Secondhand Spin //

Soundscape: "Folding Chair" - Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor released this track off her 2009 release, Far and it’s equally as quirky and sweet as the rest of her material. There is something about Regina Spektor’s quirkiness that comes through her vocals and makes songs that are full of catchy lyrics and melodies.


I have an affinity for vintage chairs so I often find myself drawn to them while out thrifting, but I have also walked away from a lot of them in the past. That was before I knew how easy it was to give them a makeover. From re-upholstering to painting fabric and wood it’s a lot simpler than I thought!

It’s so easy to make a chair new again and put your own look to it, while still keeping its vintage appeal. So guys, don’t walk away! If you see an awesome chair in good shape, but maybe with some not so pretty parts, you can change it! Let’s get some quick listology going so you don’t miss out on your next cool find!

LISTOLOGY #403: Take a seat, I’ll only be a few minutes…

1) Remove the existing fabric from the chair, if its just on the seat, remove the seat from the chair to take off the fabric.

2) Use a staple remover to get all the staples out from where the fabric was connected.

3) Lay out the old fabric to use it as a template for the new fabric. This makes it easier to cut the new piece, ensuring it will fit properly.

4) Cut out new fabric. This is also where you may have to replace a cushion as well, if you need to buy foam from your fabric store, you would cut it to match the base you removed at this point.

5) Flip the part of the chair you are reupholstering upside down, as if you are wrapping a gift. Pull the new fabric over the part of the chair you are reupholstering, making sure to pull all sides in tightly, you can then use a hot glue gun to glue the edges down so they don’t move around.

6) Use a staple gun to secure the fabric to the chair.

7) When you turn the part of the chair over you can then add trim around the edges or any other details, this also helps in covering any parts that you may have come up short on.

8) If you decide to paint the chair or use fabric paint on any parts, finish that and let dry and then add the reupholstered section back and you’re all done! So simple!

Soundscape: "Naive Dream"- The Mary Onettes

For when you find yourself daydreaming about all your favorite things on your list for this spring/summer, turn on this dreamy textured track from Swedish quartet, The Mary Onettes. Its indie pop at its finest and it plays like its full of spring color, which is perfect to accompany all those sugary sweet, breezy daydreams.

one of the pantone colors for spring 2014 is cayenne, and it got me inspired and daydreaming about lots of things…warm weather, succulents, sugary confections, freshly painted rooms, flea markets with endless treasures, summer inspired dishes, refreshing pretty spring cocktails, new records, farmers markets with fresh flowers, rooftops with a view, outdoor concerts, road trips to new cities and plenty of pastel colored skies….

Soundscape: "Busy Earnin"- JUNGLE

Synth funk, electronic soul..yes, please! The 7-piece group from the UK known as Jungle are bringing the heat and then some.
As we anxiously anticipate the upcoming full-length release due out later this year, we have a couple tracks to keep us occupied, along with tour dates starting this Spring.

So while you’re “Busy Earnin”, don’t forget to get busy spring cleanin’ because now you have the perfect song to get you started!

All it takes is one 60 degree day here in Chicago and it got me going full Spring ahead into making some seasonal changes around my home. I got to open the windows if even just the slightest bit and let the sun stream through the sheer white linen and onto my space. Once this happened it was almost as if the sun highlighted all the things I needed to work on. But I’m not mad at you sun. Never could be. It just gave me the push I needed to make a little listology so I could get into serious Spring cleaning mode, so here we go!


1) Start with a clean slate. Take everything off the counters and tables and clean the surfaces really good. Don’t forget about dusting vents, window jams and other areas that have been closed up or used a lot in the winter. A quick and easy DIY solution for cleaning countertops is using halves of lemons as scrubbers.

2) De-clutter + organize. Definitely take these steps before re-designing anything in your space. Whether it’s putting away that coat rack, your stack of sweaters, heavy blankets, etc Once everything is organized it allows you to get a better idea of what you’re working with.

3) Bring in fresh herbs + plants. I just bought a basil plant for the kitchen and of course some more succulents. Having lots of plants inside not only brings a little of the outdoors in, but also helps improve air circulation too!

4) Fresh flowers! I buy fresh flowers every week, they are always a cheerful addition to any room, especially in the colder months. Even if its a $2 bunch of daffodils or a $5 bunch from Trader Joes split up amongst 3 different vases, fresh flowers are always a good idea.

5) Paint your space. If not a whole room, maybe just an accent wall. It doesn’t stop on the walls, as you’re looking around for things to freshen up, look at your furniture, maybe it just needs a little polishing or a fun pop of color. A quick DIY solution for furniture polish is using 1c. of olive oil, 4 T of vinegar, and 2 t of lemon juice. Always gets the job done!

6) Look beyond the bigger picture to little details. For instance, I’ve already noticed my cooking has changed from soups and casseroles to lighter pastas, wraps and salads. This recipe for Peachy Spring Rolls is a perfect example. Yum! The little details in the kitchen like the wear of wooden spoons or pots and pans are something to be on the look out for too!

7) So, now you have cleaned, organized and packed away the wintery stuff, time for the fun part! Let’s get re-arrangin’! A new space plan is the best way to freshen up a room. The simple task of moving my desk under the window in my office was a perfect solution to cold weather blues.

8) In the bedroom, trade up flannel sheets and heavier blankets to linen bedding in light florals, pastels or all white. It makes such a crisp, bright statement. Change out heavier window treatments for ones of lighter material.

9) After cleaning out a fireplace, use it as a statement piece in the room. Layer in different levels of terra cotta pots with succulents, candles or stack wood logs to the top.

10) Now that your home looks the part, now for the springlike scents. You can easily make your own oil diffuser. Whether you like vanilla, lavender, mint or citrus, its up to you! Grab a glass bottle with a narrow opening and fill it with drops of oil (20-30 drops for every 8 oz of water) now add some twigs and sticks from outside and you’re all set!
Oh, the thrifted lamp. I always seem to find a great one, but most often times there is a part of it that needs a little DIY love. When you find one of these, dont be hesitant and put it back. The options for this kind of lamp are endless! What was that? You need a little histology to guide you through? Ok, lets do this!


1) Paint the lampshade. You can use a pattern, free hand it, or just a simple stripe turns a boring ‘ol plain white lampshade into something amazing. If you don’t want to paint, there is the option of using a spray adhesive or hot glue gun and covering the lampshade in fabric. Also, don’t forget washi tape too! Cool part is you get to pick the pattern and cover it the way you want!

2) Get out your white sharpies and get to drawing. Again, you can use a stencil or just create your own, even typography looks cool. You can do this on the actual base of a colored one or clear glass. Same goes for the lampshade itself.

3) Wrap the lampshade in yarn, you can also use twine for a different kind of look. Leave part of the shade exposed or use three different shades of the same color and work your way up for an ombre effect.

4) Take a pendant lampshade or any other kind and cut out anything from newspapers, magazines to old maps and layer them on. When the light comes shining through, you have a one of a kind lamp.

5) Stain or paint wood paint stir sticks. These are free and I bet you have a bunch of unused ones lying around from past projects! This lamp can go from fun with using bright paints or to a richer look by using a dark stain.

6) Using different colored zip ties and let them hang off for a layered fringe look. You can also cut thin pieces of material or ribbon and tie it on.

7) Don’t be afraid to paint that lampbase with a fun pop of color. You can also spray paint it in a metallic base for a different, more sophisticated look.

8) When you’re painting the outside of your lamp, don’t forget about the inside too! Using a gold metallic paint can make this lamp really shimmer and shine when its on and adds an extra warm glow to your space.

9) I love the look of the balsa wood lampshade! It looks amazing as a pendant lamp too and its so easy to do!

10) When it doubt, take the fabric off the lampshade altogether and leave it exposed for a minimalist, industrial kind of look or use a colander or basket for a lampshade.

Happy Thrifting!

53 plays

 by Cut Copy from In Ghost Colours

Secondhand Spin //

Soundscape: "Lights & Music" - Cut Copy

A little bit of digging in the archives for this electro pop gem. In Ghost Colours is a 2008 release from the Aussies known as Cut Copy. Its a perfect blend of pop, rock and electronic sounds and most importantly its a record to have on repeat while the sun is beaming on your face and you’re dancing outside.




Soundscape: “Checking Things Off Of A To-Do List Early In The Morning” - Lullatone

Lullatone consists of Japan based duo Shawn James Seymour and Yoshimi Tomida. With the use of glockenspiels, recorders and keyboards, they produce sweet, melodic, ambient lo-fi sounds. Influences ranging from bossa nova and french pop to tropicalia, these airy and whimsical songs leave you relaxed and daydreaming. The next minute they can’t help but put a huge smile on your face while they soundtrack moments in your life…like the one where you’re checking things off a to-do list.

LISTOLOGY #0225: Things To Do //

Argh. The To Do List. Sometimes we need a To Do List on how to make a great, efficient To Do List. Or how ‘bout some listology? Here are a couple quick tips along with some cool ways to amp up the look of that boring ‘ol post-it note. If you have a cool looking To Do List it becomes more interactive and fun to work on, it also makes maintaining it and getting through it better too!

1) Make your lists a 5-item at a time list. It makes it easier to get through and not so overwhelming.

2) If you’re working on a home to-do list, bring all rooms back to ready as close as you can. Such as your bed made in the bedroom.

3) For home tasks, do things that are small, but impactful to your list. Sort your laundry as you are putting in piles so its ready to go, do dishes right after you’re done eating, etc

4) Don’t be overwhelmed. Take things on your list one by one, or rooms in your home one by one and complete that one task before moving on.

5) Observe your habits and your routine. See how you spend your mornings or evenings and adjust accordingly and move your routine around.

6) Make items on your To Do List specific and detailed. For instance, not just clean up office, but what specifically are you cleaning or organizing.

7) Leave your list visible, so your always reminded. Hang a picture frame with a dry erase marker on the wall in a room where you will always see it. Prioritize your list and update it often.

8) Choose the right medium for you to accomplish the items on your list. Whether its an app on your phone, a post-it or one of the ways pictured here to make the list more fun to get through.

9) Keep a gratitude list. Write down the things in the day you were thankful for and accomplished. You should be proud of things you did and remember even the little things are huge!

10) Listen to music!! This makes getting through even mundane tasks more fun! By time you know it, you’re surprised on how much you got done!

Secondhand Spin //

Soundscape: "Time to Wander" - Gypsy & The Cat

Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers are the guys behind the electro pop sounds of Gypsy & the Cat. The drum beat on “Time to Wander” sets the pace for flashes of summer memories to quickly find themselves at the forefront of your mind. As the chorus plays it feels like an anthem. You sing along to an airy falsetto and as the synths swirl you feel as if you’re floating on the excitement of future adventures. So hey, if its not going to be in your house, pack that newly DIY’ed vintage suitcase and get to adventuring. Here’s a good song to add to your travel mix!


1. mod podge + cool fabric..either on the outside or lined on the inside

2. a one of a kind guitar case

3. a table plus added bonus…additional clothing storage! (suitcases sans legs, of course, fit perfectly hidden under the bed for even more storage)

4. a the outer part of the suitcase and use the inside for plants. such a stylish planter that can be for inside the house or used outside

5. speakers..i doubt anyone will have ones like these!

6. a nighstand. add a tray on top, you can even mix the suitcases with rustic wood crates for more height and a different look

7. collect a bunch of different kinds of vintage suitcases and make them into shelves!

8. your pet will definitely have the best bed on the block

9. adding shelves and wheels makes for a DIY bar everyone will be talking about over cocktails

10. break out the mod podge one more time! this one is with magazines! a little mod podge on the suitcase, add pictures and one more layer of modge podge over pictures and let dry. I want to put everything and anything in this one and take it with me wherever i go!



bringing MUSIC + DESIGN together to create an inspired space //

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on the turntable

  • small black
  • tycho
  • s. carey
  • the war on drugs


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