Tag: vintage

Distressed is Best

If I told you I put a $10 folding chair in my living room, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I was crazy. It’s not there because I had people over and there wasn’t enough seating, so I pulled it out of a closet for a few hours. I mean I bought it, chipped paint and all, at Re-Find for the sole purpose of using it as a piece of furniture in my house.

Weird, I know. But maybe once you see it, you’ll think I’m slightly less crazy.

I love the pop of yellow and how the distressed paint gives it a vintage characteristic. The pillow was about $10 at Kirkland’s (currently on sale for $6.50) and the painting is from Art in the Village in Jackson, TN. The piece was done by an artist name Jette Garner.

TIP: These super fun metal folding chairs come in an assortment of colors and are currently on sale for $12.99 each through Restaurant Furniture 4 Less.

I actually think these would look cute around a white wood kitchen table, maybe as plant stands in a garden, in an art room, on a front porch with some fun cushions…the point is, if you thought metal folding chairs were just for pulling out at Thanksgiving to make extra seating at the kids’ table then fold up, wait a minute! Personally, I think they’re good for so much more.

Dear oh deer!

I have a favorite designer. Jonathan Adler. And if I ever win the lottery, I’m commissioning him to decorate my house. I love his use of color, prints, patterns, playfulness and layered textures.

In trying to emulate his aesthetic on my very limited budget, I’ve learned that it’s common to confuse his level of elegant whimsy with “teenage girl taste” and that that fine line between taste and tasteless can be very easy to cross. But I’m doing my best, even if I don’t always get it right.

Take this JA piece, for example:

That’s a blue lucite giraffe head for $495. And listen, if you can afford to spend $500 on an accessory, I’m happy for you. Really I am.

But $500 is more like the entire budget I have to do my whole living room so I’ve had to make concessions. For example: I found this pink faux deer head for $20 at Ivy House Antiques and while I know it’s not everyone’s taste, I’m obsessed with it.

The other items pictured include: An embroidery hoop stitched with the quote, “WE ARE ALL HORRIBLE AND WONDERFUL AND FIGURING IT OUT” that I got at Monster Art & Clothing in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, another embroidered hoop of the Scorpius constellation (because I’m a Scorpio) from a gift shop called Moab Made in Moab, UT…and another fake critter head that I found in Amarillo Texas at The Big Texan Steak Ranch – which you may recognize from this episode of Man v. Food on the Travel Channel:

TIP: If you Google “faux animal heads” you can find a bunch of options in different sizes ranging in price from $10 – $15,000. Here are a couple that are similar to mine:

From Houzz:

From Etsy:

Thriftin’ Ain’t Easy

It was just about 5 months ago, to the day, when I loaded everything I owned in the back of Budget rental truck and started driving east. I had spent the 7 years prior in Seattle – building a life, going out with friends, working at my dream job, and feeling generally content with my day-to-day routine. The baristas at my neighborhood coffee shop knew me on a first-name basis, I had a handful of dive bars I frequented, my neighbors would invite me over for holidays and every Friday night I found myself filled with wonderment over what new surprise the city would have in store for me over the weekend. It was always something different; a festival, new restaurant, spontaneous road trip, obscure band playing at one of Seattle’s iconic live music venues, a random bar crawl through a neighborhood I rarely spent time in, etc.

Then it all ended. Abruptly. First, with a “restructuring of sorts” at work and then with the realization that, whether I liked it or not, my time in the Pacific Northwest was getting cut short.

I put my condo on the market because, without a job, I knew I couldn’t cover my (almost) $2,000 a month mortgage payment. It sold quickly (thank God) and when I hit I-90 East in late January I wasn’t sure what the next few months would have in store. I went back to my hometown of Wilmington, NC. I put my furniture in my mom and dad’s storage unit and lived out of a suitcase for a few weeks.

But by March I had landed a job in South Carolina and started with my new company on April 15th. So that’s how I got here.

My new place in Columbia is twice as big as what I had in Seattle which meant I had to go shopping and, in an ideal world, we’d all have an unlimited budget to do so…but in the real world it doesn’t work like that. So I started doing what I do best; hunting for those buried treasures, hidden gems and diamonds in the rough.

I’ve got a lot to show you, but for now, I’ll start with my bar cart/plant stand that’s really nothing more than a metal tool cart that most people use in their garage.

I got my tool cart at Old Mill Antique Mall in West Columbia but, if you can’t find one used, HERE is a good place to start. They’ve got ones (like below) starting at $39.99

The Thrift Shop Obsession…

I know I’ve mentioned Goodwill once already, but this piece is where my obsession with buying thrift shop art started. Up until this point, I was very selective. I would not give my hard-earned dollars away without certificates of authenticity or hand-written stories. But that all changed when I saw something that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. It was an odd trio that looked like an Expressionist/Fauvism/Cubism hybrid – if that’s even a real thing (which it probably isn’t). But anyways, there it was on the shelf and I knew I had to have it…

In Seattle, you will find a Goodwill flagship store on S. Lane St. and I am not exaggerating when I say that, on a good day, I could spend hours there. This is one of the first thrift shop pieces of art I bought when I moved here in 2012; and it is safe to say that it has become one of my favorites.

No idea who the artist is/was and probably paid about $3 for it…