For those of us who spent time in the '70's, we can see evidence of the old saying 'everything old is new again' with many styles and colours that were popular in the '70's coming back again. Many times there are subtle differences - but it is interesting that the 'better quality' items in top '70's styles and colours have very often stood the test of time and can still be worn/used today if in first class condition. Those of us who seek out thrift stores and antique shops searching for hidden treasures know that quality lasts and should be valued.
Looking around the house, I realize I've been making a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle changes in the last few months. Initially the incentive was to tidy up and prepare for a lot of family company over Christmas. Then one day I was in Fabricland and spied some gorgeous paisley upholstery fabric - there were two different colours, and I was torn. One is in golds/reds/browns/organges and the other was in blues/golds. The fabric was 1/2 price, and I ended up getting 4 m. of each. Before Christmas I did several cushion covers/shams, and an antimacassar (I love that word!) for both the sofa and my chair in the living room - all using the gold/red fabric. My goal is to repeat the process and make another set using the blue/gold fabric. This will give me a easily changed but different look for both fall/winter and spring/summer.
Then - the next changes came in the kitchen. And these changes are much more noticeable! For my Christmas present, Ian painted the kitchen cupboards. Previously, they were painted a horrible battleship grey. My first preference would have been to strip the cupboards and stain. But Ian discovered that while the original part of the kitchen has plywood cupboards, the newer part has ones made out of MDF - so the stripping/staining idea had to go. Looking at the other colours we had, I cam up with green. I found a colour I liked on a book cover, and gave that to Grant and Ian to take to the paint store and match. It is not quite what I had envisioned - I think I was looking for a softer, more subtle look - but it has definitely grown on me. It really 'goes with' live plants and other greens I already had in the kitchen. The next problem was that in the space under the three drawers on the kitchen counter I had 4 white/clear plastic 'wheelie carts' with a variety of needed kitchen items. For the function they performed they rated well - for appearance, not so good. I kept searching on usednanaimo.com and kijiji etc, and finally found exactly what I was looking for at an area second hand store. I won't name the store - not because I don't like the store, because I do. But if i mention my bargaining tactic the owner might not like more people to use it. What did I do? Well, first of all what I found I knew was exactly what I wanted, and would need only wheels to replace the legs. But it had a matching but separate buffet top which we did not really want. So when I went to negotiate the purchase, that was my first hurdle - could I buy just the bottom part? Yes, I could. Next - obviously I had a top $$$ in mind. What I ended up doing was putting all the cash I wanted to pay on the counter. Not good enough. I dug out about another $12. Still not good enough. I knew that it was time to bring out my 'secret weapon'! I took out my zip lock bag of CANADIAN TIRE money - all $26 worth! The store owner laughed, hesitated a bit, and finally agreed. I felt good about my purchase, and doing the math I think the store owner will still make out just fine when the top half of the buffet sells. On the way home I stopped and bought four good quality wheels, and when Grant got home from work we brought it in, he put the wheels on and - voila - the result is just what I wanted. We've kept the legs, so that in a future house the buffet/chest can serve a different purpose if we want. The 'wheelie carts' are now in two different locations - two are in the sewing area filled with yarn (more about YARN later!) and the other two are in the under-stair storage area with a variety of items.
I'm still working on organizing/tidying - it seems like a never-ending process, but sometimes there are times when we do something that really feels good. The new storage-buffet in the kitchen is one of those times.
Over the Christmas season I've spent a fair bit of time at craft shows and antique shops. I realized that we have a number of very nice antiques, collectibles, artwork and gifts - some are currently displayed well - others were in boxes, hidden in our bedroom, etc. I felt a nice display cabinet above the speaker cabinet in the living room would be the perfect display area, both spurring on further 'tidying' and also freeing up some spots for other items. I'd seen a couple of possible small bookcases in a few antique shops, but nothing that really called out to me. My second choice was to stain some ikea shelves I've had for a few years and never put up. Then - serendipity! On Friday I felt the need to 'get out of town' for a bit, and decided to head up to Qualicum Beach and check out a couple of antique shops I'd never been in before. The first one was Remember That - kind of a mish-mash of stuff in a very cold warehouse - some good prices on furniture, definitely worth visiting again, but nothing that jumped at me. Next I went to Yesterday's Child Antiques - huge shop, with everything in excellent condition and beautifully displayed. Maybe a little too perfect for me. Then across the road was Qualicum Beach Antiques, which is an old house. To me this setting always seems most appropriate for antiques. I enjoyed wandering around, and found many things I liked, especially the cosy atmosphere. Then, right at the very, very back of the store I saw something the tag identified as 'bookcase $120'. The more I looked at it the more I knew it was absolutely perfect for the spot above the speaker cabinet. It almost looked as if the two pieces could have been made for each other. I got it 20% off, and luckily - because it was actually two almost identical bookcases, it easily fit in the back of the car with the seats forward. I got it in the house by myself, and when Grant got home I was just about to begin putting it all together. Grant helped me, and that evening I put a couple of items on the shelves. Yesterday morning after Grant left for work I spent deciding what I wanted on each shelf, and slowly filled it. When finished, I was very pleased at the end result. And I was even happier when Grant looked at it last evening and said it looked good and showed the items off very well.
A couple of pictures will follow!