Assemblage: Settee

One of the blogs I follow is called Good Bones, Great Pieces, it’s is a fabulous little decorating blog from a mom/daughter team. They are great at antiques. And creating really sweet, sopshitcated spaces. So when shopping at Furbish in Raleigh, I came across Good Bones, Great Pieces, the book, and had to get it. One of the chapters in the book is about the wonder that is the settee, which I’d define as a small sofa or bench.  Suzanne and Lauren recommend the settee for its versatility. It fits just as easily into a small living room as it does at a dining table or at the foot of the bed.

Just for fun, I asked BC what a settee is. His response was “Is that part of a bedspread.” No, honey, that’s a duvet. “Is it the chair that sticks out” No, that’s a chaise. “Is it a chair in general? Don’t tell me. I need to rack my brains for a second” Why don’t you just read about it on my blog tomorrow?

So world, and BC, here’s an assemblage of some of my favorite little antique settees out there.

“It is a sham, a pillow cover?” “Is it that block thing at the top of the curtains?” “It is a kind of desk?” No, No, No…. “I learned what a sconce is!” Yes, honey, good job. We then played 20 questions and he got it in 15, but only after I showed him pictures. His response: “It’s a type of sofa? That’s a little specific.”

Images (in order) 1 Albert Joseph, 2 C. Mariani, 3 Sputnik Modern, 4 CS Post and Co, 5 Wyeth, 6 Greenwich Living, 7 Pamela Lerner Antiques, 8 Jean-Marc Fray, 9 Porter and Plunk, 10 Pegboard Modern, 11 Haven Interiors, 12 George Subkoff Antiques, 13 Donna Parker Habitat, 14 End of Beige Upholstery,15 Judy Frankel Antiques16 Greenwich Living, 17 San Ysidro Ranch photographed by Jose Vila18 Debenham Antiques 

Antiques in Kitchens

You guys, what an incredible weekend. First, BC and I had an amazing time at the Bon Appetit Grub Crawl though Williamsburg. Then, my cousin/maid of honor threw  the most kick-ass wedding shower/potluck picnic ever. Amazing food and drinks,  badminton and croquet, and GREAT friends and company. Emmy had everyone write down travel tips and they took pictures with a Polaroid camera… it’s the perfect memory book for our trip. We’re going to keep adding to it on our honeymoon. Some members of my family were skeptical of a honeymoon registry, but we’re totally loving having our friends and family connected with our trip.

ANYWAYS… lately I’ve been thinking about how fantastic old antiques look in kitchens. I mean, I think most rooms look great with character pieces and bathrooms or kitchens are no exception. Think an old buffet doubling as a kitchen counter top or an old worktable doubling as an island. It’s such a simple, easy way to add warmth to a typically more sterile, and oftentimes, unimaginative space. Here are a few examples I’ve been saving to share with you.

I especially love the combination of more contemporary kitchen cabinets mixed with the older pieces.

Images via Myles Henry Blog, Automatism, House and Home, and Two Ellie

Ovalia Egg Chair

In 1968 the Ovalia Egg Chair was introduced at the Scandinavian Furniture Fair. Designed by Henrik Thor-Larsen, the chair was an instant success. It sold for only 10 years and the original editions can sell for up to $5,000!

In 2001, this iconic image brought the spotlight back to the egg. And in 2005, the Egg Chair was re-introduced. The right photograph below is of the original designer in his throne.

The current Egg Chair design looks identical to it’s original counterpart but rencent changes improve the experience of “cocooning” in the Egg.

Um, you guys? Is that Megan Draper in the chair on the left?

Information via Ovalia Images via Ariacao


Toile. It’s a word that rolls right off your tongue.

Originally called Toile de Jouy, toile is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a usually white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme. The original toiles depicted idyllic pastoral scenes and a range of settings near the factory in Jouy where they were made, showing people hunting, working, picnicking, fishing, drinking, dancing and courting. The pattern consists of a single color; most often black, dark red, or blue. Toiles were originally produced in Ireland in the mid-18th Century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. They were the height of fashionable interiors in the Colonial Era in the US, and again in the 1930s, and in the 1970s, and another upsurge in popularity occurred around 2000. I was definitely on board with that last one. The bedding set my mom made for my first NYC apartment was a blue and white toile.

Nowadays toile has become decidedly edgier. In other words… this is not your mother’s toile.

Blue and White via QueenDecor, Toile all over via Spicerandbank, Contemporary scenes via Natural History, Attempted Robbery by Timorous Beasties, Aliens and UFOs by Historically Inaccurate via If its Hip its Here, Spot of Color by Cucumbersome via Apartment Therapy


The Thonet Bentwood Chair

I wonder if Michael Thonet had any idea of the longevity of his Model 14 bentwood chair design, when it was released in 1859? He was experimenting with bending woods and was looking for simpler and more economic means of production than the traditional methods. He discovered that a solid piece of steamed wood and a metal strap could be bent together in a certain way without cracking the wood, and after being dried out in a jig the wood held its shape. A strong chair could thus be made with less pieces and less joints, with screws replacing glued connections. This process also lent itself to economical mass production.

The Thonet bentwood chair consists of only six components (plus a few screws and nuts) and the design has remained virtually unchanged for nearly 150 years. The chair is simple while still being interesting, lightweight but very durable, and this combination has made it a favorite chair at cafés and restaurants since the 1860s. It was also popular with artists. Auguste Renoir and Toulouse Lautrec both featured Thonet chairs in their paintings and drawings, and Pablo Picasso had one in his studio.

Michael Thonet’s company has now passed through five generations of his family and Thonet bentwood chairs are still popular today. As you can see below, over the years other artists and designers have discovered ways to modernize up this iconic chair.

 Original Thonet via The Old Cinema, Pink Thonet via ABC Carpet and Home, Thonet with Socks via The Design Files, Patterned Thonet via Name Design Studio, Thonet history via Patrick Taylor

Painted Bench

You guys, BC has been working so hard on his Android app (did I mention he’s making a transition into a programming career – you will never meet a more hard worker) so I decided to provide all the perspectives myself today.  Isn’t this an amazing piece!?

Bench via Jeff Bridgeman Antiques, Bistro Table via Jayson Home, Bottles via Factory20, Pillows via Attys Vintage Basket via Jayson Home, TV via Sony, Blanket via Bright Wall Vintage, Brass Lion via Harlow Monroe Vintage, Books via SorryThankYou79,  Oval Frame via Ephemera And More


I have two very distinct memories of lanterns. The first was during Hurricane Hugo when I was 8 years old. My family gathered in our hall bathroom while the storm raged outside, the room candlelit by lantern. It was one of the longest nights of my life.

The second memory is of my first NYC apartment where my friend Sarah, an interior designer, hung up her collection of lanterns on one wall of our living room. They looked so brilliant lit up the night of our salsa party (salsa, as in the food, we had so much in our fridge that we held a party to get rid of it all), while the party raged all around.

At our wedding, we’re planning to have some of my mom’s lanterns sitting on the picnic tables outside the barn during the cocktail hour. Regardless of the shape, style,or color lanterns just have a magical quality to them.

Magical, like I hope your St. Patricks Day weekend is!

A 5th Street Bazaar, B ElasVintageLiving, C This Other Thing, D I’m So Vintage, E WW Vintage, F The Vintage Road to Retro, G Punk Rock Pickles, H Jalopee,