One design technique I've always embraced is mixing the old with the new. Vintage with modern. Shiny with shabby. I love the balance it creates and the opportunity it gives the designer to go on a scavenger hunt to find a piece that really makes the space unique.
The biggest example of the old-and-new concept in our house is definitely in our "French" room. Store-bought table, chairs, Expedit unit, but vintage accents like the gossip bench, mid-century sitting chair, Milwaukee neighborhood posters and our record player. We rarely ever buy any of the accessories around our house from the newest stock in any store and really love when we can find something especially unique to put somewhere in our house.
Last weekend, after making a donation to the Salvation Army in West Allis (and a little subsequent browsing), we stumbled across an unassuming shop called the Corner Bazaar. Its windows displayed a few promising-looking items, so we decided to take a gander inside. We were met at the door by an incredibly friendly man who explained the shop a bit more, and made sure to let us know that many of the items' prices are negotiable - the store is run by a nonprofit organization, and comprises numerous vendors selling everything from antiques to crocheted blankets to dolls to jewelry. As soon as we walked in, we new we'd hit the jackpot.
We spent a good hour in the store, lusting after cuckoo clocks, antique milk crates, vintage stereos and quirky cookie jars. For antiques, the pieces were priced very well. If we had more room in our home, we would've made quite a hall that morning. But as it is, we only picked up a couple items. But what we brought home, we both absolutely adored.
I've shared with you all my major crush I have on vintage clocks and radios. There's just something about them I'm drawn to. So when Eric pointed out this beauty to me at the Corner Bazaar, I swooned. I swooned even moreso when I noticed the price tag - $25? Awesome! the swooning was taken to a whole different level when Eric nonchalantly asked the man at the register if he could bump the price down. "Oh, I suppose..." he sighed. "Seventeen?"
Seventeen bucks?!?! We'll take it!
Do I know if it works? I do not. But I do know it fills out the side table in our living room very nicely.
What else did we pick up at the Corner Bazaar? Well, I'm starting to keep on the lookout for lace doilies to collect to use at our wedding. They'll fit my loosely-vintage theme perfectly. So I was delighted to see there were doilies placed all around the store - and they were all for sale! I grabbed about 5-6, price between $2 and $5 each - and so, apparently now I've got a vintage doily collection! If you stumble across some anytime, please send them my way!
My doilies are doing double-duty as wedding AND home decor. I'm going to try my darnedest to repurpose every. single. thing. I purchase (or make!) for the wedding.
As you can see, one doily already found its way onto the "new" radio. The rest are strewn about the house randomly.
Okay, so isn't this post supposed to be about mixing old with new? Thank you for pointing out that I haven't yet gotten to the point. And yes, it is about mixing old with new. For months now I've been on the hunt for the perfect table lamp for our living room. The floor lamp we have in there now has been bothering me since we moved in, but I just haven't stumbled across a lamp I really liked (that also wasn't more than $100). I always kept an eye out at thrift stores and rummage sales, but nothing ever struck my fancy. So after trying so hard to find a true vintage lamp we could restyle as our own, imagine my surprise as I came across this beauty at Target, of all places.
As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. There was no hesitation as there had been in past affairs with purchasing lamps. This was the one. When you know, you know. I grabbed the natural linen lamp shade to go with it and was ecstatic with my new lamp - emphasis on new. It's okay, I told myself, not everything has to be found at a thrift store.
But as soon as I got the lamp home and noticed the amount of gold accents in our living room, I kicked myself. I had back and and forth with myself at Target over the idea of purchasing this gold chevron lamp shade:
I haven't removed the plastic from the natural linen lamp shade yet because I'm still not sure which one I should ultimately go with. What do you think? Natural, nunfussy linen or shiny, modern gold chevron? I'd love your input!
Either lamp shade option would work well with our space - the chevron would just modernize things a bit, which is not a bad thing, because, like I've mentioned we've already got plenty of vintage accents to balance out the room.
So, there you have it. A weekend filled with purchases, old and new, for our house. Mixing bazaar finds with big-box goods works in an eclectic home, and gives you the best of both worlds - the ease of finding a piece when you least expect it (after making a mad dash during the launch of the new Jason Wu line at Target... but that's another story), and the work you put in to find something you've been crushing on hard in its original state.
Old and new. Vintage and modern. Shiny and shabby. That's how it goes in our house.