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Friday, July 25, 2014

Living smaller: Tiny- the movie

This image is from Katrina Cottages website. 

I  have a fascination with the small house movement from "The Not So Big House" books from Sarah 
Susanka to Tumbleweed houses to Katrina Cottages and now a documentary I wanted last night called Tiny, a story about living small. Here is a trailer of the movie. WATCH!

Where Katrina cottage maybe too cute, this uber industrial might just fit the bill!

If the time house movement is new to you... and you think it is strange or undo-able to live in under 250 square feet, watch the movie. Not only do you follow someone making a tiny cottage from scratch, but you also head from folks who live in them, how their lives are improved, and the freedom they offer. One of the spaces is completely white including the dishes and full of cubby storage. They typically have solar panels for electricity and some have these tint fireplaces that are made for boats. These folks live debt free and have the freedom to spend their money on other things than house upkeep like keeping up 6 sinks, 2-3 toilets an the plumbing they include, in a typical house. It is looking at the world, and your world differently. It is saying I don't need an impressively large house to be an impressive person. And, the free thinking that people have built houses for centuries without official plans, so why can't I, is very bold.

I am truly fascinate with these little houses. However, living in the most active tornado area in the country, it is perhaps foolhardy to consider building one- at least one on wheels. And as a business owner, it may not be viable to be in under 250 square feet. But living small and appreciating what you have instead of finding joy only in the "thrill of the hunt" is appealing. Even though I can writing construction documents and understand building construction, I still think I would purchase building plans. Luckily, there are a few companies that not only sell the plans, but can build the house and drive it to your location!

If you are really interested in going TINY, please check your local building codes. Many municipalities limit the size of homes built in it's limits. Some limit the house size to as small as 600 square feet. My city limits the interior square footage to 1000 square feet for one stories and 1300 square feet for 1.5 stories. You can find this information on the cities website, look for "building codes."

Would you live in a tiny house? Or, do you already?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trending- Pineapples and brass pineapples

Trend-spotting is one of my favorite things to do. It is not like doing a craft project, where you have a specific thing to do and do it until it is completed. It is something that is always "on." You see something that reminds you that you have seen this a few more times recently, then you see it again and realize you have a trend brewing. then you wait to see if this is a micro-trend or has legs!

In my Etsy shop, and on many of the online "user driven" shopping sites (like One King's Lane, Etsy and Ebay), I have noticed a trend for brass pineapples. It started last fall where they were being purchased on One King's Lane quickly and at a great price. I found some last October and they were quickly bought from my Etsy store. Then I was contacted by German Cosmopolitan for an image to run in the Magazine's February issue. (I mean, what?!?! super excited!)

Look! There I am above the gorgeous kelly green chaise! 
Then my sources dried up, until recently, when I was able to source about three more! I think they are great for nesting together on the mantle, adding warmth to a modern space, or just saying welcome! You can store change, candy, matches, etc. inside and they can hold a taper candle. Truly a design milti-tasker!

The "big blogs" are picking up on this trend as well! I commented on a post yesterday from Decor8 regarding the Pineapple "micro-trend" which had a variety of pineapple themed items from wallpaper to lamps.

Are you spotting any awesome trends? Do tell!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Early weekend picking- the campaign desk

Found an awesome campaign desk today at a sale. It needs a little work, but once I'm done... It will look like this. Love the little tambour side pieces and the faux brass x legs.
This picture is from Pinterest and is not mine.

my Roseville Jardinere- piece by peice

Pottery collecting ain't what it used to be. Back in the day (early 1990's) when the money was still flowing from the 1980's stock market, people collected pottery Roseville, Hull, Hall, Occupied Japan, Flow Blue, Weller, McCoy, etc. However, these days people are not amassing large collections and these items are going for a song! It will come back. If you love it, buy it now and don't wait until it's in vogue again. If you wait, you will be adding at least a zero behind any price you see now- possibly more.

Then again, I started buying stock in 2010 when it went... uhhh... on sale, shall we say. So my purchasing logic and level for risk might be different than others.

Last week, I found this lovely piece of Roseville. It is called a jardiniere (read as a planter or cachepot) and sometimes comes with a base. My find didn't have a base, but I would have liked to have one.

Imagine my surprise when I found a base at an antique store turned upside down as a vase. I recognized the glaze pattern immediately. I have married the two, even though it is not optimal in the antique business. But what a pair!

Will I be collecting Roseville? Probably not, however, this is my second large pottery piece from the early quarter of the last century! And, I have learned a great deal from researching the base. The bases come marked and unmarked (unmarked is older), some are glazed on the inside, some not, some are completely hollow, some have a solid top, like mine. Right now, I will just think it is pretty and I hope the next owner thinks so too! It will be going off to Hanna's next month, after a good clean-up! I am adding my mid-century items to the booth at Hanna Antiques in August. We will see if Birmingham is ready for this national trend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New in the shop- porch and parlor on Etsy

I have been super busy this month so far- from the BIG sale at Hanna Antiques, doing good shopping, and taking new clients! However, I am taking a breather between packing items for shipping to post some new items in the shop both local and online at

Brass Pineapple candle holder. box. large size. vintage. mid-century modern. ice bucket. 8 or 9 inch
Brass pineapple candle holder or box... or ice bucket
Czechoslovakian handmade art glass  glass bowls
Hyalyn Mid Century Modern vase. matte green. Eames Era.
Hyalyn vase. Mid Century Modern
Locally, I have sold a number of items at Hanna's the biggest was a lovely gold settee. I replaced it with this country French Provencal desk.

These images are from the sale where I purchased the desk and not my own images... or my styling.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The perfect French kitchen chairs

I am on the hunt for the perfect kitchen table chairs for my sister. She wants French-y looking. I'm thinking vintage, to which she thinks... and I quote... "I don't like smelly antiques." Though she did not say that about this exact project, but I am trying to prevent hearing that again.

So, I have been shopping, at an antique store, for awesome french inspired chairs. Here's some I found at Hanna Antiques in Birmingham this weekend. Not a "smelly" one is sight!

This gold shield-back chair is very sweet. I ike the hint of grey in the carving.

This set of four is not classically French. But they are dainty in a French way.

Aahhh, not here is the classic French countryside kitchen chair. These are my picks!

These I could not resist. They were originally 1970's faux bamboo brown. The owner had them sprayed and voila!
Great navy chairs.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Before and after- Chair makeovers, furniture flips

I love taking a piece that needs a bit of attention and making it into a star! It is even better when I take two vaguely related pieces and make twin stars.

One of my clients needed a pair of chairs with a British Colonial feel. I found these chairs with good lines and some caning, a hallmark of British Colonial design, at Hanna Antiques.

In a very "his and hers" classic look, one of the chairs is a bit taller than the other... it is also my fave! The wood splat is a firm support for the back with the caning adding all the character. The client also requested that the backs of the chairs be attractive since they would be seen from the back when entering the room. The second chair in the pictures offers all the good looks from the back, too!

To unify the look of the chairs, I choose to go with the same fabrics for both. I think they look terrific! The small red custom pillows brings out the reds in the fabrics. The pale blue-green background looks great in the greenish blue room.

We are not done yet! Tomorrow brings in the matching pillow for the cane back chair so they match, visually, from the front view. And, the TV "cabinet" is coming tomorrow, too! Later on will be new lighting.

I have added many pieces to this space from Hanna Antiques. I have shopped there since I was in high school and I am proud to be a dealer there now. Antique stores are a great option for those who are looking for well made pieces, with great style at excellent prices! Items used to be made to "last forever", we now call them antiques. Break with the disposable design style and add some vintage/antique into your space.