Goodwill Finds

While shopping for formal wear at Goodwill, I found some other great stuff by cruising through the housewares.  And I snatched it up for $1 – $2 a piece before Christie could get her hands on it.  Hahahaha (triumphant laugh).

I realize these knick-knacky items are what my mom would call “stuff to dust around”.  Hi mom.  But I’m a sucker for colored glass and low, low prices, so I splurged on this slightly-less-than-useful stuff.

Its a candlestick, a bird, and a … another candle holder?  For a pillar candle?  Yeah, that must be it.  Its about the right size, maybe a little bigger, than a pillar candle.

This has a subtle feather pattern around the base, and unlike the other pink glass I have, it has a frosty finish.

Tweety here is a little chipped around the edges, but he is pretty nonetheless.

I also found some picture frames next door at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store next door to Goodwill.  I can Never find square frames that are the right size, so I jumped on those like a trampoline.  I have a few 6×6 inch cards that I’ve wanted to frame, but Ikea square frames are a little too small.

A coat of spray paint and voila.  I also turned the mats backwards to use the white side.  The mat hole wasn’t big enough for the cards, so I just put the cards in front of the mat.  Not really kosher, but who’s going to notice.

The sweet little lamb photo is from Yes and Amen on Etsy.  The phone booth drawing is a Christmas card from a co-worker in London, and I think it is simply adorable.  I love British things.

If you were wondering why I was shopping for formal wear at Goodwill… here is why.  Don’t be scared.

I wanted a costume for Run for Your Lives (a zombie-infested 5k obstacle course).  Yep, we dressed like zombies and chased mud-covered runners in the woods for 3 hours one Saturday afternoon.  What do you do with your weekends?  Something normal?


Kilim. the oldest next big thing.

I’ve been noticing these guys popping up in house tours.  What is kilim anyway?

I found a whole website dedicated to the art and history of kilim weaving, which has the predictable name of  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, kilim is “A pileless handwoven reversible rug or covering made in Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran, and western Turkestan“.  The tradition goes back forever, as best they can tell, or about 1,000 B.C. if you feel the need to put a number on it.  Check out for all that you ever wanted to know and more about this weaving style.

The geometric shapes work well with the clean lines of contemporary furniture, but the tribal patterns and rougher texture add a contrasting rustic quality.  Like anything that’s been around for a few thousand years, its a pretty good bet that these will always be in style, so they’re a smart long term investment.  The kilim designs also pull their weight in the color and pattern department, as all good accessories should.

So where can you find some this Central Asian design goodness for yourself?  Morgan at the brick house recommends eBay, as that’s where she found her sumptuous pile in the first photo.  Sure enough, there’s plenty of gorgeousness to be had there, though the prices are suspiciously low.  Etsy has a healthy amount of vintage kilim rugs and etc, at higher but likely more ethical prices.  I was eyeballing prices the other day and found this gem:

It was gone by the time I went back to look for it.  I like the blue in it, as most are dominated by reds and neutrals.

This one is from orientina on Etsy, straight from Istanbul.

This is from KilimCom on Etsy… you’ll see that the prices for the rugs are high, so if I jump on this I’ll be sticking with the throw pillows where my wallet is a little more at ease.

Anybody else feeling like going a little tribal with some throw pillows?  Or are you ready to invest in a long-term commitment rug?

Once Upon a Loft

So I decided to fire up the ole Hulu and watch the new show on ABC, “Once Upon a Time”.  The show is mediocre – about on par with a SciFi (scuze me, SyFy) original miniseries.  What I absolutely loved was the set design.  In fact, I want to re-watch some episodes just to see more of Snow White’s amazing home.  Can I be your roomie?  I bet she likes drinking tea, baking muffins, and going to the farmer’s market.

Ginnifer Goodwin aka Snow White has the cutest space.  I’d call it “industrial loft meets vintage cottage”.  It has the high ceilings, huge windows, and brick walls of a converted old factory but is completely warm and inviting.  Every wooden surface, from the front door to kitchen chairs, has a distressed paint finish. The little deer figurine on the left and the globe on the right are other very in the moment trends.

I like the balance of the whitewashed brick with the red brick.  How cool is that faux advertisement painted on the wall?  Snow White also has mismatched chairs that she probably found in thrift stores and country antique sales held in farmers’ barns.

Check out the vintage appliances, wooden countertop, and the teal hutch.

Though all the characters are unwittingly fairytale characters stuck in modern day America, there are little winky nods to their roots in an enchanted forest.  See the cute little teapot with the owl on top?  And the sugarbowl with the happy bluebird – a tribute to her woodland friends.

Snow even has cute dinnerware.  Looks a lot like a mug at Anthropologie, but don’t get too excited, its not the same one.  I’m also kind of tempted to get her haircut… but I don’t know if I could pull it off, lets be honest.

And now for something completely different – the evil queen has a pretty swank house herself.  Its modern, elegant, but still a little cold.  Not too hard to imagine a rich witch living here.

Oh, that’s not the evil queen. That’s the set designer, and more power to him.  The monochromatic scheme stays interesting with a variety of prints and fabrics, like the biker-chic leather nailhead chair next to the satiny silver sofa.

The birch wallpaper is another cheeky nod to the enchanted forest. That horse sculpture is likely in memory of the queen’s favorite “steed”. Oh yeah, she had a steed. The intense symmetry  and classic columns and arches keep everything formal.

What’s a palace without marble floors, vaulted ceilings, and dramatic light fixtures.  The only spot of color is the bowl of red apples on the table, she seemed to have some apples on hand in every room.  A little too much damask and glossy black for my taste, but you can’t deny that witch-queen has style.

Oh, if that birch wallpaper seems familiar, its because its by Cole and Son and coincidentally also sold by Anthropologie.

Yes, the show is so-so, but I am hoping it stays on the air so I can get some more design eyecandy.  There are some cute boys on the show too.  One even has an English accent and a weird James Dean meets Chandler Bing sort of style.  You know, with the vest and tie combo…


photos courtesy of and

Vintage Style ~ the 1940s

My house was built in 1945.  I think that’s pretty cool.  Sometimes  when the President is on tv giving some address, I wonder if people once sat in this same room listening to the radio, hearing historic news  about the end of WWII.

Given the age of the house, and some weird  sense of nostalgia, I thought it would be cool to have some elements of  decor that reflected that time when it was new.  A few months ago Apartment Therapy featured this article “American Style Through the Decades: The Forties“.  I was pretty psyched.  Here I would find inspiration to create a more  vintage look (vs. the contemporary/Ikea look I have now… if you can  call that a style).

My first reaction was, “I hate all of it”.  Quel dommage eh?

The article goes on to list the  Key elements of Forties design:
• Linoleum!
• A strong, jewel-toned color palette
• Wall to wall carpet
• Tufted stools, chairs and sofas
• Abstract artwork
• Blond wood furniture
• Large scale floral, striped and plaid wallpapers
• Chintz draperies
• Colonial furniture
• Floral slipcovers
• Ruffled and scalloped edges
• Built-in furniture and banquettes
• Wood paneling
• Small print hooked rugs
• Knotty pine
• Bamboo furniture
• Pennsylvania Dutch/folkloric details
• Space saving kitchen amenities
• High contrast bathroom tile
• Glass block
• Chenille bath rugs

Its funny how many of these things are what people are ripping out,  painting over, and plain out gutting in current home renovation and  design.  Does anybody you know have linoleum, wood paneling, wall to  wall carpet, knotty pine cabinets, chintzy ruffled curtains, and  traditional heavy furniture?  Yeah, maybe your grandma.

So let’s try to find some redeeming qualities/ inspiration/ modern day interpretations of these 40s designs.

Ok, obviously the white couch is a current mainstay.  I like the seafoam  green wall, and the gold plates are fun and classy at the same time.   I’d add some funky throw pillows to make it more comfy casual, and a  patterned area rug.  Let’s remove the pass-through wood wall to the  kitchen, because let’s face it, in a current reno that would come out to make for a completely open kitchen.

Check it out, a seafoam green wall with clean white (bed).  It even has gold accents on the wall and a tufted, traditional headboard.

This one answers the 40s style a bit more with the symmetrical lamps on the  end tables, the tufting, and gold accents on the tables.  Nice modern  art featured as well.  Oddly enough, this has a hint of Moroccan flair too  just like the bedroom above.  But Morocco is another post for another  day.

Now let’s move to the kitchen.

White kitchen cabinets have definitely come back.  The AT article refers to  white being clean, even antiseptic, in an age when polio was a real  concern.  Diseases and their (subconscious) sociological impact on home  design aside, white kitchens are bright and allow color to really pop,  making accessories the star.  And who doesn’t want a clean, bright,  energetic kitchen.  This 40s kitchen has a built-in booth aka banquette.

This house tour featured on Design Sponge has my favorite seafoam green walls again, and a bright red banquette for an eat-in  breakfast nook, and similar cheerful yellow curtains.  It even has (gasp) linoleum floors.  And its still  cool.  Amazing.  I also love the phone on the wall and the Formica (or  similar) table.  They really embraced the vintage, and pulled it off.

If you peek on the 1940s countertop, it has something that looks a lot like this.

KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand Mixer - White

Women still go crazy for a nice mixer.  I splurged on one a while back, and I gotta admit, I appreciate it every time I use it.  Back then it was  state of the art, and women were actually expected to bake a lot, so the lady with one of these bad boys would have been the envy of the  neighborhood.  (p.s. I’m not any kind of historian, so this is just speculation based on my conceptions of women’s roles during this era based on movies I’ve seen).  For an actual history of the KitchenAid Mixer, go here.  I digress.


Apparently Ikea is selling red cabinets now, and some people think its a good  idea.  Ikea has a red sparkly countertop, but alas the Internet has  failed to provide it for me.  Its been hanging out at my Atlanta Ikea  for a while, so maybe some people are going for it.  This is a bit  extreme for my taste, but it definitely echoes the 1940s “kitchen of the future” idea.  The future is now!

I could do a rant about “vintage” and whatever that means these days… but I’ll save that for another day too.

Are you striving for any kind of vintage/ retro/ throwback look?  If so, how are you pulling it off?