29 June 2012

July 4th Vintage Style

Historically, our time to shine is on the 4th of July.  We Invite friends & family up for a day of BBQ & a majorly awesome fireworks show.  We've become well-known in the area for our fireworks, and neighbors have begun to count on the show as an annual event.  At 9:30 the neighbors sit on their front porch, their lawns, or in their pastures {hey, it's rural} & anticipate the event.  Sometimes we even get to duel it out with others in the area as we all shoot off the best in our arsenals.

The past two years, we've been busy with weddings & other things.  We didn't get to have our annual event.  This year we also had to put it off.  But next year, oh, it's on!  And when we do, you're invited!  No really, we love company!!!  But if you can't make it, I promise to have lots of pic's.

So, as I pine for next year's July 4th BBQ Bash, I thought I'd live vicariously through the wonderful world of blogdom.

I'm intrigued by the indoor furniture being pulled outside for a party.  Practical?  No.  Fun?  Absolutely!  I mean, who wouldn't want to lounge on the couch while eating, drinking, & being merry in the great outdoors!
Pulling out your beautifully time-worn pieces of furniture {like benches & rockers} is in perfect keeping with the history &  celebration of America's 236th birthday.

Vintage Junk in My Trunk
We still love chalkboards,  Love the color of this one.

Southern Living
Ahh, my dream summertime party - on the lake.  A great rustic farm table is the perfect outdoor seating for guests.

We're going to be visiting our daughter & son-in-law during the July 4th festivities this year.  I imagine on that day we'll be up to our elbows in paint and various projects.  Perhaps I'll paint a little red, white, & blue of my own!

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28 June 2012

Bad, Bad Homeowners

We've been bad homeowners.  Bad, bad, homeowners.

  For seven years we've been bad.

It's ugly, I know.  But there you have it.  I said it.  Bad...

We're not bad people, just bad homeowners.  How could this have happened?  We're responsible people.  We actually take very good care of ourselves, our gardens, our pets, our family, & our business.  How could we have neglected the one thing we depend on most?

We've got to make this right.  It's a beautiful home.  She's been so good to us.  Even during our time of neglect she has protected us from the elements, provided safety to our family, & has been a welcome site each & every day.

She deserves better.  I'm on it.  I'm gonna make this right.

She thanked me - I heard it.

Project one down. There will be many more projects in the future as we conquer the neglect.  It's not going to be pretty, but it will be honest.  You're going to see some ugly things.  But, hey, it's life & the reality of it.  Stay tuned for the horror.


27 June 2012

Do You Know Copco?

I came across a set of vintage Copco cookware a few months ago at a local flea.  I didn't have much info on the maker but could tell it was a well made & beautifully designed collection.  And with that wee bit of knowledge, I made the purchase {sometimes you just have to go with your gut} and happily headed home.

I had a 50/50 chance of winning the vintage lotto on this purchase, & my research was going to tell me which way I landed - a win or a loss.  I felt fairly confident that this was going to be a win, as I had a slightly educated guess in the game.

I did well...

Aren't they pretty?  A classic modern design of the mid century.  Highly collectible, cooks love to use this original version for it's durability, easy clean-up, & its ability to conduct heat evenly.

My research shows that Copco began business in 1960 while creating the enamel coated cookware you see here.  Made on the island of Mors in Denmark, this region was known for its high quality cast iron.  When creating their cookware, industrial designer Michael Lax was charged with the design - hence the clean, modern lines & praticality.

Although still in business today, they unfortunately no longer produce their cookware.  I'm uncertain as to why, because with all the research I've done, it is by far a cook's favorite - even over La Creuset & Staub.  Made of a heavy cast iron {for it's durability & even heat conduction} & coated in enamel {for it's good looks, easy clean-up, as well as even heat distribution}, they also sport teak handles to eliminate a hot handle.  And the lid of the dutch oven also serves as a casserole dish {so practical}.

Quality constructed, their enameling process made their product much less likely to chip than the competitor's.  Today you can still find pieces in excellent condition on Etsy and other online sites. 

 I considered keeping the set for myself because of it's uber cool design.  But I inherited a set of MacDonald cast iron from my grandmother, which I LOVE, and and can't bear the thought of using anything but, so the set is listed in my Etsy shop.

If you appreciate the superior quality of the original Copco version (it's being reproduced in a lesser quality for Mario Batali) you'll be surprised that it is often less expensive as well!

Do go check it out.  I'd love for one of my readers to make this a part of their everyday happiness!


26 June 2012

Repurposed {Salvaged Door}

Antique doors are the perfect repurposing project.  Solid, often made of hard woods or heart pine, and they come fully loaded with all the character one could possibly dream of.  And the patina...  you  just can't replicate the patina.

They're so versatile in their ability to transform into other objects.  But I think my favorite way to repurpose a salvaged door is by recreating it into a functional table.

Old painted surfaces are are a guess as to what they are comprised of, so always place several coats of poly over the old surface for protection.  That way you can enjoy the beauty of the aged patina without being concerned with toxicities.  

The new base was given a coat of ASCP - a good paint choice when you want to obtain a textured surface.  I wanted the new to blend with the old, so my goal was to build up the paint as if the piece had many layers of old paint applied over time.

This little table is the perfect size for an entryway, behind a sofa, or as a media center.

Stack some vintage suitcases or wicker baskets underneath, & you'll be rockin' the vintage in no time.

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25 June 2012

Hand-Picked Vintage

An urban paradise

If I lived in an urban setting, I imagine myself living in the loft of an old restored factory - lots of windows and architectural structures, a large brick accent wall, concrete floors, & minimal floor plan ...  It would be the perfect place to curate a collection of utilitarian chic, a little mid century, & some eclectic pieces thrown in to keep it interesting.

I'd be loving this crushed velvet Chesterfield in burnt orange.  It's Hollywood Regency design adds a little Bohemia

pdx picker


Some industrial artifacts added as the perfect contrast to the opulent chair

the good mod

And this Danish Modern sofa is a signature piece that anchors the room & it's contents.  Timeless and clean - it's design will endure for years.


A pair of vintage end tables updated in a modern paint

And always, great art



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21 June 2012

A First Home

Yesterday one of our daughters {& her hubsy} signed the papers on their first mortgage.  They are so excited, & so are we!

It's an older home in a great neighborhood.  It's also one that is going to require some updating.  We've only seen pic's so far, but it is definitely due a little love.  I don't know if this couple truly realizes the work ahead of them; but isn't that the best way to start sometimes?  Naivety & a great frame of mind will go a long, long way.

 {Awww, they look so innocent & happy!}

The last time our daughter was in town, we used most of that time shopping for furniture, getting ideas, & picking out paint choices.  After getting an idea of the design scheme she was leaning towards, we hit the antiques shops, consignment shops, & antiques markets to see what was out there.  We found some major pieces at really great savings.

We fell in love with the Chesterfield sofa & chair at Pottery Barn.

And at $3500 for the pair, it was going to be a major purchase.  We were budgeting for them, because they were perfect for the room, then look what I found at a great vintage market in Atlanta...  SCORE!

Once they get a good conditioning, they'll be like new.  And believe me, I didn't pay $3500.

The formal sofa below was another great buy, found at a local antiques mall.  It will reside in the living room.  It's new but from a designer show home & was picked it up for a fabulous price!  All three pieces were at a major savings compared to retail.

Which allowed her to purchase a pair of these beautiful chairs at retail without feeling guilty.  The pair will be sitting across from the white sofa in the living room.


And will be tied together with these end tables from Z Gallerie.  It's hard to visualize from the pic, but these are faux wood patinated in a beautiful shimmery silver.  Can you say G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S?  It's all going to tie in very nicely.  Their clean modern aesthetic will serve them for many, many years.  The fun trendy stuff will all be in the details.

She really chose some beautiful pieces of furniture - some vintage, some new. {I'm so proud of her design abilities!}   And it is all going to be beautiful.

We'll be hauling all the furniture up in a couple of weeks as we come to help with the move-in.  Most of our time will be spent painting and doing a few  major minor construction projects.  I'll be posting some before & after pics - the girl's got some pretty wicked creative talent, so it will be interesting to see how she puts it all together.

My treat for all the hard work?  Oh, that will be the buying trip we'll be doing as we head back home to Georgia.  It will make all the hard work worthwhile when I arrive home with a van packed full of goodness.


20 June 2012

A Post of Pretty Things

You never know what a day will bring.

A pair of corbels tucked in the back of a shelf, hidden away.

A grab bag - filled with slippers.

I hope she still dances today.  

And somehow knows that these beautifully worn slippers will soon be brought back to life again.

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19 June 2012

Five Reasons For Choosing Vintage

I have a real appreciation of vintage for many reasons. Aside from its beautyt, there's also some very practical reasons why a vintage item can be a better choice over new.

In today's post I'm highlighting five of my top reasons for choosing vintage.


This may be obvious to many, but perhaps not everyone is aware that most vintage/antique pieces are constructed of higher quality materials, and the craftsmanship is often superior. Typically, pieces made before 1950 are made of solid woods with dovetailed drawers. With the countless hours it took a furniture maker to create just one single piece, you can bet it was made to last as long as possible.


Another advantage is recycling materials that will otherwise be discarded. And if a piece has lost its usefulness, consider making it into something new. In our shop we would often repurpose obsolete objects to give them new life. There are so many creative ways to reuse.

Here we repurposed an antique door & an industrial metal base to create a one-of-a-kind cocktail table (you can read the post here). If you have a piece you just can't part with but is in dire need of an update, consider hiring someone to breath new life into it. Oftentimes it's just as cost effective and you'll end up with a better quality piece.


Although reproductions abound in the world of new, there's nothing like having an original with its naturally aged finish.  Reproductions can never duplicate the aged patina of a true antique.


There is nothing more disappointing than walking into someone's newly designed home and not being wowed by the vibe it gives.  If it doesn't tell me about the people that live there, then it isn't a home yet.  

The easiest way to avoid a flat, lifeless room is by adding a few {or more} vintage pieces into the mix.  When you do, your room will gain the much needed depth & character that makes it uniquely yours.


Did you know that the cost of vintage will often be far less than its contemporary counterpart? Comparing like for like, a newly made piece of the same quality can easily be three or more times costlier than the vintage piece.  Most people are surprised by that, but its true. You can actually save quite a bit of expense by choosing vintage.

Do you prefer something new that only you have laid claim to, or do you prefer something that has had a former life?  Does the idea of "old stuff" make you run the other way? Or do you gravitate to the old hoping to learn its story?

I grew up in a family of women who loved to treasure hunt. I have many wonderful pieces that were passed down to me. Would I have taken a vintage route had I not been exposed to it at an early age? I think I would have. I appreciate the time worn patinas, the handmade craftsmanship, & the durability of the furniture. Let's face it, my antiques survived four children {not to mention the multitude of others before us}.  What big box furniture can match that?

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18 June 2012

Monday Musings

The path through life is a journey

Sometimes lined with petals, sometimes blocked by entangled roots

 And when you stumble, lift your head

So that you see the beautiful light which surrounds you

The winding rivers will be fast & furious at times

And the falls will be hard

But over time the raging waters ebb, and the river slows to a gentle pace

eventually settling where the rocks grow moss & new ideas emerge

May your journey through life always lead upward!

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