photo by roland bello/o at home magazine. article text by beth ann fennelly. styling by shelly coon.
the inset caption on the above photo, declares that "swindall repurposed styrofoam packing blocks and slide carousel boxes (painted black) to serve as pedestals for his lamps"- love that! plain ol' styrofoam, not even faux finished or nuthin'- but it looks fabulously luxe, doesn't it? m21 goes nuts for this kind of stuff!
the text further states that the lamps atop the pedestals were thrift shop finds, that swindall spray-painted black and gold (maison21 suspects that the shades are original to the lamps, and painted as well, though perhaps with a brush- they look pretty even). this is very similar to advice m21 recently gave his young client from our 9/22 post: we recommended they splurge $700 on a custom 6 1/2 foot long white lacquer parson's table, but then save some money elsewhere, like by buying a cheap old ornate lamp from a thrift store to sit atop the splurge, and then updating the look of the cheapo lamp by DIY spray-painting it a glossy black (shade and all)- kind of like we did with this $8.00 thrift store lamp awhile back:
the article goes on to explain how swindall scavenged the convex mirror in the photo for free from a trade show exhibit, and we easily found a similar 36" industrial mirror online for only $149.98 (betcha you could find it cheaper, too). and if our cheap n' chic eye isn't mistaken, that convex mirror is layered over what appear to be 4 standard behind-the-door long mirrors from home depot (or similar), simply hung side by side, with their frames painted the same color as the molding that swindall added as an architectural frame-like surround. with some beautiful silver-plate inherited from his grandmother, and some branches he probably snagged from a neighbor's yard, we think the only thing in the photo that the talented historian-turned-decorator may have actually spent any money on, is the biedermeier-style chest anchoring the chic tableaux (and even that could have been sourced on the cheap at an antique mall or flea market). but here's the magic... swindall put all this inexpensive and/or free stuff together, and voila- it looks like everything cost a million bucks!
swindall, like m21, obviously has a love for the chic object, no matter where it's found- whether in a bonafide antiques gallery, or dragged home from a pile by the side of the road. remember this photo from a long ago maison21 post? the pickled wood urn lamp was plucked straight out of a garbage can and placed directly a chest in the entry of the m21 atelier within 10 minutes of discovery- delightful curbside patina and all!
the great thing is that anyone can try out this kind of decoratin'- completely risk-free! unlike the stock market- yikes! if you are scared your home will end up looking too junk yard-y, when filled with a plethora of scavenged goods, then simply start slow and extend your budget by mixing a single cheap n' chic find (or two), paired with something of real value- like a thrift shop settee on a fabulously luxurious carpet (in the spirit of this image from the rug company, via alkemie):
so just because the stock market is falling, it doesn't mean your decor has to bring you down too! turn a little trash into a treasure, or mix a little down-low with your luxe, and stretch that decorating dollar in new ways. remember- if you can't quite figure out how to do it on your own, oprah and maison21 are always here to help... ***
*** oprah in no way endorses, or even acknowledges the existence of a mere mortal like maison21. what we really mean is this: there are lots more budget tips in the latest issue of "o at home" magazine, and m21 promises to post more of his own cheap and chic tricks, every now and then, as well).
we leave you with one last image of mr. swindall's fabulous apartment from "o at home"- this incredible antique table dipped in plaster is a trick we are dying to try! DIY john dickinson! love it!