Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Thank you for hanging out with HCV this year!  I will be back in January (maybe sooner) with new treasures for sure.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy and wonderful New Year!!

Charley Harper

Use this link if you would like to see more from Charley Harper.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Favorite Design Books

Every time I start thinking about design books I hear the voice of Gloria Upson  from "Auntie Mame saying "Books are awfully decorative, don't you think?" and it cracks me up every. single. time.  If you haven't seen the Rosalind Russell version of "Auntie Mame" you should do so quickly.  Preferably with a martini in hand.

There are so many reasons to love "Auntie Mame".  Witty lines like "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death", "Stir never shake bruises the gin" and  "Top drawer" are just some of my faves.  In addition to all the great characters there is also No. 3 Beekman Place.  Mame's swanky apartment in NYC.  Her decor changes to suit her moods and it's always fun to see the new digs.  Here is a great link to a site that has stills of No.3 Beekman Place and below is a clip featuring the Danish Modern set, my fave, and "dear little" Gloria Upson....

But this post isn't about "Mame"  it's about design books.  Which I have become slightly obsessed with lately.    Yes, there are many blogs and websites on line with great design to peruse for free and I'm planning to do a post on those, but there is something about sitting down with a book in your hands.  Especially one with gorgeous photos and as much as I hate to say this,  they are awfully decorative too.  So I am slowly building up my library and thought I would share some of my favorites.  Some I own, some I've perused at the library or at a bookstore, some I just long for from afar.  Please, please, please share your favorites in the comments below.  I am always looking for more!

Interior Design

These books are similar in the sense of what I think of as attainable decor.  Many design books have shots of gorgeous homes with killer furniture and art and though they are stunning they most likely don't fit my lifestyle or budget.  I want to look at pics that inspire me to come up with my version that fits my home and my family.  

Decorate by Holly Becker


Design Sponge at Home

Decorate, Domino and Design Sponge at Home - these books seem to be on every one's list.  I own Design Sponge and love it.  Decorate has gorgeous photos to inspire you and Domino has great pics with some interior design know how.  

The Things That Matter

The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus.  What story does your home tell?  I borrowed this from the library and loved it.  Design philosophy and beautiful photos.    

Undecorate from the founder of Dwell Studio.  I really love this one a lot.  Great style, great ideas, beautiful photos.  

Design Reference

A Treasury of Scandinavian Design 
A Treasury of Scandinavian Design.  My mom found this in her collection and gave it to me when she was consolidating and moving to a smaller home.  This is one of those books that I think is off the radar but is a gem.  It covers mid century Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Design. You'll find ceramics, textiles, glass, jewelry and furniture.  It's one of my faves.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen
Grete Prytz Kittelsen: The Art of Enamel Design  if you are a fan of Cathrineholm enamelware you will want this book.  Please note if you are wanting this book and are not in a hurry I have seen it marked on Amazon has high as $50 and as low as $4.00.  Not sure why but the price does seem to fluctuate. 

Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon
Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon  Love Vera.  Love her patterns and colors.

Design Research
Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes   I learned about this book from my thriftbreak friends.  My background in retail/merchandising/buying definitely puts this one on my list.  

Marimekko I love that Marimekko was on the cutting edge in 1951 when it started and still is today.  

Alla Moda
Alla Moda Italian Ceramics of the 1950's- 70's  I love Italian Ceramics, in particular Bitossi, so for me this one was a must have.  Gorgeous photos, marks, and even pricing make this a very handy reference book.  Of all the books listed this in the only one I can't find on Amazon.  I bought mine off of ebay.

California Design
California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way"  How gorgeous is this cover?  This book features architecture, fashions, ceramics, furniture, metalwork and more of California mid century modern design.  This book and the one that follows accompanied an exhibition at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
A Handbook of California Design

A Handbook of California Design, 1930-1965: Craftspeople, Designers, Manufacturers I think anyone interested in mid century design would be interested in both of these books.  This one provides biographies of the designers of mid century California Design.  

This is in no way a complete list at all.  These are just the books currently on my radar.  Please share your favorites below.  All of these books are also listed in the Amazon box to the right.  I also want to put in this disclaimer - I will receive credit for any items purchased through one of these links.  I mainly have the box there as a way to collect all my favorites.  Feel free to shop around or even better maybe you'll get lucky and find one in the thrift!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Christmas in August

Please tell me I'm not the only person who gets excited over the arrival of the new Ikea catalog.  It seems that as soon as it arrives I devour it as I once did the arrival of the "Toys R Us Big Book of Toys" catalog.  I'm not alone in this right?

Here is what my catalog looked like when I started....

.... and here it is 5 minutes later.......

Obviously, I'm not all Ikea all the time.  I'm a thrifter first and foremost but Ikea does serve a purpose.  On my facebook page (you have liked my facebook page, right?) I linked to a Dwell feature where the couple used high and low when renovating their home.  The low being Ikea cabinets in the kitchen which worked really well.  I'm all for that.  I'm not for walking into Ikea (or any store really) and ordering one of everything.  It might look great on the store floor but once you get it home the lack of personality becomes more apparent.

Which reminds me of a couple we knew in New York.  They had recently renovated their Brooklyn brownstone and it was stunning.   Their home was beautiful but then they filled it with Ikea.  The thinking was that they didn't want to put any money into furniture.  I do realize everyone has their priorities, which I completely respect, but a little bit of thought and effort can make a huge difference especially if you are showing for resale.

Here are some of my favorite Ikea pieces from the new 2014 catalog.

This Hektar floor lamp....

Ikea Hektar floor lamp, $69.99 a way more affordable version of this....

Design Sponge Sneek Peek: Abigail Ahern

Oh, hey uber cool floor lamp I love you but just can't afford you.  Granted the Ikea is not the same but the scale is fun and the price is right and it's Ikea so hack away with any color you want!  Just be mindful of the paint/heat combo.

This side table appeared in the European market last year and Ikea brought it across the pond this year.

Ikea Lövbacken Side Table

According to the Ikea catalog this table was the first flat pack furniture sold at Ikea.  At $59.99 you get a lot of style for a reasonable price.  

By the way, did you seen the 1962 Ikea Catalog I posted on my facebook page?  Just in case you missed it here it is..

What's totally nuts is that room is completely current today!  

Not vintagey.  Not stylish decor but...  So.  Fun.  If only my kids were knee high sized again I would be this in a heartbeat!
Ikea Children's Circus Tent, $19.99

Have you gotten the new Ikea catalog?  Any favorites?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Before, During and After: Styling Shelves

Changing things up just a tad this week.  The usual Monday weekly round up will be posted tomorrow.  Radical.  I know.  

Last Friday I was planning on working while my kids had some friends over.  As it turned out there was just one too many of them and taking photos and listing was just not happening.  So instead,  I made a mess then cleaned it up again.

It all started here with this photo that I ig'ed/tweeted.

My dinning room table is usually overtaken with stuff.  I photograph in that room (you can see my little nightstand that I use below the Crow picture) so it's a handy place to drop things off when they come in the door.  Every so often I do clean it off and had been putting things away slowing.  Finally ---- ta da!!  A clean table!

Which of course got me thinking.  I've been wanting to clean up the etagere for a while now.  Once I put something on those shelves they usually end up staying so it was time to take a look at what had gathered there.  I also have a set of shelves in the living room that had become a landing for lost goods which also needed to be cleaned out and prettied up.

So then my dinning room table looked like this.....

It was the perfect time to do this because we had friends coming over for dinner so it had to be finished.

Now we have this....

Muuuuuccch better don't you think?  I know I still have too much stuff but it's a little less cluttered. Eventually I will sell some of what's on there (and replace it with something else) but for now I'm quite pleased.  You can see I've gathered a bit more Cathrineholm (Yes, I've been holding out on you!).  Still hoping to find some of the more colorful ones in yellow, orange, red! and the dark blue.  

I think this gathering is my fave at the moment.

I also cleaned up one of the shelves I have in the living room.  Before I post the pic I have a disclaimer first.  You know when you really need a piece of furniture and have been looking and looking but not seeing what you want?  So then you buy something that you don't love but sort of works?  These shelves are like that for me.  I love what's on them but I don't love them.  When I bought them I thought I would paint them but as you can see I never did.  I decided I just don't like the shape enough to put any time or money into them.  

This is the one that got cleaned up.

I like the top two shelves more than the bottom but I can live with it for now.  

This is the other shelf filled with pottery and such.  

I'm now thinking of selling them on Criagslist and getting these shelves from Ikea.  

Ikea Vittsjo
I like the simplicity a lot and the price at $70.00 is fair.  I just wish they had a bit more substance to them.  Here are some pics from around the web.

This version got gold leafed and I think it looks great.  Check out the link if you want the how to on gold leafing.

Honey Sweet Home

Here it is au naturale and looking super fantastic.

Emily Henderson

I can't decide if I should just go ahead and get the cheapo Ikea shelves or hold out and hope to find something I like at a price I can afford.

Something like this perhaps....

Paul McCobb

Sigh.  Ok, it doesn't really fit the space that I had in mind but I would probably knock down walls or move to make this gorgeousness work.  Wouldn't you?  

What say you readers?  Should I hold out for something more substantial that I like and can afford or just go and buy the Ikea shelves?  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Soft Summer Hues - An Etsy Treasury

Not sure why but it seems as though I'm on a treasury kick.  This one mixes old and new and the colors soothe me.  Let me know what you think.

Here is the link if you would like to view it on Etsy.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hot Vintage to Keep You Cool. An Etsy Treasury.

It's been ages since I put a Treasury together.  I also thought it would be fun to use items from some fellow #thriftbreak ers.  'Cause thriftbreakers find the best stuff!

I'll take one of each please.  TYVM!

Any favorites?  Use the link to see it on Etsy -  Hot Vintage To Keep You Cool

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Brooklyn Love

As some of you know I'm a New Yorker living in the Sonoran desert.  Tucson and I have had a bit of a rocky relationship.  When we first met we didn't hit it off at all.  Second time was not that much better.  It took the third try to make it stick.   As I have, ahem, matured, so has Tucson and we have reached a common ground.  In addition to loving our home and beautiful hikes near by there is now more art, culture and some really good food, like amazing gelato (Frost) and pastries (Frog's Bakery) available.  Honestly, it's the good food that makes all the difference.

As much as I can wax poetic about NYC there are some, nay, many things that make living there difficult.  Small apartments, lots of people and expensive everything make for trying times.  BUT the art, the diversity and so many creative and talented people make the city, at times, magical.  Then there's the food.  The food in NYC is legendary for a reason.  Its.  Really.  Really.  Really.  Good.  

When you mix creativity & passion with lots of style that is when the awesomeness happens and it's happening in a new coffee shop in Brooklyn.  Coffee Mob is pouring coffee for the lucky peeps in Ditmas Park, my old neighborhood.  For those of you who have never heard of Ditmas Park it's the "Best Small Town in America - in Brooklyn".  Officially.  Ok, officially in my opinion, but it also happens to be true.  Coffee Mob is owned by my bestie, Jeannine and her husband Buck.  Buck has a passion for, or some may say an obsession with, coffee.  Really good coffee.  They're raising the bar for Brooklyn coffee shops.  Which is saying a lot.  The space will be AMAZING.  The coffee will be AMAZING. And for those of us who appreciate vintage look out for the Ben Seibel Impromptu coffee cups among the stunning decor.  I did mention that they had style right? 

So you've heard of Brooklyn ('cause you don't live under a rock) but you don't know anything about Brooklyn.  Lucky for you I know some things and I'mma gonna help you out.  Below is my perfect day.  Ditmas Park, Bklyn edition. 

  • Start at Coffee Mob.  Obvs.  Since your going to stay for a while and hang, maybe sit at the bar and chat with Buck, get a real coffee, a pour over,  a cap, a latte, or maybe go for one of Buck's chais (no pre-made nothin' - it's got Buck's home made secret sauce).  Grab a yummy pastry (how many times can I mention pastries in one post?) or a real Bklyn bagel (just so you know, that doughy thing you call a bagel is not a bagel), take in the beauty of the space and watch the world go by.  
Next up you must take a stroll through Ditmas Park.  Why?  Because I want to hear you say, "This is Brooklyn?" multiple times.  Beautiful Victorian homes on tree lined streets will transport you to a different time and place while smashing any preconceived notions of Brooklyn.  Take a long walk up to Prospect Park.  Visit the Brooklyn Museum or Botanical Gardens.  Whatever you do make sure you're hungry for lunch.

NYT Diner's Journal Seth Wenig/Associate Press
  • Difara Pizza in Midwood.  Best. Pizza. Ever. Seriously.  It's been said by many and it's worth the visit just so that you can see it for yourself.  It honestly defies reason that one man has made every. single. pie. that has come out of that place.  (OMG!!  Wait. What? According to their website they recently opened in Vegas?  Stomach growling, where are my keys?  Honey, don't wait up.)
After lunch hop on the train or drive down to Coney Island.  It was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but lots of renovations have been going on since then.  Ride the Cyclone.  Then do it again.  Take a stroll on the beach.  Hang on the boardwalk and watch the locals pass by.  Keep your camera handy.  Skip the greasy and overrated Nathan's so that you will be ready for dinner.
  • Taci's Beyti on Coney Island Ave.  Best Turkish food.  No joke.  You know when you go to a restaurant and 99.99% of the people in that restaurant are from the country of origin of said restaurant?   Which then means that in no uncertain terms you are most definitely in the right place.  That's Taci's.  The shepherd salad, the pide, the hummus.  The Bread.   So. Freakin'. Good.  So hungry right now.
This might be the end of a fun filled, action packed, food lovers day.  But no, you're in Bklyn and you've only had four out of the five NYC food groups by now. Let's review...

1. Coffee
2. Bagels
3. Pizza  

4. Ethnic Food  

And the fifth? 

5. Alcohol.  Of course.

All rights reserved by sycamorebrooklyn
Head over to Sycamore Bar & Flower Shop to cap off a perfect day.  It's a flower shop by day, and I'm not talking tie dyed carnations kind of flower shop, and hip bar by night.  Hang in the back garden or hear a band downstairs.  So cool.  So Bklyn.

Ok so by now you're hungry, thirsty and searching for flights contemplating a trip to Brooklyn.  Once again I'mma gonna help you out (damn, I'm so nice) and show you the very best place to stay.

  • The Griffin B&B  remember I mentioned all those lovely Victorian homes in Ditmas Park?  Many of them are also B&Bs and it just so happens that very good friends of mine who are opening this very fab coffee bar also have a very fab B&B.  Fancy that!  
The Griffin B&B

Just so you know that if you should visit my Brooklyn and hit my favorite spots I will simultaneously be insanely jealous and insanely happy for you.  

Feel free to share some Bklyn love in the comments below.