June 5th, 2012

Sighs of relief everyone. The dining room light situation is resolved.

Bubble it is.

Those terrible weeks of baited breath and restless nightsย are a thing of the past, so feel free to revel in relief as that desperate anxiousness in your heart melts away. Because yes. OH YES. The single most important lighting decision of our time concerning a dining room in a nondescript vintage home in a crappy neighborhood in the armpit of the Inland Empire has been made.

Look at how this lamp can now turn on and illuminate stuff. Stuff like dinner.


It’s like we finally connected those funny wires that stick out of the ceiling to the funny wires that stick out of the cord in order to fully commit to that good ‘ol ubiquitous Nelson bubble lamp in a dining room thing. And you know what? I love it. Unashamedly.

Goodbye pretensions. Hello thirty six inches of iconic mid century design.

Something feels different here…

Less fibery? More green? Somehow ruggy?

Pointless meandering aside, there’s obviously been a couple of additions and changes in the past few weeks that made the big bubble finally feel like the right choice. Firstly, yes, the amazingly huge fiber art wall hanging has moved (and not very far). Then the crazy grandma plant (or philodendron if you want to get all correct or something) was moved from the bedroom into here for some ‘effing greenery. Finally.

Plants make a room. This truth I live by, but somehow can’t enforce around the house.

Oh, then lastly, I slammed the old living room cowhide rug under the dining table. Rug action in the dining room finally seemed to make sense when paired with the Moroccan rug situation happening in the living room.

This incredible 70’s hand cut paper wall sculpture was a recent thrifty find at a local consignment/antique type shop. I believe I actually gasped out loud when I saw it leaning against the wall and then gasped again when I saw the affordable price.

Huge, handmade, strangely heavy, unsigned and beautiful. I could not love it more.

Reminds me of Greg Copeland for sure, but feels more like a study or experimental piece someone was playing around with.

My once lush and rampantly growing philodendron seems to have gotten a little stressed out after the move. I was hoping to break old patterns of neglect and serial plant killing by being a better and more attentive plant owner, but just ended up over-watering the thing.

Ironically, this baby prefers abuse.

Stupid plants. Make up your minds.

Also, the butterfly’s are back.

I probably should focus on being a better and more attentive blogger. Or on finishing some projects (like painting and fixing up that busted pocket door). Or clearing out some of the piles of vintage stuff laying just outside the cameras frame.

Yeah, this is all an illusion of organized cleanliness. Reality is much more cluttered.

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  1. Natalie (Fashion Intel) on 06/05/2012:

    You’re totally inspiring, you know that right? In addition to being hilarious. I haven’t been to on top of my blog reading but I’m so glad I caught this because you’re home is absolutely beautiful.

  2. Igor on 06/05/2012:

    The Nelson pendants are truly iconic and they fit into so many settings. A fabulous choice and an even better outcome!

  3. alex sunday on 06/05/2012:

    awesome light choice.
    frickin’ amazing 70’s paper cut artwork!
    most most jealous.

  4. l on 06/05/2012:

    Your DR suddenly SINGS! And not opera, either. Seriously excellent changeup — in other words,i second Natalie heartily.

  5. Simone on 06/05/2012:

    So envious of that artwork, gorgeous (x100) breathtaking!!!
    I can imagine you gasped about that!!!
    The butterflies are back, and the daybed (dare I ask)?
    Have a wonderful day!!!

  6. nickarmadillo on 06/05/2012:

    Out of curiosity, where did you find the leather covers for the butterfly chairs? I’ve seen a few sets come and go on Craigslist but always pass them up because they have vinyl or cloth covers. Any idea where to pick one up?

  7. The brick house on 06/05/2012:

    Circa50 is where my leather covers are from:

    They are great!

  8. Marije on 06/05/2012:

    I really like how your interior is developing in recent months. It all fits together in a very cool, balanced way. Reading your blog learns me a lot about developing a personal style and that in the end it is worth waiting for the right vintage/thrift buy. Love the combination of the lamp and the artwork!

  9. Desi on 06/05/2012:

    I would have gasped too. My eyes opened wide when I saw it and that’s saying something because I’m very, very tired this morning.

  10. nickarmadillo on 06/05/2012:

    Thanks! Love the new additions. Your place always looks amazing.

  11. Lisa on 06/05/2012:

    AHHHH I love that papercut art so much! So freakin’ jealous.

  12. Green Key on 06/05/2012:

    Really nice choice. I tried fitting a smaller one of these Nelson bubbles in my (much smaller) dining area, but it broke up the sight lines too much. You’re lucky that it fits so nicely here. The room looks gorgeous!

  13. Erin | Holtwood Hipster on 06/05/2012:

    Lovin the changes! Glad the leather butterfly chairs have been reintroduced. I love those babies.

  14. So cool! I love the constant changes in your home decor. Spicin’ it up is the way to go – especially with insane thrift store finds like that paper cut art! wow!

  15. carey on 06/05/2012:

    bubble, paper cut, butterfly? a. freakin’. mazing! can i hang with you on your next shopping spree? i’m sure we’d have to arm wrestle for something, though! your place looks great!

  16. victoria on 06/05/2012:

    i have the bubble. it lights up my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. The brick house on 06/05/2012:

    Don’t you have that awesome orbit chandelier in your dining room Victoria? I love those things.

  18. Kelly S. on 06/05/2012:

    Hemet is not the armpit of the I.E. I believe that would be Romoland. All of the details of the room add up to awesome. Love it.

  19. Margas on 06/05/2012:

    Hilarious post… Love the lamp and really envious of the trift store find!

  20. Jaimie on 06/05/2012:

    That paper cut sculpture thing is amazing. I am so jealous. The bubble pendant looks great too, but of course it does.

  21. J. Coffin on 06/05/2012:

    I am so freaking excited to read a new post of yours. I found your blog about 3 weeks ago and OD’ed on reading everyone of your posts. Then I had a hard time coming down from the glory of your blog! So thanks for this awesome post.
    J. Coffin

  22. Gaidig on 06/05/2012:

    I love your new cut paper artwork.
    Also, your whole house may not be in order, but at least there are gorgeous parts of it you can show off.

  23. Mary S. on 06/05/2012:

    Wow! Your dining room looks absolutely beautiful! That cut paper relief is breathtaking..hence your gasp! Truly inspiring! Love the butterfly chairs, love the cow rug, love the Nelson lamp, love it all! Thanks for sharing…and for being so funny that I laugh out loud when I read your blog!

  24. poweltonian on 06/05/2012:

    I just have to say that your blog posts are by far the best thing going in the blog world. You have such an incredible eye! There is so much crap out there, but you have true talent. So thank you!

  25. THE BRICK HOUSE on 06/05/2012:

    Thanks guys. I’m really happy with it and want to pull the rest of the house together this summer – sans piles.

  26. Keira on 06/05/2012:

    Love it all! You can’t go wrong with a Nelson lamp, and that paper art is truly amazing.

  27. CG on 06/05/2012:

    Looks Great! I grew up with a Greg Copeland that looks very similar to your piece, except mine is four separate frames grouped together. The one in my living room is rotated 45 degrees to make a diamond. I love how yours fits into the dining room so well.

  28. Lucy on 06/05/2012:

    Morgan, what I am committed to is reading your blog posts. I don’t care how infrequently you do them, I will always read them. Your writing is hilarious, the photos are superb and I am always blown away by the amazing things you find in thrift shops (I LOVE THE PAPER ART!!). Please never stop.

    And, plants DO make a room!

  29. amy h on 06/05/2012:

    EZ SKI Trainer? Getting out to those desert lakes then?

    The room looks great! And I need a new dining room pendant, too. My childrens drew on my mine.

  30. The brick house on 06/05/2012:

    Yeah, the boat stuff is part of Jeremy’s work. I know how to ski, duh. We have vintage furniture and boat parts strewn around the entire estate.

  31. Blanders on 06/06/2012:

    I’m pretty sure that the plant is a monstera deliciosa, not a philodendron. Same family, different species.

    The paper art is an amazing find!

  32. Shaina on 06/06/2012:

    Holy shit that paper art is incredible. Makes me want to try my hand at it. I’m so in love with lace but it’s really hard to have around without being overly shabby-shic and romantic, and that paper art perfectly hints at the aesthetic without being too much. This new dining room perfectly captures my dream house vibe: super bright, open, dynamic and warm. Love damnit.

  33. The brick house on 06/06/2012:

    Blanders, I think it’s both:
    Common Name: Split Leaf Philodendron
    Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa

    Or as I like to call it, that grandma plant thing.

  34. shannon on 06/06/2012:

    Ubiquitous + Iconic = Smart Choice

  35. cathy on 06/06/2012:

    The last time I oohed and ahhed like this was Morrison Hair. Now your dining room has that same pulled together look. White Nelson, White paper cut (beautiful!),White (Gainey?) pot for the monstera grandma plant, and the butterfly chairs. A perfect balance of white and brown. Pulled together and “of an era” but not like the clock stopped somewhere in the ’60s or 70s. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  36. Genna on 06/06/2012:

    DUDE I work in Hemet and the phone wants to say helmet arr but oh your blOG makes me kind of feel like this armpit is a treasure pit. I must do more thrifting here! I know you find stuff elsewhere, but Hemey is so strange and interesting. And genius is born of scarcity, right?

  37. Rebecca on 06/06/2012:

    It all looks amazing!

  38. Fat Cat on 06/06/2012:

    As long as you just gasped, and not climaxed… I think I would have discovering something this awesome for my walls ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Love it all ! And now of course I want a bubble light over my dining table…

  39. Fe on 06/06/2012:

    I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous of your Nelson bubble lamps its not true, a great choice……finally ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Tonia on 06/07/2012:

    OH MY! That for sure Greg has to be!

  41. Christa on 06/07/2012:

    The Nelson combined with the possible Copeland paper sculpture art is so — pretty and sharp and clean. Really nice. And fiber art near food could lead to some unfortunate hair incidents.

  42. cathy on 06/07/2012:

    I wasn’t familar with Greg Copeland so I did a little checking and started finding people saying their fathers made art that was sold by Greg Copeland, Inc. I finally found a site that explains the history of Copeland’s studio. Originally, he sold his own pieces. Later he sold that of other artists, but it had a Greg Copeland, Inc. label. Maybe that’s why your’s is Copelandesque, but not quite his? Here’s the link:

  43. erin@designcrisis on 06/08/2012:

    I take back whatever I said about the Nelson — it works really well with your fancy new art (which I will steal as soon as I google satellite search your address).

    It’s all very minimal, but it feels good. Awesome job.

  44. Becky Roesler on 06/09/2012:

    I’m a huge fan of bright white light and live plants and your amusing and inspiring style.

  45. bigBANG studio on 06/09/2012:

    Quiet, peaceful, and perfectly minimalist for respite from the summer heat outside. Hemet must be getting HOT, girl!

    Obviously this looks gorgeous. Obviously I especially love the secret sly Instagram pic of the hallway. Obviously you read up on Sheila Hicks, RIGHT? That was your homework for last week. Unless you already wrote the monograph on Sheila Hicks, which you probably did. High five for the especially fabulous posts as of late, m’lady.

  46. Paul Gazerwitz on 06/13/2012:

    Hey Morgan, I love what you do inside but what’s happening in your garden! You teased me with all your ideas a couple of months ago and we have seen nothing since. I hope it is not a lost cause.

  47. Sumana on 06/14/2012:

    I have been reading your blog for few months now , totally enjoy your writing ๐Ÿ™‚ . When I read the phrase ” armpit of inland empire ” , I was alarmed (in a good way) , rushed to your faq page and there it was Hemet , CA . I am from Lake Elsinore , lol, yes armpit of inland empire , indeed.

  48. Rebecca on 06/14/2012:

    You’re house is beyond amazing. That paper cut wall hanging is breathtaking.

  49. Luna on 06/17/2012:

    There’s some greenery going on here too, right in front of my computer. I’M GREEN with ENVY about that papercut thingy. I CRAVE something beautiful like that. Soooooo beautiful. – Perfect dining room.

  50. Jenny on 06/19/2012:

    I love ‘the stuff that goes on just outside the camera frame’. I always think about my mess that’s outside the frame while I’m taking perfectly framed, organised pictures.

  51. jenny on 06/20/2012:

    GASP. I LOVE that paper cutting artwork business on your wall. jealous.

  52. dabney on 06/20/2012:

    the paper op art could be nancy miller; i’ve seen similar stuff by her. just a guess though.

  53. Suzy8track on 06/25/2012:

    Holey Smokes! That paper cut artwork is divine! I would have gasped too!

  54. Pixen on 06/27/2012:

    great choice! when in doubt simple and iconic is best! now you have a nice stable base and can jazz it up and down.

  55. GaineyGirl on 06/28/2012:

    Love the vintage Gainey Pot!!

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  57. Irtchick on 09/21/2014:

    Hi, Lovely post! I’ve just purchased a similar paper cutout art, very much similar to yours, however mine is signed Nanan Muller. I can send you a picture of it. Looks like the same artist! I am in LOVE with it!

  58. Denise on 07/16/2017:

    I also have a Nanan Muller cut art piece and totally love it. I can send you a picture if you like. The only problem is it is from the 70’s and it is encased in a cool acrylic box frame but the paper is yellowing on the edges. I absolutely love it.

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