Saturday, October 20, 2012

More Furnishings Found

We have been trying to slowly furnish the house with age-appropriate pieces. Obviously we would love to purchase original furniture circa 1952, but it's a lot of work. Looking on Ebay, 1st Dibs, scrounging flea markets and estate sales takes a part-time job. Luckily there are so many reproduction companies out there, we can have the great design, but in great condition and it arrives at your door. Still, nothing beats the thrill of finding an original hidden in the piles of a warehouse in Bridgeport. Here are two examples of recent purchases: one found by scrounging and the other by one-click shopping.
Worth the Hunt:

Last spring we found a place in Bridgeport that carries MCM everything. They actually rent out their cool finds for movie props. It's called Marquis Modern and the owners, Clay & Karen are snow-birds that are passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the designers of the era. They are the ones we bought our credenza from. They offered free delivery in exchange for a house tour. Their own  MCM house burned down years ago and since then they live vicariously through their clients. Anyway, we snagged a set of original Hardoy chairs (butterfly chairs) by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy for only $80. each. The difference between the originals and knock-offs is that these are made from one continuous piece of steel and many new ones fold. We ordered custom covers from Circa 50 in off-white canvas for under $200 total. We'll put them outside when the warm weather comes around again. The little black nubs you see half way up the legs are the original protectors that have since traveled up the legs and have been repainted in new positions.

These were worth the hunt especially since we have the architect's original 1952 advertisement for our home and the illustration featured a man relaxing on his deck in a butterfly chair (smoking a pipe and sipping a cocktail, of course).

One-Click Shopping:

We had been looking for a fun fixture for our entry. We were tempted to go with a George Nelson bubble, but they are very popular and expected for a house of this vintage, plus we wanted some color. We came across this FL/Y Suspension Lamp at Design Within Reach . It's was designed by Ferruccio Laviani in 2002, so not a piece from the 1950's, but we thought the shape, color and plastic material works well. They custom ordered it for us in orange since they only carry limited colors, I worked out a 15% discount and got it for $265. Super deal! It spans about 22 inches wide. Josh's Dad graciously installed it last weekend and we love it. I just wish the previous owners had installed the electric plate on the ceiling. They installed it directly on the wood beam and it is wider than the wood. None of the rooms have ceiling light fixtures aside from the living room, so they had to improvise. Since I have zero electrical skill, I'm just happy it is up and turns on. Major drawback: the clear acrylic surface is a crazy static source and collects every bit of dust, both inside and out. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween Decor

Thought I'd share some of my Halloween decor Beckett & Petra are thrilled to display. They start asking about it in early September and finally in early October, I'll lug the bins out. It's a slow process, but eventually there's a little Halloween all over the house. The credenza is now the holiday-displace-surface I have been missing. We're still adding...

This year we added a few things:
We found these great spider transfers from Martha Stewart at Party City. Sheet of 32 for $3.00. 
They worked great and are easily applied like a temporary tattoo. 

We grabbed this fun 'snow globe' from Homegoods and some other spooky props from Party City. My faves are these old-time portraits that change as you walk by:

This is a little sculpture I got from Josh's college dorm room 23 years ago when we first met. His father has a bunch of sculptor friends and this was in his Dad's collection, passed down to him. Lots of little skeletons & bird skulls stuck onto a wire armature in the shape of a house. I've always loved it. I'll add a photo of the cemetery Beckett set up in the front. I have to set up the tripod and take it at night. It's lit with candles and pretty spooky.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Closet Quick Fix

Asking the kids to put their shoes in the entry-way closet has become a hog pile of stinky shoes. They were also unable to hang up their coats and backpacks since the rod was too high, so those were flung on the floor or over the stair railing. Instead of waiting for an over-designed and costly solution, I ran to Bed Bath & Beyond yesterday. 

Hog Pile:

I grabbed 2 of these shoe racks that mount over the bar with velcro. Real Simple has a whole line of organizers now and they are really well made. I paid $24. each and there's still room for more pairs. 

I also grabbed 2 ready-made hook racks for $20. each and installed to the far left of closet for coats & bags. Now the kids can reach easily. Just thought I'd share since simple jobs like this thrill me. 

 Fire starter paper:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Trexler's Living Room Makeover

from That 70's Show to...

Modern Family:

Tuscan Yellow walls & boring red brick became...

Moonshine Grey and fresh white:

(a new fireplace door will be inserted and will overlap fireplace opening about 4 inches. It will cover the light creosote stain you can see a bit in these photos)

 I just spent the long weekend upstate at my sister Michelle's house to help makeover her living room. It's so funny- before the idea of the makeover, her living room was one of the most comforting places I've ever visited. I never really stopped and looked around at the dated brick and dreary wall color. The rest of her first floor rooms have slowly been updated and this was the last to go down. It is open to the kitchen, so we wanted to choose colors that could flow together. Michelle tends to choose warm tones, but I convinced her to go cool grey. It does change as the light in the room changes, as do most wall colors. But in the end we loved the light grey's calming effect.

Her amazing husband, Jim joined us for a kid-free paint fest all day Saturday. Prior to my arrival, they removed an old dingy brass set of fireplace doors that Burt Reynolds may have posed in front of. It was painfully slow prep: removing children, removing furniture, spackling, sanding, taping, drop-clothing, and finally cutting in the corners. We each tackled a portion of the room: Michelle on brick & mantle, Jim on ceiling & walls and I was on window trim and entry door. We agreed to quit by 6:30 pm and see where we stood. Needless to say, Sunday we were right back at it with a quick trip to Homegoods for some accessories. The few accessories seen on hearth and driftwood inside are meant for mantle, but it was too wet. We were still doing a few touch-ups today before I had to drive back to CT. It was a blast and so gratifying to see the room transform and to work with my sweet sister and brother-in-law. I can't wait to sit in front of a roaring fire sipping a glass of wine with them this winter. Hope this is inspiring for those wondering how to update a blah, dated room with overbearing brick. XO