I love blanc de chine. From Chinese figures to vases to pierced lamps, blanc de chine is timeless and elegant. I have a blanc de chine lamp from my grandmother in baby girl's nursery, but I think that you can use such a classic style in more than one part of your home. I was thrilled to find this pair of pierced lamps a few weeks ago from an estate out of town (you can't find good stuff like this at estate sales in Charlotte!).
At first glance, the lamps look great. But upon closer inspection, one of the vases has been repaired. And the wooden base is completely broken, so if you barely touch the lamp it falls over.
So I took the lamps apart and set out to restore them.
I love the beautiful oriental carved rosewood bases, but after doing some research, replacing the base was going to cost me more than I paid for the lamps. If one of the vases had not been repaired, I would be more apt to justify it, but because of that repair, I just don't think it is worth spending a considerable amount on a new base. Moreover, the brass base (originally between the rosewood and the vase) would work perfectly and already had the proper holes, making me think it was probably the original base that came with the lamps before the rosewood bases were added.
So I bought two lamp kits and went to work re-wiring the lamps. Re-wiring a lamp really is easy to do (full disclosure- I did get "lit up" once because I was exhausted and forgot the lamp was plugged in and touched a live wire with a screwdriver...). I am now no longer allowed to work on lamps if I am tired, and I always make sure they are unplugged!
I put the lamp back together, and I think the brass bases will do just fine!
I added a pair of black drum shades I had (from Target I believe) and placed the lamps atop my burl console table. (Ignore the rest of the room... it is a work in progress!)
I am not sure if I will leave them here or use them in a bedroom, but I will find a place!
Like many of you, I subscribe to numerous shelter magazines and have done so for years. From House Beautiful to Elle Decor to Veranda to Southern Accents (RIP) to Cottage and Coastal Living to Domino (RIP) to Metropolitan Home (RIP) to Dwell (blah I never liked it much) to Southern Living, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, etc, I have always subscribed to about 10 a month. That is 120 shelter magazines a year times five years is well over 600 magazines that I have accumulated. There are certain magazines I always keep (Elle Decor, Veranda, Architectural Digest, and House Beautiful) and certain ones I always toss (recycle) after one reading, but the stacks of "keepers" has been growing out of control. I decided to spend some time and downsize.
Here is about 1/4 of the magazines I wanted to keep. It is just too much, and to be honest, when I see a shelf full of them, I don't usually have the inclination to pull one out and flip through it.
Because let's be honest. As much as I love shelter magazines and am fully aware of all the hard work that goes into production of each issue, the reason I keep certain issues isn't the market pages or recipes or trend spotting sections. It's the 5-10 pages towards the end of the magazine that include photographs of beautiful homes. Those pages that capture gorgeous interiors and rooms are the "good stuff," the real part of the magazine worth keeping. The rest of the magazine is fun to read once or twice, but it doesn't really remain as relevant over time.
So I bought a 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors.
I placed a fabric remnant in the front sleeve of the binder to make it cute. A wallpaper sample would be fun to use as well.
Then I went to work flipping through my stacks of magazines, page after page, ripping out photos of homes I love. It could be a floor plan or a color scheme or a particular piece of furniture or accessory that I love, or it could be anything by Meg or Miles or Ruthie. But I pulled something from nearly every magazine.
I put the pages in sheet covers.
And now I have hundreds of interior photographs right at my fingertips, neatly stored in a 3-ring binder.
The stack of 600 magazines is much smaller now.
I'll be working on these remaining stacks over the next few weeks when I have moments here and there.
What used to take up multiple bookshelves has been condensed to a 3-ring binder, and I am happy to be gradually lightening my load, little by little...
What magazines do you keep? Do you have shelves full of them?
*My set of Dominos remains fully in-tact, and I have no plans to change that!*
Mad Men is back and better than ever! I have to admit that I enjoy the interiors and set design of this show nearly as much as the story itself, so I was excited to watch for what interior updates they made for Season 5. The show started in March of 1960, and now, in season 5, it is 1966. Amy Wells is the set designer, and she adds invaluable contributions to the show with her designs. It has been fascinating to watch the set designs evolve as the setting of the series has progressed from 1960-1966.
Early 1960's Sets
Check out the conference room in Season 1, complete with a fabulous piece of abstract art. The conference room table is covered with a veneer, and the lamp is topped off with a drum shade. Lots of wood and dark brown upholstery (can't you just smell the cigarette smoke from looking at this picture?).
The wood paneling continues... The clean lines of the Milo Baughmann-esque furniture are warmed up by the copious amounts of wood in Don's office.
The Sterling Cooper lobby offers a sleek, minimalist single-cushion sofa, and the wall is adorned with a C. Jere piece (very similar to the one we listed on MoS Marketplace here).
The Draper family's kitchen is full of knotty pine and plaid (eek!), with a linoleum floor.
I love the fabulous sectionals from the 1960's. They are very room specific and so stylish. Check out the brass flamingos on the mantle!
Chinoiserie wall hangings were popular in the 1960's, and now we are seeing them pop up in interior design again. They are great pieces to look for at estate sales!
Mid/Late 1960's Sets
The overabundance of wood paneling has disappeared from set in the more recent seasons. Heavy curtains have been replaced with thin blinds, and the walnut veneer tables have been traded for bright and airy Saarinen Tulip Tables.
Bar carts and pop art are plentiful. Curvy secretaries remain consistent...
Brown barkcloth upholstery has been replaced with bright orange tufting.
Don and Megan Draper's new apartment is a peppy mod dream with white carpet, grasscloth walls and a period-perfect sunken living room! I can't wait until AMC releases pictures of it, because it is so amazing. Here, you can see a hint of zebra and some pops of color on throw pillows.
I recently had the opportunity to work with some clients on their 1922 bungalow. One of the first selections we made was a large star pendant chandelier for their living room. This home is full of fabulous period details like plaster walls, a big front porch with columns, coal-burning fireplaces, and stained glass windows, so this chandelier was a chic way to add a folk art piece to the home.
Here is a quick picture of the star chandelier after it was installed, shortly after my clients moved in.
There are several resources for star pendant chandeliers, but we ordered from Direct from Mexico. The chandelier was very affordable and arrived quickly, in great shape.
Since we added the star pendant chandelier, I am noticing them more in magazines. And they are not limited to craftsman-style bungalows! Star pendants chandeliers are such a stylish way to add a folk art piece that mixes well with many different styles.
The black-and-white star chandelier creates a nice visual contrast to the colorful pieces in this dining room.
For the first time this year, we sat outside last night with our little boy and watched the lightning bugs (that's fireflies to folks south of Tallahassee and north of the MDL) lighting up our backyard. You know you are obsessed with interior design when watching bugs makes you think about color palettes.
Maybe it's a combination of changing styles and getting older, but I find myself consistently choosing gold over silver- in fashion, in jewelry, and in decorating. Generally speaking, I would choose a gold gilt light fixture over polished nickel any day of the week. Gold is warm and inviting and always adds a touch of glamour.
In thinking about spring and summertime table settings, I love the look of gold flatware. It looks so gorgeous paired with bright and cheerful spring and summertime colors.
Gold flatware works well with the warm and cozy hues of autumn, as well.
House and Home
I can't think of anything more appropriate for a celebratory New Years Eve dinner than gold flatware (other than champagne, of course).
Be sure to check out a FAB set of vintage gold bamboo flatware (12 place settings!) on MoS Marketplace here!
at my "new" vintage midcentury end table! The simple, clean lines of a midcentury piece can really lighten up a room full of traditional furniture.
My downstairs den is still a work in progress, but it's fun to add pieces as I find them. The chinoiserie dragon lamp is an estate sale find. One of these days, I will finish up this playroom/ work room/ tv room, and will share more of it with you!
Happy first day of spring! I didn't go any heavier than a Barbour this winter (which is fine with me!), so I can't believe spring is already upon us. Spring is such a hopeful time of year, with birds chirping and flowers blooming. Somehow in the midst of all the spring excitement, I have a 2-year old with pneumonia, a sick baby, and I'm a sick mama. We are not really able to enjoy the spring outdoors right now, but here are a few springtime images that are making me happy.
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