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vintage hamilton cosco high chairs

21 Jun

cosco high chair, mikeyboy2020, ebay

I’ve been putting together images of mid-century and vintage-inspired high chairs for a future post. And in my searches, I came across this Cosco “Comfort Line” high chair being sold by “Mikeyboy2020” of Cincinnati on Ebay this week.  But there are only four days left for this auction, and was hoping someone might find it as interesting as I have.  In fact, this is the only vintage Cosco of its kind that I’ve found so far.  Apart from a chip on the footrest and the (Very Important) need to attach a new seatbelt strap, the chair is in pretty fantastic shape.  I figure that with shipping, you’ll pay a little less than $200 for it.

It’s much easier (and cheaper) to find the folding metal chairs similar to the one below (which is in great shape and also available on Ebay), although you might find the chrome needing a touch of polish and the seat requiring a brave scrubbing.

cosco folding chair, thevillagepeddler, ebay

It’s definitely very different from the powder-coated-and-animal-print-vinyl versions we’re used to today.  There’s something super cool about the late 60s/early 70s version of Cosco’s eponymous line.   My interest was piqued after learning that Fionn’s favorite chair is actually of the same generation of awesome designs to come out of the Hamilton Manufacturing Corporation of Columbus, Indiana.

cosco booster chair

Or if you’re looking for a booster seat, it’s pretty easy to find Fionn’s chair (as discovered by Grandma on Ebay and mentioned above).  I actually had no idea that it WAS a booster seat, and an adjustable one at that.  Compare these simple, beautiful designs to today’s existing contraptions, and it’s like comparing an Eames lounger to a Bob’s Furniture recliner.

And, lastly, the Cosco chair I hesitate to feature, because I kind of want it for my own.

cosco rocker, eames forever, ebay

Same as the booster, but a rocking chair, here on Ebay.  HOW COOL IS THIS.   So if you visit the link, and find it sold,  here’s the tip I’ll share with you:  Antiques > Periods & Styles > Mid-Century Modernism.  Always worth a browse.

mod tree wall decals

25 Jul

Araiya and Tallis's room, featured on Ohdeedoh

Wall decals are everywhere.  And tree wall decals show up all the time on nursery tours and in beautifully-designed kids rooms.  But anytime something becomes really popular, the market gets heavy and over-saturated with less-than-stellar examples of the same item.  As readers of this blog now well know, I’m not a huge advocate of decals – I think they have their place, but I hate when they’re just thrown on the wall to fill empty space.

That’s why one of my favorite nurseries has always been Natalie & Matt’s shared kids’ room (crib image at top), featured about two years ago on Ohdeedoh.com.   Although not a decal (the trees are painted), it fits all my criteria: modern and simple, perfect for the color scheme of the room, and purposeful, filling the space perfectly.   In her post, Natalie wrote that she was expecting child #3 at the time – I’d love to see the progress made since then!

But back to trees.  If you’re looking to do a similar thing without stenciling and painting, here are my three favorites, all super-mod (no woodland creatures here), color-customizable, and large-scale.

"In the Treetops" by Single Stone Studios

1. “In the Treetops” by Single Stone Studios.  Available on Etsy,in a variety of colors, $125.

The Trees by Boodalee Wall Decals by Blik

2. The Trees by Boodalee wall decals by Blik.  Available on the Blik website or at Velocity Art & Design (one of my favorite shops), in three colorways (shown in snow/charcoal), $55.

"Circle Tree" by Leen the Graphics Queen

3. “Circle Tree” wall decal by Leen The Graphics Queen on Etsy, and color-customizable $40.

Have any tree decals of your own? Send me photos!

inspiration board: modern-vintage eclectic nursery

5 Jul

These inspiration boards are so much fun to create. I’m hoping this one gives you a sense of my personal style, as it features some of my favorite pieces from past posts.  And I’m also hoping that it helps inspire you, whether you’re starting a nursery from scratch or adding new pieces to a child’s room.

click to enlarge


In fact, I have so many favorites on this board I could write an individual feature on each piece.  So if you have a question or if there’s something I haven’t covered (below), please let me know and I’ll devote a future post to it.

The Inspiration: Custom crib bumper featuring Japanese company Kokka’s “Matryoshka doll” fabric  (a great find, see more adorable patterns by Kokka here).

The bumper was designed and created by a mother-daughter team who run the amazing SewnNatural shop on Etsy.  This bumper features purple and pink dotted fabric on the reverse side (a cue for my curtain choice), red piping and wide red grosgrain ribbon ties.  At $230, it is definitely not cheap.  But if you’re indeed interested in a bumper like this (and if you’ve decided to go down the bumper road in the first place, as we have), I’d recommend going with a solid white or cream-colored sheet as a counterpoint.  (For the highest-quality solid sheets, I always recommend Carousel Designs, whose crib sheets range from $16 to $34).

I used this piece to pull out a series of colors for the room.  And although there’s a trend towards monochromatic or dual-toned nurseries nowadays, I’m definitely of the ‘coordinate, not match’ school.  I love the combination of yellow and purple, and red and turquoise.  But the colors are used in moderation – the largest pieces (the yellow-and-cream-colored rug, plum curtains), are tempered by a white crib, a cream/ivory tone on the walls, and a charcoal-gray dresser/changing table.

I’m also crazy about the work of Blanca Gomez (bicycle poster featured), whose amazing shop/site is called Cosas Minimas (little things).  This particular illustration perfectly mimics the color scheme of the Kokka fabric.  If you’re interested in her visual style, I’d recommend you check out this lovely interview with Blanca on the Grain Edit site, which specializes in mid-century-inspired visual design.

This, along with the wonderful vintage teak rocking chair by Danish designer/professor Ole Wanscher (true Danish Modern, first produced in 1951), give the room a vintage feel that’s still really fresh today.

To round out the room, I’ve selected the following items:

1. Robson industrial wall sconce, Anthropologie, $178

2. Boardwalk Stripes rug in yellow by Nejad, 5’x8′, Rugs USA, $259.20

3. Freewheeling poster by Blanca Gomez, 16″x20″, Etsy, $25

4. Ivory white paint chip, Benjamin Moore

5. Child’s red folding chair, Three Potato Four, $65 (One of my favorite shops, and listed on sidebar!)

6. Plum silk drapes, 60″ long, Smith+Noble, $233

7. Striped glass shade and fixture, Schoolhouse Electric Co, $62/shade, $75/fixture (See here for more info on schoolhouse lights)

8. Bam convertible crib in white, Argington, $585 (See here for an earlier feature on this gorgeous crib)

9. Wanscher teak rocking chair, Modernicus, $895 (A true heritage piece, and remember, many new gliders are just as expensive)

10. Edland dresser, IKEA, $299 (The entire Edland series is gorgeous.  Really.)

I’m aching to design a nursery with these exact pieces… Or to just get some of these pieces for myself!

the 'new modern' in textiles

21 Feb

DwellStudio new collection: Gate (left), Pyramids (right)

I’ve been thinking all week about a recent blog post by Christiane at DwellStudio, because it sheds some light on a question I’ve been asking myself recently. As readers of my posts now know, I’ve recently enrolled myself in an interior design class at Parsons here in NY. And on our first day of class, we were asked to introduce ourselves and offer a brief description of our personal style as it relates to design and decoration.

It reminded me of that famous ruling in the 1960’s Supreme Court obscenity trial. My style? I know it when I see it.

Yes, I love modern style. But, as I’m sure you’d agree, I love all kinds of modern design. Eames-era mid-century modern? Check. Formal, minimalist modernism? Sure, when it’s right. Thrift-store, folk-art, shag-carpet-and-orange-needlepoint-owls? That too. But then there’s also the soft textures, the antique aviary prints, and even a zebra-stripe pattern now and again.

Having spent many, many years in marketing, I know all about neat little boxes and the need for people to label things that sometimes defy categorization. Then I read this:

At DwellStudio we spend a lot of creative energy redefining our idea of what is current and modern. Modern to us has never meant gravel driveways and linear achitecture – modern is not a movement that can be distilled down to an iconic piece of furniture. For us it’s state of mind. For us modern is new – new ideas, new horizons, new design.

After the last year, what feels modern to us is something riffing off of the more traditional. We are taking cues from historical visual motifs and making them new. We are transforming the decorative and making it minimal. Decorative Minimal may seem like an oxymoron but we are looking to European style – it’s about the few great things that make a space well designed and the worship of quality and craftsmanship. Our geometrics have become luxurious and three dimensional, our prints more complex – the pieces have a heirloom quality and a modernity that seem to be the right balance for right now.

Although I’m not 100% in sync with the ‘decorative minimal’ style, I really appreciate Christiane’s effort to reassess what’s become a catch-all term.

So what does Modern look like to me? I’ve selected a few fabric swatches to share. Perhaps they inspire you the way they’re inspiring me. They all offer some kind of contrast, a sense of history, and a mix of science and nature. (NB: both sources quoted below offer their swatches for free or at minimal cost – definitely worth checking out).

Dotti/Harbor, Smith+Noble
Geometric yet organic, a curious mix of nouveau and MCM

Network/Steel, Smith+Noble
Strong pattern and soft color

Connected/Crimson, Smith+Noble
Confident and intricate

Brunchwig & Fils Riggins, Trellis, Fabric Guru
So old fashioned and aristocratic in a fun illustration style

Houndstooth fabric, New Green, Fabric Guru
A heritage pattern, large scale and in an unexpected color

Waverly Garden Lattice Woven, Chocolate, Fabric Guru
Bamboo cane-chair pattern reminiscent of 1930’s and 1970’s

I’m thinking of calling it ‘eclectic modern,’ but I’m open to suggestions.

the ‘new modern’ in textiles

21 Feb

DwellStudio new collection: Gate (left), Pyramids (right)

I’ve been thinking all week about a recent blog post by Christiane at DwellStudio, because it sheds some light on a question I’ve been asking myself recently. As readers of my posts now know, I’ve recently enrolled myself in an interior design class at Parsons here in NY. And on our first day of class, we were asked to introduce ourselves and offer a brief description of our personal style as it relates to design and decoration.

It reminded me of that famous ruling in the 1960’s Supreme Court obscenity trial. My style? I know it when I see it.

Yes, I love modern style. But, as I’m sure you’d agree, I love all kinds of modern design. Eames-era mid-century modern? Check. Formal, minimalist modernism? Sure, when it’s right. Thrift-store, folk-art, shag-carpet-and-orange-needlepoint-owls? That too. But then there’s also the soft textures, the antique aviary prints, and even a zebra-stripe pattern now and again.

Having spent many, many years in marketing, I know all about neat little boxes and the need for people to label things that sometimes defy categorization. Then I read this:

At DwellStudio we spend a lot of creative energy redefining our idea of what is current and modern. Modern to us has never meant gravel driveways and linear achitecture – modern is not a movement that can be distilled down to an iconic piece of furniture. For us it’s state of mind. For us modern is new – new ideas, new horizons, new design.

After the last year, what feels modern to us is something riffing off of the more traditional. We are taking cues from historical visual motifs and making them new. We are transforming the decorative and making it minimal. Decorative Minimal may seem like an oxymoron but we are looking to European style – it’s about the few great things that make a space well designed and the worship of quality and craftsmanship. Our geometrics have become luxurious and three dimensional, our prints more complex – the pieces have a heirloom quality and a modernity that seem to be the right balance for right now.

Although I’m not 100% in sync with the ‘decorative minimal’ style, I really appreciate Christiane’s effort to reassess what’s become a catch-all term.

So what does Modern look like to me? I’ve selected a few fabric swatches to share. Perhaps they inspire you the way they’re inspiring me. They all offer some kind of contrast, a sense of history, and a mix of science and nature. (NB: both sources quoted below offer their swatches for free or at minimal cost – definitely worth checking out).

Dotti/Harbor, Smith+Noble
Geometric yet organic, a curious mix of nouveau and MCM

Network/Steel, Smith+Noble
Strong pattern and soft color

Connected/Crimson, Smith+Noble
Confident and intricate

Brunchwig & Fils Riggins, Trellis, Fabric Guru
So old fashioned and aristocratic in a fun illustration style

Houndstooth fabric, New Green, Fabric Guru
A heritage pattern, large scale and in an unexpected color

Waverly Garden Lattice Woven, Chocolate, Fabric Guru
Bamboo cane-chair pattern reminiscent of 1930’s and 1970’s

I’m thinking of calling it ‘eclectic modern,’ but I’m open to suggestions.