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Shopping Seattle: Space Oddity

I was tickled when decor8 reader, Maria Palatini, asked if she could write about one of her favorite Seattle stores. I figured that it may be helpful to those of you who plan to visit Seattle (or who live in the Pacific NW already). I also figure that even if you never plan to visit Seattle, it’s still fun to see what’s going on in different parts of the world. Take it away, Maria!


Space Oddity, in Seattle’s uber-pretty Ballard neighborhood
By: Maria Palatini for decor8

Todd Werny’s funky little shop Space Oddity is located on a small side-street connected to the main artery of the style-savvy and sophisticated Ballard Avenue in Seattle?s sparkly, creative and hip Ballard neighborhood.

We’re talking destination-shopping here, rivaling LA’s Beverly Hills adjacent and surrounds. Except instead of Doughboys Bakery on W. 3rd Street in LA, you get Verite Coffee and Cupcake Royale on bordering Market Street.

I visited Space Oddity on a recent afternoon which was so typically Seattle, it was nearly cinema-worthy. Grey drizzly rain came down from the sky in a soft and dreary haze, and my companion and I (who was nice enough to lend me a very cute and bright printed umbrella for the afternoon to match her own) felt like we’d just stepped off of the Singles movie set, (or perhaps our shopping excursion could have been part of the movie!) as we traipsed around Ballard into this cool, cave-like spot.

Nestled in a relatively small space and warm and cozy with good music playing, there were vintage treasures galore to be found inside.

A ten year veteran of dealing in both vintage clothes and furniture in Seattle and its surrounds, Werny prides himself on the non-textbook approach of focusing on the soul and feel of each piece, rather than on its brand-name pedigree (although some pieces are pure certifiable brand-name vintage.) The main focus of the shop is mid-century, but other eras are represented as well. Affordability and accessibility, as well as an unpretentious hipness, make Space Oddity unique.


The vibe, comfort, and old-time quality of the materials of an item are the most important things to Werny when choosing pieces for his customers to discover and likewise treasure. This is no museum, these pieces are meant to be used and loved in his client’s homes. The atmosphere of the shop is likewise mellow, allowing for the joy of exploration and creative brainstorming about design choices.

Standouts on my recent visit were some truly fab oversized Pucci-flavored 60’s stereo speakers and an as-fab painting, which was part graphic design, part painting, and all style. It featured a 70’s-esque snowy landscape, complete with a sun and moon and some groovy trees, a sleepy, cozy scene in white, tan and browns.

Other pieces of note were some sweetly stackable woven Aalto dining chairs and some great, solid and hip urban metal tables which were on rollers for easy mobility and flexibility in a given space.

Werny has new pieces come in all the time, so each visit is apt to bring about a new discovery, and since the shop is about to double in size due to a sizeable expansion currently in the process of being made, expect even more eye-popping vintage treasures on your next visit!

TIP: Blink and you’ll miss it, so be sure to look for the large rectangular sign outside, which is lit all-around and all-year-round in large, xmas-sy like bright white lights.

Space Oddity Hours: Tues-Fri 2-6 pm, Sat 12-6 pm, and Sun 12-4 pm. They are closed on Mondays. Location: 5318 22nd Ave NW, Seattle. spaceodditymodern AT hotmail DOT com

Map and directions here

This is my first post for the decor8 blog, and I look forward to helping you up to heaping servings of Seattle’s amazing, multifaceted and let’s face it, just beautiful design scene in the future. Over and out until next time! – Maria Palatini.

Thanks, Maria! Great finds.

(images from todd w. at space oddity)

Posted in Shop Tours, travel on January 10, 2007

Welcome Sponsors

A few blog readers really hate blog ads. They still click ‘em and make purchases, but deep down inside, they wish they didn’t have to see them. I’ve read about 10 comments on this from the survey I’m currently running. I was one of haters too until I started blogging myself and realized how much of a win/win they are for both blogger and advertiser.


Advertisers: It’s a win for them because they’re gaining exposure for their small business. Have you ever contacted a magazine or the Daily Candy for ad prices? Into the thousands for a tiny ad, sometimes over $10,000- USD for a single placement. Sure, they reach a broader audience, and I love them all so no negative energy here, but most who advertise have the cash allocated to put themselves out there like that. I sure don’t, and I know that other small guys don’t have that kind of money to invest. Case in point: My friend launched a business recently and she barely has money to purchase supplies to create her wares. That’s very common sometimes and nothing to feel ashamed of, it’s tough to advertise when you are living on ramen noodles and just trying to make it until tomorrow.

Blogs charge so little for ad space in comparison to the major glossies. Advertisers want to be where the action is – the blog that people are turning to on a regular basis for their design fix. This is why you will continue to see more and more advertisers looking to the more popular blogs for ad space. It just makes sense for them and for the bloggers who are really churning out the posts and working hard on their sites and who are really putting themselves out there as a resource.

Bloggers: On the flipside, advertising assists bloggers like me to keep going, daily, without let up. It’s also a huge push to blog on days when I’m sick or have work or family business to take care of. Even when I was in Germany for two months, I was still here, front and center, blogging every day. Sure, my German family thought I was a bit mad, but I didn’t want to let down my readers, and I didn’t want to annoy my sponsors by slacking off.

I appreciate sponsors, and although some of you (like 10) dislike seeing the ads, I know that most of you really appreciate having their presence here on the blog because, like so many of you, they represent a small business trying to keep it real. They’re up against the big boxers and by positioning themselves on blogs, they’re attracting more customers and able to stay afloat. And that’s good.

With that, I’d like to welcome some new sponsors that I’ve been meaning to introduce you to. Some have been around for several weeks already, but here’s a list anyway.

Green Tea Design – So many gorgeous pieces to select from, I don’t know where to start. I have my eye on a few dressers that I’d love to paint teal with a lacquer finish. Mmmmm.

Nazmiyal Rugs – Based in NYC, these guys have the most gorgeous rugs ever.

Imooi – Modern, stylish accessories from handbags to amazing cufflinks.

Charming Sam – Lovely jewelry and lots of butterflies. I want it all, but have my eyes on this one and this one for Spring.

Truche – Handmade accessories, prints, and graphic design services.

With all that being said, what do you think about blog ads? Any suggestions or comments? I think it’s a worthwhile thread to start, if someone wants to throw out a few thoughts (and if it would help you in some way). I’ve had sponsors on the blog for nearly a year now, so if you have ad related questions, comment below and I’ll see if I can help answer them because I’d like to be a resource if I can. I’ve lost count of all the questions I’ve been asked concerning blog ads, so if you’ve emailed me and I’ve not replied yet, either stay tuned or comment in the space below for a quicker turn around.

(image from afo)

Posted in inspiration, small business on January 09, 2007

Wall Mural Question

Seems like Scrappy Girl, and now decor8, started a little stir by blogging about tree murals. In a good way, though! My inbox has been on fire with questions about taking on a mural project. Here’s a question from decor8 reader Megan that I’m hoping you can help her with:


“I am an Interior Design student at San Francisco State University. I love to do little crafty projects on the side. I was excited about your link and info on the tree mural project. I am trying to do one myself. The biggest challenge has been finding a good image of a simple tree (no leaves) to project and paint on the wall. I would love to figure out where the tree image came from on the image that I included here (shown above). It is from the November 2006 issue of Nylon magazine from the Billabong office. It is a bit small, but I am wondering if you or your readers could help me figure out whether or not they think the wall image is painted or if it is a decal.” – Megan

Megan – I’ve not seen this as a decal, so I’m thinking it’s a mural… If you can’t freehand it yourself, post an ad on craigslist or visit your local art school and check out their bulletin boards. You surely will find a free ads posted from students on commission work they offer, murals, etc.

Can anyone help Megan? Anyone know of any Billabong contacts?

(image from megan via nylon magazine)

Posted in reader questions on January 09, 2007

Tree Wall Murals

I’ve been watching Catherine over at the Scrappy Girl blog pull together some concepts for a tree mural she’d like to have on her bedroom wall, extending onto the ceiling. After giving it much thought, I think Catherine should select a blue that is about 2-3 shades darker than her current wall color and free hand a tree silhouette that way. It would take a lot of the ‘pain’ out of the execution, given that Catherine isn’t a fine art painter (neither are most of us for that matter) and I’m sure she’s nervous about applying brush to wall. I’d suggest using a template on an overhead projector and penciling it on the wall, then filling it with paint. Here’s a few visuals for you if you’re not following me here.

Of course, this template was designed with a baby in mind, but you could find one that is more grown up, minus the birds, of course. I love the idea, especially extending over the window. Looks a bit like the same corner Catherine is looking to place the mural. Cathy, what do you think?

What do you think?

(images from bhg.com)

Posted in blogs, diy, tips on January 08, 2007

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