Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Kitchen Update: Embrace the (Early) 70s

Hello, hello!

I'm not gone again, I just got tangled up in a work-related web of busy-ness which has kept from my own little corner of the internet. Mais, me voilĂ ! Here I am, and the weekend has past with lightning speed. What have you guys been up to? The last week or so in estate sale/Goodwill hunting has made a noticeable difference in my kitchen, and I thought, why don't I show a couple additions made to the living area of yours truly? I love when style changes happen through some opportune chances of luck rather than a massive, online shopping spree-- I don't know if I could have thought of these things out of blue, but once I saw them, I knew they were had-to-haves for the house!

Let's take a look at what I'm talking about:

Ta-da! I'm in love with a kitchen, I'm talkin' about, I'm in love with a kitchen, I can't live withouuuut....

This kitchen dining nook/the kitchen in general has always been a problem area with me. Matthew and I decided earlier this year that we were going to count our blessings and stay in the house I grew up in/rent from my parents for at least another year or two, as both of us save money and try to bring another bab into the world. The area has JUST NOW started to become fashionable (houses getting flipped/new high end infill construction, etc, etc), so it just wouldn't make sense for us, with a great house/location provided for us, to spend a lot of our hard earned, buried in the yard savings on the red-hot, super-competitive housing market just as of yet (don't worry, I am still ALWAYS looking at real estate listings, just not as fervently ;) ). So! As I've said in earlier posts, I've been cleaning out and moving out a ton of stuff from deep storage, making hard decisions on what I love vs. what I just like, and ONLY BRINGING HOME THINGS THAT ARE TOO GOOD TO PASS UP in terms of picking. Which would include....this lighting fixture:

I was running around the Charlotte Goodwill, a little giddy over finding a crazy-good cardigan in the sweater section (it's a tiger textile thing, like this rug I still wish I'd bought when I'd seen it for ~$100), when I saw this light fixture. It was sitting, coiled up in a pile of chains, on top of a banged up filing cabinet in the home goods section. Matthew was trailing me and I handed it to him, drum shade and fifty feet of chain and all. "We're totally getting this." I hemmed and haw'd a little in the checkout line, but finally decided that if it didn't work, I could bring it back with the receipt. The shape I knew was spot on, but I was a little put off by the brown wood tiles, which look SO much better illuminated and in place than they did in my hands at the store. 

When I looked it over back at the homestead, I realized what was going on with this 70's/60's hybrid. The light started out in the late fifties'/early sixties' as a straight barrel-shade atomic light fixture (note the top and the bottom fixtures, and the shape of the shade itself, are very MCM). At some point in its life, the barrel shade became torn. Did the enterprising young homeowner throw the shade away? Heck no, let's get resourceful. Said previous owner added this tile detail by gluing wood tiles in the square design all around the shade, effectively hiding the tear and updating the shade from very-sixties' to very-seventies'. Oh, and does the tile part match the bamboo roman shade over the window? GIRL, YOU KNOW IT DOES.

I'm pleased as punch. For comparison, what it replaced:

This flowery chandelier (also in this post) has hung in my house almost since I've been living there-- it was gift from my mom, who thought it "looked like [me]". It does, but it will look much better and still like me in another room of the house. Here's another before...see where I have replaced the calendar and the Altman 3 Women poster with mid 70's textile art from this estate sale (and which looked lovely in the green room but is much better appreciated here in the kitchen).


And after:

Shout out also to my Curtis Jere leaves wall sculpture, which found a happy home on the door here.
Is it not truly restful to look upon? The more I clean and clear out extra goods from my vintage hoarding piles, the more impressed I am with/the more I get to enjoy the things I choose to keep as "the best of the best".

A blurry but servicable picture of the souvenirs-of-Africa midcentury pictures I picked up at the flea market a while back. The colors/abstract figures are SO. COOL.
I kept this movie poster and this kit kat clock, to the left of the kitchen cabinets, just as they were, because  I love them. I think it still works! Also, see how it looks like the cat clock is eyeballing Erland Josephson.

But that's not all! I also finally found a curtain to replace the pair of red and white cafe curtains that hang over the kitchen sink.


Matthew sent me this picture one day while he was off work and I was at work to show me how clean the kitchen was. He is very cute/industrious.

And after:

Still need to hang a magnetic knife rack for those Henckel knives, one of the best and most useful things in my kitchen. But I'll get around to it! How much do I love that Shawnee pig cookie jar inspite of its purely decorative purpose? How deep is the ocean, how high is the moon.

Not bad, huh? Somehow my tiny kitchen looks so SPACIOUS with this layout/decor!

These curtains were at an estate sale in West Meade where the homeowner must've really, really, REALLY liked this evidenced by the fact that she had wall sized ceiling-to-floor drapes, a couch, kitchen curtains and an accent wall in the kitchen all in the same pattern. I admire someone finding something they like and just really committing to it. "You know what...put it everywhere." "Everywhere?" "E-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e." I want to get a matching-to-the-other roman shade to go under it so you can't see directly into my kitchen at all hours of the day and night, and maybe hang the curtains closer to the ceiling once I have the aforementioned shade, but are we or are we not cooking with gas here:

So many tchotchkes. Exactly like I like it.

As with the light fixture, I got home fairly holding my breath hoping this would go with the other items in the room, and was so psyched to see that the orange and yellows PRACTICALLY MATCH the colors in the textile on the dining room wall. Kismet! 

While we're in the kitchen anyway, here's my gallery wall of lobby cards, which I recently switched out from Annie Hall to Lolita:

I would tell you which of these was my favorite but THEY'RE ALL MY FAVORITE. I found high resolution scans of the very expensive original set here, and (shamelessly) printed them out. Cards come in sets of 8 usually, so I grabbed another image for the iconic center card, and there you are. To the left of the set is this potholder hanger, with its woebegone, burnt oven mitt (I would replace it but it makes me laugh every time I see it to think I had bought it at Target earlier in the same day that Matthew caught it on fire):

My parents/landlords sprang for some stainless steel appliances earlier this year  in a fit of bonhomie and kindness that I dare not question, lol. Aren't they fancy! I told my mom at the time, "Get whatever the smallest. POSSIBLE. refrigerator that is still a full size refrigerator and not a dorm size one, because the one in there right now is TOO. BIG." Has anyone else in a 1970's or earlier house noticed that modern refrigerators are 40%-200% too big for their intended spaces in vintage homes? I like having a huge, overstocked freezer as much as the next gal, but the one that was in here previously barely fit under the cabinets. I need to get my act together and clear off the top of the refrigerator for a sleeker look, but I need to clean out cabinet space for that hand mixer and the other assorted odds and ends on top of it first. This ain't no House Beautiful...noticed unstaged coupons affixed by magnets to side of frigo, etc, etc, for evidence of this.

Above the stove is this vintage map of Opryland from this long ago weekend find post. As many oddities and wonders as I have in my house, this is one of the things that gets remarked upon the most-- people (yours truly included) miss this theme park like nobody's business. I love the colors in the map and the down-home theme of these opening day rides.

I was peacock-proud to have the Littons over the other day as the inagural dining-room dinner guests. Here's what the joint looked like all gussied up for company:

I need some new dish towels now that there's a solid orange/brown/green/seventies' color scheme going on, but one thing at a time. Instead, admire my salad, haha.
Having such a put-together instead of such a harried-looking kitchen/dining room area is SUCH. A RELIEF. I feel like in previous incarnations it's been so hodge-podge or piecemeal looking and now there's what the TLC people would call a "unifying theme" that really ties everything together. I think if I'd tried to buy, on purpose, a themed set of decor items, I couldn't have had them come together as nicely as it all did simply by luck (and yours truly using their decorating third eye, haha)!

And just because I haven't had an outfit post on here in a month of Sundays, here I am dressed up for a ladies' brunch last Sunday and representing the 70's with this disco sequined short sleeve top I found at Goodwill the other day. The more I can look like a back up dancer from a variety show in said era, the better. I found these military surplus boots in the same trip as the top, and I am ob.SESSED. Ankle support, steel reinforced toe, and serving Daria style late 90's realness? What more could a girl ask for.

How about you? What design challenges have you faced down lately? Found any great things that just happened to start to come together in a felicitous fashion? Which room in your house is your favorite right now? What else could I do to take my kitchen to "that next level"? I'm thinking about adding a pots and pans corkboard where the Opryland poster is, but that's still in the R & D stages, haha. Let's talk!! That's all for today, but I'll be back again soon with more things I've dragged home from estate sales. Have a great rest of the week! See you next time.

1 comment:

  1. my my my. I do love a makeover. I love everything...especially that very coveted Opryland poster!!



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