The popularity of repurposed vintage items remains deep rooted in decorative purpose.
Vintage furniture, accessories, clothing, textiles, spaces within our homes and even this second time around blog post can live many lives at the creative mercy and keen decorative sense of second chance individuals.
I’ve given a second, third and fourth chance to many repurposed vintage items.
A piece that was merely good in its former life has the potential to be fabulous in its repurposed one.
The beauty of the repurposed balustrade lamp is found in the distressed patina that adds the charm factor, neutral lamp shades that complement and complete the look, and the finished product that shines a light on elegant simplicity.
The balustrade lamp in the image below is from the Dave the Builder collection.
We found the balustrade at an antiques market, scooped it up, wired it up and the rest is illuminated history.
A storage deficient kitchen proposes a problem, but a bit of creativity can quickly and uniquely solve the problem.
One of my best treasure hunts resulted in two very happy clients and a fun project.
Dave the Builder and I found ourselves “flea-ing” one afternoon.
My eyes zeroed in on the corner of the storage building where a matching pair of antique twelve light wrought iron chandeliers from Walnut Grove Plantation called to me.
These beauties were rusty (loved it), massive (yeah, baby), and ridiculously impressive to me.
I could not tag and pay for the iron beauties fast enough!
I caved to convention, code and a quick cash sale and rewired, repainted, and retailed one.
The other I repurposed as a vintage chandelier pot rack.
How gorgeous is this antique bureau repurposed as a kitchen island?
Each time he goes to the shop I remind him to keep an eye out for my latest obsession – architectural antiques. Who am I kidding? I’ve long been obsessed with architectural antiques. Corbels, pediments, light fixtures, porcelain signs, concrete statues, iron oddities, table legs, doors- yes please! Our tastes get lost in “this is what she wants” translation, and like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump’s mama told him about, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Cinematic side note: Harold Herthum, the lovely gentleman who played the doctor in Forrest Gump, was a dear friend of my father. He was a true character on and off the screen.
More times than not Dave comes home empty handed, but last week he came home bearing gifts.
When Dave walked in with this lovely our conversation went something like this:
We’ve been known to buy a curiosity piece without an inkling of what it is. This is where the fun begins. We channel our inner MacGyver and usually end up with a piece we love. The trick is to come up with a piece we love and hopefully a client will love.
One afternoon Dave came home with what was once the bottom of a Mahogany Canterbury, sat it in front of me and announced “this is going to be your new footstool.” He built up the top piece with foam and upholstered it, flat polished the Mahogany and casters, and left it at home almost an entire month before taking it to the shop. Our finds tend to find a new home pretty quick upon completion. It’s the nature of the business.
Back to the bed post.
What are we going to do with the new find? We’re considering cutting the post in half to make a pair of lamps.
I love the balustrade column lamp Dave made a couple of years ago, and I’ve been wanting to replace the lamps in our bedroom. A floor lamp with a marble base? Decorative trim molding on the end sections of a kitchen island? See how the creative process takes on a life of its own.
Do you have a love for diamond in the rough pieces?
This chippy, funky and fabulous antique door was repurposed as part of our fence.
We bought this door from an antiques dealer friend in Denham Springs, Louisiana. She had this lone door unit in her shop, the last of a set of five purchased by the pickers for Bass Pro Shops. It came with a large arched window above the doors that I removed and sold as a separate piece.
Dave the Builder figured out years ago to expect the unexpected from me and my nonconformist decorating ideas.
Repurposed items present endless possibilities in the pursuit of making decorative statements.
Dave scored big brownie points when he made this lamp for me out of the baluster I found kicking around a vintage shop.
Antique key plates, vintage seltzer bottles and one lone rustic roof ventilator shed new light on the art of repurposing.
A purposeful repurpose~
Habitat for Humanity is on a mission and open for business. A non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates homes for low-income people. In an effort to raise revenue and endure these trying economic times, Habitat for Humanity has and continues to open ReStore resale outlets. ReStore resale outlets accept donations of doors, lighting, flooring, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, furniture and used materials. Items are then sold at bargain prices. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund construction of Habitat homes at the local level. ReStores work well to encourage the three r’s- reuse, repurpose, and recycle.
Did you hear that?
It’s the collective cheers of DIY fans and decorating bargain hunters the design world over. More importantly, it’s the many voices of thanks for supporting a wonderful cause.
The nineteenth century lives on through character, color and design in the converted presbytery home of Muriel Dana. Featured in Campagne Decoration, the decor of this Normandy coast home reflects the fascination of a time gone by.
A self proclaimed decorator and bargain hunter, Muriel’s passion for furniture and objects of the nineteenth century swathe her home in a magnificent interpretation of romance, lace, and femininity. Shades of pink frame the space flattering brown accents, and the French settee done ooh la la lovely in complementing aubergine.
Repairs were made to cracking walls, doors, and windows, allowing detail to authenticity in the ground floor reception rooms. The greens of both the Louis XVI cane chair with gold accents and velvet curtains draw the eye to the finish of the golden brown mud walls beneath the wainscot. Two-tone walls, such as in this case, enrich the color palette.
The undeniable hallmarks of French decor- gray(or is it grey), blue, white- Très bien! The patina of the original mud walls allows an antique finish to be created summed up by two words, perfect imperfection.
Should I begin with the distressed beauty of the copper pot lined cupboard, the silverware cabinet door hardware and napkin holder, the embroidered sheets doing cuisine duty, or the gourmet feeling that French design and decor defines?It’s all so wonderfully French and so wonderfully good!
The upstairs master bedroom became the room Muriel had always dreamed of. Isn’t that exactly what a master bedroom should be? Baroque influenced accents from whitewashed walls, golden cherubs, and lace panels exemplify the new meaning of the three r’s ~ romantic, refined, restful.
Like mother, like daughter~ a dream room is the wish Muriel granted her daughter Sophie. Decor choices of framed vintage prints, pink as far as the eye can see, a bed crown befitting a sleeping princess, and toile de Jouy are perfect for child’s play.
Taking a meal in the intimate dining room overlooking the gardens would certainly be a dining and visual treat. The deep patina of the gray(grey) wall showcases the rosewood decorative wall clock as a focal point. The chicken wire doors of the china cupboard, the highly decorative appliques and crown, and toile lined shelves epitomize European charm.
Home design and decor should express and reflect the essence of its owners. The homeowner’s passion for the furniture and accessories, reminiscent of the nineteenth century, is uniquely displayed throughout the home. Character and charm are two elements of great design, and are the calling card of this stunning home.
Conformity is unavoidable in some circumstances, but individuality reigns supreme in most of them. I like to use elements of surprise, or at the very least, ones that invariably make someone ask, “How did you come up with that idea?”
I distinctly remember my first I could’ve had a V8 moment in regards to this practice. It was 1986, and we had closed on the first of many of our dream homes. Flipping afforded us the opportunity to have many dream homes. The reason we had many was simple- as soon as we would complete one Dave the builder would sell it and we’d start all over again. Our first dream home is still occupied by the same couple we sold it to. They love it even more today, and have never changed one thing about the interior or exterior of the house. Either I’m very good at making timeless decor and design selections or they are incredibly lazy. I tell myself it is the first one.
The den fireplace was in the center of a brick wall that was the focal point of the room. The original fireplace mantel in the house found a better home by the curb, and the choices for its replacement were less than impressive. Today’s choices in the arena of home furnishings are infinitely better, and I for one am eternally grateful for the strides that have been made. Anywho, back to the late 80’s.
Dave the builder went to a neighboring town to look at a property. He came home that evening the proud owner of another depressed property in need of flipping, but even better than that he brought home a stroke of genius in terms of interior eye candy. In his rounds that afternoon he stopped by an antique shop and purchased a salvage piece. Well, it might not be truly defined as a salvage piece, but what it was defined as was our new fireplace mantel. In its previous life the piece had served as the pediment of an antique Mahogany armoire.
Surprisingly, the pediment was in pristine condition as a stand-alone item. We turned that baby upside down and the “ledge” was deep enough to allow my favorite lamp and Staffordshire dogs adequate display room. The centrally located broken arch looked great upright, but inverted it went to the next level of wow! Our “eyedea” and ideal mantel graced four fireplaces out of six of our homes. When we sold our second to last home the new homeowner begged me to leave the mantel. For a split second I considered doing so, but couldn’t find it in my heart to part with it.
I like incorporating a pediment into home decor. The one in the picture below is one I purchased for a client. Her plan was to use it as a bed crown in her daughter’s bedroom, but we went in another direction. I grew fond of it and the finish by default while handling it five hundred times during her creative process.
When she said no I said so and brought it straight home. I went antique on antique and placed it above the vintage balustrade lamp in my kitchen.
The one below is really nothing special, definitely a salvage piece off a piece of funky furniture. It has a bad spot on it we filled in. The gold spray paint put up a fight not wanting to adhere or cover. It won, I settled, and it found a home over the picture hanging in my bathroom.
I ran across a really neat idea in my treasure hunting two years ago. Don’t throw those old dining chairs away- recycle the top rails and use them as smaller scale pediments. I purchased two sets and placed them above medium sized frames as a finishing complement.