Wednesday, October 5, 2011

APPRECIATING THE OLD

When my husband and I were first married we went to auctions and bought "old furniture" out of necessity. We could only afford "old stuff". I did not have a true appreciation for the worn out, loving patina created over time. I looked forward to the day when I could buy everything new. For some odd reason my husband even started collecting old suitcases which was a bit aggravating to me. What in the world were we going to do with old suitcases? How was I supposed to know that I should have made end tables out of them? He also collected old books which made more sense to me as he was an English teacher. I didn't "collect" anything but being practical, found furniture with which  to decorate our new home.

So I hadn't yet understood the appreciation of  the timeworn pieces with their lovely patina. At one auction I still remember seeing a father bringing his daughter  who was all excited about purchasing a vintage desk and chair. I felt sorry for her thinking they must be poor and could only afford "old stuff". By the time we have children, I thought, we'd surely be making enough money for new furniture! Silly me! She obviously was far wiser than I was at the time. Though I loved the things we purchased, I figured we were in the beginning stages of furniture buying. I was MORE than happy with our lovely "beginning" furniture.

We also were not very wise about auctions which is where we bought most of our treasures. One time my husband threw his number away as we left because we hadn't bid on anything. Unfortunately, someone picked it out of the garbage and bid on $100 worth of tools! We were called and told we needed to pay up  but after explaining what happened, they were nice enough to not hold us responsible. We never did THAT again!

After building a new home  some years later we filled it with...ALL NEW FURNITURE! Hah! But then we got rather nostalgic and decided to begin purchasing "old stuff" on our "anniversary get-aways" as I was gaining a new appreciation for the timeworn pieces of our past. Funny thing was that I now started seeing all the "old stuff" I had practically GIVEN AWAY  at garage sales, were now being sold for much, much more. A washstand we had in our bedroom ( given to us free ) and we had sold for $5 was now selling for $125! An old pot I sold for $1 at a garage sale was now going for $50! I suddenly started seeing my "old stuff" in a new way.Thus began our newfound love and appreciation for antiques and all things vintage. So one by one we began collecting the "old stuff" again. An old desk for our entryway, an old farm table for the kitchen, an antique rug for the living room for starters.

But then I found some old glasses in glass holders from the 40's and 50's that I absolutely loved! The problem was that they were $80 for a set of 8 glasses and a holder. Somehow I couldn't justify spending that amount of money for a set of glasses. But every year I kept looking at them whenever we went to the antique shop we frequented on our get-aways. Still, I could never bring myself to spend the money even though my husband insisted I just buy them. Being the practical person I am, I still could not justify the expense.

 But imagine my delight when, venturing upon a garage sale I found 6 of these same glasses for 25 cents apiece! Thus began my love of treasure hunting and going back to my "roots" of living with the old and treasured! Not everyone has had the same appreciation for vintage and antiques as I now have.  I ran into a friend from the old neighborhood where everyone had built NEW houses. We talked about my interest in vintage treasures and she reminded me of the old kitchen farm table I purchased ( a favorite of mine which I still have ) and how she was aghast at all the "dings" in my "new" table! "Why would anyone want to buy something old and full of "dings"? I had a good laugh over that because I had once felt the same way!

So I've come full circle! I can appreciate most ANY style really but prefer, right now anyway, to live with an "old vintage look". It suits me right now.

I'd love to hear YOUR stories of how you developed an interest in decorating with antique and vintage treasures. Please share YOURS.

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