A Night at the Thrift Studio

Oh dear, dear, dear…. we are already half way through the week and I haven’t spoken to you once! The weekend is well over and I am a full week and a half behind in telling you about what I did the weekend before! Despite my tardiness and delayed posting, however, here I am – ready to share a few moments from a beautiful event not too long ago.

Many of you have heard me talk about Dwell with Dignity. If you live in the DFW Metroplex you may have even attended one of their previous events. In fact, folks all across the country may be aware of them now after a national debut on The Nate Berkus Show! They are a wonderful charitable organization that works to create homes for those less fortunate with dignity and beauty. I could go on and on about their many merits but visit their site HERE to get more (and better) details.

Today, I am interested in telling you about a very exciting project that the Dwell team recently embarked on. With a warehouse brimming full of generous furniture and home decor donations, Dwell had the idea to create a pop-up thrift shop to sell off their excess inventory and bring in additional income for the organization. Enter, Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio… Wonderful! But even better than that, they decided to also bring in some of the area’s most talented designers to style several vignettes using reworked pieces from the warehouse. Brilliant!! I attended the preview party and let me tell you, it was awesome! I was completely blown away by the creativity and ingenuity used by each team to make old, worn items new and fresh again (of course, knowing many of the designers, I also didn’t expect anything less than fabulous).

Here are a few shots I managed to take between mingling with a pleasant and bustling crowd of supporters.

The Dining Room by EJ Interiors

The Office by studio ten 25

The Lounge by SWOON [the studio]

The Study by Jones Baker

The Parlor by PULP Design Studios

I think the pictures speak for themselves… this is a fantastic event and a MUST for anyone in the Metroplex area but visit soon! The shop closes at the end of October. The prices are very reasonable and support a fantastic cause. If you happen to pick up an item from the Thrift Studio, let me know. There were so many wonderful treasures I would have taken home with me!! I’d love to know what made it into your place.

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Old Dress, Old Chair… Old Soul

Since  I first started taking notice of clothing and decor as a young girl, I have been drawn to old things… clothing from a different era, patterns with a sense of heritage, decor telling a piece of history. I thinks it’s kind of odd considering that I am now such a fan of the modern arts… curious how our tastes develop and change over time. Despite my personal evolution, there’s no question that my love for antiques and vintage still burns strong (case and point HERE, HERE, and HERE). On days such as this one, it is unmistakably obvious!

Initially, I bought this old chair for it’s sturdy construction and clean, classic lines. The fabric works fairly well in our living room but it was a secondary interest. It’s old and tattered and could use a facelift. But after living with it for several months, I am slowly appreciating it’s age and history more and more. My plans for re-upholsterey and re-stuffing are most definitely still on the project queue but for the time being I’m enjoying it’s current state, ragged as it may be. (My choice for new fabric will probably be more neutral and a smaller pattern, but I have to admit that this retro fabric is actually very nice. It must have been really lovely in it’s own day!)

The dress is also a vintage piece I picked up HERE (of course). I love the rainbow seersucker and reverse button back. Likewise, it shows a visible history in the form of a falling hem (now repaired) and occasional age spots. This might be a negative for some but I like to think it adds character and interest to the piece. In my girlish practice of dressing up for the day, I can’t help but think about the lady that wore this dress before me. Who was she? Did she feel as elegant and polished as I do while wearing it? Was it a Sunday outfit or everyday house dress? Did she value it’s wonderful large, front pockets as much as I do? Our lifestyles have changed so much over the years. What was common then is special now. Part of my joy in wearing and using old pieces is the sense of refinement that comes with their use and is practically unavoidable. They seem to elevate the ordinary to something more significant.

Am I stuck in the past? I hope not. I greatly value the pursuit of originality. But do I have an old soul? Well, I think that’s obvious… undoubtedly, yes!

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A Bit of Nashville

Last week, I made an impromptu visit back home to Nashville for the holiday weekend. It was a timely escape during the transition between my old job at Havertys and my new work with Arteriors Home.

Here are a few tidbits from the weekend.

My mother, brother Nick, and I stopped by the new Antique Archeology shop owned by the guys from the History channel’s American Pickers show. Little did we know that everyone else in Nashville had the same idea that day! (oh yeah, did i mention that it was also opening day?) The downside… scorching heat and humidity while standing in a seemingly endless line of people, the upside… I discovered a new and interesting part of town called Marathon Village! (all you Nashvillians, if you don’t already know about it, the history is fascinating!)

The weather was squelchingly hot but charming refreshment stands helped keep many people cool and quenched.  Despite the unpleasant temperature, however, there was plenty of good company and interesting sites to keep us all entertained. Lesson of the day… umbrellas and hand fans are life-savers in the South!

And check out this super cool door embellishment made of old tools and parts from the original Marathon Motors factory… It’s all in the details!Hope your holiday weekend was just as wonderful!

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Wedding season for the lady-folk means lots of dresses. Sun-dresses for showers and luncheons, party dresses for rehearsal dinners and bachelorette events. And then of course, there is the dress for the actual event…the wedding! Well, this past weekend gave me the opportunity to doll up my dress ensembles for a special occasion. I love the common phrase ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ because I find it to be frequently true in my life. For example, a pair of my favorite vintage shoes have been sitting idle in my closet for the past several months due to the fact that their strap doesn’t feel sufficiently sturdy. I have had my eyes on them for the longest time…wishing they were stronger and searching for a solution that would finally allow me to wear them. In preparation for my brother’s rehearsal dinner this past weekend, all it took was a little inspiration to discover the solution. And voila!

…they are fixed! I found a couple paisley printed silk scarves (long and narrow) with complementing color schemes and used them to tie under the sole of my shoe and around my ankle, making a strong yet adjustable strap as well as adding pretty bow embellishment to a classic pair of white pumps.

I now have a lovely pair of heels that feel totally new and unique! (not to mention perfectly girly and wedding appropriate!)

All Photos Credit to David Walker

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Thinking Outside the Table

Another household item that can often be found floating around my house without a place to rest in are my books. David and I have an ever growing collection (which I love!) but I think we’re running out of places to put them! For those with the same predicament, here is a wonderful solution.

Photo Credit: Justin Officer, via Design Sponge Online

In fact, I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t mention that the image above inspired a similar arrangement in my own living room. (By the way, this photo is from an equally cool home featured on Design Sponge…bright, playful, and perfect for Spring!) I’m curious to know if you would you try this set-up in your home? Tell me what you think!

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Confessions of a Thrifter

By now, most of you know that I have a keen appreciation for hidden treasures and diamonds in the rough. My favorite pastime is vintage, antique, and thrift shopping. After my “This to That” series, which I am taking a short break from, and other second-hand inspired posts (HERE, HERE and HERE), I thought a brief summary of my tips and suggestions for a happy thrifting day would be well timed. Besides, with Lent coming to a close and Pascha (Easter) right around the corner, its time to come clean about my dangerous habit!

So, thanks to the suggestion of my endlessly wonderful husband, I am posting a new feature today that I am especially excited about…partly because I think you’ll like it and partly because I love it too!

Photo Credits: David Walker and Hilary Inspired

(and a few tips to scavenge by)

  • Begin with an open eye and creative outlook (treasures can be found in the oddest   shapes and forms.
  • Come prepared…comfy clothes, easy layers, and a few bags to take your                   goodies home in!

 (by the way, all items from today’s ensemble were found from a thrift shop)

  • Skim through everything (quickly)!  You don’t want to miss a rack and your fantastic find just might be around that corner.

  • Look for cool patterns, natural textures, and pretty colors.

  • Pay attention to interesting shapes. 

  • Search for collections. Duos, trios, and entire groups are rare and precious finds!

  • Always check out the art! (This is the best way to find original pieces at an affordable price. I have an entire gallery wall planned from thrift store finds…and if you don’t like the art, you can usually find some pretty awesome frames!) 

(on this particular visit I picked up a beautiful pastel painting framed locally in Fort Worth!)

  • Consider a theme while shopping. Much like the “shop for an outfit idea”, a loose theme can make for an interesting and less overwhelming venture. (it seems to always happen to me by accident!)

  • Last but not least, leave happy! Thrifting requires patience and diligence…if it wasn’t your day, the next may be! The wonderful thing about treasure hunts is that tomorrow holds a whole new batch of surprises!

Just as important as the first part of today’s post, I want to know what your secrets and successes have been. (Best finds, insider tips, local hot spots?) Let’s open this topic up and have a chat!

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Bright Idea

Have I ever told you the story about this unusual art accessory?

Well, if not…here goes. When David and I moved into our first apartment in Fort Worth, we decided to change out all of our light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent lights. Less energy, less heat, and lower electricity bills! But what to do with the now out-of-date incandescent bulbs? I was ready to toss them to the curb (which would not have been very eco-friendly) when David suggested something radical…why not save them as a modernist art piece…maybe even a bit Dada-esque. Is a pile of light bulbs  art? Or perhaps a social statement about the progress of technology?

Well, they also just look cool! To add to the fun, we turned over an unused lamp shade to hold our collection of bulbs. In one swoop we managed to save a handful of perfectly usable items from the dump. And my favorite part about this installation, besides the inside story that David and I (and now you) share?…the milky white glass bulbs against the polished brass shade lining. It is such an attractive contrast!

Now for the good part…a few nights ago, David informed me that he had something special to bring home for me. (Oooo! A surprise!) When he arrived home, the surprise was even better than I expected…an awesome addition to our bulb collection! He managed to pick up a discarded stage light from school. I was in love! It is so huge!!! And more like a piece of sculpture than simply a means of light.

I have a feeling this guy is going to be with me for a while. 🙂

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