Tag: Decorating

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. 🙂

Guest Post by Jay Harris: Designer Drapery & DIY Tips to Install

Guest Post by Jay Harris: Designer Drapery & DIY Tips to Install

Today I’m pleased to introduce my guest Jay Harris, a regular contributor to Home Depot’s blog and an “on the floor” Home Depot sales associate. Jay’s interests include providing tips to homeowners on exterior shutters and casement windows, and today Jay has a ton of great DIY tips for you on…

Bedroom Makeover Update

Bedroom Makeover Update

Well, I’ve been working away on our bedroom makeover (introduced here), until progress suddenly ground to a halt. A lot of the parts and pieces are collected, and some DIYing is underway, however this week I was bitten by a nasty cold… All.Week.Long. 😐 So…

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 would the vase?

Enter my friends the following week, and I near dragged them to the back of the thrift store where the vase had been… and as luck would have it, still was!

MCM Gray Glazed, Brown Ribbed Vase

Um, they weren’t so smitten. So I sent this pic to my hubs to get his reaction. Only, his response didn’t reach me in time. I paced, and contemplated, waited until I had to make a decision. Was it walk away for a second time, or buy it without hub’s feedback?

I bought, I left, and in came his response… always the way, isn’t it? Nope, he wasn’t sold, either. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, just not all warm and fuzzy about it! Apparently I was in this one alone – my daughter flat out hated it, and another friend diplomatically withheld comment. 😉

Well that was a month ago. Every day I look at this vase, and every day I still like it. Why? I don’t know, I just do. I’ve researched it, but can’t come up with much.

This vintage white glazed French jar and lid, c. 1940, was the closest I could find.

1st Dibs - White Glazed French Jar & Cover, c1940s

{1st Dibs}

1st Dibs - White Glazed French Jar & Cover, c.1940s

{1st Dibs}

Can you believe this piece is 4′-8″ tall x 34″ wide?

I’m certain my vase isn’t this vintage, but who knows, maybe this French jar was the inspiration piece!

Here’s the bottom of my vase.

MCM Gray Glazed, Brown Ribbed Vase Bottom

You’ll notice it doesn’t have any glaze on it, but do you see the etched mark? That’s likely the symbol of the artist. And the dark brownish marks indicate to me that this bottom was once covered in signature felt. You might remember my Royal Haeger vase with its signature felt bottom here. If I had to guess, I’d guess this vase is c.1970s, but if you know for sure, I’d love to hear from you!

To make a long story short, my vase is a great reminder of what’s important when you’re choosing pieces for your home. Never second guess what speaks to you. Surround yourself with things that draw you in, even if no-one else seems to see what you see. If you do this you’ll always feel at home in your home, and that’s what it’s all about!

Oh, and guess what was on the cover of my latest HGTV magazine?

HGTV Magazine Cover - April 2013

Do you see it? Not the same shape, not the same colour or finish… but don’t you think the ribbing suggests they could be relatives?

Maybe there’s someone out there who can see what I see in my beloved vase afterall!

Do you have anything in your collection that makes others roll their eyes? Well, that’s okay, just remember what happened to the Ugly Duckling!

Thanks for stopping by!

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BTW – this vase may or may not turn up in my bedroom makeover… but you’ll have to wait and see! 🙂

I was featured over at Junkin Joes. Thanks Andrea!

Junkin Joe Linky Party - I Was Featured

Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise stated.

Tired of Ho-Humming Along!

Tired of Ho-Humming Along!

Well, it’s been a pretty busy last few weeks over here at sZinteriors. For quite a while now I’ve been scouring the USED ads, thrifting my little heart out and just plain visioning in search of makeover pieces for my project ‘to do’! Here’s a…

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

Thrifting… Lamp It Up!

Thrifting… Lamp It Up!

Featured by  Thank you so much, Heather! . I haven’t had a chance to get my thrift on since before the Holidays. Can you feel my pain? Well, finally that all changed 🙂 A few friends and I hit the trail to look for treasures…