Welcome to Home Made Lovely, a special home tour series.
Hello folks! My name is Kelly McCants, otherwise known as Modern June, the Oilcloth Addict. I’m the owner of Modern June, the Oilcloth Addict. My team and I make handmade housewares with specialty fabrics such as oilcloth, laminated cotton and chalk cloth. I’m a pattern maker, designer and author of two sewing books too.
In honor of my second book, At Home with Modern June
, I’m going to take you all on a little tour of my 87 year old home that my husband and I moved into almost 16 years ago. When we bought the house it had been a boarding house for almost 2 decades–calling it a fixer-upper, i.e. hot mess, wouldn’t do it justice.
What I like best about my older home and my retro style is the act of preservation, taking something sad and turning it into something bright and delightful. My style is just a mix of everything I love–old and new colliding. Deco bedroom furniture dukes it out with the 50’s. 1960’s Danish Modern mixes it up with current pieces. If I were on Design Star I’d call it Retro Eclectic. Fancy, right? Nah, it’s just home!
In, 2011 Hurricane Irene dropped a massive tree on the back of our house. The fallen tree stretched from our backyard, over the roof to the front of the house. The fallen tree was so big, that as it lay on our roof, you couldn’t see our home from the back alley. Do you know what happens when a tree like that is removed? You get lots and lots
of home repairs done. Home repairs require new paint, and new paint means make over!
So for the next year I went from room to room, sewing up this and that, all the while writing patterns for each project. Thus my latest book, At Home with Modern June, was born. Come along with me while I show off some of my sewing projects that now update and my little retro home. In the photo above, you see part of my milk glass collection that sits upon 3 very cool shelves from CB2. The shelves were a present to myself when the contractors were almost done. The reno took seven months, so as you can see, I needed/deserved a treat!
In my new book, I walk you through how to make simple cafe curtains to fit your windows. But why stop there? I was inspired to apply a collection of vintage pot holders to my curtains, when I saw a display of these crocheted beauties in an antiques dealer’s booth. A few were hanging on a rack for sale, and I loved the way the light flickered thought them. Hunting for more was half the fun!
My kitchen is filled with presents, handy-downs and found objects. The bread box is the same bread box my grandmother-in-law fed my husband from when he was a tyke. When it came to us, it needed a little bit of love, so I gave it a coat of red paint to make it my own. The Gripstand bowl was given to me by my betrothed many years ago–it came filled with fresh strawberries for Valentines Day. That was the first time I’d ever had strawberries out of season. And my little ceramic apple is a new acquisition.
I am totally in love with old feed sack prints, and large pieces of the vintage fabric can be pretty pricey. But thanks to Etsy and eBay, you can find collections of feed sack fabric in small cuts. These bits of fabric were great to use with my pot holder pattern.
I have a secret, I’m addicted to kitchen linens. Old or new, handmade or purchased, I don’t discriminate. I have about 50 cloth napkins and tea towels that are in constant rotation. I pretend it’s a “Green” thing but I just like them. A lot!
For years I’ve been collecting vintage trays. One day when my hubby was safely at work I went to work hanging them on the large dining room wall. Since we have a picture rail we (the royal we) have a no nail policy! Whatever!
Our dining room table was a real score, my MIL found it at a local shop. She was really surprised that I talked the guy down to 1/2 price–she hadn’t seen how scarred the table top really was or how wobbly the silly thing is. But, it had good lines and it was cheap.
When it came time to take photos of my chalk cloth placemats I finally had a reason to paint the old tired brown table a fresh bright white. What a difference a few coats of paint makes. I also treated myself to the mod blue chairs from Target.com.
I love fresh flowers, just simple bouquets from the local grocery or florist are fine for me. My vast collection of milk glass bud vases are great for daisies. And, the mid-century pitcher that we got as a wedding gift is perfect for heavy sunflowers.
I believe in using what you have when you get a creative urge. Sure, I could go to the hardware store and by the right kind of wood and a can of chalk paint, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I used a big piece of particle board from our shed, a staple gun, and a whole lot of chalk cloth, which I sell at modernjune.com (shameless plug). You can see the how to make your own chalk cloth board at my blog.
The photo above is from my oldest childs last birthday. Sweet 16! As part of her special day, I made strings and strings of the felt dot’s that frame the chalk board to hang in her bedroom.
Here’s a recent project: I found some tiny succulents that I knew would fit into my MIL’s vintage egg cups, where I topped them off with a little bit of sphagnum moss for a more polished appearance.
The vintage tray my new plantings sit on is new to me. I bought it off of Instagram from a great dealer. Isn’t it funny to shop on IG? But hey, I scored a great deal and I love it.
My living room is adorned with fun fabrics, some of which I designed myself through Spoonflower.
In At Home with Modern June
I show you how to make custom drapes and pillow covers. As I write about my furnishings I realize that my Mother-In-Law, Jackie has really helped shape my home. In the 60’s she was the only one of her friends that was into Danish Modern. She was a New Yorker living in a small town in southeast Virginia. You know she must have ruffled some feathers. The cabinet was from that home–I’m thankful that she stored so many pieces and has handed them down to us.
Nothing makes me happier than a good staple project. For the three tables above, I’ve used laminated cotton from Riley Blake to cover the tops of these vintage nesting tables. It’s amazing what a 1/2 yard of wipe-able fabric and a staple gun can do. My 13 year old son uses these daily, so it’s nice to be able to clean them up easily. Really nice!
The antique light fixture in the corner was a Christmas gift from Jackie. She gave it to us when Don and I were first married, my new father-in-law completely rewired it. As you can see, my living room furnishings are not fancy or high end. Between our cat and the two teenagers, we decided to stay on the cheap end. Here, a 1950’s chair from a preschool auction, and two Klippan loveseats from IKEA fill the bill for now. But trust me, when these kids are gone, I’m off to Crate and Barrel for some serious shopping!
Laying on the chair is one of my top ten possessions, a 1970’s crazy quilt that my Grandma (Grr) won at a church bazaar. She sent it to me for Christmas my first year away from home. It’s the inspiration for the quilt I made for the book (see below). We call this the family quilt, if you sick you get to cuddle up in the quilt. If your sad, you get the quilt. It has definite healing powers!!
This laminated cotton pouf is a free tutorial on my Oilcloth Addict blog. This one is made with random scrapes left over from making pretty things for Modern June. I love using up every last bit of fabric. It’s a lesson my Grr taught me when she told me about living though the Depression.
And how silly are the twinkle lights in the fire place? The chimney is a total mess so we can’t use it, so I’ve made due. Someday we’ll treat ourselves to getting the old girl working again.
A mix of new and old prints and signs are in heavy rotation on this wall. Several are Asian etchings from the 1960’s, and the great bird print is from local artist Susannah Raine-Haddad
I’m a homeschooling mamma, so you know we have lots of books. I recently culled a ton of books and we still have all of this–and these are just the school books! While I was at it, I had fun and color-coded them too. I keep my magazines in the old egg basket at the bottom of the steps. When the basket is full, it’s time to donate.The bottom row of white magazine bins are great for hiding away school supplies. I couldn’t live without them!
My art deco vanity is the first piece of furniture I ever purchased. I bought it right after college in my home town of Kansas City, Missouri, just before I moved to Virginia. Sadly, the original mirror was broken and replaced (twice). Beyond the mirror are more projects from the book. The crazy quilt, pillows and a roman shade pattern are all within my new book.
Here is my very cute son wrapped up in my new crazy quilt. I used scrapes that I had been saving for the last seven years to build this new quilt. Almost all the fabrics were used for making Modern June aprons, so it’s a real memory quilt for me.
My bedside table is filled with little bit and pieces that I’ve collected over the years. This cathedral quilt runner is one of my prized thrift finds. I just love all the bits of vintage fabrics. The cagy handbag was the first thing I bought at Bygones, the best vintage clothing store in Carytown. It cost me $45.00. I was so poor at the time that I had to put it on layaway.
I have started a small collection of bird bowls from Tasha Mckelvey. The are perfect for holding necklaces and hair band and pins that I take off at bedtime. In the studio I have another one (OK, two) that hold dress making pins.
Milk Glass + Fresh Flowers = Love
Here is one of my most favorite patterns from At Home with Modern June
! This laminated cotton shower curtain is amazing! It really brightens up the space and has worn very well, I use a plain white shower liner underneath to keep the laminated curtain looking fresh (and clean). I like that this outer layer doesn’t get dirty–it requires very little upkeep.
Also in my new book, I walk you through how to line baskets with laminated cotton. I use lined baskets in every room in the house–they are terrific! If your make up or art supplies make a mess, all you have to do is wipe it clean. Easy-peasy is the name of my game.
We live on this oilcloth cover settee in the Spring and Fall. The pattern for this project is in my first book, Sewing with Oilcloth. Our front porch is the perfect place for a small party and homework.
Here, a little oilcloth coaster makes the sweetest mini placemat for this coconut covered cupcake!
I hope you enjoyed a peak into our home. I wish you and yours a happy spring!
Photo Credits: Meghan McSweeney and Kelly McCants