Treasured

This post is written in honor of my late father, Michael. Next week is his birthday – he would have turned 70 on February 13. I wrote the text below last year as a submission to the Washington Post Magazine column called Mine, in which people tell the story of a treasured possession in 250 words or less. My submission was not chosen (yet!), so I thought I would share it with you today. Happy Birthday, Dad.

Mine

In May of 1998, on the eve of my college graduation, I stood with my father on the outdoor terrace of the beautiful Keswick Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia. He joked that he was sorry he didn’t have a grand estate like Keswick that I would inherit. I said, “That’s ok – all I really want to inherit from you is the Skegness poster.” Little did I know that a month later the poster would be mine after my father’s unexpected passing at the age of 53. I hand carried it back to the US from his London home after the funeral.

The poster had been around my whole life – my father had brought it with him from England when he arrived in America in the late 60’s to attend graduate school. He met my mother just days later, and she framed the poster in the happy yellow frame I had always known it in. It was a railway advertisement for getaways to Skegness, a chilly English beach resort town. As a child, I’d always loved the jolly man skipping down the beach in his scarf and boots. As an adult, I see the poster that has always been a part of our family through marriage, divorce, several international moves, and one serious house fire. Recently reframed, it now hangs in our living room. My children never had the chance to know their grandfather, but it makes me happy that a part of him is part of their everyday lives.

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Choosing a new frame, October 2013.

Corded

I love when I see a product with a design that’s a whole new way of looking at an everyday item. I’m loving these new-but-retro extension cords from Conway Electric I spotted recently. Rather than something to hide, they’re something cool to look at, with brightly colored boxes and cotton covered cords. This is an extension cord you’d want people to see, not one you’d hide behind the couch!

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Check them out here: www.ConwayGoods.com

Belted

I saw a really fun pair of chairs at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. Rather than pay to have a worn out cane seat redone, make your own with belts! A fresh coat of paint and a colorful mix of belts makes for a great accent chair. This would be wonderful in a dressing room, or you could even make a whole dining set – although I’m guessing that would require some thrift shop stops for extra belts! Now I know what do do with all those seatless old chairs I’ve seen at the flea market.

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These chairs made by Was Paper.  waspaper.com

Chair-izona Part 2: Midcentury Heaven

If I ever win the lottery, I am headed straight to Red Modern in Phoenix, Arizona to outfit my dream house with some of their amazingly beautiful and pristine vintage Midcentury furniture finds.

They had some rare pieces like this Saarinen Womb Settee and a pair of Wegner Papa Bear Chairs. I’d never had the chance to sit in either of these before, so that was pretty exciting for a chair nerd like me.

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Even the sign outside was fabulous:

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As was the staircase inside:

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I was like a kid in a candy store – there was so much to see!

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I’m still dreaming about these orange chairs. They were beautiful from every angle.

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Which is better – the back of this chair – or the front?

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What catches your eye? I’d love to know – comment or send me a message on the Contact page!

More Arizona Design Finds to come…stay tuned!

 

 

 

Lunch Finds with PIF

I had a lovely lunch this week with my Partner In Finds and spotted some great lighting at the same time!

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The cobalt blue glass looked amazing against the texture of the reclaimed wood and the varying sizes of the pendants gave it a great funky fun vibe. And of course everything looks better with Edison style filament bulbs – these long ones are wonderful.

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After lunch, we stopped by JT Interiors in Potomac, Maryland and PIF picked up this lovely seat for her garden. She has plans to clean it up and give it new life – I’ll keep you posted on what she does to it.

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Instagram Roundup

Are you following @AlexandraDesignFinds on Instagram? If not, here’s a bit of what you’ve missed:

Giant chandeliers…

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Pink vintage clocks…

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Funky side tables…

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Midcentury flea market finds…

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Vintage Bicentennial fun…

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Repurposed license plates…

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Over-the-top architectural detail…

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Cool counter-weighted table lamps…

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Eye catching accent chairs…

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Colorful retro turntables…

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An enormous stash of blue mason jars spotted in Tennessee…

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Tiled doorways…

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The occasional rhino…

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And me playing tourist close to home at Mount Vernon…

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Unfortunately photography was not allowed inside the house, but this photo is the inside of George Washington’s 16 sided barn. Isn’t it stunning?

Spotted at: Giant chandelier, Restoration Hardware. Pink clock, Galleria, Culpeper, VA. Side table, HomeGoods. Midcentury vignette, DC Big Flea. Bicentennial can and license plates, Made, Staunton, VA. The ornamented doorway is a bank located in Staunton, VA, and the tiled doorway was another building located nearby. Table Lamp, Arhaus. Chair, Z Gallerie. Record players, Urban Outfitters. Rhinos, West Elm. Last 3 photos, Mount Vernon.

 

 

A Week of Design Finds: More Lucite Love

I was totally smitten with this vintage wall unit – what’s not to love about lucite and white lacquer?

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If James Bond (in his Sean Connery incarnation) were to stop by, you would be totally set, because this mirrored flip down bar cabinet is the ideal place to pour him a drink.

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Spotted at: Modern Mobler, Kensington, MD, www.modernmobler.com

 

Not Just for Travel

There’s something wonderful about a vintage suitcase. I spotted this great stack of them last week:

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There’s a ton of fun things you can do with them – a stack of them makes a great nightstand or a side table next to a sofa and also provides great storage. Just one suitcase can also serve as a little table, too – just add legs! (A piece of plywood concealed inside the suitcase adds stability and provides an anchor to drill into to attach legs.) Legs are easy to come by on websites like tablelegs.com – I think their McCobb or Wegner legs with metal tips would look amazing in this application.

Or you could turn a vintage suitcase into a shelf!

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Just saw in half (ever so carefully – tape area to be cut with blue tape to avoid marring it!) and slip over wall brackets from the hardware store to hang. To give it more stability, add a wood shelf on top of the brackets and secure suitcase over it with a few small nails.

Spotted at:

Stack of suitcases: DC Big Flea

Shelves: Sage Style, Kensington MD

Chairspotting

My love of chairs is well documented on this blog! Here are a few more fun ones I’ve spotted recently:

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This is quite possibly the coolest vinyl chair I’ve ever seen!

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Some fun color for the patio this summer. Would you mix and match or go with all one color?

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Although I think I’d change the upholstery to something more eye-catching, I love the lines on this vintage midcentury piece.

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While we’re talking upholstery, I love the bird detail on this one!

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Here’s another fantastic made-over chair – neon paint paired with simple but lovely linen upholstery, making a classic shape look wonderfully modern.

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And speaking of modern, I’m loving this square barstool with the red seat pad and the super thin frame. It catches your attention without being visually heavy.

Spotted at:

Vinyl Chair, Bird Chair: Sage Style, Kensington, MD

Midcentury Chair: Modern Mobler, Kensington, MD

Metal Outdoor Chairs: World Market

Neon Chair: Yves Delorme, Charlottesville, VA

Steelcase Barstool: Staunton Antiques Center, Staunton, VA