Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Things I Found While Thrifting Around

I thought I'd try something new for the blog and introduce a series which may or may not become a regular thing, we'll see how it goes.  If you know me, you'll know that I am a consummate shopper.  And there's nothing more that I like than finding great treasures at unbelievable prices.  I live in an area of Salt Lake that has at least 10 thrift and consignment stores all within a two mile radius.  I try and hit them up as often as I can because you never know what you're going to find.  And so I introduce to you: Things I Found While Thrifting Around.

Now I know that the majority of my readers do not live anywhere remotely near these stores, but I will be posting finds that may spark your imagination such as great chairs that can be reupholstered.  Who hasn't come across a ratty old chair and dismissed it as grubby and ugly?  With a little bit of elbow grease and some imagination, these finds can sometimes turn into gold mines.

These chairs were gorgeous as is.  The fabric was a lovely buttery yellow velvet with minimal wear and tear.  They were a lovely shape and petite size which you don't find these days.  And look!  They even have nail heads.  I'm going to make a guess and say that they're from the 50's or early 60's.  They really knew how to make furniture then.

Look, remind you of something?

How much do you think they cost?

An incredible price of $10 a chair, and there were 5 of them, which is kind of awkward, but you can't pass that up.  Unfortunately I wasn't the only person to think so because someone had already purchased them!

Here's another petite upholstery piece, again in excellent condition.  But I would reupholster in a fun geometric or floral fabric and probably paint the wood either black or white, or keep as is, depending on the fabric I chose.  The label said it was from ZCMI (Utah's original department store) and was dated 1956.  I can just imagine it coming from some lovely grandma's house who took excellent care of it.

There was no price, but the rest of the sofas were priced between $30 and $40.  If only I had somewhere to store all these treasures.  I really could have fun with a staple gun and some cool fabrics. And these shapes aren't too challenging.  Umm, now I'm thinking.

You know how brass is totally in right now.  Well maybe some types of brass, not your shiny 1980's type.  Anyway, take a look at these chandeliers.

Both huge, both really solid looking. And both under $100!

Look at the detail on those arms.  This much brass might be still a little too dated and I know some bloggers that would run for the spray can, but how could you cover up that lovely sheen.  I think it would take a certain style of house to be able to get away with these fixtures.  Don't think they would look right hanging from an 8 foot ceiling.  But just imagine the large one with black shades.  It might make it look more edgy and sophisticated.

Seriously, I just found this one on the internet for $3000.  Looks very similar wouldn't you say?


Since having been hired to help decorate an MCM style house (that ironically was built in the 70's), I've been noticing MCM furniture everywhere.  I really love it's simple, unadorned style.

Looks just like the reproduction chairs that they sell in Urban Outfitters but obviously much better made.  Only $59.99 and in excellent condition too.

This table was only $15.  But it was in pretty bad condition.  The legs were amazing though.

And finally, this made me laugh.  I was tempted for a split second.  I think the boys would have hours of fun playing on it.  Alas, no room in my humble abode.

And that concludes: things I found while thrifting around.  Hope you had as much fun as I did.  And if you want me to find you some special treasures like this for your home, send me an email.  I'll be taking on new clients starting September.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Downtown Farmer's Market

I recently received a comment from a reader asking about fun things to do in Salt Lake City in the summer.  One of the first things that came to mind was the Downtown Farmer's Market that is held every Saturday morning at Pioneer Park.  Not only is it a great place to buy food and art from local vendors, it also is a fabulous place to people watch and take in the fun festival atmosphere.  Of course I am a little biased because for the past few weeks my boys have been playing up a storm there making some extra spending money by busking (street performing).

They were even featured on the local news.  Here's the video.  It's just a short snippet at the beginning.

It's a great way for them to practice their instruments and be paid at the same time!  Here they are performing to quite a crowd.

Sometimes Damian and another family join in to form the Dingley Lee Supergroup.

So if you're in the area, come by, it's a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer in Salt Lake

One of my favorite things that goes on this time of the year is the Utah Arts Festival.  It's a 4 day festival held in downtown Salt Lake City that attracts acts and artists from all over the world.

These aerial artists were amazing.

They're hanging off the side of the library, dancing!

Another thing I love this time of year is our neighborhood park.

That's Roman flying through the air.  You couldn't get me on that thing in a million years, but the boys love it.

Happy summer!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Client! Feminine Home Office.

I've been a busy little beaver for the past few weeks.  And it doesn't look like things are slowing down anytime soon.  I'm so fortunate to have the pleasure of working with a super cute young couple who recently moved (like 10 days ago!) to the area.  They have a pretty good idea of what they want, they just need some help consolidating their style.

The first room that we're going to tackle is the home office for Mrs. Client.  This picture shows the furniture that she had in her old apartment.  There really isn't any workspace, and it's a bit brown.

Don't worry, she didn't choose the valance.  The requirements for the space include a good sized desk, some storage cubbies, a fun patterned rug and a sleeper sofa.

Here's one of the mood boards that I came up with based around a blue trellis rug that she loves.

And here's another mood board with similar elements but using a pink sofa instead of beige.

Which one do you prefer?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Client room with a view

Just had this awesome wall mural installed in my client's son's bedroom. This room is in the basement and gets very little light. The mural has helped to add some interest and brightened up the space. My clients are avid skiers and outdoorsy types, so I thought that having a mural of a mountain was very appropriate. The bunk beds were already there, I added the mural and the bedding (ikea).

This photo doesn't do it justice, and it really doesn't look like the bad murals from the 1970's that everyone used to have.  I'll try and get some better photos soon.  In the mean time, here's how the room looked when I started.

The mural is on the wall where the bed is above.  We moved the bed to the other wall.  The changing table/chest of drawers has been sold.  Curtains have been hung and a simple cherry desk that was being used elsewhere has been positioned under the window.  Again, huge impact for a small amount of investment.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Client Project Update - Transforming a guest bedroom for less than $500

It's not high design.  It's slightly run of the mill.  But it is a huge improvement over what was there before.  My clients initially decided to not do the guest room makeover due to budget constraints.  But when I assured them that they could get a lot of bang for their buck, and convinced them that they could totally transform their lack luster guest room into a calm and soothing oasis for their guests for less than $500, they saw the light.

Here's the before:

Sorry for the dark photo, but it is in the basement, off the family room.  The good news was that they had some terrific faux bamboo furniture (which I'm still trying to convince them to spray paint a glossy white).  As someone described it to me, it looks like a motel.  I say it looks like granny from Florida.  Anyway, the bed set is staying as is.  The wall color, carpet and window blind also had to stay the same.  So I decided to choose a white and navy colour scheme with a pop of colour in a contrasting pillow. 

Here's the after:

I added the large bed pillow to add some plumpness and colour to the bed.  What I would really love to see is a slightly smaller lumbar pillow in chiang mai dragon fabric.  

But at almost $100 a pillow, I don't think I could convince my clients of the value.  Maybe down the road.

Here's the breakdown of the budget for the project:

Lamps & Mirror - T J Maxx - $181.62
Curtains - West Elm - $83.34
Comforter & bed pillow & cover - Target - $53.39
Sheets & white coverlet & shams- Smiths Marketplace - $89.72
Curtain rod - Country Curtains - $57.95

Grand Total - $466.02!

If you'd like me to help you transform a room in your house or just want to bounce some ideas around, just give me a call.

Have a great week-end!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Silver Chandelier - Yay or nay?

I have a new client, yipee! Well actually I have 2 new ones, and I'll tell you about them in good time. But all these new clients are giving me a serious excuse to stalk all of my favourite vintage resale stores. And I am finding some absolute treasures. Roman thinks I'm going all grannyfied in my interiors, huh, what does he know, he's only 10! But I really do love the classic lines of some pieces that I've come across recently.

Case in point. Look at this amazing chandelier. It looks like solid silver. It even has that silver tarnish look. I tried looking for a silver mark but couldn't find one (it may be silver plated though). It weighs an absolute ton. And it's only $100. But sadly I have no need for it yet. I'm thinking I might have to rent a storage unit.

I just did a google search on antique silver plated chandeliers and this beauty came up.

Wow, that's over $3000!  Still not sure if the one I saw is silver plated, but it certainly looks similar, non?  Should I buy it?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Battle of the Home Offices Update

So it's been over 2 years since I threw down the challenge to the hubby to design the best home office.  Originally Damian was going to have a say in his design.  But I couldn't let him do it and completely took over!  He did though end up being a great laborer and did all of the work including laying the floor, framing, installing windows and doors, drywall, painting, cabinet installation, electrical.  You name it, he did it.  And it looks great.  I haven't posted pictures before because it's still not finished, but as with most projects, it may never be.

Here's a reminder of how it looked before:

Here it is in progress:

The garage doors were removed and replaced with two sets of french doors.  It's a long story, but you couldn't drive into the garage anyway, so replacing the door doesn't diminish the garage's functionality.

And here's how it looks now:

As you can probably tell, the majority of the furnishings is from Ikea.

The sconces and white lights are from West Elm.

The red office chairs are from Staples.

The wall was painted with a dry erase paint.  The boys love to draw on it also.

Well we are British, so why not have a London bus picture?  The clocks show the times in England, Salt Lake City and Tokyo (all the places where Damian and his partners work).

Damian's Lego Sophwith Camel.  He'd been asking Santa for this for a couple of years.  He finally managed to buy it for himself in the Lego Store in New York.

Damian's self-help book section!  As well as his toys.

Of course it used to be a garage, so where else are we going to store the bikes!

And here's a picture of my home office which I know you've seen a gazillion times before.

I think I succeeded in designing a non-girly workspace for Damian's new business and a totally girly space for me!  Which do you prefer?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chairs from One Kings Lane

Just stumbled upon these cool mid century modern inspired chairs on One Kings Lane shopping site. And can you believe that they're only $469! If you like them, I'd hurry because the sale ends in 2 days.