Brimfield Antique Show

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Brimfield Antique Show, a world-renowned outdoor flea market, has been held triannually since 1950. They offer everything from architectural salvage to collectibles, fine antiques to kitschy classics, mid-century modern to industrial chic. For me, Brimfield is usually an exercise in restraint because I want to buy everything, but I was a bit disappointed by the selection this July. Nevertheless, here is a little peak at Brimfield’s wide variety of wares. A smattering of glove mannequins waiting for high-fives. An action figure injection mold– now I kind of wish I had bought this! An industrial lamp fit for an atomic laboratory. Alphabet soup. A fish and tackle booth. An antique octagonal cabinet. A bright azure Bengal stove. I definitely wouldn’t want to fly in a plane that says “EXPERIMENTAL” on the door… A beautiful set of teak rope seat mid-century dining chairs. The last Brimfield show for the year will be held September 2-7. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and pack some sunblock!

Lucite Chair Before & After

Luca DIY, Furniture Before and After, Thrifting 1 Comment

Those of you who follow my instagram or twitter may remember a vintage lucite swivel chair I posted a few weeks back. I found the chair on craigslist in a little town just north of New York City. The red vinyl was all torn up, and the lucite body was covered with scratches; but I loved the fundamental design of the piece and decided it was worth restoring. Here is the before and after: I decided to reupholster the chair in white fabric. The original mod red vinyl was certainly a cool look, but I wanted to give this chair a real transformation. I found a creamy Italian suede for an excellent price at the fabric store. I love the little perforations that reveal a silver backing. The fabric looks simple from afar, but has a bit of personality up close. The silver backing also coordinates with the chair’s hardware. I took the chair and my new fabric to my favorite local …

Refinishing a Mid-Century Side Table

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I found a vintage mid-century side table on Craigslist a few months ago.  It had great bones and a lovely wood grain, but unfortunately the tabletop was worn and deeply scratched. Since the rest of the piece was in good condition, I decided to buy the table and refinish the top. I will take you through the process, which can be applied to any simple refinishing project. Here are some close-ups of the original damage. That middle scratch was about 6 inches long and a few millimeters deep. The top was also several shades lighter than the rest of the table from years of use and wear. The Process The first step is to remove the original finish and sand down any visible scratches. I used an orbital sander to expedite the process, but you can certainly do this by hand. This table has a wood veneer, a thin decorative layer of higher quality wood that surrounds the central structure, …

Welcome Wagon

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In Colonial America, pineapples, then an exotic and expensive import, were considered a symbol of friendliness and hospitality.  To this day, pineapples often adorn gardens and gateposts as a way to welcome guests.  But pineapples are a great decorative motif anywhere in your house– a fun, graphic accent and a message of hospitality to all your visitors.  Here are a few ways to bring pineapples into your decor:     1) Brass Candlestick Sconces 2) Mid-Century Wooden Dish 3) Pineapple Print 4) Adelphi Paper Hangings 5) Ice Bucket 6) Pillow

Ebonized Cerused Oak Before & After

Luca DIY, Furniture Before and After 3 Comments

I have always loved the look of ebonized cerused, or limed, oak.  The overall finish is a deep black, while the wood grain is filled with white pigment.  The sharp contrast accentuates oak’s beautiful grain patterns and creates a high-end, glamorous look.  This finish can be achieved in any color combination, but the classic black and white is my personal favorite. This technique was originally developed in the 16th century as a way to protect wood from insects.  Its popularity has ebbed and flowed over time, peaking in art deco and midcentury interiors. I followed Lynne Rutter’s wonderful tutorial over at The Ornamentalist.  My table had a cerused finish originally, so I had to take a few extra steps to prep the surface. Two pieces of advice on this technique: Firstly, it is essential to create an absolutely clean surface to work with because aniline dye will not absorb through old varnish or residue.  Starting with an unfinished piece would …

Weekend Project: Mid-Century Sunroom

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My sister, Elizabeth, asked for a little help tackling the last undecorated room in her home: a 4’ x 6’ sunroom.  Elizabeth, an actress and screenwriter, wanted a comfortable place to read scripts and memorize lines.  She requested a mid-century modern style that would complement her adjacent office.  The room is not weatherproof, so we chose items that would not be ruined by sun damage or dust.  Our maximum budget was $600. We found the armchair and ottoman on craigslist for $100.  The chair is a mid-century reproduction from Urban Outfitters, so we aren’t worried about abandoning a valuable vintage piece to the elements. We purchased a 3’ x 5’ grey and white chevron rug for $80 from Potted, a fabulous garden store in Los Feliz.  Our big budget splurge was a Modernica Case Study ceramic pot and Brazilian walnut stand, which we found on sale for $120.  The Case Study planter is manufactured locally in Los Angeles. Our next …

Campaign Dresser Makeover

Luca DIY, Furniture Before and After, Thrifting 1 Comment

I had been on the lookout for a campaign dresser for several months when I spotted the perfect piece on craigslist.  It had sturdy dovetail construction and solid brass hardware.  I was not a big fan of the original wood tone, so I decided to give the dresser a classic kelly green makeover!  Here is an overview of the process. First I removed the hardware and gave the whole piece a good sanding.  I used ScotchBlue painter’s tape to keep all my edges clean and then painted one coat of Zinsser primer.  Primer will prolong the life of the finish. I decided to use Benjamin Moore Advance high gloss paint in jade green.  It has a built-in self-leveling property, which helps hide brush strokes and provide a smooth finish.  I ended up doing three (long and painful!) coats to get complete coverage.  Fortunately this paint does not require a top coat. I also polished the hardware.  You can use a …

In Love(seat)

Luca Thrifting Leave a Comment

Thrifting scores galore!  I visited Green Dolphin Consignment Shop in Hanover, MA and walked away with two absolute treasures.  I found a vintage Hollywood Regency loveseat for $50!  The floral and quail upholstery is in perfect condition and features my favorite color, coral.  So although I have no space to store this beauty, I simply can’t part with it.  This loveseat will find a special place in my next home! I also picked up a mid-century modern highboy.  Beautiful wood grain, expertly crafted molded wood handles, and classic mid-century lines—not surprisingly I sold the dresser very quickly!  I will definitely stop by Green Dolphin again soon.