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Last week, I received the sweetest, cutest, most black thumb friendly gift from my BFF Kalli (you might remember her from our week long Los Angeles photo safari last year!) – a Jellyfish air plant from the sweetest, cutest most black thumb friendly shop, Petit Beast. When the package arrived, I scrambled for what in the world I might’ve ordered in a late-night, wine induced online shopping spree, but was so pleasantly surprised when I found this note tucked inside:

As instructed, I lassoed that jellyfish and hung the gift in our kitchen window – just a little too high for Maddie and Jack’s reach (much to their dismay!).

Nestled in a pale pink-y purple sea urchin, our air plant (erm, jellyfish!) plays with the sun, reaching out towards the window on sunshine-y days, and I swear, it’s growing. In just the last handful of days in our home, the little limbs seem to be stretching longer, and it makes my heart so happy.

Such a clever little guy.

PS… here’s a fun interview with Cathy, the brains behind the operation at Petit Beast.

  • Kara K - May 14, 2013 - 8:13 AM

    That wee little plant is so adorable! How do you water it?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - May 14, 2013 - 8:47 AM

    Hi Kara! We used a small hook in the window casing and tied a small washer to the end of the string it’s hanging from. This way, we can just pop it right off the hook, rinse it under water, and even mist it in between!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 14, 2013 - 9:32 AM

    If that isn’t the cutest thing I ever saw.

    (you’re photos are impeccable!)ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 14, 2013 - 9:32 AM

    I spelled *your wrong. wtf.ReplyCancel

  • Julia @cuckoo4design - May 15, 2013 - 5:58 AM

    This is so cool. I think I need one too. Love your photos as usual.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 15, 2013 - 11:27 AM

      Julia @ Cuckoo, you most definitely need one! Or 2 or 3… how cute would these look all hanging together?ReplyCancel

  • Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication - May 16, 2013 - 9:11 PM

    That is absolutely adorable! I want one!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Works Organizing - May 19, 2013 - 2:42 PM

    That is the neatest thing! Such a brilliant idea.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - May 20, 2013 - 3:03 AM

    Are air plants safe from freakish black thumb killers like myself? I hope so because these look awesome! I love how you’ve put them into the shell too :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - May 20, 2013 - 8:14 AM

    Michelle, word on the street is that they’re a LOT harder to kill than a traditional plant. Just a mist of water and submerging it in water every few days, and it should stay looking good! Petit Beast sends along some care instructions to help out the fellow black thumbs though!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - May 20, 2013 - 3:00 PM

    that thing is ADORBS! i want!ReplyCancel

  • […] source: etsy, petit beast, gardenista, yellowbrickhome […]ReplyCancel

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During our recent Friendapalooza (otherwise known as a glorious 4 day staycation!), you might have noticed that we dropped by the Randolph Street Market. (This was sandwiched between Do-Rite Donuts and a yummy lunch at Handlebar; yes, we absolutely indulged that day.) Our goal was to only browse and get those happy endorphins jumping, as they so naturally do during flea outings (I mean, right?) – but, damn! – Scott spotted an adorable, vintage Mid Century ottoman.

We’ve been promising ourselves to keep new things out of this home for now, but between this and our Baba Souk pillow, well, we haven’t been doing too good. We’re weak. We feed off each other and these homey-extras, and well, it’s a lose-lose if we’re spending a morning at the flea market. (But really, we’re both secretly thinking it’s a win-win.)

Scott negotiated the price tag down to thirty dollars, we happily brought it home, and while it looks nice from afar, it’s a different story up close. Luckily, there are no rips or tears in the naugahyde (we think it’s a pleather material, but we’re not 100% on this), but it was dirty. Filthy. The sewn seams were yellowed, the grain held years of grime, and the legs were dry and scratched.

Despite its surface condition, it really was in overall great shape – but it needed a good clean-up job. Not wanting to dive right into anything overly toxic, I started with a damp Magic Eraser – and, holy shmoly.

Scott followed that up with Simple Green (much nicer on the nose than, say, Purple Power!), brushing it into the creases, wiping it all up with warm water, and finally, buffing it with a soft cloth.

I took the legs, washed off any dirt with water, then soaked them with Feed-N-Wax – the same product we used on our velvety chair. We also took off the metal tips (they just popped right off), and Scott ran those through his usual Eagle One routine.

The original rubber tips on the legs had begun to rot (one of them had cracked off completely), so we picked up these nail-on glides from Home Depot as a replacement. After replacing the metal foot covers, we tapped them in (which is also what holds the metal in place), running into only one problem…

… One of the legs had a too-large opening, not allowing the glide to fit snug. As in, the hole was far too big for the tiny nail hole we needed. So, Scott remedied this by filling the hole with a barbecue skewer, although toothpicks could work, too. He just broke it off to the right length, tapped it in and “filled” the hole, allowing the glide to have something to grip onto.

And it worked! Also, you’ll see that all the rust was freed from the foot covers – but sadly, the Eagle One took away the faux-gold finish as well. We could always spray them gold down the road, but honestly, we we were just as fine with the clean, cool metal.

All said and done, we took less than 30 minutes restoring the ottoman back to health, with the majority of the time being spent waiting on the Feed-N-Wax to penetrate (the bottle instructions call for a 20 minute soak). Now, it’s white! The sewn seams are white! The legs are polished, nourished and (mostly) scratch-free!

You all know how small our living room is, so while we don’t have the extra space needed now, we’re confident we’ll have the space in the (hopefully near!) future. Regardless of the lacking space, I’m still scootching it up to the edge of the sofa and resting on it. Sometimes it’ll move to the empty wall space between our living room and kitchen (the former home of the painting table), but mostly it sort of just… floats. And that’s okay.

Is anyone else restoring vintage finds – especially as we head full force into flea and yard sale season (three cheers for that!)? Can we see?

  • Loren - May 9, 2013 - 8:38 AM

    Great job! I have a very similar foot stool I grabbed out of my neighbor’s trash a couple months ago. (It has several little tears in the fabric though).
    I keep meaning to give it a thorough cleaning but haven’t quite known where to start. I’ll definitely be coming back to this post!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - May 9, 2013 - 8:42 AM

    Great job on the clean up … it looks brand spankin’ new!ReplyCancel

  • You guys find the cutest stuff! It makes me want to drag Aaron to Chicago for some flea marketing-ing.

    We scored an awesome industrial, wheeled cart last time we visited KC. We’re not sure what it was used for, but it’s perfect in the fire house kitchen, which is seriously lacking counter space. It hangs out against the wall when I’m not using it.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - May 9, 2013 - 9:26 AM

    Loren, there are ways to patch the tears in the fabric – is it pleather/leather? Auto shops will usually have little kits to fix things like that – good luck!

    Heather, that sounds awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Our Humble Abode - May 9, 2013 - 9:39 AM

    Awesome find! Love the simple fixes to spruce it up, too. Gotta love a quick but dramatic change.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - May 9, 2013 - 9:45 AM

    I’m so jealous of your find! You did an amazing job fixing it up, and it looks great with the yellow chair! You’ve inspired me to try my hand at restoring old furniture.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - May 9, 2013 - 10:02 AM

    Amanda – amen!

    Jessica, you can do it!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - May 9, 2013 - 10:35 AM

    That looks gorgeous! I would never think to use a magic eraser on the leather, wow!!!
    I just restored a Lane side table for my friend, it was a curbside find and terribly damaged. Sanding, oiling, and waxing revived it and it turned out amazing. I took pics but have yet to update my blog with them.
    As always, inspired by your projects :)
    Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - May 9, 2013 - 10:34 PM

    Lovely! I’ve got a green one that I plan on reupholstering. (I’ve had it for …ehem 8 months). Great job!ReplyCancel

  • Helen - May 11, 2013 - 12:47 AM

    Wow! Just wow!ReplyCancel

  • Sadie - May 16, 2013 - 1:53 PM

    My grandma had an ottoman like that, only it was blue. Now I’m wondering whatever happened to it. Thanks for sparking a memory. Clearwater ArchitectReplyCancel

  • Brian - May 16, 2013 - 7:38 PM

    Wow, it looks wonderful all refreshed!

    Hey, good idea on the bbq skewer/toothpick… ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Jill - May 20, 2013 - 3:04 PM

    LOVE IT!ReplyCancel

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First, a big congrats to Eileen Marie, the winner of last week’s Baba Souk giveaway!

Having the Do It Yourself crew on Monday was fun (understatement of the year, possibly), and Scott and I have been talking about it non-stop since then, hoping they could just come again, fluff our pillows every day, fill our home with fresh buds and switch things up to keep things interesting around here (okay, now I must sound crazy).

But a perk of their visit (as if their visit alone wasn’t enough!) was what they left behind – fruit for weeks (there’s no lack of vitamin C in this home!), pretty jars, vases and our first pretty fruit bowl; because believe it or not, until now, we’d been piling our produce on the counter or in a makeshift pasta dish (for real, we’ve had buy fruit bowl on our list for, hmm, years?). And left behind in those vases? The flowers!

We’ve split them up throughout the home – on the console and in the studio – and hey, how do you like our “grocery list”? That was my best attempt at having to write something on the chalkboard (I was put on the spot and panicked!) for the shoot. Way to go, Kim, for narrowing it down to the lowest common denominator.

Now, to see what that grocery list would bring home if either of us went solo to the store and each brought back our own versions of people food.

  • Jacki - May 8, 2013 - 8:16 AM

    Okay, I actually think your grocery list is adorable. And my cat thinks flowers and people food ARE cat food so it made me chuckle :) Gorgeous flowers, too!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - May 8, 2013 - 9:26 AM

    Ha, Jacki, at one point, Maddie ran up to the flowers during the shoot, hacked off a few petals with her teeth, then ran away as fast as she could!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 8, 2013 - 12:15 PM

    Those flowers make my heart melt. I wish fresh flowers were more of a priority around here!

    p.s. your grocery list!!!! hahahahaha!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - May 8, 2013 - 12:43 PM

    Julia, they’re rarely a priority around here, too! We’re soaking in every minute with them…ReplyCancel

  • Jill - May 8, 2013 - 1:45 PM

    Haha! Love this! I kind of feel the same way this week after N’s party, except not in the fancy-pants, excited about a photo-shoot kind of way. ;) Just happy that I’m in love w/ our house again after a fresh scrub and rearranging of small bits, and I also bought fresh flowers for N’s party after 2 years (last time was for E’s 30th and the time before that, our 5th anniversary)! And they just made me so gosh darn happy, I need to buy them at least once a year now, by golly!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - May 8, 2013 - 2:03 PM

    Jill, you should buy them more than once a year! Maybe we need to start slow and work our way up though. We’re just as bad about not putting fresh flowers in the home!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Lynn - May 8, 2013 - 9:33 PM

    I do a halfway decent job of making sure we’ve got some fresh blooms in the house but those beauties put my Costco bouquets to shame!!ReplyCancel

  • I agree with Jacki. I think the list is super cute. I can’t wait to see more images for your shoot! :)ReplyCancel

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