the Vintage Modern shop – vintage, budget chic style for your home & wardrobe

The Vintage Modern shop offers curated, vintage style at budget-friendly prices. It’s like shopping with a team of interior designers without the designer price tag. And you never even have to leave your couch.

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Women that Inspire Me: Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

Bohemian Home Decor Ideas, Bohemian Style Ideas, Women That Inspire Me, Upcycling, Vintage home decor, macrame home decor, Home Design Ideas, Women in BusinessPamela DeweyComment

Hi friends!

I have the second installment of my blog series Women that Inspire Me, and this week I am featuring two women, Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson.

Emma and Elsie are sisters that created the blog, A Beautiful Mess. Their blog features DIY recipes, crafts, furniture projects, home décor, as well as advice about blogging and photography.

Elsie started A Beautiful Mess as a personal blog in 2007, and then Emma started a food blog a few years later. They combined their blogs into one in 2010, and this version of A Beautiful Mess was born.

Their styles are ever evolving, but always inspiring. I can personally thank them for my love of all things pink, brass and marble. But their style is also fun and quirky.

I mean, check out Elsie’s before and after of her den. What a beautiful, zen space.

I also really enjoy that though their homes are beautiful, the spaces also are comfortable and lived in. The site states, “If you haven’t guessed by now A Beautiful Mess is all about living a creative, and sometimes messy, life.”

 

They understand paint gets spilled, dogs shed and sometimes, well sometimes you just make home décor mistakes.

But A Beautiful Mess is not just a blog. It is also “a women’s lifestyle company focused on creating happiness every day through a homemade lifestyle.”

Elsie and Emma also have an online shop, Oui Fresh. Their store sells t-shirts, sunglasses, organizational items and their own line of essential oils and natural lipsticks and lip glosses. Their makeup is non-toxic, cruelty free, gluten free and GMO free.

The pair has also written multiple books. They've written a photography book: A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book: 95 Inspiring Idea for Photographing Your Friends, Your World, and Yourself. They've written a home décor and DIY book: A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space. And they've written a cookbook: A Beautiful Mess Weekday Weekend: How to live a healthy veggie life...and still eat treats.

And if that all wasn't enough, these talented ladies have two apps. A Color Story and the newly launched, A Design Kit. A Color Story is a photo filter and effect app. A Design Kit allows you to add text, stickers, backgrounds, shapes and use different brushes to draw on your photos. I've just started playing around with A Design Kit, but I use A Color Story to filter most of my photos for the shop.

Plus Elsie and Emma try to keep their blog "focused on positivity and love" and they use the "business to try to give back" when they can.

So these insanely talented, creative stylish ladies also try to give back to their communities and are serious about clean living.

In honor of Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess, I am sharing all things blush and brass that I have listed in the shop.  Shop the links below.

7 Easy Steps to Build a Gallery Wall

Pamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

As someone who loves to decorate (and redecorate) her house, this week I thought I would share some tips on how to create a gallery wall.

There are multiple ways to design a gallery wall, but here are some of my favorites. Let me know in the comments section, if you have any other ideas to add.

1.      Start with one piece of art and build from that. This is often a bigger statement piece, but it could just be your favorite piece of art.

2.      If you want to go for a particularly clean gallery look, use frames that are all the same color. Or if you prefer a more eclectic look, mix in different styles and colors of frames.

3.      Lay your artwork down on the floor and practice arranging it. You can even take pictures with your phone to help you decide what arrangement you like best.

4.      If you are a graphic design pro, you could lay it out in InDesign, or whatever program you like. It might be more time consuming, but if you are very particular, this is a good option.

5.      Another option is to use painters tape to outline the art on your wall. This will give you a good idea about how the frames fit together, but you won’t get the visual element of how the art mixes.

6.      Make your significant other, roommate or Mom hold up the art in your desired location. (This requires a patient significant other, roommate or Mom.)

7.      Get out the hammer, nails, a pencil and a level. It’s time to hang some art! Remember, you can always fill those nail holes later if you change your mind.

Below I have shared some photos of the galley wall in my living room, as well as a link to a beautiful home featured on Design*Sponge with its gallery game on point.

 

This is the gallery wall in my living room. Please forgive the glare on some of the pictures. I am working on my photography skills.

This is the gallery wall in my living room. Please forgive the glare on some of the pictures. I am working on my photography skills.

Here is a closeup of my gallery wall. I went with a mixture of frame styles and colors. Also don't Jeni's prints look great?!

Here is a closeup of my gallery wall. I went with a mixture of frame styles and colors. Also don't Jeni's prints look great?!

The Vintage Modern shop's Top 5 Sources for Creative Inspiration

Pamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

Inspiration is probably the most important element of creating. Without inspiration, you are just a writer sitting at a desk, a musician staring at the keys or an artist with a blank canvas.

Like most creators, I find inspiration in a variety of ways. This week I thought I would share my top 5 sources to get my creative juices flowing.

1.    Design Blogs

My favorite design blog is Design*Sponge. It was started by Grace Bonney in 2004, and it features home interiors, recipes, DIYs, before and after projects, art, business tips, and just about any other type of design you can think of.

I check out Design*Sponge not quite every day, but close. It keeps me up-to-date on the latest trends in interior design, inspires how I decorate my home and also inspires the pieces I create for the shop.

More than just the content she shares, I find Bonney herself a source of inspiration. Her blog has turned into a wildly successful company and brand. She has published two books, and the most recent book, In the Company of Women, is a New York Times Best Seller.

But Bonney does more than market her own brand, she also encourages other women to succeed. She regularly features other creative women on her blog and shares their secrets of success.

When I was creating the Vintage Modern shop, I often looked to Design*Sponge, and Bonney particularly, to figure out the best practices for launching a new business.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I also really enjoy the design, DIY, food and fashion blog, A Beautiful Mess. Sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman have fabulous taste, and their homes are impeccable.

I can also credit this blog for cementing my love for all things blush pink.

2.    Books

I have always loved reading. Reading helps me recharge my batteries. Reading helps me disappear into another world. Reading teaches me to be a better writer. Reading teaches me more about the world I live in.

I try to read every night. And when I start a really great novel, I can wile away a whole Saturday curled up on the couch reading. It feels like the ultimate luxury.

I am currently reading Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. Gay is one of my favorite writers, as well as a feminist icon. With her book Bad Feminist, she not only coined a much beloved term, but also created a legion of devotees. Difficult Women is a collection of her short stories, and it does not disappoint. I aspire to be half the writer she is.

I am also reading In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, as mentioned above. In the Company of Women, as the cover states, contains “inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artists, and entrepreneurs.” Also as the name suggests, all these creatives are women.

My favorite profile so far is Genevieve Gorder’s. Gorder is an interior designer and a host on HGTV. She is also from Minnesota. (Twin Cities!) Gorder is beautiful, talented and she seems like just a genuinely lovely person.

When asked what success means to her,” Gorder replies,

“The simplest answer I can think of is to able to live my imagination and give it away to as many people as possible in one lifetime. I’m never worried about having enough inspiration. I’m worried that one lifetime will never be enough to execute it all.”

As a woman who has multiple creative passions, this answer really resonates with me. I worry that I am pulling myself in too many directions, and I will never have enough time to get it all done.

At the same time, being able to create and share my art with the world is the most amazing feeling.

Last Friday, I sold my Shoe Collector Curio Cabinet. After I delivered the piece, I followed up with some care instructions for the customer. She texted me back, “I love it so much!! Thanks for dropping it off…Even my 2 year old said PRETTY when he saw it.”

Receiving that text was so rewarding. She loved the cabinet as much as I did, and I was so happy that I could share my creation with her.

3.    Music

Music is such an important part of my life. I listen to a little bit of everything, and I often listen to music while I write. It helps set the mood for the creation process. (I am listening to the new Bon Iver album, 22, A Million a lot.)

Music can also inspire what I create. Sometimes a lyric from a song will inspire me to write a story or a poem.

But more than just inspiration, music helps soothe my soul, provides me focus and helps me unwind. I mean, is there anything more cathartic than a five-minute dance break?

4.    Pinterest and Instagram

I find so much inspiration scrolling through my feeds on Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest has a lot of good DIY ideas, and there are so many insightful pins about refinishing furniture on the site.

And personally, Pinterest is my go-to source for recipe ideas. As someone who loves to cook and try new things, Pinterest is a great resource.

Instagram is more than just a photography site. It is an online community where people can share their art and interact with other artists.

And believe me, they are so many people making great art. The beauty shared on Instagram continually blows me away.

5.    Thrift stores and flea markets

I love the thrill of the thrift store hunt. Scouring through racks and racks of used clothing, and then stumbling across that perfect vintage coat is quite a high.

Finding thrift store treasure takes patience, perseverance and a good eye. Through my twenty odd years of combing through racks and shelves, I have developed a very good eye. I am always on the lookout for that diamond in the rough!

Hope you enjoyed my top 5 sources of inspiration, and maybe found some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

How to Build a Perfectly, Imperfect Farmhouse Table (Or at Least Some Ideas)

Pamela DeweyComment

Pro-Tip: Hay Barn Building Experience May Prove Helpful

Hi friends.

This week on the blog, I thought I would share something a little different. I interviewed the builder who created our Make It Your Family Farmhouse, Upcycled Trestle Table. And the builder just so happens to be my dad.

What was the first piece of furniture you built? When was that?

I built a bench and a toybox in 4H. I was about 10 or 11 years old at the time.

Did you create the pieces from scratch, or how did you know what to do?

There was a 4H planbook that had pictures, told you the materials you needed, instructions to follow, what lengths to cut boards, etc.

What was the next thing you built?

I helped build the hay barn (on the family farm) when I was 20.

Wow. That sounds intense.

Yeah. I mean I didn’t do it on my own or anything. I helped my pop build it. It took us a couple months.

I know you make drawings beforehand. Tell me a little bit about your design process.  Where do you pull inspiration from?

I pull inspiration mostly out of my head. Some of the drawings skills (to create the table blueprints) I learned in high school, college and at work. (My father is a retired, electrical engineer.)

Tell me about where the wood from this table is from.

The wood is all out of the house. (The house is farmhouse my father grew up in, located in Kansas.) The wood is mostly fir, maybe some pine. It is the wood that was the floor joists, as well as studs out of the wall. I call it structure wood.

What is one of your favorite memories of growing up on the farm?

I loved the freedom. Back then, there wasn’t so much fear of bad things happening to children, like them being kidnapped. We worked a lot, but we also had free time to go fishing, wander around, and just explore. 300 acres is a pretty good area to go exploring in.

How did you come up with the color for the stain?

I used a pre-stain sealer that turned the wood a reddish color. Then I applied ash-colored stain to return the aged look to the wood. Then I sealed the table with several layers of polyurethane.

What is your favorite part of making a table?

Letting the creative juices flow. None of the three tables are exactly like. (This is the third farmhouse table my father has constructed. The other ones he built are in my and my brother’s dining rooms.)

What is one thing you have learned from making these tables?

I like to work with repurposed wood because it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Yeah. I think that is what makes these tables so beautiful. The imperfections make the tables completely unique. 

An Aside To the Readers

The older I become, the more I appreciate imperfection in home design. Let’s be real. Your house is never going to look like the cover of Architectural Digest or even HGTV Magazine most days. You live there, you have kids, you have pets. Dirt gets on the rug. Wine gets spilled. (In my house, far too often.) Dust settles EVERYWHERE.

So rather than worrying about all the ways my house doesn’t look like an magazine cover, I decided to embrace imperfection. Seek out something with a little patina, a little chipped paint, or a few scuff marks. It shows the piece has age and character. And then when I spill wine (or paint) on that old trunk I use for a coffee table, I don’t worry. I am just adding to the charm. And the less things I have to worry about, the better.