Something’s New!

Couple weeks ago, I received the most reader feedback I have ever had when I asked for helpful tips on decorating my guest bedroom. (Click here for original story: Something’s Missing). I was delighted to read all the suggestions, and put some of them into action.

Disclaimer:  Because of the size and layout of the room, the bed and side tables had to stay put. Also: I’m not done…but I’m really excited about the search for lighting and bedding being over with. I can look at mid-century furniture all day, but I’m a search-and-destroy kind of gal when it comes to fabric. Who has time for that, really?

Here’s the before…where basically everything in this room was wrong. The lamp was too big, the painting too big, the moulding too horrible. I was so lost….but so wanting to set up this room to be a guest retreat people would enjoy staying in. Not to mention we just learned that very soon, my husband’s folks are visiting from Ireland and staying with us for two weeks! Pressure is on, people!

Something's missing.
Something’s missing.

Everything you see above (except for the blinds and atomic clock) went on the auction block. Even the giant painting that inspired my color palette had to go. Have to pay for the change! I grabbed my handy dandy camera, set to clicking, added some stuff to Craigslist and Etsy to sell…which had my husband quite confused and concerned for my sanity.  I don’t mean to sound sexist but generally it’s been my experience that men think, “Room, Good. Light, Good. Bed, Gooooood.” Then they wonder why we want to change any of it. Ever. Like doing something different is some crazy thing. Women, on the other hand could look at that first shot and be like, “Oh no, girlfriend. No you didn’t. Here’s what you need to do….”

Craigslist and Etsy winnings in hand, I set to Ebay and the local stores to hunt down lighting and bedding. As I mentioned before, I am really not the most patient shopper. Crowds, cars, wasted time. Why not do it from the couch if you can? Why do you think God made the internet?



I’ll sum up. Aside from the obvious subtractions, the new additions featured above are:

Vintage Orange-to-die-for- Guzzini (we think) lamps -found on Ebay. They were shipped all the way from Canada and packaged beautifully. I was delighted to get them, but bummed to find when one of them wasn’t working. I don’t think it’s anything a new lighting kit won’t fix.

Night Stands stayed – Craigslist

White Bedskirt – Target

White Honeycomb light bought for more practical lighting – Lowe’s for $15! Couldn’t believe it. But as it turns out, the damn light flickers. Guess we’ll be taking that one back. They don’t make ’em like they used to.

Bedding/Pillows/Shams in a Bag, Baby – Max Studio – HomeGoods

**Explanation for new bedding: What I had wasn’t terrible….but it was a down comforter with a drab quilt over it. Two people from Ireland coming for the summer are not going to be comfortable with DOWN in 80-90 degree weather. Besides, it has the added bonus of being meant to be. It’s my entire color palette in one piece. Now I don’t have to worry about patterns and crap like that I’m not qualified for.**

FUTURE Additions:

This guy will go in the corner once I have him refinished and recovered…

Weekend Warrior Project
Weekend Warrior Project

I still need a headboard and platform. The mattress and box springs are on the floor for now. I can see something like this behind the pillows:

Photo Credit: West Elm.  Love you West Elm, but not going to pay $999 for veneer.
Photo Credit: West Elm.
Love you West Elm, but not going to pay $999 for veneer.


Headboard on CL
Real Wood. Real Mid Century to balance the old and new elements. $150 on Craigslist. I already have an existing frame. Deal, or no deal?

Stay tuned for more updates. Thanks again for everyone’s feedback!

Stones Wisdom for your life….and my bathroom.

True mid-century men The Rolling Stones said it best: “You can’t always get what you want….but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.” Back in December I wrote a post titled, “Bathroom Bewilderment” where I bemused my boring guest bathroom. Here’s a photo of the room at the time:

Bland Bathroom
Bland Bathroom

And here’s a photo of what I’d like that room to look like someday, however impossible it may be:

Here's a reno picture of the bathroom that shall never be: done by designer Gina De Pasquale.
Renovated “after” pic of work by designer Gina De Pasquale.

So this last week, I had a few extra bucks in my pocket as I walked through Home Goods. $30 dollars later, I had a splash of color in my guest bathroom, and truthfully that’s really all I needed.

Well it ain't boring anymore, that's for sure.
Well it ain’t boring anymore, that’s for sure.


Shower Curtain and super smooshy rug purchased at HomeGoods.

The brightly colored towels I had already. They were purchased at Wal-Mart.

Hand soap by Orla Kiely for Target

Picture to tie all the colors together was a gift from my folks….many moons ago.

I plan on being here for a very long time. Until which point our family decides some renovation is absolutely necessary, this will do us just fine.  We have everything we need.

Jonathan Adler a Happy ChicK Makes

If you love mid-century modern décor but are anything less than wealthy, shopping for it can be at best: lonely. Most of what is contained in my home has been found at a thrift store, estate sale, or on Craigslist….most of these acquisitions can be made in your pajamas.  Big box furniture commercials such as “Mathis Brothers” “Rooms To Go” “Living Spaces,” etc. etc., compound the lonely island feeling. No one (save those pricey boutiques) seems to share my love for mid-century modern. One can tire of endlessly scouring the internet and burning up gas to get to far-away flea markets. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a convenient and reasonably priced place to get MCM décor?

I am only too happy to report that I think I may have found it, but you must first endure my story of discovery.  My family and I were recently in Newport Beach, investigating how the other half live. While walking through Fashion Island, we happened by the Jonathan Adler store. I’d never seen anything like it.  I actually stood at the window mesmerized and salivating like a penniless child outside of a candy store, longing to go inside, but knowing I didn’t belong. It was too gorgeous….too perfect. It had to be too expensive as well. After a nervous lap around the building and some coaxing from my husband, I ventured inside. As chance would have it, they had quite a few big-statement items I would absolutely save up for. These beauties hung from the ceiling….and they were everywhere, in every finish and size.

Meurice Chandelier
Meurice Chandelier

meurice_chand_b sputnik_mini_n

Then I spied this book. My thought was….it’s almost Mother’s Day. Do it. Do it. Do it. You can take it all with you! And so I did….

Jonathan Adler's Book: 100 Ways to Happy Chic your life
Jonathan Adler’s Book:
100 Ways to Happy Chic your life
24.95 on and

Loving the book and it’s tragically hip photos, I decided this relaxing and reading thing is where it’s at! Then one lazy Sunday I fatefully picked up this month’s Martha Stewart Living magazine. I still don’t know how I got this subscription. Anyone who knows me knows I really don’t like Martha Stewart, and that’s putting it nicely. I tend to avoid people who make me feel like an inferior homemaker AND cook.  Martha is one of them. Anyway…..I was flipping impatiently and rolling my eyes at the “easy” recipes I know I’ll never try whose ingredients I’ve never heard of when I stumble upon the JCPenny insert. It tells me that Jonathan Adler’s Happy Chic housewares line is now featured at JCPenny of all places. (

So there you have it! It isn’t vintage, but it goes very well WITH vintage, and it certainly is mid-century modern-esque. Better news is: there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a lonely MCM’er like me or you loved that Gatsby movie and have decided to go Art Deco,  it’s all in there. If not…try Jon Jon’s website. You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you, Jonathan Adler. I feel alone no more.

You can have your grapes and eat them too

According to “Kitsch” is defined as: something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste. As clean and classic as I’ve tried to keep my home, I haven’t been able to completely escape the kitsch. I admit to loving the mid-century crazes of owls and grapes.

In a very early post of mine,

I complained about the price of some mid-century modern accessories. More specifically, glass grapes. Having become a shop owner and attempting to start a business of my own based around all things mid-century modern I have become keenly aware of the time, research, effort and GAS it takes to find these sought-after treasures. I better understand now why some items I see are so very expensive. Readers, I stand corrected. (That’s not to say there aren’t complete rip-off artists out there in the MCM world…because there are. It’s up to you to decide for yourself what something is worth to you.)

More to that point, the process of decorating my living room in mid-century style is now complete and I’ve moved on to what we’ll call the “den.” It’s the room that we actually live in: the one that’s most often covered in my son’s dinosaurs and super heroes. When clean, it was an “okay” space; it was missing something. I figured out what that something was when watching an episode of my favorite show on t.v. right now, New Girl. If you haven’t seen it, you should. The star of the show is the ever quirky and adorable Zooey Deschanel who is surrounded by an equally bizarre but charming cast.

New Girl - Grape Inspiration
New Girl – Grape Inspiration

Do you see them? Are those lucite grapes not PERFECT in all their blue glory? They were taunting me…making an appearance in episode after episode. I had to have them. They matched my “scheme” and accent pillows….but where would I find them? Answer:, where everything is.

Ta -Daaaaaaa!!!!!!My very own bodacious bunch of blue lucite grapes.
Ta -Daaaaaaa!!!!!!After swallowing my pride and forking over $25 plus shipping of my hard-earned cash, I had my very own bodacious bunch of blue lucite grapes. 


So, after all my lecturing about how much things should cost, I will admit to my hypocrisy. For some things, I’m willing to stretch the budget just a bit; even if it is “kitsch.”  If you want them bad enough you can have your grapes and eat them too.

Cliff May home perfection in Long Beach, CA

We interrupt our normal scheduled blogging to bring you mid-century perfection: A newly renovated Cliff May home in Long Beach, CA.

Click on the purple Houzz link below to read on about this property, it’s challenges, and more fabulous examples of mid-century decor at it’s best.