October 14, 2013Charmaine’s Eclectic and Classic Vintage Home with Fun Finds From French Toast Kitty
Everyone give a big welcome to the lovely Charmaine and her adorable Etsy shop, French Toast Kitty, which I think is one of the best names for a shop pretty much ever. Charmaine is a convert from the dark side, so everyone make sure to give her an extra special welcome. A convert from what dark side, you ask? Well read on, and you shall hear the terrible truth from Charmaine herself:
My love affair for all things mid-century, mod and vintage started when I went searching for an orange chenille throw for my husband’s office. Although my husband never did get his throw, I discovered Etsy. French Toast Kitty opened in October 2010 after I became mesmerized by the interesting pieces available on Etsy and realized that I had many similar unused items in my own home that were gathering dust in the corner of the basement and would undoubtedly appeal to vintage lovers. And she and her little shop lived happily ever after. Right? Well, not quite….
Actually, when my husband and I first moved into our mid-century ranch house eight years ago (we call them bungalows in Canada), we were determined to remove every last trace of 60’s from the place. We yanked out the dining room-living room reeded glass and copper room divider and shelving unit, pulled down some frosted glass fixtures in the entrance way, and we even uncovered some retro brown, yellow and orange geometric atomic wallpaper in the master bedroom hidden behind some hideous green floral 90’s paper. (And then we ripped that down too!) Quelle horreur!
Fortunately, we ran out of money in our reno budget and stopped destroying what I now see as awesome mid-century design details. Embracing the lime green vinyl basement bar, the turquoise glitter bathroom laminate, and copper drawer pulls helped me find the beauty in things that I, even ten years ago, would have hated.
French Toast Kitty combines an eclectic mix of mid-century modern home decor pieces and retro vintage clothing from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Every piece I’ve chosen for my shop is something that I personally would display in my house, or hang in my own closet. I tend to gravitate towards the simple Danish designs and the super bright, wildly patterned clothing of the same period. It’s quite a dichotomy of likes. I’ve been having a blast reliving my childhood through Etsy: purchasing items for my shop that I remember having as a kid, and even buying silly things for myself like the Noah’s ark bed sheet that my sister and I had on our bed! I’m hoping that my shop will evoke similar feelings and memories for my customers.
French Toast Kitty offers a variety of chenille blankets, handmade quilts, and vintage needlework pillows. I love using chenille on my bed in the summer. (And, unfortunately my cats do too!) They’ve got a real comfy, cottage-vibe and are perfect for the lake or cabin. Not too fussy. And mixing needlework pillows of different colors, fabrics and patterns can really add an impact to a room.
My other French Toast Kitty favorites are my lighting pieces. Choose from a variety of mid-century glass globes, art deco accent pieces and even a peach lustre tulip swag lamp. I think vintage lighting is such a great way to change up a space and add unique style to a home without spending a lot of money. These pieces are so much more original than the boxed lighting available in today’s stores.
After 42 years, I’ve finally learned that matchy-matchy isn’t necessary. (Trust me, my mom tried for years to convince me of this!) I love wearing clothes that no one else in our small city has. I add decor items to my house just because I love them. I don’t care if they’re not from the same decade as my rust orange velvet couch, or if silver doesn’t “go” with Fiesta ware. And I love my German cat plate collection hanging in the same house as my glass paperweight collection. It’s been a long lesson, but I’m very comfortable with my choices, and I like knowing that each individual piece in my home and closet is chosen just cause I like it.
One of my favorite vintage pieces in my home is the 40’s flamingo wallpaper that I installed around the dining room window. My husband didn’t even stop me, even after I emphatically stated eight years ago when removing the grey and burgundy 80’s paper from the same wall, “I will never put up wallpaper in this house!” When I saw those flamingos, I had to have them.
I’m also extremely fond of my Emerson cabinet record player. Nothing says Christmas like Bing Crosby belting out the classics while sitting in front of the fire. (And I’ll admit that I also listen to the Muppets Christmas album.) I adore the scratchiness of a vinyl record. Plus, the metallic gold fabric on the front adds just the right amount of pizzazz to the room!
I whole-heartedly welcome everyone to check out French Toast Kitty. I have a great mix of lighting, linens, clothing, books, games, and housewares to suit most anyone. I hope to evoke emotion and inspire style ideas in my write-ups so that customers can feel something when they look at the 2D pictures of an item I love. I try my hardest to keep prices as low as possible so that anyone wishing to embrace vintage can afford to do so. I’ve enjoyed my past three years as a shop owner on Etsy and look forward to offering more mid-century and mod items in the future.
Whew, Charmaine! I have to say, I so am glad that you ran out of money in your renovation budget! Your basement bar looks amazing, as does the rest of your house. And I am so happy that you were able to not only make peace with your time capsule house, but were able to really embrace it. I am so happy for you!
Please head on over to the adorable French Toast Kitty shop to check out some of her amazing finds. Charmaine is also offering a 15% discount to No Pattern Required readers with the coupon code “FRENCHKITTY15”, so hurry on over to take advantage of that to buy some fun, kitschy and eclectic treasures!