I have lived in my 900+ square foot house for over 20 years. I love my house - and had lovingly restored it when I purchased it in 1988; but I admit willingly, it has suffered at my own hands. (un)Fortunately I am in the business of creating things - and buying vintage to resell. I love what I do - but until I was recently able to claim my workroom space - I have always marginalized my work area. Of course my work, and my resell stuff eventually took over the inside of the house. It wasn't what I wanted to have happen - but it happened anyway.
I started my business, Bittersweet Design Studio so that when I was fortunate enough to have children, I could be a stay at home mom.
Life was busy - I had a little girl, a house to take care of, and I had my own business:
I had to get things made - wreaths, arrangements, and more, wash and iron vintage linens, wash vintage dishes, and other home decor and price all of the above. And I only had my little house to do it in. Poor house :(
So this is where I stand at summer's end.
Upstairs: I started with my bedroom - I needed to get rid of the clutter and I wanted it to be a restful and serene room. I still loved my curtains, bedspread, etc... So my friend Jennifer helped me rearrange it. Not one piece of furniture is in the same place - and some has gone away!
My beautifully restored Civil War Era bed - with Pottery Barn shams and quilt. The bed was left behind - intentionally, by the seller of a house my Mother bought in 1973. He had plans to restore it, never did and asked if it was OK that he leave it behind. We took it with us when we moved 4 years later, and then 8 years later I stripped and restored it while I was home on Spring break while pursuing my Master's degree in Public History/Historic Preservation at WVU. The quilt is hiding under a pretty Ralph Lauren sheet - because I do have pets - and they go where they want!
I've showed this space before - Bob's collection of goodies sits in this cubby.
This is his 'dresser'. It is an antique base to a stepback cupboard. It was tossed out to a barn or shed and forgotten. I purchased it at an auction in Pennsylvania in the early 1990s, and brought it home in the back of my Toyota Tercel. You should have seen the bevy of 'Old Men' watching me as I slid it in the back of my car. I think they thought I was crazy, they probably had odds going against me that it would go in! I first used it as a changing table for my daughter - over 17 years ago. At one time it was a 'fine' piece. The wood had all been hand painted in a wood grain pattern - and was beautiful. Unfortunately time, weather and rodents ravaged it. I painted the cabinet, scraped what I could in the way of white paint off of the doors, left the drawers alone - because you could still see the graining there. It had no back to it - it must have been a built-in - so I also added bead board to close it off. A bit of work, but well worth it with the use it has had over the years. I think I paid $18.00 for it - even better! More of Bob's toys sit on the dresser.
The top of our wardrobe displayed with antique luggage. The wonderful leather one was purchased at the St. James Rummage Sale a million years ago - for $1.00. The hat boxes hold my summer and winter hats.
We had two other dressers in the room - and they had to go. There just wasn't enough room. Not only did I get rid of things I didn't need - I also downsized - just for the sake of it.
My daughter took the one dresser - and this one will go too. I will be painting it and putting it into my space at It's Bazaar in Purcellville.
I traded both of them for this one - and I am so happy I did! See this post to find out what it looked like when I bought it: http://bittersweetdesignstudio.blogspot.com/2011/07/from-drab-to-fab.html Also - you can see here what I edited my transferware collection to. One milk glass 'goblet' holds manicure items, tweezers, etc... - the wonderful vintage Lucite purse holds my nail polish. Three milk glass compotes on the right hold my vintage bangle collection. I kept the red transferware pieces - a lid less sugar bowl for a candle holder, and two small dishes - a heart one from my dear friend Patty, and a pin dish. These can hold jewelry until I put it away :) Oh and the pink dish in the middle? My grandmother gave it to me as a little girl. We lived a block away from my grandparents - and one time when I had walked up to see them, she sent me home with this dish and a quarter. I couldn't tell you what happened to the quarter - but I still have the dresser tray!
All of this work also made my daughter want to change her room too. We pulled the wardrobe off of the back wall and into the room. The dresser she took from me is in it's place.
We recovered her desk chair, and she spray painted her 'valet' chair, and we recovered that seat too!
Downstairs in the Living Room:
Some of the remainder of the Living Room chaos. Between making jewelry out of new stuff, out of vintage stuff, selling vintage jewelry, and fixing vintage jewelry - there is a lot of stuff to sort!
Necklaces sorted in the first, earrings sorted in the middle, brooches, single shoe clips and rings sorted in the third.
We got all of the non jewelry areas cleaned up and 'edited'. Some of my favorite things are on top of this amazing antique cupboard - all keepers!
So there we are... not done yet - but very close. Stay tuned - and I'll show you more!