Seeing as how I recently bought a new home (a 100-year-old, Mediterranean style bungalow) and have been ramping up renovations, I figured I’d hold myself to a deadline for the interior design of at least one room. Enter the One Room Challenge, which I’ve followed on Instagram for a number of years. This year, I bit the bullet and entered. The challenge? My (new) kitchen. Here’s the bare bones:
I love to cook and to entertain and, having lived in a small apartment for the past three years, I was so excited to finally have the space to do all of the above. So here’s the challenge: While the home is old, it was added on to in the ’90s — so while the stove used to have a wall behind it, the addition meant that, when I bought the home, the stove was in the middle of the kitchen, with no hood above it.
Another issue? That ceiling. Yikes.
I mean… not even sure what was going on there. They dropped it down and installed wooden ceiling tiles, making the room feel much smaller than it is. So the first order of business is getting rid of the ceiling, moving the stove, and deciding what to do about the countertops and cabinets.
So far, we’ve started painting the cabinets (a little bit more work left on that), painting the walls, changing out the hardware, and moving the stove but there is SO MUCH work to do. Here are the photos I’ve been turning to for inspiration:
I also want to include a few favorite pieces here, like a treasured rug, my pink Milo Baughman stools (a $35 thrift find), and a beautiful piece of art (the walls will be white so as to make the room a little lighter and brighter). Follow along, as I’ll be updating each week! And be sure to follow the others participating in the Fall 2017 One Room Challenge.
Over the past year, I have developed a problem: I hoard vintage art like nobody’s business. I sell some of it via Chairish but, I figure, even if it doesn’t sell, I’ll find a wall for it. Last weekend I happened upon the best kind of estate sale: one at the home of an artist. This one was chock full of beautiful art — nude sketches, painted still lifes, you name it.
Here are the vintage art estate sale scores I came away with. The pink and blue nude painting sold within minutes upon hitting Chairish:
Nude painting in pinks and blues
Two nudes sketch
Still life of lemons
So, what’s the best way to style vintage art? I like to take a cue from Judy at Atlantis Home, who is seriously a pro and finding (and styling) vintage art:
Earlier this week, I made my way to a charity sale that consisted of items leftover from estate sales. Basically, all of the items not sold at several estate sales had been donated to a local charity, which then held its own “estate” sale (it was actually in a warehouse). It’s kind of funny that I go to so many sales, I actually recognized several pieces from estates I had been to in recent months.
Anyway, here’s what I scored. I initially walked out with a slew of little tchotchkes: A gold Mexican mask (I have a large silver one just like it); a mid-century bull sculpture; some great iron book ends that look like little men; vintage jewelry; and a vintage leather MCM bag. All of the above were $6-$8 each.
And THEN, as I was walking out, a gorgeous mirror caught my eye. I stared at it for a few minutes, then walked out with just my small stuff. No less than ten minutes later, I picked up my boyfriend and turned around the car to scoop up said mirror. Good thing I did. Turns out, it’s a vintage brass Chapman piece (the same one was auctioned off for $700, but 1st Dibs sellers are asking $3,000+). I plunked down $24 for this gorgeous thang. Trust your thriftstincts, ALWAYS. If you like something, and it’s affordable, buy it. You always regret the vintage you didn’t buy.
Another great weekend spent thrifting. Here’s what I found:
- Art Deco-style clock, clearly made in the late ’80s/early ’90s, by Empire Art, a Miami company. If you are lucky enough, you might find items at a thrift store with original tags attached. This one had an Empire Art sticker so I was able to easily track down the provenance. This piece is seriously so fun and I’ll be listing it on Chairish this week (though I’d happily keep it for myself).
- Hammered brass footed platter. This was my favorite find of the weekend — and that’s before I took off the tag and found the signature. It’s signed by Egidio Casagrande, a midcentury Italian designer/metalworker. I love the little feet and it’s a large piece (measures over a foot across), so it would make a dramatic centerpiece or look fabulous on a kitchen counter. His work is fairly well-known and some pieces have even been auctioned off (his work usually prices within the $400-$1,300 range so finding this for $2.99 was, yes, a good find).
- Painted fish vase by Italica ARS, a well-known (in collector circles) Italian pottery maker.
Came upon a pretty stellar find over the weekend if I do say so myself. Not one, not two…but FOUR gorgeous tables attributed to Charles Hollis Jones. A console, a coffee table, and two side tables, each with lucite legs, brass accents, and glass tops. Major Hollywood Regency vibes with these babies.
Oh— and did I mention the price? The two side tables were $9.99 each, and the larger two were $19.99 each. So my grand total was around $63.
Annnnnddd here are the side tables on Chairish:
And here’s one side table and the coffee table on sale for $5,500:
I am the estate sale queen, no doubt about it. I often research estate sales weeks in advance, getting to a house sometimes hours before a sale starts to get my name on the list. The early bird truly does catch the worm when it comes to a great sale.
Case in point: My recent Burl wood finds. Whoa, nelly. Buckle up. These are some major finds.
I was number four in line to go to a magnificent home on the river in Jacksonville. The homeowner had some truly luscious collectibles (I also came away with an enormous brass panther) but I had my eye on two specific pieces of furniture: a Burl wood and chrome coffee table and matching side table. The pieces are by Drexel (signed), and I am fairly certain they are attributed to Milo Baughman, who worked at Drexel for a time. I am a huge Milo Baughman fan and a huge Burl wood fan. These pieces are truly amazing and I got both for an insane price (coffee table: $200, side table: $100).
A few weeks ago, I got three other beautiful burl wood pieces at a separate sale: An insane armoire (I plan on using it in the dining room, as a liquor cabinet) and TWO matching side tables (which will look beautiful on either side of an upholstered bed). The armoire was $125 and the two tables were $125. They have mirrored accents which I adore. I’m drowning in burl at this point, but it’s a good way to go.
I love the look of burl wood incorporated into a home with more modern furnishings. It’s a beautiful contrast (the Architectural Digest image below features a Milo Baghman coffee table and side table):
And to think, I bought all five of these pieces for $550, or less than a quarter of the price of just one Burl wood Jonathan Adler table.
PS. I am thinking of selling the Drexel coffee table and side table, though I haven’t made my mind up yet. I use Chairish to sell some of my pieces that I bought, loved, and realized I don’t have a home for so they might wind up there!
I was unfamiliar with the artist of these two behemoths (they are both four feet tall) before I bought them, but now I love her work. Very early Alex Katz. Her name is Nancy Denison and there is an absolute slew of her stuff on ebay. Fortunately, I scored these for $100 (for both). Which is an insane price for signed, numbered art in gorgeous frames.
And I love a 90s painting. Super feminine and the large scale is so wonderful. These need to be hung side by side.
Recent finds that I saw, loved, and ultimately didn’t buy. Will I regret it? Will I wind up seeing one of the below items on Antiques Roadshow for $5 million? Only time will tell.
First up, a really chunky and glamorous brass lamp with a bow on it. Reminds me of this Chapman piece. It was $4.99. Why didn’t I get this again?
Next, we have another lamp. This one is mid-century and kind of sexy and masculine. Those lightbulbs are awful. I didn’t check to see if there’s a way to unscrew the top and switch out those lightbulbs…I can picture it with some tiny circular bulbs. (This was I think $8 or $10).
Chinoiserie vase! Chinoiserie is always big but it’s definitely having a resurgence lately. This was a nice, big piece. Several feet tall. Small chip but who cares if you can’t see it? It was like $12.
I recently started selling some vintage goodies on Chairish, one of my favorite websites. All of the merchandise on the site is tightly curated, so pretty much everything is gorgeous. I’ve been fortunate to come across some beautiful pieces lately.
Here are some of the goods currently on my Chairish page: