Quick Tips - Decor Diva - The Design Tabloid

Quick Tip #15: Age Wood With Vinegar

This awesome little DIY tip I picked up via Pinterest is reminiscent of one of our very first décor Quick Tips which was “Stain Your Wood With Coffee.” It’s easy, affordable and eco-friendly… but it might be a little smelly. A mixture of vinegar, steel wool & tea causes a chemical reaction which aids the natural oxidation of the timber, the result – weathered wood! Science meets décor!

#15   An easy way to age or distress unsealed / unvarnished wood is to use a combination of vinegar, steel wool & tea. Tear up some fine-grade steel wool and throw it in a glass jar, fill the jar 3/4 way with apple cider vinegar. Close the jar and let the mixture mellow for a minimum of 24 hours (the longer it sits the darker the stain). Next, brew a pot of tea and add brush the tea unto your well-sanded wood. When the tea has dried, paint the vinegar mixture onto the wood. 

Image via Sweet Pickins
 
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Mid-Century Furniture Finds

To conclude our little, unplanned, random blog series of Mid-Century Modern musings we thought inspire you with some local Modern furniture finds. The Mother City’s trendy style, hipster vibe and appreciation for all things vintage ensured a natural affinity to the global revival of the Mid-Century Modern trend. Cape Town is littered with flourishing shops dedicated to the import and restoration of Mid-Century Modern furniture & décor. Sigh, what can I say – we just love it…

This gorgeous mid-century chair is something different – not a Scandinavian import, it was made in the good ole R.S.A. Manufactured in the 1950’s, this armchair was made by the well known furniture maker G.H Starck Limited, who opened their doors in 1936 in Parow. Salvaged and restored by one of my favourite local mid-century upcyclers, RESTORE, they re-sprayed the chair in fresh white and upholstered it in this striking geometric fabric by Lulu Fabrics.

Another beautiful space filled with mid-century furniture, gifts and quirky vintage kitchenalia and collectables is that of well-known, VAMP. I loved this quirky two-seater Mahogany couch and love set of Maple nested tables with inky grey tops.

This striking and fun mid-century modern arm chair was revamped by SAKS CORNER. Their vintage restorations usually have funky unique and playful twist.

We have mentioned SPACE FOR LIFE before – they specialise in the import of beautifully designed and well-crafted mid-century furniture pieces from Scandinavia. This gorgeous teak easy chair above, manufactured by Soren J Ladefogde & Son in 1959, still has it’s original dark green wool fabric upholstery. The tall teak side board dresser cabinet is also a superb piece of craftsmanship.

The MID-CENTURY MODERN showroom & gallery in Durham Avenue, Cape Town has a gorgeous array of mid-century originals (as well as some awesome Bauhaus pieces) It was their remarkable collection of mid-century lighting that caught my attention this time. The well-known “Contrast” pendant lamp by Poul Henningsen (circa 1962) and the striking teal hand-blown glass pendant light by Luciano Vistosi (circa 1957) were my favourites.

MID-CENTURY MODERN also import pieces from the Danish furniture manufacturer Carl Hansen & Son, who has been manufacturing the designs of renowned mid-century furniture designer, Hans Wegner since 1949. The Y-Chair (also know as the Wishbone Chair) and the stunning upholstered lounge chair (CH445) is just two of Wegner’s most recognizable designs.

Then, or the mid-century lover on a budget – you can take the less-expensive route of purchasing mid-century replicas. The Eames lounge chair and rocker replicas are available from 5ROOMS.COM

And there you go – some lovely mid-century awesomeness to carry you into the weekend!

What’s the difference between modern and contemporary decorating? Part 2

Part two of two excellent articles written by Lindsay form Urban Domesticity. In the articles she chats in detail about the difference between contemporary & modern. It is one of the best explanation on this subject I have ever read. It’s extremely well written and a superb read – be sure not to miss it. Click on “Read more…

Urban Domesticity

I’d love to receive questions from readers about any of the posts on this blog or other subjects I might be able to cover. You can always pose questions in the comments section of each post, or send me an email at urbandomesticity[at]gmail[dot]com.

This question was posed on a design message board I participate in:

What’s the difference between modern and contemporary decorating?

It generated some interesting responses, so I decided I’d share my thoughts in-depth here. Yesterday I addressed the term modern and offered some examples of true modern style. In summary, modern generally refers to styles developed in the mid-century. Natural materials, neutral expanses with pops of primary colors, and long, low lines are common in modern styles. You can click here to go back to the post on modern decorating.

So, what does contemporary mean?

The basic definition of contemporary is “of the moment.” Contemporary art, design…

View original post 564 more words

What’s the difference between modern and contemporary decorating? Part 1

Part one of two excellent articles written by Lindsay form Urban Domesticity. In the articles she chats in detail about the difference between contemporary & modern. It is one of the best explanation on this subject I have ever read. It’s extremely well written and a superb read – be sure not to miss it.

Urban Domesticity

I’d love to receive questions from readers about any of the posts on this blog or other subjects I might be able to cover. You can always pose questions in the comments section of each post, or send me an email at urbandomesticity[at]gmail[dot]com.

This question was posed on a decorating message board I participate in:

What’s the difference between modern and contemporary decorating?

It generated some interesting responses, so I decided I’d share my thoughts in-depth here.

The descriptive terms modern and contemporary are often used interchangeably, but the definitions of each are actually distinct. This can cause some confusion when people want to define their style or search for furniture or other household items. Today, I’ll define modern design and tomorrow I’ll tackle the term contemporary.

In the realm of interior decorating and design, modern refers to a style of architecture and furniture that emerged in the mid-century…

View original post 502 more words

Décor Dictionary: Contemporary vs Modern

In the field of design & décor you have to be very careful with what you label “Modern” or “Contemporary.” So often we see & hear people incorrectly referring to an interior or furniture piece as “modern” when they actually mean “contemporary.” We have even seen this grave mistake in design blogs and magazines!

In design & décor (and even other visual departments such as art & theatre)  “modern” is a static term referring to the era  & style of what we today call “Mid-Century Modern.” So Sista, if it doesn’t smack of delicious Mid-Century retro-ness – it’s not “modern.” Contemporary is a little more difficult to explain in design terms as it is a dynamic, ever-changing “style.”

Another factor that is further confusing the matter is the fact that Mid-Century Modern is currently experiencing a revival – the web is littered with contemporary-modern hybrid interiors.

To help you, I will be defining the terms “Contemporary” & “Modern” (i.e. Mid-Century Modern). Later today I will also be “reblogging” 2 excellent articles written by Lindsay form Urban Domesticity. In the articles she chats in detail about the difference between contemporary & modern. It’s extremely well written and a superb read – be sure not to miss it.

Two examples of the sleek, minimalist, linear style that can be thought of as current (about the last 5 years) contemporary design.

Contemporary Style:   basically means “of this moment.” It is a new current style of design and interiors that exist in the here-and-now. Today, we often relate Contemporary Style to the simplistic, minimal, clean and uncluttered look – think linear lines, neutral colour schemes, stainless, glass, and sleek timbers. However, Contemporary as a style is ever-changing and dynamic – what we view as contemporary today might will not be contemporary tomorrow. For example: In the 80s the Biggie Best country cottage style was BIG in South Africa – it was the contemporary style of the time (i.e. the 80s), yet today it is outdated and vintage.

Here you see two great examples of authentic Mid-Century Modern interiors and the image below on the left is a brilliant Mid-Century recreation with authentic period furniture pieces.

Mid-Century Modern Style:   is a mid-20th century style of architecture, furniture – and product design that originated in the early 1930s and continued into the mid-1960s. Often referred to as “modern” or “retro”, the style is characterized by simplicity, clean lines, organic forms, and the use of moulded plywood, metal, and plastic. Mid-Century Modern design was greatly influenced by the uncomplicated and practical Scandinavian designs of that time. It was also a golden period of furniture design – gorgeous and innovative designs by masters such as Charles & Ray Eames, Verner PantonEero Saarinen and Arne Jacobsen – but to name a few.

A beautiful example of a contemporary modern interior. Notice the contemporary art, lighting & sofa mix with the mid-century modern occasional chairs & TV unit. Image via contemporist.com
Image sources:
Contemporary images: via
Authentic Mid-Century images: via
Mid-Century Recreation image: via
Contemporary mid-century image: via

Some Super Father’s Day Gifts

Buying a Father’s Day gift for my dad was always easy. He enjoyed the simple things – a good bottle of red wine or just relaxing around the braai with his family. Like most men, he also enjoyed a clever gadget and general outdoors-y things. For those of you who have not yet purchased something special for your dad in celebration of Father’s Day, I compiled three collections of awesome gifts & gadgets. Gifts for dads who like to RELAX, TRAVEL or BRAAI…

1.  A nice comfy modern classic like this gorgeous vintage leather Eames Lounge Chair from Magenta Jade.

2.  For the gadget-savvy dad, an Apple iPod – read an ebook, check rugby scores or play some Sudoku.

3.  For toasty toes – genuine sheepskin & suede loafers from Oskimo.

4.  A stylish throw to snuggle down with like this Geo throw from Mr. Price Home.

5.  Nothing like a good red wine. This Spier Signature Shiraz 2010 was one of only nine wines with 4-Star rating in this year’s Best Value Wine Guide. I have had it before – it’s smashing.

1.  I adore this gorgeous leather laptop bag for the fashion-conscious dad – it’s called the “Big Boy Bag” and is available at Meekel.

2.  Vintage-style leather toiletry bag from Dark Horse.

3. Perfect for a dad on the move – a Bodum Travel Press Coffee Mug available at 5rooms.com

4.  Ever heard of the survivalist Bear Grylls? Well, this a pocket knife / multi-tool that forms part of the Bear Grylls survival tools range available at Cape Union Mart – seriously hardcore.

5. A limited addition Top Gear TomTom GPS that features the voice of Jeremy Clarkson! Even I want that! Also available at Cape Union Mart.

1.  Weber Smokey Joe Portable Braai in turquoise. Perfect to take to the rugby or camping! Available from YuppieChef.

2.  The Mungo Man Cloth, a one-size-fits-all wrap around apron designed for tackling kitchen tasks with “manly abandon” – or for the greasy braai area. Also, YuppieChef.

3.  Super cool gadget called the Looftlighter – lights your braai or fireplace with super-heated air within 60 seconds (no more fire-lighters or lighter-fluid needed)!

4.  What about this electronic Thermo Fork to get that meat and roasts just right – from Hirsch’s.

5.  “Braai in Style” by Lannice Snyman – A South African institution in cookbook terms! The complete outdoor cookbook. Also available at YuppieChef.

And there you go! Fifteen Father’s Day gifts sure to be a hit! Enjoy Father’s Day everybody!