falling for October

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the first frost is still looming.  We had a few unseasonably warm days this month that had me believing fall would never come.  That quite literally changed overnight though and the vibrant leaf colors have peaked.

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I’ve cut and enjoyed the last of the bold zinnias as doomsday is near and they’ll all be history once that frost does set in.  Any day now…

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Our potted plants have all been moved inside and continue to get shuffled around until we settle on just the right place for their winter habitat.  The Christmas cacti are showing buds and will be blooming before we know it…Thanksgiving actually.

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We’ve started pulling out our favorite wool blankets for cozying up by the fire.  We’ve only lit a few so far but soon the wood stove will be blazing.

vintage locker and woodstove fall-16-624

I’ve embraced my knack for using orange in my decor even outside of October.  I’ve never thought of myself as an orange person but as you can see, I apparently am.  It definitely adds some punch.  That’s for sure.

vintage mohair and wool pumpkin collection fall-16-677

You might also remember my pledge just a few posts ago that I wouldn’t be changing a thing about my living room.  Well, certainly that wouldn’t last.  And it didn’t.  We found this cool, handmade coffee table on a trip to New York in August.  The table top is reclaimed hardwood floor cut on a bias and married to an iron base that was once supported a soapstone utility sink.  Needless to say, it is sturdy. It could easily be a bench in another space or lifetime.

vintage collected fall living room-16-650

I also came across a great wicker trunk recently and decided to keep it for myself.  This is a vintage European piece that is ideal for hoarding my throw pillow stash.  I was previously at capacity on seasonal pillows but apparently I have room for a few more now so I recently picked up that handmade pumpkin pillow cover.  The wicker trunk is sturdy enough to double as an end table topped with a tray and more plants, of course.

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In addition, I’ve been stockpiling furniture projects for the the slower winter months.  It’s always hard to find fresh finds when it’s freezing out and let’s face it, I can’t merely shuffle pillows, plants and throw blankets around my house all season.  There are a number of recent projects completed that I’ve yet to share here.  You may have caught them on instagram or facebook.  If not, here’s a glimpse…

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There are a pair of these boxwood green nightstands with chippy insets…still available.  That lamp is made from a recycled corbel salvaged from a Victorian Cape May house that was in a fire years ago.  We made a pair which sold very quickly so we made another pair which are currently available.  Those are all of the Cape May corbels we have left though.

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Another pair of fantastic nightstands are available.  These gray “schloss” beauties are not so chippy.  I like the soft finish achieved with white wax.

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This coffee table is taking it back to summertime.  It is extremely chippy, on the other hand.  People who get the distressed chippy look, get it.  This table sold in a day.  Not for the faint of heart.

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Just a sweet little stool and a stencil.  There will be more news to share on this stencil and others very soon.  I can’t wait!

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That’s what I’ve managed to document here over the past few months.  What’s new as the seasons change in your world?

 

 

 

 

 

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twinning on a budget

Remember the beach cottage that we’ve slowly but surely been putting our mark on?

twin beach bedroom on a budget

Today I’m sharing the kids space.  It is a very simple white box that we filled in with a loose red & blue color scheme.  I have to admit that this isn’t one of those spaces that is going to knock your socks off with ingenuity or a great before and after.  However, it is totally functional and well received by its little guests.

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I can assure that there is not a new piece in sight aside from the bedding, some of it anyway.  Everything else was found, free or flea.  Very easy on the pockets.  The matching quilts are vintage and possibly my favorite find in the entire space.  I always pick favorites.  I found these at a Navajo estate last summer and just knew they were right for the space.

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Who remembers This End Up from the ’80s and ’90s?  These beds were bunked in my brothers’ childhood room and fortunately I come from a long line of hoarders so these solid wood beds are still going strong over 25 years later, ready for the next generation.  The simple twin beds have classic lines that remind me of summer camp.

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The dresser was another shabby vintage piece which I intended to paint but once we moved it into the space, the rusty-red color just worked with the quilts and the warm wood.  Easy peasy.

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The mirror brings a bit of beach cottage flavor to the space along with the adjacent oar wall.  We originally planned for a standing closet here, specifically vintage blue lockers.  As the space evolved and we saw how it was being utilized we found that we didn’t need to take up square footage with a closet.  No one is staying in there long-term so oar hooks do the trick for the wanderluster.

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Across the room, our little visitors can pull up a chair and page through a book or do a craft while they’re here.  Our bigger visitors can use the small table between the beds as a nightstand.  We’re versatile like that.

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The cedar storage chest at the end of the bed is not permanent in this space. In fact, it sold shortly after I took these pictures.  It was painted MMSMP farmhouse white and was just the right storage piece for toys or bedding at the foot of a twin bed.  I think we’ll need to duplicate this look in the future because it worked well here.

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We hung some simple thrifted, waffle texture curtains although I’m really on the fence with the length.  I don’t want floor length in this room because of the little ones but this particular length feels like a bad tea length dress.  It is just cutting the room’s height mid-calf.  You know what I mean?  I’ll let that evolve though, as I’m sure I’ll know the right textile when I see it, along with the art as I have a vision of more beachy/nautical pieces above the length of the beds.

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That’s it! Welcome to the kids room at the cottage.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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living room before

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Thanks for visiting!

garden antiques in the living room

 

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the winemaker’s table

One morning a few months ago I set out on my treasure hunting route feeling extraordinarily optimistic.   You know when you know there is a good treasure waiting for you and you just have to uncover it.  Yes, that feeling!

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The morning was off to a slow start though.  I hit several garage sales not turning up much more than then 1970’s ceramics.  But I knew the show stopping piece was out there.  The next stop was sort of barn sale at the end of a grassy lane.  I felt this one had promise until I got inside the dusty building and found nothing more than tools.  No cute wooden toolboxes but nails, wrenches and the like.  Not my thing.

I did another lap around the building feeling dissatisfied but not quite ready to leave.  It is like a game of hot/cold and I was getting warm.  I knew it had to be there.  That’s when I spotted a wine-press off to the side.  An antique, oak wine-press!  It was dusty, dirty and smelled acidic but I knew this was the treasure waiting for me and it certainly had potential.  It was screaming table to me.

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Then that thing happened when someone expresses interest in a one-of-a-kind piece.  Suddenly everyone is interested and a near bidding war ensues.  As a buyer, this is extremely irritating but as a seller it is wonderful.  Being the buyer in this scenario, I found the other shopper to be in poor form as he elbowed in on my negotiation insinuating that he was going to use the press as intended to make wine.  Of course, it was evident that I wasn’t and merely loved the rustic patina.  I’ve always been a form over function girl.  I quickly handed the seller my cash and rolled it down the lane before anyone could change their mind.

Winemaker's Table- antique oak winepress 243

After a thorough cleaning and the perfect 48 inch glass topper, we have ourselves a beautiful table.  A swanky, rustic table fit for sipping cocktails and noshing at while admiring the craftsmanship of the press.  I have to admit that this one was almost a keeper.  We really love how it fit in our little dining nook.  But I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, “We can’t keep them all.”

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This one of a kind beauty is up for sale at The West End Garage.

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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floral find

I’m completely smitten with this floral patterned ottoman.  It is equal parts fall and spring.  Well the flowers are probably more spring than fall but those orange hues seem to match the November foliage so well.

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It was love at first sight when I spotted this floral number a few weeks ago.  It seems to have an Anthropologie vibe, doesn’t it?  The vintage linen fabric is in fantastic shape.  I considered removing the skirt for a more modern look but didn’t want to jeopardize tearing the linen.  After a thorough shampooing, it is right at home paired with the solid hemp armchair.  A keeper for sure…at least for now.

vintage floral ottoman-5005

What treasures have you found lately?

a blanket rack

Fall brings out the nesting instinct in so many of us.  Definitely me.  I found myself pulling out all of my favorite cozy wool throw blankets.  Too many really.  Although they do all get snuggled up against throughout the season.  But still I have quite a stack of them.

vintage ladder blanket rack

The issue of too many wool throws combined with a corner begging for height and color brought about the idea of a repurposed ladder blanket rack.  The paint splattered aqua ladder is one of my favorite treasures.  I could have sold this ten times over but always knew it belonged with me and now, here as a blanket rack.  vintage ladder blanket rack

That corner is really shaping up to be my favorite, stacked high with vintage treasures.  The captain lamp on top of that desirable card catalog table framed by those blankets and ladders.  Yes, please!  I think that the introduction of aqua in the corner has saved the card catalog from the white paint job that I was contemplating.

vintage ladder blanket rack

Have you scored any new vintage treasures lately?

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.

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?