Tag: Accessorizing

Mixing DIY and Vintage Glam for a Modern Vintage Look

Mixing DIY and Vintage Glam for a Modern Vintage Look

The much anticipated VintAGEous Fair in Victoria has come and gone. It was a lot of fun and a successful day with a huge thank you to Sarah Rempel for her stellar organizing of the event, and to all the customers who stopped by! In…

Modern Audrey:  Today’s Use for the Vintage Murano Glass Ashtray!

Modern Audrey: Today’s Use for the Vintage Murano Glass Ashtray!

Murano glass is incredibly beautiful, and in its vintage day was often made into ashtrays. But with the glamour days of Lucky Strike long gone, the ashtray has been removed from pride of place in the home, and more often than not, stashed in a…

Guest Post by Meghan Plowman from The Orchard: Tips for Decorating with Vintage Finds

Guest Post by Meghan Plowman from The Orchard: Tips for Decorating with Vintage Finds

Good morning and welcome to a special guest post feature!

Today I am really excited to introduce Meghan Plowman, lifestyle photographer and author of The Orchard blog! Meghan and I became virtually acquainted in a really neat kind of way… Believe it or not, I know Meghan’s aunt, Barb Nugent. Now having an acquaintance in common may not seem so unusual, except that Meghan lives in Perth, Australia… and as you know, I live on the west coast of Canada! Who knew our worlds would touch in this way? And for those of you living in the Cowichan Valley, you might know Barb, too. She’s a volunteer and fundraising organizer extraordinaire for our local Hospice Society – did you attend the recent fashion show fundraiser Barb organized?

From one thrifting vintage lover to another, thank you so much Meghan for being my guest today, and thank you Barb for the introduction!

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Hello readers! I am thrilled to be contributing to sZinteriors blog today. I’d like to share with you some images of my own styling work and some tips about decorating with vintage finds, and what to keep in mind when looking for items to decorate with.

I am a lifestyle photographer and stylist living and working in Perth, Western Australia. You can see more of the work I get up to over at The Orchard blog as well as my Facebook page.

I particularly love bringing a mix of items into my styling work and tend to lean upon my ever-growing props cupboard for inspiration and interesting additions to imagery. Quite often you’ll find me either in a vintage market or peeling through layers of verge side household piles!

This first example shows an image I was asked to put together that had a real Autumn story.

Autumn, Meghan Plowman Photograph

For the sake of putting together this vignette I brainstormed all of the things I love about Autumn including:

  • Cooking
  • Fallen leaves and spending time camping in nature
  • Hot drinks
  • Rustic, earthy colour and texture
  • Reading indoors

It’s my belief that you can find the perfect touches for little or next to no cost, sitting just outside your door or at your nearest thrift store. For example, I found the pine cone and leaves from my garden, used a bottle I found at a garage sale and a camping cup I managed to find on the side of the road.

Next, this Easter table setting was created to inspire readers to dress their table for the holiday.

Easter table, Meghan Plowman Photograph

My table was inspired by the florals, fruits and textures of the cooler months of Autumn (it’s Autumn here in the land of down under when we celebrate Easter!)

Some inexpensive and thrifty ideas for dressing a table for your next soiree:

  • Use butchers paper or left over fabric roll as a table runner
  •  Place brightly coloured fruits and vegetables as a centre piece or scattered along the centre of a table
  • Try a collection of glass jars in different heights and finishes for e.g. amber, frosted, textured, jars with labels or logos, grouped together with loose florals cut from the garden to create interest and an eclectic decoration.
  • Branches and twigs are an easy way to create height to a centre piece and act as a ‘tree’ for hanging decorations, name tags and sweets.
  • Add some quirkiness to your setting by adding a figurine or interesting knick knack. It will create a talking point for guests and makes things fun.

If you find yourself with a collection of seemingly unrelated finds that you are unsure what to do with, perhaps take a step back and look at what the items have in common visually, if anything.

  • Are they similar colours or textures?
  • Were they bought or found in the same location?
  • Do they tell a story, for e.g. are they items found at the beach or are they all travel mementos?
  • Can you create a visual story with the items?

The next two images show examples of how I grouped a mix of random, found objects together to create a story, one based on the idea of reading books in a cozy corner, the other a seaside tale. The reason these two work well is because I tied them together through their similar colour and textures.

Vintage Vignette, Meghan Plowman Photograph

Items I used for the first image:

  • A road side chair which we painted grey
  • A discarded old book with the pages carefully peeled away and taped to a wall to create a background texture
  • A stack of my favourite design books with the spines showing text
  • An ampersand gift tag to create drama and a focal point
  • A vintage camera –why not display your picture taking equipment?
  • A ball of garden twine, and
  • A favourite scarf

Vintage Vignette, Meghan Plowman Photograph

The second idea:

  • Thrift store found vases
  • Left over soft rope
  • Found twigs, feather and pine cones
  • Mixed teatowels and scraps of art canvas roll
  • Garlic peelings! – These create a lovely texture for still life
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Found bottles
  • Old book pages
  • Found sea urchin and shells

I hope I have given you a few ideas for decorating with old, found or simply scrap items you have lying around your home! I am a believer that beauty can be found in anything, it’s just keeping your eyes open to seeing it. I’d love to hear your ideas and feedback! I can be contacted through The Orchard blog.

Have Meghan’s tips enticed you to head out and see what treasures you can find? I bet you have a corner, a mantle, a wall, a porch, a __________ (you fill in the blank!) waiting to be freshly styled. I love the theme that it’s not necessarily what so much as how you choose to display your objects. Mixing up textures and telling a story is the key! If you get a chance, please pop over to The Orchard and introduce yourself! And if you check out Meghan’s Facebook page there’s a certain connection posted there to my post from yesterday! Do you think you can find it?  😉

Thank you once again Meghan, for sharing at sZinteriors today. 🙂

It’s All About Personal Taste!

It’s All About Personal Taste!

Not too long ago a mid-century style vase caught my eye, but I decided to walk away. Good, right? Well you’d think, except I couldn’t let it go. I kept thinking about it and knew I’d be back in the area in a week… but…

Painting Gallery Frames: Cheater DIY from Bland to Black!

Painting Gallery Frames: Cheater DIY from Bland to Black!

Not too long ago in one of my treasure hunting adventures I came across this set of four vintage pencil drawings, and knew instantly I wanted to take them home! Vancouver, after all, is my home away from home. I love Vancouver! But… I wasn’t…

A New Life With A Pair of Shades!

A New Life With A Pair of Shades!

All it takes is a new set of shades!

Remember these thrifted Mid-Century lamps from about a month ago?

Thrifted MCM Brass & Walnut Lamps

Don’t you just love their mismatched shades!

At first I had a hard time finding replacements, so the lamps sat on my buffet looking sad and half dressed, like this.

MCM Lamps on Buffet

Minus the ambiance and mood setting of the glaring overhead lights, of course!

When I finally came across a few options I thought might work, I tried these ones first. A sandy linen with threads of metallic gold and silver running through.

1 - Linen, Gold & Silver Metallic Shades - 11Tx13Bx9H

I liked these shades, but didn’t love them. Somehow they seemed too small, and just a little bit meh.

So then I tried these black drums.

Black Drum Shades 14Tx15Bx10H

I looove black shades, and really wanted these to be ‘the ones’. But somehow they weren’t working, even though the size was definitely much better than the first shades.

So then I tried the same shade in a warm white instead.

Warm White Shades 14Tx15Bx10H

And this one seemed to work better. To be sure, we lived with them for a few days just as is, and each day they grew on all of us a little more. I toyed  with adding some gold trim… even bought the trim. But somehow the lamps just wanted simplicity.

So we decided these shades were indeed ‘the ones’, as is, and removed the cellophane wrap. The brass of the lamps was buffed, and each walnut base was waxed.

Here’s a look at our thrifted lamps now!

MCM Brass & Wood Lamps

We are happy with they way the shades worked out, and love the glow our new lamps cast. The room feels warm, and our buffet a little more loved!

A few tips when finding replacement lamp shades:

  • Take your lamp with you to the store – I didn’t with these lamps, but it’s a lot easier to eliminate the shades that are all wrong if you do! 
  • For vintage lamps, research what their original shades might have looked like – even if you ultimately don’t like the style of the original shade, at least you can change it up with intention.
  • General rule of thumb for shade size diameter is no more than, no less than 2″ the height of the lamp base – that’s the measurement from the bottom of the lamp to where the electrical socket sits. Click here for more information.
  • Live with the shade for a bit. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You’ll know if it’s right for you by the way you react when you round the corner and see it!
  • Make sure you know the return policy – if you can’t return or exchange the shade, don’t buy it. Shades are tricky, and look a lot different in context. Even if a shade looks great on your lamp in the store, it might not look great when you get it home.

From a thrifted find to a pair of lamps we’re totally loving in our home! And one more small ‘to do’ I can  check off the list. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller

The Reveal of Gran’s Hidden Treasures

The Reveal of Gran’s Hidden Treasures

Remember my Gran’s sewing basket from last week? Well, today I’m revealing the other vintage surprises I found inside. Let’s start with these… A partially strung necklace of pearls and a handful of loose pearl beads stored in an old Bayers Aspirin bottle! Do you…

Pillows by Dezign

Pillows by Dezign

This is not a sponsored post, but I was thrilled when Pillows by Dezign offered me a choice of any one of their designer accent pillows to review! Who doesn’t love fabrics by Kravat, Robert Allen, Schumacher… to name a few. And I’m not kidding,…

IDSwest 2012: A Final Tour Through the Show

IDSwest 2012: A Final Tour Through the Show

Now that the buzz has died down a bit, I thought I’d do a photo tour through the show with you! And seriously, this is just a snippet of IDSwest this year. But you know how it goes. It’s hard to see and do everything! Even so, this post is photo heavy, so you might want to grab a coffee, and settle in for a bit!

Up first are the whimsical Chickadee bird houses designed by Trevor Coghill and Nathan Lee of Contexture Design.

Chickadee Bird Houses

This exhibit features the prototypes designed for the Chickadee! If you’re loving them, the Chickadee bird houses are slated to be launched in time for Christmas.

This next exhibit was created by Hatch Interior Design out of Kelowna. This design firm specializes in sustainable interior solutions for the modern work place.

Hatch Interior Design Exhibit

5 interior designers were invited to create 4’x4′ spaces for IDSwest, and this is the space created by Hatch! I’m thinking all you need is a laptop, and you’re good to go, but I’m not so sure about the ergonomics of that stump 😉

In the background you see the sign for MOES Home Collection.

Want a closer look?

MOES Home Collection Exhibit

MOES is a family owned and award winning home decor retailer. They have been in business for over 20 years, travel the world for fashion forward furnishings, and they source new pieces every week.

And we also had IZM modern furniture featuring their high quality handcrafted pieces.

IZM Modern Furniture

IZM furniture is built to last, to age gracefully, and to stand the test of time.

Back again this year was Salari Fine Carpet Collections with their always popular Salsa Lounge poufs by Paulig.

Knitted Poufs

Don’t you just love their texture and colour? And you have to admit, they bring in a little cozy, too! Salari also launched a new collection of hand-knotted carpets that were inspired by photography. Totally stunning, but sadly I didn’t manage to get any photos of these beauties 🙁

And speaking of cozy, how about this Trapper Chair by Identity Apparel’s Home Division?

Vintage Hudson's Bay Point Blanket Trapper Chair by Identity Apparel Home Divison

Identity is a brand stemming from the ideals of what it means to be Canadian.  And this one-of-a-kind chair is made from a vintage Hudson’s Bay Company point blanket. Now how Canadian is that?

The glow of light you see hanging in the background of Identity’s exhibit is actually this!

Identity Apparel - Antler Light Fixture

Antlers. Are they in, or out? Either way, I thought this was a pretty cool feature that totally suited the theme.

And then there’s Montauk Sofa.

Montauk Sofa

Seriously. What’s not to love? I wish I captured the whole grasshopper lounge chair in this photo, but it was super hard take a photo of this exhibit without people walking in front. This was a veeery popular stop!

Here’s a close-up of the walls (and the ceiling)!

Montauk Sofa Exhibit

Did I mention how much I love the Grasshopper Chair? See, there it is again, bottom left!

If you saw my last post featuring Matthieu LeBlanc’s reclaimed wood creations, then you know how much I love his approach to design.

So when I saw these pieces by mth woodworks

mth woodworks - organic resin in hollowed out stumps

I was totally blown away to learn these salvaged pieces have been filled with organic resin! Isn’t this the coolest eco-friendly idea yet? And if these pieces from mth’s Bloom Collection aren’t enough, what do you think of this coffee table, also from their Bloom Collection?

mth woodworks - Bloom Coffee Table

I am totally loving the juxtaposition of this modern top and salvaged wood base.

ox + monkey. This gorgeous ceramic sculpture is one of theirs.

ox + monkey - ceramic sculpture in acrylic case

Yes, you read that right. This sculpture is ceramic, made to look like torn paper! Can you imagine the work involved? This piece was actually in a clear shadowbox, and I can see why!

I loved this colourful exhibit by Beyond Beige Interior Design. I just thought it was so much fun, and really demonstrated a great mix of pattern and colour.

Beige is Dead Exhibit

And even though I’m not a huge fan of yellow, I thought this light fixture made a perfect statement in this space! If you want to see your space infused with character, there’s no doubt, Beyond Beige can make that happen!

Lighting is always a big draw, and these pendants were no exception. They marked the Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre exhibit, and when I saw them I just had to get a photo.

Duravit - Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre

Don’t ask me what that green horseshoe is on the glass shade! I think it’s just the way my lens caught the light!

But for lighting the real show stoppers were definitely Omer Arbel’s Bocci 28D desk lamps.

Omer Arbel 28D Bocci Desk Lamps

Do you think the fact they lit up the bar, facilitated the ‘stopper’ part? 😉 Well, okay, it might have been the price, too. These lamps were being sold at an incredible price, for the show only, and were available in both yellow and gray.

One of the exhibits that caught my attention was Global Surface Solutions. Concrete fabricators out of Kelowna, they specialize in crafting unique concrete surfaces and products suitable for both interiors and exteriors.

Like this fully sealed concrete desk.

Global Surface Solutions - Kelowna

Looove this desk!

And all that you see here including the wall!

Global Surface Solutions - Kelowna

My friend and thrifting buddy, Carol from Carol Smyth Colour & Design was on the inside track with this exhibit! She consulted with this company to help them plan their booth. Check out Carol’s blog article for close-ups of the gorgeous vignettes she planned for them, and for a little more behind-the-scenes scoop!

Also working with concrete, was Sticks & Stones Furniture.

Sticks & Stones Exhibit

Sticks & Stones specialize in custom built furniture that features the contemporary beauty of wood and concrete. They work with recycled or reclaimed wood and materials to create one-of-a-kind furniture designs that are both modern, and functional.

I know the Aya Kitchen designed by Kelly Deck Design has swept the internet, but I couldn’t imagine leaving this star out of the mix!

Aya Kitchen Design by Kelly Deck Design

I interviewed Kelly Deck at IDSwest last year, and if you missed it, you can catch up on the interview here. You will see reflected in this kitchen, the intelligent, timeless design Kelly speaks of!

Would you love to call this kitchen your own?

I know I’d sure love to call the Brent Comber table my own!

Kelly Deck Design - Reclaimed Stump Side Table

Did you notice the gold detail in the crevices?

What I really appreciate about the Aya kitchen is the collaborative effort that went into its conception, and which ultimately resulted in its standing ovation success!

And as we exit this photo tour, I wanted to leave you with a little more of…

Brent Comber Exhibit

A creator of sculpted and functional objects, design environments, and a specialist in designing modern urban forms from ancient sources.

Brent Comber Exhibit

Brent Comber Exhibit

Brent Comber Exhibit

Isn’t Brent’s work incredible?

I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did.

{UPDATE: The Marilyn Denis Show did a great recap of IDSwest}

{Click here to view}

I’d like to extend a special thank you to Jason & Leonie for once again providing our dlbWEST group with press passes, bubbly and the opening night tour! Definitely a great way to get the show started!

Thank you for stopping by!

Photography by Sheila Zeller

A Little Lamp Update

A Little Lamp Update

Remember when I posted about this lamp? And showed you the replacement shade I picked up for it at ReStore? Then left you with a cliff hanger and only showed you this much? Well, here’s a little glimpse at how this revitalized lamp looks when…