As I wrap up my design topic 'Vintage' for the month of May, I wanted to share my top tips for buying vintage furniture because let's face it, it can be a bit overwhelming because you don’t know which pieces to buy and which to avoid.
1. Avoid Pieces That Are Unstable
This seems like a given. If the piece has been exposed to water and/or extreme temperatures. These conditions cause wood to swell and shrink as well as loosening glue in joints and destroying paints and finishes. These pieces will not be functional again without a lot of repair.
2. Make Sure The Piece Fits In Your Space
If you are like me it is easy to get distracted by the beauty in a piece of furniture, but that doesn't mean it is going to be the right piece for your space. Prepare before shopping by making a list and taking measurements (height, width and depth) of the space you’re hoping to fill.
3. Avoid Pieces That Are Stained, Stinky, and Potentially Infested
As a matter of fact, burn them. Okay, obviously I'm not promoting arson here, but always give a piece of furniture the “sniff test”. Mustiness can be aired out, but strong pet or smoke odors are next to impossible to remove from all the layers of foam and batting.
4. Timeless Pieces Are Always A Win
The best thing about buying vintage or antique furniture is the timeless quality they give your space. If the style of a piece looked good 50 or 100 years ago and it still looks good today, it’s a purchase that’s likely to look good in another 50 to 100 years.
5. Just Because It's Cheap, Doesn't Mean You Should Buy It
When making a buying decision, take the price out of the equation. Even if it’s $5, would you pay more for it? Do you love it that much? Do you have the perfect spot for it? If the answer to those questions is yes, go for it! If you wouldn’t pay good money for it, it’s not worth buying.
These tips are based on years of experience shopping for, fixing up, and reselling antique and vintage furniture. I made all of the mistakes, so you won’t have to.
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My design topic for the month of May is- 'Vintage' and it is no surprise that these vintage staples have made a comeback! In fact, they are better than ever!
Did it ever really go out of style? I don't know about you, but gold is one of my favorite finishes in a home. Champagne bronze is fresh and subtle. Faucets, frames and fixtures are taking a break from chrome and brushed nickel.
Hell yes!!! This kitschy look dates back to the 1970s. Macramé is a form of textile-making that’s made up of hand-tied knots instead of knitting with needles or weaving on a loom. Many of the original ’70s designs have resurfaced, like plant holders and wall hangings but with a more minimalist touch that makes the designs less “groovy” and more boho chic...refer back to my last blog post. I used macrame dream catchers in my daughter's room. Not too mention Toscano Interiors carries some pretty awesome macrame wall hangings.
Another cool trend from the 1970s, graphic art often showed up as framed posters. These pieces are impactful and unique, perfect for a dramatic focal point in a room furnished with clean-lined furniture.
Taken from ancient Greece and Morocco, this trend was huge during the Art Deco period in the 20's. These patterns offer classic bold aesthetics with a sharpness that feels both playful and sleek.
Mirrored Kitchen Backsplashes
I wonder where this trend could have derived from??? Well the disco era of course!! The 70's and early 80's this look was all about adding a touch of glam, and even opening the room up a bit. Today, this trend is popping up in traditionally styled kitchens, infusing the simplicity with some glamour.
I have worked on numerous design projects throughout my career…from full kitchen renovations and master bedroom makeovers to entire first floors and complete basement remodels. But for the past few months, my oldest son, Aiden (17) has been asking the same question over and over again…”Are you working on my room yet?” With a busy family life and a busy design business, my answer was always the same…soon!
Determined to give each one of my children a comfortable and relaxing space that expresses their own personalities, I spent many late nights designing and sourcing furniture and materials starting with my oldest son Aiden's spacious bedroom. Most 17 year olds have strong opinions but he was actually different. And I'm not going to lie, it's bittersweet, my first born will be a Senior in high school starting in the fall- he wants me, his mom to decorate his room, but I also can't believe my first-born is really only going to be at home for one more year.
When brainstorming teen bedroom ideas, the most important thing to remember is that their bedroom is an expression of who they are.
Today’s teenagers are design-conscious and up to date on the latest trends. But they’re torn between childhood and adulthood. Most teens have beloved toys they’re not ready to give up, but look for a room that’s older and more sophisticated than their childhood room.
I definitely took into consideration approaching his room as a mini, self-contained apartment where he can spend most of his time comfortably.
Regardless of size, a teen’s bedroom needs to be versatile enough for them to spread out and get homework done, hang with friends, lounge and sleep, all while reflecting their personality.
When considering teenagers bedroom ideas, keep in mind they should include functions specific to their age, as well as look great. For Aiden, he loves playing the guitar, tinkering with his drones, playing video games, reading. Keeping his current hobbies and interests in mind, I really wanted to create a space that will support him this last year at home before going off to college in a year. So it was important to incorporate the things he's passionate about and what he is looking forward to doing in his future (a commercial airline pilot)in his space. So finally one Sunday afternoon, we cleared everything out of his room- and finally gave him the bedroom makeover he had been waiting patiently for. And yes, he did help.
"Regardless of size, a teen’s bedroom needs to be versatile enough for them to spread out and get homework done, hang with friends, lounge and sleep, all while reflecting their personality."
The first thing we decided was that this room needed to serve multi-purposes. For most teenager’s their room is more than just a sleeping space. Like most teenagers, Aiden is starting to explore the world of independence and having a room where he can hang out, study and lounge with friends is almost as important as sleep. And the social aspect of a teen room decor is big.
I added a rolling desk, and since it didn't have any storage space, I used some storage bins he had hiding in his closet. The desk lamp has a USB port for charging his electronics, because teens bedrooms need some tech savvy aspects too. Since his window ledge is wide, I used it as a shelf for his books. If your son has a favorite hobby or collection, why not incorporate it into his bedroom design scheme? We finally ordered guitar wall brackets, because he had his guitars laying everywhere. So now, they also serve as wall art. We also incorporated some more trendy types of decor like the tie dye wall tapestry over his bed.
Bold and imaginative elements are the secret to making your teen excited about creating a cool new bedroom space. We added a few of these unexpected features to make the space a little more fun-
* an old world map I found at a barn sale, used as a roman shade over his window
* old suitcases stacked in the alcove above his closet, made the perfect vignette when I added some greenery and a cardboard airplane he made when he was younger
*the blue geometric pillows to tie into the blue geometric rug we added. stick to a simple color palette of two or three primary colors for a smart, cohesive scheme.
* an old standing globe, with stenciled letters, then the rest painted black.
His plaid quilt is great because it is a relaxed and grown-up scheme for a boy’s bedroom, you can’t go wrong with a classic industrial boarding school look. But we also added a furry throw, because textures are also important for a teens bedroom. Teens love spending time in their rooms because they feel safe and comfortable. So be sure to add things that have a soft texture, feel-good fabrics.
"Bold and imaginative elements are the secret to making your teen excited about creating a cool new bedroom space"
I'm a firm believer of keeping the walls in kid's rooms a blank canvas. White walls might not be the trendiest option for a teenage boys room, but you can easily adapt to your teenagers changing interests with framed prints on the wall and patterned bedding.
What I realized during this fun bedroom makeover, is your teen can all appreciate cool bedroom decor. Invite them to brainstorm ideas with you to design a creative space that’s comfortable, functional, and suits their unique teenage style.
Stay tuned…two more kids room reveals coming soon…
This Slow Cooker Beef and Potato Au Gratin is an easy from-scratch hearty meal! I am a HUGE fan of the crockpot, so finding easy and yummy recipes is something I do weekly when I plan our dinner menu for the week. My family loves potatoes au gratin as a side dish, so this recipe is even better because it's a delish main dish!
I knew that the potatoes would need some heavy seasoning, so I went heavy with the salt and pepper, but also added garlic powder, paprika and parsley. The potatoes go in the slow cooker peeled, though I don’t mind skin on for most recipes this one tastes great with or without.
How to make Beef and Potato Au Gratin:
You will need these ingredients:
* Ground beef
* Russet Potatoes (peeled, and sliced)
* White onion (thinly sliced)
* Garlic Powder
* Shredded Cheese
* Beef broth
1. Brown ground beef on the stovetop, add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Peel russet potatoes and lay them on the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
I think we've all done it, you know, go on that much needed vacation to get recharged then start taking mental notes of all the exciting things you plan on implementing into your daily life once you arrive home. There is just something about changing the scenery for a week or two that makes us ready and excited for change. Perhaps it's the break away from work and how it makes you reflect on how much time you spend away from your spouse and children. So you tell yourself that as soon as you get home you won't go to the office on your days off like you used to, and you'll spend more quality time with your family. Or maybe you are finally able to relax while on vacation and as soon as you get home you'll carve out more "me-time" in your daily life. Whether it's a monthly trip to a masseuse, more reading, or even meditating more- but then we actually get home and reality sets in. And we end up doing the exact opposite of what we intended to do.
We go back to work, we go back to the same routines, and vacation becomes a distant memory. We end up getting stressed out, forget about that masseuse appointment because you've got meetings and deadlines, kid's school projects to help with, things begin to pile up and you don't have any "me-time". Before you know it your cup is overflowing and you are ready for another vacation...the cycle just repeats.
But what if there were a way we could make our vacation more intentional and nurture our entire lives (not just the week you're there)? This is where I really had to be mindful of what I wanted to get out of my vacations once I arrived home, but there are some things I needed to do before I left for my vacation as well. One of the biggest things I realized was the first day or two of my return are just as important as the week away. Honoring this transitional time is essential, not only for integrating all the nourishment I received on vacation, but also to ensure that my energy tanks remain full and it continues to support me as I move back into my day to day life.
How To Create A Safe Landing Arriving- Home Routine!
1. Give Yourself a “Buffer” Day
You can’t expect yourself to go straight from the beaches of St. Thomas to doing the normal hustle and grind in just one day — at least if you want to hold onto some of the beauty, peace, and relaxation you cultivated while you were away.
If you know you need to be back at work on Monday morning, plan to arrive home Saturday night, so you have one day to settle in, exhale, and get ready for “normal life” to resume. Traveling is stressful, and I won't even get into how hard it is when you are traveling with children — even if you relaxed on your vacation. We all experience that natural “dip” in our energy and mood after the happy change of pace from being away.
Use your “Buffer Day" as a time to just unwind, readjust, and reflect on the experience you just had.
2. Unpack those Bags!
I am definitely not that person who leaves my suitcase around for two or three weeks, after a vacation! (Nor do I let my children!)
I have learned: it’s SO important to unpack your bag as soon as you get home. When you leave it lying around, the truth is…. part of you is in denial that you are still on that beach in St. Thomas!
Unpacking closes the energy of a trip and helps your body and mind settle back into home-life. You are able to transition easier to real-life too!
3. Love & Clean Up Your Space
Like I stated before, there is a natural dip in our energy when we arrive home from a vacation. You may even get a little depressed (my husband is the worst, he actually sulks for days after we arrive home) Making sure your home is a beautiful place that you truly love makes everything so much better! After all: when your home’s a wreck, and you have nothing to look forward to, depression is a pretty normal response.
I ALWAYS clean my house before we leave for vacation.. But if you've ever left the mess for a week only to arrive back home to it- well, that is definitely not going to help your "end of vacation blues" I do all the laundry, wipe down the kitchen counters, make sure there are no dirty dishes left out, vacuum, make the beds...I think you get it. I make sure everything as beautiful as I can for when I arrive home.
Whatever you need to feel in love with your space, and focus on what’s great about being home.
4. Immerse Your Life with Vacation Lessons
I believe it’s so important to honor the beautiful experiences in our lives, and find ways to carry them forward with us — in our hearts and in our homes.
One way I do this is with my gratitude journal. I even bring it with me on vacation. I take a few moments every day to write not only bout what I am grateful for, but three feelings I experienced that day. You can also journal about what you loved most about your vacation, what you did to relax...make a list … and then, ask yourself…. “How can I create these feelings in my home and life right now?” Think about the areas of your life where you lose touch with these precious priorities, the daily thing in your life you can be grateful for. Come up with a few simple, creative ways to connect your vacation-world and home-world.
Your home can be beautiful support for this process as well! I always buy artwork from every trip we take, but you can pick a souvenir or photo from your trip that most exemplifies one of these qualities. Place it in a spot you’re likely to see, everyday. This will remind you of what matters most … and keep you connected to the beauty and experiences of your vacation, long after the sand is out of your shoes.
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."