Collecting: Etsy Treasuries

For Virtual Collecting, Your Own Wish List, Promotion for designers or Just Amateur Curating, Etsy Wishlists are Endlessly Fun and Appealing. They are also a great way that designers, artists, crafters and vintage sellers promote each other's great work. Find any new treasures?

Woodland Baroque by Franceshad3sisters

Nautical Wedding by MontgomeryBlooms

Visit these shops on Etsy: tushtush, sukanart, whichgoose, portobello, JujuBaju, ravenhillpottery, zinniacottage, jeanpelle, Franceshad3sisters, aysetugrul, bonnynclyde, nicolesuder, chARiTyelise, victorianstation, dorothydomingo, yorktownroad, macintyrephotography, amidnightshow, montgomeryblooms, cocorococo, thehouseofoliver, sarahculleton, hankietankie, MaisyandAlice, jshop, IndustrialBloom, prettydarncute, vintagejane, prettygoodthings, MursBlanc, delightfuljewels, meadowmark, brooklynretro, jardindepapier, urbanlegend, jennifermorrisbeads, liason, Freshyfig, Filigreecreations, muskaelvis, megandarienzo,Gayznia, pomtree, Brooklynarts,


Home Inspiration

Edward del Rosario

"I only know if I've got it right when a job is completed. Within a collection of projects, what has become clear is that by making a concept physical I can now judge it. For me, the home is an ongoing investigation in the sense that I'm trying to find a resolution when I know there is none. Yet I've seen lots of resolutions, but somehow I'm looking for my own. It's about me completing what I think home is, by not ever achieving it, and that's what drives me." - David Adjaye, Architect


Collecting: Remarkable Vintage Toleware


Now that we have extolled the virtues of midcentury modern decor, we are going to throw you a curve ball. Fear not - remember this is a journey in eclectic modern. That means, we don't have to be faithful. We can be promiscuous decorators! And with the eclectic approach, we can look for special finds and irresistable bargains outside of our comfort zone, to great results. We recently added two pieces of vintage Italian Toleware wall sconces (the type that hold candles) found through Etsy (The Petite Market) to the ongoing apartment design and these amazed us with their versatility and the way they fit right in, while being amazing stand alone pieces - true statement pieces that "finish the room". This was a lucky gamble.  We were lucky enough to move into a freshly painted space and we placed one, multicolored, unrepainted tole ware sconce in the bathroom (it matches the image above), and the other is the only real decoration in our master bedroom.  It feels like this one piece of decoration is all that is needed, with or without candles (so far, without, but one could try adding some old looking, burned out, stubby white candles for effect).

Examples of Toleware looks, as featured here in some favorite types of pieces, can be found in original condition, repainted long ago, repainted in an attempt at the original style, or totally refinished. One can appreciate equally the old, and, also, the nice examples seen here that have been revived with a fresh white (or bright!) coat of paint. A staple of "Shabby Chic" (or, more currently, "French Country"), for years, this style is something that a new collector can very easily afford and delivers a great impact for the investment.  The high quality/durability of old iron and other metal works can take add to the appeal.  We like the idea of having something old, French, or Italian in our humble Canadian home but now that the collecting bug has bitten us, we would surely snap up small, affordable pieces of any provenance, as well as mutts, strays, rusty junk at garage sales, and newly repainted ones, which look entirely different but equally wonderful.  The many configurations of design and selection available in the marketplace can easily turn a collection from two into a few and onward quite happily.

The perfect place for Toleware wall sconces is over a hall table or console, in a grouping of like items or alone. One big piece above right is all that is needed above the bed and the room looks really "done".  I think it works well "down the hall" from more modern and clean pieces but in only 700sq feet of space, you may be surprised how eclectic you can get.

As eclectic collectors, we go by feeling and relative affordability and am not as concerned about claims to authenticity. However, if a price tag is very high end (perhaps $500 and way above, we would suggest you check on ways to verify the piece and that price's justification, as with any antiques.) There seems to be a good deal of material for comparison and it seems clear that the majority of pieces are quite old, quite distinct, and quite worth evaluating on their own merits. Do you like it? Are you comfortable with the price? If yes, then get it because it will always be fairly unique and special to your collection.

Along with the pieces here, there are many types of  Toleware decorative pieces such as trays, tables, wall hooks, (to name but three) and great little pieces for a girl's room, powder room or guest room. The prices range quite a bit, but certainly one can get a little collection started, as shown here, for under $100.

Click to visit each shop and to see more of these  amazing vintage collections for sale. Featured in first grouping (clockwise): Set of two pieces byVintage Goodness, My much loved Bedroom Focal Point 3 Candle Wall Sconce from The Petite Market, a beatifully muted hanging chandelier from Vintage Goodness. Featured in second grouping (clockwise): Hot Pink Hollywood painted wall sconce: Fabulous Mess, "Meet Me in Paris" Restored Vintage Tole ware mirror/ chalkboard by Shabby My Fabby, Vintage Tole Cup/Jewellery Holder from Taking Shape. All photos for this story are copyright the shops indicated/linked here.

More amazing, unique pieces from vintage and antique resources:
Vintage Italian Tole Lamp Birds and Roses
The Petite Market Delectable Bird and Flower Lamp
vintage tole rose s huge chandelier shabby chic birdcage white yellow fabulous
Gorgeous Large Birdcage Chandelier from Vintage Chic Furniture


When Home is Uneasy, Music Helps: The Upstairs Room

Editorial Feature by Jacqueline H.

Long time musical loves clash and live on via fashion and deeply personal home furnishings. "The Upstairs Room" lyrics c. The Cure.

Featured in this spread (clockwise)(click to link to artist shop): 1. Robert Smith Pop Art (my own design), 2. (Gold) Alya acrylic on canvas by Tinca Design 3. Footed Chrome and Bakelite Trays: The Vintage Apartment 4. The Killers "K" marquee sign 5. Vintage 80's Betsy Johnson Yellow Houndstooth Coat: Past Poisons 6.Vintage School Speakers: Austin Modern 7. Limited Edition Ostrich Capelet by Liason by Kat Swank 8. The Smiths The Peel Sessions Dress: Rock on the World 9. Handmade Vinyl Stack Clock featuring New Order, Cure, Smiths: Blue Order 10. Nashville Cushions: West Egg Studio Silver Technics Turntable Art: Blue Order 11. Mission Style Pulls: The Door Stop 12. Cream Gears Fascinator: Cutie Dynamite


My Home in Progress: The Eclectic Mixed Modern Apartment

Photo: Apartment Therapy

By Jacqueline Howell
Until recently, a house or apartment full of thrift, inherited junk, cast off pieces, reclaimed wood, a few teak pieces and an out of place penchant for french country accents was something to feel deeply uncomfortable, or at least, inadequate about. I speak from years of personal experience from the land of the original "shoe string" budget. Add to these challenges a number of house moves and upheavals and the cost and freedom, not to mention the will, to dream of a design sensibility are hard one. But a few sources of inspiration have helped me to value my own designer eye: all these years, hopelessly watching HGTV, longing for a single item, and living without the possibility of renovations have turned into something wonderful. Something "mixed" and "modern".

The above photo shows a fantastic example of a small but light and airy modern apartment outfitted in danish modern pieces. The dining room at left shows a beautiful sideboard or cabinet, and the main room has a perfect, practical, small but effective wall unit shelf. The green upholstered chair at left is a wonderful alternative to the recent trends of big, overstuffed arm chairs. This is the perfect type of chair to place right in the entrance of a room without losing your walkway. This apartment mixes practical function and a real love of design very well.

These photos of a teak ice bucket circa late 60's and popular into the early 70's (I am sure Toronto was lagging a few years behind at that time), represent a piece in my collection that has recently become appreciated and highlighted in a new way as a decorative piece. Originally obtained as a wedding gift, my parents gave it to me with the understanding that it was "teak!". We didn't think about design then but we knew when something was "good wood". Nostalgia made me keep it and now it forms a uniquely special element of my personal design style as I have grown to understand and appreciate this period of design. Like most good design, a piece like this is special beyond trends or sentimentality, though these aspects do make it interesting as part of developing personal home style.

It turns out that the time is right for those of us who have never had much of a budget and whose stuff was someone else's castoffs. These challenges and the creativity that develops from never having it easy or at once, the urban temptation to furnish off the nicer house's curb, and the mend and make do attitudes of our grandparents having been reborn as environmental savvy: factors that, today, dovetail into an aesthetic that is finally inclusive and personal.

Here are a few elements of my personal home decorating look that have brought me close at last to "home". I will post some full room looks in the upcoming weeks as I complete the design. Most of them were obtained on the cheap, free, or second hand. The first one, similar to this photo, was the find of a lifetime  (READ MORE)


Spotlight Feature: My Little Home - Decor and Design for Children

Tara Sawchuk 

By David R.
Remembering the unique elements that made your childhood room unique is useful when decorating one of the most enjoyable spaces in the home: Bedrooms for children. With all the choices available today in good quality and stylish furniture and bed linens, it is easy to complete a unique and cherished room without falling into the Disney theme park look that is aggressively marketed to us. Of course, anyone with a preschooler in the home knows that these little tastemakers want those superhero characters at some point, so when that influence hits your home, take comfort in adding some non-branded, original and imaginative play pieces, wall art, and decor items. There is magic, whimsy, and adventure to be had in designing your original, artistic, and interesting room for a child. Of course, many of us will be drawn to these creations and buy them for our own inner child who now runs the show!

Initial Sign by Serinas Custom Shop
Felted Wool Bears by Muddy Feet

Illustration by The Black Apple 

Paperdolls meet plush in these vintage textile patterned dollies

Peas in a Pod Educational Toy by Honey Canada

Personal Art Canvas by Little House Monograms 

Art Print by Julianna Bright

Eves Little Earthlings
Jens Dream Decor

Madden the Monkey by Mousepants

Click. Follow, find, collect, buy, and favorite these treasures at Etsy:
1.Stained Glass Pieces Tara Sawchuk Stained Glass  2. Wooden Initial Sign Serinas Custom Shop
3. Circle Time: Fine Art PrintThe Black Apple 4. Vintage Style Fabric Dollies Periwinkle Jazz Upcycled and Vintage Dollies 5.Felted Peas in a Pod Toy Honey Canada Wool Creations  6. Felted Playmat, Red Fox Felted Wool Toy Eves Little Earthlings Toys  7.Multicolored Round Felt Rug (page 2)Craftasticparties 
8. Monogramed Canvas Wall Art Little House Monograms 9.With Linked Arms Art Print Julianna Bright  10. Madden the Felt Monkey Mousepants 11.Felted Wool Bear Family, Toadstool Wooden Bowling Set (page 2) Muddy Feet 12. French Memory Board Jens Dream Decor

Tara Sawchuk


Eclectic, Affordable Art Collections: Start Yours

Siiso Original Oil (Giclee Print) ($20.00)

KikiandPolly Acrylic on Canvas (Print) ($20.00)

GreyOrder 8 x 10 Photographic Print ($20.00)

All pictures copyright the respective artists. Please visit the links below to see more of their work and Etsy shops or to purchase their great, original, affordable art pieces. 

Siiso: Toronto
GreyOrder: Phoenix
KikiandPolly: Portland


Etsy Artists Feature: Reclaimed Textiles

Where do you go when you dream?

Image and design c. HELKATDESIGN

Fine Art Painter Edward del Rosario: A Reverently Absurdist Dream World

Untitled 2 2005. Oil on Linen
Feature by David R.
One of the focuses of this blog is to seek out and highlight fine artists of today/tomorrow who inspire and who may form our tentative young collections. One of my absolutely adored favorites is Edward del Rosario, who I came across in an art magazine (Corduroy). Having no decorating budget, and falling in love with the strongly pigmented surreal colours and at-a-glance-you-will-miss-it dark undertones, these magazine prints are as cherished as originals and form the anchor of my small home art collection. While I won't wear fake Chanel, fake pearls or diamonds (and so suffer as they are beyond my means), I will adorn my walls with framed magazine pictures if I please! For the faint of heart who won't go as far as framing, these sorts of magazine tear sheets can also be a great addition to your own inspiration board/ideas/design board. Believe me, all the great designers actively collect inspiration  in this way...

Truly this work is most effective if it is seen rather than talked about so I will get right to it:


The Modern Dining Room: There is One for Every Space, and Every Space Needs One

By Jacqueline H.
As anyone living in small/rented/apartment/condo/old house spaces knows, one of the most challenging projects to face, the eating area or dining "room", also offers the most satisfying rewards: it grounds the design and and can lend the room an feeling of both sophistication and coziness. Carving out a corner for at least four chairs and a small table also provides a functional area for all kinds of entertaining and a handy space for working on various projects at other times. Best of all, this project can work wonders to define your new mixed modern and highly individual palette on any budget. As seen by the many fine examples and inspirations of real small home dwellers on Apartment Therapy, while this area of the home can very challenging to plan and execute (incorporated as it must be alongside kitchen areas or smack dab in living rooms or even studio apartments), it adds so much to the essential feeling of home that it actually serves to create a feeling of extra square footage, a room of new possibilities. For rented or short term dwellings, this area brings a much needed familiarity and comfort. It's also a great place to add a hit of strong colour, showcase a personal collection, or feature a great architectural detail...or fudge one.
(720 sq ft California home, eclectic mix of designer, vintage, a very keen love of thrift)

Making "Home" -An Introductory Post

Welcome to Home Made: A blog that celebrates and seeks out exciting design, decor, fine art, DIYs, dreams, plans, and guides for that all important and highly personal project of Making a Home of our own. Home is an idea, a memory, a concept, and a future dream. When we find it or make it, it's everything we need to feel safe and comfortable, a haven from the world. When we work for it or seek it out, it can be a love affair and an epic journey; one in which the outcome is always transformative. Drawing on artists, crafters, artisans, photographers and creative people of all types and from many fields and disciplines; looking at professional designers and amateurs alike (as well as vintage collectors, sellers and retailers); and incorporating unique looks from around the world, Home Made will be part of an interesting conversation that we invite you to join. Thank you for stopping by, and please link and visit often!

This grouping is a great example of our current fascination with old wood (teak, midcentury modern) and that got us thinking about a very different time when wood and glass was the material used in so many decor elements and was so appealing for both their function and simple beauty. Etsy's Treasury feature serves as a personal wishlist, designer statement (via other's work or vintage shop finds), a nod to friends' work (but to me, it must be cohesive, well photographed and visually appealing or it goes), or sometimes a sly confession of personal purchases! This feature of Etsy encourages the designer in all of us to share our ideas and link to others around the world. LOVE.

This grouping includes some of the same themes but incorporates the editors' universal love and desire for all that is always called French Country or what we used to call Shabby Chic (see the "Victorian style bird cage"). As we have moved away from the all-over, overdone looks that scared away many men from agressively feminine bedrooms in the 90's and 2000's, this look has evolved into something sweet and elegant that can find harmony in any decorating scheme. This treasury celebrates the modern trend of mixing styles and periods. That's right- the indecisive and eclectic collectors among us, those who lean toward "junk shops" rather than "antique dealers", are having our moment! This treasury also features a favorite Etsy discovery: wonderful, affordable fine art! (We will feature more of our favorite fine artists in upcoming features.) Oh, and by affordable, we have a dozen pieces waiting to be framed and arranged and have never spent more than $30.00 per piece, and usually much less than that! The fine artists discovered are from many different countries and thanks to Etsy, one can see work that one would never find if limited to local, geographical marketplaces. This treasury features only a few with many more to follow in future posts. No matter how small your budget, a little original piece or print gives a room that something special that is an essential part of home making.

Home Made welcomes writing, editorial, photography, and personal collecting and decorating stories for feature on the blog, as well as site, book, art, media recommendations on related topics. Contact the editors at cocorococco@gmail.com