vintage home accents

wild cherry blossom fairyWhen I was younger and got into decorating, I had little knowledge of things vintage.  My style had always been eclectic ~ juxtaposing different styles together ~ but a lot has changed.

Back then I chose teak wood furniture from Denmark and mixed it with Native American rugs and Georgia O’Keefe prints.  Then Rachel Ashwell’s shabby chic exploded onto the scene and I was greatly influenced ~ soft, feminine with weathered wood and washed ivory linen.  Being more of a minimalist than Rachel, I looked and learned and kept some ideas for future use.

My taste has since morphed into a blend of American farmhouse, English cottage and French country.  One thing I love are vintage illustrations like the fairy shown above.  Dating from the 1930s to ’50s ~ flowers, trees and herbs were drawn with their particular fairy.  This and many other beautiful prints can be found at Collectors Prints, out of London.

I also love this antique pen drawing of a deer {complete with “real pen-work” stated in the background} available as clip art at The Graphics Fairy.

spencerian pen flourished deer illustrationThe image on my About page is part of this series ~ apparently they are from an early calligraphy book.  Some of them, like the one above, are large enough to print out and frame.

She also offers wonderful vintage botanicals like this adorable pear.

vintage pear illustrationAgain the link contains a large image that can be printed out.  Thank you Graphics Fairy!  She has loads of great stuff ~ highly recommended.

Besides illustrations, another type of vintage decor I became fond of is carnival glass.

carnival depression glassThe above photo is from an Etsy shop with a large selection of depression glassware.  I discovered orange carnival glass not long ago while photographing inventory for a second hand store.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

carnival glass

Usually described as “marigold” orange, I love how the iridescence doesn’t overwhelm the softness of the peach and pink tones.  Most of this type of glassware was made by Anchor Hocking, a name well known in the vintage collectible world.  Here’s one that’s a bit more bold.

carnival ribbed tumblerNot my style for drinking out of but they’d be fun accents, maybe holding teaspoons or wooden utensils.

I could really imagine these style elements working together in a kitchen ~ functional pieces in fun off-beat colors alongside old world prints of nature.  Tres eclectic!

the working glass ~ old school & flawless

working glassesI consider myself to be “eclectic” because I love to mix contrasting styles and designs together.  Along with cooking, it’s the best {and fun-est!} way I know to express my personal aesthetic and individuality.

When it comes to decor and kitchen items, I really love the farmhouse style.  It’s homey and cozy and lends itself to lots of eclectic variations.

Behold the working glass.  Possibly originated in France for storing preserves, it is farmhouse style at its finest.  I discovered this retro classic at a place called Cost Plus many years ago and, as a girl on a serious budget but unwilling to drink out of a boring glass, they’d fit the bill.  I should say it had fit the bill, as I literally purchased 1 glass and washed&dried it after each use {and by use I mean beer}.

Unfortunately, after moving a few times my once-fave glass was lost in the shuffle.  Then recently, I walked into a local kitchen shop and saw some working glasses on display.  I scooped up nearly every one they had and am now reunited with my old friend.  Next, I’ll be needing some lids.  Here’s why:

working glasses and lids

Never has food storage looked so cute.  We’re trying to get away from plastic storage containers in this house, which is no easy feat.  Pyrex makes some great glass bowls with lids for the bigger stuff.  But these babies are just right for a few bites of leftovers or extra sauce, tucking away nicely in a corner of the fridge.  And at a generous 21 ounces, the large working glass holds more than a few bites.

Now that I’ve found them online at Crate&Barrel, I’m happy to report that lids are just a few clicks away.  Check them out ~ and when you do, notice the customer reviews.  Five stars as far as the eye can see.

emile henry kitchenware

emile henry flame topMost of us know about Le Creuset cookware, and many of us have at least one French Oven, or their kitchen accessories — or we know of someone who does.  But I recently discovered a line of cookware by Emile Henry that is by far my favorite.

Meet the Flame Top Round Dutch Oven, above, in “rouge”.  Ooh la la!  Yes, what a cliche but I have no other words.  This beauty is functional:  it goes from freezer to oven and is lighter than Le Creuset while achieving all their French Ovens do and more.  I received an Emile 4.2 quart round in “figue” as a gift and I’m in love.

emile henry figue

Emile used to have an Artisan series with a color called “caramel” that is only available now at Williams-Sonoma.  This color is appropriately named:  it makes me melt like caramel!

emile henry artisan
Their classic colors include “olive” which I love as a base tone on the kitchen counter
emile henry olive
…and “apricot” which is great for a fun splash of color
emile henry apricot
Most items can be found on Emile Henry’s website or Zappo’s or Amazon.
Enjoy!