September 29, 2009

Althorp House and Earl of Spencer

A few weeks ago I shared with some Facebook friends my upload of my visit with the Earl of Spencer (Charles Spencer, Princess Diana's brother). There were about 30 of us at a showroom in Chicago as he spoke about and discussed pieces from Theodore Alexander, the company that is reproducing nearly all the antique furniture in the Spencer family home Althorp House.

Althorp House is a family home, owned by the Spencers for 5 centuries and 20 generations. Through the years they have amassed a huge collection of art, furniture and accessories. The story Spencer delivered is that the owner of Theodore Alexander (this is a spin off of Maitland-Smith) and he met and after a great afternoon of meeting the Earl invited David Koehler the president of the company to visit for a few days and take pictures of the furniture in the house. The result? Over 10,000 photos including detail shots of the furniture were taken.

The Earl of Spencer looks at all the designs and approves or disapproves each drawing and sample. So far he claims he's never rejected a piece of furniture.

An assumption people have is that the Earl is making millions off of this for his own pocket... uh... not really... Charles Spencer admitted that the house is so large and such a maintenance expense (for example, the house sits on 14 thousand acres which have to be maintained as well) that besides the annual revenue from visits to the house/musuem and to Diana's memorial, the proceeds go directly to the upkeep of the house.

The Earl put it this way "The House has been protecting 500 years of rare and special furnishings, it's now time for this furniture to take care of the House..."

You can read more about Althorp House by going online at

September 6, 2009

New Classes for Fall!!


We have new offices and a new classroom all in one!
Tjaden Interiors & Design Guy University
4703 McPherson Ave; St Louis, MO 6310

Close to restaurants and shopping! You can have lunch afterwards if you take the day class or dinner before/after class if you take the evening class.

The following classes will be offered as a series of five for only $98. Times available for classes will be Tuesdays 9-11am and each class will be repeated again from 7-9pm. Please choose one time only to show up.

Payment can be made by cash/check/money order. Please make out to: Scott Tjaden. Mail to: Design Guy University; 2433 McNair Avenue; St. Louis, MO 63104. (please mail here as we're not quite moved in yet)

All classes but the October 13th class will be at the new location at 4703 McPherson Ave; St Louis, MO 63108. Map to Design & Detail will be handed out the first day of class.

1. Downsizing. September 29th: I’ll show you some examples of downsizing and how anyone from down-sizers, empty-nesters and seniors don’t have to sacrifice style for a smaller space. I’ll have a testimonial and some photos/floor plans.

2. Color 102. October 6th: Color is often the point that one begins to start any project. In Color 101 we discussed how colors are determined, but this time we’ll abbreviate that process, talk quickly about the colors for 2009/10 and then we’ll take some examples on how to colorize your space. We’ll even go online with my new projector and look at some great websites to help you along in the process. I’ll even give you a list to take with you on some great ideas/techniques teaching you how to maximize color.

3. Design & Detail. October 13th: We’ll go to Maplewood as a fieldtrip to learn about new fabric and wallpaper lines. Design & Detail; 2731 Sutton Blvd # 100; St Louis, MO 63143; (314) 781-3336

4. Design History 101 October 20th: Chairs. We’ll look at the history of interior design through a quick overview of chairs. We’ll show the earliest known chair from Egypt housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art to contemporary examples. You’ll get a timeline of styles and get an understanding of changes in human taste over a period of six-thousand years through this unique approach.

5. Staging and Curb Appeal. October 27th: Sell your home in a flash! Follow these techniques and list that I’ve prepared to make your selling process a success. I’ll have advice from realtors, and pairing those up with the Design Guy to help you make the right choices. Everyone will receive their own DGU Staging Card to remind you of everything you need to remember. Also included will be curb appeal. How you can make the first impression, the right impression as potential buyers see your home from the street.