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5 Things I Discovered This Week

1. Secondhandrose.com: Second Hand Rose is this obscure, fantastic vintage wallpaper store here in Manhattan that one hears amazing things about, but never visits until, say, your wallpaper for a photoshoot gets stuck in Kentucky because of a snowstorm. This is what happened to me yesterday. They recently launched an e-commerce site that is so beautifully comprehensive (some of their rolls date back to the 1880s) and easy to use that I'm now trying to come up with a home project just so I can get this '50s faux-tuffed wallpaper.

2. Lucky Vintage in Seattle : I wandered into this very under-the-radar boutique (which is no relation to us here at the mag) last week on a hometown visit, and scooped up a very Phillip Lim-ish original Pendleton red and black plaid wool jacket; a '60s black and white striped trench by Saks; and some decadent cocktail dresses--all under $50. The bulk of their pieces are from the '50s and '60s and very few of them err on the polyester side of "vintage"--making it worth the special trip. Lucky Vintage, 4742 University Way Northeast, Seattle, 206-523-6621

3. It's worth taking any slightly frumpy, wider-hem pencil skirts to the tailor and have them taper the bottom half of them precisely to the curve of your lower thighs, to the hem . This is especially impactful with all the longer-length ones in the shops for spring that hit on or just below the knee, that either have a bit of stretch to the fabric and/or a back slit. I even took in an A-line skirt and had them create this ultra-pencil shape. The effect is a little like Jessica Rabbit making a guest appearance on Mad Men.

4. Vintage compacts make for delightful last-minute presents . I've decided they're going to be my 2011 thank you--and hostess--presents. Etsy and Ebay are obvious sources, but you can find so many unique ones there for under $20, like this one.

5. I can recover my sofa for less than $100 with fabrics.com and a staple gun . It's my DIY epiphany of the year after months of debating whether to get rid of my perfectly good but dingy-with-age bright red sofa or pay more in getting it reupholstered than I paid for the actual sofa. Depending on how complicated your actual sofa is (arms, cushions, etc.), it's shockingly easy and takes less than a day to do. I opted for this onyx cotton clip dot pattern and am looking for fluffy white pillows to top it off.

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