Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vintage Find: Turquoise Foo Dogs

Can you see I am doing my happy dance? I am so thrilled when this pair of more-than-perfect vintage turquoise foo dogs arrived in the mail today. Nothing feels sweeter than having a long-time décor dream fulfilled. Thank you Vi from Goodieshunt for packaging them perfectly and shipping them out so quickly.

Aren't they perfect? I think they would look great in my white hutch buffet.

As you know I am an online shopaholic so I have my fair share of dealing with different types of sellers virtually. For me a big part of my decision-making when it comes to buy from a particular seller is their communication and willingness to help. Some are willing to invest in extra time answering your questions on the origin, the year of make, and the dimensions etc. Others I never heard any peep out of them. For the latter unless they have something so unique that I can only buy it from them (and I am desperate), I usually just move on and am willing to pay a little more for others' helpfulness. At the end of the day, do I really want to be reminded of a bad shopping experience behind anything I buy? We are always buying a total package, no?

So after a long search for a pair of true vintage foo dogs like this, I finally found them through a trusted seller. If you'd like to learn more about how to spot true vintage porcelain figurines, you can read more here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

They Are Here!

Remember this pair of vintage deerhide cowhide ottoman poufs by Karl Springer? Well they arrived! I have them in mind for a special room in the house, but for now, one of them is in the living room. In case you are wondering, they are from Vintage & Modern, a consignment store similar to 1stdibs. The seller had four of these poufs, and the other pair was picked up by the X-Men star Rebecca Romijn!

This is the lighter-colored one...isn't it gorgeous? They are super comfy too.

The other one, the slightly darker-colored one is now in a guest bedroom.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How To Spot True Vintage Foo Dogs

A while ago I scored this pair of turquoise foo dogs from an antique chinaware store, but I also wanted to find a pair of the more iconic sitting pair to complete my foo dog collection. True vintage foo dogs are not easy to come by these days. After all they were last popular around 1930s when Hollywood Regency Chinoiserie décor was trending. Since this décor theme has made a big comeback in recent years, there have been so many replicas floating around which come in different glazes, shapes and sizes. Since I've done so much research on them, I thought I'd share with you my tips on how to spot and score true vintage foo dogs on pedestal.

In short, it's all about the details and the glaze. I remember when I was in that chinaware store, the soon-to-retire owner told me that artists from China with such intricate carving, engraving and glazing skills are long gone and many generations ago, so a rule of thumb to identify a true vintage piece is in the details.

In case you are wondering if I actually ended up finding a true vintage pair, the answer is YES, and they are en route to me. I will take some pictures when they are here. Can't wait!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Vintage Affair

I've been on a shopping spree (again) lately, and sadly it usually took me a while to come to that realization. But how you may ask? The other day when I came home from work, a neighbor ran up to me and asked if I was moving. "Moving?" I was totally puzzled. "Why?" The neighbor said "Oh because I saw boxes and boxes piled on your porch." "Oh that..." As you could imagine I was probably all red like a Boston lobster when I told her those were all packages from my online shopping.

Anyhow, here are a few scores I am really fond of and thought I should share with you.

How adorable are these vintage brass giraffes right? The big one is 9" tall and the smaller one 6". I totally see them in a future nursery.

This quail is made of solid brass, a big and heavy bird at 6" x 6". I think it can go on a stack of books.
Do you keep a list of your favorite décor accessories? Mine goes like corals & rocks, vintage brass animal/bird figurines, foo dogs, blanc de chine figurines, Chinoiserie faux bamboo (stuff), and of course, deer antlers. I found this pair of vintage antlers from Etsy. 
Last but not the least, an all-time favorite for many decorators, a pair of vintage turquoise foo dogs from 1900-1930s.
I will be taking some pictures over the next few days to show you how they look like now in my house. Later gator.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cowhide Pouf Ottoman

Cowhide is making a comeback and I am determined to bring some Yee-haw chic into my house. Cowhide doesn't just mean your grandpa's brown leather chair any more. Instead, for all the textures, colors and patterns that it come in these days, cowhide can add a touch of glam, luxury and fun to any décor setting.

I love the pattern of this pair from EWF modern, but I am not such a big fan of the legs. I think natural cowhide works better in pouf, which would max the lush and comfort factor. A cube ottoman with legs just looks too formal and rigid to me.

For $900, you can have this gorgeous mecina cowhide pouf from Natural Rugs.

Or how about this fabulous vintage deer hide pouf ottoman by Karl Springer? I love how neutral the color is but the texture of natural deer hide is also so lush! It's the understated/muted glam that I've always been trying to accomplish. There were a total of four and I purchased a pair! The other pair went to a Hollywood celebrity which I will tell you more about once I receive them. They are on the way to me and I just can't tell you how excited I am. Wouldn't they look fabulous in a nursery? Living room? Guest bedroom?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pillow Talk

Foyer transformation is on my 2013 project list, and a big part of it is to introduce more colors into this otherwise pretty monochromatic space. After putting up this DIY abstract art on the wall, I started to feel this Braemore's Emperor's Garden pillow is too much color for the room. I still love this Chinoiserie pillow to death, and am all in for a burst of colors, but I just don't think it works for the room any more and the color/pattern jumps out too much to still stay organic. I will have to re-purpose it to somewhere else in the house. So back to the drawing board I am. It seems like I am still drawn to a black, white, gray and neutral color palette.

So these are the options I am contemplating...the new pillow will go onto this foyer settee.

Schumacher's High Voltage in Smoke - did you spot this pillow in the latest issue of Style at Home?
Wide-striped black and white chevron goes with anything.

This oatmeal and white chevron with dark velvet piping number is simply yummy.

Saw this gorgeous Trina Turk needlepoint pillow at Black Rooster Décor a while ago.
So I've ordered one of them and can't wait to show you what it looks like in my foyer. Which one is your favourite?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mind Blowing

Remember the custom hutch buffet I ordered through Anne Quinn Furniture? You know me, especially when it comes to a custom piece of furniture like this and ordering off an image from Internet, I've been anxious to see what the outcome would look like. Well, it's not finished yet but this is the closest thing anyone can ever hope for to help visualize the real thing. The image below is from a series of drawings with different views of this hutch buffet unit Christine sent over.
The other views include from the side, from the top and 3-D, with dimensions down to the size of the mouldings. This is truly amazing because for someone so OC like me, I can tell where exactly a certain handle or knob goes, whether the hinges are exposed or hidden, and which shelves are removable, etc. This eliminates any second-guessing from buying custom and puts my mind at ease. Anne Quinn Furniture's customer service is above and beyond what I'd expect from a family business.

I will share some WIP pictures of the making as I have them.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dining Room Hutch Buffet Roundup

I've noticed hutch buffet is making a comeback not only into typical spaces where you expect to see them such as dining room and kitchen, but also into somewhere else more unexpected such as living room, bedroom and even bathroom. After all, hutch buffet is such a versatile piece of storage furniture: you can hide the clutter if you wish, or display all your pretty dishes, trophies or proud collectibles. Growing up, my family always have a hutch buffet, from my grandma's house to my parents' house. Our daily dinner started with me going to the hutch to bring out dishes and set the table. I still remember all the chinaware and figurines on display in my grandma's hutch. So to me, hutch buffet has a lot of sentimental value and is equally as important as a dining table.

These are a few examples of good use of a hutch buffet.

Dimples and Tangles' green china buffet makeover: this girl knows how to either go big or go home right? The gutsy choice of an emerald green paint color instantaneously transformed this old sad buffet into a statement piece.

It's so powerful but doesn't clash with her equally vibrant dining chairs, and works so well in a more classic yet energetic dining room setting.

Honey Sweet Home's from drab to fab white hutch buffet: who would want to put anything on display in the hutch? It's so beautiful and presentable as is!

Sarah Richardson uses this in the Sarah 101 Season 2 to add storage in a master bathroom:  only an ingenious designer like Sarah could think of such a perfect (yet alternative) use of a hutch buffet. It totally works for a more classic bathroom like this.  

Censational Girl's white hutch buffet for her stepdaughter's bedroom, as a collectible display.  

And this is going to be my baby, a custom piece being made by Anne Quinn Furniture based on this style. I will have some drawing to show you in the next few days.

So do you agree hutch buffet is gaining its popularity back these days? Do you have a hutch buffet in your house? Which room?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rocker Chair Fabric Choice

Remember this vintage rocker chair I scored a while ago? Over the long weekend I took out my stash of fabrics trying to decide whether I could reuse a piece I already own or look for a different fabric.

Here's the stash, from top to bottom: Schumacher Hothouse in Mineral, Anatol's Wide Stripes in Gray and White, Windsor Smith Pelagos in Mist, Premier Prints Zoom Zoom Chevron in River Rock, and Premier Prints Zoom Zoom Chevron in Village Natural.

So I started to cover the rocker with different fabrics to see how it looks. This is Windsor Smith Pelagos in Mist. I used the same fabric for my master bedroom drapery.

Wide striped gray and white fabric.

The same wide striped gray and white fabric horizontally.

Schumacher Hothouse in Mineral...too serious for a rocker maybe?
Too busy I think.

So which one is your favorite? Any other suggestions? Would you paint the chair in a different color (gray? white?) or leave it as is in the dark stain?

P.S. The winner to the vintage Hudson's Bay map tea towel is Designwali. Congrats!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Indigo's Spring Collection

First of all, have you noticed Indigo has recently redesigned their web site? I find it so much more intuitive to navigate especially in the "House and Home" section.

Indigo has just released this year's Spring Collection, and I have to say they are fabulous, so inexpensive but totally on-trend and designer-label-worthy.

I would love to get one of each of these scarves and totes and sunglasses - they will be perfect for our upcoming Mediterranean cruise. The flamingo light-weight scarf paired with the polka dot tote and the retro Torteshell sunglasses would make such a fun outfit!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dining Room Hutch Buffet

Is the idea of having a hutch display cabinet in a dining room so yesterday? I personally don't think so, although these days we are seeing less and less of them. Why? First of all, we have much less livable space, and a hutch cabinet is not a petite piece of furniture. Secondly, we have so many substitute storage furniture options such as buffets, dressers and tea carts. And lastly, hutch cabinet usually works for a more traditional setting.

But I fell in love with a hutch cabinet lately, and believe it's the resolution to most of my dining room design mishaps. It's not until recently that I noticed all the furniture pieces in my dining room are so leveled: they are all around the same height, which means from any angle your view is always obstructed; except for the dining set, they are all pushed towards the walls - isn't that the biggest design sin of all?! Having a hutch cabinet not only will allow me to display some of my pretty chinaware, but also adds height, layer and visual interests to the room.

Anyhow, I was fixated on getting this antique hutch display cabinet from a local classified ad. I immediately reached out to Paint It Like New, and Janet was kind enough to give me a very reasonable quote. Unfortunately the dimensions don't work for my space (too wide and too short). I really would be settling if I forced myself into getting this one just so I could save a few bucks, and might regret it down the road. It's better to get it done right the first time around, right?
What if I could get the same style but with the right dimensions and without breaking my bank? There's no one else I'd turn to for a request like this than my all-time favorite shop Anne Quinn Furniture. After a few emails, co-owner Christine (who is super nice to work with) had already prepared a working order and sent in my hutch for design drawing (which I hope to share with you shortly). The best part is, this custom piece doesn't cost that much more than the fixer-upper after I factor all the expenses associated with hiring a moving company and spray-painting. It saves me a huge amount of time from all the hassle, and all I need to do is anxiously waiting for it to be made and delivered in a couple of months. It doesn't get better than this!

Over the next few weeks I will take you through how this piece gets custom made as Christine shares WIP pictures with me. Can't wait.

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