I’m bringin’ vintage back… (to our wet-bar!)

Yes, that title is to the tune of JT’s classic jam.   Anybody else awkwardly bobbing their heads to the music in your brain?  Just me?  That’s okay.  Anything for JT. 😉

So, anyways, I’ve decided that I should never make statements like “I’ll (maybe) write that post today”.   Heehee!  Every time I do that it seems like life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen.  So, from now on if I make preposterous ambitious statements, I give you permission to insert a well-intentioned eyeroll.  At least I threw the “maybe” in there, though. Just sayin’.  😉

If you’re new to my little blog here, you can check out this post to get caught up on our wet-bar progress thus far.   To summarize, we started out here…


Then, I painted the cabinetry white, ripped off the backsplash/sidesplashes, mirror, and the seizure-inducing wallpaper we found beneath it.  I patched/primed and painted the wall, and updated the dated faucet. (although, this next shot was taken before  the faucet switcheroo)…

So, next the plan is to to add a concrete coating to the countertop, tile that back wall, hang a mirror in the center, and mount two pendant lights overhead.  But until those projects commence, I decided to style the wet-bar to look as nice as possible.   I never mind putting in the effort to accessorize a space, even for a short time, if it means I get to enjoy the pretty in the meantime.  So, I collected a bunch o’ stuff that I already owned and got to it.  At one point, I got here…

…and, to be honest, I wasn’t super happy with it.  I mean, it was o-KAAAAYY.  Just not exciting for me. I think it was the mirror.   I’ve had that mirror since my very first apartment and I felt like it just wasn’t right for the space. It was a smidge too traditional, whereas I felt that something either more modern or vintage-y would be a better fit.   Modern to contrast the new door/drawer pulls (which are the same ones I used for our built-ins) or vintage-y to accentuate them.  Traditional just wasn’t really jiving with either goal in my opinion.  Plus, I knew that once the countertops were grey concrete, they may clash with the frame color anyways.   The next day, I hopped onto the internet to see what Sir Craig was offering in the way of mirrors and I came across this gem…

A HUGE vintage mirror for $25!!!

The size was perfect for the wet-bar and I loved that the wood tone would play off of our mid-century media stand on the opposite side of the room.  Plus, I felt like I was replacing the vintage mirror that we’d torn out with a BETTER vintage mirror.  Vintage-lover-guilt officially stowed.  I texted the seller, who stated that it was still available and that she could meet me in Fort Worth (which is halfway between us) the following day.  I met her as planned, loved the mirror even more in person, and took ‘er home.


It was a bit dirty and the wooden frame had a few nicks and scratches, but it wasn’t anything a little stain, a craft brush, and some elbow grease couldn’t fix (Tip: Varathane’s Early American stain is the PERFECT mid-century-toned-brown.  It matched the frame exactly.).   The following day, my dad and Joey hung the beast.   Which left this…

Here’s a detail shot so you can see the texture of the frame…

And here’s the wet-bar in the context of the entire wall.   I took this pic on a dark and gloomy day and the lighting in this part of the room isn’t great (which’ll be remedied eventually), but you can see that the vintage mirror nicely offsets the more modern furnishings beside it.   I definitely plan to hang the alphabet canvas higher now that the mirror is hung so that they’re at similar heights…


As for the bar styling, it’ll change.   There’s a bit too much brown happening with the wine-rack, but it was all I had (fornow), so it stays until I either paint it or find something else.  I can’t tell you how perfect the mirror is, though.  I literally bounced around the house in excitement when I saw it in the wet-bar.  I mean, the size couldn’t be better and the shape really softens the bar and makes it feel less square.   Once the lighting situation changes with the addition of two pendant lights and that peach countertop bites the big one, the bar will appear much more balanced and bright.  I really think that adding concrete to the counters will add some nice visual weight below and a cool contrast in color and texture which will further balance the space.  I plan to use some sort of modern small mosaic tile behind it. Something simple that lets the mirror shine, but still adds a touch o’ bling.  I have no idea what yet, but I’m tossing around a solid color square glass mosaic, or maybe a sleek penny tile.  It really depends on how the space feels with the concrete counters and difference in lighting, so we will see.

Next up, I’ll be concreting the countertop (once time allows… probably not this weekend, maybe next), then we’ll get pendant lights installed, and finally, tile behind the mirror. It’s coming together, people! It’s coming together…

TDC Before and After

Modern Vintage Happy

As some of you may know, I’m a thrift store/Craigslist junkie.   I love finding and revamping (or not revamping) vintage pieces.   They lend so much personality and warmth to a room.   I would LOVE (with a capital LOVE) to grow our collection and am constantly on the lookout for new, quality finds.   Pairing vintage with modern allows both elements to shine in their own right and it’s a combo that makes me happy.   So, when I received an email from One Kings Lane promoting their new Home Decor Resource and requesting a post on how vintage and modern team up in our home, I jumped on the opportunity.   Here are a few examples of what we’ve got going on….

First, we have My Beloved desk chair.  I wrote about him in detail in this post, and yes, I still hear cheesy 80’s love songs in my head every time I see him (and Joey blames me for this happening to him, as well.  Mission. Accomplished.).   I got him for a steal at our local Goodwill.   He’s a mid-century modern bombshell of clerical chicness with beautiful wood construction and an original vinyl seat.   He currently is the only vintage piece in the sea of modern furnishings that composes our front room.

For example, our unassuming Ikea desk…


Our clean Friheten Ikea sofa…


As well as our hacked storage cabinet


And I love the combination.   The contrast in colors and textures and the simplicity of the other furniture in the room allow My Beloved to truly steal the show (whilst smiling back at me through the glare of stage-lights…  Yup. I’m going with it.).  

Next, we have Drex…


Our mid-century, Drexel dresser that I scored on Craigslist after an exhausting hunt.   I love his tarnished brass hardware and rich wood tones.   This area still desperately needs some large-scale wall art, but in the meantime, I’ve done my best to style him in a more modern way with a linear tray (which I lined with some retro-patterned fabric),  sleek vases and a simple, brushed-nickel Ikea lamp (and, of course, Hootie… Nothing completes a room like a white ceramic owl in my book ;)) …



I feel like the differing metal finishes plus less-is-more styling gives Drex more of a modern appeal.

Our living room is another space where modern plus vintage come out to play.  This combination speaks to our personalities so well.  Updated, with a hint of quirk.  Our media cabinet was in sad shape when I purchased him at a local thrift store.   After a little makeover, he shines his vintage aura across the land….

IMG_4352 IMG_4348

The contrast of rich, cozy wood plus our clean, white floating Ikea shelves totally puts the wind in my sails.   The simple leather chair adds some sleekness and masculinity to the space while the floral pillow and garden stool help to balance out that manly vibe.  In my opinion, this wall wouldn’t have a speck of the personality it does without our media cabinet.   He adds warmth to an otherwise linear, modern space that might have come off cold without him.  In fact, when I placed him in his current abode, I stated, “Character, I’d like to introduce you to our living room.”  (I mean, it’s only polite to make introductions).   Fortunately, they happen to be getting along swimmingly.

Then, we have our coffee table.  After we adopted Kivvy (our beloved Kivik sectional from Ikea), I was dead-set on finding a coffee table with character to balance out the cool, clean lines of our new sofa.   I searched high and low and finally found our sweet rattan coffee table on Craigslist, which we purchased for a song…



A spit-shine was all this baby needed to reach his full potential.  I absolutely love the tone of the bamboo which plays perfectly with our media cabinet.   He adds glorious texture without taking up a ton of visual space thanks to his glass top.  I love the straight lines of the bamboo which have just enough curve to bring in the interest he deserves….


Coffee table…  You. Complete. Me.   Now, I must name you.

Lastly, I thought I’d throw something small into the pot.   Our train whistle, which belonged to Joey as a child…


It currently resides in our hallway frame collage as the centerpiece for the mix of more modern frames.  I simply hung it from a nail with a piece of twine (as described in detail here).   And here’s the wall as it stands now…


You can see I’ve made some changes recently, which I’ll describe in another post soon.  The mish-mosh of modern frames and differing finishes along with the antique train whistle forms my very favorite wall-hanging in our house.   It just wouldn’t be the same without our “something old” thrown in.   The train whistle is the cheese to the frames’ macaroni.   The peanut butter to their jelly.   I’m not ashamed to admit that I have crushes on inanimate objects.  It happens.

So anyways, Modern + Vintage is a combo that I cant resist.   They compliment each other so well.  And I’m the first to admit that I’m still happily learning about this subject as fast as I can soak it up… I’m definitely no expert.  But, I know what I like… and this is it.   Non-cookie-cutter.  With personality.  Quirkiness, if you will.   And nothing helps to match that description better than a good vintage piece.   Which, coincidentally, is easily complimented by the clean lines of modern decor.  Peas and carrots, people.  Peas and carrots.  🙂

I have to tell you… right now, as we speak, I’m throwing mental hugs at all of my vintage finds and appreciating them all over again after having written this post. So, tell me… Where does modern + vintage fall in your style?  Any one-of-a-kind finds that make glow in adoration whenever you glance their way?