Archives for posts with tag: thrift

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The idea for this vignette started with the wicker shelf I picked up at the thrift store for $3.99, in fact, everything in this vignette, except the tea pot on the upper shelf, and the metal bracelet on the placement were from the thrift store.  I don’t see wicker shelves as often as I thought I would, or as often as I used to, so I bought it with no second thoughts.   There’s almost always a place for cute little shelf units – because they are not large, they fit nicely on a bedroom dresser, a kitchen or bathroom counter, or in your living room and you can arrange a few items on and around them that accentuate the ambience you have, or are trying to achieve.  They also add height and interest – the interest comes from the design, the natural material, and the textures.  With the added height, your eyes wander around the grouping like they are on a little journey.  I originally began placing different colors of small pottery items but they were not working with the color of the shelf, and something else was missing.  Once I used the tarnished silver items, I realized that it was a lovely patina and reflective qualities that had been missing.  I placed a few aqua river pebbles to add a whisper of color.  The beads draping out of the hand-wrought looking metal bowl, the ivory rose and placement balance out the color from using the shabby ivory wooden box on the lower shelf.  You could still embellish more by placing an interesting item on top of the box – even a small strip of old lace, or tying something onto the wicker shelf.

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As the British explored the world, they began incorporating designs, motifs and materials of the locale they were in with their own.  Think plantation, coastal, breezy.  Antigua, Africa, Tobago, Barbados.  Rattan, leather, wicker, cottons, linens, sisal, jute.  Dark woods like mahogany.  Tropical plants. As they traveled, they drew and published prints of plants and animals.  Want more inspiration?  Motifs of pineapples, elephants.  Zebra.  Banana leaf shaped ceiling fans.  Then give it a little pop with an eclectic mix of accessories, including a little sparkle with crystal, glass, metals.  Keep your eyes open at thrift stores for items that fit into this design style as they are often available.  The woven box, pineapple base lamp, and white paisley semi sheer fabric panel were all purchased at a thrift store.   

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It must be the hat that gives this vignette such a carefree flair!  I have images in my mind from commercials of someone running through a country field on a sunny day, with a summer dress, holding the hat in their hands, then the wind blows it away!  The hat is adorned with a lightweight scarf with butterfly images, and beautiful delicate crocheted floral tassels.  Two squares of fabric, that I’m keeping on hand for my next block quilt, sit underneath the hat, grounding it and bringing the eye to it.  The pattern on the fabric squares really sets the tones for the country feel, and the square shapes balance out the round hat and rounded lamp.  The patina and shape of the antique jar is perfect for adding to the country feel – it makes you think you stepped outside your door, and cut off the greenery within.  It’s neutral color keeps the focus on the hat and fabric, yet is an integral part of the vignette.  The warm buttery color of the lamp, scarf and a fabric square, warm it all up, and the blue of the other square gives it a bit of interest and balance.  Thrift stores often have a lot of hats, and I can’t wait to create a vignette with yet another style!

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One of my dreams when I purchase a condo of my own, is to tear out all or many of the top cupboards and replace them with a few well-chosen eclectic pieces.  In fact, it will have to be the first things I do without looking back because it will surely be an unusual thing to do.  Sure, I might end up having to be very creative with where and how I store things, but I’m certainly willing and able to do this to have what is my ‘unique kitchen space’!  In my condo search so far, it is the kitchen that makes me click onto the next one for sale, until I spent some time browsing images of kitchens for ideas, and when I found a few I liked, they were all titled with ‘boho’,   so the browsing continued.  Granted, many of them are a little eccentric for me, and a little overwhelming,  but the inspiration is jumping off the shelves!   The idea is to have various pieces for interest, have a certain amount of items on open shelves, don’t be matchy matchy, listen to your heart, and don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside of the box.  Well, it’s certainly not for everyone, but  you can indeed have a kitchen that will be a delight to walk into and spend time in, will be easy peasy to change up from to time, and will be like no one else’s!  

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Well, this was an interesting little experiment!  Just goes to show how switching out one element can have such an effect on the ambience of a vignette.  I think my favorite it the top or bottom one, but the bird picture is part of a group of four (pictures actually taken from a used book and framed 🙂 ) in my living room that is perfectly suited for that space.  I might like the bird picture better here if I changed out the rich grey scarf for another color.  In this arrangement,  I started with the glass table lamp – which I like, but isn’t really my style.  I was in too much of a hurry to get a new lamp (long before my previous post about lamps).  The intriguing fruit bowl was purchased at a thrift store, and the metal elements, together with the weave and the objects filling it, bring nature and a little ‘roughness’ into the group.  Wanting something soft and billowy-ish – pardon my english – I grabbed one of my scarves and dropped it into the glass container perched on its black metal stand.  For me, the colors of the scarf added a richness and depth that was missing before.  The container too was from a thrift store.  If you have been following my blog, you will also recognize my ‘tablecloth’ – the small panel of bridal fabric that I couldn’t resist!

Thrift store wall candle sconce

Another thrift store score

It’s nice to have some accents on your walls that are not pictures, that add depth, dimension, texture, and other visual interest –  something that either extends out from the wall just the right amount, and/or something that is sculptural.   I feel the same way about something coming down from the ceiling although there are probably less choices in this scenario.  There are a lot of metal candle holders available that are meant to be hung from a wall but they do not have the substance that I am seeking.  Even though I like quite a bit of wall space to be decorated, I do keep away from small items – some have their place, and it is often amazing how one object strategically placed in a small wall area can dramatically change the ambience of your room.  They can also guide your eyes around the room – like a decorative journey of decor discovery!  I was quite happy when I got this item for only $4.99 – admittedly I passed it by on two visits and this was probably the first time ever that something was still available.  hehe….and don’t think of trying to hide something so you can return to the store later and purchase the item if you change your mind – everyone is on a fishing expedition 🙂  and it WILL be found!  It will be fun changing out the filling from time to time for a fresh look.

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Checking out the lighting section in thrift stores, is something I always always do!  Usually, there seems to be a fair number on display, and I even like a lot of the styles (often ceramic’ish) but I don’t often see the right color,  something that sets it off a little from the rest, or just really catches my eye enough to say to myself ‘hmm….if I don’t get this, I might regret it’.  In the past, when I found I was in need of a table or floor lamp, that’s the wrong time for me to go out looking.  Either I simply cannot find anything I like – new or used – or the price is more extravagant than  care to spend when it is not necessarily any more beautiful than ones I see in thrift stores from time to time.  Would I buy one I really liked even if I had enough already?  You betcha – just in case.  Either donate the now least favorite back to a thrift store, or keep one or two away to rotate for a fresh look now and again, or for when another one might break.  I really liked this one – it was $18.00.

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Although thrift stores – at least the few I go to – have a plethora of candle holders, I don’t often see any that fascinate me, and I would candle holders to do that for me.  Now this little puppy – for $3.00 caught my attention for a few reasons.  I like the gold tone in the base and on the holder, not just because it is not shiny and reflective, but it is a lovely complement to the ivory color.  The color is neither iridescent or frosty, but it hints at that.  Not overtly whimsical, the flower designs are pleasantly happy and uplifting!  The funny thing is though, I don’t burn candles, and never have,   Ah, but have you seen the wondrous candlescapes that can be put together?!  Now that seems like a fun creative time – an art form even.  I thought the candleholder looked right at home slightly tucked under the greenery, with it’s vines lovingly wrapped around!

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Or perhaps they are not mutually exclusive!  Probably everyone reading this knows what this beautiful gold glass container is (liquer?) but although I may not always know specifically ‘what’ it is I’m buying, I do know whether I like it or not 🙂   I suppose some may have looked at this in the thrift store, and viewed it as an ‘elegant’ item and through their minds they worked out whether or not it would fit in their decor, within that framework.  When I looked at it, I immediately thought magical!  Although it is transparent, it reminded me of a genie bottle.  I also remembered seeing miniscule versions of designs like this at boutiques that sell items from India – for fragrances perhaps? essential oils?  (here I go again not knowing what those were for, just knowing they were adorable!) only this is a giant version of those adorable little works of art.  

In this particular vignette, it seemed more ‘right’ to have it a little unbalanced with a small but striking object to the left of two taller, larger ones.  The jug with greenery is acting more as a prop for the glass decanter, and the butterfly ‘book box’ is somehow a flirty image that draws the eye around the vignette.

What is magical for you?

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I was out browsing in a trendy little area of the city, and came across a new little Bali boutique, and needless to say, I pretty much galloped in!  So many interesting and unique items!  I happened upon this cute little change purse, and since my decor is eclectic and global, I thought I should be too, and this would be a good little catch.  When I got home, I put it in my purse, and pulled it out as if to pay for something to see how handy it would be.  What I discovered was that, while I adored this item, it wasn’t right for me as far as fashion goes.  Disappointed and confused, I went to set it down, but the plant was in the way so I just hung it on the lampshade.  After looking at it awhile, I grew so used to the look, that it is now a part of my home decor!  It adds a little whimsy to the table arrangement, and I’m now wondering what else might look good hanging from a lampshade!  ps it was $9.99.