Thursday, July 30, 2009

sweet vintage baby boy's room decorations

I have two sons and when they were babies, I loved decorating their rooms. Being an old soul, I naturally wanted to use old things. After all, their dressers and side tables were antiques, why shouldn't the decor? But there's not exactly a "vintage nursery decor" store like there are mega baby marts. You have to scour around for your discoveries.

For my youngest, I settled on a theme of dogs. I put antique/vintage books about dogs between bronze Scotty dog bookends on his dresser. I found engravings of dogs for the wall. I even found a vintage dog lamp from the 1940's.

These finds above from a local antique store would have been right up my alley. They are so sweet for a baby boy and mommy who loves old things.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Colefax and Fowler - London, June 2009

While shopping in London, I ran across the Colefax and Fowler shop on Brook Street. Of course, I had to go in. And what a treat it turned out to be. I've posted some photos from my visit.

I especially love the brass lanterns at bottom. There's a pair, which is hard to come by. And, sadly for me, the price reflects it. The pair is 3,200 pounds (I don't know how to find the "pound" symbol on my mac keyboard). I'm not sure where the dollar is today, but that's a lot of nickels. I dream of having the pair hanging on two ends of a kitchen island.

I also love the big yellow room upstairs. I can't even begin to tell you how dreamy it was.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paris windows and architecture - June 2009

Well, my sweet hubby and I have just gotten back from a trip abroad... alone! The kiddos stayed behind with my mother-in-law. It was wonderful. We spend time in London and Paris. And as you can imagine, my camera memory cards are full.

Since I'm an old soul, I found myself almost neurotically fixating on photographing certain things: metal fretwork, stone elements, doors, windows and urban gardens. I've programmed them to run as a slide show screensaver on my mac. 

So for your viewing pleasure, I'll post some for you to enjoy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

lighting finds

I found these two great items in the same booth at a local antique mall. I'm crazy over the vintage 20's student lamp. And the cardboard shade at right? I bought it and will keep it until I find the right vintage floor lamp.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

an antiques booth done right

If you follow me, you know I love to go antique shopping. Good booth dealers, regardless of their style, create vignettes with their wares. Pictured above is probably my favorite dealer's booth. While I probably would not style my whole house this way, I find so much inspiration from her and love her eye. I constantly poach her ideas.

And how about those lamps? They cost $550 and I'm thinking about going back for them. Wouldn't they look amazing with new black silk shades?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

painted porcelain

I ran across these beauties at one booth in one of my favorite antique malls today. I simply adore hand painted porcelain. Old Paris is, of course, a favorite. But I also love anything with sweet florals. It's so southern to me. The nice thing about them is that you can endlessly mix and match Old Paris and floral patterns. As long as the colorways go, use it all together.

Along with the patterns, these are also some of my favorite shapes... an oval serving tray (perfect for finger sandwiches, which I frequently serve to girlfriends to come over for a meeting), a tureen (for a chilled summer soup or without the lid with flowers) and a compote (which is great for sweets - perhaps petit fours - served on the matching plates).


Thursday, April 2, 2009

eBay today - antique plumbing fixtures

I'm trying to plan a bathroom remodel right now and I definitely want to go with a vintage look. And since I love eBay so much, I thought I would see what they have in the way of fixtures. As it turns out, there's some good stuff there.

A few caveats: having an antique sink shipped will be expensive. Customize a search under antiques: architectural and garden: plumbing within 50 miles of your home town. That way, you'll get an e- mail when something fitting that description pops up. If you bid and win, you can pick it up yourself.

Also be aware that you might not, for instance, get a functioning antique faucet. You might have to pay a plumber to make them functional. That's more money out of pocket. And it's possible they might not work even with money thrown at them. In that case, you probably won't be able to get a return from the seller. I would suspect most items like that are sold "as is." Buyer beware. But check the listing details. You might get your money back.

But if you're willing to take a chance, check out these beauties. The pedestal sink comes with the faucet. And speaking of faucets... I love the aged brass wall mount faucet.

Monday, March 30, 2009

eBay today - Hollywood Regency faux bamboo chairs

Well, I guess you can see I've been on sabbatical. I didn't plan it. It just happened.

But I'm back and I have these great chairs from eBay. I love that they can go in a variety of spaces. And they are cheap if you live in the Ft. Meyers area and can pick them up.

As for reupholstering them, I like the idea of splurging on custom cushions that might have a contrasting welting. But if you are in a pinch, I think you could do it yourself with a staple gun. When shopping on eBay be sure to ask the seller questions first, though. You don't want to get negative feedback by complaining after the fact when you should have asked in advance.

Monday, January 19, 2009

eBay today - Wedgwood basaltware

I've stated before that I consider Wedgwood basaltware to be the little black dress of the butler's pantry. It's super tradish, so it has applications in those settings. But I could also imagine it on a more modern table.

Check out the tea pot, cups and saucers and bowl on eBay.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

eBay today - unique baby and shower gifts

If you read my posts regularly, you know that I love old things. I find such joy in giving life to lovely/sweet/beautiful/useful things from our past.

Children's pottery is a wonderful example. When my boys were babies, I had a collection of vintage (and a few vintage-syle repro) plates, bowls and two handled mugs that they ate from regularly. I even had them eat with those little sterling silver spoons and forks.

Yes, I suppose you do take a chance in putting something breakable on the tray of a high chair, but I just saw it as a teachable moment. What better way to gently teach them not to throw? And what did mommies and daddies do before plastic? They taught their children not to throw. Besides, the vintage ironstone bowls pictured above are extremely durable - I bet they've been thrown quite a bit in their day - and are perfect for learning to eat. The heavy bottoms keep the bowls from sliding across the tray.

I know, I know... clean up is a little more trouble with something you don't throw in the dishwasher, but if you aren't feeding multiples, try to take the time. It's not as if an oatmeal bowl will need a lot of heavy scrubbing with steel wool. Handwashing with soap will only be a few seconds more than prewashing for the dishwasher.

Check out the bowl with the puppy, the bowl with the chicks and the 1920's plate on eBay. Each of these, and others like them, make wonderful gifts for an expectant mommy whose style runs toward the vintage and unique.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Resolutions for antique booth owners

I antique a lot. (Yes, a noun as a verb. I'm on the bandwagon. Sorry.) Most of the antique shops/stores around here in the greater Nashville area are what's called antique malls. They are large, although not always, spaces broken up into booths. Each booth is rented out by a different dealer and they fill the space with whatever they want. There is a booth rental fee and the store owner pays all the utilities and staffs the register. Most of you are probably familiar with the set-up, but I thought I would explain.

It's a great system IF you have a good eye. I shop a lot, though, and I keep up with the wares in various booths and the turnover and sometimes it's frequent. Booth rentals are generally not that high ($300 - $500 a month around here, depending on the size) and it's a great way for a stay-at-home mom or creative full time accountant to break out and make a little extra money doing what they love. Unfortunately, I sometimes think people think "I can do this" and jump when they shouldn't.

So here is my manifesto of things booth owners should keep in mind:

1. Painting it white: Simply painting something white and replacing the knobs will not enhance furniture's value. If it's cheap, it will only look like cheap painted furniture. Just because something is old, doesn't mean it's quality. I'm sure the booth owner in the first photo was going for "cottage" but that look is so over. If you have a hard time understanding when something is over, just ask yourself this question... are they knocking this off at Target? If the answer is "yes", then don't put it in your booth. I'm not even sure they are selling Rachel Ashwell's "cottage" line at Target any more, so that's more proof that the look is really really over. (Sidebar: I would be more interested in this piece if it was painted a high gloss pink.)

2. Fringe on a lamp shade: I'm totally baffled as to why an antique mall operator would allow a booth owner to sell this in an "antique mall", but go figure. Anyway... if you can buy it at Kirklands, don't put it in a booth.

3. Tapestries: These were machine made in massive quantities. Just because you saw it on Dynasty doesn't make it quality or in style. Stay away. And the quasi-Mediterranean feel is not a plus, it's a minus. Also stay away from anything "Tuscan". Yuck.

4. "Chippy": I wasn't crazy over this trend when it came out, but it's really over. Stop doing it.

5. Hideous oil paintings: These are painted in massive quantities in sweat shops abroad. There is nothing artistic about it. Just because you're selling an oil painting doesn't mean you are selling something valuable.

So in conclusion, an item isn't worth putting in your booth just because it's old or has the perception of value. There was lots of crappy furniture made in the 50's, 40's, 30's and before. At the moment you think "oooh... an oil painting. That's good, right? Maybe I'll buy it and put it in my booth" remember this and don't. Please be discerning and study. Read House Beautiful, Southern Accents, Domino, even Southern Living... anything current. Pay attention. I love the booth owner. It takes dedication and a sense of adventure to do what you do, but I want you to still be around a few months from now. Keep these tips in mind and maybe you will.