Episode #39: All Things Furniture Shopping

Hello, hello! This week’s episode is all about furniture shopping—including recent purchases, secondhand finds and our worst purchases of all time. Plus, we chat about our favorite small businesses to shop from (and there are even more links below!).

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Show Notes:

-Elsie’s pink sofa

Lampert Grand T-Arm Sofa

Link to Ramit’s episode about envisioning my rich life. 

-Elsie’s dream mirrors from West Elm and Rejuvenation.

Emma’s sectional.
Once you go sectional you never go back. Lol. Do you agree?

-Emma’s mattress and pillows (we’re king-size bed enthusiasts!)

Elsie’s hanging chair (three houses and going strong!). You can see it in the photo below from my first home along with the yellow sofa. You can also see it more recently here.

-Emma’s DIY dining room table (DIY here and her dining room tour where you can see it painted black here).

-Emma’s sea urchin chandelier. Here’s a similar one in bronze.-Rugs from Apple & Oak (you can order any Loloi rug in any style/size from Apple & Oak—just message Allison, or email her).-Here’s a photo of Elsie’s yellow sofa (it’s from Joybird quite a few years back. By the way, even though that sofa did not work for me, I want to note that I still love Joybird and just bought one of their velvet sectionals for our new home).

-We found this piano on Facebook Marketplace (!!!!!)

-Wicker giraffe from the 1970s—you can see it here (Here’s a link to Gaslamp, the best flea market in Nashville).

-Dream thrift finds! We recommend always keeping a running list on your phone of items you’d love to find whether at a thrift or flea, on Facebook Marketplace, Etsy or eBay. By the way, we’d LOVE to hear your dream list!

Link to Mandi’s incredible dream chair!

-Google “lucite piano” if you are curious. They are SO crazy. Good-crazy I think. I feel like this would be in the Clockwork Orange house.

-Link to Kelly’s “Rugs I Didn’t Buy” series.

-Elsie’s dream tile: Fireclay, Clé Tile and this ceramic star tile (It’s called “Little Nova” so I think it’s a sign).

Small businesses we love for home furnishings:

Jungalow.com The BEST boho source.
I have these ceramic cups and this print in our home. Also, this rug is incredible. Her shop is a great source for when you are looking to add color to your space.

Lone Fox
I love Drew. These little planters and this bowl are beautiful.

Apple & Oak
So I mentioned above, you can buy Loloi rugs here. She also carries the best vintage rugs. Also a lot of cute gift things. I always head to Apple & Oak to buy cute cards and gifts.

there are SO many great shops on Etsy and it’s an excellent way to shop small. Here are a few links to my recent purchases as well as some items on my wish list:

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported our podcast whether by sharing it, subscribing or leaving us a review. We love you!

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 39 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. This week, we’re sharing some of our recent purchases, best and worst furniture purchases of all time, dream thrift finds, and what sparks joy. Plus, we’ll answer a listener question about shopping small businesses for furnishings. Woo! OK. So we’re going to start out with most exciting recent-ish purchases.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: So, OK. I’m so excited, you guys, after…you know I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment.

Emma: Yeah. This is kind of a drumroll moment for Elsie. SO, get ready.

Elsie: Are you sitting down?

Emma: Are you sitting down, because (laughS)

Elsie: Okay. I ordered a pink Jonathan Adler sofa.

Emma: Bum bum bum bum! Confetti, confetti, confetti.

Elsie: It is, I don’t know. It’s a moment in my life.

Emma: If you didn’t listen to the episode where Elsie interviews Ramit Sethi about money stuff, go back a couple and do that. But she talks a little bit about the furniture she would buy if she had the budget and things like that. Furniture and designers is a thing in Elsie’s life that brings her a lot of joy. And I don’t know, it’s fun to watch her buy something that she’s been kind of wanting forever. You know, she idolizes Jonathan Adler. I said she should put up a portrait of him in her home. (laughs)

Elsie: Yeah. Like…

Emma: Which he is amazing. So. Yeah.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Anyway, tell us a little more about the couch. Where’s it going to go.

Elsie: OK. So it’s going to go in a different entry. Well, living room. So it’ll be like kind of the room that you first see when you first walk in and…

Emma: So everyone knows what’s up. When they walk in, they’ll see that pink couch and be like OH…

Elsie: Sets the mood for everything.

Emma: I’m in a fancy house. Yeah, they’ll know right away. Take those shoes off. (laughs)

Elsie: Yeah. That’s why we’ve been doing the paneled ceiling. I was like, what would be best for my sofa? How do I make the perfect home for my sofa.

Emma: I love it.

Elsie: And then I also ordered…this is kind of random. So, you know, sometimes you have certain purchases where you feel very ready to make it and then certain ones that you just like hold back on and you’re like…should I not? And you overthink it and then you overthink it again and the next month you overthink it again. That’s how I was with these mirrors. So I got two mirrors. They’re absolutely the dream mirrors of my life.

Emma: What do they look like?

Elsie: So they’re both just a gold arched mirror, kind of simple ones, bigger ones, smaller.

Emma: So like one arch.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Like a rainbow?

Elsie: Just a round on the top. Regular mirror. A floor mirror.

Emma: OK.

Elsie: And one’s real big and then one’s pretty freaking big. And they’re from Rejuvenation and West Elm. One’s in our bedroom and one’s for front living room. So it’s kind of like a selfie mirror. You know, how fashion bloggers always have a cute mirror?

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s a thing. So I ordered those. And that is…that’s my most exciting purchases lately. Those are pretty good.

Emma: Mine are more. OK, well, let me just show you mine. So these are…they were exciting purchases because they’re the things we use all the time and love them. So one is our Joy Bird sectional. It’s a gray sectional. We got it years ago. I think we’ve had it three or four years I want to say. And we have dogs, we let our dogs on our furniture…

Elsie: And it still looks good?

Emma: And it still looks really good. Yeah. And we’ve we’ve had to clean a little bit of like, muddy paws off it before. And it’s been fine. It’s held up really well. It’s like a gray fabric. It’s not a leather and we really love it. And I also just love having a sectional. It’s in the room where we have our projector movie screen, which is the TV that we use in our home. And so it just feels like a movie theater in there. And you can, like, lay down on sectional or you can have lots of people sit on it once if we have friends over. And I love it.

Elsie: I think sectionals are very important. We’ve been watching TV with a sofa. We’ve kind of borrowed the small, beautiful but small green sofa from Jeremy’s studio and have been using that to watch TV on. And it’s like like, not enough space. (laughs) It’s like “I hope tonight he’ll just let me put my legs out and not both of us”. It’s bad! (laughs)

Emma: Yeah. I think once you go sectional, and if you have the space, you don’t go back.

Elsie: You don’t go back.

Emma: And it’s a beautiful one, because I feel like when you say the word sectional, there’s still a little bit of like, everyone’s memory…

Elsie: Minivan vibes?

Emma: Yeah. Minivan buys where you’re like, oh yeah, my cool parents basement growing up, you know what I mean. Like…

Elsie: Listen, sectionals are necessary, but also incredible. They can change your life.

Emma: Like a minivan. No, I’m just kidding. (laughs)

Elsie: No, I love them.

Emma: Anyway, so yes, we love our sectional. So glad we got years ago and it’s held up really well. So I kind of wanted to mention it. And then my other one is our Agility Mattress. Oh, and I should say some of these things have been sponsored in the past. This is not sponsored and none of this is being approved by a brand. I’m just telling you what I really think.

Elsie: What people don’t understand about bloggers is that just because something was sponsored one time five years ago, if you’re still talking about it, it only means that you really, really love it.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: You know, it doesn’t mean that you’re still somehow contractually obligated. But that happens sometimes it’s a great thing that happens.

Emma: Yeah. And it’s a probably little annoying that I always say that. But I just want to be clear, because I know sometimes people are curious and I just want to let you know. So anyway.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Moving on. So Trey and I have a king sized mattress and Agility mattress and we really, really love it. I also got the pillows from them, the Agility pillows, and I love them. Anytime I can take it on a trip, I always want to. It’s kind of big enough that it doesn’t totally…

Elsie: I want to try it.

Emma: Next time you come over, just lay down on it. I made Janae when she was taking pictures because like that into it. (laughs). But yeah, and I just want to put it out there, even if you’re not into Agility. Whatever. That’s just what I like. But I do think spending money to have the right sized bed for you and your partner, like if you let dogs sleep in your bed like we do or your kids…

Elsie: We’re king sized bed lovers.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: Cause, yeah, it was my husband’s dream for probably three or four years before we finally made the switch. Like, every time I was in hotel, he would like bring it up in a like “wouldn’t that be nice”.

Emma: Yeah. That’s how we were too!

Elsie: And it, it is nice and it is dreamy.

Emma: Yes. It hasn’t wore off on me. It’s one of those purchases that I’m like every time I get in bed, I’m like…this is great. So glad we have this.

Elsie: But a queen is not bad.

Emma: No, no, no.

Elsie: Like whenever we stay somewhere and we are back in a queen, it is more snuggly and it’s not bad either. They’re both good.

Emma: No, it’s fine. It’s just this is just what I prefer.

Elsie: Yeah. I prefer it too.

Emma: I’m not going to die if I have to sleep in a queen. I’m not the princess and the pea, OK? But just saying I do really love this mattress. So those were probably my most exciting. Oh! And this was last thing I’m going to say, no matter what brand you’re into or whatever. I do think it’s great to spend the money on things that you sit on all the time or lay on all the time. Like you spend a lot of time sleeping when you think about it.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Over the course of your life. So I do think saving up to get a brand that you’re really excited about, that’s going to be great for if you need a firm or softer or cool or whatever. I just think good sleep is kind of a big deal and it’s a bigger deal than I realized when I was a kid. You can really tell I’m in my mid 30s now, because I’m like, SLEEP. It’s so important.

Elsie: Sleep is different between childhood and adulthood. It is extremely, extremely different.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: Because our kids can sleep anywhere.

Emma: And I really do think it kind of affects your mental health. So anyway, I just want to put it out there that if you’re going to spend money, maybe consider your mattress. And also, you can always wait for a big sale!

Elsie: So not a pink sofa? (laughs)

Emma: Pink sofa is great! (laughs) But yeah, different strokes for different folks.

Elsie: So the next one is our longest lasting purchase. So I think this one’s cool because it’s like the thing that you bought, which I guess that since we’re not that old yet. It’s like it kind of has to be something we’ve had for a while.

Emma: Sure.

Elsie: I think it would be a better question to ask us if we were like 50.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: But. Ok. So the thing that we’ve kind of held on through multiple houses or whatever, it’s been functional in more than one space. So mine is my hanging rattan chair. I was just thinking about it. And in our first home, it had a spot in our second home it had two spots because first it was in the kids’ room and then later on it was in Marigold’s nursery, and then in our new home, it already has a spot and it just feels so good for something that was at one point it was one of my first splurges, you know, like it was, I don’t know, a couple hundred dollars and I felt like it was a very big deal in our first home.

Emma: Oh, I remember. I was like, man, she thinks she’s fancy she got that hanging chair. (laughs).

Elsie: Yeah, but I, I love hanging chairs so I never wanna be without it. And yeah, that’s my longest lasting. What’s yours?

Emma: Mine is actually something we didn’t purchase per say, which is kind of weird, but it is probably the longest thing we’ve had. So our dining room table is black and it has copper legs. We can put a picture in the show notes and it actually is a DIY from our blog from like I think six or seven years ago. And it originally was white and I painted it black because I feel like that fit our home better. And also I do a lot of projects on it. So I just kind of like not having the pressure of a white table. Maybe someday, but it’s not for me today. So that did change. But other than that, it’s been a great table and it seats six, but it seats like a generous six is what I would say. So it’s really great. I love it. And we’ve had it a long time.

Elsie: Nice. OK. Something that sparks joy, like something that just when you see it every day, it makes you happy.

Emma: Yes. So mine is I have this black spiky like sea urchin looking chandelier in our dining room.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: And I bought it from the Home Depot. I think, like, not two years ago. A little less than that, probably. And I’ve seen there’s one very similar on Anthropologie, so we can link both. You know, I’m not 100 percent it’s still on the Home Depot site, but hopefully it is. Anyway, I really love it. It’s my favorite, like, little thing in our home, like, favorite decor item. I guess I feel like it just adds so much personality. And every time I see it, I just feel like it’s…I love it. I just love it. Sparks joy.

Elsie: Ok, so mine is I bought two rugs from my friend’s small business here in Nashville called Apple and Oak, and she sells the Loloi rugs. So it’s those rugs. But they’re kind of like hard to find. Like to find the right size in the right, like they sometimes sell them on Anthropologie, sometimes on Wayfair or other places like that. But the cool thing about buying them from a small business is she will just order any of them…anything you want from their website she can order it for you.

Emma: Oh that’s cool.

Elsie: So, yeah. So I got the exact color. My two most favorite ones from their site. And then the perfect size. So yeah, we got those and they are just so pretty. And it really helped us feel at home because we had a little bit of a struggle feeling at home, moving right before the quarantine. Not having all our furniture is just like, you know, if you like. I’ve probably mentioned it about like 50 times by now, but a few things that were a little bit tricky. And yeah, putting down the rugs definitely helped. It was just a little touch of, like, home and cozy, and yeah they make me extremely happy.

Emma: So now for the one everyone’s been waiting, okay, it’s our worst purchase.

Elsie: So I know I, I feel like I have a couple. I’m trying to think. I’ll do like one from each house, but not this house because it’s too new and I don’t have any regrets yet. So what was your worst purchase.

Emma: Okay, so I bought this beautiful office chair from CB2 and it was very high quality, very nice, but it was very uncomfortable. And I used it for easily over a year, maybe even two. I don’t know. But I just was like, I just love the style of it. It’s really, it’s really pretty. Looks really great in my space. And I have an office that’s very open. It’s part of an open floor plan. I’ve mentioned how I want a door. So I just wanted an office chair that was pretty because it’s out all the time.

Elsie: Right.

Emma: But it was so uncomfortable. And I work 40 plus hours a week, so I sit in the chair a lot. And after a while I just was like, you need to buy just a regular office chair. And now I have one that’s much better in the comfort department, but it’s very boring looking. It’s just exactly like just picture an office here right now. Close your eyes and picture one. That’s what it looks like. I promise. It’s very standard.

Elsie: Black and like netty looking.

Emma: Yes. Yeah, yeah. Just totally boring. Regular. It’s not really ugly, but it’s not cute, but it’s so much more comfortable and just easy to adjust and it’s a lot better I think, for my back. (laughs) So, yeah. So that was just a nice try but a fail.

Elsie: So yeah, I have a couple of worst purchases. These are highly personal, right. Like I don’t know. What’s funny is that other people I know have all these things now and they like them. So…

Emma: Yeah, it’s not the same for everyone.

Elsie: They figure out how to make it work. Okay, so the first one is in our first home, I ordered a yellow sofa and it was too intimidating for me. It was linen, the fabric type, like held on to things. We put it in the downstairs of our house, like the main living room where our dogs would be like which was probably a mistake. Like I think maybe in a more decorative living room, it would make a lot more sense, not your, like, heavy traffic spot. So it was so pretty. And so photogenic and every time I see it in a photo I’ll link a…or I’ll put a picture in the show notes. I still have a feeling in my heart for it.

Emma: It was beautiful.

Elsie: But just I think it was more the fabric type than the color but also just a very light color. It was stressful to own. So all my things are gonna be stressful to own things, because I just don’t think that you should get stressed out over owning things, you know what I mean? But sometimes you have to learn lessons.

Elsie: So one question. How does the pink couch not stress you out? Okay, so it’s velvet and velvet’s just so different. for cleaning.

Emma: Okay.

Elsie: Yeah, I just think it will be okay.

Emma: You feel like you’ll be able to clean it and you just kind of know, like my dogs can get on this or whatever.

Elsie: I’ve also come a lot farther along in knowing how to clean things by hand since then. And I honestly will probably use Scotchgard on the bottom cushions because that is immensely helpful. And something that I wasn’t willing to do in the past. But now I would just like let air out my garage in, you know…

Emma: It’s very stinky. But yeah, it’s kind of worth it.

Elsie: Well, yeah, I usually only do it on like suede shoes and that’s it. But for our air BnB, we’ve done it sometimes. Sometimes you just need to. Like you need things to last.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: My other worst purchase was I got marble countertops and then I freaked out the first time they got like a little something wrong with them.

Emma: Where did you get them. Were they in a bathroom or in a kitchen?

Elsie: They were in our bathrooms and our laundry room at our old home. And after a couple years, I will say I mellowed out. And when we left the house, I was like, oh, I would get marble again. But it’s like that…you have to be prepared for it to age pretty much immediately.

Emma: Like, discolor?

Elsie: Yes. A stain, a mark. Sometimes they chip. Mine didn’t, but I’ve heard that a lot.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: If someone leaves even like a soda, like a LaCroix, or gets toothpaste on it or anything like that can leave a mark that’s forever. But if you have a high contrast marble, maybe that doesn’t bother you. Or if you just, you know, in your heart from the beginning, like this is like the patina is going to happen. I also had a faucet set that had patina that were raw brass and I didn’t understand that when I bought them and the patina like, freaked me out. And yeah, so I personally go now I would prob…I wouldn’t probably get marble, if I did it would be on like a dresser top or something. It wouldn’t be like in a place where I use a lot of…definitely would be in the kitchen, for me. And then I also wouldn’t get raw brass just because I like my Delta faucets that never age. I don’t know. It’s just a personal preference that you kind of learn as you go. So, yeah, those are my worst purchases. The next one is thrifted, best thrifted or vintage finds. I’m so excited to talk about this one.

Emma: Ok, well, mine’s less exciting because I know what one of yours is. I know what two of yours are. So anyway, mine’s less exciting so let me go first.

Elsie: Go for it.

Emma: So I do have this high back black leather chair. That’s kind of like.

Elsie: Oh yeah I know that chair.

Emma: It’s sort of mid century modern. I don’t know…

Elsie: It is.

Emma: OK. And it’s in our master bedroom. And I got it when I was…it’s a flea market find and I got it when I was actually on a trip with some friends of mine. And so it’s a little bit sentimental in addition to I just love the style of it. And it was a really great deal. And we ended up having to, like, put it in the. I think I was driving, I think. So I think we had to throw it in the Subaru and drive back from like Kansas City with it. But I really love it. And it’s moved around our house, some because of the high back. It’s kind of tricky where to put it, because I feel like it blocks things visually if you put it in the wrong spot. So I kind of prefer it up against walls. Like facing out is typically more where I put it anyway. I really like it. I’ll probably keep it a long time. It’s really cute.

Elsie: OK. So when we sold our previous home. Okay, back up even more. So when we moved to Nashville, we bought this enormous grandma house that, you know, was like carpet and drapes. And…but the one thing about that was super cool is that we negotiated that we could keep the grand piano. And I was so excited to have a grand piano. My husband is like a classical pianist, and that’s what he went to school for. That’s like his. Yeah. It’s his thing.

Emma: He’s very good at piano.

Elsie: He plays piano. He practices for, I mean, it’s like more than you think. It’s all the time. So anyway, we had that piano. We loved it. And then when we had kids, we loved it even more. He would like let the neighbors play it. He is not precious about it at all, which I think is great because I don’t believe in being precious about…like if you can’t have something…like that’s why I wouldn’t get marble again if you can’t have something nice and then just kind of like let it be a thing in your house, then I don’t think you should have it. Like you shouldn’t do something that causes you stress. So when we sold our home, the buyers asked for it to be built into their home sale, which we were prepared for. I kind of felt like that would happen because it’s in the perfect spot. It looks really good in that room. And since it came with the house for us, we were open to it staying for the owners.

Emma: It just belongs in that home.

Elsie: It does. Like it was meant for the home. So I always had in the back of my mind that if for any reason we sold that piano, I really, really wanted a white piano. And we…

Emma: Like a grand piano?

Elsie: Yeah. Yeah. They’re all baby grand pianos. So they’re just like, not huge, but they’re. Yeah. Definitely…they take up some space.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: Yeah. So we ended up finding a person selling a cream colored vintage piano in our small little city, small suburb where we live like a month ago. And it was so amazing. It was like older people who are moving in. They told Jeremy that they were so happy he was getting it because they had bought it for their kids when their kids were growing up and they had played it literally one time and then never again. It had just been sitting there for like 30 years. So, yeah, it’s really special and it’s probably the best thrifted or vintage, I guess it mean from Facebook marketplace, it’s the best used thing that will probably ever buy in our lives. And it does take about like, 75 percent off the retail to buy them used. And I think it’s cool because, you know, they they need a home and if people have them, they’re really expensive to move. So I think it’s a good thing to buy used because. If you want one, then maybe you’re gonna get one from someone who doesn’t want to move it.

Emma: Yeah, that’s true.

Elsie: And my other thing is, OK. When we were waiting to adopt Nova, I had gone to Gaslamp, which is the best flea market, actually, Gaslamp Too. In Nashville, it’s the best flea market. Everyone knows it, it’s kind of only good one.

Emma: Oooh, burn other ones.

Elsie: Well, I mean, Nashville is not the best flea market city.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: I heard that Kentucky is really good and you can, like, drive an hour in pretty much every direction and it’s better. But for whatever reason, Nashville is not the best flea market city. Correct me if you think I’m wrong because I want to know. OK, so I had seen this wicker giraffe. It’s like about as tall as me. So about like five foot tall, big, huge wicker giraffe from the 70s. And I was like, oh, I love that. It’s so cute. And so anyway, Laura stored it in her mind and she bought it for me for our first nursery. And it’s just the kind of thing that I’ll probably keep it until I die just because it’s so special. And it’s also crazy when someone takes a risk like that to buy a gift.

Emma: It was a great gift. She nailed it.

Elsie: Yes, very special. And Nova definitely like noticed as soon as we moved, like, where’s my giraffe? Like, it’s important to her that it’s always in her room. So I love that, too.

Emma: That’s cute.

Elsie: OK. So the next one is Dream thrift finds like…your wildest dreams.

Emma: So are these things you’re actively looking for or just more like if you saw this, you would be very interested depending on price.

Elsie: I mean, it could be also like I feel like I always have a running list of like, oh, wouldn’t it be cool to find that right now?

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: So, yeah, it’s not like you’re actually going to. But what if you did.

Emma: Right. Yeah. Be the greatest day ever. Yeah. OK. So I have a couple. They’re kind of loose I guess. But anyway so I do love a good live edge coffee table. And so I think it would be fun to get a thrift store vintage one. And of course I see them from time to time, but more often than not, they’re like a very rich sometimes kind of red color and sometimes very glossy, like someone has really epoxied the top. And that’s just not really my style. I mean, if that’s something you’re into, that’s great. I’m just saying that’s not the look I’m looking for. I’m kind of wanting something that feels…

Elsie: She doesn’t want to would like Bass Pro Shop. She wants to look like the one from Anthropologie, basically that I have.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: I’ll give it to you if I ever get rid of it.

Emma: Oh yeah. Sweet.

Elsie: But I never will, so.

Emma: Well, great. (laughs).

Elsie: And what’s the other thing?

Emma: The other thing is some kind of really cute maybe mid century, but not too mid century like bar cabinet or hutch. Sometimes people call them china buffets because you can put all your china dishes in it and I just like those pieces of furniture and I don’t really have like a nice one. I currently have a built in that’s in my home which is great. But if we ever moved obviously it would not come with me. And then I kind of have this side cubby thing that was just super inexpensive and it looks fine in our home now. I like it fine, but it’s not really very special to me. So I kind of know I could use this item. So if I ever found a really special one, that would be fun because I feel like I would always keep it. Anyway, what are yours?

Elsie: Well, I have a lot.

Emma: I know. (laughs)

Elsie: OK. These are all so obvious. I’ll just go quickly. So chairs. Anything in the chair category.

Emma: I don’t feel like these are obvious just so you know.

Elsie: Really?

Emma: No. (laughs)

Elsie: So vintage chairs. Are there always something that I go to. Vintage mirrors. OK. This one I’ve put just for fun…

Emma: When you say vintage chairs. Do you mean certain eras, though? Because I think like obviously can walk into any flea market and find a million chairs.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: But that’s not what you do. You have a certain look.

Elsie: I have a certain opinion about what makes a chair really special. I mean, I think it’s just like anything. It’s like one that you just believe or, you know, that you’re never gonna find this one again. Like, that’s the kind of vintage hat I get really excited about. Obviously, like, there’s a lot of kinds of chairs that you can find on Facebook marketplace any day of the week.

Emma: Sure.

Elsie: So I’m not so much talking about that, but I like things from more around the 20s until about the 70s, like I’m a pretty big range of dream chairs. There’s so many good ones like Mandi’s, you know, wicker chair that…I’m doing a hand motion…it’s kind of like a shell chair but it’s wicker.

Emma: Ooh.

Elsie: That’s a dream chair I’ll link to it. We’re gonna have a lot of links in this episode. It’s going to be very link happy. She has these incredible, Ill show you after this. Incredible like makes you almost cry. That’s my…okay so mirrors, okay, so I put this down. I recently, when we were piano shopping for our white piano, we saw that it exists…Lucite pianos, Lucite, baby grand pianos.

Emma: She showed me one on their Internet and I was like woah.

Elsie: And they’re kind of silly like you would probably classify it as like costumey, but they’re very ’70s and very cool. From another perspective. So I’ll put a picture in the shownotes.

Emma: I think they’re really cool.

Elsie: But they’re out there. They’re extremely rare and very, very special. So that would blow my mind if I ever saw one.

Emma: And very, very expensive.

Elsie: Yeah. Okay. I’ve always wanted a vintage vanity, like a 60s vanity. You know, just a little makeup table with lights. I just think those are really pretty. Rugs. Let’s not even get started about how much I love vintage rugs.

Emma: You and Kelly: Studio DIY. Because she has that series that’s like rugs I didn’t buy so you should. I swear there’s like volume 15 at this point. You guys know all the good rugs.

Elsie: Yeah. I love shopping for vintage rugs more than almost anything. It’s extremely special. And yeah, it’s so cool when you see a good one at a flea market or whatever because you don’t have to pay shipping. You can see it in person. And sometimes at certain, I would say great flea markets. They’ll even let you take it home for a night and try it and bring it back.

Emma: Woah, I’ve never heard of that.

Elsie: That’s a thing, because when it’s furniture and stuff like that, I think it’s a good it’s an awesome rule if they’ll allow you to have it, because with vintage rugs, it’s a little bit nerve racking buying them online.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: Yeah. Because it’s a big commitment and they’re expensive sometimes. And then light fixtures. Okay, so chandeliers, I love chandeliers. I love mid century light fixtures. They’re harder to find because I think people just more often threw them in the trash. But when you find like a cool midcentury light fixture, it’s very special. And then I love 80s modern like a glam 80s chandelier.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: So like the like layered Lucite bars, like that type of look. I think those are very cool and I would pretty much put it in any of my houses.

Emma: Yeah. I sort of dig a little 80s modern now and again. It’s kind of fun. It’s a little costumey I guess, but it’s really rad, the good stuff.

Elsie: It has a lot of personality.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: I think it makes you like a very confident home owner if you would put an 80s modern chandelier in your home.

Emma: Yeah, that’s true.

Elsie: Yeah. OK, so dream purchases. This is kind of like our spurge — splurge (laughs).

Emma: So can we. So if it’s the splurge list. Can we talk a little bit about what the price range. Because I feel like mine. It’s kind of like small, medium, large. It’s kind of the Goldilocks little bears. Like if I only had a smaller budget and if I had middle and then if I’m just dreaming big. You know what I mean. So is that how yours are you think? I feel like yours could be all over the place.

Elsie: Yeah. No, just say em. Just say em. It’s…it’s implied. Here’s the thing. It’s a splurge. It’s not like something that’s like necessarily extremely practical, but it’s something that you’ve thought about a lot for years. Like, I’d really love to have that.

Emma: Well, some are decor and then some are kind of like something you’d have to build anyway. I’ll just say that when you get the picture. So I would love to do and I think anyone should do this when you have the budget. Do all new door handles and hardware, something like Schoolhouse Electric. They have beautiful things you can find beautiful ones on Anthropologie, there’s lots of options out there. Those are two that I love and really, really nice hardware door handles. That type of thing. Unless you have a very, very small house that can add up really, really fast. Like at our current home, we have one really beautiful doorknob and it leads from our laundry room.

Elsie: Gosh, I know which one you’re talking about it’s noticeably better than all the other doorknobs (laughs).

Emma: Yes. Yes. And it’s just I was redoing that door. We put this moulding on it and we painted it. And so I was like, oh, I’m going ahead and get the new doorknob.

Elsie: I will say, I think you can do this. This is not an unattainable dream. This is a very attainable dream.

Emma: Yeah. oh, yeah. This is not like a oh, some day it’s like, no, I could do this. I just haven’t done it. But it is kind of a splurge if you do it all at once. So if you’re going to do it all at once instead of slowly over time, I would potentially sign up for the newsletter. So you can see when they have the sales or wait for Black Friday, you know, because it can kind of add up. OK. So that one. And then another thing I love. And these are so basic. So I feel dumb saying it, but I do love this. I love the very plain modern windows that are just very simple with the black simple black frames around them. I love…

Elsie: Like black metal grid windows is what she’s saying.

Emma: I don’t like molding. I don’t really like trim. I, I like a very minimal look. I think it really depends on your home though because you don’t want to, you know, you want to kind of keep the character when you have a home has character. So I think it really…I can like lots of things, but if I was doing something from scratch, I really like the very modern windows. So I would love that.

Elsie: I’ve read before that windows are one of the best things you can splurge on when you’re updating your home. Like from an architectural standpoint and stuff.

Emma: I think they help your electric bill. And I mean, just visually.

Elsie: And just making your home look more expensive, like new windows can go in both directions.

Emma: Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. And then my last thing would be a major splurge thing. But it’s on the list of like I want to do it someday is to have a pool. I just, you know, you know, I love my hot tub. I’ve already talked about that many, many times. My memoir is called Hot Tubs and Romance.

Elsie: Emma has old lady pool fitness dreams and I love this about her. She talks about it a lot.

Emma: I do. Well, my mom has kind of bad knees and my grandma has kind of bad knees and Elsie and I ran this half marathon years ago and I kind of realized it really hurt one of my knees, my right knee. And I workout and I do some like weightlifting I’ve mentioned before, like to do a class at the YMCA called Body Pump. So I’m not like not going to work out without a pool, but I do think, oh, that’s like something I could do forever. And it’s very easy on your joints. This is really sounding like a 50 year old, but I’m just looking ahead at the future. So it’s that, fitness, and then also, I really think if I have a pool, I can get all my friends to come over on the weekends with their kids or just by themselves. Either way and I just want to be the house with the pool because I just think it’s such a draw. It’s such a, like, fun thing to do. So, yeah, those are the reasons I want that pool.

Elsie: Nice. Ok, on my dream purchase list, so I already got the sofa. So I feel like my list is kind of empty right now, but these are just like some other things. Some other things that just would be cool that I’ve never done before. So fancy tile. I’ve done so many bathroom remodels and I’ve never done one with, you know, just like upgraded tile that’s not basic. That’s not, you know, what you would consider inexpensive. Like usually we do subway tile, which I love.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: But I would love to do one that was like fire clay tile or clay tile or maybe something more decorative. I love the tiles with the little stars. So something like that in future would be magical. Also, I share your windows dream. I have Windows dreams myself. I also think great thing to splurge on is builtins. I love builtins. I think in our last home, the best money we spent on absolutely anything was building that one big bookcase. Also paneling our ceiling, they were both like so inexpensive compared to the total budget of everything we did. But A really, really made it cozy. And that room, it had like a weird vibe. And then once you put up the bookshelves, it had a cozy, really good vibe. So, yeah, I’m a very big fan of built and built and benches built in bookcases anywhere where you can squeeze them in. I just think they’re great. I would love to do a murphy bed someday. I think that would be cool.

Emma: That would be cool.

Elsie: And then my last one is all the fireplaces. So I was telling Emma earlier. I don’t know if I said this before when we did the house shopping episodes, but, so one of the houses we looked at, a historic home in East Nashville had seven fireplaces and I got it in my head that that’s the perfect number of fireplaces. (laughs)

Emma: Seven, huh? (laughs)

Elsie: It’s crazy. There was one there in the front part of the house. There’s one the entryway. There was one in the living room. There was one in the dining room. There was one in each of the bedrooms, kids bedroom. Two kids bedrooms.

Emma: Hmm, I don’t know about that.

Elsie: In the master bedroom. And there was one in the master bathroom. Whoa. And it just kind of blew my mind. And I really, really I don’t know if seven might not be the right number for my home, but I think more than two is definitely the right number. I just really love fireplaces. I think it’s also like a part of the climate we live in. You know?

Emma: Sure.

Elsie: We don’t live in California. We live in a place that gets pretty cold for quite a bit of the year. And it’s the part of the year that causes a little bit of gloomies.

Emma: Depression.

Elsie: Yeah. So anyway, that’s my dream purchases. OK, so next up, we have a listener question. You wanna read it?

Emma: Yes, it is from Marie. And she says, I would love pointers and shout outs on shopping furnishings from small businesses. I feel like I have such a hard time finding things, but I’m doing my best to shop small biz. And we thought that was a great question for this particular episode.

Elsie: Great question, because I feel the same, honestly. It’s so easy to go on to the same places over and over when you’re shopping for home stuff.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: But, you know, when you can find something very similar for a small business. Like I mentioned earlier, my rugs is a great feeling, you know, to know that you spent that money with a small business, especially in your community. So we have written down a few…

Emma: A couple of shout outs.

Elsie: Yes. So jungalow.com, which is owned by our friend Justina. And it is the most perfect boho source. Yeah. So if you consider yourself boho even one percent, you want to head over to jungalow.com, Click shop and just look all around. I have her ceramic glasses. I have one of her mirrors. I don’t even consider myself boho, but there’s so many beautiful things.

Emma: It also has a lot of great, she’s really great with patterns. And she’s really great with color. So there’s a lot of that too, which I love neutral stuff, but I’m not saying she doesn’t have any neutral stuff, but if you are interested in pattern and color, which I have a feeling you do, if you’re listening to this podcast, it’s a great place to look for some of that stuff.

Elsie: Yes. The next spot is called Lone Fox and it is owned by our friend Drew. And it has just adorable, like a vase, like think about like what you need for the center of your dining room table, what you need for a shelf. It’s that kind of shop. And he has lots of really, really cute things I actually need to order from him. The next one is Apple and Oak, which I mentioned earlier, it is a local shop here in Nashville. It’s where I got my rugs. They also sell light fixtures. They carry a ton of Mitzi, and also a lot of wicker, a lot of, you know, those light fixtures with fringe on them.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: Things like that. And then vintage rugs, like almost all the vintage drugs that I have from her. And then the last one is Etsy, which really like there can’t be a more ultimate place because it’s thousands of small shops put together where you can search them all at once. We love Etsy. I just bought our new dog bowls from Etsy. Did you see how cute they are?

Emma: Yes. They’re really cute.

Elsie: There’s just cute things on there. Just the most. Any little thing you can think of. Like, I just love shopping on Etsy and getting the packages and knowing that it came from someone’s home to my home is the best feeling.

Emma: Yeah. Oh, and one little final thing this kind of has to do with Etsy is, you know, don’t be afraid to like, look around in your town. If there are people building beautiful furniture or things like that, one, it can save on shipping. But it’s also just really fun, I think, to have kind of this sentimental connection to the part of the country you live in to have things that are made from that part of the country. Maybe I’m just cheesy like that, but I just love, like, knowing, you know, I’m from Missouri and I’m really proud of Missouri. And it’s just fun to get things from Missouri sometimes. Not all the time. But it’s fun.

Elsie: I absolutely agree with that. Having something made from a local artisan is the ultimate cool factor.

Emma: It really is. Yeah, it really is. So that’s always something to be on the lookout for. That’s the end of this episode. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. We just passed a thousand reviews on Apple podcast, so thank you to each and every person who left a review. It’s kind of crazy that we have that many reviews.

Elsie: Thank you!

Emma: And thank you to everyone who shared our podcasts with friends. We’re still trying to grow and we really, really appreciate you.

Elsie: And we love you!

Read More
  • I love my king-sized bed as well, but I really struggle with finding comforters, coverlets, duvets, etc that actually hang over the edge to fall at the correct spot on the sides of the bed. What bedding recommendations do you have to solve this problem?

  • Hi!

    When you were talking about dream thrift finds, it reminded me of dishes that I still regret donating and would love to find again.

    What are your power thrifting tips for finding specific items that you are looking for?

    Thanks so much for the show!

    • I get it- I have ONE vintage dress that I don’t even know when I donated it, but I want it back.

      I think Etsy and eBay are the best bets for finding something very specific like this! XX

  • Listener question/episode idea- House hardware! Emma mentioned a wishlist of new doorknobs, any tips tricks for mixing metals when you move into a new house? What should match (doors/light fixtures) what can be different cabinet hardware? We live in an old craftman with original brass, but i love silver. Help?

  • Great episode! Love all the new furniture picks!


  • Elsie, you mentioned Nashville not having great flea markets, have you tried the monthly one at the fairgrounds? It’s massive AND amazing. I’d also recommend downtown historic Franklin, there are several great antique stores, as well as the massive one in an old school gym in Spring Hill. I got SO MANY amazing pieces there. There are also several small ones in east Nashville and multiple large ones in Clarksville. Gaslamp is also my fav but there are so many others around if you don’t mind a little drive 🙂

    • Awesome! I will try Franklin next. I heard that Springfield has a big one. I have been to the one at the fairgrounds a few times and I don’t know if it was just too much Donald Trump merch or too big and overwhelming, but I didn’t find anything and I was so sad.

      • Yea the fairgrounds one is hit and miss, but you can find some real gems if you really dig. I haven’t been in a couple years so I didn’t know about the DT mercy, ugh! I haven’t been to the ones in Springfield, but I bet they also have some in their historic district. The ones in franklin are blocks from Main Street with all the cute shops, I highly recommend checking those out as well if you haven’t. 🙂 I’ve been wanting to go back every since lockdown has started, its one my “to do when normal returns” list lol

  • Loved this episode. I look forward to every Monday for you podcast! Do you follow The 80s interior on Instagram? I think it would be right up your alley. ?

  • Quick comment about your gorgeous new couch. We have 2 rules in my house that help keep it easier to clean.. One is that we eat & drink at the table only. This has saved me some real headaches over the years! The 2nd is: no shoes in the house. Best to you & your sweet family

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