Bringing the Outside In

by Lauren Setum

It’s that time of year again…the time of year when Bambi runs and hides! As for the fish, well they’re pretty much a target all year long. Poor Nemo. I’m acknowledging the hunting season here on Salt and Pippa with some tasty…oops, I mean tasteful, paintings from local Twin Cities artists.

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Fish by Chris Nystrom

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I’m not one to mount animal heads and put them on the wall, but I do LOVE this painting by Jill Van Sickle.

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These bird paintings by Christina Hankins just make me plain happy!

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Last but not least, a painting entitled Made to Float by Chris NystromI find this piece really fun and intriguing. 

Drab to Fab!

by Lauren Setum

Back in September, I wrote a post entitled Your Sofa is Ugly. Subsequently, I received some feedback from defensive sofa owners…you know who you are. While I fully intend to stand my ground (sorry folks, I’m calling it like I see it), this time around, I’m taking a slightly different approach. And it’s good news! If you have tired, old furniture, there may be hope!

This past weekend, I spent Sunday afternoon perusing Hunt and Gather, a vintage and antique store in Edina. If you’re looking for wall decor, jewelry, furniture, lighting, or quirky accessories, I highly recommend checking out this store. Bear in mind that their stock is continually changing since they offer one-of-a-kind items so go in with an open mind. I’ve purchased several lounge chairs from here that I intend to reupholster. Which brings me to the point of the post. Instead of buying completely new furniture, consider breathing life into old pieces that have semi-hidden potential and character. Take a look…IMG_2075

A sampling of all the unique items you’ll come across at Hunt and Gather in Minneapolis. The vintage metal Tonka trucks in the upper left-hand corner would make great accessories on built in shelves!

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Left: Antique door knockers. There were about six of these available…they’d make fabulous wall art when all grouped together.

Right: Vintage wood bins. Decorative and functional!

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This freestanding ‘locker/amoire’ of sorts caught my eye. I can see it in the laundry room, mud room or guest bedroom of a mid-century home. So fun and unique.

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This round end table could be the ‘pop of color’ in a room…just add this Ruby Red paint from Benjamin Moore (or any other color of your choosing).

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This pair of chairs was my favorite find of the afternoon. They have a great shape, and I can definitely picture them in a home office. Reupholster in this ikat fabric from Schumacher and ta-da!

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This side chair is so unique, and honestly, could probably suffice as is. But, if you are looking to spruce it up a bit, consider reupholstering in this fabric from Zak + Fox.

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These case pieces are also lovely (and more ‘antique looking’) as is. For a modern twist, consider a painted yellow finish using Bold Yellow from Benjamin Moore.

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This settee has great traditional lines, without being stuffy. Make it a statement piece using a bold upholstery fabric from Harlequin.

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This retro barstool would look fabulous in any one of these color ways from Pollack

A WORD TO THE WISE: If you have the urge to reupholster yourself…resist it. Contact a professional. The end result will be 100 times better, and it will last 100 times longer. No offense or anything. Happy hunting!

Why I Have Faith In Doubt

by Lauren Setum

A few weeks ago, knowing that I was about to turn 26, a co-worker asked me (half jokingly, half seriously) if I’d gotten through my quarter life crisis yet. I told her (half jokingly, half seriously) that I was ‘about 75% of the way through it.’ Why doesn’t anyone warn you about this post-college phenomenon? I’ve wondered that more than once over the last year or so, and I posed the (somewhat) rhetorical question to my co-worker during our conversation. Her reply: ‘I think it’s something that’s new and somewhat unique to our generation.’ According to this Washington Post article, she’s spot on…ok, maybe there were some good folks out there trying to give today’s 20-somethings a head’s up. Anyhow, this thing we often jokingly refer to as a ‘quarter-life crisis’ is a totally real thing that pops up about 20 years sooner than the ‘mid-life crisis’ sometimes associated with our parents’ generation. Apparently, feeling like nothing feels right is totally normal. How’s that for an oxymoron?

This past year and a half or so, well, let’s just say I would probably have been a great poster child for the aforementioned concept. Everything from work to personal relationships felt amiss. Post-college graduation, I had pretty concrete ideas about the path I was going to take and what life was going to be like; so when my current situation (at the time) started going against the grain of my ‘picture’, I got frustrated. Still, I figured that ‘this is just what it takes, this is what you have to deal with.’ Looking back, I think that the idea of not following through on these ‘things’ I had dedicated my education and time to made me feel guilty. I had created this really ‘cool idea’ of what I would be doing, and deciding to ditch it and try a new path felt, well, ‘uncool’. For quite some time, ditching out was simply not an option.

Some of us are lucky (yes, lucky) enough to be pushed out of our funk and into something different and more fitting (like the woman in the Post article); some of us are not. Carrie Cunnington is a talent and success coach here in the Twin Cities, and this particular weekly newsletter (excerpt below) from a couple weeks ago entitled, “I’m a Quitter” really resonated with me.

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While individuals who have been ‘shoved’ might feel like the unluckiest person in the world in the moment, I actually think it’s those who feel askew and aren’t being pushed in one direction or another who have it harder. Being stuck in the rut of, ‘I can’t change what I’m doing anymore, it’s too late’ is difficult (and a risky way of thinking!). Handling doubt in terms of major life decisions takes initiative and openness. It’s easy to remain in the ‘comfort and security’ of a current situation and hope something happens that will suddenly make everything work like a well-oiled machine. But, as Carrie points out in the excerpt above, that can take a looooooong time. More often than not, the sense of well-being that we search for comes from within. Instead of trying to ward off feelings of doubt with external things, try changing how you think about and approach a set of circumstances. You might find something you hadn’t expected.

Until recently, I struggled with the idea of doubt and thought it was a completely negative, bad thing. It was synonymous with being confused and lost. I expressed this to a friend who shook her head and said that all it really means is that you care and are self-aware enough to question things. She totally changed my perception. If you think about it, doubt is how we come to have the beliefs we have…if we didn’t question things (whether it be relationships, work, religion, etc) how would we ever see the big picture? We wouldn’t. Doubt, when utilized in the right way, can be a positive thing.

For my 26th birthday, I decided to get myself a present that would basically ‘commemorate’ my 25th year and kick off the upcoming year on a positive note. Bondye Bon by Britney is run by local Minneapolis artist, Britney Daniel. Not only are her custom sterling-silver rings incredibly charming, but all profits go towards her mission efforts; any profit above and beyond that is donated directly to long-term missionaries or organizations working for world change. How awesome is that?! I ordered three rings, and they read: FAITH, LUCKY 13, DOUBT. The ‘faith’ and ‘doubt’ rings seem to contradict each other, but as I’ve already explained, they’re actually two peas in a pod. ‘Lucky 13’ references the calendar year 2013 (aka my 25th year) and is sort of a play on words when it comes to the stereotype of the number 13. Was it a lucky year? Depends how you look at it. I feel pretty lucky that I learned to stop trying to make everything perfect right now…turns out what you really want to do is be at peace with where things are headed.

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French Textiles from Pierre Frey

by Lauren Setum

Bonjour! There it is, the extent of my French vocabulary. The rest of today’s post will be in English. Today, I’d like to use my much more extensive knowledge of the English language to introduce you to Pierre Frey, a luxury home furnishings line that produces textiles and wall coverings, as they say, “in the purest French tradition.” Here in Minneapolis, the line is available through Holly Hunt at International Market Square. Take a gander at a few install shots, they speak for themselves, in a language that both French and English speakers can understand…

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Paris in the Fall With Caroline Hayden

by Lauren Setum

Ok, so this post’s title may be slightly misleading, as I’ve never actually been to Paris, much less in the fall. But I hear it’s beautiful, and it is on my list of places to travel someday. In fact, I’m apparently already packing my bags and planning what to wear. When I saw this dress by local Minneapolis designer, Caroline Hayden, at the MN Fashion Week sample sale, I had to have it. There was only one sample, and it fit me perfectly…clearly meant to be, right? I paired it with a beautiful necklace from Sheer Addiction Jewelry, brown suede heeled boots, my mom’s belt (from the 70s?) and a knit cap. Wouldn’t it look great with the Eiffel Tower?!

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Stay tuned throughout the week for more on France (and not just from me…from a person who’s actually lived there!).

Classy Camo by KOKOON

by Lauren Setum

There are so many things I love about this wrap dress from KOKOON. This may be cliche, but it really is both comfortable and stylish. You could definitely pack this one in a suitcase and not have to worry about packing an iron, too. That’s always a plus. But my favorite aspect of this dress? The print, to me, is reminiscent of camo without being actual camo. Camo print is definitely a trend you’ll be seeing, and personally, I like it. I paired this twist-on-camo dress with a necklace and cuff bracelet from Sheer Addiction Jewelry and pumps from Charles David…oh, and a cute pup. He wanted to be part of the photo shoot, too!

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I had so much fun working with KOKOON on Salt and Pippa’s first new outfit posts this week! They’re a great Minneapolis-based company (I love local!), and I’m so excited to attend their 25th Anniversary Fashion Show this coming Monday at Aria in the North Loop. If you’re in town, be sure to check it out.

Dress Your Walls for Fall

by Lauren Setum

It’s not quite fall yet (although the temps here in Minneapolis have made it feel that way), but we’re starting to see fall preview items from many manufacturers…not only in fashion, but in the interior design industry, too. I absolutely love the wall coverings that we’re seeing from Peter Fasano. You can get them, along with all the other fabrics in each scheme below, from Blended Blue at International Market Square. This is just a sampling of ideas, be sure to take a closer look at all the product from Peter Fasano on his website.

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Clockwise from upper left:

Wallcovering: Peter Fasano

Blue/gray drapery fabric: Brentano

Textured solid: Brentano

Table: GRAIN Tables

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Clockwise from upper left: 

Wallcovering: Peter Fasano

Yellow dot fabric: Brentano

Settee: Bright Chair

Black drapery fabric: Pollack Associates

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Clockwise from upper left:

Wallcovering: Peter Fasano

Black floral fabric: Lori Weitzner

Daybed: Bright Chair

Walnut fabric: Pollack Associates

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Clockwise from upper left:

Wallcovering: Peter Fasano

Diamond fabric: Lori Weitzner

Ottoman: Bright Chair

Red leather rug: Studio Art

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