I have been working on getting my new old home furnished; obsessively poring over online catalogues and blog posts talking about sustainably forested wood, low VOC finishes, organically upholstered pieces. It’s a nightmare. I feel like everything you get, no matter what, is filled with some kind of poison.
Still, I want new pieces as I have never owned new furniture or even had the vicarious joy of new furniture via my parents while growing up. Everything was inherited, from a tag sale, donated from a neighbor, or picked up off the curb.
Interior design was not my family’s strong suit needless to say, nor is it mine. Still, I am trying. Not that every single thing has to be brand new either, but a few key pieces would be nice. When I have time off around the holidays I plan to hit up some antique and thrift stores to see what I can find. If there’s anything noteworthy, I will update accordingly. Though I don’t have great skill at putting together a room, I still want to do it without a professional so it’s my style and it looks like a real home. I would hate if my living room looked like I lifted it directly from page thirty-six of the latest Pottery Barn catalogue. I think when people leave all the decisions to interior decorators, they can run the risk of having their style dictated and homes can end up looking too “done” or “showroom.” It’s more museum than “maison.”
Fortunately, I have an ace in the hole; a wonderful friend who took apart an old farm house and put it back together and self decorated with all sorts of fantastic, one-of-a-kind antique and thrift finds. I was admiring a lovely, ornate sideboard in the kitchen. When I asked from whence it came, I was told, “Imagine that it used to be 8 feet in the air. Now guess what it used to be.” Apparently, it had been part of a Victorian style half-canopy bed. Genius.
Here are some of my finds and preferences: