It’s a Sign

I’m going to hang it right over the spot where we charge our cell phones.

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The sign itself is double sided with a flange that will make it super easy to hang on the wall. It’s porcelain enamel, and although I should have given it a quick clean before I photographed it, it’s in great shape. It came out of a bar in Brooklyn, New York. (I picked it up at the DC Big Flea this weekend.)

My 7 year old daughter thinks the sign is totally hilarious. She’s never even heard of a Public Telephone.

 

Design House

Last week I did a quick run up to the Lucketts Store for their Design House and outdoor flea market. This isn’t the big Spring Market (which is in May), but was a lot of fun. I saw many lovely things!

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I really love vintage doors and have my eye out for some for my bedroom to decorate the very big empty wall behind my bed. The ones I saw were way too tall, but I loved them anyway!

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These drawers also both caught my attention, but I wasn’t sure what I could keep in such shallow drawers. Ideas?

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There were some neat lighting ideas:

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And bunnies and birds:

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And chairs:

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You might recognize the above chairs here also!

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And random fun:

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It was a quick visit, so I didn’t buy much, but I did find this wall basket and painted cast iron hook to hang it with for my youngest daughter’s room. She likes to keep birthday cards and notes from friends and relatives, so I was thinking this would be a pretty storage solution.

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FYI – I have not forgotten that I promised to tell you about Design Finds from my trip to Charlottesville! Look for those soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love for Elvis

My friend Katherine recently visited Memphis, Tennessee and just knew that I would want to see pictures of her visit to Graceland. What an awesome friend! I’ve never visited Elvis’s home, so I was pretty excited to see it vicariously through her. I never expected to love any of it – Elvis is not known for tasteful choices. But then I totally fell in love with this room (which I believe is his music room):

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I don’t even know why. I don’t actually like heavy drapes or brass chandeliers or stained glass or grand pianos. But somehow all together it’s a fabulous time capsule of a space that I adore. I just made this picture the background wallpaper on my laptop. Go figure!

Eastern Market Sunday Fun

Before we begin, I just wanted to let you know that I tracked down the maker of those cool modern birdhouses featured in yesterday’s post. A link to their Etsy store is now at the bottom of that post.

Now let me tell you about all the fun I had and the Design Finds I spotted at Eastern Market in Washington DC this weekend! This is one of our favorite places to take the kids on a Sunday morning. There’s so much to see, and something for everyone – our whole family loves it. This is only a small fraction of it – I was having so much fun, I didn’t take as many pictures as I could have.

I saw two booths of beautiful handmade cutting boards. They were all lovely and make great gifts – especially for Mother’s Day (or a housewarming, or a wedding, or a birthday…)

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There was also furniture, including tables from reclaimed wood and even a headboard made from the facade of an old barn.

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There was also lots of home decor:

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Maps and posters:

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Random fun and funky stuff:

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And of course food:

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There was also tons of jewelry (both costume and artisan made) and art and photography and leather goods and scarves – so very many scarves! And of course, the interesting neighborhoods to Capitol Hill to wander around:

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Definitely worth a visit!

 

Time to Flea

It’s April – get outdoors and find a flea market this weekend! Wandering around an outdoor flea with a hot cup of coffee in my hand is my favorite weekend activity. Listed below are a few going on in the Washington DC area. If you don’t live nearby, find one near you. Wherever you live, I would love to know which flea market you visited and what you found! Comment below or send me a note from the Contact page. Happy hunting!

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Eastern Market Flea, Washington DC, Sunday 10AM-5PM (www.easternmarket.net)

District Flea, Washington DC, Saturday 10AM-5PM (www.districtflea.com)

Georgetown Flea, Washington DC, Sunday 8AM-4PM (www.georgetownfleamarket.com)

Lucketts Store Design House and Outdoor Flea, Leesburg, Virginia, Friday-Sunday 10AM-5PM (www.luckettstore.com)

Chartreuse and Co. Market Days, Frederick, Maryland, Saturday 9AM-4PM, Sunday Noon-4PM (www.chartreuseandco.com)

I’ve posted the times, but show up early for the best pickings! Also remember to bring cash or a checkbook – a lot of dealers take credit cards now, but not all of them.

Old Becomes New – Katie’s Bedroom Project

My friend Katie lives in a 100+ year old home in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been working on renovating it with the help of her dad and her awesome dog Joey. She was kind enough to share her bedroom renovation with us. I just love how it turned out.

Katie found these vintage shutters for $30 at Second Chance, a great resource for architectural salvage in Baltimore.

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Then she and her dad turned them into this:

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(That’s Joey peeking in there!)

The bed was made to complement the radiator covers her dad also built for the house:

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(See the close up of Joey framed on the wall?)

To make the headboard the same width as the bed, they added wood in the center and finished it with crown molding:

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They then painted it to match the trim in the house and hung it on the freshly painted wall:

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Isn’t it beautiful?

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The nightstand is made from a Pier One plant stand Katie found for $15 with a 12 inch marble tile from Home Depot glued on top. I love the galvanized bucket she used for the plant!

Thanks so much for sharing, Katie!

Sources:

Shutters: Second Chance, www.secondchanceinc.org (Second Chance is more than just architectural salvage store – it’s also a training and employment program. See their website for more info!)

All other materials from Home Depot.

Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Silver Fox

Headboard Paint: Behr Pure Ultra White

 

 

A Little More Road Trip

As I mentioned yesterday, Culpeper Virginia had many lovely shops, but it also had two other things I love – a good old fashioned hardware store and a cozy independent coffee shop.

Clarke Hardware was packed from floor to ceiling with hardware, housewares, and gardening supplies. It reminded me of the hardware stores I visited with my dad as a kid – it even smelled the same.

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We bought an apple peeler/corer/slicer to replace the one we broke last fall. Every fall we go apple picking with the kids and make homemade applesauce, some of which we freeze to use at Thanksgiving. Last year we waited too long and there were no apples left to pick and the orchard was closed. So the kids “picked” them at Eastern Market in downtown Washington DC. And then I broke the peeler/corer/slicer by tightening it too much on our new marble countertop. At first I thought the noise was the countertop cracking! So last year was a little bit of a disaster. Hopefully this year will be better with our new vacuum base peeler!

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Next to the hardware store was Raven’s Nest Coffee House. It had a lovely interior with wood floors, exposed brick walls, and a beautiful reclaimed wood coffee bar.

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It also had good coffee!

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I loved these vintage mailboxes on the wall. I noticed they had papers in them and thought for a moment that they were actually still in use. I love the idea of having a mailbox inside a small town coffee shop! Then I walked around the wall and discovered it was actually being used for brochures and event notices.

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And speaking of mail, I also spotted this wonderful old mail sorting desk across the street at a combination vintage furniture/candy shop called My Secret Stash (which also had really fun candy including chocolate covered malt balls in amazing flavors like mint and pumpkin). Based on the city names, I think it may have come from New Jersey.

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Next stop, Charlottesville!

 

 

Road Trip Part One – Culpeper, Virginia

I’ve driven past the town of Culpeper, Virginia countless times over the years, but last Friday was the first time I ever got off the highway and explored the town. It was lovely! We had just planned to stop for lunch, but ended up spending hours poking around all the fun shops on the historic main street.

We had a fantastic lunch at It’s About Thyme – duck salad for my husband and Greek salad and roast chicken for me. (And no, I didn’t eat all that by myself!)

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There were so many wonderful stores, but I fell in love with Harriet’s General, which showcases entirely products made in the USA, all beautifully displayed on vintage furniture finds. They even have an Airstream on the wall!

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More road trip fun tomorrow!

 

Instagram Anyone?

I’m sort of addicted to Instagram. I’ve never totally understood Twitter*, but I definitely get the “a picture is worth 1000 words” value of Instagram. I use it almost exclusively as a source for design inspiration. I won’t follow anyone who posts too many pictures of their cat (except you, cousin Emma)! I often share random photos I’ve taken of Design Finds there, thinking they’re pictures I probably won’t use on the blog. But it occurred to me as I looked over my Instagram pictures yesterday, even though I might not have enough to say about individual photos to justify a blog post, as a collection they are fun and inspiring. So here they are (some of them, anyway)! Sources, if I have them, are listed. If you like what you see, follow me @alexandradesignfinds.

My Inspirations:

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If I could own a piece by any artist alive today, hands down it would be Dale Chihuly. My house isn’t quite big enough for this, but I would be willing to make do with something smaller. His work takes my breath away. Every time.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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The hardest thing about vintage is knowing you’ll never know the story behind the beautiful patina of age.

Trunk above and storage boxes below, Ekster Antiques.

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Vintage Sideboard in a field. It could not possibly look as beautiful indoors as it does here. Could it?

Source: Rust and Feathers

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Vintage midcentury switchplate. Private home, Bethesda MD.

Architectural salvage is so photogenic:

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Sources: Reclaimed doors, Lucketts Store. Window from Philadelphia Civic Center, Teds Bulletin Restaurant.

I’m always taken with industrial style lighting:

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Lighting sources, from top photo to bottom: Flora’s Feathered Nest, Crate and Barrel, Ekster Antiques, Crate and Barrel.

Of course, I take pictures of chairs. Lots of chairs.

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Vintage school chairs at Ted’s Bulletin restaurant.

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Yogurt shop color pop.

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Sources: Houndstooth chair, Crate and Barrel, Blue Stools, CB2

Random Fun Things:

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Mirror with frame made from reclaimed flooring from a North Carolina textile mill.

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Day of the Dead decor – do you love it or does it creep you out? I can never quite decide.

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Mirror: Lucketts Store Market. Throw pillows, artwork: Dwell, London.

*I don’t understand Twitter, but I am on it! Follow me there @alexdesignfinds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladder Lighting

I love vintage wooden ladders as decor – they always manage to look great in any style of home – from country to contemporary. They can hang or lean on a wall as art, be used as a bookshelf, a place to hang quilts or towels or Christmas stockings, or even as lighting, like this:

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This ladder is suspended from the ceiling, wrapped with globe lights and decorated with vintage chandelier crystals and branches. There are a million variations on this theme – and a ton of places where lighting like this would look amazing – hanging over a long dining table, a headboard, a kitchen island, or a long hallway.

 

Spotted: Rust and Feathers, Leesburg, VA