Category Archives: Vintage Style

tiny modern retreat in north georgia


Jennifer Sams is a hunter by trade—an antiques hunter. It makes perfect sense that the owner of City Issue, one of Atlanta’s best sources of pristine midcentury furnishings, should wind down with her partner in a modern weekend cabin outfitted with Danish sconces, tulip chairs, and abstract paintings. Andrea and I spent a couple of days last October photographing, styling, and interviewing at the 500-square-foot cabin in the blue hills of Ellijay, Ga., and the article is finally out in Atlanta magazine’s HOME fall issue. Here’s a peek at the photography, including a couple of outtakes.






lustrons featured in fallout 4 game


I’m no gamer, yet this morning I found myself watching the trailers for Fallout 4 on a loop and snapping screen shots. Why the sudden interest in virtual combat, you ask? I noticed on TV commercials that the latest creation by Bethesda Game Studios, launching Nov. 11, prominently features Lustrons and Lustron-inspired homes in its landscape. Since players’ mission is to shape the fate of a world destroyed by nuclear war, it snaps into place that the designers were inspired by prefabricated homes like mine, manufactured just after World War II.

fallout1fallout3The boxy, steel homes and their midcentury advertisements ooze optimism, normalcy, and domestic peace. So it makes sense that Lustrons are powerful symbols in an animated wasteland. You can watch the Fallout 4 trailers here and catch up on posts about my own Lustron here.

how to make vintage sunglasses safe for your eyes

Read my tips for protecting your peepers in vintage style. It’s what Jayne and Joan would want!

That cabinet lined with old sunglasses at the thrift shop is like a candy counter for vintage fashion lovers like me. But I wouldn’t risk wearing those $10 Jackie O frames right away — they may not offer UV protection. Eye care is serious, and I’ve learned first-hand that updating vintage frames with radiation-blocking lenses can be a serious hassle and expense. Read on for my guide to safely and affordably updating your sunnies before pool party season.

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modern ‘hood: lavista park, atlanta

gray ranch with chartreuse door

LaVista Park may have bumped Northcrest as my favorite atomic neighborhood in Atlanta. Why? Location, location, location! While Northcrest has more Brady Bunch-style ranches per block, it’s up in the sleepy suburb of Doraville. LaVista Park, sandwiched between busy Briarcliff and Cheshire Bridge Roads, is a short drive or bike ride to some of the best restaurants, shops, and parks in central Atlanta. Here are 8 midcentury and contemporary abodes that caught my eye on an afternoon drive. All photos were taken by me while standing on public property.




click to see 5 more modern homes!

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shop spy: hotel de ville in los angeles

Hotel de Ville on Best Vintage Shops map by Finely Crafted
Illustration by Cindy Tomczyk

It’s amazing how many looks can be achieved with two lenses and a frame. Like our clothing, shoes, and hairstyles, eyewear evolves radically with the times. The Los Angeles optical company Hotel de Ville is dedicated to preserving vintage glasses and designing new silhouettes that salute memorable moments in fashion.

Hotel de Ville
Photo via Hotel de Ville.

Whereas a chain optical store may turn away vintage glasses or ask you to waive its responsibility for any damage, Hotel de Ville specializes in old specs. Its services include mending broken frames, making Rx lenses, adding tint and mirror coatings, and even creating one-of-a-kind glasses for the fashion and entertainment industries. It also has its own brand of vintage-inspired frames, like these:

Hollywood Boulevard and Newmar, two original frame designs by Hotel de Ville.

I’m inspired by the way HdV employees use their blog and Instagram feed not just for self-promotion, but as a visual record of remarkable eyewear. They post mainly historical images of musicians, actors, models, and even comic characters who, even if I don’t recognize them, tell me something about their era and story through their shades. This may be just a clever sales strategy, but to me it feels personal, as if true fans are swooning along with me over Twiggy’s avant garde glasses.

Photos via Hotel de Ville's Instagram feed.
Photos via Hotel de Ville’s Instagram feed and blog.

I was in LA last week for work, so I popped into the Beverly Boulevard boutique to snap a few photos and get my Tura cat-eye glasses adjusted. They’ve been sliding down my nose all summer–the blazing Atlanta heat must have warped the aluminum!

Salesperson Sylvia made a quick frame adjustment at no charge. While she coaxed my shades back into a head-hugging pose, I admired the small but glamorous showroom that evokes both an antique apothecary and a starlet’s dressing table. Follow me after the jump for photos of the interior and inventory.

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