Oh, she’s been shopping and now I’m getting closer and closer to shooting a couple of the rooms I have a real list of stuff that I “need”. These things do NOT include another vintage lamp, but as you can see it’s been found. My MIL came into town while Brian was OOT and I couldn’t just let her sit in the house while I was writing all week. So I reserved two days for us to shop for the stuff I “needed” (including some rugs and plants/pots, not just vintage shopping) however we did make it to a few of my favorite stores in town…so I’ve got a haul for you.
Our New Dining Chairs
Y’all, dining chairs and sofas – these are the two things I struggle with the most because I REALLY want them to be comfortable but they are such an investment and hold such importance in their respective rooms, so to have them be boring or basic is painful for me (which is why I still haven’t decided on a sofa for our living room and frankly am not even close). So when I saw these chairs debut in Athena Calderone’s collection for Crate and Barrel I sucked my breath in quickly and said to myself in a quiet, creepy voice, “These are them. These are it. We’ve found them”. The vintage Cherner chairs we had in here were too rickety for Brian or most people to enjoy sitting on. Finding eight vintage chairs that I loved was proving to be impossible (believe me, I was looking every day). I was looking for something that checked more boxes – comfortable, durable, solid yet modern + worked well with the tile, windows, and the table. I wanted something with a curve since there are so many squares in there but I didn’t want eight curvy armchairs because that could feel busy fun fact, a lot of people don’t like to feel confined in armchairs. I wanted the curve to be more subtle than say the wishbone chair. As you can see, these are PERFECT. The green velvet is subtle and yet happy (and the room is surrounded by trees so green is naturally a part of the room’s color palette). And they aren’t busy or complicated for your eye – they contrast so perfectly with the busyness of the floor. Now the only thing we are waiting on is a credenza for the back of this room that I’m shopping daily for (I need it to be under 20″ deep and between 72 – 84″ wide in ideally a deeper wood tone than the table and chairs, but I’m open).
More Vintage/Antique Portraits Of Strangers
A lot of people are confused by my love of these portraits which I fully understand. My kids say they are creepy which surprised me because I kinda felt like the creepy factor was more from long-term societal conditioning – like we shouldn’t like these things because they are associated with death, etc. When I try to even explain it to myself, I think it has a lot to do with my love of history and my deep curiosity about how people used to live. All these people had full lives and yet they didn’t have phones to capture any of it – except these rare portraits of themselves (some oil paintings, some early photography). Not that it matters, but like, who were they???? These pieces must have been really cherished by them and their ancestors, so to find them at a random antique mall makes me want to take them home and give them back the importance that they once held. I’m not trying to make myself sound cooler or smarter than I am, but I got my degree in history, specifically American History (and comp lit if you are tracking) and I like to stare at them and wonder what they were like and why they were deemed “important” enough to paint or photograph.
I do want to call out the excellent framing on all of those and the pretty shape of the mat on the lady frame (and yes, I’m specifically looking for more ladies for the wall – let’s just say the world of historical portraits isn’t exactly diverse, to no one’s surprise).
Take these two, for instance. They were fancy! “Important”!? American royalty maybe!?? And yet I found them on the floor leaning against other empty frames. Also, everyone looked 50 when they were 20. The clothes. The colors. They are more like flat sculptures than paintings to me. Just so intricate and expressive, even when they themselves are not.
Wait, So What Are You Going To Do With All Of These Portraits Of Dead Strangers?
Well. Witchcraft. Voodoo. Stick googly eyes on their eyes during Halloween. Talk to them on the weeks when I don’t leave my house. Listen, since my children and most of our guests don’t necessarily support this “hobby” of mine, I am planning on putting them all together, gallery-wall style in a room and on a wall that isn’t seen very easily by the rest of the house. Brian actually loves them (“love” might be strong, “thinks they are funny” is more accurate). I have a plan and I’m now waiting on some portraits of my actual ancestors to hang and fill it out. My MIL and my mom have both seen my collection and said, “Oh, we have a lot of those in the garage” and I’m like, “WAIT. WHAT. WHY HAVE YOU BEEN HOLDING OUT ON ME??” So there is a chance that some of these won’t even make it because I do want to include real blood ancestors should I get my hands on them. Then is it creepy? NO, right? I don’t get it. I get zero creepy vibes from these strangers and find comfort in them. It also might be a Mormon thing – we are raised very into genealogy (I’ve never asked why but I think people like tracing their lineage back to the great flood to see which tribe they came from, which indeed is fascinating). I will conclude this monologue and say that I’m also very picky about what portraits I love and buy – the ones I collect are all by very talented artists or framed perfectly. The two above that Brian and I are holding are actually not my favorites (their frames are a big ornate/garish and yet kinda cheap, but they were so affordable that I couldn’t pass them up). But some of the other ones are so beautifully done…Have I convinced you yet???
More Moody Landscapes For Our Family Room Wall
We are repainting the media/family room in a couple of weeks (to Stillwater by Sherwin-Williams) and these greeny blue and gold paintings are looking SO BEAUTIFUL against the paint swatch. So I’m leaning in hard and collecting like a real hoarder. The forest painting isn’t a moody night moonrise painting (that’s the specific genre I’m collecting) but it was so pretty and so “Oregon,” by a signed artist from Salem. I need to remind myself that I don’t actually need to collect things that remind me of “Oregon” anymore as I actually live here now, but I’ve been vintage shopping long enough to know that when something grabs me, specifically a piece of art, I will find the right place for it.
The Captain Found His Ship/Frame!
You probably remember this guy from the basement of our LA house, but he didn’t have a frame and you can’t smoke a proper pipe without a proper frame. So while I was shopping I brought him around and found this guy for $10. I feel like with the gold frame he might make it up on the seascape wall – he’s the captain of the sea!
A Random Abstract
Again, I am just collecting cool art when I find it. I loved the color palette here – the neutrals with the blue and gold frame. It was more than I should have paid (I think over $80).
My First Popscicle Lamp
I’ve been looking for a folk art popsicle lamp for years if you can believe that. They are normally around $1k each on 1stDibs, but you can find them randomly for far less. They are “folk art” and many call them “tramp art” which I need to learn more about, but essentially they are popsicle sticks expertly glued together to create these intricate patterns and sculptures. As you can imagine my kids were like, “I can make that” and I was like, “oh yeah? here you go” and gave them a bunch of popsicle sticks. They did NOT make me a $1k lamp. Now I didn’t find this on my own, I had texted Annie who runs WILMA, and gave her a few things to look out for – a popsicle lamp being one of them. And a few months later she texted from a thrift store saying she found this for $160 and if should she snag it for me. YES, SHE SHOULD. So yay. Baby’s first popsicle lamp.
Ball And Stick Magazine Holder/Plant Stand
You also may or may not have read past posts where I declared my love of Victorian ball and stick decor or furniture. Does it really work in this house? Questionable. But when I found this in a really pretty wood tone I snagged it. I think there is something so playful and graphic about this type of furniture – the round ball, the thin “stripe” of wood. I just need to find a place for it…
A Pretty Antique Desk
This genius over here didn’t put doors on her “office,” so around 2:30 pm or 3:30 pm when the kids come in the house it’s hard to take any calls. I think I’m going to build some interior windows and a door into the sunroom (keep the light, but allow for some sound privacy) but for now I’m going to put this desk in our bedroom for afternoon Zoom calls. This desk is really simple and pretty, has such a lovely tone, and was only $100 which I thought was a really good price.
There you go. My latest vintage haul with a lot of over-explanation around each piece. My goal is to make every room as photogenic as this one (which might be impossible, honestly) and someday you’ll look out and see greenery instead of dirt through the windows (coming soon this spring!). Thanks for reading, friends. xx