So excited. I have another peacock chair and this one is a beauty! Made in the 70s by the man who taught my blind husband to weave cane (yes the typical cliche of a blind man making baskets!) and stored in a shed since his retirement the now 73 year old gentleman let my husband have it for a reasonable price and the promise to help with some cane weaving jobs. He just finished weaving a basket for a hot air balloon and he’s supposed to be retired. I would love to have seen his shop in it’s heyday. I was too excited to wait until it was in my office to take a photo. It’s currently drying after a warm soapy wash. Tomorrow hopefully photos of it gracing a corner of my retro office.

Killing two birds with one stone

Posted on Wed, 14 May 2008 by midcenturyjo

Sorry for the rather murderous analogy but it will all become clear soon I hope. I’m in a retro kind of mood today. It must be due to the lack of retro posts lately. I’ve also been inspired by Tessa’s design dilemma. When Kim bewailed the fact that no one paints a room burgundy my immediate thought was “they used to”. The light bulb went on in my head and one name was there – David Hicks. I’ve paid homage to Hicks before but I realised he was part of the solution. These are his lush rich rooms, not always burgundy but brave in their dark hues.

Imagine that Buddha vignette in a burgundy room! Or that yellow and white abstract canvas.

Tessa leans toward super bright hues (oranges, yellows, apple greens, etc.), Kim had some great ideas and with David Hicks’ help I’m going to suggest a few more. White, white, white. Tone it down with white. White furniture – think sleigh bed in white gloss, white sheers and fabric that uses white. Chocolate and white, navy and white, pink and white, black and white and even certain greens with white. Treat your burgundy walls as a deep dark neutral.

Bright colours? Why not! All these fabrics were pulled from Lee Jofa’s Groundworks Collection. Many are by David Hicks. Bright colours particularly orange and yellow and pink and green are all happy with burgundy. You don’t have to buy these fabrics but they give you an idea. Maybe florals are more your thing Tessa. I suggest a trip to the paint store. Gather together as many burgundy paint chips and every possible accent colour and play to your heart’s content. My second suggestion is dark wood with an ethnic twist, suzanis and kilims in rich reds, pinks, oranges and black. Layers and layers of pattern. Cocoon yourself in the mysterious dark. OK now I have retro rooms and Tessa’s burgundy dilemma out of my system. Two birds – not bad!

Jo’s weekend thrifting

Posted on Sun, 11 May 2008 by midcenturyjo

Kim scored a fabulous vintage Herman Miller Eames shell chair. I on the other hand found something a little different. A World War II era Australia Red Cross Society bookcase. Old, chippy, crackled paint with 2 metal and enamel badges at top. Complete with dust and daddy-long-legs spiders. The perfect home for my retro decorating books. I’m just going to clean it and replace the handle and that’s it! After I get rid of the spiders. Until then it’s living in the garage… hate spiders!


Posted on Sat, 10 May 2008 by midcenturyjo

WINKS – weekend links. Here we list what has come in during the week, things we’ve found and things we think you’ll want to see. If you’d like to see your blog or website featured email us and if we think it fits with our readers we’ll link you. So what’s in this week?

  • Oh my, oh my, oh my. Kadri Jugandi emailed us about Transparent House San Francisco based 3D and visualization studio. “Transparent House team presents its vision of the classic flooring material – concrete. We’ve created a way to refine a popular element of contemporary interior design such as polished concrete flooring. The design concept allows for application of any pattern to the surface either when poring or afterwards when the concrete has set. The fine floral ornaments promotes the clean and simple character of the space while adding a touch of warm and live contrast and highlighting the cold austerity of the material. It is always exciting for us to share our finding and our vision with you.” Gorgeous!!!! Want, need, must have. Thanks Kadri.
  • Working Class Studio is a product development venture of the Savannah College of Art and Design that cultivates and promotes the work of talented SCAD artists. They’ve just released these two new collections of paper plates. So much fun for your summer entertaining and best of all no washing up! Jessica Pope, their Sales & Marketing Manager also tempted my with their outdoor pillow range. Jump over to their website – so much talent!
  • Fusing both the beauty of art and the elegance of mirrors Studioart creates original contemporary wall displays and fixtures for the modern interior. Mirrorart is unique and makes a bold statement either to complement and existing space or make a focal feature out of any room. Studioart also have a fabulous range of canvas, perspex or paper prints. Creative style, creative Australian company.
  • Diane Bronstein emailed to introduce her art and I’m glad she did. Beautiful. I love her dresses and the koi and the landscapes and….
  • Loftlife has a new website. Check it out!
  • In recent months, ABC Home has been expanding its modern furniture collection to include “stores within stores” like Tom Dixon and Blu Dot. It will now be launching a new Herman Miller installation on May 15th called Herman Miller Environment. What’s exciting about this co-venture is that ABC Home have taken eight of their most popular silhouettes and upholstered them in fashion-forward fabrics from Maharam that are unique to these pieces. Wish I was in NY to check it out myself.
  • In from dVider. “Just as spring arrives here in our Brooklyn studio, so does our new guest artist series! Adding to our ever growing line of awesome vinyl wall stickers, our second featured artist, fellow Brooklynite David Ort, has explored the expressive and alluring qualities found in the human form and the anatomy of nature to create a fascinating collection of 9 provocative stickers. Available in four limited edition colors, in addition to dVider’s signature 12, from May 1 through July 31, 2008. Head on over to dVider and see for yourself!”
  • Kim featured the beautiful work of interior designer Ami McKay here. Ami emailed to let us know of her other venture Pure. “I have found it difficult finding beautiful eco furniture when creating healthy and sustainable homes for my clients – so I decided to create my own. It is a line that is inspired by the elements fire, air, earth and water and melds high design with the purest sustainable materials available. Eco can be flattering!” Too many beautiful pieces to show here. You just have to go yourself but you have been warned. It’s fabulous!
  • More wonderful online goodies in the email inbox. “My name is Holly Hallberg and I am the owner and operator of a modern Scandinavian web store called Huset. Our site is unique in that all of our items are Scandinavian and originating from either Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland; all with a modern feel. Huset carries everything from modern housewares, children’s goods, including clothing and toys and women’s accessories and clothing as well. Several designers and lines within the web boutique are only available in the United States thru our store.” I’m a total Scandinavian addict. Great shop Holly. I’m so glad you emailed!

I’ve run out of time and space and I have so many more to share. I guess there is always next week!

Owen Design Associates

Posted on Wed, 7 May 2008 by midcenturyjo

There is an elegant monochromatic and simple yet lush feel to these rooms by Owen Design Associates but just when you think that this soothing neutral palette is their thing ODA surprise with rich colour. Love Alexandra Owen’s clean lines as much as her take on comfortable and tufted. Would kill for those silk drapes and bamboo blinds in the last room featured.