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!"
  




15 comments:

Catherine Staat said...

"If you believe you can or you believe you can not, you are correct!"

Well said!

celtic moon studios said...

Sounds like my ENTIRE house ! We just bought and redid a GORGEOUS 3 brm tri level for $1,000 and completely redid it for under $6,000.000 Same story ! My husband ha been doing remodeling for 25uears. You REALLY need to look at my facebook pics !!
We are kindred spirits you and I !I follow you on facebook ~ Kimberly Schweinberg !

Sheryl said...

From this post I can see that your creativity and style are not limited to fashion. Your handsome guest room chair bears no resemblance to its former description. It's nice to have an "eye" for what something could become. I would never have known that your entry urn began as a lamp base. You have made it into a beautiful focal point. The pretty mirror also caught my eye; it is the perfect size and proportion for that space! Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your "can do" lifestyle!

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

Lovely! So nice to hear your repurposing stories and methods. One of my favorite repurposed items is a floor candlestick found at a yard sale. It was covered in rust. My sister sandblasted it to remove the rust. And then I spraypainted it in gunmetal color and added some copper wire accents. And in its present reincarnation is antiqued gold.

Sharon Greenthal said...

You are incredibly talented and I only wish I could do the things you do!

Lori Draper said...

So lovely! I am non-confident about decorating. You make it look so easy!

Lori

gracefully50 said...

I would have NEVER imagined the items in your lovely home were repurposed items from yard sales and junk stores. I'm amazed at the finished result!

Anonymous said...

I love it!

Janice

Donna said...

Thank you for sharing your home. You are one very talented lady with a good eye for possibilities! Were you a creative child?

free2b said...

is there nothing you cannot do? you are truly a remarkable and inspiring woman.

Lynn Marsh said...

Very nice.

Leslie McCain said...

Thanks for joining with All Things Pretty we are live again at http://myfashionforwardblog.com/2013/05/16/all-things-pretty-8/

PS You were featured :)

Judith-Ann said...

The joy is in the hunt and the creative transformation of found object. Recently a very high end furniture store in our area closed after 75 years in business. I had never been able to afford shopping there, but their final sales, at 85% off drew me in. I was fortunate to the perfect topiary I'd been looking for, a set of 3 faux silver leaf candle sticks and a decorator pillow. They are lovely, but having a clerk follow me trough the store when I said, "This, these and that," was not near as fulfilling as poking through the dusty piles at my favorite "junque" shop.

Patti @ NotDeadYet Style said...

What an eye for treasures you have, Susan! And your home is just lovely, like you. Thanks for sharing with VisibleMonday.

Designs By Pinky said...

Decorating our homes has always been my passion. Doing it on a budget can be challenging but now with Home Goods and TJMaxx etc., it is quite possible and FUN!!!! XO, pinky PS, as you can see, I am visiting all over your blog:):)