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, 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, featured a cool DIY tutorial on this type of cart:

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

Click on the link above, or search carouselandfolk on
Click on the link above, or search carouselandfolk on

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 and search: hardfinds
Click on link above or go to and search hardfinds

My funky-stand-out favorite is this one from Artiques71: search artiques71 search artiques71

Need a pop of color? Check out ElectricMarigold: search ElectricMarigold search ElectricMarigold

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

Click link above or go to 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!











The Elusive Dorothy Thorpe

Let’s talk about mid-century name brands. Branding is important; Don Draper would be the first to tell you. So how do you determine if something is the real deal, or a reproduction? Does it matter? You can find many a heated discussion on the subject on mid-century modern blogs and Facebook Fan pages.  I’m here to tell you, when it comes to Dorothy Thorpe, it’s really hard to know. You’ve seen Dorothy’s work…real or reproduction on Mad Men, and you’re probably starting to see it at your friends bars.


According to the only seemingly reliable information I could track down, Dorothy Thorpe sold her interest in her company in 1953. At the time, she was well-known for her floral work and sand etching.

Here’s an excerpt:

Thorpe passed away September 4, 1989 in Carlsbad, California.  Based on this revised information, it seems that Dorothy Thorpe only ever did floral and similar decorations which include the etched pieces such as coffee pots and trays that have lucite handles and bear the DTC logo. The company that purchased Dorothy C. Thorpe of California Inc., went on to produce Silver Band and other known pieces with the same attention to detail and quality as was the rule when Dorothy owned the studio herself.  All of the floral and etched decorations are referenced as “Dorothy Thorpe Originals” and by the time of her retirement, she was famous for her floral decorated glassware that was owned and displayed by celebrities, galleries and museums.

The author goes on to surmise that the silver band “Mad Men” barware that we so often see labeled as “Dorothy Thorpe” is most likely the work of the company that purchased and took over the Dorothy Thorpe Company name after 1953, and further that these pieces were largely experimental. I’m thinking the gamble paid off. With the resurgence of interest in mid-century modern accessories, these glasses are a must-have for the true MCM enthusiast. If you’re hot for Thorpe or the “roly poly” barware, I’d like to share with you a few sellers who have something to offer.

This most exemplary set of 6 are offered on Search "RustBeltThreads"
This most exemplary set of 6 are offered on Search “RustBeltThreads”
Photo Credit: RustBeltThreads
set of 8 with caddy again offered by RustBeltThreads on Photo Credit: RustBeltThreads
Set of 8 with caddy again offered by RustBeltThreads on
Photo Credit: RustBeltThreads
Don't like the silver-band? Check out awesome Etsy seller WestTexasVintage. This set of 7 is only $28!
Don’t like the silver-band? Check out awesome Etsy seller WestTexasVintage. This set of 7 is only $28!
Photo credit: WestTexasVintage
Silver-Banned Cocktail or Juice Glasses again by WestTexasVintage.  Photo Credit: WestTexasVintage
Silver-Banned Cocktail or Juice Glasses again by WestTexasVintage.
Photo Credit: WestTexasVintage

Dorothy Thorpe or not, these roly poly glasses are HOT and they’re everywhere, and I must say that I really want some for my wannabe Mad Men bar. There is nothing yummier than seeing Don Draper sip from one of those roly poly glasses.

Better than booze: Don Draper
Better than booze: Don Draper

Christmas Countdown

2 weeks in Ireland equals 2 weeks without blogging. Thank you for not deserting me, beloved readers. My family and I were busy celebrating new births, christenings, our son’s 4th birthday, his Granny’s 100th birthday, and traveling from Dublin’s east coast to the west coast of Westport, Ireland. A busy trip to say the least but a great one at that. The sights in Ireland are breathtaking and it’s people are just lovely.  If ever you have the opportunity to go; do it….but be advised that you may not want to return. Although our visit was mainly to spend time with friends and family, I did carve out some time to pop into a few antique shops and I wasn’t disappointed.

As our Irish vacay came to an end, we all developed pretty nasty colds. Our son developed croup, and his father and I caught our own grown-up versions. It’s safe to say that the mild California climate has officially sissy-fied us. I haven’t had an ear infection since I was nine. Ireland’s cold and wet weather chewed us up and spit us out. Our first few days back home were spent indoors, dropping cold meds like it’s hot.

One really annoying personality trait of mine that I will share with you is the complete inability to sit still. Even when I feel death may be knocking on my door, I simply cannot have the house a mess when the undertaker comes for me. Read a magazine? No honey….I think I’ll organize the cleaning supply closet instead!  I hate myself for it….I really do. Sick in more ways than one, I thought to myself there’s no better time to be stuck indoors for a few days. Take a hint from the department stores and prepare the house for Christmas! Let’s SKIP Thanksgiving altogether and go for the gold!!! As my husband laid in bed moaning to himself, I donned my pajamas for 2 days straight and broke out the fake Christmas trees. Thank God my son gets his crazy from me, because we had the best time dancing and popping the plastic branches in place. We were buried in our own snot and tissues, but whatever. We could represent Christmas spirit in the olympics, people!

Here are a few pics of one of our trees… favorite and newest addition: the mid-century modern aluminum Christmas tree. Easiest tree assembly ever.  I had seen these cool retro looking bulbs by Martha Stewart at Home Depot and decided to keep it simple. You rock me, Martha. Your monotone voice puts me right to sleep…..but you’re a tiger with the trees.

Taper Tree bought on the cheap in July. Oh how I’ve longed to open you up!
You can’t put lights on an aluminum tree unless you want a visit from Fire Marshall Bill. 10 points for the first person to get that reference.
It’s beginning to look a lot like an MCM Christmas!
Atomic tip of the day: Found this starburst ornament at Target for 2 bucks. Yeah, baby.
Martha shares her genius with the world – in the form of nicely coordinated and very retro-looking bulbs.
Bam. Now we just need a tree skirt so that no one can tell that it’s an artificial tree. Shhhh……
My Christmas gold medalist. You’d never know he was kickin’ the croup.

Now that we’re all duded up for Christmas, I can turn my neurosis to the Christmas dinner I’ll be hosting this year. More on that later. I’m sure I’ll find a way to neeeeed something MCM for the celebrations. Don’t tell the husband.

Retro Re-Deco Update

I’ve been so consumed by my thrifty California adventures and new discoveries, that I’ve completely lost sight of the original purpose of this blog! Blame it on ADHD…whatevs…but I’ve circled back. So here’s an update on our home before & after.

The entryway and staircase had ugly matching glass chandeliers. Out with the old, in with the uh…older.

Entry & Stairs Lighting Before. Not sure what you call this style. 90’s Fugly?
Danish modern replacement chandelier. This will make more sense once I get my frame wall going.
The Danish chandelier’s identical twin. This pair were found on Ebay. Made circa 1950’s. It was NOT easy finding affordable twinkie chandies with 12-plus feet of chain. WINNING!
HIIIIIDDDDDEOUSSSSSSS Brass Chandelier that I couldn’t GIVE away. Seriously, this 8-armed bad boy was generously donated after it sat on Craigslist unloved and unwanted for 3 weeks.
Dining Room After: Cloud-like, curvy, creamy and dreamy, this lighting fixture looks almost edible.
I love you, cream puff. I don’t mind at all that you’re starting to show up in yogurt joints. I found you first, mi amor.
I wanted to strike a balance between old and new without too much of a disconnect. I like to think I achieved that with this room.

Outdoors, our yard is getting a makeover too. The landscaping is an ongoing process. Determined to tackle this alone, I’m getting serious guns from shoveling into our granite slopes.  The neighbors probably think I’m bat-crap crazy. “Check this out, Bob! She’s digging to China and cursing at the shrubs again!”

It’s so much easier to hit an estate sale than spend a day performing manual labor. More to that point, our patio recently got some jewelry courtesy of a dirt-cheap find.

Backyard bling. I fully intended on re-covering the seats in teal or turquoise, but that pink is starting to speak to me. “Love me! I’m girly! I match your flowers. POP go my pink seats!”

More before and after’s coming soon!!!!

P.S. In other MCM news, I have opened up shop on I was so taken by the Etsy community and totally affordable prices that I decided to open a store of my own online.

Besides, it’s a fun way for me to make a few extra bucks if for nothing else than the thrill of the hunt!

Check it out!