Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Link Love

I hope you are all planning fun and looong holiday weekends. I'm taking advantage of the holiday by getting a million things on my to do list crossed off!  Here is some inspiration to get you through the weekend.  I'll see you all back here on Tuesday!

1. Here's a great weekend diy project - mid century clock magnets

2. Truly inspiring use of IKEA.  Found via The City Sage.

3. You know how I love me anything polaroid.

4. I am so in love with this kitchen, I literally cannot stop staring at it...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

If you follow me on twitter you might already know about my stove issues, it's seriously on the fritz and we have to get a new one, stat.  The only problem is we have no design direction for the kitchen yet and I'm hesitant to replace the stove until we make some decisions. 

Going back to the whole industrial thing, I really love that look in the kitchen.  I literally couldn't stop staring at this kitchen the first time I saw it but Mike thinks it's too commerical looking.  But still beautiful, no?  I would take any of these kitchens, they are all fabulous.

I'm really trying to do something different in the kitchen so we don't end up with a cookie cutter look but that is so difficult with a kitchen.  I'm also torn between a retro stove and a commerical looking stove....any suggestions? 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Architectural salvage

I am completely in love with industrial elements in design. Since I was little (and probably inspired by the movie Big), I have always wanted to live in a huge loft with columns and beams and amazing architectural and industrial design. Sadly, we don't live in a loft but I am still eager to find a way to incorporate these elements into my home. Lately I've been doing a lot of internet hunting for architectural salvage and my new favorite find is Urban Remains. They buy salvage rights to old industrial buildings and factories in Chicago and their store is full of amazing finds.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

apt 22 shop update

Our shop update is almost complete. We are still adding 1-2 items daily and are already preparing for another big shop update next week. I can't wait to share all of our great finds!
 Photos: apt 22 vintage

Connect with me

I just recently got the Twitbird app for my iPhone (I highly recommend it for those who tweet). It has seriously made be a better tweeter(?) I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not but in any case, I would love for you all to connect with me on Twitter and Facebook if you haven't already, I've recently updated my fan pages as well so I am totally socially connected!

Mid Century Moment

Photo: Plastolux

Monday, May 24, 2010

Behind the Design - Hopeless

Good morning everyone.  This week's Behind the Design features Gabrielle of Hopeless.  The creator of beautiful, vintage inspired handmade lingerie.  Her collections are stunning and she was a pleasure to interview!

Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere! I love watching old movies and usually base my ranges around a film, but I also love looking at art books, vintage magazines, and visiting galleries.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
I can never force it, when I get that urge or idea I will stop what I am doing and just draw out the designs in my head for a little while. If I set aside time and go somewhere to do the creative work, I usually come up with nothing!! I am constantly thinking about design ideas and colours and things, so I have sketchbooks, notepads, and scraps of paper all over my house.

Where do you most of your work?
I work from home and have my machines set up on the dining room table. I iron in the adjoining kitchen, and do all my hand sewing on the couch in front of the tv!

How did you come up with the name for your business?
My sister just thought of it one day and I thought it sounded perfect. Not your typical lingerie brand name, and it can be interpreted in a number of ways.

Your favorite thing to make?
I love making one-off pieces. I get bored very easily and much prefer the process of putting the first sample together rather than sewing lots of the same thing. That said, it is always good to perfect and practice certain skills - and I can see certain sewing techniques have improved hugely over the past few years.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
Probably the Dahlia Bra and Garter Belt Set from my first range. I think it's a really good example of what Hopeless is about.

You couldn't run your business without __________?
The support of my family and my boyfriend Nick.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Be patient. But I am still trying to get a hold of that one!

Coffee or tea?
Black coffee and chamomile tea (not at the same time obviously).

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
Style Bubble.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
Karl Lagerfeld.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
I do love Singstar.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
South America - Just because I think it would be an incredible adventure!

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring with you?
Nick, a sewing needle, a mattress, a toothbrush, a dictionary.

Thank you Gabrielle for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Hopeless Lingerie.

Gabrielle can be found at:
Etsy shop
Web site

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Link Love

So glad the weekend is finally here. I am having a pedicure with my mom, some friends are having a crawfish boil (I don't eat crawfish so I am mainly going for the socializing) and we are probably going to squeeze in some thrifting and maybe another photo shoot as we already have a ton more new stuff for the shop including this amazing varsity sweater that I am having a hard time parting with! What are your plans for the weekend?

Here is a little link love to get you through the weekend. See you all back here on Monday!

1. I am so in love with this little boy's room filled with great vintage finds.  I'm a 29 year old woman and I would love this room!  That is one lucky little boy.

2. Well I didn't make it to Brimfield for their first show but I am really enjoying all the blogger's posts about what's hot this year!

3. Looking for great vintage stores in Manhattan?  Check out this article from the NY Times featuring Michael Bargo, former assistant to Thomas O'Brien.

4. You know how some people have really great car collections.  I want a bike collection and I'd like to start my collection with this beauty.  Her name is Poppy, she looks like a Poppy, doesn't she?
Found via See Saw.

Happy Friday!

Friday Fashion Files - Style Icons

Recently I was thinking about who my style icons are, nothing came to mind immediately and then I was watching this video and started thinking about how much I like Chloe Sevigny. She has such great style. She can pull off nerd glasses like no one's business. She always looks great and has a myriad of looks, plus - she has that great East Village hipster style that I love.   Who are your style icons?

Photos: 1., 2., 3., 4., 5., 6., 7.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vintage Love - Sweet Love Vintage

This week's Vintage Love features Sarah of Sweet Love Vintage. Sarah's shop has such a great mix of collectibles and vintage items for the home.

What do you love about vintage?
My favorite part has to be the story.  Wondering where the item has been and who has used it.  It's a tangible piece of history.  I love that incorporating vintage into your home (and wardrobe!) adds character.  Even though I have my share of big box store items, I've never been a big fan of mass production.  Mix it up for your own one-of-a-kind look.

What is the best item you have ever come across when you have been vintage/thrift shopping?
This changes all the time but I recently scored a crazy beautiful mid century light up Replogle library globe at a garage sale for 10 bucks.  I found it on Earth Day too, which made it even a better find. 

Do you have a style or method you use when vintage/thrift shopping?
I usually just hit my local thrift store when I'm out and about running the kids around.  During the summer, I faithfully garage sale on Thursday and Friday mornings as there are a plethora of sales here in the Midwest.  I can get in and out quickly at garage sales - got that down to a science - but put me in an antique store and I could joyfully spend hours there.

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
You know the old saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover"?  Well, never judge a garage by it's junk is my saying.  I've walked into some sales that look like they're going to be all baby stuff, and have been surprised to find they also have their grandma's jewelry collection, or their uncle's old vintage tools.  You just never know. 

Thank you Sarah for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Sweet Love Vintage.

Sarah can be found at:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The upholstery project

I ordered some linen swatches last night from my favorite linen source, I'm having a hard time finding out what linen weight is best for upholstering.  Does anyone know?  There doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there, the best I could find was to use a medium to heavy weight which seems kind of obvious but I was looking for a little more information.  I guess I will have to just wing it and determine from the samples which weight I think will work best.  I also just ordered this book from Amazon and I'm going to try and order the necessary tools by the end of the week.  I'm so excited to start tearing apart that couch.  I was so inspired by the video Sprout did for Etsy (also reference in last week's Friday Link Love) that now I can't wait to get started on this project!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mid Century Moment

Sneak Preview - apt 22

This weekend was spent preparing for a huge shop update that has been several weeks in the making!  We spent most of the day Sunday shooting and editing photos and preparing for the update.

I couldn't resist giving you a little sneak preview of some of the things we will be adding to the shop this week.   I'll be sure to make an announcement here letting everyone know when the update occurs.
 Photos: apt 22 vintage

Monday, May 17, 2010

Behind the Design - Tider Design

Good morning everyone!  How was your weekend?  We were so busy working on the shop but still managed to have a fabulous weekend and even squeezed in dinner with friends on Saturday. 

This week's Behind the Design features the talented Diane of Tider Design.  I have been coveting her Eames chair necklaces forever! 

Where does your inspiration come from?
I design on a whim, but am generally drawn to bold or iconic shapes - the starfish, for example, a chair or a pair of scissors - things people glance at and immediately recognize, though perhaps they aren't used to seeing them in jewelry form.  I also love natural forms, and am doing a lot of bamboo motifs these days; I like the fact that bamboo has been represented in art for centuries, and can still be beautiful and totally modern in my work today.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
Nowhere special, though I have a habit of designing in my head in bed at night - I've definitely had to get out of bed to draw something that I didn't want to forget overnight!

Where do you do most of your work?
It depends on the medium - for enamels and soldered metalwork, I have to be in the studio, but for resins or beads, I like to sit on the living room floor in front of the television.

How did you come up with the name for you business?
I was struggling to come up with a name for quite some time, and eventually just settled on my last name.  It's strange that I didn't choose it from the get-go, after all, it's a unique name, and it really represents who I am.

Your favorite thing to make?
That's a tough one.  I've always enjoyed the transformation of raw materials into a finished product, whatever that might be.  I used to do a lot of darkroom photography, and I could happily develop photos for hours; I also love to bake...there's a moment of magic, seeing a photograph bloom up on a blank page in a tray developer, watching a loaf of bread rise in the oven, solder melting or glass fusing.  It's consistently magical for me.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
I really don't have a favorite, they're all special to me, and I wear a lot of jewelry.

You couldn't run your business without __________?
So many fantastic suppliers in New York - I'm lucky to live in a place with great resources.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Being a successful artist means more than just making things - if you really want to sell, you have to know and work the angles.  That means getting good at the business and marketing pieces (or enlisting someone who is), even if they aren't your forte.  Invest in a great camera - beautiful things can't shine if your photos are poor. 

Coffee or tea?
Neither - I always drink water, even as a little girl.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
I love Design Sponge, though I can never get over how put together other people's homes look in there.  I wish they'd also show the room or closet where they crammed all the junk that they took out of the perfect room.....

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
Ooh, I should probably choose someone who would be interesting to me professionally or creatively, but I have to say Madonna - I've been fascinated by her since I was a little girl.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
My career in public health, so jewelry design is my creative outlet.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
I'm lucky to be marrying a man who loves to travel and we make it a priority to see the world.  I would love to visit Japan and plan to do so some day soon.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring with you?
I don't know if they'd count as "things," but I'd take my favorite people - spending a year on an island with them would be much more fun than jewelry tools, tv, or books.

Thank you Diane for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Diane,

Diane can be found at
Etsy shop

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Friday Fashion Files - Vintage glasses

Photos: 1. 2. 3.

So lately I've been loving vintage eye glasses, and yes I mean the big nerdy ones, but I also love the vintage Ray Bans like the ones Tom Cruise wore in Risky Business. I actually met someone recently who turned the Wayfarers into eye cool. I am hoping I might come across a pair of really cool frames while thrifting that I might be able to turn into eye glasses. Apparently any discount prescription eye shop can do this for you, you just have to sign a waiver stating that you won't hold them accountable if they damage the frames, blah, blah.  Here are some of my favorites....

Photos: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Friday Link Love

So glad Friday is finally here.  I had a few days off of work last week and I am still trying to catch up.  Can't wait for the break.  What are your plans for the weekend?

As always, here is some inspiration to get you through the weekend.  Enjoy!

I'm not sure if you are all as obsessed with 9 by Design as I am but this is a great interview with Courtney Novogratz from the NY Times.

This is such an inspiring video, especially since I am getting ready to tackle reupholstering our couch.  I am in awe of what a chair looks like underneath all that fabric!

Umm, I'm in love...this shop looks AMAZING.  Book me on the next flight to Mesa!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vintage Love - Seesaw Vintage

This week's Vintage Love features one of my absolute favorite vintage shops, Seesaw Vintage, for all it's fabulous mid century homewares and fashion.

What do you love about vintage?
I love all the patterns and colors you find when hunting for vintage.  Many of the textiles you come across are truly amazing.

What is the best item you have ever come across when vintage/thrift shopping?
My best vintage find was an amazing 60's lamp whose base is made of many different pieces of driftwood.  It's such a conversation piece, and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

Do you have a style or method you like to use when vintage/thrift shopping?
I like to hit a bunch of stores in a row.  You have to be in the right mindset to dig through junk to find the treasures, so I have a route I take weekly that involved 5-7 stores.  I look forward to that day each week!

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
Have an idea of what you're looking for before you start because it's so easy to get overwhelmed if you don't have a focus.  If you're looking for clothes, start there, and only after you have exhausted all the racks should you go check out the housewares or the furniture.

Thank you Seesaw Vintage for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Seesaw Vintage.

Seesaw Vintage can be found at:
Esty shop
Letterpress Etsy shop

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

As bloggers and blog readers, I know we can all get a little burnt out from all the beautiful things we see online.  The same blogs and websites I constantly garner inspiration from, can some days make me feel like I can't do anything right and that someone out there will always have more beautiful and creative ideas.  This is a topic that has been bounced around a lot in the blog world.  I think we've all been there, even the most inspirational and successful bloggers have felt this way from time to time. 

When I have a moment like that I try to completely disconnect from the online world (temporarily, of course!) and find time to do something that I love and that I know I am good at.  Today, however, I would like to celebrate all the wonderful sources of inspiration I do get from perusing through websites and blogs because the internet truly is a source of non-stop beauty, creativity, and inspiration. 

I sometimes wonder where the world of design and fashion would be if it weren't for the internet.  It makes every day people who have no background in a topic they love, able to pull up images and gather ideas to use as inspiration for their own use.  I can't subscribe to Living Etc. or House and Home but I can quickly go online and check out the beautiful eye candy from past issues with the click of a mouse.  Some days I want to throw my computer out the window but most days I embrace all the beautiful images and the people who create inviting and creative spaces for me to come and gather inspiration from.  Here are a few favorite sources I have gathered over the last few months...

Where are you getting your inspiration from these days?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Behind the Design - The Harbinger Company

Good morning everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Ours was amazing, and included the addition of a new baby - our friends welcomed their new son into the world early Saturday morning, he is absolutely perfect!!  Congrats Meg and Ryan!! 

This week's Behind the Design features Yvonne from The Harbinger Company.  Yvonne's work is absolutely beautiful, I don't think there is a single piece from her collection that I don't love! 

Where does your inspiration come from?
I am easily inspired by things I find interesting or things I can make better. I love patterns of all sorts, so most of my jewelry and boxes so far are inspired by patterns in nature, architecture, geometry, etc.  I also love maps of all sorts, even before I was an urban planner. I am also inspired by artists and designers such as Mel Kadel, Shepard Fairey, David Ellis, Ryan McGinness, Jason Munn, BLU, Ghada Amer, and so many more. I also love ethnic patterns and textiles. I am also inspired by impactful design that helps improve lives and does more than look pretty.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
I find being alone helps me be more creative. I usually work at my desk in my bedroom and play a little relaxing music on the computer.

Where do you do most of your work?
I turned my kitchen into a studio, so I do the more heavy duty work there, such as sanding wood pieces, sewing, and painting. Otherwise, I like working in my room where I can watch TV or movies on the computer while I make things.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
Finding a business name is extremely difficult. I spent about a year before I decided on The Harbinger Company. I learned the word "harbinger" in freshman year of high school in an English class. The word really stuck with me. I knew I didn't want to use my own name because it doesn't have a ring (Yvonne Hung). I liked how "harbinger" was forward looking, a real word that not many people knew the definition of, and sounded both Chinese and English at the same time. I like how "The Harbinger Company" sounds like it's from classic literature and has a weight to it.

Your favorite thing to make?
I love making lots of things. Although The Harbinger Company sells lasercut bamboo jewelry and wooden boxes, I actually make a lot of other things not for sale...yet. I love painting, drawing, and mixed media art. I love graphic design, which I did a lot of as an urban planner/designer. I also make handbags, even though I'm scared of the sewing machine, but I love the finished product.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
This is a hard question. I am currently obsessed with these cork and leather bags I made by hand. I'm considering selling them to the public this year, but not sure it's worth the investment yet.

You couldn't run your business without __________?
My sister Ginny, who's been extremely supportive and proactive with helping me do the marketing, sales, and modeling. Also my computer, since online sales is a huge part of my business.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Don't underprice yourself! And leave a price margin for wholesaling. You don't have to work with retailers you don't think would fit your ideal market.

Coffee of tea?

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
Notcot, Notcouture, Svpply, Designmilk, Fecal Face, Business Week, Good Magazine.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
I have a never ending list of projects: paintings, handbags, lampshades, doors. I think I can integrate these with The Harbinger Company in one way or another in the future.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
I'd love to go places with rich ethnic folk art and textiles, such as Peru, Bali, Kenya, or Morocco. Places with a beach would be nice too since San Francisco is always colder than it seems.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
A good friend
An ax

Thank you Yvonne for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Yvonne, The Harbinger Company.

Yvonne can be found at:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Friday

Happy Friday.  I hope you all don't mind but I am going to take the day off, a little belated birthday gift to myself!  I'll see you all back here on Monday.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vintage Love - Rare Treasure

Good morning!  Today's Vintage Love features Robyn of Rare Treasure.  Robyn has such an amazing collection of vintage clothing, it's hard to pick a favorite!!  Be sure to read her interview and check out her shop and blog

What do you love about vintage?
Shopping for vintage is such a treasure hunt and I love that!  You never really know what you will find.

What is the best item you have ever come across when you  have been vintage/thrift shopping?
I once found a vintage Missoni sweater for $5.49!  I was hanging on to that thing so tight, really excited that no one had found it yet, haha!  It ended up not really fitting me well so I passed it on to a friend, but oh the thrill of that find!

Do you have a style or method that you use when vintage/thrift shopping?
My method is to basically go as often as I can.  Most thrift shops are continually putting new stuff out all day, so the more you go, the more chance you have at catching that amazing piece.  And I never set out to find anything specific.  I have learned that if I do that, guaranteed, I will never find it.  It's much better to just get out there, and be pleasantly surprised by what I wasn't looking for.

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
My tip would be to be open minded.  A lot of times, things just need a little tweak to look modern - a simple shortening of a skirt, or even just adding a belt, or rolling up the sleeves.  It's all about the interpretation - and when you make it your own, you will end up with something really cool, no doubt!

Thank you Robyn for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Robyn, Rare Treasure

Robyn can be found at:
Etsy shop

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A birthday list...

Today is my birthday, my last year as a twenty-something.   I wish I could say I am accepting this whole aging thing with grace and dignity but I'd be lying. 

Inspired by some other blogger's birthday lists, I have created a list of 30 things I would like to accomplish before I turn 30.  I will keep you all updated on my status.  There's nothing like accountability to get you motivated.
 1. Learn German.
2. Throw an amazing holiday party.
3. Take a one year anniversary trip.
4. Do more craft projects.
5. Read more books.
6. Take yoga classes.
7. Grow a successful garden.
8. Reupholster our new couch.
9. Throw an elegant dinner party.
10. Take a challenging hike.
11. Landscape the house.
12. Make our house into a home that is a true reflection of us.
13. Try something new.
14. Throw a football brunch.
15. Take time for me.
16. Learn calligraphy.
17. Explore a career in writing.
18. Plan an exotic trip.
19. Bake a fabulous cake from scracth.
21. Visit flea markets and antique shows.
22. Cook Middle Eastern food.
23. Make gnocchi.
24. Screen print.
25. Go all out decorating the house for Christmas.
26. Take a weekend trip with Mike.
27. Learn how to make cheese.
28. Learn how to use our camera and take good pictures.
29. Make french macaroons.
30. Get my jeans altered so they fit perfectly.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's on your reading list?

I'm making good use of the library these days for some of our home projects.

I checked out some books on upholstery which are even better than I expected them to be. I'm going to order the upholstering tools this week so I can start working on the couch. Judging from the instructions in the books, it doesn't look like it will be too difficult to do and if this works I am going to tackle two armchairs that we absolutely love but we aren't really feeling the fabric choice anymore.

I've had Sew U and Printing by Hand on my Amazon wish list for months but wanted to check them out from the library before committing to buy them.  I really want to learn how to sew my own clothes and while I am pretty good at home decor sewing projects, clothing is a whole other ball game.  I'm also looking for some printing inspiration as I really love screen printing but never get a chance to do any.  Both of these books have inspired me to start some new projects.

What's on your reading list these days?

Photo: The Design Boards

Mid Century Moment