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Posts from the ‘vintage finds’ Category

The Kantha – an education


You ever heard of a kantha quilt? Yeah, a year ago we hadn’t either. Oh, we had seen them; we just didn’t know what to call them. Let’s break the phrase up for analysis.  Kantha refers to a type of embroidery, a simple primitive stitch–most frequently a long running stitch. And quilt, well, I guess not much analysis is needed on that subject.  So a Kantha quilt is a quilt made using this kantha stitching, capeesh??


Kantha embroidery is used to bind colorful cottons in every pattern or hue you can imagine. What do you do with one of these things? Kantha quilts are used–by us, anyway–for throws or coverlets, and pillow covers. A few months ago, we covered a wall in them. Who knows what we will come up with next? As for you, we completely trust your creativity in purposing or repurposing these quilts.


Here, in the US, the quilts are beginning to pop up here and there. And one of those here’s is here at Simple Things. We have sort of fallen in love with these things. We love the texture, the color, the size, the way they can add a strong and fresh dose of color to a room. We love them so much, we really stocked up. You know how we love a collection. And just one, or two, or fifty of something is sometimes not enough to suffice. And so, of course, we brought home 340. Did you get that – 340?? Do you have any idea what that looks like? Well, it’s a lot. We are guessing that we have the biggest selection of kantha quilts in the country and maybe even further–there is no research data to confirm this, but we defy you to find a larger stash.

Here are approximately 20 kantha quilts that our lovely assistant is holding. The stack is in the neighborhood of 36″. So mathematically (and with math help from a recent high school graduate), our stack of kanthas would be 51 feet high! That’s like a building – a 4-ish story building. That wouldn’t fit in our clerestory. Somebody call the Guinness book.


What relevance does the size of this gargantuan pile mean for you? Glad you asked – This means we have the exact color you are looking for, because honestly, we have every color in the rainbow. Every single one. Really.

And here’s the really cool thing about OUR kantha quilts. We pre-washed every single one. That’s right. We laundered all 340. So when you come pick yours out, it will be clean and soft and perfect.

And one more note. We have been displaying them for the last week or so, and they are trickling out of here. When you swing by to pick yours up, ask to see them…although, you might find them with very little assistance, since you literally run into them as soon as you walk in the door, neatly contained in the biggest armoire you have ever seen.


*This photograph contains a part of our inventory. A part. Seriously, we have a lot.

New Arrivals – RUGS! (soft, worn, perfect)

Here at Simple Things there are a lot of things we love –  ironstone platters, well-kerned lettering on an old label, washed linens, a quirky collection. But there is one thing that goes beyond love, in fact, we are teetering on obsession here –  it’s antique rugs. I know, we have a problem, but I know there are others like us – rug lovers. Maybe you’re one.


A lot of people walk through the showroom and never look down. If they did, they might see a couple of our Dash and Albert rugs – crisp and clean and beautiful in their own right. But more often than not they would see an antique rug. These rugs are works of art – art that started out colorful and new, but after years of time and wear and sunlight they become perfect – faded, soft. Left with little or no pile, these rugs are lay beautifully on a floor – flat and worn. They add instant history to a space. They all have a story to tell.



Anyway, a couple of times a year a very exciting thing happens that makes us rug geeks squeal with delight. It’s the day our antique rugs arrive – the antique rugs that were meticulously chosen from thousands of rugs to come live at our store until they find their new home. That day has come.


The rugs are unwrapped and pulled out one by one, carefully catalogued, tagged and placed out in the showroom. This is so much fun! Each rug has the ability to breathe new life into our vignettes – they pull together an area and ground the pieces of furniture so that they don’t just float alone on the floor. The rugs add warmth on a cold day like today. Some are colorful and add a pop to a dead corner, and some are neutral and quietly bring the furniture together. Their age and wear add a contrast to our new upholstered pieces giving the arrangement a sense of history.




How is this relevant to you, you might ask. Well, a rug can serve this purpose in a home, too. They ground a room, pull everything together and give you a warm soft surface to set your feet on. They add a worn soft texture. You can get the same feeling we do when the rugs are set out. It’s hard to explain, but when we put our rugs out it feels like there had been something missing and we just couldn’t put our finger on it. It’s a relief. It’s a genuine ah-ha moment. We all love those.


And one more thing –  If you want to see more rug pics, check out the antique rug board on our pinterest page.

Oh, and if you see something you like come by and see us, or call for more information.

Great Finds : A Repurposed Industrial Field Trip

We’re frequently asked where we find some of the one-of-a-kind pieces we have in the showroom. The truth is, it’s a difficult question to answer. Things are gathered up from many sources, sources that have been unearthed and collected over the last 16 years. So it’s hard to give a simple answer.

But we thought we might try–through the blog–to give curious souls a little insight into these sources on occasion. This post will be the first in a series that will reveal itself in bits and pieces over time as we uncover some of these treasures.


This particular trip, a recent one made to replenish our stock, was to one of our favorite vendors. We love these guys. I say guys, but it’s really a husband and wife team that work together like a well oiled machine. These are true craftsmen – metal craftsmen to be exact. If you’ve ever been to our store, you’ve probably walked right past some of their work. They spend a part of their year traveling through the country finding metal salvage that they can transform, through some creative processes and some kick a$# metal crafting skills, into some of the coolest furniture we’ve ever seen.  Here are a few pictures we snapped during our visit.


Bits and pieces waiting to be worked into a project, sometimes waiting for years for just the right spot.


They even go to the trouble of keeping a stash of nuts and bolts rusting in a bowl.


These are a few bases waiting for the table tops that are crafted in all shapes and sizes. They wrap these steel table tops with a metal band to finish them off. One of the coolest parts of this place is the field adjacent to the workshop where sheets of metal are laying, aging, rusting until they reach the perfect state of corrosion.



Now here are a few finished pieces sitting in our showroom. Did I already say that we love these guys? Next time you’re in, be sure to ask us to show off our newest acquisitions.




Square Deal

We have several of these fantastic poofs in stock right stock now. These pieces are made out of real vintage Kilim rugs and would be a great accent in any space. Currently $499 each.




Vintage Wheels

This fantastic, vintage child sized toy car caught our attention. If a touch of whimsy is what you are looking for, this piece is available for $299.

Here’s a little bit of auto inspiration for you, from our Pinterest account

Can We Deal You In?

Today we thought we’d share with you these beautiful and fun bridge card sets. Colder winter weather is perfect for having friends over for an evening of fun and games! We have 20 card decks in various unique and rare designs with vintage metal cardholders; only $19 per set.

Why not go all out and have a fun “Ladies Who Lunch” party with your friends? Fancy hats and tiny sandwiches are most definitely called for. Can’t you imagine yourself just like these lovely ladies in Nina Leen’s wonderful photos?

Be Industrious

We are always coming across interesting accessories, and here is one of the latest- a vintage Range Master Fence Controller. In it’s former life this piece kept the cattle from roaming, but with just the right amount of wear and that perfect industrial green hue, it could make a creative addition to your decor. $99.

Here are some examples of how an industrial accessory such as this can create a lot of interest in a room. Give us a call if you decide you’d like to bring a little industry chic to your space!

Just click on a photo above to view the source.

style me pretty

Check out these gorgeous photos from the Style Me Pretty blog that feature Simple Things merchandise! Photographs were taken by Sara Donaldson and design was done by Shannon Shultz Events, both incredibly talented friends of Simple Things.

This canopy chair came from Simple Things.

The vintage drums are a Simple Things find.

Table, chairs, and piano are all Simple Things!

This precious gold chair is one of ours too!

lovely cream and blue books…

for your empty shelves

Take a gander at these vintage bank books, every side of them is filled with lovely details! They would look great filling some large shelves or stacked on a coffee table.

$159 each