by Jen, Painted Fish Studio
I am obsessed with vintage/retro chairs. Thankfully, I’ve managed to keep my obsession under control by choosing to focus on photographing them, rather than buying them. (Otherwise I’d be the crazy lady with piles of chairs artfully stacked in her back yard!) When I have a weekend that’s full of boring chores and errands, my little creative treat is to hop in the car with a camera (preferably an instant camera of some sort), and drive down University Avenue to see what some of the stores in the St. Paul Retro Loop have out for me that day. And I’m usually not disappointed, even in the dead of winter!
My trips aren’t always of the drive-by variety. I will occasionally step inside, and marvel at the mid-century goodness. One day I bought the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book, circa 1968, at Succotash, thinking that it’d be a great source of collage material. But I just cannot bring myself to cut up this treasure-trove of fifties and sixties interior decoration: the palette (including tarnished old gold and brown!), the textures (wood paneling, faux brick walls, velvet davenports!), the apparent lack of interest in windows and natural light (depressing!). And there’s an ashtray on every table for Pete’s sake! I’m not cutting that baby up.
I digress… If you need a vintage pick-me-up, check out the St. Paul Retro Loop. There are 5 stores (Lula, Succotash, Up Six, Classic Retro @ Pete’s and Swank) that are stocked with tons of inspiring goodies!