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December, 2008 | Manolo for the Home
Archive - December, 2008

The Vintage Nursery

Does anyone else remember when eBay was the place to go for vintage home decor and accessories? When I was in college, you could toss forty bucks into the virtual void and end up with accent decor enough to outfit your average New York City apartment. Sure, the streets of Brooklyn were also paved with discarded Depression glass and period furniture, but not everyone has the time or the inclination to go late-night dumpster diving. Nowadays, eBay is packed overfull with crap much like our local variety store… the one without the sign that seems to stock nothing but other people’s garbage.

What? You don’t have one of those in your town?

Good thing there’s Etsy! While that is my go-to source for all things handmade, there are apparently plenty of Janes and Joes selling vintage goods on the site. That’s good news for me, who adores all things old fashioned, especially when it comes to my future offspring’s nursery.

The vintage nursery

Working on the assumption that someone else will eventually buy The Beard and I a crib and other similar pieces of baby furniture, I personally am obsessed with wooden blocks and mobiles. Then there are the useless things, like colorful prints, decorative items like baby scales, and chic ceramics that will have to be closeted as soon as the baby learns what her legs are for. I know, I know… I ought to be thinking practically, but I can’t help lusting after all the CUTE.

The sellers of the vintage baby gear you see above are:

Time to Send Those Thank You Notes!

The major gift giving holidays are thankfully over for another year, thankfully. Unless you’re one of those wacky souls who buys holiday gifts all year long and stashes them in secret cupboards for months at a time, you and I are finally getting the reprieve we deserve. Well, almost. There’s still the matter of thank you notes.

Not everyone sends hand-written thank yous, of course — my commitment to the practice has more to do with the stack of leftover thank you cards I have from my wedding than anything else. Then again, I also think that beautiful stationery is part of any well-stocked home, and what better way to use it up than thanking people for everything from ugly Santa Claus sweaters to beautiful Coach handbags?

thank you notesthank you cardsholiday cards
stationerynote cardspersonal stationery

The lovely SterlingSpider recommends making gratitude gorgeous with stationery from Mudlark, and I am inclined to agree with her. With unique side-opening envelopes and keepsake boxes made of recycled paper, what’s not to love? The Harmony cards — upper middle photo — are my favorite.

(EDIT: I just realized that the top lefthand image depicts a bath set, not stationery. Whoopsie. Now you know that Mudlark also makes yummy bath products, so I can’t feel that bad about my mistake!)

Fireplace: Before and After

I very much hope that the lovely Amy of The Adventures and Mishaps of Mrs. Amy B.! does not mind my highlighting her wonderful home decor transformation here at Manolo for the Home. She and her husband are apparently truly talented DIYers. What evidence can I offer? Just look at their fireplace before:

Fireplace with mantel

Pretty blah, right? Now admire their beautiful fireplace after some hard work:

New fireplace

Do note that they don’t actually use their fireplace, nor do they have any plans to ever begin using it, so hanging what looks like a rather fine flat screen television over it will not be a problem. I would not recommend this particular set-up to anyone who enjoys sitting in front of a crackling fire in the wintertime. If, on the other hand, you could give a fig about fire, do feel free to think up your own variation on Amy’s chic fireplace!

Another Take On Open Kitchen Shelving

Cabinets without doors

After yesterday’s post on open kitchen shelving, I thought I’d post a photo of another take on kitchen cabinets without doors. All right, so these aren’t actually kitchen cabinets, but they take the place of cabinets quite nicely and I adore the look.

Let me and The Beard know whether we should take the plunge and start DIY renovations by voting in yesterday’s informal poll!

Open a Space By Opening Your Cabinets

Open kitchen shelving

The Beard and I have thrown around the idea of taking off some of our kitchen cabinets to make that particular space a little more airy and cute. We’re lucky in that we have dishware that’s ready to display… and enough kitchen cabinetry to hide all the things we’d rather not have to look at day in and day out. On the other hand, we have five cats and a baby on the way. While it will be some time before the baby has any hope of getting onto kitchen counters, the cats are only one jump away from a romp through the plates and glasses. Obviously, we’re somewhat torn on whether or not to go ahead with this plan.

What better way to decide what to do with my home than a poll? Help me and The Beard decide what to do by casting your vote or commenting with your alternate ideas.

Too Calm? Just Right?

Small home office

On one hand, I’m loving the way space is utilized in this small home office from Apartment Therapy. On the other hand, the pastels and light-colored woods are so calming that I have to wonder whether I’d fall asleep while blogging. The bright and cheery orange accents (esp. the adorable retro wall clock) might keep me awake for a while, but I think I’m the kind of person who needs the intense stimulation my glaringly cherry red home office provides.

Do you agree? Disagree? Hate pastel peach with a burning irrational passion?

Happy Holidays from Never teh Bride

Bookshelf holiday tree

Like I said over at Manolo for the Brides, whatever your preferred end of December holiday, I hope it’s a happy one! Me, I do Christmas, and while I copped to a Christmas tree for The Beard’s sake, I would much rather have set up a Shelf Tree, like this one by Frank Visser of IJM.

Back to Nature… Sort Of

Some people prefer to keep the outdoors out and the indoors in, while others prefer to mix it up in creative and inventive ways. Nature and manmade artifacts come together brilliantly in a chair and a chaise from Chaircouture.

A chair made of grass

In this case, gilt carved French bergeres have been reupholstered with fabric that looks like it needs periodic mowing.

A chair made of water

And here, a French chaise with verdigris patina has been reupholstered with one-of-a-kind water fabric that looks as if one could dive right in.

I’m not sure how one would go about purchasing one of these original creations, as each is unique, having been lovingly crafted by a certain Margaret. I suppose the first step would be e-mailing to inquire about prices and availability, which means $$$$. Sigh!

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