Hey readers! Enjoy this post from our cool and crafty director of social media Taylor Carik. He always has a good tip when it comes to vintage and retro! Love what he's done to his place! —J.B.K.
Like many early 30-somethings in Minneapolis, my significant other Erin and I recently made the leap to home ownership from apartment life. And as often happens with this transition, we’ve jumped head first into making our house the kind of cool adult home that we’ve always wanted. That’s, of course, easier said than done. While we’re not necessarily “house poor," we don’t have the kind of cash needed to create the Mid-century-modern-meets-modern-Minneapolis aesthetic that we’re after. So instead of spending money, we’ve spent our time scouring local vintage shops and pop-up shops and recruiting our crafty friends to help with projects.
First and foremost, as young Minneapolitans, we needed to take care of our musical set-up. We picked up a stereo console ($125) from Find Furnish in Northeast Minneapolis. A word of warning: when you visit Find Furnish, you’re going home with something. Maybe many things. It’s a dangerous combination of very cool and very affordable. Even worse, they diligently update their inventory on Facebook, so you can window shop while checking your status updates.
The stereo we purchased from Find Furnish is beautiful, but because of its affordablity, not without its pros and cons. While the radio works, the turntable does need to be replaced, which we’re looking at doing. But luckily the stereo also has a line-in, a feature previously used for a tape deck, but now useful for connecting our iPhones.
Even more than Find Furnish, our go-to source for vintage décor is E’s Emporium, the new part-time pop-up shop at 39th and Minnehaha. The cute little emporium is actually the first floor of a house, with each room displaying a variety of quality vintage items for sale. Expect furniture, lamps, kitchenware, barware, artwork, a selection of hats, jewelry, and a lot more ever-changing inventory.
Because our house has a galley-style kitchen, we don’t have a dining room per se. We do, however, have space in the rear entryway for this retro bench unit that we picked up at E's for around $100. It's both a nice piece and a space-saver.
When we first bought our house, we made a decision to try and incorporate some visual accents across the rooms of our house for a little bit of design consistency. But, without a hefty budget for a designer to purchase—or even specifically make—items for the house, we went the DIY route.
We started with creating a pattern that we could get on fabric. Thankfully, there's Spoonflower.com. This newish website allows users to create yards of fabric (starting at $15.75 per yard) from images that they themselves upload. In our case, I designed a black fabric with a repeating pattern of a white lotus tile (from the game pai sho). After placing my order—the pricing is a little high, but not prohibitive—the fabric arrived at my house within a week or two.
Our first project was a cafe style curtain in the kitchen window. Since we’re not super crafty ourselves, we enlisted the help of our dear hipster friend Claudia. She came over with her sewing machine and kit and, in exchange for a few cocktails, helped sew together the two panel curtain.
Claudia shows off her handiwork.
In the process of helping Claudia make the first curtain, we picked up a few tips and tricks and then made our first attempt at a curtain for the basement bathroom. Since it was basically a piece of fabric with some loops on the end, we felt confident that the project was doable. With the extra fabric, we also thought we’d try making a pillow. (It’s just two more panels put together, right?)
I recently stopped into the wonderful new Forage Modern Workshop on East Lake Street, and picked up two couch pillows ($40) from Bark Decor, and an ostrich pillow ($28) from Areaware for comedic effect. Forage, by the way, is exactly the kind of store where, if we had the money, we’d drop pro-athlete levels of cash on furniture.
We really liked the size of the Bark pillows, so we copied the measurements and made an extra pillow.
Ta-da! With the two curtains and pillow, as well as the mid-century vintage items we've picked up, our very own cool home style is slowly—and most importantly, affordably—emerging.