Trading Up

March 2, 2014

From Janelle:

An email came through the other day that changed my life.  “Free couch.  In great shape but needs recovering.”  My co-worker was immediately informed that I’d happily take it off his hands and then reality set in.  How was I going to break it to Lewis?  He was going to kill me.  I sent him the photo and received  this response.  “Where are you going to put it?  It is UGLY!”

Where would it go?  The garage was stuffed with a late 70’s or early 80’s Kreiss rattan set listed on Ebay for way too much money but after 27 years I couldn’t part with it for a pittance.  The rattan was offered for a trade as a joke and the proposal immediately accepted.  That same day Lewis hooked up our motorcycle trailer and vintage rattan was traded for vintage Hollywood Regency.

The story is almost as fabulous as the couch itself:

Hi Janelle,

LOVE the rattan furniture…thank you!!  Was so happy you wanted the couch as I wanted it to go to someone that would love it as much as we have and the rattan furniture was such a happy surprise.

I just called my step mom to get more information on the “green couch” as it is affectionately known in our family.  The couch belonged to the grandmother of one of my mom’s friends and it was given to her when she moved out on her own at 18 and she in turn gave it to me when I moved into my first place in the early 90’s.  My mom recovered it in the green velvet at some point over the years and guessing the couch is at least from the 40’s if not older, given the construction, Hollywood Regency, channel back styling.  The kids were sad to see it go since it is the most comfortable seat in the house but we are glad it is going to be loved.


From Lewis:

Okay so the last thing I wanted was more stuff stored in the garage but trading 5 items for 1 seemed like a better deal and now there’s more room in the garage.  It’s not the prettiest couch but it will do and it does have some style.  It had better be good and comfortable.

Green Couch






I Dream of Jeannie

July 27, 2013

From Janelle:

 “I went from Phoenix, Arizona All the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A. Northern California where the girls are warm So I could be with my sweet baby, yeah.”  These Steve Miller Band RockN Me lyrics kept playing in my head as we spent six hours (yes six!) in the car yesterday to get to the Colorado River or as we call it, “The River”.  It should be less than a five hour drive.  Don’t ask.  “I went from Palm Springs, California all the way to Arizona so I could get a day off to relax, yeah.”

A required errand in Palm Springs gave me the perfect excuse to drag Lewis to do a little shopping.  Who knew there are disposable placemats and washable disposable napkins.  Just think, no more stain remover feverishly applied unsuccessfully to spaghetti sauce remnants and embarrassment when a discolored piece of fabric is plonked in front of a guest.  I bought an orange set of both.  Lewis, as usual, paced while the transaction occurred.

Disposal placemats and washable disposable napkins

Disposal placemats and washable disposable napkins

Dining room chairs are the only expected furniture purchases.  Our $4.99 aqua Ikea foldups are perfect additions for a large dinner party but they are not setting foot on my new floors as the main event any longer.  I know, it’s insane that those actually feigned to be proper dining chairs but I just never found anything that I liked enough to buy them and as we would be remodeling eventually figured that we’d acquire some then.  I had no idea it would be ten years….

We have until the end of the month to decide if the orange dining chairs at Distinctive Home are “the ones” as the 20% off everything orange sale ends July 31.  I love them but there are so many fabulous pieces it is so difficult to choose.  Hence the Ikea chairs.

Are these The Ones?

Are these The Ones?

I convinced Lewis to stop at Swank Interiors where I purchased my Fabulous Retro Light a couple years ago.   Clyde happily greeted us when we arrived and toured the store with us as we shopped, wagging his tail in appreciation of our choices.  Aperitifs and digestifs are served in antique gold gilded glasses in our house but they must be hand washed.  A set of six dishwasher friendly 1960’s Hazel Atlas Capri Dot blue whiskey old fashioneds were placed neatly into my shopping bag.

Swank glasses

A 70’s two part panel painting, reminiscent of a bulls-eye or Parcheesi game board caught my eye and I think that it would look amazing in the guest/TV room next to the HUDDLE bed/couch.  Lewis tries to pretend I’m not actually seriously contemplating buying anything as it always makes him nervous to spend money but he did rub a genie bottle signed by Barbara Eden in the hopes that something good would appear.  Maybe we should buy that too?

Swank vintage 70's painting

From Lewis:

Why is everything so expensive in Palm Springs??? Even in the off season. I get the fact that everyone sees art differently but it does not “speak to me”.  It’s official Janelle does not get unsupervised travel to Palm Springs.

Ok now you have to admit if you’re a guy who grew up watching Jeannie in the early 70’s  you couldn’t help wanting to rub something.

What do you think, is the Parcheesi painting and orange dining chair “The One?”

Let There Be Light

October 21, 2012

From Janelle:

It has come time to choose lighting.  I’ve been looking and looking and looking and looking for years.  There are so many fabulous pieces available, how can I possibly select only a few?   I’ve always wanted to go to the Blue Whale.  For the last five years I’ve been dying to visit the Kenro Lighting showroom at the Pacific Design Center in Hollywood, revel in the high density heat from the gleaming modern fixtures and be dazzled but I could never justify taking an afternoon off work to do so.   I managed to squeeze a few hours away from the office, excited to hit the show room only to discover that it had CLOSED “due to the economy”.   What a disappointment!

Copper lamps

I bought a vintage 60’s light at retro store Swank in Palm Springs last year and Lewis almost had a coronary when I made the purchase but I had to have it.  Ok, the boutique owner had it in her house for years in the mid-west and she probably picked it up for a pittance at a garage sale and I paid retail price but what did it matter, I loved it!  She found it, she had it and she even gave me a discount so that Lewis didn’t pass out cold onto the shop floor.

Topan Pendant Light

From Lewis:

SOME DISCOUNT!! There is a retail price and then there is a retail price on stuff that has been picked up at estate auctions, garage sales, etc.  They are obviously “one of kind pieces” because “they just don’t make them anymore” so that the store owner with a shop catering to a shopping cliental of decorators and funky art collectors can mark them up 500%. This light brand new in the mid-to-late 60’s was around $20, probably sold at a garage sale in the 80’s for $25, thrown in the trash and picked up by some lady that put it up for sale for $300. WTF.  No more shopping trips to Palm Springs.  I can still find that stuff as well as shag carpet, velvet Jesus, Elvis and MLK pictures at work in South Central.

My Fabulous Retro Light

My Fabulous Retro Light

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