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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Mixed Metals

Now that I have come clean about my avid affection for second hand treasures, I think it would be a mistake not to share an example of my hodgepodge collection in action. My theory of “matching” is pretty loose…proportion, texture, and color guide most of my decisions. And in regards to jewelry, I love to layer!

My advice to the hesitant mixer? Just give it a try! As I’ve done today with my wrist accessories, play around with chunky bands and skinny bangles, slinky bracelets and shapely cuffs…jeweled, painted, engraved, or embossed…you never know if it will work until you try. (And don’t worry about the gold and silver taboo…they are actually a lovely contrasting complement to one another).

Now, are you ready to give it a try? Don’t forget to come back here and let me know how it goes!!

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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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No Time to Waste

Yes…I have finally returned from my relocation vacation (well, “vacation” may not be exactly the right word). Although I missed sharing my daily snippet of style and design inspiration, I have to be honest…the time away gave me a wonderful opportunity to consider and reflect on my work here…past, present, and future. If I took the time to go through all my ponderings, you would absolutely be utterly bored, so I will skip a few steps ahead to say that I now have a renewed vision for my work here at Hilary Inspired! You may notice a few alterations over the next several weeks (and some cosmetic improvements as well…that to come a little further down the road). No need to worry, though. I’ll still be sharing those lovely and exciting things that catch and hold my eye and inspire me along the way. In the spirit of today’s title, which expresses the sentiments I have felt for the past few weeks, I want to start with a glimpse into our new home via my favorite type of post…the DIY! No Time to Waste!

This mini-project began when I happened upon a couple of diamonds in the rough at my favorite local thrift store, Berry Good Buys:

I had been eyeing these lamps for a couple of weeks and, to my surprise, no one snatched them up. So when I returned a few days ago, I grabbed them for myself (along with another beauty that I am so excited about!).

My goal was to use the vintage shape of the second-hand lamps and update them with a couple crisp, modern shades. One trip to Target later…mission accomplished!

I found exactly what I was looking for…clean, modern shape, graphic pattern, and two shades of the same size (but a different color) to boot! Here’s how it all came together:

Ahh, the joys of a small victory!

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Thrifting Thursday’s: Episode 5

Whew! It’s been a while. The holiday season kinda threw me for a loop when it came to this series. And now the New Year has begun, so it’s back to it! I love collecting photos of local treasures and searching my archives for relevant applications of each piece. Today’s post features two DIY inspired transformations. I would love to know what you think!

From THIS to THAT: Episode 5

Photo Credit: Snapshots – Hilary Walker, 1 – Ladies and Gentleman, 2 – Small Notebook

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Thrifting Thursdays: Episode 4

Hello again weekly thrifters! (My spell check is going crazy with all these made up thrift words). This week’s scavenge uncovered some real beauties in the world of second hand furniture. I wish I could have taken them all home with me, but aside from that little thing called a budget I would have had a DIY project to-do list longer than my grocery list! Instead, I left my finds to be discovered and treasured by someone else and collected a few scenarios that demonstrate how something similar would work in your home. Enjoy!

From THIS to THAT: Episode 4

A healthy dose of upholstery cleaner and a crisp slip cover is all you would need to transform this piece…easy as pie!

Another favorite blogger, recent HGTV Design Star, and Secrets from a Stylist hostess, Emily Henderson, shares a similar post each week that I think you might also enjoy…Flea Market Mondays. Emily’s posts are so much fun to read and she always manages to find the most incredible treasures! Stop by when you get a chance and let Emily know that I sent you! Happy thrifting!! (there goes my spell check) 😕

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Thrifting Thursday’s: Episode 2

Once again, the local 2nd hand stores had some wonderful pieces on the floor this past week, making for a great follow-up to Hilary Inspired’s inaugural Thrifting Thursday’s post.

From THIS to THAT: Episode 2

Also, if you’re looking for another resource for some cool home DIY projects, check out Fresh Home Magazines blog….lots of inspiration and ideas to choose from there!

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