Rainbow Christmas Tree

Did you have one of these ceramic lighted trees as a kid? We did and it might be my favorite Christmas decoration memory from childhood. (Well that and an odd stuffed Christmas mouse in clothes that hid under low slung furniture? Mom???) I looked forward to organizing those little plastic bulbs all year long! It was the Lite-Brite, another childhood OBSESSION, of holiday decor. Of course, I wanted my kids to have the same exact experience (parents are so weird) so I found one of these vintage Atlantic Mold trees when they were babies and now my kids look forward to popping in the colorful pegs every year too. Weird mission accomplished.

My daughter rearranged all the little bulbs and birds in rainbow order a few years back and it was like an explosion of 80’s nostalgia all rolled up in one little tree. Rainbow isn’t usually my thing, but now this is the only way we decorate our lighted tree. For those of you looking to light up a ceramic tree of your own without going vintage, good news! They are making a comeback and everywhere from Amazon to Target is carrying them! About time, because finding these trees vintage can be a job. They are always the first thing to be scooped up at estate sales. The one below is my favorite but this all pink one is pretty great too. I was reminded of all this when I saw this perforated little tree at Target recently – I don’t think is meant to be used with bulbs but it would look amazing with some glowy balls or even crazy birds! And battery powered!Now you know I’m a bit of a Christmas minimalist, but there remains one Christmas decoration on my hunt list to eventually take the place of my more traditional tree. The ever elusive 60’s ultra-modern ceramic light up tree. Like this. The best, right?! Unwilling to pay ebay prices, I’ve been waiting for 10ish years to find one “in the wild” with no luck. Send me good scavenging wishes for the new year!

And tell me, was a tree like this part of your childhood too????

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Modern Outdoor Lights

I’ve put in a few good hours looking for mid century-ish exterior wall lights and I thought I’d share some favorites at all different price points! Our newly bright white house needs some adornment after its fresh coat of paint. As in FIVE new exterior lights. When working on a project where there are so few details, the details all really matter so I set out to find some contrasty, bold lights in an interesting but minimal shape to pop on our house. Paying for the painting has left a big vacancy in the house project budget so my parameters were extremely cheap for this upgrade. In an effort to save money, I decided to refurbish and paint our old porch light (a vintage double cone light) for the front, at least for the time being.

Around back, I needed 4 matching lights for our garage/backyard area. My first thought was to buy minimal cylinder sconces. But the more I pondered it, the more I worried that my house would look like just another basic ranch trying to be something it’s not. And the more I wanted lighting that was less ubiquitous and more playful.

I expanded my search and landed on a mid century cone shape, purchasing these very reasonably priced black single cone sconces. I love the simple but beefy triangle, and the price was even better! I bought them from Amazon Warehouse (returns, but like new), making them even super affordable. They haven’t arrived yet but I’m hoping the inverted cone will provide a lovely counterpoint, in shape and color, to our exterior! 

 

But dang did I ever find some other beautiful options that I might start saving up for…

For obvious reasons, these are blowing my mind. Sadly out of my budget, even though I think they are quite reasonable at around $300 – especially if you only need one and not five. BUT HOW AMAZING! It’s rare to see such elegant mid-century inspired exterior lights. AND THEY COME IN COLORS LIKE TURQUOISE TOO (shown at top)! And they are huge! And there are matching outdoor pendantsMy favorite all around source for authentic looking mid century lights, both interior and exterior, has to be Practical Props. Prices are nice and the lines are modern all the way. We have one of their baby sputniks in our entry and love it. This bowtie, double cone light would be my top pick for a whole house upgrade if/when I ever get there in the future. This profile is not easy to come by with an outdoor rating and that price is so good!!!  Pinhole version here

I love the look of minimal architectural sconces and there are so many options right now! Again, Practical Props, would be my go to.How about these globe torches??!! Yay or nay? Looking straight outta the 60’s, I give ’em an enthusiastic yay.

If you are looking for cheap, extremely affordable lights exist! We lived with these globe lights in our backyard for years as a placeholder (that we bought even cheaper at ReStore!) and they did the job. My husband actually lobbied to keep them because they are quirky and give off a good amount of light. I was ready to upgrade to something more substantial this time, but these globes, readily available for $20-30, are a great option!

These jar lights, too, are very cute and only $12! TWELVE DOLLARS! Maybe not for every house, but could hit the spot on a funky little modern shack.

Now, this one is intriguing. LED lights scary me because: SO COLD SOMETIMES! I picture these as super unique and fun garage lights…with warm light!

So are these cool or just bad weird??? I think they could work on the right house.

Traditional lanterns aren’t usually something I’m drawn to, but this is a great modern version.You all always have the best ideas so please add any favorites you have in the comments!!! xoxo

Diamond Chair Cover Thoughts

I think I need to start a blog post category just called “Chairs and their Covers.” I have a problem. You may remember that I bought this dream vintage Bertoia diamond chair a few months ago but the pumpkin-orange original cushion cover was unexpectedly unsalvageable. It was immediately clear that this was a job beyond my sewing abilities/wants. I thought about having an upholsterer do it but I wasn’t at all excited about putting forth the effort of finding fabric on my own or getting on my upholsterer’s long list or paying the high price I was expecting. Are you catching the lazy vibe I’m throwing down? Clicking buttons on a computer sounded so much better so on the suggestion of some IG friends, I purchased a reproduction cover from an ebay seller. I’m here to share the details in case you are A.) in the same boat B.) lazy and C.) can’t afford a billion dollar replacement from Knoll!

You can find the seller right here. They manufacture other Bertoia cover replacements for those large diamonds, birds, and ottomans too! The cost for a regular diamond chair cover came in under $200 after shipping and, although it took months to arrive, for the price and convenience, I’m generally happy. The fabric and construction are good enough, though obviously the quality of the original and Knoll replacements I’m sure are on another level. The cushion ships folded in half, so that right there sets it apart from the completely molded foam originals which are shaped perfectly to that curve. A bit of manipulating is required to get this cover into place and the results is wrinkled areas on the back sides. Sad, as that back view is the best view! The fit is actually pretty decent from the front.My biggest worry was that the fabric would be cheap looking and in an off color. I picked a vivid dark orange from their fabric choices (Persimmon) and, while not as nubby or as thick as my adorable original, it has some texture and is better than expected. The color is surprisingly great! The foam itself is thinner, which I’m fine with, but it arrived with a few areas where the foam isn’t totally adhered to the fabric causing bubbling. And a few more bubbles popped up within a few days of fitting it to the chair. Not ideal, but you only see it in certain lights and it’s not a deal breaker for my lazy butt.The tether system is my biggest complaint, being rigged a bit differently and not hidden. On the originals, one piece of twine encircles the entire cover and clips inconspicuously under the seat. This cover has two tethers that need to clip at the sides, the angles of which are not at all forgiving when trying to hide the clips. The look is super clunky and the one thing I would change if I could!Some shots of the original for comparison. (Does anybody want it for a pattern/other reason? Foam is lumpy/deteriorating and there is slight smoke smell but if you still have a use for it, hit me up!)Overall, for the price and especially THE LACK OF WORK ON MY PART, I’m happy with the purchase!

I’m really just so thankful to have this chair.

I’m basically exactly this at minute 1:50…

But no really, ashtray/lamp/chair hits a little too close to home.

Circa50 Butterfly Chair Covers

Somehow this has turned into a saga. Two years ago I bought some replacement covers (actually two different kinds ugh) for our backyard vintage butterfly chair frames and wrote this long post on places to find them. I have detailed info there, but to summarize: if you want replacement canvas covers for your (non folding) vintage frames, check out Circa50, D & J Patio, Unique Contemporary Solutions, or Amazon (if you are willing to dig around in the reviews to make sure of sizing!). If you want replacement outdoor vinyl covers, only Circa50 and D & J sell them, as far as I know.

Since I needed outdoor covers, I opted for the cheaper ones from D & J and, while I was previously mostly happy with the purchase, both covers met their end last month within 20 minutes of each other – and while we were sitting in them ha! The weakness in these covers is that the edging is not made of the same outdoor fabric as the seat (and the color doesn’t even match) and that minor annoyance proved to be the literal weakest link. I repaired a small ripped seam last fall in one of the covers, but both covers ripped straight through at the edges in multiple places last month when we went to use them for the first time this year. After less than 2 years of full sun/weather exposure in our backyard, the canvas binding and thread just didn’t withstand the elements in the same way the vinyl seat did. So now my cheap solution is turning into a costly one that could have been avoided. Arg.

I ordered a pair of vinyl outdoor covers from Circa50 last week, like I should have done to begin with. They arrived quickly and are an upgrade. The fabric/edging is great and the choice of sizes meant that I could get a better fit. My chair is a weird size, 29″ across the top and 27.5″ across the bottom. Since I was in between sizes and I’ve heard that sizing up is a good idea, I went with a size C and it fits great. I think I could have even gone up one more. Reviews claims that these will last for like a decade instead of a few years, so my only regret is not ordering them in the first place!

Here are some side by sides for comparison.D & J:Circa50:The weather magically turned wonderful this week and I’m in full freshen up the yard mode, which right now mostly involves pulling 10,000 weeds (and doing my annual google search of DIY swimming pools). If backyard season is hitting you too, you may find these posts useful: on firepits, on finding vintage cone fireplaces, a modern screen door, my backyard mural wall, drought tolerant landscaping on a budget, and a mid century inspired patio. Happy yard work everybody!

Modern Wall Mount Mailboxes

With the new front door, I’m finding myself ready to swap out our DIY bamboo/spray paint mailbox situation for something more durable and permanent. The gold paint is starting to show finger prints and is ready for replacement or facelift. And with the major pieces are in place, I feel like maybe gold isn’t what I want here. I’m leaning towards sleek and white, and of course, something with a mid century feel. Look at all these adorable options and give me your opinions please!

Modern Mailbox – My front runner. I love everything about this design! I’m thinking white on white for my porch, but there’s so many fun color combos:

Neutrabox – LOVE these ones too!!!! Unfortunately, not ideal colors for our house (only red and black with silver), but WOW to the sliders:CB2 Snail Mailbox – I could strongly see myself with this mailbox. But is it too dark and heavy for my porch? There is that hint of brass though and the price is right:

Moda Industria – I love the color options and the customization options, but I think I need a more low and lean look:

Modbox – Clean, simple and so many fun colors (also pictured at top in orange! Should I just say yes to that one?):

Broadmoor Stainless Mailbox – So out of my price range, but so pretty.

 

Salsbury Industies – And then there’s this extremely plain one for $50 at Home Depot. Maybe that’s all I need? 
But I can’t shake this combo….
What do you think? One option is to just repaint mine and call it a day. Honestly, I feel ridiculous spending a lot of money on a mailbox, though maybe I shouldn’t since so often it’s the details that really up that curb appeal? Weigh in: is it worth it? And what color/style would you choose?! Do you own one of these and, if so, how has it held up? Thanks!!! xoxo Jenny