The Liebster Award Nominee

LIEBSTER AWARDThis week, I have so much to share but first and foremost, I want to thank my fellow fanatic in thrifting and blogging, Lin from Hot For Houses for the Liebster Award nomination. Thank you, Lin! What is the Liebster Award you ask? Well, it’s basically to recognize up and coming writers/bloggers that are newer to the blogosphere and have under 500 viewers.

This nomination means that I get to answer some fun Q & A. Ready friends?

1. When did you start your blog, and what influenced you to start it? 

I started MidCenturyObsession in August 2012. I dedicated my blog to my late Grandmother, because after inheriting her fantastic mid-century modern furniture, I discovered this whole (addictive) world I didn’t even know existed. I’ve been obsessed ever since!

2. Describe yourself in one word.

CAFFINATED

3. What day of the week do you enjoy most?

Wednesday. Specifically the morning. Best time to thrift, be on the road, shop and enjoy not having to wait in line.

4. Do you collect anything? If so, what?

I’m actually the anti-collector. I’d describe myself as a minimalist. I LOVE to discard stuff (by stuff, that excludes MCM furniture. I have a whole different stance about that). If it doesn’t get used, it gets garage saled, Craigslisted, or donated. What a refreshing way to start over, or give a space a new look; to go back to scratch.

5. What is something you’ve done that you’re proud of?

I’ve learned to rescue and refinish furniture. One of the most rewarding things for me is to find something that needs a little lovin’ and to have the ability to give it life again. Plus, I can listen to Michael Jackson while pretending to be Michael Jackson, and no one can judge.

MJ

 

6. Currently, what song makes you happy?

Pretty much anything by The Black Keys makes me happy.

7. What is one piece of technology that you can’t live without?

My laptop. My “smartphone” mostly makes me feel stupid. And how can people stand everything being so tiny?

8. What has challenged you about blogging?

It’s been a challenge for me NOT to worry about what others think. I’m a people-pleaser by nature, and blogging has been very challenging in that I spend time I shouldn’t worrying about how many people will like what I have to say.

9. What would be a perfect day for you?

Being on the beach, hearing the surf, with my feet in the warm sand – watching my son fly a kite. (on a Wednesday when no one else is there)

10. How does your blog inspire others?

I would hope that my blog inspires others to try new projects, tackle DIY with optimism and remember that you seriously don’t have to pay retail for fantastic furniture. Blessed be the thrifty. No matter what your style – if you have a little patience and determination you can make any space uniquely yours (for less!).

11. What is your favorite food recipe?

I cook for a 5-year-old right now. If it involves cheese, it’s a winner. My favorite recipe would be a delicious steak and garlic mashed potatoes that I didn’t have to make, or clean up after.

 

So through this process I realized that I haven’t read the instructions thoroughly and should have answered totally different questions. (Like school, all over again) Whatevs. I also realized that I don’t follow enough up and comers like myself. Slap on hand. I will do better in the future! 7 out of 11 isn’t so bad.

Here are my nominees:

Hot For Houses – Check it out. For reals.

Mid Century Modern Remodel

HarlowandCrue

WestCoastModern – Where I got my fantastic teal couch. These guys are amazing!

Xchange Studio

Dear House, I love you

Vintage Revivals

New Questions for the Nominees:

1. What or who inspired you to become a blogger?

2. What is your favorite blog that you subscribe to? (big or small)

3. What is your favorite kind of music?

4. What do you do for fun?

5. Favorite childhood memory?

6. Name a place you love to visit and why.

7. What or who is the biggest influence in your life?

8. Wine: red or white?

9.  Conan O’Brien or Jimmy Fallon?

10. Beach or Mountains?

11. What would be your last meal?

Rules for the Nominees:

1. Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.

 

2. Nominate 11 new blogs with 500 followers or less.

 

3. Post 11 new questions for you nominees to answer.

 

4. Tag your nominees in your post and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been nominated!

GO!

Special PostScript Especially for Lin of Hot For Houses…

1. If you could know one person who is no longer alive, who would it be?

Ray Eames

2. Wine, or Jägermeister shot?

Wine all the way.

3. Who is your biggest influence?

My mother. She rocks.

4. Who has influenced you the least?

My dogs only influence the furniture I have to refinish. Other than that, they’re pretty mute on most subjects.

5. If you could be any place other than where you are right now, where would it be?

A warm sunny beach with a huge margarita in my hand…a magazine, and no one else around.

6. Edward or Jacob?

Never succumbed to the series.

7. Bella or Rosalie?

Who?

8. How often do you write in your blog?

I try for and most often complete 1/week.

9. How often do you wish you could write in your blog?

I think I’d exhaust myself any more than 1 time a week

10. If you could be on any reality T.V. show, what would it be?

Anything with Jeff Lewis. He makes me laugh.

11. What book or movie best describes you?

The Runaway Bride.

Thanks again, Lin! I’m honored! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing is Caring…

I love sharing. Sharing is caring…..so this week, I’d like to share with you a fellow MCM fanatic’s blog post on an Eichler home for sale in Orange, CA.

It’s worth a look for sure!

Click here to see an AWESOME EICHLER home in original condition!

IMG_4557

 

 

Life Lessons

The theme that keeps revealing itself to me seems to be “you can’t take it with you.” I like to think I’m the type of person who doesn’t collect a lot of “stuff” or get attached to things. I like a clean-looking, uncluttered home, so I tend to focus on a few key vintage pieces and try to stay out of Target. This week’s reminder is a good one for any of us, really. It ain’t going with you when you leave.

My baby news was revealed last week, and instead of upsizing our home like so many Americans might, we are downsizing; getting rid of some of our belongings, and moving the rooms around. The “office” must now fit in our master bedroom, what was the office will become a guest room, and the guest room a nursery. No big deal right? Except for the fact that we have to get rid of the “things” we didn’t anticipate having to be rid of.

On the chopping block via Etsy or Craigslist:

Parting with Pearsall
Parting with Pearsall

The “reading nook” will now serve as an office nook. I was sure I was going to rock MY estate sale with this piece, but instead, Mr. Pearsall will be leaving us earlier than anticipated. Adriaaaaaaaaan!

As for our ginormous office desk? It too, will be leaving, and this room will be a place for our visitors. With an Irishman as a husband, our visitors stay for weeks at a time – so having a room available is necessary.

001 006

Goodbye Masterful Mad Men-esque Desk. Boo.

And just a month or so ago, even my dog was reminding me it’s important not to become “attached” to the things of this world…by ripping a HOLE in the side of my favorite chair.

Moreddi Inc chair...pride of place in the living room....BEFORE PHOTO
Moreddi Inc chair…pride of place in the living room….BEFORE PHOTO
OMG!!!!!!!!! AFTER PHOTO
OMG!!!!!!!!! AFTER PHOTO
006 (4)
GUILTY AS HELL. Look at that face. I had to lock her out while I considered her fate. Bitch.

Good news is the dog is still with us. Despite my initial emotion, I decided against “gifting” her to another family who could put up with her antics. She is completely dysfunctional – but she is part of the family. Our “Black Pearl” reminded me that the chair is just that….JUST a CHAIR. I can have it fixed (someday) but I can’t take it with me. It’s in the garage until I can get it recovered, and all of our butts have survived unscathed, despite not being able to sit its loveliness.

I thought I’d learned this lesson, and could part with my “stuff” pretty easily, or at least hande it being damaged without losing my top. Turns out I can…sometimes you just need a little reminding about what’s important.  I hope my lesson reminds you that the kids and animals – while they’re a mess and they ruin your “stuff”…they are the real treasures.

Cha – Cha- Cha- Changes!

Guest Bedroom
Guest Bedroom

Remember this room? Ah, yes. The newly finished guest room. Functional and cozy. Well….as life would have it, this room will have to be moved downstairs, the office somewhere to be determined….and by September this room shall be a nursery.

Hooray! So this week has been a whirlwind of shifting needs, ideas, furniture, and planning for what the future holds. Being the smallest room of the house, we’ve got to figure out a way to create a cozy nursery and of course, it MUST be in keeping with the mid-century modern theme.

I promise not to spend the next 6 months blogging about baby-related MCM, but just a fair warning that I am feeling inspired since discovering that having a baby in the house doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Case in point, this high chair:

Boon High Chair
Boon High Chair

WHAT THE WHAT!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?! You mean my kid gets to sit in his or her own tulip chair? Yes, please!

Anyway, this weekend, my mother and I did some search and destroy shopping (our favorite kind) in Orange. I’d found a “mid-century atomic rocker” on Craigslist, and had gone up that way to visit for the weekend. Orange just happens to be not too far from where my folks live. After downing a FANTASTIC breakfast at Flappy Jacks, we hit up the Chapman Antique Mall in Orange where this rocker was located. One of the vendors there had advertised the chair on CL and like heat-seeking missiles, we headed directly to where all the mid-century modern wares were held. (Hint to the locals: It’s downstairs in the “basement.”) Long story short, after a failed attempt at haggling and hitting some alternative spots, we returned to claim said rocker (this “rocker” while in great shape, needs to be recovered as it looks like Uncle Bill lost his liquid lunch in a few places). My mother decided it would be her shower gift to me, and that I could have it recovered. Thanks, Ma! It is after all, mid-century; what with its atomic stems. Its small to fit the scale of the room, and completely functional: it rocks, turns, and swivels. WEEE!

So here’s the chair…..I can’t WAIT to start figuring out what fabric to have it upholstered with. I’m thinking something velvety. Yummy.

005 002

Stay tuned for updates, I’ll have to be creative to “fund-raise” on a tight budget. I see even more changes via furniture flogging in my future…and one fashionable nursery.

Where to Find MCM Online!

If you’re one of those folks who have endured my many rantings on the virtues of thrifting and thought to yourself, “Yeah. Right. With all my spare time…” this post is for you. Where do those of us who have lives, jobs, children, and/or no time to search the ends of the earth for vintage finds go to buy vintage? I’ll tell you!

You may have heard of Hunters Alley, an off-shoot of popular website OneKingsLane. Hunters Alley is one of the places where you can find lightly curated and hand-picked vintage pieces on offer. If you’re a seller, you can sign up to sell your wares online, provided you make the cut. Hunters Alley has gorgeous stuff. Here’s the catch though: the website isn’t super-organized, and that is a major turn-off for someone like me. You can’t go there and search by “Mid Century Modern” or “80’s Fluff N Stuff” or ANYTHING for that matter.  Well, you can – in the tiny “search” window at the top if you can find it – but your results will feature a mish-mash of anything with that title, meaning you’ll get everything from housewares, to fixtures to brass decor and furniture. Ain’t nobody got time for that! If you try to narrow your search, you’ll get no results. Alternatively, if you navigate straight from the home page and you’re looking for vintage furniture, you have to sift through every type of piece they have in stock – Victorian, Japanese-style, art deco, gag me – all of it, in order to view the odd mid-century modern piece. At least with parent company, OneKingsLane, you have the option of selecting to shop by categories such as “vintage” or “mid century modern furniture,” saving your valuable time.

Hunters Alley competitor, Chairish is another way for you to get your fill of vintage furnishings. Bonus points for the insta-coupon that was emailed to me when I signed up for the site. You can view pieces by “latest arrivals” or very simple categories such as “seating” “lighting” “tables” and so forth. Scroll down further, and you’ll find even more categories and fabulousness to choose from.  This site allows for easy navigation, and fair pricing. (It’s no thrift shop, but you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.) I could go on all day about the beautiful stuff they have…but you’ll have to go and check it out for yourself! If you find something you love, you can share it via Facebook, Tweet it, PinIt (via Pinterest) or add it to your Ideabook on Houzz.com! Nothing like being able to give  not-so-subtle hints to the ones you love.

There you have it children – your assignment for the weekend. Go forth and search! Don’t have time to thrift and pick? No problem. Be ready to spend a bit more, but with that comes less hassle, more drooling, and the peace of mind that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

MidCenturyObsession.co is returning .com

No need for panic! We’re going back to our old format. If you’re on this site, and you’ve had trouble with subscriptions, join us back at midcenturyobsession.com. Soon we’ll be discontinuing this site….and redirecting back to the .com. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

If you were once a subscriber there, no need to do anything….you’ll start getting the posted email updates once a week as used to be the case.

Thanks for hanging in through the changes! This week we’re going to talk Hunters Alley!

Best Regards,

Brooke

Open for business!

So this is a bit embarrassing. Remember how we moved from .com to .co? Well, that wasn’t working out so well….so MidCenturyObsession is back with WordPress.

There were some issues with the new, beautiful site – more specifically for subscribers that I will describe as less than satisfactory. So if you’ve been missing posts since…..oh…..OCTOBER of 2013….please, by all means, check out www.midcenturyobsession.co while you can. Otherwise going forward, I’ll be writing from here….and it’s good to be home, thanks for your patience and all of that.

Next week, I’ll be writing about trending shops for vintage wares. If you have a life or a job that doesn’t allow for thrifting and pickin’, or you live in an area that isn’t conducive to fabulous finds….look no more. I’ll tell you exactly where you can go. Stay tuned!

Brass is Back

That’s right, folks. Brass is back, and mixing finishes is no longer considered design disaster. And thank goodness too, because I don’t know if I could handle not having the approval of designers everywhere. HA!

You’ve probably heard the saying “rules are made to be broken,” and in the past mixing finishes such as silver, brass, gold, and brushed stainless steel was a big no-no. It’s pretty evident however, that idea is falling away and people are feeling more empowered to take home design into their own hands.  Interest in the mid-century modern aesthetic and designing with vintage pieces lends itself to a little mix and match. All the better, I say!

Here are some of my favorite brass pieces featured on Etsy.com that just go to show that brass is back in a big way (If you haven’t been to Etsy.com yet, you’re missing out.).

Brass Lighting:

Check out this FANTASTIC 1970's 5-armed floor lamp from alsdesignvintage
Check out this FANTASTIC 1970’s 5-armed floor lamp from alsredesignvintage

For more information about this piece, follow this link:

alsredesignvintage

Brass Home Décor:

Etsy Seller genrestoration has quite a few brass figurines if you're looking for yourself, or as a gift for a friend.
Etsy Seller genrestoration has quite a few brass figurines if you’re looking for yourself, or as a gift for a friend.

Link to Mr. Peacock and others: genrestoration

Brass Wall Hangings:

Etsy Seller TheWildWorld offers flying brass seagulls
Etsy Seller TheWildWorld offers flying brass seagulls

Link to TheWildWorld

Brass Gracing Dining Tables:

There's even brass in my shop! MidCenturyObsession
There’s even brass in my shop! MidCenturyObsession

Link to Atomic Brass Candle Holders: MidCenturyObsession

Brass Accessories:

Brass Magazine Rack from VintageShoppingSpree
Brass Magazine Rack from VintageShoppingSpree

Link for more: VintageShoppingSpree

Brass as an Accent for Mid Century Modern furniture:

Danish Modern offerings with Brass Accents
Danish Modern offerings with Brass Accents from OstrichandPeacock

For more info: OstrichandPeacock

Brass Planters:

Brass planter from TheCottageCheese
Brass planter from TheCottageCheese

Link to this and more! See TheCottageCheese “Brass Menagerie”

Here’s a quick tip if you decide to put some brass into your design. Use Brasso. You can get it at Lowe’s or Home Depot….and I’ve tried the half and half vinegar/water mixture and haven’t had much luck. Brasso works beautifully to bring aged patina back to bright and shiny. (Make sure to use a soft, lint free cloth)

It’s evident to me no matter where you shop, that brass is definitely back – and not going anywhere anytime soon. Feel free to step out of the matchy-matchy box.  It can be done with excellent results!

Join me next week….we’re going to talk trending shops for Mid Century Modern Design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curating a Mid Century Modern Master Bedroom

The word “curate”  is defined by Dictionary.com as to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content: “We curate our merchandise with a sharp eye for trending fashion,” the store manager explained. Etsy.com features many a “treasury” “curated” by its members. Usually they’re a collection of pictures that appeal to that person, or a grouping of some sort by color or type of furniture. I’m here to tell you it’s a lot easier to curate a bunch of photos online than it is to actually FIND and place those items in your home; especially when dealing with vintage furnishings. It takes a good eye – but more importantly, patience.

I’m no interior designer. Although I’d like to think I have a good eye for things, many times designing in your own home is a case of trial and error….moving stuff around, or starting from scratch. It’s taken me a while to curate our master bedroom, and to me, it’s not quite done, but we’re getting there. Over the past 2 years, I’ve found things here and there to make our master a place for peace, rest and comfort.

Here it is at a glance. Nothing fancy, but comfortable, and good enough for us.
Here it is at a glance. Nothing fancy, but comfortable and good enough for us.

The colors I used are light blue, green and variations of the two with some soft browns and amber hues as accents. Who knows if this is a good color combo according to the experts, but it seems to work out fine.

I found this fantastic lamp about a year ago on Etsy.com It goes perfectly to tie in with my Adrian Pearsall chair.
I found this fantastic lamp about a year ago on Etsy.com It goes perfectly to tie in with my Adrian Pearsall chair.
Grandma's Credenza, and an old tube radio that was a gift from my mother at our trip to the Long Beach Veteran's Stadium Flea Market.
Grandma’s Credenza, and an old tube radio that was a gift from my mother at our trip to the Long Beach Veteran’s Stadium Flea Market.
Adrian Pearsall Chair (one of my only "designer" pieces") alongside a vintage Syroco clock from sleekandsimplelines.com
Adrian Pearsall Chair (one of my only designer pieces) alongside a vintage Syroco clock from sleekandsimplelines.com
Morgan MCM painting
Morgan MCM painting found at Goodwill

The painting above was a little something extra from my thoughtful husband this Christmas. We were in Goodwill and I spotted it, thinking it would go great with the colors in our bedroom. This particular store doesn’t usually have mid-century pieces, so I was surprised to see it….still framed and in excellent vintage condition. It was a bit expensive for Goodwill, so I passed on it….but  later my husband snuck back to the store to surprise me with it.

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Someday I’d love to have swag lamps on either side to maximize our small side tables, but for now, the Marshall’s bubble lamps will do. It can’t ALL be vintage, right?

 

Vera Sheets found at a local estate sale.
Vera Sheets found at a local estate sale.

The bed spread isn’t my favorite, but I love the vintage Vera sheets. I found these at an estate sale hosted by FindersKeepers.  I’m not usually a pattern fan, but these seem to fit right in with the scheme.  I originally bought them for our guest bedroom, but brought them home to discover they were king sized.  Apparently dumb luck can also play a part in design. They come in different colors and can also be found on Etsy.com. (Here’s a link to my version online from favorite Etsy seller heartkeyologie.)  I think as soon as I can, I’ll be ordering a set in green.

The bed? Well, suffice it to say it works just fine and my husband isn’t a fan of change. While I’d prefer a vintage frame and king sized headboard….this might be one thing I have to compromise on to keep the peace. After all, that’s what we’re going for here….in this lovingly curated space;  peace and quiet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trending: The Bar Cart

I’m baaaaaaaack! Took a little breather in January but I’m back and boy do we have some fun trending MCM info to discuss. Now, I try to be a positive and upbeat person, but I can’t help but point out when things seem to be getting a little silly. The typical “Mad Men” bar cart is everywhere. Everyone wants one (myself included)….and the prices are going through the roof. It’s getting crazy, people. Here’s a picture perfect example of a bar cart from Entertainment Weekly:

Bar Cart

Okay….so you get the idea. The bar cart is a place to congregate, entertain, serve drinks, talk about the day….and they conveniently roll from room to room! So what would you pay for a bar cart?  A few weeks back, I was in a thrift shop and spotted something labeled as a “utility shelf.” Well, it was mostly wood, had two shelves, it was on casters, and looked a lot like a bar cart. I snorted to myself when I saw the price tag of $45. Pretty bold for a thrift shop, right? Well, as I left, I noticed the “Everything 50% off” sign. I told myself I’d think about it and come back if I really wanted it. Later that day, I decided it was worth a trip back; but guess what? My bar cart was gone. Snapped up by a much smarter someone else. I’ve been kicking myself since. Here’s why: you really can’t find a bar cart on Etsy or Ebay for less than $100 now. Maybe someday, interest will die down, and we’ll see some relief-but I wouldn’t expect that to happen any time soon. In fact, a carbon copy of the Mad Men version pictured above is on Etsy right now for $4000.00. Yes. Four THOUSAND dollars. Apparently, it was designed in 1952 by Italian designer Cesare Lacca and it is “much sought after.” Now, I’m an Etsy store owner myself and I support other shop owners. But that price tag is ridiculous. Absolutely insane.

If you’re interested in building your own bar, Etsy.com is actually a great place to start. There are so many different variations; shape, size, material – you can decide what type of bar cart fits your space and budget. If you lean toward the industrial look and love projects, laceandlacquer.com featured a cool DIY tutorial on this type of cart:

laceandlacquer.com
laceandlacquer.com

I did find one bar cart under $100 from one of my favorite sellers on Etsy.com. Shop name is  Carouselandfolk. I love reasonable prices and reasonable sellers!

Click on the link above, or search carouselandfolk on Etsy.com
Click on the link above, or search carouselandfolk on Etsy.com

More to that point, here are a few other notable offerings…

If Hollywood Regency is more your style, Etsy seller “HardFinds” has this:

Click on Link above or go to Etsy.com and search: hardfinds
Click on link above or go to Etsy.com and search hardfinds

My funky-stand-out favorite is this one from Artiques71:

Etsy.com search artiques71
Etsy.com search artiques71

Need a pop of color? Check out ElectricMarigold:

Etsy.com search ElectricMarigold
Etsy.com search ElectricMarigold

Finally, if Typical Teak is your look – look no further. TwoGuysVintage has this:

TwoGuysVintage
Click link above or go to Etsy.com and search “TwoGuysVintage”

 

As you can see, there still some fair prices out there – and so many different types of carts to choose from. Happy Shopping….and may your bar cart bring lots of entertaining and enjoyment to your future! By the way…if you find a deal or a steal – I’d love to hear about it!

CHEERS!