Shop TEOT: Vintage Eero Aarnio Wicker Stools

Eero Aarnio stools

Vintage Eero Aarnio Wicker Stools

It was hard to let these babies go once I got my hands on them. They are superb foot rests not to mention way cool with their hourglass shape. They provoke a sort of what would Tom Scheerer do? type of moment upon first glance, at least that’s what they did for me.

And here’s why,


Wouldn’t our stools look right at home in a place like this?

the perfect English roll arm sofa

Betsy and I have been talking sofas. Reason being…I was thinking about putting my dirty well-loved Petrie on the shelf and getting a…Belgian Classic Slope Arm when Restoration Hardware was running a legit year-end sale on their in stock furniture.

I waded in to a sea of online reviews and read other people’s sofa journeys and rambled on about it via email, text and on the phone to Betsy. She listened, for the most part patiently, as she does. I texted my neighbor who has a petite track arm that stands up well at 3 years of age to two small children, no pets but no major spills. “I hate to bug you about this again but did you say you got the brushed linen in fog” She knew exactly what she’d purchased because she had the receipt! Her only regret? She didn’t get the luxe depth.

The conversation between Betsy and I shifted, as it most often does when I talk to anyone about sofas, to the english roll arm sofa. Betsy said, you’ve always known you wanted a roll arm–thats what you should get. But I’d have to settle because the perfect roll arm that is financially feasible and easily accessible eludes me…it eludes most.

Design junkies know these images,

sofa coppolaSofia Coppola

Jenna Lyons English Roll Arm SofaJenna Lyons

sofa pinkAnn Mashburn


and the image I’m fixated on,

sofa bulow


sofa bulow2I tell Betsy that Pavoncelli’s children in the Town & Country feature are laying on the perfect sofa. Betsy isn’t easily convinced but she wants to pour over it with me.


This is some of what that conversation sounds like,

“Well it’s a tight back. I can’t tell if the back has a seam and if it’s a single seat cushion or two because of the magazine binding” We can’t find the whole flat image on the internet. “It’s down-filled, I think it’s pretty safe to say the seat cushion is down-filled. Is it George Smith? Well AD says that Markham Roberts likes George Smith.”

I love the sofas of both George Smith and George Sherlock. They are what others try to replicate. Why don’t I invest in one? Well…because they are $12,000.


But what happens to these sofas that are seemingly perfect and supposed to last forever? What happens when they are sat on and loved and napped on for a good long while–say 20 years or so?

Well Grandma saggy buns comes to mind,

sofa saggy buns
The cushions are starting to take a dive at Ashley Putnam’s place,

sofa putnam


One of the authors of the Everygirl, has the Pottery Barn Carlisle in her Chicago apartment but the cover looks a bit askew and the seat cushions look a little broken down. My Petrie seat cushions look very similar and it’s 9 years old. The Carlisle is a roll arm sofa that a lot of folks go for, it’s relatively affordable and it’s good looking. I thought it was a sure bet until I sat on one and then I quickly put the brakes on. Sorry PB, painful but true.

sofa everygirl PB
A well loved George Smith three-seater once for sale on 1st Dibs,

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.46.12 AM


This two seat Smith is on sale for $6500 on Viyet, BTW you should cruise Viyet if you haven’t yet. This sofa turns nine this year. It looks good don’t you think, wonder if she’s had work done? Ultimately the legs are too contemporary.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.59.10 AM

Perfection doesn’t yet exist and by perfection I mean the perfect sofa that we can afford, that is a beautiful roll arm silhouette, that is well-made and can be reconditioned over time, something that will last. This is all assuming that you’re in to roll arms. Maybe you’re in to slipcovered track arms and if that be the case well then we can still talk.




Consider Plywood

We sheath houses and structures with plywood and we construct subfloors and the backs of cabinets and furniture from plywood. Plywood is always the basic and hidden material.

BUT…plywood can also share the stage.

plywood types

This has got to be the belle of the plywood ball.

Mandy's DIY Plywood floor on her vintage trailer appeared on her blog, Vintage Revivals.

Mandy’s DIY Plywood floor on her vintage trailer appeared on her blog, Vintage Revivals.


Based on the informative image above, these shelves look to be multi-ply and then likely coated with polyurethane,

plywood shelving


plywood floors2 plywood office cabinets


This plywood barn door below might send you running to the nearest home improvement store to buy some cabinet-grade plywood. I mean how hard could it be right? Ha!

plywood barn door


plywood DIY shelves


I like the cutout handles that always seem to come with plywood cabinets,

plywood cabinets


All images via Pinterest

Laney’s Big Girl Custom Bed

A twin bed was most certainly the best option for Laney’s little converted attic bedroom. With way too many “shin walls” (that’s an official term now), meaning walls that are only as high as an adult’s shin–we’re pretty short on space in here.

laney room progress

Not only did we need a twin bed but we needed a bed with added value…storage. So I looked at all the storage bed options out there like,

bed PB oxford captain

PBTeen Oxford Captain’s Bed

bed PB belden

PBKids Belden Bed

bed avery room&board

Avery, Room & Board

These beds range from $799 to $1700, the Belden being the cheapest of the three. I just couldn’t swing that so I cruised around on the internet some more in every place I could think of, Overstock, Target, unfinished furniture retailers –you name it. I came up with no real bargain.

So then I started looking at DIY plans and I found Ana White’s site that had detailed plans complete with material lists for Pottery Barn knockoffs and a lot of other great DIY furniture projects. Now don’t get all excited thinking that I was going to build this bed– that was never the intention. I printed the queen bed plan and the twin plan and had a little chat with my favorite carpenter Joseph. Joseph’s price was right and so he got to work.

bed PB knockoff

Laney’s big girl bed is a fusion between Ana’s queen and twin bed plan because I wanted drawers only on the sides, none on the ends. Because of the dimensions of the room and a small and winding staircase, Joseph had to build the bed in sections that could be bolted together once the pieces were carried upstairs in to Laney’s room. We also added casters on the bottom because if the bed is placed against the short wall an adult cannot make the bed.

To help you can get a better idea of how space challenged we are in this room, here’s me at a whopping 5’2″ standing in the room.

Sarah Laney's Room

Joseph delivered the bed recently and it looks great so far.  Laney gets a bed that’s made from solid pine not MDF and we know the bottoms of the drawers won’t fall out when we load it up with clothes and linens. Now I just need to paint it. It needs a little paint prep like puttying those nail holes and other joints and then the plan is to paint it Benjamin Moore’s Simply White which is the same as the trim color in the room.

I also still need to add a headboard and some drawer pulls and this image stays in my mind.

bed storage inspirationYou can follow the other design inspirations for Laney’s big girl room on my Pinterest board.

Images via Pinterest unless specified

MGBW and Things

Mitchell Gold Bob Williams

I went to a Mitchell Gold Bob Williams opening event in Beverly Hills this past Thursday night. It was a super fun time and I was so stoked to hang with an old friend from my high school days in Hickory, NC. Besides the fact that serving gratis Mac 12 cocktails is the BEST option if you are gonna drag your dude to a designer event in Beverly Hills, here is my biggest take home from checking out the new store:

Looking through their upholstery options was enlightening. Due to my work with Jaxon, I’m now familiar with the upholstery lines and I was moved by how EDITED the collection was. I’m sure if you wanted some upholstery that wasn’t there, they could get their hands on it for you, but to see such a specific set of colors, textures and patterns grouped together in a way that was sensible & digestible really provided a guideline to get the MGBW look. As a retailer, editing your consumer’s options when you have a seemingly infinite array of availability is an important part of distinguishing your point of view. That’s why THIS change is coming soon on for custom upholstery selection.

Also, I just wanna shout out to CoCo Cozy who damn near blew my mind. I’m not even sure I can say, but why not – as long as I don’t blow her cover right!? Y’all, this fantastically appointed and successful woman runs a great blog and has even launched a home interiors line that is carried in over 25 stores nationwide, and she has a day job to boot. But the best part is that her day-job-boss doesn’t know about her online life after all this time. Impressive. It makes me feel like crap for waxin’ pathetic about how my day job keeps me from having the energy required to make this blog awesome. Whatever!


A desk comparison

DesksNot too long ago I was looking for a little, affordable desk for my 5-year old DC’s room. I came across the Threshold desk at Target. Affordable…absolutely and it reminded me of other more expensive simple, minimalist desks. It got great reviews and so the decision was easy. I like my choice.

Desk 51 Blu dot/ Threshold desk

Inspiration by Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon copper lights

I joined the nasty stop and go traffic in the rainy streets of Hollywood this past Thursday night to attend a book tour party in a sweet little pop-up gallery for Tom Dixon. Here is the nutshell.

At the time that the commercial Italian furniture market took notice of Tom Dixon’s work, he was paid 3% on the wholesale price of every design that sold. He said that this was a pretty fair standard for Cappellini to pay its designers in the eighties. For some reference to how insane this seems to me, I just signed Jaxon Home up for a program that rewards publisher’s like The Estate of Things 4x that percentage for sales on the retail price! So, for all of you bloggers out there wishing you were designers, you might be better off joining an affiliate network or calling me up to chat about selling some sofas for Jaxon Home! ;)


After a few years designing for Capellini, the designer was hired by Habitat, the UK’s equivalent to a Crate & Barrel. Tom Dixon served as a creative director for over 10 years and was the leader behind the rejuvenation of that brand! He referred to it humbly as taking a break from design to learn the ins and outs of retail operations, production and sales. His takeaway here was that the disparity between what a magazine will make you THINK people buy versus what actually sells, have nothing to do with one another! Fascinating, and not unbelievable… but what IS it that people buy I wonder!

Tom-Dixon-scented-candlesThe thought segued nicely into his introduction to his accessories line… so that speaks volumes to me! He said 10 years ago he may have sworn he’d never do it, but recently he’s taken to the notion that smell is a part of interior design, and as a result, Tom Dixon now sells candles!

And you know – If Tom Dixon is selling candles, maybe we should be too! (We will, soon enough y’all… You’ll find a full array of fantastic soy based candles hand poured by Market Street Candles’ Haley Hekman on our site within the coming week!)

Tom-DixonLast but not least, Tom Dixon had a funny note about how much he loves branding…. and he says he means the cowboy kind too, with a hot iron – a STAMP that signifies ownership and come to stand for quality. For the longest time he sold his designs to a mass market, but it wasn’t until 2002 that he took his own name to his designs and his products are now manufactured by him with his “conveniently symmetrical” name for his logo! He says that consumers don’t always look into the vertebrae of good design, but consumers do require branding as assurance of quality! Hey, that all sounds familiar to me too!

The talk was fantastic. The entire evening was all about celebrating the release of his book. The thing about the book from what I gathered, is that it is a well penned version of the talk that I loved last night. Full of chaotic meanderings and glimpses into the genius of the designer’s mind. I snapped a pic of a favorite page and here are a few to enjoy. It was a fantastic event, and I’m sure it will leave a lasting impression on me, and it has certainly strengthened my love for his product line.




Betsy Needs a Coffee Table

Betsy recently told me she was on the hunt for a new coffee table. She’s studying under the Skillshare hosted tutelage of Justina Blakeney learning how to style her house and the need for a new coffee table has stalled her styling progress.

Betsy needs the following in a new coffee table,

  • Serve as a makeshift medicine cabinet for Heffe
  • Durable enough for kids to occasionally eat on


Betsy's Coffee Table

1. Brickmaker 2. Dutch Industrial 3. Double Decker 4. Tourney 5. Seneca 6. Library 7. Edgewood 8. Smart table 9. Martens

My pick for Betsy is a close choice between 5 & 9 and really it depends on which direction Betsy wants to go with the overall design of the room. If Betsy were erring more toward the boho/California situation I’d say #9 is definite for me. That might look something like this living room created for Rachel Bilson by Kishani Perera ,

Rachel Bilson in LonnyWhy I like #9- Restoration Hardware’s products are typically well-made, I’ve had a good experience with all of my purchases and I know my Mom has too. I like the cut out look, tables you can see through and a second tier is a must in my opinion because when you need to clear off the top for the kids to eat or to play a game you can put things below. You can also put lidded baskets on the bottom shelf to hide all of the stuff that ain’t too pretty. But the best of all is all the stacks of books, mags and other goodies you can put there. In typical RH fashion the table is probably pretty generous in scale.

But If Betsy wants to go a little less organic and have some smoother modern finishes in her space then I’d say #5 is the right choice. That look will look similar to this Malibu ranch designed by Nickey Kehoe,

nickey kehoe

Why I like #5- Looks like good construction and a nice tone and finish but what I like most of all is that it is tiered yet it still has drawers. If the drawers aren’t enough you can still add lidded baskets for storage.

Truthfully these looks are not that far apart and both tables would work. So what does Betsy like?


Would you buy a custom sofa online?

Back when the dude moved into his new house, we started sofa shopping for the den. Here is how we found our sofa.

First, I had to pull some inspiration. With Sarah’s help I found Adrian Greniers EcoChic pad and Nicky Kehoe’s Hollywood home and I started the conversation at home about what the house could look like. The dude and I differ and have had some funny conversations along the way.

I’d gone on my own to sit down and think on sofas at CB2, LiveStyle, HD Buttercup, Jaxon Home and of course Ikea, cause I’m still into that. I like to sit on a sofa for a really long time, and just wonder. I’ll people watch, I’ll think about other items in my home that will match the sofa, or the new directions that the particular sofa might spin the aesthetic. I LOVE to daydream on a couch about living with it.

Jaxon Home had a strong contender in a dark grey velvet with tufts and a dropped arm. I’d texted a pic to the dude and he didn’t say he hated it, which meant that I heard a YES. Recently, I have been thinking about this sofa a lot, since I’ve been spending a lot more time at the Jaxon Showroom. They are a new client for my marketing group.

Anyway, we didn’t get that couch. Instead, one Saturday, Heffe and I got on our bikes and hit the boardwalk headed south from Santa Monica to Venice. We had stopped at approximately 4 bars before it occurred to me that we were very close to one of the sofa stores, LiveStyle. So we popped in, and with a little bit of a beachy, bikey, bar buzz, pulled the trigger on a couch immediately. Jeff saw it and said, “This is it.” We worked with the shop owner Francesca to pick out the fabric that we wanted, and waited impatiently for weeks while they built it.

This is what it looks like in our home nowadays. We love it cause it’s 80 miles deep and will seat a family of four for the entire Star Wars trilogies comfortably.

HeffeHouse sofa The Estate of Things Betsy Moyer

The reason why I’m telling this story though is b/c I wanna know how folks normally make this large purchase, you know – besides the bike rides with a buzz strategy. Our friend Ashley over at Meet Me in Philadelphia recently sprung for a English Roll Arm purchase from that Sarah is now considering for her next couch.

Ashley mentioned that her dude had to sit on it, so they took a trip to the showroom, but ultimately she bought online.

I keep hearing stats about the growing percentage of furniture purchases that are now happening online, so I’m curious, and y’all this has everything to do with aforementioned new client…. But, do you have experience buying a sofa without a test drive? If so, how are you building your confidence that you’ll get what you pay for? I’m really moved by the fact that Sarah is willing to buy the Bluebell based off of Ashley’s positive experience and GREAT looking results, plus the glowing reviews from Good Bones, Great Pieces, who just posted a guide to some great options under $2k and included two options. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sarah’s Desk Revamp

A few months ago I bought this old desk at my favorite local thrift shop for about $30.

sarah desk before


I was immediately drawn to the brass pulls. And then upon closer inspection, I realized it kind of has a Parsons look with classic straight lines. The finish was in horrible shape, it had not been treated well. I needed a desk and the price was right and it appeared that I could repair the finish with some wood filler and paint.

You know lots of bloggers post about painting furniture but two of my go to sources are Little Green Notebook and Young House Love. I felt confident about my knowledge of the overall painting process but needed to review the recommended primer and what kind of clear finish to apply over the paint. So I consulted YHL’s furniture painting tutorial before starting.

I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to paint the desk white. I was waffling between white or gray. But then I saw this and it was really tempting,

desk black+whiteBut I think it was a little too sophisticated for a desk area in the kitchen/sitting area. So I returned to gray because I love the way that gray and brass hardware live so well in perfect harmony.

I really wanted to hit the gray just right and I think this image embodies what I was shooting for,

desk gray

So my color would be,


 Ben Moore’s Fieldstone, which is what Sally Wheat painted her kitchen cabinets and everyone drooled all over them and it started a revolution or at least it felt like there was a movement? Maybe it was all in my head…

I used Elmer’s ProBond Wood Filler because that’s what I had on hand and a latex primer and paint from Lowe’s. Yeah, I used latex primer because I am absolutely over oil based paint and the mess that it creates and John & Sherry said I could anyway.

And here’s my thrifty lover in process after one or two coats,

desk progress


And here it is dunzo… finally. I know you’re jealous of my whitewashed paneling in the kitchen, those feelings are natural– just try to contain your excitement. The desk chair is totally temporary and I do not in anyway consider this to be styled.



Close up shot, I did add Floetrol to the paint to diminish some brush strokes and I think it worked…ok. I also scrubbed the hardware with Barkeeper’s Friend and a little Brasso. For about $50 all together I’m absolutely fine with the end product and I could move it somewhere else in time and use it as a console.








My Los Angeles friends, Join me at JAXON

JAXON COVER IMAGE 851Join us for live music, cocktails, appetizers and vintage arcade games
Thursday September 26th at 6:30 pm
8884 Venice Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Free parking lot behind the showroom off National Boulevard

Hi friends… Which of you home decor lovers are here in LA!? I feel like all of you could get excited about Jaxon Home, a beautiful home furnishings store located in the Helms Bakery district, just doors down from H.D. Buttercup!

Around here, we have day jobs, so The Estate of Things is really just a labor of love, a hobby blog where Sarah and I share our love for home style, yes even all of Sarah’s renovation work. It’s actually NUTS when I think about it, but she manages all of those intense and impressive home flips in her spare time outside of the 9-5 grind.

Meanwhile, I’ve recently made a little career shift, and my home decor hobby is siding up a little bit closer to the work day with this particular project. I’m super excited about working with Jaxon and I’m sure there will be more to come, but for now – I just wanted to holler at my LA homies to invite you on out to the JAXON HOME SITE LAUNCH and FALL LINE Announcement party next Thursday night, September 26th. The space is huge at 20,000 feet and it’s full of some of the loveliest couch craftmanship I’ve ever seen. It’s been an honor to meet Victoria Richter and her team and learn about their design process.

You should definitely come out for the evening to check out the new line, and have a glass of wine and enjoy some live music – swing on by anytime after 6pm. I’ll be there, so please come find me for a quick hello, or an opportunity to meet the incredible lady behind it all, just hit me up ahead of time if you are into it.

Victoria is mine and Sarah’s age, she is the shop owner, a mother of three, and half of the design duo (along with her husband) behind the line that is all manufactured here in downtown Los Angeles. She’s a very inspirational lady! Join us to celebrate her next step in her adventure. Not only is she releasing the new Fall line, but she’s also launching her first Ecommerce venture!

For those of you that aren’t in LA or can’t make it next Thursday, go ahead and get a look at the new site that we have built for Jaxon Home.



Vintage Office Chair Redo

Do you recall that $10 vintage office chair I bought last summer at my favorite local thrift store? Here it is, basically left outside with a future in dumpsters.

I decided on a simple and affordable small black and white stripe from Premier Prints because my thrift chair needed a lot of work at the upholstery shop. And voila this is how it turned out,
office chair
office chair2

In your face

Vintage and antique bamboo side tables are showing up everywhere. Here’s the hard evidence,

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Can you spot it over in the corner?

Tom Scheerer

Suzanne McGrath put their bamboo table in the bathroom to hold towels and other bath accessories.

they’ll really go anywhere in bedrooms, porches, entries…

all other images via Pinterest