Evolution

Evolution…it’s what Madonna is famous for.  One of the best parts of my job is that I get to evolve too…only in a less controversial manner. Naturally over time my needs change, and that of my family; one room becomes a nursery… another gets repurposed or renovated in some way, and everything shifts. I get to reexamine what we have and if it still works for us; constantly curating, not unlike Madonna and her ever-changing style.

Then there are those times when there isn’t a specific catalyst like a mid-life crises or nasty public divorce- you just need a change. Most people aren’t comfortable with change, but I love it. Probably a bit too much if that’s feasible. It’s exciting and fun to play with new possibilities. For example, I always wanted a Sputnik lamp over my dining room table. Always. We just weren’t able to make it happen for a very long time, so we found a compromise to do for the time being. It’s a beautiful fixture that looks like floating paper. Gorgeous…but not Sputnik.

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Cut to my birthday. The hubs wanted to do something big. I had just the thing. A custom Sputnik fixture from Lucent Lighting.

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You’ll notice a couple of things are different here. Let’s first pause to drool over the new fixture. It’s got a dimmer, ya’ll!  Next, I sold my dreamy atomic Lenoir dining room set for a few reasons. One, it took up too much space visually when I really thought about it. Two, we have 4 people in our family, not 8. Thanksgiving and Christmas aren’t a good enough excuse to feel burdened by your own stuff. (I mean, have your read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”?!?!?)  I wanted something lighter in color that matched the tone of our wall unit – and when a friend at SeasonofChange posted her set for sale, I jumped at it! The table is thinner and takes up less space in more ways than one….but with the two leaves in place, it actually becomes longer than the previous table; a bonus at the holidays.

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Gorgeous, no? The table is Lane Rhythm, and the chairs, unknown. The curtains are too short…yes, I know. That’s a subject for another day. Shut up.

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Before the baby was born, I had picked out a beautiful Nelson Bubble lamp to grace his nursery. It did just that…until summer came, and I became certain if we didn’t get a fan installed in my son’s room really quickly…he’d cook overnight. So that beautiful bubble lamp laid around the house, unused, and quite sad looking – until very recently, when we were finally able to get an electrician out to help run some lighting in our den.

These photos were taken at night…purposefully, so that you cannot see the kid toys in the yard everywhere behind our tiny living space.

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This is the room we live in. Don’t judge. It’s not fancy – but it’s where we spill stuff (read: baby pees during diaper changes) watch t.v., play games and do kid stuff. The Nelson bubble lamp gives it a sort of grace it wouldn’t have otherwise. I think the room says, “Hey, We’re really cool deep down, but we have kids and shit…so our style is somewhat cramped. Come in….commiserate about your sloppy children. Let’s be friends.”

Speaking of messy kids….naturally when the baby came, I had to do the Target thing to organize the kid crap. Target FINALLY got with the MCM movement and introduced some pretty decent pieces. It meshes surprisingly well with the vibe we have going on. Right now, it’s full of toys and baby books and baskets full of whatnots I’d rather not be hauling back up to wee man’s room. Someday, it will hold other stuff like spare pairs of boob tassles (I can’t leave her alone)…or go up in a bedroom. Either way, we needed something functional that wouldn’t break the bank…and something that I wouldn’t be all upset about if it got scratched. Which it will. Inevitably.

http://www.target.com/p/mid-century-modern-horizontal-bookcase/-/A-14963281
I give you the Target Mid Century Modern Horizontal Bookcase

So that’s how I’ve evolved over the past few months. It’s not finished by any means….there are so many things I’d like to do – like wood floors, and fig trees, and geometric rugs, a kitchen reno, and a bar cart somewhere. But for now, that’s all fantasy. Reality requires that we must use what we have…and be thankful.

Please stay tuned for the next blog. I’m really excited about my very first repurposing project. I’m going to turn an old, worthless 60’s remote speaker into a dog/cat bed. I’m such a purist….I usually demand things be left to their original uses, but in this case I finally found something that begged to be converted – and applicable for today.  Like Madonna. Bahahahahahaha.

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MidModMadMama

So…I’ve been busy.  As in, I had a baby busy. If you’ve ever had children or been around children, you probably know that life shifts from being all about you and what you have to get done each day to whatever they need. Days turn into months, and you don’t have anything to show for your time except bigger kids, and larger messes. Add to that the insanity of summer and no school? Well, you probably get it.

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It’s fantastic and exhausting. This is the best explanation I can offer for why I haven’t been blogging.

Here’s the new addition in his super cute mid-century modern chair we recovered for his nursery. I love his moobs. They’re the best.

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It hasn’t been all kids and no furniture though.

Since my last blog, I’ve been busy with the MidCenturyObsession Facebook page, and sourcing new vintage finds. With help from the husband, I’ve figured out a way to sneak out from time to time during naps to thrift.

Here are just a few new items from the past week that are going up for sale via Etsy.

Lane does Retro Glam
Lane does Retro Glam

Glam 2 Glam 3

Can you believe it?! Initially, part of me went, “Ew. 80’s.” The other part of me fell in love. My second thought was, “Holy Crap! Those pieces are gorgeous and totally relevant today!” Used together or separately, these beautiful pieces made by Lane are functional and fantastic in all their glam glory. If you ever read Emily Henderson’s blog…she’d probably tell you that you need to buy these. Like now. Metallics on cream or white? So on trend.

And then, there was the very rare Torring Mobelfabrik of Denmark find…which will have me smiling for years to come. I just love finding teak. I love it even more when it needs work. And these pieces did, but it was nothing a little sandpaper and some teak oil couldn’t fix, though. (Also during nap time. I am a busy girl.) They are in miraculously great shape….and the TEAK.JUST.GLOWS.

I have a few bites on these guys already as they clean, handsome and are priced to sell. I will be sad to see them go, but happy for them to live in a new home where they will be appreciated.

 

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That’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned, because there is so much more to share.

I can’t wait to tell all about our weekend away in an MCM ranch home in Palm Springs!

 

 

Homey don’t play ‘dat…Etiquette 101 for the clearly clueless.

I don’t think I would be up against much opposition if I were to claim that people are getting ruder and ruder as time goes on. As a whole, we’re less patient, we see more planes being grounded due to ridiculous outbursts from unruly and inconsiderate passengers, witness unprovoked viciousness on social media. A general lack of refinement is rampant, and it disgusts me to no end.  I think one of the things that draws me to that mid-century period among a million other reasons, is that etiquette was more often than not observed. People actually went to classes and learned about proper etiquette – and imagine this: they put it into practice! These days, I am reminded how much of that has gone away – just as so many other wonderful mid-century standards; buildings, cars, furniture – have all been trashed to make way for the new, which is not always better.

Craigslist and Etsy, and some of the people on those platforms have been really testing my patience as of late. I spend a lot of time running quotes for people who “JUST HAVE TO HAVE IT!” and then don’t ever respond to my quote. (The quote they’ve requested that is often less than what I had on the listing to begin with.) That’s the nature of the business…and to some extent, I can understand deciding not to purchase something – it’s the lack of response or disregard for my time that gets to me. Today, I was let down yet again after spending time working with a buyer who wanted to purchase my Brown Saltman Dining Set.

Remember this gorgeous thing?
Remember this gorgeous thing?

She’d seen it on Craigslist, and Etsy, and had been watching it on Ebay – I know this, because she emailed me to tell me so, and that she’d been “lusting” after it, but it was above her budget. Since it hadn’t sold in the two weeks she’d been watching, she’d decided to give me a low-ball offer. Between emails and texts, I could see she was serious about her interest. Being motivated, and less than a week away from delivering my son, I decided, “why the hell not?”  It was less than I was wanting to accept, but if it meant clearing out my living room before baby – well, I’d just give her the deal and everyone would win.

We agreed on price, discussed whether it would fit in her SUV, and decided on a date and time she would be driving down from Claremont (over an hour away) and I cleared my schedule to be available to this person coming from so far.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not driving over an hour for anything I’m not sure I want. Then two days after we settle on these details, my beautiful set gets featured on an Etsy “Treasury.” For those of you not on Etsy 1.you should be, and 2. a treasury can really help to boost your sales. Most Etsy users have “followers.” These followers see what that user “favorites,” or adds to a “treasury” (a/k/a a collection of beautiful pieces with some theme to it). When one of your pieces is selected for a treasury, your views on that item can soar. And so did my Brown Saltman Set, as it was featured on a popular treasury on Thursday. Noticing the peaked performance and increase in views, keeping my “buyer” in mind, I asked her Friday to confirm for me that she would still be coming, and still wanted the set so that I may reserve the item for her online. (Reserve meaning mark the piece reserved so that no one else would buy it out from under her…..and her low ball offer…..God, I’m too nice.) She assured me she did want it, and would still be coming on Saturday.

So, today she walked into my home with her husband who immediately asked me where the 4th chair was. There was never a 4th chair, and the buyer knew this. I figured he was running his “game” as so many Craigslist buyers do….immediately picking out perceived imperfections, feigning some disappointment aimed to bring the seller down in price.  I know your game, jerk-off, and homey don’t play. “What’s this?”He says, pointing at some miniscule thing I didn’t even have a response to.” “So you’ve had it refinished?” Yes….Yes….Yes…that’s what it said in the listing. 3 chairs, 1 table with a leaf, original table pads, extra fabric the ENTIRE FREAKING SET PROFESSIONALLY and PAINSTAKINGLY refinished….just as outlined – and none of that has changed. Was I rude? Of course not. I kindly and patiently answered all their questions as they circled the table like a couple of vultures. I was under the impression that they were there to pick it up….not pick it apart. I excused myself just as the woman I’d been dealing with asked me to give them some time to “think about it.”  I replied, “Of course, take all the time you need,” thinking to myself, “What is there to think about? It’s killer. Buy it or get out of my house.”

Did I say that? Of course not. I did dishes as they took their time. Then much to my surprise, the buyer hollered for me, and offered a hand shake. “Thank you, but we’re going to pass. It doesn’t fit our needs.” Fit your needs? It’s a dining table and chairs….What exactly did you think it would do? You had dimensions, detailed photographs, and an exhaustive list of what had been done, and you insisted you had to have it. I reserved the item for you after re-confirming that you were still coming to pick it up, and all of a sudden it doesn’t fit your needs? I fart in your general direction. Are you kidding me? What a huge waste of my time and effort. What a huge waste of your own time. Unbelievable, really.

So here’s a very simple lesson in etiquette when dealing with Craigslist and Etsy or Ebay, for that matter.

Be upfront and honest about your needs. If you’re not sure, just say so. Don’t insist you’re going to buy something if you really aren’t sure.

Feel free to ask questions, but be sure to respond in kind. If you ask for a quote, take a moment to say, “Yeah, thanks but no thanks….I decided not to go ahead.” At least then, you’re not leaving anyone hanging.

Ask your husband BEFORE requesting the seller jump through hoops. It’s really annoying to answer questions, send more pictures, run shipping quotes, etc. etc. only to hear your husband doesn’t like it. If I asked my husband to like everything I bought, we’d be sitting on the floor in a house with empty walls, eating with our hands and wiping our asses with old sponges. (But there would be t.v.).

Say thank you. “Thank you for your time.” It doesn’t take much. This goes for just about anything. Let people know you appreciate the time they’ve spent.

If you’re a seller….beware. Flakes are among us-and they shop on Craigslist. The world is rife with people who say they’re going to do something, then disappear into thin air. Despite this, always be kind, and take vacations – because you will need them. Don’t count your chickens until they hatch.  Be honest yourself, and hopefully more often than not, you’ll deal with delightful buyers. They are out there too-and if you maintain your integrity, they will find you.

I feel better already. Thank you for your time and thank you for reading my post.

This has been a public service announcement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emperor’s New Clothes

Do you ever get the feeling as you peruse Etsy.com or Ebay.com or any of those sites that things are getting out of control? I’m talking about shops and sellers that feature the sale of certain mid-century and mid-century modern furniture, etc. I’m going to be brutally honest, because if you can’t be brutally honest on your own blog, what’s the point of having one?

Having become a shop owner myself, I now have a better understanding of what it takes to score these vintage finds, how much time, driving, gas, and effort is required. The time for sourcing, unloading, refinishing in many cases, cleaning, photographing and listing. Most of my work and time isn’t compensated. I’ll be honest. I do it for the love of the hunt…the thrill of getting something completely unique and cool into the hands of someone who I know will appreciate it. I have been so snarky in the past about pricing being thrifty myself, but since becoming an Etsy shop owner, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut for the most part. This “job” isn’t easy.

One required task I didn’t mention is research. The more research I do, the more I get this feeling that there are too many delusional sellers out there. Fab.com, 1stdibs.com, even some people selling via Craigslist….I’ll be honest: I LAUGH OUT LOUD at some of the prices I’m seeing these days. Who in their right minds would pay those kinds of prices? I realize that there is a lot of work required in finding these things….and refinishing, and cost associated with outsourcing if the refinishing is beyond your scope or ability. BUT SERIOUSLY. I live in one of the most expensive MCM markets in the country, and I don’t get it. I do, however, get the sneaking suspicion that people are trying to pay the mortgage with the sale of a single chair, for example. Do you feel what I’m puttin’ down?

Allow me to paint a picture. I found a rare Brown Saltman Dining Set….John Keal was the designer, and the set is totally atomic, straight out of the 50’s. Being pregnant, and not able to mess with things like now powdery-foam chairs and refinishing wood with nasty chemicals, I outsourced the refinishing of this piece to a professional. He did such a beautiful job it actually took my breath away. I wish I had an adequate before photo. The seat material was ripped to shreds, and every time you moved the chairs, orange powder spilled out of them (what used to be foam). The wood was scuffed and the finish had seen much better days.

So I had the whole thing refinished….keeping only the maker’s mark and string chair backs untouched. My guy even reattached the Brown Saltman manufacturing tags to the underside of the newly upholstered chairs.

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Okay, so are you with me so far? Stunning. The seats are actually a chartreuse color. The photographs give it more of a lime tint, but I assure you the seats are quintessential mid-century mod pops of chartreuse. The wood is a warm and cheery (but still sophisticated) pecan color. Everything is working perfectly….the table pulls out for the leaf extension seamlessly. The chairs. I mean….the legs, the shape. Could you just DIE?

But there are only 3 chairs. Insert sad music here. A bit of a bummer, but I priced accordingly, thinking in today’s market mixing and matching complementing chairs is all the rage anyway. All things considered, this set is currently in my Etsy shop for an affordable and practical $1500.00.  So guess what I found AFTER pricing my table and chairs? A set exactly like this one, (I’m not sure how re-finished) only with 4 chairs on 1stdibs.com for……wait for it….wait for it……$4500.00

Excuse me? I’m sorry, what?

I can’t speak for 1stdibs….but the chair pads look original, as does the dirty material they’re finished in. And they want HOW much for this?

Found on 1stdibs.com
Found on 1stdibs.com

Most people don’t spend that kind of money on their first car. No, really – they don’t. And I wouldn’t spend that kind of money on ANY dining room table and chairs. I don’t care if I had enough money to wipe my a** with. It’s just WRONG.

Am I alone here? Hello? I hope I haven’t offended anyone. It just baffles my mind and all I can think of is The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen.  I’m all about making a little cash-but this is a fleecing, 1stdibs.  I hope at some point this MCM mania dies down a bit, and we can all come back down to reality. This stuff should be affordable; just as the original manufacturers and designers intended it to be all those years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Century Modern-Inspired Baby Shower

Well, we’ve done it. Our MCM baby shower has come and gone. I have my mother and sisters-in-law to thank for all of their incredible efforts. You always worry about things coming together, people having a good time, and they really made all that happen beautifully. It was a fun time had by all and the shower was gorgeous. I’ll dive straight in, and share a few of the sources that were used.

It started with this mid-century modern-inspired invitation by EmilyAnnDesigns:

Etsy Emily Ann Designs

I mean….I’m not Katie Matthews….but that IS my nursery. Down to the gray crib and Nelson saucer light. Heaven.

We got to put my newly-refinished bar cart and Dorothy Thorpe collection to good use before it all sold! (Silver rimmed punch bowl and cups still available here)

Sexy Bar Cart Alert!!!!
Sexy Bar Cart Alert!!!!

The menu consisted of punch, finger sandwiches and veggie cups. And of course, a summery mango cake (that was OMG good).

Finger Sandwiches. And Veggie Cups. Very Retro!
Finger Sandwiches. And Veggie Cups. Very Retro!

 

The shower invitation served as decoration inspiration for the cake! Almost too cute to eat. Almost.

My invite was inspiration for the cake! Almost too cute to eat. Almost.

For those of you interested, Callum (pronounced cal-um) will be the baby’s name. It’s Scottish, as are my family’s origins. The Irish husband got the Irish name for the first child, and I claimed the second. The name is Scottish for “dove” and very seldom used in the U.S.- which is the point. So don’t go copying me, or I’ll have to kill you.

Ahem. Back to our shower!

There were games of course, including pinning a cloth diaper on as many balloons as you could while timed, a game where you had to wear a pink foam roller in your hair every time you were caught crossing your legs or arms, and a baby food naming contest. We also had a little Mad Men-type advertising game where you had to guess advertising slogans – and fill in which company ran the ad.

That's my cutey patootie mom in the background, and my little sis-in-law pinning a diaper on a balloon.
That’s my cutey patootie mom in the background, and my little sis-in-law expertly pinning a diaper on a balloon.

 

My aunt and I comparing tummies
My aunt and I comparing tummies

Guests could make wishes and leave sweet notes for baby on this “wishing tree.”

Wishing cards with adorable quotes printed at the bottom were also found on Etsy.com

at FreeSpiritCrafting

IMG_8472

Another really great idea were the retro-ey aprons and “photo booth” area complete with a Polaroid camera, and scrapbooking accessories. Guests were asked to dress up with the props of their choice, snap a photo, then decorate a page that would later go in a scrapbook for me and baby. A sweet and fantastically thoughtful idea!

Aprons for "photo booth"
Aprons for “photo booth”
My son and I posing at the end of the shower for a "photo booth" shot.
My son and I posing at the end of the shower for a “photo booth” shot.

Shower Photo Booth 7.19.14

Guests got to go home with little sticky note favors and handsome bow tie cookies.

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Thanks to awesome Etsy shop owners, the creative minds on Pinterest, and most of all –  these three awesome ladies…

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Baby and I are so blessed.

 

 

 

Nursery Nutbag & the Pouf Problem

I’m obsessing. I know I am. I can’t help it. I’m not a designer, nor do I have a bottomless budget for this new project I’ve embarked upon. Perhaps that’s why it’s taking me so long to finish our mid-century modern inspired nursery.

I’m getting there, but I don’t think I’ve ever given so much thought to one room. This really makes me re-think my “abilities” in the department of design. Okay, okay, so the budget is part of it. I can’t just see stuff and buy it. I have to scrounge, Craigslist some things to buy other things…I have to save, I have to be creative. (Let’s not forget I’d much rather recycle and reuse than buy new.)

I don’t want to give too much away yet…but I do need help from all you designer-istas out there!

Once again….here’s where my inspiration began:

Here's the idea board found on Pinterest.
Here’s the idea board found on Pinterest.

I’m not sticking to it 100%….there will be more vintage furniture than new – but you get the idea.

Here are my colors:

Color Pallette
Color Palette

And here was part of my challenge this week:

Feeding & Reading Nook - in need of side table and foot stool/ottoman
Feeding & Reading Nook – in need of side table and foot stool/ottoman

The scoop: this room that is becoming the “mid-century modern-inspired” nursery is the smallest room in our entire house. Tiny, in fact. It goes without saying that every square inch needs to feature clean design while being multi-functional. This particular corner that backs up to the closet – will be the “feeding & reading nook” as I’ve named it. After an exhaustive search for the very trendy floor “pouf” or ottoman, I decided to stick with traditional MCM instead. Can I just say how ridiculously expensive the little balls of fabric and stuffing are? Oh.My.Goodness!

A pouf such as this one from CB2 will cost you $80 before shipping:

knitted graphite pouf from CB2
knitted graphite pouf from CB2

…okay, so maybe not terrible, but it wasn’t quite the right color, and it was more than I wanted to spend. On a pouf. Do you feel me? Plus, my anal-retentive personality kicked in and all I could think of was trying to vacuum dog hair, dry spit up, and crushed up Cheerios from between the knits.  Stay with me….

So then I thought….how about a leather pouf? Or better yet, a Moroccan Pouf!!! In TEAL!!!

Moroccan Pouf Found on AllModern.com
Moroccan Pouf Found on AllModern.com

That’ll be $139 before shipping. And too big for my tiny space. Beautiful. Fun. Colorful and functional. Don’t get me wrong. Just not what I needed.

So then I turned (as I have a milllllllion times before) to Etsy.com. Low and behold, I found it. My solution. An orange vinyl foot stool/ottoman with fantastic atomic legs just like those on my sweet little rocker.

Hello, Gorgeous!
Hello, Gorgeous!

Stool top

Once I get the okay – I’ll let you know what shop I found this little treasure in! This little guy will soon be on its way to me – and I can’t wait to be able to feature it in the room reveal.

Here’s what I need help with from my design-savvy readers:

Finding an affordable side table that is small, functional and affordable. I was originally thinking a Saarinen tulip side table (not necessarily name brand)…

Tulip Side Table Repro
Tulip Side Table Repro

… and then Google knocked me down a few notches. Even the reproductions start at close to $200. Vintage is twice that! Yikes!

So then I got to thinking about our very loose “woodland animal” theme… and thought about bringing some different materials in. What about a wood side table? Have you seen these around?

Eco-Friendly and Pretty unique.
Eco-Friendly and Pretty unique.

Eco-Friendly Wood Stumps…your thoughts?

That’s where I’m, well, stumped. This Nursery Nutbag needs help. Texture? Color? Materials? Functionality? Any suggestions would be sooooo welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bubble Lamp Splurge – George Nelson in the house!

I’ve alluded to my obsession with the George Nelson Bubble Lamp. Here’s a little spoiler alert: I bought one. Not for me…but for the nursery. Have you ever seen that episode of The Simpson’s where Homer Simpson buys a bowling ball for his wife Marge, and the ball is inscribed “Homer?” Ha! Well, it’s sorta like that. I’m a frugal gal, despite what my husband likes to think. I shop at Goodwill and Salvation Army and prefer to reuse instead of consuming new. However, my son will be covered in hand-me-downs for the next 4-5 years of his life; he will be sleeping in his brother’s old bed, playing with his brother’s old toys and reading his brother’s books. The aforementioned is how I’ve justified shooting my wad on a new light fixture for his room. Would I rather have it in my kitchen perfectly perched over my tulip table? Yes…but baby’s room lacks any kind of overhead lighting and I can not think of a cooler accessory for the newest member of our family.

This was delivered a couple weeks back...
This was delivered a couple of weeks back…

 

Wait for it....wait for it!!!
Wait for it….wait for it!!!
BAM!!!!!!!
BAM!!!!!!!

Totally Fantastic Medium Saucer Bubble Lamp by George Nelson – manufactured by Modernica!

Here’s a proper photo from YLighting, where I purchased this one:

YLiving
YLighting

In case you’re in the market for a bubble lamp, I ordered from YLighting because they seemed to offer the lowest price on new lamps out there, and they offered FREE shipping.

My mother tells me that my grandmother had a cigar lamp like one of these beauties…

Cigar Lamp

…Apparently fabulous taste runs in families. 🙂

Now I know you’re usually used to seeing them in living rooms and dining rooms, but rules are meant to be broken-especially when designing a mid-century modern nursery!

Here are a few shots of where you usually see these guys.

I do so love the clusters of lamps at different heights…but the practical part of me says “dear LORD, that’s a lot of money hanging from the ceiling.”

Found on midcenturymodernfreak.tumblr.com
Found on midcenturymodernfreak.tumblr.com
Found on midcenturia.tumblr.com
Found on midcenturia.tumblr.com

 

Found on johnlumarchitecture.com
Found on johnlumarchitecture.com
Found on nytimes.com
Found on nytimes.com
Found on dwr.com
Found on dwr.com

For more bubble eye candy….go to my original post on George Nelson Bubble Lamps.

 

 

This little addition to our little one’s room gets me even more excited to welcome him into the world! Hopefully he’ll find his room as cozy and welcoming as I’m trying to make it. If he doesn’t, I can always steal back the lamp…

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed

Do you ever just get so excited about something that you want to shout it from the rooftops? Well, I’m that kind of excited about following my passion in life. This blog is dedicated to treasure hunting, D-I-Y’ing and breathing new life into otherwise unloved or forgotten pieces from the mid-century era. Through this blog, I’ve been able to share my adventures and lessons learned while I made over my home in typical 1950’s 1960’s mid-century modern decor. When the mid-century obsession stuck, I decided to open up an online store. I’ve had an Etsy shop open for about a year and a half now and I’m still loving what I get to do as a shop owner. I love the thrill of the hunt, finding things I think other people will love and then getting to share them with the world. BUT, until recently, I hadn’t taken the leap of faith to do it full-time. In March, I decided I would focus my energy on making the Etsy shop a priority in a way that would begin to help supplementing my family’s income. I’m still a long way off from making a difference financially, but I know I’ll get there.

I feel fortunate to have a supportive husband who wants me to seek out my dream and has advice for me when I ask. I love that my son doesn’t mind going “treasure hunting” with me, as long as there’s an occasional Starbucks cake pop in it for him. I love the solitude of long drives away from my hometown’s over-priced “thrift” stores and cackling aloud to myself in the car when I’ve found something that makes my heart race.

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Most of all, I’ve enjoyed meeting like-minded people who are as equally crazy as I am, and who have supported my little venture. I had been so hesitant to get into social media for the shop…but knew it was sort of a necessary evil to get the word out there. There are so many things I dislike about sites such as Facebook. I was afraid I’d be bothering people, or that people might be rude, or unsupportive. It’s much easier to be that way behind a computer profile…

So I polled some Facebook friends in a mid-century related group that I belong to and the response was overwhelming. “Do it!” “GO FOR IT!” “Social media is a necessity these days to reach those you wouldn’t normally reach!” And then I remembered that this is a business. You can’t please everybody (as I so often aim to do) and the people who want to “like” your store will….the people who don’t, won’t.

I guess that’s the lesson I’ve learned this week. If you really love something, you gotta go for it…and not let your own fears or preconceived notions get in the way.

Anyway…so this is the unveiling. The Facebook Fan Page for Mid Century Obsession https://www.facebook.com/midcenturyobsession?fref=nf

Facebook Like Icon
https://www.facebook.com/midcenturyobsession

If you love MCM…or if you know someone who does, please share this with others. Go to FB and “Like” the store. That way, you’ll get updates on new additions/treasures/furniture and décor in your newsfeed. (Max one post a day- scouts honor!)

Thanks for your support!~

 

Brooke

 

 

Heroes in Modern Design

Modern-day designer Jonathan Adler does a beautiful job of mixing modern work with the mid-century modern aesthetic of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. That’s what I hope to do when procuring pieces for my own home. The other day, I had a woman in my living room buying furniture from me via Craigslist, and she said as we were talking, “Oh my God, this looks just like my Grandmother’s house!” HA! I took it as a compliment. I don’t know about you, but my grandmother had flawless mid-century modern taste. That comment, however, was a good reminder for me to remember to add some updated touches to keep my home from looking “old.”

004This can be done with a fresh coat of paint, accessories, mod drapes, or updated patterns. (Notice the chevron pillow purchased at Pier 1 prior to the chevron explosion. I have however, managed to resist the mustache accessories. Never got the mustache thing.)

If you know me, you know I’m not much of a shopper (my husband will claim otherwise)  but when I hit Nordstrom Rack on a rare “girls day” with my mom and sister-in-loves, I was delighted to see my man Jonathan Adler on deep discount. (Authors apologies for camera phone pics taken on the fly)

Scottsdale. Never been, but it smells of sweet, addictive crack.
Scottsdale. Never been, but it smells of sweet, addictive crack.

Seriously. I couldn’t stop sniffing the Scottsdale “sugar cactus.” I don’t even remember what Telluride smelled like because I was high on scent. Delicious, sweet, intoxicating scent. Candle was marked down to $16. I didn’t pop for it as much as I wanted it. See? I have restraint.

At this point, we experienced a small earthquake in the store. The lady next to me said, “Does this mean we should stop shopping?” Hells, no, lady-hey…sniff some of this Sugar Cactus!!! Even the earth moving beneath my feet cannot keep me from admiring Jonathan Adler’s work.

Penguin Salt & Pepper Shakers
Penguin Salt & Pepper Shakers down to $28 from $48

 

Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers
Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers Discounted to $28 from $48

MEOW!!!! These are the best kind of cats to own in my personal experience. They won’t pee on your carpet or leave tumbleweeds of hair that blow across the floor of your home, reminding you of your failure to not only keep the house clean, but of your inability to earn their acceptance.

Not big on animal S & P? How about Jonny’s lovely line of Futura…bringing that mod pop to your kitchen.

Futura Salt and Pepper Shakers
Funky Futura Salt and Pepper Shakers

These bottle stoppers, also down to $28 would make a great wedding shower gift, or host/hostess gift.

Bottle Stopper
Bottle Stoppers. You can’t escape the ‘stache.

Now! To the subject of stationery. Can you ever have enough? No. No, you cannot. How many times have you run through the house looking for those elusive post it notes to write on? $7 bucks will get you these:

Note Pads in Dogs, Fish and Owls
Note Pads in Dogs, Fish and Owls
Don't like animals and prefer your notes to have your initals? Look no more.
Don’t like animals and prefer your notes to have your initals? Perhaps you’re an early Christmas shopper looking for stocking stuffers.  Look no more.

While we’re on the subject of stationery, I must applaud Mr. Adler for so fashionably bringing note cards back. Tell me I’m not the only one who still does this!?!? In a world of texting and t.v….isn’t it still so nice to know someone thought enough of you to hand write a note, or a thank you? Bring it back, people. You can start here:

Hoot Squirrel Waves

Mom claimed this little box o’ gems, choc full of unique cards for only $7. Go Ma! Go! I want the squirrel one with the “GO NUTS!” (Now I’m kind of wishing I had….gone nuts, that is, and bought one of everything. Ah, well.)

If you have a Nordy’s Rack in your hood….swing by and check it out! Jonathan Adler (on sale) will not disappoint – or damage that pocket-book too much.

What better way to keep your home from looking and feeling stale. Toss in some updated pieces or accessories and voila! You have beauty in balance.

 

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! 🙂