Monday, April 15, 2013

Before and After: Great Room

Our living room is 99% of the way to being done so I thought it was time to post some “Before and After” shots.  It’s more likely to be “After-ish” as I will likely swap things out and change things as time goes on.

Here is what the living room looked like before. 

Before Picture

Another Before Picture.  Dining area is in the rear of the photo.

Original Owner

The older gentleman you see in one of the pictures was actually the original owner. He and his late wife had the house custom designed and built in 1965 so I’m sure there was part of him that was sad to leave.  He was moving in with his “girlfriend”—or whatever you call your significant other when you are in your 80’s.  Lady friend?  They ended up getting married!!  Older people in love are just so cute. (We have gotten to know them a little because we meet them occasionally at neighborhood parties.)  Anyway, enough with the love lives of Octogenarians—back to decorating.

I hated that grass green carpet.  I knew that there were hardwoods underneath from when we toured the house initially.   About 2 seconds after closing I made my husband help me rip it all out (poor guy).  That wasn’t that bad but pulling up thousands of staples was a pain in the butt.  My hand hurt from gripping the needle nose pliers so hard.  And I  think I may have even developed a callous or two!  So sad for a women with a desk job:-)

But it was all so worth it—here is the reveal:

Looking towards the dining area.
Piano wall.

Bar cart found on craigslist.

Original sofa and coffee table.


Dining area.  Ikea rug.

Original furniture.  Authentic Saarinen table.

Buffet found on Craigslist.  Artwork by me.

Looking towards living area.  The screen porch is through the sliding glass doors.

Another view of dining area

As you can see, we bought some of the original furniture from the previous owner.  And we kept it in the same places in the room!  It just goes to show that good design and quality materials are timeless.  It fits perfectly and we love it.  We believe it has all been recovered once because the tags are missing from the sofa.  The upholstery is in great condition.

Here’s what we did:

1.       Tear out carpet to expose hardwoods
2.       Install shoe molding to cover the gap between the hardwood and the baseboard
3.       Paint—and repaint the room
4.       Scrape, glaze, and repaint the windows and trim
5.       Lubricate the sliding glass door

Still to do:
1.       Find art for piano wall

Sources: (most of this was owned, craigslist, or on a budget)
·         Ivory shag carpeting from local carpet dealer—custom sized and bound
·         Black and white carpet  and dining chairs are from IKEA
·         Living Room sofa, chairs, ottoman, and coffee table from  previous owner (vintage)
·         Bar cart—craigslist
·         Dining table--purchased at local furniture store
·         Piano—owned
·         Saarinen table--owned
·         Floor Lamp—Jonathan Adler from Interior Designer
·         Stereo—Geneva Sound L in Walnut
·         Lamp on Piano—Ralph Lauren (owned)
·         Buffet—Broyhill Brasilia—Craigslist (vintage)
·         Lamp on Buffet—vintage  found in retro furniture store
·         Artwork above Buffet—DIY
·         Metal Sculpture above fireplace—reproduction C. Jere
·         Owl Sculpture on fireplace—Jonathan Adler
·         Other art accessories—owned or found via estate sales or thrift stores
·         Throw pillows--etsy

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mad Men through the 21st Century Lens

Like many mid-century enthusiasts, my husband and I LOVE watching Mad Men.  We own all of the seasons on DVD.  It's one of the few things we actually watch together.  (There's only so much NHL hockey, College Hockey, and golf that girl can take!) 

But I wasn't too thrilled after the premiere last week.  Truth is that I actually fell asleep--I thought it was a little too slow.  So I'm hoping that it picks up a little bit this week.  I seem to remember feeling the same way about the premiere last season and it definitely got a lot better.

I came across MOD MEN and thought it was fun.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some fun and retro finds from CB2

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been traveling a lot lately for work.  So although the renovations at home have slowed since I've been gone so much, I get to spend a little time checking out fun things from stores we don't have in Rochester. 

First up:   CB2

I went to CB2 in Atlanta.  I have never been to a CB2 before and I was very impressed with the quality for the price.   The designs were very fresh and fun.  Here are a few things that I thought were especially nice in person.

These chairs were very, very comfortable.  Actually, who cares about comfort when they would look so great on a retro patio!  Or use them to add a dash of retro to a modern patio.  They are even ON SALE right now! 

A fun chair on sale for $229

And this chair is on sale for $199.  I like this one even better!

So along the lines of "I like how it looks" is this sculpture:   I liked it so much that I came home and ordered it.

A modernist sculpture.  At $59.95, it's a bargain.
Another thing I came home and ordered were 4 of these Breuer-style chairs.  They were extremely comfortable. Full disclosure:  my husband cares WAY MORE than I do about how comfortable a chair is. But for those of you who value function over form, I can honestly vouch that they were very comfortable.  They even bounce a little when you sit on them.  There is no padding under the upholstery and it seemed pretty durable.  I thought it would be fairly easy to clean.  I ordered them for our old kitchen table before I found the reproduction Saarinen set on Craigslist.  They are back-ordered and haven't arrived yet but I may keep them and pair them with the tulip table.  If so, I'll use the tulip chairs in another room where they won't be used every day.  We'll see...

These chairs were really beautiful in person.  And very comfortable.

These tulip table lamps were only $59.95 and they would look great in a mid-century bedroom.

tulip lamp

And I was seriously impressed with the size and stability of this arc lamp.  At $199, it's a total steal. 

Floor lamp

So those are some fun and fresh finds from CB2 that seemed particularly nice for the price.   Some more of them may even end up in my house:-)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Traveling...and a Craigslist Score!

I have been traveling a crazy amount lately--mostly for work but I did take a trip for fun to Philadelphia (where I'm from) and Washington, DC last week with my 11-year old daughter.  We were supposed to be there for the Cherry Blossoms but our cold weather in the east coast this year meant that they are weeks later than usual--all we saw were buds...bummer.

All of the other travel has taken me to Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, and New Orleans--all places where they have cool stores that we don't have in Rochester.  I'll post some of my favorite finds from these places in another post.

While I was traveling, I had more time to look at craigslist than I usually do and lookie here what I found last Friday!

our craigslist score (in our kitchen)!
 The craigslist post was titled:

kit./dinning room table - $400

(Yep...mis-spelling and all.) There was little more information in the post itself and no mention of the words "mid-century, retro, saarinen, eames era" that would have flagged anyone using search tools.  Heck, even searching on "dining" wouldn't have worked on this post!  I was still out of town at the time so I sent it to my husband to arrange to go look at it on Saturday morning.  My husband screwed up his timing that day and couldn't look at it when he was supposed to--ugh!  I arrived  back home on Saturday night and we went to look at it Sunday morning. We met the craigslist guy on the other side of town at a storage unit.  The set was in his parents house and they passed on so he was looking to get rid of it. He said his parents bought the set in the 60's.  It was covered in crud but I could tell underneath it all was a beautiful set that would probably clean up.  It also has cushions but they are recovered in purple velvet so I didn't show them in the picture. 

If my husband had gone alone, he probably wouldn't have bought it so I think it was fate that I was here to see it. 

It's not a Saarinen or a Burke but it's a very good reproduction from North Central Industries of Johnson Creek, WI  (who?--does anybody know anything about this company?).  I don't care because the table and chairs are in really good shape and it has very minimal rust (nothing that a new paint job won't fix).  All the chairs swivel very nicely after a shot of silicone spray.   The chairs are fiberglass and there are no cracks.  And we negotiated the whole set for $300--woo hoo!  As you can see the set cleaned up beautifully.

I'm so excited...I never find anything good on craigslist around here!  Even our children love it and think it's cool--now that's a shocker!  Now I need to read Pam's post on how she fixed up her vintage tulip table and shell chairs.

In case you are interested, here is a picture of the furniture this set is replacing:
"Before" furniture from previous house
I was actually kind of sad to part with this set.  It's Nichols & Stone--high quality stuff.  I bought it about 15 years ago when my tastes were so totally different and it's held up beautifully.  The table had a solid cherry top and the chairs were all solid wood as well.  It looked nice in our previous home (a 1930's Tudor) but it was so out of place in our MCM home.  The good news is that my mother wanted it for her home so it's still staying in the family.  Am I the only one who is attached to their furniture???  It's a sickness...