Tag Archive - new york

Finally, a dining room rug

Eureka!  Eureka!

That is what I was shouting a couple of weekends ago to the nice man in ABC Home in New York.

Okay, not really.

But I wanted to.

If you remember this post, I was processing my dilemma of having or not having a dining room rug.  To have one means it needs to be easy, easy, easy to clean.  After hearing over and over about how wonderful seagrass is, and how much easier it is to clean than jute or sisal, I thought I would take a gander in New York to see if I could find one I liked.  When I came upon a little shop in Chelsea, I stopped in, looked at their samples, and asked them to price a couple of rugs for me.   I needed kind of a weird size (9×13) so I knew I would have to get it made.

Cloth border around the edge?  Of course!

Mitered corners, of course!

My excitement was building, building, then came crashing down when I looked at the one-two-three-four number price tag staring me back in the face.

“Well, that’s it”, I thought.  No seagrass for me.

I didn’t give it another thought until my brother took me to ABC Kitchen, and we walked around ABC Home before our yummy lunch.  I had heard over the years about the gloriousness of the basement in ABC Carpet (clearance items), but I had never been there myself.  When we walked in, I immediately scanned the room for the steps leading down.  “Don’t you want to look around here first?”, he asked.  I was already down the stairs.

Yes, this is all on sale!

After browsing through the Madeleine Weinribs (heavenly), I happened upon it.  A 9×13 bound seagrass rug.  For $399.  I am not even kidding you.  I paid an extra $100 to have it shipped to Texas, and it arrived promptly and was unrolled promptly in the dining room.

I really love the teensy border around the edge.  It is more simple and subtle than the larger borders.

I have to tell you, I am crazy about it so far!  I can sweep it, wipe it, and vacuum it, the chairs glide easily over it, and it makes the room look more finished.  In fact, I am so close to putting up my dining room reveal, I am just waiting on a few more things.

Do you have a seagrass rug?  What are your thoughts on them?

Side Note:  A few little birdies have told me Pottery Barn has a seagrass rug.  I haven’t seen it in real life, but it may be a good option if you are looking for one. 

P.S.  In my dreams, my northeastern beach home is part whitewashed wood floors, part wall to wall seagrass carpeting.  It’s lovely, you’re welcome to vacation with us.  😉

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Flea Marketing 101

Often, I talk with people afraid of the flea market.  The unknown world of haggling and bargaining and purchasing is too much for them.  “I don’t know how to do it!”, they say.  Well, fear no more.  Today I have your top ten tips for flea marketing, garage saling, estate saling, or any other market you can dream of.   Interspersed throughout the post will be some of my favorite shots from the Chelsea Flea Market in NYC.

1.  Be Nice.

It’s true, a smile and a few kind words can get you a long way.  Are you in a booth with items you really like?  Tell the owner!  Frequently, the items these people sell are from their own collections.  Booth owners can be personally attached to their things at times.  Being rude and scoffing at prices, or talking bad about what someone is selling will get you nowhere!

Set of six very glam chairs! I think they were $600.

I always pick up frames I like at flea markets and consignment stores. They are often very well made and much cheaper than buying them in a store!

2.  Build Relationships.

If you live in an area with a regular flea market, get to know the booth owners.  Look them in the eye, ask them how they are doing, etc.  I cannot tell you how often I have heard the line, “I wouldn’t do this for anyone but you, but I will sell this for ___”.  If you are a frequent visitor and you show you like what the owner is selling, you are  more likely to get a great deal when you find something you can’t live without.

These old maps covering a wall would be neat.

This weird little guy was bought by a Texan visiting New York. A woman from Houston.

3.  The Earlier, The Better.

Arrive when the flea market opens for the best items.  Not only does it show you are eager and excited to see what is offered, typically, the best stuff goes fast.  Usually, I do a semi-quick look around the whole flea market when it opens to see if I spot anything awesome.  After I feel assured I saw everything and didn’t miss anything really special, I start at the beginning again, and slowly walk through the booths.

Wouldn't these headdresses be pretty on a wall as art?

Love these old letters.

4.  It Matters What You Are Wearing.

Do not take this to mean “dress to the nines” when you are flea marketing.  Many a time I have seen someone walk in a booth with six-inch Jimmy Choo heels carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, haggling with someone over five or ten dollars.  It will never happen!  The woman walks away frustrated, and the owner is left muttering about how “surely she has the money to give, look how she is dressed!”  Dress for the occasion.  Flea markets are often hot, dusty, and dirty.  Wear your tennies and comfortable clothes.

The Chelsea Flea Market is in a parking garage on two levels. This was the lower level.

A grouping of these would be pretty on a shelf.

5.  Always Ask Before You…

take pictures.  Booth owners are very protective of their items and generally distrust anyone taking pictures.  It may seem silly, but several vendors have told me people take pictures of their booth only to come back later and use the photos against them.  “Oh, I know this hasn’t sold, it has been here since __, sell it to me for __ price.”  I have been guilty of taking photos in the past without permission and irked people.  You live, you learn!

Loved the color on this necklace. There was lots of good jewelry at the Chelsea Flea!

This fish necklace is so funky!

6.  Bring A Tape Measure.

So you are flea marketing, and you see the perfect dresser for your daughter’s room!  It looks like it will fit, but you need to measure it.  The owner doesn’t have a tape measure, you don’t have a tape measure, no one has a tape measure.  Not wanting to risk it, you go home, get a tape measure, and go back later.  The dresser is gone.  Ugh.  This may or may not have happened to me. (wink, wink)  Bottom line: always bring a tape measure.  That is not something booth owners think of very often, it’s up to you!

Antique Victorian doorbell - so charming! $250.

You just attach a leather string to the back and pull it when you want to ring it!

7.  Bring Cash.

Most flea market vendors do not accept credit cards, you must bring cash.  It can also help when you are bargaining with someone if you can say, “I have the cash right now!”  Sellers often get irritated if you have worked out a price, and then you tell them, “Hold on, I need to go get cash.”  They wonder if you were just toying with them, and generally, they distrust you will come back with the money.  Take the moolah with you!

I fell in love with this antique French lithograph. It was $50 so I passed.

Love the colors!

8.  How To Bargain.

You found something you love, but you know if you bring that item home at that price, your hubby will be less than thrilled.  Here’s what to do:  1.  Step away from the booth.,  2.  If possible, do a quick Ebay search on your phone for the item.  Ebay is a great way to figure out the market price for something., 3.  Go back to the booth and tell the owner you really like ___, what is their best price?  If they quote you something too high, tell them, “I can get it on Ebay for this amount, can you do better?  I would really prefer to buy this locally.”  If it works out, great.  If it doesn’t, express your disappointment, thank them, and walk away.  Remember the most important factor in the art of the deal:  get the other person to talk more than you do.  If you throw a number out there, count in your head at least eight seconds (one Mississippi, two Mississippi, etc.) to let them respond.  It feels long and awkward at times – don’t worry, that’s the name of the game!

If there were four of these, I would have found a way to get them home! French Louis chair child's size!

This booth had lots of neat things in it.

9.  When You Really Love Something…

If there is something at the flea market you are dying over, and you have not been able to work something out with the seller, I have used the following tactic with success.  Go back to the flea market right before it closes, and try to negotiate with the seller again.  Often, these vendors have to pack up their items at the end of every flea market weekend.  They would rather not bring items home if they don’t have to.  It never hurts to try, what do you have to lose?

Lots of pretty things to ponder, "What could I do with this?"

Isn't this chair cool? It was super comfy, too. $350

10.  Other Little Tidbits.

* Bring one of those reusable grocery bags if you think you will be hauling things home.  Flea markets will frequently give you flimsy plastic grocery bags to put items in, and they can break easily.

* Don’t forget water.  Bringing a bottle of water is a good idea since flea markets can be expansive and involve a lot of walking.

*  Bring your own snacks unless you are into consuming a lot of junk food.  Flea market food (if yours has it, not all flea markets do) is typically not the healthiest and/or conducive to refueling your body after lots of walking.  Stash some healthy snacks in your purse in case you stay longer than originally intended.

*  If you have a cute baby, bring him or her.  You are probably laughing right now, but I am convinced cute little babies bring better prices.  Try it, you’ll see!


Hope you benefit from these tips!  I am always interested in hearing your thoughts and comments!  Feel free to post them in the comments section, or email me at submissions @ AStoriedStyle .com.

Happy Shopping!

Alt NYC Wrap-up & Other Interesting Sights

Alt NYC was such an incredible experience for me – I’ve thought about it all week.  It was so great to meet bloggers from all genres – food, fashion, photography, even love!

More than anything, I loved learning about how to make this blog better – for you, the reader.  I am already receiving pictures of what you have done with some of the projects featured so far on the blog, and it makes me sooo happy!  Keep ’em coming – I hope to do some posts in the future featuring your work!

I did learn a new word, and though when you say it, it sounds like “Create Entrepreneurs”, I like how it looks together.  Createntrepreneurs.  That’s what I am.  I think.

The food alone was amazing.  You can imagine if you are IN the Martha Stewart headquarters!


Photo by Justin Hackworth

The salmon-dill spread pictured below was one of the best things I put into my mouth!  It tasted so good to me – I was trying to figure it out as I have had this type of spread before.  I think it may have been so tasty because the salmon was in chopped pieces, rather than diced.

Photo by Justin Hackworth


Photo by Justin Hackworth

Photo by Justin Hackworth

A few of you have asked what I wore, and I found a few pictures on Alt Summit’s Flickr Photostream.

Here I am at Sunday Suppers.  I have a bit of a weird look on my face, but the outfit is cute.  Wide leg pants are kind of a Grace signature.  I am tall so they work on me.  These navy flowy ones are from Anthropologie.  The white tee is from Banana Republic, the long yellow necklace is vintage, and the other shorter necklace is from Express, a lllloooonnnngggg time ago.  Shoes are Miss Albright’s.

Photo by Justin Hackworth

Photo by Justin Hackworth

I wish I had taken a good picture of me in my cute Thursday outfit, but this one was the best I could find.  We were supposed to wear something with color, and after many outfit changes, I arrived at this.  Dress from Anthropologie, leopard leggings from a little boutique where I live, and shoes also from Anthropologie.  (I know, I love Anthropologie!)  The pretty green necklaces are vintage.

Photo by Justin Hackworth

During the awesome panels and speakers, I felt like my pen was literally smoking!  There was a plethora of helpful information.  Getting to hear these three speak was a real treat.

from left to right: Gabrielle (one of the founders of Alt), Pilar Guzman (former editor of Cookie Magazine – the BEST Mommy mag ever, RIP – she is now the Editor in Chief of Martha Stewart Living), Lucinda Quinn (Mad Hungry, Executive Food Director, Martha Stewart), Kevin Sharkey (Senior Vice President and Executive Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Living, referred to as “Mr. Martha”)

Photo by Justin Hackworth

from left to right: Katie Armour (Matchbook Magazine), Jenny Komenda (Little Green Notebook – blog), Natalie Holbrook (Nat the Fat Rat – blog)

Photo by Justin Hackworth

Jenny writes my favorite blog, Little Green Notebook.  I have read it every morning for years, and it was such a pleasure to finally meet her.

Of course, then there was this gal.  My favorite quote from her, “Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.”

Photo by Justin Hackworth

I was sad when the conference was over – can’t wait for the main Alt event of the year – Alt Salt Lake City – in January!

But I did have some time left over for some long walks around Chelsea, flea marketing, and shopping.  My two younger brothers live in New York, so that was a major plus of the trip!  I laughed when I looked at my pictures because none of them are typical “trip to New York” pictures.  No Times Square, no Statue of Liberty, just stuff like this.

I thought the way the owner used boxwood for their little window box was so organic and appealing.  He actually saw me taking pictures, and I think it pleased him.  He told me all about how he changes the box up in different seasons.

This donut place was packed, and some people kindly moved for me so I could take this picture.  Isn’t that wall of donut pillows too clever?  Love to see that kind of creativity!  They were mostly made of felt.

Sign outside the door.

It is my secret dream to find an old abandoned church and make it into a home.  I love to see these types of spaces revamped.  There is a cute little restaurant here in Fort Worth that recently inhabited an old church – super neat.  So when I saw this beautiful old church turned store (called Limelight Marketplace), I peeped in to take some pictures.

Loved this entrance.  Stunning.

As Katy Perry was blasting over the speakers, I read this plaque outside the door, and wondered, “What would Thomas Sears and his wife think of this?”

One last tidbit.  I stayed part-time with one brother, and part-time with the youngest brother while I was in NYC.  One brother is married, with a sweet wife, and precious little boy, and one is a bachelor, living in a bachelor pad.  When I stayed the night with my bachelor brother, he had purchased shampoo and conditioner he thought I would like, plus bodywash.  He also made us reservations two weeks in advance for a trip to ABC Home and ABC Kitchen.  This is what he served me for breakfast and how he served it.

Calling all the single ladies.

Alt NYC – A Look Inside Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Studios

Welcome to the inside of Martha Stewart Headquarters in New York City!  Here is a snapshot peek at some inspiring and interesting aspects that make up the Martha Stewart empire.  I was told there are about 500 employees in the building, and it was pretty amazing to see so many people working so diligently to make every detail you see spectacular.

On the ninth floor, a long hallway of bookshelves filled with every cookbook imaginable leads to the test kitchens.

The books are all labeled and organized by genre, of course!

This is the test kitchen for Martha Stewart Living and is the largest, while the one for Everyday Food is smaller and next door.

If you look closely, you can see the back of Lucinda Scala Quinn, of “Mad Hungry” fame.  She is the Executive Food Director at Martha Stewart, and actually spoke at the conference, a real treat.

This is where my heart started beating fast – the Prop Room.  This is where they pull things from for magazine shoots, sets for the Martha Stewart Show, etc.

I heard a few people got shooed out of this area later on in the day.  I must have gotten lucky – the person there at the time was very gracious.  I asked if they accept temporary tenants – “not at this time”, she said.

I want this whole clock collection for my living room.  Love them!

Thursday evening, we attended a rooftop party at the studios so we had to walk through all of the offices to get there.  It was so interesting to see the spaces creating the Martha Stewart magazines you buy at the store!

A lot of the boards looked like this.  Rumored to be the holiday issues.

I fell in love with this petite set of books in one office.  I was told who the office belonged to, and now I can’t remember!  Her job title made sense when you connected her and this beautiful shelf of books, but I am still drawing a blank.  Hmmm…must find these books!

There were several beautiful collage boards.  I wonder if this is an in-office competition.

This gorgeous large board belonged to Darcy Miller, the lovely Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings.  She was probably the most gracious of anyone I met from the MS franchise.  Welcoming us into her office, answering questions, encouraging our pictures, and all of our hopes and dreams.

A wall of Martha Stewart Food magazine covers tiled one wall of their main office area.

Then we headed down a long hallway full of inspirational quotes, a creed of sorts for Martha Stewart and Company.

Photo by Justin Hackworth

Photo by Justin Hackworth

The party was so much fun, I was one of the last ones to leave.  Oh, and the food they served us?  To. die. for.  More to come on that tomorrow!

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