I'm Riding the Thrift Train to Flossytown

Last week I flipped the thrift switch, and now I'm an unstoppable bargain buying machine. Vintage ikat and paisley tablecloths, overgrown 70's floral needlepoints, a crazy musical cakeplate, and 5000 ceramic pieces later, I show no signs of slowing down -- which is handy since Round Top is tomorrow. (Will Karly buy another coffee table, or won't she? Tune in next week to find out...) My latest find has left me with a bit of buyer's remorse, not unlike the time I bought this.

Let's see what y'all think of my latest purchase:

A vintage Milo Baughman brass based barrel chair in lipstick red. Homegirl still has her Thayer Coggin manufacturer labels intact. And she swivels and rocks. Tease.

But what the hell am I going to do with this thing? Although I love the color -- despite pledging my allegiance to the black and white stars and stripes forever -- the upholstery has seen better days and probably needs to be redone. And wouldn't it look amazing in this?

But since this fabric is $150/yd, I'm thinking no. Dammit.

Of course what I really wish I could do is upholster it in a vintage Jack Lenor Larsen fabric.

Did I say I was afraid of color? Well, If someone gave me a bolt of Larsen fabric, I wouldn't bat a lash -- I swear I would redecorate my entire house around one of his crazy psychedelic prints.

But back to the real world, and the most pressing question: do I keep this chair for which I have no available space and no real need, this chair which needs a $400-500 upholstery job, or do I sell it and make a little cash for... more thrift purchases (duh).

Sleepy eyes sure likes it.

In fact, since I brought little miss hot stuff home, Ike and the cat have fought for space on her bountiful seat -- sometimes to deleterious effect. Ike and the chair are a little worse for wear. The cat, however, is doing just fine.

Keep or sell, people? Help me out.

My List, Your List, Craigslist

As per your excellent suggestions, I have been feverishly scouring Craigslist for a credenza with sliding doors that will hide our fugly electronics. Last week, I found an insanely underpriced six foot long teak masterpiece that was practically located in my backyard (which matters because I am way too lazy to drive across town for even the bombest piece), but when I called it was gone. HELLFIRE. I am still obsessing about that stupid credenza, so note to CL sellers: delete your ads once items are sold, otherwise you are just a flagrant tease. Anyhoo, I thought I might toss a few goodies your way that I've noticed while searching for my own treasure. Hopefully there is something in here that will make you pee your pants with joy.

Let me tell you what makes me feel a lil leaky: Jack Lenor Larsen. I really love his vintage psychedelic prints, but you can be sure that the understated cobalt velvet upholstery on these fly chairs is still P.I.M.P. Buy them before a dealer (or I) get to them first. They're even close to my house... $150.

It's vintage 60s, it has a wooden frame (mahogany, according to the ad, but I doubt that is actually the case), and the upholstery is stupid good. Could it be a reupholstered Lafer on rosewood? Or is that the og fabric on walnut? Inquiring minds want to know. Buy it and tell me all about it. $300.

Vintage Wassily chairs "purchased decades ago at a Scandinavian store." $225 is not a bad price, but they have been reposted several times. Lowball these suckers.

Four shell chairs with Herman Miller bases, if you're into that kind of thing. $250 here.

Vintage chrome, lucite, and smoked glass, dinette. Change that upholstery, stat, and you've got yourself a winner. It's taking all my energy not to buy the set just for the chairs. $150 here.

80's black lacquer and brass bedroom set, made by Lane so it should be real wood under the lacquer. Comes with a six drawer dresser, vanity, corner unit, nightstand, and a full/queen headboard... All for $95. Say what??? That price is dumb. Snatch these puppies up for your disco shag coke pad.

Ok, this gem comes courtesy of a person that Karly and I can only refer to as troll lady -- I would recognize that filthy gravel trap of a yard anywhere. Friends, I shall never deal with the troll again (even though I see her EVERYWHERE around town, even at our very own garage sale), but if you do deal with her, don't take her meandering directions to her house in BFE for the gospel truth, and make sure you spray yourself for mosquitoes and chiggers. Also, I hope you like dogs and cats and chickens and geese and other wild animals. Motherbleeping chupacabra probably lives out there. It is a really cool coffee table, though -- reverse painted glass on iron, and a very nice size. $125. Check it out here, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Yep, it's that table. You know... THAT table. $99, which is half of what reasonable vintage dealers around town are currently charging. Offer less, because for some reason this gal has been up for a while. Buy it here.

Chintz is back, beeyotch! Even better when paired with woven rope end pieces. Such nice colors. This dude is a nice dealer, and he delivers. $300 here.

$50 for a two tiered, shapely glass and brass table that will go anywhere. Get it.

Is it wrong that I really like the cushion fabric? $35 here.

This fabric, however, is downright bilious. Someone PLEASE rescue these adorable Thonet cafe chairs (so hard to find with arms!) and rip that vile fringe off and burn it. $55 here, and consider your purchase to be a mission of mercy.

That's it for today's goodies -- get them while they're hot. I think I'd like to end with a little checklist for buying stuff n things off Craigslist:


Don't jack around -- leave your name, number, and email address, when responding to ads.

Follow up IMMEDIATELY, like within 2.2 seconds, if the seller responds.

Offer less than the listed price. Always. Well... almost always. Don't be an asshat.

Go look at this crap before you buy it.

Have a plan of action to pick up said crap. This may require requesting dimensions beforehand. Duh (and that is really a "duh" to myself).


Offer less than the listed price in your email to the seller. Do your dickering in person.

Respond to the seller's ad with vague inquiries and possibilities. Save that fun for later.

Give anyone your address unless you're sure they will follow through on delivery. And that the sellers aren't psycho killers.

Buy anything from the troll lady. Ha! Just kidding... that's totally up to you. Sucker.

Practice safe craigslisting and see you dudes Friday!

The Doors of Perception

When I was 16, I had this obsession with what my mother's life at my age was like. It would have been 1969, and I imagined her running wild and free on the beaches of California, hanging with hot surfer dudes and smoking the reefer (Legal Disclaimer: I have absolutely no first hand knowledge of said activities). Sifting through various old photos showed me that Mom was stunning, with long, straight 60's blond hair and big Twiggy eyes, and the kind of figure that a 16 year old late bloomer could only dream about. So between the hot dudes, reefer, and hot mom, it was easy to envision this super glamorous, ultra hip, swinging lifestyle set to the music and crazed colors and all of the happenings of the sixties. Sadly, my obsession materialized as a suede fringed vest, ankle breaker clogs, oddly braided hair, and a predilection for The Beach Boys and Jefferson Airplane. Yes, something was missing in translation. Although my tastes have (mostly) matured over the years, there will always be this part of me that yearns to turn my house into an all out psychedelic den of mindblowing prints, patterns and colors. Because I'm too old to do drugs, people. But I still like The Beach Boys.

m interiors

I wouldn't normally kick off a tour of my teenage dream pad with a bathroom picture, but the folks at M Interiors know something about mixing business with pleasure. The all-overness is killing me (in a good way), and I desperately need that swag light. STAT!

In the powder room, I will be featuring this wallpaper by artiste Virgil Marti:

virgil marti

Yes, that is fluorescent ink printed on black rayon flock. Hot damn, I love that wallpaper. Add some NyQuil, and you've got yourself an experience. Oh, and the blacklights would be sure to highlight any hygiene indiscretions.

Now that your hands are clean, you can come eat. The dining area would go a little something like this:

wary meyers

Wary Meyers, scroungy heroes of hip brokesters everywhere, starched vintage fabric onto the walls and used the leftovers to upholster matching cushions for their tulip chairs. Genius on the cheap.

The hallway leading from my fantasy dining area to the fantasy living quarters would be swathed in a trippy pattern from floor to ceiling, like this crazy tunnel of love from Domino:

psychedelic tunnel

Temo Callahan (whoever you are), the rest of your batshite insane pad makes me claustrophobic, but this is an epic Willy Wonkaesque masterpiece.

The living room will feature a ton of funky fabrics and patterns, of course:

m interiors

M Interiors seem to be masters of mind reading, because I love this classic empire sofa recovered in a wackadoo print. Keeping the pieces vintage but recovering with fresh fabric prevents fauxchedelic syndrome:

crazy couch

Woof. No amount of NyQuil can make that palatable. The chrome legs, especially, make my eyes bleed. Even though this is a designer piece presented in Milan, I just know that's a cheap Sofamart couch with a nylon slipcover stretched over the foam. And that is wrong.

Must get back to my happy place, pronto!


Aaaahhhh... that's better. This picture by super photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo demonstrates the softer side of psychedelia. Of course, in my crazy fantasy pad, I would have to spice things up a bit. We'll be needing some art:

andy gilmore

My real life pad may have to borrow these Andy Gilmore pieces from the fantasy pad. Because they're AMAZING. And homeboy has an Etsy shop. Yes he does.

andy gilmore

I'll definitely need a special chair to sit in and concentrate on Gilmore's goodness...

jack larsen

This groovy chair upholstered in rad Jack Lenor Larsen fabric ought to do the trick. That dude had vision. Like the kind that comes from peyote.

Or, I could always keep the furnishings lean and go the psychedelic wallpaper route, a la Kelly Wearstler:

kelly wearstler

Whoa. Who needs a tv when you could just watch the wallpaper dance?

After all that dancing, I may need to chillax in my super restful bedroom:

miller on mansfield

Sorry about the terrible pictures, but I just had to show UK hotel, The Miller of Mansfield, getting its groove on. Bed In, anyone? I will be co opting that top headboard for the fantasy pad, thank you.

Perhaps I'll go a bit more minimal in the guest bedroom.


I love everything about this bedroom from Ngoc Minh Ngo's portfolio for my real life pad, including the fab psychedelic pillows. For my teenage dream home, though, I think we'll need a wee bit more drama.

suzy hoodless

Let's see -- this crazy wallpaper in a Suzy Hoodless designed hospital seems to be about the right color scheme... and who doesn't want a giant creepy owl hooting at them in the middle of the night? Whooo? Whooo?

Phew, I'm tired after a long and stimulating day of looking. I may need to sit in my little nook papered with this chill Ferm pattern:


The chair is staying, fo shiz. I will need it to sit and meditate on how the future is going to be so much brighter since we will soon be out from under the thumb of oppression, and we won't need to protest the war anymore, or rebel against narrow minded conservative zealots. Unless you live in California. Or Florida. I guess there's always a need for more flower power.