I sometimes feel as though I live in miniature rooms.  At 1,600 square feet and what seems like 16,000 square feet of Legos and trucks, there are times when I do feel like the walls are closing in on me.

But I’m actually not talking about “small” rooms today.  I’m talking about dollhouse-size rooms — decorated to absolute perfection, if you can imagine that.

I was in Chicago a month ago for a friend’s wedding, and I arrived early enough in the day that I was able to steal a few hours away at one of my most favorite spots in the world.  The Art Institute of Chicago.  I used to go there as a little girl – it would be an annual trip to wander the halls of the gorgeous building and absorb the French Impressionists (which were my favorite) and the Thorne Rooms.  The Thorne Rooms are a series of 68 miniature rooms that were commissioned in 1930’s by Mrs. James Ward Thorne.  She had master craftsmen reference historical documents, homes, and antique furnishings to recreate these miniature rooms to represent European and early American design.

I used to love looking at the rooms because I would imagine myself in them – sitting in tiny chairs, living that exquisite, miniature life.  But this time around, I was more interested in the actual design elements.  I was thrilled to see so many “trends” that are popular today depicted in these period rooms.

Kristen at Thorne Rooms

Here’s my big head next to one of the rooms.  Can you tell I’m totally excited?

Thorne Rooms

I stuck my finger in this photo so you can get an idea of scale.  And so you can see that amazing mini Lucite chair!

My cellphone photos of the rooms do not do justice to their amazing beauty.  I searched around the internet and have compiled some better photos for you to enjoy the decor (photos from The Art Institute and Chicago Post Card Museum).

As you can see, dollhouses are not just for little girls!


We ended our summer with a weeks-long vacation on Florida’s Gulf coast.  It was a well deserved rest for my husband, and a wonderful time for our family to reconnect and spend quality time together.

That being said… I was in FLORIDA!!! And hello — there are treasures to be found there!  And I’m not talking about shark’s teeth and seashells!

I managed to sneak out during nap time one afternoon.  I hit a few local thrift stores and left practically sobbing that I didn’t have a way to bring home a truckload of awesome finds.

Florida thrift store brass etageres

Take a look at the above photo.  Not one, but THREE awesome brass etageres!  The one on the far end was this really cool folding-screen-esque etagere.

Florida thrift shop faux bamboo set

And this faux bamboo bedroom set (ignore the random shelf on top of the dresser).  Do I even need to say anything about this?!

You should have seen the amount of caned barrel back chairs.  And the gorgeous rattan.  I could go on… But it would depress me to think of all the goodies I left behind.

I did manage to bring back a few smaller pieces.

Florida thrift finds

This elephant family also came back with me – but sadly, he broke his ear along the way.

porcelain elephant family

My husband started to tease me that I was “working” on vacation – but really – work?!  Thrifting is my fun!

Check out the Pursuing Vintage Shop for the newest additions!  And be sure to follow along on Instagram!