Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Reuse, Refinish, Re-Purpose

We knew when it came to furnishing our house that buying all new furniture just wouldn't cut it.  Not only could we not afford it but placing all those new objects in a space that has evolved over 120 years would rob it of its character and soul.  And so...we have mixed up a few new items with ones that have been Reused, Refinished, and Re-purposed.

See, there are way more than just 3 R's.  In fact, the greenest, most environmentally friendly product is the one that's never made.  Here are a few of my favourite 'vintage' items from our Living and Dining rooms.

Our sideboard has quite a story to tell.  We found him while on a weekend getaway in Ottawa, Ontario.  It was in an antique shop specializing in Scandinavian mid-century modern antiques (I think this one).  After scouring the shop and finding everything was way out of our price range, we headed down to the basement where we uncovered this piece, collecting dust in a corner...for only $300!!  You see, it's made of white oak, not teak like most Scandinavian pieces.  It's also meant to sit on top of a larger sideboard as a hutch (the owner added the legs).  These two factors combined to make the price just right for us.

But how to get it from Ottawa to our house, 500+km away?  Thankfully, the owner of the shop makes frequent trips to Toronto (only 60km away...in case you haven't figured it out, we live in Hamilton!) and agreed to bring it that far during his next trip.  So we met him there...in our compact car a drove it all the way home with it sticking half way out of our trunk!  But we made it and boy do we love this piece!

It's not all about big pieces.  We found this suitcase when Tessa's grandmother was downsizing and getting rid of things.  Man, this suitcase has been around.  It's dented and scratched, but still solid (thanks to its 'four-ply solidon construction'...according to the McBrine Baggage label on it).  Just think of where this suitcase has been and what has it seen!  Now it sits in a corner of our dining room and houses old photo albums.

This Dining room table belonged to Tessa's parents.  We found it in a corner of their basement and claimed it as ours.  Apparently when Tessa's parents were first married, her mom lovingly sanded and refinished it.  When we got our hands on it we painted it a pale blue!  Wood table on wood floor = blah.  Painted table on wood floor = win!  I like the proportions of its slender bulbous legs and how cool is it that it was made by good old Walter and Company in Wabash, Indiana?  Still, it's a bit small for the space.  Stay tuned for our DIY projects post to see how we solved that...

We went through a painting stuff phase (perhaps stemming from the fact that Tessa worked in a paint/interiors store a few years back).  These chairs were another find at Tessa's grandmother's.  This time we went with a high sheen black/blue/grey (depends on the light).  Sturdy chairs.  In fact, I'm sitting on one, RIGHT NOW!

Finally, something we 'aquired' from my side of the family.  This 1960s chair belonged to my grandmother.  And guess what?  It's a pull out.  So if you're ever in town, we've got one super uncomfortable 50 year old pull out twin sized bed (my 8 year old self can attest to this lack of comfort).  In chair form...it's great though.  I'm told my grandmother re-upholstered it at some point, probably in the 1970's.  And who's that perched on it you ask?  Charles Augustus, our schweenie of course - he has excellent taste.

There you have it - our reused, refinished, and re-purposed pieces - each with it's own story to tell.  I'll post some overall pics of these rooms soon so you can see how these vintage pieces are balanced out by newer pieces.


1 comment:

Christine said...

love the suitcase!!!