I went to see a designer this afternoon, who wants to hide a huge load of fabric samples in some pretty colored St. Tropez baskets. Crossing the street with two armloads of baskets, I was surprised to see my friend Leah driving down the street. "I'm going to Ardenia's," she said, "stop by, she's totally redone her place." So, a little while later I went down the street to Ardenia's shop. It used to be a very closed little space; now she's blown out all the interior walls and the space feels large and airy and gallery-like. This is great for her because her business is the conservation and restoration of paintings, and I hate to think of those solvents etc with little air flow! "Conservation and restoration" was the final, fourth year of the program at the Louvre, and I didn't have the luxury of staying to complete that section, so I am always fascinated by it; part art and part science. It's a lesson in patience and care, not to be rushed.
Secondarily, she has a nice selection of paintings for sale and Italian decor pieces; which is fitting for her because she is Italian. Think Florence, not Jersey Shore. I bought a sweet little black and white and gilt early English transferware sugar bowl which is now in the kitchen; I loved the sweet little painting of the girl and the candlesticks too; it's hard to see the scale of that gilt sconce; it's one of the largest I've seen and very pretty. Ardenia is at 430 31st St. Newport Beach; www.conservefineart.com