Mid-Century Modern(ish)

I’m not usually a super fan of West Elm… it is usually overpriced for a rehabber like me.

When they have a sale, it is so on, though! Their stuff is super cute, and even if it is outta your price range, it is worth getting the catalogs for inspiration.

A few of my favorite pieces from a recent trip:

we desk
Loving these lines
we chair
This chair packs a punch with big style for under $300.
we nightstand
Love this nightstand.
dining table
Not MCM, but still a gorgeous table!
I just love that this coffee table provides storage and lifts for an easy way to eat or enjoy tea in front of the tv.
I just love that this coffee table provides storage and lifts for an easy way to eat or enjoy tea in front of the tv.




La Vie en Rose

Over the weekend, I spent a couple of glorious hours (okay, maybe not hours, but I could have) at the Exposition Park Rose Garden in Downtown LA.

It is quite impressive, with a huge fountain, gazebos, and over 20,000 rose bushes.
It didn’t feel like LA, which is great if you live in LA.

The garden: fountain looking pretty over the blooms. Does this look like the LA you imagine??

At one point, I sat in a gazebo surrounded by peppermint striped roses, enjoying the play of light filtering through the bushes, eating an ice cream bar purchased from a vendor right outside of the park, and thought, “this is BLISS.” It was one of those golden moments where everything just feels right.

One really happy girl.

As the sugar high hit, I especially enjoyed running around sniffing each variety of rose (they all smelled so different– who knew!?) The above picture was taken as I was running from one plant to another.

This was my favorite plant. I just love how different every bloom looks. I didn’t know you could have such variety on one plant.
Love the big color contrast on this flower. It makes me want to make something pink and yellow or fuchsia and yellow… perhaps for a teen girl’s room (or just someone who is a teen girl at heart!?)

It is definitely worth taking a picnic and checking it out, walk over and check out USC’s campus across the street if you have time. It reminds me of the south, which you know is reason enough to go hang there for me.


Roadside Find: Free Wood

Roadside Find

Free wood? Even if I couldn’t think of a project off the bat, this was too pretty to pass up!

I found these outside of a girlfriend’s place. The pieces of wood are huge, and it took two of us to carry the shorter pieces. We didn’t know what we’d use this wood for, so we just grabbed the two smaller pieces. Later in the day, I thought they would make amazing table tops, but it was too late to go for the longer pieces. We ran into some contractors, who said these were pieces of a staircase they were building that weren’t cut quite right.

Good score, huh? What would you do with them?

Ghetto Rigged Rehab

I’ve been putting off this rocking chair project for over a year because I don’t have a clamp to hold the pieces together while the wood glue sets. Call it laziness, call it procrastination, call it I-just-can’t-ever-remember-to-buy-the-darned-thing when I go to the hardware store.

Today I was feeling inspired and decided “no more excuses” was the appropriate approach. Since most of my rehabbing has been trial and error, I figured it was the perfect time for a trial.

Here’s what I ended up with:

If you can’t tell, I’m supporting the pieces with a dollar store candle, and old GRE prep book, hand weights, and a chip clip.

If you can’t quite get the picture with the close up of my mess, here’s another shot:

I guess only time will tell whether this actually works! I’m going to wait a good day or two to remove my makeshift support system.

Taking all bets! Do you think I’m a little too hopeful or do you think this may actually work?

Love, Love, Loving Thrive Decor

I get a lot of castings on Beverly Boulevard, near where all the furniture shops are located– like between La Brea and Fairfax. I’ve always wanted to go into Thrive Decor but always seem to be in too much of a rush. When I make it back, they’re usually closed (they close between 4-6 most evenings.)
Well, as soon as I walked in for the first time, I was hooked.

A little background- I got into furniture because I started collecting vintage clothes while living just outside of San Francisco in Berkeley. Not like wear every day vintage clothes (though I loved those, too) but designer-sample-with-the-tags-still-on vintage clothes. My collection didn’t get too big (hey, you can’t wear them!) but I found myself gravitating to the purses, costume jewelry, and vintage china and crystal glasses in these boutiques.

I bought a set of champagne glasses with matching cordial glasses, and my love of vintage home stuff has grown from there.

Okay, back to Thrive.

This place made me feel like a kid in a candy store. Their vintage crystal is in all kinds of colors, and they have whatever you might want. They have some beautiful chairs (you know about my “thing” for chairs), gorgeous light fixtures, a lot of art, and gilded EVERYTHING! Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is out of a rehabbers price range, but it is worth blogging about because this is the kind of stuff you get inspiration from… or save up to buy if you want a real treat.

Some of my favorites:

Having a little fun with a giant gilded mirror (yes, this would be in the closet of the dream house I'm designing in my imagination).
Having a little fun with a giant gilded mirror (yes, this would be in the closet of the dream house I’m designing in my imagination).

Pink. Crystal. Need I say more?

Pink. Crystal. Need I say more?
More crystal and some plates.
More crystal and some gorgeous china.
I love a wingback, and this fabric... perfection.
I love a wingback, and this fabric… perfection.
I drooled over these chairs for at least five minutes before exploring the shop.
Must have drooled over these chairs for at least five minutes before exploring the shop. They just feel elegant.

Thrive Decor is located at 7427 Beverly Blvd  in Los Angeles, CA.

The Problem With Estate Sales (in Bel Air, at least)

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a sign for an estate sale. In Bel Air.
Now, I’m pretty nosey, so half the time, I want to go to an estate sale just to see the house and get some ideas for the dream home I’m building…

in my imagination.

Okay, so, I made a u-turn and drove up the windey roads, past the point where I thought I was probably lost and ended up at this estate sale.

What did I find?

A lot of marked up prices and a lot of junk. I mean, not in a “hoarder” way, and I’m sure a lot of the stuff was a lot cheaper than you would find at a boutique, but it was clearly worn. I mean, like, you-need-to-rehab-it-before-use worn. And a lot of the stuff I thought you could find at a thrift shop in the south for about a quarter of the price. (Oh, the good old south.)

Here are a couple of my favorite finds:

I liked this nightstand.
I liked this nightstand, but $450 for the pair is just too much. That’s $225 each, and they’ve obviously got a lot of wear and tear.
Hardware detail. So cool!
Hardware detail. So cool!
I like the shape and size of this chair, but it isn't anything special. See what I mean about needing to be rehabbed?
I like the shape and size of this chair, but it isn’t anything special for $400. See what I mean about needing to be rehabbed?
This couch was cute but had major water damage.
This couch was cute but had major water damage. I didn’t even bother asking about the price.
$75 for this telephone table!??! I MIGHT pay $15!
$75 for this telephone table!??! I MIGHT pay $15!
I think it would be really cute painted bright yellow.

Seemed to me that they were including sentimental value when marking prices.

Will I be going to any more estate sales? Yes, but mainly to get ideas and look at the homes!

Rehab Diaries: When You Just Need To Fix

With the craziness that’s been grad school, I haven’t had time to rehab much stuff lately.
Instead of giving up my favorite hobby, I thought I’d try a shortcut. Well, we all know what they say about taking shortcuts.

Cane back chair
Remember these?

I’ve been itching to work on these $14 beauties since I bought them at Goodwill a couple of months ago.

I have been planning on staining the wood really dark and repairing (okay, maybe just staining) the cane backing… top that off with a bold print (I’m seeing black with big green palm leaves with maybe some mustard yellow and burgandy stuff on it) and you’ve got a gorgeous  set of chairs.
The thing is, I’m short on time, and I hate, hate, hate the staining process.

So when I found this stuff at TJ Maxx, I figured it was worth a shot.
It was under $15 for both things, and I thought maybe the “Ebony” tint would darken the wood.

Before I "Restor-a-finish"-ed this puppy.
Before I “Restor-a-finish”-ed this puppy.

It was really easy to apply, dried quickly, and the wax smelled good.

While the wood looked A LOT better after I applied this stuff, it didn’t darken it much at all.

After the finish was "restored." Much better, but not the look I was hoping to achieve.
After the finish was “restored.” Much better, but not the look I was hoping to achieve.

Moral of the story? It’s better not to cut corners.

If you just want to refresh a piece, Restor-a-finish does a pretty good job, but when you need to re-stain, just go for it.