Category Archives: Home Design

Old Stuff Day: Mid Century Style

Mid Century SofaMarch 2nd is Old Stuff Day.  Even though it sounds like a day to honor vintage stuff, it is actually about breaking old habits.  Nonsense!  I love any reason to celebrate good old stuff so in my book, we’ll do just that.  As you know, I am slightly obsessed with mid century items so I collected a few fun things for the home fifties style.  I think I am ready to party on March 2, are you?

Above:  I am dying for this blue velvet sofa!  I think the green wall sold me.  Fabulous Mid Century Sofa available HERE by At 1st Sight.

Below: While you’re lounging about, have an afternoon cocktail in these glasses.  The gold detail is the epitome of 1950s bar ware.  Sunshine Girls Vintage has these and so many other cute things!1950s GlassesMId Century Green ClockAbove:  With all the cocktails, you’ll surely need to keep track of the time!  Hallder Vintage has the coolest collection of desk clocks.  Check HERE for this sweet green one!

Below:  Last but not least, every Mid Century girl needs a good party dress, even when just lounging at home.  This one is super cute from Vintage Frocks of Fancy.  I love the bow at the top of the zipper!  Grab it HERE and party with me on March 2nd!

Mid Century Party Dress

 

 

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Boudoir Inspiration

All of the planning I’ve done lately for my wedding has made me realize how valuable true rest really is.

In order to accomplish hours of uninterrupted relaxation and sleep, I’m starting to plan for a mini bedroom facelift. In scouring thread counts and perky prints, it’s clear that the quality of the bedding itself is imperative.  Of course, a few stylish accessories don’t hurt either.  Here are three of my favorites “looks” to inspire.  Wishing you all a restful weekend!

Above:  A neutral palette with a touch of metallicThe Ava Print Duvet by Frette works well with this Pottery Barn mercury bed-side lamp and Anthropologie Luxe Shine Wallpaper.  I love blue accents for the bedroom; they are calming!

Below: Basic and beautiful, black and white.  This timeless set from Frette is aptly named, Hotel Classic.  It is definitely a luxurious addition to any abode.  Also from Frette, the Malick Cushion (which truly makes my heart skip a beat).   For a bit of a modern touch, the Reactive Glass Lamp from Anthropologie does the trick!

Below:  Lazy Sunday afternoon worthy decor.  The look is complete with a soft wool and angora Double Face throw by Frette, whimsical Tea Cup and the Festival Rug; both from Anthropologie.  This trio is best enjoyed on a rainy day while reading your favorite book.  Can’t you just feel the “cozy”?

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Inspiring Author: Janet Lee

I first discovered design blogger Janet Lee not on the internet but through her beautiful new book Living in a Nutshell.  A small package with a big punch, the book is filled with clever projects that are easily executed.  Janet’s motto:  Designing “out of the box” when you live in one, translates into pages filled with stylish small space ideas.   As a long time New Yorker with a history of tiny abodes, Living in a Nutshell is my new go-to project resource.  I am thrilled to share some of the fabulous work and words from Janet Lee in this Q&A.  Run to the store and snag your copy, you’ll be truly inspired.

More about Janet Lee:  TV producer and serial small space nester turned decorating blogger and author.

Hometown: La Jolla, California              

Current City of Residence: New York City

BLOG / BOOK / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / PINTEREST

Describe the first DIY project that spurred on the Living in a Nutshell blog?

The catalyst for my nutshell blog developed from circumstance rather than a project per se. In the height of our national housing crisis, I found myself in the middle of a divorce and putting my dear “little maison” in Brooklyn on the market. I had no idea the apartment would sell in one afternoon! The same unit in the building sat on the market for months so I thought that was going to be my fate.  The real estate agent told me the difference was in the colors and unique design of my space. That was my “ah-ha” moment. I thought maybe I had a point of view to share and decided to document my next move into a new city rental with a portable design bent—décor that you can take with you. Living in a Nutshell, the blog, was born.Tell us more about your new book.

The book is full of accessible small space design ideas, DIY projects and budget-friendly tips that help to uplift the look and feel of living in a tiny box into something that is a little more luxurious, cozy and unique. I personally painted, découpaged and sewed my way through the book finessing each how-to so the reader will be successful.  I want the reader to think of me as their design buddy who doesn’t judge and who has made all the big mistakes for you.  I am not a professional decorator who aspires to knock Martha Stewart off of her “domestic goddess” throne. I am just the girl next door who has a passion for design and who loves to share decorating triumphs amassed from designing over a dozen pocket-sized spaces.

Which project from the book is your favorite and why?

(On page 73) I included two framed photos of my older brother and sister before the Korean War erupted. At the time my father was in America establishing his medical practice.  I added vintage bifocal lenses to the outside of the frames to magnify the details of the photos and to draw the viewer in. My father sent the toy car in the photo from America. Personalizing a space with meaningful mementos makes every inch of a teeny space matter. With a budget of only $100 – which project do you recommend for first time Do-It-Yourselfers for a quick room facelift?

(On page 24) For first-time DIY’ers, this is an easy way to ease into color and paint without breaking the bank. For about $50 I like taping off a chair rail border along the walls of a foyer about 40” from the floor. Carry a border above the doorway and top it off with molding appliqués you attach with Command picture hanging strips—the ones with the interlocking teeth. It’s a simple way to add architectural interest to any space. Who ate all the caviar from your Caviar Dreams project(I hope Scooter got a taste)

My cat Scooter He wishes! This girl’s on a budget so those brand new tins I bought from a wholesale place online for about $7 a piece. A late night walk past a famous NYC food emporium called Zabar’s inspired the project. They were tossing out huge garbage bags full of empty caviar tins but they were so heavy and stinky that my husband at the time refused to allow them into the apartment. Where is your favorite spot in your Little Maison and how would you describe it:  Hands down it’s my bed.  It feels like a cozy cocoon and I never get tired of looking at Tord Boontje’s paper Dawn Curtain on the walls.

Thank you again to Janet for sharing Living in a Nutshell!  Visit her online:

BLOG / BOOK / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / PINTEREST

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Build It Green

This past weekend George and I went on the hunt for something to create a path in his mother’s backyard garden.  We stopped in Build It Green which is treasure trove of salvaged building materials. A very large warehouse holds the bulk of the furniture, fixtures and lumber, some old, some new but all rescued from a landfill.  There is an outdoor area with more odds and ends which is where we found a few dozen terracotta tiles for just a quarter each.  We also snagged two remnants of granite.

Build it Green is a vintage lover’s dream as each little nook and cranny is filled with weathered beauty.   If you’re a local New Yorker about to embark on a renovation, definitely check out Build It Green.   Did I mention they are a not-for-profit organization?  As George said, it’s a win win!

George in the granite pieces

Don’t forget to support Build it Green and LIKE their facebook page HERE!

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Pink Boudoir

Today I am feeling a bit girly!  I found some outstanding Etsy items that would make for a perfect pink boudoir.  If only I could get George (my boyfriend) to fall in love with pink.  A girl can dream, right?  

Click on the shop name to see more about each lovely product.  Shop a little, you deserve it!

Above:  1943 stand up mirror at The Vintage Tree House ($59), Pale pink 1950′s pumps at Ginger Root Vintage ($45) and the pale pink rotary phone at Free Range Goat ($29)

Below: Decorative tin by Rebekah Makes ($20), Lace Slip in pink at In With The Old ($18) and Vintage floral oil painting on canvas at Harrietts Hallway ($25)

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Modern Vintage Interiors

French, vintage, modern interiors – YES, please! 

On my weekly walk through Barnes and Noble I picked up this new book by Sebastien Siraudeau;  French Flair:  Modern Vintage Interiors.  At a staggering 736 pages, this beauty is more like an encyclopedia and needs to be enjoyed over the course of an afternoon with a warm cup of tea.

Enjoy a few snippets from the book below and stop in at Amazon HERE for your very own copy.  It’s tres chic!

Want more French Inspiration? 

Check out my Q&A with Karen Wheeler, author of Tout Soul HERE

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Inside The Oracle Club

Last week I had the pleasure of touring The Oracle Club in Long Island City, Queens.   This members only creative workspace for artists, writers and the like was started by visionaries Jenna Gribbon and Julian Tepper.   Memberships range between $50-$175 per month for access to this artistic oasis and classes and readings are available to non-members as well.   The Oracle Club is a welcome addition to the ever flourishing neighborhood and I personally couldn’t be more excited!

The club’s decor is vintage chic with a touch of whimsy; think Alice in Wonderland meets The Harvard Club.  I could have lost hours in their library adorned with velvety chairs and cozy reading nooks.  The atmosphere is definitely created with intent to inspire.

During my visit, the salon was taken over by chic locals attending a collage class led by Caris Reid.  It seemed like a perfect way to spend a Tuesday night; meeting new people and listening to unapologetic hip music on vinyl.  I could almost see myself there next week with scissors in hand.

For the latest updates on readings and classes, visit The Oracle Club’s website HERE and stop by their facebook page HERE .  If you’re a local, perhaps we can check out their Sunday Painters class sometime soon together!

The Oracle Club Full Gallery Below


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Inspiring Author: Karen Wheeler

Last August I discovered the charming memoir, Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler and finished it in under two days.  I was instantly smitten with Karen and her adventures in rural France.  I counted the days for her second book to arrive by mail and finished Toute Allure in record time.  I am excited to dive into her third book, Tout Soul (it’s on it’s way) and was honored that she agreed to do a Q&A with me!  I highly recommend her work and couldn’t be happier to share the interview below.

More about the Author:   Karen Wheeler, a former fashion editor, is the author of three memoirs of her life in France. She also provides regular updates on her blog Tout Sweet and on Twitter.

Hometown:  Liverpool in the north of England.

Current City of Residence:  A village close to Poitiers in south-western France.

Tell us about the new book, Tout Soul.

Tout Soul: the Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France (now available for Kindle download from Amazon.com) is the third in my series of French memoirs, which tell the story of a former newspaper fashion editor who decamps to France to renovate a house alone.

Whereas my previous books – Tout Sweet: Hanging up my High Heels for a New Life in Rural France and Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France, have been described as ‘literary Prozac’ and ‘better than anti-depressants’ Tout Soul is a somewhat sadder story concerning my former boyfriend I don’t want to give too much away, but one reader just emailed to say she was in bed sobbing as she read it, and her husband was handing her the tissues. Despite this, it is still written with a lot of humor and I have tried hard to make sure the ultimate message is uplifting.

Since your first book, Tout Sweet, what has been your main source of inspiration to continue recording your life journey in rural France?

The French countryside – I’m very inspired by the colors and scents of the nature – and also by the people around me. There are some wonderful characters – not just French people but badly behaving expat Brits – tucked away in the French countryside.

Karen's furry friend Biff who makes his entrance in Toute Allure

What advice would you give someone looking to bravely make the switch in careers the way you did?

Follow you heart not your head. If your heart is telling you to do it, then you should.

Jenn at Reel Chow wants to know your favorite meal to eat out or make at home in France?

I love steak and chips with French mustard, which despite all the talk of frogs’ legs and exotic animal innards, is pretty much the French national dish.  I’m also very partial to snails cooked in parsley and garlic.

Christine at NYCPretty would love to know how living in France has changed your sense of style or influenced your fashion, beauty and wellness?

Well, I’ve had to ditch my high heels as they don’t work on friends’ gravel drives.  I would say that the clothes I wear are much more relaxed and casual – and most of the time geared towards dog walking.  I still wear a lot of Marni print dresses though.

Finally, Karen shared a photo of her favorite spot in her Little Maison:  her bedroom.   In one word she would use to describe it:    ‘girly’.  I agree.  Thanks for sharing Karen!

Don’t forget to stop by Karen’s blog HERE, follow her on twitter HERE and pick up her books HERE.

Need more French Inspiration?   Head over to Reel Chow and NYCPretty for their “French Favorites” today in celebration of Karen’s new book!  xoxo – Mandy @ LittleMaison

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Store Tour: Shabby Foo Foo

This post is for all the Shabby Chic lovers out there! 

While my boyfriend and I visited Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania last weekend we walked into this shabby chic paradise called Shabby Foo Foo.  This quaint shop offered every type of cottage style item both new and vintage.   It was worth the walk through thousands of rose trinkets simply for the vintage glassware and china selection.  Of course, the endless supply of doilies made my heart skip a beat too (click here for more on that).  If you’re ever in Pennsylvania, stop into Shabby Foo Foo or check out their cute online boutique HERE.

For a real shabby chic home, be sure to check out this post HERE.  Have a great weekend and LIKE me on facebook when you can!

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Store Tour: Ben's Garden

I was out looking for an estate engagement ring this past weekend with my boyfriend again (see past post HERE) and stumbled into a beautiful store!

Ben’s Garden is known for it’s decoupage catch all dishes and paperweights made from high quality glass with witty phrases and endearing illustrations.   Their work is exquisite, but the store itself completely blew me away.  The propping and styling is top notch.  Every item was surrounded by complementary goods to create dramatic nooks of perfection.  Their website sells most of their glass goods, however, if you find yourself in Huntington, New York it is worth the trip for some home decor intoxication.  Be sure to check out their website HERE and enjoy some of the store photos I took while browsing below!

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Blackout

I must confess, my closet if filled with black clothing.  I adore color but somehow gravitate toward black.  When done right, black home accessories can add classic elegance to any room.  Here is a collection of vintage chic items I’d love to incorporate into my home but too bad my little one bedroom can’t fit any more decor!

Above, this typewriter reminds me of movies from the 1940s where the main character is a ‘newspaper man’.  Can’t you just hear the clack, clack, clack of the keys?  HERE from Good Bones Vintage for $230.

Below, keeping with the written word theme, a handmade sign perfect for your home’s reading nook by Oh Dier.  It’s made from reclaimed wood available HERE for $42.

Above, a traditional desk clock is weathered to perfection.  It’s the perfect respite from a digital world.  HERE for $49.95 from Uniquely Yours by Cil

Below, no home would be complete without Playboy bunny glassware!  These are just kitschy enough for me to love. Only $35 from Good Karma Hedgehog HERE.  

Last but not least below, this print has been a favorite of mine on Etsy for a while.  It is a playful addition to any home at $29 HERE from Yumalum which is currently running a 15% off promotion with code YUMALUM15.  Now that rocks!

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Vacation Inspiration: Sand

While I was in Belize last week, I was taken with the sand.  In some parts it was soft and pure and others there were millions of shell particles per handful.   A great inspiration to feature some of my favorite neutral home design finds!

The lovely items above:   1.  Hand Knit Pillow available at Le Souk HERE.   2.  Damask Wallpaper from the Maison Gallerie Collection by Seabrook Designs HERE  (at a fabulous online store BurkeDecor.com) 3.  Fedore Towel Set at Anthropologie HERE.  4. Handmade Crochet Rug by Henna’s Boutique HERE.

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