Inspired by the Diesel Social Kitchen

Diesel Social Kitchen

Diesel Social Kitchen

What you are seeing in the picture above is the Diesel Social Kitchen. If you click the image it will take you to Scavolini’s website where you can drag and zoom to get a better look. (This is image number six in the slide show!)  What you don’t see in this photo is the beautiful antique (-style?) rotary pay-phone hanging on the wall off the left of the picture. Note, however, the bottles on the countertop, the metal kitchen cart and the steel and glass cabinets.

This design is inspiring, and not only did I want to find some of the items that decorated this kitchen, I also wanted to find some pieces that I would add to my own kitchen if I had this one.

Since I saw a picture of this kitchen with the antique phone, I had to find one myself. Here is a pay-phone you can incorporate into a black theme. This one is from Nostalgia Factory Outlet for $69.95 and other colors are pink, red and chrome!

Crosley 1950's Pay Phone - Black

There are also authentic antique pay-phones out there if you know where to look. Some are listed on eBay.

There are numerous antique bottles that would look good in your kitchen at antique shops, flea markets, and online. (My parents once had a pretty big collection of vintage bottles – many collected at estate auctions.) I found this awesome vinegar bottle on Etsy.

Antique Bottle-c1910s-1920s Embossed White House Vinegar Jug with Glass Stopper

If you need your bottles to function as well as looking pretty and you just aren’t all that comfortable with reusing, there are plenty of fresh-from-the-factory kitchen accessories that would fit this theme.

(And while we’re talking about bottles, don’t forget about the Enlightening Bottles that can be used as lamps!)

Do you know what else I think might look nice in this awesome modern kitchen? Answer: A wrought iron or hammered steel pot rack like the one below. Imagine it with shiny copper and stainless steel pots hanging from it!

Pot Rack

I also found this beautiful Cuisine Paper Towel Holder from Pottery Barn for $49.50.

CUISINE PAPER TOWEL HOLDER

Another lovely piece that would fit well here is this $1,799.00 Crate and Barrel Exclusive Crockery Cabinet. Picture it filled with your best china, stoneware, and/or drinkware, or filled with your favorite accent pieces. I can just imagine a refurbished ice box or pie safe setting next to something like this.

Crockery Cabinet

How cool is this Adjustable Iron Table that I happened to come across at West Elm’s website? It is on sale for $764 and supposedly fits 4-5 people though it is hard to get a perspective from the picture.

ADJUSTABLE IRON TABLE

Now if you look really close on the left side of the kitchen counter at the top of this post you will notice a bronze/gold robot. The only other place I could even find a mention of it was on the Penny Street Interiors blog where they mention finding it at a shop called A Trip To The Moon.

However, with some help pinning down the era this robot came from, I figured out that the metallic robot pictured is just a decorative replica of a “Smoking Robot” from the toy company Yonezawa in the 1950s. There are reproductions of the original toy out there that come in blue, green, grey and silver. Apparently, even the reproductions of these toys are hard to find in great working order, but TinToyArcade.com has this Grey Smoking Robot for $79.98.

R14032-B

I don’t know if they did this on purpose, but having a robot in the kitchen is a bit of a modern-day joke with restaurant owners and chefs, as there have actually been real robots developed to cook and help with cooking.

Some other ideas I had to go along with this kitchen were an antique, galvanized bucket, a black barrel, or a shiny new metal egg basket — preferably a square or rectangular one that could be used for any number of things.

Another thing I love for this kitchen is an Aviator Style Kraken Alarm Clock from The Kraken Supply Shop ($49.99) — yes, you have to be 21 to look since this is on a rum website — but I love the retro modern style. Note the little Spirit of St. Louis on the right of the clock.

Aviator Style Kraken Clock

And finally, what well-decorated kitchen would be finished without wall art? Here are some city and country ideas that I found appropriate for my dream Diesel Social Kitchen. I hope you’ve enjoyed and been inspired by it as much as I have! Leave a comment below with your own ideas!

Black and White Windmill Photography by Erin Johnson Photography/eireanneilis on Etsy

Hollywood Blvd (Academy Awards 1956) Photo Print Poster by Poster Revolution on Amazon

Hollywood Blvd (Academy Awards 1956) Photo Print Poster by Poster Revolution on Amazon

Farm Architecture No. 2 Metallic Print by The Gallivanting Girl on Etsy

Manhattan By Richard Berenholtz on AllPosters.com

Manhattan By Richard Berenholtz on AllPosters.com

Rustic Farm Table No. 1 by Keith Dotson on Etsy

Subway Art Sign New York Destinations Typography Print by Paper Bleu Studio on Etsy

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Quilts – New Era, New Uses

How To Make an American QuiltMaking quilts these days is laughably different from the way my grandmother made them. First of all, these days the first step is to “choose your material/fabric.” No one in my family ever really did that. The material that made up the quilt came from old, worn out dresses, shirts, tablecloths, scraps leftover from making cloth items, you-name-it, that could no longer be used for its original purpose and was then cut into smaller pieces — specifically, quilt pieces.

Secondly, these days almost everyone is stitching with a sewing machine. There are definitely pros to making a quilt with a machine — for one thing it is just plain easier and faster, but it also means your stitches will all be uniform. However, hard-core old-fashioned hand quilters will tell you that you can not get the same quality results with a machine as you can if you sew by hand. When sewing by hand your stitches should be very small, uniform, and barely discernible. It actually takes a great deal of talent and a steady hand to end up with a quilt the likes of which generations of housewives made in the past.

Thirdly, quilting is rarely handed down from generation to generation these days, but thanks to sewing and quilting classes, this art form is still persevering. Quilts make personal, thoughtful gifts filled with love and can be customized in hundreds and thousands of ways — from the fabric to the pattern — to make them even more meaningful.

Of course there’s also the fact that they’re just pretty!

Apparently these days, pre-washing your fabric is a must, to prevent any colors/dyes from bleeding and/or shrinking when you end up washing your final product. (This was not a necessary step back in the farm days, as the fabric came from cloth that had already been well-worn and washed multiple times.)

When my grandmother made her quilts, she would “piece” together all her quilt “blocks” (the pieces sewn together into the design the quilt would eventually have) and then attach the batting and backing with pins. All of this would be rolled onto a quilting frame which looking back reminds me of two saw-horses with blanket-wide rollers between them. These are heavy duty, take up a lot of space, and don’t seem that easy to find these days. One of the last times I saw one in use was during a country-themed Vacation Bible School several years ago when the grandmothers of the church dressed in costume and had an actual quilting party during the VBS sessions.

(And yes, if you hadn’t already learned how to quilt from a mother or grandmother, the quilting party was the perfect place to learn. Quilts take a lot of work and the more hands you have, the sooner it will be finished!)

The quilt was then “quilted” with the pattern of stitches preferred in order to hold together the layers.

Of course I’m talking about the type of quilt that has a uniform pattern from one end to the other and sometimes even has a pattern to the color scheme. (My family’s rule was just don’t put two matching colors next to each other.) There are also quilts that are basically functional canvases for artwork — pictures and collages. In the movie “How To Make an American Quilt” each character makes their own quilt block with a personal story that fits an overall color scheme and the pieces are fitted together and quilted into a gift for a bride (pictured above).

These days quilts aren’t just for warmth or bed comforters. Beginning quilters will often start out making potholders or table runners to become more confident in their abilities before jumping into a larger, more time-consuming project.

And quilts don’t have to be the traditional blocked and patterned variety. Some quilts aren’t even pieced, but made from one large piece of fabric that is quilted in stitching only.

If you happen to be interested in taking up quilting, or would love to incorporate the warmth and art of a quilt into your home without the two-centuries-ago appeal, here are some ideas.

Quilts as Tablecloths

Quilt tablecloths would typically not have a thick batting in between the layers like a blanket (or even any backing at all, depending on the project) since you would want a hard, sturdy surface to put your food and drinks on.

MelanieO at A Sewing Journal featured several examples in her blog post “Inspired by: Quilts as Tablecloths.”

Quilts as Tablecloths by MelanieO - A Sewing Journal

Quilts as Tablecloths by MelanieO – A Sewing Journal

If you wanted the tablecloth to double as a picnic blanket you probably would want another layer of cloth to shield you from any dampness on the ground and to protect the top/pretty layer of the blanket from being soiled from the bottom up.

(Click the picture below to learn how to make an easy, do-it-yourself Bandana Quilt Tablecloth.)

Bandana Quilt Tablecloth Tutorial

Bandana Quilt Tablecloth Tutorial from Aesthetic Nest

A quilt used as a tablecloth could easily be transformed into something that matched your home design by using blocks of fabric that coordinated with your existing color scheme. The fun part is that you can get as creative as you want or have a lot of fun shopping for just the right quilt.

Quilted Table Accessories

By the Sea Reversible Coastal Table Linens from Touch of Class

By the Sea Reversible Coastal Table Linens from Touch of Class

I think I’m in love with these quilted place mats. The advantage of having quilted place mats is that they soak up more “juice” or liquid and hold it to preserve your tablecloth. After dinner they can be tossed into the wash. They also just feel more soft and lush.

There are some amazing handmade table runners on Etsy (< click the link to see!) that demonstrate that a quilted table runner doesn’t have to be “traditional” if you don’t want it to. Here is one of my favorites:

MarveLes CITY LIGHTS Art Quilt table runner by marveles on Etsy

MarveLes CITY LIGHTS Art Quilt table runner by marveles on Etsy

Accessories for You

The amazing thing about quilts is that they can look like anything, and be made into almost anything — from a cup cozy to an electronics case to a wall mural. They are functional, insulated, and beautiful art. You can customize them any way you want to be exactly what you want.

Here is an example of Coffee Cup Cozies – perfect for when that napkin or cardboard sleeve that is supposed to wrap your paper coffee cup just isn’t doing the job. These were made by Julie Comstock, who offers her pattern on her website for free. (Click the picture below to visit it.)

Coffee Cup Cozies by Julie Comstock (Free Pattern)

Coffee Cup Cozies by Julie Comstock (Free Pattern)

If you would rather just buy yourself a cute coffee cup cozy, click here to see the variety on Etsy.

Quilt handbags and purses (of the cloth variety) have enjoyed a time in the spotlight thanks to designers like Vera Bradley. Not all quilted bags are the traditional soft and puffy blanket type, and – as charming as it might be – they don’t have to look like they’re fresh from the farm. (I love those vintage quilted leather purses from decades past!)

Check out these awesome “Laurel Burch Mermaid Bags” from DiannaInEtsy, which can be used as jewelry bags or just a pretty decoration.

Laurel Burch Mermaid Bags

Laurel Burch Mermaid Bags

Or how about this gorgeous ‘Orola’ Quilted Tote from Ted Baker London…?

Ted Baker London 'Orola' Quilted Tote

Ted Baker London
‘Orola’ Quilted Tote

Another wonderful thing about quilts is that if you have a specific design in mind and you don’t have the time or even want to sew it yourself, there are plenty of quilters out there who will be happy to do your bidding, even if for a price.

Fall Pillow by Scrappy Threads

Fall Pillow by Scrappy Threads

Amazing Antlers

I saw a designer ad for a cream and blue-colored dining room with two tall, slender lucite lamps on the buffet and in the middle of the table there were two tall cylindrical flower vases and an even taller deer antler piece. The antler was fitted to a white base and was a sort-of antiqued silver/grey or at least bleached color.

There are a lot of people who take a lot of pride in their antlers. The more points, the better.

(Not all antlers are the result of hunting — some are simply scavenged. Deer do shed their antlers and deer are also prey to larger predators so sometimes a simple walk in the woods will lead to the discovery of amazing antlers.)

Outdoorsmen and hunters love to display their antlers, which they collect like trophies. The idea of a leather man-cave comes to mind, with mounts hanging on the wall or treasured finds placed strategically across a natural stone and wood mantle.

But this designer ad got me thinking — in what ways can the natural beauty of a deer antler fit into a less bachelor-esque/bear-cave setting? How can we incorporate them into a modern theme or even other styles?

I love the idea of this Deer Antler Jewelry Stand & Display from leonasheffield. Imagine if you surrounded it with pretty jars or bottles with fresh cut flowers in them?

Deer Antler Display | leonasheffield

NEW MEXICO RUSTIC STYLE WEDDING By Maggie Lord  on  Rustic Wedding Chicfrom Lisa and Cody, Part 2 by  The Cutting Garden at Flora Grubb Gardens

Speaking of fresh cut flowers … here’s a do-it-yourself Antler Flower Display via A Subtle Revelry. (Click here for the How-To.)

DIY Antler Flower Display | A Subtle Revelry

Okay, enough with the flowers, right? (And I promise this blog isn’t all about combining antlers with plants.) I just had to show you this totally awesome Tillandsia Antler Garden (air plants!) from FalconandFinch. If you don’t like it, I’ll be amazed and dismayed!

Antler Air Garden | FalconandFinch

Another nice idea is displaying your antlers under a glass dome, as seen at this DIY wedding by Wednesday Inc. on Ruffled. (Photographed by EE Photography.)

Antlers Under Glass Dome | Wednesday | Ruffled

You can buy glass domes on Amazon.com, at Hobby Lobby, or at similar stores.

How about if you just want a pop of quirky color in your room? Think paint. Check out these awesome antlers!

Aqua Resin Antlers | 2CountryChics Dressing Room w/ Antlers

Okay, so the antlers on the left are actually resin but they are meant to inspire you! They come in a variety of colors from 2CountryChics on Etsy.  I found the picture of the dressing room with the antler chandelier on Houzz but I have no idea where it originally came from.

Another use for many-pointed antlers — whether real or faux, painted or natural — is a jewelry holder, key hook, or even coat rack (assuming you have a strong way to mount them to your wall).

Here are Shed Hunting Wall Hooks from Huset.

Shed Hunting Wall Hooks | Huset

LucyHaus suggests using the colored deer antlers to hang jewelry, scarves or mugs.

Faux Deer Antler Rack Mint | LucyHaus Faux Deer Antler Rack White | LucyHaus Faux Deer Antler Rack Black | LucyHaus

A Beautiful Mess posted a DIY guide to making this Floral Antlers Necklace Display. (Click here to see how they did it.)

Floral Antlers Necklace Display | A Beautiful Mess

I also loved these curtain tie-backs that were a good, practical, subtle use for antlers, especially in (but not limited to) a country setting.

Antler Tie Backs Antler Curtain Tie Back | UpscaleDownhome

The antler on the left was posted by Shelter. The one on the right is from UpscaleDownhome. These are mounted to the wall and if you would like to see how that works you can view this item on the shop by clicking here.

They would actually look great with an antler basket. This one is available from McGregorCustomInlay but you could also make one with a basket that did not have a handle — which you could probably find at a craft supply store or from your local basket-makers.

Antler Hen Basket | McGregorCustomInlay

Of course another option if you love the rustic look of antlers but don’t want them actually hanging out in your house is … wall art! If you are a friend or family to an outdoorsman and you have an artistic flair, take a well-composed picture of the antlers and frame it for posterity.

If you are interested in the fine art of antlers but would rather just buy some amazing photographs to hang on your wall, Kari Herer has some beautiful photos and illustrations. These pictures feature Antler and Magnolia No. 6935.

Antler and Magnolia No. 6935 | kariherer

Antler and Magnolia No. 6935 | kariherer

Here is a more plainspoken antler photograph from gullylux:

8x10 Fine Art Photograph - Antler Print | gullylux

Whether you plan to have actual antlers incorporated into your decor or not, this print from frenchprints would look whimsical and colorful in any room. I saw a similar print with butterflies around the antlers in a picture of a nursery. If you plant to paint some antlers or buy some colored resin antlers, you could coordinate them with the colors of these birds.

DEER ART Print With SPRING Birds On An Antique Dictionary Book Page | frenchprints

Do you have any more ideas for antlers? How have you used them? Leave a comment below to keep us inspired!

Folk Art Animals for Your Home

Fat farm animals.

What?

Why are these so appealing? Maybe because they are artistic? Or just whimsical? Because they are quirky and quaint and can be one eye-catching accent to a room or a whole theme when put together?

Check out this Warren Kimble™ Hand Hooked Rug Pillow found in the Farm to Table theme for $24.99 at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. It is also available online.

Warren Kimball™ Hand Hooked Rug Pillow

I found this Cat Nap Rug for $59.95 at Acorn Online and thought it would go well with the pig pillow before I even stopped to realize that it, too, was designed by Warren Kimble.

Cat Nap Rug

Realizing the pattern to my train of thought, I decided to take a closer look at folk artist Warren Kimble’s designs.

If you want to put your Cat Nap Rug in the kitchen, you could add a matching Boston Warehouse Warren Kimble Fat Cat Spoonrest to your stove or countertop; or if you can picture it in your bathroom, there is an eye-catching Framed Cat In A Hot Tin Tub Warren Kimble Picture Print.

I also found these other great prints from Framed Art by Tilliams on Amazon.

Warren Kimble isn’t the only folk artist with what I am now affectionately calling “fat farm animals.”

This ABC Sheep Sampler by Aleta Blackstone would look adorable on the wall of a bedroom or nursery.

Or how about these intriguing works by artist Laurie Meseroll that I found on Amazon? (You might love her blog, by the way.)

I especially like that last one — “Bunny Brew.”

As mentioned above, you don’t necessarily have to change your whole theme if you like any of these folksy decorations. They can stand alone and would make excellent conversation pieces if you have a way to tie them into another theme or match them with a style you already have going.

I especially like the idea of tying them in with some vintage prints or “French Provincial” designs. Here are a few ideas to get your mind working in that direction:

Scatter Cushion in a 'French Country' Design by PollysPillows on Etsy

Scatter Cushion in a ‘French Country’ Design by PollysPillows on Etsy

Courting Toile Wallpaper from Fabrics & Papers

Courting Toile Wallpaper from Fabrics & Papers

White Hen By Parlane

White Hen By Parlane

(Found decorating idea with no attribute.)

(Found decorating idea with no attribute.)