Leave it to Mecki to start the year off with a bang! Growing up our Opa & Oma sent us Mecki & Family photo post cards through out the year, mostly for holidays and birthdays. Since they passed away a couple years back, us siblings sneak/steal the cards from each other as they’ve become covetable mementos of our time with our grandparents. As each new year rolls around, this is what I have to remind myself – cherish those you hold dear and continue to make good memories.
Start your own collection! Mecki photo post card above via this ebay seller.
Whilst a thriftin’ the other day I came across this oh-so amazing “An Animal Shufflebook” deck. Made in 1971 by Golden Press for The Museum of Modern Art and created by Richard Hefter and Martin Stephen Moskof. The deck contains 52 double sided large cards with text and pictures that tell a story when shuffled or purposely picked and read like pages of a book. As I said amazing, but I think the cards speak for themselves.
Our mother stayed with me during this past weekend’s Thanksgiving festivities. Between childhood stories and family gossip she commented on how she liked my gigantic macramé plant holder. At first it took me by surprise but then we always had one or two overgrown plants hanging from net-like baskets in our living room. And she crochets and knits a lot, usually just scarves and toques though. She told me she’s had a hard time finding books and reading materials on learning to macramé, to which I pulled two books from my shelf to lend her. Ang and I have been pretty obsessed with textile art for awhile now. Dreams of making our own knotty weaved masterpieces are always at the tip of the tongue, but like most we have yet to commit. Perhaps my mom getting interested is the push we’ve been waiting for?
Textile art and especially macramé has definitely gained ground in last few years. Do a Google Image or a Pintrest search and you’ll get a plethora awesome clusters of fuzzy weaved and wrapped art in every colour you can think of. And with designers like Cathy Callahan and her lovely jewellery
and Ana Kras and her amazing strung lights.
I really like the simplicity of the England piece above. Used as a headboard, a screen or a curtain it gives tactile texture to a home space.
And have you seen this mind blowing macrame owl above by Andy Harman. I’ve been moaning about some bare walls in my place and lack of proper window treatments. With the winter nearing I may just have to start a new project!
Wow, a month sure goes by fast eh? This Sunday, Sept 15 , Ang and I will once again be selling bunches of awesome vintage decor at the Leslieville Flea along with a whack load of other vendors. And since the summer has come to a close and the cool weather is a-comin’ this might be your last chance to enjoy an outdoor event like this – so no excuses! This Sunday grab the dogs and gam-gam and head on down to Queen East and Leslie, I promise it’ll be worth it! Follow our Instagram for sneak peeks at items we’ll be bringing and if you need more deets, check out LF’s website here or their FB page.
I only got to reading the latest New York Times Style Mag yesterday, so you might have already seen the photo spread, “A Fine Balance”, about the design firm Dimore Studio and their beautiful apartment. I am in love with this space. Truly, madly, deeply. The rich yet restrained colour palette. The perfect mix of antique and vintage. And the details! My gawd the details! That moulding, and the super thin (gold leaf?) border, and the patinated brass counter, and the light fixtures! Man that’s some lovely lighting. This is A+ level decorating in my opinion and definitely inspires me to aim higher. Be sure to read the NYtimes article with more photos and check out their online portfolio for more drool worthy design. All photos taken by Henry Bourne via New York Times.
Yes, I have an addiction. I like many others am addicted to Kijiji. I can spend hours going through photos and pages, even neglecting to eat at times. My preferred method of scouring is through the app, as you can scroll and scroll and scroll, with no need to click to the next page. I am what a close friend recently referred to as ‘a kijiji machine’ and I whole heartedly agree – I am damn good at it. So while my friend was a-hunting for a new (to her) sofa, I of course joined in and took a peek at what I could find and it got me thinking about writing up a post on furnishing an imaginary room. Now my first rule about Kijiji or Craigslist hunting is to always have an open mind. Yes there is a butt load of crap out there but sometimes with just a lil’ bit o’ creativity and the DIY spirit, beautiful things can be had. Of course you can find really beautiful Danish furniture and amazing antiques in awesome condition, but more often than not they’re going to have a hefty price tag attached. For this post challenge I’ve decided that I’ll have a budget of $1000 and a list of items I need to include all found on Kijiji in the Greater Toronto Area. Bonus if I just so happen to have a surplus of money left over, which will go toward undisclosed paint/art/electronics/extra accessories. The imaginary client will allow me to style the room however I like, but to keep in mind it should be comfortable and casual. So let’s get started!
The list of items are as follows, with an approximate estimated price.
Sofa – $300
Coffee table – $75
Occasional chair – $150
Side tables up to two – $75
Rug – $150
Credenza/console – $200
Two table lamps or a combo with one table and one floor – $50
Because I get over zealous I ended up with two different versions but I used the same lamps and the TV console in both. I’ve done a lil’ mood board mockup but below in the room write-up I’ve included the original Kijiji links.
Living Room #1
Sorry I realize it looks a lil’ jumbled and wonky, between my Photoshopping skills and the often crap photos the sellers take, this is the best I could do. So we’ll start with the sofa, I wanted a leather sofa (picked for both rooms) because they’re easy to clean and age nicely, as long as they’re real leather – no bonded stuff. This one is a Lafer style sofa and is priced at $250 which includes a smaller two seater (we’ll pretend that the second one will be sold off). Seriously two sofas for such a steal of a price! Especially when Lafers can sell for soooooooo much more. Even if it’s not the real deal it has the look I wanted, comfy with a lil’ crazy ’70s vibe. The coffee table is repurposed equipment travel case priced at $50. It might be higher than I’d like but without dimensions listed I’m gonna assume it’ll work. The occasional chair is a rattan and wicker chair that would work inside or out and is priced at $75. The side tables look to be IKEA Frosta stools (not available in North American IKEAs anymore), which I know are copies of Alvar Aalto Stool 60 but I can’t forget our budget and the IKEA ones are actually pretty well made. I chose these because not only do they stack, but they double as table tops and seats. So yeah handy lil’ suckers priced at $5, not sure if this is for both but at that price I don’t mind paying per stool. The rug is an Aztec style and made in Belgium and priced at $100, I like the muted graphic design and I think over time will wear nicely. When looking for rugs my main focus is the finish of the material because I rarely like the overly shiny Chinese silks that were popular in the ’80s and ’90s. I tend to look for more weaved rugs or at least ones that I think will fade and distress nicely, and obviously I tend to like them more off beat but that doesn’t work in every setting or with every budget. The TV console is a vintage dressing table that I’ve removed the mirror with the intent to use elsewhere and is priced at a whopping $50 (so ridiculous!). I love the lil’ shelf between the drawers. Practically you could put your appleTV or whatever device you use to watch your telly but I would put some pottery or some plants or some books to style it up a bit. The pair of yellow glass lamps priced at $50 (sorry folks look like these have sold) and are so lovely and look vintage but apparently are not and they don’t come with shades but a pair of crisp white ones would work. The floor lamp is a photographer/studio lamp that I picked to bring a bit of industrial to the setting and priced at $25 it’s bang on.
In the second mood board as I said the lamps and the TV console are the same. Now I know the majority of you are going to hate this sofa, but let me make my case. Again I chose leather because of it’s easy care, although the off-white is usually a no-no for me as it can mark and stain, but in this very ’80s shape it helps to modernize the piece. Pretty much if this sofa was any other colour I’d skip it. Remember – budget, so priced at $120 it’s perfect and I’d style it up with some vintage geo print or salvaged Kilim rug pillows and there’s always the possibility to staple and tuck a printed blanket in and around the seat to bring some contrast. So I say whatever to you haters, ’cause this is the sofa I’m sticking with. The coffee table is an awesome round rattan piece that whispers Franco Albini and is priced at $55 . The occasional chair adds a pop of orange and mixes up our ’70s-’80s vibe with a punch of deco. Priced at $95 and it’s in great condition. I went with a single side table priced at $25 (sorry this too has sold!) in a gloss black and squared shape to break with the rounded lines of the coffee table and deco chair. The rug was a bit of a splurge, because they usually are, but I took a chance hoping I’d wouldn’t blow my budget. Priced at $300, I love the mix of blue and browns and the busy pattern keeps the rest of the room from looking too safe.
So with final subtotals coming in at $610 for room 1 and $720 for room 2, I’ve come under budget with money to spend making each room that much more personal. Looking at both mood boards there’s definitely a trend of mixing neutrals with patterns and a pop of colour here and ther, but also remembering to mix materials and finishes because layering is key.
Not bad if I do say so myself! I like the fact that on such a minimal budget anyone can furnish a space and not feel like they have to compromise on style. Though when buying off Kijiji/Craigslist you have to move fast, as they sometimes sell quickly! And yes, it takes work and dedication but in my opinion the end result is so friggin’ worth it.
Yes, yes y’all! Once again Ang and I will be selling our lovely goods at the Leslieville Flea, behind The Duke at Queen East and Leslie, this coming Sunday August 18 from 10-4pm. So bring your family and friends ’cause more and more awesome vendors are added to the roster and you’re bound to leave with something amazing and unique. Check out the Leslieville Flea blog for more deets and fingers crossed that the weather will be just as lovely as the last time!
The other day on my way home, I was stopped by a lonely stool waiting for garbage pickup. I walked by it once on my way to do some errands and when it was still there on my way back I almost left it, but quickly retreated to snatch this guy up. You see I used to have quite a problem not picking up someone else’s awesome trash. I would worry that if no one else sees the potential in these furniture misfits then a scrapper or trash collectors would come and scoop them up and they’ll never been seen again. Before I moved in with my partner I had a bit of a furniture hoarding problem, mostly single chairs and all in need of repair. Now we share a space and I need to be respectful and understand that it’s his space as well. I’ve been good, for the most part, but yes I did bring this handsome fellow home. (I apologize for the crap photo, Ang has my good camera and I recently cracked the back of my iPhone so that’s tape in the upper right corner, ha!).
“Handsome?” you might say. Yes the previous owners had used the stool as a BBQ stand and the vinyl seat had seen better days, but my mind was a-turning and the ideas kept a-coming. First off I got rid of the seat because it was a mess. In between the seat and the frame I found a small metal disc, which at first I thought was a penny only to realize it was the old metal label. The stool was made by Sikes Furniture in Philidelphia, USA.
photo via flickr
At least I assume it was made by them as the era is similar to other industrial stools they’ve made that I can find online. The wood underframe to the seat had rotted out so I couldn’t tell for sure if/where the label had been attached at some point, but why else would that lil’ tag be stuck in between there? Otherwise my only complaint is that one of the small metal ball casters is missing a half so I’ll either have to find replacements, for one or the four, or remove the casters all together so the feet sit right on the floor.
So I’ve got two main ideas for this stool. Basically I like the idea of it being repurposed as a sidetable, albeit a tall one as it stands at 30″. Perhaps it’ll hold some crazy plants or a beautiful ceramic table lamp. Ultimately I need to refit the seat with a new top, but I just can’t decide which top to do. One is to get a piece of marble cut to fit in the seat frame. The other, to wrap a slightly padded wood seat with some distressed caramel leather, keeping it slim and taught, so that it can still be used as either a side table or as a stool.
With the marble top I was thinking something along these lines.
photo via 1stdibs.com
Should I paint the base? Add a metallic detail? I would need to find metallic paint that won’t look cheap otherwise what’s the point of going with marble then?
I like this Krusin for Knoll table, and obviously I can’t change the base into wood, but this is so chic, no? So would a straight one tone neutral colour on the base make it look this good?
I think if I go the leather seat/top route then I’ll most likely keep a neutral colour on the base. The leather would be something salvaged and lovingly distressed like the one below, so I’m not sure how many wild pop art colours will go well with a weathered heritage hide. photo via 1stdibs.com
Sooo many choices! Well I’ll keep you updated but think I may need to make a decision pretty soon, because a) I have a handful of other overdue projects that need completing and b) my partner is giving me stink eye!
Yup, that’s right. The market season is in full swing and this year we’re over on the east side at The Leslieville Flea. When we heard that a flea market was opening up this side of the Don we just had to give it a try and join in on the fun. Sooo the details are as follows. We’ll be selling bunches and bunches of awesome vintage, retro and antique furniture and decor finds (photos will be posted shortly – also follow us on our Instagram feed!) on Sunday July 21 from 10am-3pm, just south on Leslie St. behind The Duke on Queen East. Got that? Queen St. East and Leslie St. Bingo Bango!
Pierre Paulin was probably the first furniture designer I fell in love with.
Before I was in the business of selling, like most I worked in retail. One job in particular helped prepare me for being a small business owner; I was a manager at an independent shoe store — you know hip sneakers and the like. Not only did the owner teach me a lot about running a business but she also happened to own an original Paulin F300 model chair (pictured above), though I didn’t know it’s provenance at the time or that it would help to inspire me to start selling vintage. The chair lived in the warehouse and so I saw it daily. It was pretty beat up but I coveted it like mad. Before I left that business to officially start my own I nudged my boss saying if she was willing to sell/off-load that I was very interested. She declined saying she new it was a designer piece and worth a bit and was wanting to hold on to it. I itched wanting to rescue it from cold storage and bring it back to life, but I respected her decision and let it be.
I still think about that chair, and many other Paulin designs too. For me his work never feels dated; it is rooted in the past but stays fresh and modern. The ’60s was a time for experimenting with shape, fabric and function and when designed well, it’s hard to forget how revolutionary it was at the time. These pieces speak of the future, of discarding the rules and the restrictions. They speak of a future for dreamers.