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Get the Look Decor: Classically Cultivated

Jul 22, 2012

by Christine Domanic handmade and vintage goods

This weekend’s Get the Look Decor is inspired by the stylish Bakersfield, California, home of Rachel Unger. She lives with her two sweet cats, Tanner and Sam, and one very friendly hummingbird named Tinkerbell, who is hatching her third batch of babies in the light on her front porch.

Visit Rachel on Flickr to browse more photos of her beautiful home, and stop by her Etsy shop, Rachel Unger Jewelry, where she sells gorgeous handmade gemstone jewelry.



[Clockwise from top left: Sewing Machine Table by RhapsodyAttic; Mid-Century Modern Oil Painting Seascape by MissionModster; Black Mexican Hand Wrought Iron Candelabra by BackThennishVintage; Reclaimed Wood Round Mirror by Carpentercraig; Vintage Divided Wood Tray from bonnbonn; Set of 3 Amber Bottles with Sea Life by beautifuldetailswed.]

Describe your home decorating style.
My decorating is hard to pinpoint — it traverses many styles and eras. I love items with unique or classic lines, items with history, items relating to nature, and items that have been lovingly restored or have found new life in an alternate purpose. I am definitely drawn to color first, then form, then function,  but I really only have one criteria — I have to love it! It is amazing how all the little things that make their way into my home end up looking so good together, but I guess maybe that is how it works. When things are too planned out and contrived, they usually feel and look that way, but when a space is filled with well-loved items, it can take your breathe away.


[Clockwise from top left: Driftwood Mirror by benforgeydotcom; Vintage Mid-Century Lounge Chair from rhanvintage; Tea Stained French Vanity by paintedcottages; Brass and Glass Deco Style Lamp by compostthis; Designer Suzani Pillow Cover by WilmaLong; Cherubs Pedestal Urn Planter by MomsantiquesNthings.]

Did you decide to decorate in this style or was there an evolution to your decorating process?
Both, I think. For so long, I was a starving college student, then a starving graduate trying to live on the coast where the costs are sky high. When I moved and finally had some breathing room (a.k.a. cash), I was drawn to the aesthetic that comes from mixing vintage with new, modern with classic, and antique with contemporary. I wanted my home to reflect my attraction to unique, well-made items. I started collecting items for my home eight years ago. I took my time, making investments in important pieces (like the couches and dining table). I am not afraid of investing time and material to rehab a piece, either — each of my orange dining chairs took 6 hours to recover, clean, sand, prime, paint and lacquer. Along the way, I’ve definitely had to edit out some impulse buys. It’s an ongoing process and I find my style is constantly evolving. I don’t think I will ever be done.


[From left to right: Set of 5 Mason Jar Planters with Drainage by BootsNGus; Farm House Dining Table by RusticTrades; Vintage Brass Candelabra from KansasKardsStudio.]

What inspires you when it comes to decorating?
I read a quote somewhere from a famous interior designer that I always fall back upon; it says something like,“Things should be beautiful, they should be unique, and they should mean something to you.”


[From left to right: Handmade Candle Holder by ChaseVintage; 1950s Barred Owl Audubon Print from Vintage05; Two Cement Finials by unpotpourri.]

Where are your favorite places to shop for home items?
Etsy (of course), flea markets, consignment shops, thrift stores, garage sales and eBay. I also love West Elm for bedding and pillows.


[Clockwise from top left: Art Deco 1930s Silver Leaf Chest from freshvintagemiami; Wood Sunburst Mirror by FallenWalnut; Milk Glass Candle Holders from TheVintageDaughter; 18″ Wooden Letter R by gracegraffiti; Gold Gilt Chandelier with Crystals from RobertaGrove; Teak Wood Screen Room Divider by fabulousmess.]

What is your favorite part about your home?
I love how comfortable it is and how well it reflects my style. I love all the little touches of good craftsmanship that you find in older homes: the floor to ceiling brick fireplace with an elevated hearth, built-in bookshelves, wainscoting, and the large bedrooms and huge backyard.


[Clockwise from top left: Live Edge Coffee Table by tablesontheedge; Recycled Billboard Banner Planter by NottyPooch; Primitive Wood Bucket by perfectpatina; Vintage Brass Magazine Rack from NeatoVintage; Silver Plated Vase from TheVintageRoad2Retro; Primitive Antique Wall Mirror from TheOrangeCollective.]

Does your home hold any strong memories?
I’ve been here two-and-a-half years and it’s amazing how far it’s come. When I bought the house, two of the main living areas were literally painted like a cave. That was pretty unforgettable! It took me and my mom six hours to remove the hideous wallpaper in the hall bath. On a positive note, I have an open door policy on my pool for friends and family. I love coming home and finding my friends having a blast in my pool with their kids.

Especially dear to me are treasured “date” nights with my 5-year old nephew. Every Friday, I pick him up from school, we go have sushi (he loves sushi!), and we come back to the house and paint dinosaurs, make dioramas, do science experiments, or build robot animals from coffee cans and empty toilet paper rolls. I hope he will remember my home as a place he was free to experiment, build, create and grow.


Looking for more styles and interiors? Check out our video series, There’s No Place Like Here, where creative types show us their unique spaces — infused with their aesthetic and filled with the treasures they collect. Get involved and show us your amazing space in our Flickr pool.

More Get the Look: Home Decor Editions.

Housewares CategoryVintage Housewares


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