Vintage Accessorizing

Thursday, May 26, 2011

AKA: Decorating Second-hand Style
What can we say… We aim to encourage, support and facilitate the growth of a new perspective.  We stand behind William McDonough’s philosophy and book Cradle to Cradle.  We are interested changing the way you view your home environment, not only with regard to consumerism, but also relating to the stigma associated with value, price, lifestyle and status.   

Our clients were already collectors with an appreciation for the antique side of things.  Their assortment of canning jars, crockery, apple boxes, soda pop and beer bottles was right up our alley.  Teaching them what to look for and how to see things with new eyes was a treat for all involved.  Together we were able to round out their decorating and accessorizing with a raft of inexpensive and interesting delights that we purchased from second-hand stores.

We were inspired by the natural environment and our client’s penchant for bird watching.  They had looked up and could identify many of the local birds.  When I first spotted the Audubon portfolio I thought it read “Autobon” (correctly spelled “autobahn”).  Without really thinking I thought I was going to find pictures of European cars? 

To my delight I was wrong, Audubon does birds.  And to my client’s delight many of his bird were local to Sandy Lake.  We immediately started collecting frames, some were to be painted, and some were old enough to be perfect without paint. 

If you have inherited framed photos of relatives’ relatives they are probably sitting in boxes along with even more photos and memorabilia.  It is not a crime to take that photo out of the frame and put in something new! 

Our client had created photo collages of their children when they were younger.  The frames were outdated and mats had yellowed.  The result of aging in this case was not exactly vintage.  At $5/cutout having new mats made would have cost a fortune.  We painted the mats with a mini roller and the same paint we used on the walls, to create the illusion of the photos floating on the wall.  We then gave the frame an antiqued finish. 

Looking beyond the colour of these owls we appreciated their shape, they were perfect with the wallpaper in the kids room so we painted them to match.  We thought the butterflies were charming in an old lady kinda way, something you might see on nana’s wall.  They were nature and they were orange.  Because they coordinated the with the client’s custom bedspread, made for a previously owned home, they made the cut.  We painted the wood around the butterflies along with a couple of sconces to coordinate with the finishes in the room. 

Our client began their decorating with the antiques they collect and cherish, displaying them throughout their home.

They also purchased a new piece of furniture to set their TV on.  Luckily they were open to moving things around. 

We relocated their TV stand and tweaked their display, teaching them about proportion, scale and the concept of a creating a vignette.

Instead of a new piece of furniture for their TV, we showed them what they could do with their old china cabinet base and little creativity.

We discussed with them how to display their treasures, while incorporating a functionality that fit seamlessly into their décor. 

By creating a theme and mixing old, new and in between, we were able to balance a mismatched consistency, of whimsy and functionality. 

Sarah Ban Breathnach writes about the pleasures of home in her book Simple Abundance, today’s entry is entitled “Let Passion Be Your Decorator”. 

Ohhh…I just love her description of the significance of home!

“Probably because I am a writer, I think discovering your authentic decorating style is very similar to the creative stages of writing a book.  A book may look inanimate, but like a home, it lives, breathes, and expresses your being.”

I am inspired by the value and rational her witting places on decorating, she goes on to say:

“However, when you’re creating a visual memoir through your surroundings, it’s a never-ending story.  You don’t have to stop.  What’s more, you really can’t.  You’ll always be revealing a new aspect of your personality as you discover it.  You’ll constantly be editing, weeding out what you outgrow, making both subtle and significant decorating changes as the chapters of your life allow for, or demand, rewrites.”

May we all take a moment to ponder our home and our decorating.  And may we all strive to grow… into redecorating : )