modern thrifter

modern thrifter

Thrifter & designer. Blogging about life in our MCM home & living on a budget. I also design things with my husband. You can see our work at The Mahoney Studio

I’ve been lamenting for a few years about the lack of nice clock radios. The first few years we were married, Patrick and I had one of those very predictable metal woodgrain digital clock radios, and woke up every morning to Morning Edition on NPR. I love the way the radio wakes me up gradually, and I don’t feel the need to hit the snooze button in panic to shush an obnoxious beep. 

As we gradually slipped into the bad habit of checking email and catching up on twitter on our phones before bed, they became the easy and logical replacement for our old ugly clock radio. The bedtime habit soon became the morning habit, switching between social media feeds as I tried to coax myself out of bed.

I grew to really miss the radio more and more in the mornings. We tried some radio apps and looked into some iPhone docking clock gadgets, but I just really missed the simplicity of the old clock radio, and I wanted to get my phone off of my nightstand completely. 

After searching for something that was more aesthetically pleasing, I was surprised at how few modern clock radio options are on the market. I found a few prototypes and some dead links to cool looking clocks, but nothing really seemed to be what I was looking for. Then I opened my present from Patrick on Christmas morning and discovered this sleek Lexon Titanium clock radio. It was exactly what I had been looking for.

There are so many things to love about the Lexon. The brightness of the numbers adjusts, dimming as the lights in the room are off, the reception is great—even in our wooded neighborhood, and it’s designed to be simple to set and adjust. The only thing that I would change is that when the radio alarm comes on, the face of the clock displays the station frequency instead of the time. I suppose it is good incentive to just get up.

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[ DESIGN DUAL ]
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I rarely buy brand new things around here. In fact, with the exception of a few items, most of my home is a menagerie of second-hand beauties that I’ve slowly pieced together over the years. So when Hilary at Pulp Design asked me to participate in a design challenge where I would choose items for a bedside table, I gladly accepted. Putting together fictional rooms with items that I would never otherwise purchase is something I’ve practiced since I was a little girl with a pair of scissors and the Sears catalog.
These are a few things that I would gladly put in my bedroom if I had an extra couple thousand dollars lying around. You can see the rest of my picks, as well as the very different choices that Amy of Parker Etc. put together, over on the Hello Splendor blog. 

[ DESIGN DUAL ]

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I rarely buy brand new things around here. In fact, with the exception of a few items, most of my home is a menagerie of second-hand beauties that I’ve slowly pieced together over the years. So when Hilary at Pulp Design asked me to participate in a design challenge where I would choose items for a bedside table, I gladly accepted. Putting together fictional rooms with items that I would never otherwise purchase is something I’ve practiced since I was a little girl with a pair of scissors and the Sears catalog.

These are a few things that I would gladly put in my bedroom if I had an extra couple thousand dollars lying around. You can see the rest of my picks, as well as the very different choices that Amy of Parker Etc. put together, over on the Hello Splendor blog. 

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[ RETREAT ]

As a very visual thinker, I’ve learned over the years—and especially since having kids—that I function far better if I have one area in my house that I can count on to be clean. No matter how loud, messy, and wild the rest of the house gets during the day, having my little spot keeps me from totally freaking out. 

Those of you with kids in school are probably familiar with the hurricane that rips through the house each morning, and making my bed has long been the first chore in the morning clean-up ritual. Even though I keep my bedroom really tidy (ahem…don’t look in the closets), I still felt like I needed a better place to retreat.

We had a chair and a nightstand sitting on the wall opposite of our bed, but I had been looking for a small desk for nearly a year. A few weeks ago I saw a craigslist ad for a $10 vintage desk, and even though it’s not my ideal piece of furniture, I couldn’t argue with the price. It is about 2” too wide for the space between the doors to our bathroom and closet, but it’s solid wood, so I’m going to have Patrick cut it down to fit.

I wish I could say it was teak or rosewood, or something sexy like that, unfortunately I think it’s a homemade project, crafted from much cheaper wood. But, I’ll say it again: $10. And it functions just like I need it to. Plus, it’s amazing what a few pretty accessories can add!

I picked up the brass Tensor desk lamp over a year ago at a garage sale for $3, and I’m so happy that it finally has a place. You might have seen the planter on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I picked it up at the thrift store run by the local senior center for $1. 

I’m not much for houseplants, mostly because we get no sunlight and they always die, but I’ve heard these snake plants (aka mother-in-law tongue plants) are easy to grow. The kids obviously need a pet because when I brought it home they were arguing over who would get to dust its leaves and who would water it. 

We’re still planning to paint this wall black and do something different with the flooring. I get excited thinking about how that’s going to look, but right now we’re in the middle of some minor kitchen projects, so it will have to wait. 

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[ SCRAP FABRIC PILLOWS ]
I have a lot of odds and ends fabric scraps stashed away, so when the sudden urge to swap out my pillow covers hit, I was prepared. I always use the envelope method for sewing pillow covers because it’s quick and pretty much fool-proof. This time I added a little more patchwork to the front to make them a little fancier, but the total sewing time for both pillows was still under an hour. 

Patrick bought me a wool blanket from MacAusland Woolen Mill as a birthday gift back in June. I’ve been trying to score a Hudson Bay blanket from thrifts or estate sale for years, but I haven’t had any luck, so I’m thrilled to finally have this one instead. I wanted to add a little more color, so I made a new pillow cover for the bedroom, too. 

Now, time to switch gears from sewing pillows to Halloween costumes!

[ SCRAP FABRIC PILLOWS ]

I have a lot of odds and ends fabric scraps stashed away, so when the sudden urge to swap out my pillow covers hit, I was prepared. I always use the envelope method for sewing pillow covers because it’s quick and pretty much fool-proof. This time I added a little more patchwork to the front to make them a little fancier, but the total sewing time for both pillows was still under an hour. 

Patrick bought me a wool blanket from MacAusland Woolen Mill as a birthday gift back in June. I’ve been trying to score a Hudson Bay blanket from thrifts or estate sale for years, but I haven’t had any luck, so I’m thrilled to finally have this one instead. I wanted to add a little more color, so I made a new pillow cover for the bedroom, too. 

Now, time to switch gears from sewing pillows to Halloween costumes!

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