Starting to get around to framing some art for the kids’ rooms - M and I are both excited about this vintage Canadian Red Ensign flag. #canada #vintage
When looking for items online always remember to look at the seller’s list. On Used Everywhere or Kijiji you can click to see what else the seller is offering. And sometimes, if they have multiple items, you can scoop up a bunch at once. When I picked up my task lamp I also scooped up some great vintage bamboo frames:
Funny, because the same room that I showed you with the task lamp, also had a great big bamboo frame. Emily Henderson and I must be on the same wavelength:
I really like the look of bamboo frames in the right context.
Tropical or “zen” themed room = NO.
But something more eclectic, and less theme-y? YES.
Unfortunately, the previous owner went themey:
But as soon as I took the pixelated computer print-out “art” out of the frames they began to look more sophisticated.
I’m not sure what I’ll put in these frames. But it’ll have nothing to do with palm trees, panda bears, or cruise ships.
The finish is a silvery gold (goldish silver?) and the tiniest bit chippy, which I like.
The mattes have an weird mottled look, so I plan on wrapping them in fabric - probably just a natural linen.
As I’ve let the design plans for the kids’ rooms simmer in my brain, I’ve been surfing Etsy for art that might work for their rooms. I’ll have to hit up some used book stores and thrift stores before ordering anything online, since much of what I’m looking at is vintage bookplates and posters. I like the vintage route for art since it is affordable, beautiful, unique, and adds so much character.
For L’s room I already have the Month by Month prints from Sarah Jane Studios. I bought the little notecards long before I even had kids because I loved them so much. So I’ll definitely be putting these in her room somewhere.
I also want to play with florals in her room - because where else can you do this with abandon than in a little girl’s room? I often call her “Sweet Pea” so I’ve been on the hunt for vintage seed packets or books or illustrations of sweet peas, like this one:
Or perhaps a botanical print like this one:
And wouldn’t those yellow sweet peas look lovely paired with these little yellow butterflies?
(Both prints from Early Bird Sale)
She also adores animals, and has a particular affinity for puppies (one of her first words) so I’ve been searching out dog breed illustrations like these:
For the boys’ room vintage maps are such an easy go-to for art. They’re interesting, beautiful, educational, and still pretty neutral.
M has some ideas of his own, though. He’d really like some superhero pictures in his room. And though he’s never watched anything Avengers-related, he’s obsessed with them and has a few toys and colouring books with them. I kind of cringe at the thought of something character based being featured, but this minimalistic poster is pretty cool:
Though I’m not sure he’d find that sufficient. Another route I’ve considered is framing vintage comic books. (Though it’s quite the hunt finding one that looks cool, features his favourite characters, yet is without anything scary or any scantily clad women on it! Sheesh.)
One item I’m totally kicking myself over not purchasing is this 1921 Canadian flag. My kids really like flags, and they might find it cool that pre-1960’s our Canadian flag was actually different. This flag is linen, it’s cool, it’s patriotic, it’s historical, it’s beautiful - what a treasure! But I waited, and it sold, and I can’t find anything like it online (for a decent price). Darn. Seriously kicking myself.
This old bookplate is pretty cool, but given its age it’s missing a lot of provinces and actually has the old Saskatchewan flag, which may annoy M or confuse my kids as they learn. So I’m not sold on it. And really I just want that old linen flag.
I obviously won’t be getting all of this, but the hunting sure is fun…. We’ll see what I end up with!
Home of Caroline and Anthony Borgman featured in Period Living
I shouldn’t have done it. But I went looking for chairs in the online used ads last night, and there was a veritable treasure trove! It had me pining for some great chairs. Most would need to be taken to a real-deal upholsterer though. And, oh yeah, I have no need (and no space!) for new chairs. But let’s dream together, shall we?
First, there were a whole bunch of Louis-style chairs for about $75 each. It’s more than I paid for my other two, but it’s not bad. Only these two are left unsold, and they’re asking $100 per chair. Meh.
But for a while there last night (when there were 3 other similar chairs for sale) I was imagining having a full set and using them as dining chairs…
(From An Angel at my Table)
(Design by Samantha Pynn, Photography by Virginia MacDonald, via Decorpad)
I’m a sucker for this style of feminine wing chair. This one is $50.
I’d have a tough time deciding what to do with a chair like this… Probably lose the tufting and use some pretty patterned fabric like this floral one here:
…Or go with something classic and simple like a pale grey or cream linen:
…Or a cool graphic tartan that juxtaposes the curvy feminine lines:
(Design by Summer Thornton, via Chicago Home & Garden)
And how about this super cool boxy chair? Not exactly my style, but a good chair nonetheless. And only $20!!!
It feels really modern to me, but similar chairs look lovely in this traditional home:
How cool would it be in a masculine grey tweedy/herringbone fabric?
(Design by Sarah Richardson, Photography by Stacey Brandford, via Globe and Mail)
…Though this navy velvet is tempting too:
(Mercer tufted club chair from Canvas Home)
And these chairs are not for everyone… (They look like something Emily Henderson might pick out.) But I love their unique shape. $60 for the pair, but since they’re probably an acquired taste, I’m sure I could get them cheaper.
They seem like they’d be so cozy to curl up in.
I’d maybe lose the tufting on the back (or maybe not?), and probably the skirt, and go with a navy or charcoal velvet. to simplify them a bit.
(Design by Emily Henderson)
Or since I’m totally dreaming, some worn butterscotch leather. Yes.
And the backs could look really cool with some nailhead detail. Yes. Yes.
And while we’re in that funky/trendy mode, How about this hanging wicker chair? So retro. But so fun.
Such a cool beachy vibe, too:
(Design by Emily Henderson)
(Home of Ione Skye featured in Domino Magazine, via Flickr)
But $300? Not. Ever. Happening.
And that’s it for my imaginary online shopping spree. Well, for chairs, anyways.
Design by Chris Mead, Photograph by Tim Street-Porter (via Country Living)
When tying to explain that I like “country” style (because people ask me that aaaall the time in everyday life. OK, no they don’t. But I’ve had the conversation a handful of times.), it’s hard to express what country style means to me. Because in my mind it is not your stereotypical “country” (tons of plaid, roosters, sunflowers, or cow print, for example). I like a clean, neutral, more modern approach to country that is largely void of kitsch and clutter and anything related to the country trends of the 90’s.
But I think there’s room for a little kitsch. For example, one of my favourite country home inspiration pictures is from this New York farmhouse featured in Country Living:
What do I like about it? The bead board wainscoting, the neutral colour scheme, the weathered wooden table, the white dishes… but I reeeally like that vintage cow poster. It’s kind of charming, and cool, even if it is a little theme-y and kitschy.
I kind of want to feature something similar in our farmhouse - maybe in the dining room. I think the key is to present it in a modern way (i.e. a simple, minimal picture frame, or a modern arrangement of the artwork), and to stay away from anything too “theme-y” elsewhere in the room.
So, lets turn to Etsy, shall we?
I love the look of vintage illustrations, and one (usually) cheap and easy way to get these is to find old children’s storybooks:
Since most of these illustrations tend to be small they would work well for a salon-style or gallery arrangement of pictures in different sizes of frames. (I did this in Little M’s nursery with a vintage Smokey the Bear storybook.) You could cut out pages from the books, or if the covers are really pretty, like the green one above, you could feature a group of storybooks in shadow boxes. Or you could use just a few small illustrations framed with oversized mattes to create a bigger piece of art. (See an example of this below)
You could also expand your search to other educational materials, such as posters or flashcards:
If you find a large educational poster you could hang it unframed (like in the inspiration photo from Country Living at the top of this post) or find a simple frame for it.
I really like the use of a little vintage valentine in the bottom centre frame. How about this one?
Another idea for creating a larger piece of art is to frame one, or several pieces of fabric, such as table cloths, tea towels, or - my favourite - old grain sacks.
Wouldn’t those grain sacks look awesome in plain black frames? I’m going to scrounge through the old barn and some nearby shops to find some of these, I think…
And if you can handle the really kitschy stuff, a needle point or paint by number could look awesome, if presented well, like this cottage from Country Living:
Old paint-by-number paintings displayed on a shelf. (Photo by Aimee Herring for Country Living)
So, there’s your fill of country kitsch for the day! I think the key to using stuff like this as art is restraint - use simple framing, in a fairly neutral room scheme, without too much else that fits a farm or country theme.