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Possibly ugly vintage furniture styled so right, shopping with Emily and Orlando.

Dear Emily’s Readers,

Emily and I have been doing our fair share of shopping. It’s been a while since I told you about it, but we’ve seen so many wonderful things, so many disgusting things, and so many questionable things. In order to figure out whether something is ugly or not, we like to visualize each piece in a glamourous photoshoot. Below are some of our finds and few inspiration shots that help us figure out whether or not to buy questionable items.

First things first, this guy. $75:

Sure, he’s kind of a nerd. If he took you to the school dance you’d be all “I barely know that guy my mom made me bring him.” But what if you put him in a giant, glorious gallery wall? Like this:

He’d be right at home and the life of the party, right? And this black and white piece of art, a little boring right? And not cheap at $300.

But, hey gurl! What if you hung it over your bed in a glittering gold frame? Totally delish.

We saw this piece at the Long Beach Flea Market. We needed no convincing of its loveliness. Super pretty piece. And, like, practically free at $200.

I think not buying this piece is the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life. We could have stuck it in a bright happy room like this one, staring at it every day to remember why life is worth living.

This green chandy. We tried to convince a client to buy it but they looked at us like we were a rotting pile of dead fish. I guess it was’t for them. $250.

I think I’d paint it white and put it in my luxurious kitchen (that I don’t have):

We love love love these sidetables:

They would also look adorable painted blue:

There is a fantastic online tutorial on how to refinish bamboo sidetables. It would behoove you to check it out.

I’ve been ogling this lamp at vintage store in Silverlake. It’s $800 though. Worth it? I’m on the fence.

Whenever we see glass grapes, Emily gets excited and I get confused. I’m always baffled that she likes them. And she’s always like “what’s not to like?” as if everyone in the whole world but me likes them and I am some sort of monster for not liking them. I have a fear or fake fruit. Like someday I’ll forget it’s fake and try to eat it and then I’ll have to go to the emergency room because there are glass shards in my stomach. This chandelier cost $450. I won’t be buying it anytime soon. Actually, I resent it, and all the psychological damage and confusion it’s caused me.

BUT! Look at how cute these glass grapes look:

How about them apples? Or grapes. Or whatever. I’m still not buying it. But they do look good enough to eat (which I guess is part of the problem).

These chairs. $350 for the set. The shape: fun. The upholstery, nastypants.

But, HARK! Why not upholster them in something fun and place them under a $500, 000 painting? That’s sure to spruce up the entry way and make you feel totally rich!

We loved this circular mirror and actually purchased it for our French provencial client. $250. 

Hopefully, when we are done installing the mirror will look as lovely as this:

Whenever I see a horse head, I think of Emily (this one was $100). A fun fact about her is that she has a terrifying disembodied head collection in her house. She loves showing it to all her guests, right before they slowly back out of the house, nervous sweat dripping down their faces.

Doesn’t this wicker table and chairs make you want to dance? $300. 

I think you could easily substitute our beautiful wicker find for this delightful table and chair combo and have an equally pretty dining situation.

Or you could style it like this in front of a pretty china hutch filled with delightful aqua pots:

This wicker secretary desk is so Emily that I half expected her to pop out of it when I opened it up. Sadly, all that jumped out was a mouse. Into my mouth. Just kidding that never happened. $249.

If you close you eyes hard enough, and believe in yourself, you can see the secretary being styled just like this one:

Do you believe?

You know what I believe in? This beautiful chair for only $99. Yes, the vinyl upholstery is stupid and ugly and rude. But if you use your imagination you can just see it reupholstered in luxurious velvet. MMMMMMM.

Actually, you don’t have to use your imagination because Emily and I got this baby reupholstered. We also had the REVOLTING lacquer removed from the arms and legs. And then it looked like this:

It was for a client, but after we customized it I seriously thought about running off with it.

In other news, I love this tall boy for $249. The legs are to die for.

If it were mine, I’d style it like this one:

And then I’d be so happy, there would never be a reason to cry again. Except for when I run out of Crystal Light. That’s the worst.

…HAY STOOL! $100.

The glaze on this stool is so nice. I can just see it in a lovely sitting room like this one:

These bamboo chairs were $175 for the pair at Out of the Closet

When talking about bamboo chairs, the question isn’t “what CAN I do with this?” It’s “what CAN’T I do with this?”



Hello, Dresser. With fun knobs. And crazy legs. You remind me of myself. $349.

You could pair it with a wonderful painting:

You could do this (if you have a gigantic house with tall ceilings and amazing architectural detail):

Or you could go crazy and have the whole thing refinished and completely tranformed:

Why not?

So, there you go. Some of our favorite finds and what you should do with them. Now go out and buy some ugly stuff and make it beautiful!



Read more from contributor Orlando Soria at


P.S. Now you actually CAN come shopping with me and Orlando!  Win a free trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, all expenses paid, to shop with me and my team! Details HERE. 


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