Within our house, we're trying to blend modern with thrifted/shabby chic (for lack of a better term), for a balanced look that's definitely not cookie cutter. My two favorite sources for furniture on a limited budget are thrift stores and IKEA. Thrift stores bring in the eclectic, and IKEA is the source for sleek, modern pieces on a budget. In our apartment, we had a very linear, minimalistic console table in our living room that worked for that space, but when we moved it to our house, it didn't quite "fit" what we were going for. It sits below a mirror in the entryway by our living room.
It's not a horrible table by any means, but just doesn't fit with the room. Plus, I kind of hate the way it seems to "frame" the unattractive air vent below it.
Yesterday, Eric texted me a photo of a dresser he'd seen at a magical thrift store by his office that always seemed stocked with great finds. I couldn't really tell by the photo if I liked it or not, but I waited too long to respond and he ended up buying it anyway. For $20, he was going to take the chance. I was nervous that, when I got home to see it in person, I'd hate it. "If you don't like this, then I don't know you at all," Eric said. "It's completely you."
Well, I would be the judge of that. So I sat on pins and needles all afternoon, waiting to see this piece of furniture he was so sure I would fall in love with. And, what do you know, I guess the fella knows me pretty well - I loved it! It's old, has character and just ornate enough - and it looks a hundred times better by the living room than the IKEA console. And what's more, it's got deep and wide drawers that will be perfect for storing gloves and scarves and hats come wintertime. Form and function? It's a win-win!
It also happens to hold a couple other treasures we've found at the same thrift store. First, this (non functioning) white ceramic clock. I saw this at the store and just loved the vintage nature of it. I thought it would look perfect atop a stack of old books.
We found these books at a rummage sale a few weeks ago that was filled with more bow-hunting equipment I've ever seen before in one place. The guy running the sale was a real piece of work, and assured us all the books we picked out were fantastic pieces of literature. We just liked the look of their covers, and were especially interested in the titles Danger! and the completely un-PC Escape from Red China. (Side note: Skimming through a couple pages of Danger!, I've determined it's about bears and scalping. But possibly not scalping bears.)
Last week, Eric texted me telling me he found something he really liked at the thrift store, but he just couldn't explain what it was. I sat there all afternoon wondering what would be so amazing that it couldn't be described in human words. When I got home, it was this gilded giraffe, seemingly leaping for joy whilst being impaled down the middle with a large stick. Though I'm pretty sure giraffes cannot leap by any means, especially not with poles sticking through their tummies.
Whatever the case, it's just quirky and weird enough that it's really grown on me. I love that stupid giraffe.
The other two pieces on the table (the small vase - with wilting flowers! - and the lamp) both happen to be from IKEA. So, you see, it's all about balancing the old with the new, the unique with the mass-produced.
Though I would like to replace that lamp sometime.