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vintage trucks and light fixtures

7 Feb

I always love learning about new places in my neighborhood, especially when they’re shops.  Was going through my (junk) email this morning and saw this post by Daily Candy about custom wallpaper, designed by a UK company and available exclusively in the US through a company called Modern Anthropology.

I must admit that I don’t quite know how to describe this company.  It’s a design studio, supplying furniture and related interior design accessories to the film/television industry, architects, and to fellow designers.   But the folks who work here also design their own spaces, with a very vintage-like Three Potato Four aesthetic, but more masculine (e.g. men who wear flannel checked plaid, make french press coffee and groom their  mustaches) and a bit more industrial.  (e.g. Ace Hotel).  Their featured projects were a little too monochromatic and distressed-wood for me as an entire look.  But…

Then I found their shop on the site.

LOVE LOVE LOVE these vintage truck lamps.   The only drawback I see is that you’d have to keep your kid from wanting to play with them.

They sell a few other things I think would make great accents to a modern, bright kid’s room.

Take this IKEA Besta Burs lacquered desk ($299), for example, and add one of Modern Anthology’s cage lamps to ‘authenticate’ the space a little more, without looking like a construction site.

And a perpetual favorite, done in a new way… A bus route sign, cut down the middle and framed as two images.   I don’t know if these prices are per image, framed or unframed, but if you’re in the market, they’re definitely worth investigating.

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!

roll call

14 Apr

Vintage bus roll, found here

A few years ago, we had one of these old oilcloth sheets (the MTA made them for both buses and subways) haphazardly hanging in the living room.

The only picture I could find

When we moved, we sold it on Ebay, and definitely not for the amount that this guy is fetching for them.  Because apparently now the vintage MTA signs are incredibly popular, appearing in movies and on the sets of multiple TV shows (you can read JR’s page for more information). 

If you’re not picky about destination or location, he will pick a section of an old route roll for you for around $100 bucks.  

Luckily, I’ve found some great alternatives, if you like the style of these old signs and want to support handmade art by small businesses.

Wooden sign, Signs of Vintage, Etsy $46-60

Signs of Vintage is a great shop on Etsy.  Among other lovely hand-painted signs, they’ll custom-make one of these destination signs for you, based on the locations you choose.  Memorialize your favorite stops on the bus, or recall the highlights of a recent trip to New York. 

Bedtime Bus Roll Print, Sweet Prints, MiniStyle, $32.65 (US)

Just discovered the MiniStyle website and I’m in love with their selection.  True to the reputation of kids’ shops in Australia, this site offers a variety of beautifully-designed stuff for kids – and yes, they ship to the US.   This poster, by Sweet Prints (if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years as a branding consultant, it’s that kids’ and pets’ companies take the cake when it comes to punny brand names) is my absolute favorite.   A clever take on the bus roll original (complete with ‘slight printer roller marks to add to the vintage feel of the poster’), you can even customize the order of events to accommodate your baby’s unique bedtime routine. 

Lastly, all this talk of white-on-black print reminds me of these:

A small sample of designs inspired by Experimental Jetset

I found a great article by the guys who brought to the world the original John&Paul&Ringo&George T shirt, which then spawned a mass of imitators (I’m sure you have your own favorite).  It’s a fascinating story and an example of the internet/cultural meme at work.  Create your own with subway or bus stops, and the world might seriously twist inside out.

Any other examples of white type/black background designs you’ve seen lately? Let me know!