Haaave You Met… The Tommy Twins?

It’s a complete departure for me to name one of my pairs after a boy, but these twins were just begging for it!

If you’ve watched any of Sarah Richardson’s shows on HGTV in the past then you know all about her right hand man, Tommy Smythe.

I enjoy watching him & Sarah interact on TV and I also look forward to reading Tommy’s column in Style At Home magazine.

Once I finished restyling this pair, it occurred to me, just how “Tommy” they really are. So, I strayed from my usual practice and named them accordingly.

I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with tartan lately, so when I found this print, I knew it would be absolutely perfect for this stunning, wood pair that I picked up at the Aberfoyle Spring Special Antique Show earlier this year.

What Speaks To You?

I’m not sure what it is about fashion portraiture that I’m so drawn to…

I just am.

It’s a little slice of what makes me, ME.

Instead of buying the same IKEA art prints as everyone else, consider purchasing a collection of prints from an independent artist whose work actually speaks to you.

Don’t settle for something that just “does the job” in order to get something up the walls. Tune in to what lights you up. Chances are that if there’s a subject matter you’re particularly drawn to, there’s an artist on Etsy or Big Cartel that offers affordable prints.

Wouldn’t your rather look at a collection of artwork every day that makes you feel positively giddy, reinforces your personal style and makes you that much prouder of your home?

Use your individuality in your decorating. It’s the best asset you have!

Why Buy Vintage?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my “why” lately…

Each piece I restyle is vintage to begin with. Sometimes it’s scary vintage in need of a complete overhaul and sometimes it’s jump-up-and-down-awesome vintage that needs very little work in order to look its best again.

Whether you choose to buy restyled vintage pieces or pure vintage pieces, the advantages are overwhelming.

So, here are my top 5 answers to the question, “Why buy vintage?”…

1. It allows you to express your individuality

I don’t know about you, but I like to surround myself with things that are different, because I’m different.

When buying vintage, you’re not forced to choose from the same small selection as everyone else. You’re given the opportunity to search out the perfect piece for YOU.

If going the restyled route, an endless number of options become available. You then have the power to create what you want instead of settling.

Set aside the fact that shopping for the perfect vintage piece (or creating one) becomes an experience, rather than a chore, once you find it, take it home, and set it up, you’ll be beaming with pride knowing that very few people in the world (if any) have the same thing you do.

2. It brings history into your home

I don’t know how many times I’ve been cleaning up an old lamp and found a piece of tattered newspaper tucked up inside and taken pleasure in reading the date and the stories printed at that moment time.

It always reminds me that this isn’t just some lamp. At one time, it was someone’s lamp. Cheesy as it may be, I can’t help but think about all of the conversations it was privy to.

3. It allows you to surround yourself with quality

It doesn’t feel good to look around and feel like you’re living in a catalog. It doesn’t feel good to know that your furniture becomes junk after one scratch, dent, broken handle or hinge because it was constructed poorly from sub-par materials that can’t stand the test of time.

It does feel good to look around and know that each piece has been hand selected by you for it’s quirks & it’s quality. It does feel good to build a collection. It does feel good to know that while that scratch in your teak sideboard ads a bit of character, it can be refinished to look brand new over and over again.

4. It feels good to invest in your furnishings

A dime a dozen doesn’t cut it. When you’re spending your hard earned dollars furnishing your home, you should feel good about investing in pieces that are valuable for their rarity, uniqueness or quality and will be for years to come.

As a whole, we produce so much waste buying cheap consumer goods, then tossing them and replacing them every few years when they reach their short lifespan. It doesn’t make sense.

Aim to buy it once, buy it right and reserve the right to resell it down the line if you grow tired of it, knowing that it’s quality will make it an investment for someone else.

5. It makes you feel all warm & fuzzy

Reaffirming your personal style? Check! Eco-friendly? Check! Supporting vintage dealers, indie biz owners & charities? Check! Knowing that you’re the only person who owns it? Check! Buying quality made pieces that are built to last? Check! Warm fuzzies all round? Check!

Not to say that new is bad. It’s not. There are a lot of quality products being made well and being made responsibly every day.

The trick is to spot the good new pieces and blend them with the vintage pieces to create a dynamic, layered look!

Why do you buy vintage & restyled vintage?

Haaave You Met… Ginger?

Named after Miss Rogers herself, Ginger was one of the pieces I scored at a movie prop warehouse sale, back in the Spring.

I wish I could tell you which movie she’s from, but I bought over 25 lamps from the seller and in the whirlwind of the moment, we couldn’t keep track of which piece was from which production.

I must say, she was rather unattractive before. From the ugly, square, wood base that sat below her round, metal one (which I promptly removed) to her colouring (dark brown with flecks of gold & orange), she left a lot to be desired. But, just look at her now! A Cinderella story if ever I’ve seen one.

Her mid-section was recoloured in bright, bold, persimmon, which pops against her wood top & golden bottom. Her texture was to-die-for and graciously accepted the new, splashy hue.

Her shade was in perfect condition, shape wise, but in dire need of an update. Now outfitted in a super-luxe, deep brown fabric, boasting flecks of metallic fibres throughout, she looks like a million bucks.

The road to riches was long and winding for Ginger, but maintaining her vintage character, while transforming her into a show stopping, one-of-a-kind statement piece, was well worth the time and effort!

Her presence in your living room would most certainly fetch you some serious style status among jealous onlookers.