Color Blocked Vintage Bookcase

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pre-owned goods. Not only does buying second hand mean that I’m diverting an item from the waste stream, and therefore preventing another from being made, it also means I’m inheriting something with a history. An object with a soul, if you will.

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When we moved into our current place I found that something major was lacking from the living room: a bookcase. My previous apartment had built-ins, and the place before that did too. That’s why I ventured to one of my favorite vintage furniture shops, Good Deal Garage, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Jam packed with loads of pre-loved furniture and decor, this is my go-to place whenever I need something with character for my little nest. So off I went to GDG and I found it. A very simple, but sturdy, wooden bookcase toward the back of the shop. It was filled with all manner of tchotchke but I could visualize it all cleaned up. Sold!

Fast forward half a year later. This wooden addition to my living room was doing its job, but feeling a bit too heavy for my current mood. An easy solution? Whitewash it! And I don’t mean the sociological use of the term, I mean good ‘ole grab a paint brush and get moving!

I was torn on whether or not to douse the whole piece in paint, if I should just clean up the interior, or if color blocking was the way to go. Because I have a variety of white and dark toned goodies to display, I went with the latter. So with a paintbrush in one hand, and my handy dandy masking tape in the other, I spent a toddler nap period painting the shelving unit. That equals 3 hours for two coats of paint, some time spent snacking and doing laundry, and then sitting and reading. So a very loose 3 hours indeed.

And the result? Awesome says I! I love how the white brought some life to the piece while allowing me to still showcase the rich woodsy material in one small strip. It ended up making my entire living room feel more airy and put together.

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Is there a furniture piece in your home that you think could do with a bit of freshening up? Or is there a recent project you finished to add some nuance to your space? If so, share below!

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Bicycle Lovin’

bicyclesI’m smitten! Is it a new pet, pair of jeans, flavor of ice cream? Why no! It’s my new vintage bicycle!

Penny Lane, as she’s been dubbed, is my ticket to riding throughout the city this summer. With her curvacious frame, light weight and lemon meringue hue – she’ll be my constant companion to the season’s fairs, fests and lake-side lolly gagging.

Now that I have a new “steed” I’m apt to fancy it up with some accessories to make the ride that much sweeter. Here’s a smattering of some of my favorite handmade and earth friendly finds for jazzing up a bike for the summer! Continue reading

Day 15 of Nesting

I’m a bit off with my updates for our new nest – but wanted to share pictures of the baby steps we made mid-way through the month! The place is coming along bit by bit, and I hope to have even more photos to share of it’s current state later next week.

Suffice it to say that between the vintage accents, our restored furnishings, and the splashes of color found in handmade home accessories and art – the apartment is really evoking a modern living meets thrifting vibe. Here’ s a peek at what we did a couple weeks back.

If you’re looking for the first “before and after” post, click here.

Small Space? Urban Garden Solutions!

Tis the season to start planning your 2011 edible gardens. City dwellers must overcome the myth and fear that growing veggies is only for those with a stiff mortgage and plenty of land mass. Those of us who live in apartments and high rises can overcome this obstacle by employing some creative solutions:

Urbio Vertical Garden: This up-and-coming design team is currently collecting funds via Kickstarter to turn their urban jungle ideas into reality. Their concept of magnetic and adjustable plastic planters is brilliant, modern, and functional.  Let Urbio be your inspiration. Continue reading