As you know the main architecture of the farm was designed in the “Scandi Shaker Farmhouse” vibe which many of you are concerned is going to be boring and I get that (and generally I’m not worried). You see, I know that while “Victorian” and “Shaker” are literal opposites, that is exactly why I’m so drawn to them. Start with basic and layer on the wacky. Besides, we can’t just kill off Eccentric English Grandma. That wouldn’t be kind or even possible. No. She will be there, in very specific moments. So while shopping on Saturday mornings I’ve found myself searching for the following types of things, but they have to be done in a VERY specific way. Right now I’m not letting myself buy much of it because these are the things (IMHO) that are so much cheaper in person and I’m dying for the hunt. There are a billion antique malls that have loads of the below, waiting for me to uncover and why pay for shipping (and increase my footprint) if I can find in-person and have an excuse to shop. So for now I’m just dreaming and homing in on what versions of these I love. Also in grammatical breaking news, I just found out that it’s “homing” not “honing” which I vaguely remember some of you correcting but I didn’t listen because I thought there is NO WAY that it’s HOMING and not HONING. Turns out you “hone your craft” but you “home in on a target”. MIND BLOWN. I thought it was the same word (and still think it should be)! I will however spell “segue” as “segway” forever because it makes me LOL every time. Also, every time I see or hear the word “wicker” (which is A LOT) I repeat my friend Scott’s dad joke, “Wicker? I barely know her!”. So there’s that.
Now not all Tole is created equally, in my opinion. I love some of the Italian metal flower versions (like above), but don’t necessarily need to collect the ones that are just a red or blue metal shade with some painting on them. I skipped this metal lamp last week at the antique mall (for the same price as this one on Etsy) and I am sad about it, but not enough to buy this one (I think $175 is too steep). I could see it in Birdie’s room – I KNOW she would love it because she is obsessed with flowers (duh). But Tole is very specific, for sure, not for everyone and I know I just lost a few of you. I’m tempted to get this pair of lamps, but just wish they were half the price.
Ball And Stick Furniture
Otherwise known as “ball and stick fretwork” and while I don’t totally know the history, I love the playfulness. This tracks because I love polka dots and I love stripes, and Ball and stick fretwork is a playful combination of both. Now again, I don’t love all of it and it’s honestly hard to describe why some are awesome and some just not. But I’d take that stool in a second if it weren’t $500 + shipping. I feel confident that I can find a version of this at an antique mall for far less. There are some things I’m willing to splurge on, but a playful footstool is not one of them.
Victorian Wicker (Side Table Or Accent Chair)
Wicker???!! I barely know her! Now a lot of you who have followed for a long time have seen me don some wicker side table like that one from 2011. I wouldn’t mind more of that bit at the farm. It’s neutral enough with a heavy side of wack. And I wish SO BADLY that I hadn’t given away that coffee table (with drop leaves!) and of course the sofa and flag. I still have the pouf though 🙂
If I were to find a decent amount of square footage I would 100% use it behind the range wall (still haven’t figured that out) or in the powder room. But it’s extremely rare to find more than 10 or 20 tiles that work together or are from the same lot, and usually, they are installed as a plaque. I’m still on the hunt though and enjoy looking for some hand-painted dutch blue and white old tile. Maybe I should commission a Portland artist to do a new EHD version of these? It’s one of those things that could go pretty wrong, but also could be amazing (like Jessica Helgerson’s kitchen with the hand-painted tile mural).
OH NO, Now I really want to do it. Anyone know any Portland artists that could do a 2021 EHD version of Delft tile for the range backsplash???? It can go cheesy so quickly but with the right artist it could also be so special and personal (drink! for those of you playing the drinking game every time I say “special”).
Years ago as I was an assistant stylist for magazines we rented or bought ironstone all the time for food shoots (mostly for Martha Stewart). After one shoot I had a platter with pretty scalloped edges that I kept for all my life (moved three apartments in NYC, then to Santa Monica, Los Feliz apartment, Los Feliz home, Glendale home, Los Feliz home, up to Portland). It broke in this last move in the garage as I was packing it for Portland and I RARELY get bummed about anything breaking as long it’s not my children, marriage, heart, or mental health but I was bummed about this one. So I’ve given myself permission to shop for some new platters and plates, mixing it with blue transferware (see below) to be my version of “china”. I’ve always loved the mismatched look when done right (which isn’t easy) so I’ll be collecting for a while (fine, twist my arm). Also, I googled my name with ironstone and found this post of me vintage shopping in Portland and I love it all still! Man, I wish The Flea hadn’t cost so much to inventory, pack, and ship or I would still do it (maybe pop-up markets in Portland?). It’s so fun to collect for a home, but after I’m done with this one I’ll need to scratch a new itch.
Now I don’t need a $42 soap dish like the one above, but this is the type of transferware that I LOVE. Where there is some color but it’s more negative space than a big country scene. And I love the aging which keeps it from being mistaken as a faux shabby chic new platter. Since we aren’t really “salad plate” people I’m looking more for the little dishes, or lidded serving bowls, gravy bowls, platters, or of course dinner plates.
Victorian Fringed Lamps
I just got this on Portland Craiglist last weekend (haven’t seen it in person yet) and it MIGHT be a mistake, but where I’m picturing it (next to my floral chaise in our bedroom) I think it’s going to be pretty. Maybe it will end up in Elliot’s room (she LOVES it). Fun fact – doing 4-H growing up I made these victorian lampshades with calico fabric and ALL THE FRINGE. I wish SO bad that I had hoarded the ones that got the blue ribbon. The reason they are so expensive is that they have to be handmade and it’s very time-consuming (trust me). So if/when you see one for under $80 it’s a good deal (as this one was).