Welcome + Mid-Century Monday

Welcome to the Parsimonia blog, where my goal is the continual convergence of second-hand items and ideas with style. Note the word style, not fashion. This will not be another commentary on the latest arrivals from Milan, Paris or New York. What I want to do is help you develop your own eye, unearth your own style and be confident in whatever that turns out to be! I know there's no way to completely sever your ties to the fashion world (unless you're a hermit I suppose). We're all exposed to it through magazines, ads, TV, movies, etc., but I want you to realize that the buck doesn't have to stop with what the mainstream media feeds us. Style knows no bounds, and when you find an aesthetic that works for you and brings out the creativity I know is milling around in that beautiful brain, you will have the confidence to step outside those predrawn lines. I am a strong believer that how you decorate your home and yourself is an outlet for the imagination, and it's amazing what can happen when you harness that.

[End soap box speech]

Needless to say I'm really excited to share my own inspirations with you on this blog, and I think it's going to be a pretty fun ride. Each week we'll be exploring different aspects of the style world, and Mondays will be all about mid-century madness! I (like my dear dad, who enjoys old-timey radio shows) have always grown up with the gut feeling that I was born in the wrong era. In high school, amid my severe obsession with Jane Austen, I was convinced I should have been born in the mid- to late-1770s (as long as I had that large dowry, mind you). College gave me a brief run-in with the '70s (thank the Lord it was brief), and now here I am in my mid-20s and I have found my heart lies with mid-century design, and I think this one's going to stick.

I love the grittiness of the 1960s, the bold colors, the sleek and modern lines, the eclectic look of it...all of this really resonates with my imagination. Needless to say, my friends and I are among the many viewers obsessed with "Mad Men," so don't be surprised if most Mondays my inspiration comes from something I saw on that show the night before. For example...

Last night the shot that stuck with me was the view of Anna Draper's living room. She lives in California, which is arguably where mid-century style really showed what it was all about. The room featured ocean-inspired aqua walls with bright white trim, Peptol-pink couches, light brown accent furniture (most likely teak) and two cream-colored lamps on each side of the couch. Ann is a great example of someone who is creative + confident with who she is, and it shows in her decorating. I have scoured cyberspace to find an image of it, but this was the best I could come up with (if you come across a better one, please send it my way and I'll be happy to post it!):

So I've put together a little inspiration board that comes close to the elements of her living room:

Now, how can you go about getting a similar look for less? On Thursday we'll be exploring some strategies for thrifting and finding second-hand stores, but for now here's a few ideas:
  1. Search your local Craigslist site: Since people are listing something specific, it'll be much easier to find items tagged "mid-century," "modern" and "mad men," or tagged by color and kind of item [i.e. "pink" and "couch"].
  2. If nothing turns up there, my next suggestion would be Etsy. If you have yet to discover this site, welcome to the wonderland! These online shops are full of items that come from creative + confident people who are selling vintage and handmade items at really reasonable prices. I just started my own shop back in July that I've been filling with second-hand finds, and it's a really amazing place to connect with other inspired people and support each other.
  3. If neither of these sites turn up something that inspires you, I have some more tricks up my sleeve, but you'll have to wait until Thursday when we start our Thrifty Thursday blog posts, where I'll be giving tips and strategies for treading the thrift store trail (don't you just love alliteration?)!
Thanks for stopping by + stay inspired!

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