Cake Plates and Cupcakes

San Francisco's Ferry Building is home to some amazing food purveyors that I was fortune to visit last weekend. One merchant that caught my eye was Miette, a charming shop selling cookies, cupcakes, hard candies, graham crackers and other yummy pastries. My good friend Katie was looking for something to send her mother-in-law in Chicago for Mother's Day and I suggested Miette's gift box that's available online. Cupcakes and shortbreads (lavender shortbread? Yum!) would look great served on vintage cake plates and there are lots of options available in antique stores. My favorites are white Ironstone and colored Depression Glass; I think multiple sizes grouped together look especially great.

Ironstone-I love the look of multiples!
Cut glass, probably from the 1930's or 40's

Light blue glass adds a bit of interest

Miette San Francisco-order from their website, they ship!

Sampling of Miette's treats
Photo's from Country Living Magazine, Google and


Eames Eiffel Chairs at Nopalito

Nopalito is a fabulous restaurant in San Francisco that serves fresh, organic Mexican cuisine. Everything is so fresh and tasty! In addition to the great food, the dining chairs are reproduction Eames Eiffel chairs in a cool lime green. These chairs would look great in a smaller-scale dining room and originals can be found on eBay and from antique dealers specializing in mid-century design. Prices of these popular chairs will vary, so if you're committed to buying an original be prepared to jump on ones that are in good condition.

Eames Eiffel Chair

Nopalito in San Francisco-Amazing food!

Great examples for using Eames Eiffel's as dining room chairs
Photos from Google and Nopalito


Champagne and Grace Kelly

I've just returned from a ridiculously fun trip to San Francisco and the surrounding wine country. The weather was gorgeous and we visited some great vineyards. This morning, I received an email from Domaine Carneros announcing that my bottles of sparkling brut and brut rose would be arriving later this week. Because Domaine Carneros is part of Taittinger (uber-famous French wine-making company), I started thinking about an iconic champagne advertisement featuring Grace Kelly. Princess Grace probably drank her Taittinger in fabulous crystal champagne saucers, so I'm inspired to run to the closest antique store to look for some this week before my bubbly is delivered!

Grace Kelly inspires millions to drink Taittinger!

These pink champagne saucers will look even better filled with brut rose!
Photos from Google


Cynthia Steffe's stylish antiques

While scanning this month's Country Living Magazine, I was impressed by fashion designer Cynthia Steffe's home in the Catskill Mountains. Clearly her eye for design translates to antique buying and decorating!

Photos from Country Living Magazine


Definition: Mid-Century Modern

What does ‘mid-century modern’ mean when applied to design esthetic and antique buying? For newcomers, I thought it might be helpful to provide some definitions to basic design styles and product lingo used when antiquing. So here’s a few things to know:

-Wikipedia defines mid-century modern as “an architectural, interior and product design form that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.”

-Some famous designers of that time are Charles & Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Russel Wright, Hans Wagner, and Paul McCobb. The list could go on, but all these designers are have pieces that are famous among antique circles.

-Because of the current popularity with mid-century design, many of the above designers have pieces that have been reproduced or licensed for production. Keep this in mind when buying antiques; do you want an authentic piece or a reproduction?

Bertoia Chair
Photo from Wikipedia

Russel Wright dinnerware
Photo from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Eames Lounger
Photo from Wikipedia


Relaxing breakfast with a cool coffee set

Wouldn't it be nice to have a nice, long breakfast every morning? One where you actually brew a big pot of coffee, serve in a stylish mug, and read your newspaper(s) of choice from start to finish without interruption? Ahhhhh....heaven! If I had the time to do that, I'd use this great coffee pot and mug set with the silly bird cream holder. It makes me smile!

Photo from Midwest Living Magazine


Before and After: Update vintage finds

There are lots of reasons to buy antique and vintage pieces, but one of my favorites is the ability to transform a piece of furniture to suit your style and decor. Wood furniture can be transformed with a paint brush or new stain and upholstered furniture can be updated with new fabric. The key is to find a well-made, quality piece and update to suit your taste. Check back for more indicators of good quality furniture that's worth the effort to refinish or reupholster. Until then, enjoy these before-and-after photos.
Before; Nice quality

After; Blue paint and new hardware instantly update this entry dresser

Before; Ugly green velvet!

After; Same classic shape, but updated fabric

Before; Traditional sideboard

After; White paint lightens the dark look from before
Photos from Southern Living Magazine


Spring flowers and bud vases

Spring flowers are just starting to bloom and I bought some daffodils today to add a bit of color and cheer to my house for the weekend. I have some great bud vases, but am always in the market for more so may have to look for some this weekend. Here are a few ideas.

Photos from Country Living Magazine

Have a great weekend!


Looking for an antique table?

Round tables are terrific furniture pieces because they can be used in a variety of ways. If you have limited space in your apartment or condo, these are especially good multi-functioning items. How about having breakfast at one of these tables in the morning before work and then using as a bar for drinks when people come over later that evening? I say yes! You can find an abundance of these tables in antique stores, malls and markets. Pick one that suits your budget and look; remember, a good coat of paint will go a long way to freshening up a table that's in need of a facelift.

Photos from House Beautiful


Upper East Side home in the New York Times

This home was featured in the New York Times last week and, according to the article, is decorated with antiques and thrift store items. The following statement particularly struck a chord: "Homes are furnished with stories as much as with chairs and end tables, and some of the stories about the contents of this apartment have the charm of novellas." How true! It's far more interesting to have a home filled with pieces that have history. I once bought an old watercolor painting in an antique shop that needed reframing. When I took off the old frame, there was a love note written on the back. Not only is the painting beautiful, that story makes it even more interesting!

Here's the article: New York Times Upper East Side home

Photos from the New York Times


Spring is here...and so is antiquing season!

While there are opportunities to shop antique and vintage stores year-round, springtime marks the beginning of the weekend antique markets and shows across the country. I hope my posts inspire to you get up early, grab a latte or coffee, and join me as I look for ways to incorporate antiques and vintage designs into my decor. Don't these classic chairs with pink upholstry make for a charming spring table?

From House Beautiful