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My Latest Vintage Haul Including More Pictures Of Dead Strangers And A Show-And-Tell Of Our New Dining Chairs (Not Vintage) That Bring Me Joy All Day Every Day…

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

*Photos by Kaitlin Green


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136 thoughts on “My Latest Vintage Haul Including More Pictures Of Dead Strangers And A Show-And-Tell Of Our New Dining Chairs (Not Vintage) That Bring Me Joy All Day Every Day…

  1. Your explanation of your love of old portraits was really sweet and thoughtful. It gave me a much different perspective on them (and made them completely non-creepy for me!)

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  2. These posts are so FUN! And honestly they make me long for the time when we first moved into our house (which is much larger than the house we moved out of), renovated most all of it, and I then I started to work on decorating and “filling it up” as we were basically starting from scratch. I took a lot of time with the furnishing and decorating, it was def a slow, joyful, obsessive process. My husband could never understand what was taking so long (LOL, just go back to your mancave with dark walls, neon lights, a black ceiling, band posters and tiki mugs, and a 120 gallon saltwater aquarium; I write this lovingly and with extreme gratitude that he has his “own” (contained) space to decorate). But now the house is pretty much “filled” (not over the top by any means, but we no longer have empty rooms let’s say), and I now choose to /have to be REAL mindful of what comes in……..

    1. These posts are so FUN! And honestly they make me long for the time when we first moved into our house (which is much larger than the house we moved out of), renovated most all of it, and I then I started to work on decorating and “filling it up” as we were basically starting from scratch. I took a lot of time with the furnishing and decorating, it was def a slow, joyful, obsessive process. My husband could never understand what was taking so long (LOL, just go back to your mancave with dark walls, neon lights, a black ceiling, band posters and tiki mugs, and a 120 gallon saltwater aquarium; I write this lovingly and with extreme gratitude that he has his “own” (contained) space to decorate). But now the house is pretty much “filled” (not over the top by any means, but we no longer have empty rooms let’s say), and I now choose to /have to be REAL mindful of what comes in……..

  3. Thank you for the fun insights. I love your dining room chairs. It might just be the angle of these pictures, but it almost looks like the back wood pieces make the letter H. Super fun for the Henderson family.

  4. Re: the old portraits…check out It is a website devoted to researching and reuniting old photos/portraits with the relatives of the people in the photos. It’s interesting to see what they have. I actually found a picture on their site of a distant cousin who I was able to recognize because of a different picture I had found on Ancestry. allowed me to download the picture for free.

    1. That is a great idea! Uploading them sounds like a great job for Charlie. I love finding “grownuply” jobs like this that my kids can do (and paying them a little bit to do them.)

      Everyone currently alive in the world shares the same ancestors anyhow. You are related to Charlemagne! Here is a Scientific American article explaining this:

      I do not have a large collection of portraits of dead strangers, but I love these pictures and I understand why you collect them. I don’t know if you’ve ever read Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs.) That’s how the author wrote the book. He collected a bunch of more unusual photographs and wrote the book around them.

      1. Wow! That Scientific American article was fascinating Tarynkay, thank you for sharing it!
        The information generates a lot of thoughtful perspective, we truly are all family.

      2. I’ve come back to this comment after reading all of them and the discussions regarding displaying strangers’ portraits vs ancestor portraits and differing POVs regarding how some people may view (some political) those displays. 
        In the Scientific American article linked above by Tarynkay; “Humans Are All More Closely Related Than We Commonly Think”, the genealogical, mathematical calculations demonstrate that We Are ALL Related. This would mean that none of those portraits are of strangers, they are all distant family from different branches of our Human Family Tree! 
        I hope everyone will read the article, it really does offer a wonderful perspective. I believe it should be taught in school to all children – maybe if people truly embraced the message there would be less unfairness, anger and violence towards others. 
        Thanks again Tarynkay for sharing the link! 🙂

  5. What about a roll arm tufted back sofa? We have one in leather in our farmhouse living room and I love it.

          1. POST SUGGESTION:
            Names and characteristics of the main sofa types.
            You know, just in case … information is helpful, not generally seen as thrreatening, to most people.

          2. What is there to votedown??
            Really, mean girl behaviour purely reflects on the mean girls.
            Ignorance is bliss.

          3. I’m sure you mean well, but you are veering into know-it-all territory and I suspect that’s what accounts for the down votes. Most people don’t like to be corrected, especially about unimportant particulars.

          4. You are right that the standard roll arm sofa does not have tufts. However, I happen to own one that is has all of the other english roll arm characteristics, as well as a tufted back. I think they are beautiful with or without tufts, but I think the tufts add a unique element that Emily is known for. That’s why I mentioned it.

  6. I’m really loving seeing the house come to life now the construction is finished and the finishing touches are going in, it’s becoming more “you” every post I see.
    I’d be one of the people who wouldn’t like strangers staring at me from my walls, but as a long-time follower I know you’ve been doing it for years, so if you didn’t do it in this house it wouldn’t feel like yours.
    Especially as this is US black History month, I was wondering if you’d think of looking further afield than your local area and trying to find vintage portraits (or reproductions of vintage portraits) of people of different ethnicities. If paintings aren’t easy to find, I’m sure you could get reproductions of original photographs (if you wouldn’t mind mixing paintings and photographs. Or maybe you could set up an area that’s just for vintage photographs). If they don’t come already framed, you could pair them with vintage frames yourself. Just an idea, but it might combine your portrait interest with your historical interest and your inclusivity perspective. It would also be a diverse background (literally) for your kids grow up with. Apologies if this isvinsensitive to American nuances (I’m not American), but I thought it was worth suggesting if you haven’t already thought of it.
    PS – Yes, those chairs are gorgeous!

    1. Great question — to me collecting these pictures is creepy because if you treat them as pictures of real people instead of funny objects, you will start hitting some very un-funny history and social realities. Slavery and settler colonialism are the big ones. The Mormonism angle is authentic to Emily’s experience, but that narrative doesn’t really account for what kind of society these people reflect and whether that’s worth celebrating or making light of. Would a person of color over for a visit have the luxury of treating them as a novelty or joke?

      1. Agreed that these will come up, and may spark uncomfortable conversations, but so will stories of triumph and entrepreneurship and invention and achievement. As a white woman who was a maths/science nerd at school, I *loved* the film “Hidden Figures” for example. It centred on racism but also female power and intelligence and determination (in the face of discrimination), those women would be a powerful addition to any portrait gallery wall. As a student of history I’m sure Emily could come up with many more. She already collects portraits of random strangers, not just Mormons. And many white people have pictures of non-white musicians on their wall, as another example. But again, I’m not American (or Emily) so there may indeed be other considerations that would make this a non-runner.

      2. Yes- especially considering Oregon’s history of excluding African Americans. From this National Geographic article “When delegates later sat down to write the state’s constitution, they had to settle a thorny question: Should Oregon allow free Blacks to live in the state? Of some 10,000 white men allowed to vote on the matter, more than 8,500 said no. So it was that in 1859, Oregon became the first and only state to enter into the United States with such a prohibition in its constitution…..The Black exclusion clause wasn’t removed from its constitution until 1926, and the state didn’t ratify the 15th Amendment, giving Black citizens the right to vote, until 1959—nearly a century after it was added to the U.S. Constitution. Not until 1973 did Oregon fully ratify the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting citizenship and equal protection to African Americans.”

  7. Those chairs are pretty much perfect in that room. The green looks sharp against the blue floor. Also I read this line of yours — “These are them. These are it. We’ve found them” — in a Gollum “my precious” voice. lol.

    Personally I don’t like stranger portraits in my house. I know I’d feel like they were watching me. O_O But I’m guessing they’re going to look great in a gallery wall.

  8. Absolutely beautiful styling and colors in the photos in this post – thanks for the extra great eye candy this morning! Agree, Emily, the dining chairs are gorgeous and just perfect in this room. Love the old portraits and their beautiful frames – too bad you can’t actually keep them on the tile, they look so good with it. 🙂

  9. I love old portraits but only connected to family. I did a gallery wall up our stairs, starting w a Revolutionary War oath of allegiance from a young Hessian and going thru our parents. It sparks discussions — my great x several Grandma who came over on the famine boats from Ireland — and all the men and women w equally important stories. I think as you get more family pieces the yearning for portraits might become clearer that what you were really yearning for was that part of our own history.

    The large portraits look to be chalk or crayon portraits. Very cheap in the day. You’d send a photo and they would enlarge and then “airbrush” pastels over. There’s an out of print book titled Dressed for the a photographer that can help date. And Google for chalk portraits. My sis has one of my great grandmother as a toddler.

  10. Ooooohhhhh!!!!!!!🤗
    My eyeballs!!!👀
    I love ALL of it, sans creepy dead sorone-else’s-ancestors. Your actual acestprs (even if you’re adopted) …fine.🤣
    The seascapes!♡ Lovely duvely desk! ♡ Aye-aye…the Captain’s back!♡
    I like the magazine rack as an object de art, but would be too afraid of breaking it, to use it.

    THOSE. CHAIRS. Wow!!! Not really my style, BUTTTTTT, perfect for your space and table.
    Aaand….they have a giant “H” for Henderson oat the back!!! Wowzers!!! 😀

    I recently salvaged a beautiful, small jarrah desk from a deceased estate being demolished on my street (100+ yr old, stunning house in perfect condition!!!), with the new owner’s permission (as well as a bunch of plants – I dug them up), plant pots, outdoor cast iron setting….loads of things Jill’s family left behind snd didn’t want.
    The salvage crew were due, so I walked down very early e-v-e-r-y morning til they came…long story short, I negotiated a deal to buy 2 perfect matching Art Deco pendant lights and 2 matching sconces. (They broke 2 shades getting them down, but I’ll find 2 for the sconces)
    The leading hand called his boss after I asked and explained that I was friends with the lady who’d owned the house….he came back and said $200.
    My brother and mum ran an antique shop after my dad died, so when he came over, we checked etsy, ebay, etc. and 1 penndant is worth $1,500 and 1 pendant is $90!!!!!!!!
    💥I’ve been manifesting $200 for 3 weeks, but not for a second did I think it’d actually happen!😀😀😀
    I currenty have 2 awful 60s reproduction pendants the my living and dining rooms of my 100 year old house …. #not.for.long!😁


  11. When looking for old portraits of women please also look for portraits of people of color. Perhaps that is the highest priority when selecting which ones to purchase.

    1. Highly unlikely that many dignified ones exist, especially if she is shopping in Oregon. I just could not look at reminders of this period in history day in and day out in my home. It is disturbing and as some said above, totally white privilege to not think about who they were and their lifestyle and beliefs and why POC are not among them.

      1. But what do we actually know about the “lifestyle and beliefs” of the white people in the portraits? For all we know, they could’ve been abolitionists. I have a beautiful photo of my great-grandmother that was taken in the late 1800s. I don’t know what her views were on race. Should my mind zero in on that, every time I look at her? I can tell you she was from a family of coal miners so the phrase “white privilege” doesn’t exactly jump to mind.

        1. Jane posted this comment above, but I wanted to reshare it in terms of what we do actually know about the lifestyle and beliefs of white folks in Oregon at this time:

          “Yes- especially considering Oregon’s history of excluding African Americans. From this National Geographic article “When delegates later sat down to write the state’s constitution, they had to settle a thorny question: Should Oregon allow free Blacks to live in the state? Of some 10,000 white men allowed to vote on the matter, more than 8,500 said no. So it was that in 1859, Oregon became the first and only state to enter into the United States with such a prohibition in its constitution…..The Black exclusion clause wasn’t removed from its constitution until 1926, and the state didn’t ratify the 15th Amendment, giving Black citizens the right to vote, until 1959—nearly a century after it was added to the U.S. Constitution. Not until 1973 did Oregon fully ratify the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting citizenship and equal protection to African Americans.”

          That’s not to say you/Emily can’t or shouldn’t have old photos and portraits of white people. But if what you love about them is getting into their head and imagining, it’s probably better to do that using the historical information we have.

        2. Im all for people displaying photos and portraits of their actual relatives or people known to them. The likelihood of Emily collecting a large swath of portraits of abolitionists from this period in a state that was founded on the principle that it would not allow non-White residents is highly unlikely. Oregon was founded to exclude POC and advertised itself to settlers on that principle. People moving there likely desired it. Even today many Black people will not travel to Oregon. If you follow Shavonda, check out her thoughts on Portland and why she won’t visit Oregon. It is a privilege not to think about these things.

        3. Hi Ally,
          I think the concepts of white privilege and classism/economic exploitation are not mutually exclusive. White privilege doesn’t mean someone’s life is easy — a person can experience tremendous oppression as a poor person or member of the working class and still have white privilege.

        4. It’s wild to me that someone living in 2023 STILL doesn’t know what white privilege really means. Conflating white privilege with economic privilege just shows willful ignorance. Ally, please go read up on what white privilege really means; furthermore, please stop using it in this context. You look foolish. And, might I add, it’s very much white privilege to use such terms incorrectly when the information is available to you.

    2. Is it possible not to link racial issues to EVERYTHING?. I am writing from Europe, Spain, and the feeling I get is that you cannot say anything .Next time Emily post a recipe something will say she has to make “black food” ( if that kind of thing exists). It is terrible

  12. My mom has a gallery wall of old framed pictures of various family members through the ages. Maybe someone in your family has pictures you could enlarge and put inside these gorgeous frames you are finding?

  13. I love this sudden bringing in of green. Oddly I had just been recently doing that in my house, going after green as an accent color. Those dining chairs are amazing and I love the forest picture.

    1. Alice, I am also bringing green into my home decorating this year. Not sure why as I have not liked it in the past, but seeing the green and blue together in my home gives me such calmness and coziness that I crave.

  14. Emily, I would definitely rethink the portraits. I had an interesting discussion recently where several friends who are POC were pointing out how disturbing and triggering vintage portraits of exclusively white people could be when they encountered them antiquing. Especially, when you are sourcing these in Oregon which has such a notorious racist history. The people you are “cherishing” and memorializing were wealthy enough to get portraits painted and part of a very oppressive class. You may not have negative associations with these images, but imagine how it would feel to confront them as a POC. You may not have many people in your small social circle at your house who are not white, but certainly among your readers you do and there are very real and dark historical reasons why you are more likely to stumble on a fancy portrait of a beloved family dog than you would be of a Black woman. When I see these faces, I associate them with a world that was not kind to many people and sought to oppress. I would think twice about investing in a room that features people you have no idea how they got their wealth or why their portraits came to be. But who is not on the wall also tells a very disturbing story. As you said these are not your relatives, these are strangers who may or may not deserve to be memorialized.

    1. How sad that your friends get triggered while antiquing, rather than focusing on how far we’ve come as a society. (Yes I know we still have a long way to go.) A dear friend was recently admitted to a storied local golf club as the first Jew in the club’s history. He loves the golf, the new friends, the chance to represent his culture and perhaps even open the eyes of some older members. What a loss it would be if he spent all his time there lamenting the fact that past generations were bigoted.

      1. Yes, of course POC should be excited to see images of slaveowners and bigots and think how great it is that now they only have to worry about death by cop, etc…should POC also feel comforted by racist caricatures, etc…bc they are no longer considered socially acceptable in mainstream circles? If a Jewish person wants to join a golf club that historically excluded them that is their choice, but ridiculous to discount those who would prefer not to be in environments with histories of entrenched discrimination. I would not want to be the only Jewish member of such a club and hardly see why a minority is obligated to “open people’s eyes” to their value and self-worth and right to exist. I mean Florida just banned Black AP history from it’s public school curriculum and is erasing Black scholarship and achievement. And you know of a golf club that only just took it’s first Jewish member – insane!

        1. Your comparison of undated pictures of random white people to defamatory caricatures of POC is apples to oranges. And yes it’s insane that this club has only recently become inclusive but it’s a fact. So instead of standing around wringing his hands about the injustice of it all, my friend is enjoying some top-notch golf along with a bit of cultural exchange. He’s being the change, as Ghandi suggested. But if your friends find it productive or somehow rewarding to feel triggered while antiquing, that’s their prerogative. I just think it’s a shame.

          1. Yes, it is “a shame” for them to have authentic reactions based on a life experience as second class citizens. I don’t have an issue with your friend enjoying their golf club, but your judgement of people for having feelings about discrimination they experience is really beyond the pale. If there is any shame to be found it is in the attitude you are expressing towards people for not reacting to their own discrimination the way you think they should.

          2. People’s reactions are largely influenced by how cultural norms “tell” them they should react. The current trend of self-victimization as competitive sport is just pathetic. We all have free will and can choose how things affect us and how we respond to them. I would hope that anyone enjoying the privilege of a day of antiquing in a world plagued with war, famine and disease would be able to see the glass as half full.

          3. Shannon, you sound, well, very triggered by the idea that POCs might have different experiences and views than you.

          4. Yes, I am very triggered by the glorification of self-pity that is all the rage. Everyone’s life has challenges. We should be celebrating those who overcome, appreciate and look to the future.

          5. So, Shannon, essentially it’s legitimate for you to be triggered by something meaningless but meaningless for a POC to be triggered by something legitimate? Why is that?

          6. So the goal is to find what makes us feel bad, identify it, and remember to indulge in feeling bad at any given opportunity? What’s the end game? Why should this be encouraged? I want people to enjoy their lives, make the best of their circumstances, count their blessings and BE HAPPY. Yes, it’s important to acknowledge and work through personal difficulties, but leaning into “triggers” is counterproductive and really kind of pathetic. I had a double mastectomy at 34, a week after giving birth to my second child. I don’t get triggered every time I see a woman showing off her natural cleavage or breastfeeding. I choose to focus on how lucky I am to have survived to raise my children. 6 million of my people were slaughtered in the Holocaust. I know how important it is to NEVER FORGET that we humans have the propensity to commit such atrocities. But what would be the point of leaning in to the horror of it every chance I get? What would even be the point of taking it personally that there is hate and ignorance in the world? It’s not about ME. By all means, we should learn from the past and work toward a better future. But we should also stop encouraging each other to feel sorry for ourselves. It may be out of fashion to say so, but it’s the truth.

          7. If you say so, Rusty. I also happen to be the child of a mother who battled a debilitating auto-immune disease that began in young adulthood. She went on to have a hugely successful career, and life, despite the constant physical setbacks and limitations (including paralysis,) and the hideous uncertainty. But her positive attitude is what has influenced me the most. We have one life. We can spend it counting grievances, indulging in self-pity and garnering it from others. Or, as my mom did, we can be determined to have the best damn life possible, to refuse to become victims of our circumstances or allow our problems to become our identity. I thank my lucky stars that I had a role model who taught me how to overcome adversity, because like most of us I’ve had plenty. A happy life REQUIRES that we put the hard/sad/bad stuff on the back burner. You call it dissociation, I call it positive thinking. It used to be quite popular. Here’s hoping it makes a comeback.

          8. You keep talking about personal struggles that people you know have overcome and comparing them to a hundred-years-long, ongoing, SYSTEMIC (do you know what this word means?) issue. It’s very weird. It’s not just that, it’s violent.

          9. Your cancer diagnosis, while unfortunate, is not the same as systemic racism. You sound ridiculous.

          10. That’s akin to telling someone who’s survived domestic violence, as I have, to “Choose” to not be triggered.
            I suggest that you consider that unless you have personally experienced something, best not to be so adament about what those who have, “feel.”

          11. Shannon, I’m a Black/Latina woman and it’s white women like you, who are likely raising children, who frighten me WAY more than covert racists. *Shivers*

          12. One doesn’t “choose” such a feeling.
            It’s generational trauma; celluar, and proven as such, not my opinion.

  15. I have some of those old portraits of family members and have always thought I’d love to frame and hang them but I thought others would think it creepy! Maybe I need to go frame shopping!

  16. Also, Emily, the reference to “tracing ancestors back to the great flood” excludes much of humanity and certainly all non-white people on earth. Maybe not a great reference to carry over from Mormonism:

    From Wikipedia:
    “As Christianity spread across the Roman Empire, it carried the idea that all people were descended from Noah. But the tradition of Hellenistic Jewish identifications of the ancestry of various peoples, which concentrates very much on the Eastern Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East (described below), became stretched and its historicity questioned. Not all Near Eastern people were covered, and Northern European peoples important to the Late Roman and Medieval world, such as the Celtic, Slavic, Germanic, and Nordic peoples were not covered, nor were others of the world’s peoples, such as sub-Saharan Africans, Native Americans, and peoples of Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, and Australasia. Scholars derived a variety of arrangements to make the table fit, with for example the Scythians, which do feature in the tradition, being claimed as the ancestors of much of northern Europe.[5]”,Europe.%5B5%5D

          1. Vid, the “argument” being presented here by Susan is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, as are a surprisingly large number of Emily’s commenters, apparently.

          2. Hi Shannon,
            Emily referenced creationism doctrine in her blog post, it is not “cuckoo” to point that out – it is a material fact and one that bothered me, as I don’t believe genealogy that denies the humanity of all POC and non-European whites is good. I also believe in evolution and science, which also says that we can’t all descend from the tribes that survived the Great Flood, so I guess that also makes me “cuckoo?” For someone who describes themselves as having such a positive attitude about life, you sure seem pretty angry and hostile towards anyone having ideas or opinions contrary to yours. I bet you are a hoot at parties and holiday dinners (or more likely the relative people draw straws in the hopes of not having to sit next to). Ask yourself, how many times does a casual conversation I’m in end in a lecture (from me)?

          3. Susan, the sanctimonious lecturing here is all you. I’m not angry or hostile. I am averse to nonsense and bs-especially in the form of pointless virtue signaling. But you go on being bothered, you seem to have perfected the skill.

          4. Susan, I’m case you are genuinely wondering what I find ridiculous about your post: Emily made an offhand comment about why she THINKS Mormons (which she does not count herself among btw) might enjoy tracing their genealogy. She doesn’t espouse creationism. The fact that some people may actually be able to trace their genealogy back to an event (that they believe correlates with a biblical event) does not mean that they, or Emily, deny the humanity of POC. In fact, that is an absurd leap to make. But, if Emily does happen to be a creationist, that is certainly her right and it’s hugely inappropriate for you to comment on her, or anyone’s religious beliefs here. It bothers you that Emily didn’t specifically mirror your views on evolution in her DESIGN POST, so you take the opportunity to imply that she is promoting racism: yep, cuckoo.

          5. Perhaps consider that it may be possible that It’s hugely inappropriate for you to stipulate who should and should not be ‘triggered’ about something, or not.

            Simply because someone else is triggered by the ‘dead people’ as we’re referring to them, being all white in relation to white historical facts, doesn’t bother me so much; it clearly raises issues for others.

            Instead of shooting them down, because it does not personally affect you, maybe create space for them to feel what they feel and understand where they’re coming from.
            We all have our ‘tender spots’ and triggers, and not everyone is able, determined nor prepared to be stoic about them.

            Peace; because everyone is dealing with some kind of battle.

          6. I have no issue with people being triggered. My issue is with the current “trend” of encouraging each other to seek out and nurture these sore spots. It’s not healthy or constructive. In fact it’s infantilizing and some would say, oppressive. Should w keep the “downtrodden” focused on their grievances rather than on their futures?

          7. I think we should all be token minorities at exclusive golf clubs that display imagery of all the world’s past evils to remind us how “lucky we are” and try and convince the older club members that we aren’t less than human by virtue of our race, creed, sex, et al and tell anyone who feels bad when they are discriminated against to just suck it up and stop being pathetic and feeling sorry for themselves. Fun!

          8. I said first minority, not token. There have been many more minority members since my friend joined. Feel bad all you want. Tell others to revel in feeling bad, too. What will you have to show for it in the end? A lifetime of feeling bad. Go for it.

        1. She’ll vomit, then she’ll probably tell us all how she had this horrible vomiting disease THAT SHE GOT OVER, and came out better than ever, so whatever is bothering anyone else, WELL DAMNIT, THEY CAN GET OVER IT, TOO!

  17. I love the landscapes you found and the chairs are gorgeous! That’s one of my favorite shades of green, plus C&B’s website says the wood is FSC certified. Great choice!
    BTW, I remember popsicle “art” from elementary school. The best I ever managed was, I think, a raft. 🙁

  18. Would that sweet Victorian magazine rack work in a guest bath, with an extra roll of toilet paper on the plant rack portion and a cute tin box for feminine products, perhaps?

  19. Oh golly- I wish I knew how to add photos to my comment b/c I have the ultra serious, don’teversmileforphotos 50th wedding anniversary photo of my great-great grandparents hanging on my half-bath wall….watching all who potty there- :-). It is in the original cool horizontally-oval frame and lined up with the door when open which can be seen from the kitchen and great room. It makes everyone burst out laughing which is exactly what I was going for. I suggest a gallery wall in your powder bath or someplace that is unexpected. I think people enjoy it. I hung a 2 x 3′ scene of St. Francis (called The Ecstacy of St. Francis) over the sink in that bathroom and a tiny mirror on the side wall beside the pocket door. Again, endless comments from – “I felt watched” to “It was nice to be able to look at that scene…at all the hidden images in the art while I sat there… going to the bathroom was never so much fun.” I am always out for the unexpected, and I think if you hung your people on one wall in the bathroom, floor-to-ceiling, would be quite the entertaining statement. (Behind my 1/2 bath toilet I had my son paint animal heads, so my guests are being watched from every angle.)

  20. I love Sojourner truths’ “Ain’t I a Woman speech “and she has long been an inspirationr I’ve had a picture of Sojourne.Truth on my wall for 50 years, with some relatives who fought in revolutionary war. I get my history fix, and share some Truth when people ask. Maybe that would be an idea?
    ps. I’m white,I love who I love , that is part of my wokeness, pc or not.

  21. So hard to find true credenza type storage furniture with that shallow a depth. Hear me out – could something like this work, with lots of matching baskets to neaten it up and make it less busy with the flood? Might still be too much/too open, but just an idea since <20” is a challenge. You could also look for things in the “console table” category and settle for less storage specially for like big dishes and plates; might make it more possible to find the depth you need. (Worth it I’m guessing for important flow reasons!)

  22. Oh, vintage with a side of creationism, that’s fun.

    Also wondering what happened to that “vintage” blue hutch you had shipped from Sweden???

  23. Great haul! Considering you run your business from home, was there a discussion around including a separate office for you somewhere in the house? I work from home 100% and would struggle with working from the dining table, or in any open space. Just curious.

    1. Emily’s original plans include turning the little Victorian house on the property into her office.

  24. What ever happened to the blue cabinet that was going in the sunroom? It would have been nice to have a picture of what it looks with the blue and white tile.
    Antiques and thrift is a higher quality than anything made now…. not sure about the popsicle lamp I’ve seen a lot those in the Midwest.
    Ha creepy people in Old picture frames it’s good to have an eccentric hoppy. Keep the vintage posts coming

  25. The MOST COMFORTABLE SOFA is from Wesley Hall’s budget line. We have had two. We still have one and two arm chairs that are 18 years old and look and feel new. The couch is long enough to nap. The chairs will put you to sleep.

  26. I am not Mormon (nor American) but the love of genealogy surely is connected to their efforts to find non Mormon ancestors in order to baptise them (which is such a creepy thing to do in my opinion since it is essentially converting people after death without their input)
    since many people have pointed out oregons racist history it is also worth pointing out in my opinion that the Mormon church has an extremely racist history and prohibited black members from taking part in many important aspects of the church, including priesthood until the 1970s. The motto was:  “you shall be a white and a delightsome people”, a sentence taken out of the Book of Mormon.

    1. Romans used to feed Christians to lions. Should Christians be triggered by old Italian paintings? This is insanity.

    2. 2 quick responses to this. One, find me a major religion with a history free of racism, or of being used to justify racism and/or imperialism. Two, do you know any LDS people? I do, and while it’s not a church I would choose for myself, it deserves better than to be condemned in such broad and outdated strokes. (It’s growing fast in Africa — go figure.)
      Among Mormons I know, the love of history and genealogy is much deeper and more profound than a means of “converting people after death without their input,” which I don’t think is even happening anymore. It brings a ton of meaning and strength to everyday life to know where you came from, and how, and what your ancestors were doing at your age, etc. Henry Louis Gates’s show on PBS shows just how meaningful that can be, and how atrocious it was to strip enslaved people of their own families, names, culture and history. And even today, to refuse to acknowledge the extent to which this country was built on slavery and racism.
      On that note, I recommend the 1619 Project, which changed my world view forever and convinced me that reparations are long overdue, and the book The Color of Law.

    3. i am mormon, and it is crazy to me that people who are not mormon feel it is their place to say things about it. it is kind of the last religion that people can still put down (as a whole) . would you say negative things about muslims/jews/etc? no church is perfect (it’s made up of people, after all) but i know lots and lots and lots of mormons and none of us are racist.

  27. I cannot believe the triggered responses regarding the old portraits. My gosh, of all the things to drag racism into. Isnt art one of those subjective things that comes down to individual taste? This is her house, where she lives, not some diversity and equity training. Now, they aren’t exactly my cup of tea, but at least they aren’t being thrown into the landfill. I’d make a weird gallery wall on the stairs going down into the basement, seems appropriately creepy.

    1. This is her house, but Emily has a large platform where she’s shared many things (not all design-related). I’ve read her posts about reading Layla Saad’s book, Me and White Supremacy and her previous post on MLK day with her kids, among others. I think giving this feedback on the portraits is appropriate.

  28. While I could find one antique portrait in an unexpected spot surprising, like the sailor among the seascapes, I don’t get the appeal of a gallery wall, unless they’re your own family.

    The dining chairs are stylish and look comfy!

    Have you looked at Copeland furniture? They’re beautifully made and the walnut is gorgeous (we have a bed and nightstands in walnut). They can customize the length and storage configuration of the dining room cabinets and they’re only 18″ deep. Here’s one example:

  29. Wonder if you would ever add a person of color to your antique portrait collection. I doubt it, you seem to live in a pretty lily white world.

  30. I was going bananas over those chairs when I saw them! They’re so so so good!!!! I tried for a long time to find vintage chairs for our dining room, and finally gave up and bought them from article because I couldn’t find enough matching chairs that were sturdy. I’d say 95% of the stuff in our house is secondhand or vintage, but that’s one thing that I chose to do New. No regrets. These Chairs are so so gorgeous. Perfect for that room too.
    Also love the popsicle stick lamp !!!!! Your laundry room vintage lamp and this one are amazing!!!!! I’m on the lookout for some ones just like them!

  31. This whole thread turned into quite a pile-on. In essence, let’s find things to dump on Emily about.” Oregon, Mormonism, portraits of dead old white people — oh and where the hell is that blue hutch she ordered from overseas? If you have read Isabel Wilkerson’s book “Caste,” you know this country’s most malignant problem is not solely racism, but something larger — the dehumanizing and “othering” of fellow human beings in order to gain or maintain dominance. Frankly I see some of that in these snide comments. Emily’s thing for pictures of long-gone people (which strikes me as an effort to connect with their humanity) means little to me when stacked against her unending efforts to be a better person and to make this blog a positive experience for all. I get the sense that her critics here are “othering” and demonizing long-gone fellow humans for being white, or for living in Oregon years ago. Really? Do you have info that those people A.) even lived in Oregon and B.) had a hand in its racist laws, or were cheerleaders for that? To take it further, should we shun classical music and art for having risen out of racist, imperialist cultures? Should we shun Roman architecture because they were enslavers? Let me know when you figure all that out.

    1. PS I have a feeling that some who suggest Emily find portraits of African Americans to put on her walls might accuse her of virtue signaling or tokenism if she managed to find any…

    2. While I disagree with you on certain things (Emily’s blog is not a positive experience, it’s an experience to live off of making people want the stuff she purchases and it’s a highly unsustainable model and lifestyle (I’d be curious to know Emily’s carbon footprint)), I DO agree with the fact that people have gone extreme on these portraits! Does that mean that, when going to a museum, you cannot admire a painting without being certain of the model’s background? If you get a painting for you, you have to check the model’s life (if it’s a portrait) and the painter’s life so as to be sure it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings? I just heard an interview where the interviewee said that people like Picasso or Balthus where getting scrubbed out of French scholar programs because of some aspects of their lives. How sad! How boring! It’s all leading to a highly controlled vanilla world. Why can’t we assume that it’s not impossible to both admire an art piece AND know that the painter or model wasn’t a person you wished you had known?

      1. I love this response. I think we all have chapter’s of our lives we’d rather not share with others, but if we isolate only those negative bits as a reflection of the whole person or picture we would never see the good that might have happened before or after. Life is a messy business, and those pioneers that settled Oregon, like my ancestors, were also probably complex individuals, with desirable and undesirable traits. And look what happened in Oregon, once a safe haven for racism and bigotry, it’s now one of the most liberal and progressive states in the whole nation. We can’t erase or rewrite history because then we can’t look back accurately and learn anything, I appreciate an open dialogue, and a willingness to change one’s mind, and to be charitable regarding the intentions of other people.

        1. Thank you D! Your comment is exactly why history is important, to witness, accept and grow. It’s important to give everyone Grace to become better, not keep pushing people back or poking at healing wounds but allow people and societies to learn, and become better.
          I mean living and giving Grace along these lines – 🙂 Wishing everyone a lovely Sunday!

    3. I’ve also been surprised by where the comments went on this thread. Aren’t there far bigger fish to fry? And in places other than this comment section?! We are a FOC– family of color :)– and have a few random portraits we found thrifting. Our favorite is of a black man, painted in the early seventies, and we love it because it looks SO MUCH like our middle son. We sometimes invent a little bio for him. It’s not creepy at all to us; instead it’s a really familiar face that we enjoy on our wall.

  32. I LOVE the new dining chairs and am in the market for some but….HOW can fabric be durable? I just shudder to think of my 8 and 10 year olds eating spaghetti on such gorgeous chairs. would love to hear thoughts on how to keep them clean!

  33. Ok – so even though the paint color Stillwater makes me think of Almost Famous in a fond way and crush on Billy Crudup all over again, (he’s just smokin’ – amiright?) what if you did something outside of the usual blue/white/wood formula?

    IMO the Family Room needs some depth and some warmth. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you do a beige, but what about a light taupe color in there? Like SW Pediment? Still light enough for great photos, but it would add so much to the room. Stillwater will instantly darken it up. And I feel like there are so many pastel-y tones in it that won’t necessarily add warmth or depth. And to reference a previous post of yours, I feel like if you clad the ceiling beams in a white oak, it would truly elevate the space, and add the “thing” you feel like you are missing. If you decide to stick with a white in there to still have great photos, SW Incredible White is my go-to. It has so much depth, but also warmth and coolness. Our own homes are always the hardest, arghhh. Arghh is what your framed sailor dude would say with his new frame.
    An Internet Stranger (but actually a pseudo-fangirl, if I’m being completely honest)

  34. I have to say, I’m a little confused why you’re thinking of putting in internal doors to the sunroom. You completely gutted this house and designed this house’s floorplan from scratch; why not include a dedicated home office space in this main house, especially as Brian works from home too? I hate to say it, but it seems pretty poorly thought out.

    1. Being a reno, there was finite square footage to work with, plus budget constraints. The sunroom was always intended to function as a home office space/conference room during the day and occasionally as a formal dining room.

    2. Long term after the renovation there will also be the second house which offers plenty of work and storage space, as intended.

  35. The “abstract” looks like a robot knight! I love old portraits for the exact same reason. It’s so fascinating to me to imagine how people used to live. Fun fact: a lot of these portraits were prepped in advance with standard shoulders/bodies, then the artist went around and added the face of the people who paid for them. It allowed artists to be more efficient when traveling to rural areas.

  36. No one else has mentioned it but I immediately thought the stick & ball magazine rack/plant stand would be a perfect sheet music stand next to your piano!

    And thank you for the reminder of the loveliness of popsicle stick lamps! Going to be on the lookout.

  37. Those dining room chairs are to die for. LOVE!
    I am not creeped out by the portraits. I love them too and collect them. But – just an idea – I plant them all over the house in unexpected places. I tried putting them all together and I felt like they lost their specialness.
    I would love to see you go to a local art fair/open studio some time. I share your love of vintage art but I like to mix it up with new stuff from local artists (or etsy) so that I am buying ‘things I love’ not just ‘things that fit into a collecting category.’

  38. This post highlights just how beautifully your dining room floors came out. Just stunning. Kudos to you for taking the road less traveled. You built in a history that will be just as lovely to look at in 50 years as it is today.

  39. I love the chairs! From the pictures here and at CB website, the green looks more velvety than mohairy. Are they smooth or itchy ? How do you think they would look with an oval table or is that too many curves?

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