Throwback Thursday

Greetings Readers,

Last week I talked about Organic modern, a contemporary but simplistic style that is still seen today. Today I will be discussing modern style in general and using examples posted on our Facebook page.

There are multiple interpretations of modern style, for instance organic modern, neo-modern, environmental modern, late modern, modern historicism, etc. Each style attempts to fuse one cohesive theme like nature is to organic modern. Many of the modern styles however have continued their popularity unlike other styles that fade throughout time. It is popular opinion that modern is a world wide sensation and continues to be favored due to the lack of cultural representation in the style. For example there is no correlation to one culture with modern design, unlike other styles that have unique motifs and design elements that are attached to their culture.

organic modern

organic modern tree

Here are two examples (found on our Facebook page!) that are a blend of multiple modern concepts! As you can see, the modern style is very much prevalent today although interpreted many different ways!

Hope you enjoyed todays Throwback!


How To: Wash Dry Clean Only Clothes

Greetings Readers,

Everyone leads busy lives. Sometimes we barely have a second to breathe, so who has time to take their clothes to the dry cleaners? Well even though its a necessity for certain items of clothing, here is a short cut for when you’re in a pinch.

1. Check the material content, if its wool, silk or cotton you may gently wash the garment by hand. If the item you want to wash is a loose material, suede or leather take it to a dry cleaner.

2. Take a basin or bucket and fill it with cold water and mix gentle detergent until you get some bubbles forming. (Never use hot water, its too harsh on the fabric)

3. Saturate the garment in the bucket, dip it completely in and pull it completely out. Repeat. Rub areas that are stained with your hands, do not use anything else.

4. Dump the soapy water out and refill the bucket with cold water, submerge the garment to rinse the soap off.

5. Lay a clean towel down and lay the garment on top, roll the garment and the towel together. Do this until the garment is no longer dripping wet. Lay the garment flat to dry.

And voila! An inexpensive way to clean dry cleaning. You can also use a washing machine for larger items, just use the gentle cycle and cold water with gentle detergent. Lay out the garment to dry. Stay tuned for this weeks Throwback!


Throwback Thursday

Greetings Readers,

Welcome back to another Throwback Thursday! Last week we talked about Art Deco, a style of harsh edges, industrial appeal and outlandish decor. In contrast to the glamorous and ornate style of Art Deco, the Organic Modern style is sleek, asymmetrical and simplistic. A unified design esthetic that’s ultimate goal is to bring unity between man and his nature surroundings. Organic Modern is a world wide sensation, mostly popular between the 1930’s and 1970’s. Organic Modern architects and designers look for new innovations and motivated by technology, not necessarily craft. This style is more creative, expressive, experimental and original.

The perfect example of Organic Modern is Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Fallingwater. Built for Edgar J. Kaufman in the 1930’s, in Bear Run, Pennsylvania, the house’s original purpose was a small vacation home for the Kaufman family. The reason Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Fallingwater is quintessentially organic because the home is integrated in nature. Wrights design is literally engrained in the natural surroundings, for instance, parts of the boulder that the house rests on is providing a solid foundation as well as flooring in parts of the home, and instead of cutting down trees or ruining the surroundings, Wright moved around the natural elements to incorporate nature into the design even more. Wright uses natural stone, russet painted steel, ochre concrete to soften the look of the house and to stray away from making the home look industrial. Fallingwater is a world renowned home also because of Wrights’ concepts, the cantilevered construction and enclosure and expansion. The home itself is solely supported on one plane, and expands horizontally from the foundation, there is no other form of support for the house creating the cantilevered effect. The balconies of Fallingwater are completely free standing. Inside the home, the halls are narrow, and rooms have duo level ceilings, pushing you out toward the free standing balconies and outside to nature. This is known as enclosure and expansion, Wright wanted to make you feel enclosed in the home, pushing you outside to the cantilevered terraces.

photo 1

falling water

Interiors for Organic Modern were mostly done by the architects, all of Fallingwaters’ interiors and furnishings were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There is a special relationship between the interior and the exterior in Organic architecture. In Fallingwater, Wright wanted whoever to be inside not know the difference between the exterior and the interior. Furnishings were modest, simplistic designs. The only color of the interiors came from, woven textiles either used as decorative pillows or wall decor, or paintings, pottery and other decorations. Earth tones were in abundance as well as few muted reds, oranges, and other warm tones. In Fallingwater windows were found in every room, but draperies were only found in one room. Wright did not like to use window treatments because it would block the outside view, many organic modern homes do not use window treatments for the very same reason, it would break the relationship between man and his surroundings.

I recently visited Fallingwater for myself and was absolutely blown away by the home. I could talk about it for hours, but to truly get the effect and to truly understand the genius of Frank Lloyd Wrights design, see the house for yourself!

I hope you all have enjoyed todays throwback!


How To: Pack Furniture

Greetings Readers,

As you all have read in previous blogs, I have been searching for things for my new apartment. I have found a significant amount of furniture and decorative pieces, but I now have to pack it all from my one place to my new place. Since I have been packing quite a bit, and have learned to do’s and don’ts I decided to share with all my lovely readers. If you can afford it hire a professional, depending on how many things you’re packing. I’m packing a few larger items and some decorative pieces which I can do without help. If you’d rather do it yourself, keep reading.

What you’ll need for packing is bubble wrap or newspaper, boxes and packaging tape.

For small/medium size decorative pieces: Wrap the piece in newspaper or bubble wrap until it is completely covered. Place the larger items on the bottom of the box, and fill the box until there is no longer any room. Also I like to put in books, with a layer of bubble wrap on top, on the bottom of some of these boxes, just so some of the breakable pieces have something sturdy to lay on. Fold the sides of the box in and tape.

For dishes: Wrap plates first, place them on the bottom, I typically also put in a piece of bubble wrap between each plate. Or if you have a tray of cutlery, wrap that with just a thin layer of newspaper or bubble wrap and place that at the bottom. Then plates, bowls, and cups. Don’t over fill the boxes for dishes, for instance I used two-three boxes for dishes and cutlery.

For large decorative pieces wrap them in bubble wrap, not newspaper. Tape the bubble wrap so no loose end come undone.

For furniture, depending on how you’re moving the pieces I always place tarp on the floor of the back of my Durango, and then I put the furniture pieces in.

What are your packing tips? Let me know in the comments below!


Throwback Thursday

Greetings Readers,

Glitz. Glamor. Large parties. These words can only resonate with one time period, the 1920’s. More popularly known as the Roaring Twenties due to the escalating economy, enhancements made on technology improving peoples lives, large parties and increasing social scenes the 1920’s was also a period of innovation and artistic reform. Inspired by the eccentric and modern style Art Nouveau and embracing the heavy new industrialization of cities emerged a new sensational, international style that would be known as Art Deco. Art Deco began in France, appearing shortly after the first World War and increasingly became more popular until its popularity dwindled after the second World War. Art Deco reflected integrated and correlative design using extravagant materials and design features that favored esthetic more than comfort.

Architecturally, the most iconic contribution from the Art Deco style is the skyscraper. Although there had been precedents, the newer skyscrapers gave their architects challenging tasks by trying to meet their clients needs and staying within the parameters of code requirements. Particularly the 1916 New York zoning law, which required all building of a certain elevation to be set back to allow light and air to the streets. Conclusively, their designs resulted in sleek, sculpturally, sophisticated buildings which altered future skyscrapers across the nation. One of the most exemplary skyscrapers is the Chrysler building in New York City. Constructed by William Van Alen for the Chrysler corporation it was briefly the tallest building in the world. Compromised of stainless steel tower and white trimmed gray brick, the Chrysler building was automobile inspired, particularly in the ornamentation, such as hood ornament inspired gargoyles and chevrons emphasizing motion of the escalating stainless steel tower.

Chrysler- google
image from google

Interiors at this were embracing traditional designs with the new esthetics of Art Deco. Interior design as a profession became more popular and numerous commissions were being made. Designers were in heavy demand due to the large requests and more refined tastes. Art Deco interiors were luxurious and modern designs, colors more saturated and brighter, including elements from traditional styles such as French Rococo, but incorporating newer design elements that reflect the industrial and culture innovations.

art deco
Image from google

Mystic Valley Traders very own Radiance Steel collection embodies aspects of the Art Deco time period. The radiant gray pattern gleams like stainless steel, and the naturalist design encompasses the natural motifs that were seen during this time.

radiance steel

I hope you all have enjoyed todays throwback!


How To: Properly Set a Table

Greetings Readers!

I hope you all had a very enjoyable 4th of July weekend. I, personally, was surrounded by dozens of family and friends! Although it was lovely to see everyone, when it came to dinner everything became chaotic. People are running into one another in the kitchen, someone cut their finger while chopping something, my father almost burned dinner on the grill, and when it came to setting the table, as we say in our family “forgettaboutit” (one word). However, after the chaos was over my nuclear family has a rule that we must set the table every night before we eat dinner. I have always grown up knowing how to set a table informally, however I was curious to know how to set formal table. I will be depicting a basic dinner plate setting, which will come in handy for any small gatherings or dinner parties. At the bottom, I have posted a diagram with more table setting options. Let’s get started!

1. First, start with a clean table (clean as in clean surface, no crumbs, spills etc.) and drape a table cloth of your choosing, (white is the best and most formal, however it is personal preference) it is best to also press the table cloth with an iron before hand for a smoother and cleaner look.
2. Next smooth over the table cloth with your hands making sure there are no bumps, folds, or any other imperfections.
3. Then make sure the table cloth is even on all sides of the table, you do not want one side of the table cloth to be hanging further down than the other. When you are finished with the table cloth, be sure to count seats, organize seating placements, determine where the plate setting will be for each personal and make sure it will be evenly spaced.
4. Then start with the dinner plate (or charger, if you prefer, and then place the dinner plate on top) in front of the seat, place the plate in the middle.
5. Next, take a cloth napkin and fold until it becomes a small square, then fold it in half (either longways to make a small rectangle or you can reorient the small square on the table to look like a diamond, fold in half to make a sideways triangle, again this is personal preference) and then place the napkin on the left side next to the plate.
6. On top of the napkin place the dinner fork and the salad fork onto the napkin, the dinner fork (the larger of the two) will lay in between the salad fork and the dinner plate, or the right side of the napkin and the salad fork on the left, the outermost side.
7. Next place a dinner knife on the right side of the plate, blade turned toward the plate and right next to the knife place a spoon.
8. Then take a wine glass and a water glass, place the wine glass directly about the knife and the water glass directly above the spoon.
9. Then take a smaller salad plate, place it directly above the forks and if desired place a butter (smaller) knife horizontally on the top portion of the plate.
10. Repeat!

It may seem like a lot to do, but it’s actually quite simple! With each occasion, the table setting may vary, but now you have basic knowledge of a general, more formal table setting, rather than just throwing plates on the table with a knife, fork, and spoon somewhere nearby (like this weekend was for my family and I).

Hope to hear from you soon, stay tuned for my throwback this week!


Table Setting
Image from Buzzfeed

Throwback Thursday

Greetings Readers!

Today in this Throwback I’ll be transitioning, instead of discussing one particular design style I will be discussing one building. Balmoral Castle is one of the many castles the Royal Family vacations since 1852, when the property was purchased by Prince Albert. Located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the purchase, construction and design of Balmoral was not only bought for vacation purposes but was also a political move.

balmoral, twochums
Image from twochums

In the United Kingdom, Scotland and Britain were currently at odds end due to the lifelong hostility between the two nations. However the aggression between the two nations amplified after the Jacobite Rising in 1745, which lead to the creation of the Act of Proscription in 1746. Within these acts, King Charles II of England banned all plaid in Scotland, ruining years of family tradition and heritage. Later on, the Act of Proscription were revoked, but the bitterness still remained. When Prince Albert and Queen Victoria began the construction of Balmoral, while Albert focused on the exterior, with architect William Smith, Queen Victoria focused on the interiors of the castle. Queen Victoria focused on German Biedermeier simplicity but almost every textile was designed to be a plaid. Queen Victoria saw the beauty and the historical importance of plaid to Scottish heritage and designed the interior to be a way bringing peace to the nations.

Prince-Albert-Study-Balmoral, cultureconcept
Image from cultureconcept

Mystic’s own Fulham Road Collection incorporates a tasteful plaid that resembles traditional Scottish heritage. The rich and vibrant colors of the tartan fabric incorporate the quintessential part of an ancient society made for modern day living.

fulham road

I hope you enjoyed todays Throwback, and have a wonderful 4th of July!


How To: Make Your Own Coasters

Greetings Readers and Happy July!

As you recently read I am redecorating my apartment on a low budget. Well, recently I have been looking for great accessories, one of them being coasters. However, I don’t have a great amount of money to spend (on my college students budget) on something thats only purpose is to hold my drink. However recently I have found a bunch of blogs that have shown me how to make my own coasters and add personal touches to my apartment, without going over my budget!

If you are interested in funky geometric patterns, check out this blog with geometric felt coasters. Found on the Purl Bee, this how to will show you how to make bright and fun felt coasters inspired by the De Stijl movement. This how to involves sewing and involves materials that can be found anywhere! For more information check out the link below.

felt coasters

However if you’re not into sewing and want something more personal, in this How To Allison Hendrix shows you how to create coasters using your own photos! Its extremely simple and involves materials that you may already have. For more information check out the link below.

photo coasters

Next, if you want maybe a more upscale, modern look, here is a how to for you! In this blog, it demonstrates how to create wooden coasters with designs from metallic stencils. The blog includes step by step directions and gives you different stencils. This how to is even more simple than the previous blog, you can finish this project in 30 seconds, its my personal favorite!

Stencil coasters

There are several other blogs I could continue writing about all with great ideas and designs! What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

I hope you all have enjoyed todays How To, stay tuned for my throwback this week!