Non-Buyer’s Remorse

I hit up some estate sales last weekend. I’m not in the market for more furniture per se, but it’s fun to look. At a house near Stamford, I came across this couch that was selling for $25, in pretty good shape, nubby 80s upholstery and random blue satin-lined box of silverware aside.

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If I had room in the car, and maybe two burly buddies to help me lug it, I would have taken this fella home. With some love and new upholstery, it could easily look like this (minus the lacquered walls, obvi):

Sofa - Red lacquered walls and a blue couch on herringbone hardwood floors

Via Lonny

Or in peacock linen…

Jessica Alba Office - A seating area with a gallery wall and CB2's Avec Peacock sofa at Jessica Alba's Honest Company office

Via Lonny (side view of peacock Avec Sofa from CB2)

Or more muted and sophisticated, maybe?

Via Elle Decor

Now I’m kicking myself for not having bought it.

Thrift store portraits: amazing or creepy?

I love a good thrift store portrait. I love portraiture in general really, particularly the weird kind. Last year, I stumbled across this bizarrely androgynous character at a thrift shop near the Gowanus Canal. I bought it for $30. The canvas is roughly 2 by 2 1/2 feet, and I love it. He/she gazes out the window in my bedroom.

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Some of my favorite bloggers/designers love weirdo oil paintings too. See:

Via Style by Emily Henderson

Via The Brick House

Via SF Girl by Bay

white campaign dresserVia Style by Emily Henderson, again

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Obviously, there’s a real danger for thrift store portraits to be ultra creepy. Don’t believe me? Try searching for “portrait” on eBay. I think the bigger question is: what does it mean that we fill our homes with portraits of strangers while most photos of  family and loved ones live on our phones or on our computers or on Facebook?

Lazy-bones Halloween Decor

I came home today and decided to do some lazy Friday Halloween decorating, which means swapping out the books that sit on our media console for, wait for it, ORANGE and BLACK books. Woot! Also, that graphic print I got from my grandmother can be a little spooky, depending on the mood. So it’s propped up behind my ghoulish books for now.

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Fall flowers

Fall foliage gets loads of attention, but I also love fall flowers, which I guess are really summer flowers drying on their stems, but gorgeous nonetheless. I pulled together this quick arrangement cutting flowers from a friend’s garden. My favorite is the echinacea/coneflower, here without any petals. Just the spiky central disk.

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Insane Panel Peepin

I recently drove up to Connecticut to do some leaf-peeping (always sounds dirty, I know). And in the midst of amazing fall foliage, I stopped at United House Wrecking in Stamford. The store relegated all non-Western decor into one area, squished between salvaged doors and botanical prints. It’s there that I found this INSANE panel. It was probably three feet by three feet and had it not been incredibly expensive I would have bought it. (Actually probably not.)

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I came up with this mood board to figure out how one might conceivably put a screen like this in a home:

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Clockwise from top left: keys, pendants, stripped dhurrie, vintage trunk, vase, birch side chair, sofa.

What do you think? A little bit American Psycho, a little Insane Clown Posse, a little mid-century bohemian. Still insane?  Yes, yes indeed.

Happy accident

A year or so ago, we got a mid-century modern lounge chair from Yesterday’s News in Carroll Gardens. It’s Danish-inspired, made in Yugoslavia. The cushions were rotten, so we left those behind and figured we would eventually get around to making new ones.

I got the foam to make the cushions (from here, they were friendly but I think buying online would’ve been cheaper), but I just couldn’t find the time to sew covers. Recently, my mom volunteered to help out. We wanted to do some kind of yellow fabric and she found a nice mellow linen, but miscalculated the amount of fabric she needed. Because she came up short, she used this charcoal fabric she had laying in her fabric scraps. I love, love, love how it turned out. Happy accident! Also, I have a really talented mom.

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Ribbons in the sky

When we moved into my current apartment, my bedroom was the previous tenants’ children’s room. They left behind dark navy curtains, made from a kind of linen-cotton-poly blend. Boring, but free fabric! This is the story of what happened to those curtains. (I’ve got you hooked, don’t I?)

Sad before picture of my bedroom

I thought that at some point, I wanted to build out a headboard, maybe something like what Daniel at Manhattan Nest did many moons ago here with an army surplus blanket and an Ikea frame (man, oh, man, is that fella talented or what?! have you seen his recent kitchen reno? un-flipping-real, but I digress). At the time, I was working a lot of hours, so it seemed overwhelming to pull off a proper headboard. Also, I don’t actually ever sit up in bed reading. I’m either lying completely horizontal, or I’m not in bed at all. Come to think of it, this might be a chicken and egg situation: do I not sit up in bed because I don’t have a headboard, or do I not have a headboard because I don’t sit up in bed? While we all contemplate these deep questions, I’ll move on with the point of this post.

I had seen these types of ribbon garlands on Pinterest: here, here and here, for example. At first I thought they looked too girly or sloppy for my taste. Nevertheless, I decided to try the same, but monochromatic because I was trying to stick to white, navy and black for my bedroom. I had the old navy curtains lying around from the previous tenants, so I just shredded those, tied them to a piece of twine and strung it above my bed where a headboard might go.

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I’ve been living with it for a while now and still happy, though a headboard is not out of the question.

I’m gonna let Stevie slow-jam the end of this post for you.