Sunday morning, we set our alarm clocks for 5 AM. Voluntarily! The Elkhorn Flea Market kicked off their season, and after our luck at last year’s market, we couldn’t wait to go back. Although, I’ll fully admit to be extra grumpy until we arrived at 7:30 – bright eyed and bushy tailed! (Thanks, coffee!)
The huge market is crazy, crazy packed with vendors, deal finders, and anything (and everything!) your antique-loving-heart could imagine. The drive will set you back 1 1/2 hours from Chicago to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, but it’s absolutely worth it. (As Scott and I like to call them, this is not a tube-sock-selling fair; it’s the real deal for all price points. Go, go!)
We spent a good four hours weaving up and down the aisles, sipping hot chocolate and peeling off layers as the cool weather warmed up. I picked up a nice little sunburn on my face, but we came home with a packed car, too! Here’s what we got:
ONE. Pendants like these are pretty easy to come by, but this guy was in perfect condition and was ready to be hard-wired – and that cage! The cage sold us. Right now, the extra nook room off of our kitchen is still serving as a major power tool dumping ground, but we’d love to turn it into a little indoor work room (before next winter at the very least!), and this fixture feels right for that space.
TWO. Scott has been on the lookout for a vintage outdoor lantern for what feels like forever (yes, really), and at the top of his list? A blue one. (Again, I can’t make this up!) It’s tiny, adorable and blue, and I’ll admit that I’m looking forward to putting it to use this summer.
THREE. And finally, our favorite find of the day – a pair of cantilever patio chairs! There was a surplus of patio furniture at Elkhorn, and “patio furniture” was quite literally on our list of would-love-to-finds. We’re so, so looking forward to overhauling the exterior of our home this summer, and we imagine a couple of cozy lounge chairs, a colorful patio swing and a small table – in addition to a lot of paint to brighten up that freshly washed deck. We were immediately drawn to these (as were a handful of others that were ready to swoop in – yikes!) based on looks (how handsome are they?) and comfort (very), and after waffling for far too long (and even walking away for all of 5 minutes), we knew they had to come home with us.
We knew they were mid-century, and a quick Google search pulled up these Salterini clam shell chairs for much more than we paid. (Like, a laughable amount more.) Are they Salterini? Does anyone know how to tell? They’re extremely heavy, very well made and look identical, but my internet sleuthing can’t find a way to tell for sure. (We found several more listings as well, all of astronomical numbers!) As the summer plays out, we’ll see if they’ll stay black; wouldn’t they be great in a powder coated white?
For anyone within a few hour drive of Elkhorn, we can’t recommend this flea enough! There are three more dates this summer, and it’s worth the pain of a 5 AM wake-up call. Coming from me, that’s a big deal. (Says the girl who loves sleeping more than anything in the world.)
PS… Domino has named their Top 26 Design Blogs, and these two made the list! Whoa. We’re in incredible company, and we hope you’ll take a peek. Big hugs to all of you for keeping us motivated and inspired! xx.
With so much of our attention being focused on our entryway, I’ve been craving a break away from trim, caulk, more trim and more caulk. It’s been feeling like the never ending chore (just as you’re likely wishing we would stop grumbling about it!), so in-between all that caulk, I’ve been stealing a few moments to put a little effort into the (very sad) studio:
Finally, we have a bit of art in here! After organizing all my files, it was a quick project to get some of our frames out of storage (and by storage, I mean the scary spare bedroom) and onto the wall. Aah, the view from my desk got a whole lot prettier:
I knew I wanted to put a salon-style wall in this area, if only to help conceal the television – which I consider to be great company while I’m painting. (You might remember it hanging in the studio of yore?) On a side note, these photos were taken right before we started installing wood caps and more baseboards last weekend; the space is finally, finally transforming!
I told Scott that I thought it’d be fun to tuck a small photo of our demolition (from the same room) on the wall, and he – genius that he is! – suggested that we do the same thing in every room. As other rooms start coming together, we’ll definitely be framing pint-sized shots from where we started; it’ll be a nice reminder of how far we’ve come.
Because gallery walls are such a vast collection of frames – all with different hooks, wires and hangers – we use this screw-plus-paint-stick trick. We take out this homemade tool all the time, and not only will it save your walls from dozens of unnecessary pock marks, but you’ll get your nail in the right spot on the first try. Just lightly push on your frame after you’ve eyeballed the placement, and the screw will make your mark!
The collage is a mix of some old and some new (mostly old), but all things that I’ll happily stare at all day long - always important. Here’s what we’ve got:
1) Framed deer, thrifted // 2) CB2 clock // 3) Penguin painting, gifted from a friend // 4) Onward! print, from Les Puces // 5) Framed Pinhole photo of us in Paris // 6) Lithograph print, gifted from a friend // 7) No. 9903 by Kari Herer // 8) Bison print by Laura Baisden // 9) Vintage photo and frame, thrifted // 10) Our demolition photo // 11) Beach photo and Ikea frame
Unrelated (although it could be in a streeetch), but as I was wrapping up taking photos (of photos, naturally!), I caught a silly moment from Libby and her puppy siblings:
And just like that, she realized who was behind her – and she was gone.
PS… Don’t be afraid to pick up those back-less, glass-less frames from flea markets and thrift shops! If you’re looking for an affordable way to display your growing hoard of frames and photographs, this is what we do.
I said last week that we were totally working outside of our comfort zone, and together with the recovered velvet sofa, our new rug sealed that deal.
We picked this up on Ebay, and after staring for weeks at Persians (it became a 15-minute part of my morning routine; shower, coffee, feed the family, check Ebay, you know), we narrowed it down to a few choices. To be honest, Scott wasn’t completely on board at first, but he warmed up to the idea when I touted the heavily patterned pieces as being more pet friendly than, say, a soft neutral that we’ll want to replace in a few years. It’ll help conceal everyday wear and tear! It’ll get better with time! We’ll pass it down to our pretend kid’s kids! (Or at the very least, pass it down to our friends’ kids’ kids!)
I quickly realized that there is definitely an art to understanding and purchasing an authentic Persian, and after messaging a helpful seller, they pointed me in the right direction for what to look for in terms of durability. Ours is hand-knotted and wool with a cotton foundation, however, it’s not considered an antique since it only dates back to 1970 (and we’re cool with that). I found this guide to be really helpful, and this symbol chart is pretty fun!
The day it arrived, we both excitedly unwrapped it, laid it out on the count of three (1… 2… 3!) and immediately loved it! Then almost immediately after that, thought, hmmm. Is it too much? Is there too much color? Yes, it’s falls outside of our comfort zone and while that’s nice and scary (good) and all, but did we go too far?
The pattern has our hearts, but if I think about it too long, I might say that I wish there were more pinks and blues – but that pattern. It makes it, don’t you think? The size is perfect for this room, an odd size, for sure, coming in at 6′x10′. (Another reason I was on the Persian train; so many unique size options!) It allows for traffic to pass through the living room without anyone having to step on the rug (which would cause weird wear issues), and it’s wide enough for our extra long (100″) couch.
So while there was a solid return policy (which is what prompted us to just pull the trigger already!), we’re keeping it! It does feel warm and inviting and vibrant – but this room needs more layers. Right now, it’s heavy. Weighted. The whole room is drawn down to the floor, and the two big punch-you-in-the-face pieces are in place – with nothing else around to lighten the mood, so to speak. No soft and neutral curtains. No artwork. No light fixture! No plants, not enough pillows and blankets and no baseboards (for the love of Pete; I’m as sick of mentioning them as you are reading about it). We’ll need one more chair (or bench or sturdy ottoman?) in here, and once we’re done trimming this room, we can move on to those cozy needs.
Bottom line, we love this rug. And with the two big pieces in place, the other changes will (hopefully) tumble into place – soon enough!
PS… our goal to finish the entry trim + floors this weekend didn’t quite come true (although we really, really tried!), so we’ll be tying that up this week and the coming weekend. Oy, I f@*!ng hope.
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