amount

Example: $2000 – 28% – 8.25% = $1,321.20

4. Don’t bid if you’re not sure you want to buy. If yours is the winning bid, you’re committed to the purchase. You can’t change your mind once the auction is closed.

5. During a live auction I always wait until the very end to place my bid. Literally “going once…going twice…” BID.

Auction-J. Garrett

And speaking of, I was excited to pop over to J. Garrett Auctioneers in Dallas last week. The reason for my visit was a benefit for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra that offered a sneak peek (before the public preview) at the firm’s latest high-profile auction: The Loyd-Paxton Collection. Oh Em Gee, y’all, it was amazeballs!


The Loyd-Paxton name has exuded glamour and exclusivity throughout the antiques and interior design world for over five decades. The creative forces behind the name, Lloyd Taylor and Paxton Gremillion, earned international renown by fusing unparalleled talent and taste with extraordinary décor. Their approach was to create a total environment rather than just putting pretty stuff in rooms. Among the duo’s most distinguished clients: Sir Elton John, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and Versailles (yes, that Versailles!).

Auction-J. Garrett

When it came time for Taylor to downsize, he chose J. Garrett Auctioneers to rehome his prestigious pieces, including rare 18th and 19th-century antiques and art. I may or may not be purchasing something this go around, but I always love to look, and some of the lots at the Loyd-Paxton Collection are serving inspiration for days.


If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you are missing out on ALL the behind-the-scenes fun from this incredible auction (you can find it in my highlights), but below are a few of my favorite pieces.

Favorite Pieces from Upcoming J. Garrett Auction

Religious Oil Paintings on Canvas Est. $1k - $1500
Auction-J. Garrett
Religious Oil Paintings on Canvas Est. $1k - $1500
Auction-J. Garrett
Louis Vuitton Trunk, Rare Vintage Custom Est. $32K - $35K
Auction-J. Garrett
Chanel Purse Pink Est. $1K - $1200
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Hermes Kelly Bag Est. $16K - $20K
Oversized French Carved & Painted Setter Est. $750 - $850
Auction-J. Garrett
Exceptional Rare 18c Carved Court Scene Est. $17K
Auction-J. Garrett
Extraordinary Pair of Rare Massive Jadeite Vases Est. $40K - $60K
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Louis XIV Style Consoles Est. $12K - $15K
Auction-J. Garrett
Reticulated Decanters Est. $1500 - $2500
Silver Trays Est. $600 - $800
Columbian/Brazilian Emerald Ring 8 carats Est $20K - $30K
Auction-J. Garrett

Upcoming J. Garrett Auction Details


Preview: March 15th-19th (10am-5pm)

Jewelry Preview: March 18th and 19th (10 am-3 pm)

Auction Start Times: March 20th and 21st (11 am CST)

9203 Diplomacy Row Dallas TX 75247


Peep for yourself here, and while you’re at it, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is offering the chance to win a fabulous gift basket valued at $5650. Your chances of winning are spectacular. To participate in the raffle, email


If you have been decorating your home for some time, you know how difficult it can be to find that perfect piece. Auctions are a great way to find special pieces that really enhance a home. J. Garrett does auctions twice a year, so if nothing fits the mold this time, check back in the fall for some more treasures. You can also visit their sister company, Legacy Antiques, in the Design District in Dallas for some everyday retail fun.

Auction-Dallas Symphony
Auction-Dallas Symphony
24 Oct

How to Design an Elaborate Halloween Tablescape

Flash back to 2013 when I first wrote about this elaborate Halloween tablescape article on my blog with Fort Worth Magazine! I’m bringing it back from the grave for your reading and viewing pleasures! Enjoy, and happy Halloween!

Here, in my parents home, an elaborately decorated dining table with seating for 14 guest was whipped up in true Carol Dunaway fashion.  Enjoy these inspirations for your own Halloween table design.

Elaborate Halloween Tablescape
Elaborate Halloween Tablescape

Six skulls from Katherine’s Collection were the main focal point of this table.

Mom got crafty when she made these homemade stone-crusted Elizabethan Collars to compliment the decorative skulls.

These large Katherine’s Collection skulls didn’t come with those darling tophat headbands with their own jewel-toned glittered mini-me’s.  But they were the perfect addition to this ensemble or to any outfit for the upcoming Halloween festivities.

Crystal Skull

Glittered candles from Pier 1 (similar) and decorative butterflies along with black and white ribbon from Amazon add to the decor.

Black Sparkle candle

Arranged white Hydrangeas in mirrored containers add that garden touch I alwasy enjoy incorporating in my own tablescapes.

The perfect addition, bone encrusted ornaments hanging from the chandelier.

Complimenting the theme of the table are two different sizes of black goblets.

Several layers of alabaster & silver rimmed plates are stacked upon these fabulous chargers that burst with silver, along with one of my very favorite flatware.

And don’t forget to do name cards! Individually wrapped custom made bone cookies were the finishing touch.

Silver-lined plates and chargers

Having a wreath on the front door gets the party started before your guest walk in.

Halloween Door Wreath

Recreate this elaborate Halloween tablescape HERE!

If you are anything like me and already planning for the Christmas holiday then don’t miss this Christmas Tablescape!

Happy holiday planning!


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3 Oct

Tablescape Tuesday: Celebrating the Last Day Of Summer

Celebrate the Last Day Of Summer

A celebration of the Last Day of Summer on the actual last day of Summer. I mean, who wouldn’t want to bust out the cocktails? If you know my mother Carol, then you know she loves any excuse to throw a fab dinner party. Kids are back in school! Check! Cooler temps are moving in! Check!

This seasonal table was designed around a coastal theme using various types of coral, starfish, sand dollars and Tridacna gigas clam shells.

Three crustaceous floral arrangements placed on glass risers were filled with 20 stems of white Hydrangea, 20 yellow and coral Roses, 2 stems of yellow Cymbidium and 40 stems of yellow Oncidium Orchids. The larger arrangement in the center of the table was topped off with a wooden sail boat.

Bright turquoise napkins and striped placemats symbolize blue Caribbean water. The flatware for this place setting was Laguiole and the vintage Stuart Crystal dessert compotes were topped off with antique David Andersen sterling silver guilloche enamel demitasse spoons.

Mom used silver starburst chargers, along with complimentary dinner and salad plates, all from Z Gallerie. She then paired standard Fleur dessert plates with the crystal dessert compotes. Color tinted stemware for water and wine tied it all together.

For the kitchen centerpiece, in addition to the flowers used in the giant clam shells, 1 bunch of Dianthus and 2 bunches of hanging Amaranthus were tightly packed into the large green urn.

Kitchen Centerpiece

As a gesture of thanks for attending dinner, these darling octopus kitchen towels and Stonewall Kitchen jams were the favors guests took home with them.

Summer Party Favors

Summer Tablescape RECAP!

Yup, I know what you’re thinking. Why in the world is Christy talking about a summer tablescape, when Central Market already has pumpkins spilling out their doors. Well, nothing like planning a photoshoot on Friday, September 22nd (the actual last day of Summer), waiting for the rushed images to be edited, all while October is coming in hot. Sometimes, it’s just the way the ball rolls. In the meantime, we are knocking out the punch list on this website and I’m still learning the back end of Word Press with all of its bells and whistles.

Tridacna gigas clam shells in  Large and Extra Large

Silver starburst chargers

Dinner and salad plates

Dessert plates

Napkins and placemats


Kitchen towels and jams

Sail boat

I didn’t have links for the items below, but sourcing these with a simple website search should produce many options to help you achieve the perfect look.

Coral, starfish and sand dollars

Glass votive candles

Vintage Stuart Crystal dessert compotes.

David Andersen sterling silverware

Large ceramic green urn

Colored glass stemware

A special thank you to Jim Irwin Floral and talented photographer Jodie Miears with Reverie Photo Co.