I was doing a little fall cleanup around the apartment yesterday, swapping out warm weather clothes for cold and digging through bins of old books, when I came across a few back issues of House Beautiful, an old stomping ground of mine back in the day. As busy as I was, I couldn't help but take a little trip down memory lane, flipping through pages and remembering how much fun I used to have doing the column Weekend Shopper with my friend, photographer Brendan Paul. Now I've loved antiques for years, ever since I was a caterer doing parties in people's homes, filled with beautiful, old silver, china, glass and linens. It was a lifestyle I’d always wanted for myself but couldn't afford, especially as a high schooler with a side gig arranging crudité. So I turned to flea markets, thrift stores and junk shops, educating myself on the job about what was good, then going out and finding it on the cheap. Over time, I learned what to look for when I shopped or, rather, what to look past. For me, that’s what Weekend Shopper was all about—how to take something dusty and dated and turn it into something totally fresh and unexpected. So from time to time, I hope you don’t mind if I revisit some of my old favorites from those years. Weekend Shopper might be a thing of the past, but like any change of season, its inspiration lives on!
Braswell Galleries up in Norwalk, Connecticut I’ve loved for years. There’s such a great assortment of antique furniture and tabletop, together with vintage fashion any Sex and the City girl would gag over. Take these old silk scarves I found in a colorful mess way in the back. Now if you’ve ever been to Ralph Lauren where you live or even ABC Carpet here in the city, you may have seen pillows made from silk scarves that sell for hundreds of dollars. So I thought, why not take some of the ones I found at Braswell’s that go for about five bucks a pop and turn them into fun, fashionable pillows?
The first thing I did was pick up a few inexpensive coordinating silk solids from a remnant shop here in town. To sew them, I suggest following these simple steps. Mine had welting and a zipper, just to give them a more finished look.
Once the pillow cases are done, all you have to do is stuff them with inexpensive inserts from Michael's or Jo-Ann Fabrics.
One question I get a lot from people is what are some fast, inexpensive ways to spruce up a
place, and pillows are just the thing! How great would these be for adding
a little vintage charm to a worn out sofa? Toss them on the floor for a
casual perch come party time. And for a truly Bohemian-chic bedroom, mix
patterns and colors together for a look that’s fun, flirty and
Speaking of, have you sneaked a peak at the new November issue? There’s a little spread of our apartment that’s full of great ideas for holiday entertaining. Come back tomorrow for the full story!