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Both Mary and I are road-tripping this week. Sadly, I am going to Austin just when she’s headed out of town. My brother is moving into a co-op down there, and Kyle and I are helping him drive down. Then, we’re tacking a few extra days onto our stay, so I’ll get to enjoy Mary’s new-to-her leather sofa.

Here are some of my new and new-ish accessories that are making the journey with me!

I bought this Olsenboye Foldover Tote  at jcpenney for only $14 on Saturday. I’ve been wanting a new purse for a while, and I had so much trouble finding one I really liked. Everything was too expensive, too big and unstructured, or too small. This one is definitely on the huge side, but since it folds over and has a bit of structure to it, it’s not so bad. I bought this particular style because it was the one on sale, but it’s really grown on me. I think I’d like some of the brighter patterns they have for $35, but this matches almost everything.

These bright blue skinnies are the $340 J Brand Midrise Skinny Bright Royal from MRS H version of the $4 Gordman’s clearance bright blue skinnies I bought on Friday. They also had orange/coral, mint, and yellow on clearance but for $20. And $16 dollars worth of difference made blue my number one choice. I love them! I wore them Friday night and Saturday and Sunday when I went to my parents to deliver the cat before the road trip. They’re currently in the washing machine so they’ll be ready for another wear this week!

Finally, my favorite little iPod Nano. I bought this over memorial day so I could add music to my elliptical workouts (and maybe eventually start running outside if it ever cools down). I’ve loaded it with an audio book, so that if my passenger wants to sleep on the way down or back, I have something to keep my mind active and awake.

I started The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch on a drive last week, and I think I’ll really like it. Hopefully it does it’s job. I’ll be driving a rental van and Kyle will be driving my parents Highlander, so we’ll either have my brother or his girlfriend as a passenger… I’m sure they’ll be tired from moving and going away parties.

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Vintage Leather Couch Nailhead Trim

Last Thursday, Brendan and I both had the day off. I spent the morning catching up on all my favorite blogs and I read Emily Henderson’s How to Find the Perfect  Leather Sofa. Her guide is great and it totally made me want a vintage leather couch. Side note: the first photos in that post are hilarious!

I never thought I would actually want a leather sofa because they are so hard to find in just the right style and not to mention expensive. So here stood my conditions: vintage or perfectly worn, not overstuffed, straight lines, fits my budget, and had some interest (i.e. nailhead trim). Hence why I’ve never bought a sofa, those conditions are super unlikely.

Welp, until Thursday that is. I talked B into taking a trip to Goodwill and one vintage shop (those were the conditions since vintage furniture hunting isn’t exactly his thang). We stopped in one of my favorites, Get Back Vintage. The shop owner, Jenny, is the only one that works there and she’s got super reasonable prices for Austin. I walked around the back and took a peek in her back room.

There it was. Covered in a drop cloth and that perfect nailhead trim poking out.

Vintage Leather Couch

I asked Jenny if it was still available and if I could take a look at it. When she said yes, I’m pretty sure you could see my heart pounding. But I knew deep down that I wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Vintage Leather Couch

Then, she told me the price was $550 and she would cover the tax. Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that! I grabbed Brendan and had him come check it out. He was sold. Perfect.

That night I got on Pinterest and typed in leather sofa just to see if I could find the source of this couch. Turns out it’s $3000 (!!!) from Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalog. So it’s not vintage leather, but it’s worn and perfect.

Don’t get me wrong $550 is a huge amount of money for us right now. But, this was an investment. It’ll be around forever and will most likely always have a place in our home.

Now, what do you think?!

 

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Jess’s Picks

  • Today at 5 p.m. marks the start of my vacation — which includes a trip to Austin to move my brother into his new co-op and several days to play around in Austin. It also marks the end of my July 4 – Vacation alcohol fast. Needless to say, I’m in the mood for a little frivolousness right now. Perfect timing for 10 Clever Multi-Purpose Furniture Ideas Meeting the Needs of a Modern Lifestyle at Freshome. I think this wine table is my favorite. The glass window in the top is excellent!
  • This Mint, Coral, and Pink style palette at Making it Lovely has some great accessories for vacation. I don’t think it’s cool enough to wear any of the clothes yet, but I’m looking forward to the day this heat wave/drought breaks and a 3/4 sleeve sweater feels perfect. (I think this will be the first autumn in my lifetime that I’ve looked forward to more than the return of football.)
  • Maybe instead of pink, mint, and coral clothes, I’ll go for pink, mint, and coral hair chalking. I’m a little late to this party, probably, but I just discovered hair chalking this week and I’m anxious to try this CHALK IT UP tutorial from The Beauty Department. I want something a little dramatic and rebellious for vacation.

Mary’s Picks

  • I’m loving these color palettes based off Wes Anderson movies from Whorange. The Rushmore palette is my favorite. Love the saturated colors. (via Making it Lovely)
  • The Makeshift Society sounds amazing and I wish it was in Austin. I’d love to sit around with women who are talented, creative, and encourage one another in their creativity. (via Design Sponge)

 

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I love typography. I’m not an expert at it, but I certainly respect it as, at least to me, one of the most tedious and substantial forms of design given that letters are the basis of the content that drives so much practical design. I’m always excited to come across some vintage letters and always hope that whatever letters are available will be something that for whatever reason can be twisted into words or initials that are meaningful to me.

1. Industrial Salvaged NOIR Metal Letter Sign 2 FtTall by joevintage; 2. Vintagestyle ‘Old English’ Letter ‘T’ Painted Wood by Northstar50; 3. Simply ME Custom INITIAL Typeset Bitty Charm by princessbydesign; 4. Antique Letterpress Printers WOOD TYPE by TurnersCollectibles; 5. Various LETTERPRESS WOOD PRINTING BLOCKs type by bicigirl on Etsy; 6. Letterpress Type Drawer or Shadowbox / by ConceptFurnishings; 7. Wooden letter B nursery kids wall art letter by LettersofWood; 8. Vintage Marquee Letter Sign by THEFARMERSSHOP on Etsy; 9. Antique Enamelware Letters for Sign Your Choice by veraviola; 10. Letter a wooden lower case handcut hand painted by LettersofWood; 11. Mid Century Type Writer Smith Corona 250 by jojosvintagecupboard.

It’s maybe no coincidence that this summer I have been devouring BLTs (made with faux bacon, of course) + avocado and somehow B, L, T, and A, all found their way into this series.

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The season finale of Design Star on HGTV aired last night. Did you watch? Did you watch this whole season? I love Design Star and I love getting to watch the challenges. It’s fun getting to think about what you would do in a space or how you might fix something. I know they have crazy amounts of limitations with budget, places to shop, and overall resources. So I think what they manage to come up with is awesome. (From here on out there are spoilers about the finale so stop reading if you haven’t watched it yet!)

The challenge was for the two finalist, Britany and Danielle, to create a 5 minute premier of their show. Wow, that’s a lot of pressure. To come up with a whole show concept. I’ve got no clue what I would do. Probably something about how to nap efficiently in a space. I’m pretty good at that.

Here’s the final product of Britany’s room:

I love the color of that couch and how well it goes with that rug. It’s really pretty. But am I the only one that doesn’t understand sectionals? Sure, they totally work in some rooms but I’m not so sure it works in this space? Maybe it’s the camera lens, but from this angle there seems to be a lot of wasted space behind the couch. Hmm, again, limited time and resources. This room is really pretty though and honestly, who am I to say anything less than positive? (Also, those stupid florescent lights they had to put up to take the shots of the rooms are really ugly and distracting.)

Next up: Danielle’s room. Based on her room and her pilot, she was the obvious winner. She did a sectional but for some reason I totally get it in this space. Also, she did a great job of not making this room look like a show room. So many of the finished rooms on this show look like show rooms and not like lived in spaces. I really like this space! I love the midcentury pieces and I love how she incorporated their artwork. That would have hung me up because the artwork isn’t my taste at all. And I don’t think it was Danielle’s either, so major kudos to her for doing such a great job! Congrats, Danielle!!!

Do you have any thoughts on Design Star? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Inspired by Bathrooms

My least favorite room in our house: the bathroom. I’ve tried really hard to keep it looking pretty and even gave it a paint job. But the reality is, our bathroom could use a major facelift. Things just aren’t working in there anymore. The tile easily molds, the window has been painted shut, and the caulking in there is cuckoo. As you know, we rent and like most people on Pinterest I pin the hell outta my “dream house”. Including, dream bathroom. Who knows when that will happen and I’m sure that I’ll most likely change my mind by the time I’m able to work on a bathroom.

It’s lovely to look at beautifully designed spaces anyhow, though. My favorite aspect of this bathroom is its versatility. Just change those paint colors with the trends and, most likely, it’ll be decades before this bathroom has to be redone. I love it because it’s nothing fancy or over the top. Simple and pretty. There’s no odd tile choices that will leave someone (well, not me at least) just wanting to rip this bathroom out in 5-10 years. The pops of color are perfect. They make the space look updated while still feeling original. That’s aard to achieve but my most favorite spaces are able to do it. A girl can dream, right?

(via Pinterest and Jeskya D’Itri Marés)

 

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I was just thinking a week or so ago that I haven’t had a thrift share in a LONG time. I would have to check our archives to even remember the last time I bought something thrift for my home. Maybe it was just that realization that made me excited when I realized that one of my favorite local antique malls had a booth at the same farm show where my museum had a booth this weekend. I think I spotted what I wanted there before I even noticed the booth!

As we were all setting up on Thursday for the Friday/Saturday show, I noticed an adorable mustard upholstered bench/ottoman. Friday, I checked the price and it was only $27.50! I think the legs on it are in good enough shape to justify that price, but I decided to wait until Saturday and then haggle a little if it was still there at the end of the day. The farm show was pretty slow, so I was lucky and snagged the bench for a few dollars price the original asking price!

I considered using it as an ottoman but I like the square ottoman in front of the loveseat, and the coffee table already takes up the space in front of the sofa, so I had to shop my house for a place to put it. After moving the dog’s bed in the living room to the spot she prefers to sleep, I found the perfect home for it right next to the TV.

I styled it quickly with some spare throw pillows and some circa 2008 presidential signs. I think I’ll probably re-style it after my next thrift trip out. Ideally, I’d like to find a tray that fits it and put a vase and some books in the tray, then I’ll probably swap out at least one of the pillows for one that is more decorative, and add a quilt.

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com