Tag Archives: interior design

10 Instagram Accounts Mid-Century Lovers Should Follow


Believe it or not, a child conceived on the day I got my first smart phone still has not been born. That’s right, I’m the person who held out against the most ubiquitous invention of our time until the Year of Our Lord 2014. It’s not that I was trying to resist the inexorable tide of technology, or make a statement about consumerism, or be even just be a super cool hipster with a string/tin can telephone I brought everywhere and forced people to talk to me through. I waited so long to get a smart phone mostly because 1) I’m really very cheap, and 2) I didn’t necessarily think it would make my life any better.

Nine months later, I would say that my life post-smart phone is pretty much the same with one significant improvement: INSTAGRAM. I don’t have the Facebook app, and Twitter makes me feel 90 years old, but the access Instagram has given me to beautiful art, design, and furniture is kind of mind blowing.

Some of my favorite accounts are those of pickers and vintage shops around the country. If you, too, love to ogle mid-century furniture, here are ten accounts you don’t want to miss:


The furniture is gorgeous enough, but the pictures from this LA shop makes SoCal look like the oasis I’ve always believed it is (except for that whole drought thing).


“Steez” is apparently an adjective that means “style with ease,” so of course I instantly respect someone willing to play with language, even if Urban Dictionary is the source that recognizes this definition right now (it seems like a short jump from Urban Dictionary to the OED these days anyway). This San Diego picker with a recently opened shop has an interesting eye for composition in his shots and an industrial edge that I really dig.


The personal account of one of the founders of Joybird furniture, which manufactures new mid-century styled pieces, midcenturyfurniture shares Joybird customer photos, classic mid-century designs, and inspiration photos, like the one pictured above.

a table shop

The photo captions from this account are all in Russian, so I have no idea who these people are or what they do, but they consistently share amazing interior spaces with exquisite furniture and overall design.


This San Francisco shop specializes in legit vintage Scandinavian pieces, so this is the REAL THING. They feature some of the most beautiful wood ever, and they supplied the secretary in Joan Holloway Harris’s Mad Men apartment . The piece of furniture that is–that sounded a little confusing, with Joan herself being a secretary and all, but you know what I mean.


Modern Manor is a Phoenix-based mid-century furniture store that also offers home staging, so this account features great furniture as well as lots of ideas for styling mid-century pieces in your home.


This Asbury Park, NJ store scores loads of great furniture (gimme that table!), decor, vintage cameras, and any other odd or end a collector could want.


This shop in Asheville, NC features tons of great items, lots of which get new upholstery courtesy of account and store owner Megan. She is pretty darn good. The prices are also fantastic, so if I ever go back to Asheville, I’m going in a U-Haul.


This Chicago shop uses the tried and true combination of classic pieces + simple but appealing styling + light, bright photography. Their posts alway make me happy! And of course a little bit jelly, too.


This account of this Minneapolis shop is all about simple but dramatic photographs of exquisite furniture and lots of drool-worthy wood. The credenza pictured above is also the smaller version of the one in our living room, so I may be a little biased to these folks’ taste.


This LA shop consistently gets ALL the furniture; it’s hard to even imagine how there’s anything left over for anybody else. Plus they’ve got these amazing vines in what appears to be their alley, which is extremely wrong and unfair to all other alleys but makes a great backdrop for their pictures.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts? Tell me who else I should be following!

Room Tour: TV Room


The second bedroom in our house, which we use as a TV room, started out as one of the strangest rooms I’ve ever been in. There were lime green and orange walls, a room divider/”art” installation with hanging metal panels (you may remember me complaining about the damage this did to our floors), a built-on desk, and a few other very special touches I was only too happy to tear out/paint over:

Before our reno. Lime green room with wood and metal room divider.

Before our redo. Lime green and orange walls.

Before our redo. Built on desk and shelving.


We updated the bedroom when we first moved in by painting the walls, trim, crazy door, and removing the room divider. In short, we made it livable.

Mid point in the redo. Salmon walls and chevron rug.


Broyhill Brasilia two door chest. Brasilia gentleman's chest.

The truth of the matter, though, is that I was never too crazy about what was going on in this room. It felt like a storage space for a lot of the furniture I didn’t like enough to put where people would see it. But since our one bathroom is a Jack-and-Jill accessible through this room, people did see it, whether I liked it or not.

Finally, I decided to paint. When I decided to paint, Justin suggested we go ahead and refinish the floors while we were at it. In the end, it turned into a totally new space (even though many of the furniture and decor items are the same or came from other places in the house). I’m just crazy for the finished product, so without further ado…


Cream walls, mid-century furniture, symmetrical mirrors.

Mid-century tufted bench, pink Kroehler chair, starburst mirror, pink, yellow, and blue Oriental rug.
Vintage wood frame couch – estate sale
Mid-century tufted bench – Vintage shop
Pink Mid-century Kroehler chair – Craigslist
Mid-century side table (at left) – family hand-me-down

Broyhill Brasilia two-door chest. Black leather couch with wooden frame.

Broyhill Brasilia two-door chest (gentleman's chest).
Broyhill Brasilia two-door chest – Craigslist

Broyhill Brasilia chest with colorful fringed runner.

Adrian Pearsall jacks side table
Adrian Pearsall jacks side table – flea market

Mid century serving tray.
Vintage serving tray – Yard sale

I didn’t intend for it to become the inspiration for this room, but coincidentally it now matches perfectly.

Pink, yellow, and blue vintage Oriental rug
Vintage Oriental rug – Yard sale

This is the other item that really ties the room together. I already had the pink Kroehler chair, but I was planning to reupholster it down the line. Then this rug walked into my life, and together they are just perfection.

Vintage Oriental/Persian rug.

Hope you like the transformation as much as I do! I had tons of fun putting this room together, and I think it shows.

Crazy for Brass Pineapples

I’m not a great romantic, but I have experienced love at first sight once in my life. I know what you’re thinking, but it actually was not first time I set eyes on my future-husband as he stood in front of a box of Krispy Kremes.

Rather, it was a few weeks ago when I was cruising Instagram and came upon a specimen of rare and exotic beauty: a brass pineapple:
(from the JudysJunktion Etsy shop)

Ever since, I simply can’t get these pineapples out of my head. I’m admiring them on Etsy and Pinterest, watching them on eBay–in short, stalking them to the best of my web browsing abilities. Though I only just discovered them, brass pineapples are a fairly common vintage decor item. They typically function as either a candle holder or a jar and come in a glorious array of sizes, styles, and materials:
(from thewhitepepper Etsy shop)

(from Merchant Archive)
(from the SadRosetta Etsy shop)

But while they are relatively easy to find, they are not–unfortunately–cheap to buy. Small ones tend to start in the $75-100 range and go up quickly from there. For now, I’m resigned to loving these pineapples from afar, but one day, in the everlasting words of Wayne Campbell:

Room Tour: Kitchen


You may think on first glance that the old kitchen color here bears some resemblance to our current living room, but you’re going to have to trust me when I say all greens are not created equal. Our living room color is painted in “Extended Olive Branch,” making it the color of world peace and harmony. The kitchen color could better be described as “Aging Celery,” a light green with brown sponge painting that did not exactly whet the appetite:
Green kitchen with wood cabinets and stone tile
The kitchen also continued the trend of interesting lighting choices: on one side of the room, track lighting with bright blue shades and on the other a kind of sad-looking ceiling fan with a hummingbird pull, presumably to make it look less sad.
Green kitchen with sponge painting before pass through was installed


Despite some of the design choices, there were good things about our kitchen. It’s a nice size, the footprint works well, and it was recently updated, so we were able to achieve a big impact with pretty low-budget updates.

Changes included painting the walls, trim, and cabinets, replacing the cabinet hardware, installing new lighting and a new back splash, and of course the opening up the pass-through, which made an equally big difference in this space as it did in the living room.

The longest-lasting and most labor-intensive project in the kitchen was definitely the back splash. First the old tile got knocked out:
Knocking out back splash tile
During the course of the demo, we uncovered some of the kitchen’s past looks. Behind the tile there was wallpaper from two different eras. There was large area of yellow floral wallpaper over the stove:
Uncovered vintage wallpaper in kitchen
There were also a few other smaller areas that covered with this green geometric pattern. Here’s a close-up of both designs:
Vintage yellow and brown floral wallpaper Vintage green geometric wallpaper
There are lots of times I wish I could peek in on my house during different periods in time just to see what it looked like, so finding this wallpaper got my imagination going. After all the tile and plaster was removed, we were left with just the lath showing:
Bare lath after back splash was removed
And actually, we lived with it like this for a while. It wasn’t bad in a raw, industrial kind of way, though of course the new back splash tile is way better.


Gray and white cabinets with granite counter tops and glass mosaic back splash
The back splash came from Lowe’s, and I snagged the hardware on eBay.
Kitchen pass through, Sears and Roebuck vintage atomic barstools
Vintage atomic bar stools by Sears and Roebuck – Craigslist
Blue, gray and brown glass mosaic tile back splash
The tile kind of makes the whole room, in my opinion.
Neutral glass mosaic back splash tile from Lowe's

Planned updates:

One of our intentions when adding the pass-through was to create a breakfast bar that would allow for extra seating close to the table. That plan is still in place, but there are a few items in front of it in the reno queue, so it may be a year or more down the line.

Dream updates:

We bought our house with the short term in mind and promised ourselves not to made costly updates if they were unnecessary or purely for cosmetic reasons. That doesn’t mean a girl can’t or doesn’t dream about what she might do if a million dollars did casually fall out of the cushions of some couch. I’m a simple girl, though, and my kitchen wish list is pretty simple, too:

  • New flooring – I’m really not a fan of the the multi-color stone tile. It’s not that it’s that bad, but it’s just about the last thing I ever would have chosen. I would have opted for a cork that looks similar to wood, or maybe a rectangular tile in a nice herringbone pattern.
  • Stackable washer/dryer in the pantry – Our pantry has oddly configured storage that is really only being used to house tools, dog stuff, and other miscellaneous items that could easily be moved into the basement.
    Our current laundry set-up is a small washer and dryer in the basement–small because they are the only units that can fit down our 27″-wide staircase. I would LOVE to have plumbing run to the pantry and give myself a roomy main floor laundry space. Maybe it would even cut down on the size of my laundry piles? Indeed, a girl can dream.

Room Tour: Living/Dining Room

For whatever reason, we only took one before picture of our living room area:Green living room before updates
My guess is that compared to some of the other weird things going on around the house, there didn’t seem like a whole lot to see here. Just your basic grass green walls with gold sponge painting (it’s hard to see in the photo, but trust me–it was there). Then, of course, the table lamp in the middle of the floor completes the look. The only oddity in the room was a built-on shelf in the corner behind the front door, which you can see a little bit in this photo:
Arched door way in a bungalow
These were in several rooms, and we called them built-ons rather than built-ins for the simple reason that they were just kind of hanging off the walls.

The biggest change we made in this room was to add a pass-through to the kitchen. This really helps the space feel larger and brighter.
Kitchen pass through, stainless steel pendant light
Justin and his dad installed the pass-through (un-installed the wall?) in one of those quintessential men-bonding-with-powertools kind of situations. Our walls are plaster, which means the demo was a two-step process involving 1) knocking out the plaster and 2) cutting through the lath, a set of narrow wooden strips nailed horizontally behind the plaster. There was lots of dust and a few shallow flesh wounds, but in the end they did a great job, and the pass-through is one of my favorite changes in the whole house.

Other changes consisted of tearing down the built-on, painting the walls, sanding and painting all the trim, cutting out and patching bubbles in the plaster, and installing a new stainless steel pendant light over the dining area. All throughout this process, we failed to take a single picture. I recall a conversation taking place a few times that went something like:

“Wow, you should really be taking pictures of this.”
“Yeah, I know.”

And here we are today.

After + Furniture:

Green living room with platform couch, Noguchi style table
A white dog adds a touch of elegance to any room.
Green living room with platform couch, Noguchi style table, Buckstaff chairs

1960s platform couch reupholstered in brown tweed
1960s platform couch (reupholstered) – Craigslist
Red velvet mid century Buckstaff chairs, Noguchi style table, Broyhill Brasilia commode side table
Vintage Buckstaff chairs – yard sale
Broyhill Brasilia side table/commode – flea market
Reproduction Noguchi coffee table – Craigslist
Vintage rug – yard sale
Mid century credenza
1965 credenza – Craigslist
Bookcase – Ikea
Mid century chrome and glass dining table, stainless steel pendant light
Vintage glass and chrome dining table – flea market
Rug (not vintage but still fabulous) – yard sale
1964 RCA Victrola Record Player Console
1964 RCA Victrola stereo/record console (it works!) – yard sale
We actually found an advertisement from a March 1965 Minnesota newspaper showing what this particular console went for back in the day:

Planned updates:

No large-scale plans for the living room area. Until recently, I’d been on a mad hunt for a new set of rugs (the rug now in our bedroom was previously in front of the couch), but that ended about three weeks ago when I found both rugs pictured at the same yard sale. Now, my main goal is to finally get some stuff up on the walls. That, and throw more parties.

House Tour

The purpose of this house tour is just to give an general snapshot of what the house looked like when we bought it and what it looks like now. I’ll post separate room tours to talk about the updates in each space and where we got some of the stuff.

A few basic stats about the place:

Year: 1930
Style: American Craftsman Bungalow
Size: 3 bed, 1 bath in 1224 sq ft finished space and about 900 sq ft unfinished basement


Pre reno living room. Green paint with gold sponge painting.

1144 living1-2


Pre reno kitchen with lime green paint, crazy hummingbird fan pull

Two tone white and gray cabinets with glass mosaic tile

Bedroom 1/Office

Pre reno peach colored office

Gray paint, industrial desk, Ikea curtains


Pre reno yellow bathroom with pedestal sink and storage

Light blue bathroom with white cabinets and ceramic tile

Bedroom 2/TV Room

Pre reno lime green paint with orange stenciling and crazy art installation

Chevron rug and mid-century bench

Master Bedroom

Pre reno master bedroom with light turquoise paint

Elegant dark green paint and mid-century bedroom set

In the next set of posts I’ll go room by room with lots more pictures, reno details, and decor. Stay tuned!