It’s sad to say but the last official party I hosted was probably about 8 years ago. It’s lame because I love entertaining, and even in my early days as a hostess we always had fun snacking and sipping at my tiny old house in Wedgwood. I even converted a tiny extra room into a “Moroccan tea room” with tons of floor pillows and lots of candlelight. The guys especially loved calling it the make out room, but the only thing they ever did there was to get in the candle wax and make a huge mess. So yeah. Boys.
My idea of entertaining has changed only a tad, but I’m using this opportunity to plan and collect key pieces that I can use for any type of get together. Here’s the concept I have in mind, using similar pieces that I already have or have just found, and a color palate that is (hopefully) far from the horrifying search results one gets when looking for ideas on this sort of thing.
Etsy has been an amazing source for vintage pieces at really great prices too. I’d recommend spending time searching there, but only when you know precisely what you want (combing through the results is a disaster otherwise). eBay and Craigslist are also great resources, especially when you’re looking for larger lots of dinnerware. (Our set of salad plates came from Craigslist!)
I decided that I want everything to be neutral: crystal/glass/ceramic with small bits of silver and gold. I actually like mixing the two and with only small bands of it here and there I think it will be nice little touches. The flowers will be more neutral as well with ivory, blushes and natural greens. Yep, no red flowers! The only bits of color will be the guys above, and they’ll be in the form of crepe paper that I’ll make into some sort of garland.
Some quick tips on collecting pieces:
Crystal pitcher – This Waterford one here is quite lovely, but there’s no need to spend big money. Check out a current sale at One King’s Lane and see some great ones for about $30.
Linen napkins - I have the greatest little vintage linen napkin collection resulting from a few mixed lot listings for less than $15 each. A quick search will get you lots of great results.
Champagne coupes – don’t spend big money on these. (I don’t really love the ones here, save for the gold rim.) Again, search eBay, Etsy, Craigslist.
Silver Serving tray – even new ones can be inexpensive, just take the time to find one in the shape, size, and weight that you want.
Serving utensils – I just picked these guys up on One King’s Lane for $30. Mother of pearl too!
Andrew and I were all set to plan a holiday party last year but it quickly dawned on us that in the hub-bub and holiday frenzy it wouldn’t necessarily be the party we’d want to host. After some brainstorming we settled on Valentine’s Day. It’s perfect actually! It’s right in the midst of the winter doldrums, everyone’s looking for an excuse to get out and have some fun, and so far the guys are really excited that they don’t have to go too far beyond a box of chocolates.
Hoping to make this a tradition of sorts I figured it would be the perfect time to stock up on some vintage serviceware, and for some reason I am all sorts of crystal-glass-giddy. Andrew seems to think this is Grandmaware but I say tut-tut: it is precisely the touch of feminine elegance that we need in the house, and it’s also perfect for a “Lucky Valentine” party such as ours.
As usual I turned to my all-time favorite vintage shop (and all-around guilty pleasures) High Street Market. I happily picked up the bowl and ice bucket above, but oh how I’m dying for the jam jar. At the moment there’s no use for it on our menu but good lord am I trying to sneak it in. Lots of other perfectly curated vintage goodies at the shop too.
So from now until the party we’ll be testing recipes (sharing a few) and I’ll continue to search for more vintage goodies to have on hand.
Let the hunt for holiday party attire begin!
I was initially excited to hunt for some party inspiration, but I quickly became discouraged because nothing caught my eye. I quickly decided it was the perfect opportunity to raid my closet for something unexpected and exciting…for party season at least. So really, this outfit came about for two reasons: 1) I wanted to repurpose something I already had and 2) this was my chance to rebel from the tulle skirt trend o’ the season craze.
If I did have the means to slip into this gorgeous Alexander McQueen velvet blazer I certainly would (pay close attention to those pockets), but more than anything this is just for some dressing inspiration. In my case I shall be repurposing my trusty Elizabeth & James black pantsuit, which I suddenly realize I have never actually worn together, and black booties. To make sure I don’t look like I’m coming straight from a power meeting I’ll be going with red lips and nails, and for my hair, I’ll do a take on Rita Hayworth waves. This way it’s all-the-more party worthy and far, far away from an office look. I am once again officially excited for holiday party prep!
[image via Pinterest]
So in just a handful of days we’ve had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and of course this Cyber Monday. I’m sure we’re all over these silly labels for shopping days but there is something really nice about shopping small; and a great thing is made even better when there’s a sweet little sale involved. This is precisely why I’m sharing Dear Golden with you — one of my very favorite vintage Etsy shops. And while I used to think of it as my little secret, it’s actually far from it since Lauren has something upwards of 8000 sales and 30,000 admirers. Today she is taking a generous 30% off her entire shop.
Ooh, and here’s a little pic of my latest favorite Dear Golden purchase. My first 1920′s piece ever: a hand-painted autumn colored coat. Impeccably curated and oh-so nostalgically stylish go take a peek and perhaps add some vintage goodies from a sweet little shop.
Remember my new vintage french cabinet from a few weeks ago? I also casually mentioned that I was looking for a small lamp to place atop it, but really what I should have said was that I was stalking/hunting/obsessing. There are no mini table lamps out there! Even tried searching for a “bookshelf lamp” and while it was a little better, it was still mostly scary at how tacky people can be. Anyway, this little red guy here was a chance vintage find. Eeeh, he’s so cute and shiny! I can’t wait to see how it looks with the persimmon print. I found him at favorite Etsy shop AM Radio, a beautifully curated shop, modern vintage with a minimal eye.
While the hunt was tough, I should mention that there was ONE really great mini-lamp I came across…
…and even though it could have worked on the cabinet, it wasn’t exactly right. I still want it somewhere, at some point, but until I know precisely where, I shall just file it away. This is the Misewell Tokyo Lamp made sustainably by the award-winning Misewell brothers of Milwaukee. They really are a kick ass furniture design company. Check out more of the goods.
Made in the USA. Tokyo I $245, Tokyo II $305.
I’ve become quite disenchanted with my cell phone. Probably not surprising to most of you, I am conscious about radiation levels (as we all should be), and as much as I work to limit my time with my phone I still feel like I’m on a leash, or using it as a crutch. And what about people’s manners anymore. Seriously, just so bad.
All of this is really to say that I’m totally stoked to get a landline and a vintage phone. I initially thought these were original colors, but Etsy seller OhioPicker takes these guys and re-paints them in these great retro hues. They still look legit to me, and based on the feedback people love them. So yeah. If you need me. Call me. AT HOME!
Restored vintage phones, $68.
One of my very favorite touches in my apartment are my antique glass doorknobs. Why did we ever move away from these? When even opening a door can be made more charming and special, why?!
My little rant on cheap, mass-produced door knobs aside I had no idea there were other options available for antique glass…like amethyst! (Apparently most everything before 1913 was sun-colored amethyst and after the 1930′s the color and style had changed and were machine-made.) This guy here is for sale on Etsy. Gorgeous!
Vintage Victorian Amethyst glass door knob – Etsy seller ThirdShift
The only thing better than ogling the latest street fashion photography is finding these images from the LIFE magazine archives…all the way back from 1944! Alfred Eisenstaedt (perhaps most well-known for the V-J Day Kiss in Times Square) photographed these ladies in front of Rockefeller Center as part of a series called Beautiful Girls in New York.
I have a small collection of vintage dresses that I adore and each time I wear one I feel effortlessly stylish and elegant, just like these lovely ladies do here. There’s something magical…even ethereal about vintage dresses that just can’t be duplicated with something new. And don’t you find it so interesting that each of these outfits is still completely relevant today? (By the way, I’ve got some great vintage shops to share if anyone’s interested.)
Oh, and can we talk about the hats, gloves, and shoes? Polished from head to fingers and toes!
[via Happiness is...]
I’m often disillusioned with the easily accessible. I mean, if you think about it, how can a typical store carry enough of anything to represent you and you alone? Impossible, right! There’s so much more than what’s a mall’s drive away; so, so, so much more. And this precisely why I love visiting Antiquaria, a lovely e-shop filled with beautifully curated vintage pieces.
I’ve been busy searching for vintage glassware, but Antiquaria has also inspired me to think so much deeper and to appreciate the lovely gift of fine china and the lost tradition of heirlooms. I haven’t moved on to fine china just yet, but I fantasize about it often. Dinner parties, afternoon snacks, breakfast in bed…all would be so special on pieces like this. Sigh.