Check out Matters of Style Marketplace on One Kings Lane

Check out my latest vintage finds on One Kings Lane!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Quick Friday Spin Around the Sleepy Poet!

We were delighted to receive an email this week from reader Celeste, complete with pictures of the latest and greatest hits at the Sleepy Poet.  We have blogged about the Sleepy Poet several times (I think we deserve a discount now!), and what amazes me is how much turnover there is in their inventory.  We absolutely love everything Celeste picked out, and to be honest, we are a little shocked that we didn't see any of this when we went to the Sleepy Poet a month ago.  Even if you aren't in Charlotte, I hope these finds will inspire you to go searching for some new treasures this weekend at your favorite antique or vintage emporium!

A gilded faux bamboo mirror

A gorgeous faux bamboo rolling bar cart (to the tune of $85!)

 Racks of vintage belts that would make great necklaces

Vintage decanters in the same pattern as my favorite barware (I might have to purchase these quickly!)

 Set of fabulous nesting tables with Greek Key motifs

A kelly green ginger jar lamp right next to a white and green faux bamboo lamp- and can we please talk about those squiggly brass candlesticks?!

A shiny little white monkey

An autumnal vignette complete with orange lamps and a framed turkey (Audubon?)

Lovely vintage owls

 Chic Parisian framed prints

Amazing peacock settee- wouldn't this be so beautiful at a dining room table?

So are you feeling inspired to hunt for some treasures this weekend?  Please tell us what you find!  And a huge thanks to Celeste for being our MoS Personal Shopper!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Housewarming gifts, Florida style

We've mentioned before that we're big fans of using organic elments as planters. Namely, shells of all types- big shells, little shells, brass shells, ceramic shells, actual shells- are some of our favorite receptacles for flowers and houseplants. So when I needed a little housewarming gift for a dear family member who recently moved into an adorable bungalow near the beach, a few pictures got me inspired...

The giant clam planter, courtesy of Inner Gardens

A lovely and creative use for a nautilus, courtesy of the Knot.

And another dainty nautilus, courtesy of Martha Stewart.

I kept an eye out for shell planters when scouring some of my favorite vintage stores in West Palm. I'd much rather get something with a lot of character than a generic terra cotta pot from the hardware store. And was thrilled when I found this terra cotta conch shell.

Off I went to heaven...otherwise known as the orchid section at Home Depot. Up in DC the orchid selection at large chain stores like Home Depot and Lowes is dismal. But in Florida, their stuff is amazing!

Components my mom always tells me, buy the orchid that's about to bloom, not the one that already has flowers!

I added a touch of spanish moss to conceal the orchid pot.

And added a little bow to make it more gift-y. Here's the finished product (not the greatest picture, I know, but I was determined not to be late!).

And on an unrelated note...saw this guy at the store where I found the terra cotta pot. Awfully tempting for this taxidermy aficianado, though I'm not sure how I'd fare if I tried to bring him back on a plane. Could I say it's an alligator purse?

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Au Naturale

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a magazine editor about Meg Braff's fabulous designs in the Round Hill, Jamaica villas featured in Coastal Living earlier this year.  In particular we discussed Meg's decision to leave this rattan porch furniture in its natural, warm-toned wood finish, as opposed to lacquering the rattan in a glossy bright white.  Fast forward to last weekend, and as I started to bring a nightstand down from the attic to paint, I thought back to our conversation and decided to put the can of Rustoleum back under the sink. 

Certainly there are times when a fresh coat of paint in a glossy bright color is just what a piece of old wooden furniture needs.  Particularly if your furniture isn't a valuable antique and is feeling a bit lifeless, we say to go ahead and paint away!  Goodness knows that I have a piece of painted furniture in nearly every room in my house.  On the flip side of that coin, though, nearly every room also needs a piece of furniture that is meticulously polished and stained, showing off the beauty of the natural wood.  A bedroom chest of drawers first comes to mind when I think of a piece of furniture that is best left untouched by paint.  There is something warm and soothing about natural wood in a bedroom that makes the room feel grounded, while the rest of the decor is bright and cheery.   

We are certainly not advocating the "bedroom suite" or matching sets of living room furniture in dark toned "espresso" wood.  But adding a piece or two of naturally stained wooden furniture to a colorful or modern room lends sophistication and style.   Here are some looks that inspire us!

Melissa Rufty

Massuco Warner Miller

Nate Berkus

Phoebe Howard

Ruthie Sommers

Massuco Warner Miller

Meg Braff

Massuco Warner Miller

Meg Braff

So are you on board with natural-toned wood?  Can you resist the temptation to paint every piece of furniture you bring home?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spotted at DCA

I spotted this dapper couple at Regan airport over the weekend. Not only was their body language in sync, their shoes were too. Apparently the couple that wears his 'n hers Ferragamo loafers together stays together!

Time for Tights with HUE by Milly

If I had to chose one brand to outfit my entire life- from work clothes to cocktail dresses, resort wear to winter coats, without a doubt I'd choose Milly. No one does sophistcated, yet youthful, glamour like Michelle Smith. I was perusing the Fall 2010 collection and noticed that tights feature prominently into their looks...then I realized that out this fall is a Hue by Milly collection of tights!

I love the idea of using tights to make an outfit. They're a great retro throwback, yet something that most women tend to overlook today, myself included. I wear black opaque tights quite a bit in the winter, but I am decidedly lacking in adventurousness when it comes to colors and patterns.

Part of the reason I'm afraid to wear patterned/textured tights is that sometimes they can come off looking cheap. I mean, most of us don't have the type of job befitting fishnets, if you get my drift. But I'm loving the sweet and sophisticated look of these aspirin dots.

Here they are in a slightly darker shade, which I think might be a bit more versatile.
Aspirin dot tights, $24
Ooh la la! I might have to give some lacy tights a try. Don't they look fab with a black dress? I think if you keep the dress and shoes simple, and the look monochromatic, the tights really sing rather than compete. 

Links tights, $24

I haven't worn sheer pantyhose in goodness knows how long. But if Milly says they're back, I might have to give them another look.

Admittedly the look below isn't for the office. But I love the idea of a pair of brightly colored tights. This is an area where you have to go big or go home. A subdued pink would look too little girlish.

For something a bit cheaper than Milly tights, try these Bold nylon tights from Urban Outfitters, $12.50

I'm loving the entire range of Milly tights...except I do have my reservations over the anchor chain pattern. For some reason these look like they belong with a pirate wench costume, ha!
Click to Close

I believe that Bloomingdales is carrying the HUE by Milly line. Has anyone seen the collection in stores?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tales from an Estate Sale

The state fair is like grits, ACC basketball, and SEC football- if you didn't grow up with it, then you just can't understand the hype.  I never grew up going to the fair (Isn't Carowinds a summer-long fair that's bigger, cleaner, and has better rides?),  but my husband grew up in Columbia, SC and fondly remembers going to the fair every single year as a child.  So wanting to continue the tradition with our 10-month old, we headed down to Columbia Saturday morning.  As we turned onto my inlaws' street, I saw an all-too-familiar sign, the one that makes my heart skip a beat every time.  "Estate Sale Saturday:  10-4."  The state fair would have to wait...
The estate sale was three houses down from my inlaws, so they knew a lot about the seller.  He is a rare bird- a college English professor who has always lived alone in a big dark house, wearing only black clothing and keeping to himself.  He is still alive and well but is planning to downsize, so he hired a third party estate sale company to come in and conduct the sale.  As a buyer, there are advantages and disadvantages to these third party sales- generally the merchandise is organized and of high quality, but the downside is that you aren't as likely to get a great deal, because they generally know what they are selling. 

The items being sold were solely from the storage shed behind the professor's house- it did not include anything from inside his home.  There were probably 20 long tables and 15 shelving units set up, covered in silver, copper, brass, and wooden objects he had hoarded collected in his shed.  Saturday was the final day of the sale, with everyone saying all the "good stuff" sold Friday.  I truly cannot IMAGINE how much he must have stored in that shed. 

The "buzz" on the street was that if you knew what you were looking for, you could likely find museum-quality pieces at this sale.  The professor traveled extensively and bought high quality pieces.  I saw copper and brass pieces etched with Arabic words, huge pottery crocks too large for two people to pick up, silver serving pieces from Dutch cruise ships that serviced African tours, samurai swords, and heavy jade lamps.  The prices were fair, but generally they were not bargains.

The one real bargain I saw- this stack of vintage suitcases priced at $2.50 per suitcase.  They also had gray and black ones.  I love seeing vintage suitcases stacked and repurposed as a nightstand or end table, but I decided that I just don't have a place for them right now, so I passed.  Would you have bought them?

Admittedly, I am not much of a cook.  But a quick call to my culinary expert sister confirmed that copper cookware can be fantastic.  The professor had multiple shelves of it.

Carved wooden bowls and serving dishes covered these shelves. 

Unfortunately I couldn't buy everything I wanted to buy.  But here is what did make the trip back to Charlotte with us.

A pair of wrought-iron cow skillets for cooking steaks.  I need to clean them up first of course!  Does anyone know any tricks for cleaning rust off cast-iron?

6 copper sauce pans for my sister.

A hand-painted old soup tureen that I absolutely love.  It isn't marked with a pattern- only numbers.  Does anyone recognize the pattern?

I especially love the gold bow detailing on the lid.

A stack of old books- one is from 1871!

A really HEAVY large brass tray (I placed a fork on it for scale).  It would be so pretty to use as the top of a tray table!

Patterned brass tea set etched with words in Arabic.

A very old pillow cover with hand-embroidered detailing.  I would love to know where it came from.

A mounted brass deer head.

And lastly, an array of large brass objects, including lobsters and crayfish (just like the one atop a stack of books in Nick Olsen's living room here).  One or two of these fab crustaceans might make their way on to MoS Marketplace soon...
So after several hours at the sale, we made our way to the fair, and fun was had by all!  Sadly, after the estate sale there was no room in the car for any giant stuffed animals...
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