our collected living room

jungalow style

After nearly 3 years of tweaking, rearranging, shuffling chairs, plants and window treatments, I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with where we’ve landed in our living room.  While the kitchen is usually the center of the home figuratively, this living room is literally the center of ours.  It is a large room with multiple doorways, windows and traffic paths so getting the floor plan just right was really important.  Originally this room was two small rooms that a previous owner opened up.  I’m glad they did.

collected vintage living room-514

grainsack vintage chair living room-491

woodstove vintage living room-500

Form, function and scale were also very important for us.  Our house is small and although the rooms are relatively large, there are few of them so each space has to work just right for our needs.  The corner by our sliding door always stumped me and I knew it could do better for us.

antique victorain secretary white chesterfield living room-536

After months of searching, I found a fantastic antique Victorian secretary desk on Craig’s List.  Last winter we brought this stately piece home to finally give purpose to that corner.  It was immediately evident that this was what the room needed. It pulls triple duty for us as china cabinet storage, bar and work space.  The secretary opens to reveal the perfect little desk that Ryan works at almost daily.

bohemian style living room kilim rugs-511

Another game changer was finally pulling the trigger and purchasing just the right sofa which made its debut back around the holidays.  The white tufted chesterfield puts a smile on my face everyday and it brightens up the middle of the room.  I tend to wonder why I waited so long on this purchase.  Probably because it is the only thing, aside from the gifted yellow rug, that is brand new. Nearly everything else in this space was “found, free or flea” which epitomizes my vintage style.

farmhouse white chesterfield living room-495

eclectic living room-501

Near the entrance, we were in desperate need of a freestanding closet to function for coat storage.  Again, after months of sourcing, I came across just the right scale antique piece.  Persistence pays off!  We drove about 3 hours to pick this one up and it was well worth the trip.  I painted the closet in MMS milk paint Farmhouse White.  The old finish resisted the paint just right revealing the perfect chippy texture.  Form and function wins again!

farmhouse white @mmsmp antique cabinet-521

Those rugs are possibly my favorite find of all time.  That’s a bold statement to make in this room because it’s loaded with favorite finds.  They are authentic vintage kilim rugs that I picked up for a song. I will never let them go.

bohemian home vintage kilim rug ammo trunk bench seat living room-505

Along with the pair of vintage mohair chairs that I’ve sung the praises of here plenty of times before.  I doubt I’ll ever tire of those either.

vintage mohair chair ladder blanket rack living room-527

This room has looked like this for nearly 6 months and I have no immediate plans to change it aside from the occasional accessory or vignette. Famous last words but I think we’ve finally found a happy eclectic mix of vintage/collected/bohemian/farmhouse/jungalow/beachy style. Did I miss anything in that style classification?

collected boho living room-489

bohemian home vintage collected living room

Updating this room certainly didn’t happen overnight.  First there was the wallpaper which came down immediately and up went creamy off-white paint.  Cornerstone by Behr.  I’m still happy with this choice years later.  Then there was the wood stove installation and slate surround.  Next was the flooring which Ryan installed every square foot of.  Finally, the furniture finds and accessories which make the house a home.

bohemian home vintage collected living room

I’ll leave you with some before and after pictures for good measure.  Updates have come in phases but it’s always fun to look back at where we started when we bought this house, frilly curtains included.

living room before

vintage collected bohemian farmhouse living room-514

living room before

vintage kilim rug window seat-505

Thanks for visiting!

garden antiques in the living room

 

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shopping brimfield

It’s that time of year again!  Brimfield is my very own Disney World.  It is truly the best place on earth!  Entering Brimfield-0600

For one week in May, July and September, antiques dealers from all over the world gather in Brimfield, Massachusetts for one of the largest shows in the country. The show consists of over a dozen fields of individual flea markets lined along Route 20. It is hard to believe until you experience it for yourself.  If you are going for your first time this week, here are a few of my tips for having a great experience…

tips for shopping Brimfield

  1. Bring cash.  This may seem obvious but it is worth the reminder!  Cash is king.  There are a few dealers that accept credit cards but it is not the mainstream at Brimfield.  Having cash also helps to stick to a budget in my opinion.Brimfield Barn
  2. Make a shopping list.  At any given time, I have a mental list of key items that I am on the hunt for.  It is good to put that list in writing, along with dimensions.  Set a limit on what you’re willing to spend on each piece.  Brimfield can be overwhelming with options.  You can easily lose track of what you’re there for in the first place and what you’d normally pay.  I refer to it as Brimfield Brain.  Don’t get too swept up!Brimfield Antique Market
  3. Dress the part.  This includes layers and closed toe shoes.  You can easily shop for 8 hours straight and not even realize it.  At least I can!  Make sure you are comfortable and well prepared.  Maybe you need an umbrella or scarf.  Don’t forget sunscreen, perhaps a hat and water.  Depending on the weather, the fields can be dusty or muddy.  Now is not the time to be a fashion plate.  Brimfield Antique Market
  4. Bring a truck.  If you don’t have one, rent one.  Even if you’re not planning on getting anything big.  You never know what treasure you will find and if it doesn’t fit in your sedan, you may never get over it.  Rent a U-haul van but don’t wait until you arrive to do so.  It’s nearly impossible to find an available one in Brimfield.  Bring it with you.  It’s worth it.  Also, be sure to arrive by 9 am to get a parking spot. Brimfield Parking-0580
  5. Buy now.  If you take too long to think about it, the next buyer will come along and scoop it up.  Don’t wait. You already know this.  Brimfield antique market
  6. Rarely pay asking price.  Dealers expect to give you a lower price at Brimfield.  There’s been several times where I didn’t feel the need to haggle and the dealer stills lowers the price about 10% without me even asking.  For example, something says $22, they’re pretty much expecting you to offer $20.  Haggling is part of the culture here.  Definitely “bundle” meaning offer less when buying in volume. vintage faucet fixtures
  7. Bring a cart, dolly and tools. Plus reusable shopping bags for smalls.  You’ll also want to have a tape measure handy.  A wrench can’t hurt as you may find you’ll have more room if you remove table legs.  We find it is much easier to walk around with our carts and load them up as we go.  Bungee cords always help.  When we have a full cart, we make our way back to load our truck and then we pick up where we left off.   Don’t fret if you don’t have these things because you can always find a “Porter for Hire”.  Brimfield Porter for Hire
  8. Take a snack break.  As mentioned, Brimfield is like Disney World complete with root beer floats, a beer garden and funnel cake.  Treat yo’ self!  You’ve earned it.Brimfield Antique Market
  9. Find a favorite field.  Many flea markets and the best dealers in the country are confined to just a few miles.  I’ve found that each field tends to have its own vibe.  Some are heavy on the industrial pieces.  Others have tons of shabby pieces.  Some are filled with mid-century and clean lines.  There are a few fields that I gravitate towards.  I try to visit each and every field but then return to the ones that I find fit my personal aesthetic.  I am more likely to buy at those.Brimfield Antique Market
  10. Find inspiration.  In just a few square miles, there is so much to see and do.  There are TV crews.  There are buyers for huge international companies.  There are small businesses taking off.  It is a true inspiration.  You can see some of the best merchandising right there in a dusty field.  This is where trends are born.  With a keen eye, you can spot what is going to be big next season by monitoring what is selling and not selling.  For example, a few years ago glass buoys were selling like crazy.  Everyone was carrying one around.  The following year, that trend was mass-produced by the big box stores and could be found everywhere.  Last spring, I noticed that the buoys were barely selling.  The same thing happened a few years ago with galvanized olive buckets.  Certainly some consumers still appreciate the “real thing” but the reproduction changed the demand.  This flea market subculture has a huge impact on mainstream America.  Possibly more so than some retailers even realize.  Don’t skip any fields because you never know what upcoming trend you’ll spot.  And forget what the old timers say, antiques are not dying!Brimfield Antique Market
  11. Make friends!  This is a great opportunity to get to know people in the industry.  Exchange contact info with your favorite dealers.  Meet up with bloggers, magazine editors, designers, etc.  You simply never know who you’ll meet.  Once we met a couple with the same wedding anniversary as us, just 50 years apart!  Someone else gave us their dinner reservation at one of the sought after restaurants nearby.  Brimfield Antique Market
  12. That reminds me, Make reservations.  Restaurants fill up fast when the fields close at 5 pm.  Call ahead of time.  And if you’re planning to stay over, book your hotel a few months out.  Don’t be afraid to drive 30 minutes or so from your hotel to the event.  Brimfield Antique Market 2013 (17 of 27)

That concludes my tips for shopping Brimfield.  We won’t be making it this week so I’ll be living vicariously through instagram!  What tips do you have for a successful Brimfield experience?

tips for shopping Brimfield

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new vintage

Quite the oxymoron, isn’t it?  “New vintage”.

But that’s exactly what it is.  Today, I have a few new finds to share.  Perhaps you caught a few of them on facebook or instagram.  If not, feast your eyes on what’s caught my eye recently…

Street signs aren’t typically my thing unless of course they are very old with an interesting story, real or imagined.  This ‘no parking’ sign is enamel and seems to have been 2 separate signs at one time.  It came from the rural hills of PA.

vintage enamel no parking sign

Ah, nautical lamps.  I can’t resist scooping these up when I run into them being that we’re in a beach town and all.  Lantern lamps lend the perfect bit of kitsch in a kid’s beach house bedroom, in my opinion.  The shades on these have all been updated.
vintage nautical lamps-076

Something about this chicken weather vane just grabbed me.  Was it the brass?  Or the copper?  I don’t know but I certainly wasn’t alone in my strong feelings for this cutie.  It sold in less than a day after I put in the shop.vintage chicken weather vane

Same with this battered leather doctor’s bag.  Only hours after putting it out did it sell.  That beautiful cracked leather patina is just gorgeous.  I might be a little sad to have let it go.  Sigh.vintage leather doctor's bag

More kitsch in the form of these retro teacups.  They’re just so happy!

vintage tea cups

I love wiry baskets and vessels.  These letter baskets have just the right detail.  They almost make me want to organize and pay some bills.

vintage wire letter baskets

File this stencil under the “weird & wacky” category.  ‘Less Talk’.  It sounds so rude, right?  What could this phrase have possibly been used for so frequently that a stencil had to be made?  I can only imagine that it must have been a company slogan.  Any ideas?

vintage 'less talk' stencil

hello, chestnut hill

Clover Market spring season kicks off on Sunday in Chestnut Hill. We’ll be there!

Clover spring

I’m in the midst of packing, pricing and staging some never seen before vintage treasures.  And let me tell you, they’re fabulous!  You can expect a whole lot of whimsy this spring…nothing too serious.  Except for the Pope who is serious, indeed.  Must have.  And how about those milk glass tea party cups & saucers?

Circa Dee at Clover Market spring 15

Check in on facebook and instagram later this week to see what else we’re bringing to Clover Market in Chestnut Hill.

Speaking of Chestnut Hill…

Have you heard about Serendipity Shops of Chestnut Hill yet?  It is right around the corner and we have Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in stock!  Stay tuned for pictures and details as we get settled into our new space.  In the meantime, check it out for yourself on Sunday.

 

 

 

the game changer

Vintage fiends like myself always have a list of must-find items tucked away in the back of one’s mind.  Perhaps it is an industrial antique scale, a factory cart coffee table, a 1940’s 2-tier plant stand (not to be specific or anything).

For me, as of late, it was a brass bed.

vintage brass bed, ticking shams, French provincial furniture #brass

Not a cheap, shiny 1980’s brass bed but a high quality solid brass with a warm patina.  A queen size brass bed with serious antique style which would make it vintage, of course, because queen size beds weren’t available until the 1950’s or so.  And the price had to be right.  After only a few months searching, the perfect piece popped up on Craigslist.  The only problem was that it was over 2 hours away.  This was a great deal even factoring in gas and tolls.  Ryan made the trip picking up the head board, foot board and frame for my birthday.  Lucky girl.

vintage brass bed, ticking shams, French provincial furniture #brass

This bed was a game changer for sure.  It works very well with our existing French provincial family heirloom furniture.  That’s not going anywhere.  However, I decided to part with the coastal salvage vibe that we had going on previously.

I found a fantastic brass hued mirror that coordinated very well with the furniture and lamps.  I brought in Mildred, the necklace-wearing-bust, and other vintage jewelry vessels that I’ve collected.  The window seat got outfitted with more pillows because there are never enough.  And we finally did something with one of our wedding pictures turning it into a canvas for above the bed.  The shell lamps stayed as did the duvet with the addition of new ticking shams.

The biggest change of all is the flooring.  Previously this room was outfitted with pink carpet.  This winter our home has received many upgrades including new flooring throughout thanks to my patient husband who has redone almost every square foot.  I floated a flat weave, natural chevron rug over the weathered-look wood floor.

This bedroom now has a sophisticated yet collected vibe featuring vintage finds and family heirlooms.  Each one tells a story.  Of course, it is always entertaining to look at the progress of a space.  The ‘before’ picture is exactly how this room looked when we first saw the house.  It gives me the heebie jeebies.  The next one shows how it was last styled with a coastal salvage spin.  And of course the present look.  You can see that the symmetry remains the same.

What is on your must-find list?

 

windows of 2014

In just a few short hours we will be celebrating the arrival of 2015. It sounds completely surreal: 2015!  We certainly live in the future.  The age of hashtags, selfies and admittedly more social media acronyms than I can keep up with.  True confession, I thought #MCM stood for mid-century modern.  Who knew man crush Monday was a thing?

I am happy to celebrate the past everyday surrounded by pretty and practical vintage things.  I thought that it would be fun to close out 2014 with some of my favorite displays from our window at The West End Garage.

We took up residence in this space in March and started off with an Easter themed window.

easter spring window display

Spring came with a walk in the garden.

spring summer window display

Summer arrived along with our busy season and the omission of a few fun windows.  I have resolved to take more photos with an actual camera in 2015 to capture all of our displays!

patriotic window display

Fast forward to fall…my favorite season and perhaps my favorite window of the year.

fall window display

fall window display

We closed out the year with the magical Victorian dollhouse. A mini version of Christmas in Cape May when historical homes are decked out from eaves to gingerbread trim.

Christmas winter window display, victorian dollhouse

Fun fact:  The West End Garage is a very old building that was originally a Ford Model T dealer.  I believe this front space was the showroom hence the beautiful tin walls and ceilings that are still in tact.  Then it became an auto shop called, none other than, The West End Garage.  We’re so lucky to be part of such a unique space.  If you haven’t been in before, you have to put it on your list for 2015.

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ (26 of 28)

If you’re lucky enough to celebrate the New Year in Cape May, be sure to stop by.  Everything is on sale today and tomorrow.  Thanks for a great year and Happy 2015!

 

 

 

 

what a long, strange trip it’s been

Ok, it wasn’t long at all.  Ryan and I were gone for about 36 hours over the weekend.

vintage treasure haul

But it was strange.

where are her pants?

We decided to hit the back roads of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to quench our junking thirst.  We quite literally took the roads less traveled.  Passing rolling hills of farm land boasting the most perfectly dilapidated old barns.  Followed by the swampy marsh land dotted with the most perfectly dilapidated old boats.

barn door and concrete planters

We scored all sorts of vintage treasures hitting junk shops, flea markets and yard sales.

retro yellow porch chair

The junking trifecta if you will.

vintage aqua pots and pink trowels

vintage art

We even stayed at what seemed to be a trucker motel…

treasure hunting

I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about that experience yet.

vintage drexel nightstand

We had dinner in a swanky drape lined lair where men apparently wear fancy hats.

dinner

Ahh, yes, the things dreams are made of…

The wide open road, an empty truck and no real agenda.  I’m so glad we chose this strange career.

Perhaps it chose us.

august shop moments

Here we are in August.  Already.  How did that happen?

WEG summer-4131

Well, come on in.  Let’s see what’s in store…

WEG summer-4129

An ever evolving collection of old and new.  Heirlooms and handmade.

WEG summer-4132

 Can’t you just smell that dried lavender wreath?  Smells like late summer.

WEG summer-4134

WEG summer-4133

The boxwood green sideboard is perfect for a dining room or a family room media center.  Check out the iron hardware!

WEG summer-4128

I just love this turn of the century oak harvest table.  It is perfect!

And so are the fluffy Cape May pillows that we can’t seem to keep around for long.

WEG summer-4147

We have cheerful, live plants – succulents, topiaries, terrariums.

WEG summer-4146

She sells seashells by the seashore.

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Ribbit.  He’s a real crowd pleaser!

WEG summer-4138

We’re stocked with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint.  The next free milk paint demonstration at the West End Garage in Cape May will take place on Tuesday, August 12th at 3 pm.

WEG summer -4120

You’re in for a real bonus as our neighbor, Eastcote Lane, will also be demonstrating her paint line too.

Come visit us!

those brimfield treasures

Oh it’s Brimfield week again!  Possibly my favorite place on Earth.  No, we’re not going this time around.  We’re much too busy here in Cape May as peak season has set in.  The streets and beaches are swollen with visitors which I love and wouldn’t leave.  Not even for Brimfield’s swollen streets and fields!

Brimfield 14

Alas, I haven’t even shared some of our May Brimfield finds with you.  Without further adieu, a few snapshots…

I love this industrial vintage laundry cart.  Unfortunately it is just too big for any space we have and it has since found a new home.  Sigh.

vintage industrial laundry cart

We seemed to have spent a good deal of time shopping a field where several vendors specialized in cleaning out old factories so industrial finds were on our side for sure.  We picked up an old factory skid.  I love the heavy metal edges.  This is still in our possession and destined to become a coffee table just as soon as we find the right castors/wheels/feet.  Not quite sure what yet but something to amp up the height.

vintage industrial factory skid

Moving along to the salvage department.  We picked up the biggest baluster I’ve ever seen.  And by “we”, I surely mean Ryan picked it up.  This sucker is heavy.  Topped with 30 inch round glass and you’ve got yourself a grand table for a foyer or a petite kitchen bistro table.  The color is original.  This gem is for sale currently at The West End Garage.

baluster table

Just a bit of TLC was needed and this 3-tier plant stand is serving us very well as a display for our live plants for sale at The West End Garage.  But for the right price, of course, it can find a new home.  For now however, we’re enjoying its company.

vintage 3-tier plant stand

One find that is here to stay forever is this hound dog weather vane.  Yes, let me just clarify that it is a reproduction and we’re fully aware of that.  We love it just the same.  Last year we had an opportunity to buy an antique weather vane just like this in Adamstown but the price was just too high for us to justify for a purely aesthetic accessory to use outdoors nonetheless.  We never stopped talking about that weather vane and the should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.  It was like the “one that got away” for us so we were very happy to run into this guy at the right price in Brimfield.  There are few cases that I am ok with a repro but this is one of them.  This hound dog dons our potting shed and greets us every afternoon.

weathervane-4020

Have you found any remarkable new treasures lately?