(Post Originally written for Metrolina Restore Blog: 1/ 5/16…)
At the beginning of a new year I typically do what many people do: I hold a household-wide clean out. I typically have no problem getting rid of clothes and shoes I don’t want or wear but it is much harder to decide to part with a vintage item that I found and for which I now don’t have the space. Here are some of my tips for letting go of those vintage items that no longer have a prominent place in your home.
1. Can you repurpose it?
Think about useful alternative for items in your house.
Examples: A decorative planter + coffee cup holder = accessory storage:
A vintage cooler makes a funky outdoor table for your porch or patio, and provides storage too!
Other quick ideas: pitchers can become vases or utensil holders, ashtrays and crudité dishes can hold and organize remotes, jewelry or even makeup on a vanity:
2. Does the item no longer fit your décor/color scheme/ general vibe?
If it’s a furniture piece or décor item that you genuinely like, can you bring it back into use with a reupholster or coat of paint? Make the plans to do that asap- don’t let it sit and be a project in waiting!
3. Do you know someone that may want or need it?
Then gift it to them! How fun to give a unique vintage gift to someone that will appreciate it as much as you did.
4. Are you possibly just tired of it?
This one’s the kicker! I am always in a state of figuring out how to trade items out in my house, and because it’s mid century modest, I don’t have a ton of storage space. For example, I found a chair (or 2, or 3) 3 years ago and recently I’ve found one I like even more. Time to swap that chair (or other item) out and take it back to the ReStore so it can live another life with someone else!
This time of year I work my way around to all areas of my house, making trips to the Restore as I clear out those items that I cannot repurpose, fit in to my current décor, or regift. Remember that the ReStores will happily take donations of wall art, kitchenware, furniture, linens, books, lighting, jewelry, appliances and more- just ask! And you can feel good that your donation is going to help build homes for families in need so it’s a win- win for everyone.
(Post originally written for Metrolina Habitat Restore 1/20/16…)
Have you put your Christmas away yet?
This is such a common question this time of year and I have already had several people ask me how I protect and store my vintage holiday items. Since for me this has been a strange and ever evolving process, I thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve learned!
Ever since I started collecting vintage Christmas I have been working to find a foolproof and organized system of storage from year to year. So much of what has evolved into my current system seems like complete common sense to me now but I really wish I had started out with this info years ago–it would truly have made life so much easier. With the help of some important organizing tricks of the trade from my blog sister Jennifer Burnham of Pure and Simple Organizing, I think I may have finally honed my forever storage plan!
The biggest switch I initially made was moving everything from cardboard boxes to plastic bins for allow for more sturdy, stackable protection in my attic. These large plastic bins often show up at the ReStores, so keep an eye open and pick them up there at a fraction of the cost of new whenever you see them! Some of my items were just in large vintage cardboard boxes- these are fun to look at and read but just not practical for actual safe storage and will weaken over time. I highly suggest using clear see-through bins; this helps with item identification. My very favorite tip from Jennifer is to color code the lids of your bins to the season for ease of organization and quick identification in your attic, basement or wherever you store these items— brilliant, right?! So as of this year most all of my Christmas vintage has been switched to bins with red lids! I’m going to store spring & summer items in pastel bins, and fall in gray. I love the idea of being able to find my stuff at a quick glance; thanks for this great tip Jen!
Exactly how you pack these vintage collectibles is just as important to their longevity as what you choose in which to store them. When working with a group of breakables,
I layer the sides and bottom of the bins with bubble wrap before I put anything else in for a layer of cushioning.
Anything breakable gets wrapped individually and often times put into a smaller cardboard box before it gets packed in the bin to provide an extra layer of safety against breakage.
Other packing and storage tips:
-I always pack collections and similar items together. If collections take more than one bin I will number them: 1/2, 2/2 etc.
-I use masking tape or a label on the outside (rather than writing directly on the outside as I typically did on the cardboard boxes) so I can know exactly what I have stored in each bin. If I want to change it around next year it’s easy; I take off the old label or tape and replace with an new updated one.
-Items that aren’t breakable but may collect dust (anything flocked, velvet or plush) get packed in individual plastic baggies.
-Sometimes I pack unbreakable items down into a breakable container like shown with these flocked Santas in the large ceramic Santa pitcher. It then was swaddled in lots of bubble wrap before it was placed in the bin.
It typically takes me much longer to pack it all away because everything has to be packed carefully so I can enjoy it just as much next year! This is not nearly as much fun as putting it all up- but very necessary.
See ya next year Side Eye Santa…
What are your vintage storage tips? I’d love to hear them….
(Originally written as a post for the Metrolina Restore Blog…)
I’m a gamer. Oh nooooo, not the newfangled and fancy video kind–unless you happen to have a 1980s Ms. PacMan arcade console around. I mean old-school games of the board and card variety. My affinity for games naturally extends to a love and collection of vintage games too and I own many from the 1950s and 1960s. I adore the graphics and retro-speak in the instructions, I love the swanky box pictures and 1950’s images; many of the boards from vintage games are true things of both fun and beauty- my favorites! I think they add a sense of fun and frivolity to home décor- and are not just for children’s rooms or ubiquitous “man caves” either.
In our world of screens, electronic and online gaming, board games are emblematic of the midcentury time when people gathered together and played games in the same room with each other after dinner or on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon…imagine that! I love the nostalgia of it and I’m sure that’s why we still invite friends over for game night in my house on the regular and why I enjoy using a games as part of my mod décor.
1951 Edition Monopoly by Parker Brothers
The Hotels and houses are made of wood, not plastic and the retired iron is present.
I have found games and game boards at ReStores tucked in places all over the store – sometimes with boxes, and sometimes without. These are one of those items for which you just have to be on the lookout- so keep your eyes open in all areas of the store. Check out a few of my favorite ways to use games and boards in mod décor below.
I love the actual of board portion of many vintage games so I use them often as wall art. This one perfectly matched many of the colors I used in my basement bedroom suite redo from last summer and BONUS- it contains the marbles in the metal portions on the sides- so we could take it down and play if we wanted! Vintage Chinese Checkers games have been very popular in décor for the past several seasons for use in wall art across the board (see what I did there):
Vintage Chinese Checkers Board with vintage poker chips in Bakelite case
This dusty game board that was one of my first vintage board finds was on the bottom of a shelf at a ReStore in sporting goods/camping area, under a ton of other stuff. It must have been part of a bigger set of gambling type board games. I immediately knew I would hang it- because: Vegas! I kept it’s year-worn patina and did not clean the board itself, although I did spruce up the wood frame a bit:
Red or Black? This one is dingy and I just love it!
Why not use vintage games in place of books on a book shelf? Many are in smaller boxes, fit perfectly and are typically more colorful and certainly more unexpected:
My hubs received 1956 Li’l Stinker one year as a Christmas gift.
The covers on this group of 3M bookcase board games-1960s games that were actually meant to stored together on a shelf like books -were too mid mod perfect to leave behind! But I have to store them facing out so I can see the swankola fronts of the boxes!
3M Book Case Games -ooooh the images!
Want to DIY those vintage game pieces and boards into something else? People waaaaay more clever than I have upcycled game boards and the pieces into stools, side tables, shelves, shadowboxes and more- get the details on a pinterest board with tons of ideas that I pulled together for you here:
I am so excited for our first Holiday Blogger Shopping Event coming up this Saturday, November 22 from 8:30 am- Noon at the ReStore in Charlotte on Wendover! We’ll be chatting it up about all things holiday- decorative, vintage, gifting, organizing and more- and then we shop the store and find the deals! I just adore these ladies and when I am with them I am always inspired by their unique creativity- you can be too!
It’s time to start thinking about vintage gift giving and as usual, you have a long list, right? Let me pass along my top quick and easy and memorable vintage gifting ideas so you can check some of those names off your list- pronto!
1.Vintage Trays and Tins
Everyone loves to receive your baked goods around the holidays…why not gift them in or on a reusable vintage tin or tray? It makes a beautiful and more memorable presentation than tissue or bags and can be used continually throughout the holidays!
2. Vintage Ornaments
Of course I love these for their traditional use on the tree but they make such a heartwarming presentation when attached to gifts, used at table place settings/ or centerpieces, around the buffet table or even given as party favors throughout the holidays.
These make an adorable presentation when gifted with tea, hot cocoa, candy or vintage linens. Vintage soup mugs can be gifted with gourmet crackers or bags of soup mix.
4. Vintage Cocktail Glasses
Want to bring the best hostess gift at your next party? Vintage Champagne coupes with a bottle of bubbly will do the trick, every time…trust me! See also: vintage pilsners or mugs with a local craft beer, or some swanky lowballs with a favorite liquor- both an equally fab option.
Kitsch (/ˈkɪtʃ/; loanword from German) is a low-brow style of mass-produced art or design using popular or cultural icons. Kitsch generally includes unsubstantial or gaudy works or decoration, or works that are calculated to have popular appeal.
I adore midcentury design for its sleek atomic lines and beautiful wood and structure. I appreciate the craftsmanship put into so many of the midcentury designer pieces that are now timeless, highly sought and still functional after 50 or 60 years or more. I have been on the midcentury home tours and ooohed and ahhed over the time capsule houses full of beautiful perfectly refinished, restored or never-touched-because-it-was-already-perfect mod Danish or Eames furniture and fixtures. But if I am honest, what really makes my heart sing- is KITSCH. Call it gaudy, call it tacky, call it garish…I don’t care! It’s nothing but complete fun; I adore it and will always seek it out in my vintage travels!
Not everyone sees the humor and fun in kitsch and many people toss it aside, lucky for me. These zany items are readily available at ReStores, just waiting to go home with you! Here are some favorite examples of the kitsch I personally adore:
Chalkware: fruit and veggies with faces, swimming mermaids, bathing fish, devil children (yes, you read that correctly).