Check out Matters of Style Marketplace on One Kings Lane

Check out my latest vintage finds on One Kings Lane!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mos Marketplace: I Married Adventure and Four Years in Paradise, Pair of Green Foo Dogs

One copy each of Osa Johnson's I Married Adventure and Four Years in Paradise have just been listed for sale on MoS Marketplace. These always go quickly! *UPDATE- BOTH BOOKS HAVE SOLD*

We've also just listed this fabulous pair of vintage green foo dogs- unlike any we have seen before!

Affordable Custom Furniture: Country Chair of Hickory

Affordable custom furniture may seem like a very tall order.  We've all seen the semi-custom options at places like Williams-Sonoma Home and Ballard Designs, and for the most part, their limited fabric choices and styles leave a little something to be desired.  Enter Country Chair, a small family-owned-and-operated furniture manufacturing company in Hickory, NC.  Country Chair allows you to customize every detail of your chair, sofa, or ottoman, from the height of the seat, to specific down cushions, to nailhead trim, to turned legs, to a tufted back.

Country Chair manufactures BEAUTIFUL pieces of custom upholstered furniture.  And their prices are very reasonable.  A fraction of Pottery Barn or Ballard prices, with about a week in turnaround time.   The process is so easy.  You can mail Country Chair your fabric, and tell them what style chair or sofa you want.  You can send them pictures of a particular chair or sofa you love, and they will custom build exactly what you want.  Or you can be creative and design your own piece of furniture, and they will build it to your exact specifications.  If you still aren't sure what you want, they have tear-sheets with hundreds of sketches in a variety of different styles.

My mom and I have both ordered furniture from Country Chair over the years.  Somehow when it came time to pick up my furniture, I was always in school or working and never actually visited their studio in Hickory.  Recently I have been needing a pair of chairs and an ottoman for my den, so I took a trip to Hickory last week to see Country Chair firsthand. 

When you first enter the warehouse, wooden furniture frames are stacked as far as the eye can see.  ALL of these furniture frames are made right in Hickory (a true rarity in today's world of outsourced labor), so the quality is excellent, and you can know that your purchase supports the local economy. 

An elegant wing chair frame caught my eye.

Last year MoS Washington ordered a sofa from Country Chair, featured here on Apartment Therapy, and it has pretty turned legs just like this frame.

Here you can see some furniture frames that have been stained.  Country Chair will stain your furniture in whatever color you wish (and they will make recommendations if you aren't sure!).

Here is a picture of a sofa in progress.  They have just added the springs to the frame as well as some muslin across the back.

Here they have gone one step farther, adding padding to the arms and covering the springs with muslin.

Next, you decide what style cushions you want.  They have several options, from springform down, to plain down, to a synthetic blend.  Todd and the folks at Country Chair are happy to talk you through the pros and cons of each option so you can make your decision.

Now the fun part- fabric time!  Country Chair does source some fabrics, so if you haven't purchased fabric of your own, you can tell them what you are looking for, and they may be able to source it for you.  They will mail you some samples and you can decide what you like.  Otherwise, you can mail them your fabric- they will tell you exactly how much you need based upon the pattern and the style furniture you want them to make.

Once they have your fabric and know what style chair or sofa you want, they use patterns to start cutting the fabric.  This particular pattern is for a seat cushion.

The cutting table is very long!  Only one person does the cutting, one pattern at a time, so the fabric cuts are consistent and exact. 

After the cuts are made, the Country Chair seamstress starts sewing cushions.

And a beautiful finished sofa, wrapped up and ready for delivery.

I decided to use a durable green herringbone upholstery fabric for my chairs and ottoman.  I am SO happy with how they turned out.

 They are exactly what I had in mind and really complete my den!

If you are in the market for a new chair or sofa, Country Chair is your best option for custom, affordable furniture. 

If you aren't in NC, don't worry.  Here is how the process works:
1.  Email Todd at, or you can call him at 828-328-8646.
2.  Describe what you are looking for, or you can email him pictures of what you want.
3.  He will give you information and a price on the style you want, ask you some questions about your room, floors, etc, and tell you how much fabric to mail them at:
Country Chair, Inc.
809 8th Street Dr.
Hickory, NC  28602.
5.  Pick up your fabulous custom furniture or have it delivered.  When MoS Washington ordered her sofa, I believe delivery to Washington was around $100.  The folks at Country Chair told me that the most expensive delivery is to California and is around $300. 

Talk to Country Chair about your furniture needs- we think very highly of them and think you will as well!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New on MoS Marketplace!

Check out MoS Marketplace, to see what we have just listed.  First is a vintage needlepoint Yale throw pillow!

And second is a BEAUTIFUL Oscar de la Renta for Century Furniture armchair, in perfect condition!

For these and other fabulous finds, go to  Stay tuned this week for some more furniture listings we are adding!

Friday, January 28, 2011

MoS Marketplace: Oly Studio "Jonathan" Game Table (Texas)

**Updated listing**- this table is actually a "game table" and a bit higher than as described before- it measures 36"W x 36"L x 30"H. It looks the exact same as the coffee table in the pictures below, but is taller!

We're pleased to be listing this gorgeous Oly Studio "Jonathan" square game table for one of our readers, a Houston designer. Retails for $2,050, but the MoS Marketplace price is $580. If we lived closer to Texas, this would probably be coming home with one of us!

See the full listing and dimension HERE. Email to purchase. Located in Houston, Texas, and local pickup welcomed. Seller is also willing to work with you on shipping!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Swooning for Steve

While Bemelmans still tops my "if you could invite any person, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would it be" list, running a close second these days is the beloved Steve Martin. Yes, that Steve Martin- the one who's been around for years, the one your parents loved when you were little and you didn't get half his jokes, the one who wears a navy blue "tux-a-do" in Father of the Bride.

You see, these days, Steve Martin is experiencing a sort of renaissance- emerging as a triple threat- musician, author, and of course, actor.

In this month's Garden & Gun, there's a great feature about Martin and the bluegrass band he's touring with, the Steep Canyon Rangers. Martin plays the banjo with the group, often not appearing on the show's billing, and showing up to delight an astounded audience. And unlike most actor-turned-musicians (cough cough *Lindsay Lohan* cough cough), Martin's actually GOOD.

Photo by Brad Swonetz

Of course, this comes on the heels of another of Martin's recent accomplishments- his latest book, An Object of Beauty, a fiction novel with New York's art world as its backdrop. Martin has become an avid art collector over the years, and his behind-the-scenes knowledge of the gallery world is gleaned from his own personal experiences. This is far from his first novel- Shopgirl got turned into a movie with Claire Danes, and he also authored The Object of my Affection a few years back.

If you haven't read the terrific Born Standing Up, his autobiography, you owe it to yourself to pick this up- or better yet, listen to it read by Martin himself on audiobook. Even if you've never been particularly into Steve Martin, this is a fantastic and compelling read about his early years breaking into the business. I love reading autobiographies of people who've made it big in their fields, be they actors, businessmen, athletes, political figures, or what have you, because it's always apparent that they didn't get where they are by accident. All of them dealt with failure, rejection, stress, and other obstacles. It sounds cliched, I know. But sometimes I think that I take "no" for an answer all to readily, and it's a great reminder that if you have a dream or a passion, you're going to need to be persistent and chase it. 

And of course, then there's Martin's lovely wife, Ann Stringfield, who happens to be the cutest darn thing we've ever seen (and a writer for New York Magazine). Something tells us she must have a little something to do with Martin's renaissance. Love those glasses. She happens to be a Davidson grad (we knew we liked her!). 

Of course, Steve Martin can play all the bluegrass he wants, write ten books, and marry a gorgeous young brunette, but he's still no match for Franck Eggelhoffer. Enjoy some vintage Father of the Bride! "I suggest we choose the cek!" get me every time...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Searching for Summertime

Late January can be the bleakest time of the year, especially when it's FREEZING cold, your football team's season ended weeks ago, and your basketball team could foreseeably lose to a solid AAU team.  This time of the year leaves me dreaming about sunshine, breezy porches, brightly colored upholstery with white piping, and decorating with seashells.

Meg Braff is one of our favorite designers- she has perfected the beachy chic look.  Her designs are sophisticated and modern, and she isn't afraid to use a little color.  They are just the little pick-me-up we need this time of year!

Coastal Living

Coastal Living

Coastal Living

House Beautiful

Renovation Style Magazine

If you want to add a few coastal elements to your home, here are some that we love:

 A wavy mirror that reminds us of oyster shells

A striped canopy that would be so fab in the back yard of a white brick house

A faux bamboo pagoda chandelier above a breakfast room table

An oversized classic rope knot, perfect to hold open even the heaviest door

Are you as ready for summertime as we are?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

House "Not So" Beautiful???

Ever since Stephen Drucker departed House Beautiful to take up the helm at Town and Country (which, incidentally, we hear he is already leaving), something about the magazine just hasn't been the same. Have you noticed this as well? We really feel like we are failing to connect with the interiors they feature. Not that every edition has to be chock full of Meg Braff and Miles Redd (though we certainly wouldn't mind), but a lot of the homes that have been featured lately have left us scratching our heads "why is this house in a magazine?"

My subscription to HB expired a month or two ago and I keep forgetting to renew- so the other day I shelled out $4.99 at the newsstand, excited about the so-called "Makeover Issue." I read the whole thing from cover to cover in about 10 minutes, and was so disappointed that I came thisclose to trying to return the darn thing! Also, when a magazine touts itself as the "makeover issue", doesn't that entail an actual photo or two of the "before"? Rather than just a few generic bullet point adjectives?

I'd say this was probably the highlight of the entire magazine- this zippy yellow console in a blue bedroom decorated by Gideon Mendelson.

The rest of the house- more blue and yellow. This is pretty, but just doesn't blow my hair back.

Then there was the one day makeover by Pat Healing and Dan Barsanti. At least we got to see a "before" picture- the only "before" whole magazine.

This room is pretty, but that tie dye blue rug- I wonder how long that lasted after the designers left! IMHO the prints and color palate are all over the place. But, better than I could do in 8 hours, I'm sure!

Neeeeeext we had Cheryl Tague's house in Aspen. A nice house to look out, but truly, I got ZERO inspiration from this.

The story itself was pretty entertaining though. Her quotes recalling "oking a Euro wire transfer to buy German flooring from an English rep to be shipped to Aspen" and a sales clerk asking her "what's the name of your chalet?" so they could monogram it on her French linens were a bit much. They reminded me so much of the David Sedaris story "Our Perfect Summer" than you can read here in the New Yorker (The story also appears in Dress Yourself in Corduroy and Denim so it might be familiar if you're a Sedaris fan). "My home, well, one of my homes..."

And of course, then there was the cover story, this Alexandra Angle-decorated house in Venice. MORE blue and yellow! This is a lovely vignette but reminds me of a Waverly catalog or something.

And the bedroom. Again, nothing against it, but to me this is more Cottage Living or Coastal Living than House Beautiful.

And of course, don't even get us started again on Bethenny's funeral-themed baby shower. Fit for a goth baby, I guess.

So, the usual caveats. We're not saying we hate House Beautiful or that somehow we are more talented than the designers in the magazine this month. But, other people have told us they feel the same lately about the magazine- that it seems to have lost the more clearly defined aesthetic it had before. There were months when my jaw would hit the floor over most every house featured in one magazine, and this month I couldn't find a single thing that inspired me.

Here's hoping that House Beautiful finds its way in 2011!

New on MoS Marketplace- Brass Giant Clam, Shells, and Leggy Cranes! *ALL SOLD*

We've just listed the following items on MoS Marketplace- click here to view the full listing and to purchase. We will happily combine shipping on multiple items!

Brass giant clam - $28. A true statement piece! *SOLD*

Leggy brass cranes - single $14, pair $26. Great for adding height to a bookshelf or coffee table.

Pair of brass mini conch shells - $14. The perfect accent anywhere! *SOLD*

Click HERE to purchase these items and to check out our other MoS Marketplace listings!
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