Garland on the staircase

If you are lucky enough to have a home with a banister, don't miss an opportunity to add holiday garland to it. Evergreen garland is gorgeous, but there are other festive options including pepperberry, magnolia leaves, eucalyptus, ribbon, and even paper. I love the beautiful red berry wreaths in this photo and may use that as inspiration. Last year, I found antique sock forms and hung them on my banister from red satin ribbon to look like stockings!

Photos from Etsy, Martha Stewart


WSJ article-London

The Wall Street Journal recently featured an article by writer/designer Rita Konig that profiled some of London's best antique shops. I've included a link below to the article, don't forget to look at the slideshow of pictures. If you're like me, you'll want to grab your Hunter wellies (British royal green, of course) and Burberry trench for a quick trip to London after reading this article.

Click here for a link to Rita's great article.

Photos from the WSJ


Silver Christmas Trees

While I prefer to have at least one live evergreen tree decorated for Christmas, there are plenty of faux options. My favorites are vintage aluminum trees, particularly those silver in color, popular in the 1960's. Ebay, estate sales and antique shops are good places to find these trees and most are reasonably priced between $25-$175. Feather trees are another popular faux choice and come in a variety of colors. I especially like white for something a little different.

Photos via Chicago Home, MSL, and Country Living


Christmas Trees

There's nothing I adore more this time of year than decorating my Christmas tree. I was distracted by a wallpaper project this weekend (pictures to come) and still have yet to get my tree 'dressed' for the holidays. TONIGHT is the night! Here are some classic trees, email me your pictures to share.

Photos from Martha Stewart and Country Living


Grand Rapids, Michigan

While not readily thought of as a vacation destination, Grand Rapids, Michigan is home to a number of good antique shops and shows. The Allegan Antique Market is held the last Saturday of each month and has a range of prices and products. The Century Antique Shop and 29th Street Antique Shop have over 150 vendors; if you're lucky, you can find vintage goods from Grand Rapids furniture makers Herman Miller and Steelcase. Also, this week, check out the not-to-miss Art Prize competition.

Century Antique Shop

Downtown Grand Rapids

Amway Grand Hotel
Photos from Google


Outdoor Rooms

Tonight we had near-perfect evening weather; warm, but not hot, with a nice breeze. I wish we had an outdoor room, sun porch or patio to relax in. If that were the case, I'd still be outside drinking sangria! Until then, I'll dream of my patio and think of ways to decorate it.

Love this set-up, the chairs are probably 
reproduction, but eBay might have originals

Love the red vintage cooler

Wicker is classic and looks great at a beach house
Photos from


Lonny: Home Magazine

If you haven't checked out the online shelter magazine, Lonny, you should. Published only in digital media, it's a great read and the editors profile some neat people and homes. The June/July edition is now available (see the above link) and features an eclectic mix of houses with a variety of vintage/antique goods. The coolest feature of the magazine is the ability to click on embedded links within each picture and be directed to a website where the item is available for sale. Tres fantastic!


Bathroom Vanity

This weekend, we celebrated my nephew's first birthday with a fabulous summer party at my brother-and-sister-in-law's house. Mike and Collyn live in a charming 1928 Tudor-style home that's great for entertaining. One of my favorite rooms is a neat bathroom off the kitchen with original tile and a cast-iron bathtub. The bath cabinet needed replacing, so instead of buying one new, they found an antique marble-top dresser and added a sink and faucet. The 'new' cabinet looks authentic to the house and the room, as if it were installed in the late '20's with the rest of the bath fixtures. I've included a photo below, many thanks to Collyn for sending it over and for hosting such a wonderful party!

Collyn and Mike's marble-top bath vanity

Great use of an antique table paired 
with a modern sink and faucet

The antique sconces and vibrant wallpaper 
add interest to this small space

This bath console is a reproduction, but I love the 
antique urns used as storage containers
Photos from MetHome and Elle Decor


DEFINITION: Danish Modern

Danish Modern is a term used to describe a minimalist style of wood furniture, usually made of teak, from Denmark popular in the 40's, 50's and 60's. The side tables I bought this week are this style, although they don't appear to be teak (which is probably why they were less expensive). I especially love Danish Modern credenzas and sideboards; usually they are a good height and pair well with different woods.

Also, if you live within driving distance of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Ann Arbor Antique Market is this weekend on Saturday (8a-4pm) and Sunday (9a-4pm). It's a nice-sized show and there's good quality antiques in a variety of styles. Have a GREAT weekend!

I love, love, love this piece!

Danish Modern lounge chair
Photos from Flickr and


Auction Finds

Back from my trip to the antique auction! There were plenty of items up for grabs, but I only came home with the following: two danish modern side tables and one galvanized metal watering can. I'm super excited about the side tables for a couple reasons; first, I've been on the lookout for side and coffee tables for at least six months and, second, they were $10! SCORE! Most important, however, is they look really great.

Matching pair of side tables for my living room

Closer look; the legs have a nice taper

No excuses for my geraniums to be dehydrated!
Photos by Kelly Dyer for The Chicer Antiquer


GO: Shipshewana, Indiana Antique Auction

Every Wednesday throughout the summer there's a huge antique auction in Shipshewana, Indiana. Held in a large building with over 31,000 square feet of space, 8-10 auctioneers will concurrently sell antique furniture, pottery, jewelry, toys, quilts and glassware. Today I'm going to the auction with my mom (who's the queen-bee antiquer!) and hope to come home with some great finds. I'll post pictures (and maybe video!) tomorrow. 

Shipshewana is located in north-central Indiana,
home to many Amish families

Amish buggies parked outside the auction
Photos from


Decor Winners: Vintage trophies

After the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, Winston (who lives in Chicago) asked me to blog about antique trophies. Tiffany & Co. is the original trophy maker and still makes many of the top awards given in famous athletic competitions around the country. Less famous awards from days of yore can be found in antique shops and used as decor accents, vases for flowers, and candy dishes. I have a great tarnished silver equestrian trophy that I use as a vase and think it looks terrific. I prefer to use large flowers like hydrangeas and peonies, but roses look classic too. Do you have other uses for antique trophies?

Love the delicately curved handles

Tarnished silver with hydrangeas

Vintage tennis trophies look great in mass
Photos from Google and Flickr


Ironstone Dishes

White china is having a resurgence in popularity following a period where colorful patterns on dinnerware was en vogue. I've been invited to a handful of weddings this summer and most registries include china in basic white, which the practical me loves: it goes with everything! The original white dinnerware, Ironstone, is highly collectible and found across the country (but is particularly popular in the Northeast and Midwest). If nothing else, buy an Ironstone platter for use when serving bigger items like Thanksgiving turkey. Yum!

Lots of great posts this week including recent trips to Minneapolis and the Amish Antique Auction in Shipshewana, Indiana; Enjoy!

Ironstone Platters and Bowl

Classic cake stands from the 19th Century

Awesome collection of Ironstone pitchers
Photos from Martha Stewart and Country Living


Vintage Bicycles

This weekend, I'm riding a charity bike ride in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The 'cycle I'm riding tomorrow isn't vintage, but I have two bikes in my garage circa 1970 that I rescued from my in-laws before they were sent to Goodwill. I love those bikes, one green with a wicker basket and the other blue with a brown leather seat. They remind me of summer: trips to the beach, fresh blueberries, flip-flops, sunglasses, canvas tote bags, and my antique bike. I hope you enjoy these photos. Keep your eye out for a 'lil piece of summer to buy for yourself. Have a great weekend!

This bike should be rode by someone in flip flops headed to the beach!

Neat red paint

Photos from Flickr


DEFINITION: Biedermeier

Biedermeier is a well-know style of antique furniture created in German-speaking countries in the early-to-mid 19th Century. Because furniture was created out of fruitwood (cherry, pear, etc), there's a very distinctive look to Biedermeier pieces. If you get a chance, there's a pretty thorough description on the history of the Biedermeier style on Wikipedia. Prices tend to be high given the age and fine craftsmanship of many furniture pieces. Enjoy these photos as an introduction!

Can you see the speckled wood 
that's characteristic of Biedermeier?

Biedermeier chairs
Biedermeier dresser
Photos from Flickr and Martha Stewart Living


Vintage Map Handkerchiefs

Today on Martha Stewart's website, there's a photo gallery of vintage napkins, tablecloths, scarves and handkerchiefs printed with state maps. These popular travel souvenirs were purchased by American tourists during the 1930's-1950's. While Martha (and/or her staff) suggest some creative uses, I'm partial to collecting handkerchiefs and using them as cocktail napkins. No cutting, sewing, gluing, etc required...just pair with your favorite adult beverage and enjoy!

Anne, my friend in Boston, needs a set of these!
Perfect to accompany a martini (with blue-cheese stuffed olives) in Chicago

Love the peach color
Photos from


Country Farmhouse Foyer

Last night I was at dinner with a gentleman that owns a circa 1863 farmhouse in Vermont. While I like a mix of antique styles, old country farmhouses look great decorated with solid colonial furniture. Traditionally, the foyer was a place of welcoming and gathering and most old homes have beautiful entry rooms. Enjoy these photos as examples of those beautiful spaces. If you had a country home, where would it be?

Photos from House Beautiful and Martha Stewart Living