Tag Archives: vintage

Your Trash, Her Treasure

April 9, 2017 by
Photography by Keith Binder

Even on a blustery, freezing January day, as Christmas lights still twinkle from neighbors’ homes, it’s Halloween inside Diane Hayes’ apartment.

Enter into her abode, which is located in the 105-year-old West Farnam Apartments off Dewey and 38th streets, and you’re confronted with fortunetellers and witches and skeletons, oh my! The 1,800-square-foot place is spacious, with floorboards that squeak and much of its early 20th-century charm still intact, but it’s Hayes and her often-merrily macabre refurbished artwork that makes the apartment truly spellbinding.

“For a while, I tried to keep all my work hidden in one room, but then I said ‘Oh, to hell with it,'” Hayes says. “By the time they carry my body out of here, I suppose things will really look strange.”

Hayes lives to make the old new again. From turning a vintage side table into an animatronic fortuneteller to using antique alarm clocks to create mini terrariums that depict tragedies like the Titanic sinking and Lindbergh kidnapping, she uses her creative magic to take everyday objects and turn them into art. A strong believer that “décor shouldn’t come from Bed, Bath & Beyond,” Hayes scavenges through Goodwill, antique shows, and online to buy things only for their pieces and parts.

After purchasing an item, she stows it away and lets ideas start marinating in her head. Once inspiration strikes, the tinkering begins.

“It’s not my thing to come home after a long day and sit down to watch TV,” Hayes says. “I’m always putting something together.”

While she displays most of her work in her home, she does sell some items on Etsy and has donated pieces to benefits for the Nebraska AIDS Project and the local chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

If she isn’t selling or donating a piece, chances are it will end up in her year-round Halloween-themed office. Teeming from floor to ceiling with things that go bump in the night, this room is more fun and festive than frightening, as most of her collection reflects Halloween styles that were popular in the 1950s and ’60s. And come Halloween night, Hayes is the ghostess with the mostess, inviting around 80 costumed party guests into her apartment to have their palms read by a fortuneteller and watch silent films like Nosferatu.

“I love the Halloweens I grew up with,” Hayes says. “It’s such a fun time of year, and it doesn’t have the stress or religious and political connotations of Christmas.”

Beyond Halloween, living in Omaha’s first luxury apartment building offers its own inspiration. Built in 1912, the West Farnam Apartments house the city’s oldest working elevator.

“You can hear those 100-year-old gears cranking and groaning, almost like a tiny factory that’s come to life,” Hayes says.

Perhaps, this explains her next project—refurbishing an old clock complete with its own ancient gears. Some projects she completes in a day, others she’s always working on, always tinkering. This clock’s finish date is yet to be determined, and to Hayes that’s just fine.

“It’s been an unfocused life,” Hayes says, “but I’m not sure I’d want to do it any other way.”

Visit etsy.com/people/halloweenclocks for more information.

This article was printed in the March/April 2017 edition of Omaha Home.

True Colors

March 15, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Art has long-served as an outlet to help humans heal. With America amidst an ever-building tumultuous political and social climate, choose to make art with your wardrobe. This spring, find solace in wild hues and bold patterns. Let your wardrobe be your armor; arm yourself with optimism and happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makeup by Chevy

This article was printed in the March/April 2017 edition of Encounter.

Colorado Modern

January 22, 2017 by
Photography by Tom Kessler, Kessler Photography

How do two people, each with an appreciation for very different tastes in design, come together to build their perfect dream home?

When our client came to us, the husband leaned more towards a contemporary, midcentury modern look, while the wife loved a Colorado-inspired design. We knew the challenge of marrying these two concepts would be great. But the final product would be even greater.

Lisa Cooper, Allied ASID, and Kris Patton, ASID, feel there is no higher compliment than to obtain new clients by referral from a previous client’s friends and family. This new home construction project was no exception. In order to realize the clients’ multipart vision, we teamed with Marshall Wallman, vice president of design at Curt Hofer & Associates, and his team to create this dream home.

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Our clients enjoy the topography and ambience of Colorado and the architecture of that region. They also like things a bit more contemporary, so we tried to meld together a vintage Colorado midcentury modern look for their new home. While the home itself was meticulously planned to achieve this design, the lot the family selected was just as important. A space with abundant trees would set the perfect tone for a woodsy, private residence.

The home’s curb appeal sets the tone for the design elements that wait inside. The entrance—with its vast windows and incredible sightline from the workspace all the way to the dining room—makes a strong introductory statement.

Main and lower levels of the home feature similarly strong design conceptualization in the fireplaces. They aren’t located on exterior walls, as fireplaces typically are; rather, the hearths are positioned in the centers of the rooms (to be more architecturally integrated into the spaces). Carefully placed windows allow for ample natural light to pierce the space. Not having a fireplace in a traditional placement, flanked by windows, adds interest.

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Powder rooms on each level also provide an opportunity to get creative, and they incorporate high-end elements such as a stainless steel vessel sink, which perforates a quartzite countertop, and walls tiled in a 3D relief.

A color palette of natural tones with blackened steel blue, fern green, aged ore, slate gray, and metallic burnt merlot creates an ambience that possesses an elusive balance between vintage and modern appeal. We relied upon myriad materials to achieve the design our clients desired. Natural stone, used in both the exterior and interior of the home, gives a rugged, earthy feel. A mix of concrete, weathered and reclaimed woods, organic natural stone surfaces, and quartz work symbiotically. Wood ceiling details, a kitchen backsplash fashioned of fern gray subway tiles with a vintage pattern, and handcrafted wall coverings all add to the unique flavor of this home.

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Perhaps one of the most striking elements of the home’s design scheme is the incredible use of light fixtures as art pieces. In an effort to avoid a predictable sea of sameness, we used a multitude of finishes from bronze to antique brass, to polished nickel, creating an acquired look in which each piece can be outstanding.

People oftentimes look at lighting as functional, and they forget that light fixtures can be beautiful, artistic pieces in the home. For this project, we used sconces in the hall to transform industrial design into artful sophistication. The dining room fixture is a chandelier crafted of Cupertino wrought-iron branches, each supporting a delicate chain adorned with a single crystal bead. The entry pendants are made of distressed mercury glass, dressed in antique brass chainmail. And the nursery fixture is feminine and fresh, suggesting a vintage flower design with its glass petals and chrome detailing.

The challenge of melding our clients’ appreciation of contrasting aesthetics of design proved to be a thought-provoking opportunity to create a true standout of a project… and their enthusiasm encouraged our efforts. They seemed to truly enjoy the process, expressing energetic and positive feedback on every aspect of their new home construction. The end result was a dream home with a cohesive design and a unique look…and two very happy homeowners.

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This article was printed in the January/February 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Visit asid-neia.org for more information.

MEET THE DESIGNERS

Cooper

Lisa Cooper

The interior design industry is fast-moving, challenging, and multifaceted.  I love that I have the opportunity to be creative and technical, all in a day’s work. Our clients are amazing people, and the projects that I’ve had the chance to work on have been extraordinary.

Patton

Kris Patton

Design is my passion, and to have the opportunity to receive an education and the experience it takes to gain knowledge and expertise in this industry is such a privilege. I have amazing clients and have had the chance to work on incredible projects.  I wouldn’t trade this career for the world!

 

Urban Renewal

July 17, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This article was published in July/August 2015 The Encounter.

The eminently quotable fashion editor Diana Vreeland (Harper’s Bazaar 1936-1962, Vogue 1962-1971) once quipped, “There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.” These baubles sourced from local secondhand stores prove “renewal” doesn’t necessarily need to infer “new.”

Handbags, Jewelry and Scarf provided by Pretty In Patina.

Maud Boutique

September 12, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann
Some of Lynn Mills’ fondest childhood memories are of hours playing dress-up with all the pretty dresses, skirts, purses, and hats in her “beautifully put-together” Grandmother Larson’s walk-in closet. She topped off her ensembles with such accessories as the jewelry, handkerchiefs, and gloves from the bureau across the room. Mills outgrew the dress-up phase but never outgrew her fascination with vintage and vintage-inspired clothing and unique fashion.

In 2012, Mills opened Maud Boutique, named for Maud Amelia Josephine Johnson Larson, the grandmother whose closet inspired so many hours of childhood enchantment.

The shop, located near 33rd and California, carries vintage fashions and accessories plus a selection of new pieces almost exclusively from small, independent labels. The boutique also has an Etsy site. It’s a family affair, with Mills’ teen daughters and husband pitching in with various aspects of the day-to-day operations at the space located only blocks away from the family home in their beloved Gifford Park neighborhood.

The century-old building itself is well-suited to the distinctive boutique, with period architecture, beautiful wood floors, and ample natural light. And like many of the fashions it houses, it has an interesting history, says Mills.

“In the early ‘20s, it was a beauty school (California Beauty School) owned by Kathryn Wilson, an African-American,” Mills explains. “She wrote a beauty school textbook called The Successful Hairdresser. I like that the building is still in keeping with the feel and the vibe and the history of the space: a woman business owner featuring items that are unique and geared toward beauty and fashion.”

Maud Boutique’s vintage clothes are meant to be worn rather than collected, although many of them are special occasion pieces, and Mills works with a tailor to make repairs and otherwise restore pieces to their original beauty.

“I see myself as a curator,” says Mills, who is also more likely to refer to herself as a shopkeeper rather than an owner or entrepreneur. “The vintage pieces in the shop are carefully chosen, and they usually have stories behind them. They’re fixed up and cleaned and presented in a beautiful space in a beautiful way.”

Besides vintage, Mills’ boutique carries new fashions in sizes XS to 2X, both from such small local designer collections such as Fella Vaughn and Leah Casper (both featured at Omaha Fashion Week), and nationally known labels like Bernie Dexter, Pretty Birdie, Mata Trader, and Soul Carrier. Mills is also conscientious about supporting designers with fair trade and other ethical practices.

“I need to know that they were made without unfairly exploiting people or natural resources,” she explains.

Maud Boutique patrons range from college students to mature women, but her clientele shares one common characteristic, Mills says. They want something that’s one-of-a-kind.

“Most of the people are looking for dresses for events,” she says. “Or they come in just looking for that something that’s really different, really unique.”

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Of Sophocles, Mutants, and Warhol

August 11, 2014 by

My wife, Julie, and I have amassed a library of perhaps 75 children’s books for story time with our grandkids, Easton (4) and Barrett (3). I’m also augmenting the collection with titles that were my faves as a kid.

Hold on a sec. To describe them as mere “titles” doesn’t paint the whole picture. I’m now on a kick of haunting antique stores and used book shops in search of early ’60s editions of works like The Snow Treasure (Marie McSwigan, 1942), a tale of heroism that finds Norwegian schoolchildren devising an ingenious scheme to keep a hidden stash of gold out of Nazi hands, and Daybreak: 2250 A.D. (Andre Norton, 1952), a post-apocalyptic adventure where the mutant-battling protagonist stumbles upon the ruins of a place that was apparently once called “New York City.”

The Snow Treasure is still in print and could be acquired with a few clicks of a mouse. But I don’t want just any copy of this classic. I want to read from the exact same edition with the exact same cover art that I so cherished as a young boy. It is difficult to put into words, but I think there is something magical—almost transcendent—about the reading experience when connecting to the past through vintage books.

A love of old books, avid readers already understand, can sometimes lead to the most unexpected of discoveries. Did you know, for example, that Andy Warhol began his career as an illustrator? He gained fame in the ’50s for his ink drawings used in, of all things, shoe advertisements. And before executing his first soup can, the artist augmented his income by illustrating children’s books. He was also known for his cats. Lots and lots of cats, just like the ones from Warhol’s work shown on this page from “Sophocles and the Hyena” (Best in Children’s Books No. 33, 1960).

The grandkids don’t care about the provenance of the books we select, but their grandpa is treating the collection process as something akin to a sacred quest, a decidedly idiosyncratic one that speaks to the power of memory and the magic found in dusty, musty volumes of the printed word.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” begins an old adage. “The man who never reads lives only one.”

I want my grandsons, Easton (4) and Barrett (3), to live those thousand lives. Now with the addition of Andy Warhol, let’s make that 1,001.

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Old World Vintage Placemats

July 15, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Decoupage is making a comeback (Or, maybe it never left?). For me, it’s always made for an enjoyable art project. And, if done right, decoupage can be used to create some very cool home décor.
The following project took a little longer than expected. Honestly: You’ll need some patience and the good part of a weekend. But I think the results are worth the trouble.


Supplies:

  • Wood
  • Mod Podge glue and sealer
  • Sandpaper
  • Several photos of your choice
  • Stain

Directions:

  1. You’ll need four, 14×14-inch pieces of wood. At Home Depot, they cut your wood to size for free.
  2. Sand each piece and round the corners.
  3. Stain both sides and let dry. I used a dark walnut color so my pictures really stood out.
  4. After the stain has dried, follow the directions on the bottle of Mod Podge. I used “Matte” Mod Podge from Hobby Lobby.
  5. Lay everything out first prior to gluing. Use a small sponge applicator to put a thin, even coat on the back of each photo.
  6. Once finished with both front and back, re-apply the same stain again to give it a more aged look. I used a soft, dry rag. After the surface was completely dry I went over it with a high-gloss sealer.
  7. My theme was food. I thought it would be fun to have a picture of the dish on the front with the recipe on the back.
  8. These mats should be great conversation pieces, not to mention the fact that I will have several good recipes looking me in the face for years to come.
  9. Have fun with your projects and please send us your own ideas. We’d love to feature your creation.

 

 

Shop Around the Corner

November 20, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In September, Jessica Misegadis swore that Shop Around the Corner would never relocate again. “I hated moving,” the co-owner of the secondhand shop said at the time. “I don’t want to ever do it again.” Business partner Geri Hogan tutted, “Never say never.” There’s a reason such sage advice doesn’t go out of style. This December, Misegadis and Hogan will set up shop for the third time as they move to the Kraft building on 16th and Leavenworth streets to get away from the expense of their previous Old Market location.

Patrons should be able to once again browse Shop Around the Corner’s magical shelves in time for the holidays, Misegadis says. In fact, you may find more than you bargained for: Shop Around the Corner will actually be inside a new, third storefront of The Imaginarium, owned by James Kavan. Thrift-loving explorers may run across vintage clothing, furniture, dishware, records, gilt picture frames, or even old-school arcade games.

Is there anything they don’t sell?

“I mean, we’re willing to look at anything,” says Misegadis. “There aren’t any certain items we don’t sell.” She and Hogan are the friendly faces you’ll see on any given day at the new Imaginarium, managing their Shop Around the Corner as well as the larger antiques mall surrounding their own vending.

The easy banter of the two rather stylish women is misleading—they haven’t even known each other a year. They met, in fact, while working at the original Imaginarium, an antiques shop on 13th and Howard. “We just started talking about clothes one day and saying, ‘We should open a vendor booth together,’” Misegadis recalls. “And the next thing you know we did.”

That’s apparently a side effect of mentioning an idea within earshot of Kavan. “Within a couple days, we were looking at a place with keys in our hand,” Hogan says. “I mean…we had keys!”

The original Shop Around the Corner opened in March of 2013. The 15th, to be exact. “Here, I have it written on a dollar bill, look,” Misegadis says, pulling out a framed George Washington. A lot has changed between then and now. For example, there is no more crying in the fitting room. “That first day, I cried because I was terrified,” she says. “Can we do this, what if we can’t do it?”

Just a few months later, the answer is, well, of course they can. Hogan is an experienced vintage clothing vendor, and Misegadis learned everything she knows about antiques from one of Omaha’s best-known sellers, Susan Hoffman Brink. Brink, who owned Second Chance Antiques, passed away last April. “I didn’t know anything about antiques before I met her,” Misegadis recalls. “She was a very fair person. If something was worth more than what someone was asking, she would tell them. She taught me how to check if jewelry was signed, she taught me how to check age on things…she was amazing.”

Speaking of jewelry, Hogan brags that Misegadis is the brains behind the jewelry selection of Shop Around the Corner. It’s true she has a certain flair for the shiny, decked out as she is in a Whiting & Davis mesh necklace and snake bracelet.

“Well, Geri is the one who finds the most unbelievable vintage clothing,” Misegadis counters. “I don’t even know how she finds things from the ’30s in this great condition…I mean, you just don’t see it.”

Hogan shrugs. “It just happens. I dig, like you do.”

The clothing offered by Shop Around the Corner is varied and not just vintage. Contemporary brands are sprinkled throughout, though gems such as plus-sized vintage, designer labels, and men’s and children’s fashion have their own special sections. “We’re trying to keep it organized,” Misegadis says. “We like to be able to send people to one area to find what they’re looking for.”

Of course, there are always those special little items that a shop owner might decide to put back for herself. “There was the Egyptian ring in the front case,” Misegadis says, “and I had got it from Susan. Someone was really wanting to buy it, but they put it back. So it’s at home now because I was like, I’m taking this.”

“You do get attached,” Hogan agrees. “You’re never going to see some of these things again.”

Hutch

August 27, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It all started with a hutch.

From the moment Nick Huff and Brandon Beed traveled to Lincoln to retrieve the cabinet furniture piece, they knew that the thrill of finding the hutch would ignite a passion for preserving and selling Mid-Century furniture. Shortly after that trip, they transformed that passion into Hutch, Inc., an antique and vintage furniture shop with Huff and Beed both serving as president.

Hutch, Inc., specializes in “high-end, Mid-Century furniture finds.” Anything from lamps, coffee tables, and couches to record players and dishware can be found at Hutch, but each item must fall into the Mid-Century style—something modern with a Danish influence.

“We define Mid-Century to be 1950s to early 1970s. Now, not all pieces during this time are what we want. We specifically focus on the modern, bright color, pointy leg with beautiful, clean wood pieces,” Huff explains. “We have rummaged the Midwest to bring Omaha the finest Mid-Century furniture under one roof.”

What makes Hutch different from other antique shops is that Huff and Beed preserve the furniture themselves. Whereas similar shops may paint or distress the furnishings, Hutch focuses on making the original character of the furniture shine.

“The furniture is so iconic and beautiful as it is that the only thing we try to do is make it look like you went back in time and were buying these pieces new,” Huff says.

In July, Hutch moved from a shared basement retail space in the Old Market to their own shop in Midtown Crossing. Huff says that the reaction from the Omaha community was humbling, and they hope to continue that success at the new location.

“We always thought Hutch would be a hobby—something we do just for fun,” Huff says. “We thought we would sell a few pieces online here and there, and always keep our finger on the pulse of Mid-Century furniture. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Hutch
3157 Farnam St., Ste. 7111

402-995-9842
facebook.com/hutchomaha

Kate Walz

April 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Kate Walz’s laid-back attitude serves her well in her line of work. At 16, she’s the youngest fashion designer to show at Omaha Fashion Week (a title she’s held since she was 13, as a point of interest). This past spring, she showed 27 dresses during New York Fashion Week as well. She’s also doing an independent studies course in textiles and design as a sophomore at Millard North. So. No pressure.

“She’s very chill,” says her mother, Jackie Walz. She recounts a moment from New York Fashion Week when their show was running late. “She was supposed to be the very last one, then they gave you, what, 30 minutes of warning?” Walz nods. “They were like, ‘Kate, you’re on next!’” Jackie recalls.

“I was fine with it, I guess,” Walz says. “I’m more likely to freak out if I don’t have a lot going on.”

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At New York Fashion Week, Walz showed selections from her three most recent collections: fall 2012, spring 2013, and fall 2013. She favors red and black but incorporated gray and champagne into her most recent pieces.

“I think people can go, oh yeah, that’s by Kate Walz,” Jackie says. “It’s all vintage-inspired, and the colors are so cohesive.”

Walz does always seem to turn to the 1960s for inspiration. “My last collection was inspired by New York in the ’60s,” she says. The key word here is “inspired.” “It’s not like I’m taking an exact dress from the ’60s and making it again. It’s inspired by it, more like little details and styling. Big bows on the neckline.” Her next collection is already brewing in her head, and her muses are famous ballerinas of the 1960s, such as Martha Graham and Natalie Makarova. Understandable, since Walz has studied tap, ballet, and pointe herself since she was 3.20130329_bs_9613_Web_2

You won’t find her making her own clothes, however. Really, who has time between receiving the Rotary Club of Omaha Student Excellence Award (only eight 10th graders receive it in the city) and being accepted into Millard North’s entrepreneurship program? Her own style is a mix of vintage and girly prep. “My favorite store is The Flying Worm downtown,” Walz says. “I’ve found a few cool vintage dresses there.” For her bag, she carries a Polaroid camera case from Back in Time. Given her dislike for pants and her fondness for red lipstick, Walz considers her personal style to lie somewhere between the 1950s and ’60s.

Designing collections may fall by the wayside after graduation. Walz has her eyes on either Parsons or the Fashion Institute of Technology, both in New York City. In the meantime, she’ll be continuing her trips to the Big Apple, this summer as spokesdesigner for Fashion Camp New York City.

A summer of mentoring young, future designers? It’s probably to Walz’s advantage that she’s so unflappable.