September 6th, 2011

I still thrift. All the time. I swear.

It’s been about three months since any thrifty action has seen this blog.

BUT, the master bedroom has been begging me for a tall dresser for months now. Finding the right piece has been wickedly difficult considering it had to be both the right scale and cost. Guideline-wise, it had to be vintage (DUH) with a basic no-fuss design that slanted Danish. The curse of thrift shopping  is: if you’re needing something specific, you’re never going to find it.

I gave up hope, getting by with the wrong credenza in the meantime. Recently, during some local thrifting rounds, I spotted a complete bedroom set that included this simple but incredibly dry looking highboy. In it’s entirety, the set appeared abused and neglected for the last sixty year and cried out for the old vintage wood regimen. Luckily, the set was being sold piecemeal, making it easy to grab the highboy and nightstands and jet off.

Not to digress, but when I’m thrifting with folks or get emails from folks with thrifting dilemmas, their biggest challenge is usually just looking past the ugly florescent lights, piles of garbage and disorderliness of the place to spot potential. This dresser looked so depressing, so cheap and soooo gross in the store, but wood – good wood? Wood loves to be prettied up and treated right.

Spending the time and putting in the effort of sanding everything with fine steel wool, slopping on a couple coats of Danish oil and hand rubbing a final finish of Howards Feed N’ Wax, returns the luster and richness to wood that appeared derelict and shabby at best.

Of course this dresser is still vintage.

Over the last sixty years it’s been used and misused. Vintage wear and tear goes with the thrifty territory, but I prefer to live with furniture that’s been well used and developed an understandable patina. This way, instead of fearfully living with a perfect museum piece, you can knock stuff around and use pieces day in and day out without getting heartbroken if something gets dinged or nicked.

Case in point, the left side of the dresser has a large gouge from a careless handler dragging against something pointy. Sometimes, you can’t sand down very far when attempting to remove a big gouge. Most vintage furniture is finished with veneer, and that veneer is usually too thin to handle aggressive sanding.

In this situation, instead of freaking out and throwing every fill and repair trick at the damage (to just have the scratch continue to show up), a basic oiling helps minimize most of the damage. Vintage actually looking vintage is fine by me.

For most of the restoration, I didn’t spot markings that could help determine the dresser’s provenance. Not till after futzing with the base did this little blue MADE IN SWEDEN stamp pop up. At this point, I had pretty much assumed the set must have been American made and designed by some company in the states.

Those sneaky Swedes. Being all coy about marking stuff.


Hey now.

Sexy time.

Of course this looks stunning framed by the weed infested backyard.


Perfect-o for the bedroom.


September 3rd, 2011

I know I posted all those detail pics, but here’s the run down on some of the new stuff that wandered into the house over the summer. I’m kind of lacking any whiz-bang stories about this stuff except…I went shopping and these are some of the things I bought?

Case in point, this vintage black ball lamp.

Um, thanks Salvation Army. I bought this lamp. I waited in line for an absurdly long time to pay. It was dull.

Arkana safari chair.

Been looking years and years for a safari chair and splurged a bit on this one. A belated birthday present to myself, scoured from an older couple in Los Angeles.

Danish copper cone lamp.

Still need to decide where to install this thang and rewire this lovely light. Picked up in LA as well.

West Elm organic chevron duvet.

Thank you, ministry of healing. You know who you are. I LOVE THIS THING.

Danish rosewood side table.

Thanks…where did I get this? Somewhere obviously. Was it the same trip as that horrible estate guy fiasco? Or am I switching trips around in my brain. Oh, this is embarrassing.

Giant vintage hammered brass Moroccan lamp.

Thanks again Salvation Army – a different one this time around. Don’t get all greedy Hemet branch.

Assorted ceramic bits. From everywhere and all the time.

There’s probably a bunch more stuff around here that’s languishing away someplace. It’s been a long summer.

Speaking of summer, enjoy that long holiday weekend american folks. This weekend tends to feel like the death knell for summertime and my coping requires lounging around and soaking in the pool as memoriam to all things sun-soaked and amazing. Coping also requires diet coke and perhaps an artichoke. Maybe mochi?

Yes. Tons of mochi.



August 31st, 2011

I recently attended a local auction I’ve outright avoided for years because their offerings are usually very heavily gilt and super antique. The auction house took a chance and for the first time offered up a huge modernist estate that appealed to, what I’m completely assuming, was a younger and more aggressive crowd than is normally in attendance.

The local mcm dealers came out to represent and apparently all the dealers are dudes. Which seems weird? Male heavy auctions force me to represent with my lady-ness.

And lady bits.

Along with a thousand other things, I’ve been hoping to run across a smallish simple cabinet to replace the danish secretary (barely seen HERE) that had replaced the tension shelf in the den. Yeah. Fickle. I know.

Anyway, I spotted this simple teak cabinet during the auction preview and it appeared to be a good fit for the den.

The simple design, small scale, masculine tone plus lockable storage was sort of just what I needed. I’ve got stuff to lock up. Like ceramics.

Anywho, auctions are terrifying.

Everything happens very quickly, which is confusing to begin with and then compounded by adrenaline fueled terror. But, when things got rolling, there seemed to be just a few serious bidders that included myself and about five guys – like this dude who won a few things I eyeballed very seriously, i.e. THIS and THIS. Not that I’m jealous.

[I am]

Jealousy aside, I did come home with a few nice pieces and for now, I’ll be holding onto this little chest and probably updating the art and rug and other bits of the den in an ouroboros style of fickle decorating that never ends.

So, in summation…

Auctions are fun and terrifying.
I got this cabinet.

Otherwise, billy balls are my favorite ball style plant.