Sunday, May 19, 2013

Make it Work

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have started over with very little, more than once in my life. While I was living near New Orleans a few years ago I started another new chapter in my life. 

When I began decorating my small cottage within sight of the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, I searched for objects to use in creating my vision of a lovely French inspired home. I visited all the flea markets, junk stores, and yard sales within a fifty mile radius.



This is the guest room in my home today. The chair was purchased at a yard sale at the end of the day as it was starting to rain. The lady I bought it from for $10 asked me in wonder "What are you going to do with it?" It was covered with fake brown leather and it was painted brown. I told her "I'm going to give it an antique ivory distressed finish and then cover it with a tapestry fabric I have been saving for years." Two ladies standing behind me listening, excitedly asked "Where is your shop?!" Maybe someday I will have that shop but for now this is the way I have always made do with what I could afford. 

The Monet print was a hand me down from my sister which I had re-framed in light colors. The brass lamp was purchased for $3 at a church tag sale. The night stand was found in a junk store for $25. I bought the iron bed on eBay.



This ancient looking pedestal in a corner of my bedroom was on clearance at T.J. Maxx. I bought the concrete garden bust in a junk store in one of my travels. The Eastlake table was purchased at a yard sale. The oil painting was a clearance item in resale shop. The  other items were also purchased at similar shops. (My definition of a junk store is one that is presented as an antique store but in reality all of the stuff likely came from garage sales. One piece out of three thousand might have the possibility of being reworked into something I would want to own.) The thrill comes in the hunt of that one object of my desire to complete the picture.



This display in my foyer is a salvage yard pedestal with a broken corner that was originally brown, orange, green and red (really!). The urn is actually a lamp to which I added a final from something else after I removed all the electrical workings. I used burnt umber and cream paints to add a finish that pulled the whole thing together. I recently saw a similar display in a high end decorator's showroom for more than $600!

Much of the fun of decorating for me is looking for objects that I can rework to fit my vision. I really don't think it would give me nearly as much joy if I could walk into a fine antique store and point to the objects and say "I'll have that and that." Part of the joy for my creative spirit is to find something with possibilities that no one else wants and then recreating something special from those items.

I share these glimpses into my home and my private life for a reason. If you believe you can or you believe you cannot, you are correct. I hope knowing a bit about my failures as well as my successes will inspire you to say "I CAN!"
  




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