Dining Room Tour

We have lived here almost two years and I have yet to do a real room or home tour of anything finished. Here is the home in the state that we bought it.  It didn't seem to need much at the time, but we have truly put a lot of effort into this old house.  The dining room is the least changed of all the spaces.  We basically painted the walls and changed the light and moved our old stuff into the space.

We don't have a breakfast nook in this house, so we had to get rid of a table and chairs.  I decided to keep the mismatched white ones, included this one that is a favorite find of mine.

At our previous home, I had luggage stacked to the ceiling.  I still love old cases, but there was no great place for them here.  I kept a few smaller favorites here and I have a few in our guest room as well.

I think we have done more editing here than buying, but I pulled this little area together with some recent local finds.  We had planned on using this metal shelf in our bathroom, but it didn't work.  I had moved it several places before we bought the little hardware drawers.  They seemed to fit well together so I have left it alone.  The drum is a find that the Mr. found a long time ago.  I needed a little more space for yarn, and I love the look of it.

On top of the drawers, I put a few treasures.  My little man loves crystals, so these are ones that he lets me "share."  The turned wood bowl is from an artist in Clinton, TN. And, the vase is from a local artist that I am taking classes with at Studio 212.

I just finished a sweater, so my neutral stash is getting dangerously low.

This pretty grey piece made the cut of the furniture we kept from our last house.  The lower drawers are in a serious need of being rebuilt, but I love it.  I sent the Mr. to an auction with specific instructions to get this piece.  

One of my sweetest friends bought me this brass owl and the lovely green bowl.

I must have a thing for black wood with decals, because I had to have these candle sticks when we stopped in Franklin for lunch over the holidays.

If I had the wall space, I would collect landscapes in these colors.  I found this one in an enormous frame at the Hell's Kitchen flea market.  I removed this little painting and gave the frame back to the dealer. 

Here you can see into our living room. I fell in love with this big arch when I first saw the listing online.   I am still happy with my decision to NOT paint the original woodwork in most of the house.  I think it worked because I kept the wall colors neutral.  The dining room is painted Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore and I have a slightly different grey in the living room.  The curtains are ones that I used in our last living room and are from Anthropologie a few years ago.  I don't think I will tire of them.

Even though our old house is 84 this year, we sorely lacked in original light fixtures.  The only one was in here, and it was not our taste.  I searched exclusively for a chandelier for this room.  I knew I wanted vintage and brass with some crystals.  I was looking for a wedding cake type fixture, but I couldn't find one with brass.  We went to Blair House and it was almost overwhelming with all the incredible fixtures.  It's pretty sparkly, but I think the size and the rest of the room being pretty casual keep it from being too frilly and fussy. 

I am so glad this Mora clock survived the move.  It was a Happy You Quit Your Job/ Early Retirement present from the Mr. a few years ago.

It no longer works, but I love the mixing of metals.  It has the original maker's signature from 1790 on the back.

I bought this cabinet when I was in college and I am surprised it has survived so many moves without getting broken.  Right now, it is kind of a case for curiosities and my mercury glass collection.

I don't expect this room to change very much. I've decided I like not having a rug under the table right now.  I have added a few plant babies since these photos were taken.  I would love to find a really narrow bench or plant shelf for them. I hope to do more tours as tidiness and natural light allow. We live all over this house, so that can be difficult.   Most of our home is "finished." There is some editing that I still want to do.  I'm actually content with the textured walls.  The ceiling, not so much.  Since it is actual plaster and not popcorn, I don't expect it to change anytime soon.  

New Year's Goals

Just by writing this blog post, I am meeting one of my goals this year: to blog more.  And, I have also blogged more in 2016 than in 2015 just by posting this today.  Some of you may notice some differences with the look around here.  During our snowy weekend, the husband updated my logo and all the graphics on my site and social media.  I've wanted a new look for awhile now, and I finally convinced him to show me what I wanted. Because, I don't know that I knew it until I saw it.

So, moving forward into the year and my goals/plans/dreams for it.  I like to call my resolutions "goals."  It sounds more fun, less tedious.  I think that resolutions have such a bad rap of being discarded around February.   Goals, however, seem like something fun and challenging.  Something you want to do.  I usually pick a few books that I want to read.  Or,  a new food I would like to try.  We typically all do this as a family on December 31st.  That way we can help each other along throughout the year.  Most years I do pretty well.  Last year I didn't make my goal of sewing a quilt, but it is on my list this year.  Mind you, it may be a super small quilt.

This year, I want to do better with houseplants. I never realized how much I was drawn to them until I looked back through some of my pinboards.  I am constantly pinning rooms with tons of houseplants.  And, I am not a successful house plant mother.  I am either over or under watering.  I can kill even the unkillable.  So, this may be a bit of a lofty and expensive goal, but there you are. I hope to have such lovely and bountiful houseplants that it will be necessary to hire a houseplant sitter should we go out of town.

Throwing a pot on the wheel has always been one of my goals.  I remember being little and looking through the JCPenney Christmas catalog and seeing that potter's wheel and wanting it.  This year though, it made the list and it was one of the first things I did.  A friend and I signed up for a class and these are from my first night.  Now, I didn't end up being this pottery prodigy like I was (not so secretly) hoping to be.  I really wanted to sit down and just become one with the clay.  Like it was this missing link from my life for so very long.  That wasn't the case.  It's not like I thought it would be easy, but I was hoping I would just have this natural skill for it.  Each time I seem to make a bowl.  Even though I was supposed to be making a mug.  But, it is challenging and I am making something that is useful... for copious amounts of cereal. 

Other things I want to make this year are a black and white marled sweater... really soft. I would like to try my hand at spinning some wool. And, I do want to give quilting a shot as well....maybe...if someone will come do the cutting for me.  I also hope to blog more and maybe get some decent photos of our new old house.  What are some fun goals you have set for yourself?

Vintage Junky Christmas 2015

2015 has come and gone and I think I only managed one blog post last year.  How can that be?  I am sure I can come up with lots of excuses.  The big one being the word "go." I didn't choose a new word for 2015, but I think one was chosen for me and it was "go." And did we ever!  We traveled so much with the husband's job.  It was amazing!  We made so many memories this year.  Some great and some not so great (I'm looking at you "spending the night in the Detroit airport" and "flu in New York.")

This year we made a some great new friends and saw almost all of our old ones.  We adopted a puppy after nearly 7 years of being dogless. My boy and I survived our first year of homeschooling and decided to take on another one.  We had a great 7th geology birthday party (why didn't I blog that?!?) 

Other than visiting family, we stayed home in December.  We did almost all the usual traditions for our family and added a few new experiences.  It was great!  I will have to carry that around inside now that it is actually cold now and the twinkling lights are packed.

2015 was a year of us going and learning and trying new things.  It was a year of firsts: first grade, first cookie decorating parties, first knitted sweaters (and second and third.) It was a year of finishing (mostly) the interior of this little bungalow that I love so.  It was a year of celebrating and puppies and water balloon fights and bonfires.  2016 you have a tough act to follow.  Even if we don't get the flu.  Or spend the night in an airport.

p.s. Thanks to all of you who have commented on past posts or emailed  to check in since I have been noticeably absent from my blog this year.  I hope to blog more in this coming year, but even if I don't, you can usually find me on Instagram.  My handle is thevintagejunky.  Rumor has it the pup has her own account too.  *wink*

Thoughts on Living with Less

Happy New Year!  I loved having up my Christmas stuff, but  was anxious to get it packed.  I am always pretty excited about a New Year and a tabula rasa.  Plus, we had such a here or there, gogogo sort of year last year with the move.  So, I'm ready to start this New Year.  Before we moved, we knew we were seeking a smaller home.  So, we purged and sold and donated what we didn't truly love.  After physically moving to a home that is smaller (by about 600+ square feet,) we are still editing.  I'm having to be so picky about what I keep and sometimes it is hard.  But, other times, I feel so free!  It is so much easier for me to pass up some cute vintage piece (with a great price) when I know that I will have to give away something I already love to make it fit.  A "one in, one out" philosophy, if you will.

We aren't just living with less vintage stuff, but with less small appliances and what not.  When we started ripping out the kitchen, we decided that in order to execute our grand scheme of centering the sink under the window, that we would have to leave out the dishwasher. Now, I had already not used the dishwasher in our old house for over a year, so it wasn't a huge sacrifice.  And, honestly, I will complain about doing the dishes whether I am loading them  or doing them by hand.  We also decided that we didn't really need a microwave after we took the  one over the stove down to rip out the old backsplash.  We replaced it with a simple range hood.  Not only do we not miss these things, but that is 2 less appliances to replace when they inevitably stop functioning.  I also gave up my coffee maker for a simple Chemex and a kettle.  My old coffee maker would have taken up a fourth of the total counter space in the kitchen.

Our last home had 2.5 bathrooms.  This one has 1.  As today was my bathroom cleaning day, I can tell you that I do not miss an extra toilet, sink, or tub to clean--not one bit!  And, since we have exactly 7 rooms, I only have to clean one room a day.  I'm technically not even cleaning our ***Room of Requirement yet since I can barely walk in there, let alone vacuum.

Living with less house has been better for us. I know that our house is still huge to some.  And, that we have a long way to go in simplifying.  We don't miss the extra space at all.  I think with some well placed built in shelves that it will work even better than our previous home with more space. And, it frees up time to do things we enjoy (besides compulsive vintage shopping!)

We aren't completely finished with anything in the house, but here is a little before photo for comparison to the first photo.  I'm going to pretend my kid didn't just tell me that this red kitchen looks better.  We need to have a little talk about keeping certain thoughts to ourselves.

Here's to a simple New Year!

***affectionately named since if you can't find a place to put something, it goes there.  If you are looking for something, it is probably in there.

Vintage Junky Christmas 2014

Two sleeps until Christmas and I managed to pull together my first blog post in months.  I have been sharing progress on our new old house on Instagram  quite a bit and Facebook as well.  I just haven't had the whole house photo ready when it has been decently light in awhile.  Usually, we have our dining room table covered in books and projects which is okay.  I, for one, would rather see a semi clean room.

One of the best things about moving is finding new homes for your old stuff and loving it all as if it was new again.  And, it was no different pulling out our Christmas things.  I had purged a lot of extra stuff last year, so I didn't have much to sort. 

The place got snowflaked as usual.   I made a few new things, but I really tried to keep things super simple.  It is easy to overwhelm this smaller space with stuff.  

We weren't near my favorite place to buy mistletoe this year, so I made a little felt kissing ball to hang in the arch between the living room and the dining room.

I made some new stockings this year.  I loved our old silhouette ones, but I also love change! I recently learned how to knit socks, so I decided to knit some giant socks!

I bought very little to decorate with this year.  The poinsettias and the tree were just about it.  I foraged the yard for red berries and some cedar clippings to put in beakers and birch pots.

 We finally managed to use our drum over a tree stand.  It wasn't easy.  It wasn't pretty getting it up.  It may be tilting ever so slightly at the moment, but my whim was fulfilled.

I made some letters out of felt for the wall above the mantle and I also made some slightly larger ones to pin on our stockings.  I "borrowed" or "shared" the magnolia leaves from an empty house on our street in order to make the wreath around the letters. I like the way the green has faded now.

I decorated the kitchen just a bit and the bedrooms too, but I haven't been able to get a good photo of them.  I will post more progress house updates after the New Year.  I have to be honest, Instagram is my outlet of choice right now, since my Mac has been under the weather.  We have done a lot to the house, but there is quite a bit to go, especially the small details.

I hope you all have a wonderful, cozy holiday!  Happy Christmas Everyone!


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