7.31.2014

Chair-y on Top

About six years ago, I was visiting my then-boyfriend/now-husband in his college town, a small, rural city just south of Fort Worth. He had just moved into a rental house with a couple of his football teammates, and they needed furniture. There happened to be an estate sale in his neighborhood, so we popped in. An elderly couple had lived in the home since the 1950s, and it was like a perfectly preserved time capsule. I was totally in heaven! (All of Scott's teammates/roommates who joined us at the estate sale thought I was crazy for liking this "old junk," if I remember correctly. I've never been one to care what other people think about my shopping habits...)

An hour later we emerged with the motherload of all thrifting hauls – two sofas ($10/each), an accent chair ($5), a pool table ($25), a vintage rifle ($100, a gift for Scott's dad), a box full of art supplies (free) and a full set of vintage encyclopedias (free).

It was one of my first experiences with what I like to call "thrifter's high." It was amazing.

Yes, we did ask the offensive line to come over and help us move the pool table – perks of dating a quarterback! The two sofas went into the new "football house," so you can imagine what those poor pieces of furniture went through for the next couple of years. But I kept the accent chair for myself because I was madly in love with it.

At this point in my life I was still a fresh-out-of-college rookie who lived in an apartment and wasn't nearly as into decorating and home decor as I am today. I did, however, read Domino magazine religiously, and I instantly recognized the shape of my new chair from an image in the magazine:


My new chair was pretty much identical to that one except for the upholstery. This photo from a few years ago isn't the best quality, but you can see what I mean about the structure being the same as the Domino beauty. The seat and arms were a little worn out, but the rest was in pristine condition.



I've held onto this chair for more than six years now because it holds a special spot in my heart. No one forgets their first amazing thrifting purchase. I'm sentimental about that stuff!

A couple years ago we had slipcovers made for the chair because the dogs basically lived in this thing. It sits low to the ground and they loved to snuggle up in it.

I found these photos from random old blog posts, but they show the slipcover situation pretty well.


Anyway, I was taking the slipcover off the chair to wash it this past weekend and realized that the original vintage upholstery matched the room perfectly now that we had the deep teal table and green accents! I've had the slipcover on for so long that I forgot about the fact that we have a new house now with a different color scheme. Then I decided to wash the original vintage upholstery to see if I could "spiff up" the worn out seat cushion a little bit.

Anyway, I was messing with the cushion when I absentmindedly read the label underneath. Then I did a double take. Did my chair's label really say "Designs by Milo Baughman?!"


I felt like a giddy little school girl! I'm a big Milo Baughman fan; I always search his name on Craigslist and look for his style of furniture every time I go to the flea market and thrift store. I cannot BELIEVE I have had a Milo Baughman chair in my house for 6 years and never knew it!

I wanted to understand his background a little bit more and his relationship to James Inc., so I did some online research. Another famous furniture maker from that era, Thayer Coggin, was the only major furniture company that appreciated Milo Baughman's modern, forwarding-thinking designs during that era. Baughman and Coggin formed a furniture partnership that would last from 1953 to 2003, when Baughman passed away. They became hugely successful and are considered some of the top furniture makers from that century.After Baughman's passing, Thayer Coggin, Inc. formed an agreement with Baughman's estate to forever own and produce Baughman's designs. You can read all of this on the Thayer Coggin website, where you can still order custom Baughman pieces.

Check out this awesome brochure Thayer Coggin, Inc. created to celebrate Baughman's work. You can see the full scope of his creativity in one brochure!

A quick internet search found my exact chair (different upholstery) selling for a mere $2,400 on 1stDibs.com.  Um, hello! When reupholstered, it runs for about $4,325. Not bad I guess...

I haven't found one with the same unique upholstery, though. That's part of what I love about it!


Right now it's sitting in my studio/home office, which is undergoing a bit of an organizational makeover. I'm pretty excited to share some of the really fun DIY projects we've done in there, but they aren't quite finished yet. Right now I'm the master of being almost finished... Not good!

What's the moral of the story here, folks? Always check your labels when you buy vintage furniture. You never know what treasures you might have found. Check the label; google the designer; count your lucky stars if you found something good!

It's the thrill of the hunt  – thrifter's high! – that keeps us all coming back for more, am I right?

As for the chair, I have now banned the dogs from sitting on it. It's no longer an old $5 chair that just holds sentimental value; it's an old, $5 chair that holds literal, monetary value. It's part of American furniture history. Trust me, I'm going to take much better care of it from now on!

Best Blog Tips

7.25.2014

Design Daydreaming

I don't have enough rooms in my house to create all the different spaces I dream about. (Nor do I have enough money to buy all the furniture for those imaginary rooms!) However, the internet is a glorious place where I can create imaginary rooms and indulge my design whims.

So when Chairish challenged me to create design boards using some of their colorful accent chairs, I said, "Game on." And then I was having so much fun that I decided to create two different rooms, one for me and one for my little nephew!

This first mood board is a happy, eclectic dining room. The pear green Eames chairs just "pop" with the rustic table, don't you think? I carried the pear green from the table to my pear painting above the blue chest and echoed the same pear shape with the beaded chandelier. Some colorful artwork on the wall brings the space to life, and the graphic rug brings a little "edge" to the space. A shiny gold bowl on the table is the cherry on top!

Happy Dining Room


Click through to Polyvore for the product sources.

I created the next space for my baby nephew, making his grand debut in January. (So excited!) They want a nautical nursery, so I paired some dark grey and navy hues with this bright yellow rocking chair for an adorable little space. The big pieces for the nursery are neutral, so I brought in the nautical features with the rope light and mirror, plus some adorable prints from Land of Nod. The whole space would fall flat without the yellow rocker and red rocking horse; I think they're the perfect compliment to the slate grey walls and blue rug.

Baby Bostic


If you were dreaming up an imaginary room starting with a bright accent chair, what would you create?

Chairish is a black hole for vintage furniture lovers like me – don't start shopping around on that website unless you have an hour or so to browse! It's a place where people can buy and sell nice vintage furniture (so basically they weeded through all the lackluster stuff on Craigslist). I could click through those one-of-a-kind pieces for hours, daydreaming up more rooms! Check it out if you're in the market for a really memorable piece of furniture or have some unique pieces to sell.

Best Blog Tips

7.23.2014

Visiting "Fixer Upper" Territory

We were on our way back from San Antonio when I convinced the husband to stop in Waco so we could visit the Magnolia Market.

The Magnolia Market is the retail shop of HGTV's newest sensation, the Gaines family. Chip and Joanna Gaines (aka the cutest couple in the world) have made all of us Texans very proud with the success of their show "Fixer Upper," which is currently filming its second season. I pretty much speak for everyone else I know when I say, "We love that show!" We DVR every episode and get really excited to see what house they will tackle next.


I figured these two would be too busy to actually be in the shop when we visited (Have you seen how much stuff they have going on?), but we did get to meet their adorable children, who are also featured regularly on the show. As soon as we walked in, I saw them manning their little farmers market.

Here we have Ella Rose and Duke making faces for the camera while selling eggs, cucumbers, jalapenos and tomatoes from the Gaines family farm. Drake was sitting by the cash register, but I didn't see their youngest daughter (Emmie Kay). Lest you think I'm a major stalker, I found out their names in this Design Mom profile from a couple years ago, pre-HGTV fame. That link has photos of their home before the farmhouse that is featured on the show.


The husband studied the products very seriously.


I really wanted to buy a t-shirt, but they were sold out. The cute sales girl told me I could buy one online, but they are sold out there as well. Bring back the t-shirts, Joanna!


My big purchase? A dozen eggs from the Gaines family farm stand, of course. I really wanted one of the magnolia wreaths below but was feeling a little poor after the trips we've been taking lately. The eggs were better for the budget. :)


Obviously they have more stuff if you're lucky enough to visit in person, but these are my favorites from their online store:


Magnolia Market


]I was trying to figure out what I like so much about the show, and I think I've narrowed it down to a few key aspects:

  1. Joanna and Chip are really cute to watch on screen and seem to enjoy working together. It's great to see a married couple treat each other so lovingly (and be so funny, too).
  2. I love that they do a full home makeover in each episode so I don't have to wait for the next one to see the finished product. Instant gratification keeps me coming back each week!
  3. They are from Texas, and the homes they work on look like some of the homes we have around Dallas. As opposed to say, the other HGTV shows who are based in Canada, NYC, Los Angeles, etc. It makes their projects much more relatable for us. 
So, do you watch Fixer Upper? Do you like it as much as we do? Why do you like it?

Let's keep supporting them as much as we can so HGTV puts more great shows like this on the air!
 
Best Blog Tips

7.16.2014

Happy Feet

We're upgrading our sofa's feet with some high heels, thanks to a special purchase at the flea market in Atlanta!

How pretty are these chunky wooden feet? They are literally double the size of the standard feet that came with our Rooms to Go sofa. I love 'em! At $3 each, I just couldn't resist. (You should have seen me stuffing these into the husband's golf bag for the flight home. Ha!)


I've never switched out sofa feet before, so I hoped it would be easy. It literally took less than 5 minutes to take off the old feet and attach the new ones. It's amazing how much taller the sofa is now. It's like a throne! I think it looks much more expensive and has more presence with this simple $18 upgrade. Plus I like knowing that no one else has the same sofa as we do!


I'm not sure about the finish of the feet, though. I'm thinking about staining them a dark expresso color like the first feet on the sofa. What do you think? I can keep them the same, stain them dark or paint them black. I'd love to have your opinion. I haven't done anything yet because I'm not sure what I want, so I'm totally open to your ideas!

Best Blog Tips

7.15.2014

Thrifting at the Flea Market in Atlanta

I just returned from a wonderful, relaxing trip to Macon, Georgia, for a family reunion. My cousin, who has always had fabulous style, has an immaculate home on a serene lake. Her house is filled with scenes like this:


Of course we started quizzing her about where she gets all of her gorgeous furniture and home accessories, and she told us that most of it is either family hand-me-downs or items she bought at the flea market in Atlanta. You know my ears perked up when I heard "flea market!" The thrifting stars aligned and, sure enough, the once-a-month flea market was happening the same weekend we were visiting! Our whole group of female relatives piled into the Tahoe (I sat in the trunk), and we trooped down to Atlanta to check it out.

It's called Scott Antique Markets, and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around and checking out all the treasures. It's probably a good thing that we flew to Atlanta and I was unable to buy anything that wouldn't fit in my luggage!


I did manage to buy a few really random purchases, but we only had a couple hours to shop and I didn't even get to look at the outside part of the market very much because a big storm was rolling in. Here's what I do know: It costs $5 per person to park. It's open the second week of each month. There is a section that is more high-end with authentic antique pieces (we didn't go there) and a more affordable section. The food was really tasty – the Greek place had the longest lines so I'm guessing it's really good!

If I lived in the Atlanta area, I would totally go to this market all the time. I have no idea if I have any blog followers from the Atlanta area, but if so, you should totally go to Scott's and see what you can find. This is just a glimpse of what they had that day, and my cousin said it was actually a smaller selection than usual.

I'll be back with another post tomorrow to show you what I bought and ask for your opinion about what I should do with them!

Best Blog Tips

7.08.2014

Outdoor Upgrades

We have been gradually updating our outdoor spaces, and it's really starting to come along.

About a month ago, we prepped the deck before hosting Scott's birthday cookout. We used cafe and umbrella lights from Target to make it feel more festive.


We bought the picnic table at Costco, but it's also available on Amazon
(Lifetime 6-Feet W-Frame Folding Picnic Table). Luckily we only paid $140- go Costco! Those super cute turquoise folding chairs are from Target.

The party went really well that night, but the husband decided he wanted even more lighting out there. He installed some tiny recessed lights around the windows.


Yesterday we stumbled upon a good sale at Lowe's and picked up three of these outdoor sconces for $20/each. This is what we had before, which are about half the size of the new ones:


And here are the new lights:


They really make the house glow!


So, that's what we have been up to! We're also picking out exterior paint, getting the roof replaced and having our trees trimmed in the next couple of weeks. Can't wait to see how it all comes together.

What have you been working on?

Best Blog Tips