My mom is like a thrifting ninja. As she browses the flea market fields or scans second-hand store shelves, she always turns up with the best finds. And I’m not talking about the kind of finds your eccentric aunt brings you when she cleans out her attic. Nope, my mom will turn up with that last teacup to complete your set of thrifted China, or miniature impressionist painting of a plantation home. She brings home the good stuff. A couple of years ago she gifted me an old Samsonite suitcase, which I graciously accepted (I mean, who says “no” to old suitcases?), and then I carefully stored it in my basement until I knew just where I wanted it. As my nursery remodel came together I knew that the suitcase would soon find its home in that little girl’s room, but the problem was, the suitcase was a faded navy blue and looked pretty dull and out of place amongst the other white, yellow, and coral nursery furniture. So I decided to paint it! Painting suitcases can kind of be tricky business, so let me share a few tips and tricks I learned along the way!
Let’s Get Started
If you saw Liz’s decorating trends post you know that she and I recently spent several (blissful!) days taking in all that’s new and notable in furniture, accessories, lighting, fabrics and more in High Point, NC at the world’s largest furniture industry trade show — or as I like to refer to it: Disney for Designers.
While I certainly enjoy checking out the trendiest fabrics and finishes, the highlight of each Market visit for me is spending a few hours strolling thru the Market’s Antique & Design Center. Here, 60+ premiere antique dealers showcase centuries-old European rarities, architectural salvage, mid-century pieces and funky vintage finds.
Antiques have always been a go-to for interior designers but with each passing Market, the collected-over-time look is being realistically reproduced by more and more manufacturers. Although most of the items I point out below are available to-the-trade-only, meaning you have to go through an interior designer or dealer to buy them (sorry!), they’re just a few of the trending antique styles that caught my eye. So, the good news is, if you love antiques, like I do, they’re super hot in the design world right now — whatever type of vintage items you prefer, display them proudly!
Vive la France: French-inspired antiques have been the design world’s darling for quite a while and they’re not ready to raise the white flag yet. I spied all the Louis (13-16) plus several Empire and Rococo gems at Market. Below is a reproduction Louis 16 (or XVI, if you prefer, AKA the same Louis who lost his head alongside Marie Antoinette) gilt settee from Eloquence. They’ve done a fantastic job replicating the handcarved details, even subtly distressing the gilt finish so this new piece looks as if it might have been found at Versailles:
Aged to Perfection: Weathered finishes are also nothing new and I spied plenty of legitimately timeworn finishes, like the salvaged wooden pediment on the left at Design Legacy alongside new pieces, like the bistro chairs and zinc-topped table at Dovetail, that have been distressed to look like they’ve spent decades outdoors:
3 More Antique Trends to Watch
I actually experienced my first heartbreak a few years ago when I fell head over heels for a flawless, hand-dyed Chesterfield sofa. Once I discovered the price, I knew it would be years before we would be together. As a lifestyle editor, this kind of heartache is hardly rare; I see beautiful furnishings every single day that I’d love to get my hands on but can’t. Luckily, stylish and budget-savvy gal Sabrina Soto, host of The High/Low Project, has scouted the trendiest pieces of the season and found their lovely — and wallet-friendly — counterparts. From cutting boards and pendant lighting to area rugs and throw pillows, Sabrina has found an affordable match for your favorite designer pieces.
Company C | Rugs USA
Welcome guests this holiday season with a colorful, ornate area rug. The intricate pattern on the companyc.com rug drives the price up to $515 (left). But this similar botanical wool rug from rugsusa.com features less detail, making it a beautiful price of $168 (right).
DWR | CB2
For those who can’t get enough of marble, here’s a sleek coffee table you’re going to love. Splurge on the Italian marble-top table with a stainless steel frame for $900 at dwr.com (left), or save yourself some dough and opt for gray-veined marble at a third of the cost ($329) from cb2.com (right).
Cuisinart, Mauviel | Walmart, Calphalon
Culinary pros will love easy access from a hanging pot rack and the stunning copper and stainless-steel pans. The only true difference between the high and low pot racks is the chain links. Splurge on the stainless steel cusinart.com pot rack for $160 (left), or go for the similar buy at walmart.com for just $66 (right). For a 10-piece M’150s copper and stainless steel cookware set from mauviel.com, you’re going to pay $1,985 (left). But, if you go for the Tri-Ply copper and stainless steel 10-piece set from calphalon.com, you’ll save more than $1,500 (right).
More High/Low Ideas
Liz and I went to High Point Market this weekend to spot the hottest trends in home design. Some trends have made a comeback — like gold furniture — while others, like mid-century modern furniture, are still holding strong. We saw many new ones, including leather furniture, lounge chairs and clever storage solutions, but three trends really stood out.
Clockwise: Baker Furniture; Four Hands; Sauder Furniture; Leslie W. Moore Designs
It’s all about entertaining these days — especially with summer days ahead. What better and easier way to serve drinks than a bar cart? From extravagant wood carts to retro-style, glass-topped ones, there was a cart to fit every person’s design style and budget.
See More Trends
My friend and coworker Camille and I have pretty different tastes when it comes to design, but there is one thing we agree on: We both love a bargain. And so, for this week’s installment on my nursery design, I thought I’d riff on her Adventures in Antiquing series and share my latest furniture find, as well as some tips for turning a diamond in the rough into a showpiece for your home.
I’m a Craigslist junkie. I have the app on my phone and iPad and also check it regularly on my laptop. Obviously, furnishing the nursery has been at the top of my mind lately, because I was lacking a dresser for the room. Since I want this dresser to double as a changing table, I wanted a long and low solid wood midcentury-modern dresser, and I didn’t want to spend more than $200. When I found this Franklin Shockey sculptured pine dresser on Craigslist for under budget, I knew it was The One. These dressers typically sell for $400-$1000, but this particular example was a steal because the finish was in pretty bad shape:
I could see past the dried-out wood and scratches and knew this was a great piece. And so, I started off by giving it a good cleaning. Once it was dry, my husband, Chris, treated the exposed surfaces with Howard Restore-a-Finish, then gave it a generous coat of Howard Feed & Wax (I had to skip these steps because these products give off fumes that are a no-go for pregnant ladies).
The dresser still needs a little more TLC — maybe some wood filler on the deeper scratches — and I might take Young House Love’s advice to use a brown magic marker to blend in more shallow nicks. But for now I am thrilled with the results:
This dresser is just my latest Craigslist find (I really am an addict), and made me think about some other items I’ve been lucky enough to track down. Like this midcentury couch and wacky 1970s globe lamp:
Those are just a couple of favorites from a house filled with Craigslist bargains. How about you? Do you have any tales of triumph from Craigslist? Go on, make me envious.
MORE NURSERY FILES:
Last week, a few of the HGTV.com editors had the privilege of visiting High Point Furniture Market. We saw a lot of fabulous designs, from innovative furniture to one-of-a-kind lighting. I was on the lookout for the hottest colors in interior design. Here are my top four color picks:
Many designers have transitioned from the bold blues you’re used to seeing to a fresher, ice blue. I still enjoyed seeing unexpected pops of the bright blues in China cabinets and drawers.
Media Cabinet by Design Legacy; China Cabinet by Steven Shell; Denim Map by Splurge/Robert Nicholas; Tufted Chair by HGTV HOME
Designer Shane Inman’s Decorating Tip: Use soft blues for your walls and darker shades of blue in your upholstery. For something unexpected and daring, use a smokey-slate blue on base moldings and window casings.
I never thought I could decorate with orange, but seeing this color in accessories, upholstery and seating immediately changed my mind. It completely changes the mood of a room.
Chevron Wall Art by Vanguard Furniture; Dining Chairs by Design Legacy; Teal/Orange Pillows by TOURMALINE home; End Table by Trade Winds Furniture
Designer Erica Islas’ Decorating Tip: If you’re worried about a color overpowering a space, use it as an accent color mixed with neutrals. For example, pair a striped orange-and-white ottoman with a neutral sofa.
See More Trending Colors
I was born and raised in Tennessee, but I probably won’t live in this lovely Southern state forever. What better way to remind me of my home than a contemporary table shaped like Tennessee from UncommonGoods? The white looks especially pretty and mod with wooden legs, but I wouldn’t mind giving it a custom color like grey, sky blue or red. (Too bad they don’t have orange for the Tennessee Volunteers — now, that would be a perfect pairing!)
What state would you “memorialize” in your home? The place where you grew up? Your favorite vacation spot? Tell me below!
Hello, Design Happens fans — Kate here again with another roundup of inspiring projects for the home in the continuing series on secondhand sprucing, and this time the focus is on main living spaces. We all need a place to sit down, rest a book or drink, and visit with fellow residents or friends in a family room, and for most of us we need a place to relax while watching television. Naturally the furnishings we need include sofas, chairs, coffee and end tables, ottomans and storage units.
A secondhand sofa with a classic shape can be reupholstered in a modern fabric to give it a fresh look, or if the cushions are in decent shape, slip-covered for a casual and easy to clean option. Chairs are readily available on Craigslist and often you get lucky with a great set from your local Goodwill. One of the most clever ways to repurpose a coffee table is to cover it with foam and fabric and turn it into an ottoman!
(Reupholstered sofa by Made by Girl; Bergere chairs by Design Manifest; Slipcovered hand-me-down sofa by Miss Mustard Seed; Thrift store ottoman coffee table by Five Days Five Ways)
More From Centsational Girl
Here we are in August, and somehow it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school. I swear school starts earlier every year! I’ll admit that my school days are long past, but I can’t help but wax nostalgic about the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the squeak of new shoes. And so, my inner middle-schooler gave a little cheer when I spied this so-old-school-it’s-new-school basket rack from Hertz Furniture.
Picture this rack in a pool house or mud room, keeping wet swimsuits, muddy shoes, and sports equipment stashed in style. The best part? The rack comes in 20 colors ranging from vibrant teal to neutral putty. What do you think, would you bring a little locker room chic into your home?