In Category: ‘Flea Market Finds’

March 18, 2015 The Dining Room


The front of our house was originally built in 1929 and ironically, needed the least amount of work.  The additions and renovations done in the 70s, 80s and 90s were the most terrible.   But, the original work was pretty incredible.  The dining room didn’t need much work at all, just some paint and it was good to go!   Originally we painted it eggplant, and Chris hated it.  So a few years ago, we just continued on the Urban Sunrise from the studio into the dining room.  It’s a smaller room and doesn’t get much light at all.  Lightening up the walls made such a big difference!

The dining room is the connector for my studio and the kitchen.  This archway was one of the originals, and Chris has duplicated it throughout the house.  It’s one of my favorite features of the house.
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The table is a floor sample from Crate & Barrel, we got an amazing deal on it!  The plan had always been to replace the plain white top with a piece of marble.  The plan had also been to replace the chairs, a Craigslist find from our condo.  The chairs are actually different now, it took two years to find a set that I liked!  The wall sconces are from Circa Lighting and the painting is a flea market find.   I liked it, knew it looked familiar, but couldn’t quite place it.  The seller went on and on about how it was signed by the artist and a unique piece.  I looked closer.  It’s signed by Renoir.  HA!

Eventually we’ll replace the door above with one of the originals we have, maybe even on barn door hardware so that we can have full use of the swinging area.
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Most of the glassware and flower vessels I use are vintage, found at flea markets over the years.  But the plates are from our wedding china collection from Crate & Barrel and the silverware was my grandmothers!  The rug is from Rugs USA.
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The bar was one of the first renovations we made.  It was originally an entrance into a porch we think.  But it was a really weird room off of the dining room, with no real use. Chris dropped the floor down to the original placement and built a bar… so much more useful!  It’s been so great for storage, I don’t know where we’d store all of my finds if we hadn’t built the bar.  Now that we have the kitchen all finished, we don’t really use the bar for entertaining anymore, but it’s real pretty to look at icon smile The Dining Room
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Photography: Heather Kincaid

Florals: Floral Crush

Hair & Makeup: Moira Taylor Paris

March 4, 2015 The Studio


The front room of our house has undergone many a little renovation.   Minor things, nothing too major as its bones were in pretty good shape when we bought the house.  It was yellow, but it wasn’t terrible.  I actually made it more terrible by painting it fluorescent blue.  When I say terrible, I mean, it felt like you were walking around in an upside down swimming pool.  It was hideous.

This is the room you walk into from the front door, I guess a formal living room.  We had no need for it, so for nearly it year, it was blue and empty.  Terrible.  But then I needed a meeting space for clients.  I hated meeting in cramped corners of loud coffee shops, squeezing albums on to tiny tables.  So I built out this space to meet with clients in a quiet environment.  It made an incredible difference and I’m so happy with it!  Now, it’s also my office space, it’s been rearranged (again) and I’m so happy spending even more time in this beautiful room!

So, it looked like this on the day we closed escrow…
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And now, it looks like this!
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That chandelier was a score on Chris’ part.  He went up to the Habitat for Humanity store one day not too long after we bought the house without me.  He spotted this ENORMOUS chandelier in the corner.  It was brand new, from a store that had gone out of business and still had the $2,500 price tag.  But it had been sitting around there for a while,  I imagine because it is so gargantuan.  So they sold it to him for $100.  WHAT!?  He installed it before I even got home from work that day!

We painted the walls Urban Sunrise from Valspar at Lowes and it’s the perfect grey.  Not too blue or too red, it’s light and reflects the natural light in the room so beautifully!  I painted the ceiling the same color, but left a white border to accent the coved ceilings.
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Almost all of the furniture here was found at estate sales (the white & black chairs) or Craigslist (the console table).  But the sofa is from Custom Sofa Design and the coffee table is from Overstock. The “merde” pillow is Alexandra Ferguson.
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And now that it’s pulling double duty as my daily office, it’s undergone another round of changes!   But I’ll save those for another day icon smile The Studio


Photos: Heather Kincaid

Hair & Makeup: Moira Taylor Paris

Florals: Floral Crush


I really hate spending a lot of money on furniture, but I also really hate cheap furniture.  Catch 22, eh?

But I do love a good hunt and I’ve been so lucky with Craigslist over the years.  You have to dig through all kinds of junk, and sometimes it takes forever, but if you can really see through the ripped fabric and the terrible paint jobs, you can score some really beautiful pieces!

These are a few iPhone pictures of some ugly furniture I’ve bought over the years.   The blue chair was one of the priciest, I think it was about $100, but I’d never seen anything like it.  The design was so lovely and the wood was in excellent condition.  The wood credenza was probably $50, and it was so brown and so ugly with terrible hardware.   Then that red chair, you guys know my love for that chair, that was around $20.  It was ugly, but the wood was in excellent condition and the shape was just divine.
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Those ugly ones are now some of my favorite pieces in the house!

Now, I spend a lot of money at the upholsterer, but it’s significantly less than buying something of this quality new.  AND I get to make it exactly what I want it to be.  This chair was spray painted with automotive paint (my husband is fantastic, and sprays everything for me with some kind of sprayer thing attached to the air compressor.  It’s lovely.)  The paint is super thick and shiny and has never chipped.   The fabric is from Micheal Levine downtown.
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A random side table I picked up, probably $25.  It was beige I think, a terrible beige.  So Chris sprayed it, and I was able to switch out the beige granite top for a marble top when we were doing our countertops.  I switched out all of the table tops I didn’t like at the time and it was a great way to use all of the material we’d purchased.  If you don’t happen to be renovating a kitchen at the moment, you can have scraps cut at any marble yard, usually fairly inexpensively.
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I could wax on and on about this chair.  But you know her story and I’ll leave it at that.
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I am obsessed with this bar cart, and didn’t do a single thing to it.  It just happened to fill that space absolutely perfectly and was in pretty good shape.  It could use a little touching up, and a little strengthening (it wobbles a bit), but we’ve never gotten around to it and it hasn’t fallen apart.

And that credenza.  I bought it for my office, but it’s in my studio now.  It’s a dining room credenza, and has velvet slots to hold all of your silver in one drawer.  But it’s full of office supplies and paperwork now.   Chris painted this too, and we switched out the ugly hardware.   It is always so shocking what a coat of white paint can do!

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So, how do you dig through and find this among all the junk?

1. Use Craigs Easy.  It’s a program that will show you only the title and full size images on a separate page.  No more staring at the tiniest thumbnail images and clicking through all kinds of links.  It makes it so easy!

2. If you don’t really know what you want, but need all kinds of things, do random searches.  I like “antique French” or “vintage French”.  You’ll come back with all kinds of things!  If you like more modern lines, search for “danish modern”.  Or if you are really into a Spanish style, search for those key terms!  Also, I always click “Search Titles Only”, it limit the amount of crap you have to filter.

3. Ignore the paint job and the hardware and the fabric… it’s all changeable!  Look at the condition of the parts that you’ll be keeping… ripped fabric is a great detail if you’re going to be replacing it anyway!  Notice the lines, and what the piece could really look like with the right accessories.  And look for pieces that are really unique!

And should I be in a purchasing mood today, I might pick up these guys.

Brass Twin Bed Frames

Secretary Desk

Industrial Chairs 

Upholstered Arm Chair

And if you’re feeling REALLY crafty… antique baby crib ends for FREE!   Would make such a cool twin bed frame if you could repurpose these ends!

Good luck & happy hunting!


February 20, 2015 The Kitchen


I’m not saying it was the worst kitchen in the world.  I’ve seen some kitchens that need to be ripped out before I would allow myself to spend the night in the house.  Chris wanted to buy one of those houses once.   But it was bad.  Tiles were popping up and the layout was terrible and the appliances were old.  But we spent over two years with it, learning the house and really figuring out what we wanted from a new kitchen.  We built it for entertaining and the hours spent agonizing over a drawing on a napkin as we drank wine were totally worth it.   It was important to us that we be able to entertain, but still be part of the party.  We wanted to be able to cook, but not be impeded by well-meaning guests who wanted to chat.  We wanted to be able to do it all, and that kind of kitchen design is a tough one.  But LOOK!  It worked!

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I spend a lot of time in here.  Very little of it is in a gown, full make-up and heels, sitting on the counter reading Julia Childs cookbooks.  I mean, some of it is, but very very little.

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You guys, this backsplash.  Ohhh I fell in love with it, and hard.  Well, not this one.  I fell in love with one that was similar, but was more contrasting… darker lines against lighter lines.  And it was $100/sq ft.  And we needed a lot of it.  I spent months trying to convince Chris that we could do it!  That we could have it… I LOVED IT!  He’s saner than I am, so it was a hard no there.   So I found a place that would custom make it for me, for $42/sq ft.  He was going to budge, I could feel it!   And then, we were looking for marble slabs at Surfaces USA and I started to wander as Chris was chatting details.  And I stumble upon this.  We were able to get it for $9/sq. ft.  NINE DOLLARS!  I guess it’s still way pricier than a lot of tiles, but I was saving $91/sq ft people!   And four years later this continues to be one of my favorite parts of our kitchen.  Worth every single penny.

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The countertops are carerra marble, and I love them.  The etch pretty badly, but that just makes me feel like they are really lived in.  Like wrinkles on a woman that you know has spent her life laughing… each one of those marks is from a great party with wonderful friends.  Chris doesn’t feel the same way and I’m not sure that I’ll ever convince him to do it in another house.  So maybe we just never move.

The pulls & knobs are from the now closed Mother of Pearl & Sons Trading in Studio City.  I’ve got to find a new hardware place… any recommendations?


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These light fixtures were a splurge.  But I’d seen them in a magazine years and years before we started renovations and loved them.   I didn’t know who made them, but I was sure they were crazy talk expensive.  So I kept trying to find something similar, but never did.  Then I’m browsing through Circa Lighting and there they are!  It was early morning and I jumped on the bed, woke Chris up with my screaming and told them they were coming home with us!  I think he was too confused to argue.

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The Bar Cart was a Craigslist find.  The guy had two of them and I hate that I didn’t buy them both.  I don’t need them both, but it is oh so pretty.

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It’s now one of my favorite rooms in the house and we spend all of our time here.  Get togethers are more casual and our poor dining room gets very little love these days.  But crowding around the island with our people is so much nicer icon smile The Kitchen
Photos: Heather Kincaid

Florals: Floral Crush

Hair & Makeup: Moira Taylor

Dress: Morning Lavender 

February 11, 2015 The Guest Room


I’ve never had a guest room before, and I’m kind of obsessed with them.  A whole room, just set up to look comfortable and welcoming all the time.  No extra stuff, no real life.  Walking past this room makes me smile and when I decide to take a little afternoon nap, I feel like I’m heading to a hotel for a few hours!  It’s really lovely.

But when we bought our house, it looked like this…

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SOOO dirty!  And why is that ceiling fan hanging by a few wires?  Did the previous owners never vacuum anything!?

The ceiling fan came down (much to Chris’ chagrin.  He loves ceiling fans and I hate them.), the window was replaced, the carpet ripped out and hard wood floors went down.  White paint makes everything better and some heavy duty base molding… Voila!
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The bed is from Craig’s List, and comes with an amazing story.  A 16 year old girl in France ran away to get married, and this bed frame was a wedding gift from her parents.  Apparently she had a whole slew of kids on this bed (sometimes you just get too much information).  They brought it with them to America and her great-granddaughter sold it to me.   I don’t know if the story is true, but I love this bed and I love this story.   It’s a full size, but that meant something different 80 years ago, so current mattresses don’t actually fit… they’re about 1/2″ too large.  So we raised the mattress on risers and it actually floats above the bed frame, making the frame completely useless, just really really pretty.

The ceiling fixture is Restoration Hardware (and I actually have two extra that I’m thinking about selling if anyone is interested!).  The wall sconces are also Restoration and the mirror is Overstock, but a million years old.
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That green chair is a favorite of mine… another Craig’s List find!  I had it reupholstered for a photo shoot a few years ago and mean to sell it afterwards.  But I love it, so it stays.  The lamp & side table are Target.
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Thanks so much Heather Kincaid for the lovely photos (except that terrible first one) and Floral Crush for the prettiest flowers… you guys make my world go ’round!


February 6, 2015 Office Renovation


When we stumbled upon this house of ours, it was a mess.  We were riding our bikes to breakfast at Portos one July afternoon, had started to maybe think about looking at houses, getting more space.  But we were absolutely not prepared to buy something in the near future.  But this house, we couldn’t NOT buy this house.  Well, I could, but Chris saw such amazing potential in it… the bones were good, the layout was fantastic and it was half-price (it was 2008 and things were crazy!).  It was a foreclosure that had been sitting on the market for a while.  It was disgusting… dirty didn’t even begin to describe it, renovations had been done over the years that were absolutely terrible and the bathrooms and kitchen needed to be ripped out ASAP.  But he saw something incredible and convinced me that I could see something in it too.  So we bought it.

This is what my current office looked like in 2008.  Also, my photography skills have improved icon smile Office Renovation

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This is what it looks like today…
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Where there was a window, there is a door.  Where there was a door, there is a window.  More new windows in the hallway, new hickory floors, new molding, new paint, new doors, new hardware.   What was once a weird tiny little tunnel is now bright and open and full of light.  Walking down that hallway makes me inordinately happy.

These three panel doors below were one of the hardest projects for this renovation.  Should have been simple, right?  It went like this…

Me: I’m looking for a three panel door… two of the panels will be French doors, and the third panel, of exactly the same size, will not open.

Door Guy (all of them, we met with many): OK, so a French door with sidelights on either side.

Me: No, three panels, all exactly the same.  The left and middle panels are French doors, the right panel doesn’t move.  It’s a window.

Door Guy: Great, we do small sidelights on each side to make up the difference on the French doors.

Me: …staring blankly…

Seriously, it was a nightmare.  I had originally envisioned three panels that accordioned out so the whole space opened up.  But that’s crazy expensive.  And Chris wasn’t falling for it.  One day in a beach house that overlooks an ocean, maybe… but not for our backyard.
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But that!  That is exactly what I wanted and FINALLY someone could understand me!  The guys at Valley Sash & Door were incredible.  The doors are so perfect and I love looking out into the backyard!  The room doors we actually were able to repurpose from other parts of the house that didn’t need doors anymore (after stripping, sanding, stepping, sanding and painting).  The hardware is so beautiful, from Emtek, purchased at Ricks Hardware in North Hollywood (have you been here!?  It’s spectacular).
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Window unit air conditioners are terrible.  But this part of the house doesn’t have central yet and this guy has been amazing.  Keeping it real.
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We’d ripped out the original closet here, and replaced it with IKEA cabinets.  The metal on the doors was spray painted gold (as is most everything I did in here) and the whole unit was attached to the wall and then included in the molding… instant built-in!   The ceiling was scraped of the terrible popcorn and painted Martha Stewart Vintage Gold Metallic from Home Depot.
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And then the final product, shot by my dear friend Heather Kincaid for a Glitter Guide feature that went up last year!
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