Yesterday was a really awful day and while the reality of their decision was known, we are still heartbroken. Silence and inaction fix nothing but we all felt that a break from the news cycle and our Instagram feeds were needed. This isn’t something we will be silent about but for today, on this design blog, we are here to be a little escape filled with vintage.
To no one’s surprise I “enjoy” the decorating process more than the renovation process. To be clear, I appreciate the renovation process as it’s more creatively challenging and pushes me further and harder, thus can be more rewarding in the end. But OOF, the decoration and styling process is just more enjoyable. The stakes are relatively low, nothing has to be permanent, and everything is a lot less expensive. As you know I’ve started investing in a few new pieces – an extremely comfy TV watching family sectional, our perfect dining table, and our special counter stools, but if I can find the right thing that’s vintage, I WILL buy it. On the weekends when I feel overwhelmed with the renovation and want to “have fun” I jump on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, head to the antique malls, and even have a few pickers shop for me. So here are some of my latest scores…
Post Modern Pine Chair And Nightstand
Look at that chunky little monkey. This chair and matching nightstand were by far the splurgiest FB marketplace thing I’ve bought thus far. They were $500 for both (including delivery) and the only reason I felt ok about it is because I had been eyeing many that were similar on 1stDibs at 4 times the price, many in Europe which could cost a lot to transport (and I do want to be careful about ordering from so far away for carbon footprint reasons).
These two are generous in size (bigger than a kids’) and once stripped, sanded, and sealed will be a pretty light pine like our nightstands at the mountain house (which were much more expensive). I obviously love the rounded legs and while this is a trend, I feel very comfortable buying this trend in a high-quality vintage piece rather than a new mass-market piece (nothing wrong with that, but this is my preference). Here are similar vibe options: This one is a modern option, this is a budget-friendly option, and this one is a cool vintage set option:)
The Aged Planters
Big heavy planters are expensive, so when I find unique ones like this I JUMP. These were $225 each which is also splurgey but I could see them so perfectly in the kitchen patio area. Paired with a taller-footed gentleman and perhaps my 7′ wooden bird sculpture, these feel so happy and whimsical, especially in the winter months.
The Vintage Basketball Hoop Inspired Chair
I was drawn to this immediately because it looked playful and so fun. We were shopping after Mother’s Day brunch, forcing my children to come along after 2 mimosas obviously, and when Charlie and Elliot saw this they both freaked out. I sat in it, ensuring comfort and it is really comfortable! Way more than most sling chairs, actually. It was $245 and worth it, IMHO (and no, I rarely try to bargain with vintage dealers as I know that their profit margin is slim already and I have the budget to pay in full. Urbanite gives designers a 10% discount which is lovely). If you are into postmodern design, follow THNGS on Instagram and see what they are collecting. They are out of Portland and it’s all my kid’s dream furniture.
Vintage Metal Garden Table
What you can’t tell from this photo is that the dark paint underneath is the perfect blue. I loved those chunky round legs (again) and could picture it in not one, not two, but THREE different places making it a worthy versatile investment (kitchen patio, next to our bathtub, as a plant holder in the sunroom). I believe this was $115, again not cheap, but LOVE.
Tromp L’oleil Ghost Table
I told Annie, from Shop Wilma that I was shopping online for a ghost side or console table and a few weeks after that, lo and behold. She was about to have a sale that day so I snagged it for a cool $700 which is actually a deal as they are on 1stDibs for $4,500. Of course, they are being knocked off now which sucks (and is understandable) but the real ones do look better.
Scallop Console Table
I bought this the first week we were here for around $100 including delivery. I had ideas of making it a bathroom console, cutting out for the sink, but it’s pretty shallow. I bought it anyway because it’s so cute and I have plans to paint it a fun or dark color.
Blue Architectural Swing Lamp
Sixty bucks. Cute color. Not sure where it’s going to go but likely a kid’s room.
This is a very specific movement that some of us are VERY into. So into, in fact, that they go for $2500 on 1stDibs. So I told Annie (Shop Wilma) that I was desperate for one, she texted me a month later, finally finding one for $285. Still a lot for a lamp, but they are hand made from, you guessed it, popsicle sticks in a tramp art type of way. This one isn’t perfect (dusty and maybe janky) but there is still something so whimsical and rebellious about them. To take something so elementary (popsicle sticks) and painstakingly turn them into works chic lamps through such engineering precision is really special.
Antique Maple Dressers
Elliot wants “SO MUCH COLOR, RAINBOW, AND UNICORN EVERYWHERE”. So to help foster her creativity (without literally committing to it), I am buying used furniture to experiment on and she has to help do it. If she wants a hot pink dresser, we’ll paint a hot pink dresser TOGETHER. Like me, she needs to understand the work that goes into making something, and not just willy-nilly get what she wants. She wants drawers of different colors and I’m not going to custom-make something like that for her. Instead, we are going to do it ourselves. So again, these dressers are our experimental pieces and I’m SO excited to do it together. They were both $200, including delivery.
This is more vanity sized, but look how sweet that scalloped shape front is. Love.
Mid-Century Art Desk With Storage
So this is where I might have really gone too far. I was so excited about this desk where the wheeled chair (that birdie is sitting on) pushes in flush. It has so much storage (underneath her seat and on the side) and she is OBSESSED with it. It’s been 5 months and she does art at it most nights. My plan was to paint it, but I did the “can you deliver it for $20 today” thing where I didn’t inspect it (it was $60). Upon further/later inspection it is not exactly super well made. We can still paint it (thinking a light color) but the outside is not solid wood so it’s never going to be this crisp awesome piece that I had envisioned when I found it. I still love the idea of it, but not sure I can strip and paint it to make it as good as it was in my head when I found it.
Head to stories to see more videos of this haul and if you have any other popsicle lamps, wicker ghost tables, Jacob’s ladder or Irish square quilts – hit this lady up.
Ah, my absolute favorite type of blog post. Yesterday was a rough day. Thank you!
I love this! We have been furnishing our house from local furniture consignment stores and Nextdoor listings. It’s fun but slow going. But that’s not a problem for me personally bc I have no internet audience and my friends and neighbors are either understanding or just very polite.
I’ve really been enjoying getting to know the local shop owners and I love how you are highlighting the specific stores local to you where you are finding treasures. That must be such a boost to them!
I was also expecting a different kind of post today, especially in light of what this blog typically does after other monumental affairs. Seems weird to me there’s not even a mention of what just happened yesterday. This blog is a good escape, and I wouldn’t have expected a mention of anything, if mentions of big things weren’t previously done on the blog before. Considering that, this post falls pretty flat and is extremely disappointing.
I feel exactly the same way. I come here more for the community than the design, these days, and always appreciate Emily’s use of her enormous platform to bring awareness and discussion to really important topics. I am shaken to find silence today. I never thought I would see this day. I don’t want to talk about thrifting.
She has shared about today on her Instagram and I think a lot of people (including me) love having this as a comforting distraction as I come here as this kind of content brings me joy whatever kind of day I’ve had. Maybe a note saying that this was intended as that at the top of the post would change the tone.
I agree, a note would have been appreciated, especially for those who come here because we don’t have social media (no insta for me…)
Please know that no one on the team was ok yesterday or today. Regardless of knowing the likelihood of ruling, we are gutted. Emily did post about her feelings on Instagram but all of us were needing a momentary break from the news. That’s why we decided not to say anything today assuming we weren’t alone in that feeling. We won’t stay silent, we will fight, but today this blog is a mini escape.
Thank you for sharing that Jess. I appreciate knowing I’m not the only one gutted. However, just a wee bit of feedback you are free to ignore: the silence does make it come across as acceptance/agreement in light of this blog not remaining silent before after other equally heavy moments requiring a mini escape. Even a little note or asterisk at the top of the post stating the silence in no way means acceptance, would have been appreciated. Just my 2 cents from an internet stranger who comes here to feel solidarity not only in design, but as a social community as well. Thank you for all that you do!
I understand and a note at the top of the post was added<3
I agree with this – esp since the Sunday post also doesn’t say anything.
If I want to agonize over the news there are hundreds of thousands of other forums on the net to do so. I actually find it tiresome that a design blog is expected to provide “awareness” to the world on political issues. Silence does not mean acceptance. I read a comics blog and he didn’t say a word today and I don’t expect him to.
The problem is that Emily and her team have repeatedly cast this blog as an inclusive community and pledged to prioritize equity and social justice issues. With each post on how to be eco friendly but somehow the math doesn’t work out or the seemingly marginal inclusion of contributors of color, they slip further and further from that promise. That’s why people care.
They will never be able to satisfy everyone. So maybe it’s ok for them to stick to the theme of this blog. I think their first mistake was to attempt to placate the masses instead of simply stating that this is not a political blog and quietly making changes as their own outlooks evolved.
I have been frustrated with this also and agree re: race. The pictures from the historical hotel post reminded me of my home- too much white. Better if a bit more color was added in. I do not say this to be offensive. I like each staff member a great deal. But still a lot of white.
LOVE this kind of content!
So much snark in the comment section. It’s ironic on a day when so many women sadly lost body autonomy that people would still be so scathing of your right to choose and your right to take pride in your choices. Over the years I’ve noticed your posts become more and more apologetic, your beautiful positive writing style now crammed full of disclaimers, but please, women need to STOP apologising! I don’t know if you use the expression “tall poppy syndrome” in that states, but basically that’s what I see here, a woman who has built her business through an incredible amount of talent, effort and intelligence, while all around her others “snip snip”. I come to this blog to see inspirational design, not the contents of my neighbour’s living room. I don’t want to carbon-copy your rooms, I want to see beautiful shape and form translated into workable design in the happy home of a mum (with kids and dogs and thoughts and feelings and SPIRIT!). I want those images expanding my mental aesthetic palette and pushing my boundaries. You don’t disappoint. Who cares what your chairs cost ffs, you earn your money and I love to see you… Read more »
Thank you for this and I love the poppy analogy. There is a whole lot of expectation put on one person who I think navigates it with grace and vulnerability.
I also appreciate the poppy analogy and “grace and vulnerability” is spot on.
Wow, well stated.
I am only an occasional reader of this blog, but even with the minimal time I spend here, I will say that, Eve, you are so right! This is so well stated. Emily works incredibly hard, earns her money, has the courage of her convictions etc.
Agree 100% with this. I love reading this blog (including today’s post!), love hearing from cool women creators, and love seeing so many varied and thoughtful design ideas on display. At the same time, the comment section has become unrelentingly negative and nit-picky. I don’t get it.
I knew I’d come on here and a certain type of person would be lamenting as if it’s the end of the world, despite being the most privledged people in the entire world . Those of us not in America think it’s hysterical how ungrateful you all are and how unhappy you appear to be despite having vast amounts more than the rest of us.
…not just ungrateful but unhappy after legalization as reported by 240 female researchers in today’s WSJ. Not only were there lower levels of unhappiness but greater numbers of dissatisfaction in long-term relationships.
You don’t speak for those of us not in America. You only speak for yourself.
“Over the years I’ve noticed your posts become more and more apologetic, your beautiful positive writing style now crammed full of disclaimers…”
Eve, I do not find Emily’s writing apologetic and full of disclaimers. I do think it is becoming more inclusive and I think she does a good job of acknowledging that not everyone has the same life experience.
Thank you for this Eve. So well said and I agree 100%
Standing ovation, Eve.
Thank you Emily. I needed this today.
I really like the scalloped console and maple dresser. Actually I like the wood on the dresser. I know that you envision unicorns, rainbows and all kinds of whimsical stuff on the dresser BUT what if you painted the inside in all fun colors and designs. It would make it an enchanting surprise every time Elliot opens the drawers. And it would be a mother- daughter project she could enjoy forever.
Totally agree- the birds eye maple (?) veneer looks really nice. And it’s hard to sand or strip veneer without destroying it- especially if it is older.
if Birdie wants pink and rainbows and unicorns- and you still want to use this dresser- why not look into vinyl removable wallpapers for the dresser? it’s less work, less mess and doesn’t destroy the original piece.
there’s tons of cute options and she can help with the measuring and the application and using the squeegee to get the air bubbles out. Painting the interior or doing fabric linings with cornstarch is also a fun kid craft. it’s still work but way more fun. She can also pick out new knobs and hardware.
then when she is older she can change it again or have it natural and get to have the cool vintage
SAME for the wavy maple dressers!! please leave the outside alone!!!!
Yeah, I’m going to jump on this bandwagon . . . I’m still feeling all the feels from yesterday and seeing that you are planning to paint over that lovely birds eye maple made me even sadder.
It IS your furniture and unlike our bodies, you have full control over it – but I just think the birds eye pattern is so lovely to look at, so I’m on Team No-Paint.
Just my .02.
Please do not paint the maple dresser!
I have my grandmother’s birds eye maple bedroom set, very similar to this. It was all in perfect condition until it was handed down to my family and we kids spilled water on the top of the dresser. I still have it but I have a piece of black silk covering the top under a piece of heavy glass. I also considered putting photos under the glass which might fun for a young girl. It looks like the top of yours may be damaged. Maybe paint that but please don’t paint the outside! You can’t go back.
Yes! The bird’s eye maple was my favorite of all of the furniture profiled, so I was disappointed to see the plans to paint it. I love the suggestions to paint the insides of the drawers or use vinyl decals. Since the dresser is supposed to be teaching Birdie some life lessons, you could throw in something about learning to compromise…
I’m inclined to agree about the beautiful wood of the dresser, though of course it is very difficult to tell about the quality and condition from a snapshot online.
That’s a great idea to use temporary measures like vinyl decals though!
I don’t know enough about individual pieces of furniture, so maybe the ghost table is called a ghost table. I just found it interesting because when I saw it I immediately saw it as a stump table. Like the waves are the just showing above ground roots.
Still love the old stuff! I have a curved front oak dresser with original mirror that came from my home as a child. So I put a granite top and vessel sink on it and it is now my bathroom sink/vanity!
I follow Emily’s blog for the home design only and don’t understand the complaints today; actuallly I appreciated a breath of lighter fresh air under the circumstances. I enjoyed seeing the really interesting assortment of different styles and eras, but I do have one issue: PLEASE don’t paint over the gorgeous birds-eye maple dressers!! Birds-eye maple is a very rare and beautiful wood that should be showcased rather than hidden; maybe pass them along to someone who appreciates fine wood and find other curved-front dressers with a lesser wood to paint?
Dressers I would love to own being turned into a child’s craft project is pretty painful.
When you said “ghost table,” I was thinking Philippe Starck ghost chair, and I was confused. I never knew those wavy wicker tables were called ghost tables. Cool.
I almost bought a popsicle stick lamp on eBay last year, so I get your obsession. If I could have found a place for it, I’d have gotten it in a shot. But I gotta stop buying for my fictional future mansion.
I am thrilled that Emily didn’t post about the abortion issue–that is not what this blog is for! For those wanted a response from her on the topic: -what if she DID dedicate a post to it AND you found out that her opinion on the matter DIDN’T match your own? Then there would be a rash of comments getting political, personal and mean. No, just no. Stick to the designing aspect on this forum and let people discuss why she paid hundreds of dollars for popsicle sticks!!
Exactly. I have a feeling this is coming and I’m not even going to read the comments section when it does.
Such great finds. I can’t wait to see them in your new home
It is difficult knowing what to write about in such times. I prefer to write about what I know and so, hopefully, I can pull both things in together: furniture and art. I personally love posts like this because I’m from Portland, and love to read about what Emily has found locally. I particularly love the serpentine-fronted dresser. I refinished this one a few years ago, and love how the curved detailing add another dimension to the piece; there’s a lovely softness to it. As a business, I work with fine art (and as an ex-social worker), I find myself drawn to art that evoke feelings. This is Miranda by Waterhouse (from Shakespeare’s The Tempest). This piece came to mind after reading this post (I haven’t thought about it for awhile). In The Tempest (depicted in the painting) Miranda is full of sorrow looking towards the storm that has sliced the ship in two. But despite the sorrow, she still appears calm holding her hand to her heart.
I think it’s a very fitting painting for today’s climate.
And we will continue to weather the storm.
Well, this is a dresser of another color (so to speak) and about the only painting-over-wood that I could get behind. It’s GORGEOUS, and I wish that PDX was a lot closer to Nevada City!
Thank you so much! I started off doing the regular paint jobs, but decided that I (my business )needed ‘more’ – and so, now I look at furniture as a blank canvas. It’s incredibly rewarding, and I hope my pieces will either Start or Stop a conversion when you walk into the room 🙂
I love the chunky chair and matching nightstands! and the ghost table. The dressers are so beautiful. Like others have mentioned, I would feel sad to see them painted unless they were done extremely well like someone posted an example with a piece of art painted on the front of the drawers. They just look really high-quality. And I used to paint furniture when I was younger, so I do understand the appeal to it. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do. The planters look really cool!
A journalist raised in the anti-abortion Christian right talks about how she and her sisters became pro-choice. “Anti-abortion rhetoric only works if you don’t know that your sister has a medical condition that could mean death if she gets pregnant. Anti-abortion rhetoric only works if you’ve never seen your friend recover from a violent beating at the hands of her boyfriend. Never worked at a women’s shelter and seen the wives of pastors come in sobbing, secretly on birth control, because they cannot afford to have another child. So, how did I, the indoctrinated daughter of the American conservative right, grow up to champion the very cause I had been told was evil? Simple: I lived life as an American woman.” (Financial Times)
I’m fascinated by the wicker ghost table, such a beautiful shape. I’m curious to see how much and the mixture of vintage styles you incorporate into the farmhouse decor. I enjoy painting wooden furniture to make it more my style. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is my favorite way to do it: no stripping or sanding needed! I looked up your local stockist and they offer the full array of products and classes: https://www.thecolorshoppdx.com/annie-sloan . I worked some years ago for a stockist and they get lots of training on all the techniques and uses for the ASCP products. I’d highly recommend actually going to a workshop first rather than trying to figure it out on your own. Especially if you’re involving Elliot, it’ll make it so much easier!
We finished a whole house renovation in September and I still have yet to decorate a thing. Nothing is on the wall, my giant bookshelf is empty, I wish so much I was like you Emily. The decorating part is so hard for me.
I don’t want to seem that I’m hogging the thread, but I just came back to re-read the post (I sometimes do that, depending on what kind of mood I’m in, on the first read). And I wanted to go back to the notion of Birdie wanting unicorns and everything magical in her room. I often think we ‘grown-ups’ start to look at mythical creatures etc as being not design worthy etc. But often, that’s far from the truth. I did a series of unicorn pieces based on the Unicorn Tapestries (woven around the 15th century, and seven in total) that I adore (and are now in various places throughout the US).. Maybe this is something to work with? Rather than doing something that appeals to her now, as a child; give her something that she can continue to love as an adult too. A heirloom? Here’s one of the pieces. (again, sorry to do the ‘self-promotion’ thing, but maybe it’s something perhaps wouldn’t have come up on your radar). Regardless, we already know the home is going to be a showstopper!!
I have to say, as someone who is actively working in the reproductive rights area FOR repro rights and justice, I am 100% here for the distraction. It is so welcome to just take a breather, because it is so unavoidable and grim on every platform that I use for escapism right now. Please, keep at it!
Will be exciting to see these finds in future vignettes. Especially excited to see your dresser project with Birdie! I agree that building something together will build important memories and understandings.
As for country politics, this fight will be ongoing and I prefer separate posts with real info to dig into vs mixing it in as a token. That type of response takes time and thought. Thanks for acknowledging the awful reality and moving on- like many big challenges facing us in this era- this one requires sustained action. Women’s rights are human rights.
Saw this and thought of the farmhouse, maybe Emily’s office sun porch? Have no idea about its value from a design perspective, but think it looks beautiful on the tiled floor. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1399474610068117/permalink/5843355729013294/?sale_post_id=5843355729013294