design, Life, Styling

One Bamboo Table – A Design Exercise

egg & dart blog

Last time I was at my favorite brocante, one of the last things I picked up, arms full of bags and a toddler, was a bamboo folding table. For me, the best way to go at the flew market is with your gut: do you love it? Go with it! Are you not sure? Walk away. This method has never led me astray in almost ten years of brocanting. Do not over think it! So when the price was great and I didn’t have much to lose, I grabbed this little table knowing I’d figure out what to do with it when the time was right.

In the mean time, I decided to give myself the challenge of styling the table for two different set-ups: one as a bedside table and the other as a little writing desk using only what I had access to already at the house.

Bedside table

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I love this as a bedside table. If you have the space, it feels luxurious to have such a large surface to keep some of your favorite things nearby while still having space for the necessities.

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For me, those necessities are a place to have a glass of water at the ready and a dish for taking off jewelry at the end of the day. For years now, my favorite type of dish for that has been these beautiful vintage salt and pepper dishes! While I don’t keep pinch bowls of salt and pepper for daily use, the little bowls of these dishes are perfect for rings and earrings.

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Add books, a focal piece of artwork, maybe a favorite photograph (that one is my husband as a wee one!), and some green and you’ve a bedside table that is useful and inspiring!

Writing Desk

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I think we would all like to be better at finding the time to write notes and thank yous by hand. The time you spend thinking of someone while putting pen to paper creates something that feels so much more special than a digital note. I’m pretty sure if I had a pretty little writing spot like this, I’d be better at it, non?

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Favorite books and some to pull inspiring quotes from, a box for stamps, envelopes, and writing tools, and some cards ready to be addressed. What else does a writing desk really need? Oh, that pretty little box will be in the shop Friday!

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It was wonderful to sneak in the time to try these two set-ups and I’d love to try to find time (and space!) to do more. When I bought this table, I first pictured it for plants and artwork, but who knows how it will end up being used! What do you think?

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A special note of thanks to my assistant, above. I could have done it without you. But it maybe wouldn’t have been as much of a challenge. 😉

xo,

A.

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Vintage French Jam Jars at Brocante Moderne
design, Life, Styling

Brocante Moderne

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I opened my first Etsy shop, Gloaming Designs, in 2007. Looking back at the date just now, that feels both a long time ago and like yesterday! I filled it with special pieces I hand-crafted from vintage and reused materials as well as fun vintage finds. Looking back through the sold listings is a bit like remembering old friends.

Vintage French Butter Papers at Brocante Moderne

Behind the scenes I have been working hard on a new incarnation of that shop: a new space filled with the best of the treasures I love seeking out in the French brocantes (flea markets). So I’m very excited to announce: Brocante Moderne is open!

Vintage French Soup Plates at Brocante Moderne

What you’ll find is a curated selection of vintage French pieces that I adore (seriously, it’s so hard to say goodbye to these!) and that mix perfectly into the modern home.

Vintage French Kitchen Towels at Brocante Moderne

Functional, beautiful, and unique, I believe that every home needs some pieces that tell a story all their own, that have a soul.

Vintage French Etchings at Brocante Moderne

And that’s my design philosophy: that the old, worn, and storied should live alongside the simple and clean-lined modern for a home that isn’t like any other. A home that is you. That is why the shop is named Brocante Moderne – a place to find the world of the brocante curated for your modern life.

Vintage French Marquetry Box at Brocante Moderne

There will be new additions regularly so check back often and sign up for the mailing list here to hear all the latest news and special offers. You can access the shop here or through Etsy (they share the same inventory so you won’t miss anything going to one versus the other). You can even click on any of this post’s pictures to go directly to their listing.

Vintage French Jam Jars at Brocante Moderne

I hope you enjoy and let me know if there is anything you’d like me to keep my eyes open for on my next trip to the brocante!

xo,

A.

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Life, Styling

Home Dreaming

living room

I’ve been so busy plowing ahead on a work project (al.most.done!) that I’ve been missing my time writing here! But i thought I’d share some home dreaming I’ve been doing in little snatches of time here and there.

See, this past weekend our one and a half year old Ikea PS Lövas broke. The thing is we live in a small studio apartment and, while we’ve arranged the space pretty well to make it seem like totally different spaces when the bed is open (master bedroom!) and when it is closed and functions as our couch (living room!), there is just no way we can hide a bed that’s broken and can’t be closed. R. declared that that was it! We need a bedroom with a real bed! (Read: a new apartment) He’s not wrong and this is the second time a bed has broken here in four years, but looking for an apartment in Paris is a full-time, high stress job. It’s too bad, too, because the only thing wrong with the bed is that the hinges had insufficient soldering. We’re trying to think up a solution that doesn’t require torches and sparks.

So, to distract myself from the horror that is apartment hunting, I’ve been dreaming of the much more appealing decorating phase of a new space. This is just a quick idea of what it could look like with all the space, time, and money I can dream of. I don’t know that I wouldn’t drive everyone crazy by playing around with different ideas, but at this moment, this is feeling pretty cosy.

This armchair is at the top of my list. I need a chair I can sit sideways in and I love wing chairs but this modern take has such clean but soft lines. Love. It will need a simple white or linen colored couch to go with it but I’d ditch those pillows real fast and add two big bolsters covered in this Chenonceau fabric. I must have fabric named after my favorite chateau! With all that lightness, I like the idea of a dash of black to ground the space and this coffee table plays into the rug without being heavy while bringing in some natural wood. These zodiac prints do the trick, too, and I’d have them play nicely on the wall with a vintage gilded mirror. Of course, this is dreamland and I can have Moorish doorways if I like and plenty of green with a fiddle-leaf fig. A branch-legged side table with a glass drop lamp next to the armchair would add some more organic lines and I am obsessed with Lauren‘s paisley for the window curtains (floor to ceiling, of course). Then to just plop myself on the couch with some little tealights and a cosy throw (from Maine!) and all that would be missing would be R., the bug, and a cup of tea.

What home dreams do you have running through your head? Please tell me I’m not alone.

xo,

A.

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Life, Loving, Styling

Carotte Sauvage & Loving List

This week’s flowers are making me so happy! I was thrilled to find a huge bunch of green carotte sauvage (wild carrot, aka Queen Anne’s Lace) at the marché on Wednesday. It was one of our inspiration flowers for our wedding here in France and it’s so lush, wild, and delicate that I can’t get enough of it. R. could not believe at first that I had paid for carotte sauvage but then I reminded him that we live in a concrete jungle, I only ever pay between 3 and 5 euros for flowers (twice a month), and they make me so happy! He ‘got’ it, then. I’m really hoping they might be hardy enough to last two weeks (please, flowers?).

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And I’m finally stealing the time to get a loving list together! Here is what grabbed me this week:

  • We love watching the Daily Show on their site (thank you Comedy Central for not blocking us because we are in France) but don’t always love the loud MTV commercials that play between every segment. But this month they introduced us to Rudimental and this song and be. still. my. heart. Yes. (But be warned, the visual of the video has some very sad themes. But listen.)
  • Growing up, my father would bring my mother and I gifts once in a while and from his travels and they often came from museum gift shops. He always chose beautiful, timeless pieces that where often reproductions of pieces from their collections and I always loved the history. This piece or these matching earrings are on my wish-list to continue my collection.
  • How beautiful would a tree full of these porcelain houses be with little tree lights peaking through their windows? I love how simple they are. Everything I want for my holiday this year.
  • Jamie Oliver. I might not need to say more. I have been enamored with his work for years. He has a new book out, 15 Minute Meals, and a television series in the U.K. and I have been loving it! The recipes are simple but the flavors so bold. You can’t watch Jamie and not get excited about food.
  • You know about Damn You Autocorrect, yes? If you haven’t discovered it yet, do. But not when you’re eating lunch. True story: I nearly choked laughing doing that once. Seriously. This one has had me laughing to myself for two days (not while eating).

Do you have a favorite find of the week? I’d love to hear! This weekend, I really want to get some decorating things crossed off our list and get this place finished! Hopefully I’ll have something to share with you on that front next week, God husband willing!

xo,

A.

 

 

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Life, Loving, Styling

Shelves & Loving

I’ve been playing around with the glorious wall of shelves we put up months ago and am just now finally get somewhere with the styling of them. Sometimes you just have to live with it for a while. Now I’ve got a little list of things I’m on the look-out for to flesh them out. But I love this rock that I dragged home from Ardèche one year. It’s so sculptural! (My poor husband, every trip with me seems to involve dragging home some amazing rocks/sticks/pieces of bark/shells/flowers…)

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A couple things that have been haunting my brain this week:

  • I don’t care at all that it is a trend, I love these and I need one! (But I probably need a big apartment first)
  • The Frenchman came home one day after a trying work day and needed a “comforting film”. I knew just what to watch. Yup, that is a comfort film in our house. In fact, it is the comfort film.
  • I just discovered these and they are just blowing my mind. They are so beautiful and the variations (scroll through for a few slides) are all so unique.

T.G.I.F!

xo,

A.

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