I love modern amenities, but I am a retro gal at heart. I’ve mentioned my love for oldies music and that retro affection overflows in to furniture and décor. Finding older unique gems for our house makes my heart happy. The love for the gently used items stems from childhood when I spent summer days going to garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, etc with my Aunt Marie. Aunt Marie was a teacher and, thankfully, was willing to spend her free time in the summer with her hellion nieces and nephews. Summers at the Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home meant my brother and I were under Harpo’s supervision. While most of our friends were at the pool or watching TV in the air conditioning, we were Harpo’s full time employees. If Harpo sees and idle kid, he puts them to work. Ask any of my cousins.
Aunt Marie would save us from a day of child labor and load me, my brother and cousins up in the van to treasure hunt. She scouted the newspaper for the garage sale locations and our squad hit the road. Upon arrival at each destination, Aunt Marie threw the van doors open and all us kids would scurry like rats to invade a stranger’s driveway and garage. If we found anything worthy of her attention, or if we just wanted it, we’d drag her over to show it to her in hopes that she would give us the nod of approval. Aunt Marie could probably work on the PBS Antique Road Show because she could tell you why an item is a worthless piece of junk OR why we’ve struck gold. I don’t know why she took us with her because I doubt we ever found anything with any future value for her. Us kids were more interested in the old McDonald’s happy meal toys for five cents. Bless her heart for tolerating us heathens on those hot summer days because, without those experiences, I never would have developed an appreciation for the older, used, worn, vintage things in life. One man’s trash is my treasure.
The first piece of furniture I bought for our house was our 1960’s Danish dining room table. I was doing some late night Craigslist surfing and as soon as I saw it I had to have it.
Besides Craigslist, I have a few shops in St. Louis that I like to hit up for funky finds:
- TFA – The Future Antiques (it seems TFA’s website is under construction, but check out this profile on apartmenttherapy.com)
- Treasure Aisles
- Rocket Mid Century
I found this chair at TFA a few years ago and it is a keeper. Originally I thought I would have the chair recovered but nixed that idea once we found out the price of re-upholstering. Um, $400 to give a $150 chair some cosmetic work? We’ll pass, thanks.
Why did I purchase the above bench? Because ever since I set eyes on the below entryway on Amber Interiors design blog, I knew I needed a bench like that in my life. I mean, that mirror…that bench… those white walls… I’d give up Bella.. and maybe Chuck… to see this as I enter our house every day.
Instead I am greeted by poopy brown walls, dingy carpet and two dogs bouncing off the walls begging for my attention. Well, I found the bench at Rocket and the tree at Patricia’s grocery store in Odessa (Dean was oh-so-pleased when I told him the plant was coming to St. Louis with us). Now I need a lot of white paint, light wood floors, that giant mirror and well-behaved dogs. I can make all of the above happen except the thing about the dogs – not holding my breath on that one.
I sense a basement entry way project coming on…