Monday Inspiration: Curb Appeal!

I've got gardening on the brain--in December, we're planning to use our holidays to spruce up our curb appeal, adding some rocks and borders, and hopefully building a small retaining wall and sprucing up the porch with new slate tiles and some paint. It won't look exactly like my inspiration photo, but I love the calming colors of the slate, the gray on the house, and the red door.

Big Weekend Sale at August Vintage!

Just a reminder that I'm having my first Etsy shop sale this Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. Buy any item and get the second item of equal or lesser value for 25% off!

I've got some great finds and excellent gifts, so drop on by!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! May your table be as lovely as the one above, and may it be surrounded by friends and loved ones.

Setting the Table in Style

Today we finally bit the bullet and decided to purchase our first adult plates. As the hosts of Thanksgiving this year, we looked at the sad mish-mash of dishware in our cupboard, some found, some bought, some inherited, and most chipped, and decided to head out to the restaurant supply store. Now, we are the proud owners of some plain off-white plates, bowls and mugs, and a set of versatile bar glasses, all for around $70.

Restaurant supply stores are usually worth checking out, especially around the holidays. Most of them are open to the public, and, by nature, their serving items are designed to be used and abused (mostly the latter in my house). They certainly aren't the fanciest place settings possible, but who needs fancy? It's all the same when it's covered in gravy!

For good measure, check out how to decorate your table simply, with items from your own back yard!

Reminiscing on the Ranch House

I'm a lover of mid century modern design, and an admirer of good ol' American kitsch. It's amazing what America can produce in times of prosperity (a.k.a. post-WWII through the 1960s), and it's an equal shame how we tear it down for the next big thing (a.k.a orange shag carpeting and faux wood paneling--both staples in the house I grew up in).

That's why I'm loving No Pattern Required--the author has embraced the mid century modern glory that is the ranch home, down to its pink tile bathroom. There are also a lot of fantastic old ads and MCM recipes put into action. Check out the pirozhki experiment--it's all about the presentation!

Monday Inspiration: Vintage-Cozy Living Room

I just had to post this picture--it's the epitome of the vintage-cozy style that I strive for-- a wonderful blend of warm colors and classical styling, dotted with unique pieces--fantastic Monday inspiration!

Friday Finds: Tablecloths!

This year's all about the linens--I'm looking into revamping curtains, pillows, bedspreads and of course, napkins and tablecloths. I'm the messy one in our family (odd, considering there's an 80 pound dog involved) and I use more paper towels than I should. So, I've finally bought some lovely cotton napkins from Etsy seller Evelyn Fields. She calls them "unpaper towels"--which is exactly what I need. I've ordered enough for everyday use and for special occasions. I never understood only using linens when company came over--what's the point of having it if you don't use it?

Along those lines, here are a few tablecloths I'm loving on Etsy:

DIY Holiday Wreath Ideas

I've been looking for some DIY wreath ideas to spruce up the house--but I'm trying to go for something that says "Welcome" instead of "isn't it a bit early to be decorating for Christmas?"--I love the idea of these paper wreaths made from trashy old novels or more of a structured magazine roll wreath.

This subtle leaf wreath from Sunset is fabulous, and I'm in love with this yarn wreath!

If I do end up hosting Thanksgiving this year, I'll be ready...

Racking up the To-dos

The holidays are just around the corner, and hubby and I will be treating ourselves to an in-house vacation at the end of December. Being the crazy planner that I am, I'm already looking to create our to-do list for the two weeks we'll be trying to fill. On the list so far:

1) Replace the side door to the kitchen - right now, it's a hollow-core door. I can't imagine the heat loss right now! We'll likely replace the entire door and frame, and we're hoping to find a good option at a local salvage yard, and try to do the work ourselves.

2) Put in an extractor fan/light in the guest bathroom - we've only got a light right now, so there's no air circulation (and no air circulation in a wet place=mold!). We've already got the unit, we're just waiting for the time we'll need to crawl around in the attic.

3) Re-tile the fireplace hearth - it's just a gas fireplace that we barely use, but it's got some classic 1950s speckled ceramic tile that has started to lift and crack, right to toe-stubbing height. I'm thinking of some mosaic tiles, such as you might find on Modwalls.

And, if that's not enough, I've been sniffing around for more projects, and Re-nest has obliged with this best DIY ideas round up...hubby is probably feeling a chill run down his spine right about now...

Industrial inspiration!

Talk about fortuitous! I just snagged three vintage industrial drafting table lamps at a garage sale (for a whopping total of $3.00!) and I've been looking for ideas on working them into my decor--Apartment Therapy to the rescue with some stunning pics of everyday use!

New Items in Etsy!

I've been getting into a more regular schedule with posting my latest find on Etsy, and the business is starting to grow--check out these latest additions to my shop:

Keeping it simple

My hubby is heading out of town next week, so I've decided to keep myself occupied with a good housecleaning and by rearranging some things--I've found a few gems (like an Eames look-a-like lounger) that are begging for a spot of honor in the living room. I'll likely dedicate most of a day or more to this (though an afternoon might be enough) but for this weekend, I'm setting myself a simple goal that tends to help me get started: move one thing.

I think we can all be bogged down at times (at least, I can) by the pressure to finish everything perfectly--I get so hung up on this, I never end up getting started! So, I let myself feel good about doing just one thing, and the rest falls into place. Try it this weekend and see how far you get!

I need a time out!

These past two days were whoppers; full of travel and non-stop meetings. Now, I'm looking for some relaxation so I can survive until the weekend. Besides a hot bath and a glass of wine, here are a few things I'm dreaming of:

Bubble Bath Dough from Red Leaf: soothing scents to relax me.

Sweet Orange Chamomile Soothing Milk and Honey lotion from Cottage Garden Therapies: doesn't that just sound relaxing? I can imagine how wonderful it smells!

And, at bedtime, some Dream Balm from Lilith's Apothecary--I can already feel the warmth of the lavender.

I feel better already!

To Host or Not to Host?

Thanksgiving is fast approaching (along with a slew of other holiday happenings) and while we usually host the festivities, this year we're frankly pooped. All of the shopping, cooking and cleaning are starting to wear on us, and we're trying to encourage some of our other friends to act as host this year.

I think it may have something to do with my perfectionist streak--I love to have everything 'just so' before guests arrive, and that usually involves cooking everything myself. Believe it or not, I miss the days of the kids' table--being able to just show up, eat myself into a semi-comatose state, and wish there was something else to watch besides football on television. But, I will certainly miss setting myself a pretty table...

I'm Earthy Casual

I just took the HomeGoods style quiz, and the result is "Earthy Casual", which certainly seems to fit my vintage-comfort sensibilities:

You're interested in creating a welcoming home where people feel comfortable and happiness flourishes. You appreciate the warmth and individuality of natural materials and handcrafted things and are inspired by colors and forms from nature. You love mixing up different textures and are sensitive to the tactile qualities of objects. Your style is grounded and solid, not flighty or frilly. And you are never taken in by the trend of the moment.

You value creativity. You are stylish and fun loving, and can be an inspiration to others. You have a natural sense of drama, and you know you have to be willing to take risks—whether with colors, finishes, furniture choices, or ideas—for your home to stand out. Your home can be happy and lively and the place all of your friends want to be.

I especially love the assessment of my challenge, to unify my space--I'm certainly a magpie (it's why I do what I do) but when it comes to fitting those finds together, it can be difficult--I think I'll start with the suggestion of arranging things by color and texture and seeing what patterns emerge. You can take the StyleScope quiz and see where you land!

Finally, plants that can live with me!

With my aforementioned cats and dog, and my infamous "black thumb" (one of the reasons I love living in the desert--cacti are hard[er] to kill), I've had to forgo house plants in the past. I forget to water them, there's not enough light, and pretty soon that poor ficus is on that big wheelbarrow to the sky.

That's why I'm in love with this recent Etsy Find: Teeny Tiny Plant Terrariums from Tortoise Loves Donkey! Not only are they compact enough to fit comfortably on a windowsill--without the pesky vine hangover that has so attracted my curious cats in the past--but they also only need a misting of water every once and awhile. I'm so excited to be able to add some stylish and affordable green to my home!

Dreaming of Saturday Morning...

I've been recovering from a cold, and sticking to I've been dreaming of coffee for days. Hopefully tomorrow morning I can finally dive in to some fresh-ground loveliness. May your Saturday morning be as lovely as this picture!

Garden Dreaming on a Fall Day

I'm at home sick, dreaming of fresh air and gardening. Gardens have always been my decorating Achillies' heel, trying to balance the Mid Century style of my ranch house, with the water-conscious gardening of the desert, with the complication of some very old bushes and trees that I just don't have the heart to get rid of.

I went looking for images and found the one above, from Fine Gardening, and I love the clarity and simplicity of it. I also love this image of some Mid Century Modern front steps. If only I can combine these into something...I'm sure a eureka moment is coming soon!

FLOR to the Floor!

I love putting throw rugs down on my hardwood floors to warm up the space, but two cats and a rambunctious dog are making me rethink them (the cleaning alone is daunting--you can't exactly toss a wool rug in the washing machine).

I've been looking in to FLOR tiles as a possibility. The idea of being able to grab one part of the carpet and clean as needed is certainly appealing. I love this faux bois pattern, but the price per tile is a bit too much for me (the cheap is strong with me). But then I found the FLOR Outlet! To my surprise, a lot of the patterns and colors are quite nice, as opposed to your typical outlet finds, on sale because no one wanted them.

High Strung "Spice" and Doug "Dawn" are definitely appealing to me. Has anyone tried FLOR at home? Any insights on how they hold up to pet (and people) traffic?

Snazzy Serving Dishes for the Holidays!

August Vintage was featured in a recent post in The Storque! A lovely Dansk candle holder (quickly snatched up) was cited as part of the cozy Modern Cottage style.

Speaking of being cozy, and in honor of the forthcoming holidays, I've been adding some great serving dishes to my shop--I'm a sucker for barware (nothing like a stylish drink to make a family gathering all the more enjoyable):

All Souls' Day (a.k.a. Day of the Dead)

In Catholic tradition, today's the day when we remember our loved ones, and pray for their happiness in the next life--in Mexico and the southwest, they take this a bit further and invite the souls of the departed to join them, so these souls can hear the well-wishes being given to them on earth. This vibrant celebration, the visiting of graves, and the building of alters, has inspired many an artist's creativity. Here are a few inspirational examples from fellow Etsy-ites.

This print from acageybee (above) really captures the spirit of the Day of the Dead

A great print from leopoldrose

"La Muerta" from watercolourstain

A great little ornament from robnzak

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